This is a rough draft of my presentation. It is not the final product and is not a direct transcript from the video.
The first step in your journey is to be attractive. It starts with your pitch. Your pitch is how you communicate the opportunity to be a guest on your podcast. This can be done in person or in writing. I will go over the details a later. What I would like to focus on here is the mental approach to this process. Are you someone who people want to get to know or connect with? Of course you are, but you have to present yourself as such. The key to that is confidence, which comes with time. The other aspect of that is to make your opportunity attractive. We tend to use words like only, just, and little that undermine our credibility. I got this little thing that I started called a podcast. Don’t belittle yourself or your podcast.
I am in quite a few podcast Facebook groups and one question that comes up often is which comes first, the chicken or the egg. The website or the podcast. If you are planning to have an interview based podcast, the answer is the website. The first thing we do when we want to get the 411 on anything is to look it up online, right? People will do that to you. The second reason is for validation. A website is an indication that you are serious.
Just like people check will google you, they will also look for you on social media. I do it with all of my guests. Which platforms are they active on and how large is the following. What type of content are they sharing. So if you are new and starting from scratch, start building your social media following now. It gives your more social proof when pitching guests. Don’t wait until you launch to get started.
Another way to make sure you increase your chances of success when it comes to finding guests to avoid the wrong people. That starts with people who are unfamiliar with podcasting. This was one of the first mistakes that I made as a newbie. I had a list of entrepreneurs that I knew personally and wanted to interview. These are people I knew on a first name basis and spent hundreds of dollars patronizing each of their businesses. Yet none of them booked interviews with me. For some people, lack of understanding equates to paralysis. They are not going to make a move because they do not understand what it is they are getting in to. Although I created a FAQ page to help address some of this, it did not help.
You want to avoid people who are unable and unwilling to meet the tech requirements. Again, I will see people posting in fb groups and asking for work arounds when the guest does not have the proper software or technology. First, it puts you in a position where you have to become overly accommodating. When you put a system into place, these special needs can derail you especially if it has you venturing into uncharted territory. At the end of the day, you run the risk of affecting your sound quality.
Last, but certainly not least, avoid the divas. It is only recently that I have had to deal with divas. However, I realized that if it is this hard now and we have not even scheduled an interview, it is not going to get much easier. However, if Oprah came to me with a laundry list of diva demands, I would be jumping through all kinds of hoops.
Podcast guests are everywhere. For example, Facebook groups are another great place. Adrienne posted how she posted how she paid off over $40k in debt, quit her job and launched a business in 6 months. If that does not sound like a cubicle escape story, I do not know what does.
So once you find them, what do you say? You can either pitch people in person or writing. When you pitch in persons, it gives you an opportunity to feel the person out beforehand. You can ask questions to make sure they are a good fit for your show. Once you realize this person is a good fit, make the pitch. Do so with enthusiasm. Let them know you are really interested in talking to them. Next, you want to follow up. Just because you extended the offer, that is not the end of it. You need to make it formal and extend the offer in writing.
When writing your pitch, you want to start off with a compliment. I am not talking about, oh your hair looks nice. I am talking about a compliment that has some depth to it. Where you met them (if in person) or how you discovered them. What impressed you about them. Be specific, so they know you are not sending some generic message. Based on this info, explain why you want to interview them for you podcast. Give them an brief synopsis about your podcast and your podcast accomplishments to date. Tell them how they may be able to benefit from being a guest on your show. Next you want to set expectations and then include a link for them to schedule their interview. By including the link within the email, you minimize the back and forth emails.
So to be fully transparent, I have never pitched an influencer. I already know their escape stories and I have not thought of any other topics that I want to cover. So what I have chosen to do is use examples of a few people that I know to help give you some context. You want to start building relationships with the influencers that you have an interest in talking to. You can do this via email, social media and in person if possible. Show some genuine interest in what that person is doing, share their content and offer to help. For example, Lewis Howes just released a book and gave people the opportunity to be on his launch team. Being on his launch team would give you a little bit more leverage, right? A great example of relationship building is Michelle Talbert. She started communicating with Pat Flynn, about a year before they did an interview.
The next thing you want to be original. When you think about it, these guests have been on countless shows answering the same questions and telling the same stories. If you have a podcast that has a different angle, this may work in your favor. So if you have a parenting podcast, you can talk to influencers about parenting.
My last tip for you is to get some experience under your belt. Work out the kinks first, because there will be kinks. For a few episodes, I had a weird noise that only showed up during my interview episodes. When I could not figure it out on my own, I started asking around. Come to find out, Skype was using the microphone from my earbuds instead of my usb microphone. Imagine if I had interviewed Pat Flynn and had this unidentified noise popping up throughout the episode. I would have been even more mortified than I was. it also shows that you are committed. With the increasing popularity of podcasts, new podcasters are popping up like weeds. But like a diet, people tend to quit when the going gets tough. Yet if you are still hanging around after 6, 9 or 12 months, that shows a different level of commitment.