Did you know that podcasting is still on the rise with 51% of Americans 12+ have ever listened to a podcast, with 32% having listened in the past month, and 22% in the past week? Do you know how to get featured on podcasts? Read on…
According to Edison Research, “although all key demographics grew, much of the increase in podcasting has come from Americans age 12-24.”
One of the most interesting stats provided by Edison: That people who click on a podcast consume it immediately. Compare that with webinars, where there is a strong trend of subscribing and missing the event – with replay reminders largely ignored.
Combine this with the fact that people’s cars run a “strong second” to home as the place where they like to access podcasts, plus proof that people who tune into podcasts usually listen to the majority of each episode, and you may find yourself with compelling extra reasons to stretch out of your comfort zone to produce podcasts.
But what if you don’t want to produce a podcast yourself? Well, there’s a much easier way to make good use of podcasting and reach those who prefer to listen: And that’s getting yourself featured on a hot podcast, where your host has already done all the groundwork, built up his or her following and taken care of all the tech.
Here, we’re going to uncover the key secrets to becoming a highly desirable podcast guest – a process that will build your confidence and have you stepping into that expert guest role with ease.
When you become a podcast guest on a hot podcast, you are able to instantly leverage your host’s loyal audience – the audience that your host did the work of building and nurturing. While the written word is a powerful medium, seeing you in a live webinar or hearing your actual voice in a podcast, with all its warmth, inflections, animation, passion and liveliness, boosts the degree of personal connection your audience feels.
To see the laughter in someone’s eyes or the animation on their face is to get a pretty good idea on what that person is all about: To hear their voice, with all its quirks and humanity, also helps people to get to connect with the real, authentic you.
Your host also vouches for you, explicitly by talking you up or implicitly, simply by featuring you as a guest on the show. It’s your host who introduces you as an expert in your topic; plus, you get all the benefits of celebrity-by-association with the audience’s well-liked podcast host.
Not only does this help define your branding, it instantly boosts your visibility—and plausibility. Deliver on your promises, and you’ll find you’re suddenly in demand.
Influential people in your field will:
- Quote you
- Ask you to guest on their own podcasts, webinars or blogs
- Increase your subscribers AND your sales
And all this will happen while you’re busy with other things, after your interview. But being a podcast guest is a two-way transaction: A win-win. That’s the most important thing to understand.
You are also there to:
- Make your host look good
- Delight her audience
- Enhance her authority
When you make her feel as if she can confidently say to her people, “I’m the person who can get you expert guests”, you’ve taken a vital step to ensure that you’ll be invited back.
By consciously adopting and following a system for podcast guesting, you’ll also ensure that listeners will tune into episodes of any show just because you are the guest. They will remember that you were articulate, helpful, clear, concise and enjoyable to listen to, last time they heard you speak on a podcast.
But make no mistake: This is an art form we’re talking about. That’s the bad news.
The good news is, it’s an art form you can master easily, if you educate yourself on the absolute basic essentials to being the perfect podcast guest. And we are going to do that, right now, by taking a look at the following seven steps for how to get featured on podcasts.
Step One: Show What You’ve Got to Offer
What makes one guest truly unique from other podcast guests? From other writers, performers, teachers, coaches or other experts?
What makes you truly unique is your personal story, but telling a personal story for a podcast or webinar isn’t just rambling on about things that are personal to you. It’s not oversharing. It’s not venting. You need to tell a story that your perfect listener relates to 100%!
You need to tell a story that incites curiosity; that makes your listener wonder why you do what you do. So naturally, explaining why you do what you do is a key component of your compelling story, as long as that ‘why’ is one that makes an emotional connection with your listener.
For example, if a listener is just getting over the shock of losing a leg in an accident and is ready to deal with it, she is far more likely to tune into a podcast that deals with “Running with One Leg” than one on “Muscle Car Restoration”.
If you add a promise to that podcast, you won’t just interest her: You will hook her and reel her in. Give your host a hook they can use to promote you with, and you increase your chances of people tuning into that episode even more. And the easiest way to create a powerful hook is in a title. (It doesn’t matter if the host is already calling the episode something else—YOU have to give her the idea of how to interview you, and you do this with a speaker sheet—we’ll get to those shortly.)
