A friend recently asked me for tips for her first podcast interview and I ended up responding with such a long answer (via slack!) that I thought it would be worth sharing with anyone else who is in a similar situation.
These tips were intended for a writer who is at the beginning stages of platform building, wanting to connect with any podcast listeners who would be interested in her future book projects or published work.
Suggestions for an early-stage author giving their first podcast interivew:
- Make sure you’re prepared for any questions they ask all guests (if applicable).
- Have some notes or talking points in front of you on paper (so no clicking sound) with some of the main things you know you want to say, or know they will ask about. Having your talking points handy really helped me in the few minutes I got flustered.
- Think about 3 things you want people to remember about you or what you have to say and have them on your paper in front of you.
- If possible, think about what you would want THE TITLE of the podcast episode to be. You won’t be the one to choose it, of course, but what would you want to be the major takeaway, big theme, or whatever to be.
- Be prepared to mention your own email newsletter in a casual way like, “actually, I just mentioned this in my newsletter last week. If anyone is interested in X, Y, Z, you can subscribe at mywebsite.com.”
- Also, consider having a plan for how you will mention your social media handle during the conversation as well. For example, “I posted a photo of this on my Instagram @myhandle if anyone is interested in seeing it.”
- After the interview is over, send them an email with links to anything you mentioned and anything you’d like them to include in the show notes if they didn’t already ask. For example, “ I mentioned X, Y, Z, if you want to include them in your shownotes, here they are.” And say thank you, of course.
- Right before you begin the interview give yourself a little pep talk. This should include a reminder about how being relaxed and just being a real person is more interesting than being perfectly articulate or saying “uhm” too much.
- When you say anything promotional about yourself (like mentioning your newsletter or social media) just think about this… “I am trying to connect with people who will genuinely enjoy or benefit from the things I have to say, share, write. I’m not trying to convince everyone to think I’m the best. I’m just trying to make is EASY for people who might be interested in my work to know how to follow me and stay in touch.”
- After the interview is published, do everything you can to help promote it and amplify any social posts the host shared with the link.
- Leave a review of their podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Reviews are always appreciated by podcast hosts.
- If you’re feeling really nervous, try defining “success” for this interview. Maybe you don’t need to worry about seamlessly dropping in hints about how to join your newsletter. Maybe you just need to remember this is a practice interview. You will get better at talking about your writing and ideas over time.