How to Use Podcast Pitching to Score Big Wins for Your Clients (and Yourself!)Jul 31, 2023
Podcasts are everywhere lately, but they’re more than just background noise for your errands. A podcast interview lets your client show off their expertise and promote new launches to engaged and curious listeners. Podcast pitching requires a slightly different approach than your usual pitches, though, especially if you’re securing podcast guest spots for yourself.
How to Use Podcast Pitching to Secure Your Client’s Guest Spot
Successful podcast pitching requires two main things: your client’s founder or in-house expert with niche expertise, and a captivating personal story. Once you have those, you can start crafting a killer pitch! Here are my best strategies for writing targeted pitches to secure high-impact interviews for your clients.
#1: Find the Perfect Podcast
There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, so your job is to find the perfect match for your client. Anything that isn’t connected to your niche or your client’s expert is an automatic no — people who want to hear from a beauty expert aren’t going to music business podcasts to find them! Look to your client's competitors to see which podcasts their experts have appeared on, and check to see if any of your media contacts have podcasts as well.
Podcast hosts want their guests to be engaging and create an interesting, info-packed episode. They want their listeners to get something out of your chat! Before diving into podcast pitching, consider how your client could add value to a podcast, whether that’s through their deep expertise, a fresh perspective on the industry, a personal experience, or innovations they’re working on.
Once you’ve got your shortlist, listen to a few episodes of each podcast to get a feel for their tone and format. You’ll get to know the hosts and see how they interview their guests. Check their list of previous guests to learn what types of stories they usually tell and if your client fits in.
#2: Go Deep with Your Client’s Founder or Expert
Podcast pitching is most effective when it tells a story. You need to really know your client’s founder or expert to successfully pitch them for an interview. Their bio is a great place to start for basic details that can narrow down your podcast search, like their area of expertise, broad strokes info about how they got to where they are, and insight on their background.
If your client’s expert has done podcasts, television spots, or radio before your partnership, request those clips ASAP! These will give you a better idea of how the expert communicates in a filmed or recorded format. You should match their energy with the podcast host’s energy — a stoic host doesn’t mix well with a bright and bubbly expert!
You should also meet with your client’s expert to get to know them even deeper and find the tidbits of info that can lead you to the perfect podcast. Maybe their university has a podcast that features alumni, or they’re a regular listener of a few podcasts they’d love to appear on. They might have existing connections, like friends or previous colleagues, that host podcasts and are interested in an interview.
A 1-on-1 meeting gives you the full picture of what your client’s expert is looking for in their perfect podcast. Ask if they’d be comfortable featuring on a podcast that highlights their identity, such as one focused on female entrepreneurs, LGBTQ+ small businesses, or POC agency owners. Make sure they’re ready for a remote podcast interview, too; reliable tech equipment and a quiet space are musts!
#3: Build a Compelling Story
Lots of podcasts plan their content months in advance. They may make some changes for major developments in their niche, but they’re likely sticking to the schedule. You could go one of two routes here: create an evergreen story that can be told at any moment, or craft a timely story tied to current events or an upcoming holiday or observance (like Pride Month or Labor Day).
Regardless of your choice, you should also prepare a few topics and talking points your client’s expert could speak on aside from their main story. Think about their specific expertise and where they could provide value at any time. Successful podcast pitching requires a story that, whenever it’s told, will benefit the podcast’s listeners.
Your podcast pitch should include a brief founder bio, which should highlight the most relevant details and show the podcast host that this guest is perfect for their podcast. Outline the expert’s credibility in their bio as well — you can put this in a separate section, like in a bulleted list at the end of the pitch. List out any credentials and brand info, such as financial details, social media following stats, and links to their website and social pages. Include links to any previous podcast, television, or radio interviews your client’s expert has done, too.
#4: Podcast Pitching Needs to Be Personal (As Usual!)