Felena Hanson was a successful twenty-two-year-old looking forward to a high-powered career when she suffered a catastrophic car accident. In her story, however, Felena doesn’t focus on the agonizing details of her recovery, but on what being forced to re-examine her life sparked. That led to the creation of Hera Hub, a shared physical workspace for female entrepreneurs where they could go to network, brainstorm, and create a community focused on helping each other succeed.
In effect, the promise she inherently makes—right in the title of the episode, “Turning Setbacks into Triumphs”—is that you can rise like a phoenix out of the ashes of your life and claim your power even more potently than you may have previously thought possible.
Promise a podcast host a focused interview like this, and hosts will be falling all over themselves to book you.
The other element Felena Hanson makes use of is a theme that connects: In this case, triumph out of tragedy. She keeps it raw and speaks from a deeply personal perspective, but it is a perspective that touches the emotions and fears and dreams of her audience.
If you make a focused promise in your proposed episode title or story log line (your “hook” sentence), you will attract people who desperately need and want the information you have: Often information they may not even know they are seeking.
Another big positive, for both you and your host: You can package your proposed guest appearance in a format that fits your host and her audience. You can totally customize it, while using the same core hook, promise, tips and examples.
For example, if you were appearing on a mental health show, reaching people struggling to make a living while coping with illnesses and conditions such as depression, PTSD or bi-polar disorder, you might want to focus on your story and how you overcame barriers.
If, on the other hand, you wanted to guest on a technique-based business show, you might re-package that basic central message as “21 Tips for Working When You Don’t Feel Like Working”.
So before approaching an already-established podcast host, get to know your host… and her audience.
Step Two: Get to Know Your Host
Get to know your host, first of all, because if you know her priorities, you can tailor your speaker sheet and interview proposal to her most current top needs.
For example, if you are following her in a closed Facebook Group, and she is sharing her excitement over planning her next book, which is going to be based on her podcast series, “Interviews with Twenty-One Women Who Talk Tech”, and you specialize in setting up shopping carts and payment processing systems, you would instantly realize that, no matter how new you are to the online entrepreneurial scene, this is a perfect gig for you!
Say she has mentioned five guests already: You can then approach this particular host with confidence and offer her your own viewpoint to fill in any of the gaps these five guests have not covered.
Here’s how to put yourself in the position of knowing all about your host, without having to scramble and back-track and learn everything there is to know about her overnight.
1. Follow her on social media
Pick 5-10 people you would like to be interviewed by, and follow their Facebook feeds and Pages, Twitter feeds, Instagram feeds, etc.
2. Get on the inside
Take one of her live, interactive Challenges, Bootcamps or Courses. Join her Mastermind Groups. Join her closed Facebook or LinkedIn Group, and jump right into the conversation with helpful observations and contributions.
3. Listen to her podcast episodes
This will familiarize you with your ideal host’s structure and preferences. You’ll know how she positions guests, the sort of questions she asks, which of her own products (if any) she ties that guest’s topic to.
Another unexpected side benefit to listening to her podcasts: Already possessing familiarity with how they flow will make you a less nervous and far more comfortable guest!
4. Read her blog
Subscribe to it, watch for her emails, and read her posts.
5. Support her launches
Become an affiliate of your favorite niche experts and demonstrate you can pull your weight by helping her promote her launches. Leave reviews of her books on Amazon. Review her new template package and offer testimonials. Share her promotional tweets and posts.
6. Do all of the above regularly
Pick at least one podcast episode a day to listen to. If you’ve chosen 5 experts to follow, that means you can listen to all 5 in a week by focusing on a different expert every day.
Dedicate a period of time to checking their feeds on social media daily. It doesn’t matter if that’s 10 minutes or an hour. It doesn’t matter if you hit all 5 daily, or one every day on your 5-day cycle. Just pick a system that works for you, and stick to it.
