The Golden Rule Of Being A Podcast Guest: Teach, Don’t Sell

The Golden Rule Of Being A Podcast Guest: Teach, Don’t Sell

Appearing on podcasts as a guest is one of the best ways to promote your business and tell your brand’s story. With over 5,000,000 podcasts searching for guests, it’s the fastest-growing new media space ripe with opportunities for scaling your business.

Being invited on a show that your target audience listens to can quickly become a goldmine for generating new leads, building brand partnerships and increasing sales. 

But – hold it right there! 

As good as your sales pitch may be, this is NOT the time to whip it out. Podcasts are not infomercials and it will be painfully obvious if your primary motive is to sell something. Listeners will sense you are trying to swindle them into reaching for their wallets and their walls will go up. 

Not only will you walk away with zero new leads but a damaged reputation is sure to follow you out the door. It’s a recipe for disaster. 

You’ll want to avoid making this rookie mistake by ditching the salespeak altogether. In other words, prepare to give away your knowledge and teachable key messages FOR FREE. Yup, you read that right – F R E E.  

“But, why should I give away my advice for free?!?” If you’re coming from a traditional sales or marketing background this may seem counterintuitive. 

The short answer is that Teaching Builds Trust and Trust Sells. 

Let me tell you a quick personal story that demonstrates this lesson: 

I recently spent 125$ on a book. This was no small purchase, as the average-sized paperback typically costs somewhere between $13.95 and $17.95 dollars. Hardcovers, though a bit more spendy, are still only likely to knock you back another $25 dollars. I spent over 6 times this national average on just one book. 

You are probably wondering what on earth made me go so above and beyond. 

It all comes down to the power of podcasts. After listening to hours of the renowned psychiatrist, Iain McGilchrist, speak on prominent shows like Modern Wisdom, Jordan B. Peterson, and The Ralston College Podcast, I became deeply intrigued by his teachable key messages. It was this “trust,” established and cultivated over the span of hour-long conversations, that led me and others to purchase an, albeit expensive, new addition to our bookshelves.

By freely giving away his knowledge and expertise, Iain revealed himself to be a person of integrity with real and tangible insights to offer. Remarkable sales were made on his end even though he didn’t explicitly set out to sell anything.

The moral of the story is this:  if your main priority is to sell podcast listeners on something – they will stop listening. 

People don’t listen to podcasts with the intention to spend their hard-earned money. Often enough they are simply looking to be educated or entertained. Therefore, your episode needs to offer real value without forcing people to spend a dime. You’ll know you are doing this right if the knowledge you are providing listeners can be recalled, used, and applied elsewhere. 

It is worth noting here that Iain’s call-to-action wasn’t sprinkled throughout his conversations. In fact, if purchasing the book was mentioned at all, it wasn’t until either the very beginning or very end of the recording.

Purchasing a product, enrolling in a course, and buying a book are more than just one-time financial transactions. They represent the investment of a person’s future time, energy, and resources. People don’t make these investments blindly. You need to earn people’s trust in order to get them to truly subscribe to what you’re offering. 

When it’s done right, podcast guesting is a public relations tool that proves you are trustworthy by showing you are willing to give before being asked. 

So, it’s time to come up with your teachable key messages. 

Instead of telling people how your product is the best and will solve all their problems, speak in stories. Start by brainstorming a list of teachable key messages that you can offer in-depth knowledge on. A good podcast is a conversation that intrigues and inspires. Therefore, make sure your talking points are ones you can paint a detailed enough picture of so as to illuminate a potential  “problem” or “need.” 

People remember stories and learn by example. The more you are willing to give and demonstrate your knowledge and ability at no cost, the more likely you are to attract loyal customers that will trust you and follow your brand to success.

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