Keep The Conversation Moving Forward
30 minutes might sound like a lot of time. But if youre got a lot of ground to cover, it really isnt. So dont waste lots of time going over your guests background and covering basic information about the episode topic. That sort of thing is what your episode intro is for.
Don’t be afraid to reel your guest back in if they go too far off topic.
As soon as you can, move on to the meat of the conversation. Keep your questions clear, concise, and direct. The less words the better. Your listeners want to hear from your guest, not you. So dont ramble on at length about your own thoughts and opinions .
If your guest goes off on tangents thats fine. But only go with them if you feel it’s in the interest of listeners. If you feel things are getting too far off topic, dont be afraid to reel your guest back in with a prepared question. As the interviewer, you are the one who should be steering the direction of the conversation.
Build A List Of Podcast Targets
The first thing you need to do is to figure out which podcasts would be a good fit. Use the following method to build a spreadsheet of targets:
Step 1: Do you know anyone that has a podcast? A friend of a friend? Introductions will convert much better than cold pitches.
Once youve been on a few podcasts, it only gets easier to be on other because youre already vetted and tested as a podcast guest.
Step 2: Look for podcasts similar people have been on – Who is an authority in your space that is a few years ahead of where you are?
Make a list of five to ten people who you overlap with and search their names on the iTunes store. All the podcasts theyve appeared on have a track record of having guests very similar to you! Thats a good sign that they would be willing to have you on.
Step 3: Look for Relevant New and Noteworthy Podcasts in iTunes – podcasts that are in new and noteworthy have two very promising attributes:
- Theyre new and so they NEED more guests to put out more episodes
- Theyre good marketers – if they got into new and noteworthy then they are probably good marketers which bodes well for the future success of their show and your interview.
If you appear on one of the early episodes, when people go download their whole back catalog three years into the future, theyll listen to your episode. Ive talked to people that were early guests on Jon Lee Dumass Entrepreneur on Fire Show and three years later they still get a steady flow of traffic from it.
It’s Not The Guest’s Responsibility To Share Your Episode
You know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Guests for your podcast episodes are invaluable. They share their expertise which brings additional credibility to your show. Unfortunately, most of them may not share your episode when it is released, which is frustrating for the podcast host.
It is a good rule of thumb never to expect a guest to share the episode. Your responsibility as a host is to market your show. It is a cherry on top moment when the guest is gracious to promote your interview with their network.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are some suggestions that may encourage and help persuade your interview guests actually to help promote their episode.
Also Check: How To Ask For An Exit Interview
I Discover A Microphone
One of the features of my iRiver, which initially I ignored, was a tiny little microphone. It didnt look like more than a dot cut out of the plastic case. That dot would be my doorway into the world of podcasting.
If you are not familiar with what exactly podcasting is, I recommend you start by reading the introduction I wrote a few years ago here
Using my iRiver I recorded spoken audio just me talking into the mic that I uploaded and distributed on my blog. If you want to hear how much of a novice I really was, you can find my early recordings listed on the Podcast page right at the bottom of the sidebar.
Fast forward to today and I have recorded more than 70 episodes of my show, most of which are interviews with other entrepreneurs. I stopped using the iRiver a long time ago, however podcasting remains one of my favorite methods to produce content on my blog. Its a great tool for meeting other experts, learning from them and providing value to your audience.
Podcasting is also a fantastic . My podcasts are often shared between friends and sometimes when I interview someone prominent they link back to my site to inform their readers about it. Its quick, relatively easy, makes for fantastic content and brings traffic to you.
Of course all of this rests on your ability to produce a great podcast interview, so lets take a look at how you can do that next
How To Find Guests For Your Podcast
So you want to host an interview podcast. You know what you want to podcast about and the why behind your show, but how do you find guests? And why would they want to come on your show? I cover how to find great podcast guests and how to get them to say yes to coming on your show on episode 9 of Podcasting Step by Step.
Whats The Biggest Area You Are Curious About And Why Or What Are Some Of The Things Youre Researching The Most Right Now
This question ties a bit into how they keep learning in order to stay on top of their role, but it dives more into the technical aspect of their extracurricular pursuits.
Experts will have a burning question pertaining to their industry, regardless of whether theyre fresh out of college or have been involved in their line of work for decades.
