How can I find lots of guests quickly?

Daniel Lynn wants to come out of the traps at a clip, releasing new episodes of his debate podcast three times a week. But with that many episodes needing to be recorded, where can you find a sustainable source of guests?

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Transcript

00:00:00Daniel
My worry is pod fade, but not because of a lack of desire driver initiative on my part. It just the grind of being able to continually source people and keep up with the schedule that I want to that part scares me
00:00:16Mark Steadman
Welcome to What's Your Problem? I'm Mark Steadman. And this is the podcast where we try and solve podcasting problems. One issue at a time. This week, my guest is Daniel Lynn, and he's right at the beginning of his podcasting journey. And has a question about shingling. And frequency of episodes. He wants to make a lot of episodes of his podcast, he's got the time to do it. The difficulty he's having is where can you find enough guests?
00:00:50
So let's get into it, then. I started by asking Daniel. Like. checking that his head was, was screwed on because he really wanted to dive in and make like three episodes a week. So I was really curious to dig into that mindset.
00:01:08Daniel
Personally for me, it works with my schedule. I'm doing the stay-at-home dad thing right now. My wife and I just took in a 13 year old. I'm in college, but aside from that, I have the freedom of time to do that. So I'm toying with a couple of different possibilities. As far as scheduling, like I could do three recordings twice a week, um, and the editing is not too not too in depth because it's just a one-on-one kind of conversation. So, uh, If I can start with three a week I'm willing to start smaller and work my way to that. Um, But that is, aim high and subtle happy is my methodology.
00:01:50Mark
Are you in this system, in these sort of, are you allowed to reuse guests? That's my question.
00:01:57Daniel
I'm going to allow myself to reuse guests particularly. If the conversation is because I want to try and keep it between the like 35 to 50 minute, a little bit under an hour. So fully edited. I can have not more than an hour. I don't want to take people's whole day up. But I've recorded two already and I actually have had to edit them down smaller than an hour, which was easy enough because I'm new to this. There's a fair amount of ums and pauses that can be shortened. But if the conversation is going on and like, I have to find a way to, this is running a little long, let's kinda, you know, we'll try and wrap it up, but if it's organically continuing to go on, then I would definitely want to have that person back on because the conversation flows well, which makes for better media.
00:02:40Mark
Um, So we haven't talked about the show itself.
00:02:42Daniel
So I'm still working with the title, but I kinda like it. I want to call it an opposition theory. The general point is it's turning the, I'm sure you've seen the internet in the memes of, I think this thing that is potentially bullshit to a lot of people come change my mind. And I'm coming from an opposite perspective of that of you probably think something. Convince me come sell me your opinion in the context of a candid, friendly, respectful, dignified conversation and back and forth. The purpose of which is simply to I want to find common ground in disagreement. I think the world needs more of that and I'm. Be very bold and try and be the person that inspire it,
00:03:28Mark
I love it, I was recently on a show called Delightful Descent, which is made by another fellow Brit who he gets people on to talk about subverting expectations and you know, maybe having conversations around the things that well, not necessarily expectations, but assumptions. So challenging assumptions and doing that again in a More respectful kind manner. So yes, the more of those conversations we have the better.
00:03:57
That in itself seems to present a bit of a challenge in terms of, is your problem finding these new people to have the discussion with, or is it sort of in the management aspect? Where is that? Where's the point of pain for you?
00:04:13Daniel
I'm new to all of it, but the thing that I'm initially having the most difficulty with is it is a being able to find and source a consistent stream of, I don't want to use intelligent because that is a very subjective term, but people who can articulate their position well, and also maintain that candid, respectful open-minded thing.
00:04:38Mark
So the difficulty there is how you find that. Consistent. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And that's where I wonder whether, because there's the question there of quality versus quantity. There is no shortage of people who have opinions and have reckons and, that's what social media is built on. Certainly Twitter, the sort of fast food of social media. I think where the challenge lies, is there is a bit of work there in taking what you need is you need them to self-select because you can't do that selection yourself. because you've got this mass group of people, that all have opinions about particular topics and your challenge that is not finding the people. It's whittling them down to find the people who can have these conversations and be a little bit chill about. it.
