Podcast Blastoff Blog

How to Get Guests Excited to Come on Your Podcast

February 12, 2017 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 built 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 on to 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 have done that made an impact with 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 on to 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 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 best sellers as guest.

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 about how to enroll for free at the link below.

Podcast Blastoff Blog

3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Podcast

February 12, 2017 Nathan Fraser

Having a podcast is pretty awesome.

You get to meet cool people that would otherwise be inaccessible. You get to provide a valuable connection point within a community. You get the chance to put your message out there and spread the good word about your passion or business.

There are lots of great reasons to have a podcast. But it's not for everyone.

Most podcasts fail to make it past seven episodes. This happens for a bunch of different reasons. The most common reason? The host simply stops showing up, forcing their audience to find something else to listen to.

I think everybody should podcast. But maybe now is not the right time for you. There are some things you need to know about before you start your podcast. And once you know about those things, there are some questions to ask yourself.

What follows are three questions to ask yourself, and the things you need to know before you answer. If, after reading this article, you can answer "yes" to all three, then starting a podcast is right for you.

You'll be prepared for what's to come. You'll be aware of what pitfalls to avoid. And you'll have the confidence to know that you're doing the right thing.

  • Question # 1 - Do you have a desire to connect with an audience on a topic that you're passionate about?

Passion is important in the success of any venture. But with a podcast, it's even more so. If you're not passionate about your podcast's topic, how can you expect anyone else to be? When the host phones it in, the audience loses interest.

Another reason that passion is a must is the "dip". After you leave New and Noteworthy on iTunes, you'll see a big dip in listeners. From time to time, listeners will grow out of your audience faster than new listeners are finding you. If you're not passionate about what you're doing, these dips can be the end of your podcast.

But if you're passionate about you subject, people will share in that passion with you. You'll be able to use that passion to barrel through any dips you might encounter.

  • Question # 2 - Will your content entertain, educate or inspire your audience?

The best podcasts have rabid fans. And those fans stick around for different reasons. Mostly, it's because they get one of these three things from you; education, entertainment or inspiration. If you can do all three, even better. But your podcast must do at least one.

Teaching podcasts need to educate, but the best ones also entertain and inspire. Nobody likes the boring old teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. So, unless you're trying to put your listeners to sleep, education alone might not cut it.

Self-help shows need to inspire. But inspiration only works when combined with new understanding, so education needs to play a role. And if you want to inspire people, you'll need to be at least a little bit entertaining.

Even if you’re just doing an entertainment show, you gotta provide a little extra. This can be juicy bits of trivia or breaking news on the latest drama. But give them something meat amongst all the junk food. It'll leave them with a more complete sense of audio nourishment.

Point is, you have to do at least one of these things. But if you can also mix in the others, you'll have loyal fans and a successful podcast.

  • Question # 3 - Can you commit to creating new content, consistently and reliably, so your audience has a chance to grow?

This is the most important question to ask yourself. If you can't show up on a consistent basis, you're fans won't either.

There are so many shows to choose from nowadays. If you don't put out a consistent podcast, you're listeners will forget about you and move on.

Putting out a show each week can be hard. You need to make time to record, but you also have to come up with fresh content on a regular basis. And if you don't put out a regular show, it's almost impossible to hold onto new listeners.

But if you can put new episodes out on a regular basis, your audience will grow.

So, how did you fare?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then you should think about starting your own podcast. At least give it a shot and see if it's right for you. If you enjoy creating it, and you put it out there, you'll find others who enjoy listening to it.

One last thing, before you go. If you know that podcasting is right for you, I want you to start off on the right foot. That's why I put this quiz together for you. But it also drove me to create this in-depth course for beginner podcasters.

It's all the secrets I've learned for putting together a successful podcast series. Now that you know what you want to do, make sure you do it right.

Podcast Blastoff Blog

How to Launch Your Podcast and Dominate iTunes New and Noteworthy

January 6, 2017 Nathan Fraser

Seems like every day, there's a flood of new podcasts launched on iTunes.

If you plan on launching yours anytime soon, you're gonna have a lot of competition to contend with. And the longer you wait to get started, the more competition there will be.

Having a solid launch plan in place is more important than ever. If you don't nail the launch, your podcast might never get the attention it deserves. So you wanna make sure you do it right.

By taking advantage of iTunes New and Noteworthy, combined with a solid launch plan, you can set your podcast up for long term success.

I shouldn't be sharing this, but here's the secret sauce formula that I use for launching my podcasts.

