How to Find Good Podcast Guests
When it comes to finding podcast guests, it's best to stay organized so you're able to keep track of everything. It's also important to look for your guests in the right places. We recommend you:
- Create an excel sheet where you keep good names, regardless if you have reached out to them or not.
- Find the right place to search for guests. Usually, social media works, or you can try a referral base.
- Stay curious: talk to your audience and understand what and who they want.
- Reach out to your guests on the platform they are most active.
Read on to help you figure out where and how to go about finding your ideal podcast guest.
Understand Your Podcast’s Niche
When you want to find podcast guests, start by researching other podcasts in your niche. This will give you an idea of what your listeners enjoy as well as the type of guests to consider for your show.
Even if you can’t catch the same big fish for your show at first, listening to the things that other podcast hosts and their guests speak about will give you information and resources you can use for your program like:
- New or hot topics to help write podcast interview questions
- Familiarity with influential people in your podcast niche who accept interviews
- Upcoming industry events where you can scout for podcast guests
- Online communities specific to your podcast's niche where you can find experts (potential guests) and additional resources
- Podcast interview tips that can help your conversations run smoothly
Use Social Media to Find Podcast Guests
Social media provides a powerful networking tool to find potential podcast guests. Each social media platform is different, so check out which platform professionals in your industry use the most to connect with their audiences.
There are a couple of ways to use Facebook to connect you with guests:
- Tag potential podcast guests when you share a post. By doing this, you catch their attention and create the potentiality for a working relationship. You can also reshare their content, and create an opportunity that could lead to an interview. Even if they don't reach out to you first, sharing and tagging their content improves the chances of them saying yes to an interview.
- Take advantage of Facebook groups to connect with professionals. Facebook users create groups where they can gather with like-minded people and discuss any topic they can think of, from popular tv shows to geology. Search Facebook for groups relevant to the topic of your show, join groups with a lot of active members and start engaging to build relationships that could lead to podcast guests.
Professionals used LinkedIn to share information about their industries and network, making it a perfect resource to find experts in your niche. Try the following LinkedIn features to find potential podcast guests:
- LinkedIn Pulse is the built-in newsfeed where users can share self-published content with people in their networks. Keep an eye on the LinkedIn Pulse feed for articles on topics that might interest your podcast listeners and reach out to the professionals who publish them. They may want another outlet, like your podcast, to share ideas and expand their audience.
- LinkedIn Groups connects you with potential guests in the same way that Facebook groups can. Use this feature to network with professionals in specific industries and cultivate relationships.
- LinkedIn searches reveal leaders of different companies and organizations. Look up specific groups or companies you know your listeners like. Then use LinkedIn to learn more about the professionals at their helm. You can use LinkedIn’s messaging feature to contact them or the contact information that they list in their LinkedIn profile.
Twitter is a place where people connect and have important conversations, which makes it a great place to find guests for your podcast. You can use Twitter in the following ways to find and invite guests for your podcast:
- Follow influencers in your industry and interact with them. Getting to know thought leaders in your industry or niche and building relationships with them is a great way to get them to become guests on your podcast.
- Follow Twitter lists to see what your audience is interested in. People who are interested in your podcast’s industry or niche will be following thought leaders in that industry on social media. Check out Twitter lists that leaders in your industry are included in and follow those that are specific to your podcast. You can learn about new ideas and voices in your field.
If you’ve been lucky enough to receive an invite to Clubhouse, you can use it to network with potential guests in the following ways:
- Follow people and clubs you’re interested in and join events related to your industry. Listening to these conversations can give you an idea of things your audience is interested in learning more about and discussing. You can also make note of moderators and audience members who seem especially knowledgeable so you can connect with them and invite them to appear on your show.
- Host a room to interact with potential guests and audience members. By moderating a room, you can speak directly with people in your industry or niche who might listen to your podcast or might be interested in appearing on your show. This is a great way to cultivate relationships and exchange contact information so that you can pursue people to be guests on your show.
