- Guest Posting
- Guest Podcasting
- Guest Videocasting
- Guest TV
- Guest Radio
- Guest Written Interview via Email
Anything where you’re going into someone else’s realm and getting exposure. But instead of thinking about it like that think about it like you’re providing something for the audience. You get the exposure, but that’s good or bad exposure based on what you can bring to the audience.
This has been a thing for a long time. Guest writing has probably been around since the podcast. Before that it was probably live events. I’m sure the jesters would bring guests when they performed for kings and queens.
The late night game is very much a formula. A guest comes on and entertains the audience. In return they get exposure. Usually to promote a movie or whatever, but at least for the exposure.
The same thing with the Internet. Guest posting. Podcasting. YouTube show. Whatever.
It’s a great way to get exposure. But that’s just the idea. To get it you have to know how to build regular streams of guesting opportunities.
Here are some tips.
1. Start Small
A big guesting machine with pipelines of opportunity coming your way is a great dream or plan. But you’re not going to get there overnight.
Look at the guests you see on podcasts or writing for big blogs. Odds are this is not the first time they’ve done it. Or they’ve had to work at their craft to get to the point where people ask them.
You’re starting from square one and that’s totally fine. Embrace it.
Be on podcasts that have zero listeners. Write for blogs that have zero visitors.
It’s okay. You never know when one of those will blow up and you’ll be there for future audiences. And even if that doesn’t happen you’re still getting experience and it’s something you can use for your credential list or experience list, which we’ll discuss later.
2. Follow The Leaders
Not sure where to start?
Look at the person you want to be most like in your industry. Another businessperson. Someone that’s maybe even on the same level as you, but that has been guesting for some time.
Go to Google and search for their name + podcast or + guest post. See what they’ve all done. Go back several pages on that Google result to see where they started. Click on “Tools” and change the date to five years ago, ten years ago or whenever and see where they started.
Look at where they are now and where they’ve been.
That’s your roadmap. Start by following the same path and you can innovate along the way.
3. Regular Emails
By this I mean just building relationships via email. Checking in with people. Reaching out to new people to introduce yourself.
No expectations or asks. Just introducing yourself. Maybe setting up a chat over coffee in person. Maybe setting up a phone call to discuss shop.
Maybe you ask if they’re struggling with anything or if there is anything you could help them with.
Not everyone will respond, but some will. The more people you know the more you can start asking things like:
- What podcasts do you listen to?
- What YouTube channels do you like?
- What blogs do you read?
- Do you know podcasters?
- Do you know bloggers?
- Do you know YouTubers?
That is where you start asking if they could refer you to those folks.
4. Social Media Interaction & Engagement
Building on emailing is pretty much doing the same thing on social media.
What do you love when you’re using social media?
You love when someone likes your update. You love when they reshare it. You love when they comment on it and tell you how wonderful you are.
Other people like this too. So take the initiative and start dishing out engagement and love.
Build relationships. Ask people questions. Start with the relationship building questions like what they’re working on or what they’re interested in.
Then over time get to the same questions above about podcasting, etc.
5. Content Commenting
Final one on this theme. Do the same with commenting.
Commenting on podcasts by leaving reviews or commenting on the blog where they publish their podcast. The same on YouTube if they have a YouTube channel. Or their Facebook page where they do regular Facebook Live events.
Or on their blog.
Keep leaving great comments. Answer questions other commenters are asking. Ask the writer questions.
You’re getting on their radar. Give, give and give some more. Then a few months down the road reach out and make your pitch to be on their program. If you’ve done your job then they’ll know who you are and they’ll be more likely to have you on the program.
6. Craft Your Story, Experiences & Expertise
Before you start guesting you want to do some self examination.
You could start by watching other guests on shows. Listening to podcasts. Reading guest posts. Look at what you like best and what you like the least.
Think about how you would be a better guest than the person that was on that podcast.
It’ll usually start with your story, experiences and expertise.
That’s a good exercise to go through. Figuring out what you’re all about. And why people might be interested. Don’t sell yourself short here. It’s common for us to think that what we’ve done is a bit boring. Now is not the time for that.
Write down your story. Then practice telling it. Memorize it. You’ll need it when you’re guesting and the better you become at telling it, tweaking it and improving on it the more people will want you to be their guest.
7. Create A Credential List
Mentioned this earlier.
People that have guests usually need a little proof that you’ll be a good guest.
That makes sense. They want good content. They depend on good content for their audience.
This is where you start small and build up. Have 5-10 examples of times you’ve been a guest before listed. And the more you do just keep adding the better ones and taking the others off the list.
You’ll even use this in your pitches.
“I’ve been a guest on this podcast and this podcast, etc.”
8. Over Deliver
When you’re a guest you want to over deliver. There are a few ways to do this so I’ll give a few examples.
Axl Rose was on Jimmy Kimmel about five years ago. Just like every guest he did the usual interview, but then at the end he let everyone in the audience know that he had a food truck ready to give everyone pizza after the show.
Now, who wouldn’t want to invite Axl to their show? He gave the audience way more than other guests.
Here’s another one. I can’t remember the business person but they were on a podcast. At the end they offered a free ebook download. No strings attached. He even said that he wouldn’t ever email you from that specific list.
Over delivering. It’s a great way to get noticed by the audience and by the host and other hosts that are probably listening.
9. Ask For Referrals, Ideas
Once you’ve been a guest, even the first time, ask for ideas for other podcasts or videos or blogs. You could ask, “Any other podcast you think I could be on?”
But a better way to do it might be to ask, “What other podcasts do you like? What other blogs do you read?”
Just see what they’re doing and then go to those places and see if you can be a guest.
10. Ask What They Want
We’ll end with a simple one.
Let’s say you get a “no” when you ask to be a guest.
Be polite. Say that you understand. But then as you’re parting ways ask what they want from guests. Not necessarily from you, but from their guests. Tell them they can be honest.
Usually they’ll lay it all out for you.
Now try to do everything on that list. Then come back in a few months and ask again. Present your credentials and that you’ve done everything on their list.
Odds are they’ll be happy to have you on.
That’s a trick for getting a raise. Ask your boss what you would need to do to earn more. Say $20,000 more a year. Get a list. Then work on that list for six months or a year and go back and get that raise.
Guesting is a great way to build your brand. Your personal brand. Your business brand. It’s about getting exposure. And the more you do it the better you’ll get, the more opportunities you’ll get and the more business you’ll get.
The tips above are things that really work for building regular guesting opportunities. Don’t focus on the end results. Focus on the process. Enjoy the process. It’s fun. In a few years you can bring your head up and see the traffic you’re getting and the business you’re getting and things like that.