Podcast Blastoff Blog

How to Book Big Name Guests for Your Podcast

Nathan Fraser

One of the best parts of having a podcast is the connections you can make as a result.

Every week, you get to meet and talk with people that would be otherwise inaccessible. You can build out your network and grow your own authority in a chosen field. But only if you can actually get people to come onto your show.

Of course, email is the best way to reach out to somebody, but I've also had luck with twitter and facebook. The platform isn't what's important, just make contact. Send a message, and title it something simple like "interview request." Anything along those lines will grab their attention.

But what about once they open the email? How do you get them to accept an invite to be a guest on your show? As a podcast host, and frequent podcast guest, I know what does and doesn't work when it comes to inviting guests onto your show.

So today, I'm gonna share a few secrets that I use for inviting guests on that always get a positive response.

  • 1. Personalize your invitation.

Nobody likes talking to a robot, so don't send out automated invitations. Make them personal. When you invite someone onto your show, let them know that you want them, not just their popularity.

This is actually pretty easy to do.

First of all, make your invitation relevant to them. Reference something specific about them that made you reach out to them. Mention something they've done that made an impact on you. That way they know they're not just reading a copy-and-paste invite.

People love hearing about themselves. If you want them to read all the way to your invitation, start off by letting them read about themselves.

  • Appeal to their self-interest.

Having an awesome guest on your show is gonna be great for you and your listeners, but what's in it for the guest? Answer that question right away and you'll increase the chances of getting them on your show.

Maybe they have a new book coming out. Maybe they need eyeballs on their new website. Maybe they just want to get an important message out there. Whatever the case, you have an audience that they need to reach. Let them know that.

Sometimes, just letting somebody know that you want to talk with them is enough to spark their interest. You'd be surprised. Sometimes the chance to be part of a good conversation is motivation enough.

You're trying to sell somebody on the idea of coming onto your podcast. And just like any other sale, you have to tell them what they'll be getting. Identify what they get out of the deal, and communicate that value.

  • Use social proof.

Most people don't like sailing uncharted waters. So don't ask them to boldly go where no man has gone before. If you have anything you can leverage as social proof, use it.

If you were featured on New and Noteworthy in iTunes, let them know that. If you've ever interviewed any of their colleagues, let them know that. If your Facebook page has a thousand followers, or if your episodes get lots of downloads, let them know that.

If you have anything that indicates people pay attention to your show at all, let them know. Anything that shows them others find value in your show will also tell them they'll get value from coming on.

  • Make it brief.

In demand guests are busy. So get to the point.

Don't ramble on for ten pages. Introduce yourself, tell them what you like about them, and get to the point. The easier you make it to say yes, the more likely they are to do it. So make it easy.

And making a busy person read twenty paragraphs before they even know why they're reading... that's not making it easy.

  • Follow up with them.

As Jim Rohn famously said, the fortune is in the follow-up.

Sometimes busy people miss emails. Sometimes they read them, and forget to reply. Sometimes they just don't reply unless you prove that you're serious. Whatever the reason, following up is a vital key to getting guests for your podcast.

As a host, you don't want to come off like a pest. But you don't want to come off as only slightly interested either. You have to follow up with people.

If you don't get a response right away, give it a day or two, and follow up with them. And don't just copy and paste your original message either.

Follow up with a new message, letting them know that you value their time understand they are busy, but you really want to have them on as a guest.

Nine times out of ten, the follow up will get a response when the first one did not. So always follow up, at least one time.

Alright, I hope that helps.

These are the tactics I've used to invite guests on my own podcast. I've been able to get everyone from niche celebrities to New York Times bestsellers on as guests.

This formula works.

  1. Nice to meet you. I love your work in specified area.
  2. I'd love to introduce you to my audience and help promote what you've got going on.
  3. I recently interviewed so-and-so, and he said I should reach out to you and get you on.
  4. Thanks for your time. Let me know how we can make this happen. And...
  5. Follow up.

If you found this post valuable, you should check out our free course on podcasting. Hundreds of people have taken it and gone on to create successful podcasts of their own.

It gives you the Top Five secrets that you need to know if you want to launch or improve your podcast today. Get more information on how to enroll for free at the link below.

Podcast Blastoff Blog

How To Generate Content for Your Podcast

Nathan Fraser

If you're going to be a podcaster, one of the most challenging things you will encounter is consistently coming up with great content. Here are some tips for how to collect and generate show material.

1. Have a capture list.

You don't want to be put on the spot every week for a new idea. It's good to have a committed list of collected ideas to choose from. Sometimes you'll have podcaster's block, and a list of previously collected ideas will be useful. Sometimes you'll have ten ideas hit you at once, but you can only act on one of them at a time. For this reason, you'll want to start a collection list of ideas for podcast content.

There are a few ways to go about this. I recommend using something like Evernote. That's where I capture all of my content ideas. I make a checkbox list, add ideas when they come, and mark them off once I've used them. You can also use a pocket-sized book. The main goal is that it should always be accessible. Both for when ideas hit you, and for when it comes time to record your show.

