Landing guest spots on other podcasts is one of the best (if not the best!) way to grow your podcast’s audience, expand your reach, and begin to establish yourself as an expert within your niche. Not to mention that it’s also a ton of fun!
Landing those coveted guest spots can also provide crucial networking opportunities, besides all the great relationships you could forge along the way. It really is a winning strategy no matter which way you look at it!
But I hear you. You’re looking at your screen right now thinking, “Well, that certainly sounds like a mighty fine idea! But how am I supposed to land those guest spots on all those popular podcasts? I’m new to the industry/I only have a small audience/they haven’t even heard of me/et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…
But we’re here to tell you that you are mistaken! You have every chance of making this dream a reality! That featured guest spot on that popular podcast is closer than you think! We’ve got ten tips to help you start getting those guest spots lined up as you continue your journey as a successful podcaster.
1. Know Your Niche
We talk about “knowing your niche” a lot on this blog. A lot. We know that. But it’s because a thorough knowledge of your niche is basically a superpower when it comes to your podcast. Knowing your niche inside and out, backwards and forwards, from top to bottom (you get my drift!) helps you make informed decisions when it comes to your show.
Knowing your niche gives you incredible insight into what sets you apart from others within your niche. But most importantly, particularly in your quest for those guest spots, it gives you the knowledge of which type of podcasts you should look at approaching, both within your niche, as well as with aligned niches who share part of your target audience.
Do everything in your power to glean deeper and deeper knowledge about your niche. Read up on those making waves in your industry, those voices within your niche that are getting stronger and stronger, or those aspects of your topic that are becoming more and more popular. This knowledge will give you an incredible pool of great podcasts that you could potentially approach for featured guest spots.
2. Know What the Audience is Looking For
Our second tip to help you schedule those guest spots is to really understand your audience. You should already have a pretty good understanding of who your audience is, but take some time to think about this in the context of booking guest spots. Think about the problems your target audience faces, the questions they may be asking, or what they find entertaining.
Then think about how what you have to offer could be the answer to those questions. This will help you further establish the possible niches you should explore when looking for podcasts you would like to be a guest on.
Understanding the audience helps you tailor your content to suit their needs, but it’s also pertinent information when it comes to how you’ll pitch yourself to other podcast hosts. By understanding how you and your content can meet the needs of an audience, you’ll be able to show podcast hosts the value you could bring to their show.
3. Do Thorough Research
In order to have the best chance at converting podcast guest requests into “yeses” you’re going to need to do some research. You want to find the top podcasts that align with your niche. You want to know which shows consistently get great reviews, and you want to know which shows have a thriving community – no matter the size – around their show.
Podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher are the best places to start searching for potential podcasts. But you can also try keyword searches of your topic, or topics or industries related to your niche.
Searching broad keywords related to your topic will reveal the top-ranked podcasts within the niche, but you should also try some more specific keywords. This will result in podcasts with a close correlation to your subject. In these cases, the podcasts may be lesser-known overall, but often have very loyal audiences for you to appeal to.
Pro Tip: You could even consider making your podcast “hit” list. Now this is not at all as sinister as it sounds! We simply mean making a list of all those podcasts you’d simply love to be a guest on. Feel free to aim high here! If you dream of sharing an hour (or four, let’s be honest…) with Joe Rogan, stick him on your list!
4. Know What You Offer
“Confidence is key,” as they always say, and it is upon this premise that we base our next tip. You need to know what you offer, and then be confident in the value that you bring to the table. This will give you the motivation, and maybe even the courage, to start approaching other hosts for guest spots on their shows.
When you know that what you offer has value, it makes “selling yourself” that much easier. You’re not asking for a handout or a favor. You have something of real value to offer, and this gives great confidence. So make sure you know all you have to offer in terms of your viewpoint or angle on the topic, or why your opinion has weight, and you’ll be one step closer to sealing the deal.
5. Celebrate Your Selling Points
So now that you’ve built up your confidence by knowing what value in terms of your content you have to offer podcast hosts, our next tip for landing those guest spots is to go a little deeper. A great way to help tip the scales in your favor is to know what makes you unique. What do you as you bring to the table? What makes you stand out from the crowd? What makes your viewpoint unique or your take on the topic different?
These are your unique selling points and they are of great value! We just often don’t think about them when it comes to pitching ourselves! But all that makes you you, and how that relates and intersects with your niche is something only you can offer, and that makes it all the more valuable! So spend some time really tapping into your unique selling points, and be sure to include that in your pitch.
