“Be a guest on a podcast,” they said. “It’ll be easy,” they said.
Podcast guesting isn’t the easiest space to get into. But it’s a lot easier if you have some help from the B2B podcasting experts.
We made a podcast guest checklist to make it easier for you to become a podcast guest. We also created a guest pitch template that you can literally copy and paste.
But first, here’s everything we’re covering today:
- How Do You Become a Guest on a Podcast?
- How Do You Pitch Yourself as a Guest on a Podcast?
- Podcast Guest Pitch Template (From the Guest)
- What Makes a Good Podcast Guest?
- The Podcast Guest Checklist
Let’s dig in.
How Do You Become a Guest on a Podcast?
To get booked as a guest on a podcast, you should…
- Craft a clear message.
- Know your audience.
- Build up your thought leadership.
- Make a list of shows you want to pitch.
- Listen to the shows you’re pitching.
- Interact w/ the host on social media.
- Create a media kit.
- Nail the pitch.
Get a load of the deets. 👇
1. Craft a Clear Message
Believe it or not, everyone has something unique to say. You may think that everything to do with your specialty has already been said. But you have an original perspective to share — you just have to find it.
To help podcast guests uncover their unique point of view (POV), our team uses POV discovery questions. All you have to do is ask them of yourself.
These are a few of our favorites:
- What is a commonly held belief about your industry that you passionately disagree with?
- What should everyone in your industry stop doing?
- What should everyone in your industry start doing?
- What’s something everyone is trying to do that you’ve discovered a better method for?
- What’s a failure you’ve experienced that you think many are headed for?
- What’s a resource/tool/channel people aren’t using correctly or to its fullest?
- What’s a recent thing you tried in your company that you were surprised by the result of?
- What’s something you or your team have recently achieved that you’re really proud of?
At least one of these questions should unlock a distinctive take for you to craft a message around. Something that you don’t hear people talking much about. Something that matters to people in your industry or specialty.
Crafting Your Message
Once you find your unique POV, it’s time to get your message down.
Your opinion should be clear and concise. As should the way you convey it. It’s necessary to develop an elevator pitch for your idea in addition to the extended version. This way, you can quickly get the idea across without losing people’s attention.
Then, after you capture your audience’s attention with the short version, you can expand upon it.
Make sure your message doesn’t only spotlight a problem — it offers a solution as well. Give your audience actionable advice that they can apply to their own job or life.
A Clear Message Makes You Marketable
The reason you want to get your original message down is that it makes you 1000x more marketable to podcast hosts.
When you have a distinct point of view and can communicate it in an engaging way, hosts won’t be able to turn you away.
2. Know Your Audience
Part of becoming a podcast guest is understanding your audience completely. Your audience and the podcast’s audience should be closely aligned.
[READ: Wanna leave the work up to a podcast guest booking agency? We don’t blame you. Here are 10 of the best.]
What kind of people do you relate to? What do they do for work? What challenges are they facing? Can your message help them solve a problem or reach a goal?
Understand who needs to hear your message. This will help you target podcasts more effectively.
3. Build Up Your Thought Leadership
You don’t need to have already been a podcast guest in order to work on your thought leadership. In fact, it’s better to work on it beforehand. Then, podcast hosts have more of a reason to book you.
You know your message and you know your audience. Now start sharing your unique perspective via channels you have control of. Start makin’ some content.
You can build up your thought leadership through…
- Blog posts
- LinkedIn posts
- YouTube videos
- Guest blogging
- Micro videos
- Starting your own podcast
- Starting a YouTube show
- Writing a book (why not?)
You can do a lot to gain notoriety for the subject you want to be known for. When you’re already known for something in your industry, you’re much more appealing to podcast hosts.
4. Make a List of Shows You Want to Pitch
If you haven’t already, start a list of podcasts you think you’d be a good fit for.
What Does Your Audience Listen To?
Having a full understanding of your audience will help you narrow down the shows you want to pitch. Probably the most effective way to source podcasts is to ask your audience which ones they’re listening to. You can do this through talking to your current customers or creating a poll on LinkedIn.
Find a Media Doppelgänger
Another way to find shows that match your vibe is to identify what we in the biz like to call a “media doppelgänger.”
