There are plenty of podcasters who do well just sharing their expertise and knowledge via their podcast without having to interview someone else.
But if featuring guests on your podcast is something you want to do then that can be very interesting for your audience.
It’s quite common that people will make contact with you and ask to feature in your podcast, and that’s all fine – so long as what they want to talk about aligns with what you are doing. If not; then it is often better to let them know that there isn’t enough common ground…and let them down gently.
It is often better to do your own research and identify people who will add real value to your podcast and be of genuine interest to your listeners. You can start with other people’s podcasts to see who they are featuring in their shows, look for authors who may have released a new book that aligns with your show, write to trade bodies, search YouTube.
Perhaps there are some interesting speakers at a conference near where you live, or they might be visiting your place or work or a local school. See if you can rock up with a mic and portable recorder and get a podcast recorded.
But once you find them then you need to write including full details about your podcast and explain why you think they are a good fit for your show. Be prepared to let them know how many downloads you get if they ask.
Once they agree to take part then book them in by setting a time to record the interview and then start researching so you can ask interesting questions.
Asking good questions is where the value is for your listeners; and it shows respect to your guest. It shows you have put real effort into the conversation and that you know what you are talking about. In fact; having done the research you will feel a lot more confident talking with them. If they have written a book then read the book before the interview.
Some guests may ask to see your questions before the interview so they can prepare ‘better answers’. I’m not in favour of this because when people get questions ahead of time they prepare stock answers and it leads to a lack of spontaneity. Avoid this at all costs.
I have declined to interview people if they insist on that condition; most have then agreed to proceed anyway and it’s all turned out fine.
Should you pay guests? Absolutely not. No way. If a guest asks for payment then politely decline and move on. In 30 years of interviewing people for all manner of stories I have been asked to pay anyone and nor would I.
Once the podcast is published then send a link to your guest and ask if they would share it across their social media network. See EP10 for press release marketing.