00:05:31Daniel
My current working strategy is at the start, cause this is all very new to me and I want to try and adopt the method of do something every day and particular, try to learn something new everyday, or get into a new aspect of it every day and just kind of amass all of the skills and hone them very well over a period of a couple months.
00:05:55
So I'm keeping the topics very open. In fact, I'm actually requesting people to if possible, unless it's entertainment worthy, I want to avoid heavy. Heavy social construct or concepts such as, politics, religion, and that kind of a thing. I've actually started commenting on people's posts in the subreddit unpopular opinion.
00:06:22Mark
Oh, that's a great start.
00:06:24Daniel
I actually have a recording with someone from there later tonight. But keep it simple. My my brother-in-law is a co-host of a podcast that's doing fairly well, they've been at it for a while, but they're growing steadily. We argued back and forth his his opinion that he brought was that telepathy is the defacto best superpower one could have. So we bantered back and forth about that for about about 45 minutes and that we had a lot of fun doing it. And I spoke with another gentleman who I also met on a different subreddit. He just wrote a book, science fiction books, self published, and his assertion was that AI slash automation will probably bring about bad times. It's a bad thing, not a good thing. He brought the Luddite position as he called it.
00:07:09Mark
Which. Yeah. And, And so I think you're not necessarily looking for people who are, transgressing is the wrong word, but you're not necessarily looking for people who are towing a different line to what is quote, unquote expected. You're just looking for you yourself. to be convinced of a particular argument. I guess.
00:07:26Daniel
Indeed, I would like the initial concept was I would like to provide a platform for people to come and articulate a position that they have, that they are passionate about, be it important position to society, or just a simple position that they're passionate about. And at the same time, I provide a position that allows them to articulate their point. And at some point we are able to find that common ground. Within the disagreement. Uh, part of my intro is that agree to disagree is not a conclusion. It is the first, it's the first step on common ground because we agree that we disagree.
00:08:06Mark
Absolutely. Yes. My friend, a friend of mine years ago helped me put this into, he put it into the simple words that you have on one side thesis on the other side is antithesis and then in the middle of synthesis, and that is where you reach that sort of common ground where you can take both ideas and synthesize them.
00:08:24
Um, Okay. So I think what my concern was is the opinions needed to be somewhat strident and that doesn't necessarily, or somewhat polemic and that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case. So that's good. Cause I think that makes your job easier.
00:08:36Daniel
That's a future idea. Getting to that point where the opinions can have real. And thus be a little bit more attention gathering.
00:08:45Mark
Yeah. I think there's plenty of attention to be gathered in I'm a big fan of subjective questions being discussed objectively. Uh, the podcast, We Got This With Mark and Hal does that really well. Uh, they will take big questions like, is a hot dog, a sandwich. And they will take that purely subjective question, you know, what is the best pizza topping and they will decide what the answer is.
00:09:10
So I think what you want to do, is you want to find opinions en masse. And I think unpopular opinion, is a great place. to start. I think also look out things like cause you'll find lots of these. Are you familiar with ignite or Petra? Okay, so ignite? So the short form talks a little bit like Ted but shorter, much shorter. Um, and anyone can set up a chapter of one of these. Ignite is five minutes. It's It's um, 15 seconds, per PowerPoint slide, and the slides advance automatically. So your onstage behind you is a PowerPoint slide or keynotes like a keynote deck. And that, that person's made that deck up themselves on a topic that they love. And, that they sit, someone says start, they start their presentation and every 15 seconds their slides advance and in ignite, there are 20 slides and I think in PechaKucha it's the same format, but it's 20 seconds per slide. So it's exactly five minute talks.
