How to be a dream podcast guest

content marketing podcast pitching
drmichaela michaela bucchianeri health & wellness copywriting How to be a dream podcast guest  Tips for health & wellness professionals

I'm on a roll with all this podcast talk lately, can you tell??

(Missed the last few posts about podcast pitching? You can catch up right here + here + here!)

We'll be switching things up soon enough, but I couldn't leave this topic without highlighting the handful of qualities that make certain podcast guests the darlings of hosts + audiences everywhere.

And the best part?

As a health/wellness pro, these happen to be qualities you naturally exude, day in and day out, likely without even realizing it, friend!  

Today we're going to be talking about the qualities that separate a truly dreamy podcast guest from one that's just... {*shrug*}... pretty good.

Now, these tips are based on feedback I've received as a podcast guest, the experiences of other health and wellness professionals who I've helped land podcast interviews, as well as some insider info from friends and colleagues of mine who also happen to be podcasts hosts!

So, I've pulled it all together for you, and I'm going to be sharing 5 qualities of truly dreamy podcast guests, as well as some practical tips to help you stand out as unforgettably awesome. Let's do it!



Tip #1: Be prepared

Now, this may seem like an obvious one, but trust me:

By using your common sense and just doing some thoughtful, advance planning, you will be light years ahead of where many people are who are pitching podcasts.

So, this goes for everything from the first inkling of an idea of a brainstorm, all the way through the actual interview recording itself.

Just plan ahead, be prepared.

  • Get to know the podcast, the format, the style, the length.
  • What kind of guests have been featured on this podcast before?
  • Get to know the host. Where else has the host been featured? How do you pronounce the host's name? (This will come in very handy later on, when you hopefully use the podcast host's name on your actual interview!)
  • Get to know the audience. What can you find out about them? Where are they currently hanging out online?
  • Does this podcast have a dedicated, free Facebook group? Is there a community on social media that you can plug into? (You don't have to get in there and start actively communicating with them yet, just pop in and be an interested observer,
    pay attention to the kinds of topics and themes that you're that you're seeing in the conversations they're already having.
  • Be prepared to correspond back and forth with the podcast host or the organizer. Make sure you have a dedicated professional email address to manage that correspondence, and make sure that you're organized on the backend. (Again, it doesn't have to be fancy. Just make sure you have something in place to track all of the relevant details from your pitches.)
  • Prepare your actual setup for recording. Make sure that you're in an uninterrupted quiet place.
  • Make sure that the calendar is cleared, that you've minimized the risk of interruptions, and make sure that you've taken steps to improve and test out the quality of any audio equipment (or video, if it's a video podcast), and just generally prepare yourself so that you can be ready to go.
  • Come prepared to the actual podcast interview! You wouldn't just show up and expect the host to do all the work for you. So, thoughtfully prepare a loose outline of points that you could cover and resources that you might like to share

At the same time...

Tip #2: Be flexible

Don't hold too rigidly to all your preparation!

Allow yourself to be guided by the natural flow of the conversation. Part of the fun of podcast interviews is their spontaneity.

So, try to stay open to the possibility that the host might shoot you a question that you hadn't prepared for.

(And if you don't have an answer right off the top of your head, don't freak out! It's okay. Just pause, breathe, and then say something like, "Ooh, that's a really interesting question!" And then do your best to offer some kind of a thought. And don't
worry about there being dead air or awkwardness... that's what editing is for, in post-production! That's the podcast host's responsibility. You're just showing up as the human that you are. ;)

Tip #3: Be empathic

Think about the podcast listeners/audience:

  • What kinds of questions might they have about the topic that you're discussing in your episode?
  • What are the gaps in understanding that might be represented in the large group
    of listeners to this podcast?
  • How can you offer practical examples or metaphors or illustrations to help guide them along, help fill in some of those gaps?

Remember, podcasts listeners by and large tune in to be educated, to learn something more about a topic that they may not have a ton of familiarity with already.

And so one of the things that can help you stand out as a really exceptional podcast guest is to normalize that experience. Validate the fact that they have questions, that this stuff might be complex or confusing.

Then do what you can to help eliminate those questions with some really creative examples.

You can also exercise empathy by making your host look good! 

Put yourself in the host's shoes. This is a difficult job.

So, anything you can do conversationally, any way that you can pose thoughtful, curious questions back to the host is really going to help smooth the conversation and help it flow along really nicely.

Another way you can help make the podcast hosts look good is by drawing attention back to past episodes, past resources that the host has created.

If the host has a certain area of expertise (they often do), highlight this and make sure that this gets worked into the conversation in a meaningful way.

You can also connect your conversation in your episode back to previous episodes on that very podcast:

If the opportunity is there, you could say something really simple like, "Oh, this makes me think of what so-and-so said in your episode about X, Y, or Z..." and then connect it back to your conversation.

This is a really easy way to let the host bask in their own spotlight for a minute, and to really bring a sense of cohesiveness to their podcast as a whole.

It's not just isolated episodes. It's an ongoing, unfolding conversation with a bunch of different experts... and you're one of them!

Tip #4: Be generous

Now is not the time to hold back. So, bring the goods!

  • Bring your best intentions to the interview.
  • Be fully present with the host.
  • Bring the best of what you have to share with their podcast audience.
  • Direct listeners to helpful resources, both during the conversation in the actual interview, and by linking to them in the show notes.
  • Go and leave the podcast host an enthusiastic review! Once the episode airs,
    you can comment not just on the quality of the show, but also your specific episode, your experience as a guest. Really talk them up... it's a wonderful way to reflect back some of that light onto this person who's just invited you to share their platform.
  • Ask how you can help get the word out. Actively promote your episode to your own audience on social media, and then anywhere else that you communicate with them. Help build excitement around this piece of content that you've just helped create!

Tip #5: Be responsive

Again, this might not sound like the sexiest quality, but trust me: It is greatly appreciated by podcast hosts and organizers.

You would be amazed. (I was shocked, quite frankly, by some of the really impolite / straight-up rude interactions my podcast-host friends have had with expert guests!)

So, remember your manners and just bring the same social graces to this experience as you would to anything else in life:

  • Thank the host for having you.
  • Comply with any and all requests from the host or an admin or organizer for the podcast. Make sure that you're providing whatever materials or anything else that they might need from you.
  • After the episode goes live, be sure to stick around, engage with listeners, engage with their community online. There's going to be excitement around this piece of content! You want to be there as an active participant, helping unpack what you talked about on the episode. (I know that I've received really kind messages from podcast listeners, months or even years after an episode that I was a guest on went live, and it's such a treat to be able to hear what they took from the episode and why and how it resonated with them. And just to be able to have a little bit of a conversation back and forth. So, as people slide into your DMs or send you emails, engage with them, respond to them. This is a wonderful way to set yourself apart as a truly dreamy podcast guest.)

Let's take action!

Ready to dive in and try this podcast pitching thing out for yourself?

Sign up for my free Podcast Guest Prep video training!


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