Updated: May 23, 2021
In case you missed it, this is the second part of a two-part series showing you how to find and pitch the perfect podcast.
Now you know how to identify a podcast whose audience would benefit from your knowledge. And you’re confident that speaking on the show will make others better in some way.
Now’s for the fun part: actually pitching your episode!
The time has come to illustrate you’ve done your homework on the show. Plus, being able to give genuine compliments goes a long way. When crafting your email pitch, it’s important you demonstrate you know what the show is seeking and understand its format, tone, audience and more. This saves the production team time weeding out the wrong guests and makes it easy for them to see you as the shining star doing the hard work for them. To start, some publications and podcasts have their own submission guidelines, while others have a website form you can submit for consideration. Let’s go over the 4 steps you need to take to pitch yourself successfully to the podcast of your dreams.
1. Find a Contact Email
You can usually find an email for the host or show producer by performing a simple Google search. Search by the podcast name, host’s name and try adding show name + email. LinkedIn is another helpful tool for finding contact details and connecting with people who work on the show.
Sometimes a show host can be found on social media and you can simply send them a message. Keep in mind, if you do contact a host on social, you may not be speaking to the host specifically. More popular shows don’t always manage their social media by themselves and with platforms like Facebook, it’s difficult to contact someone with a private profile.
So, start with email or a form online and if that doesn’t land, see if you can find the email address for the right person by direct messaging an associated account.
2. Include 1–3 Episode Pitches in Your Email
Brainstorm a few different ideas and explain how they benefit the audience and show. If your topic has been covered before, acknowledge this outright and point out how your content is different.
Craft a compelling hook to your ideas and outline the main takeaways from each. Having an emotional link to the topic is a great way to grab attention and make your pitch relatable. For example, it’s great to hear all about how being a Virtual Assistant (V.A.) is a good side hustle, but what really grabs attention is how moms who can only work late at night make perfect V.A’s or how becoming a V.A. eased my financial stress during grad school.
Next, provide the host with a short list of questions you can answer and ask the host for questions they want to ask you. Mention you are open to collaborating on other ideas. You want to present yourself as easy to work with and open-minded.
3. Write & Format Your Email Pitch
Want your email written for you? DONE! Take my free email template.
Subject line Should be straight to the point. Explicitly state you are making a guest pitch. Email Body Greet the host or producer by name. Show respect for their time. People are busy, so be concise. Demonstrate you’ve done your research on the show and briefly introduce yourself and your expertise.
Present your topic ideas and give a brief overview of the content in each, listing 2–3 main takeaways. Put this content under a heading, such as “Podcast Episode Ideas” and then have them appear in a numbered list — make it easy for people to find the meat in your email. Call to Action At the end of your email be sure to suggest a follow-up call.
Sign off If you don’t already have it in your email signature, include your contact information so you can be reached and give multiple formats (email, phone and the option to schedule a Zoom call).
Sound like too much work? Here’s a prewritten email pitch you can customize for your needs.
4. Wait for a Response From the Podcast
Now you wait. Patiently.
Muckrack suggests giving a podcast a little more time than you would a traditional journalist. They suggest 10–14 days. Personally, I’ve heard back within two business days. In some cases a producer or virtual assistant will be the one to respond to your email.
If you don’t get a response to your pitch, send a follow up email after 14 days. I personally like to respond from the pitch email I’ve previously sent. Some shows are busy and may request you fill out a waiting list form to apply as a guest later on.
If they respond and decline your offer be sure to thank them for considering you. You can ask for any feedback in their decision if they’re open to providing it. Keep your chin up, kid. Perhaps your expertise, content or personal brand isn’t what they’re looking for. No biggie.
No matter the outcome, always be sure to respond with a thank you note. They are doing you a favour by considering you. If your pitch is accepted, ask for your next steps in the production and planning process. Offer to send a short bio to make the host’s job easy when introducing you, and ask about any additional marketing material they may require, such as a headshot or your social media links for the show notes.