How to Easily Plan The Next Perfect Podcast Guest Now

Your goal as a podcaster is to make sure that your show grows, and some of that requires strategy and content planning. Tracy goes deeper into finding the perfect podcast guest as the third installment for content strategy for 2019. She dives into why we need to provide educational value, how to decide which guests to invite, and which ones are going to give us the most power. At the end of the day, if you’re successful in your content planning and strategy, your guest is going to attract the right people and it’s going to build and serve your business as well.

This is the third installment of our content strategy for 2019. I welcome you for joining me. Thanks so much for being here on our third installment. We’re going to talk about guests. The interview strategy is a strategic part of podcasting. It took off that way. There’s a historical basis for growing shows. A lot of that comes from John Lee Dumas and that model of it. Our goal is to get more. We all want to get more. There’s something we want to get more of and a lot of it are fans. This is what I hear: fans, more leads, relationship building, those things. That’s where a great content strategy that involves guests can help you. I’m going to talk a little bit about why. I’m going to talk a little bit about the details of how we decide which guests to invite on and which ones are going to give us the most power so that we can have a strategic plan and not just, “Let’s make sure I have 52 weeks of guests.” We want to do more than that. We want to go deeper. I’ll take some questions at the end like I always do.

We’ll dive deep into what works for you and what you need. I’m going to recap a little bit about what we covered in the last couple of webinars. There are 1.8 billion websites on Google. There are 50 million Facebook pages. There are a lot of pages out there. There are 3.5 billion new Google searches each day and there are only 200,000 active podcasts. That means people are posting and putting up new content all the time and that’s English speaking as well. That’s a small pond to be working in. Think about when you have a question or when you have a burning issue, you Google it, maybe you go look for a book, but maybe you also go look for a podcast.

Edutainment, that’s what I like to call what we’re doing here. That’s part of our strategy for finding good guests too. We want them to be edutaining as well. We want them to provide some educational value. Tom is my husband and partner in this business. You can find us on all of these podcasts that are here. You can also find us in a course on the Harvard Business Review and you can find my column in Inc. These are ways to get in touch with me and ways to listen and learn more, especially Feed Your Brand, which is the podcast for digital marketers and podcasters out there. You had an assignment last time. Hopefully, you’ve done it. You were to listen, watch and read your competition. You were to check the key terms and words in places like Google, Answer The Public. There’s a bunch of other places we talked about like Google Trends. You were to make a topic list. I told you also while you were there listening, watching and reading, you were to also start making an ideal guest list. Start to think about people you could invite that you already know, but also people who your competitors may have touched base with or people who are similar to them and add them to your guest list.

Why We Need Guests

We’re going to use that as the basis for what we’re going to do going forward. Why the guest strategy? Why do we need guests? Because you need more fans and you can’t just rely on your fans telling other fans. It’s slower. We want to use other people’s audiences. That’s a faster way. If they already have the fans that we want, we want to tap into that and connect with them. Inviting them on as a guest is a great way to do that. You also need more authority. You want to be associated with someone who is of higher value to the marketplace or to the fans that you’re looking to achieve. Think about it this way. If you want to become a celebrity, this is more of the Oprah effect. Oprah got herself above all of the celebrity she interviewed. She had a higher influence as the interviewer. She had more connections. That audience belongs to her. Eventually, that’s what we want to do but sometimes we have to associate ourselves right up next to those that have more authority in the marketplace. We want to bring them on and put ourselves side by side with them and transfer that authority to us.

That’s another reason why you may want a guesting strategy, plus you need to network more. Who doesn’t need to network more and build more relationships? I like to use my podcast to make sure that I’m touching base with all of those people in my network or expanding my reach beyond my network. I use it as a strategic networking opportunity and a relationship building opportunity. That’s one of the strategies that you can employ as well. It can also help you get more fans in stages. This may also be a way because when I have a podcast when I’m utilizing my podcast when I’m interviewing when I’m doing these things, I am putting myself in a place at which I show event planners that I can carry an audience. That I can continually, consistently and constantly deliver them content. They know that will provide them value outside of the event and that’s important as well.

A great content strategy that involves guests can really help you. Click To Tweet

We’re raising our authority. We’re not going to make giant leaps and bounds every year. If you feel a little overwhelmed, you just need to raise your authority a few good inches. Get a little taller in your marketplace. Stand above a group of people. That’s all we’re looking at doing here. We don’t expect to accelerate this without a tremendous amount of effort, time and money. This is all we need to separate ourselves from the pack under of which our competitors of which we are being held in or the comparison to them. We want to raise our authority above that. It doesn’t need to be major. It just needs to be enough.

What Is A Good Guest

Let’s talk about strategic guests. What is a good guest? What’s a strategic opportunity to have that guest on our show? What are they going to do for us and just as important, what are they going to do for our audience? Strategic guests are good at sharing their audience. They want to share value and they want to share more. We want to make sure that they’re going to tweet out, to share on Facebook, to post out, to share on Instagram, whatever that is. They’re good at sharing what they’re doing, what it means, what they learned and who they interacted with. They’re good at sharing those things because their audience cares and that means that their audience will also navigate to you and be attracted to you in the same way that they’re attracted to that person. We want to have a lot of sharing going on.

