If you're thinking of hiring a podcast booking agency to get you booked as a guest on shows your audience is listening to, this article will help you learn what a podcast booking agency is, what questions to ask, and how to compare your options.
Looking into a podcast booking agency, or podcast PR firm? This article will help you learn:
We’ve been helping companies run successful podcast guesting tours for years now, and in that time, we’ve spoken with a lot of people, from personal brands, to entrepreneurs, to large companies.
This has given us a good idea of who is a good fit for a podcast tour, and who’s not. And also what brands should look for when considering hiring a podcast booking agency or podcast PR company.
In short, a podcast booking agency helps get you booked as a guest on podcasts that your audience listens to, so you can grow awareness in your product, personal brand, or company.
At their best, podcast tours help you:
Whether you see these benefits or not depends almost entirely on knowing which shows to reach out to, and having a great pitch. More on this later.
Specifically, the company you hire should identify a list of podcasts that your ideal audience is listening to, reach out to the host(s) and pitch you as a guest, provide follow ups as needed, coordinate with your schedule to book a time that works for you, and prep you for the interview.
Cheaper agencies may not do all of the above, while more expensive full-service agencies tend to take care of everything from beginning to end.
Before you consider going on a podcast tour with a podcast booking agency, you want to make sure you, your leadership team, and your brand have:
1) a story to tell, 2) domain expertise in an area your target audience is interested in, 3) a website and product that converts, 4) willingness to invest in a long-term brand-building strategy, and 5) the desire to be vulnerable vs. pitch a product.
Depending on the agency, you’ll probably need to share who your ideal audience is, and then just show up at the scheduled time as a guest on the show. It’s fairly straightforward.
That being said, depending on the agency, you may also need to provide a list of shows you’d like to get on, or outline the areas of expertise you can speak to.
Yep! It’s just that different companies call them different things.
We’ll be using them interchangeably throughout this article. It’s really just a matter of preference on the company’s part.
Some call themselves PR companies, others call themselves “booking agencies”. They’re really doing the same thing: getting you booked as a guest on podcasts your ideal audience listens to.
Podcast listeners are already listening to shows and hosts they trust. With over 450 million podcast listeners around the world, this means there are hundreds (if not thousands) of niche audiences you can reach.
So the first thing a podcast tour helps you do is find your niche audience. For example, if you run a SaaS company for designers, there are dozens of graphic design podcasts that designers are listening to. Some may have 200 listeners, and some may have 200,000 listeners.
The idea with a podcast tour is that you guest on that show, tell your story, share your expertise, and bring value to those listeners. In doing that, you build trust with the audience. Not only did you get to introduce them to yourself and your brand or product, but by offering value for free, you’re demonstrating your expertise and building trust with them.
From there, the listeners can choose to search your product, service, or brand out to learn more. And at the very least, they’ve now heard of you (in many cases, for the first time) and built some trust in you.
That means that even if they don’t jump over to your site and become customers immediately, they’ll recognize you and have some built-in trust when they see your other ads, or come across your company down the road.
So at the very least, you introduce your brand to your ideal audience and a group of potential customers, build trust with them, and share your story with them. And if you care about domain authority or have any kind of SEO or content marketing campaign running, you’ll also gain some very valuable backlinks from their show notes.
And at the most, you’ll gain new customers, interviews, and advocates for your brand.
Check out this episode of Brands that Podcast for a deep dive on how to run a successful podcast tour.
This is a pretty tough question to try and answer for a wide range of readers. But we’ll try and lay out some guidelines.
Generally speaking, if your goal is to raise more awareness and build trust in your brand, there’s probably no better channel than podcasts. That being said, you’ve got to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
When it comes to hiring a podcast booking agency, you have to decide what’s most important to you. Pricing, outreach, deliverables will all be different.
So the first thing you need to do is decide what matters most to you. You can choose things like:
But you can’t choose all of them.
For example, you can find a lot of podcast booking agencies that provide super cheap services, and will do loads of outreach. But what they don’t promise is guaranteed bookings, or thoughtful, personalized outreach. This means that you’re essentially paying for the number of emails they send rather than the effectiveness of the campaign.
