15 Minute Freelancer

62. How to use podcast guesting to attract freelance clients (with Anne Claessen)

June 10, 2022 Louise Shanahan Episode 62
15 Minute Freelancer
62. How to use podcast guesting to attract freelance clients (with Anne Claessen)
Show Notes Transcript

A podcast episode about podcasting! Have you ever considered appearing as a podcast guest to share what you do with a new audience - or even start your own podcast as a way to get freelance clients?

My guest is Anne Claessen, founder of Podcast Babes, and in this episode, she shares with us her tips and tricks on how to use podcasting to grow your freelance business.

In our conversation, we cover:

  • How podcast guesting is an underrated way for freelancers to grow their businesses
  • How to pitch yourself as the perfect podcast guest (and who to pitch!)
  • How to prepare and be a great podcast guest
  • What it takes to build a successful podcast

Say hi to Anne:

Instagram: @thepodcastbabes
Facebook: @thepodcastbabes
Pinterest: @thepodcastbabes

Say hi to Louise:

Louise Shanahan is a freelance health and medical copywriter and a big fan of finding your freelance niche. She's on a mission to help others build a freelance business that feels easy and works for them – in weekly snack-sized bites.

LinkedIn: Louise Shanahan
Twitter: @LouiseShanahan_
Website: thecopyprescription.com

Support the podcast! If you find this episode helpful and you'd like to show your appreciation, consider leaving a tip over at ko-fi.com/15minutefreelancer. Donations help cover the cost of running the podcast and are very much appreciated.


Welcome to 15 Minute Freelancer, your snack-sized guide to being your own boss and building a business and life you love. I'm your host Louise Shanahan. My LinkedIn bio says I'm a freelance health copywriter. But for the next 15 minutes, I'll be tickling your ears with practical strategies, behind-the-scenes stories, and nuggets of wisdom so you can create a freelance business that works for you. Whether you're just starting out or you've been self-employed for a while, I'll be right here with you to help you navigate the ups and downs of freelancing life. So grab a coffee relax and join me for 15 minutes of freelancing fun. Don't forget to hit subscribe.

Louise:  Hello, freelance friends, today we are getting a bit meta. This is going to be a podcast about podcasting and specifically how podcasting can help freelancers build a thriving business. I'm joined today by Anne Claessen, who is the founder of Podcast Babes, and she's going to share with us her tips and tricks on how to be a podcast guest and how to start your own podcast. Hi Anne.

Anne: Hi, Louise. I'm so excited to be here.

L: Thank you, I'm glad that you're here too. So, Anne, tell us, in your experience, how can podcast guesting help freelancers grow their businesses? Because that might be something that people are curious about, but maybe aren't quite sure where to start.

A: Yeah, it might sound a little scary, right? Like, oh, my god, do I need to go on a podcast now, and what do I do there. But the cool thing about podcasting is that it's long-form content and you can say whatever you want to say. It is great to provide value to an audience, and as a guest on a podcast the amazing thing there is that this podcaster has been building an audience already. You can come on the podcast, give value, make people fall in love with you and the value that you provide, and that's it. I mean, the audience is already there. It's actually a pretty easy way to build a relationship or a connection with people who listen to the podcast that you record with the podcast host. Podcasting is a growing industry on all sides, there are more podcasts, there are more podcast listeners, there's more software to do this. It's getting easier and easier to create podcasts, so that is really exciting. I think there's going to be more and more opportunities here, and for freelancers, it's just such a good way to leverage this platform without necessarily having to grow your own audience from scratch.

L: Yeah, I totally agree with that, you're kind of borrowing someone else's audience aren't you, and it helps you reach new people. Then because you're in someone's ears, it's much more intimate, isn't it? They can't sort of scroll or skip on the way they might with a blog post or a video. That's what I really love about it.

A: Exactly, yeah. And people also hear your voice, so that also builds kind of a connection. It's not that people are reading an Instagram post or anything, but people are really listening to you, like literally listening to you. And that is also quite powerful, I think.

L: If people want to try this, how should they find which podcast to reach out to? What kind of criteria should they consider to narrow down the shows that they might want to appear on?

