If you want to be a podcast guest what do you need to say to the host in your first message?
Do you want to be a guest on a podcast? Would you like to know what to say to the host in your initial message when pitching your story? What are the boxes you need to check to get noticed, respected and invited?
My perspective is based on my experience as a podcast host with over 150 guests and my previous experience as a radio show host for 19 years.
My podcast, Your Intended Message, publishes weekly. That means that I need at least one guest a week. I say “at least” because sometimes the guest cancels or postpones. Occasionally I decide not to publish an interview. Why would that happen? Perhaps the audio was poor. Maybe the language was littered with filler words. Perhaps the message was bland and offered little value to listeners.
Two points to keep in mind. I want to publish a quality podcast for my listeners. And I am a human with my own concerns, needs and feelings.
Your first message needs to catch my attention and impress me. This is like a job interview. Don’t instruct me to check you out when you haven’t bothered to check my podcast first. This is your opportunity to make a best first impression.
Lazy doesn’t impress me!
How to become a guest on my podcast, Your Intended Message
When you approach me, think about the title of my podcast and especially think about the message you send and how that conveys your intended message.
If you want to be a guest on my podcast the most important question you need to answer is “What will you do for me?”
Guess what? It’s not about you and your story. Not yet. Grab my attention by speaking to my interests. It’s amazing how many self-proclaimed marketing experts and leadership gurus miss this point.
If every paragraph or sentence in your initial message starts with the words “I” or “my” it’s clearly about you and you didn’t grab my attention by speaking to my interests.
What would grab my attention? Think about that for a minute or longer until you get it. Maybe now you’re asking the right question of yourself before you reach out to me.
Here at the four criteria in order of importance that I examine when qualifying a potential podcast guest.
What do you know about me and my podcast?
How much research did you do before you contacted me? Did your first message make a positive impression by demonstrating that you know my name, the name of my podcast and the theme? Have you listened to at least one episode and commented about the guest and their message?
What do you know about my audience and how will your message help them? What do you admire about my podcast? Don’t say you “love it” without saying what you love about it. Which episodes did you listen to and what resonated with you? And it’s okay to disagree with a previous episode and state your perspective.
It would help if you addressed me by my name. I don’t answer to “Hey there”.
I don’t appreciate the cut and paste messages that are blasted out in an impersonal way. The level of effort that you expend before the interview indicates the effort you will expend after the interview.
Did you personalize your message or was that too much effort for you? What might that tell me about you?
How will you promote my podcast?
This is important to me because I want to expand my audience. That helps me and you because once your interview is published it can continue to attract new listeners as the listenership grows.
Guests who promote my podcast receive special treatment from my ongoing promotional efforts because I promote the podcast immediately and months later on several channels.
The magic words that you can say to me in your first message is…
“I just left you a five-star review on Apple podcasts.”
When you promote my podcast before we meet, I know that you are a winner, that you understand the importance of giving before you get. Guess what? I’ll be eager to interview you and give back in spades.
How have you offered to promote the interview? Tell me about your following on social media or your email list and how you will promote to your followers.
What else can you do to promote the podcast?
What is your expertise and credibility?
This is the part about you. Notice that I don’t care about you and your story until I believe that you care about me and my audience.
Tell me about your story, perspective, credentials, publications, achievements…
What’s your captivating story? Are you ready to reveal your pain and joy of your adventure? How might that relate to my podcast theme and audience?
How might your story help my audience? How might my audience benefit from your story, expertise or experience?
What special offers do you have for my audience?
This is a bonus point. The best guests offer a special gift for the audience, and they set it up so they can see where the interest was generated. Clever marketing principles there.
Other than a pitch for your product or service do you offer a free checklist, ebook, online course for listeners only?
Notice these four criteria and the order of importance. When you miss, guess what? You fail.