This article covers 8 tips on how to be a guest on a podcast. For additional informational articles, check out our ongoing series of Podcasting Resources articles
The promotional benefits of being booked on a podcast are numerous. You’re promoting yourself and your product in a relatable way, so if people enjoy your appearance on the show, they’ll want to buy your product or learn more.
Being booked as a guest also gives you an aura of expertise, adding credibility to your sales pitch – whether that be a book, software, or your own podcast.
To help, here’s our guide on how to get booked on a podcast.
Before you get started learning how to be a guest on a podcast, first ask yourself, why you want to be a guest on a podcast. If you’re looking for quick and easy self-promotion, this isn’t the medium for you.
Podcasts are fantastic for selling your message or product, but the process is slower. What you lose in speed, you gain in a strong brand allegiance unique to the podcasting medium.
To harness this power, you need to create a plan. Understand what kind of podcasts you’d be the best fit for, both in the topic and in tone. The more you click with the host and their show, the better your guest appearance, and thus a more successful sales pitch for your product.
Also, take the popularity of the show into account. If you’re trying to promote your small independent stand-up comedy album, you’re not going to get booked on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Being realistic will increase your likelihood of getting booked and will ultimately save you time.
The next step to getting booked on a podcast is compiling a list of shows you’d like to be a part of. For this, you can use Google, podcast listening apps, or Podchaser (you can guess what we prefer).
On any podcast listening app, whether it be Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or anything else, simply search for your area of expertise via topic categories or the search bar to find related podcasts. You can also search for podcasts related to your product on Google. This will usually yield listicle style articles that might catch shows you didn’t see on the podcast listening apps.
As you find podcasts you’d like to reach out to, be sure to keep track of them in a spreadsheet. Organization is key when progressing through these seven steps.
One unique way to find Podcasts via Podchaser is to filter and search only by user-made lists. Lists are a really quick and an easy way to find podcasts, as our community has already done the discovery work for you! In addition, lists like “12 Best Indie Music Podcasts” are a great insight into which shows listeners are most passionate about.
You can even create lists yourself to keep track of the podcasts you discover on Podchaser. Later you can export this list with the podcasts’ contact information attached.
Podchaser Pro provides additional tools that can help your research. You can search by Power Score to find the most influential podcasts, sort by audience demographics, and filter to only find shows that accept guests.
Now that you have found all the shows you’d like to guest on, the next step is to find their contact information.
The process is straightforward but time-consuming. Google search the name of the podcast followed by the words “email” or “contact information”. You’ll often come across the podcasts’ personal websites or the podcast network they are a part of.
Google will also give you access to a podcast’s RSS feed. RSS feeds usually contain an email address, but it’s inconsistent. And even if you can find the show’s email, they are rarely monitored.
If you’ve scoured Google and still can’t find any direct contact information, most podcasts have some sort of social media account. The names of which will either be available on their Podchaser show page, their website, or easily searchable on Twitter, Instagram, or Youtube.
Podchaser Pro makes this much easier. Once you find the podcast you’d like to contact, Podchaser Pro’s podcast contact database provides you with clearly organized contact information that is independently verified. On each contact information page, you can quickly target who you’d like to reach out to, whether that be “sponsorship inquiries”, “general inquiries,” the host, editor, producer, etc.
You’ve done all the leg work of finding podcasts and their contact information, now it’s time for the moment of truth: writing and sending a pitch that convinces a podcast host to have you on their show. This step is the most crucial and unfortunately the most difficult. Let’s dig in.
The first step of crafting a pitch is listening to the podcast you’re interested in. You’ll be able to tailor your pitch to the host better after you know the tone of their show, as well as their style of interviewing.
Listening to their show will also help you stand out. Podcasters receive generic pitches all day. By being familiar with the show, you can stand out by making a personalized pitch.
Once you’ve learned more about the podcast, ask yourself, “what can I bring to the table?” You’ll need to convince the host that you can bring a unique perspective or discussion topic to their podcast. A running podcast, for example, probably doesn’t need any guests discussing “how to run your first 5K”, as it’s likely already been discussed at length on other episodes.
The podcaster’s goal is to create great content for their show and ultimately grow their audience. When you’re trying to find your angle, be sure to consider how you can contribute to the podcaster’s continuing success.
The last element to include in your pitch is your credentials. If you’ve already guested on other podcasts, let them know, and be sure to include a link to your Podchaser creator page. With that one link, the podcaster can quickly see your whole podcasting resume as well as immediately listen to your other appearances.
But don’t be discouraged if you haven’t been on podcasts yet, as there are still a few ways to share your credentials.
If you have a video or audio recording of you discussing your area of expertise, share it with the podcast host. This will not only show that you know what you’re talking about but also prove that you are a compelling public speaker.
If you don’t have that either, don’t fret. Simply explain your credentials in a concise way, similar to summarizing your resume in a job interview.
If you have an online following, promise to cross-promote your guest appearance to your audience. It’s a win-win situation, where the host’s audience is exposed to you, and your audience is exposed to the podcast.
Our final tip for writing your pitch is to get to the point. Your goal is to receive a response to your email, which is an uphill battle. To do this you need to spark attention but not overwhelm. You have to resist the urge to include everything.
With all that in mind, don’t meander in your pitch. In under 200 words – describe who you are, what you like about the podcast, what you’d like to discuss on the show, and how your appearance would benefit the podcast.
It’s likely that you’ll be reaching out to dozens of podcasts, hoping to maximize your chances of being booked. It’s easy to become disorganized, not knowing when you’ve scheduled what with who. It’s also likely that people will respond weeks after you’ve sent your email, and you can easily forget everything you learned in the research process.
We recommend creating a spreadsheet with columns labeled “pitch sent?” “host responded?” and “recording date/time”. It is also helpful to paste in the contact information, show name, and any notes you have from when you were researching the podcast.
Ultimately, you can organize this spreadsheet however you prefer, but we’ve found that it really helps to keep all of your pitching information in one easily digestible document.
As previously mentioned, when you’re researching, you can compile podcasts using Podchaser’s list feature.
If you have Podchaser Pro, then you can take notes on each podcast page to keep track of where you’re at in your booking journey.
As we’ve previously mentioned, podcasters are likely to be busy people, receiving pitches constantly. This means that your expertly crafted pitch may be buried in the host’s inbox, and hasn’t gotten to see the light of day that it deserves.
In this situation, a polite follow-up email can make all the difference. Once again, make sure that this message is short and to the point. You’re not trying to resend your initial pitch, you’re just giving them a gentle nudge to read your initial pitch.
As far as when to send your follow-up email, we recommend you wait 7-14 days after your initial pitch to reach back out.
This last step is harder than it may seem. After all the work you’ve done up to this point, it’s easy to be discouraged if nobody has responded. It’s normal to not hear back for weeks, so don’t assume that you’ve been rejected.
In the meantime, you can go back to step one and find more podcasts to reach out to. There are over 2 million podcasts, so there are bound to be hundreds where you’re the perfect fit. If your initial pitches aren’t getting any bites, then maybe you should experiment with retargeting your niche.
If this all sounds incredibly difficult, it’s because it is. A wonderful alternative to the headache of trying to get yourself booked is to use Podchaser Connect.
Our team will handle every step for you, from finding podcasts, to gathering contact information, and writing a personalized pitch for you.
After thousands of guest placement pitches, we’ve perfected the pitch that works. We work with you or your team to craft a message that resonates with podcasters.