10 Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Get Featured on Podcasts

Becoming a subject matter expert sought after by podcast hosts can help build a business, broaden the awareness of a brand and drive sales. Interviews with top podcasts can bring you to an entirely new, larger audience. Podcast interview marketing can help entrepreneurs, emerging brands and thought leaders reach new heights. If you want to get featured on podcasts, you have to start somewhere. Like any venture, you don’t want to start unprepared with a “messy desk.”


One thing to remember about the world of podcasting: News travels fast. If you’re a terrible guest, hosts will find out. Working on your reputation is important. Let’s look at 10 common mistakes you can avoid to help get booked on shows and develop a podcast-friendly reputation, leading to even more interviews.

1) Going in unprepared

Be Prepared – Read up on the host, listen to some shows and get to know their audience. Read any material sent your way like a show flow or brief sheet. Explore social media a bit to get to know the host (maybe you’ve traveled somewhere in common). It can be a great connection.

When you’re looking to get featured on podcasts, making a good first impression with the proper preparedness will go a long way.

2) Lacking the proper professional equipment

Be Professional – From a quiet room free of distractions to professional audio equipment – don’t use earbuds with a microphone in a coffee shop – professionalism begins with being able to hear you. It’s a podcast after all. Audio is important.

Make sure you have a solid, high-speed internet connection and you can hear the host or producer. A professional microphone can vary in price, but shouldn’t break your bank.

3) Disrespecting the clock

Be Punctual – Most hosts will connect with you via Skype or another similar service. However they record and whatever link they send, showing up 10 minutes early will ensure you have time to get the bugs out and to connect with the host for a few minutes before the interview.

Each podcast interview is a media appearance. You wouldn’t show up at the last minute for Good Morning America or Jimmy Falon. Treat each podcast with the same respect and your reputation will precede you.

4) Rambling without direction

Know Your Story – You’re getting on a podcast to tell a story – your story. Know what points you want to cover for the best relevancy to the audience. That shows respect for the podcast as well as keeps you on track. This may mean you have more stories that you don’t have time for – that’s okay. A good conversation will lend itself to the opportunity to say “You can read/hear more about that in the book” or something similar. A good host will tell the audience where to find you.

5) Going for the hard sell

Don’t Make It an Infomercial – There’s a fine line between telling your story & offering where to learn more, and simply peddling your wares. No one subscribes to an infomercial. We subscribe to shows. The host will get to where the audience can find you and decide whether to engage on a deeper level with you. Remember to avoid the constant hard sell and simply go for the conversation.

6) Getting distracted

Focus – Listen to the host and engage in the conversation. Don’t start typing on your computer or fidgeting with your desk toys. Put away the candy. Keep your room clear of distraction – no pets, no TV, no shiny objects to keep you away from a deep conversation. Concentrating on the conversation at hand rather than multitasking will shore up your side of the conversation and keep you ready for anything that may come up in the interview.

7) Willful ignorance

Know the Lingo – If you want to get featured on podcasts, know the culture and language of the show. That doesn’t mean you have to learn foreign languages – it means you should know what the listeners are called, know the show’s tag line and know their overall lingo.

Fitting in with the host helps create a symbiotic relationship that endears our audience to you. There’s nothing worse than going on stage in Cincinnati and greeting the crowd with, “Hello Cleveland!” Know where you are and who you’re working with.

8) Stubbornly sticking to the script

Be Ready to Go Off-Script – Sometimes a host will hear a nugget from a story and want to dig it out. Don’t be so rehearsed that you fumble through the conversation with them. Even if they sent you a show flow, some of the best interviews happen when you simply hold a conversation and the audience listen in on you.

9) Being too impersonal

Know the Host’s Name and Use It – You call your friends and family by name most of the time. Using names is a way to develop a report that draws the audience in. Be genuine about it – and if you need to ask for a pronunciation do so before we start rolling. There’s no shame in asking how to pronounce someone’s name if you need.

10) Quietly going off into the sunset

Promote the Show – Once the show is published, use your social media channels to promote it. It’s a mutually beneficial situation when they host and guest both promote the show you’re on. It also helps develop a relationship beyond the recording. Sometimes it can even lead to more interviews or referrals. It’s a bit like the hashtag #BeKind. It’s just good practice if you want to get featured on podcasts.

Putting the Power of Podcast Interview Marketing to Work

We hope this list helps you prepare to be a podcast star. From your first show to future shows around the podcast universe, here’s to rocking out in podcast interviews.

When you’re ready to book that first podcast interview, download our “9 Secrets” sheet below. We put together 9 tips to getting yourself that first interview – it’s the hardest, after all.

Learn the 9 Secrets to getting booked on your first podcast

image source: messy desk