Basically, a media doppelgänger is someone in the public eye who is on a similar level as you. They also cater to similar audiences. For example, Brad Pitt is kind of like George Clooney’s media doppelgänger. They have a similar level of notoriety and are guests on many of the same talk shows.
If Brad was on Conan last night, it’s not a far stretch for Clooney to be featured the next night.
Terrible analogies aside, if someone with similar expertise and notoriety as you was a guest on B2B Growth, it should be on your list.
You can find out which shows your media doppelgänger has been on by looking at their personal website, LinkedIn page, tweets, or Googling their name along with “podcast.” Or, you could just ask them. That might be easier.
5. Listen to the Shows You’re Pitching
Pitching yourself as a guest on a podcast means that you probably should have listened to it before. It’s the best way to determine if you’d be a good guest. Plus, you can use your knowledge of the show to improve your pitch.
When you’re applying for a new job, it helps to research the company a bit. Then, in your cover letter, you can make it known that you understand the organization’s mission, the industry, and the people that it serves.
This kind of cover letter is far more impressive to a future employer than something that only focuses on you. You want to let the hirer know that you took the time to research the company and feel that you could affect its customers in a positive way.
The same goes for pitching a podcast. The host wants to know why you’d be a good fit for their show specifically. And, how you might impact its listeners positively.
So listen to the dang thing before you ask to be a guest.
6. Interact w/ the Host on Social Media
Social media is a good place to do more research on the shows you’ll be pitching. It’s also a good spot to get some more facetime with the hosts.
Connecting on social media — particularly LinkedIn — makes it so a host can see the thought leadership content you’re dishing out. You and your pitch become more credible because the host has gotten a taste of your expertise.
Make sure to engage with the host’s content as well. Leave helpful comments on their posts to contribute to the conversation.
7. Create a Media Kit
A media kit helps the host get a fuller understanding of you and your message. Sending a media kit along with your pitch can make a really great first impression.
What to include in your media kit:
- Your name, job title, and contact information
- Your social media handles
- Your relevant blog posts
- Your relevant videos
- Links to past interviews
- A summary of your unique POV
- A description of your audience
- Reasons why their audience will benefit from hearing from you
And whatever else you feel is relevant to a podcast host.
Package your media kit in a way that makes you look professional and that you know what the heck you’re talking about.
8. Nail the Pitch
Now all that’s left to do is nail your pitch.
You have a clear, concise message. You know who your audience is. You’ve found podcasts with similar audiences as yours. You’ve been interacting with hosts on social media and have a media kit prepared.
Time to do some outreach.
How Do You Pitch Yourself as a Guest on a Podcast?
To pitch yourself as a guest on a podcast, you should have the following:
- The host’s email address
- An understanding of the podcast’s audience
- An understanding of the podcast’s main objectives
- Past guests’ names
- Past topics covered
And, finally, a template to model your guest pitch after.
Getting the Host’s Email Address
It’s usually pretty easy to find the email address of a podcast host or at least a general email for the show.
Oftentimes, hosts tell listeners how they can contact them, whether it be by email or social media. You could also look on the podcast’s website or on the host’s social media.
Sliding into DMs could work too.
The Podcast’s Audience
One of the main reasons you’re pitching this show is because their audience aligns with yours. (At least, it should be one of your main reasons.)
That means you have a good understanding of what their audience finds interesting. Don’t hesitate to point that out in your pitch. Hosts want to know that you care enough to research their audience. You’re not just hucking out guest pitches to any podcast you find.
The Podcast’s Main Objectives
The show’s main objectives go hand-in-hand with its audience — what is its purpose?
You should recognize what the podcast’s goals are and who it serves. Is it meant to inform healthcare workers of emerging industry trends? Is it meant to support and inspire independent authors?
Make sure you’re familiar with the podcast’s goals and premise.
After listening to a handful of episodes, you should know a few of the past guests. It helps to name drop some previous guests in your pitch. It shows that you’ve taken an interest in the podcast.
Mentioning past topics covered in your pitch lets the host know that you’ve actually listened to the show.
You’ll be able to inform your own message if you know what topics the podcast has covered in the past. You can be sure that your perspective is unique from others that have been featured on the show.
