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What To Expect When You’re a Podcast Guest

general publicity May 18, 2022

The Top 5 Expectations to Set Before You Hit Record

You did it. You sent the pitch, and they said “yes.” After you (deservedly) celebrate - but before you hit record with the host - it’s important to know what to expect as a podcast guest. Let’s get into the top 5 expectations you should set to ensure a successful recording. 

Here are our top tips on what to remember when you’re a podcast guest:

1. A podcast is the host’s platform, and you are a guest on that platform.

It may seem obvious, but is easy to forget, even for the best of podcast guests.

Just like when someone invites you into their home for a party, a podcast guesting appearance gives you an opportunity to enjoy a space and place with a warm, usually friendly audience.

As is true for at a party, things like giving the host a small gift or token of appreciation on arrival, arriving on time, and thanking them are all simple forms of etiquette that are recommended in the world of podcasting too.

There are other ways to respect your host’s platform and show gratitude including:

  • Being flexible with your recording time (i.e. their open slots are before or after your “normal” business hours). You wouldn’t ask someone to change the time of their next big party, right? So, why do it to a host?
  • Offering to share an exclusive resource with their audience only. Consider giving them access to a chapter from your newest e-book or a framework from one of your paid programs.
  • Sending them a post-recording thank you note (email is fine!) and tagging them on social.

All of these actions are simple, low-cost, high impact gestures that are ways to respect the host’s platform and show your appreciation.

2. Your episode might not air in time for your launch (and you shouldn't expect it to). 

What sets podcasting apart from other earned media is its evergreen nature. Unlike the traditional news cycle or TikTok trends, podcasts withstand the test of time much longer. Topics continue to be relevant months into the future.

When it comes to being a guest, you may have pitched a show knowing you have an upcoming launch. And while it might work on the very rare occasion, planning to time your guest appearance with a launch rarely happens. 

Why, you ask?

If we take a look back at #1 on the list, we have our answer.

This is the host’s platform. The release date of your episode is their decision.  

The host may have:

  • Recorded episodes in a batch format.  
  • Be in between seasons and have paused new episode releases.
  • Want to release your episode as part of a series with other guests.

There are many reasons for when a host has chosen to release an episode, but it’s best to lead with the mantra of “when it happens, it happens,” pitch topics ideas that are evergreen, and be ready to share the content with your audience and on your channels when it does to get the most return on investment. 

3. Do your homework about the host and show. 

If you pitched yourself for a show, you may already be one step ahead in the podcast guesting game, because you’ve likely done a little research on the show. For our clients and anyone who has a publicist pitching on their behalf, be sure to do several things before you go live on the air. They will show the host that you appreciate them and their listeners. It also lays the groundwork for a strong conversation.  

  • Always listen to 1-2 episodes prior to recording - this will give you a really good idea on their general format.
  • Take a look through their list of past guests to see if you see any familiar faces. It creates an easy connection point between the host and yourself.
  • Follow the host on their most active social platforms. It will give you a glimpse into where their focus lies and who their listeners are.
  • Visit their website, especially taking time to read their “about” page.

Bonus points: Check out their Instagram highlights reel and see if you share any common interests you might be able to add into your pre or post recording conversation.  

4. Hosts don't always stick to the script. 

You are all prepped and ready for your recording, but when the host pushes play, things take a turn. The host decides they want to take the conversation in a different direction than the topic you had planned on. 

Take a deep breath. 

Sometimes hosts go off script, but remember you’re the expert. Trust in your knowledge and treat the recording like a conversation among industry experts. You don’t have to have all the answers, but it should be a lively, thoughtful dialogue for listeners.

5. You and the host may not always be best buds. 

You’ve done your research and know the show you’re guesting on has the perfect audience. You follow the host on social media too, and you think you’ll be fast friends.

When you start to record though, the chemistry isn’t there. Keep in mind that while a show’s ideal customer avatar may be aligned with yours, the host themselves may not always be on the same wavelength as you.

That is OKAY.

It’s about their listener. If you’ve researched and know the show is chock-full of your ideal customers, you’re in the right place. While it’s great to walk away with a new business bestie, it’s really about positioning yourself in front of the right audience.

By setting these expectations, guesting will be successful, enjoyable, and likely result in additional opportunities to collaborate! 

Are you ready to go from "best-kept secret" to "go-to expert" in your niche?

Grab my FREE Podcast Pitch Checklist to get started on upping your visibility today!


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