My name is Dayo Moyo. I am the host of This Is The Future. I am on a mission to speak with 1000 inspiring Africans in 10 years. But, this was not always my mission. In fact, as of March 2021, I had interviewed just five people. The first was my friend from university; the second and third were my younger sisters; the third was a co-volunteer; the fourth, I sent a DM to him on WhatsApp.
Eight months later, I have (now) interviewed over 30 individuals from 18 countries. Fellow podcaster, this thing no be beans o! Chude, host of With Chude, once mentioned that he pursued a guest for 2 years. That’s a long time but I believe there are certain approaches that you can use that could help you avoid having to take the Chude route. I do not claim to be an expert only to highlight some of the approaches I have taken that got me where I am. Hence, for the purpose of this article, I have arranged this list from what I consider the least successful to the most successful approach.
- Send A Direct Message:
You would agree with me that there is a great chance that your dream guest is on one of the popular social media platforms.
A few would have their DMs opened, but many won’t. You can always shoot your shot. At all, at all, they would snub you (just kidding).
If you are lucky, your message would be seen, and read and then, you will get a reply. I have been lucky a couple of times.
N/B. In my opinion, you are more likely to get a response on Twitter.
- Insert A Request In Your Reply To A Prospective Guest’s Tweet:
A few times, I stumbled on the tweet of a prospective guest on a theme that’s in line with my podcast. When this happened, I jumped on the opportunity; I typed a well-crafted tweet and then added something along the lines of, “I believe young people would learn so much from your story. It would be a delight to have you on my podcast. What do you say?”
When you do this, do not forget to add the link to your podcast.
- Set A Big Audacious Goal:
In August, I set a goal to speak with someone from every African country about their countries. At the time, I only had the contact number of people from three countries.
But the goal was an attention grabber. First, people asked why I wanted to speak with someone from every African country. When they heard my reason, they were willing to help me.
Seeing the success of this strategy, I set another big audacious goal; to interview 1000 inspiring Africans in 10 years. Because, why not?
- Begin With Your Circle Of Friends:
When I made up my mind to begin an interview segment on my podcast, I started by interviewing my friends. They needed little to no convincing!
More importantly, every interview I have with friends or strangers improves my credibility. The more you publish great interviews, the easier it will be to get guests.
Confession: I got this tip from Dotun Olowoporoku, the host of Building The Future.
At the end of his interviews, he asks his guest to mention a founder they find interesting.
I took it a step further, at the end of my interviews, I ask my guests to mention an inspiring African within their network to who they can refer me.
I discovered that guests would usually pick someone at the top of their network chain. More so, I found that referrals work 98% (or more) of the time.
For example, I have now interviewed three people from Algeria and I have two in the pipeline. This was made possible by referrals.
Maybe what is even more important than the approaches I have highlighted above is the question “Why should I be a guest on your podcast?” If you do not have a well-articulated answer to this question, just continue your monologue. When you have an answer to the question above, then that’s a good start. Write it down, review it and make sure you’re as convinced of your words as you are of anything else.
The Third Door Story
Let me end this post with a quote culled from Alex Banayan’s website. Alex was an 18-year-old college freshman (with zero connections) who set out to interview successful people from Larry King to Bill Gates. He documented his journey and findings in his book, The Third Door.
“Life, business, success… it’s just like a nightclub.” he writes, “There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in.”
“The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always… the Third Door.”
“[the third door] It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen—there’s always a way.”
In a way, all of these tips (for getting a guest on your podcast) are basically third doors in one way or another and there can be other third-door routes that may not even be mentioned. If you can find them, then don’t hesitate, take that approach and hopefully, just hopefully, the stars align for you.