Podcasts are hugely popular: there are over 850,000 active podcasts in the Apple podcast store now. There is a podcast for nearly every imaginable topic, and probably more than one podcast relating to your specific business niche.
Spoiler alert: there are podcast hosts out there right now who need guests like you. Appearing as a guest is a great way to showcase your expertise and draw attention to your business. If you’re an engaging guest who provides valuable content for their audience, then you’re helping the podcast host as well—a win-win situation.
But where should you begin? With the better part of a million podcasts out there, how can you figure out which ones are a good fit for you? Once you find them, how can you score an invitation?
What Every Podcast Guest Needs: A Podcast Info Sheet
First things first: before you start searching for the best podcast opportunities for you, you need to prepare to be an excellent podcast guest. After helping more than 800 speakers at Keynote Content, we know that one of the best ways to hear “No” from a podcast host is to be unprepared. Don’t start contacting hosts before you’ve put together your podcast guest ‘resume’, what we call a podcast info sheet (or podcast one sheet).
As the name implies, this is a brief, usually one-page sheet with all the relevant information a host will need to decide if they’re interested in having you as a guest. Your podcast one-sheet should include the following:
A professional headshot. Not a selfie you took with your iPhone; don’t go cheap on this. Pay a professional photographer or an art student, someone with a quality camera who understands the importance of good lighting. Wear a nice outfit, and smile.
A brief bio. We recommend having both a short- and long-form bio available. A long-form bio should be between 170-200 words, and a short-form bio should run between 60-80 words. Include only the most relevant, important information about yourself here. Use the short-form bio in your podcast one-sheet, and have the feature-length one available in case it’s requested.
Your topics. A podcast host needs to know what you want to talk about. List the topics you are passionate and knowledgeable about and your expertise in those topics. Just as importantly, tell what takeaway the audience will get from your sharing about those topics. Podcast hosts want to provide value to their audiences.
Previous podcast appearances. If you’ve been a podcast guest in the past, include those links in your podcast one sheet.
Testimonials. If you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em. Let other people tell the podcast host how great you are and how much your expertise has helped them.
How to Be a Good Podcast Guest (And How to Prepare for a Great Podcast Interview)
Once you have your podcast one-sheet finished, you’re still not ready to charge ahead with contacting hosts. There are still a few things you can do in preparation to be the best podcast guest ever.
Invest in decent audio, video, and lighting equipment. Have a reliable microphone. And yes, video and lighting equipment are tools for podcasts. More and more hosts are videoing their interviews so that they have video clips as well as audio from their shows, in order to reach a larger audience. Having the necessary equipment to look professional and polished will put you ahead of the competition and make it easier for a host to say “Yes” to you.
Have an online scheduling tool set up so that a host can simply click on an available time to talk with you and figure out if you’re a good fit for their show. Save them the time and hassle of multiple emails or texts trying to find a time that works for both of you.
Be aware ahead of time that you need to show gratitude throughout the process. Thank the host from the beginning for taking time to hear you out, to talk with you and decide if you’re right for the show. Also, know that your work isn’t done as soon as the podcast is recorded. Be ready to promote it as if it were your own. Share it across all your social media platforms, and publicly thank the host for giving you the opportunity to appear on their show.
How to Find Great Podcast Guest Opportunities
Now that you know what it takes to be prepared, you’re ready to start the podcast search. Fortunately, there is no shortage of great podcasts out there. But how can you find the best podcast guest opportunities for you? Start with these tried and true methods we’ve used with success:
Podcast guest directories. Yes, these exist. They’re made for podcast hosts, and they’re lists of potential podcast guests and their information. So far, the lineups are a bit thin, with not many options to choose from, but here are three we’ve used:
PodcastGuests.com allows you to fill out your profile and reach out to hosts directly from their site, for free.
Matchmaker.fm is like the IMDB of podcast guests. It gives you good tools for building up your guest profile.
Podchaser.com doesn’t yet allow you to make a guest profile as detailed as the other two, but it doesn’t hurt to put yourself out there in as many places as possible.
Amazon bestseller lists. This may seem like odd advice, but many publishers encourage their authors to broaden their platforms with podcasts. Here’s how you can take advantage of those lists: use a longtail search to find the top 100 selling books in your specific niche. Then, begin from the bottom, with books 91-100. Search those authors and book titles in Apple podcasts and Google play. When you find a podcast, add it to your list to research.
Facebook groups. Join Facebook groups related to your business specialty. Add meaningful, thoughtful content to threads, and when a good conversation gets started, ask if anyone has a podcast where they’d like to continue the discussion in more detail.
YouTube. Subscribe to YouTube channels dedicated to your niche. YouTube is one of the fastest-growing podcast platforms and the reason we recommend investing in video and lighting equipment. Hosts have learned that they can easily extract the audio from a video-recorded interview and have both a video and audio podcast to use on multiple platforms. Make note of channels you would be a good guest for, and add them to your list to research further.
Associations and organizations. Professional associations and organizations exist for every industry, and once you join them, you can get access to their member directories. Search those names in Apple Podcasts and Google Play for another source of potential guest opportunities.
Armed with your list of podcasts, you’re ready to do the real work: researching the individual podcasts. Once you’re certain the podcasts on your list fit within your business niche, start listening. Listen to several of the most recent episodes. Get a feel for the target audience, for who the host is, and what they like to emphasize. Understand that your first audience is the podcast host. Not only do they need to find you interesting; they need to feel that you understand their show and what they’re trying to deliver to their listeners.
Find out where the audience is, and where the host is trying to take them. Both you and the host are in business to help people achieve specific goals. Focus on their win: if your message can help them take the next tangible step toward their goal, then this is a podcast you should pursue.
How to Pitch Yourself as a Podcast Guest
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of podcasts to just the ones you’re confident are a good fit, it’s time to start pitching yourself as a guest. This part may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember: most podcast hosts need a steady stream of guests. They want to hear from you!
The key is to know how to ask in the right way, like a confident professional. At this point in the process, you’ve already done the most important part: the research. You know that you are a good fit for the show, and you know the show’s format. You know what to expect, whether it’s a 60-minute Q & A session or a 30-minute uninterrupted presentation. You know the host’s style, the recent guests, and the audience’s needs. When you ask to be a guest, prove that you’ve done your research.
If you’re still uncertain about how to begin, or whether being a podcast guest is even right for you, Keynote Content can help. Just fill out this brief form, and we’ll set up a call. We’ll talk about your business, your niche, your message, and explore your podcast guest options. We can walk you through how to find the right opportunities for you, how to showcase your expertise, and the best way to pitch yourself as a podcast guest. Join the over 800 speakers who’ve already trusted our team at Keynote Content to coach them. We’re ready to help you get started as a can’t-miss guest in the world of podcasting!