Dec. 15, 2021

Should I Charge My Guest to Appear on My Podcast?

Should I Charge My Guest to Appear on My Podcast?

With some bigger shows able to charge a gust to appear on their shows, today I'm going to share why I think this is a bad idea. 1. You need to disclose that the guest is paying you to appear turning your podcast into an infomercial. 2. At first this...


Should I Charge My Guests to Appear On My Podcast?

Have you heard what people are saying? Some of it's true. There are podcasters, who are charging their guests to appear on their shows. And I'm going to explain why that's a horrible idea.

Selling Guests Spots as a Podcast Monetization Strategies

And it's true, there are a few really big shows where the podcast hosts will charge their guests to appear on their show. And now the smaller shows are like, Ooh, there is another way to monetize a podcast. And it could be, but let me explain why I think that compared to other monetization methods, this one is one of the worst.

Ways to Monetize Your Podcast:

  • Selling your own products (Coaching services, online courses, paying members)

  • Selling other people's products ( affiliate products).

  • Selling a host read podcast sponsorship.

  • Selling programmatic ads (podcast welfare)

  • Crowdfunding ( premium content, premium episodes, ) via glow.fm, Supercast, etc

  • Accepting Donations

  • Free Stuff

All of that starts with a loyal audience

I've Been Broke

There's a difference between being poor and being broke. I remember once getting ready to go home from my job. And I wanted to get a Mountain Dew, and I had to decide, do I want Mountain Dew? Or do I want to get some gas, so my car will actually make it home that's being broke? And so when somebody says, hey, I can actually charge a guest to be on my show. At first, it sounds like a great idea. After all, we're assuming that you've been podcasting for a while, and you have a decent amount of podcast listeners, because otherwise, why would anyone pay to be on your show unless it's hyper, hyper niche.

Your First Paid Podcast Guest

So you've got this target audience, and you charge your first guest, they give you some money, and you're like, check it out. I've got extra money. Now, can I ask you a question right now?

Do you have a lot of extra money, because the way I live it always seems if you get extra money, somehow something happens, your car breaks down, you have to buy a new one? Now you got a car payment, Little Susie needs new braces, etc, etc. And all of sudden that extra money that you added is no longer extra.

Now Your Podcast Episodes HAVE to Be Paid Content

Shamwow Infomercial

So what happens? That means the content creator now has to charge guests to be on your show, which means it's an infomercial. All this for a few hundred dollars. And I don't know about you, I've never had somebody,  you're having a good night and someone screams, and you're like, what's, what's the matter? 

They answer, "I forgot to set the DVR to tape, the ShamWow infomercial."

Nobody's watching an infomercial. On purpose. It's usually because it's Saturday night, you just got home, and there's nothing else on.

And consequently, that awesome content that helped build your audience is now yeah, that podcast audience is going to go away because the content isn't as good. And when you lose your existing audience, you lose the ability to then say, Oh, you need to pay me to be on my audience. You're losing the ability to earn money using other methods as well. And guess what? Little Suzy has her braces recalled. And that's embarrassing.

Now, I realize some of you might say I was going a little over the top here. I'm just saying when I make more money, I tend to spend more money. I'm getting better at that. But I know a lot of people may be in the same boat.

Full Disclosure For the FTC

One more thing to consider is if you're getting paid by a guest to appear on your show that needs to be disclosed to stay legal thanks to our good friends at the FTC. This is why when you hear an infomercial, they usually say the following content is a paid advertisement. And I don't know about you, I usually then change the channel.

Any Podcast Business Focused on Making Money Starts With This

There are many income streams that a podcast host can use to make money with your podcast. Now realize all of those income streams start with one thing. All of them start with getting an audience. You cannot monetize dust. I had someone last week, contact me about this. They had 30 downloads per episode. That is too small. I'm sorry. I'd like to say oh, you can make lots of money with 30 people. No, because not all 30 people are going to buy your stuff.

When it comes to creating podcast content if you're not making people laugh, cry, think or groan, you're boring. You need to educate or entertain them as you make them laugh, cry, think, or groan.

Successful Podcasts Focus on Their Established Audience

Podcaster Focus

It's time to focus on growing your podcast. Podcasting is starting, planning, growing, then monetizing. Your new episodes need to be so good your audience can't help but share your show with friends. So many content creators are putting their faith in podcasting tools, and the latest third-party platform so they can wave their wand and put add an affiliate link in their show notes to t-shirts or other companies and generate revenue and retire in six weeks. Some of them don't even have a podcast website.

I always say when it comes to creating content for your next podcast episode, spend $100 on a microphone and 100 hours getting to know your niche audience. The better you make the content for them, the more likely they are to share your podcast episode.

I Would Avoid This Monetization Strategy

I don't think charging a guest is a good strategy. It's a slippery slope. It puts you in a very bizarre situation where you might have to keep charging your guests even if you don't want to, which means you'll take anybody with a pulse.

You start of charging someone $300 to be a guest on your show, and it's extra money and you're excited. Finally some profit from your podcast! Then your little one needs braces. That's OK, you have extra money. Then your engine blows, and you need to pay for this and that. Before you know it, that extra money is not extra anymore.

Just not a good idea. In my opinion. I hope many podcasters hear and read this, and tell other podcasters as I think this strategy could do damage to podcast monetization in the long wrong. Without amazing content, podcasts won't make it to a wider audience.

You're Missing the True Value

One of the biggest benefits of booking guests is this could be the beginning of a strong relationship that could help you and your podcast guest. I recently started looking at my guests not just with a "What value can they bring to my audience" lens, but a "Is this a person I want to partner with?" lens.