We want to also make sure that we’re vetting our guests and that they’re also current. In other words, if they have a blog, make sure they’re currently posting. If they have a Facebook page, make sure they didn’t quit it or something like that. We want to make sure that they’re not too busy to continue to do that sharing. Sometimes the bigger the celebrity, the worse they are at these things. These are things that we need to vet out. We want to make sure that they can build your business, which means that they must be able to serve your audience. They have to share something with them that is going to be a tremendous value to that audience. Otherwise, at the end of the day, if it’s not serving your audience, it’s not going to attract the right people and it’s not going to build and serve your business either. We want to make sure they can do that. Can they add value?

We’re going to first talk about vetting out every guest. I’m going to take your list and we’re going to screen it. This is the first step that we do in taking a look at that list. I do this when I’m going to write an Inc. article. When PR firms pitch me, someone, to be featured in my article, I do the same process. I’ve taken this process, rolled it over and used it for our podcast guesting programs. It’s worked well for me. Our goal is to use other people’s audience. We want to make sure they have the right kind of fans. That’s one of the reasons I told you to make sure you’re listening to them, make sure you’re checking them out and make sure you’re watching their videos. These are also things you want to do with your guests. We have to check them out because we want to meet this goal of are their fans going to be the right people for us or possibly the right people we may not know. That’s okay too but we’re like, “This person is big enough. They do have a fan base. Because of their messaging or because of the way they interact with an audience, their authenticity matches mine. They might be valuable and I might be able to serve their fans, as well as gain new ones to mine.”

That’s one of the things we want to do. How do I do that? The first thing is I Google search. That’s the first thing I do with everyone because, at the end of the day, the big power in what we do at Brandcasters is to make sure that we’re driving traffic to our website. That comes from Google search. We want to make sure that there’s value in Google search. Are they able to be google? Do they come up on the first three pages of Google? Mostly on the first page. That’s what your goal should be. They don’t have to be number one and number two because a lot of those are positioning things, but you want to see them on the first page at least. You want to see not just their website or their names, you want to see content that they’re putting out in that Google search. That’s something that’s important. I check that, I clicked through it and I look at it. I make sure it’s current, the links aren’t broken and it is good content.

PDZ 26 | Perfect Podcast Guest

Perfect Podcast Guest: Make sure that your guests share something that will serve your audience and help you build your business.


If there are videos there, I do the fourth thing on the list. I listen and watch. I go and check them out to make sure that they’re interesting, that the content matches with what I googled and that matches with who they are and who they say they are. I do a social check. I check their social media platform. You can do that straight off their website. Most of them have all of the links on their website like, “Here’s my LinkedIn profile, here’s my Facebook.” I go through them and click those. I make sure they’re working and when you connect through them, you go, “They really are posting. They post consistently.” They post every week at least. Maybe daily in some platforms or another. Don’t worry if they don’t have all the platforms because sometimes I check Twitter but I could care less. I’m checking Twitter to make sure that they’re not trolling people, harassing people or expressing opinions that would be outside of what would be relevant to my audience. That’s all I’m doing on Twitter. I could care less if they have a Twitter audience because it’s not going to be my audience. Check the social media that matters to you most. Don’t be afraid to check them all to make sure that they’re not putting out different personas because that matters as well.

I go through and check their website. I make sure it’s current, it’s up to date, they have a press page, they have a blog, anywhere where they would be putting out information. I want to make sure that they’re going to be able to put a link back. They’re going to be either able to put a blog post or press page posts and say that they were on my show. That is something that I want to make sure that they’re current and that they do it consistently. I get a lot of PR firms who push people through and yet they don’t maintain a website at all. That is a huge mistake. I want to make sure that they say, “I was featured in Inc.” That it’s going to show up if not on their homepage, at least on their press page. That’s going to be a link back directly to the article. I also check them and make sure they aren’t just sending everything back to or to main websites. You want to make sure that they’re sending back to the sub-pages because that is the most value for them, but it’s also the most value for you as well.

I listen and watch and there are three things that I listen and watch for. One is that their messaging and the way that they talk is a match for my audience. I want to make sure that they have something good to share. Number two, I want to make sure that they don’t say the same thing on every interview. That sound bite style is not something that I subscribe to. I do not want the same thing on my show that’s been on 100 other shows. I’ve seen it done, you get it and I know immediately when they start talking. I’ve learned to do my homework here and check it out before I agree to even interview them. That’s something important. The third thing that you do is make sure that they have engagement. Do you start seeing comments? Do you want to comment? If it doesn’t invite engagement, that is something that’s underestimated in terms of how we’re putting up content. It doesn’t matter if it’s different, as long as it’s going to engage conversation. That’s going to be important to the audience as well. It’s going to draw the fans to do something with you. We want to do that.

