Welcome to episode 481. I am stoked because we’re going to answer one of the probably most common questions that comes up in the Launch Your Podcast training, in podcast strategy calls, just anytime I talk about podcasts. And it’s really the questions around whether or not you should have guests. And then if you do have guests what should you talk about? And so I want to talk about the pros and cons of guests on your show and some suggestions and things to keep in mind. 

If you’re going to have guests to make sure that we are still steering the conversation in a way that serves your business. Now, the first caveat to this, and I think the first thing to consider always when you’re looking to answer any question, but certainly this is what is the purpose of your show? The purpose of your show is to grow an audience and sell advertising space and things like that. Then guests can be a great way to have regular interesting conversations, feature really cool people and grow your audience really quickly. Assuming you get the right guests for your audience. Guests make perfect sense. 

On the flip side, if the purpose of your show is like this show, and I’ve always been really transparent about that, to promote your business. This show doesn’t have sponsors because Uncommonly More is the sponsor of the show. And so if that is your focus, then having guests can absolutely still be a great way to grow your audience, to have really interesting conversations, to get to talk to really cool people. But you need to be really intentional about the conversation they’re having with those guests. And so I want to break this conversation up into a couple of pieces and keeping that first question in mind of what is the purpose of our show.

As we move through the discussion, as we talk about this, we get to come back always to what is the purpose of the show? 

And I want to start by coming at this from a question I received in my DMs around if I had to start over, would I have guests on my podcast? And that’s because when we launched the show originally called, Hit The Mic Marketing, almost seven years ago, I did have guests. I had two episodes a week. One was a guest and one episode was me solo. It was an obscenely large amount of content to produce. It was crazy dance. And I was asked if I went back, would I still have guests? And knowing what I know now, I don’t know that I would have had guests certainly as frequently. And if, and when I did choose to have guests on the show, I would have had much more focused conversations than I did way back when.

And here’s why, because what I ended up doing is spending a lot of time, energy and money using my platform, my audience, my sliver of attention I had earned, to promote other people, which is not inherently bad. It can be incredibly good, except the purpose of my show was to generate revenue and promote my own business. And so the purpose of my show was not to highlight really cool brands and really amazing entrepreneurs. And that is the purpose of some shows. And that might be the purpose of your show. And if that’s the case good on you, do it. Then yes, absolutely have really incredible guests. I think for me, knowing that my intent was to grow my own business, I would have had more focused conversations with the guests that I had around some of the marketing choices they make. There are some shows that do this really well.

A great example is Veronica Grant of the Love Life Connection show. She does a great job where she brings in guests occasionally who offer additional value to her audience, a perspective that maybe she doesn’t have, an expertise that she wants to share. But most frequently her guests come on and she does a coaching call with them, a completely free coaching call. And then she shares that. And it allows her to have some on, it allows her to have a really interesting conversation, but ultimately it’s still pointing people in the direction of working with her or consuming her content or her courses. I think that’s a really cool structure to be looking at. And so I think it’s one of the things I would have done at the beginning is bring on guests and do public consulting work and answering questions and bringing that on more Q and A style, if I had to go back and do it differently, or if I were launching today.

When you think about guests and the purpose of your show, remember it doesn’t have to be yes or no. 

It could be yes but, or yes and. It’s probably the nicer way to say that. Yes and we have these kinds of conversations. And I want you to remember ultimately that having guests won’t necessarily grow your audience. I think this is the other part of why knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have put so much effort into having guests early in the days. It’s because some guests are better than others at sharing the show. For me, still the fastest way for me to grow my own show is to go on other shows and go connect. I love to share the content I’m on when I am on other people’s shows because it helps me get more shows. Generally speaking, when you are looking to book guests, you’re definitely going to go look at their social and subscribe to their email list and see if they’re sharing the other shows that they’re on.

And if they’re not, it’s going to be really hard for that to be a value for you from an audience growth or exposure perspective, which is a really important thing to remember even if you’re on the other side of this, even if you’re looking to be a guest on more shows. And so again, sort of wrapping up this idea of if I had to go back in time and then I probably would do it differently. I don’t know that it would be all or nothing. And I think that’s a really important thing to remember. Another way to look at this is if I am going to have guests, what do I need to structure it like? And for me again, I say, “hat is the purpose of your show?” If the purpose of your show is to feature really incredible people, telling really fun stories then do that.

