Jennifer Spencer PR

Think podcasting is dead? Think again.

According to Edison Research, podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016. But it doesn’t stop there. The percentage of Americans who listen to podcasts at least once a month (21%) is the same percentage as those who use Twitter. Yes, Twitter.

So we know the audience is there and growing. Interviews on top podcasts expose you to thousands of relevant listeners–for every single podcast that you appear on. What are some of the other benefits of getting on influential podcasts? At a high-level:

  1. You can build credibility and connect with influencers
  2. You can reach your audience where they prefer to be – on Mobile (64% of podcast listeners are on smartphones or tablets)
  3. Your Podcast audio can be endlessly repurposed

But how do you actually get featured on a podcast? What are the steps you need to take?

Research, Research, Research

It’s not enough to pitch 10 podcasts at random and hope for the best. It takes time and effort. Start by creating a list of 100 podcasts that focus on your industry. Some you’ll know up front. Others you’ll find via web searching, connections with other podcasts, favorite blogs and websites, and poking around the iTunes store. One great place to look is the iTunes “New and Noteworthy” section. Since they are up-and-comers they might be more open to guests, but their audience is still growing fast.

For your next step, put your list of 100 shows into an Excel spreadsheet. Include the podcast website, host-name, email, and notes about the show. Organize the list in order of priority. Where would you most like to be featured? Then move down the list, recording what actions you’ve taken to contact each entry.

Create Your Pitch

Once you have your list of influential podcasts, you’ll need to carefully craft a pitch for each host. If you can manage it, try to connect with them another way before you make your pitch. See if you have a shared connection who can make an introduction. Follow them on social media and send a friendly tweet or two. Anything polite and reasonable that you can do to help yourself stand out will go a long way.

This may take time, but it will be effort well spent. Hosts get hundreds, if not thousands, of emails each day. You will only stand out if you are able to distinguish yourself. When you write your pitch, let them know you listened to their show and wrote a review. Offer to help out with any upcoming projects and share links to upcoming events or webinars. Don’t think of reaching out to podcasts hosts as a sales pitch. Think about building relationships and adding value.

If you have your own following online somewhere, let them know. Most hosts will be a lot more eager to feature you if you can promise to link their show back to the 100,000 people following your FaceBook page.

Follow Up

If you don’t hear back after sending your pitch out, don’t despair. Take initiative and follow up. There is a very good chance your message simply got lost in the clutter.

When you do follow up, try using different angles depending on what the host has covered in the past. What unique information will you teach their audience? Let the host know and suggest a few episode headlines. Are you a mobile marketing expert? Perhaps you could suggest a segment on mobile trends to watch for in 2017. Have expertise in Amazon selling? Maybe you can give tips for the busy season to help listeners keep up with the holiday rush. Be creative. Giving ideas for show episodes opens the door for further discussion.

Prioritize who you follow up with based on where you most want to be featured. Depending on your time, you may not be able to pitch every podcast on your list more than once. But even when replies are slow, don’t forget the average open rate for business emails is only 14-23%. That’s why you’re casting a wide net by contacting 100 different shows.

Stay in touch

If you succeed in getting featured, don’t remove that entry on your spreadsheet. Be enthusiastic in your thanks. Offer to feature them on your site somewhere. And if you come up with another killer topic that you think will suit their show, be sure to pitch them again in a few months. Never forget that the end goal is to create long-lasting relationships that will benefit both you and your favorite podcasters.

Looking for help getting your startup or small business on top podcasts before the year ends? We can get you featured on top shows. 

Interested in starting your own podcast? Check out these amazing reads under 5$: