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How to Prepare for a Successful Podcast Interview

Scott November 6, 2019 6


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How to Prepare for a Successful Podcast Interview

A quick heads up:

Preparing for a successful podcast interview happens WAY in advance of recording!

In this post, I’ll be offering my top tips on developing connections, reaching out to people and how to get the best content from a recording.

Tip 1: Think About Your Audience

For The ScottBar Show, I bring on super successful guests in the worlds of art and business who fly a little under the radar.

They may not have the biggest audiences but their stories are fascinating!

That’s who I’m aiming at. People like this are a lot more relatable to my audience. I also think it’s interesting to hear stories you don’t hear elsewhere on the podcast circuit.

Tip 2: Naturally Connect

In terms of how I’ve been reaching out, it’s primarily been through Instagram.

Generally speaking, I like to have an ‘in’.

I wouldn’t just directly ask someone, “would you like to come onto my podcast?” I try and build relationships first through commenting on posts and messaging back and forth in DMs.

“Amazing post ____! _____ really strikes a chord with me!”

It’s never a cold ask. It’s a natural progression. We’re both interested in each other’s work and we’ve built that connection.

Of course getting a sense of who you would like to come onto your podcast is important. It gives you a sense of direction. But building those relationships? It’s got to be a natural process.

I don’t think it should be forced. And I think if you have a natural interest in someone, that connection – that relationship – will naturally develop.

Tip 3: The Question

“… How would you feel about coming onto my podcast?!…”

Incidentally, I’ve asked this to five or six people in the past week through Instagram DMs. And all have said yes to season 3!!

I believe it’s because I know them and they know me. We’ve developed relationships that probably began six or seven months ago.

It’s a long game.

And because my podcast wasn’t the sole aim of what I was doing when I first started documenting on Instagram, I think that aided me.

I wasn’t thinking I’d like this person to be on the podcast further down the line. It hadn’t even crossed my mind.

It still doesn’t.

The reason I was interacting with these people was because I was genuinely interested in their content. And spoiler alert: This is still the secret!

Once you’ve kind of built this genuine connection, how do you actually phrase the question? As long as you’re authentic to your own voice, I don’t think the wording matters too much.

What you should bare in mind, however, is phrasing it in such a way that shows there’s always something in it for the other person.

For example, for the people I’ve recently reached out to, I make it clear that:

  • It’ll just be a casual chat so they don’t have to prepare anything
  • It’ll take around 30 minutes of their time (i.e. not too long)
  • I’ll actively promote their social profiles both during and after the show so that listeners can discover their content and find out more about them
  • In terms of the final edits, if there’s anything they’re unhappy with during the conversation that they’d like to change, I’m more than willing to make those changes and they have the last word on the final cut

Tip 4: 10 Questions

The final tip came from my good friend Alice who has her very own very podcast, Dingbat Chat. I was asking her for advice because I know she’s a fantastic, natural interviewer, and one she said was prepare at least 10 questions that you’d like to ask.

So that’s exactly what I do!

I conduct some online research around my guests, looking at their content, websites and anything like that. And I think about what do I actually want to ask these guys?

I’d encourage you to think the same. After all, they’re giving up their time to come onto your podcast and you should make the most of this time!

So I try to ask insightful questions. Questions which will make them think or chuckle or light up. And then it’s a matter of trying to find the thread that can link these questions together.

That’s it.

Of course, you can’t really dictate how a conversation will go. That’s also really important. You’ve got these 10 questions, but having that flexibility to listen – to really listen – to your guest is so important.

And if you feel there is a question that pops up naturally, fantastic! Don’t be afraid to ‘go off script’ and ask it!

So these are some of my top tips to prepare for a successful podcast interview. Are there any you would add? 🙂

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