How to Be a Great Podcast Guest
Now, you listen to podcasts, right? Of course you do. Pretty much everyone does these days, and there are so many exceptional ones out there that it feels like we could spend all our time consuming them instead of actually working. Don’t do that!
But…what if podcasts could somehow factor into your business strategy? What if you could find a way to build podcasts right into your content marketing efforts to drive community engagement and even…… profit?
Well, Melissa from Toronto asked me this very question recently, and so I thought I’d answer her and at the same time, show you all how to become the podcast guest that EVERYONE wants to have on their show.
Podcast Hosts are Always on the Look Out for Great Guests!
Here’s a secret from me to you: podcast hosts are ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS, looking for great guests. Yes, they may have a weekly or daily show that appears to be full of amazing guests all the time, but I promise you, getting all those guests lined up is a huge amount of work. Good guests are hard to come by.
So, if you’re wanting to pitch hosts and get on more shows this year, follow these tips to catch the attention you need. And… honestly, it’s only about 5% of people who do this, so don’t take shortcuts here. Put in the effort, and you will see the results.
1. Be a Fan First
You wouldn’t believe how many pitches podcast hosts get from people who don’t even listen to their podcast. It’s painfully obvious when I’m receiving a form letter or a blanket pitch that also got sent to a dozen other hosts, and I promise you, those are always the first ones to get deleted. Please, don’t even consider pitching a podcast that you haven’t heard at least a handful of episodes of. Good hosts work hard to create valuable content for a specific audience, and if you aren’t part of that audience, in my eyes… you really have no business being on that show in the first place.
If you’re a fan of a show, the host will know it right away in your pitch. They’ll be able to tell from the detail you add and enthusiasm you show… that you’re a genuine listener. It matters, guys. Really.
So, number one way to be a great podcast guest is to be a fan, first!
2. Do your Research
Many hosts have sites or pages dedicated to their podcast, so even if you already listen regularly to the show, check the site first to see if the host has any requirements for potential guests. Again, you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this, and have their pitches immediately deleted as a result. Take a minute to check the site, see if the host requires anything specific, and file that information away for the next step. Which is…. To….
3. Personalize Your Email
When you’re ready to reach out to the host of a show you want to be on, do so in the tone that represents your personal brand. If you’re funny, be funny in your email. If you’re blunt, be blunt. Show your personality, and then… align that with the show’s purpose and the host’s guest requirements. Don’t EVER send a boring form letter pitching your expertise and asking them for the favor of being on their show. You want your appearance on their show to be a no-brainer for everyone, which means you have to go the extra mile to make your email an intriguing first point of contact. And how do you do that? I’ve got two B’s for you here: Be BRIGHT, and be BRIEF.
Good hosts are busy, so you’ve got 200 words max to sell yourself and what you’re all about. Be respectful of their time, and they’ll be respectful of yours. A structure that works particularly well is the following….. a quick greeting and intro to your expertise, a demonstration or proof that you actually do listen to the show (maybe you can indicate how a favorite episode helped you in some way), and finally, AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE… an invitation for the host to check out a piece of content you’ve created that could lend itself to a really interesting on-air discussion. That’s it!
4. Make it About Them
Once you secure the interview and get on the show itself, here’s a cool way to blow your host away: talk about the parallels between your expertise and theirs. This sounds so simple, I know, but far too many guests get on and then just talk about themselves or their niche the whole time!
5. Invite Everyone Back to Your Place
At the end of the interview, your host will typically give you an opportunity to talk about a thing you’re working on or launching. Use this time wisely—state briefly what you’d like more people to know about, and for bonus points all around, invite listeners to check out a specific URL for an exclusive freebie from you. But… just ONE URL, okay – otherwise, they’ll visit none.
6. Follow Up
When the interview is over, write a quick thank-you email within a day or two. Let the host know how much you enjoyed your time together, and offer to promote the show to your platform when it’s ready – that always makes a great podcast guest, trust me!