The One Third Rule for Podcast Interviews

For those of you who are wondering what the One Third Rule means, here is a quick summary: for every three persons I contact and ask to be a guest on the MyKitaab podcast, I am able to record one interview. come January, I plan to change my approach, and move to a referral based system to increase the response rates and conversion. For those who are interested in learning how or why, read on.

Cold Calling worked.. just about

Between October and December 2015, I reached out to nearly 100 potential guests and requested them to appear as a guest on my soon to be launched podcast. I literally began with a wish list of authors, editors, publishers, and other stakeholders in the book publishing industry in India. I knew a few of them personally, but they were a handful. The majority (over 90 percent of them) were cold calls- I had targeted the guests specifically from conferences, news articles, and bestseller lists on Over three months, I manged to record 23 interviews, each of them would be an episode once the podcast is launched.

23 isn’t one third!

True, but let me also consider that 4 of the confirmations for November and December had to be rescheduled, and I have 9 confirmations for January 2016. That’s means, a total of 14 additional interviews are in the pipeline. From past experience, for every 5 interviews that are scheduled, I have been able to record 4, that is, a success ration of 0.8. Therefore, for the month of January, my target is:

10 (confirmations) + 4 (rescheduled) = 14 scheduled

Factor in the success ration, we get 14*0.8 = 11

In other words, by end of January, we should be able to have a total of 34 episodes recorded. That is the One Third Rule.

Change in approach

Beginning January 2016, I will no longer use the cold call approach and make a few other changes to how I reach out to guests, schedule and record interviews for the podcast. I am summarizing the current versus future approach here:

Changed approach = higher conversions?

Two factors which make me believe that the one third rule can be bettered, i.e. approach to interview conversion can be higher than 33 percent:

  • Referrals. I have (belatedly) started asking the guests the following question:

“Can you recommend one or two persons within your network who can be future guests?”

This question should have been a no brainer, but I got so carried away by the responses I was receiving, that the thought escaped my mind completely.

  • Biggest factor, I think is that the MyKitaab website ( is up and running, and the podcast episodes will be available from 15th January onwards, in other words, I will be able to show a finished ‘product’ to future guests. So far, it was only discussing/ promising an idea.

Once the reviews, the download statistics start coming in, more guests might want to say yes than they currently do. Time will tell.

Creator- Gaatha Story- Podcast of Children's Stories. Cofounder Kamakshi Media and Author. Husband, dog lover. Country Manager for FSC, India.

Creator- Gaatha Story- Podcast of Children's Stories. Cofounder Kamakshi Media and Author. Husband, dog lover. Country Manager for FSC, India.