This is called a platform. Do they have a platform? Are all these things in line? If they don’t have these, then I don’t want to interview them. They’re not in a place where they’re going to add value to my show. That being said, there’s one caveat to that. If they’re up and coming and they could have a platform in a very short time. Maybe they’re about to launch a book or something is about to blow up for them because they’re a startup. Even though I’ve done all of these things, I make sure that they have a good team and good practices behind them. I talk about making sure that they’re going to put this on their website and we have a conversation about that so that it does build your platform so that the PR value that I’m giving them doesn’t go to waste. Don’t forget, you are providing them press value, PR value. You need to make sure they’re going to take full advantage of that. I can help them grow their platform. For that, there’s a lot of gratitude that comes with it and it does come back to you.

I want to serve my relationship building my networking and my community as well. That’s also a consideration for me. I don’t shut someone down right away unless I feel that a lot of it is their ego and they don’t feel like they don’t need to do this. They’re too big and their names are too big. If they don’t do this, it’s not good for anyone. Does size matter? Size is not as important to me as engagement and the right fit fans. That’s what I say. The right fit matters more here. When I look at that, I think about the fans that they are carrying or the users that they have on their membership site if that’s what it is. Maybe it is the engagement that they’re getting and the comments that they’re getting. You’re like, “This is a right fit for my messaging. This is the right fit for what my business is about. This is going to be the right fit for me.” That matters more to me than the size of it. Wouldn’t we all like to be on Tony Robbins’ stage? In fact, Tony Robbins is on my list of my getting on his podcast. We all have our reach. Thinking about those things, at some point size matters but it’s not the most important thing. Assessing this, the fit should come first because if it’s not the right audience, it’s not the right audience and it won’t add a lot of value to you.

Good follow-up questions are a sign that you're a good interviewer. Click To Tweet

Share Value

Let’s determine share value. Remember, we talked about whether or not they could share or they do share. Let’s talk about whether or not there’s going to be some share value because we want to make sure we’re not just doing the same thing as everybody else. We skip the me-too guests. The ones everybody has on their show, I like to skip them. They are show-hopping and they’re doing all of that. They tend to say the same things. It’s not adding a lot of share value to your site because they’re on a campaign of doing it. It’s all about them. Those kinds of guests are not my favorite. That’s why I very rarely respond to unless it’s a good guest and interesting right fit for my audience. I rarely respond to people soliciting me to be a guest. I usually go out and reach out and ask people to be on my show. I prefer it that way.

If you’re a relatively new show and you need to take all the solicitations, screen them and check. Make sure you’re not in someone who’s on a campaign. You might be the first stop, but they’re going to go on twenty other shows and say the exact same thing again and again. That’s not going to serve you well and it’s not going to help because then they won’t be a draw to someone coming in to listen to them on your show. We want to make sure that they know how to share. They share properly. They don’t just go, “I was here.” They say, “This was great. I enjoy being on this podcast.” Check out what they write when they share things. That’s what I like to do. I also like to see, do people like it, engage with it, respond to it, congratulate them, whatever that might be? That’s a sign of an engaged audience. There is a lot more share value to what happens with that.

With celebrity value, this is my story about John Travolta. I was at the City Summit stage. I also do press behind there and write stories for them whenever they have an interesting story that fits my column. I love to write about it. I was not expecting this but they said, “John Travolta’s team would like to have five media do red carpet interviews with him at the gala and they want bloggers. Would you be one of them?” I was like, “I don’t know if John Travolta has anything to contribute to my online columns about design and innovation, but why not? It could be cool.” Maybe he could have some interesting insights and it’s an opportunity to meet John Travolta. I thought, “I’ll do it.”

I go on the red carpet and I interviewed him and I get what sounds like rehearsed answers. I asked him, “When you’ve come off of a bunch of maybe not great movies, really bad movies and you have a dip in your business and then you come back with something great and big, how do you know that you should take that risk and do this risky thing?” He said, “I don’t like to take risks in my business.” He gives me this whole line about entrepreneurs are too risky. They take too many financial risks, this whole thing. I was like, “What do I do with that? Let me flip to something I know he likes. Let me ask him a question about airplanes.” I know he’s passionate about flying and so I asked him what he thought of 3D printing airplane parts. I realized as he’s answering me that he has no idea what 3D printing is. I’m telling him what it is and why I think it’s great so that then he could go, “Yes.” He’s like, “I think that would be great because it gets more people flying. It keeps those remote airports open.” He does get it at that point and he said something interesting. I was like, “I made something out of this.”

A week later, I’m on a radio show that was Inc. Radio with Alan Taylor. He was also on the red carpet and so I’m listening to his sound bites from it. His sound bite is about entrepreneurs not taking risks. It’s the exact same sound bite. After the interview with Alan Taylor who’s the radio host, I was like, “Alan, he said the exact same thing to me and I put it in my article. I’m going to have to strip that out because I don’t want it to be the same thing as yours.” Right after that, I read it in an article in Forbes, the exact same quote. Here now we all have the same thing. I’m the last one to post my article because mine was going out that afternoon and I had to rewrite the whole thing. There was no value in it. Here they are, they asked for bloggers. We get the same thing all the time, not a great interview. I managed to structure our article out of it and when I shared it, nothing happens when I post it. His team doesn’t share it. They don’t do anything. I made him look good and nothing happens from it. I didn’t get any value from it. It was probably my least read article of the year.

