There’s a podcast boom going on right now.
Podcasts, as we know them, have been around since 2004, but they haven’t always been popular.
Somewhere along the line, podcasts gained traction. They started to enter the mainstream, and more podcasts popped up.
As of last year, one-fifth of the U.S. population were podcasts listeners, having listened to podcasts in the past month.
I became interested in the potential of podcasts around the rise of podcasts like the Tim Ferriss Show and Freakonomics.
Suddenly, everyone was listening to podcasts. Many have called podcasts the new version of radio.
Today, there are thousands of podcasts that you can access at your fingertips.
I’ve even started my own podcast.
But you don’t need to start your own podcast to get all the benefits that podcasts provide.
You can take advantage of the audiences that existing podcasts have built by getting featured.
You might think getting on a top podcast is a pipe dream, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t.
It’s easier than it seems.
You don’t have to be a millionaire or a celebrity to be in the spotlight.
What if I told you there are tons of popular podcasts out there that would love to have you as a guest?
Being featured on a podcast has huge benefits.
It can give you a giant SEO boost. You can get thousands of visitors a day.
It also increases your authority. If you’ve been on a podcast people like, you’ll be seen as an expert in your niche.
This is all within your reach, and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.
What do you need to get featured?
Let me guess: You probably think you need a lot of experience to get featured on a popular podcast.
You might need a business that makes six figures a month. Maybe some press from a site like CNN or Forbes would do the trick?
Actually, you don’t need any of that.
Let me prove it to you.
One of my favorite business podcasts is Entrepreneur On Fire.
I love that they’ve featured heavy hitters like Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk.
But they also feature entrepreneurs whose names you wouldn’t recognize.
Do you know what all of those little-known entrepreneurs have in common?
A great story.
I know it sounds cheesy, but that’s the real secret to getting featured on podcasts.
I’ll prove it to you.
(Seriously, don’t overlook this. It sounds fluffy, but in reality, it’s anything but.)
Episode 1662 of Entrepreneur On Fire features Brenda Gagne. You probably haven’t heard of her until now.
But she has a compelling story:
And guess what? Her podcast feature is entirely based on her story.
There’s a clear hook, something that grabs your attention.
It’s that first sentence: “Brenda is a former 3rd-grade teacher, turned successful entrepreneur.”
You want to keep reading based on that sentence alone.
Why does this work so well, you ask? The answer has to do with emotion.
To understand how to land a spot on a podcast, you have to understand the power of storytelling.
I’ll use an example we’re all familiar with: Apple. You know these guys, right?
It’s the startup story to end all startup stories.
Two guys in a garage pursue their passion and end up building a multi-million (and eventually billion!) dollar electronics giant.
But why is it so legendary? What makes it so irresistible to us?
Storytelling is a super deep rabbit hole, so I’m going to cover the basics.
When it comes to podcasts, you need a good story with a unique slant.
You might think a story is something like Romeo and Juliet.
You might have even seen a story diagram like this:
That’s a little complicated, so let me break that down for you.
You’ve probably heard that all stories need to have a beginning, middle, and end. We can get a little more specific than that.
A story is a change from one point to another. In this case, it’s a positive change.
Along the way, there has to be conflict, and the main character has to overcome that conflict.
At the beginning, the main character is in one situation. He or she experiences conflict and overcomes it. As a result, the character ends up in a different situation.
Think back to Brenda Gagne’s story. It meets all of those requirements.
Beginning: She was a 3rd-grade teacher.
Middle: She left teaching to pursue business.
End: She successfully built a business.
Any experienced writers out there will realize that’s an extremely simple story, but it doesn’t need to be any more complex than that.
There are also certain types of stories.
The type of story that will land you on a podcast is called the rags to riches story.
Here’s how ScriptMag defines a rags to riches story:
Doesn’t that sound a lot like the Apple story?
Check out their growth. It’s insane!
It’s the classic entrepreneurial journey, and it’s the best way to get featured on a podcast.
Podcasts are looking for people who have been successful and built something amazing.
