(By Yann Ilunga) Once you’ve compiled a list of podcasts you think you’d be a good fit for (or had someone do that for you), it’s time to put yourself out there and actually pitch yourself as a podcast guest.
In this article, we take a look at the things to do and what to avoid to increase the chances of making your pitches successful.
Do: Know Which Podcasts Fit the Bill
Let me ask you a question: If you could be featured on any podcast in the world, what would be its features?
When thinking about a few podcast options, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the podcast discuss a topic I’d be able to cover, in a valuable way, as a guest?
- Does the show seem to be tailored to an audience I’d like to be in front of?
- Does the host seem like a person I’d see myself having a conversation with for several minutes?
If you’ve answered no to any of the questions above, you’re probably be better off moving to the next show on your podcast guest interview opportunities list.
Don’t: Skip Researching the Podcast
Over the years, I’ve hosted podcasts in several spaces — podcasting, music industry, and business.
I’ve published 300+ episodes and have interviewed hundreds of guests in different niches. The biggest pitching mistake? Not doing your due diligence when it comes to researching the show.
Here’s a practical example for you. If you were hosting a podcast, how would you take a pitch by someone trying to get on a show you finished running months, or even years, ago?
To this day, I’m still getting pitched for the 360 Entrepreneur Podcast, which wrapped up in the fall of 2017.
When pitching myself as a potential podcast guest, I like to be personable. I use the host’s first name and, if possible, I try to mention something we may have in common or a fun fact.
In my case, that could be the fact that I’m a polyglot, that I’m originally from Switzerland, that I play bass guitar, or that I love live music, for example.
Don’t get overboard with this, but being personable is something that will help your pitch strike a chord with the host.
Don’t: Simply Copy & Paste
True, I do use a specific template for my pitches. However, each one is slightly customized depending on where I want to put emphasis. I’d recommend you have a similar approach and you avoid simply copying and pasting your emails.
Ask a host. He or she will be able to tell you how many times they’ve seen pitches with the wrong name, wrong podcast title, or different font for certain parts of the email.
Do: Ask for an Introduction
Asking for an introduction by one of your contacts or podcasters who have interviewed you in the past is an excellent way to increase the chances of your pitch being successful.
Look at your network. If you have 10 people who could introduce you to 2-3 podcast hosts each, that would be a list of 20-30 potential podcasts you might be featured on.
And in case you don’t know anyone who could help you, you can leverage content curation to get on the host’s radar before you pitch yourself.
I do that on Twitter. Over the span of a few days or a couple of weeks, I’d typically share a couple of pieces of content the host created and I’d list one or two key points I liked about each.
I do tag the host on Twitter with the @mention and include this aspect in my email pitch. By doing this, I immediately position myself as someone who’s been helping hosts — by promoting their content — before I even asked them for an interview opportunity.
Remember that, even though you’re trying to put yourself in the spotlight, your pitch should be about the value you can provide to the show, its audience, and the host.
Why should the host choose you above every other guest who’s pitching himself or herself?