00:10:12
You will find lots of those talks because they w anyone can set up if they apply, they can set up to run a PechaKucha or an ignite event. And I've done, I've spoken at PechaKucha and I've run ignite events, and they publish all the talks as many as they can, they, they video them and they put them up on the website Uh, so you will be able to find lots of people. there.
00:10:35
But you can also look for YouTube videos on these and there'll be playlist and stuff as well. Cause like you'll have one night of talks and you'll have, five or six, maybe few more talks on that night. So that is a nice way of being able to mind. Lots of people that you can hopefully then find, cause that there will be. a way to get in touch with each one someone will have their social media profile and stuff and you can. Hunting them down. Cause that's going to be your big time. Suck, I think is it's finding the people, then it's finding their contact details and then getting in touch with them.
00:11:04
I think once you, cause I think. you can find from those people, you can get going there. Cause then you've got book authors and and people who give Ted talks, that kind of stuff, you'll always find those kinds of things. YouTube,. I'm wondering what things you could type into YouTube in order to find enough people that are going to have differing opinions. But you know another simple thing is find the podcasts that you enjoy Find podcasts, guests, that you enjoy and trap, track those down and start building. a list. And do you have a sort of a process for how you want to go through these or are you just finding people and then seeing how it goes?
00:11:42Daniel
At the moment I have a few schedules, and there people that I know that meet the criteria of the conversation ability. it'll be, obviously It will be fun because these are people I know. I love, I care about very much and we get on very well, and in closing that I can also help have them or request if you know anybody who would be interested in having a 30, 45 minute conversation about literally any opinion that they have, that they feel like they could articulate well, send them my way or give me their information. I'll contact them, try to do a bit of a word of mouth and farm from the guests that I have to expand that network. And then I'm retaining the contact information of everybody that I am recording with, so that a once I do launch, I can send out a newsletter, just letting them know what episode they're going to be when it's going to air, if they would like to share it with their friends, family, or obviously they would potentially want to share it with their audience if they have one. And that. Basically my starting point.
00:12:47
I've built a couple of websites on Squarespace, so I'm probably going to utilize that. Later this month, once I have the schedule set up and I can just piece that together in an hour or two and put that live at the same time as everything launches My worry is pod fade, but not because of a lack of desire driver initiative on my part. It just the grind of being able to continually source people and keep up with the schedule that I want to that part scares me, and I had to put my deadline somewhere and I had to make it, I gave it six weeks just because there has to be stakes. I have squirrel syndrome real bad. So I like, if I don't, if I think about something for more than a month, I move on to something else. If I haven't done anything about it.
00:13:41Mark
I hear that. Okay, so I want to first off, because if I don't say I, I will be I think it would be remiss. I think I would really counsel starting on. Weekly record as Many as you can and just keep recording those and keep banking them. Uh, that's what I've done previously. I had a show where I Was it was a weekly show. And certainly at the beginning, I just banked as many recordings as I could, and I got months ahead and it was great. I was speaking to people in October and saying, yeah your episodes are scheduled for February. Um, and life gets in the way And before you know it, something's happened, whether it's Christmas or it's something else it's the summer and people are out and about they counsel and whatever you will get into this mindset. And I, And oddly enough there's a podcasting expert called Evo Tara, who recently published an episode about this, how you can never actually get ahead, because what happens is you see that? lead and you go, great. I'm So many episodes, ahead. I Can take my foot off the gas, you take your foot off the gas. And then before you know it you've lost your lead.
00:14:45
I would really look at starting. by releasing weekly, because then it will give you that breathing space. You can keep up the pace and if it's spending time making the show, spending time on the show that you've got that time available. You can put that time into other things you can put that time into finding great guests into promoting the show. All that kind of stuff, rather than necessarily recording every sort of, all the time in order to meet that deadline.