Even if you can’t (or don’t want to) do all of the above, pick at least half of these suggestions and adopt them.
A final note: All of the above will be useless—like yet another batch of New Year’s Resolutions tossed out the window—if you don’t make a real commitment to following and supporting your chosen experts, and schedule this into your day.
Step Three: Be an Irresistible Guest
You have already gotten off to a great start with steps one and two. Now it’s time to increase your irresistibility factor.
Start by showing how you are different and unique. If your hostess deals regularly with online life coaches as guests, make sure that you stand out.
What can you tell her that sets you apart from the others? What one simple but paradigm-shifting epiphany or insight can you offer?
When assessing your own value:
Ask your peers, family or clients “what do I do better than anyone else”? Couch this in whatever language makes you comfortable, but ask.
Read your own testimonials
Print them out, across all sites and appearances, and use a highlighter in your favorite color on phrases that strike you.
Look at your lifetime and life-changing achievements
What are you most proud of? And be ruthlessly honest. It doesn’t have to be “won a Pulitzer Prize at age eleven on my dissertation on Humanity”: It can be something small, silly, sweet; all the way up to “life-changing”.
For example, Money Mindset mentor Denise Duffield Thomas tells a wonderful story in her book, Lucky Bitch: A Guide for Exceptional Women to Create Outrageous Success, about overcoming her paralyzing fear of sharks and how she got over this accidentally while going for the Guinness Book of Records title of “Most Wedding Vow Renewals by One Couple”—which she and husband, Mark, achieved with 85 renewals all over the world, as part of a contest they won.
What do these stories have in common? It might not be what you think!
What these stories have in common is that they are about life-changing achievements or incidents important to their authors, demonstrating something that the listener can identify with in one of the following ways:
The listener wants this for herself
She has felt these feelings or experienced a similar event and grappled with it. The story has entertained her and caught her interest
We may not have a fear of sharks and we may have zero interest in getting married, let alone becoming the world’s most married woman—Denise says she is now the second-most-married, by the way. Her record was recently beaten by two counts—but we all want to:
- Do something worthwhile or exceptional
- Be special
- Solve our big problems
And so does our ideal listener!
The importance of professional-quality audio broadcasting equipment:
There’s more to being the perfect guest, of course—and now it’s time to tackle the tech. You could be the most wonderful guest in the world, but if your listeners can’t make out what you’re saying, they’ll quit listening. If you sound like you’re at the bottom of a well, or you have wind whistling through the microphone if you’re taping outdoors, you’ll not only be hard to hear, you’ll also come across as unprofessional.
One of the biggest causes of poor sound quality? Relying on your computer’s built-in microphone. In a word, don’t. Go out and buy a good, noise-canceling stand-alone microphone or mic/headset combo.
If you don’t want to invest in top-quality equipment, at the very least make sure you get a separate noise-cancelling microphone and make sure there is no ambient external noise source such as an air conditioner or street noises from an open window.
You can find inexpensive models at your local department or audio-visual stores, as well as at Amazon. LG microphones and headsets are perfectly adequate.
Demonstrate in your sound bites (that is, your sound clips and samples) that your equipment quality is up to par with the pros. That’s one more checkmark beside your guest irresistibility factor.
Creating a professional pitch and a compelling, concise speaker sheet saves your potential host time by instantly letting her see what you offer in the way of:
Your stats and sites
Your power points
Your promotion promises
Include also where potential hosts can find or download your sound bites.
Step Four: Perfect Your Pitch
While having connections helps you get gigs, you can still succeed by doing the podcast equivalent of cold-calling and making a pitch to hosts you don’t know. The key lies in showing them you know the ropes, and have something that will increase their creds and please their ideal audience.
All pitches should cover the basic pitching areas: Who, What, Where, When, How and Why. Create yourself a pitching template and reuse it over and over, simply customizing it to suit each podcast host you approach.
A template has two huge advantages:
- It ensures you always tell your potential key host what they need to know, without missing anything (like your phone number, for example)
- It is repetitive, so as you work with it, you are training yourself, over and over, to perfect your pitch—and get really comfortable with it.
