My colleague and a founding member of my Coaches Mastermind, Brendan Mahan, hosts one of the top podcasts in his category (more info and link below). And he recently shared with our Mastermind his expertise on how to get featured on podcasts.
So I thought you might appreciate his perspective – that of a successful podcaster – along with my own two cents as someone who’s been interviewed a gazillion times.
I’ve lined up the info so as to create a step-by-step guide to getting featured on podcasts…
They say any publicity is good publicity. But getting exposure to audiences other than your ideal target isn’t the best use of your time and energy. So be clear on whom you want to attract into your following (and email list), and then outline a few topic areas you know they want to hear about.
And its topic areas – plural. Because a short menu of options increases the likelihood of matching with an interviewer’s needs, and over time gives you a richer speaking resumé.
Just be sure they’re topics that don’t require a lot of new research or writing. In other words, topics you can speak to with effortless ease.
If you’re pitching yourself to podcasters, you want your Google results to support your pitch. The first thing a podcaster will likely do upon your solicitation will be to google you. So google yourself to see what they will inevitably see. (You can have some control over what searchers see by going to your Google account and clicking on Personal Info which brings you to a dashboard.)
Also check and update, if necessary, all your social media accounts – most importantly your LinkedIn profile, which tends to be among the top search results.
Finding shows to be on is as easy as googling, “best [your category] podcasts.” That’s a great place to start. But then…
And don’t forget your own network – both professional and personal. Whom do you know that has a podcast? Maybe a friend of a friend? Email blast your professional network (or tag them in a post) to ask who has appeared where.
And, where appropriate, ask for an introduction to the host -- which will convert much better than a cold pitch!
Brendan, my podcast-hosting colleague, says, “I get so many pitches that are so off target that I'm like, ‘Who the hell are you? And why are you emailing me?’” Which is not the way you want to kick off a relationship! So…
Do Your Research: Find out what this person’s show is all about beyond the obvious. See if you can figure out what they need. Visit their website and social media profiles. And of course, scan their past podcast episodes and listen to a few of them!
Find Your Angle: Based on your research, come up with an icebreaker that might form a personalized paragraph in your pitch email. This could be…
Find Their Email: It’s generally more effective to reach out via email than social media. But it might be hard to find their email address. One overlooked source is the Contact link in their LinkedIn profile.
There are many ways to structure your pitch, and they depend somewhat on whether you’re using email or a social media DM. But here are some key components (with a tip of the hat to author and interview-pitching mad scientist Taylor Pearson)…
You can also include some social links for their convenience. (They’re gonna search you anyway!)
I love how the aforementioned Taylor Pearson does this: “If you're interested in having me on, I've provided some additional information below. If not, no worries whatsoever and thanks for taking the time to put out your show. I just listened to the [topic/guest] episode and loved [specific section]. Nicely done!
If you’re confident on-camera, shoot a 1-minute, personalized intro video. Great way to demonstrate A) your pro delivery chops and B) your genuine interest in their podcast!
One last thing…
Don't be afraid to follow up. Hosts get busy. (They might even have ADHD like Brendan and me!) So if you don't hear back for a week or so, follow up politely, e.g., “Hey, how's it going? Just touching base on this…” As Brendan says, “I know for me, I'm often replying, “Thank you and sorry that I lost track of this!”
I hope this step-by-step guide helps you get featured on a ton of great podcasts. And stay tuned for a future post on How to Be a Great Podcast Guest!
About Brendan Mahan: He’s the host of the ADHD Essentials Podcast, one of the top podcasts in the category and named to more “Best Podcast” lists that he can keep track of.