00:15:12
I think if, if we take the hardest part is finding the guests and doing that initial approach, then I think the next thing in order for you to hit any kind of deadline that is useful and keeps that dreaded pod fade at bay, then I like to use processes as much as possible. And yeah. the key. here is that initial outreach to that guest needs to be as personal as possible. The re Once you've made that outreach and they they you've built up a little bit of that trust and they feel like you can have this respectful conversation. the rest of It can be somewhat on rails. And so the way I like to do that, is I have a formula that I always use and recommend in my emails, which is especially good for busy people. So as you start to move up the chain, if you like of people who you're going to come to. you can use this formula and it goes,
00:16:04
Hello, very quickly. I'd like you to be on my podcast where we talk about these particularly Not necessarily controversial, topics, but you know, nice and succinct description. Of the podcast. I'd love you to be on the show. If that sounds of interest to you, you know, you can reply, but what you then do is give more detail and more context as to how you know about this person, why you know about the person, why you think they'd be a good fit for the podcast. So what you're doing there is straight away. You're giving them that option. If they are a busy person, if they. I haven't got time to look at this. Now you've done the ask straight away, and I tend to think people will thank you for that, but then you can go into, more detail and say, yeah, I watched your talk or I listened to that episode that you did, and I'd love you to come on and we can talk about this thing. And then you can let them know how you record episodes and stuff.
00:16:51
So get that in as a template, make that nice and easy to mad-lib style. Just fill in a couple of bits there. Even though it's a template, it still shows that personal approach. It still shows that you've taken the time and care and attention to reach out to them specifically rather than just shut a machine gun. a bunch of people.
00:17:09
Once they're in there, then I would look at a tool like Calendly or harmonize Lee or there's plenty of other of these tools where it syncs with your calendar. They can book a time to record that it's convenient. Then that goes straight onto your calendar, straight away done. And what you can also do as part of that process, is as you've done, with, when you put onto this show is you get a form that you can fill in with important information. So you can't be expected to keep all of these things in your head, of all of the future guests that you've got coming up. So you can ask what's what, is the topic that you want to talk about? What are any social media. handles that you have? What do you, know? is there anything you want to plug? Is there anything you don't want to talk about, All these different things? Are you comfortable to be on video for example? You can ask all of these questions in that form that they fill in, and then you've got all of that information. at your disposal.
00:18:00
Then a tool like Zapier you can take that into a Google, spreadsheet or a Trello board I've used both. I use Notion now. as well, Notion is also an option it's slightly trickier, but it will work. And then you can track the progress of each guest so you can have that sort of Trello board, Kanban board style. Each guest is their own card. As they move along the process. Once they've booked, You can move their card along once they recorded you, move it along. And so you can really start to see straight away, you know, where you are and if you've got a bot on that coming up, you can start to identify that.
00:18:37Daniel
So develop some sort of a personalized approach for recruiting
00:18:44Mark
Yeah.
00:18:45Daniel
What was it? Some sort of an interactive scheduling app that's trackable?
00:18:49Mark
Yeah. The pieces are email or contact form. However you can get in touch with them on their, on their website, or their Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever it is. Send them a link to a tool like Calendly, where they can. book their recording time with you and you can specify, you know, what times are available. And then yeah, in that form, that they fill in. when you're setting it up in Calendly, you can say, these are the questions that I need to know is as the host of the podcast. And then once you've got that information, you can put that into Google docs or or Trello or something like that, so that you can then see as you're gathering all of these different people, you can then actually start to manage that process a little bit easier.
00:19:30Daniel
Yeah, that sounds very intuitive. And kind of like doi. Um, it's it does, it sounds like a very common sense approach. And these, these apps will just interface with Google calendar, but they provide more features, right?
00:19:46Mark
Yeah, absolutely. Calendly is basically solving the problem are you free today Free at three, o'clock No, I'm not free, but I am free at four o'clock. and now I've got a meeting. of fog. It takes all of that stuff out. So when you are looking at people en masse. you can make the robots figure that out. And if the person that you're talking with, if they've got Google Calendar I don't know if they have to have a Calendly account, but if they use Google, it will show, them if they're busy on a particular time. It's only going to pick the times that you as the host are available but they, them as the guests, when they're looking, they can actually see it offset against their calendar. So that they can very quickly easily see. oh yeah, That slot I can pick that slot done and then they can go into to answer questions about that, about the podcast for you.
