Book The Story, Not The Guest

I just got off a consultation chat with a new podcaster. He is prepping to build a great podcast. He is incredibly passionate about his subject matter, and I know from experience that he has a great niche, with plenty of people worldwide passionate about the same thing. This is one of the best places to start. A niche and a passion, something that many people have in common, but has a high level of specificity. 

He asked the following question, “how do I know who to book as a guest on the show?

I love this question, and it’s one that I come across all the time. Celebrities are hard to get, but of course you want someone with some clout, and name recognition. It’s a cycle that serves itself. 

But I don’t believe that people make the show, stories do. My response to him and everyone in the podcasting world, “don’t book the guest, book the story.” The narrator is part of the package. 

With the importance of each episode being the content, you are more likely to create something with a linear progression. You already have a great idea of why the story is worth retelling. That being said, you’re going to do the best job you can to support the narrator of this story and extract the exciting parts. You provide perspective for the narrator, to elaborate where they feel as though it’s not needed. 

Being a guest on a podcast seems pretty easy because you’re generally sharing something you’re an expert in, you! But that’s not as exciting as you believe. Being a guest on a show where you know what story is valuable to the listeners will go a lot longer. Be open with the podcaster.

If you’d like some examples of basic interviews with little purpose, just go to the third of fourth page of any subject on Apple Podcasts. You’ll get what you’re looking for. 

If you want a great show, have great episodes. It’s simple. Be prepared.