Q: “Can you fill us in on how to secure gurus like Dan Zarrella to do interviews like the one you just did with him?”– Becky Lam, Social Media Services, Augusta, GA.
dM's Answer: “Becky, at the end of this post, I'll tell you a funny “secret” about how I secured Dan to be on the show. But for now, I'm so glad you asked this question, because it's not as hard as you might think!
Since launching INDIE Business Podcast in October 2005, I've had the honor of interviewing hundreds of amazing people, including Brian Solis, Pamela Slim, Carol Roth and more. It's one of the most satisfying parts of the work I do to serve micro-businesses. Here are some tips that may be helpful.
- Know your audience. The best way to appeal to guests with established reputations is to let them know that they can trust you to deliver an audience that wants to hear from them. From its inception, the purpose of INDIE Business Podcast has been to empower small and independent business owners, many of the solo-entrepreneurs, to effectively lead their companies. The fact that I have an established niche focus makes it easier for guests to see whether reaching my niche will be a good use of their time.
- Stick to a production schedule. Influential guests are more likely to accept interviews for a show that is consistent and well organized. With rare exception due to illness or holidays, I host and produce INDIE Business Podcast on Mondays from 1:00pm to 1:30pm EST. A consistent production schedule gives a guest the confidence in you and inserts a level of accountability into the relationships. If they know you are dedicated to producing a quality show on a consistent basis, they will be more likely to want to be a part of that.
- Promote your guests. There are many ways to do this, for example on a FaceBook Page like this. Promote the guest's Twitter page, blog, etc. Let your followers know how excited you are that the person agreed to be on your show. When a prospective guest sees your enthusiasm, they can become excited too. Once the show wraps, spread it far and wide.
I blog mine and post them to the Podcast Category here at my blog. I often comment live on the show via FaceBook the INDIE FaceBook Page (here's an example from this week's show) to generate a link I can share later — like I'm doing now. I also push my shows to iTunes for maximum exposure, and I let my guests (and their publicists if appropriate) know where they can find the links and audio downloads to share with their audience, if they so desire.
- About that secret … So, here's the “secret” I promised at the beginning of this post. I've been hosting and producing my podcast for 6 years. (In fact, mine is the longest running weekly small business podcast in the world, as far as I know.) I was able to snag Dan when a marketing assistant for his publisher sent me a copy of Dan's book, The Facebook Marketing Book (affiliate link).
The secret is that as you consistently produce a show, publicists representing the influencers you want to interview will add you to their mailing lists, and they will eventually start reaching out to you to offer their clients as guests. This means you spend less time looking for guests and more time delivering a great show every time!
I'm interested to know your feedback and the feedback of others with experience and questions in this area. Keep me posted on how things go, Becky. I wish you the best!” –dM
I've hosted my podcast since 2005, but when I started, I had never done it before. Don't let the fact that I (or others) have been doing it for a long time stop you from getting started. Each successful podcast started with one episode that most people didn't know about. It takes time to build an audience and to build credibility, but you can do it! Remember that it all starts with the first show. Learn more about Social Media Services.
Questions: If you have a podcast, how do you reach out to prospective guests? If you don't have a podcast, but would like to start one, what are your questions? Please share using the either the FaceBook comment or the blog comment area below.
If you'd like one-on-one help engaging your community with a branded podcast, dM can help. For details, click here.
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