With five times more Americans now listening to podcasts on a weekly basis than watching movies (according to Convince and Convert), it's the clear the medium is becoming more popular than ever before. Because of this, podcasts have become an incredible avenue for entrepreneurs to increase brand awareness for themselves and the companies they lead.
The bad news is it's difficult to differentiate yourself from the dozens (if not hundreds) of others who are trying to get featured on the same podcasts as you are. The good news is it's less difficult than you may think. Here's the framework I used to go from writing blog posts on Medium.com to getting interviewed on the top podcast in my industry, Social Media Examiner.
1. Create content on a specific topic.
If you don't have a large following already, the first thing you need to do to increase your chances of getting on a top podcast is creating content online. This could be on YouTube, Medium, Facebook, Instagram or anywhere else you'd like.
Be sure the content is centered around a very specific niche. This will enable you to cut through the noise and position yourself as an expert on that topic. Full disclosure, this aspect of the process may take a long time, but if you narrow your focus, you'll be drastically decreasing the number of people you're competing against for attention.
2. Don't wait for others to reach out to you.
Many people I talk to are surprised to find out many of the guests on podcasts or speakers at conferences were the ones to reach out first to the moderator or podcast host as opposed to the other way around. This is exactly why there's often a page labeled "Speaker Submissions" on conference websites and "Guest Submissions" on podcast websites.
By being proactive in your outreach versus waiting for the podcast gods to magically make Tim Ferriss bump into you at a grocery store, you'll automatically be increasing your chances of being a guest.
3. Compile a list of the top podcasts in your industry.
Once you've published content online and have seen moderate traction, it's time to begin compiling the list of podcasts you'll actually be reaching out to. Be strategic here, but more importantly, make sure you have a lot of podcasts on the list. I recommend at least 20.
4. Create your elevator pitch email.
The next step is creating your "elevator pitch email", which will be effectively be your sales pitch explaining why you'd be a great fit for the podcasts you reach out to. Here are the 3 things to remember:
1. Focus on the audience. When creating your elevator pitch email, it's important to focus almost exclusively on the value you'll bring to the respective audience of the podcast you're reaching out to. Don't focus too heavily on your credentials, they're not as important to the podcast host as making sure their audience enjoys the episode you'll be featured on.
2. Be specific. Be specific with the topic you'll cover if the host elects for you to be a guest on their show. Remember that hosts of top podcasts receive an immense amount of pitches for potential guests, so be sure to make the process as easy for them as you possibly can. One way to do that is having your topic prepared in advance, which requires a lot less work for the host than them having to create the topic for you.
3. Support your claims. If, for example, you're trying to get on a podcast that primarily interviews YouTubers, then be sure your elevator pitch email has links to your top performing YouTube videos. If you're trying to land a spot on a graphic design podcast, then be sure and link up your portfolio, client testimonials or anything else to help make your case to the podcast case.
5. Send out your pitches.
Now, it's time to send out the emails and cross your fingers. Don't get discouraged if you aren't able to land any spots on your first attempt. If you don't, then continue creating content and repeat this five-step process every three to six months. If you're diligent and dedicated, you'll have more traction by the time you send out the pitches next.
It's no secret that podcasts are becoming an integral part of online communication, and the trend certainly won't stop anytime soon. If you position yourself right and are persistent, it's only a matter of time before you land a spot on a top-tier podcast.