PDZ 26 | Perfect Podcast Guest

Perfect Podcast Guest: Make sure you’re not with someone who’s on a campaign where you might be the first stop of twenty other shows and they say the exact same thing again and again.


When I think about that, the message in the back of my mind is, “We have to check the share.” Are they doing something with it? Especially the ones who have a team because the PR firm’s job is to get the interview, not to share it, not to do anything with it. That’s not their job. That’s the marketing team’s job. We have to make sure that when we’re doing these higher celebrities, we have to be able to get value because our business depends on it more than their does. This is my side story about it.

Prepping Great Questions

Let’s move on to some prepping great questions. As I alluded to in there, you’ve got to be flexible and prepared because sometimes you get in situations you don’t know. There was an entire podcast on this called Structuring The Best Interview Questions. It was a Facebook Live. It’s also on You can listen to my whole entire spiel on this. These are some things you should also prepare and have in your back pocket, especially as you’re doing the research all on these guests. While you’re doing the research, I like to gather a couple of these questions. One is at ease question, which is simple. I’m going to put them at ease, make sure that they are comfortable on my show, make sure that they know what the show’s about. Sometimes I do that prep before, but sometimes I have to do it live if we’re doing a live stream. I put them at ease so that they feel comfortable. They know what environment there is. They know who they’re talking to.

The second part is I like to do respectful research questions. This is where it’s like, “I’ve read your book and in your book, you say this, or I read this blog post that you wrote and I found this interesting. Let me ask you a question about that.” What you’ve done is you’ve been respectful to them that they put out content and you cared enough to read it, to listen to it and to watch it. I interviewed Molly Bloom at ChainXChange, blockchain event. Molly Bloom was the subject of this movie. Most people are like, “I saw the movie.” She wrote a book first. I had read the book. That’s the first thing I said to her. I said, “I loved the book. It was insightful and I was impressed that the movie caught your voice so well.” That started our conversation in a way where she was excited to talk to me because I was respectful back to her and that I cared about the things she cared about the most.

Doing those things matter. This is where you can make a note or maybe make your question as you’re reading it. This is the only one where sometimes I structure a question or a bullet point to lead me to remember the question. I might not interview them for a couple of months so I want to remember that. Defining questions are usually when they say something, I go, “Let’s define that for my audience.” They may not understand that industry term or they may not understand that. Framing questions are where they might be talking about social media. I might say, “That’s great but what social media? How can we frame this for podcasters specifically?” I’m helping to frame it for my audience and ask the questions like, “I heard that but how do I apply that?” I’m the advocate for them and they appreciate that.

Good Follow-Up Questions

Challenging questions. I’m not a fan of disrespectful challenges. I’m a fan of going, “I want to make you dive deeper on this. You may not want to talk about this or you may never have talked about this before in your book, but I want you to talk about this with my audience.” I’m going to challenge them with asking them to dive deeper into that to answer something that’s not there or hasn’t been there before. You’ve got to be prepared to ask follow-up questions quickly. You’ve got to be prepared to do that. I’d make notes during interviews. Sometimes I glance down and I make a quick note or a quick bullet so I don’t forget to follow-up as soon as they’re done. I try to be engaged in the process, but I make occasional notes. Good follow-up questions are a sign that you’re a good interviewer. Imagine listening to something and you’re like, “Why didn’t she asked that? She should have asked that. I would’ve asked that.” That frustrates your fans. You want to make sure that you are always diving a little bit deeper and not just moving onto the next thing. Don’t leave them hanging with a deeper question.

Doing the right things in the right order with the right resources helps you to meet your goals. Click To Tweet

Personalizing questions. If you haven’t gotten to their story or something personal before you get to the end. I like to do that at the end. Make sure you noted something personal. If you know that I have three daughters or that I work with my husband every day, at the very end if it hasn’t come up before that I’m married and working with my partner, maybe you want to ask me that question like, “I know people want to know what is that like. How do you make it work?” It gets me a chance to stop going out of education mode and being in how-to and teach mode. It allows me to connect with the audience. If you have not allowed that at the beginning, you must do it by the end. That’s where I like to leave it. I’d like to dive in deep because I have a lot of impatient fans. That’s how I feel. They’re here to get data. They’re here to get information. That’s why you’re on here. You want to get into this masterclass. It’s meant to give you detailed information. You’re not there to hear my story but you may want a little nugget of my story. That may interest you and you may want a little bit of that later.

