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Ursula Jorch

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you ...

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Business & Finance

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10/27/2017 09:58am
My Secrets for Booking High Profile Podcast Guests

Podcasting has become more and more popular as a way to increase the visibility of your business. And besides, it’s tons of fun! At least it has been for me these past two years.
When it comes to my Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews podcast, I am fearless. I will ask anyone who I think would be a great guest. It empowers me to know that I’m bringing you conversations with amazing people, talking about their own experiences. So, I’ll do whatever it takes! (Without upsetting anyone or wearing weird costumes – those are out.)
While my guests have certainly included high profile folks, I’ve also gone to some lengths to connect with impactful people I hear about in the news. It’s a treasure quest, in a very real sense.
So what are my best secrets for connecting with and booking great podcast guests? Here are the big 5:
1. Go where they are. Seems simple, right? Here are a couple of approaches I have used successfully:
Twitter is one forum where high profile folks often respond themselves. That’s how I invited a well-known musician and video producer to be on the podcast, in less than 160 characters, so you know it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of verbiage! I had seen him at a conference the week before, but after being shoved aside (literally) by a groupie intent on getting a photo with him (she succeeded), I decided that approaching him in that melee wasn’t for me. Enter social media!
Another art form that I’m always perfecting is the conference catch. I gauge where it’s likely that speakers will exit from the stage, and go there. If they seem receptive, I politely give them my 15 second pitch. A famous journalist became a guest through this approach, combined with a Twitter follow-up.
Conference events that are organized so you can interact with these folks are great as well. A social media maven was one guest I invited that way.
However, many wonderful conference speakers come in to speak and are then off to the next item on their schedule, so the brief catch can be effective.
2. Be flexible. I don’t just mean in terms of timing, though being available when it’s convenient for your guest, especially when they’re on the other side of the world, is a great thing to do too.
In my conference catch mode, I spoke with a prominent author and speaker coming off the stage and he gave me his email address. When I heard back, I was offered another speaker instead.
At first, I was disappointed, but the new guest turned out to be one of the best conversations I’ve had in the podcast. An unexpected delight! And an inspiring guest for my audience.
3. Reach out to your network. Being connected with a person can come about in the most roundabout ways. I like to take the ‘follow the breadcrumbs’ approach (though the guest may be gluten-free and therefore not leaving a trail). Put the word out that you’d like to be connected to someone, and see where it leads.
Sometimes you don’t even have to ask. I once Facebook posted that I very much enjoyed hearing an eminent teacher speak, and a friend spontaneously reached out to say that he knew her. Presto changeo! Connection! I was even able to invite her in person while still at the conference.
As you’re following this trail, it’s likely you’ll learn about 1 or 2 other people who would be great guests as well, even if you’re not able to speak with your original prospective guest.
One thing to remember: just because someone else once had a conversation with a famous person doesn’t mean they feel it’s appropriate to share their contact information. In fact, it rarely is. I’ve had multiple requests to be connected with one of my guests in particular, and I would never do that. My contact who connected me in that case was going out on a limb for me, and I don’t want to abuse that kindness. So if you are turned down, please be courteous about it. That’s the way to maintain a connection with me!
4. Ask. In order to have high profile people as your guest, you have to ask. When I started the podcast, I couldn’t have imagined reaching out to high profile folks. It just wasn’t even on my radar. As I interviewed more people, the possibility came into my awareness.
When I reached out in my low-key, polite Canadian way, I was so pleasantly surprised to find that people are open to being on a podcast they feel has a worthwhile topic.
5. Be oh so gracious. These folks are taking time out of their busy schedules to be a guest in your ‘home’. Treat them accordingly. Make it easy-peasy. I’ve:
· located and edited bios and photos
· sent a minimum of emails required, just enough to be clear and convey the needed information
· been on time
· accommodated their schedules
· sent thank you notes.
These approaches will work equally well if you’re hosting a virtual summit or an in-person event.
Above all, be respectful and honor your guests, well-known or not, as people with many other priorities. If they are gracious enough to give you a chunk of their time, make them feel welcomed and appreciated.
When you do have a chance to talk with a guest you admire, enjoy it! It’s a rare opportunity for meaningful connection.

Ursula Jorch, MSc, MEd, mentors entrepreneurs starting their businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs in transition to create the business of their dreams. Her coaching programs provide knowledge, support, clarity, inspiration, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to empower you to reach your goals. Start with a free guide and other valuable info at www.WorkAlchemy.com. This article was originally published at http://www.workalchemy.com/high-profile-podcast-guests and has been syndicated with permission.


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