Hello [host name],
I would love to be a guest on [podcast name], since I know your audience is interested in [your topic area] My audience will also find this interview interesting, and I will be happy to actively promote it.
The areas I cover are:
* [List your topics simply or in point form]
* [Short 1-3 sentence bio/story: your WHY]
I have also been featured on/You can find me on:
* [podcasts you’ve appeared in]
* [blog interviews or guest posts you’ve done for other hosts]
*[mention your equipment]
* [reassure potential host about your internet connection]
I have a reach of:
*[List any stats your host might find relevant]
I am available on/at [give your calendar link or suggest specific shows or time blocks]
I plan to promote the episode by:
* [What you will do to promote the episode]
If you are interested, you can reach me at:
* [Your contact info: Telephone, mobile, email, alternate email, Skype ID]
I look forward to your response.
Don’t feel intimidated if you have not yet been a guest on any other podcast: Simply list your blog link, links to guest posts you have written or blog interviews featuring you. Also include your YouTube or Vimeo channel—anywhere else on line where your host can catch your “flavor” to see if your communication style and your host’s style mesh.
Don’t agonize about your bio, either: Simply include the “short version” bio you use for your website. (Delete any sentence that isn’t relevant to her show or readers.)
Include your bio along with links to your website so the podcast owner can check you out. They want to see if your vibe connects with them/their audience.
For stats, talk about your list and subscriber numbers. (Your promise to promote!)
Include your followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn—and do mention any Groups to whom you also plan to promote the show.
Step Five: Create and Provide Sound Samples
One of the biggest concerns to hosts—once they’ve glanced at your pitch and found themselves interested—is what you physically sound like. How lively you are, how clearly you speak, if you speak with animation and passion and so forth. So, if you haven’t yet got any sound bites, make some little audio files and upload them to your cloud storage or website. (Make sure they are REALLY small if you upload them to your website!) And include the links in your pitch.
If you want to record a clip inexpensively, download Audacity, which is free. I prefer to use the teleseminar service I’ve been using since it was launched back in 2007. It’s super simple and the client care is second to none. Start for $1 and tell them I sent you!
Step Six: Promise to Promote
We mentioned earlier that one of the most important tactics for hooking a guest spot—possibly THE most important tactic—is your promise to promote.
Don’t just promise, however: Detail exactly how you plan to promote the interview, as well as where and when.
“I have a list of 9,751 subscribers, and I will create an email series, which I will share with you, promoting our episode topic, which will include calls to action to listen to the episode. I will also send out reminder Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as reminder emails at the following intervals, starting 24 hours before the episode…”
Detail also any resources you will create and supply your host and her affiliates with, including banners, images, image quotes, sound bites, calls to action and simple quotes.
Let your host know in advance what handouts or bonuses you can offer her for her people.
Be specific about where and how often you will promote the episode. The more specific you are, the more you will reassure her she can trust you to respect her time and investment in you and your message.
Finally, keep your promises. Do exactly what you have told her you will do at the right times—delegate or outsource this to your VA, to make extra sure it gets done.
Step Seven: Stick to Best Practices
Everything we’ve talked about so far represents podcasting ‘best practices’—what it takes to give professional, enjoyable interviews: But of course, there are a few more important practices to adopt:
1. Include a speaker section on your website (in the form of—or including—a concise, graphically pleasing Speaker Sheet).
Make sure it includes an archive of previous podcasts or podcast guest spots, if you have them—and use a good Speaker Sheet template to shortcut the process of designing one while ensuring you end up with a professional design.
2. Be highly quotable
Podcast hosts love guests who give them good quotes. People remember highly quotable lines and maxims. So, provide them with your own unique, memorable quotes.
3. Follow the 3 P system
If you haven’t heard of the 3 Ps before, they’re drop-dead simple. And you can use them not just for podcasting, but for appearing on videos, being interviewed, giving a speech and more. It all boils down to:
Position: Know WHO you are talking to and tailor your speech, responses and topics exclusively to that ideal person.