Let the countdown begin:

  • Record Four to Eight Episodes Before You Launch

It's best to launch with at least three episodes. We'll get into that later. But recording between four and eight episodes before your launch is something I recommend.

It helps you stay ahead of schedule. If you miss a week in recording, you still have a new episode to release for that week. This takes a lot of the stress of being a podcaster of your back.

Also, most podcasts never make it past episode seven. If you have eight recorded before you even launch, you’ll start out with a huge advantage over the competition.

  • Select an Episode to Give Away as a Lead Magnet

People love feeling like they have the inside scoop on something new. Many of them will be happy to give you their email address in exchange for a sneak preview of your new podcast.

Set up a squeeze page with an email opt-in form where people can sign up to get access to a preview episode, before you launch.

Pick one of your later episodes to give away for free to people who join your email list. I say a later episode because you want to make a good impression. Let them hear an episode that you recorded after you got more comfortable behind the microphone. Letting them hear your first episode probably won't impress them as much as your third or fourth episode will.

You can also have this be an "Episode Zero". That's an introduction episode. It explains who you are, what your podcast is about, and who your podcast is for.

Host the mp3 file on your website or on a service like google docs. When somebody signs up for your mailing list, send them the link to your preview episode. Now they’re on your mailing list, and you can let them know when you have your official launch.

  • Drive Traffic and Get Opt-Ins

Create some buzz to get people over to your squeeze page.

If you already have an email list, mail them and let them know about how they can get the new podcast episode. Do this a few times. Not everybody opens every email you send.

If you have social media, use it.

Blast your Facebook pages and groups. Same thing with your Twitter, Snap, or Instagram accounts. Don't be afraid to let people know. A shy salesman has skinny kids. A shy podcaster has a lackluster launch.

If you have the budget, and the knowhow, run some Facebook ads to your squeeze page. Make sure your page is in compliance with Facebook expectations, or your account could get shut down.

If you have friends that can spread the word to their contacts, hit them up. If you know a good list broker, buy some solo ads. Whatever you can do to get people to your squeeze page, do it. This will help build your list and make your launch successful.

  • Launch With Three Episodes and Your Podcast To iTunes

People like to binge listen, so have at least three episodes at launch. This way they can get a good feel for what you have to offer. If they enjoy all three episodes, chances are, they'll subscribe to your show, if you remind them.

If they only get one episode at launch, they might leave it feeling undecided. By the time episode two comes out, they may have already forgotten all about you.

Get hosting on a service like BlastPod. Host your files with someone that specializes in podcast hosting. That way, you can track your downloads, not worry about bandwidth issues, and create an RSS feed.

Once you have three episodes posted and your RSS feed created, submit your podcast to iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. These are the main places to get listed. Almost every other podcast source out there pulls their feeds from one of these three. The most important, being iTunes.

  • Email Your List to Let Them Know You've Launched

Once iTunes approves your podcast; it's game time.

I focus on iTunes because it has the most leverage. That's where most podcasts are. That's where most other podcast providers get their cues from. If you can make it onto iTunes' New and Noteworthy, you'll be good on Stitcher and Google Play.

Send links to your iTunes page to everyone you can. That includes the email list you've been building, your Facebook friends, groups, pages, and any other social media you can think of. Let the world know how to find you on iTunes.

If you can run some ads, do it. If not don't worry about. But get all the organic traffic to your iTunes link that you possibly can.

Tell everyone you send there to subscribe, rate and review the show. This is how iTunes measures a podcast's popularity. The more downloads, subscribes, and reviews a show gets in 24 hours, the higher it appears on the charts.

So, at the end of every episode, at the end of every email, and at the end of every Facebook post, remind people to subscribe, rate, and review.

  • Have a Bonus to Give Away

This is optional, but I've seen it work wonders.

If you have something to give away, like a t-shirt or a signed book, make a contest out of it. Let listeners know that you'll be giving away a prize to whoever wins the contest, and you'll be announcing the winner in episode ten. To enter, all they have to do is subscribe to your show, rate it in iTunes, and leave a review.

If you plan on doing this, make sure you announce it from the very first episode, up until episode nine. That way, you get plenty of response.

When it comes time to record episode ten, pick a winner. Announce the winner on the podcast, and have them get ahold of you and verify they left the winning comment. You can do this by emailing them something new to post, or by having them screen capture a new comment, before they leave it.

This type of contest gets the best reviews from raving fans, and really juices up your iTunes ratings.

And there you have it. My secret launch plan for dominating iTunes' New and Noteworthy.

It's a little extra work, but it goes a long way. Use it when you launch your next podcast, and prepare to dominate the charts. With this formula, you can do it.