How To Cold Pitch Yourself (Or Pitch Guests) For A Podcast
Having run Life Goals for over 6 years now, we’ve seen hundreds of pitches.
And now, as a podcast host for Playground to Purpose, I’m constantly pitching (and refining my pitch) to podcast guests, and podcast interviews to market the podcast.
Over the years, we’ve learned what works, what sets you apart, and what immediately gets trashed.
We’ve landed amazing guests with over 300,000 followers for a brand new podcast. So, even if you don’t have fancy stats to show for yourself, you can still make it happen with the right pitch – even if you haven’t built a relationship with the person yet.
Whether you’re a podcast host yourself or looking to pitch yourself for podcast interviews, you’ll hopefully find value in these tips for crafting a cold pitch for podcasts that wildly increases your chance of being accepted!
Why should you pitch yourself to podcasts?
If you have a perspective and a story to offer, podcasts can be such a powerful way to get your message out there. Often, they are more long-form and give you a chance to share your knowledge with a new audience.
Spend some time making sure that you’re pitching to the right people, who are aligned with your ideal audience – and it can be a gamechanger for your business.
Start with research on who you’re pitching
The first thing that we want to do when we are pitching is do some research. I find that a lot of people skip this step and it is the most, it’s the most important step.
You want to make sure that you are doing research on who it is that you’re pitching.
No matter what you’re pitching, it’s important to actually learn about the people you’re reaching out to, so that 1) you can know whether they’re the right fit for you, 2) so you can know you’re the right fit for them, and 3) so you can treat people like humans.
Fully copied and pasted emails don’t work, if you don’t add in some personalized elements – and that sometimes requires a bit of digging.
I will confess to you right now, I don’t open a single email that does not have my name in the opening line. It immediately goes into the trash.
I know that it is a spam email that somebody put no thought into, or I simply assume that no thought went into the email, when my name is in my email address.
And so I’m not going to take my time to read it. It’s as simple as that and I’m not a person who gets an overwhelming amount of emails, and you have to assume the person you’re emailing does.
Create your list of people that you are pitching to, along with who the contact is that you’ll be emailing.
We use ClickUp to create this list of people we’re planning on pitching to. We have a whole course on ClickUp and even show you how to do that. You can find it at ClickUp for Creatives.
Personalize your template
Create a template for everyone you reach out to, and then personalize it.
From your list, you are going to spend at least 10 minutes per person that you need to email. This process might get quicker once you get into the rhythm but plan to do a little digging, beyond their name.
You’ll want to have at least one to two sentences that are completely different, about that specific person. Look at their website, and see if you can find something to connect on.
And the next thing you’re going to want to do is to have a specific idea in mind.
This shows that you have taken some time to think about this, right?
You’re not just throwing an email out there to them without doing your research. You know what you want from them and it’s a clear ask.
For podcast guests, we already have the title or the angle in mind of the episode when we are pitching them. That doesn’t mean it can’t be changed or evolve as we record the episode, but ultimately we give them a clear direction of what we think this episode will be about and why we think that they would be a good fit now.
Define what’s in it for them
The other important component is making sure that it fits FOR THEM.
A lot of times you’ll start out with flattery and make it about why it would be a dream for you to have them on your show – or why it’s a dream to be on theirs.
And of course, the person you’re pitching loves a compliment and likes that you’re interested in them (especially if that’s actually true), but that’s not enough for them to accept your pitch.
Your pitch needs to give them something of value toward their goals.
If you’re pitching a podcast for example, you need to help them explore an angle that they haven’t already had an episode on. You’re gonna wanna actually have explored their podcast archives and see what podcast episodes they’ve already done.
(And as a side note, to do additional research, I’d recommend actually listening to an episode to get a feel for it.)
You want to make sure that they haven’t already covered the topic that you want to talk about.
Let’s say you’re an Instagram Marketing strategist.
You are all about Instagram. And the topic that you’re thinking about doing is about How To Create Viral Worthy Reels. And you are pitching somebody who has a social media podcast, or at least talks about that talks about business.
You’re pitching Reels to them, and they’ve just recently published an episode on reels, or maybe have several past episodes, on Reels.
You could be the best Instagram Marketing strategist in the world, and they still might pass on you, because you’re not coming in with having done the research and presented a pitch that will benefit them.
If they’re super generous, they might come back to you with something like, “We’ve already done one on Reels, but could you talk about X, Y, and Z? ”
We do that sometimes with guest pitches. We might see potential there to have a different angle that would work better. But ultimately a lot of people will just reject the pitch because you’re not coming in strong with something that will benefit their podcast.
So you want to do that research ahead of time to find an angle that they haven’t already covered and say something like, “I’ve looked through your podcast and I see that you don’t have a topic on [idea]. I think this would really be really powerful for your audience, because xyz.”
Show why you are qualified
Now, in that same scenario, you’re going to want to show why you’re the Instagram Strategist for the role.
There are a ton of Instagram Strategists out there. So after they hear your pitch, you’re going to want to include some details that show that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your IG knowledge.
Do you have past interviews you can share?
If you haven’t been on a podcast before, then maybe direct them to your website or your Instagram, where you showcase your knowledge on this.
You might wanna say, like, I have been in the marketing world for X number of years, helped clients gain over 10,000 followers and double their sales. I worked for X company helping them run their Instagram campaigns.
Basically, you’ll want to give a super brief summary about why you’re going to impress them and their audience with valuable insights.
Because maybe your topic is great, and they realize that would be a good fit, but then they’re wondering if you’re actually qualified to speak about that topic.
Keep it brief
Everyone (or at least most people I know) wants to keep their time in their email inbox brief. So keep your pitch succinct and to the point.
Nobody’s gonna read something that feels like a novel in their inbox. Make it skimmable, and keep it to the points that really matter, as we’re covering here.
Don’t get discouraged by rejections
At the end of the day, it’s all about them feeling like you’re a fit for their podcast or not.
Just keep putting yourself out there. So many people, including myself, get rejected all of the time. As we’re pitching this podcast, we’re a newer podcast. And so we don’t necessarily have all the shiny stats yet, but that does not stop us from talking to, or pitching people that we think are going to be awesome guests.
And like I said at the top, we’ve gotten some amazing guests, simply by just asking.
Always be re-evaluating your pitch and adjusting it to make it better, especially if you’ve been struggling to get any acceptance.
It can be a bit of a numbers game, so just keep putting yourself out there – again, while taking the time to do research and connect with who you’re emailing with.
It’s totally normal to get rejections when you are sending out pitches, but what’s most common is that you’re just not gonna get a response at all. And that is totally okay. But you shouldn’t just accept rejection right away, because a lot of times people might just simply miss your email the first time, or meant to get back to you and got busy.
If you have not gotten a response, follow up with that first thread at least once – but a couple of times doesn’t hurt.
And this is an opportunity to potentially revise your first version, and add in any details that might be helpful in making their decision.
There are so many little tiny, tiny things that could be making the difference in your pitch. And again, that’s why you want to constantly be revising and editing how you are talking about what it is that you do. And it’s just natural that that will evolve.
Have any questions about cold pitching yourself for a podcast? Send them my way!