Hi, I'm Alastair

If you’re seeing this, you’re either scheduled to guest on the “The Recognized Authority” podcast, or you are considering being a guest.

On this page, you’ll find answers to all the most “Frequently Asked Questions” about the podcast – and what you’ll need to know as a guest.

The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

Guiding invisible experts on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command higher fees, and work with better clients.

Frequently Answered Questions

Our previous guests include Alan Weiss, Marcus Sheridan, Mark Schaefer, David C. Baker, Ron Baker, Evelyn Starr, Michael Zipursky, Jonathan Stark, Geraldine Carter, Mike Clay, Sara Dunn, Louis Grenier, Anne Janzer, Philip Morgan, Rochelle Moulton, Norbert Schwarz, Heather Steele, Douglas Squirrel and many more. See the full list here

The “The Recognized Authority” audience are typically independent consultants or managing partners in boutique consulting firms. They are experts in their field and often have established networks at a very high level, including CEO and other board members.

Their specialization ranges from business & management consultants to media, design and engineering consultants. We also get some listeners from shoulder industries, including lawyers, accountants, architects, and other professional services.

Here’s what they say:

The Recognized Authority is a podcast I often recommend to others interested in learning more about how to position themselves as experts, and it’s one of the best I’ve come across in terms of the way it’s designed and branded – which is no surprise, considering that the host Alastair McDermott has a web design background.

— Jonathan Baillie Strong, Spotlight Podcasting Agency

I recently connected with Alastair McDermott, his gifs alone made him one of my favorite people here. But his podcast is a must-listen for anyone who's into branding. That should be every business owner. EVERYONE. There are amazing guests and he's an amazing host. Few people manage to dig deep and ask insightful questions in a podcast interview, and Alastair is one of them. I binged a few episodes while gardening today. Not an efficient process I must say, stopping every few minutes to take notes :) -- Dragos Balasoiu

This is not the podcast for you if you’re looking for huge numbers. Look for a consumer focused podcast if that’s your thing. 

That said, we do have a very targeted audience of consultants and owners of small professional services firms, and we are in the top 10% of all podcasts in terms of download numbers. 

For promotion, we have a combined social media following of over 15,000 (multiple Twitter accounts, 5k+ on LinkedIn, Facebook etc). Every episode is promoted to these channels.

We also invest hard cash in paid promotion. Here’s some of the ads we’ve run on Overcast:

Overcast advertisements
And ads on PodcastAddict:

PodcastAddict ads 2021
I’d love you to be one of the episodes we’re paying to promote 🙂

Yes. We feature three main types of guest on the show: I call them The Successful, The Experts, and The Brave!

  1. The Successful are successful independent consultants – in any field – who are willing to share the ups and downs of their business story to inspire and educate our listeners.
  2. The Experts are marketing and sales experts who have a message or lesson that is relevant for independent consultants.
  3. The Brave are independent consultants  who are ready and willing to take a public “Hot Seat” for a live coaching session with me.

If you are in one of these groups, please apply below to guest on the show. Note that we record well in advance so we have a lead time of around 3 months.

The exact questions will depend on your background and expertise. The goal of the podcast is to help independent consultants to build their authority, become more profitable, and to enjoy their business more. My first suggestion is for you to listen to a couple of episodes if you haven’t already. There are some short episodes around the 30 minute mark that will only take 20 minutes if you listen at 1.5X speed. 

I like to laugh a bit on the podcast, I’m not “all business”, so it’s just a chat over coffee where I pick your brains about your expert topic.

I like to make the episodes very actionable, and I like to start the conversation by diving straight into your area of expertise. If you have a book or a signature methodology, I’ll ask you to walk through the key points of that for our listeners. 

Later in the episode, depending on time, I’d like to delve into your story and about some things you’ve learned along your business journey.

There are some wrap up questions I like to ask everyone:

  • Can you tell us about a failure you experienced in business, and what you learned from it?
  • Is there a business book, podcast or other resource that you’d recommend?
  • What’s your favourite fiction book or TV show?
  • Where’s the best place for our listeners to find you online?

Around 45 minutes

The booking system (link below) will reserve 55 minutes on your calendar.

This allows us a few minutes to chat before and afterwards, leeway in case of any technical issues, and still allows you a quick break if you have another call at the top of the hour.

The main podcast episodes are releases audio-only. However, during the interview we like to record video as well if at all possible, so that we can create some show clip videos that we turn into videos for social media sharing.

We’re not NPR, but I do want to make sure the audio is of reasonably good quality to be fair to our listeners.

Here’s a very brief guide:

  • Not so good: internal microphones of any kind (on your laptop, webcam or phone)
  • Good: headset microphone (the $50 Sennheiser SC160 is a good option here)
  • Best: external microphone (a dynamic USB mic like the $100 ATR2100X )

Echo: Empty spaces and hard surfaces can cause reverb/echo in your recording space. You can improve the acoustics dramatically by adding some soft furnishings. I’ve often hung blankets off-camera in my office. 

A couple of other points: for podcasts, it’s better to wear headphones rather than using speakers – it removes any potential audio bleed. And for the camera, it’s better if you are sitting facing a light source, rather than having it behind you. 

If you need some more specific suggestions for hardware I’d be more than happy to share.

I use a podcast recording service that is very similar to Zoom, but results in better quality audio. You don’t need special software, just a web browser – preferably Chrome or Firefox. It’s definitely best to use a laptop or desktop computer. 

If you plan to join from a computer, then you don’t need to do anything ahead of time! You’ll simply click the link I send you shortly before our scheduled time, which will take you directly to to join me.

Phones or tablets are not recommended, but if that’s what we need to work with, we’ll make it work!

Please let me know how you’d like to do the call there and we can figure out the details.

I want you to be your authentic self, and if that requires the occasional swear-word, that’s fine by me. (We’ll tag the episode as containing explicit language.)

That said, we aren’t recording an episode of The Wire,  and although I do love that classic scene in s01e04,  I’d prefer to keep it within reasonable parameters for a friendly business environment. 

When we start our call, we’ll chat informally for a few minutes (how long depends on your schedule). I’ll answer any questions you have before starting the interview portion of the call. When we’re both ready, I’ll countdown to when I start recording.

Yes! We usually edit on the backend, so don’t worry if there’s an unforeseen interruption or two.

If there is an interuption – noise or internet jitters – what I recommend you do is take a beat or two to think, and then restart your last sentence as if the interuption never happened.

These things happen – don’t let it derail you and we will take care of it in editing!

Typically, no. That’s simply because of the release schedule, but if you really need to review it, ask for the audio immediately after the recording call and we’ll do our best to get it to you.

This is not “gotcha journalism”, I want you to get the best possible outcome from guesting on my show, and if that means we need to delete something, we can do that in exceptional circumstances.

1,000% yes. That would be a fantasic use of the interview.

We’d really appreciate if you can link to the episode page on our website from wherever you publish the repurposed content, but that’s entirely at your discretion. 

It’ll probably be at least a month or two.

In order to keep our production process calm and unstressed, we like to record about 4-8 weeks in advance, and keep a buffer of 5-10 episodes at any given time.

If you have a particular launch or event that you would like your episode to coincide with, let us know in the intake form – we’ll do our best to accommodate!

That’s super, thank you! 

If you’ve been invited to guest: we’ll send you a scheduling link directly, no need to use the application form as we have already checked if it’s a good fit.

If you haven’t been invited, but think that you’d be a good fit: please start by filling in the application form linked below.