Posted in Branding | 8-min read
“Who, me? A guest?”
You would think that living in an age where an answer to a question in a search query could be satisfied with an informative blog article (ahem, like this one). Nope. While articles are a great way to consume content, more and more of your audience are turning to informative videos and podcast programs to deliver answers without all of that pesky reading. Still, you’re just a simple person who wants to market your expertise or products to the masses. You probably don’t the have time, resources, or experience to start up your own video channel or even a podcast. With this being the case, how on earth are you expected to be a part of the conversation? Well, by simply being a part of the conservation! In this piece, we’re going to examine a great way to make your voice heard while helping out media generators online — by being a special guest.
Who is looking for guests and why?
As we mentioned before, as mobile device speeds increase and there is rarely a place without a WiFi connection, more consumers are starting their quest for information in the form of videos and podcasts they can consume on the go. As the cost-to-entry lowers as well as the required technical ability to run a video channel or podcast show, programs on every imaginable topic have emerged. While a few can survive on the personalities of their hosts alone, many podcasts and video channels keep their programming fresh by inviting guests to speak on their area of expertise. The variety of programs has led to an increased demand in subject matter experts to shed light on show topics. What does this mean for you? It means that there is probably a YouTube channel or a podcast out there looking for someone to come speak on an area of your specific industry. It might as well be you! But what is in it for you?
Being a guest is a win-win.
The obvious reason why you may want to be a featured guest on a video channel or podcast is to give you a chance to plug your goods and services. Most of us probably recall seeing the local automotive mechanic on a morning show talking about the importance of a clean air filter. While this is nice, the benefits of being a guest on podcasts and videos exceed just a quick plug. As video creators and podcasters become more attuned to what will allow search engines to favor their programs with higher rankings, many of them have started publishing full transcripts of their programs to be more easily digestible for the robot search engine crawlers. This means that not only will your voice and brand be featured on a video or podcast episode, but your input as an authority will likely be featured in transcript article. Though it is uncommon for podcast or video program guests to be paid, monetarily speaking, the understood form of payment for your participation is a link to your own website wherever your input is provided. If the program is reputable and favored by search engines, some of the show’s trustworthiness will be passed onto your own website’s authority in the form of higher rankings as well as traffic from audience members. In addition to all of this new attention, you’ll also have the added benefit of having a piece of content to share on your website and social media channels. Highlight your authority by being a guest. Look at you go!
The Logistics of Being a Guest
One concern you may to having about being a guest on a podcast or video program is logistics. Fortunately, technology has pretty much made coordinating your appearance a non-issue. Gone are the days of needing to travel to a video studio or visiting a radio station in order to be interviewed. The internet has allowed anyone with a built-in laptop microphone and webcam to be a guest on any of these programs. If you have a fairly strong internet connection and time to chat, you’re probably ready to roll.
Finding Guest Spot Opportunities
So, you’re pretty much sold on being a guest for any number of video and podcast programs. Now, how the heck do you connect with these folks? If you think that waiting for them to contact you is the best option, just take a look in your own inbox. Our best guess is that a few moths just flew out when you typed in that search criteria. No, according to Podcast Motor, taking the initiative to be a guest is the best way to land a spot on the show.
“By proactively reaching out to podcast hosts when they’re planning our their guest lists, you increase chances that a host will invite you on as a guest.”
Finding video shows and podcast programs in which to featured on as a guest is pretty straightforward. A simple search podcasts on iTunes or YouTube for relevant programs is an easy way to find the right program to contact. Because most podcast shows and video program creators are very attuned to audience feedback, contacting them is probably pretty straightforward. Our recommendation is finding the official website of the program and sending them a courteous and professional email announcing your willingness to be a guest. In your first few messages, it is probably best not to ask what they would be willing to do for you — for example, linking back to your website in the show notes. Saving this conservation for a time closer to the recording of the show ensures that your request won’t come off as spammy or greedy.
Tips on Being a Guest
Once you’ve come to an arrangement with a show to be a featured guest, it’s really quite simple. Because of the relaxed nature of a podcast or online video program, there’s no reason to be anxious or nervous about your appearance. Here are a few handy tips.
- Anticipate a few questions and practice. It’s not a bad idea to beginning planning for how you’ll reply to the questions asked on the show. Be able to give clear, professional answers to whatever questions they ask. Also, plan for the unlikely occasion when you are unable to answer a question by having a resource on your mind where listeners can find the answer.
- Be conscious of your speech patterns. Because your appearance will likely be transcribed either by a person or program, be sure to speak clearly and avoid “uh”s, “um”s and be careful with the use of the word “like.”
- If the subject matter is lighthearted and positive, make sure to smile — even if you’re on a podcast. Listeners can hear a smile as it changes the shape of your mouth and the tone of your message.
- Prepare your body. A lethargic speaker is hard to listen to. Make sure that you are comfortable, hydrated, and well-rested before an interview in order to provide your best performance possible. Also, make sure to use the restroom beforehand as you may not be sure how long the interview may last.
- Prepare your surroundings. If you’re interviewing at the office, mark that time on your public calendar to avoid being interrupted. Turn off your phone ringer and avoid noisy environments.
- “Think of it as a coffee date, not an interview.” This bit of wisdom comes to us from Sarah Rhea Werner, a Forbes contributor, in a piece entitled 15 Tips For An On-Point Podcast Guest Appearance. A podcast or video appearance of this sort is not like being grilled on cable news, but rather an informal and informative chat about a specific subject. Sarah goes on to recommend using the host’s name in the piece to foster a friendly and personal connection.
- Let the host do the plugging for you. You may feel like you’re wasting your opportunity by not giving your business a plug, but you’ll likely just come off as pushy if you talk about your own business too much. Let your input and expertise sell you instead of a shameless plug. Don’t worry — the soft sell will land better with the audience than pushing it in their faces.
Great job! Keep it up!
Ok, the show is over and you did great! Immediately after the show is published, make sure to strike while the iron is hot by sharing the show with others on social media, on your website, and via email. Make sure to tag the show itself in your social media posts so they can see that you’re excited about it. Congratulations on a great performance. Now, keep the momentum going by contacting more show hosts!