If you’re a podcast host looking to secure interviews with influential guests, learning how to pitch a podcast can prove invaluable. In this article, we’ll dive into the techniques and strategies that will help you stand out and get noticed by potential guests who can bring immense value to your show. Podcasting has become a powerful platform for sharing stories, ideas, and connecting with audiences on a deeper level. But with millions of podcasts out there, it can be challenging to grab the attention of notable guests who are often inundated with requests.
We’ll explore the art of crafting a compelling pitch that resonates with both the guest and their audience. From personalizing your outreach to showcasing your unique value proposition, we’ll provide you with actionable tips to increase your chances of securing those high-profile interviews. So, whether you’re a seasoned podcaster looking to up your guest game or just starting out and want to make a strong impression, this article is your comprehensive guide to podcast pitching success.
Why learn how to pitch a podcast?
Learning how to pitch a podcast to another podcast host might seem unnecessary since owning your own podcast already offers you a place to promote yourself to an attentive audience. Nevertheless, pitching your podcast to another podcaster in your niche is a great way to widen your reach and pull in a bigger audience. Despite various changes in content production over the years, audio content has remained appealing to the public. Podcasting is simply a modern, more refined version of traditional radio shows.
Families used to gather around to listen to programming aired over AM radio waves. This was the popular medium of the time. Times have changed now since the emergence of the podcast format in the 2000s.
We’ve seen that audio-focused material still appeals to a wide range of demographics. For this reason, more and more people are choosing to set up a podcast to share their knowledge with the public. A podcast is also a great place to promote a brand among its target audience. Over the last two decades, podcasts have proven themselves by carving out lucrative niches in the entertainment, news, and business industries.
Traditional audio programming fell out of favor with the general public for a period due to television (which had a considerable impact on the music industry as well). It has since resurfaced as a highly popular genre. A few decades ago, the video may have killed the radio star. Nevertheless, the concept lives on in podcasts from all around the world.
The Audible revolution
Journalist Ben Hammersly popularized the term podcast in his essay “Audible revolution” in The Guardian. In this essay, he also tossed out a few other names like audio blogging and guerilla media. Adam Curry, a former MTV video jockey, started the podcast after he and his developer pal Dave Winer created software called iPodder. This software essentially ripped radio broadcasts to an MP3. This was a fresh twist on the process of making mixtapes in a more digital format. Surprisingly, this process coincided with another popular trend at the time – widespread media piracy. This piracy was fueled by peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms like Napster, WinMX, and LimeWire.
The popularity of podcasts grew along with the expansion of other digital media as the globe migrated toward digital-only media and the web for entertainment. Now, 60% of US adults between the ages of 18 and 34 listen to a podcast on a monthly basis. Another substantial group of listeners falls into the older millennial and younger gen X categories (i.e., mid-30 to mid-40-year-olds) – they tune in around half of the time.
We’re struggling to keep up: podcasts are popping up everywhere, and their popularity has skyrocketed. There’s a podcast for practically anything these days, from business to personal finance to true crime stories and fashion. Podcasts are also used by companies and other organizations, such as NPR, one of the most well-known news organizations in the United States. They’ve embraced the format, as evidenced by their website and mobile applications. These applications include NPR One and NPR News, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and other platforms. Another noteworthy example is Vox, which distributes information across all major podcast platforms and developed the science-themed Netflix series Explained.
In fact, according to Podcast Insights, there were over 2 million podcasts by 2021.
What does this imply for public relations professionals?
It means a popular new platform for promoting your business or client. That’s right: the podcast pitch is the most recent PR weapon to be added to your toolbox.
Podcasts provide a personal and meaningful opportunity for your organization or clients to engage with potential customers. When potential customers hear your clients’ stories and experiences, they understand that the brand is made up of real people. You will gain crucial trust and authority as a result of this.
Podcasting has become a widespread format that allows businesses to expand their reach and a medium for any content provider to gain superstar status, similar to what we see on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, and a variety of others. Consider how YouTube boosted Justin Beiber’s climb to worldwide stardom. The world witnessed him mature from a cute teenybopper performer and watched him through the rite of passage that many young stars seem to go through as they grapple with the challenges of fame. Another excellent example is Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy, which grew to stardom by talking about social concerns and now has a Spotify deal.
Before we dive into how to pitch a podcast, let us look at why it is essential to be featured on other podcasts.
Why being featured on podcasts is important
By landing a spot on a popular podcast, you can position yourself not only to mention your brand but also to establish yourself as an authority in a given area. Being featured on a podcast also helps if you want to advertise your particular service or product. All you need to do is locate other podcasts in your niche, propose specific ideas, and appear on a show. If you have a podcast of your own, promoting your brand is much easier. This is because you can simply talk about it on your podcast without having to deal with any gatekeepers.
Even so, it’s still helpful to pitch your brand to other podcasts in your niche so that you can reach a wider audience. After all, being featured on a podcast by another thought leader in your niche functions as social proof for your brand. This social proof signals to the public that what you have to say matters.
You have the opportunity to reach a new audience by appearing on other podcasts. After hearing your episode, these listeners will become inquisitive and Google you.
Finally, being featured on other podcasts allows you to demonstrate your knowledge, giving you the opportunity to win over more listeners and potential clients/customers.
Other reasons to pitch yourself as a podcast guest include:
- Ability to build authority through association
- Connecting with a larger audience that might not know who you are
- Providing a deeper connection and a new perspective for listeners
- Boosting SEO visibility when there is a mention of your brand
- You can also open the door to get the host as a guest on your podcast.