In business, that usually means going from a bootstrapped idea (rags) to a profitable company (riches).
Your story also has to be emotionally engaging.
How does this work? Emotions reproduce experiences, which drive engagement, which further increases emotions.
That’s a powerful cycle.
People want to connect emotionally with other people.
Emotion plays a big role in marketing, and since getting on a podcast is a form of marketing, emotion is important.
Think about it. Podcast listeners want to listen to podcasts that are exciting and make them feel good or inspired.
That’s why great stories and great podcasts go hand in hand.
I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have an interesting story to tell.”
Trust me, you do.
Earlier, I mentioned that you need a great story with a great slant.
That slant is just as important as the story itself.
Your slant is your perspective. Think of it as your unique twist on the rags to riches story.
For example, consider Brenda Gagne’s slant: A former 3rd-grade teacher and mom of 3 becomes a successful entrepreneur.
How many people do you know who fit that description? Probably not many.
That’s what a slant is. It sets your story apart from everyone else’s.
If you want to look at another example, take a look at my slant.
I recommend structuring your story before you start pitching podcasts. Make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end.
You don’t need to be Shakespeare, but you do need to make your story as exciting and inspiring as possible.
Once you have your story and slant, you need to find podcasts and successfully pitch them.
This is an important step.
It is possible to aim too high.
Don’t get me wrong––you could be on the Tim Ferriss Show a year from now.
But the problem with bigger podcasts is that they generally only take on well-known guests.
Tim’s podcast is a perfect example. You’d be hard-pressed to find a guest on his show who hasn’t had amazing credentials and experience.
I’m talking celebrity level guests here. Tim’s interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger, Daymond John, Seth Godin, and tons of other influencers.
So are you likely to get on the Tim Ferriss Show? Unfortunately, probably not.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a feature on a podcast that has 5 listeners.
There’s a lot of middle ground, and that’s where you want to be.
To find that middle ground, you have to do a little searching.
There are several sites that host podcasts, and it’s super easy to search these.
The iTunes Store has hundreds of thousands of podcasts. There are podcasts in almost every niche you can imagine.
If you’ve never done it before, spend some time searching podcasts on iTunes.
The New and Noteworthy section is especially promising for finding podcasts.
These are up and coming podcasts, so they’re probably in need of good guests. If you find a podcast in this section, I recommend researching it with a Google search.
Sites like Stitcher and Podbay are also hotspots for podcasts.
You can search these sites for podcasts in your niche. For example, if you own a business related to technology, you can search “technology” on any of these sites.
Here’s where you want to get strategic.
Many podcasting sites will display results in order from most popular to least popular.
Unfortunately, you usually can’t find out how many listeners a podcast has, so you have to evaluate them by overall popularity.
This is a tricky situation. You don’t want to aim too high, but you don’t want to aim too low either.
How can you find the perfect balance?
Here’s what I recommend.
First, narrow your search. Searching for podcasts with general terms like “business” or “technology” will only show insanely popular podcasts.
Try a more narrow search term like “food startup.”
If you search that on a podcasting site, you’ll get much more specific results.
The more focused your searches are, the more of a chance you’ll have of being featured on one of the podcasts you find.
Even though these podcasts are more niche, you’ll find that a lot of them are quite popular.
Second, find 5-10 top podcasts that you think you could bring value to.
I don’t want to just show you how to get featured on popular podcasts.
I also want to show you how to get featured on really popular podcasts.
It can happen.
But you have to be realistic about it.
When you’re looking at the best of the best, ask yourself, “What value can I bring to this podcast?”
If you can do something outstanding for a podcast, you can almost guarantee a feature.
Let me show you what I mean.
One of the most popular podcasts in the business/entrepreneur space is Mixergy.
It’s a huge podcast, and that’s putting it lightly.
You might think you don’t stand a shot at getting interviewed on Mixergy, but you just might.
Take a look at this episode of Mixergy:
Now, Mixergy has some pretty big-time guests. Gary Vaynerchuk, Sujan Patel, Timothy Sykes, and yours truly have all gotten interviewed on the show.
