Keys for Podcast Guesting (that’ll have them asking you back!)
Maybe you’re considering starting a podcast but want to dip your toes in slowly and feel what it’s like to be behind the microphone.
Maybe you KNOW you love being a podcast guest and you want to be featured on more podcasts this year!
Whether you’re a newbie at the pitching and guesting thing, or you just want to sharpen your knowledge in this area, this blog is for you!
I had a recent conversation with my two friends and fellow podcasters, Lisa Zawrotny and Alesia Galati in which we chatted about some really important things to consider when pitching yourself to be a guest on podcasts, and some keys to being the kind of guest that keeps getting asked to come back!
This blog breaks down our discussion into simple, tangible action steps. And if you LOVE listening to podcasts as much as I do, I highly recommend you check out the episode after reading HERE.
Believe it’s Possible: Make the Ask.
“You’ll never know until you try” might be about the over-said advice ever and…. It’s TRUE!
Sometimes I read a book, hear a podcast, or discover someone online that I think to myself, “I MUST connect with them to be a guest or to have as a guest!” I follow that tug and nudge of curiosity, and go for it and make the ask. I ignore the little inner voice that says, “They won’t think you’re big enough, good enough, xyz enough, who are you to ask them?”
Time and time again I’m shocked and amazed at the people who say YES to being a guest and having me as a guest on their show, simply because I made the ask.
You have to ask. Ask and ye might receive. Don’t ask and ye are less likely to receive.
Listen to Their Show
You don’t have to listen to every single episode, but please know what their podcast is about, get to know them as a host, and understand their intention and audience. Discovering what the host is all about will help fast-track your decision in determining if you’re the right fit. There’s nothing more off-putting to a podcast host than when it’s clear someone is just pitching to pitch – because you have a podcast.
The language that gives away the fact they haven’t listened is often:
- Getting your name or the name of the show wrong
- Referencing a random episode number but not saying anything about the episode itself and how it relates
- They use a mutual connection or “friend” to pitch themselves and don’t actually talk specifically about your show at all
- Misunderstanding the purpose/audience of the show entirely (ie. speaking about Mustangs to a women entrepreneur listenership or top tips on homeschooling to a true crime show)
Listen to the show, pull out something that inspired or impacted you – make a reference to a specific episode. Show that you’re putting in time and effort to this and not just blasting your pitch into the ether and hoping it lands you a guesting spot.
Do What They Ask You to Do in Applying to Be a Guest
There’s nothing more annoying to me, as a podcast host, than when someone uses Facebook Messenger, text messaging, LinkedIn, email, or some other random form of communication to pitch me to be a guest on my show.
On my show page, it specifically says how to pitch to be a guest (using a form) AND it also says when I’m not accepting pitches.
Before you make a pitch, check to see if the podcaster has instructions on how to submit pitches PRIOR to reaching out.
It will go a LONG way, I promise you!
If you haven’t heard from them within a week or two, don’t be afraid to follow up. Often we put all of our inquiries in one spot and refer to them at a certain time so we can weed through them.
Show Up Prepared
Typically, a podcast host will share a link with you -Zoom, Zencastr, Riverside, etc. and instructions on what you’ll need the day of. This could be anything from a quality microphone to headphones, to a backdrop for Zoom. They also may prep you for questions. The instructions might be detailed and specific or more open-ended. Do what they ask of you and ask any questions if you’re confused or uncomfortable with the setup!
No matter how much, or how little information you’re given, you can safely assume you need to show up:
- Knowing your subject area or topic
- With a podcast microphone (I recommend THIS one to purchase inexpensively that still has great quality). For the love of Peter, Paul, and Mary… don’t just use your computer microphone!
- With headphones (beyond simply your computer speakers)
- Not driving somewhere or otherwise distracted
- Without excessive noise in the background (ie. your husband chainsawing, someone blowing leaves, or with kiddos and pets running around in your office)
Stand Out With a Great Pitch
I’ll sadly admit to you that it’s rarer to get a good pitch than a bad one. The good news is… that makes YOUR job easier! All you have to do to stand out is put in a little extra effort and you will significantly make your way up the pitching ranks.
The quick guide to standing out with a great pitch is:
- Listen to the show (as aforementioned)
- Learn about the host and mention what you like about them or what drew you to the show!
- Show them the VALUE you will provide their audience.
- Make their job easy by presenting some topics that you can share about.
How do you show them value? How can you present your topics concisely?
Show them value by indicating you care about THEIR show, their listeners, and what they’re doing. Collaboration and guesting isn’t the me-me-me show and podcasters want to know you’re not here to present a 60-minute sales pitch to their listeners.
I know that there’s “so much you could talk about” but be specific. Share 3-5 topics that you think are an untapped area on their show, or offer your unique approach/spin on a topic that’s already been covered.
At the end of the day, going the extra mile and putting in a little learning and research about who they are as a host and who their listeners are, will already set you apart and show that you care.
Be a Good Collaborator
When podcast guesting, remember that it’s a wonderful business strategy. It helps increase your visibility. AND, it’s a collaboration.
Someone else is generously sharing their platform, their audience, their business growth with YOU. Don’t take the opportunity lightly.
Ways to bring a collaborative spirit:
- Ensuring you get them everything they need in a timely manner: bio, headshot, social links, etc.
- Showing up prepared, on time, and with a quality microphone
- Sharing the episode, link, and show notes on your social media accounts, with your newsletter, etc.
- Adding the episode and link to the About Page of my website (#backlinksfordays)
- Be fun, professional, and offer value to their audience!
Six start—today-action steps for being a fabulous podcast guest:
- Listen to an episode! Understand who their audience is and what the intention is for the show.
- Make sure you look at the podcaster’s website and see if there’s instruction on where the host would like pitches to go.
- Follow up, if necessary.
- Consider how you can breathe fresh life and a new perspective when pitching your topics. Provide 3-5 options so the host can see where it fits in their content plan.
- Show up prepared and with a collaborative spirit.
- Remember that a great podcast interview is a win-win-win! (you, the host, and the listener!) Show up committed to being your best self!
Want more behind-the-scenes on podcast guesting or considering starting a podcast of your own?
Got more questions? I love answering questions and hearing your feedback. Red rover, red rover, send them over to: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to answer them in a future resource or reach out to you directly!