How to pitch yourself as a podcast guest (and how to measure success)

When thinking about the best ways to grow your podcast audience, it’s likely that guesting on other shows comes to mind first – and for good reason! As a podcast guest, you get exposed to a new audience for the entire duration of your interview. Podcast interviews are a great way to give new listeners a taste of what they could expect on your own show and encourage them to give it a listen in a way that isn’t overly promotional. That’s why being a guest on an external show tends to lead to a higher conversion rate (as in, more audiences hearing about you and then becoming listeners of your show) than purchasing a paid ad or running a cross-promo on that same external show.

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How to pitch yourself as a podcast guest (and how to measure success)

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When thinking about the best ways to grow your podcast audience, it’s likely that guesting on other shows comes to mind first – and for good reason! As a podcast guest, you get exposed to a new audience for the entire duration of your interview. Podcast interviews are a great way to give new listeners a taste of what they could expect on your own show and encourage them to give it a listen in a way that isn’t overly promotional. That’s why being a guest on an external show tends to lead to a higher conversion rate (as in, more audiences hearing about you and then becoming listeners of your show) than purchasing a paid ad or running a cross-promo on that same external show.

But landing a spot as a podcast guest is easier said than done. Luckily, The Podglomerate has a list of tips and tricks to help book guests on some of the biggest and most engaged shows running today. Here’s our advice for landing the guest spot of your dreams:

Create a shortlist of target shows (and find out who to get in touch with)

What are the top 10 podcasts you would love to be a guest on? Are they podcasts focused on topics you’re passionate about? Do their audiences align or overlap with the type of listener you’re trying to attract to your own show? Draft a list of these ideal shows, but remember: while “the sky’s the limit,” it’s also good to be realistic about which shows you add to your list, as not everyone can be interviewed on The New York Times’ The Daily or The Joe Rogan Experience! Once you have that list of show titles, be sure to search for the best person from that podcast’s team to pitch yourself to. Platforms like Muckrack, Rocket Reach, Podchaser, and even a good ol’ fashioned Google or LinkedIn search can help uncover the names and email addresses of producers, talent/guest bookers, or even podcast hosts that you should be getting in touch with.

Brush up on the show’s recent episodes

Make sure you’re informed about the latest episodes your target show has released. Otherwise, you risk pitching yourself for a topic they’ve recently covered. Guest pitching is always most effective when you’re a regular listener of the target show and have a strong sense of what kinds of topics are a good fit. When that’s not possible, make sure you’re still doing your diligence to prove you understand the show’s audience. Even if you haven’t been a lifelong listener, including a note in your pitch if you “really enjoyed the recent episode on budget travel destinations” can go a long way in conveying to the team that you took the time to do your research.

Pitch yourself with impressive stats or credentials

You already think you’d be a great guest on the target show, so your first step is all about explaining why in just a sentence or two. Start off by introducing yourself and contextualizing why you’re reaching out. For example, if you’re a leading academic in the field of psychology, that’s important information when trying to book yourself on a self-help show. The information you choose to include here can vary based on what you think the target show’s team will find most impressive but here are some questions to unlock ideas:

  • Do you host a chart-topping show of your own?
  • Have you guested on other prominent podcasts or interview programs? Can you link to those interviews to showcase your guest speaking skills?
  • Do you have any accolades in your field (such as being a bestselling author, professor, journalist, etc.)?
  • Have you or your show won any awards? 
  • Have you contributed to or been featured by any major (or relevant) media outlets?

If you haven’t won a Nobel Prize or your podcast doesn’t have 1 million downloads, don’t sweat it – work with whatever you have at your disposal. If you book guests on your own show, think about what you look for yourself and emulate that. 

Keep your pitch short and sweet

Some podcasts get hundreds of guest pitches a day. The best way to make sure your pitch doesn’t go in the trash folder is by making it as concise as possible while still sharing all the important information. At The Podglomerate, we keep our pitches under 250 words – and sometimes much shorter. 

Use hyperlinks to make sure your reader knows exactly how to find more information about you, your show, or any of the accolades you mention. This will cut down on how much text is included while also making sure you’re providing thorough resources. It’s also worth putting your request in bold font. If someone is skimming your email, you want it to be immediately clear what you’re asking. 

The same goes for your subject line. Stick to 9 words or less to keep it clear and concise. It’s great to have a catchy hook, but that should never come at the expense of brevity. 

Share your guest interview talking points

One of the best ways to take a pitch from good to great is by including talking points. We recommend 3-4 bulleted ideas of topics on which you could serve as a guest expert. It shouldn’t be the reader’s burden to think of an episode that would be a good fit for you. By proactively sharing a list of ideas, you may be throwing your hat in the ring for an episode that’s already in production or even giving the team an idea for a future episode they think listeners will enjoy. 

This section also helps reframe your message. Now, instead of simply asking the team for a coveted guest spot, you’re creating a win-win situation in which you get to join the host for a fascinating conversation, and the target show gets to add a new episode to their lineup that their listeners will love. Again, it’s important to make sure your talking points are original and not a regurgitation of episodes they’ve already released. 

Unsure what this should look like in practice? Take a look at the example below to help guide you in writing a great guest pitch.

Measure the success of your guest interview

As always, the only surefire way to know how impactful any promotion is for your podcast is to measure it. At The Podglomerate, we recommend using Chartable since it can measure a variety of different promotions including cross-promos, feed drops, paid audio ads, and guest opportunities. Once you have your guest interview confirmed, ask if the host can install a Baked-In Chartable SmartPromo pixel on the episode once it airs (note that not all podcasts will have capabilities to accept Chartable pixels).

Once the pixel is installed, you’ll see how many listeners will have heard your guest interview and, in the process, converted to becoming a listener to your own show. After 30 days, you’ll have a fairly complete picture of the impact of your guest interview in growing your podcast. You can export this data from Chartable and keep a record of it so you can see which guest interviews encourage the best audience conversion. Here’s an example of how we track this data:

While this can vary greatly depending on genre, length of interview, and other factors, it’s normal to see conversion rates for guest spots that are 10x that of cross-promos. If your conversion rate is 1% or above, you may have found strong audience alignment, and you should consider looking to other comparable shows for more guest interviews.

Have questions? Interested in working with The Podglomerate to help grow your audience? Email us at [email protected] to learn more about our services. 

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