A: I think step one is knowing who you want to reach. I mean, probably as a freelancer, you want to reach your ideal client, so where do they hang out? What podcasts do they listen to? Then that's the podcast that you want to be on because that's how you reach them. Sometimes it is really easy to see that for podcasts, because in the description very often it says this podcast is for these people who are doing these things, and this is what you can hear on this podcast. If you're going out to find these podcasts, it's relatively easy compared to some other platforms to see what they're all about and who they want to reach. Then you just reach out to the host. I'm sure we’ll go into that more, like how to do that exactly. But find the podcast and then find where you can find the host. So whether it's email, social media, whatever is easiest. Whatever you can find, also, like sometimes you cannot really find an email address. A little bit like the technical side of podcasting it all goes out through an RSS feed, and in that RSS feed there is an email address linked to it, so you should always be able to find an email address for the podcast host.

L: Yeah, and I think that most podcast hosts are keen for you to get in touch, so they usually don't make it too difficult. Once someone has decided on which podcast they want to try and appear on, how would you suggest they go about pitching themselves as a podcast guest? Is it a case of just sending someone a DM and saying, hey, I'd like to be on your show, or is there a bit more to it than that, do you think?

A: Well, I think that could also work, depending on what your goal is here. What I sometimes do, or what my team sometimes does, is we send a DM saying, hey, what exactly is the process of becoming a guest on your show, or how can we come on your show? Then usually they send a link or there's usually something in place that you have to go through, like a form that you fill out or something. So if you cannot find that, then that's definitely an idea and it's a first point of contact, which can be good. Like maybe that also is like the start of a relationship already, pitching anything you want to build some kind of relationship, so even if it's not a yes now, maybe it's a yes in the future. So that is a tip that I can give you. Then reach out with a specific pitch. So usually, if you say, hey, I want to be on your podcast, you probably don't get that many yeses. If you ask how can I come on your podcast, or you know, if you kind of ask about that process, I think usually you do get a response. But, hey, I want to be on your podcast, okay, that's cool, but what is in it for the podcast host and what is in it for the audience. As a podcast host, I am always looking to provide value to my audience. So what I love is when people send me a pitch, saying, hello, I would love to be on your podcast, one or two sentences about this person, but then a few bullet points of talking points, or a few suggested titles for the episode even, that makes my life as a podcast host so much easier. Because I know exactly what to expect from this podcast guest, I know exactly what I can offer my audience if this person comes on the podcast.

L: Yeah, personally, when people get in touch with me about being a guest on this podcast, the things that really stand out to me are when someone shows that they've listened to it before, and they're actually a fan and they know what I talk about. They know what kind of topics and format the show has and they really show that they've thought about interesting topics and angles that they could talk about that would be relevant to this particular audience. Like you say, it's about showing what value can you add and how can we make this a two-way thing. Sometimes people will get in touch and you can tell it's a bit of a template that's been sent and maybe they haven't quite thought through whether what they want to talk about is going to be relevant. You know, I've had people getting in touch to talk about real estate and things, and I'm like, maybe that could be interesting, but maybe for another podcast!

A: Yeah, you want to make sure that it's a good match for this specific audience. Otherwise, it's just not going to be a good match. You’ve also got to show that you know the audience, or at least that you have a good guess of who the audience is.

L: Let's say you get the go-ahead then. You've reached out to a podcast host and they've said, yeah, let's book a time. You've got the slot booked in the diary to record. Have you got any tips for how people can prepare so that they're a good podcast guest and maybe any tips for what they should be thinking about during and after the interview to follow up?

A: I think before the interview, it's important to follow the process that the interviewer, or the podcast host, has laid out. For every podcast that I've been on the process is a little bit different, sometimes there's a pre-interview, sometimes there isn't, sometimes you have to fill out a form, sometimes you just book in Calendly and it's there. It can look really different but just go with it. These people have this system for a reason and that is how they can produce the podcast in an efficient way. I think before the podcast it's really important to do what the podcast host asks you to do. If they ask you to provide a headshot, provide a headshot, provide a bio, fill out the forms. Then during the interview, good audio is just really nice because it takes away less time editing. Even if you don't have a mic, that's fine, you can still have decent audio without having a mic. Then wear headphones, best is headphones with some kind of cable attached to your computer, not the wireless headphones because they can have a bit of a connection issue sometimes. Make sure that your internet connection is the best it can be, close the door, close the windows, and ask the dog to be in another room. All these little things, but it's actually really nice as a podcast host if the audio quality is good. If you have a room that's really echoey then my tip is to put some blankets or pillows around your mic. Sometimes it also helps to close the curtains if you have curtains and things like that. You want to make sure that a lot of the surfaces are covered in blankets or are soft which is good for the sound as well.

L: That's what I have right now. I've got the curtains closed and I've got pillows up, blankets everywhere.

A: Yeah, it just sounds so much better. I think it's also good for you as the guest because then people can really listen to what you have to say and are not distracted by all the other things going on. If a podcast is really, really echoey, but I also really want to hear that content I usually start listening, and then after 10 minutes it's kind of exhausting to listen to it, so personally, I would stop listening and that's just a shame.

L: Yeah, the sound quality is one side of it, but what you're actually saying is kind of more important, isn't it? Do you think it's useful to have a few anecdotes, some stories, some ideas of things that you might want to talk about in your head beforehand, maybe make a few notes. Is that something that you would recommend?

A: I think usually you have pitched this person, or this person invited you on the podcast for a specific reason, right? Like, I asked you, Louise, if I could come on the podcast to talk about podcasting. So then we already knew before we started to record roughly what we're going to talk about, and I think that's really good. If you have no idea what you're going to talk about, that then can be difficult. I would definitely suggest also listening to a previous episode or a previous interview episode specifically, so that you can get a feel for the interviewer’s style of interviewing. I think that's also important. That's what I just did before we started recording.

L: Let's take it a step further. Let's say you've been a podcast guest, you loved it so much that you think, maybe I'll start my own. Or maybe you've heard that it's just a great way to attract clients, or you want to learn a new skill and you want to start your own podcast. Have you got any very quick tips for people who might want to start and grow their own podcast?

A: Yes, podcasting is super fun and super effective to build an audience. But not really if you only have a few episodes out, I think the real magic happens when you can stay consistent for a longer time and when you postpone that pay-off, basically. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes a lot of work, but I do think it is worth it. But ask yourself if it is also worth it for you. If you can commit for at least six months to a year probably, for my podcast, the real impact happened and the real opportunities came after a year of podcasting, and after a lot of content. If you want to start a podcast, I mean, if it's not worth it for you, I totally understand, right. You don't have to have your own podcast as we talked about you can also be a guest on other people's podcasts and still leverage this platform. But when you do start a podcast, it's fine to experiment, but also know what you're getting yourself into.

L: Yeah, it is a bit of a long game, isn't it? You also probably want to be thinking about is this going to be the best way. If your goal is to build your freelance business and attract clients, is this where my clients are, is this going to be the best way to reach them, or maybe there are other forms of marketing and outreach that would be a better way. But it's definitely a lot of fun. You have to enjoy the process though, don’t you?

A: Yes, absolutely. The process is the most fun.

L: Thank you, Anne, honestly, I could talk about this all day, we might need to do a part two. If people want to find out more about you and about Podcast Babes and what you do, where can they find you?

A: I would say come to my home on the internet, thepodcastbabes.com. You can find our episodes of the Podcast Babes podcast there so you can listen if you are interested in starting your podcast, or growing your podcast, or monetizing your podcast if you already have one, then I think that is the place to be. We're also on all the social media channels, we're on Instagram, I think that's our main platform to find us @thepodcastbabes.

L: Brilliant, thank you so much, and thank you to everybody for listening. Please go and check out the Podcast Babes podcast as well for more podcasting stories. If you've enjoyed this please hit subscribe, share, or support on ko-fi.com/15minutefreelancer if you would like to as well. Thank you so much, we'll see you next time, bye.


You've been listening to 15 Minute Freelancer with me Louise Shanahan, freelance health copywriter and content marketer at thecopyprescription.com. If you enjoyed this, please hit subscribe, leave a review or share it with a freelance friend. And if you've got a freelancing question you want to be answered on the podcast, find me and say hi on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Thanks, and until next time, happy freelancing.