Other agencies, like ours, are on the higher end of pricing. But that’s because we focus on running the best and most effective campaign for you, and put loads of time and effort into our outreach and research.
All this to say, if you have enough of a budget to hire a company that has gotten other companies or brands like yours booked on the type of shows you want to be booked on, then you’re probably a good fit for tours. If you don’t have the marketing spend, and would be forced to pay for a rinse and repeat PR firm that won’t do you justice, you’re probably not a good fit.
Again, this depends on the agency you hire. At Lemonpie, our clients get guaranteed bookings. So at the least, you should expect to land guest spots on podcasts that your ideal audience is listening to.
As a result of that, you may see an increase in sales, signups, or visits. We’ve had clients who have seen results by the end of the tour we’ve run for them. One client in particular got a direct phone call from an interested listener.
Of course, the main result you can expect is getting in front of your ideal audience, raising awareness in your brand, and building trust in yourself and your brand.
And as a result, that usually leads to things like sales, signups or visits.
Your podcast booking agency's outreach strategy is key. Check out this video of our founder, Erik, where he explains what it takes to get our clients booked on podcasts.
1. A proven track record.
Find a company that has worked with companies like yours in the past, or gotten results for similar clients.
2. Testimonials or reviews from past clients.
Ideally, if they’ve done good work, they’ll have reviews from past clients. They should be able to point to the work they did, and how it benefited their clients.
3. Positive feedback from podcast hosts.
Bad outreach hurts your brand. If a company is sending bad cold emails (and a lot of them are), it’s ultimately hurting you or your brand. You want to work with a company that doesn’t annoy hosts. So ask them if they can point to any positive feedback podcast hosts have given them on their outreach.
For example, we’ve got a page of 50+ unsolicited emails podcast hosts have sent us, thanking us for the quality and thoughtfulness of our outreach.
4. An understanding of your industry or the audience you want to reach.
To be clear, no agency will have worked with every type of industry. But when you talk with them on the phone you should get a good sense that they’ve done this before, and they can do it for you.
Like we said, every podcast PR agency prices themselves differently. But here are some of the models you’ll see:
Pay per outreach (no guaranteed bookings).
This is where you pay for the outreach work they do. For example, for $1,000 they’ll pitch 50 shows for you. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll actually get booked on those 50 shows.
Think of this model like CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) vs CPC (cost per click). CPM prices are often far cheaper, but all that money guarantees is that your ad was shown to 1,000 people or got 1,000 impressions. You could strike gold and do really well with it (for example, landing 30 out of those 50 shows), but it’s not guaranteed.
With CPC, you’re only paying when you get guaranteed results. You might pay $1,000 but you know you got 100 clicks.
Pay for a PR campaign (guaranteed bookings).
Here, the agency will charge you upfront. You’re paying to work with them, and they’ll put together a campaign that they run for you. Often with this type of pricing you are getting guaranteed bookings. So if the company reaches out to 20 shows, and none bite, they keep going until they land you bookings.
Whether you’re going to run a campaign yourself or hire an agency, here are the top things we have found contribute to running a successful podcast tour campaign:
Bring value, don’t make it an ad.
No one wants to listen to you talk about your company (unless that’s the point of the show) for 30-60 minutes. It’s enough that you get to mention who you are, your role, and your company/product/book/service at the beginning and end. People are smart, and if they’re interested, they’ll seek you out.
Instead, focus on bringing them as much value as possible. Share your best stuff. So many people feel like if they “give away” their best tips or industry insights then people won’t need them. Nothing could be further from the truth. It helps you build trust with the audience, and when they determine they want to buy a product or hire a brand, it’ll likely be yours.
Most audiences can sense when you aren’t being authentic. So be transparent, and be yourself. Talk how you talk.
Work hard at your outreach.
Good pitches don’t scale. Even the best get rejected. Good outreach takes a lot of time and effort. The best pitches display that you know the show and their audience well, and offer an idea of the kind of value you could add to the show.
Your outreach should be short, simple, engaging, and relevant. This is probably the number one factor in whether you get booked on a show or not, so make it count.
We’ve got years of experience helping a wide range of businesses get booked on the shows their audience is listening to. Book a call to get started!