How to Pitch a Podcast and Be a Great Guest

SUMMARY: When pitching a podcast, first familiarize yourself with the show’s format and host’s style. Craft a concise pitch focusing on what you can offer and why it’s relevant to their audience. Pay attention to the podcast’s submission guidelines, whether it’s a form or specific format requested. Once booked, prepare soundbites, stories, and key messages to avoid rambling and ensure you convey your mission effectively during the interview.

Hi everyone. I’m Susan Harrow, media coach, marketing strategist, author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™ published by HarperCollins and CEO of Today I’m going to talk about how to pitch a podcast and be a great guest. This is also the same information that you can use to pitch the media so it does double duty. So first of all, watch, listen, read the show I mean, if it’s a magazine, you’re reading it. But we’re talking about podcasts and media. So get familiar with the show. You may have heard this before and you may think, oh, it’s really not necessary. I don’t really need to do that. You do! My assistant Kelly Poelker, who runs the podcast for Steve Olsher says, “Oh, my God, I just want to tear my hair out. Because people do not know what the show is about and then they come on completely unprepared.”

Get Familiar with The Podcast

So please, listen to the podcast show first, so you understand the format, the style of the host, what kind of information they’re looking for, so you don’t get caught with your pants down. Obviously, it’s the same thing with the media, you want to be ultra-familiar with the format of the show, how long it is, how much time they give their guests, all of those kinds of things, so you know exactly how to time your responses, which we’re going to get to in a minute. I’m going to talk about that, too. So most important is first to listen to the show. If it’s media, you’re going to listen or watch the show.

And also, I am giving you a free report, which is called the 100-word Email That Can Get the Media [and also any podcaster] to call you! So it’s how to pitch them properly so you get a response back. Because realize that any person and the media and any podcaster, especially the popular ones are getting dozens, and then hundreds of responses all the time. So you want to cut through the noise and get their attention. So watch the podcast, listen to the podcast. Number two, is take a look in the bio section. How do they set up their page? How do they set up how they introduce their guests, often you can read that. So when you are pitching them, you want to pitch your bio, what you have to offer in the same in the same format so they don’t have to do any editing.

Oftentimes podcasters also will ask you prepare the questions you want them to ask you. You want to have all of those prepared. You want to have your topic prepared and then you want to have all the questions that you want the podcaster to ask you and you also want to have your tags so you know what topics that you can easily discuss. So pitching the podcaster, you want to do it in such a way that it’s going to get their attention right away. So it’s short, sweet. That’s it! You want to say, here’s what I’d like to talk about and here’s why it would be right for your audience. It’s really just those two things.

Become the 10% that get noticed by the podcast host

And after you’ve listened to some of the podcasts, if you want, you can even say: “You had a conversation around this topic, and I’m going to talk about this in a different way.” Or I’m going to add to this conversation, because if they’ve already had a guest on you know it’s something that they’re interested in. The other thing that you want to make sure to do when you pitch a podcaster is pitch them in the way that they like. So if they have a pre-done form you want to fill that out with the information that they asked for. That’s one thing that Kelly told me that also drives her a little crazy is that people do not fill out that form.

So she doesn’t have the information that she needs in order to book a guest. So you really want to pay attention to what that podcast or wants. It’s the same thing for the media. I know for myself since I write for The Huffington Post, and I also write for Psychology Today. Sometimes I post what are called queries on HARO, and what that means is I asked for experts, and I asked them to respond in a certain way and I give very explicit instructions. How many times do you think people do not pay attention to those instructions? I would say 90%. And guess what happens to those responses? Out the window! In the trash! Because I am not a reporter right, a typical reporter, I’m not getting hundreds of these in my inbox, I just toss them. Toss them in the trash and move on to the next one if you don’t give me what I want, I move on.

So reporters are the same way. If they ask for something they want it given in a specific format. You want to give them what they asked for in the format that they asked for it, exactly! That might sound kind of obvious to you. You know, Susan, of course, this is what I’m going to do. But you will be in the minority, and you will rise to the top if you do this, because 90% of the people don’t pay attention to those kinds of details. They may not even think that they’re important, but they’re extremely important. I can tell you that.

Be prepared with Soundbites, Stories, Questions etc.

That is pitching the podcast right. Now, oh, glory day, you get booked, the podcast, that’s very wonderful.


Because one of the things you don’t want to do is ramble. You want to have your sound bites, you want to have your messages, you want to have your stories already down to what you’re going to talk about. And that may seem sort of silly. Oh, I just want to have this kind of conversation. No, you have a mission! What is it that you want to accomplish by being on this podcast? And that mission, who you want to reach, who you want to speak to, that is going to dictate what it is you say that’s going to resonate with your audience, right?

So you want to have those sound bites down. You want to have those stories down, that relate very tightly to your topic and you want to be able to save them on the spot even if the podcaster doesn’t ask you the question that you had anticipated. Every podcast is an opportunity to get your message out and be both entertaining, be lively, be informative and also drive the business that you want back to yourself. So this is just a quick tip.

And also, you are welcome to post questions here at any time, and I’ll circle back and answer them. And again, I am giving you the 100-word Email That Can Get the Media and any podcaster to call you and that is free to you. And I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to hearing your comments. And I’d love to hear what you think about this and whatever questions you have. So talk to you soon.

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Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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