When you host regular online events, you open yourself up to an entirely different branch of content delivery. It’s different than blogging or tweeting, which means it will appeal to a different segment of your target audience. Some people would just rather watch an event than read a blog post, especially if your events give them access to helpful, knowledgeable people.
Inviting guests to join you online for your events is an effective way to bring in helpful content and grow your audience. You can have the same people join you regularly or you can mix it up. I like to bring on new guests as much as possible because it can expand your tribe. This is due to the fact that when someone appears on your show, their established audience tunes in and learns about you and your platform in the process.
Let’s consider some practical pointers for organizing your online guests.
Expect your guests to promote your show, but understand that this will differ with each guest. For example, in my experience people with larger audiences are less likely to promote an upcoming show. My solution has been to treat every guest the same by providing ready-to-go social media posts a week in advance. I include detailed instructions on how often to post and when in order to make it as easy as possible, I ask nicely and, if they don’t follow through, I don’t get upset. I do, however, keep this in mind when casting future events because I want guests who are really into what I’m doing. A surefire sign of enthusiasm generally includes some promotion. Given the choice between one well-known name without a lot of enthusiasm and a group of lesser-known people who are really into your gig, I’d take the group.
Limit Your Numbers
In general, three guests and one host is a really good number. Any less and you risk dead spots in the conversation, though this depends on your guests. If you have a really dynamic speaker and a list of questions ready to go, you could do a Q&A with a single guest and pack the show with amazing content. This can be good, but I prefer conversations among a group because it encourages more audience engagement.
Match Levels With Your Guests
If a really high profile person is joining me for an online event, I ask them to bring a couple of their peers or I reach out to some high profile people in my own network. I avoid mixing really influential guests with less influential guests. For one thing, it’s a practical matter of volume. Established influencers with a large following tend to have more material to offer. If you pair them with someone who’s just starting out, you can make the new guy look bad by comparison even though the new guy has great things to share. I’ve also found that lesser known people will just defer to the more known personality. They find it hard to talk over someone with an exponentially larger audience and often prefer to listen than contribute to the conversation. So your guest becomes another audience member.
Follow Up With Added Value
After I do an online event with guests, I always send out a followup with my thanks as well as an exposure report. This report shows how well the show performed compared to other shows, because I want my guests to know we care about getting them in front of people and promoting their brand.
A regular live show, even if you only air once a month, can infuse a lot of energy into your brand, reach new corners of your target market and build your influence, not only among your own audience but among your guests, their audiences and their peers.