021: 5 Questions to Ask When You’re Invited on a Show



One of the best ways to market yourself and your show is by being seen in the audiences of other people’s shows. So that would be if you are a guest on someone’s show, or you have them on yours, and you get them to market your show to their audience. So either way, being a guest or hosting guestsis a phenomenal opportunity to get you in front of audiences that listen to shows. No matter what venue it is.

So, for example, let’s say that you have a YouTube channel, and you want to grow your YouTube channel. Well, the best way to do it is to get alongside other YouTubers and get on their channel too. Because now you’re getting that mixed exposure to the type of person that’s already listening to YouTube channels, or watching the videos. Same thing with podcasts, if you are trying to attract an audience of people who listen to podcasts, get on other people’s podcast shows, so that you can attract those listeners to your show.

That goes without saying, that’s something you probably already knew. But here’s the thing that we’re going to talk about in today’s episode, and that is the five questions that you need to ask when you get invited to be on somebody’s show.

Now, here’s why this is so important. Before we jump into the goodies, I’ve been asked to be on other people’s shows many times, and every time I’ve missed one of these things until I nailed it. Now I have this system that you are going to have at the end of this episode to ask these five questions. And these five questions are very important because they will help you to know how you can best show up for the audience and for that host, so that you’ll be invited back again and you’ll make the most of your episode.

So let’s dive in to these five things to ask. 

First question, if someone is inviting you to be on their show the first thing you need to know is, 

What is their audience demographic? 

So, who’s listening to their show, who’s their target market? Now, sometimes there is a difference between the target market and the actual market, especially for shows that are brand new. So they might be attempting to reach a certain market, that’s their target, but their demographics may show up a little bit differently. And that happens sometimes, in the beginning you think you’re going after a certain audience, but you realize you’re attracting somebody different.

Sometimes we know those stats as a host, and sometimes we don’t. So you want to ask, and that is just because it will depend on who’s running ads, and how they’re tracking their sense. YouTube gives a ton of stats so that can be very helpful, but if your show’s just on a podcast, or the person who is inviting you to host, if their show is just on a podcast, sometimes we don’t have all of the exact stats of age or gender, that type of thing.

We may have location, where they’re listening from in terms of countries and that type of thing. Obviously language is usually something that is simple to deduce, but those demographics can be really, really helpful for you to know how you are presenting, and for you to know if this is really the right audience for you to be in front of.

All right, number two. 

Second question you want to ask is, 

How is the show produced and/or consumed? 

So, it’s one thing if your show is only going to be consumed audio-only on a podcast. Because that makes a big difference for you. Then you want to know, how is this show being produced? Because if the show is being produced in video, meaning you are going to call in over Skype or Zoom or something like that, then the person on the other side, the host, is going to be seeing you even if the distribution is going to be audio only.

So that means that you still are going to want to look presentable and show up professional in order to communicate with the host. But as you are speaking, you’re going to have to use language that’s specific to audio only. So you’re not going to be able to paint a picture for someone, you’re going to have to do it visually, or rather, auditory. You’re going to have to do it as though they’re only listening, instead of seeing it as well.

If the production is going to be produced visually, on YouTube or in video style, then you’re able to show up a little different. Maybe you want to really get dolled up, or maybe you want to do a screen-share or something like that. You’re able to play with it a little bit more, right, when it’s on video. Because there are so many more sensory elements coming in to play for the production.

Now, it may be produced in a totally different way, who knows how they will be able to reproduce the work that you provide. But that is the key to know if this is right for you, and how will you want to show up. Because if you think it’s going to be video-only and you’re using language, for example:  For those of you who are listening to my show, audio only, I might say, “Well, let’s say that the camp is up here and then way over here is where the…” and you’re like, “Hmm.”

Even saying way over here helps the listener or reader to know that, if they’re listening audio-only or readying in a blog post, you’re drawing a big difference. But if you’re like, “Here’s where this country is, and here’s where this country is, and here’s where this country is.” Well, if you’re listening on audio-only or reading in a blog post, you’re like, “What are they talking about, where are they at?” But my fingers are pointing to where it is on the screen, right? So you get the idea. I’m sure you’ve experienced this before with somebody that you’re listening, you’re like, “Wait, what? I’ve got to watch this.”

Okay, so that’s worth acknowledging so that you know how it is. Their show might be in multiple formats, in which case you’ll have to pay attention as a guest to many different formats as it’s being produced. The third element I want to mention, I just looked at my notes, the third element is written form.

With my show, we are currently transcribing all of the episodes. So if I were to have a guest on my show and we were to transcribe their episode, then any key word that they are mentioning will also be captured in that blog. That’s very important for people who understand SEO, because now you’ll be able to weave in the key words that you want to be known for in that person’s blog post.

Okay, question number three. Question number three is, 

How is the show marketed? 

This is one that, the first time I did not ask this question, I assumed it would be marketed in a certain way, and then later discovered that it was not marketed at all, in fact. That the only form of marketing that this person did, was just put it up on their show and expected their distribution, their current subscribers, to handle it.

Most people market through social media posts, and usually it’s through the main two or three. So Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, those types of things. But some people do even beyond that. Pinterest, or they’ll do even more with platforms like twitter. Most people market at least to their own list. This person who I did an interview for did not even market to her own list.

