21 Podcasting Ideas: Using Expert Interviews to Grow Your Business


Making a start is the most important step to take, when it comes to podcasting: Getting expert guests is the next most important step, if you’re a business coach.

Here are twenty-one ideas for making the most of your guests—and making sure you impress them with your professional, easy-flowing podcast interview.

  1. Ask Your Expert Guest for New Guest Leads

At the conclusion of a successful podcast—either when you and your guest are talking off the air or later, ask them if they know of any other expert they think would be a good guest for your show.

This is a great way to find your next guest and you’ll be able to get a foot in the door even with experts you don’t know by saying that your current guest recommended they contact you.

  1. Take the Stress Out of Requests by Using a Form During Follow-Up

You can make asking guests to refer other guests stress-free by making it part of your post-production follow-up. Create a simple form that includes:

  • Potential Guest Name:
  • Specialty:
  • URL:
  • Contact:
  • Permission to use referrer’s name when introducing self
  1. Practice Active Listening

Really take the time to listen to your guest. Never interrupt, and let her get her thoughts out. Only ask questions when it’s really necessary—for example, you need to prompt her to share her offer (guests do forget!) or you want her to explain something more clearly or add something essential she’s missed.

Don’t be so anxious to “interview” that you derail the conversation or you actually miss the opportunity for a great comment or question because you’re too busy thinking about what to say next—listen!

A really interested listener helps people open up about their topic.

  1. Send Basic Questions in Advance

When a guest has accepted, do provide them with a short list of questions you are “likely” to ask. These should be basic questions—ones that fit in your podcasting formula, like “what got you into [the guest’s specialty passion]?”

Providing them with these ice-breaker questions will help them feel more comfortable for the podcast: They’ll feel like they know “what to expect”.

  1. Keep a Glass of Water on Your Desk During the Interview

Instant cure for when your throat develops a frog or you feel like coughing. Don’t use any other liquid—these can have adverse effects on a speaker’s throat.

If you can’t stand the taste of water, buy a water jug with an infuser core and fill the core with your favorite fresh or frozen fruit: Or you can use mint, cucumber or whatever other herb you like. It will work like plain water—but you’ll enjoy the hint of flavor.

  1. Keep the Interview Fun

Unless you’re discussing a really somber topic, do your best to make your podcast interview fun for everyone: You, your audience—and your guest.

  1. Do Your Homework

Research your guest and make notes of questions you want to ask: Then cross off any that aren’t relevant to the interview topic. (Keep a couple of fun ones that give “color” and personality.)

  1. Get to Know Them as Guests

Take your “homework” one step further and find out if your guest has been interviewed on other podcasts or webinars. Find the most relevant ones to your topic, and listen to them. Make notes—you’ll most likely find out:

  • What not to ask
  • Ideas for questions no one has asked yet
  • Great specific details about her business, process or life to ask your guest about (and impress her with the fact you’re aware of this specific detail)
  1. Share Your Audience’s Top Interests

Be sure to let your guest know in advance who she’ll be speaking to. Are they beginners look for basics? Are they most interested in the problem her latest launch will solved? Are they looking for tips? Empowerment? The next step?

Letting your guest know the specific focus of the interview will help her prepare—and ensure a great interview for everyone concerned.

  1. Do Your Best to Rise to the Top

The best guests flock to successful podcasters—and as a business coach, if your guests are interested in business topics, they’ll also care and be aware of stats. Put out a professional website with great graphics and shownotes, and do your best to rise to the top of iTunes or Google ratings.

Be sure you also track your stats through systems like Blubrry—so you can share any impressive numbers on your media site—or directly with potential guests.

  1. Ask Your Audience

If you’re sending out emails or posting in your Facebook Group about an upcoming guest, ask your audience if there’s a particular question they would like you to ask.

  1. Mine Q and A’s for Future Topics and Future Guest Ideas

When checking out webinars featuring your upcoming podcast guest, listen closely to the Q&A sessions, if your guest is answering these questions. That will give you huge insight into what people are typically looking for from that guest—and what they are concerned with learning more about.

Those are your topics for:

  • Dynamic, specific Interview questions
  • Future podcast series theme topics or episodes
  1. Share Their Social Media Profiles

Your guest will appreciate it if you share their social media links and handles at the end of a show (or in your show notes). And share other links they would like to get out there as well.

  1. Check Name Pronunciation!

You may have been corresponding with your guest via email, group or social media for years—and saying her name wrong in your head, without even knowing it. Unless your guest’s name is something as simple as “Betty”, double-check on the pronunciation.

And if it’s different from what you are used to thinking, write it phonetically on a sticky-note or index card, and put it in prominent display during your interview at all times.

  1. Create a Great Intro for your Guest

Few things can make a guest feel more confident, complimented and relaxed than a great introduction from her podcast host, so be sure to craft the perfect, enthusiastic introduction to your guest.

Learn the art of introductions by listening to your favorite podcasts to find out how the best hosts do it, and model your introductions on theirs

  1. Continue to Follow and Interact on Social Media

Don’t stop following your guest because your podcast interview is over with: Continue to interact and remain a helpful, enjoyable presence in their feeds.

Not only will that help you get a “yes” if you ever want to interview them again, you’ll also have access to and get to know people who might also become great guest candidates—people to also follow.

  1. Respect Your Guest’s Time

Don’t let your interview run over because you are disorganized or haven’t prepared well enough to properly close off. If it has to run over (and it’s better if it doesn’t), make sure that there is a really exciting reason for it do so—and that your guest is okay with that.

Letting your guest know your average time for podcasts is a good idea right at the request stage. Don’t expect them to know how long your episodes typically are.

  1. Keep it to a Bare Minimum of Thirty Minutes

If you are planning to podcast using expert guests, when creating your show, count on each episode running absolutely no less than thirty minutes each.

Your guests will be committing not just the show time slot, but also time for preparation and promotion, so honor their value by making the interview length worthwhile.

  1. Schedule Your Recording at Your Guest’s Convenience—Not Yours

Your guest is doing you a favor—and the more successful she is, the more like her schedule will already be full.

Use scheduling software or services like TimeTrade to offer her multiple time slots to fit into. With automatic confirmations, this makes it easy for her to have control of her own time—and yet still fit into your own busy schedule.

  1. If You’re Using Skype, Make Sure Your Guest is Familiar with it

Some guests are very nervous with technology. Some are not—but if you use a technology they are not familiar with, be sure to offer to practice with them ahead of time, to make sure their set up will work.

  1. Be a Podcast Guest Yourself!

There is nothing like actually being a guest on another person’s podcast to help you put yourself in your guest’s shoes!

If the idea intimidates you, check out Donna Papacosta’s article on her Trafcom Blog: “Guest on a Podcast? Read this first”.

Finally, remember that the end of your podcast interview is not the end of your interaction with your special guest!

Make her feel truly special by preparing and acting on dynamic follow-up, including social media acknowledgements, sending her a thank you letter (and gift), giving her latest project or product a shout-out to your email subscribers in a letter about how great the show was, and promoting replays and anything else you can think of, to keep the momentum and excitement going.

Make her glad she was a guest on your show!

And always, alwaysREMEMBER TO PRESS “RECORD”!


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