Whether it’s a feature or a one-time feature, interviewing a guest is a great way to turn things upside down on your podcast. They clash and provide a frame of reference for the topic you are discussing.
However, it can be difficult to find the right guest for the interview. Out of the thousands of exchanges you have online and with IRL, this is one conversation you need to build yourself, in ways that sometimes feel like made up. We break it down into 4 steps that will get you straight to the point.
WHY? Count the benefits.
The back and forth of the conversation is dynamic and makes for good listening. In an interview setup, you show how you are learning together with your audience and that strengthens your bond.
It also offers a bit of variety and relieves you of creating all the content!
Listening to a conversation is irresistible – as more and more viewers are proving they are listening. Writing for UK publication Cultivated vulturesCallum Davies explains the popularity of podcast interviews in America and around the world because “as long as the respondent and interviewer are equally interested in what they are discussing, the appeal will manifest”.
WHAT? Establish a clear purpose.
However, all of this should not mean that you should invite guests to your podcast for just that purpose.
The online business expert Pat Flynn makes a really valid point in his Video tutorial How to conduct a podcast interview that requires you to have a specific purpose to speak to a guest. Think about what they can bring to the table for your audience. Reaching A-listers is all very good, but what else can they offer besides being there? Interesting debate? An insight into your area of expertise?
THE? Zone in on your guest.
Now you want the makers and shakers who can add some of their pizzazz to your podcast.
Use your existing networks and all available resources to determine the who’s who for your podcast topic. An advanced search on Amazon can help determine who recently published a study in this field. Search by topic, then adjust searches based on relevance and publication date.
Twitter and LinkedIn are used by professionals to present their views and work. Find out potential guests by introducing yourself. Start a conversation using direct messages or intelligently comment on their posts.
And remember, the first thing they do after receiving your interview offer is to look up who YOU are and what your podcast is about. Business podcast host Tyler Basu advises guests to do their research by reading the description of a podcast online and checking that the podcast is currently active. So make sure you are sending the right messages!
HOW? Make your interview POP.
As you know by now, preparation is everything! How are you going to highlight your interview? Check to see if your guest has previously been interviewed on a podcast (simply via an iTunes search). Study their style. Your podcast has great exclusivity if you can break new ground or make a connection that is specific to your podcast.
And when you’re ready to record, remember that being a good interviewer means one word: listen. Focus on what they’re saying and let your guest expand on their answers before you tune in. Former CNN White House correspondent Frank Sesno really recommends it Get to know what kind of listener you areIn other words, understand what makes you react – long silences, juicy gossips, surprising statistics – and evaluate how your reaction is contributing or affecting the interview.
So get out there, grab it and listen – your listeners will love it!