Driving People To One Place

Your job as the host is to make sure you bring that somewhere along the line, either when appropriate or no later than the very end. That’s a good time to ask them how people can find you. I always like to leave that into our blog posts. I always say to them that we’re going to have all kinds of connections to this guest in our blog post at Drive everyone to your podcast, what blog page and to the website itself. One thing for your fans to remember, not everybody’s little URL. We do not do that. That is not the Brandcasters’ way. It helps drive more traffic and more authority to you. It is a service to your fans who are in the car driving, who are on the treadmill, who are running out on the streets, that they don’t have to write anything down. They know exactly where they can go. They don’t have to remember it. They can go exactly to one place and that’s all they ever have to remember. Keep that in mind, although you do want to ask them, “Where is the best place to reach you? Is it on your website or in social media? Where would you like to connect with fans?”

Other Things They Can Bring

This is one of the things, networking to get even more. How do we find these guests? We’ve vetted them. We’ve decided their shared value. We also want to know where they’re connected to and what other things can they bring. Our South by Southwest opportunity came from one of our guests who said, “You should be at South by Southwest doing the podcast. It was great. It was one of the best things at South by Southwest.” It was like, “What podcast event? We didn’t even know about it.” He was the one who shared that with us. That’s always something great that we get out of the opportunity to guest. It’s to reach into a different network. Make sure you do that. Make sure you ask those questions like, “Where else do you think I should be? What else do you think I should do?” You can do that post-interview after the interview is closed. Have these guests help you. You’ve served them. You’ve given them great PR value. You can ask them, “Who else should be my next guest?” These are opportunities for you to network to get even more.

The Ego Bait™

I’m going to talk about follow-up, Ego Bait™. Ego Bait™ is a term that we use here. It’s an internal term. We don’t ever use it outside with our guests. They never hear this term. We use it internally all the time and I probably talked about it on Facebook a ton of times. I’m sure that they are out there knowing about it. Thinking about this, it’s a high-level follow-up. That’s what it’s all about. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about why it’s powerful and why it’s important. Remember how I told you that we had a lot of these high-value guests and I would write these articles. This is where it started in my column. I couldn’t get these people to share it. I wrote this article for them and they wouldn’t put it on their website. They weren’t sharing it out in public. I was like, “I don’t understand what’s going on and why that’s not happening.” I started asking them questions and say, “Why aren’t you sharing this?” They’re saying, “I can share the link but that’s it. After that, I need to have the graphics made. I don’t have a graphics team. I don’t know how to put it on my website. I have a press page, but I don’t know how to update it. I don’t have a web development team on staff on retainer. I don’t how to do this.”

I thought that’s a problem I can solve. I created something I call Ego Bait™ graphics. It’s the Feed Your Brand podcast number five. It’s one of our most popular podcasts. It’s probably the one that gets listened to the most, next to the interview questions and next to my speaker tips. Those are the three top ones. It is a faster track to authority because it forces the guest to share it. Here’s how we do it. Sometimes we write one or two different styles of Ego Bait™. One is where you say something great when you introduce them. Sometimes I write that out for myself so I remember. I want to make sure that I say their names, that I talk about what’s unique about them. It’s not like, “This is the greatest party planner in the world.” I want to be saying, “This party planner knows how to make a party personal.” That might be the thing.

PDZ 26 | Perfect Podcast Guest

Perfect Podcast Guest: Make a statement that would become a sound bite. That can bring more power back to your brand.


I want to make a statement that would become a sound bite. I did this once. I did this with someone who’s now my good friend. I interviewed John Livesay for an Inc. article. In it, I called him The Pitch Whisperer, the one you want to take into your pitch with you. He put that on the cover of his book and he shared it everywhere. He started calling himself The Pitch Whisperer because I coined that and I said that. That’s where it can even be more powerful. It can bring even more power back to your brand as well. You want to say something that’s sound-bite-ish. It’s small, it’s a sentence, it’s simple but it shows the value to your audience about that person.

The other thing might be a quote that you say or a quote that is said in the show. That could be something brilliant that they say. You put a picture of them and you put the quote that they say. You can do it, either way, both of them get shares. If somebody says this brilliant thing about me, that’s a testimonial. I’m going to share it. If it comes into this cool-looking graphic with a quote and our pictures and our logos are side by side. I’m going to share that. The other one is it helps because when I share it out, they want to tell their friends about it. If they said something brilliant and I share it, then they re-share it. That’s where that one started.

This is another good example of that, where Mitch Russo from Your First Thousand Clients podcast said, “David Corbin brings his heart, intelligence, and brilliance to the table to see the solutions quickly.” This is the perfect quote. He says the person’s name. He’s describing why he’s valuable and important. This is not about what David Corbin’s business is. It doesn’t even say any of that but now I want to listen and I want to know more because, “Heart, intelligence, brilliance and seeing solutions quickly,” that sounds great no matter what that is. This is where David can’t help sharing this. I can’t help wanting to click on it when I share it and now go to that podcast and listen to it.