Podcast Guest Pitch Template (From the Guest)
With all the information you’ve collected about the podcast, you should be able to fill in the pitch template below.
Everything [in brackets] should be replaced with your answers or deleted.
Subject line: I’m a big fan of [show name]
I recently listened to the episode of [show name] with [guest name] about [main topic]. I found the points on [main point] and [main point] really insightful.
After listening to your show and learning a bit more about your audience, I believe that I could offer some value as a guest. I specialize in [your specialty] and have a unique perspective on [your unique POV].
You can [hear, see, watch] me talk about it here. [hyperlink to interview, blog post, video, etc.]
I’ve also [attached, linked to] some more information on how your listeners can benefit from hearing me on the show. [attach or hyperlink to your media kit]
What do you say?
[your email signature]
The goal is to keep your pitch as brief as possible while still conveying the value you can bring to their audience.
Wanna do one better? Use this template as a script for a video or audio message. This allows the host to vet your on-camera and/or on-mic presence immediately. You can prove to them right off the bat that you’ve got the chops for this.
What Makes a Good Podcast Guest?
Congrats! You’ve just been booked as a guest on a podcast. 🎉
Time to prepare for the interview. Luckily, you already have your message ready, so the hard work is done.
There are a few extras you can do to be the best podcast guest ever:
- Get some decent recording gear.
- Prepare a quiet space for recording.
- Be brief about your background.
- Give actionable tips.
- Ask the interviewer a question or two.
- Know that you don’t have to perform.
1. Get Some Decent Recording Gear
You don’t have to invest in any studio-quality recording equipment by any means. At the very least, you need headphones with a decent mic and a webcam.
[READ/WATCH: Here’s the full list of podcast recording gear we recommend to all of our podcasters.]
Even the wire earbuds with a mic are better than no headphones at all. Whatever equipment you decide on, do a soundcheck before the interview. Make sure everything is up to snuff.
It’s a little thing that makes a huge difference to the host.
2. Prepare a Quiet Space
You’ll want a quiet space to do your interview in. Put all your barking dogs and crying babies in a different room.
Also, if you plan to be on camera, spruce up your background a little bit. Make sure your signed Rick Astley poster isn’t visible to the interviewer. (Or, depending on the host, show that baby off.)
3. Be Brief About Your Background
The host will probably start off by asking about your background or origin story. This is really a formality to let listeners know you’re a credible source of information.
Neither the host nor the audience wants to hear about how your high school football team got second at state. Keep your background as brief as possible or you run the risk of losing listeners’ attention.
If any listeners want to know more about you, share your email or social media handles at the end of the interview.
4. Give Actionable Tips
People are listening to the show to gain actionable insights that they can bring back to their life or work.
Jot down a few actions that you recommend listeners take. If there are any particular tools you suggest using, write those down too.
5. Ask the Interviewer a Question or Two
If you think of a question to ask the host during the interview, don’t be afraid to ask. They’re likely trying to make this interview as conversational as possible.
Plus, it makes it more engaging for listeners.
6. You Don’t Have to Perform
Many podcast guests get nervous that they have to put on some sort of show. Don’t feel like you need to perform to earn your spot on the podcast.
You were invited to be a guest for a reason. Let your message be the one to shine. Besides, it’s up to the interviewer to keep the conversation lively, not you.
Be as natural and authentic as possible. That’s what listeners appreciate.
The Podcast Guest Checklist
There’s a lot to take in here. That’s why we’ve boiled down this whole post down into a simple podcast guest checklist.
◻ Craft a clear message.
◻ Get a full understanding of your target audience.
◻ Make content to build up your thought leadership.
◻ Make a list of podcasts that align w/ your message and audience.
◻ Listen to and research those shows.
◻ Interact w/ the podcast hosts on social media.
◻ Create a media kit.
◻ Get the host’s email address.
◻ Use the pitch template along with your media kit.
◻ Get some decent recording gear.
◻ Prepare a quiet space.
◻ Be brief about your background.
◻ Give actionable advice.
◻ Ask the interviewer a question or two.
◻ Know that your job isn’t to perform — it’s to share your message.
Complete this checklist and you’re good as gold.
For more on B2B podcasting, subscribe to B2B Growth on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.