It’s Not Your Guests’ Job to Grow Your Podcast

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

Imagine this:

You’ve just recorded an episode with a guest who has a huge following.

You might not know exactly why they agreed to be on your show in the first place, but you’re absolutely sure that this is the big break you’ve been waiting for.

You take your time lovingly preparing a selection of social content for them to use in their promotion of your episode before sending it over with an effusive thanks for coming on the show.

You can probably guess what happens next…

Chances are, they don’t share the episode.

And chances are this riles you.

“How could anyone be so callous as to come on my show and then not even mention it once it goes live?” you think.

“Don’t they know how much time I put into creating all that additional content for them to use to help promote it? Don’t they know this was supposed to be my big break??”

Of course, it’s not just about this guest.

It’s about aaaaaaaall the past guests who have never shared, especially those who looked you in the (virtual) eye after your interview ended and said “I’ll be happy to share this everywhere when it goes live,” and then failed to live up to that promise.

It causes you to stew, then fume, then rage as it eats away at you from the inside.

Then it causes you to begin questioning the basic goodness of humanity and the foundation of the society in which we all exist.

But before you start sending your past guests cut-out-magazine-letter notes with thinly veiled threats, consider this:

  1. There are many valid reasons why a podcast guest might not share their episode.
  2. It is not actually your guest’s job to grow your show.

In fact, the healthiest mentality to bring to working with guests is that their only obligation to you is to show up prepared for the interview.

They don’t owe you great content.

They don’t owe you an ongoing relationship.

And they certainly don’t owe you access to their audience which they’ve likely spent years carefully nurturing and of which they are (rightfully) protective.

If you want any of these things, it’s your job to earn them.

Earning them isn’t easy.

It requires you to create a guest experience and draw out an interview that is markedly different from all of the dozens or hundreds (or thousands) of interviews they’ve already done.

And while it’s a high bar to hit, it’s not as high as you might think.

Because almost no one is willing to put the work into making the experience of being a guest on their show truly stand out.

Which means the opportunity is there, if you’re willing to grab it.

And if you’re not, that’s fine too.

You just need to realign your expectations around what your guests owe you.

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