Prepare: Make sure you and your host are on the same page about what you’ll discuss. Decide on the issue or problem you’ll be dealing with, your promise (what you’re going to share), your solution. And your solution should feel like a
“Big Takeaway” …Something that is transformational, and will help change your listener’s life.
Planning how you will handle your topic in advance can mean the difference between an interesting but forgettable interview, and one that knocks people’s socks off (including your host).
And do remember you can also prepare by sending out an email inviting your followers to submit questions on the topic. (Let your host know you are doing this.)
Practice: There’s another microcosm of 3 Ps here, right within the “Practice” section. And that is practice, practice and MORE practice.
You can never get too much practice. Have a trusted peer or friend interview you via Skype on the topic—give her a list of questions you think you will be covering. Get comfortable with your equipment. Get comfortable listening to your own speaking voice.
And when you’ve finished an interview, you should have several more lined up—don’t stop. Keep going!
The more times you act as a podcast guest, the more comfortable and fluent you will become. (It only gets better from here!)
4. Test and prepare your “studio”
Even if you’re going to be sitting in your car giving the interview, use a checklist to make sure no glitches happen.
Make sure you have a strong internet connection
Test your equipment in advance to make sure it is working properly
Close all unnecessary browser windows and programs
Turn notifications off for text, email and social networks
Be aware of all sources of sound contamination (wind blowing, air conditioning units, traffic noises, etc.) and do what you can to remove them
Have a drink ready at hand, in case your voice acts up. Professionals often swear by water with a touch of honey and lemon, but a nice bottle or glass of water is just fine
Turn phones OFF (exception: The one you may be using for your podcast spot)
Kick pets and kids out and make sure they are taken care of by someone else
Get your cue cards or notes laid out at hand
Shut doors and windows
That last one is a tried-and-true recommendation that all the pros will agree with. Not only does smiling before you begin relax you, it warms and brightens your voice.
5. Maximize your message: Think of the result you want for your business and stay focused.
Be ready to deflect tangents or refer people to your assistant or Facebook Page or website to deal with non-related questions. Don’t hesitate to make sure the interview stays on target, which you can do in a perfectly nice but straightforward way.
And the one preparation element you MUSTN’T miss? Making sure your host is ready to include WHERE AND HOW TO REACH YOU.
Our last Best Practice? Pay as much attention to follow up as you did to landing your podcast interview.
- Thank your host—both at the end of the podcast and personally, after the show
- Deliver any extras you promised during the show to deliver (if applicable)
- Follow up with your list: Promote the replay!
- And line up your next guest spot.
The difference between those who stay stuck after taking webinars like this one and those who progress to new levels is just one tiny word: Action!
The people who progress are those who dare step outside their comfort zones and act on what they have learned. Remember, it only gets easier, every time you do it.
In a few moments, I’m going to be taking questions, but first…
PRESENT YOUR OFFER: 10 minutes
Let your attendees know you share even more information in your upsell or signature product, course or program
List its key benefits
Tell them how it works (e.g. tiered program; coaching package with follow-up methods included; etc.)
Tell them how to access it (e.g. link embedded on their screens; link in webinar chat box; link at end of webinar, etc.)
Give a coupon code or FAST ACTION incentive
And now it’s time to finally get to some of those great questions I’ve been seeing in the chat box…
Q&A Time: 10 minutes
Conclusion: I promised this would only take an hour of your time so it’s time to wrap up. If you still have questions, check out…
[Tell them where to reach you: E.g. Facebook page, your free forum, landing page link, etc.
Restate your offer, sales page link, Fast Action bonus or coupon.
Thank everyone for attending.
Having the ability to get featured on podcasts will skyrocket your business exponentially. Be sure to listen to my most current podcast series and leave me a review after you subscribe.
I’m bestselling USA Today and Wall Street Journal author, publisher, veteran podcaster, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and my goal is to connect with you if you have more than just a passing interest in getting started with an online business. I most recently released Really Simple SEO Tips and Keywords for Beginners and this is an excellent place to begin. Please take a look while it’s still at its introductory pricing.