How Important is the Guest to a Podcast?

Podcast guests tie the whole production together!

How Important is a Podcast Guest?

When most people think about a podcast, the lion’s share of credit typically goes to the host and/or producer of the show. For good reason. As a podcaster, I can vouch…there’s A LOT of work behind putting a podcast together.

The typical progression looks something like this:

Generate topic idea > Do some research > Find a guest to come on the show for a conversation about said topic > Reach out to guest > Wait for guest’s response > Book guest’s recording session > Research guest for more details > Create show format > Confirm recording time…

That’s all before the interview takes place. There’s the interview itself. Then, once that’s done, there’s post-production/editing, promo asset prep, sharing, marketing, promoting, etc, etc…

And most podcasters do this EVERY WEEK. Sometimes more than once a week.

So yes, they deserve massive kudos for producing a killer piece of content that has the potential to resonate with a worldwide audience.

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But you’ll also notice a big part of the preparation process involved…wait for it…locking down a guest. The vast majority of podcasts are interview/conversation-based, meaning a new voice is brought to each episode to share their expertise and impact the audience.

Unless the podcast features a solo format with just the host talking to the audience or a host/co-host dynamic where multiple personalities discuss topics with one another, the lack of a quality guest means the podcast simply won’t have the same impact.

Think of what a value-driven guest brings to the mic with them:

  • A high level of knowledge on a given topic. This means they can provide a new perspective on topics the podcast covers. This value gives listeners a reason to “tune in” to new episodes whenever they go live.
  • Another voice to keep things fresh. Having a new personality on your favorite podcast means something different will happen each episode. Even if the same questions get asked, the answers will be unique.
  • A new solution to an existing problem. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” is a popular saying with the kids these days, right? If you’re a rabid fan of a podcast, it may be because the content they provide helps you solve problems in your world. A new personality = a new potential solution for you to embrace.
  • New levels of entertainment. A quality podcast guest knows they’ve earned a guest spot because they have what it takes to make an impression on the audience. If they didn’t, the host would’ve passed them over. Whether the guest is there to entertain, educate, inform, or all three combined, the production clearly wouldn’t be the same without their contributions.

While an enormous round of applause is in order for podcast producers who consistently produce quality content for their audience, a second ovation is owed to the guests who collaborate with these producers to make it happen. 

When a podcaster prepares a format designed to spark an epic conversation with a knowledgeable guest so the audience walks away satisfied, everybody involved wins.

So…how important is the guest to a podcast?

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