Updated: Jan 10
One of the best-kept secrets to growing a big, engaged audience is podcasting. But having the time to plan, record and edit a podcast every week is no small feat. If you lack the time to create a podcast yourself, you can still reap the benefits of podcasting by guest-speaking on someone else's podcast.
Being a guest on a podcast comes with the benefit of speaking to an audience of active listeners. And you don’t have the trouble of building the audience yourself. Instead, you have the potential to gain new fans, demonstrate your expertise and sharpen your public speaking skills.
How awesome is that? If you’re in the process of growing a social media following, listen up. Podcast listeners are some of the most likely to follow companies and brands on social media. In fact, 91% of podcast listeners are avid users of at least one social media platform.
So how do you find a good podcast to pitch?
Make Sure the Podcast has Listeners First
On the surface, this seems like an easy task. But, it’s not so simple. You can’t look up the number of downloads or subscribers any one show has, and Apple’s trending charts don’t measure a show’s popularity.
To view a show’s subscribers you can use a tool like Castbox.fm to check:
Number of listens
Number of subscribers
Make sure the show has listeners, so you don’t just end up talking to dead air. You want to make sure there is awareness of the show, even if the subscriber count is low. Keep in mind, not everyone listens to an episode as soon as it is published. Podcast listeners are discovering new shows every day and listening back to previous episodes in a show’s archive.
An engaged audience isn’t always a gigantic one. Some podcasts have avid listeners of only 100 or so in total.
Kattie Thorndyke, host of the Otherwise Intelligent Women Podcast, says her community is a tight-knit group that networks effectively and supports each other, resulting in business relationships and friendly advice.
“My community isn’t huge. Nor am I actively focused on growing the number. Every Monday, I put out an episode, I get a flood of messages asking me about the guest, giving feedback and wanting to know more. Even if I’m only helping 50 people an episode, that matters to me." ~Kattie Thorndyke
Be realistic about who you’re pitching. If you’re just starting out as a thought-leader in your space, don’t expect to be invited to a show that’s topping the charts with celebrity guests the first time you pitch. There’s no shame in starting small.
Use an App to Find the Best Pod to Pitch
Scroll through a podcasting app on your phone and search shows by category. Check out the description of each episode and listen to the intro for additional context. Browse the available episodes in the show library to gain a further understanding of its common topics and theme. If you find the show interesting and engaging, consider if there is any value you could provide.
Next, listen to an episode or two to get an idea of the show’s tone and format. Be honest with yourself on whether or not you enjoy the show. If you’re going to put the effort into going on the show, you might as well have a good time, right? If you don’t enjoy the show, will your tribe of followers (present and future) enjoy it as well? The podcasts you pitch must make business sense. You are after all, investing your time (and your host’s, too).
Find a Podcast That Serves Your Audience
You’ll find that a lot of shows say exactly who the show is for, right in the intro. Some shows even include an interview soundbite to give more context to the content of each episode. Take note of how the host speaks, as well as the tone and language used. A young mom speaking to an audience of new parents will speak differently than a corporate CEO talking to potential investors.
Another way to determine a show’s audience is to check out its social media accounts.
Visit the show’s pages to see who’s following, liking and commenting on their content and how they engage with one another. You can read social media ratings and reviews to get an idea on how they show’s received by its fans. And then ask yourself: are these the people I want to connect with? Could these be my future clients and followers? If yes, you’re on the right track.
Check Out Previous Show Guests
Did these guests demonstrate a high level of knowledge and answer questions effectively? Are you able to uphold the same level of knowledge and consistency?
Visit the previous guests’ websites to see if they serve a similar audience as you. This is a good indicator you’ll be a fit for the podcast, too.
If you’re planning on pitching a topic that’s similar to one already discussed on the show, look for ways you can provide value or a different spin. Remember, the show’s main purpose is to educate, entertain or inform a specific audience. Keep this in mind when crafting your pitch.
P.S. The next article in this 2-part series guides you through the steps to effectively pitch your ideal podcast. Stay tuned!