How to Get Booked on Podcasts
The #1 strategy to grow your podcast and establish yourself as an expert in your industry is to land guest interviews on other podcasts. Guest podcasting allows you to speak directly to new podcast listeners in your niche or category, and since they’re already listening to podcasts, they’re much more likely to subscribe to your podcast.
But how can you get booked on someone else’s podcast? What if they’ve never heard of you before? Which podcasts should you target?
Let’s dive into it!
Make a Wishlist
Before you started shooting off emails and direct messages, you need to do some research. You first need to identify which podcasts share a similar audience to your listeners. That way, when they hear you dropping pearls of wisdom, it’ll be a no-brainer for them to subscribe to your show.
The simplest way to find new podcasts is in the iTunes desktop application.
If you use a PC, you can download iTunes for free from the Microsoft Store.
Type the name of your podcast in the search bar and click on your show to navigate to your podcast page.
There are three tabs: Details, Ratings and Reviews, Related. Click on “Related.”
Here you can see other podcasts that your listeners subscribe to. These podcasts are prime candidates for you since you already know that you share an audience. Write down every podcast in this section.
Next, you’ll want to click on the subcategory for your podcast (this is the field directly in front of your author name in the top left corner).
This screen shows a breakdown of all the podcasts that are in your niche. There are two sections you want to pay special attention to: New & Noteworthy and Top Shows.
The New & Noteworthy section is a human-curated list of new podcasts (launched in the last 90 days) that are performing exceptionally well. Since they are new podcasts, there’s a good chance that the hosts are on the lookout for high-quality guests to bring on for additional content. Peruse the podcasts that are listed in this section, taking special note of podcasts that incorporate guest interviews, and write them down underneath your list of related podcasts.
If you click on the button that says “Top Shows” iTunes will take you to the Top 200 list for podcasts in your subcategory. This screenshot is the Top 200 list for podcasts in the Technology > Podcasting subcategory.
Most of these podcasts will not show up on the main category Top 200 list (Technology in this instance), but they’re right on the cusp. It’s like when you find a new band that hasn’t gone mainstream yet but is about to open for Taylor Swift or the Foo Fighters. Because they’re relatively unknown, you have a much higher chance of connecting with them and getting them to agree to have you on their show. Look through the podcasts listed in the Top 200 in your subcategory and write down the ones you want to target.
You should have at least 25 podcasts written down at this point. Now it’s time to find their contact information.
Find Their Contact Info
Finding a way to contact the podcast host is the point where many podcasters get stuck. “I know what show I want to be on; I just don’t know how to get in touch with the host. It’s not like I have their phone number.”
Here’s the good news: every podcast host is online in some way, shape, or form. You just have to uncover their favorite communication method.
Here are some methods I’ve used successfully:
- Website contact form
- Email (typically available on their website or YouTube channel)
- Facebook Page
- Personal Facebook Profile
- Patreon Page
Once you’ve found several ways to get in touch with each podcast host, it’s time to craft your pitch.
This is where the rubber meets the road. You have to persuade someone, who has never heard of you, that they need to have you on their podcast.
Every good pitch contains three parts.
1. Provide Context
The first few lines of your email or message need to convince the podcast host that you are not merely spamming them. Here are some questions you can answer that will establish a more meaningful connection and keep them from hitting delete.
- How do you know about them?
- Have you listened to their podcast?
- What do you like about them or their podcast?
2. Make the Ask
Once you establish some context, it’s time to go in for “The Ask.” Don’t beat around the bush. Get straight to the point of the email or message. Here’s an example:
“I’ve noticed that you haven’t done an episode talking about (your expertise) yet. I’m an expert on (your expertise) and talk about it frequently on my podcast, (name of your podcast). I would love to share my knowledge and experience with your audience and dive into (three things you’re qualified to talk about).”
Make sure you frame this section in a way that brings value to the other podcast host. They’re going to be thinking, “what’s in it for me?” So you want to clearly articulate how you will make their podcast better.
3. Overcome Objections
Even if you nail the first two parts of your pitch, there’s a good chance the podcast host will have one of the following objections. If you can intercept these objections and assure them that they aren’t a problem you can close the deal and have them saying “yes” in no time.
Objection #1 - It will be difficult finding a time we can both accommodate
You want to be super accommodating of the other person’s schedule. If they’ve only got an opening every other Tuesday evening, make it happen. The more available you are, the better.
Objection #2 - I’m not sure they’ll be a good guest
No one wants to spend an hour doing a podcast interview only to throw that audio in the garbage can because it was a waste of time.
Send them a link to an episode of your podcast where you talk about the subject you’re proposing for their podcast so they can hear how you speak and what you bring to the table. If you’ve already landed a few guest interviews, send them links to those as well so they can hear you on someone else’s podcast.
These two things should eliminate the fear of you being a poor guest (even if they don’t listen to them).
Objection #3 - What’s in it for me?
As they read your pitch, the host will be wondering, “how will having you on my podcast grow my podcast audience?” The answer? You’re to promote the heck out of your episode!
Tell them that you’ll promote your guest appearance on your podcast, to your email list, and on all your social media platforms. Offer to bring your audience, no matter how small, into the fold knowing that some of them will stick around and continue listening to the person's podcast.
Some final thoughts
When you send a pitch to every podcast on your list, you’re only going to hear back from a handful of them. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. Often it’s the third or fourth attempt to make contact that goes through and catches the other host at the right time. Maybe the first time you reached out, they had all the guests they needed, but on the third time, they were trying to fill slots. You never know, so keep trying!