Just don't do it.
Refuse to be like other entrepreneurs and thought leaders who think they can simply go on a podcast to only pitch their business or products and assume sales leads will fall out of the sky into their lap.
It doesn't work that way.
During my media career, I've booked everyone from Canadian bookkeepers to entrepreneurial heavyweights, such as Seth Godin and Barbara Corcoran, onto podcasts, but the guests that saw leads from their appearances set themselves up to win by implementing key strategies.
To find some examples, I enlisted the help of a trio of qualified experts including John Lee Dumas, who hosts the Entrepreneur On Fire podcast which attracts over 1.5 million monthly listens; Lewis Howes, who is a New York Times best-selling author and host of The School of Greatness podcast; and, Beth Buelow who hosts The Introvert Entrepreneur podcast and is the author of The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success On Your Own Terms.
With their assistance, here are five strategies that can help you make the most of your podcast guest appearance.
1. Find relevant podcasts that serve your ideal audience.
Whether you do this yourself or hire others, appearing on the right interview-based show is crucial. For example, if you were an author of a new book about elephant mating rituals, you wouldn’t be looking to be on a podcast about how to knit Christmas sweaters. That’s just weird.
Dumas says, “I look for podcasts whose audiences I know I can provide massive value to. The content / topic has to match what I can deliver on [to] give my strengths and knowledge, otherwise I know I won't be serving those who are tuning in.”
So, where do you find relevant podcasts?
Dumas suggests, “Sometimes recommendations, sometimes through the podcaster reaching out to me with a request to be on their show, and sometimes by doing research in iTunes -- typing in keywords that match up with the topics I know I can speak to.”
Howes adds, “I'm always looking at the iTunes charts and on social media at who's doing what, what's getting noticed, what shows people are talking about.“
2. Offer value first instead of talking about yourself.
On a podcast, listeners don’t want to hear you brag. They just want to know how you can help them make more money, make their lives easier and other benefits that cater to them.
Once you understand you must serve the audience first, you’ll be on the right track to attracting sales leads from your podcast appearance.
“My goal is to provide three things,” Buelow says. “Solid information that’s gleaned from a combination of research, reflection, personal experience and my training; questions for the listener to reflect on; and tips to support them in taking action.”
When offering suggestions, do make sure they are in step-by-step form, so listeners can easily understand and implement them right away.
3. Tell stories.
Storytelling has been around since the dawn of humankind. It’s lasted this long because it continues to be a great way to captivate people. It’s especially powerful when you’re authentic.
“Lead with vulnerability,” Howes recommends. “That's what creates connection with an audience. Talk about your failures, the things you learned when you made mistakes, the times when you didn't have it all figured out. That's what people connect to.”
“People buy from people, and when you’re in conversation and sharing your stories, you’re connecting in a deeper way with potential clients and customers. They feel like they know you after listening to you and hearing the passion in your voice. And for most interviews, you get to talk about your business without pitching -- it’s more about who you are, why you do what you do and what’s important about it. You’re putting know, like and trust before the pitch, as it should be!”
4. Have a clear call to action.
Once your podcast conversation is coming to a close, always remember to offer listeners a way to stay connected with you.
“Because when you deliver high value to an audience who you know wants and needs that value, there's really no reason for them not to check out your business and what you have going on,” Dumas says. “I always end my guest appearances with a strong call to action, which rarely has anything to do with selling anything. Typically I'm just sharing a free resource available on our site so I can start nurturing a relationship with the new leads.”
Dumas also mentioned a good call to action could be sharing your email address or asking people to connect with you via your favorite social platform.
5. Master the promotion of your podcast appearance.
So, after your interview is finished, how will potential prospects hear about it?
According to Buelow, you should "do your part to promote your appearance on the podcast. This helps the episode stay alive and visible for longer, reaching more prospective clients. Announce that you’re going to be interviewed (and that you’re excited about it!). Post the finished episode on your various social media platforms, your website and your newsletter, then put the link in a rotation to keep sharing on Twitter. This also shows that you’re a good guest, interested in supporting the podcast host, and they’re more likely to ask you back for a future episode or recommend you to other podcasters.”
Beforehand, you can ask podcast hosts how they will market your episode. Most will say they’ll promote it on social media, which is nice, but you’ll want to suggest they advertise your interview to their email list, too. The reason being is some podcast hosts have more engaged email subscribers than followers who would only like one of their tweets every few months.
Overall, podcast guest appearances are becoming a terrific way to connect with niche audiences (and potential clients) that you never would have in the past. So, if you’re serious about generating sales leads from those interviews, provide relevant value first. Once you do, there’s a good chance your business will profit from the results.