Podcast hosts are just like your other media contacts: they want real, human interactions with their media partners! Open up your pitch with a personal greeting, just like you would with your usual pitches. Show them through your pitch that this email is for them and only them: highlight exactly why you think your client would be a good fit for their podcast and call out past episodes that are relevant to your expert.
Finding contacts for podcast pitching is a bit trickier than for traditional media. If you’re stuck on who to reach out to, check the show notes of the most recent podcast episode for the names of the host and producers. Check the podcast’s social media pages, too! They may tag their host and producing team. From there, search for everyone’s professional emails on their LinkedIn pages or website.
How to Pitch Yourself to Get on Podcasts as an Expert
Podcasts are great opportunities to get coverage for your clients, but you can get press as an expert digital agency owner, too! All of the podcast pitching basics still stand, but pitching yourself makes things a bit more complicated. Let’s dive into my best tips for getting yourself on your dream podcasts!
#1: Expand Your Podcast Pitching List
Your client’s podcast shortlist is a good starting point for your own podcast search, but your interests likely don’t fully line up. As a digital agency owner, you want to build authority in your space and show off your entrepreneurial expertise, not an upcoming product launch. Business-focused podcasts are the way to go here, especially ones that regularly highlight entrepreneurs in your niche! Search for podcasts that are fully tailored to your entrepreneurial peers, like other PR pros or social media markers.
Vet your potential podcasts the same way you’d vet those for your clients. Listen to a few episodes to see if you’d get along with the hosts. You need chemistry for the conversation to work! You know yourself and your comfort levels best — if you get that gut feeling something’s right for you, then start your podcast pitching!
#2: Connect with the Podcast Hosts Online
Treat the podcast host as you would any new media contact: connecting online first is a great way for them to become familiar with your agency! Follow the podcast and the host (if their pages are public) on social media and engage regularly with them. Leave comments that add value to the conversation and like or share their posts and stories frequently.
The more you engage with them online, the easier it’ll be for the podcast host to recognize your name when your pitch comes through! That familiarity shows the host that you’re a true fan of the podcast and want to offer your expertise to their audience. You’re not just looking for a quick media win or trying to experiment with podcast pitching!
The host can then visit your social media pages and see the value you’re already providing to your audience. They’ll want those juicy stories for their listeners, too! Plus, they’ll know you’re a credible expert who’s already ramping up your authority in your niche.
#3: Pitch Your Unique Perspective
You pitch your clients all the time, but pitching yourself as an expert can be an adjustment! Shift the focus onto YOUR talents, experiences, and stories; if you’re struggling to come up with something, grab a team member or close friend to brainstorm possible topics you can use for podcast pitching. You can look to your previous social media posts, blogs, or agency case studies for inspiration, too.
Podcasts feature expert entrepreneurs all the time. You need to figure out what makes YOU unique to land yourself on a podcast! Hosts are looking for valuable, meaningful content — even if your story follows a classic “# Things I’ve Learned as an Entrepreneur” structure, put a totally-you twist on it. This has to be a story only you can tell!
#4: Be Patient and Flexible
To land a pitch, you need to land the follow-up. Podcast pitching timelines are more stretched out than your usual print and digital pieces. Instead of following up with the host after a few days, wait a week or so to reach out again. Many podcast hosts are doing this part-time and may not have the bandwidth to get to your email quickly.
After the initial follow-up, you can reach out again after another week or send the pitch anew a few months later. Or, just move on to the next podcast on your shortlist!
It’s important to be flexible, too: podcasters can have unpredictable schedules and their content calendar may already be set in stone. Be ready to schedule your interview for months from now if necessary. Time zones may come into play here as well, so don’t get attached to your ideal interview time. You should be willing and able to record when it works best for the host’s schedule.
Podcast pitching takes some getting used to, but learning this new pitching approach is more than worth it! A podcast guest interview puts your client’s founder or in-house expert in front of engaged audiences and lets them flex their niche knowledge. And when you’re featured on a podcast as an expert, you can show off your entrepreneurial know-how and establish your agency’s authority!