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Why you shouldn’t rely on your guest to keep your podcast episode interesting with Justin Brown

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Episode Summary

The interview format is very popular with branded podcasts. These types of episodes usually revolve around guests’ stories, deep industry knowledge and unique experiences. But if you want to keep your audience engaged, it’s risky if you rely upon the guest to “bring it” with every episode.

As a podcast host, it’s on you to keep the interview engaging. In this episode of Recorded Content, our host Justin Brown discusses some of the techniques he uses to ensure he has a productive conversation with each guest.

Guest Profile

Name: Justin Brown

What he does: He’s the co-founder of Motion

Company: Motion

Noteworthy: Justin is the co-host of the Recorded Content podcast

Key Insights

  • Don’t rely only on your guest to make the podcast episode interesting. It’s up to you as the podcast host to make the show engaging. Justin says, “The issue with that is that when you’re just focused on a guest talking about themselves, sure they might be in your space which is great and they might relate to your audience which is also great, but the problem is that you’re hoping that the guest is going to provide the interesting aspects of the show. And personally, I don’t ever want to have to rely on my guest to be the one that makes the show interesting. If I’m focused on that, I’m going to be worried about the show actually being interesting because I’m not going to know if they’re going to relate to my audience and tell stories that matter.”
  • Start each podcast episode with a conflict or a problem. A great way to start each podcast episode is by presenting a conflict or a problem. Justin explains, “Without burying the lead any further on this podcast episode, what I want to talk about are the ways to make your show interesting for a guest-based interview and being able to take that power back for yourself. And the way that I do it is that I try to start my episodes with a conflict or a problem.”
  • Tackle specific problems in each episode. Your audience has a specific problem and you can offer to solve it. Justin explains, “Here are some other examples of problems that I’ve tackled on our show by talking to B2B podcasters about more than just them having a podcast: the problem of executives having to be the hosts of the show, the difficulty of tracking down their calendars along with guest calendars, and how marketers are overcoming that. You see, I’m always setting up a problem and solution. You see how I could do, ‘Hey, you’re a B2B podcaster. Tell me about your show. Tell me about what you’re experiencing. How are you using it?’ But instead, I try to tackle that specific problem.”

Episode Highlights

How can your guest help your audience

“What I don’t do anymore is say, ‘Okay B2B podcaster, tell me about what it’s like to be a B2B podcaster. What do you experience? How do you do your repurposed content?’ And then go on with an interview and they tell me whatever they tell me and the story is similar each time. Instead, what I do—either on a pre-call or a pre-eval of a guest—is that I ask them or I think about how they specifically can help my audience. This is going to help me come up with my problem.”

Make your podcast entertaining and valuable

“I could ask more generic questions that could go to any B2B podcaster. But if I ask that in every interview at the very beginning, I would quickly bore my audience. So instead, I start with that conflict. I use something that’s very interesting to the audience upfront and they say, ‘Wow, I’m really interested in hearing more about this.’ And then from there, I can go a little bit more broad because I’ve already captured their attention upfront. I’ve made it entertaining, the content is relevant, and then over time we can go down whatever pathway we want. But I feel more confident going in with the subject matter that is more interesting and will help get the audience engaged at the very beginning of that episode.”

A few examples of how to keep your audience engaged

“Another thing that B2B podcasters and B2B marketers struggle with is YouTube. So I’m going to interview someone and I will talk about how they were able to overcome the hurdle of YouTube to get thousands of views on their podcast on YouTube. I’m always looking at problems: the YouTube problem, the small team problem. Here’s another one—how a marketer was able to run three podcasts at a tech company. The problem is they’re strapped for time. They’re dealing with lots of people, a handful of podcasts, lots of repurposed content, and how she was able to get all of that out and published every single week.”

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