00:20:34Daniel
so now that's a feature that's super, super useful because it'll interact with it'll interact with my, if I were to use it, which I did. But it would actually interact with my calendar and show me if there's times that interfere with stuff I already have on my calendar.
00:20:50Mark
Yeah, it just it won't show them up as And anything that you've got booked on your calendar Calendly will not allow someone to book that time. So you you won't get double-booked.
00:20:59Daniel
That's brilliant.
00:21:00Mark
Yeah, it's wonderful for, if you've got a podcast, where you need lots of guests, because it just makes that process a lot easier. So for this show, I built a process, which is it didn't work today as a, as I had to email you But the idea. is It goes from Calendly. Using Zapier. Are you familiar with Okay, so Zapier is a tool. You can do a quite amount for quite, quite a bit for free, but there are some paid options. And what it basically does is it. just connect to websites together. Uh, So you can say when something, happens on this website, go and do something else on this website or run this thing. So you can, for example, say when I get a booking, on Calendly, put that information into a Google doc, or put that as a new card on Trello or send me an email or whatever. So you can get Zapier to go and do a thing when something else happens. So when someone books, so it, the process, as it should have worked, today for us is there's a multi-step process where If someone. books a recording of What's Your Problem, Calendly tells Zapier. So Zappi goes, Oh, someone's just booked on Mark's calendar. Zappi we'll then go through a number of steps to set up a new call in SquadCast which is the recording app that we're using. So I'll set up a new session. in SquadCast and it will, It's supposed to email you to the SquadCast call so that you've got it. But it will go directly into my calendar and it will do some other stuff as well.
00:22:29
Like you talked about wanting people's contact details? You could also do that. So with Zapier in the the same, flow, you can say once someone's booked onto my calendar and I've added them into a Google spreadsheet, also add them over here to my list of contacts or whatever, or to my CRM. There's those kinds of options. Most of this you can do completely for free, It's just a matter of you'll You'll see. once you log into Zapier how you can connect these apps up, you just search for Calendly and it will show you, what your options are. It's wonderful.
00:22:58Daniel
fantastic. Does that, that also, cause I'm doing it the old fashioned way. I have Google calendar. It's connected to my email. And like when I, I used, I'm using zoom to record at the moment, the fidelity is not the greatest, but I can record. Yeah. And I can record video. Haven't done video yet. Future thing. And the ability to record local audio on both sides is also real beneficial.
00:23:23Mark
Yeah, definitely. And Calendly will set up a zoom event for you anyway, without you having to do anything else which is really beneficial. I use that's a, that's an absolute, godsend for me is that whenever anyone wants to book a chat with me for work or for whatever, I can send them to Calendly. they book on, the Zoom event gets set up. It's emailed to them. It's put on my calendar I've got the link to your event done. No, one's going back and forth asking any questions. and it's great.
00:23:51Daniel
So it'll just do the setup for you. You can program it for that.
00:23:54Mark
Yeah. I'm not sure if you need a paid account, in order to do that with zoom, but for what you're doing, it's probably worth the time, that you will make? I would imagine because of the scale that you want to work out, I think it is yeah, it is definitely worth looking into that with Calendly.
00:24:09Daniel
There's another subreddit. I hopped on its podcast, guests, guest exchange. I responded to the author. I spoke to had posted looking for podcasts and that's it's a great resource, but most of the time, if people are looking for podcasts on there there's something they want to promote. And I found a brand new podcast with no audience yet is. He was really cool about it and was like, I, I would love to come on there anyway, because I'm trying to promote my book. I haven't done a whole lot of podcasts. And now even if it's just, you know, getting experience, getting used to the digital connection and being on a show so he was really cool about it, but I've posted my I don't know if you'd call it a funnel, but this is what I'm doing. I'm seeking any really, any guests who can articulate their opinion and have a good conversation zero responses on that.