Email Follow-Up

The one thing that we do that is a little bit deeper is we send this out in an email follow-up. Once the episode goes live, it’s automated in our system. Anyone who works with us on production has access to it and we do it for them. Mitch Russo is one of our clients. In this particular case, what would happen is we create this graphic. This graphic is not only sent to David Corbin because his email address is put in there and said guest follow-up needs to go to him. He not only gets that but he also gets a code that he can copy and paste either into his webpage or he can give directly to his VA or his web manager, whoever that might be, to put it directly into his website. What that does is it links this image directly with the podcast blog post on Mitch’s site. The two things are directly connected. There are no mistakes made that high-value backlink is immediately created from any press page or any place that David Corbin decides to put this on his website.

That’s one of the things. We emailed that out, remind them to share and remind them to subscribe and like the podcast as well. We do that, then one week later, we follow-up and remind them and send it again and say, “If you didn’t see this before, I want to remind you to make sure to do this.” We then also suggest that you take your virtual assistant or your actual assistant if you have one. You check all the guests’ sites within a month and make sure that they’ve posted on their site. If they don’t, ask them if they need help with that. “Do you need the code again? Can I help you with this? Is there something I can do? This is going to add value to you. You should be putting the Inc. logo on your website or you should be putting this quote on your website. It’s going to add tremendous value to your business. How can I help you make that happen?”

It’s unprofessional not to have a booking calendar. Click To Tweet

We try to facilitate that. That’s what our team does on our particular podcast. That’s something you have to do personally because you have a connection with the guest. You can have your team do it because it’s still coming from your company. That’s a great follow-up just to make sure that they have all shared it and done it. That’s Ego Bait™ and that’s how we become bingeable because you want to attract followers. This is a great case. Scott Carson has a videocast that has been listened to under 250,000 times. This is an old statistic because he gave me some new ones and he hit 500,000. Videos doubled his audience in ten months of the first year he was podcasting. He was doing videos to podcasts and to blog posts. All of that along the way was adding a lot of followers and it was also building traction with the followers he had because they were staying engaged.

The founder of JavaPresse has a podcast called the Stay Grounded Podcast. You have to make something of it. He uses his to attract tribes that are fanatics about coffee: where it comes from, what the beans are like, how you grind it, the ritual of it. He is attracting by diving deep into the perfect model and attracting exactly the right people that he wants. He sells some products, services, and subscription. There’s a lot of things that come out of that forum. He starts with that tribe and showing his connection and passion for it. Anyone he brings on as a guest has to have that level of commitment and passion.

Getting more clients. We talked about this before. Dr. Kevin Pecca uses his podcast to connect with patients because he can’t see everyone. He can’t make a personal connection to everyone, but he can suggest podcasts to them if they’re golfers and he’s got a podcast on that. He can meet with a new client and then say, “I’d love to spend more time with you but here’s a couple of podcasts you might want to listen to. It will give you a deeper dive into how I work.” This gives him a chance to close more clients and to keep them engaged with him.

Content Strategy

Hope is not a strategy. The guest plan is, as well as the topic plan. A content strategy is going to get you. It’s not hope that’s going to meet your goals, especially if we do the right things in the right order with the right resources. That means we’ve got to do our next assignments. I am going to send you a video about once you’ve got all this content, how do you now turn it into a social post plan for 2019? I’m going to send you a special video about that as well.

Booking Calendar

Your assignment is to vet your guest list and get a booking calendar. I cannot tell you how unprofessional it is not to have a booking calendar. You should have a calendar if it only has one time a week or one time a month, whatever it has on it.

That way they’re filling out all the information that they need: their bio, their headshot. They’re giving you everything at once. You have everything in one place. It also looks professional and it makes the guests feel very comfortable, especially if they’re using an assistant or marketing firm. You take a lot of time out of the process of going back and forth with VA. I find the shows that don’t have booking calendars don’t book as fast as the ones that do. If you don’t have one, you want to get started and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity. Somebody did this to me. He said, “Can I use your booking calendar and book a time slot that works for me? We’ll do it at that time and I will send you this after because I’m still setting up my booking calendar.” Because I already knew him and he wasn’t a random stranger, I said, “Go ahead.” That’s what he did. He booked at a convenient time for me. I didn’t have to execute or do anything. I still got a calendar on his calendar. There were no emails going back and forth, so that worked.

PDZ 26 | Perfect Podcast Guest

Perfect Podcast Guest: A lot of times, people aren’t even vetting or checking out the podcast on the other end.


Prepare invitation and email follow-ups. I’m going to give you our page of templates. You can link directly through and get our follow-up emails. Exactly what do they look? How do we send them? What are these follow-up emails look like? What is the email prep that might be in our booking calendar because we do send one? As soon as somebody books in our calendar, they are immediately getting a follow-up, “Thank you. Here’s how to be prepared,” a week before they get prepped. Tips to remind them to use headphones. Have a microphone if they have one. Put themselves in a good place for recording. I apologize about the environment, the lighting and stuff here but I’m on the road or I’m in a hotel room. I’m not in my office, so you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got to make do with. At least they could be more prepared for that. They may bring their headphones or a microphone with them if they get these prep tips ahead of time. We send those prep tips out an hour before the actual show to remind them again. I’ve got all the copy of these follow-up emails that we used. We change it, personalize it and make it for you.

