This article is based on an email series on podcast tips for new podcasters. But the principles below apply to musicians and other creator types.
Appearing as a guest on podcasts is a cost-effective way to promote your work, share your expertise with new audiences, attract new fans, and build meaningful connections.
Start by identifying the best podcasts to pitch for a guest appearance. By “best” podcasts, I’m referring to podcasts that will best serve their audience while helping you achieve the goal of promoting your work.
Begin your search on Apple Podcasts and extend it to Google. Then consider these three tiers for your search. First look for podcasts that speak directly to a portion of your podcast audience, that’s tier one. The next tier of your search will be for podcasts that have some overlap with your audience. The third tier of your search will include podcasts that touch on your general interests but have even less overlap with your audience. Notice you’re starting with the most relevant, progressing to somewhat relevant, and eventually less relevant. Use a spreadsheet or other list tool to track your efforts with the podcasts you decide to target.
The following questions will help you identify the best prospects for your guest pitch outreach.
Does the podcast do guest interviews? At the risk of stating the obvious, don’t spend time pitching to podcasts that don’t do guest interviews.
Is the podcast still active? There are a lot of dead shows within the podcast ecosystem. Target the ones that are actively publishing new episodes. If it’s been several months or more since their last episode, you probably don’t want to include them in your list of prospects.
How many episodes have they published? Getting a guest spot with a podcast that has published over a thousand episodes can be more challenging than getting on one with under 50 episodes. Newer podcast hosts are generally hungry for quality guests like you. Quick wins will go a long way in building your confidence and momentum.
How do you view the quality of the podcast? Focus your efforts on podcasts with high-quality content and audio. These are the ones that will attract the most listeners for your guest appearance episode. Look to their reviews on Apple Podcasts and other platforms for added insight into the quality of the podcast.
Is the podcast a mutual fit? While you want to grow your audience, you’ll do well by thinking of the host podcast’s audience first. By providing value to the podcast’s host and audience, you’ll more easily capture new listeners and earn the support of the host.
Give podcast hosts what they want and need
Podcast hosts appreciate guests who sound good, present well in the interview, deliver value to their guests, and share their episodes. Having a website and professional photos of yourself for their episode artwork will also go a long way to helping the host. They’ll also love you for your active online presence and commitment to sharing your episode. Go the extra mile by suggesting topics, questions, and show titles – podcast hosts spend a significant amount of time on these areas.
Craft a compelling guest-pitch
Here are points for consideration that break down the anatomy of a perfect gest pitch.
– Acknowledge the host and their podcast with genuine compliments
– Listen to at least one of their episodes and tell the host what you loved about it
– Introduce and detail your episode topic ideas
– Provide social proof like testimonials, awards, past interviews, etc.
– Empathize and relate as a fellow creator
– Offer to have them on your podcast, blog or social platform
– Make yourself easy to schedule with scheduling tool like Calendly
– Give their podcast a review on Apple Podcasts and let them know you did so
Be a great guest
Preparation will go a long way toward giving a quality guest interview. Start by preparing stories and anecdotes that you can use during the interview. Be concise and conscious of your speaking time. Practice avoiding the use of filler words.
Familiarize yourself with their show format. Ask them if there will be an opportunity for you to pitch a product, service, or event during your interview. If the host permits you to pitch something on their show, do so tactfully.
Use a quality mic and headset or earbuds. Be mindful of your mic technique. Share your social hub. Don’t rattle off every social media handle you own when one place (like a website) can showcase your work, social media accounts, and more.
After the interview, send a thank-you note and ask the host if they need anything else from you. Promote your episode!