Relationships are complicated. Ask anyone.
So it's no surprise that relationship marketing is really tough to do.
Nurturing relationships with anyone, from your podcast guest to your spouse, requires a certain level of depth and intentionality.
If you're producing a podcast (or letting us do it for you), then you know that podcasting gives you an incredible opportunity to crush it with relationship marketing.
Podcasting opens the door to creating genuine relationships with industry experts, thought leaders, and ideal clients when you ask them to be a guest on your show.
When you position yourself as a journalist instead of a salesperson trying to sell a product...you actually get the attention of decision makers.
If you're familiar with Simon Sinek's 'Start With Why' TED Talk, then you understand the difference between a company's 'what'...and a company's 'why'.
At Sweet Fish, podcasts are our 'what', but relationships are our 'why.'
Since relationships are at the core of everything we do (and relationship marketing is something we do every single day), we wanted to share 23 ways to nurture strong relationships with your podcast guests..or anyone, really.
1. Leverage the Pre & Post Interview
When it comes to jumpstarting a relationship with a guest, the minutes before and after you hit 'record' are precious.
Instead of shooting the breeze, be intentional about the questions you ask. Set aside time to get to know your guest on a personal level.
Here are a few questions to spark conversation and also collect information to use later down the road (we'll get to more of that later):
1. What's the biggest challenge you're currently facing?
2. What's something you want to accomplish this year?
3. Are there any books that fundamentally changed the way you work or live?
4. What do you like to do other than be a [podcast topic] expert?
5. Are you traveling anywhere exciting this year?
The key here is to not talk about yourself. This is your opportunity to get to know them.
2. Leave Them a LinkedIn Recommendation
Once you've connected on LinkedIn, dive in head first to adding genuine value.
Write them a LinkedIn recommendation describing the value and expertise they brought to your podcast. Make it personal and highlight specific character traits and strengths.
Here's an example:
Jason was a fantastic guest on our podcast, the B2B Growth Show. His insight into the world of account-based sales brought a ton of value to our audience. His 15+ years of experience mixed with his quick wit made for one of our most downloaded episodes!
3. Write a Blog Post Based on Their Episode
One of the great things about podcasting is that it creates a content waterfall.
Repurposing the episode into a blog post grows the reach of the content wider and deeper.
It allows you to dive further into the topic, distribute this content to other platforms like LinkedIn or Medium, and it also creates an opportunity for the featured guest to share the post through their channels.
Reach out to your guest, and let them know that their episode was so awesome that you repurposed it into a blog post.
We like to include Click-to-Tweets and/or shareable images in each blog post, so it's easy for anyone reading the piece to share it.
4. Add Them on Facebook
Adding your guests on Facebook breaks through the professional wall and into the land of niece and nephew photos.
This connection makes the professional relationship more personal.
Being friends on Facebook allows you to congratulate them on life events, share their content, and engage outside of their work inbox.
Once they accept your friend request, 'like' a few of their posts so that Facebook knows to include their future posts in your feed more regularly.
5. Connect Them to Another Guest That Lives in Their Area
Leverage your podcast to become a connector for your guests.
As you record more episodes, your guest list will start looking like a who's who of your industry.
So make sure to document your guests' names, companies, job titles, cities, and industries in your CRM.
Look for overlap, and connect guests that could benefit from knowing each other.
If two of your guests are based in Austin, TX, and one is a Director of Customer Success while the other is a CEO of a corporate gift giving company...make that connection.
Not only is this an additional benefit for being on your podcast, but it also positions you as a connector.
6. Ask Them Who They'd Like To Connect With
Be an intentional student of your guest.
Seek out information about them to discover new ways to nurture the relationship.
Start by asking them the types of people they'd like to connect with, and then refer them to those types of people in your network.
Have no agenda other than to help.
7. Give Them a Book Recommendation & Ask For Theirs
"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." - Harry Truman
Books help grow, reshape, and rewire our thinking. Industry leaders are more often than not avid readers. When interviewing these leaders, ask what books rocked their worlds.
You can even go a step further and ask their overall top pick and then an industry-specific recommendation.
Document this information in your CRM, so that you can cross reference it when you're giving book recommendations to other guests.
8. Share Your Favorite Tools or Ones That Would Help Them
You know the tools that make you thank sweet baby Jesus for the person that built it?
You know the tools I'm talking about- the ones that make you faster, better, stronger, and save you tons of time each week.
Share these tools.
In your pre- or post-interview, do some research to find areas in their process that slow them down.
You might not be using a tool that can solve their problem, but you are racking up knowledge from industry experts, so you're bound to know of a tool, process, or hack that could help!
9. Leave a Thoughtful Comment
When you find their posts useful, let them know.
Leave a thoughtful comment on a LinkedIn, Medium, or blog article they've written.
Be thoughtful with your words instead of using general language like "Great post! Keep them coming!"
Every 'like', comment, and share on a piece of content is like a digital high five to the person who wrote it.
10. Reply to a Recent Tweet
Engaging on Twitter is a quick and easy touchpoint.
Replying to, retweeting, and favoriting recent tweets allows you to stay connected without being intrusive or demanding of a response.
It might not leave a lasting impression, but it's a touchpoint worth the small investment of time that it takes.
11. Feature Them in a Roundup Post
Roundup posts are like greatest hits albums.
They hit the highlights and skip the rest.
Look at your most popular episodes and write a roundup post featuring those episodes, mentioning the guests from each. Then share the post with the featured guests.