Which brings us to…
6. Polish Your Pitch
Tip #6 is to polish up that pitch! At its core, a polished pitch is a great story – your story. Your story is what differentiates you from every other podcaster, and is one of the best ways to get people interested in having you as a guest on their show. If Tip #5 was about knowing what makes you unique, then Tip #6 is all about packaging all that information – all your unique selling points – and presenting it in the best way possible.
Remember, you don’t have hours of your prospective podcast host’s time. You have one email to state your case and convince them that you would be a great fit for their podcast and their audience. And that’s why polishing your pitch is so important. You need to effectively, yet efficiently, communicate all you offer and all that makes you unique in such a way that they can’t help but offer you a guest spot!
7. Acquire Contact Information and Keep it Professional
This may sound obvious, but there is a right way and a wrong way to establish the initial contact with the podcast host. And you want to go about this the right way!
Start by checking the podcast’s website or social media platforms for the appropriate contact details. There may also be specific instructions on how to send requests to them. If this type of information is provided, the wrong way to go about contacting the host is to not follow their procedures! This will definitely not put you in their good books, and may even jeopardize future opportunities!
Our advice is to always respect the host in question’s preferences in this regard and make contact via the proper channels. Conduct yourself with courtesy and professionalism, address your correspondence correctly, and always ensure that you’ve checked your email for any spelling or grammar errors!
8. Make It Personal
Tip number 8 is particularly for when you’re making that initial contact with potential podcasts for your guest spots. Here’s the rub. If you’re approaching the top podcasters in your niche, chances are, you won’t be the only one. They may be getting numerous guest spot inquiries – so you need to ensure that yours doesn’t end up in the recycling bin!
That’s why you need to make your message personal. And a great way to do this is to avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach! So start by personalizing each request. Studies¹ have shown that personalization increases open rates by 26%! Conversely, a generic pitch can be spotted a mile away – and usually earns a one-way ticket to the trash can! A better approach is to use what you know about the host and their show and the value you can offer them to create a personal request for a guest spot.
Use the host’s name in the greeting, mention their show, and be particular about what you love about it. Then state why you are approaching this specific podcast with your request to be a guest. A personalized message has a much higher chance of being read and responded to than one that is generic and reads like spam!
9. Keep Honing Your Craft
This tip is for that timeframe – no matter how long – between reaching out to potential podcasts and getting “the call” to say it’s all systems go! Yes, you may have to wait…patiently…but don’t wait idly.
And all that really means is that until you get the call that you’ve landed that coveted guest spot, you keep doing what you’ve been doing. Keep producing great episodes chock-full of valuable content. Keep building your authority within your niche. Keep hustling to build your brand. That way, everyone, and particularly those podcast hosts, can’t help but take notice! Diligent, consistent work always pays off! And when that positive reply comes, you’ll be ready!
Go the extra mile and hone your interviewee skills. You’ve cracked the podcast hosting code, but it’s a little different when the tables are turned and you’re the one in the hot seat! So our pro tip is to learn how to be a great guest! Then, when the time comes, you’ll be able to set both the host and yourself up for success by delivering a killer interview!
For more on this topic, check out this article on How A Podcast Host Can Be An Amazing Podcast Guest.
10. Be Prepared
Have you heard Will Smith’s famous saying, “Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready?” Well, that’s what our last tip is all about, staying ready for that interview. You never know when that call will come, and more than that, you’ll never know how much time you have to prepare for this long-awaited opportunity. But if you’re always ready for it, it won’t matter if the only spot they have available is tomorrow, you’ll be ready!
Do all you can to always be as prepared as possible so that you deliver all you promised in your pitch, and then some! Stay on top of your topic, keep refining your knowledge, and stay up-to-date with all the latest developments. That way, you’ll already be armed with this knowledge and can confidently answer the call with a resounding “Yes!”
You may have dived into this article thinking that you had slim to no chances of ever landing guest spots on popular podcasts, unless you made a big, brightly colored sign say, “Can I be on your podcast?” whilst standing outside recording studios, reminiscent of John Cusack in that famous scene from Say Anything…
But as you’ve read through our ten tips for landing these sought-after guest spots, we hope you’ve come to the realization that these are within your grasp! Know your niche and your audience, and set your sights on your top picks. Create a polished pitch, understand what it is you offer, and work on how you can communicate that, and there’s no reason why you can’t be a guest on some of the big hitters!
1. Campaign Monitor: The New Rules of Email Marketing: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-new-rules/