5 Steps to Successfully Book and Network With High-Profile Influencers on Your Podcast

Tips to form great connections with business leaders and celebrities.
5 Steps to Successfully Book and Network With High-Profile Influencers on Your Podcast
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Lyman, Maine.

When Jaime Masters, host of the Eventual Millionaire podcast, was growing up there, it had a population of 2,000 people and didn’t have a stoplight or post office. Despite her meager beginnings, that small-town girl would be destined for something she didn’t think would be on her radar. Today, thanks to her podcast, she has connected with over 400 millionaires. She is an example of how powerful a networking tool hosting a podcast can be.

Along with Masters, I’ve recruited the help of Jordan Harbinger, the host of The Art of Charm podcast, which has 3 million downloads per month; author and host of The James Altucher Show podcast, James Altucher, who has interviewed thought leaders and celebrities like Tim Ferriss and singer, Jewel; and the co-host of The Ultimate Health Podcast, Dr. Jesse Chappus, who has had guests such as Deepak Chopra on his show, to chime in on how you can successfully connect with a high-profile influencer on your podcast.

Related: The 24 Best Podcasts for Entrepeneurs in 2017

1. Find your potential guest.

“Look for people who have books coming out soon since they have just put years of thought into one subject and would be happy to talk about it,” Altucher says. “Look for people who are lending their names to charities. Look for people who achieved great success earlier and have not done an interview in awhile. Look for people who very recently have done something very great and might still be accessible to do a podcast. These are a few starting points, but once you get into the mindset you will start finding guests everywhere.”  

Chappus suggests: “Hopefully as a podcast host you're already well tuned into your niche and know who the gurus are. If you need a little help, search your podcast category in iTunes and see what shows/hosts are at the top of the charts. If any of the shows/hosts intrigue you, dig in and listen to a few of their episodes and see if the host is a great fit for your show.”

You can also get guest ideas looking at the authors on The New York Times bestseller lists, Amazon business book bestseller lists and professional speaker websites such as the National Speakers Bureau.

Related: The 10 Technology Items You'll Need to Start a Podcast

2. Snag the high-profile influencer.

This is probably the toughest thing to do, especially if you’re just starting out. Somehow you have to demonstrate to a high-profile influencer it’s worth her precious time to appear on your podcast. So, how do you do it?

“You can list other high-profile people you've interviewed,” Masters says. “When I had no one high-profile, I mentioned my media appearances that I got from Help a Reporter Out. You need some sort of credibility indicator to get a high profile guest to pay attention.” 

Masters also suggested that if you have a new podcast with low download totals, find guests that are launching something. She believes busy influencers set aside time for media when they’re in a launch type mode, and that’s how she booked Guy Kawasaki as a rookie podcaster.

As for Altucher, he feels you need to take the spotlight off yourself to succeed.

“Remember, it's about them and not about you. Give them the 'why' of why they should be on your podcast. Show them who else has been on your podcast and what results those people have had. Show them any industry acclamations your podcast might have. Show them what else you will do with the podcast (write articles about it, etc.) that might increase the exposure of their appearance.” 

Related: How to Attract Sales Leads Through Your Podcast Guest Appearance

3. Make your guest feel comfortable.

After finally securing your influencer, it’s showtime. You’re minutes away from recording your conversation and you want this person to feel at ease. 

According to Masters, “I only chat for a few minutes before -- usually high-profile people have done this a thousand times. I usually say something like that to warm it up: ‘Hey! So nice to meet you. I'm sure you've done this a thousand times, but let me give you my spiel on how this typically goes.’ Then I mention three to four things and try to make jokes or find commonalities, because not only do I want them to feel comfortable with my hosting abilities I also want the connection to be secured PAST the podcast interviews.”  

4. Acknowledge your high-profile guest's work.

During the interview, if you want your guest to trust and respect you, here’s how you do it.

“I will talk about their work in detail and that comes from prep,” Harbinger says. “I might say something like, 'Well, I read your book and in the end of the book, you wrote this and then you told a story about that,' and that gets them thinking, ‘Wow, okay this person actually put in the work. I'm not just a notch on their podcast bedpost,’ to put it crudely. I've actually examined their work. I've followed it. I've read it. I'm trying to understand it.”

At the end of the conversation, don’t forget to promote your guest's new work (e.g. book, products, coaching, etc.) to finish the interview on a high note.

Related: Thinking of Starting a Podcast? These 5 Tips Can Help. 

5. Build a relationship beyond the microphone.

Once the on-air chat is done, the dialogue afterwards is where you can take your networking to the next level.

Harbinger shares, “I spend a lot time building social capital, which is what we talk about a lot at The Art of Charm. I look for ways to make their (the guests') appearance even more valuable than just the PR and the new fans they got from appearing on Art of Charm. It's all about sharing the love there.”

One of the ways Harbinger does this is by offering to connect some of his guests with other big podcasts if he thinks there is a fit.

As for Masters, she says, “You have to keep the connection going, so I try to follow up with something helpful, such as a referral to someone they want to meet or sending a prospect their way or something to give them. I've even sent pizza socks to one of them because we were joking about pizza socks for some reason on the podcast.”

Chappus adds, “(1) Suggest a meet-up for a meal or coffee if they’re ever visiting your hometown or vice versa. (2) Reach out before an upcoming conference and suggest a meet-up if they're going too. (3) Offer to be a guest on their show and specify a unique way you will provide their audience value. (4) Occasionally provide valuable insights/comments on their social media posts. (5) If the guest has a new book or program launching, get them to come back on your show as a repeat guest. If it’s a program they're launching, become an affiliate.”

Booking a high profile influencer and successfully networking with her on your podcast isn’t easy, but with time and persistence, there’s no doubt you’ll be well on your way to making this a reality.