As a podcaster, you already know that the path towards longevity (and possibly even profitability) is growing your audience. While your own efforts at marketing and the word-of-mouth praise of your fanbase are great tools for bringing in new listeners primed to find you, this isn’t always enough to grow a podcast past its earliest stages.
If you’re really looking to grow, you need to start seriously thinking about guest podcasting. But what is guest podcasting, and how can it actually help you to grow your audience? Let’s dive in!
What is Guest Podcasting?
Guest podcasting is the act of being a guest on other podcasts. You actively seek out opportunities to be interviewed on other people’s shows and/or act as a guest co-host. In most cases, these are one-off opportunities where you’ll go on to either fill in for an absent host, join the group to discuss a topic with which you are familiar, or be interviewed about a topic in which you have some expertise.
Growth hackers in marketing refer to this as borrowing audiences, or audience hijacking because you are literally stepping onto a stage in front of an audience someone else built in an effort to spread your own message. It’s a great way to leverage another podcast host’s hard work into potential new listeners.
This is of course quite similar to the tactic used by some online marketers known as guest posting. When you guest post, you find a website that covers your topic of expertise, you do the research, and write a unique article that will help you reach new audiences. Oftentimes, there’s the opportunity to include a backlink in the article which also holds value.
What's a Backlink and Why Does It Matter? 🔗
Backlinks (or inbound links pointing to your podcast, website, social media profiles, etc.) are great in that they can send qualified referral traffic and also pass “SEO juice.” Inbound links are one of many factors Google includes in its ranking algorithms to help it evaluate the authority (ranking position), and relevance of a webpage – in other words, as you earn backlinks to your website, you can increase your rankings on search engines and attract new visitors. This in turn could result in more people visiting your website to potentially purchase your goods or become your latest greatest fan.
Meeting a New Audience 👋🏾
While many people guest podcast because they enjoy working with others or they’re fans of the other host’s show, guest podcasting is simply an amazing promotional tool.
When you go on a podcast in any capacity, you’re introducing yourself to a new audience. There likely will be crossover between the show you are a visiting guest on and your own show.
Those who enjoyed your guest appearance will want to check out your show, giving you a great way to attract new listeners and grow your audience.
Increasing Your Online Presence 📈
Being a guest on another podcast also gives you the ability to increase your online presence. Think about all the social media work you do to keep your podcast afloat and drive new listeners to your show. When you guest podcast, you’re suddenly getting to take advantage of the same work that’s being done by another person. Your name could show up on the episode information, on the show’s website, and even on the regular host’s social media accounts. Sometimes they are even kind enough to include your social media handles and your website details in their show notes.
When people search for either that podcast your guest podcasting on, or for your name, you’ll suddenly appear in more search results. In many ways, the other show effectively starts doing some SEO heavy lifting for you. Bottom line – when you start guest podcasting, you get to leverage the clout of others to boost your own!
Related Reading: “Podcast Tips: How to Help Your Guests Promote Your Podcast.”
Forming Worthwhile Relationships
Guest podcasting is a great way to network, and form relationships that could result in friendships and even business partnership opportunities – you may find yourself presented with joint venture and or affiliate partnerships.
Let’s say you’re a guest on a podcast that’s launching a digital course. By being on the show, you could be considered for their affiliate program and launch team giving you the chance to not only share information about their new course, but to earn a commission as well. Or maybe they have been passing on podcast sponsorships that are too small for them – the next time one comes up, they might think of you and pass it along. Not only will you start receiving a steadier stream of new listeners, you could learn about new income possibilities.
Why Guest Podcasting is Better than Guest Posting
The reason many marketers believe that guest podcasting is the new guest posting is that podcast guests can typically do multiple interviews in the same amount of time that it takes them to write a single guest post.
Because they are already an expert on the topic in most cases, they don’t have to spend as much time researching before they are a guest on a show either. Finally, the format typically allows the guest to show up and answer questions – most of the work before and after that falls on the podcast host. Sure, you might need to prepare for questions you will be asked, but it’s the host that has to edit, promote, and nurture their current audience.
The good news is, you are helping them out by giving them material and something new for their listeners to hear. This is why you need to go the extra mile and help them promote their show, show up on time for your appearance, and extend an offer to assist them in any way possible to make it a more mutually beneficial experience. For example, you could ask them for the questions ahead of time to ensure you prepare the best answers possible for the audience.
How to Get Started with Guest Podcasting
In our post “How to Score Big Guest Interviews for Your Podcast,” we shared the website PodcastGuests.com as a place to find people to be on your show. They also can help you get booked as a guest on podcasts. Other than that, the steps for guest podcasting are pretty similar to guest posting:
1. Find similar podcasts that you would like to be on – make sure they allow guests and/or regularly have interviews on their show
2. Listen to their episodes to make sure that what you want to talk about hasn’t been covered yet, or that if it has you have a new angle
3. Start following the podcaster on social media, and begin engaging with them so you aren’t pitching them cold
4. Go to their website and see if they are seeking guests – sometimes that’s a quick way to get on the show because they will tell you exactly what they are looking for and how to pitch them
5. If you can’t find an application or a call-to-action seeking guests, now might be time to send a pitch. In your pitch, you should do the following:
- Focus on their listeners and what you can deliver to them – this is not about you even though you want to promote yourself
- Specifically state in your subject line that it’s a podcast pitch and what you want to discuss (i.e. Podcast Pitch: your listeners can earn more bitcoin with one simple trick)
- Give a quick introduction that gets to the point of what you can do for their listeners and 3-5 talking points you can discuss
- Keep it short and simple – no essays here!
- Make it clear you have listened to their show by referencing a past episode
- Give them more than one way other to contact you in addition to email
6. After you pitch, be sure to follow up. Your email could have gone straight to their spam folder, they might be receiving tons or requests, or they may be too busy to respond. In any event, if you don’t hear back, try again. If email doesn’t work, try connecting via social.
Now that you know the why and how, if you’re ready to grow your audience and start making valuable connections, it’s time to branch out and get booked on other podcasts!