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How To Choose A Podcast Co-Host

podcasting tips Feb 15, 2018

Having a good co-host is equally as important as having great intro music and equally as important as having a great marketing plan for your podcast.

Today I’m going give you some tips on what to look for when it comes down to a co-host who knows the technical aspect of you and your program, and of course, let’s talk a little bit more about how you should be choosing someone that matches your chemistry over the mic.

FIND A CO-HOST WHO IS TECH SAVVY

Find a co-host that’s equally passionate about the topic that you are talking about.

If you are big in the bow hunting, you probably should pick someone who is equally as passionate in bow hunting just as you are. Find someone who has that passion.

FIND SOMEONE WHO HAS EQUAL, IF NOT MORE, KNOWLEDGE THAN YOU

Even though you are the one putting the podcast together it would be helpful to have someone who knows a little bit about your website and how to publish a podcast.  After all, you’re probably the one that’s finding the hosting on the website and doing all that technical stuff.

Your co-host should also have a little bit of that technical acuity and understand that if you happen to get sick, if you happen to run into a family emergency, work emergency arises, you should probably teach them how to use the platform. It will really save you down the line when it comes down to creating the podcast and launching it.

Make sure that they have that willingness to learn the technology.

FIND A CO-HOST THAT IS WILLING TO PROMOTE EPISODES

Even though your co-host may be doing all kinds of other work on the side, they should be promoting the podcast to help you get the word out.

This is a team effort. Working equally as hard to create, to edit the podcast, to come up with the topics can be daunting on your own if you're doing all the work, so it's best you both come up with duties for each other.

Be selective on who you’re picking.

YOUR CO-HOST SHOULD BE DOING RESEARCH ALL OF THE TIME ON A RANGE OF TOPICS

The communication between you and your co-host should be mutual. You should be talking with each other almost everyday when it comes down to the podcast; looking in the news, looking at industry news, finding magazines at the grocery store, at bookstores, and shooting those ideas off to your co-host.

Both of you should be working together mutually to come up with topics, but your co-host should be doing just as much research as you are doing because you have a lot on your plate already when it comes down the podcasting. Right?

CO-HOST CHEMISTRY OVER THE MICROPHONE

This is something that’s really tricky, because there are some people who can get along well together over the microphone and the chemistry "just works!" 

You have seen this when you've been around friends or someone who gets along with you really well.  One person knows how to play off of the other person really well.  That typically makes for a great podcast co-host in terms of presentation.   

But let's look at the flip side of the coin:

I’ve been with co-workers who are amazing at doing solo programs, but when you introduce another individual into the mix of their game, it throws them off. It's like a light switch.  It can either turn them off  and prevent them from really communicating with you, or it just sucks the air out of the show.

Be selective on who you’re picking.

Pick someone that you can really jibe with over time--someone that really gets you and knows how to bounce off you in terms of being on the mic.

Think of it like having a conversation with someone at a restaurant, at a party, or at a family get together, and you just start bouncing ideas off of each other. That’s where 90% of podcasts come from.  It's typically when someone says, “We should start a podcast,” and it’s in the backyard of someone’s house on the 4th of July. Think of it kind of like that.

I know I already reiterated this but, make sure that your co-host doesn’t have to force the conversation and you don’t have to force the conversation back onto them. If you’re having to force conversation, it really shows over the microphone, in the audio recording, and it makes for a really awkward presentation.

Remember that you have the option to say, “I don’t know if this person’s a really good fit for the podcast.”

One thing that I think is really cool when it comes to a co-host, is having someone who knows how to take control of the conversation and really formulate some of their philosophies, their ideas, their experiences into the podcast. Allow them to take over the show for a bit.  But they should also know when to back down and let the actual host of the podcast take the reins. 

Make sure that the host is the one that is driving the conversation. The host drives the conversation but the co-host can interject with their ideas, and really take control of the show for a little bit, maybe, two or three minutes, maybe it’s five minutes, but is willing to give up that power, and give it back to the host, so that the host can drive the car, drive the podcast in the direction that they need.

PICK A CO-HOST WHO IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING

There is nothing worse than having someone who is unprepared for a podcast, or says, “I can’t make it. I’ve got too many things going on.”

Just as an example, you've heard me talk about the boys from the Crime in Sports podcast.  When you look at them, they are everyday guys who have families, commitments, and make an equal commitment to record their podcast every week. A big part of their success is because of their commitment and preparation.James Pietragallo is wildly prepared every week, and this is what is awarded them the ability to be on PodcastOne, to now travel to different cities around the U.S. and podcast in live clubs.  Their massive following is in part to their commitment and preparation.

There's a lot to think about that when you choose a co-host for your podcast.

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