Podcasting might seem like a daunting task to tackle all alone, which is why many shows have more than one host. But how do you know which co-host is right for you? Does your show even need a co-host? How many hosts should a show have? Those questions are very subjective, so I can’t answer those for you, but I can provide some tips to help even the newest podcasters determine how to find the right co-host(s)!
- Why are you looking for a co-host? Does your show need a co-host? In order to answer these questions, you need to consider a few things about your show. Does your content cover a broad spectrum, that would be best covered through the knowledge of a co-host? Maybe your show is one that would benefit from having a rotation of guest hosts rather than official co-hosts. Perhaps the audience your show caters to enjoys the consistency of two hosts every time your episodes air, or possibly just a single host discussing a passion. Take these points to heart as you consider whether or not your show should have a co-host or even several co-hosts.
- Know what you are looking for in a co-host. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it really does help to write down what you want in a co-host. Think about things like personality, vocal qualities, knowledge base, technical strengths, podcast experience (or lack thereof!) – anything that you think would complement yourself as a podcaster. Be specific, so that when you talk with potential candidates you can determine very quickly whether or not someone will work out or not. You could even go so far as to create an application or a Google form for candidates to fill out, to save you some time!
- Get the word out! Mention it on your podcast episodes, share on social media, ask friends and family, and talk to your coworkers. The more people are talking about your show and your search for a co-host, the better! Not only will it help you gain a pool of applicants, but it will also increase the visibility of your podcast – a win-win! Utilize any and all channels to which you have access. If you have an email list for your podcast audience – put it in an email. Share openings on your show’s website if you have one. Post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else you have a social media presence. You could even get other podcasters talking about it on their shows, which can gain your podcast some extra press, too!
- Do “audition” episodes with candidates. Once you have a pool of a few applicants, it’s time to decide which ones meet enough of your criteria to move on to the next phase – an audition episode. Doing an audition with candidates helps you see which candidates are truly serious about the position you’re offering them. The candidates will need appropriate equipment and will need to stick to a scheduled time with you to record. This will help you see how dependable each candidate is. Very importantly, you will get to learn more about them personally. If your personality and the candidates’ personalities don’t mesh well, you may need to pass on someone. The audition for the show really helps thin the crop to show you who the real candidates turn out to be.
- Have clear expectations and communicate those clearly with potential co-hosts. Once you have auditions with a few co-host hopefuls, be sure to keep very open communication with them. Provide them with as clear of expectations as you can, so that they know exactly what to expect from you, and so that they know what they are getting themselves into. Be sure to include expectations like how often you will record, how long you expect recording sessions to last, or even whether or not your co-host will be expected to do editing. The clearer you are to your potential co-hosts, the easier it will be for both of you to maintain a positive relationship and put out great episodes for your show!
It might seem like a long process, but that’s OK! Take your time, and use the process to make sure you pick the right person for the role. Having the right co-host can make or break a podcast, so this decision doesn’t need to be made too quickly. Just be sure to inform your audience throughout the process so they can feel prepared for changes in the show. Happy searching!!