Starting a Podcast Case Study: How I Went from Interviewing Friends to Well Known Creators in 50 Sessions
When starting a podcast, many first time podcasters might be thinking somewhere in the back of their minds, “Who am I to start a show? There are so many other people out there who do this better than I do”.
And my response would be something like, “Sure, there are people who make great shows. Chances are your show isn’t going to be as great as theirs from the get go.”
And then I continue…
“However, if you get started, stay the course, and have good guests on, you’ll get there quicker than you might expect.”
At some point in every entrepreneur’s career, there comes times of doubt, delay, and division. But there are ways of tackling those head on.
If you’re serious about making a great show, one thing that will definitely help boost your popularity is having recognized people on your show as guests.
Today I’m going to share with you how I went from interviewing friends to interviewing recognized experts in their field that will give you credibility as you build your show.
How I Used the New Craft Practitioner Approach to Get Well Known Guests
As you can see below, I have an upward climb in listenership since I started the show in September of 2015.
Here’s a current snapshot of my show’s growth over its existence. I’m proud to say that there is some pretty normal growth there.
There have been 4 guests that have been on that have had the most attraction: Ashley Zahabian, Drew Badger, Cam Adair, and Dane Maxwell. All four of those episodes continue to perform well.
Also, from those interviews, I’ve been able to land interviews with other guests, and even have testimonials from those guests.
Both of these have been vital in helping my podcast and brand grow.
But – here’s the thing.
You can do the same thing for your show… even if you don’t know these people yet.
Four Steps to Get Great Guests
There are four options a New Craft Practitioner can use to get great guests on their podcast.
- Start with what you Have
- Add Value & Add-a-Friend
- Ask a Friend for an Introduction
- Just Be Friendly
The reason I call this approach the New Craft Practitioner Approach is because these are options that anyone who is starting a new craft can utilize. They’re just poking around and seeing what opens up their new path.
In this case, your new craft is podcasting. And, as a practitioner, while you’re not an expert, you’re highly engaged in learning the craft and experimenting to see what works best for you.
Start with what You Have
At the beginning, you just have to take action. Some call it taking dumb action.
Just get started.
But if you want an idea of what you could do, find a podcast (or better yet, a couple) you want to emulate and use it as a framework. What do they do for the actual conversation part of the show, what kind of artwork does it have (if any) and what kind of guests does it have?
You’ll need to create your own versions of those things.
Do you want to have co-hosts?
I did. (But I soon had to change how many due to scheduling headaches.) For me, I knew I had to start with doing sessions with people I already knew. I knew both Jon Ridge and Brian from all my years in school. And Trin was one of the first people I met in Fizzle when I started my new journey of building New Inceptions.
If you do start with a team, this might be the kind of group that you start with as well. Like friends from high school, don’t be upset if they eventually go their different ways.
Life happens to all of us and it’s just part of growing.
Add Value to New Friends:
Just like I went different ways with the people I went to high school with, I knew that for me to grow my show, I had to continue to meet more and more people.
Easiest way to do that? Hop on Facebook and start adding friends.
There’s a good way to do that and a not so great way. The not so great way is just adding random people by clicking “add friend”. I can’t tell you how many people who have sent me a friend request without sending at least a message introducing themselves. Don’t be That Guy.
Instead, make your mission one where you “add value”.
Now, I know this phrase is used around on the net pretty regularly and with very little substance.
So let’s try and define it.
Well, to me, adding value basically means helping people out with their questions and problems through Facebook groups (1 – 999 members) and mega groups (1000+).
A couple of weeks ago I posted about the groups that I like to visit.
I can add value to the folks in all of these groups – just by answering questions where I can.
And that’s also why I’m focused on just 6 – because if you have many more, you’re going to be stuck answering questions all day as opposed to what you should be doing in building your business.
After a few engagements back and forth, it’s totally fine to add people as friends on Facebook.
I mean, there’s a reason why there’s a limit of 5000 friends!!
Eventually, with that new friend – ask them if they want to be on the show. You’d be surprised how easy it is to approach people this way.
I used this method to land Cam and Drew on the show.
Ask a Friend for an Intro
If one of these friends you have is friends with someone you’d like to have on a show, see if they can make an introduction.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, this is how I landed the interview with Dane. Daniel and I were just discussing life and had a little bit of one on one with him and it just came to me to have Daniel ask.
He did and voila – we booked a date to do Dane’s first interview as a musician.
However, that said, don’t go “making friends” with people just so you can use them to connect with “higher” people. Not only will that person feel like you used them, but you might be eliminating any further connections you might get with them.
Through Cam, I’ve landed about 4 different interviews. One of which was Ginger, who later became a co-host of the show.
Just Be Friendly
Another way to invite folks on the show from Facebook is to simply send them a cold message and see if they’d be interested in coming on.
This worked for me when I invited Ashley on the show. Here’s the messages I sent her:
Something to note is that I had to follow up with that initial email a couple of times. Actually took about a month to get her booked and on the show after all was said and done. I had to ask her what her email was to make sure it was going through. Even after that, I had to keep nudging her assistant.
So be patient and don’t be afraid to communicate.
You can see how the snowball just starts to roll.
I hope you can see yourself using this approach as you’re beginning.
Yes, it takes hard work and especially TIME to create something great.
But with this approach you now have a method to start lining up those future guests ahead of time. Also using this approach, while slower than using guest finding services, is a foolproof way of building your following as well as your credibility. You’re not buying fake credibility here. You’re actually making it yourself from scratch!
Remember, this approach can be used in building other entrepreneurial skills. Just remember to start with what you got
If you’d like to tap into my ever growing network, I’d love to have you part of it.
Join us at the AoL Networking Group on Facebook here and introduce yourself to the group!
As of this post, Ashley is officially a TEDx speaker.
Check it out her presentation below and don’t forget to check out her AoL interview!
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