As a global podcast host, I receive a lot of requests to be invited on our show. Like most podcasters, we say no to most of them. So… how can you make it near-impossible for podcasters to refuse you? Here is a practical checklist.
Ask the Lord for favor, guidance, and perseverance. This is key, please do not skip step #1.
- Network and research.
Start by approaching podcasters you personally know. If you don’t know any, ask your Christian communicator friends what podcasts they have been on and if they can connect you personally. Word of mouth is the best introduction you can get.
Start small. If you are new to podcasting, you have a learning curve ahead of you, so take your time. Regardless of your experience, research is essential. Make a list of podcasts you want to be on again, think “small” first. Better to be accepted on 5 or 10 smaller shows, than refused on 20 big ones.
Go to Listennotes.com to see the ranking of a podcast. For example, identify 10-20 “top 20%” podcasts and reach out to them at first. Once you have been guested on a handful of those, identify a batch of “top 10%” and reach out to them, with your newfound experience & confidence in hand. And then repeat with the “top 5%”… you get the idea.
Be sure you know what the podcast is about: Check their website to familiarize yourself with their field, format, theology, and style. You’d be shocked how often we are approached by authors of cookbooks. Listen to at least 2 or 3 recent episodes. There is no shortcut if you want to understand the show you ask to be on.
Join their social media groups, and generally show you are a fan of their show. Follow, like, repost, and share their content. Message them to encourage them. Tell your people about them. Be genuinely interested in promoting their show, and they will take notice! Imagine the advantage you have if they actually recognize your name by the time you reach out to them.
- Finally, approach the podcaster and/or his/her team.
Use their website contact page if you do not have their email.
Be humble AND an expert in your area – and prove it, too! For example, have a solid media kit. Prove that you know their show well. Prove that you are truly equipped to serve their audience. Tell them what you will do to promote their show if they interview you. Provide references (other podcasters, and endorsements).
Expect a lot of rejections. Don’t take it personally! Ask if you can re-contact them in the future, or if they can place you on their waitlist. Ask them for OTHER podcasts they would recommend. I always love to point potential guests to other amazing shows when our schedule is full.
If the podcaster shows initial interest, promptly provide the info they require (bio, headshot, appointment slot, etc). Do not be the guest we have to ask multiple times for the same info.
On the day of the recording, be on time! Follow common sense sound & technical guidelines (quiet indoors area, good mic, no squeaky chair or noisy jewelry, etc). We podcasters like good quality sound, because it is very hard to remove background noises from audio files. We totally understand if a child interrupts the conversation, especially if you are recording from home, but don’t show up with a gaggle of kids around you (speaking from personal experience here).
If the host or the producer has sent questions ahead of time, be sure to be prepared with responses. For example, I always ask my guests to come ready to share a spice metaphor or analogy of some sort. I can usually tell if they have taken the time to craft a short theme around it, or if they are scrambling live to come up with something on the fly! Be the former.
Once your episode airs, PROMOTE it as widely as you can. Tag the podcaster. Repost their posts on all the platforms you can. Create videos, stories, reels, and whatever the latest social media tools are.
- Armed with this new experience, go back to Step #1!
See? Nothing magical. Common sense, humility, team-playing, and expertise will take you far. You are a Christian communicator, so just be yourself! As in everything you do, in podcasting seek to make God’s glory your delight!