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How to Be a Guest on a Podcast Podcasts-to-Films & Other Podcasting News and Recs How to Repurpose Audio Content Like a Machine

Podcast guesting is an increasingly popularand effectiveway to gain exposure and grow your business.

Whatever the focus of your brand or business, there are thousands of podcasts out there in your niche with built-in audiences. And if you can serve those audiences by being a guest on those podcasts, you can build your own audience and brandand have fun doing it!

Take it from Shane Sams, founder of Flipped Lifestyle, a business he runs with his wife, Jocelyn. By making an effort to guest on at least two podcasts a week, their business has blossomed from the connections theyve made, the audience members theyve attracted, and the opportunities theyve found.

Shane details his strategy for how to be a guest on a podcastand how to use guest podcasting to grow your businessin his talk at SPIs Audience Driven Summit in October 2021.

In this post, Ill share Shanes three keys to help you consistently land yourself as a guest on podcasts in your niche. You’ll learn the key steps to finding podcasts that match, how to ask to be on a podcast, and how to make your guest podcast interview a success.

If you’re craving even more detail on being a successful podcast guest, be sure to check out Shanes talk, as well as SPI 547 with Ray Blakney of Podcast Hawk.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Find Some Podcasts to Be a Guest On

There are a lot of podcasts out there to be a guest onand several ways to find the best ones for you.

Meet people

Internet research is a great way to find podcasters to connect withand we’ll get to that in a second.

But the best way to get on other people’s shows is to make a personal connectionin person if possible. Because if you can meet someone in real life, shake their hands, and have a conversation, it’s a lot easier to get on their show and start to build a lasting relationship.

Your best bet for that is to check out in-person conferences, especially ones geared toward podcasters, like Podcast Movement and Podfest. And other conferences like Fincon and Social Media Marketing World are places where dozens if not hundreds of podcasters hang out.

Now, things are obviously still tricky with COVID, and traveling isnt always easy, so keep an eye out for virtual events for podcasters too. 

Thankfully, events aren’t the only way to find guest podcasting opportunities. Lets explore a few research strategies you can put to work from the comfort of your home office!

Make your 80/20 list of podcast targets

The first step is to make a list of all the podcasts you want to be on. These should be divided up in 80/20 fashion: 80 percent should be smaller podcasts that may not have access to the bigger guests but still have a substantial audience.

The other 20 percent should be your dream podcasts, the ones that make you think, I don’t know if I could ever get on that podcast but it sure would be cool.

How do you start filling out your 80/20 list? The first place to go is Apple Podcasts and other podcast directories like Spotify and Google Podcasts. Look at your shows category, and write down the top 100 podcasts in that category.

Explore other places to find podcasts that fit

Another cool trick to find podcasts to be a guest on: In your podcast app, go to your podcast and scroll down to the section at the bottom that tells you which podcasts other people also listen to. Those shows can be great targets as well.

man sitting on couch near a sunny window next to kitchen looking at a laptop and smartphone, with a fruit bowl in the nearground

You can even find Facebook groups where people are looking for podcast guests. And there are tools designed to connect podcasters with potential guests, including Podcast Hawk and PodMatch.

Look outside your niche (but not too far)

When youre looking for podcasts to guest on, you dont have to stick to just one category of showslook at adjacent audiences too. If your business is about email marketing, but its also focused on work-life balance and parenting, look in those podcasting categories too.

Just make sure that the podcasts youre thinking of targeting have audiences that are similar enoughyou don’t want to just reach out to any old podcast. If your brand is all about outer space, a podcast about pet care might not be the best fit.

We are constantly pursuing opportunities to be on other people’s shows. We are building reciprocity by sharing those shows on our social media on our email list. And we are doing everything we can to get those guest appearances. This is a great grassroots strategy.

Shane Sams, Audience Driven 2021

The podcasts you target dont have to be a perfect match. But they should be in the ballpark.

Do all of the above, and you should have a list of a few hundred podcasts with similar (enough) audiences to start reaching out to!

Step 2: Get Your Outreach Emails Ready

Once youve got your list of podcasts to target, you need to start reaching outand email is the best way to do that.

This is where youve got to gin up a little courage and not be shy. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so youre going to have to reach out to tell people who you are, why you want to be on their show, and what you can do for them and their audience.

Your outreach email needs to show them that youre a worthwhile guest whos going to bring their audience a ton of value.

Heres how to write that email.

Build rapport

The first line of your podcast guest outreach email should state a point of connection you may have with the person. Maybe you listen to their podcast, maybe you’ve retweeted them, maybe you have a mutual friend.

