Getting on a podcast as a guest can be a fantastic way to increase your audience and spread your message.
But how do you make sure your pitch to get on as a guest is successful?
Here’s my top tips to help you get the best yes rate!
Listen to the podcast you want to go on.
For the love of all things podcasting please, please, please and please again make sure you have listened to the podcast you want to go on.
And not just the latest episode. Listen to a few of them. Really get a feel for what the podcast is about, who it’s aimed at and who is behind the podcast.
If you only follow one bit of advice I give then let it be this one.
I have had so many pitches for people to come on my podcast from people who have clearly never listened to it. They have no idea what it’s about and it’s frankly a bit insulting to waste my time in this way. I am not alone as a podcast host in thinking this!
Also bear this in mind too - If you’ve never heard an episode of the podcast before you might end up asking to go on a podcast that never interviews guests, more time wasting, you might end up on a podcast that is boring, that doesn’t match your values or you simply don’t like listening to.
Which makes life a bit awkward!
Figure out why you want to be a podcast guest.
Your why doesn’t have to be the same for every guest appearance or pitch.
But it’s good to understand what your goal from being on the podcast is.
Are you hoping to get exposure to the podcast audience? Again why? To build up your audience? To sell something or to just get known as an authority a bit more?
Do you have a particular thing you want to sell? Or a message you want to give. Regular listeners will know I’m banging on about my podcast planning toolkit at the moment - so I’ve recently been a guest on another podcast talking about how to plan your podcast! So I’m putting myself in front of that audience as the person to go to when it comes to podcast planning.
Always have a goal in mind because that will help you with the next tip!
Research the podcast and the podcast host first before getting in touch with them
I’ve already mentioned listening to the podcast you want to go on but it’s so important that you do that I am going to say it again. Listen to the podcast before you ask to go on.
By doing this you will know if it’s the right podcast for you. Is it going to help you achieve your goals?
You’ll also understand if you will bring value to the podcast as well. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that guests should only go on a podcast if they add value to the audience, no other reasons.
As well as listening to the podcast, I recommend you spend time interacting with the podcast host too. Follow them on social media, interact with their posts, say nice things about them. Begin to move your relationship with them from cold to at least warm.
Find out who the audience is, hang out in any groups connected to the podcast and begin to understand what it is they are interested in, what they want to know more about and what they are already clued up on.
Yes it feels like a lot of hard work but by understanding the audience you should then be able to know if you can add value for them. If you can’t, this is not the podcast for you to go on. I’m sorry. It doesn’t matter how much you love the podcast, how often you listen to it and how much you admire the host - if you can’t add value to the podcast audience then you shouldn’t be pitching. Because if nothing else you’ll be wasting your time because any decent podcast host will say no.
Perfect your pitch!
Your pitch has to be bang on straight away. You want to make it easy for the person you’re asking to say “YES come on my podcast now!”.
Start off by finding out the best way of contacting them.
I favour email over social media messages for “formal” business stuff. I can track the messages easier and know when to chase/follow up if it’s in my emails because of the system I run. I also find it easier for sending all the bits I need.
But don’t be afraid of using social media, either messages or in public to find out the best way of contacting somebody, or simply asking if it’s ok for you to get in touch about coming on the podcast. Open up the conversation first and keep it relaxed and you’re more likely to get a yes.
The pitch to be a guest is similar to the request to get a guest.
You need to make it personal. It can’t read as though the same email has gone to 50 other people.
Explain what you enjoy about the podcast (a bit of honest flattery never hurts). Put yourself forward as a guest and say straight away what you want to talk about on the podcast. And explain why you want to talk about that on their podcast.
You need to make it abundantly clear what value you will bring to the podcast, not what being on the podcast will do for you. In many ways you are pitching to the audience, not the host.
If you have something to sell mention this to the person you are pitching to upfront.. They are likely to have rules about what they allow on their podcast and maybe they’ll let you talk about your product or service. This is a good time to offer an affiliate link to them.
If they don’t allow this, you have to respect their decision. You should have an idea of whether this is likely to happen because you’ve been listening to the podcast and will have heard it. Or not.
In the same way podcasts will have a sponsor or media sheet, you should have one as a guest too.
This is a document with your information on it. Your name, your contact details, your social media handles along with your audience numbers for each platform. You want to add your email list audience and if you have a podcast put those details on too. Show the person you’re pitching to who else you can put them in front of (and actually do it.)
You also want to put examples of where you’ve been a guest too. An “as heard and seen on” section will show podcast hosts what you sound like and how you come across - put together a little montage or a show reel for them to listen to or watch.
Above all be polite and concise.
If you don’t hear back in a week then follow up with another email or message.
And don’t take a “no thank you” personally. Lots of podcast hosts are very precious about their podcasts because they are spending time and money making sure they deliver the messages they want them to deliver.
As long as you have taken the time to research the show and pitch well, a no is not a reflection of you. It’s just not the right time or place.
But how do you find these podcasts?
There are a few different ways you can find podcasts to pitch to. Firstly where appropriate you can pitch to the podcasts you already listen to and love. This takes a lot of the research work away as you already know about them!
Secondly you can search for podcasts in the market you want to talk about. Obviously here you are starting from scratch about deciding if you are a good fit or not.
Ask other people if they know any podcasts that they think would be suitable for you to go on as a guest.
And finally there are a few directories which list podcasts looking for guests and experts willing to be interviewed.
I’ve never used these and many appear to be American based. There may also be a fee involved to be listed on these websites. But if it gets you on podcasts with less of the legwork it could be worthwhile! I would still argue you want to be as picky with who you say yes to as you would when choosing who you pitch to. Make sure it’s worth your time.
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