So why would Mixergy interview someone who hasn’t even made a million dollars with their business?
Because that guest had something to offer.
He brought a unique perspective to the table. He was able to give insights that other guests couldn’t.
I’m talking about providing actionable advice to podcast listeners.
If you can do that, you do have a chance at getting on a top podcast.
Create an awesome pitch
You can have the most interesting story in the world and still get ignored by podcasts.
Why? You need an outstanding pitch.
This is the most important step.
Podcast hosts get hundreds and sometimes thousands of emails every week. Obviously, they can’t interview everyone.
And most pitches are frankly horrible.
So your pitch has to knock it out of the park.
Don’t freak out or get discouraged. Anyone can make a great pitch, but you have to know how. And lucky for you, I’m going to show you how, step by step.
You have to look at each podcast separately, so this might take some time, but it’s the best way to increase your chances of getting featured.
Step 1: Find out if the podcast accepts interview submissions.
This seems like a no-brainer, but some podcasts only interview people via personal connections.
These podcasts won’t accept submissions from just anyone. You’d have to know someone to get in.
The Duct Tape Marketing podcast is one example.
If you poke around on the site (even on the contact page), you won’t see anything explicit about getting on the podcast.
Look for a page or section that looks something like this:
You might also find a request page like this one:
If you still don’t see anything, you’ll need to contact the host(s) via email.
It’s best to head to the contact page to find email details.
Step 2: Create your pitch. To stand out, you’ll need an awesome subject line and a message that’s super persuasive.
You need to put a lot of effort into your pitch. A good pitch is the difference between acceptance and rejection.
Make sure to personalize every request you send out. This is important.
Podcast hosts (and pretty much everyone) can see a canned response from a mile away. So you want to customize every request you send to that particular podcast and host.
However, you can use a template to cut down on the time you have to spend.
Here’s one I made just for you:
Subject line: [Name], do you have a moment?
I know you must get hundreds of interview requests for [name of podcast] every day.
All I’m asking for is 30 seconds of your time to finish reading this email.
I’m an entrepreneur and an avid fan of [name of podcast]. I’ve got something unique to offer your listeners.[Write a 1-2 sentence summary of your story here]
I want to give your readers a ton of awesome knowledge that they can go out and use. I know what your audience likes, and I want to give it to them!
So what do you say?[Your name]
Fill in the blanks, edit it a little bit so it sounds more like you, and you’ve got an awesome interview request.
You can also think outside the box and take a one-of-a-kind approach to requesting an interview.
This is a lot riskier, but it can work wonders.
Podcaster Christina Canters got an exclusive interview with Andrew Warner of Mixergy. Andrew usually turns down interviews because he’s so busy, but he agreed to this one.
All because Christina went through the effort of making a video pitch.
If you really want to stand out, put more effort into your pitch than everybody else.
That’s how you can get on insanely popular podcasts.
Step 3: Seal the deal.
If all goes well, you’ll hear back from the host and schedule a time for the interview.
Whatever you do, don’t treat the podcast like an ad.
Use it to deliver all that value that you promised in your pitch.
Guess how many Americans have listened to a podcast?
About 112 million. And out of those 112 million, about 42 million listen to a podcast every week. (And that’s just in the USA.)
Those numbers keep growing.
It’s why podcasts are perfect for getting in front of a new audience and scoring new opportunities.
It might not be obvious, but podcasts often have problems finding awesome guests.
Every podcast wants the best guests they can get their hands on.
But most people don’t pitch themselves well enough.
There are plenty of people who have the credentials to get a spot on a podcast, but they don’t go about it the right way.
Every podcast is looking for someone with a great story and something of value to offer. That’s every podcast’s dream guest.
Could you be that dream guest?
I know you can.
You don’t have to be a superstar to get interviewed on a podcast.
Some of the best podcast episodes come from people from small businesses or innovators who aren’t millionaires.
Each and every one of you reading this right now has a story to tell and something valuable to give away.
Give these techniques a try, and you could be the next guest on a hot podcast.
What’s your plan for getting featured on a podcast?
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