Should I Use a Podcast Guest Agreement?
Podcasting is having a serious moment, and in a time when I truly believe people are looking for real connection through stories and deeper conversations, I believe it's here to stay.
Podcasting is amazing way to show up and serve your ideal customers with value, build authority, and market your services, all in a super fun way that is authentic to you. This applies whether you host a podcast, or are asked to be a guest on one. This is actually one of my favourite ways to market my business!
If you're a podcast host, having guests on your podcast is one of the best ways to build your community, get fresh eyes on your business, and land new leads and clients. However, if you’re a podcaster looking to bring guests on your there are a few legal bases you may want to consider, and cover.
Read on to learn the legal requirements for podcasting and why you need to have your guests sign a podcast guest agreement before recording.
But before we do... If you're ever asked to be a guest on a podcast, you can use the information in this blog post to make sure you understand and ask the host questions about how they intend to use, share and even monetize your podcast episode. The more you know...
Benefits of Podcasting
If you’ve been going back and forth on whether or not you want to launch a podcast, let me tell you, the benefits of podcasting really stack up!
Not only does podcasting allow you to build community, engagement, and serve your ideal customers with free value, but it also helps you expand your reach and get fresh leads coming into your business on autopilot.
Podcasts are an excellent way to promote your products and services and connect with your audience through audio/video content. There is something so powerful about hearing someone’s passion and excitement come through when they’re talking about their offers that makes people much more apt to purchase from them. When you establish credibility, trust, and rapport and let your passion shine through, it can also lead to more sales and profitability in your business.
Another benefit of podcasts is that they are great for your SEO (search engine optimization), which means you’ll get more traffic and eyes on your website. Plus, when you invite guests to be on your show and share the episode out on their platforms, you open yourself up to THEIR audience and can maximize the traffic coming from their website and social media.
While I could go on and on about the benefits of podcasting, I’ll wrap it up with this… podcasts are on-demand, making it easy for your listeners to tune in anytime, anywhere. Whether they’re in their car, out on a run (my personal favourite way to listen to podcasts), folding laundry, or walking their dogs, they can have you in their ear as they learn and get inspired.
Do I Need to Use a Podcast Guest Agreement?
If you choose to have podcast guests on your show (which I highly recommend!), it's a great idea to have each guest sign a podcast guest agreement before recording.
A podcast guest agreement is a written contract between you as the podcast host and the podcast guest outlining the expectations of the podcast guest appearance and the terms of the relationship, including ownership, release of content, compensation, promotional segments, affiliate opportunities, etc.
Let's dive into the 6 main reasons why you should have your guests sign a podcast guest agreement, no matter how big or small your podcast is.
Having a signed podcast guest agreement ensures that you own the recording and have the right to edit, distribute, and monetize your podcast in the way that you so choose. If you own the copyright, you don't have to worry about asking permission from your guests each time you want to use the episode.
One of the main reasons we want to use legal contracts in our business from the start is that we always want to be ready to scale and grow. If a podcast episode goes viral or you start advertising, you want to make sure you have full control over your content and your guests can’t come back and require an episode to be taken down, request royalties, etc.
#2: Use of Guest Likeness and Brand Marks
A podcast guest agreement should give you a limited license to use your guest’s likeness, images, and their brand marks (like logo, slogan, branded images etc.) for the purposes of marketing and promotional purposes of your podcast and episode. The last thing you want is to record a podcast guest episode and not be able to share it on your website and social platforms.
Having a podcast guest agreement in place shows your guests that you are professional and that you take your podcast seriously. Podcasts are hard work. They take a lot of time, energy, planning, and marketing to be successful.
Nothing is more annoying than setting aside time in your calendar to meet with a guest and have them not show up. Having a solid contract, such as a podcast guest agreement, is a great way to set out expectations around scheduling times, rescheduling, cancellations, etc.
While it is unlikely that you’d ever start a legal action against someone because they missed your time slot (unless of course you paid them to be a guest, and they didn’t live up to their obligations), it’s always best to have your expectations clearly set out in writing.
#4: Other Expectations from Guest
If you need images, logos, or other materials for your podcast guest episode, all of this should be set out in your podcast guest agreement. You also want to make sure that your guest has the ability to allow you to use images provided for promotional purposes. This protects you from third-party claims from, for instance, their photographer, if they have given you images to use without the ability to do so. This is always good to check on first, but having this agreement in place will protect you in the event that something goes awry on their end. Some podcasts also have a certain requirement of their guests to market the podcast in exchange for being invited on, especially if your guest has a large audience. If this is your expectation, it's best to get this clearly set out in writing.
Podcasting is can be a big business, so you want to make sure you’re on the same page as your guest when it comes to compensation. Your podcast guest agreement should set out what compensation there is (if any) and what the specifics and terms of this agreement are. If you have ads on your podcast, it's a good idea to be clear that your guest isn't entitled to any royalties relating to their episode.
#6: Control of Podcast Content
As the podcast host, you want to ensure that you have control over how you use and distribute the podcast content. Obviously, you want to be able to share it however you want. But what if your guest is NOT who they say they are, the interview goes terribly wrong, or you realize their opinions and behaviour are not in line with your values or the content you want to share?
You want to make sure that you have control of the podcast content and how it is used (or not used), and distributed. Just because you’ve recorded the episode doesn’t mean you have to use and share it, even though they’ve made the time to record it.
This is where the podcast guest release clause of the agreement comes into play, as it allows you to ensure that your guest releases their rights to the content and that you have the sole control over the content and how you use it.
If you are leveraging the power of podcasting in your business, first off, please know that I’m cheering for you and send me a link to Subscribe! I'm a podcast lover, and a big part of my journey to entrepreneurship!
I’m also here to help you ensure that you cover your legal bases while doing so, and a great way to do this is by using a Podcast Guest Agreement.If you don’t yet have a podcast guest agreement in place in your business and you want to implement a professional, lawyer-drafted contract to use with your podcast guests, check out our Podcast Guest Agreement ! It's super easy to use and customize for your unique podcast.