Reaching Out

The last thing I want you to do is to go for it and ask. This is the thing. You could have high-reach guests on there. I’ve never been turned down before but if I didn’t ask, it’s a definite no. Make sure that you go out and ask. Go out and reach. Don’t be afraid if you’re a new show. Be honest about it and say, “I’m a brand-new show. I have a complete strategy. I think our audiences are aligned. Here’s why I think you’ll make a great guest. Here’s the value I’m going to add back for you. I’m going to share it and because it’s going to be one of my first episodes, it’s going to get binge-listened to quickly. You’re going to be there in my launch. You’re going to be mix with these other high-value guests who already agreed to come on.” Those are the things that you can say and they’re very convincing. A lot of times, I find people aren’t even vetting or checking out the podcast on the other end. Shame on them but that’s true. They may not even know that your show isn’t live on iTunes yet. I’ve had it happen. This is our Business Master Class that I’m going to be sending you a social post planning. There are also a couple of templates that go with it.

Q & A

Let’s go to some questions. “Do you have a podcast or training on how to launch a new podcast?” Yes, we do. In our platform, there are resources. There’s a whole resource tab and that’s available to anyone who hosts with us. You have to put your show somewhere so you have to sign up with a host. If you want to sign up with us before you’ve started your show and you sign up, that gives you access to all of our course. There are videos, templates, strategies, plus all of these that you have here. We have a monthly coaching call. We might do two a month. We also have that available to anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re what we call a DIY: Do-It-Yourself. You want to set yourself up and do it all by yourself. That’s fine.

If you’re using done-for-you services, you do not have to do that to be on the platform. If you’re there, we’re going to provide you with all the coaching services just the same. You don’t get the one-on-one, you get the group environment but other than that you do. That’s for as low as $49 a month. You’re not paying $497 for a course or anything like that. Ours is you just have to be on our platform and that’s all. While you’re there, you’re going to be loading up your podcast to it. We have an unlimited amount of space. You won’t cap out. You can run up to five shows for that same price. You’ll be able to do what you need to do. We believe we have the best package for growing a podcast on the Podetize platform. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself or are a done-for-you, I hope that answered the question.

I hope some of you do your homework and you put your guest list together. I hope that’s the case. “Is there any special tool or software you use to schedule your podcast topics and guests?” To schedule our podcasts, we use scheduling software. We like to use ScheduleOnce but we have two hosts and two calendars to integrate and it’s complicated. We run multiple shows. I have Feed Your Brand, Product Launch Hazzards and The New Trust Economy. As you can see, I’m always schizophrenic like, “What show am I doing right now?” We use the ScheduleOnce to be able to manage multiple shows and all of that. It gets expensive. We spend over $200 on it because of how many things we use. There are lots of free ones out there. Calendly is good. I like it if you spend a little bit of money to make sure that you’re able to use the forms and the follow-up. If the free version doesn’t have a form for them to fill out while they’re booking and follow-up emails that you can send through it, then don’t use it.

When you dive into a pain point, you're going to connect better with your audience. Click To Tweet

Somebody’s asking about HubSpot. We use HubSpot here. We find it has a much higher open rate for the emails that we send. We can also track and make sure that our guests receive the email, especially with the Ego Bait™. If you want to send them manually or send a follow-up, HubSpot would be a great way to do it. We don’t use it that way because it’s an automated system that comes from our team. We don’t use HubSpot for the email follow-up but it would be great for you if you’re going to do it on your own. I don’t know if HubSpot has a calendar. I’ve never used it before. Most of the calendar programs, for a small fee, have forms and follow-up emails or reminders. You can customize those reminders. As long as you can do that, those calendar programs are worth doing.

That’s my favorite way to do it. There’s a whole series of questions I like to ask like to make sure we get their bio, their email address and if they want to receive notifications. Making sure that you’ve gotten their headshot as well because you want to use that in graphics. You want to put a profile on the posting page. You would want to make sure you get those. Those are the major things that you need in there. I leave a note space to say, “Is there anything you want me to review before? Is there anything that you’re promoting that you want me to know about? What website or link would you like us to link back to you?” Sometimes they want their LinkedIn profile and sometimes they want their website. Making sure you ask that up front so you can be very sure about the technical side of producing the blog post that goes along with it. HubSpot can be expensive. That’s the only other comment I have on that one. That can be expensive the more features you start using and the more emails you start sending out. It depends on how you’re using it and what you’re going to use it for. Alexandra is the best one to answer that. She’s our HubSpot expert.

“If you can’t get bios links or a photo from guests, what do you do?” You should have Googled them. You should be able to find them. I usually will steal their photo from LinkedIn and their bio from there as well. If they don’t like it, then they should have provided it to you. That’s one of the things that I do. Let’s say you’ve already booked a bunch of people and you didn’t get it in your calendar already, then go ahead and send them a follow-up email and say, “Before the show airs, I need to get this from you to make sure that I’m linking back to you properly and making sure I’m giving you the proper bio and credit.” That’s usually how we do it. I hate to assume that they kept their stuff up to date but if that’s the only bio out there, I’d rather use that than nothing. LinkedIn is probably the preferred way to that I do that.

