How To Invite Guests to Join Your Podcast or Show

Boomer Elmsdale

Guests can impact your show in a major way. A guest can bring awareness to your show, if they have an audience or following. A credible guest can give your show credibility for your target audience. Simultaneously a guest can damage your brand if they are not credible. If you host somebody that has limited knowledge on a topic that you want to present, then your audience will associate that experience with your brand.

You need guests to make things work.. The one caveat would be if you had planned a series that features your host walking through expert content as the sole character in the production.

For this example, let’s assume you want guests on your show. This article is designed to help you plan and reach out to potential guests.

List – decide what type of guests you want on your show

Start by making a list of target guests. Make a list of targets and why they would be good for your show. Look at the list and try to pull out the variables / traits that are common between your example guests.  You are looking for a pattern so that you can establish a process to invite guests over time.

For example, we made a list of different stakeholders at Green Circuits, when we launched the Green Circuits podcast.  The objective of the show was to showcase talent in the building and create engagement with past customers.  We used the show to highlight unique processes and views on the Green Circuits Team. We reached out to team members by email to gauge interest and offered them topics that were relevant to their job responsibilities.

Example Traits:

  • Job Title
  • Age
  • Expertise
  • Industry
  • Activity on Social media
  • Connection Type

Value Proposition – create an explanation about why the guest would want benefit from joining the podcast

Value proposition is defined as a promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged. It is mostly used in sales.  

Use a value proposition when you approach a guest to join your show. The value proposition will become a big part of your message when you go to invite guests.

Sure – if you know the guest, it is possible that they will join as a favor, without all the formality. However, most shows developed by organizations want to accomplish an objective by producing the show. In order to get the best results, you want to consider value throughout your development so you are able to replicate processes that help the show sustain itself. Ask yourself, how does the show help your guests. Ask yourself, how does the show help watchers or listeners.  You don’t want to end up in a situation where if you run out of friends, you don’t have any guests on the show. Alternatively, if you can offer guests value for joining the show, there will be demand for the guest spots.

Questions to consider when writing the value proposition

  • What is the topic?
  • Who would be interesting to speak with about the topic?
  • How does this topic benefit the guest?
  • How does joining your show benefit the guest?

Example Value proposition

Join our show and we can help position you as the expert in local real estate, in front of our audience who are marketing experts and may be interested in partnering on a campaign about real estate content.

Outreach – How to Reach Out to Potential Guests and Schedule

Now comes the work. Most connections between show and guests start out with email or social messaging. Reach out to the guests and invite them to your show.  Don’t be offended when you get rejected or when there is no response. This piece of the process is a numbers game.  It gets easier after the first one.  Again, you want to build a process to attract guests with value but you could jump start things with a friend at first. Showing example episodes helps alleviate concerns about your intentions or the production value that can come up when guests consider joining a new show.

Intro Message – drafting, sending and follow up

A guest outreach message should consist of a warm greeting, value proposition, options for timing and next steps and example, if you have one.  This allows the target guest to make an educated decision about their interest. Always leave your contact information so the target guest can follow up and clarify if they want. In addition, offering your personal contact information personalizes the process and begins to build rapport.

Elements of a guest outreach message

  • Warm greeting
  • Ask
  • Value proposition
  • Link to book
  • Link to example
  • Personal contact information

Depending on your hosting setup, you could consider having the host send these messages. Bigger shows may have a production assistant that can help with this process. Smaller shows may have the producer / host perform all of this work.

Draft an intro message to invite guests via email, Linkedin, Instagram or voice. We recommend that you adhere to a 3 step process, where you email, call and text every time you perform outreach. This ensures that your target guest has seen your message. We do not recommend over messaging in terms of number of days. A good rule of thumb would be to reach out one time per week. After three weeks, move on to the next guest target.

Send Messages

Send your guest outreach message to 10 target contacts. If you book somebody, that is fantastic. If you do not book anybody, consider adjusting your message and/or reaching your contact list via a different method.

Scheduling & Initial Survey

Allow your target guests to schedule with a service like Calendly. This makes it so the guest can select the best time for their schedule and so there is no back and forth about timing. Secondly, Calendly allows you to collect information about the guest during the booking process and you can automate a lot of the messaging. You can even provide them instructions about how to prepare for the show via automation on Calendly.