2. Join groups, meet ups and forums around your chosen topic.

Sometimes being a podcaster is more about listening than it is about talking. If you join a group of people who share an interest in the subject that you podcast about, you will have a direct connection with your potential audience. You will know what they are talking about. You will know what they are worried about. You will know what they are excited about. And you will know what problems they need help with.

Listening to your audience gives you incredible insight into how to serve them. In order to lead a conversation, it helps to actually be part of the conversation.

3. Follow thought leaders in your field.

This doesn't mean that you want to copy and paste everything they say. But it is good to be aware of what they are saying. To be part of a conversation, it's good to know who started it and what was said. Then you can add in your two cents.

Don't be a parrot. Make sure that your two cents actually add to the discussion. But there is no shame in listening and replying. Just make sure to be true to yourself, bring your unique point of view, and avoid being a copycat. This way, thought leaders can inspire you, as opposed to confine and limit you.

4. Subscribe to publications related to your podcast topic.

Subscribe to magazines, blogs, email lists, even other podcasts. The more you immerse yourself in a field, the better you will be at conversing about it. Also, the more you subscribe to, the more content ideas you will have to choose from, and the more points of view you will understand.

There are lots of great apps out now, that will even do content curation for you. Flipboard, for example, will feed you a constant stream of content on an almost limitless number of topics.

5. Enjoy being part of the conversation.

We sometimes feel like if we're not the first or the best, we might as well not even try. This is garbage. Accept that, while being a thought leader is the goal, just being part of the conversation is incredibly valuable.

Others might have already covered a story or topic, but your listeners want to hear it from you. They want your take on it. Don't pass on something merely because it's already been talked about by somebody else. Give your listeners what they deserve. Don't deprive them of a home run, merely because you weren't the first up to bat.

Follow these five steps, and you will likely never run out of things to talk about on your podcast.

The five steps were:

  1. Start an idea capture list.
  2. Join groups, meet ups and forums around your chosen topic.
  3. Follow thought leaders in your field.
  4. Subscribe to publications related to your podcast topic.
  5. Enjoy being part of the conversation.

Check out these two tools.

Podcast Blastoff Blog

How to Create iTunes Cover Art for Your Podcast

Nathan Fraser

With all the podcast on iTunes, standing out can be difficult.

Often, the cover image of your podcast will be the deciding factor on whether or not someone gives it a listen. As they're scrolling through, your podcast cover art needs to grab their attention and pull them in.

How do you do this? By following the steps laid out below.

What Size Should My Cover Art Be?

Your iTunes podcast art needs to be at least 1,400 pixels wide by 1,400 tall. This is the smallest size iTunes will accept. The largest they will accept is 3,000 by 3,000. So keep your art somewhere in between those two numbers.

Your cover art must also be an exact square. This means that pixel height and width have to be the exact same.

Also, iTunes is picky about the quality of what they accept. Try to avoid artwork that is too "busy". You want it to be easily recognizable, even when the listener can only see a thumbnail. So keep it clean and simple.

What Kind of Fonts Should I Use?

Most people will be viewing your cover art from their mobile devices. That means if the title of your podcast not in an easy-to-read font, they might skip right past you. So make sure your podcast title is in a clear font that's easy to read.

Another thing to keep in mind is a number of fonts used on the cover. A good rule of thumb is to never use more than two fonts on one piece of art. This goes for web pages, restaurant menus, and it also applies to iTunes cover art.

One last thing to remember about fonts is you want them to reflect the "feel" of the show. If the show is serious and professional, use straight lined fonts. If the show is loose and fun, use a font that reflects that feel. Generally, straight lines are more masculine and serious, while curvy lines are more feminine and fun.

What Kind of Images Should I Use?

A big hang up that most podcasters run into is what type of imagery should be on their cover art. Should I use a picture of myself? An icon or logo? A photo of a nice sunset? The choices are limitless.

Here's what I say, If the podcast is about your personal brand, then use a picture of yourself on the cover. Make sure it's a current picture. And it's probably best to get something professionally done.

If your podcast is about a certain topic or community, use imagery that represents that topic or community. Make sure it's something that will grab their attention and they'll instantly recognize. Just beware of using copyrighted material. Fair use laws might be something you look into before hitting Publish.

What Colors Should I Use?

Color is also a big factor in giving your podcast some visual appeal. Different colors can evoke a wide range of feelings in your listener. As a graphic designer, color plays a key role in everything I create.

Color, like font style, should not be overdone. Be deliberate about what colors you use, and which you avoid. and keep this in mind, colors mean different things to different cultures. The meanings I give here are Western-centric.

Some Examples of iTunes Cover Art

Listed above are some of the top podcasts on iTunes. Pay attention to how they use colors, images, and fonts to convey what the podcast is about, before you even listen.

If you need help with getting your podcast cover put together, there are a lot of great resources out there.

You can start with Fivver. They have a lot of artists there who will work with you at a very affordable price. If your willing to spend a little money, 99 Designs is a great place to look, as well.

But if you have some basic art skills and access to photoshop or some other paint program, you can do it yourself. The tips in this guide will ensure your cover art is great and will get you featured on itunes.

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iTunes Cover Art Infographic

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