Besides playing great music or being an awesome host, what else can make a radio station or podcast engaging? We believe it's presenting interesting conversations to your listeners. This is where finding good guests comes in handy. Not only will bringing in a well-spoken or entertaining guest keep your audience enthused, it can also boost your show's traffic and help you gain credibility in the industry.
But of course, booking guests on your audio show can be easier said than done. Not only is it about finding guests, it's all about finding the right guests. In this guide, we'll give you the 411 on how to pick the best people, how to pitch your show to potential guests, and digital tools you can use to gain a guest quickly. Let's get to it!
Finding Good Guests
Before you find radio or podcast guests, think about who would add real value to your show and draw your listeners in. It's all about credibility, as well as someone who can wow your audience. Whether it's an expert in a certain field or just someone who's really good at talking, pick guests who match the vibe of your show, resonate with listeners, and offer something new to the table. If it's someone you admire, chances are your audience will like them, too.
A good approach for finding great guests is to check off these three characteristics:
- Respected - Someone with a loyal audience that will stumble upon your show because of their love for your guest.
- Unique - Someone who offers a compelling angle to draw in listeners.
- Trustworthy - A credible and reliable person who won't bring any controversy or flip the script in a negative way.
We can't understate that last characteristic! Sometimes it's better to invite a trusted friend rather than a super popular attention-grabbing guest if it means your friend won't veer off into unnecessary or controversial territory. (Unless, of course, you want them to!) But if you can find an approachable guest that matches all three characteristics, they're probably an ideal person for your show.
Reaching Out to Potential Guests
Once you've found someone you think would offer something exciting to your show, it's best to contact them as soon as possible. A simple email or DM will usually do the trick.
When crafting your message, remember to keep your ask short while also giving your potential guest noteworthy info about your show (like listener numbers, interesting guests you've featured before, or any press related to your show). You also want to make sure you're offering something to your potential guest. Hook them in with benefits they won't find anywhere else! Whether it's compensation, promotion, or even just free snacks for coming out to the studio, tell them why being a guest on your show will be worth their time.
After you've crafted your message, finish it off with links to your station or your podcast episodes. That way, your potential guest can see you're a trustworthy creator while also getting a feel for your show's vibe.
When drafting a message, it's important to get things right tonally. For example: you talking to your boss at work sounds a lot different than you talking to a buddy who you grab beers with every weekend! The same rule applies for reaching out to future guests.
In unsure situations, it's always best to err on the side of sounding professional. But if you know a potential guest well and know they generally have a more relaxed attitude (or if you're chummy with them in real life), it might be to your benefit to make your message's tone more relaxed. The content creator struthless briefly touched upon this point of tailoring messages to certain kinds of people in his recent video guide, "How to Monetise Your Creativity (Without Social Media)." Hear what he has to say below.
Where to Find Guests
So now that you know what makes a good guest and how to send potential guests messages...where on earth do you go looking for them? You've got several options:
- Social Media - The go-to option these days. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and even the app Clubhouse are good places to go searching for potential guests. This is because they can be used as digital portfolios: you can get to know a person and their work semi-well through them.
- Creative Mixers & Networking Events - Now that more of our world is open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it's possible to network with people in-person again! Find creative mixers and other networking events in your area and talk to people who you find interesting. Make sure to bring some business cards, or at the very least, be ready to introduce your radio station or podcast to strangers!
- Other Radio Stations and Podcasts - This is where being a voracious listener comes in handy. If you really liked a special guest on someone else's radio show or podcast, chances are they may say yes to you if you ask them to be a guest on your show! Don't forget about radio and podcast hosts as well - audiophiles love to collaborate.
- Your Social Circle - When in doubt, turn to your friends or the people within your social bubble. Think about people you see on a daily basis, people you work with, or interesting people in your school (if you're currently studying at a university or other institution). Anyone you know possibly fit the bill for your show or podcast episode?
Even More Places to Find Guests
Okay, so what if you really don't have good luck trying to find guests on your own? Good news - there are sites on the internet designed to help you book some! Below are the ones we recommend...
- MatchMaker.fm - A powerful platform to find guests and begin conversations with people. The thriving community on MatchMaker.fm has over 40k members, so you've got plenty of people to choose from!
- Podchaser - Considered the IMDb of podcasting, it's a place where you can find all types of podcast info - including folks who have been guests on podcasts.
- Radio Guest List - An online booking service that posts "Guest Requests" to its community to connect hosts with guests.
- Podcast Guests - Podcast bookings aimed for professionals. Find relevant experts and other podcasters to be guests on your podcast!
- PodBooker - A simple platform that connects podcasters and guests.
We hope this guide helps you book your next great show guest. Good luck, and happy broadcasting and podcasting!
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