Best Practices for Podcast Guests: How to Make a Lasting Impression

Gerri Knilans
5 min readApr 4, 2024

Podcasting is a powerful media platform for sharing ideas, stories, and expertise. More than 504 million people listen to podcasts around the globe and almost half of listeners reside in the United States. Research shows that around 144 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly. As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, thought leaders and marketers are recognizing the value of being a podcast guest as part of an effective marketing program.

Benefits of Being a Podcast Guest

As a podcast guest, thought leaders and companies can establish their credibility, expand marketing reach, and connect on a meaningful level with target audiences. “Podcasts offer a Swiss army knife of benefits,” says Dr. Jeremy Weisz, co-founder of Rise25, an organization that helps businesses connect to their dream clients through podcasting. “Podcasts position you as an expert and authority in your market, differentiate you from the competition, connect you with high caliber potential clients and referral partners, build long-lasting relationships with your current customers, and establish an evergreen content engine to bring in more traffic and incoming leads on a consistent basis,” Weisz says. Podcasting provides individuals and businesses with a non-intrusive way to showcase their expertise, products, and services to a receptive audience.

Tips for Success

While it’s an exciting opportunity and can contribute to your reputation as a thought leader, being a podcast guest requires thorough preparation to ensure you provide value to both the host and the audience. Here are six best practices to follow to be the podcast guest that maximizes the opportunity and gets invited back:

1. Start with a goal in mind.

Before jumping into preparing for your guest podcast appearance, consider the goal of your interview. What do you hope to achieve from this opportunity? Defining a clear objective shapes your strategy and ensures you get the most value out of the experience. Some common goals for appearing on a podcast include networking and building relationships, creating content for your website and social media, boosting your personal brand, increasing visibility, and driving awareness around a specific topic.

2. Preparation is key.

Prior to the interview, research the podcast, host, and typical audience. Listen to a few episodes to get a feel for the show’s format, rhythm, and focus. Read audience reviews of the podcast to better understand what is resonating with the show’s audience. Be prepared to discuss how you or your work relates to the podcast theme and audience interests. Many hosts ask guests to complete a questionnaire ahead of time. Spend the time to answer the questions carefully and thoughtfully and always provide your bio to the host ahead of time. Identify several key messages you want to communicate during the show and practice them out loud. Be sure to ask whether the podcast will be recorded on video so you can plan your appearance accordingly. There’s no such thing as overpreparing.

3. Consider sound quality.

A successful podcast appearance starts with excellent audio quality. Most podcast interviews are conducted remotely, so consider investing in a USB microphone. “A clear, crisp sound can significantly enhance the listener’s experience, making your message more impactful,” says John Corcoran co-founder of Rise25. “Consider popular choices among podcasters, like the ATR 2100 or Blue Yeti, renowned for their quality and durability. Having reliable equipment improves sound and demonstrates a commitment to professionalism,” Corcoran says. Do a “tech check” ahead of the interview to ensure everything is working properly. When it’s time for the show, be sure to find a quiet room, silence all audible notifications, and eliminate any potential interruptions.

4. Tell a story.

The art of being a great podcast guest requires more than just answering questions or reciting facts and figures. To captivate and engage the audience, focus on storytelling. Discuss your personal and professional journey, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the successes you’ve experienced. “Prepare three to four compelling stories related to your expertise, along with a couple of case studies highlighting your successes or lessons learned,” says Corcoran. “This approach not only captivates your audience but also solidifies your authority in your field.”

5. Show gratitude.

It’s hard work to create a successful podcast. Hosts book guests, produce episodes, and perform many other behind-the-scenes tasks that often go unnoticed. When a host invites you onto their podcast, consider it a privilege. Express gratitude with a thank you email after the booking, verbally during the interview, and again after the episode airs. Consider also sending a handwritten thank you card-the host will remember this extra effort.

6. Broaden the show’s marketing reach.

Even though the podcast interview is over, your work isn’t done! When the show airs, it’s time to share your interview over social media, tagging both the host’s and podcast’s pages to ensure maximum exposure. If you have a robust email list, consider sending an email blast with a link to the episode. Next, consider repurposing your podcast content in your marketing and thought leadership efforts. Use the content for social media posts, blogs, email newsletters, webinars, slide decks, and how-to guides. Feature the episode in your press kit, on your LinkedIn profile, and on your website to drive additional reach. Your audience will appreciate the new, relevant content, and you’ll get the most value out of your podcast appearance.

Podcasting Reaches Highly Targeted Audiences

Podcasts are an influential media channel that provide opportunities for thought leaders to establish themselves as experts, expand their reach, and engage with target audiences. Being a guest on a podcast is easier and less expensive than running your own show. When identifying podcasts to appear on, don’t obsess about listener numbers. While it’s great to get booked as a guest on a well-recognized show, don’t underestimate the value of smaller, niche programs. The shows may reach fewer people, but the listeners are loyal and highly engaged. Securing a guest spot on a podcast is a real coup, so take advantage of the win by following best practices for success. Are you interested in getting booked as a podcast guest or want to learn more about podcasting? Click here to schedule a call with one of our team members.

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Gerri Knilans

Marketing communications strategist. The right message. The right medium. Guaranteed.