Podcast Growth Made Easy: Get Bucket-List GuestsJan 12, 2023
Nearly every podcast has one goal - to grow their show by increasing listenership and downloads. Our favorite way to grow your show is by getting big-name guests for interviews. Typically, people who are "known" in your industry have large audiences of their own, some of whom will become part of your audience when you interview those big names.
You might think that the easiest pool to pick from will be other podcasters, but think outside the box, as well. Perhaps there's an author, a speaker, a radio host, or a researcher in your niche who could come to your show and drop some amazing knowledge. Maybe a professor or a consultant in your industry would love to come chat about his latest methods or discoveries. Let your mind run with possibilities and make a list of as many names as you can!
Once you have that list of names, you'll need to reach out to each of them and pitch to them the idea of being on your show. To do this well, you'll need to send an an email or DM that sounds professional but personable, and that tells them three basic things:
Who you are/what your show is and why you think they'd be a good fit.
This is fairly straightforward, but they need to know who they're talking to, why you're contacting them, and why you want to interview or speak with them. This is where some mild flattery will go a long way. Depending on the person's popularity, they might get pitched by dozens of shows a week. You will make your request more appealing when you're sincere in telling them what you love about them and why you want them on your show.
2. What the benefit is to them of being interviewed on your show.
This is really important because most people make decisions based on what's in it for them. Your pitch will stand out when you tell them why you believe that the favor you're asking is a also great thing for them. Think outside the box here - what is unique about your show or your audience that sets it apart that makes their interview with you different and more beneficial than that of the other shows or interviews they've done?
3. The straightforward details of what you'd like them to do.
Show that you respect and value their time by giving them a simple explanation of what it is you're asking from them. Answer their questions before they have to ask. Things like,
interview or off-the-cuff conversation
audio-only or video podcast
how can they get scheduled with you
how long you anticipate the recording to take
how soon you'd like to schedule
If you don't hear a reply in a week or so, follow-up with a short email reminding them of your request.
Once they respond and are interested, congrats! Now's your time to make this process as simple and straightforward for them as possible. In your second message, send them everything they need to make their time with you a success:
calendar link if they haven't already booked a spot from the first email, and the meeting details if they have
a list of things you need from them like headshot & bio
alternate contact information (like a phone number) so you can speak to one another in case the tech fails
the questions you anticipate asking them OR a date when you'll send those questions over the them
After the interview, be sure to graciously thank them for their time.
Sometimes, there are gatekeepers, like assistants or publicists that you need to go through to get access to your dream guest. Amber Cullum of Grace Enough Podcast joined us in our private VA community to show us how she approaches publishers to get access to the guests she's had on her show. If you're currently enrolled in our certification program, you can find the recording and templates of Amber's outreach emails in the Admin module of the Content Library.
What does this mean for me?
Podcasters: When you're ready to grow your show by leaps & bounds, reaching out to big-name guests like authors or public speakers is a game-changer. Start today by making a list of your dream guests and start sending those pitch emails. If you send just a few each week, you can end up with dozens of amazing guests, and potentially see a huge increase in listenership in the next 6-12 months. We train our Certified Podcast VAs on how to do guest management, including reach outs. Click here to take a look at our Directory of Certified Podcast VAs and get the help you need.
Virtual Assistants: Get comfortable with the idea of sending pitch emails on behalf of your podcasting clients, and set up a workflow for creating pitches and doing follow-up in your project management software. Then, let your clients and potential clients know the value of having you help with pitching their dream guests to be on their show. You can make yourself a highly valued team member for your podcast clients if you can help them grow their listenership and increase download rates through the guests you help them connect with.
In our Certification Program for Virtual Assistants, you'll find a bonus lesson on reaching out to bucket-list guests, with a sample email template that you can download and use for your podcasting clients.
Questions on how to write this email or how to set up your workflow? Head over to our public group, Podcast VA Hub and drop your questions in there.
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