Can this person hire me? Can this person refer me to people who will hire me or promote my show? You might pay a podcast booker hundreds of dollars to get on a show, but your guest might be able to do a warm introduction and get you on another show.

Building That Relationship With Your Podcast Guests

The interview is over, and now it's been published. Don't ghost the guests. Keep that relationship going that you took the time to start. I do this using a great software called Less Annoying CRM (yes, that is the real name).

You can set up reminders to touch base with people. The best thing is they make it super easy to organize all of your conversations (via a unique email address that you can BCC) and keep up with people. Now when you go to contact someone you can ask, "So how is the book coming along?" as the last time you touched base they had just started writing.

What Are Your Thoughts on Podcast Appearance Fees?

What do you think? Click the microphone in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. I'd love to hear from you.

Check out My Book On Podcast Monetization

If you haven't already, check out my book Profit From Your Podcast. I interviewed 70 different content creators and got their best tips. I'll even sign a copy for you on this special landing page.

Summary

Profit From Your Podcast Book CoverWith some bigger shows able to charge a gust to appear on their shows, today I'm going to share why I think this is a bad idea.

1. You need to disclose that the guest is paying you to appear turning your podcast into an infomercial.

2. At first this "extra cash" might get budgeted for a monthly expense and not stay "extra." 

3. Then you count on this "extra" cash and then NEED to have guests who pay to appear. This means you will take any guest who is willing to pay.

4. This means the quality of episodes goes down, as your audience starts to tune out. 

5. Look at guests as partners where you both can benefit from the relationship.

In the end, I just see this as a slippery slope that ends badly. 

Check out my book Profit for Your Podcast to discover much better ways to earn income with your podcast.

Apply For a Free Strategy Call

If you need help starting, planning, launching or growing your podcast join me for a free strategy call.

Podcast Launch Checklist

Transcript

0:00  
Have you heard what people are saying? Some of it's true. There are podcasters, who are charging their guests to appear on their show. And I'm going to explain why that's a horrible idea.

Welcome to your podcast consultant, small lessons with big value. Now he wants to work with you. He's your podcast consultant, Dave Jackson.

Hey, I'm Dave Jackson from the school of podcasting comm. And it's true, there are a few really big shows that will charge their guests to appear on their show. And now the smaller shows are like, Ooh, is this another income stream? And it could be, but let me explain why I think that's a horrible idea.

I've Been Broke

There's a difference between being poor and being broke. I remember once getting ready to go home from my job. And I wanted to get a Mountain Dew, and I had to decide, do I want Mountain Dew? Or do I want to get some gas, so my car will actually make it home that's being broke? And so when somebody says, hey, I can actually charge a guest to be on my show. At first, it sounds like a great idea. After all, we're assuming that you've been podcasting for a while, and you have a decent-sized audience, because otherwise, why would anyone pay to be on your show unless it's hyper, hyper niche.

Your First Paid Guest
So you've got this audience, and you charge your first guest, they give you some money, and you're like, check it out. I've got extra money. Now, can I ask you a question right now?

Do you have a lot of extra money, because the way I live it always seems if you get extra money, somehow something happens, your car breaks down, you have to buy a new one. Now you got a car payment, Little Susie needs new braces, etc, etc. And all sudden that extra money that you added is no longer extra.

So what happens? That means you now have to charge your guests to be on your show, which means it's an infomercial. And I don't know about you, I've never had somebody,  you're having a good night and someone screams, and you're like, what's, what's the matter? 

They answer, "I forgot to set the DVR to tape, the ShamWow infomercial."

Nobody's watching an infomercial. On purpose. It's usually because it's Saturday night, you just got home, and there's nothing else on.

And consequently, that awesome content that helped build your audience is now yeah, that audience is going to go away because the content isn't as good. And when you lose your audience, you lose the ability to then say, Oh, you need to pay me to be on my audience. And guess what? Little Suzy has her braces recalled. And that's embarrassing.

Now, I realize some of you might say I was going a little over the top here. I'm just saying when I make more money, I tend to spend more money. I'm getting better at that. But I know a lot of people may be in the same boat.

One more thing to consider is if you're getting paid by a guest to appear on your show that needs to be disclosed to stay legal thanks to our good friends at the FTC. This is why when you hear an infomercial, they usually say the following content is a paid advertisement. And I don't know about you, I usually then change the channel.

There are many ways many income streams that you can use to make money with your podcast. Now realize all of those start with one thing. All of them start with getting an audience. You cannot monetize dust. I had someone last week, contact me about this. They had 30 downloads per episode. That is too small. I'm sorry. I'd like to say oh, you can make lots of money with 30 people. No, because not all 30 people are going to buy your stuff. It's time to focus on growing, Podcasting is start, plan, grow, then monetize.

4:37
And for me, I don't think charging your guests is a good strategy. It puts you in a very bizarre situation where you might have to keep charging your guests even if you don't want to, which means you'll take anybody with a pulse. Just not a good idea. In my opinion.

What do you think? Let me know out at podcastconsult.com. While you're out there, you can apply to get a free 15-minute consultation. And of course, if you're not interested in consulting, but you're looking to start a podcast in 2022, or whenever you listen to this 2023 2024 check me out over at schoolofpodcasting.com It's where I take out my podcast polish, and I bought the boring out of your podcast. Thanks so much for listening. Have a safe and happy holiday season

Transcribed by https://otter.ai