Here's an example:
Hey [first name],
We just featured you in our roundup post, [hyperlinked title to roundup post]!
If you'd like to share the post on LinkedIn, here's a pre-written status update: [Headline & bitly link]
When we email guests to notify them that they've been featured in a blog post, we like to include a pre-written social update in the email. Doing this streamlines sharing for them.
If you write a post on "What 30 Tech CEOs Think About Weekly One-on-Ones", then there's potential for 30 CEOs to share your piece of content.
They get exposure, you get exposure. Win-Win.
12. Keep Up With Their Content
If your guest writes regularly on their company website, personal blog, or guest posts on third party publications, you want to know.
An easy way to keep up with their published pieces is to create a Google Alert for their name and/or company.
This way, anything they author online or are featured in will come as an alert straight to your inbox.
This gives you the ability to reach out minutes or hours after a post is published!
13. Help Them Achieve Their Goals
We all have goals, and sometimes we're just one step away from reaching them (or starting to work on them...let's be honest).
The pre or post-interview is a great time to ask your guests something they want to achieve next month.
Think about what resources you have to offer, connections you can make, and content you can share that would help move them closer to their goal.
14. Send Them a Thank You
This might seem straight out of "Relationship Marketing 101", but it's important to show appreciation.
People are busy, so the fact that a guest took time to freely share their expertise with your audience is a big deal.
The thank you email is nice, but nothing special.
The handwritten thank you note adds a personal touch, and gives a nice break to online communication.
Our Head of Business Development, Jonathan Green, is the king of thank you cards.
For almost any act of kindness, you can expect a thank you card in the mail (or hand delivered by Jonathan himself). It's his thing, and people always appreciate it.
However, the thank you gift takes the gold.
Send them something they will use and appreciate. You can get creative on your own, or use services like Loop & Tie to have them do the heavy lifting for you.
If you want to really be inspired on the art of gift giving, check out our interview with John Ruhlin.
15. Share The Love
When hosting an industry-specific podcast, it's likely there will be content crossover that you'll reference from different episodes or blog posts.
Guests also might reference other companies during an interview, and maybe you just interviewed the VP of Sales from that company two weeks ago. If a guest's product or service gets mentioned in other episodes or blog posts, let them know!
Shoot the featured guest a quick email with a link to the episode or blog post letting them know they got a little extra love.
16. Promote Their Content Through Your Social Channels
By this point, you should be friends on Facebook, connected on Linkedin, and following them on Twitter. Take advantage of these social opportunities to share their content through your personal social channels.
Keep passing out those digital high fives!
17. Host a Mastermind or Local Meetup
Get some face time with your guests.
Host a local meetup or organize something like a weekend mastermind group. There are huge benefits to gathering a group of like-minded people together.
For more information on the why you should build a mastermind group, check out this Fast Company article.
This November, 10-12 marketing executives that we interviewed on the B2B Growth Show are flying in for a 3 day mastermind event in Orlando, FL.
This 3-day gathering will be a forum for a group of like-minded marketing leaders to share their goals and obstacles, and figure out how they can help one another win, grow, and learn.
Our theory is if two are better than one, then 10-12 must be unstoppable.
Plus, it will give each attendee opportunities to create strong relationships with fellow marketing executives-who knows what these connections could lead to down the road?
18. Send Them a Pick Me Up Post or Video
A few times a month, send one of your guests an uplifting or funny video.
It'll give them a break in their day, and hopefully give them a boost in momentum mid-week. Here's an example:
Hey [first name],
Thought you could use a break from your day-to-day. Here's a hilarious video of puppies falling off couches.
19. Ask Their Opinion Before You Buy
Thinking about buying a new tool or trying out a new service?
You don't want to spend money on a tool that's going to be a waste. Most likely, your guests have either loved it, chucked it, or know someone who's tried it.
When you ask their opinion on a tool you're thinking about investing your budget into, it shows you value their opinion.
20. Send Them Free Swag
You wouldn't believe the things people do for free stuff.
Just watch the crowd on the other end of a t-shirt launcher. I'm not sure what part of our human makeup gets so excited about free stuff, but it's undeniable.
Send your guests some free swag.
Rule of thumb: When sending swag, a little goes a long way.
21. Create an Exclusive Community
The benefit of being a guest on your podcast should live beyond their connection to you and your company.
Pooling your guests together into LinkedIn and Facebook groups creates opportunities for your guests to connect and use the group as a resource.
Keep these groups alive by posting fresh content and engaging the members.
22. Reach Out & Meet Up When Traveling to Their City
When you're jet setting around the country, refer back to your CRM and see if you can meet up with any of your guests.
When nurturing a relationship, nothing beats a face-to-face connection.
23. Ask What Conferences They're Attending This Year
This is another win-win.
Asking which conferences your guests will be attending shows that you value their opinion, and it also creates an opportunity to connect with them in person.
Don't let relationships fall by the wayside.
If you're producing a podcast (or letting us do it for you), then you know that podcasting creates unique & strategic relationships between you and your guests.
Nurturing your relationships with each of your podcast guests is more than important...it's necessary.
Strategically spread these 23 relationship marketing techniques out over time, and you'll have long-lasting, fruitful relationships.
If you want to learn more about how an account-based podcasting strategy can create new relationships with your ideal clients, while simultaneously streamlining your content creation process...let's chat.
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast production service for B2B companies. He's a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts the B2B Growth Show: a podcast dedicated to helping B2B executives achieve explosive growth.