How to Get Featured on Podcasts

Here are step-by-step pro tips to get featured on popular podcasts so you can share your expertise while building your brand awareness and reputation.

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…

Identify Your Topic Areas and Ideal Target

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 areasplural. 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.

Google Yourself!

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.

  • In addition to updating your general information, make sure…
  • Your profile images are as professional as possible (more about this in a future post).
  • There are plenty of recent, relevant posts.
  • You’ve pinned/highlighted posts with the most relevance to your topics.

Make a Hit List

Finding shows to be on is as easy as googling, “best [your category] podcasts.” That’s a great place to start. But then…

  • Go into the iTunes Store (or other podcast platforms) and search “[your category] podcast.”
  • Search New and Noteworthy Podcasts that are a good match.
  • Search authors/influencers and colleagues who have a strong reputation in your space (e.g. on Amazon, LinkedIn, etc.) and then search their names on podcast platforms to see where they’ve appeared.
  • Also look for shows focused on topics related to your category. (E.g., a personal development or entrepreneur podcast may be relevant to a productivity or executive coach; an ADHD podcast has relevance to mental health, neurodiversity or parenting; etc.)

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!

Know Who You're Pitching To

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…

  • A topic in your wheelhouse that might have special resonance for the podcaster.
  • Someone you both know – perhaps a previous podcast guest or mutual LinkedIn connection.
  • Something you have in common you found in their About page or LinkedIn profile.

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.

Craft Your Pitch

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)…

  • Great Subject Line: The more popular the podcast, the more email pitches the host gets. And the way to get your email opened is with an intriguing subject line. Could do a blog on this alone, but just steer clear of anything that feels generic.
  • Introduction: A simple, straightforward statement of who you are – “My name is…and I’m a…specializing in…” – briefly sharing any key creds (e.g., best-selling book, featured speaker) in relation to the podcast’s theme. Three sentences tops.
  • Icebreaker: As mentioned above, if possible, share something or someone you have in common. Keep it authentic and personalized – they can smell insincerity a mile away.
  • Topic Suggestions: Ideally, you’d share 2-3 intriguing titles with a one-sentence “sub-title” – rather than just a generic topic. Don’t share just one because if they don't want it, then you're lost. And make it clear you're willing to talk about anything in the neighborhood of those ideas. (All of this, of course, tailored to the podcast you’re pitching.)
  • More About You: You don’t want this email to blather on for more than a handful of tight paragraphs, but you can paste a 50-100 word bio (tailored of course) as a P.S., referencing it above (“See my brief bio below”). Ditto for a description of your book or a major talk you’ve done (e.g., relevant TEDx or conference keynote).

You can also include some social links for their convenience. (They’re gonna search you anyway!)

Classy Closing

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!

Optional Extra Credit!

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!

 What are your thoughts on this topic? I'd love to know. Shoot me an email at [email protected] or DM me on Instagram @alanpbrown.

Bless!

APB

 

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. 

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