It is a huge responsibility and honor to interview guests on our podcast and it’s one of my favorite jobs with GameOnGirl. A week ago at ConGregate, we discussed the Dos and Don’ts of interviewing.
Pretty much all normal social and professional rules apply when interacting with guests. Hopefully you have a resource for this etiquette because my advice pertains to logistics, which goes a long way to making you look professional.
This is Part 1 of this topic and it will address who to ask as a guest, how to ask them, and when.
Part 2 will be what to do immediately after your guest says yes.
In Part 3 I’ll cover the before, during, and after to-do list for the day of the interview.
WHO TO ASK
The adage, “the worst they can say is no,” is totally true when asking someone to be a guest on your show. In three years, no one I’ve asked has said no. Maybe five people have simply never replied to my email requests, but that’s it, so I say go for it.
The type of show and type of interviews you do also determines who you should ask. If you want to do man-on-the-street interviews, you need to go to the streets to find your guests. If you want to discuss apps on mobile devices, don’t ask a luddite to be a guest.
HOW AND WHEN TO ASK
The chances of a guest saying yes greatly increases with how you ask.
Respect the time and place of where the guest is. If they’re at lunch, generally, leave them alone. (If it’s Patrick Stewart, though, all bets are off.) People expect to network at cons or other professional events so that’s the perfect place to meet potential guests. Of course, don’t introduce yourself in the restroom or follow them into the parking lot.
If you miss that great opportunity for a face-to-face, contact them through social media immediately after the event. Reference the event in the first sentence. If you heard them speak, mention that as well, being specific about what you liked. This separates you from the stalker emails they get.
About fifty percent of my email requests were cold contacts — people I never met face-to-face, but learned about them or their project through social media or the news. Include the following information when making a cold or even a warm contact. You can see these in the example above.
- Your name, not just your handle
- Your podcast name
- What your podcast is about
- Why are you interested in them as a guest
- List the dates and times you record/stream your show
- Include links to existing episodes
- Your contact information
Con season is already in full swing. Learn how to record on you mobile device and jump into interviewing this year.
I’ll Give You a Topic
For a man-on-the-street at a con, name two great questions to ask.
What’s the best interview you’ve ever heard?