Ep 41: Do You Have To Pay Your Podcast Guests?

41 - Should you pay your podcast guests

In this episode of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Podcasting, we discuss whether or not podcast hosts have to pay their guests. Whilst exploring this question, I’ll be offering valuable insights and actionable tips for podcast owners and enthusiasts.

Paying podcast guests is not a requirement, but it is always a good idea to offer compensation for their time and expertise.

While some guests may be willing to appear on your podcast for free, others may expect to be paid for their time and knowledge. It really depends on the guests and the industry they are in.

However, if you are just starting out and don’t have a budget to pay guests, you can still invite them to be on your podcast and offer other benefits, such as exposure to your audience or promoting their work or products. Ultimately, it is a case-by-case basis and depends on your podcast’s goals, budget, and guest’s expectations.

It’s important that in turn by being on your podcast, you are providing value for guests. This can be done by creating a high-quality and well-produced podcast that guests will be proud to be a part of. Additionally, you can offer resources and support to guests, such as promoting their work on social media or offering guidance and assistance.

While it is not necessary to pay guests, it is important for hosts to offer some form of compensation or value in exchange for their time and expertise. This can help to create a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between hosts and guests.


      • Should podcast hosts pay their guests?
      • The value of exposure and promotional opportunities for guests
      • How to offer compensation in the form of exposure and promotional opportunities
      • Tips for treating guests well and making them feel valued
      • The importance of building relationships with guests
      • The potential for reciprocity and future collaborations with guests
      • The benefits of having a diverse range of guests on your podcast
      • Finding a balance between offering value to guests and running a sustainable podcast
      • Being respectful of the time and expertise of guests
      • The potential for paid partnerships and sponsorships with guests in the future

    Episode Transcript

    This transcript is generated using AI. Because of this, there might be the odd mistake in the transcription.

    [00:00:00] Verity Sangan: Welcome to the Lazy Girls Guide to Podcasting.
    [00:00:02] Verity Sangan: If you want effective and actionable tips to simplify the overwhelm of launching and managing your podcast, then this is the podcast for you.
    [00:00:09] Verity Sangan: I’m your host, Verity Song, podcast manager, launch, strategist, and host of a Top 100 podcast.
    [00:00:15] Verity Sangan: I’m really excited to have you here.
    [00:00:16] Verity Sangan: So without further ado, let’s dive into the episode.
    [00:00:21] Verity Sangan: Hello there, and welcome back to another episode of the Lazy Girls Guide to Podcasting.
    [00:00:26] Verity Sangan: I’m Verity.
    [00:00:27] Verity Sangan: It is great to have you here on this podcast and in this channel we talk about, well, everything podcasting really and how to create, launch, grow, host, run, monetize, make bigger scale, whatever.
    [00:00:42] Verity Sangan: It is a brilliant podcast.
    [00:00:45] Verity Sangan: So without further ado, let’s dive into today’s topic where we are talking about do you have to Pay your Podcast Guests?
    [00:00:54] Do You Pay Your Podcast Guests?