“What is your favorite question you ask a guest?” I never asked the same question twice. That’s my thing. I commonly ask about the risks and I usually joke about it that has the hazards of doing this because I’m a Hazzard. Asking about the risk and the pain is always a great way to dive in. What lesson did you learn that was your most hard-earned lesson? I always ask it differently every time, but it is getting at the same thing. When you dive into a pain point, you’re going to connect better with your audience, you’re going to provide them more value and you’re going to lead your guests to really giving great educational pieces. That’s why I love that side of things. Asking them to tell their story is too broad and sometimes they ramble. That’s my least favorite question to ask.

“What do you do when your guest interview has low quality or microphone or connection?” This is why we book an hour-long appointment because sometimes these things happen. It happens that a lot of times like, “I’m in an environment that’s a little echoey. There’s nothing I can do about it.” Can I put a towel down on the table? Can we make some adjustments to the way that they’re angled so they’re not speaking directly into the computer, which can be bouncing back sound? Maybe they don’t have a microphone. My worst is when you have earbuds in that have a mic on them and it goes click, click, click. That’s horrible. You want to do away with anything that’s doing that. Anything that’s buzzing or doing that is going to be hard. If they’re just faint, decent editing can fix some of those things. It can’t fix everything but it can fix some of those things. If you get a big bang in the background or all of those things, those are easy enough to take out. I don’t worry about dogs barking and phones ringing. That’s real life. People don’t mind that as much but when you’ve got a constant annoying sound, that is the worst. You want to make sure that none of that is going on as you get started with them.

PDZ 26 | Perfect Podcast Guest

Perfect Podcast Guest: You don’t need an expensive microphone or an expensive setup to have decent quality sound.


That’s one of the areas of which I’m always looking at. We make sure that we’re listening. The other big issue is that a lot of times if you’re on Zoom and I’m recording with an interview subject there on the other end, we’re going to have a two-track recording. If they’re hearing my voice, it’s going to get mixed into their track if they don’t have earbuds plugged in. That’s why we send out an email recommending that they buy earbuds without a microphone. We also check the settings and we remove that. We check the microphone settings on Zoom and we say, “Don’t use the headphone microphone, use the computer microphone.” We start to separate those things out.

We’re getting a little bit technical about it but that information, there is a video on better sound and how to improve that. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. They’re calling in or whatever. You just have to call it and say, “This is not going to be a good interview. I can’t air this. Let’s reschedule when you can be in a better place and it’s not going to be a problem.” This is the thing with Blog Talk Radio, there’s a lot of dial-in and it’s horrible. It’s annoying to listen to and that’s where it gets bad. Yet a lot of entrepreneurs said, “That’s okay, they do it on Blog Talk Radio so it must be good enough.” Those that are listening to it with their earbuds on, running on the treadmill, wherever they are, low quality starts to annoy you. You can forgive it in a video, but you can’t forgive it in audio track only. It is one of the most important things. You don’t need an expensive microphone. My microphone is an $80 microphone. It’s not expensive. I’ve had it for quite some time. It works. There’s nothing wrong with it and it lasts. You don’t need an expensive microphone and expensive setup to have decent quality sound. You need to have it directed in somewhere like that and you need to not have that annoying background sound going on.

I hope that you got a lot out of this. I’m going to also do a live stream on time because that’s also an issue for a lot of you and block scheduling has helped me. This is just a couple things to be thinking about and that’s where having a calendar program can help you do that. “I’m going to set aside these two days to record guest interviews, or I’m going to set aside a single day or a week or a month,” whatever it is that works for you to make it manageable and make sure that you are consistently on top of it. When you don’t see, “In February, I don’t have anyone booked on those days.” In January, you get your button gear and you make sure that you remind people to book. You have to constantly be pushing at it.

I’m always trying to be a month ahead. That’s part of why you have this plan so that you can do that, and you can make sure that you’re building this up for yourself. If you’ve got some time and you know you’re going to be traveling, you can also book ahead. You could do twice as many in January if you know you’re going to be out all of February. Keep that in mind. October is my busiest month, so I’m always trying to bank up in the summer. That’s an easier time for a lot of people. A lot more flex scheduling. Thinking about that as part of a good plan, your time management matters as well.

I hope this has been useful and helpful. You could probably dive on Facebook and friend me. I’m Tracy Hazzard. You can find me there and you’ll be able to check out the live stream as well. Live streams will always be on at Feed Your Brand’s Facebook page, and you can find us anywhere. Check on and If you need to connect with us or if you need to ask questions, that’s what we’re here for. Our goal is to make sure that your show grows. Some of that requires strategy and content planning. If I can be your guide along the way, then I have succeeded. Thank you so much for being here. Take care.

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