For example, an engineer could be researching AI consciousness, whether its possible, how to implement it practically, and what the implications may be. Whereas a neuroscientist could be researching where consciousness may present itself in the brain.
Your interviewees response will be interesting and itll reveal a bigger-picture aspect to their work. Knowing what theyre most curious about or what theyre currently researching will shed some light on their core values, as well.
Recording Out On Location
What’s the best equipment for recording face-to-face podcast interviews whilst out on location? Well, that all depends on your budget, and the amount of gear you’re prepared to lug around with you.
We also have a full series dedicated to recording professional face-to-face podcast interviews. In this series, we discuss which recorder to use, why the Shure SM58 might be the best mic option for you, and the other bits and pieces you’ll need for your on-the-go interview kit.
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How To Craft Great Podcast Interview Questions
Here are 5 podcast interview tips you should consider doing before you start to see some really good questions flash inside your head for your podcast interviews.
Write down your goal
Why are you doing this interview with this guest? It could be that you are doing this because you like them? Curious about something theyve done? A celebrity youve always wanted to interview? What is it?
If you arent sure, you must read this post I wrote about podcast topic ideas. In part 3 of that article, I describe this in detail. And when youre done with that, you must read my article on outlining your podcast, where I describe, in detail, how to get super clear about your show.
Now, write down the goal for this interview. Assuming you have a clear answer to the why above, write down what you want to achieve by the end of this interview.
The clearer you are about your goal, the clearer you get about the questions that will take you to that goal.
Jot down top-of-mind questions
Now that you have a clear idea of what your goal is, and why you are doing this interview, write down all questions you have at the top of your mind.
Be In A Good Location: Podcast Guest Tip #3
This is the final basic pre-flight check. WHERE you record.
Rule #1, for the love of all the microphone gods, do not record in a public place. Background noise is the worst, and YES, that coffee grinder in the background at Starbucks is ruining your interview.
Even quieter sounds, like passing cars, or clinking plates, come across much louder in a recording that it does to your ears.
Next, choose the softest room you can. A glass-walled, tile-floored office is about as bad as it gets for reverb and echo. Look for carpets, sofas and curtains. Any room with a bit of cosiness. This is why people genuinely record inside their wardrobe, or under a duvet.
In an ideal world, youll have a regular spot, which is always set up, and which is treated in at least a basic way. For example, your home office, with some sound tiles stuck up on either side of your desk.
Tactful Tagging On Social Media Posts
Please use this tactic with great care. Suppose you prepared for the interview, gave sincere and genuine appreciation after the interview, and shared digital assets. In that case, you will be in a decent position to tag the guest in social media posts.
One example of a way to leverage this is to tag your guest in an Instagram story. The guest will likely repost the story and put a swipe up to allow their followers to check out the interview.
You can tag your guest in the tweets. You may receive a retweet. The key is to be thoughtful toward your guest and only tag their name in a social media post if you already have a good rapport with them.
Theres nothing more frustrating than having a great interview with a brilliant guest and then not getting them on social media platforms to help promote the episode.
There are several ways that podcasters can work with their guests to promote the episode theyre on. From creating shareable digital assets to tactful tagging and sincerely appreciating your guest, there are many tools at your disposal for ensuring you get the most out of your interviewee efforts.
What is working for you? Please let us know.
Find Someone Who’s Selling Something
Has someone recently wrote a book relevant to your subject? If so, they’d probably jump at the chance to come on your podcast and talk about it in front of your listeners. Your audience are also their target audience.
As with any product selling guest, make sure you create an engaging interview that’s valuable and relevant to your listeners. They don’t have to go ahead and buy the interviewee’s product. Avoid the whole conversation being one giant sales pitch. This can not only ruin an episode, but put a black mark against your podcast in general.
It can be useful to explain to the interviewee beforehand that you’ll be chatting through a number of points. Let them know that towards the end of the conversation, you’ll ask them about their product. This is where you’ll give them a chance to talk about it. Then, point folks to where they can go to buy it.
You could even look into setting up an affiliate link or code. This way, you have the opportunity to earn a commission on any items sold. By far, the most important issue though, is to create good content.
