Wanna Podcast Guest Swap!
You’ve heard of a podcast guest exchange, right? Sounds like a great idea – but there are a lot of ways it can go wrong. In this episode, I lay out all the basics so you can benefit from great guest exchanges and avoid time-sucking mismatches.
What is a Podcast Guest Exchange?
A podcast guest exchange or podcast guest swap is when you invite someone to be on your show and they do the same. You appear on each other’s shows. This could be back-to-back, a collaborative shared episode, or strategically timed by spreading out the appearances.
There are two ways this comes about – either you invite them and suggest the exchange or they invite you and suggest the exchange.
On the surface, guest exchanges seem like a win-win. You get in front of their audience and you get a guest on your show. But… there are a few times when this is a mismatch (and why many of the exchange groups don’t work).
Guest Exchange Mismatches
Mismatch #1 – Of No Value to Your Audience.
You need to be sure that the person who would be coming on your show actually has something of value to share with your audience. Your audience is THE most valuable thing you have when it comes to your podcast. The audiences are the currency in this exchange. You are taking advantage of the opportunity to get in front of their audience and you are paying for it with access to your audience. Do not do it at your audience’s expense (i.e. make them listen to an interview with someone who doesn’t benefit them).
I cant’s stress this enough!
Do not sacrifice the trust you’ve built in your audience just because you owe someone an appearance. If you are building your authority with your podcast, then who you invite on the show is a reflection of that authority! Don’t compromise it!
Mismatch #2 – Their Audience is Not Interested.
Sure, it’s fun to be on other podcasts. And, yes, I know, all publicity is good publicity. But if the audience of the other show is an audience you can’t provide value to then is it worth your time? You do not want to be on a show in front of an audience that has zero interest in what you do. Or worse, go on a show and talk about something completely unrelated to what you do or what your brand stands for. I saw this happen to one of my clients who was so excited to be invited onto the show of one of her fans. But, the audience was literally the opposite of her target and she was forced to talk about something she happened to be very knowledgeable about but that had nothing to do with her show or brand!
Mismatch #3 – The Scales Are Not Balanced.
Consider the class and caliber of the show you will be a guest on. Okay, this is a bit of podcast snobbery and shouldn’t be a deal breaker but… consider the size of their audience compared to yours. If their audience is significantly smaller than yours then the scales aren’t exactly even. Now, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, just that you should consider whether a swap is warranted and whether you have the time. Of course, it’s not just about audience size – they may have a small but niche audience that is exactly who you want to get in front of. Or, they may be just starting out and you want to support them. Just be intentional about it.
This brings me to another key point in guest exchanges… what is the goal? Before you start reaching out to people to pitch the idea (or you start entertaining offers coming in) be really clear about WHY you’re doing it. What will having them on your show do for you – what is the outcome you are looking for? And, what are you hoping to accomplish by being on their show?
Some goals might be to grow your audience, to borrow someone else’s authority by associating yourself with them, to get in front of a small but highly-aligned audience… there are a lot of reasons you could be doing the exchange, but I suggest you KNOW what the goal is so you can properly assess each offer (and be intentional with the offers you make).
And, one last tip – whether you are the one doing the pitching or you’re receiving requests for an exchange, be really clear on the expectations – especially around promotion. Once again, you want things to be as equal as possible so if you promote your episodes on social and with a newsletter list, then you want to make sure they’ll do the same.
The key to getting the most out of guest swapping is to go in with your eyes wide open, to know exactly what the goal is, and to be discerning. You don’t need to say yes to every opportunity — especially if that opportunity might make your listeners feel like you are taking them for granted.
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