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Do Podcast Interviews Only Work If Guests Are Famous?

podcast tips Oct 29, 2018
 

I recently had a interesting question that was asked to me on my YouTube channel. The person who commented asked, “Do podcast interviews only work if the guests are famous?”

I think there's a big misconception for the beginning podcaster when it comes to interviewing guests on their program. As a podcast listener looking to become a podcaster, it’s necessary to go beyond the idea that you need to have a big name on your program.

Sure anyone who is a big-name can definitely draw some traffic and get you some downloads to your podcast, but they don't necessarily work. Having someone who is “famous”  on your podcast doesn't mean that everyone will listen either. I know there are some programs where I may like the podcast, but I may not be too interested in the topic based on the type of guest that is in the studio.

This is something that is very common whenever you listen to radio programs across the globe.

Remember  as a podcaster, not everyone is going to listen to every single episode unless they're a super fan.

So let's talk about some tips that will help you create a better interview with your guest even if they are famous.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

One of the key fundamentals to creating a great interview is researching your topic and your guest.  It seems like common knowledge, but you wouldn’t believe how many podcasters just go into their interviews and “wing it”.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely gone into interviews where I knew absolutely nothing about my guest and did “wing it” and it didn’t turn out good.

But, there's definitely a difference between being curious, and not knowing what you're talking about. Don’t be mistaken, I've been asked to interview famous individuals that I knew nothing about, but did very little research to at least get an idea of what they were about.

You can usually find good information on your guests if you scroll through their Instagram timeline, check their Facebook page, and get more information on their website. Usually, the about section on their website has everything that you need to know about your guests.

In fact, the About section on their website is the perfect introduction of your guest going into your podcast.  It takes away the headache of having to get any information from them before the interview.

WHAT I TYPICALLY DO WHEN I'M DOING RESEARCH

I scroll through my guest’s Instagram and check their compelling images to see what an image has to say. If they're smart, they have created a quality description of the post.

While I'm reading the post, I may have curiosities that I'm thinking inside of my head. These are your typical questions that you write down on a piece of paper that will be used in the interview later.

There's a likely chance that if you're curious, your audience member may be curious. You have to remember that not everyone will know about the person that you're interviewing.

Podcasting has to be treated as a discovery medium.

Even though you may be talking about a topic or interviewing someone within a specific niche, there may be that one individual out there that doesn't know what you're talking about. They may have the same questions that you had when you did your interview.

So be conscientious of your research and how it may impact the listener down the line.

CREATE INTERVIEWS THAT PROVIDE VALUE AND HAVE AN IMPACT

What exactly is an impactful interview?

Typically these types of interviews provide entertainment, or some type of knowledge that the listener can take with them and ponder over at a later date.

As of recently, I had posed a question to my audience about which band they would like to see that isn't around anymore.  This is a perfect opportunity for you to ask the same question to your guest so they can give their take on which band they would have loved to have seen in the past.  This builds a connection between the listener and the guest.

BUILD A RAPPORT WITH YOUR GUEST

I'll be the first person to tell you that I'm not the best interviewer.

I have colleagues who ask some amazing questions and can pull information from the depths of their brain to create a carefully crafted question.

As a result, their guest is required to answer a question that is unique.

What's interesting about asking a guest a unique question is that it helps build rapport with the guest and host.  This can be for someone who's famous or not.

Sometimes when you ask a question that is really unique, the conversation  can trail off into a whole new direction where you learn more about your guest.

This sometimes leads to jokes, stories about family life, work life, or whatever. It's almost as though you're constantly breaking the ice with your guests to where they can open up even more during the interview.

So while you are genuinely curious about who they are, always keep asking the questions that you want to know that will help reveal more information during the interview.

DON’T BE A GOOD LISTENER, BE A GREAT LISTENER

Conducting a great interview is not just about preparation beforehand.

A great interview requires that the podcast interviewer is listening to every word their guest is saying.  

If you  have ever watched a great interviewer on a news show or late-night TV show, you will see that ever interviewer is listening carefully.  This is the key weapon to getting the best answer from a guest.

Late night TV show hosts or news anchors really do this the best.  You can see they are completely enveloped in the conversation and are listening for openings to ask deeper questions.

As a podcaster, it's no different for you. If your guest is famous and they go down a road that you want to know more about, you need to ask them that question.  

While you're listening to your guests speak about their topic, you also should be taking notes on a notepad. I can't tell you how many times I've had guests speaking and a number of questions popped up inside of my head that I had to write down.

Because the conversation goes super fast, I write small notes down to remind me to ask a question that can be referred back to later on in the conversation.

Being an active listener by  maintaining eye contact, but take notes and refer back to them when you get in a pinch for a question.

I hope these tips have helped you out. If you have any questions or need more clarification on something that I may have put into this blog,  leave a comment in the section down below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading.

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