If the purpose of your show is to teach or help people at an entry level get ready to work with you, the things that they need to have in place, the tools that they need to understand, the language and verbiage they need to understand before they can work with you, then that’s what you should be doing there. And bringing in guests to support that can be, like I mentioned with Veronica grant, the free coaching hours, or it could be a phone line and people call in and leave questions and you answer them. It could be lots of things. We did a version of this for a long time with three things you need to know. It’s actually an episode we’re going to do later this month for Q3, we’re going to have a three things you need to know about marketing now at the end of June. And so stay tuned for that, but it’s a really great way for me to teach in an episode and get people ready. And I can do that without a guest, but you can also do that in a lot of ways with guests. 

The other version of this is if you’re looking to have guests, but also the sole purpose of your show, I mean, not the sole purpose, but the intent of your show is to market your own business. 

What we do is we have guests who are clients, and we often talk about what working with us was like or what they learned. 

A great example of this was an episode I did several months ago with Nicole Otchy, who came in and shared some of her lessons from launching her Style Your Brand program, which was really cool, but a lot of it was stuff she had learned and possibly not fully lived into until she experienced it. There were a lot of lessons she had learned during Backstage Live or things I said during Backstage Live that really clicked once she did the implementation for her once, she was actually launching that program. And I think that that’s a really fun way to showcase what working with you or learning from you is like. 

And not just a, “Hey, here’s a straight case study, A did B and now she got C.” And instead, really looking at here’s what my experience was like. That’s a really cool way to get a testimonial. And so that can be a really fun way to bring guests on to your show in a way that serves your larger business goals. But what if you don’t want to have guests, can your show still grow? Can you still see big results? Absolutely, 100%. Yes. I will say that for me, some of the most fun episodes I’ve ever recorded or enjoyed the experience of producing included guests because guests are super fun.

And I’ll be honest early in the days when I had the show and I had guests every week, I learned a ton because I got to have these really cool questions and opportunities to talk to these really cool people who had answers. And I had so much fun doing that because I selfishly just asked what I wanted to know when I had guests on. And that can be really fun, but it doesn’t mean you have to have it to be successful. It doesn’t mean that it is a requirement of a show being worth listening to. As you’ve maybe noticed on this show, there are very rarely guests. And when they’re here, they’re here for a very intentional purpose. And so yeah, your show can grow. In fact, when I stopped having guests, my show grew really quickly because I was spending the time that I would’ve spent recording with guests or finding guests or following up with guests, etcetera. Promoting my show, marketing my show instead of saying, “Oh, I’ll get guests.” and then I’ll hope they’ll promote.

I spent that time promoting the show and it grew exponentially in those early days of no guests. And the show continues to grow month after month, even now, nearly seven years and nearly 500 episodes later. And so we talk about this a lot in the Launch Your Podcast training, which is up now, and you can get it on demand at uncommonlymore.com/launchyourpodcast. And we talked about this in Two Truths and a Lie, a couple of weeks ago. The show is going to grow with you, it’s going to evolve. And so the biggest thing I want to leave you with, with this question around should you have guests or should you not have guests? It doesn’t really matter? Pick one, try it on. See if you like it, play with it, play with lots of versions of it and see how it goes.

It does not have to be one way or another way forever ever. You get to pick, and you get to change it, and you get to evolve it. All right. Another short and dirty one this week. I’m really enjoying keeping these really short. I would love to hear from you to see if that’s feeling good for you guys too. Again, this is a great example of what I’m doing right now. As I’m playing, we’re evolving the show. We’re shifting things around and seeing what resonates and what works and what feels good right now. In the time we’re in right now, where so much is crazy pants bananas. It feels good to make some shifts, make some changes, make things easy to consume and easy to take action on. So, decide right now one way or another guests. No guests. It’s okay either way. All right.

All right. Thank you for listening. By the way, if you have not yet joined us for Launch your Podcast, you’re going to want to do that. It is available right now. All five days. You can grab them over at uncommonlymore.com/launchyourpodcast. We have podcast strategy sessions open, and we do have some spots for podcast production work. If you are looking to Uplevel your show with Pro Production, reach out and let us know over at Uncommonly More, we would be happy to sit down and talk with you. If you have any questions, reach out to me there, and I will see you next week.

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