Are you a giver or a taker?

Posted On Oct 16, 2022 |

As a podcast host, I see two main approaches for guests who want to come on my show. One gets results, the other not so much. Which are you using?

I’ll kick off with a confession: I’m not doing a great job getting my content out weekly in this newsletter. Life keeps getting in the way and I keep letting it. That said, I’m not a quitter and I know that consistency is key to establishing yourself and then you can focus on scaling. I am definitely not at the scaling stage at the time of writing. 

My husband asked me why I keep doing the blog and my only answer is that I enjoy writing and the processes involved. It is something I want to get better at doing, so I will keep doing it. I also want to be able to correctly type the word ‘because’ without it needing to be autocorrected.

When I suggested a series on the 7 deadly sins of podcasting, the response was that I should do that and so this newsletter will be continuing the theme of the 7 deadly sins but not without me first establishing a few caveats: I am not religious and do not believe in the concept of sin, it is just a useful commonly shared reference. I am in no way THE AUTHORITY on podcasting, so you’re going to get my take and you’re welcome to disagree and even create your own. 

I kicked off with gluttony/self-indulgence at #1 and will be clear that the list is in the order I thought of them and not ranked in any way. Let me introduce you to the list so far:

  1. Gluttony/Self-indulgence

  2. Selfishness

  3. ?

  4. ?

  5. ?

  6. ?

  7. ?

Number 2 is selfishness. The world is full of selfish people, that’s a fact, so why would podcasting be any different? 

Well, in my experience it mostly is a little different since the vast majority of people I encounter in podcasting are in it to help others, whether that be by educating or entertaining or a little of both.  Because of this, it really stands out when people enter the space with their own personal agenda as their priority. I’ve written before on transactional vs. service-minded people.

Like many podcast hosts, I receive guest applications for my show every single week and the majority of them are the same. They’re from a personal assistant or podcast promotion company and they want to tell me why I should have their person on my show, what they talk about, what they have achieved and how many people follow them etc… Never any mention of me or my show except for the occasional generic comment designed to appeal to my ego.

In the vast majority of cases, I am not interested but I am also English, so I reply politely. I’m dubious about saying yes if the person does actually look like a good fit because most of the time they have no idea who I am, what my show is about and what I’m looking for in a guest. They see how podcast appearances are working to help others grow their personal brand and get known as experts and they want some of that. They go for quantity over quality and often end up appearing on shitty podcasts (of which there are plenty, sorry not sorry.)

My question to myself becomes why would I want a guest on my show who doesn’t know who I am, has never heard of my show and is out to serve their own agenda and not that of my audience? Is that good for my show or my audience? They would have to offer something pretty spectacular for me to want to consider them, so I usually decline.

I’m not saying this strategy can’t work but if you’re going to play the numbers game here then I know you’re not being strategic because the only way going on loads of podcasts with 20-30 listeners helps you is in getting more experience of going on podcasts and maybe a few useful introductions. It’s a poor use of precious time. All that time you saved paying someone else to get you on podcasts gets wasted by you appearing on shows that hardly anyone ever listens to. 

I fully maintain that appearing on podcasts is only going to help you grow your business and brand if you show up well and that does mean being discerning about the shows you appear on too. I’m not suggesting you should never appear on shows with small audiences, everyone has to start somewhere but if you’re saying yes to everyone then probably most of your appearances will go unnoticed.

If you want to guest on shows that are likely to have a greater impact on growing your authority then this approach will not get you far. Established podcasters know the difference between someone who is genuinely interested in being on their show and someone who is just trying to become pod-famous. (Is that a term already? Can I coin it?) 

With experience comes discernment. There are many people I once would have said yes to being on my show, but I now would not. I’m selfish on behalf of my audience because I’m here to serve them what they want not to let any rando on who wants to be on my show. If I’m on the fence, my pre-interview requirement usually helps me to make my mind up. It’s not infallible but it is fairly helpful.

My advice is to drop the selfish, self-serving approach and genuinely look for ways to serve the shows you want to appear on. Be discerning and don’t skip small/new shows if you like them or feel there’s a good fit. 

You can keep going with the high-volume approach if you like but really, what’s the use of going on loads of podcasts if no one wants to listen to your episodes on any of them? Much like doing high-volume in sales calls, if your calls suck or aren't compelling you're not going to sell much.

I will add that podcasting has done more for helping me create a wonderful network of amazing professional people than any of my actual attempts at networking. I’ve even been fortunate enough to make some wonderful friends through it and that has happened by looking for ways to connect and serve rather than to see what I could get from everyone. Relationships are key.

Something I was once told by a relationship coach is that one of the best determinants of whether a relationship will last or not is the flow of kindness and generosity between the people in that relationship and this is something I believe to not only be true for my close relationships but for ALL my relationships with others. 

Stay tuned for 3-7 on the Deadly Sins of Podcasting coming soon…ish.

I’ve been promising a return to podcasting for a while now and my 3-month hiatus has officially ended. My show is back, renamed and rebranded with my first new guest interview coming soon. Say hello to Podfluence, the podcast for business coaches and speakers who are looking to build authority and lead flow through podcasts. 

The show will be keeping its central themes of influence and persuasion with personal presentation but now with a much stronger focus on making that happen with podcasts. Here’s your introduction to Podfluence and how we got here:

I've decided to drop the weekly musical energiser for the time being. One reason is that some of the sites I upload to won't allow the YouTube previews, another is that some links go out of date for back issues and the main one is that I'm not sure anyone cares anyhow. So let me know if I'm wrong.

Have a great week and look out for my first interview under the new Podfluence banner with the amazing Bob Gentle where we will be talking about making your personal style work for you professionally and finding out why Bob's podcast is one of my favourite shows to listen to.

Categories: Newsletter, Podfluence