This is outstanding news for you as a business owner. Podcasts are an exceptional way to reach more people, bring awareness to your business by engaging with a fresh community, and become a memorable guest who provides value and creates curiosity.
Why are Podcasts Important?
Podcasts are versatile. They appeal to people’s hunger for learning and engaging in a specific community in which they are interested. As a small business owner, you wouldn’t even need to create and host your own, but become a guest and give interviews or have conversations about topics with which you’re already familiar and comfortable.
To start, let’s explore the specifics of how being a podcast guest can affect your business. Podcasts, in general, have immense power and ought to be utilized in three main ways:
Being a podcast guest creates opportunities for direct leads.
People subscribe to things in which they have a personal interest, so if you’re appearing as a guest on a podcast within your industry, you are speaking to a ready-made audience within your prime target group. You didn’t even have to do the work to get them all together. But how do you, as the guest, turn those listeners into actual leads? Let’s explore a few ways:
- Create a strong call-to-action – While you’re the guest on the podcast, your host will introduce you to the audience and, possibly, even allow you to give a call-to-action at some point in the podcast. This is your chance to share how your business could have an impact on their life, and call upon them to respond (visit my website, call for a free consultation, etc.) in specific ways.
- Construct an “expert” status – Being a guest on a podcast automatically gives you clout with the audience. You already have the confidence of the audience based on the reputation of your host. You now have the air time to reach your target market and provide value while also introducing and representing your business.
- Become a master of promotion – We will cover this more later, but part of being a good guest is doing your part to share the podcast with the people you know to help it get noticed. This guest podcasting gig isn’t only for your benefit but also for your host.
Being featured on a podcast will bring awareness to your brand
A podcast’s prime role is communication. The goal of business management is communicating with your chosen audience and generating awareness. Without that necessary airtime, no one knows you exist. Podcasts widen your world and make you accessible to even more people within your target group that haven’t yet heard of you. Here are some tips for building awareness:
- Encourage follows and likes
- Expand your network and connect with established influencers
- Increase your website authority
- Build a web of backlinks to your website
- Cultivate a high trust relationship with potential customers
As a podcast guest, you have the added blessing that someone else has done the work of pulling together a mass of interested people who enjoy a specific type of content. Your personal effort is minimal, essentially learning how to be a good guest (which we’ll address later), but you need to make sure you don’t simply appear and then drop the ball on all the follow-up work. This strategy has a lot of behind-the-scenes activity, not simply giving interviews and being likable in public.
Appearing as a guest is a face you put on for your public, but then you must connect. You have inspired your community and educated them with your insights and lessons which now makes you an authoritative expert. You are now visible and, if you play your hand right, you can generate more traffic to your website.
Getting featured on podcasts helps your website rank better on Google.
When you become a guest on a podcast, the host will typically link to your website from the show notes, strengthening the influence you have within Google. These are called backlinks. Backlinks are a highly profitable marketing strategy because if you improve your ranking on Google, the natural result is more foot traffic to your website since you’re more easily found.
Backlinks are also critical because Google gives more credit to sites with lots of quality backlinks and will consider your site more important than others on the result pages. But, take note of the word “quality.” They must be relevant links from other reputable sources. Podcasts fit that role.
How do I Find Podcasts?
At this point, you may be wondering how exactly to find podcasts. Where are they? Am I just supposed to go to Spotify and start looking for podcasts I find interesting and then try to find the host’s contact information?
Well, good news, it is actually much easier than that. There are many tools you can create a profile and say you are interested in being a guest, and hosts will reach out to you if they think you’re a good fit. But you also have the option of doing different searches to find podcasts you think would be beneficial to you. Here are a few places to begin your search:
- MatchMaker.fm 0 This has been a very effective tool for getting featured on a variety of podcasts. This platform allows guests and hosts alike to create a profile for free where you can clearly represent yourself so others know whether you would be a good fit. It is easy to navigate and, as a guest, you can reach out to various hosts through the messaging system and introduce yourself.
- Google – It seems Google is an always-present friend, and here he is again coming to our podcasting rescue. Searching for podcasts within your industry on Google will give you a list to sift through. Choose only the ones you think are a close match and then use a directory or social media accounts to search out the host’s contact information. Usually, it will be handily available on their website, but sometimes a bit more leg work comes with the territory.
- Poddit – This platform has a forum for guests to search for podcasts and podcast hosts to search for guests. You can scroll through the podcasts by category or interest, but you must have a profile to reach out. They have subscription rates and a free trial.
- Podmatch – Both hosts and guests have the opportunity to create an account with a profile (and even a special plan for a business with multiple hosts and guests). They have a free option and the added perk of getting matched up by Podmatch’s A.I.
- PodcastGuests – This is a communal directory where both experts (guests) and podcasters can join for free and find each other. Two payment plans are listed, but you can start with the free version.
How do I Approach Podcast Hosts & Get Featured?
When beginning the process of reaching out to podcast hosts to see if they will let you come on, you need to address a few things with yourself first:
1. Learn about their podcast
There is no point wasting their time if you’re not suited to the style of the podcast they host. Some people want a “hot seat” effect where you have a strict time limit, others use interview style and ask all the questions, and some want a conversation. Read their profile carefully to see how they conduct their podcast and see if, first, you would feel comfortable and, second, whether their audience would gain value hearing from you.