You’ll not only benefit from these advantages, but you’ll also have meaningful dialogues that may generate new ideas. At the end of the day, we all want to facilitate interactions that revitalize us, which is exactly what this choice provides.
How to pitch to podcasts
1) Invest time in research
This may seem obvious, but for the sake of saving time, you should opt for podcasts that feature guests. If the show doesn’t accept guest appearances, you need to move on to an alternative. This is the best thing to do, even if the podcast is precisely on topic.
Using a PR tool like Pressfarm, connecting with podcasts and podcast hosts is simple. When you sign up, the account executive will create a customized media list to help you connect with the best podcasters in your niche. With access to a database of 1 million+ journalists and influencers, you can widen your contact list even further.
However, if you choose to build your list yourself, make sure you look out for two things: an audience that fits your customer demographic and a podcast theme that makes sense for your business story. You want to make sure you present the right story to the right person, just like you would in traditional PR outreach.
It’s also worth considering where you are. Let’s assume your company is based in a specific location. In this situation, a voice from that same region may have more clout with listeners than a national or worldwide podcast where people don’t have access to the product or service.
As with traditional media outreach, it’s useful to try and connect with podcasts that have featured your competitors. Just make sure your podcast pitch has a unique perspective on the subject you are talking about. This way, the podcast host is likely to feature you.
2) Listen and learn
Whatever situation you are in, it is always easier to begin a conversation with someone you have already made a personal connection with. This also applies when attempting to reach out to an editor or podcast producer.
Before you can craft an engaging pitch, you should first learn a little about the podcast. Listen to a few episodes to get a sense of the subjects, the types of questions answered, and the interview style of the host. Take into account the personality of the person you’re pitching as a guest as well. If you’re new to podcasting, you might want to start with lighter, more informal podcasts rather than podcasts that are funny or serious.
While pitching your podcast to other podcast hosts, you need to do your research first. Pitching to the press, on the other hand, allows you to reach a larger audience. For example, you could pitch your podcast to a well-known newspaper or broadcasting station. Finally, pitching your podcast to the media may result in higher returns due to increased listenership.
The fundamental reason to pitch to the press is simple: it’s the most efficient approach to swiftly get your concept in front of thousands, if not millions, of people. As we said earlier, when pitching your podcast to other podcasts, you don’t know their audience size. With magazines like the business giant Forbes and the health brand Thrive Global, getting your podcast heard might result in considerable global exposure.
3) Craft a story
Podcasts rely on a solid narrative to stand out from the pack. This implies that your podcast pitch should guarantee a gripping story that will keep listeners interested and engaged. Focus on the benefits to the podcast listener as you write your podcast pitch. Describe your knowledge of the topic and the specifics of the helpful information you can supply.
It’s crucial that you keep an essential aspect for the podcast producer in mind: is your story enticing enough to draw people in to listen to it?
Your company’s content and story need to be enticing to its target audience and media professionals. PR agencies like Pressfarm work with startups and companies of various sizes to create compelling content that can be distributed to media professionals or published on their own channels. With a professional press release, a fascinating email pitch, some engaging guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit, you can put your podcast in the limelight where it belongs. Once you’ve captured attention and drawn people in to check out your podcast, your chances of media coverage increase exponentially.
How to write a podcast pitch email
Once you’ve compiled a list of the podcasts you’d like to feature in, it’s time to reach out! You want to be clear about what you’re presenting. You also need to highlight how you can give the podcast exciting new content for an upcoming episode right from the email subject line. Here are a few things that you absolutely must do in your pitch.
1) Include a brief bio of the guest you’re pitching, as well as links to other podcasts in which they’ve appeared
This demonstrates their subject expertise and their experience with recorded interviews.
2) Make a list of numerous themes your client could speak about
Make each theme specific. Let the host know that these are merely ideas and that your client is open to discussing other themes that the host might be interested in.
3) Make the podcast pitch current by including themes that are relevant to current events
For example, pitch a closet cleanup session in January. You should also consider pitching a back-to-school trend discussion in August. You could also pitch a Fashion Week highlights discussion in September with a fashion podcaster. In January, a fintech company representative can talk about innovative yearly budgeting plans. Startling tax advice in March, and beneficial holiday budget trends in October are also good ideas for content.
4) Point out whether the guest you’re pitching has a sizable social media presence
Inform the podcast presenter that the guest you’re pitching to them will cross-promote the episode on their show. This helps the podcaster to see that you’re happy to reciprocate the favor.
Podcasts require continuous content, so check in with the producer frequently to determine whether your client can fulfill their current requirements. While you don’t have to start from scratch each time, don’t just hit re-send on the original email.
Instead, keep coming up with new podcast topic ideas and sending a follow-up using these ideas as an excuse to contact the podcaster again. If you can do this, then each point of contact will provide them with something new to think about.
Remember to get your guest ready for their upcoming podcast interview while you’re waiting for those podcast inquiries to appear on your calendar. Ensure they have a professional headshot that is up to date for the episode’s promotion. Confirm that they’ll be conducting the discussion in a peaceful environment. You should also suggest that they order a low-cost podcast microphone (many of these cost less than $20. They also make terrific gifts for any client who you’re pitching as a guest on a podcast).
Consider establishing a PR podcast where you can advertise your own PR talents while you’re at it. Many PR professionals out there want to learn from your experience. This is also a terrific way to put yourself in your client’s shoes and show them how things should be done.
Whether you’re working for an audio-first enterprise, a print publication, or on your own, launching a podcast is difficult. However, with the right resources and some expert help, pitching your podcast to other podcast hosts as well as the media shouldn’t be too complicated.