5 Things Podcast Hosts Look For in Guests

If you’re interested in becoming a guest on a podcast to promote yourself and your services (and maybe even your own podcast!) that’s GREAT. However, it’s important to remember that podcast hosts aren’t looking for just anyone to interview on their show – they are looking for someone who will add value to the episode, connect well with their audience, and help cultivate an exciting and captivating conversation. 

As a podcast host, I’ve had a lot experience booking guests for my show. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to learn which types of guests make for the best interviews. So now, I’m spilling the tea and passing my best tips on to you 😉 

So, what makes for a great guest?

1. You actually have a unique or interesting story.

Keyword: *actually.* 

As a podcast host, I’m ALWAYS looking for guests who aren’t run-of-the-mill. I’m constantly looking for people with unique backgrounds, interesting business stories, and intriguing personal lives to feature on my show – because my audience LOVES hearing diverse stories of success. 

Capitalizing on a unique or interesting story you can share that relates to your business (maybe you somehow scored a celebrity testimonial, or made your first six figures at sixteen!) is a great route to go when pitching yourself to hosts. 

This gives the host a strong and compelling foundation for your interview to not only capture their audience, but act as a solid starting point for their questions.

Not confident that you have an interesting story to share? THAT’S OKAY! Don’t force it! Just because your story isn’t totally unique doesn’t mean you couldn’t be a great guest on a podcast – it’s just one of the qualities that can help you stand out. However, if I’ve learned anything from being a podcast host, it’s that EVERYONE has an interesting story, with the right angle. 

2. Your personality is vivacious!

I’ll let you in on a secret: Podcast hosts HATE pulling teeth. If your personality is super dry, the host – and their audience – is going to realize it. 

As a podcast guest, it’s your job to not only share your story, but to do it in a way that entertains. The host shouldn’t have to ask probing questions the entire time to extract details about your journey – you should readily offer them.

Personality is something that hosts can often sense from the very first email or call. While maintaining a professional appearance, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your first points of contact. A great way to do this is to include some lesser-known info about yourself or stories you may have in that first interaction. Anything you can do to create a connection with the host right off the bat will give you bonus points!

3. You can offer TONS of value.

Please, please, PLEASE…don’t apply to be a guest on a podcast if you know little (or nothing) about the podcast’s niche. Not only is this rude and dismissive of the host’s work, but you’re going to end up embarrassing yourself come interview time!

Podcast hosts want guests who can offer value to their listeners – whether it’s a unique perspective, valuable advice, or an insider’s look at the industry. If you CAN offer any of these things, don’t be afraid to let the host know.

When sending your pitch, be sure to include any relevant knowledge/experience that you can offer the podcast’s audience. Not only will the host appreciate not having to ask, but proving that you’re legitimate right away will increase your chances of being invited onto the show.

4. You’ve been on other shows.

I know, I know – this tip can sound a little bit like the dilemma of having to have job experience before actually getting a job. 

This isn’t a must, but it’s a good sign for podcast hosts if you’ve been featured on other podcasts before. This not only assures them that it’s not your first time, but allows them to access other interviews of yours before inviting you onto their show to see if you’re a good fit!

Also, guests who have already been interviewed on podcasts tend to give better interviews because they are comfortable and familiar with the recording process. This includes answering questions thoroughly while also helping to guide the conversation. 

If you lack experience doing this, it can be super helpful to practice speaking while being recorded, before your first interview on a real show. This will help ease your nerves and make you appear more professional.

5. You have a referral from a fellow podcaster.

If another distinguished podcaster in the host’s niche can vouch for you, that’s FANTASTIC. Not only will it help catch the host’s attention before your pitch ends up in the spam folder, but will also increase your chances of getting the gig. 

Referrals are important because they give the host you’re reaching out to a reason to trust you – but they’re NOT easy to get, especially when first starting out. 

I ran into this problem with a handful of my coaching clients, which is one of the many reasons I started The Podcast Connector. With this service, I get to act as your ULTIMATE hype-woman – giving me the chance to personally recommend you to podcast hosts in your niche and help you land the guest opportunity of your dreams. The Podcast Connector is designed to help you book interviews that help you share your message with audiences who are in perfect alignment with your brand – without needing to send spammy copy-and-paste emails to hosts that will not only land your pitch in the trash, but also ruin your chance of a feature.

If you’re interested in joining The Podcast Connector, you can sign up here. If you feel exhausted from sending out your own pitches (or paying someone without the proper experience to do so), this service IS FOR YOU! Say goodbye to the ignored emails and hello to opportunities to be featured on podcasts that will help you uplevel your business!

Every podcast host is different – but they generally look for similar attributes when it comes to booking guests for their show. Keep in mind that they aren’t just looking for someone to entertain them, but also to provide their audience with valuable information they can’t find anywhere else!

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