Is It Better to Host a Podcast or Be a Guest?

Grow My Accounting Practice Podcast

Our Founder, Tom Schwab, had the opportunity to be a guest on the Grow My Accounting Practice podcast with hosts Mike Michalowicz and Ron Saharyan.

Anyone Can Start A Podcast. But It Is Better to Host a Podcast or Be a Guest?

Over two million podcasts exist today.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, but you hesitate because you don’t know how you could stand out when there are over two million other shows already out there. The truth is, out of those two million shows, only about 400,000 have published episodes in the last 30 days, signaling that while many people can start a podcast, only about 25% of those shows are consistently successful.

A quick search on Spotify reveals millions of familiar and unfamiliar titles of podcast shows, but Grow My Accounting Practice Podcast host Mike Michalowicz wonders “how have things changed in the podcast realm” over the past few years? Five years ago, podcasting entered the business marketing scene and became a solid marketing strategy. Today, podcasting is a staple for many businesses, giving them a platform to nurture and grow their clientele base. Podcasting offers listeners the ability to connect intimately with the vocal personality of businesses and brands in ways blogs can’t.

It’s no surprise that the podcasting space continues to grow exponentially. During the pandemic, podcasts enabled people and businesses to continue having conversations even when borders and quarantines kept people apart.

Getting Through The Noise

Tom still marvels at the 400,000 active podcasts statistic: “There are so many podcasts out there. How do you get through that noise?” At first glance it may seem like the podcast industry is oversaturated but look at it this way – there are millions of books in the world, but the publishing industry produces more every single day. Why? Because people want them.

What Are Your Goals for Podcasting?

Maybe the question you should be asking instead is, “What are MY podcasting goals?”

It’s really about what your goals are. Using the Uber analogy, should I be an Uber driver or an Uber passenger? Same platform, different goals. Asking yourself this question leads you to understand if podcasting will be worth the investment for your business and whether hosting or guest appearances are better for you. Shifting your focus from market saturation to the viability of your goals in the podcasting space.

When thinking about starting a podcast, it’s essential to understand why you want to create one. You must know why you want to start producing and whom you intend to help—or entertain—with the content. The production costs of a podcast can add up, and if you aren’t clear about your goals, the return on your investment is also unclear. The podcast will then likely become one of the 75% of podcasts that do not produce valuable content consistently.

Hosting Your Podcast vs. Being an Interview Guest on a Podcast: Which Is Better?

Typically, if you want to nurture an existing clientele base, hosting a podcast is the more appealing option for your goals. Hosting requires an understanding of several things. First, be clear about who you want your audience to be, what your niche is, and how can you provide valuable content to this niche audience? When you have clarity about your listener base, you can create a niche, value-adding podcast for those people, increasing your ability to stand out in the podcasting crowd.

Tom shares his own insights: “But if you build it, they won’t come. If you want to get new leads and new back links, you have to go out there and get on other people’s stages.”[1]  So if your goal is to gain and find new clients, appearing on other people’s podcast as an interview guest would give you a better return on your investment as you would forgo the upfront time and costs of creating your own podcast. This option is better for smaller businesses who are focused on growth rather than nurturing existing clients. However, being an interview guest has time investments that should be considered too.

I Don’t Need to Prepare

Many times, when you appear as a guest on a podcast, you can quickly tell yourself, “Oh, it’s just a podcast. I don’t need to prepare.” Would you do a live presentation in front of 500 people without preparing? Probably not. If you’re appearing on a podcast that gets thousands of downloads, appearing on that podcast is similar to—if not bigger than—presenting to a live audience of 500 people. If you want to be a guest on a podcast, you will need to prepare, and that preparation involves more than your message. There are two major steps before that: scoping out suitable podcasts for you to appear on and having quality equipment so that your audio doesn’t take away from the expertise you are sharing. 

Finding A Podcast

Finding suitable podcasts to appear on comes down to one big question: Will you be proud of appearing on that show? If you aren’t proud of your appearance, you are less likely to share it, and it will most likely not have a positive impact on your brand and company. Finding the right podcast to appear on is a process. In today’s climate it goes beyond finding a podcast with your target audience, you are vetting the podcast’s brand and values as well.

It’s also important to see how that podcast is promoted and how many people listen to each episode. Listen to several of their episodes to gauge the tone and messaging. Brand alignment and numbers matter, and it matters more when you are a guest who wants to get the most out of your time.

The Golden Age of Podcasting

The podcasting industry is thriving right now, and it isn’t too late to get started. The market isn’t oversaturated. There are still many ways for you or your business to stand out, connect with, and nurture clients. Be intentional with your message, show up on time, and be prepared. By doing this, you will add value to the audience as well as yourself. As Tom says, “Give, give, give, ask.” When you give others value, at the end of the day, you find that value added back into your bottom line.

Listen to the full conversation here.

Grow My Accounting Practice Podcast

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