00:25:05Mark
it happens. And I, I I'm surprised at how much that happens actually, because I feel like there are a lot of podcasts. podcasters who want guests. Yeah, I've had success in, there's the Facebook group. There's a few Facebook groups actually, but the best One is in my humble opinion is Podcasters' Support Group.
00:25:25Daniel
I think I might've joined that one last week.
00:25:27Mark
They are heavy on the band hammer when it comes to spam um, heavy on the spam ban hammer. Wow. But you're not spat, you're asking for know, guessing and they're they're pretty good with that kind of stuff. So you will find people there. I feel like this, it used to be easier. They used to be a site. And I think I talked about this on LinkedIn actually, where I think I saw your message They used to be a site a Google doc where people would fill in I've got a new podcast. It was really easy to find new guests. and that's I fueled a lot of my podcasts. And it, yeah.
00:25:55
I'm really interested in seeing how things go, because I think if you can try and start with. that one, one episode a week in terms of release it will take a lot of, the pressure off and that, that pod fade, especially you're already going to be working know, a fair bit ahead. If you're recording two or three episodes a week, then you are going to be light years ahead. But it's just, remembering not to, um, take that lead for granted too much. I think you. You will find the people. But try. at this early stage And find as many as you can so that it. gives you a little bit of breathing space.
00:26:27
The, one of the things that I tend to say to people is people enjoy talking about. the things that they're passionate about and That's why they do it. Those people who are just doing Like. those people who care that you're just starting out or don't yet have any listeners aren't necessarily always going to be the greatest guests because What they're there for is at odds with what you want them, therefore. And so when you find people who are enthusiastic about a topic, it doesn't really matter to them. How many people are listening because they like talking about it. You know, If someone gets me on to talk about. I don't know, bare naked ladies on a podcast I don't care if no one's listening. Cause I'm doing that all day long. I'm quite happy. with that.
00:27:07Daniel
We're talking about the band or the concepts. Okay.
00:27:10Mark
Talking about the band.
00:27:12Daniel
Bonus question. Should I schedule them one at a time or should I just dump some dump a co like a few episodes into the initial launch. So there's a little bit of meat to it?
00:27:24Mark
Everybody has an opinion about, this. and everybody says, their opinion is the right one. I've done, I've taken a few approaches, but I honestly I'd say keep it simple. just start with one. I speak to someone today and it had a similar question and I launched a show, with two episodes, it was canonically episode one and they launched on the same day. And number two got listened to. Number one, I thought was a better episode and more interesting and more fun. And it got almost zero. And I really mean like very, very few. So that's only my experience, but uh, yeah. I tend to think just start weekly because then you're setting the dictation nicely with the listener rather than throwing a bunch of stuff and then saying, now you've got to wait at least. Um, yeah, I I'd say go weekly. you can always release a trailer and get people excited with a few other bits and pieces, but yeah. Just go weekly. I think you'll be fine.
00:28:16Daniel
This is one of those things where I could do it and do it. But if I'm doing it wrong, then it might take a minute to learn a better way. Whereas learning SEO and social media product promotion, that's you learn by doing it by repetition, there are established patterns to follow, and this is a little bit less right out in the open.
00:28:38Mark
So where what should people look out for when it launches if they're hearing this before it goes out uh, what should people be be searching for?
00:28:47Daniel
Uh, the title is Opposition Theory and the general concept is finding common ground through disagreement.
00:28:53Mark Steadman
You'll find links to everything we discussed in your podcast player or at whatsyourproblem.me/5, where you will also find a button to book on to a future episode of the podcast. Thank You so much to Daniel for joining me. It was on my birthday no less, and I will speak to you again very soon. Take care.