July 21, 2015 Allison Harden

How To Get the Right Experts on Your Podcast

Podcasting and interviewing go hand and hand. In fact, a few weeks ago, the President himself appeared on the comedy podcast WTF for an incredibly candid interview about race, fatherhood, gun violence, and fitting in. As podcasting continues to grow, the importance of interviewing – the right way and the right people – grows with it.

Why would you want to interview someone on your podcast?

For one, it brings a voice of authority to your podcast, one with more experience that can share insights that are new and well informed. It’s also great brand promotion. Bringing an expert onto your show gives them an opportunity to endorse you and the work you are doing, giving credibility to your brand. It can also boost audience numbers, as you may attract (along with your regular listeners) people who are interested in or fans of that particular expert.

If you’re interested in having an expert on your show (and we think you should be!) here are three quick steps to finding and obtaining the right expert for your show:

1. Not all experts are created equal

Unfortunately, not all experts are created equal. Most experts fit into one of three categories:

  1. industry known experts – Experts who are respected and known in their industry – people involved in their industry probably know their name.
  2. silent but educated experts – These experts are frequently academics. They’re often very well educated and informed, but less well known.
  3. bloggers, vloggers, social media personalities, etc. – These experts are already actively campaigning about various causes and building an online presence and following.

When choosing who to interview, bloggers, vloggers, other podcasters, authors, and social media personalities are usually the lowest hanging fruit because they are already looking to get their opinions out there. Interviewing them can be a good idea because oftentimes they will bring their whole following along with them to listen to your show.

The next level up would be industry experts – people that work at certain companies, trade professionals, etc. These people bring a lot of authority and weight to your podcast. Interviewing industry experts is especially important when you are looking to establish credibility.

2. Where to go to find experts

It’s easiest to find experts using technology. Search on itunes for podcasters in a few of the industries you’re interested in. Look at the people they’ve interviewed, or maybe even think about interviewing the podcasters themselves. Search amazon for authors who have written on the subjects that you are interested in. Most importantly, pay attention. Read the blogs and listen to podcasts about the industries you care about so you know who is considered an “industry expert”.

If you’re still at a loss, click here for a list of ten resources you can utilize to find experts for your show.

When you find someone you think you might be interested in interviewing, right their name down and the place where you found them. Remember to also write down people who just “come to mind” when you think about this particular industry. More likely than not, they’re considered an expert. The people who are at the top of your mind are generally well known in their industry. These are the people who will be intuitively recognized as experts.

When you’re trying to decide which experts to pick, consider two factors:

  1. The quality of their content
    Make sure that you think that the content that they produce and the things they have to say are worthwhile. No matter how well known they are, if they don’t have anything interesting to say about the topic you’re interested in, you probably want to consider someone else.
  2. How much reach they have.
    To determine reach, look for their social media pages. Consider how many followers they have, and how engaged their audience seems to be. Of course, it’s possible to still have reach without social media. If they don’t have social media pages, consider factors such as, did you recognize the name when you saw it? Do you or the people around you recognize and respect the name?

3. How to get them on your show

Alright – so you have a list of experts you’re interested in interviewing – now what? There are two different ways of introducing yourself to an expert – a warm introduction and cold introduction. Let’s take a look at both.

1. Warm Introduction

The first step to a warm introduction is to find out if anyone you know knows your expert. Search through social profiles and other podcasts they’ve been on. Look for any connection, even if it is a little distance. A warm introduction is always better than a cold one.

If you can find a mutual friend, talk with them and see if they are willing to introduce you. Give them an easy template to follow for the introduction.

Warm Introduction Template

<Expert’s name>, meet <your name>. She’s <your title, company, and role in your company>.

<Your name>, meet <expert>. <Expert> was a <brief resume of expert> and currently <what your expert is known for>.

@<expert>, <your name> is creating a podcast on <insert subject> and I thought of your expertise in this area. Would you be interested in doing an interview for her?

I’m sure <your name> would be happy to draft an email with questions to make it easy for you.

Thanks,

<Mutual Friend>

2. Cold Introduction

No mutual friend? That’s alright. If you are planning on reaching out to someone you don’t have a connection with, look for someone who has just recently gotten some buzz. Use that momentum to connect with them. (“Hey, I saw that your company was featured in Forbes last week and I thought what you are doing with X is so interesting…”)

You’ll also want to do your research on that person. Go and read some of their blog posts, most recent tweets or facebook posts, and try to get a feel for who they are and what their voice actually is. Connect with them on social networks (business – twitter, linkedin; fasion/entertainment – instagram, pinterest, fb; tech – twitter, g+, linkedin, fb).

When it finally comes to making that first connection, twitter is a great place to start. When you reach out, reference something specific that they were involved in and then state what it is you’re looking to accomplish. Let them know you know who they are and that you are actually interested in their work. Then get straight to the point. You can use a template a lot like this one:

Cold Introduction Template

Hi <First Name>,

My name is <insert name> and I’m a founder of the podcast <insert podcast name>. Your name came up <tell them how you discovered them>. I read/watched/follow your <insert their content> and I liked <name something specific about their content you appreciated>.

I think an interview with you sharing insights from <their experience, running company, etc.> would help a lot of <insert mutual goal/information they want to spread>.

Would you be interested in a podcast interview?

I will get you questions ahead of time, make the process frictionless and feature you/your company in the release.

Thanks,

<Your Name>

<cell phone>

Getting experts to interview on your podcast is easier than you think. Everyone wants a chance for their voice to be heard, and what you are offering is just that. They might be just as excited for a chance to be on your podcast as you are to have them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who has a lot more influence and name recognition than you feel your podcast does. Most importantly, get out there and get started. We promise you’ll be surprised by who is willing to interview with you.

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