How to Pitch a Podcast: Step-by-Step Guide to Get Featured

If you're eyeing up podcasting as an effective way to get your ideas in front of your ideal customers, you've come to the right place. In this article, you'll learn some winning rules on how to pitch a podcast. You'll also discover some 'clangers' to avoid at all costs.

Podcasts have had a phenomenal rise in the past few years — and many say that's set to continue in 2022.

Podcasting is big business these days, and with good reason. More people are listening to podcasts than ever before, and the predictions are that the numbers will continue to skyrocket.

Infinite Dial podcasting familiarity chart

Five reasons why podcasts work so well

1.  You can reach your core audience by targeting the best podcasts in your niche

It means you'll talk to an audience that's ready to listen. That's in complete contrast to TV and radio, where the audience is generic and most tune out when the ads come on. And podcasts aren't subject to the whim of an algorithm like all the social channels. Listeners choose the shows they want to hear based on their interests, reviews and recommendations from friends or other podcasters.

2.  Podcast audiences love the stories and interviews told on their favorite podcasts

Week after week, they'll invite you into their homes or daily commute. The host is in their listeners' ears at the gym, in the park, on the beach... And when you're a podcast guest, you're right there with them too.

3. Listeners form a special bond with podcast hosts

Hosts keep their listeners engaged and coming back for new episodes. Consequently, when you advertise over a series of episodes they'll hear your message again and again.

4. Podcasts are evergreen content

When listeners find a new podcast they frequently dive into the back catalogue and binge-listen to past episodes. Superfans do the same thing between season breaks of their favorite podcasts. New fans could listen to your guest interview months after you recorded it.

5. Repurposing is a massive bonus with podcasts

For example, podcast hosts often repurpose an episode or interview as a blog post or article on their website. They pop them on YouTube as videos or repurpose their best tips as tweets or other social media posts.

Consequently, when you're associated with a podcast through sponsorship or as a guest, you have the potential to get an initial burst of exposure; however, you'll continue to benefit from it for years.

A podcast interview repurposed as Youtube content

Ways you can work with top podcasts

Guest interviews

Many podcasts work on an interview formula because their listeners are tuning in to learn new things and they want to feel part of the conversation. Being a podcast guest can be an effective PR strategy for you, but it must be a win-win situation for the podcast too.

Sponsorships

With sponsorships, you pay to have your message or advertisement read out at the show's beginning, middle, or end for a certain number of episodes. For example, it can be a radio-style ad created by a company or something the host reads.

Cross-promotion

Now, if you are a host, you could be looking to network with other like-minded hosts to promote and support each other's podcast. That's called cross-promoting, and it's one of the best ways to get new listeners.

Influencer marketing

Influencers are leaders and people that others look up to in some way.

Sometimes they start a podcast to increase their exposure in a new medium or discuss their opinions in a less-manicured way than they can in their day jobs. For example, Barak Obama and Bruce Springsteen's fascinating conversations on Renegades: Born in the USA.

Some podcasters are influencers because of their standing in their field. They create a podcast to add value to that space.

You might partner up with an influencer as a guest, sponsor their show, or get them on board as an affiliate to promote your products (e.g., an unboxing or a review.)

Who can use this guide on podcast pitching?

Anyone with a compelling story or a winning way to solve a pressing problem should be thinking about using podcasts to reach new audiences.

Do you fall in to any of these categories?

  • founder or creator
  • brand representative
  • public relations agent
  • marketing agent
  • podcast host
  • author
  • keynote speaker
  • charity representative
  • influencer

Whatever your role, podcasts need guests, and guests need podcasts. And, of course, it's far less work for you to appear on someone else's podcast than to make one of your own. That said, guesting or sponsoring doesn't mean you don't work at all.

You'll need to do plenty of detective work when it comes to writing a winning pitch.

Nowadays, there are thousands of marketers trying to pitch podcast hosts, so you want to make yours stand out.

How to write a winning podcast pitch email

When it comes to pitching, there are three golden rules: research and prepare, pitch value and follow up when you need to. Here's how they work.

Sending a successful podcast pitch

Start with research and preparation

1. Know what you want

  • Know your niche and what your target audience is looking for
  • Understand exactly what you want to achieve by being on a podcast
  • Use the Rephonic search tool to help identify likely podcasts in your niche
  • Create a list of possible podcasts for further research.

2. Find out relevant details about each podcast on your list

  • Research their listener numbers and audiences. What's the demographic? Do you understand those people's interests and problems? How can you bring value to the audience and the podcast?
  • Listen to at least one episode of each podcast - get a feel for the style and know whether you'll be a good fit and vice versa. Also, it demonstrates that you've put in a good deal of effort; you're not just sending a generic template.
  • Check that the podcast takes guests. (Use Rephonic to see the format.)
  • Find the podcast contacts using Rephonic's podcast emails feature or concierge service.
Rephonic's search home page

3. Create a shortlist

At this point, it'll be evident that you'd be a perfect fit for some podcasts, but others will miss the mark. Discard the ones where you wouldn't be a good fit and concentrate on writing a standout pitch to each podcast host on your shortlist. This is your podcast media list, and you'll want to keep it updated regularly.