    [00:00:54] Verity Sangan: When searching for podcast guests, this is a common question that might spring up and come to mind of do podcast guests get paid?
    [00:01:03] Verity Sangan: And should you be paying your guests to appear on your podcast?
    [00:01:08] Verity Sangan: It’s quite true that in recent years, the popularity of podcasting has just absolutely exploded.
    [00:01:14] Verity Sangan: And it seems like there are new shows being launched daily and it seems like everybody and their grandmother is either on a podcast or booked to be on a podcast.
    [00:01:24] Verity Sangan: But when starting out, budgets can be really tight and I completely understand that.
    [00:01:29] Verity Sangan: I started my first podcast with less than $100.
    [00:01:33] Verity Sangan: Actually, even my second podcast was even less because I already had the microphone.
    [00:01:37] Verity Sangan: But even if I hadn’t, I started that podcast for less than $100 as well.
    [00:01:41] Verity Sangan: So on that mind, there’s a lot to consider from recording, software, equipment, setting up, launching, everything quickly adds up.
    [00:01:50] Verity Sangan: So if you’re worried or thinking about if you need to cover the cost for a podcast guest as well, then you might be a little bit stressed and worrying about those costs just adding up even more.
    [00:02:05] Verity Sangan: Some podcast hosts might believe that paying their guests is necessary, whilst others argue that the exposure and publicity that they offer is enough compensation for the individual’s time.
    [00:02:17] Verity Sangan: So, first of all reasons why podcasters don’t pay their guests.
    [00:02:21] Verity Sangan: If you’re already counting the pennies for your podcast production, then you can be reassured.
    [00:02:27] Verity Sangan: The very vast majority of podcasters do not pay their guests to be interviewed on their podcasts, and most podcast guests will appear 100% for free.
    [00:02:39] Verity Sangan: Even high profile guests appearing on podcasts, such as Diary of a CEO Steven Bartlett has gone on record saying that he has never paid for any of his guests to appear on Diary of a CEO and that podcast has bought in some ridiculously huge, huge names.
    [00:03:01] Verity Sangan: So all in, it’s quite normal not to pay podcast guests to appear on your show, and there are a few reasons why.
    [00:03:08] Verity Sangan: So firstly, many podcasters simply can’t afford to pay their guests.
    [00:03:13] Verity Sangan: Podcasting is a relatively low cost medium and many hosts are working on tight budgets.
    [00:03:19] Verity Sangan: As I’ve already mentioned, they may not have the funds to pay for guest appearances, especially when first starting out.
    [00:03:26] Verity Sangan: Another reason why podcasters don’t pay their guests is that many guests are happy to appear on a podcast for free.
    [00:03:33] Verity Sangan: For many guests, the exposure and publicity that comes with being a guest on a podcast is more valuable than any monetary compensation they could get.
    [00:03:44] Verity Sangan: Guests may see appearing on a podcast as an opportunity to promote their business, their brand and the publicity they receive will be invaluable.
    [00:03:53] Verity Sangan: In that respect, some podcast hosts believe that paying their guests could actually compromise the integrity of their show.
    [00:04:02] Verity Sangan: If guests are being paid to appear on a podcast, then that guest may feel obligated to say certain things or promote certain products or talk in favor of the podcast or the podcast host.
    [00:04:14] Verity Sangan: And some individuals are concerned that this could undermine the authenticity of the show and make it less appealing to the show’s audiences.
    [00:04:23] Verity Sangan: So in which case you might be thinking to yourself, well if I’m not paying somebody to come on my show, then how can I compensate them in other ways?
    [00:04:32] Verity Sangan: So one option is to offer guests the opportunity to promote their own brand or business on your show and this could be giving them a few minutes to talk about their work or products or allowing them to share links to their website or social media accounts if you listen to the confident CEO.
    [00:04:49] Verity Sangan: This is something that I do all the time when I have guests on my show.
    [00:04:52] Verity Sangan: After we’ve finished our interview, I always ask questions around how can the audience get in touch with this individual?
    [00:04:59] Verity Sangan: And I also give them the space to talk about any promos they want to their newsletter, their master classes, whatever it is, so that they can get the most out of the exposure for being on my podcast.
    [00:05:12] Verity Sangan: You can also promote their appearance on your social media in your email newsletter.
    [00:05:18] Verity Sangan: Just really push the fact that this individual was on your podcast so that they are getting the most exposure out of your audience as possible.
    [00:05:28] Verity Sangan: And don’t worry about your audience being small if your audience is small, because you might only have 200 followers on a certain platform, but if 100 of them are interested in that individual being on your podcast, then that is more valuable to your guest than having 10,000 followers and none of them being interested in that person being a guest.
    [00:05:49] Verity Sangan: One thing I would really urge you to do though when you are booking guests for your podcast and they are turning up and giving you their time for free, remember to be flexible.
    [00:06:03] Verity Sangan: We’ve all got schedules because we’re all busy in this day and age, but if you’re expecting someone to give you their time for free, particularly if they could be making money in that time, you need to be as flexible as possible.
    [00:06:18] Verity Sangan: So find those mutually convenient times to record a podcast episode.
    [00:06:22] Verity Sangan: I understand that it can be challenging, particularly if you are in different time zones, but being flexible with your schedule can go a really long way to welcoming a podcast guest who is eager and enthused to guest on your podcast versus someone who is having to record at a really unsociable time or times that just don’t fit their schedule.
    [00:06:44] Verity Sangan: If you want more information and proven strategies for booking the most amazing podcast guest on your podcast, then I would really recommend checking out the Guest Booking Blueprint Masterclass.
    [00:06:59] Verity Sangan: In this Masterclass, I’m going to teach you how to elevate your podcast with your dream guests.
    [00:07:04] Verity Sangan: I’ve got a workbook in there to help you create the perfect pitch that will land you your dream guests and I’ve also include examples of pitches that I have personally written and used and have bagged me some truly amazing guests on my podcast.
    [00:07:22] Verity Sangan: So do check that out in the Show Notes.
    [00:07:24] Verity Sangan: It’s called the Guest Booking Blueprint Masterclass and as I said, the link is in the Show Notes for you to enroll and check that out.
    [00:07:34] Verity Sangan: But in conclusion, deciding whether or not to pay your podcast guests is a personal decision that depends on your budget, the value your guests bring to the show, and also expectations of your guests.
    [00:07:47] Verity Sangan: But if you’re worried about the prospect of paying guests, be reassured that the majority of podcast guests do appear for free.
    [00:07:54] Verity Sangan: Do remember that there are other ways to compensate your guests, such as offering exposure or collaborating in other ways.
    [00:08:01] Verity Sangan: But ultimately, the most important thing is to be transparent and honest with your guests about what it is that you can offer and what they can expect from appearing on your show.
    [00:08:11] Verity Sangan: And with the right approach, you can create a successful podcast that offers value to both your guests and your listeners.
    [00:08:18] Verity Sangan: As ever, I really hope that you have found this useful.
    [00:08:21] Verity Sangan: If you’re interested in enrolling on the if you’re interested in enrolling in the Guest Blue if you’re interested in enrolling in the Guest Booking Blueprint Masterclass, then the link is in the Show Notes.
    [00:08:34] Verity Sangan: I would love to see you inside that Masterclass and otherwise.
    [00:08:38] Verity Sangan: Thank you.
    [00:08:39] Verity Sangan: Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to wherever you’re listening to this episode and otherwise I will see you next time.
    [00:08:46] Verity Sangan: Thank you for tuning in to another episode of The Lady Girl’s Guide to Podcasting.
    [00:08:51] Verity Sangan: If you love this episode, I think you’ll love being on my email newsletter list where I send out weekly podcasting tips to help you create, host and grow a podcast that you love to join.
    [00:09:00] Verity Sangan: Go to Veritysoncon.com newsletter or hit the link in the Show Notes.
    [00:09:04] Verity Sangan: Until next time, happy podcasting.

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