Pitching Podcast Interviews 101: Here’s What You Need to Know
written by Vicky Lynch
At Guide My Brand, we know that securing podcast interviews for our clients is a great vehicle for building their thought leadership platforms. Podcast interviews are a more personal way to connect with a new audience and allow experts to share unique insights and expertise, stories or even teach a new skill. They can be especially helpful in promoting a service, product or new book because the nature of podcasts (they exist online in libraries), allows them to be available online permanently, just waiting to be discovered by new listeners.
What’s more, there’s no shortage of podcasts out there looking for guests to interview, with new shows popping up daily. Seems like a no-brainer for promotion, right? But there are a few things that everyone should know about pitching to podcasts ahead of time to adjust expectations. Just because there are so many podcasts, does not mean that your publicist is going to book hundreds of spots for you easily. There’s a lot more to it than that.
Here’s what you need to know about podcast interviews:
Every podcast needs to receive a customized pitch.
Just like any media outlet, podcasters aren’t going to take you seriously as a guest if the pitch isn’t researched and well-suited to their specific audience. If you are pitching a list of 500 podcasts, that’s 500 individual pitches with details into why someone would be a great guest, and specific topic ideas that fit in with past episodes of each show.
There are no shortcuts. So while there are hundreds or even thousands of shows that could be a fit, it’s going to take quite a while to pitch even fifty of those.
There’s a lot of competition out there.
You’ve decided you’d love to do interviews on podcasts. You’re not alone. There are countless other people out there right now also trying to secure interview spots with podcasters. In order to break through the competition, you’ll have to offer unique expertise and insights that haven’t already been offered on the show.
If you hire a publicist, they can help you find and finesse these angles, but they will still be based on your knowledge and expertise. Make sure you have a unique message.
Timing is a huge factor.
Very few podcasters just produce their show as their full-time job. Most of them work at or run thriving businesses and the podcast is simply a side-hustle or a calling card for their main gig. This means they may schedule guests six months in advance or just record seasons of episodes (8-12 a year). Their pitching and interviewing windows are limited, and it’s not just about the perfect pitch, timing is a huge factor as well.
So even if your publicist reached out to a show that is perfect for you, they may not be currently taking guests. Or they might schedule you for 7 months in advance. You also may record a podcast episode and then wait months for it to go live. Be flexible and be patient.
Size doesn’t always matter.
There are a number of HUGE podcasts out there on everyone’s wish list. And of course, the competition is even steeper to get the top spots. But there are also a ton of smaller, niche podcasts that can also be extremely valuable (if not more valuable) than the top shows. If your message or product is a perfect fit in a smaller arena rather than a so-so fit in a large one, you’ve now reached a much more actively engaged audience than the larger one.
Gary Vee has famously said, “1 is better than zero.” He often appears on small podcasts or online outlets to help fans build their platforms. We all have to start somewhere.
You’ll need to invest in a microphone.
Most podcasts we work with will encourage guests (and some insist) to use a professional microphone (not just their computer speaker or cell phone) when doing interviews. Why? It makes the sound quality much better, which means that listeners aren’t going to get annoyed and stop listening to your interview a couple minutes in.
The expense doesn’t have to be huge (decent microphones start at $40 on Amazon) but it’s a small investment that will pay dividends as you do more and more interviews.
You’ll need to hone your interview skills.
The value of being a podcast guest is only going to be high if you can provide a good interview. Don’t worry, even if you’re not great at public speaking or you don’t have a lot of experience being interviewed, there are great ways to build your skills up. First of all, your publicist can create a list of potential questions to practice with. These can also be provided to podcast hosts when they book (beware, this won’t keep them from throwing in their own questions as well.)
You can also “practice” by starting with smaller podcasts and building your skills so that you have great interviews to provide as examples when pitching bigger shows. A good publicist will be able to help you practice and provide valuable feedback on specific interviews.
If you’re ready to start pitching podcasts, check out my free guide to get you started!
Do you need help landing podcast interviews? We’d love to chat with you about your PR goals. Schedule a call with us here.