When should you start reaching out to podcast hosts?

Reader Josh S. writes in with this excellent question about Podcast Outreach:

At what point do you become attractive enough to podcast hosts to reach out? I’m just getting started as a consultant and only have one client. I know I can pitch myself well because of my skills — but does a lack of a track record make me less appealing to hosts?

If you can speak confidently for 20-30 minutes across 3-5 topics, you’re attractive enough to podcast.

If you’re sharing an interesting point of view, method, or opinion, you will be attractive to podcasts.

Your relative lack of a track record may make you less attractive to larger, more established podcasts that reach your target market, but by focusing initially on newer, less established, or smaller podcasts, you’ll be able to build a press list that translates to access to larger, more established podcasts.

So, if you can identify the following, you’re set:

  1. A Controversial Opinion that you have about your industry. This should be something that goes against the grain for your industry.
  2. A Solution to a Common Problem in your market. This should address a common problem that your dream buyers in your market have and walk them through how to solve it.
  3. A Overview of your Area of Expertise. This should walk the listener through what exactly it is your do: the problem you solve, the audience you work with, your solution, what makes your solution unique, and your methodology.

What if they ask me great stories/examples I have with clients, and I don’t have an answer?

This could happen no matter your track record and history. One thing to consider is how you’d respond if a client asked something similar — an example of a previous project you worked on and you don’t have an immediate example:

  • You could defer, saying that isn’t something you can speak directly to
  • You can share how you would approach the question, even if you haven’t worked on a similar project in the past’

“What would you do if…”

“That’s an excellent question — let me first say, the #1 thing you want to consider is…. From there, you’d want to [outline of steps to take].”

One thought I’d regret not adding: while it may feel too early to reach out and pitch a podcast host, it’s never ever ever too early to reach out and start building a relationship with the podcast host.

  • Send them an email telling them how much you love their show
  • Suggest 2-3 guests that you think would rock and be a great fit for the show
  • Take one of the points that the host made in a recent episode and send in an email thanking them, adding some additional thoughts, or — politely — presenting another side of the topic

By focusing first and foremost on building that relationship with the podcast host, you make it dramatically more likely that when you do pitch the host on having you on as a guest, you’re able to build off of those previous emails and the existing relationship to make it more likely they’ll accept you as a guest.

If you want to get on podcasts as a guest expert and authority, then the #1 resource I can recommend is Podcast Outreach, my in-depth guide on how to reach listeners — buyers — in your target market by appearing on podcasts.

Thanks so much for writing in Josh! (And remember, folks, you can always ask a question over on my Ask Me Anything page or by replying to an email on my newsletter.