How to book the right guests for your podcast

We’re all about audience here at 18Sixty. We know that the needs of the listener are unique, and the key to creating a podcast they’ll love is to find the guests that are going to best resonate with them. 

Our experience comes from a background in making radio, from booking big name guests to fascinating people, with the most interesting stories to tell, and when it comes to podcast production, the same approach applies, audience-first!

Here are our tips:

Do your research

Go back to your defining principle, your guiding mantra, for your podcast. What’s it about? What’s its aim? What story are you trying to tell? Now think about what the ideal guest for that podcast looks like. The good news is that this guest exists. All you have to do is find them.

If your podcast is about the guest and their story, you’re going to want to figure out how the guest’s life story matches the interests of the listeners.

Consider what type of podcast you have. If your podcast is about the guest and their story, like the How I Built This podcast, you’re going to want to figure out how the guest’s life story matches the interests of the listeners. If the podcast is built around a higher purpose, or particular big issues and ideas, such as The Happiness Lab or Reasons To Be Cheerful, think about who’s going to bring the story of each episode to life.

For both of these, doing your research may not be easy. The most obvious guest isn’t always the right one (or the available one), and you may want to consider hiring a researcher to help you find the right guest to resonate with your listeners. Finding the perfect podcast guests takes time and effort but, when you get it right and hit the jackpot, you’ll really reap the rewards.

Try out a podcast guest booking platform

There are now podcast guest booking platforms that offer podcast guest matching services. Check out the self-labelled “Tinder for podcasters” matchmaker.fm where you can browse potential guests and get in touch with them, or there’s also podbooker.com and podcastguests.com. With many of these services you can also list yourself as a guest, a great way of promoting your own podcast. However, we think nothing beats good old fashioned research and some well written emails.

podcast guest research set up
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Should you get celebrities on your podcast?

There are obvious benefits to booking celebrities. It can be brilliant PR for your podcast, and it’s a good way to convert their community into listeners of your show, but getting in-demand people to say ‘yes’ can be extremely difficult.

First, don’t lose sight of your core principles. Podcasts aren’t a platform to meet cool people or network for your side-hustle. If you book the wrong celebrity, you’ll alienate your audience.

Instead, look for a celebrity who aligns with your values, then contact them! People like talking about themselves and their work. It never hurts to ask.

A good way to stack the odds in your favour is to find celebrities with unique interests. Action hero Vin Diesel can’t agree to every workout and car-chase interview. But, as a life-long Dungeons and Dragons fan, he did say ‘yes’ to a 2015 collaboration with Critical Role, the world’s largest Dungeons and Dragons podcast. So who’s your Vin Diesel?

Booking the right guest is an important step for anyone looking to create a podcast in 2022. If you put in the research, you’ll be sure to see results.

Want help looking for exactly who to contact in your field? Contact us today, we’re all ears. 

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