You want to be a guest on a podcast but don’t know how to pitch yourself and get noticed by the host.
As one of the first podcast PR companies around, we’ve learned some important lessons about what makes a good podcast guesting pitch. Our host praise is proof of how much time and effort we’ve invested in creating this outreach strategy, and we want to share our top tips with all of you.
Before we dive in, it’s important to keep in mind the 3 key pillars to landing a podcast interview: your timing, fit, and approach.
While you can’t necessarily control the timing, and to some extent, the fit, you can absolutely control your approach, which is exactly what we’ll be detailing here.
Don’t make the mistake of pitching a podcast you’ve never listened to. It’s key that you get to know the show’s style, the host, the types of guests they bring on, etc. in order to be able to personalize your pitch (more on that in step 2.)
We recommend you listen to at least 3 episodes and make notes of valuable takeaways you got from those guests. Ideally, you’re listening to episodes with guests who are similar to you so you have an idea of what unique perspectives you bring to the table. You’ll need this intel for your hooks in step 3.
You should also check out the host’s social media to get a sense of what they like to share on those platforms. Are they passionate about a specific topic? Do they share tips that resonate with you? Do you have something in common with them, personally?
The more you know about the show and host, the more you’ll be able to personalize your pitch, and the more likely you are to gain the host’s attention and respect. A podcast host wants to know that they’re not just one of many on your list of templated emails. They want to feel like you truly know their show and care about their audience.
Now comes the fun part! Say goodbye to your templates and get ready to use the creativity and research you did in step 1 to personalize each email as much as possible. You want the host to know you’re paying attention.
First things first, use their name.
We can almost guarantee your email will end up in the trash if you didn’t take the time to correctly address the host and their podcast. This seems like a small detail, but it makes a huge difference in proving to the host the level of professionalism and effort you put into your outreach right from the start.
So many people miss this simple step. Trust us!
Next, mention something specific you love about their show. Maybe one of those takeaways you noted in step 1, a guest you loved and why, or why you feel connected to their show.
The most important thing is to be specific. If you can copy and paste the message and send it to a different show, then you’re not personalizing it enough.
So far, we’ve done a lot of legwork to make sure the podcaster knows you care about their show. So how do you go about actually pitching yourself as a guest?
The key is to focus on the audience and explain what value you bring to their podcast listeners. Share a brief 2-sentence bio detailing who you are, your expertise, and any brag-worthy accomplishments that would help listeners trust in you as a thought leader.
Next, list out 2-5 possible topics you can speak to (we call these your “hooks”). For each hook, describe your unique take or POV and what the listeners would get out of them. Make sure your hooks are geared toward what you can teach the listeners either through professional or personal stories.
It’s also important to show some vulnerability here. Remember, this isn’t a sales pitch for your company or product. This is about what listeners can learn from you. The best podcast guests are open and honest about their life experiences and come armed with lessons for the listeners who are currently in the same position they were in. So don’t be afraid to talk about your failures and exactly how you overcame them, step by step.
Before you close out your pitch, think about one quick and kind gesture you can do for the host. You want to show them that you care about their success and are willing to support them regardless of whether or not they bring you on as a guest. We like to call these “5-Minute Favors.”
Here are some examples:
You’re on the right track if you feel the host will genuinely know you put time and effort into this favor. This isn’t a bribe. It’s a way for you to show them your honest and thoughtful support. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would appreciate the most.
Now that you’ve got your personalized intro, a punchy bio and hooks, and a 5-minute favor, you’re ready to hit send! (After a few rounds of proofreading, of course.)
Your pitch process isn’t done with that first email though. We can’t count the number of times we’ve landed guest interviews for our clients after the 3rd or 4th follow-up. These are key to the success of your outreach strategy so don’t be afraid to be consistent.
Keep in mind, the last thing you want to do is irritate the host. So we recommend you send 4 to 6 follow-ups with 7 days in between each. Many times, the first few emails go unnoticed so patience and persistence are most important here.
What do you include in the follow-ups?
Just like you did with your original pitch, make sure you personalize each of these as well. Note relevant things that have changed in the show or the host’s life (did they launch a new program, move cities, start a family, reach a podcast milestone?), and include something new about you in each email.
What we mean by that is:
Anything that will show the host you’re giving each email your all.
Another pro tip is to end each email with a thoughtful question. You want to avoid asking simple yes or no questions that won’t entice the host to reply.
Instead, you can end with something like: “Do any of these topics resonate with you and your listeners?” or “Do you think your listeners would be interested to learn more about [topic]?”
This encourages the host to actually consider the topics you sent and possibly provide feedback for you as a guest.
For an in-depth audio breakdown of a podcast tour and how to to pitch hosts, check out this episode of Brands that Podcast:
The effort you put into your outreach really matters.
Hosts are inundated with templated guest pitches day in and day out. In order to stand out, you need to think about them, their show, their audience, and what value you bring you the table.
The more care and time you put into each email, the more likely you are to not only get a response but to win the respect of the host.
Already landed an interview? Congrats! Check out this guide to learn our top tips on how to be the best guest that podcast has ever had.