Whatever your podcast format, a good call recording app can make your life a lot easier. Here are our top picks. Find out more »
Recommended Reading: How To Write A Follow Up Email To An Interview
Editing & Producing Podcast Interviews
Editing and producing interviews is really no different than editing any other type of podcast episode. The same principles apply. You’ll want to polish up the audio, cut out mistakes or tangents, and process it so that the volume is consistent.
The slight difference is that you’ll potentially be working with more tracks. these days tends to record each participant on their own audio track. Most digital recorders will do this too, for those who’re recording in-person. The point is though, they need to be synced together before you start the chopping and cutting work.
With the right editing tool, this process isn’t as complicated as it might sound. When it comes to editing and production software there’s no shortage of options out there. We have a dedicated roundup of the best editing software on the market right now. Dive in there to explore your options.
For ease, though, here are our 3 top picks that cover most bases.
- For a completely free option, go with Audacity.
- For the simplest possible option, go with Alitu.
- For the most powerful and flexible option, go with Adobe Audition.
How To Record Face
The alternative option to recording podcast interviews online, is to get together face-to-face.
There’s always a trade-off. This time, we’ll swap convenience for the increased level of engagement that comes with talking to someone in-person.
With face-to-face podcast interviews, you now fully control all the gear being used, too. No more despair at your guest’s echo chamber dining room, or terrible mic.
To an extent, you control your recording environment now too. Although, if you’re trying to have the conversation in public, or outdoors, then there can still be challenges to overcome.
Read Also: How To Ace A Phone Screening Interview
Focus On Your Audience
There is one thing I want you to keep in mind the entire time you are on the call with your subject:
Who are your audience?
Just like when marketing your products and services in your business, you need to have a strong understanding of what your customers needs and wants are, where they come from and what language/style they use to describe their problems, when conducting a podcast. You need to consider all these things when interviewing. The better a job you do of this, the more popular your podcast will become.
One of the key mindset shifts I make while conducting an interview is to get into the shoes of the avatar of my target audience. The avatar is an example of the typical person who listens to my calls, and in my case I always focus on beginners who want to learn how to start a business and make money online.
While interviewing I think about whether the questions are being answered in enough detail for a beginner to understand. If the steps arent explained, or no examples are given, I ask the person I am interviewing to break these things down. This works particularly well when I am personally curious because I want clarity too.
This level of detail is important, and most people you interview wont automatically break things down for you. You need to ask them and keep asking them until you have the specifics.
Feed The Interviewer Some Good Questions: Podcast Guest Tip #11
Here’s the secret sauce. This is the thing that 99% of interviewees DON’T do, but which creates some of the best interviews around.
Tell the interviewer what to ask you.
It’s so simple it’s almost laughable, but it works like a charm. Don’t expect the interviewer to dig out the golden nuggets all by themselves. Instead, feed them some prompts so that you get to give them your best stuff, and make the biggest impact.
How does this work? Well, think about the audience you’re speaking to. Make a judgement on what’s likely to make the biggest impact with them. Then, plan out a 5 to 10-minute segment on that. You know the content, so all you need are the questions. And this goes to the interviewer. Here’s how I usually couch it:
Hello Mrs Interviewer, I wanted to let you know, I think my approach to Content Stacking will have a huge impact on your audience, because of reasons X, Y and Z. How about we spend 10 or 15 minutes going through how I create blog posts, videos and podcasts in just one process in way less time? If you’re up for that, here’s a set of questions that I’ve seen work well. It means we can have a good chat about it without having me drone on for too long on my own!
1. I see you do a lot of blog posts that have videos and podcasts attached what’s your thinking behind that?
2. Great, so what’re the first steps in planning out one of these stacked’ posts?
Recommended Reading: How To Ace And Interview
Sincere Appreciation Goes A Long Way
When it comes to the social programming landscape, the saying what goes around comes around is purely factual. Our gratitude for those helping us in any way spurs them to do more favors for us or pay it forwardand research even proves this when you express your gratitude to someone, and they’re likely to help again.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to convince your interview guests that you care is to send a personalized handwritten thank you card.
You’ll be surprised at how much a good old-fashioned letter can do for your podcast. It’s rare these days, but you’ll potentially make a new friend for life if you send a handwritten thank you letter in the mail to someone who’s agreed to be on your show.