4. Do the thinking first

  • Brainstorm potential titles, topics, angles, talking points and questions around your area of expertise.
  • Listen to some more episodes of your target podcast(s)
  • Note the episode titles and jot down points of interest and specific things you liked about each.
  • Look for themes and ideas that haven't been covered and ways to add value to the conversation.
  • Think of a story you can tell to illustrate your main idea.
  • Put together a spreadsheet with all your information in one place. As well as your titles and topics, include your credentials, contact details, social media and other links, a link to your CV or portfolio, other media interviews etc.
  • Include a list of possible questions a host could ask you if they wanted to.
  • Keep this spreadsheet with your podcast media list (and keep it up to date.)

It might take you a while to prepare your reference document, but it'll save you hours of thinking and writing time when creating podcast pitches. You can refer back to it whenever you're considering what to pitch to each different host.

Data shown for a podcast on Rephonic

Pitch value for the podcast

It's common for a podcast host to have pitching emails flooding their inbox daily, and many are truly terrible - clearly off a template and laden with errors and ego. Those emails get tossed into the bin without a second glance.

Here's how to make your email stand out from the crowd.

1. Show how you can add value to the podcast

Check your pitching spreadsheet. What can you bring to the conversation on this podcast that hasn't been said before? What problems does their audience have that you can help solve? That should be your starting point if you want to get a podcast host interested in having you on an episode.

Pat Flynn on Ask Pat 2.0

In this episode, Pat gives his guest an idea of how she can add value to dog trainer podcasts by emphasizing her knowledge and experience of working with fearful and aggressive dogs.

2. Be specific for each podcast - hosts can spot a generic pitch a mile away.

You need to tailor your email to effectively pitch a podcast host and be genuine in your enthusiasm for the show. Mention the recent episode you listened to, and be sure to say what you liked and why.

Podcast hosts know their shows inside out. If you send an email to someone saying I’m a big fan of the show, you’d better believe that they’re gonna want to know which episode and in particular what about that episode you liked.

3. Get to the point

Don't waffle. If you're pitching for guest appearances, sponsorships, advertising, influencer marketing, or to propose some cross-promotion, briefly say:

  • who you are
  • what value do you bring
  • your unique credentials or story
  • place the listener first - what will they get out of
  • an idea for how the show will benefit from getting involved with you
  • why you and the podcast would be a good fit.
  • how you'll promote the podcast to your audience.

4. Make it easy for them to reply

First, ensure that you've sent your email to the right person. Rephonic has podcast emails for all the shows in their database.

Then include your contact information and best social media links.

Finding contact information for a podcast on Rephonic
Rephonic has all the podcast contact emails and social media links you need to reach out.

Follow up on your podcast pitch

Podcast hosts usually have a lot going on in their life so just because they don't answer doesn't mean they're not interested.

If you haven't heard from them after a week or two, it's a good idea to write again. They may have missed seeing your email or put it aside to answer later.

Here's an excellent list of do's and don'ts to consider when you write again.

Mistakes to avoid when pitching a podcast

  1. Making the pitch all about you and not about the podcast
  2. Using a template to send out a pitch to several podcasts at the same time
  3. Not listening to an episode before you write your pitch
  4. Not doing enough research
  5. Podcasts are about personality and flare, so don't write a bland, boring pitch.
  6. On the other hand, don't "write a novel." Keep it to the essential bullet points, giving enough material to show your value and essential details.
  7. Not re-reading or proofreading before you press send. Nothing puts people off faster than finding poor grammar and spelling mistakes in a pitch.
  8. Sending a follow-up too soon - leave it a week or so before you write again.

See our full podcast guest pitch template here.

Conclusion

Whether you're pitching to be a podcast guest or networking with other podcasters, only write to pitch podcasts that you know you can add value to.

Be consistent with your planning, and don't get disheartened if your podcast emails are rejected at first. Talk with people in the podcasting world and listen to their advice. Get examples of great pitches and model your emails on those.

Make it easier to research and plan by using Rephonic, your all-in-one tool to find, pitch, and get featured on podcasts.

Lyn McNamee

Lyn McNamee

Writer at Rephonic

Find, pitch and get featured on podcasts

Rephonic gives you listener numbers, contacts, demographics and more across 2.5m+ podcasts.


Lyn McNamee

Lyn McNamee

Writer at Rephonic

Find, pitch and get
featured on podcasts

Rephonic gives you listener numbers, contacts, demographics and more across 2.5m+ podcasts.