Interview-based shows are one of the most popular podcast formats. While one-on-one interviews offer a variety of perspectives and keep listeners engaged with information, stories, and tips, finding the right guests takes effort.
Knowing where to look and creating a streamlined process for outreach and booking guests will help you save time and increase your bandwidth for other activities like preparing questions, editing, and promotion.
Whether you are an aspiring podcaster wondering how easy it will be to find guests for your show or you’re more experienced and on the hunt for creative leads, here are seven proven yet out-of-the-box ways to find podcast guests.
1. Listen to Relevant Podcasts
If you’re an avid podcast listener tuned in to other podcasts in your niche, you may find your next guest by simply listening to relevant shows.
After listening to an episode that captivated your attention, you’ll know a few things about the potential guest, including:
- Their backstory
- Area of expertise
- How well they articulate their points
- The direction you’d like to focus your interview if given the opportunity
If the guest happens to host a podcast or YouTube channel, subscribe to keep up to date with their work. Joining a newsletter and following on social media are also great ways to keep in touch. Being familiar with a guest will make for a more informed interview.
Furthermore, podcasts hosts make great guests. They are already familiar with how podcast interviews work. They have all the professional equipment needed for great-sounding audio, and they are domain experts.
A Google search for ‘top [enter specific niche] podcasts’ can help you curate an extensive list of recommended podcasts and hosts. On Apple Podcasts, you can also browse the ‘You Might Also Like’ section for related shows that cover similar topics.
Here’s how to find the ‘You Might Also Like’ section:
- Find the podcast on Apple Podcasts
- Scroll past episodes, ratings and reviews, about and information
- ‘You Might Also Like’ is the last section
2. Put a Call Out On Twitter
Are you active on Twitter? If so, use the social media platform to connect with people in your network and beyond. Finding podcast guests can be as easy as tweeting out your request.
Mention the type of expertise you’re looking for or the topics you’d like to discuss and ask your followers to amplify by retweeting or tagging people they recommend.
Keep track of all referrals by jotting down a list of names and usernames immediately. After some time has passed, it’ll become harder to scroll through your long list of mentions to find the information you need.
Alternatively, you can create a Twitter list of potential podcast guests and regularly chat with them until you’re ready to invite them to your show.
3. Join Podcasting Communities
Podcasting communities are another resource for finding guests. Some Facebook groups like She Podcasts host weekly threads to pitch yourself to be a guest on shows or request guests for your show. Pitches can include your name, podcast, and the topics you’re looking for guests to cover.
The Facebook group Podcast Guest Experts with over 3,000 members focuses on conducting the best podcast interviews possible. Join this community to discover guest experts on unique topics and best practices for either side of a podcast interview – filter using hashtags like #beaguest and #findaguest.
Podcasting communities to consider joining include:
- FinCon Podcast Network
- WOC Podcasters (Women of Color)
- Asian American Podcasters Association
- Podcast Movement
- BIPOC Podcast Creators
4. Meet Guests at Conferences
In addition to in-person networking at industry events, conferences offer an opportunity to meet, connect, and build meaningful relationships with peers, thought leaders, and experts in your industry. At conferences, be social and exchange contact information so you can reach out requesting an interview after the event.
Conferences like She Podcasts LIVE and FinCon even have recording booths set up so you can record an interview while at the conference. Or bring portable podcast equipment and record interviews with people you meet on location.
5. Create a Guest Submission Form
Ask specific questions that will help you determine fit and capture other important information like their website and social media handles to do further research.
Alternatively, you can add your email address and a guest call to action on your website if you prefer email pitches.
6. Ask Past Guests
Once a guest confirms interest in joining you for an interview, on the intake form, ask if they can refer you to anyone who would be a good fit for your show (add your podcast description for further context). On the guest submission form, make this question optional, so there’s no obligation.
Some podcasters may even ask this question on air or include the request in follow-up communications.
7. Find Newly Published Authors
Newly published authors are always on the lookout for opportunities to market their newest releases. You will likely get a favorable answer during a book launch, so keep an eye out for press releases, editorial reviews, or ask to be added to relevant public relations firms’ mailing lists. Consider also browsing bestseller and ‘new books to read’ lists. Follow publishing houses on Twitter and create a Twitter list to keep better tabs.
Overall, finding and booking podcast guests is about building connections, making requests, and following your natural curiosity. It’s now easier to shoot your shot with more people having been a guest on at least one podcast over the last few years. Be open to a wide range of reactions, including excitement and rejection. Both come with the territory.
What unique strategies have you used to book podcast guests? Which ideas are you looking forward to trying?