Podcasts are hot.
Whether you listen to them or not – there is no denying that people are listening to podcasts in increasing numbers. You can listen to episodes while driving, on the train, cooking dinner, doing the housework. You don’t need to look at a screen or do anything that requires a huge amount of effort to plug in and be entertained, challenged, educated and enlightened.
As someone who has been hosting a podcast for more than a year, I am happy to share that I was shocked at how many people listen to podcasts – including The Priestess Podcast. My little gift to the world consistently sits in the top ten spirituality podcasts on iTunes. Thank you SO much for making that happen. Yes you dear listener! I am so grateful. And still a little bit shocked!
I was also shocked how many people want to be on podcasts, mine included, however that makes total sense because if lots of people are listening to them, it stands to reason that people will want to be on them, particularly if they are trying to position themselves as an expert, shine their light on a particular passion or topic they love, or invite people to get to know them and their work better.
What does not make total sense however is the many approaches I receive and I know other podcasters do too that are really poor. And when I recently asked in the Sacred Priestess Circle Facebook Group if everyone would like me to write a post about how to pitch like a pro to podcasts AND also be a great guest as well…there was a holy resounding yes. Being a great guest is a whole topic in and of itself and so please expect that to roll out in part two of this series, but let’s get down to how you pitch yourself to a podcast well – and then regardless of whether or not you get a yes – the impression you leave on the podcaster will always be a good one.
This is the first and most important step and wow do I see people stuff it up. Many times a podcaster will have specific instructions on their podcast or contact page requesting that you reach out to them in a certain way or simply know important things before you do. On a regular basis people contact me and it’s clear they have not read the information on my contact page. If they had they would not send multiple emails in follow up – but they do.
And putting yourself forward as a guest on a public platform like social media or sending a message on Facebook? No. It’s disrespectful and an attempt to avoid the systems a podcaster has in place to best handle enquiries and support people. And maybe even so they can just have a life outside the world of Zuckerberg. Such things shouldn’t even need to be stated. Contact people the way they ask and through the right channels.
Don’t tell a podcaster you are a huge fan of their work, love listening to their podcast, admire all they do etc if in fact that’s not true. Don’t lie. We don’t need buttering up or our ego stroked. That’s not what this is about – especially when it’s false words. I’d have a bunch of lollipops to give out to you all for each approach I’ve received saying such things, only to find out the person isn’t even following me on Instagram. And you can’t say you’re a massive fan or follower of anyone when the social media platform they use the most to communicate their work to the world you’re not even in the realm of. You don’t need to be any of the above to get a yes to be on a podcast. Truly. That’s not what is important here. Read on below for what is.
Be Precise and Powerful
Don’t waffle or ramble in your pitch. Tell the podcaster who you are, what you do, your suggested episode topics or areas of expertise, why (briefly) you’re a great person to talk about what you’re proposing and don’t forget your website link! You’ve got to make it simple and easy for the person reading. They don’t need to wade through your entire life or business history. If they wish to do that they will go to your website. Get powerfully to the point while also being courteous, non-demanding and putting your best foot forward!
Do Your Research
For a podcast about women’s spirituality I have received pitches to be on The Priestess Podcast relating to financial investment, primary school education, engineering and home appliances. Yes, someone wanted to come on and discuss the merits of tumble drying vs air drying your clothes. I’m not joking. What this shows is a shocking lack of research and care on behalf of the person approaching. It’s time wasting of the highest order. Don’t waste your own time or the time of the podcaster by spraying yourself any which way and hoping someone – anyone – will say yes. Commit to only approaching those podcasts that truly are connected to who you are, what you do AND of course who they are and what they do.
And for extra points make sure when you do the next point below, that you don’t suggest a topic or topics that have already been on the podcast numerous times or only recently. If it’s a good podcast and they are focused on ensuring great variety for their listeners you’ll get a no response or no response because of that. Good research on your behalf will stop that from happening.
I know I’ve received a pro pitch when as well as being researched and to the point, the person approaching also suggests 2-4 very clear topics, themes or areas of expertise that they could be interviewed about. This makes it SO much easier to say yes to someone. I don’t have to go digging on their website for things that pique my interest and we could discuss. It’s done for me. And anything that is done for me or a podcaster in the approach helps enormously.