In-Person Networking Can Introduce You to Podcast Guests
Potential podcast guests may be more willing to accept an interview if you ask them in person. It’s a lot harder for them to ignore your request if you’re standing in front of them as opposed to sending an email or a message over social media.
Check out events that take place in your city where you can connect with potential podcast guests. Online resources, newspapers, and publications specific to your podcast’s industry can help learn about things happening in your area.
Use Your Website to Attract Guests for Podcast Interviews
Passionate professionals out there are always looking to share their ideas and theories, and some actively seek outlets to do so. They may want to break out in their industry, or it could be because they have a new paper they've published that they want people to read or a new book they want people to buy. If you have a great website properly indexed on Google and major search engines, potential podcast guests can find you.
A well-written website that explains who you are and what your show is about will get potential guests interested in speaking with you. Mention that you're looking for guests and provide a way for people to contact you. You can set up a form that potential podcast interview guests can use to discuss an appearance.
Use Guest Directories as a Resource to Find Podcast Guests
You can use a podcast guest directory to find and interact with potential guests for your program. These directories include business owners and thought leaders with the knowledge and experience to engage your audience. Best of all, the people listed are looking to be interviewed, which increases your chances of them saying yes to an interview request.
Guest directories simplify how you contact a potential guest by providing all of their contact info in one place. Sometimes, you can use forms that send directly to the person. Check out these guest directories for help with finding your next podcast guest:
#1 - PodcastGuests.com
This site connects podcast hosts with other podcasters, experts, and authors for podcast interviews. You can use the site to find guests in two different ways:
1. Fill out their questionnaire and explain the type of guests you're seeking for your podcast. Once you've done this, the site will provide you with a list of experts relevant to your show.
2. Use the directory section of the website to browse for guests. Click on the industry to view profiles of potential guests. Each profile has a bio so you can learn more about potential guests before reaching out. You can view other podcasts someone has been on and find links to their social media pages if you want to see what kind of online following they have.
#2 - InterviewGuestsDirectory.com
This site contains a directory divided into over 50 categories where you can view profiles for potential podcast guests. InterviewGuestsDirectory is a good spot to look if your podcast is super niche or if it focuses on a topic considered "nontraditional". Some of the more unique categories include "Paranormal & Conspiracies", "Odd and Offbeat", and "Hobbies and Crafts".
Each bio contains a section that lists topics that the guests prefer to discuss. This can help determine what to say when inviting a potential guest and help come up with podcast interview questions.
#3 - FindRadioGuests.com
FindRadioGuests.com lets you find potential guests through their email subscription service and their free booking form. If you want complete access to their directory of guests, you have to be willing to pay for it. We recommend filling out their booking form to get started and see how that works for you first.
You'll need to provide information like your podcast name, a show description, demographics about your listening audience, and contact information. The booking form will also ask that you describe the type of guest you seek and potential topics you'd like to discuss.
Once you've provided this information, your request for guests will be published on FindRadioGuests.com's sister site RadioGuestList.com. Experts, authors, and others who match can contact you to discuss appearing on a podcast interview.
Ways to Invite Guests for a Podcast Interview
Making the first move can be intimidating, and you may not know what to say to a potential guest to get them to appear on your podcast. Since a lot of networking happens online, you'll probably reach out to potential guests via email or send a DM on social media. Look for ways to contact the expert you’d like to interview. Then use our templates below.
Here are some general good guidelines on approaching guests:
- Always start the conversation with your guests by showcasing the value of your podcast.
- Continue with a meaningful request, and be precise about what you want from them.
- Offer credibility: do you have friends in common? This is the time to bring it up.
- If you didn’t get an answer, try engaging with their social media content.
- When reaching out again, avoid the word ‘follow-up’, it’s better to use ‘circle back’ or ‘want to make sure this message didn’t go to your spam’.
- Remember, guests are not robots. If they do not answer for a while, maybe because they are not interested at this time, move on to the next person on your list.
