Podcasting is the hottest thing on the block. While it has been around for more than a dozen years, it seems to have exploded in the last couple of years as services like Anchor have made it easier than ever to put your voice out into the world.
Like blogging, creating a podcast takes a lot of time. Depending on the length and style of the podcast, each episode can take 4 – 10 hours to plan, record, edit, write show notes, create graphics, publish and promote. If you don’t have a specific calling from God to invest that kind of time in podcasting, you may feel like you’ve missed the bandwagon. I know. I felt it, too.
But people like you and me can still participate in this growing trend (and the exposure it can bring to your business or ministry) by being a podcast guest.
Many podcasts are interview-style or conversational. Which means the hosts need people to interview or converse with. This is the perfect opportunity to fill their gap with your valuable expertise. However, landing those coveted guest spots takes some intentional and sincere effort.
So, if you want to reach new people, establish credibility and use your God-given skills and talents in new ways, try these methods for landing podcast guest spots.
Identify Your Goals and Boundaries
What, specifically, are you trying to accomplish by being a podcast guest? Promote a book? Grow your audience? Sign up coaching clients? Make connections with the influencer hosts? Understanding these goals will help you strategically pick the podcasts to pitch.
Also, know your boundaries and limitations. Are you willing to be a guest only on faith-based podcasts? Can you cover your topic in a short 15-20 minute conversation? Or do you need 45 minutes to an hour to do the topic justice? These boundaries can help narrow your list as you consider podcasts to pitch.
Identify Good Matches
This step starts by listening to lots of podcasts. You can search keywords in your favorite podcast app, ask your audience what podcasts they are already listening to, and look for “Top Podcasts for ______ ” posts in Pinterest to find potential matches.
Listen to at least a few episodes, listening especially for places where you could add value or extend the conversation the host is already having with their audience.
I listened to a podcast where the guest was talking about how pursuing your dream will take a lot out of you and if you are in a season where you can’t give your all to your dream, it may not be your time. I reached out to the host and said I totally agreed with what her guest said, but thought we could offer her audience some positive things they could do in that season of waiting. You can listen to my guest episode on the Devoted Dreamers podcast here.
Also, keep in mind the size of the podcast. While podcasts of all sizes have a lot of episodes to fill, the larger podcasts have lots of people trying to land one of their spots. It’s good to have a few stretch targets, but don’t ignore the smaller podcasts. Many of them have very loyal audiences who will listen and promote your episode.
Be part of the audience
Once you have a list of potential guest spots and some topic ideas, be part of the podcast audience. Find the podcast and/or host on social media and interact as a listener. Share your favorite quotes on your own social media. Get to know the show, host and audience to refine your topic idea.
Send the pitch
Look around to see if the podcast has a guest submission form or process on their website. If not, reach out to the host and ask if they have a specific process or email address for guest submissions. Sometimes they’ll want it to go to a producer for screening first.
Once you know how to apply, send your pitch. It should be personal and specific, based on what you have learned about the podcast. Include your potential topics and some sample questions. If you have a book or other product you are promoting, offer to send it to the host for review. You may also offer an extra copy for a giveaway. If you have a one-sheet or media kit, you can send that as well to help the host get to know you. You can view a sample podcast guest one-sheet from the Interview Valet here.
Recently, at the Spark Christian Podcasting Conference, there was a panel about guest interview best practices. All of the hosts said the pitches that stand out are the ones that show the effort of understanding the content, format and audience, so do your research and then reflect it in your pitch. Using these practices, I had a booking success rate of around 75% of my pitches. I hope you have great success with it too!
Share in the comments any other tips you have about being a podcast guest.
For more tips on being a great podcast guest, check out Episode 139 of the Business, Jesus and Sweet Tea Podcast from Heather Heuman