Should you start your own podcast or guest on podcasts? Everything you need to know

When entrepreneurs hear how much the podcast space is growing, their first thought is "Perfect! I'll start my own podcast!" 

And without a doubt, this is the right move for a lot of businesses.

But I WISH someone had really explained to me that guesting on podcasts and hosting your own podcast are two COMPLETELY different strategies that serve entirely different purposes and yield totally different results.

Let's break it down.

Hosting your own podcast: You host a show that releases content on a regular cadence. Maybe it's once a week, or maybe you drop "seasons" of 10 episodes every quarter. You are responsible for creating new topics that keep your audience engaged. You're building an audience one by one from scratch, relying on cross promotion and word of mouth to build your show. 

Guesting on other people's podcasts: You are getting out on the podcast circuit with ONE potent and profitable conversation and reaching a brand new audience every time. You have to do none of the labor to produce the episodes, nor do you have to worry about building the audience. They're already assembled, ready to hear you share.

In my experience, hosting my own podcast (that's currently ranked in the top 1% globally) is a nurture tool to add value to people who already know about me. For the first 12 months of my podcast, the only people who were listening to it were people who already followed me on Instagram. Podcasts are not a "build it and they will come" platform. Growing a podcast audience is a slow burn that requires a ton of dedication, time, and effort. And because you have to keep your audience coming back each week, you'll need to constantly change up your content. This means you can't always be having your MOST potent and profitable conversation.

Now guesting on OTHER people's podcasts is an incredible discovery tool, rather than a nurture tool. That's because every single time you do a guest interview, you're reaching a brand new audience that's already built and engaged with that show. This means you can have your most potent and profitable conversation over and over again, and even though the thesis will be the same, the flavor of each conversation will be fresh so it won't get boring.

The question I ask folks is: "Which would you prefer: to organize a 1,000 person event where you're in charge of programming, booking the venue, selling tickets, handling the vendors, and cleaning up, OR would you prefer to be invited to speak at a 1,000 person event where all you have to do is show up with your Starbucks, give a talk, and be on your merry way?"

For some people, they WANT to be the organizer. That's an important part of their mission and brand. They want to be the one making connections with their podcast, and they want to add a unique platform to the world that didn't already exist.

But for most entrepreneurs, they just want visibility. And babe, if visibility is your goal, it's podcast guesting all. the. way.

My advice: focus on guesting for six whole months. If you still feel the itch to start your own podcast after that, go for it. But most people find that guesting is a MUCH lower-lift way to accomplish much better visibility without all the labor, cost, and headache.

I'd love to hear from you: did you start a podcast thinking it would be a killer visibility tool, only to find out that growing a podcast audience is REALLY laborious work? 

If you're ready to book your first 5 interviews on top 10% podcasts (so you can show up with your Starbucks, dazzle them with your brilliance, and be on your merry way) carve out some time to watch our free Masterclass, where I'll tell you everything you need to know to start booking interviews that ACTUALLY get you seriously seen.

Ready to start breaking up with social media?! I'd love to teach you how to book 5 guest spots on top 10% podcasts in the next 30 days so you can reach more new clients every month than you'll reach all YEAR on Instagram! Pssst... it's a totally free training packed with step-by-step strategies you can use right away.