Building the right media list is crucial for effective public relations and media outreach. A...
I received my new all-time favorite pitch from a podcast guest wanting to be featured on my show. (This was a bad pitch!) First off, the message was exceptionally long. But I only had to read the first 3 sentences to know that I'd never accept this guy as a guest on my podcast.
Here was the pitch from a potential guest that I received:
"Hello, my name is John Doe. (Identity concealed) I listened to your podcast, you have a lot of great episodes about branding that I really liked a lot. Also, I heard the episode you recorded with Fred Durst, which I was so excited to listen to because I was a big fan of his growing up................"
If you know nothing about my podcast, this actually doesn't seem too bad, does it? Well, let me quickly break it down for you.
A. My podcast is called Creating a Brand, but it's about the art of creating a brand and has nothing at all to do with branding specifically. (Fun fact: I've intentionally never had a guest talk about branding on the show.)
B. The Fred Durst thing really had my mind spinning because I've not had Fred on my podcast... I asked myself, "What is this guy talking about?" Then it hit me... I had an episode with my friend, Fred DUST. This means, this guy pitching to be a guest on my show didn't actually listen to it, he saw the name and thought it said Fred Durst and decided to make up a story about how he enjoyed it. (Not cool bro! haha)
C. To put the icing on the cake, John Doe had another 20 additional sentences after this, which you never want to do. (I didn't read them, and no one ever does.)One more fun thing; it's worth your time, trust me! My friend (and prior guest on my podcast, Creating a Brand) Jeff Harry made a great video about podcast pitch emails in real life. (I've watched it about 100 times myself.)
Alright, that story was probably more than you wanted today, you came here to learn how to pitch a podcast that you want to be a guest on. Are you ready to dive in? ... I can't hear you! (Sorry, I know you cannot respond to that, I'm just missing being on a stage.)
Let's get into each of these. But first, the most important way to be successful while pitching yourself to podcast hosts is this: Keep it short!!! As a podcast host, I can tell you that we are super busy. Keep it short and sweet.
You can only lead with value if you listen to at least part of an episode of the podcast you're pitching. Let me repeat that: You can only lead with value if you listen to the podcast you're pitching!
Leading with value means offering a complement to the podcast host on something they are working on. But it doesn't just have to be the podcast itself, it can be something else that shows that you did the research. (Meaning you can comment on a current life-event they are sharing on social media.)
Here are some examples of how you can lead with value while pitching yourself as a podcast guest:
Remember, this all comes from a place of integrity! You cannot just say this stuff, you have to mean it.
Making a MEANINGFUL request means it has to be meaningful. (Profound, I know!) A meaningful request isn't you saying, "I'm trying to get on 100 podcasts this year to promote my book." or, "I have a ton of freakin experience and would like to educate your audience." or, "Can I please be a guest on your show?"
Remember, every active podcast host that does interviews is receiving pitches on a weekly basis, and most of them are just people wanting to talk. So you have to be different. One more idea when making a meaningful request, talk about the value you believe the topic/idea would add to the listeners.
This is harder to give you multiple examples, but here are some ideas for making a meaningful request to podcast hosts:
Again, this point is harder to give examples because it needs to be super-specific. If you do use PodMatch, be sure to read the description the host made for the "ideal guest" they are searching for, and also read the part about their audience.
You may have already noticed this, but this can easily fit right in with the second point we just covered. I typically blend the two together. The point here is to mention something that gives you credibility on the topic that you want to cover. Once again, I recommend keeping this short. If you have a lot to share or an article that was posted on a major publication website, just link to it instead of talking about it. That's credibility enough.
For example, when I want to get on a SaaS podcast to talk about growing PodMatch, for this credibility piece, I just send them this article that Yahoo Finance wrote about us. That does the trick and offers more credibility than I can share in hundreds of words.
Another way to offer credibility is to name drop. My wife makes fun of me for this one, but it works! This doesn't mean to be like, "One time I met Gary V. and he told me that I have cool hair." What it means is if you see a previous guest from their show that you know or have collaborated with, mention it! (Examples below)
How to offer credibility to podcast hosts so you can get booked as a guest on their show's:
This is a really important step. Figure out the credibility that you add, and include it every time you reach out!
Want a really quick hack that always piques the interest of podcast hosts? Mention that you want to share the interview with your network. This always makes a host think a bit more about having you on the show.Here's how I normally word sharing the episode if I'm booked a guest:
That's intriguing because it proves to the host that you're actually interested in the content, not just getting booked as a guest.
This is the one that most people think twice about. I'm sure you're wondering what I mean by, 'make it easy to say no,' aren't you? Well, what I mean is this is: Make it easy for a podcast host to say no to having you on the show. Here's why I always do this.
How often do you pitch yourself to podcast hosts that just don't respond?
I bet it happens more than 70% of the time. The main reason you don't hear back from hosts is that they don't actually think you'll be a good fit, or because they are all booked up. But, they don't want to upset you or offend you. We live in a world that's all about keeping each other happy. So in their minds, it's better that they don't respond than responding and make you angry at them. When you make it easy to say no to your guesting request, you break any tension that the host may already be feeling. This actually makes it easier for them to say yes to you.
Here's how I make it easy for podcast hosts to say no to having me on their show:
I've never seen anyone else does this other than myself... Hopefully, I receive a pitch from you one day saying this same thing at the end of your pitch.
So to quickly recap in the form of another question and provide a combined example, let me answer this question:
Lead with value, then make a meaningful request while offering credibility. Don't forget to mention that you'd like to share the episode with your network. And end the pitch by making it easy for the podcast host to say no if you're the wrong fit. Find a way to do all of this in the fewest amount of words possible, and you'll begin seeing far more success!
Here's an example pitch that I would use (Less than 150 words):
Hey John, I just listened to the latest episode of your podcast. Great job!!! As a SaaS founder, it's tough to find good podcasts focused on SaaS startups!I’m not sure if you’re looking for guests right now, but if you are, I'd be honored to be considered. I can share the organic marketing tactics that I use to grow my bootstrapped SaaS business. It’s been going well, in fact, Yahoo Finance wrote about us!I believe it would be a super valuable conversation for your audience; plus, I'd love to share it with my network because many of them would love to hear me share this story.No pressure at all to have me as a guest; it's 100% about adding value to your audience. I only want to be on the show if you believe I can help with that! Keep up the great work,
OR if you want to go even shorter:
Hey John, great show! I just finished listening to some episodes. I'm a SaaS founder myself so I loved the show. If you'd looking for guests, I'd love to help you add value to your listeners. I can talk about the growing pains/struggles that come along with a scaling business. Most people don't cover this stuff, but it's so important.If you are interested in having me, I'd love to also share the interview on my social media, my network would love to hear me share this.No pressure at all. It's all about serving your audience, and I'm only interested in being on your show if I can help you do that.Looking forward,
In conclusion, please only pitch yourself to hosts of podcasts that you truly know that you can add value on. It's all about adding value to the people who listen, not about getting your name, product, or service out there. Value has to be your number one priority, even when it comes to being a guest on podcasts.
If you're looking for more content on how to better pitch journalists, sign up for the OnePitch newsletter to receive monthly insights directly to your inbox!
*This article originally appeared on PodMatch and has been republished with permission.
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