Keep in mind: Before you reach out, do your research and be as specific as possible. Showing interest and knowledge of their work will increase the chances of them accepting your request. For example, if you’re contacting a financial advisor, don’t just mention a specific topic in the finance field. Refer to specific research they’ve conducted or ideas unique to them.
For Contacting Podcast Guests via Email:
Hi [guest’s name],
My name is [your name], and I host a podcast called [name of your podcast]. Our show focuses on [the industry or niche of your podcast] and [explain the value of your podcast]. I’m contacting you because I found you on [social media platform/guest directory/another podcast] and would love to have you join my show.
I’ve been researching your work on [insert an aspect of their work you’ve been reading about.] My target audience would enjoy hearing your point of view. In addition to having you on my podcast, I would also be willing to promote your work [on my website/social media channels].
Please let me know if you would be interested in joining as a guest on my show. My interviews are typically [x minute/hours] long, conveniently conducted via [Podcast recording software, such as Riverside.fm].
Thank you for your time,
For Contacting Podcast Guests via Social Media Direct Message:
Hello! My name is [your name], I host a podcast called [name of podcast], which focuses on [the industry or niche of your podcast]. [Explain value of your podcast]. I would love to have you join our show for a guest interview, as I believe my audience would love to hear more about your work. I’m particularly interested in discussing [insert a specific aspect of their work or research]. If interested, please feel free to schedule a show when you have time available. My interviews typically last for [x minute/hours] and are conducted via [type podcast recording software].
How to Prepare Guests for a Podcast Interview
Once a guest accepts your invitation for a podcast interview, make sure they're properly prepared. By informing your guest about what they can expect, you will make them feel more comfortable and reduce downtime caused by technical issues.
By streamlining your guest's experience, you increase the chances of them having a good time and agreeing to another podcast interview in the future. They'll also be more likely to tell others about their good experience, which could lead to booking more guests. Use the below checklist to prepare for the interview:
Step One: Do Your Research
- Find out as much as you can about your guest and their work in advance.
- Prepare a short bio to promote the upcoming interview.
- Plan out your interview and write down topics and specific questions.
- Reach out to your guest to see if there’s anything specific they’d like to discuss or promote.
Step Two: Schedule a Day and Time
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to turn off potential guests with confusing scheduling issues. Streamline the process with a calendar app for easy scheduling.
Step Three: Tell Your Guest What to Expect
- Send your guest all of the questions you have and a rough outline of how you expect the interview to go.
- Be open to collaborating with them if they have ideas as this could increase the flow of the interview.
- Send the bio that you’ve written about your guest so they can review it and suggest edits.
Step Four: Provide Your Guest With Any Technical Information They Need
You can mess up your interview before it even begins if you don’t provide guidance and detailed instructions about the technical side of things. Provide easy-to-follow instructions on what your guest needs to know before you record, like how to use your podcast interview software. Taking these steps can ease the anxiety of you and your guests:
- Make sure your guest will be in a quiet space with good acoustics and a door that they can close if they need to.
- Check the type of internet connection your guest will be using to ensure it will work with your remote recording program.
- If you're not using remote recording software that will record both you and your guest, find out how your guest will be recording on their end. Research the equipment they'll be using and the best way to use it for recording your podcast.
Riverside.fm offers the ideal remote video interview recording platform. Simple to use, you don’t have to worry about your guests having a bad experience with technical difficulties. They simply click the link that you provide them. Then they’re automatically connected to your podcast interview.
Step Five: Be Available for Your Podcast Guest
Make sure to answer any questions your guest has leading up to the podcast interview. Good communication is key to forming relationships that propel your podcast forward. You can get more great guests through word of mouth and even expand your audience if a podcast guest has a good experience appearing on your show.
Finding guests to appear on your podcast can be challenging if you’re just starting, but not impossible! With a little bit of research and a willingness to put yourself out there, you can book quality guests for your podcast that will help you grow your audience.