Start your email with that, so you can build rapport right away.

Learn all the details of how this podcast guesting strategy has propelled Shane Sams’ and his wife Jocelyn’s business, Flipped Lifestyle

Make the ask

The next line of your email should explain why youre writing it in the first place. Ask if you can be on their show!

This can be as simple as, I was wondering, are you looking for podcast guests? I would love to serve your audience.

Suggest some topic ideas

Then, tell them what you can talk about and the value youll bring. Suggest three or four topicsand this is super importantthat are aligned with the content they produce. You might have to do a little research here, so listen to one or two of their episodes to see what they’re creating.

Show your value

Next, dont be afraid to brag about yourself a little bit (without making it all about you). Tell them why itll be valuable to them to have you on the podcast. If you’ve already done a few guest podcast appearances, or you have some other media appearances, go ahead and list them.

Offer to promote it

Then, tell them how you can support the success of the podcast episode, and of their podcast in general. Do you have a big Facebook following? A large email list? A great Twitter account? Show that you’re willing to help make the episode be as successful as it can be.  

Ask about the next step

Next, ask how to book your appearance. Do you need to fill out a form? Is there a booking calendar you can use? Doing this will demonstrate that youre serious and excited to take the next step.

Say thanks (and offer to return the favor)

Finally, thank them and sign off. And this is keyfinish with a PS that says, I’d love to have you on my show. If you have one, of course. If their podcast aligns with yours, then you should be happy to introduce them to your audience just like you’re asking them to introduce you to theirs.

Step 3: Be a Great Podcast Guest

Nice job! Youve applied the above advice for how to be a guest on a podcast, and landed an interview on a great show. Now you need to make the most of the opportunity. If youre wondering how to be a good podcast guest, put these tips By being an awesome guest.

Be on time

It goes without saying, but don’t be late to the recording session. Be on time (or a little early), so you can relax into the episode and create something great. Your host will appreciate your punctuality, and the content you create will be all the better for it.

Be entertaining

Have fun with it. Bring some energy to the interview. Dont rush or feel like you have to prove everything you know in a forty-five-minute interview. But whatever you do, talk about it in a great story. Being an awesome storyteller is one of the best ways to be remembered and get shared.

man wearing headphones smiling as he talks into a microphone with pop filter at a desk with a laptop and mixer, recording a guest podcasting episode

Give the host what they’re asking for

Remember, it’s not about youyoure going on this show to make the host look great. You want the host to love that episode and share it wide and far.

So go in with some humility. Remember that someone is allowing you to go in front of their audience. That’s incredible.

Answer their questions. Tell them what they want to know. If the host asks you a question about your biggest failure, don’t turn it around into your biggest success. Tell them how you fell on your face. Its their show, so honor and respect the opportunity theyve created for you.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that podcast guesting is the best way we have ever found to grow our audience, expand our reach, and to make connections that make our business grow. 

Shane Sams, Audience Driven 2021

Dont be a stranger

Last but not least, keep in touch! Don’t just go on a show and leave and never talk to that person again. Stay in contact with them and build the relationship. And do what you promised, so if you said youd share the episode on social media and your email list, do it.

Bonus Step: Ask for a Referral

One last tip for youand granted, this is one that will benefit you at least as much as it will your host.

After your guest appearance, ask them, Have you been on any great shows yourself lately? One that might be looking for more guests? Or do you have any friends in the podcast world you could connect me with? I’d love to go out and be on some other shows.

Most people will be happy to connect you with somebody else who could be the host of your next podcast guest appearance.

Unlock the Possibilities of Podcast Guesting

It bears repeating, but the more you focus on making connections and building relationshipswhether IRL or onlinethe better your chances of getting on someones show.

If youre excited about the possibilities of podcasting guesting, be sure to watch Shanes full talk from Audience Driven over on the Team SPI YouTube channel.

Shane has also graciously offered a full nuts-and-bolts breakdown of his entire strategy for finding shows and booking yourself as a podcast guest. Just visit Flipped Lifestyle and grab those resources for free.

I also mentioned SPI 547 with Ray Blakney, founder of Podcast Hawk, a great paid solution that takes a lot of the work out of getting booked as a guest on podcasts.

Pats interview with Ray has a ton of great advice for succeeding with guest podcasting, including customizing and optimizing your email campaign, more prep tips for your guest appearance, pitfalls to be aware of as a podcast guest, tech tips for getting great audio quality, and more.

You can put Podcast Hawk through its paces using our affiliate link at PodcastHawk.com/spi.

Want to start your own podcast?

Our complete step-by-step tutorial shows you how.

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