It’s Not About You
If a podcast is any good its primary purpose for existing is to serve its listeners. Number one. Always. And therefore what good podcasters are going to want in most instances is to interview people that are going to have inspirational, tangible, actionable, poignant, beautiful and upliftings ideas, messages and suggestions to offer those listening. Underlying message? It’s not about you. It’s about what you can bring to an audience. It’s about you being in service. And so you thinking you can approach a podcaster and get on to simply talk about your latest launch or offering to the world in an attempt to get people to sign up to that? Yeah, no. That’s not being in service. That’s attempting to use a podcast as a vehicle to earn money. And do you want to know a big secret? If you’re a great guest and deep in service to an audience that’s going to happen anyway.
Want to know what will make this approach get hot finger deleted even faster? When you demand that your episode be released only on a certain week/day etc. That’s a clear sign to me you want in only to serve whatever promotional schedule you’ve got going on. Want to know another secret? Wherever I possibly can I will ask a guest if there is a particularly good time for their episode to come out. And if I can, I absolutely will do that. You can mention it in the approach – sure – but demand it as a ‘requirement’ of being on? Delete.
Say You Will Share
This one is baffling to me and I think always will be. If you are blessed enough to be interviewed on a podcast and you don’t share that appearance with your audience, I’ve got no idea why you either pitched the podcast to be on in the first place or you said yes if approached. Alas, it happens all the time. Someone comes on as a guest – you share them with your audience and elevate them as an expert – and when the episode comes out, (often despite being encouraged to do so or at least politely asked), they don’t share. Bewildering. Why would you not want to share such extraordinary work and social proof for who you are and what you do? The only reasons I can think of is someone is too busy, (then don’t approach or say yes until you’ve got enough space), you don’t think the podcast audience is big enough or ‘worthy’ enough in some way, (then don’t approach or say yes in the first place), or you were using the podcast as a vehicle to promote yourself and were only prepared for the other end to do that lifting for you.
In your approach tell the podcaster you will gladly share your appearance if invited on. It takes all the guesswork away their end in worrying or wondering if you will do so, even though it should not be in question that you do.
Let It Go
If you pitch well to a podcast you’ve done all you can. And only you can know if you’ve done that. Following these guidelines will certainly help! Then you’ve got to let it go. Leave it with the podcaster and know that they will make the decision that is right for their audience. Whether you get no response at all, (sometimes the volume of requests is just too high to respond to everyone), or you get a no, that doesn’t mean anything bad or heavens above – YOU’RE bad in some way. It could be for so many reasons. Not the right time. Had the topic before. They’re moving in another direction they haven’t made public yet. Or yes, it could be that they simply don’t think you’re the right fit for them.
I am happy to share with you all (as I say on my contact page) the majority of people who appear on The Priestess Podcast are personally invited by me to do so. I’ve been in business 17 years. I know some people. Really wonderful people from so many different areas that are a known entity to me and therefore I know will be wonderful guests that bring beautiful service to my audience.
I am also deeply committed to having guests on the show from diverse backgrounds, particularly those who identify as a person of colour. I have two reasons for this and they’re very simple. The first is that within the ‘spiritual world’ people of colour are not only deeply under-represented, but are often outright excluded (more often than not by white people) from spaces where their brilliance can be heard. I will not be a part of that. And the second is that they’re brilliant. Brilliant and giving and searing and extraordinary. And I want more. The upshot of this is that if you are a white woman and I don’t know you, your chances of pitching to me and getting on the podcast are not nearly as great as it is for a woman of colour. The person, topic and audience match of course all have to be there no matter who is approaching, but fact is I already know so many white women who could be wonderful guests on the show. Does that mean it’s impossible or never happened? No, not at all. It’s happened multiple times. I simply share as another example of how you do not necessarily know what a podcaster is focusing on behind the scenes that may impact whether you get a yes or not.
And so…step forward but then let it go. Especially when you may hear back from them a LONG time after you approach with a yes. I’ve had people approach me and then eight months later the time has been right to have them on – and so they’ve been replied to and we’ve set it up! Patience is sometimes required and please also remember that in the end – it’s their podcast – and so they have the right to make whatever decision they feel best for their audience.
Coming up in part two of this series very soon is my post on how to be an amazing guest once you get the big yes. There are SO many things you can do to really own your appearance, serve an audience beautifully and have people fall in love with you. Many of them are so simple and straight forward you could be missing them!
Share with me below your experiences of pitching to podcasts or any further questions you may have. I’m here to help!