Some people go above and beyond marketing with ads, even. Some people market with key words, so they’re really specific about the key words that they choose for the title and the description on YouTube, or for the blog post. Those are things that I do, me and my team, our production company, we do that for all of ours because we know that all of that marketing is important. But some people that you may be interviewing with, they might not do all of that. And for you it might not matter. You might say, “That’s okay, I’m just getting started, I just want to get the word out.”

But at the time that this person interviewed me, and I did not ask how it was marketed after the fact, and I realized it wasn’t being marketed at all, I thought, “Ugh, what a waste.” I put so much effort into that episode to deliver a really high quality episode for her and for her audience, and then it wasn’t marketed anywhere. And in the future, that would be something that I probably may even decline. Because if it’s not being marketed, well then, why are we doing this thing?

And then saying you would probably say the same for your own show. If I’m not going to market it, well, why am I doing it? This isn’t just for me to have a talk radio that no one listens to, I want people to listen to this. So I’ve got to market it in some way, that’s usually what people are looking for. So that’s number three, marketing.

Number four, 

What is the format of the show? 

Now, personally, when I ask these questions of somebody, I do ask them in this order. Because, first things first is if the audience does not relate, then it’s something that I would say no to, because it’s a different audience. So if it’s something that I’m not going to see value in, or not able to bring value to, then it’s a no-go. So that’s why I ask that one first. The second is, how will it be produced or consumed? That’s for me to know, is this a market that I want to get into? Is this going to relate to … It tells me more about how … What do I need to do to prepare for this?

So that’s the second one. The third is how the show’s going to be marketed? I ask that question because I want to make sure it’s going to be marketed. I may even offer suggestions if there’s certain things that I may be able to add benefit to. Like, “Oh, have you considered this?” Or, “Maybe for ours we could do this.” And then the fourth is the format of the show.

So, let’s say that the first three questions are checking out, those are my three big ones. Now I’m going to ask, “What’s the format of the show?” Because I want to know the format because I want to know, like, how long is this going to be? Is this an hour-long interview, is it a 10-minute spot? Is this, you just want me to riff for 20 minutes or something, or am I just delivering Q&A to prefab questions? You know, all of those things.

Now, usually the host starts with that. Usually they say, “This is a 30-minute interview over Skype, and here are the questions I’m going to ask you.” Or they’ll say, “It’s free-form, I’m definitely going to ask you this question in the beginning, this question at the end, but all of the other…” Usually they lead with that because they want you to know the format and what to expect. But if not, this is a question that’s important to me. So, definitely the length. I like to know the mood. Sometimes we can get the mood of where the interview is going by listening to their show or the past things that they’ve done in the past.

So sometimes we can get it just based on that. If not however, you may still want to ask this question, I still would ask this question because I want to know from the host, what’s the mood or the tone that you want to take? The direction that you want to take with this specific show? You know, so the format of the show.

So now let’s say the format of the show is something that you’re all in for, that you love it, it’s perfect. Now we want to know, 

What’s the goal of this episode for the host? 

So, what are they looking to get out of this? Some hosts, they just need content. They’re like, “Oh, it’s just because I have a weekly show and I just need to get more content out.” That’s very different than if they say, “Well, our goal is, we are trying to sell this certain product, and we are hoping that you would be able to push the sale.”

Okay, that’s very, very, very different, okay? 

They may also say that they are looking for key performance indicators, KPIs, which might mean that they’re trying to reach a different demographic. They might say, “Well, we are trying to interview you because we want to reach your audience,” or, “We are trying to reach a female demographic,” or, “We’re trying to reach college-age students,” or whatever. So that could be one of the interest areas that they have.

They may say, “Well, we haven’t had anyone speak on this topic before, so we’re just wanting to build content out on this specific topic.” They may even say that they are just wanting to have the keywords that you bring on their show. So, they’re wanting to key-word it out and get more views, all because of the key words of the topic that you bring. 

Whatever the interest of the show is, their goals, that’s important to you. Because now you’ll know how it’s going to be used for them, what the vision is that they’re going to have, and what would make you a valuable guest to them, that they may even be able to bring you back to the show?

So I’m going to recap those a real quick.

The first is audience demographics. Okay, who is actually listening to this? And what you’re really listening for is, is this an audience that I can connect with, or that I want to be able to connect with, and that I can deliver value to.

Number two is, how is it being produced or consumed. That’s going to help you know how to show up, and how it’s going to be out there in the world.

Number three is, how is your show marketed? So, what are they doing on their behalf? And they may even share with you how you can further market the show.

Number four is the format of the show. So, how is the show actually formatted? What’s the length of it, how are we going to do it, how is it going to be delivered, that type of thing.

And then number five, the goals. What are the goals of the episode? And that is going to help you to be a phenomenal guest on a show. And with all those things combined … So, any time anyone asks you, “Hey, I would love to have you as a guest on my show.” Be like, “Oh, I’m so flattered, thank you so much, let’s jump on a call so that I can learn a little bit more about your show and how I can best serve you.”

Get on the call, boom boom boom, go through these five questions then determine, is this a really good fit for me? 

And if so, go for it. 

Because I promise, they’re going to love you.