2. Create a killer profile
For each platform you land on, your profile should reflect your personality and reveal all your accomplishments and unique point of view so when a potential host turns up to assess you, they can see exactly what they’re getting. They are looking for high-quality sources to present to their audience, so some of the items to consider including on your profile are:
- Professional qualifications
- Awards related to your topic
- Unique facts about yourself that make you stand out
- How many followers you have on social media
- How many page views your website gets
- The size of your newsletter audience
3. Write a podcast pitch
Your pitch should not be a “one-size-fits-all” type of copy-paste affair. You can simplify things by creating a template and having a lot of the same information (since your life experiences stay the same no matter what), leaving spots for you to customize certain areas to cater to each host’s style. Some of the vitals to include in each pitch are:
- A quick bio. Give interesting facts about yourself and why you think you will be the ideal guest for their podcast (this is an area to leave blank in the template since it will vary from podcast to podcast).
- Suggestions of topics you’re comfortable discussing (industry-specific tips, tricks, guidelines, advice, etc.) and the value their audience will get from you.
- Links of past podcast guest experiences once you’ve built up a few.
One thing to definitely NOT include in your pitch is what you’re selling. Put sales completely out of your head. Your only focus is on how you can give the most value to your audience.
Here is a template of a pitch to help you get started:
Hi, [podcast host name],
I’m [your name],and I’m a [job title] at [company name]. I’ve been [short description of what you do and how it relates to the podcast]. I am interested in being a guest on your podcast.
I really enjoy your program. [add personal thoughts on your opinion of their podcast]. If you agree I’d be a good fit, we could discuss:
– [List of 1-3 relevant topics]
I’m happy to share your links on my social media account as well as the blog post dedicated to our specific episode [or any other benefit to them].
Thanks for considering. Please reach me at [email address] or use my Calendly link to make an appointment for a pre-interview.
[social media links]
How do I prepare to be on a podcast?
At one time, not in the far distant past, if the guest were local to the podcaster, they would meet together for the recording. However, we have abandoned those carefree days of 2020, and if one wants to be a podcast guest, they must have some equipment. Before you tune out, you’ll be pleased (and surprised?) to know it doesn’t take lots of expensive stuff, nor is it ridiculously complicated. So, what do you need?
- A phone – Even many of the Amish have phones these days, so this one should be a breeze for you. Cell phone quality is rising year after year, and they have more than satisfactory quality microphones built in them.
- anchor.fm – You need to download this free app onto your phone so you can speak into it and it will record everything for you.
- A quiet room – The room you pick should not be empty lest you get lots of echoing. You can use pillows or other soft items to absorb the sound. Some people have even found their bedroom closet is perfect for recording.
After you have all the things you need to be a guest, next you’ll want to figure out what method you’ll use. Obviously, some of this depends on the style of the podcast you’ve chosen, but here are some tips so you walk in confident and well-spoken:
- Figure out what you’re going to say – Don’t just wing it and think the host will do all the work. Part of being a good guest is preparing anecdotes to back up what you’re talking about, and people respond more strongly and emotionally.
- Make notes of your talking points – It doesn’t have to be a script but gather relevant numbers and facts so you have them readily at hand if you’re planning to reference them. You can even jot down trigger words to remind you of some things you wanted to mention.
- Record yourself and listen to how you talk – It’s unpleasant to listen to someone’s lips smacking over the airwaves. You won’t know what tics or fillers (um, uh, and so….) you have until you start talking. Once you know about them, you can work at inhibiting them. A few are fine, but too many are distracting.
- Lighting and background – If you’re going to be on a video podcast, be sure you have good lighting and check your background to make sure nothing incriminating lurks behind you. Oh, and look in a mirror, too.
- Offer a free guide – My mother taught me always to bring a “hostess” gift when I was invited over. The same is true for being a podcast guest. Now, it’s not technically for the host (though you could turn the host into a lead), but offering a free guide on your website for the host’s listeners provides more value and encourages them to connect with you personally.
How do I promote my guest appearances?
After going through all the effort to find the ideal podcasts, reach out to the hosts and either get rejected or accepted, then prepare yourself to speak… now, is the most critical part of all. Here are two ways to set your appearance up and promote it on all avenues:
- Announce you’re going to be interviewed
A big announcement before the podcast airs gives people a chance to get excited about listening. This also encourages extra sharing before the big day and expands your audience on release day.
- Post the finished episode everywhere
Share the finished podcast episode on all your social media platforms (as long as you have more followers than just your mom), your website, and even your newsletter with a link. Put the link into a sharing rotation to keep it alive longer.
With all the work you’ve done to get featured on a podcast, your rewards will be great. Not only are you building connections with other people within your industry, but you are also making more people aware of your brand and you will succeed in Google’s algorithm for being a quality source of information.
Successful promotion of your guest appearances on podcasts opens you up to many more opportunities to get asked back for another feature or be recommended to other podcasters. And the cycle continues.