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Growing Your Podcast With Guests

by | Podcast, Podcasters

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, guests are the most effective way to grow your podcast! And today we’re talking about how to get them on your show, what to do with them when they’re on, and how to leverage their audience to grow yours!

Kbear36 says “The podcast that podcasters should listen to! I learn so much from Emily each episode. The world of podcasting can feel pretty overwhelming at times so it is great to have a podcast like this that makes you realize it isn’t so scary!”

And for those of you that need some help to reach out to potential guests I’ve put together a guest pitch template which you can download here! Remember, it’s just as important to build a relationship with a potential guest as it is to have them on your podcast, that relationship is what will motivate them to share the episode once it airs.

Who should be a guest on your podcast?

If you haven’t already, make sure you listen to my last episode about goal setting in 2021 for your podcast because it really helps to see your goals laid out in front of you before you start picking guests to be on your podcast. There are a myriad of reasons to have guests on your show and depending on what you want to accomplish, some will do a better job than others.

For example, if you want to increase your reach without overlapping into the same audience you’ve been tapping into for months, it’s probably a good idea to bring in a guest that doesn’t belong to the same memberships or networks you do. Looking beyond your main circle of people, who can you find with an audience similar or larger than yours that would be a good fit for your content?

That brings me to my next point – if your guest wants to speak on a topic that isn’t related to your podcast, they probably aren’t a good fit. An example for this podcast would be if I had a bird expert on. Sure, I like birds and I find them very peaceful when they’re flying in circles in front of my window all day, but if I suddenly dropped an episode about birds on this podcast I would have a LOT of pissed off listeners. And maybe a few that also really like birds.

A mis-match will cost ya! People are tuning in because you’ve told them that this is a podcast about your specific expertise! If you’re not delivering, they’ll find it somewhere else.

Pre-qualifying and using applications

A great way to find out if your guest selection is a good match, is to set up a pre-qualifying questionnaire that asks them questions about their expertise, and how they can provide value for your audience.

These answers will save you a LOT of time and energy because you’ll know whether or not they’re a good fit before you get in too deep! There’s nothing worse than totally losing a recording and an episode because the guest took your episode in a totally weird direction.

A few questions you might ask could be:

  • What could you talk about for hours?
  • What makes you passionate about helping (insert your audience here) to accomplish (thing your audience wants)?
  • Do you have a sample of a podcast you’ve guested on I can listen to?
  • What offers are you currently promoting?
  • Are you willing to share some marketing assets in your social feeds or via email when the episode airs to promote the show?

Setting expectations

Your podcast, your rules. Guests will not be useful to you if they hijack your podcast and start talking in circles about things totally unrelated to your audience or the topic of the episode. In your early conversations with potential guests, make sure they have a clear understanding of the goal of the episode, or the purpose.

For example, if you’re interviewing a client as a case study, make it clear at the outset that you want to share their transformation story with your listeners so that they can hear and relate to the feelings and challenges your client experienced – along with the satisfying conclusion of the outcome which is the transformation they also want to accomplish.

And yeah, if you want to throw questions in about their business or their life that’s awesome, but make sure the questions don’t lead to a laundry list of the client’s services and offers.

You can also set the expectation that they will be asked to share out some marketing assets when the episode airs. This is a pretty big part of inviting guests on your podcast, especially if the goal is audience growth.

It’s also totally fine to ask your guests to prepare their offers in advance so that when you get to the “plugs” portion of the podcast you know what to expect. You can also weave in their offers/services/promos throughout without it clouding the actual purpose of the episode. Remember, it’s not an ad for them, they’re not on a media circuit (I mean… unless they are…) they’re on your show to provide value for your audience with their expertise and experience.

Marketing and promos

As always, you’re going to be creating some marketing materials that promote the episode. It’s essential to share these materials with your guest in advance and give them literally everything they need to share without doing very much work. The harder it is for them to share, the less likely they are to do so.

Here’s a list of simple assets you can prepare for your guest:

  • Audiogram – one for stories, one for their feed
  • Quote graphic – something really pivotal that makes them sound amazing
  • Graphic that says “I was on ‘this’ podcast!”
  • Social caption that includes a call to action to listen to your podcast
  • Bonus: Copy for an email they can send to their list

Once you’ve prepared these assets, give them a timeframe to promote the episode. I like to promote after the episode comes out because, frankly, I don’t think people remember to go back and listen days after they see a promo for a new episode. It’s much easier to get people to click through and listen if the episode is already live! Give them a week from the air date less a few days so it doesn’t compete with the next episode.

And seriously, don’t skip this step, it is ESSENTIAL.


  • 01:30 – Listener Review from KBear
  • 03:20 – Guest Pitch Template
  • 03:30 – Who should be a guest on your show?
  • 05:21 – Pre-qualifying and using applications
  • 06:40 – A few questions you might ask on your application
  • 07:48 – Setting Expectations
  • 10:22 – Marketing and Promos
  • 10:41 – Assets to share with your guests

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to download the guest pitch template to help you get more amazing guests on your show!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Growing Your Podcast With Guests

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Podcast Rocket with Emily Milling

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