Look at their social networks, connect with them on LinkedIn, listen to other podcasts they’ve hosted or participated in, browse their articles and blogs, and read their books. This phenomenon is known as parasocial interaction, a concept coined by sociologists Donald Horton and Richard Wohl. In a recent survey, 83% of podcast Podcast interviews listeners said their favorite podcast hosts felt like friends. Given that only more than half of the U.S. population tunes into podcasts on a daily basis, it seems like most of us are just looking for an untethered friend. It can include episode show notes, as well as the embedded video or audio of the interview.
Part of your guest’s research means becoming familiar with their work. You should read their blog posts, check out their social media pages, watch their videos, and listen to other podcasts they’ve been on. If they have a book, you should read it, or at least the relevant parts. I had a great time interviewing people on my show and then having them interview me and we both shared both episodes so our audience can learn more about a new show.
Going off a tangent here and there is fine, but good interviewers usually have a clear sense of direction on a recording. Do you have a podcast recording coming up and not sure how to prepare? Use this podcast interview checklist upfront to record better conversations. Mark has hosted a few travel podcasts and I always enjoyed listening to him for the stories and advice he shared, but most importantly the energy he brought to each episode. And then, while he was in college, he got a job taking American tourists around Europe and realized, “Oh, I’ve found my people!” He has lived in New York for most of his adult life.
It’s important to use these relationships to your advantage. Many podcast hosts are more than eager to send personalized recommendations or referrals to others they trust. There are actually benefits to podcast invitation versus hosting your own podcast. If you want to boost your business, the podcast invitation puts you in front of a wider audience. It positions you on the same level as the podcast host, making you a thought leader in its own right.
There’s something magical about knowing that hundreds of listeners want to hear what you have to say. If you interview people who don’t add much value to your listeners’ lives, you’re guaranteed to host a terrible podcast interview. If you get a guest slot on a podcast, it will help both the podcast host and you if you quickly spread the word about your interview on social media. I really enjoy the fantastic conversations I get to have with people on a regular basis.