What would it mean to your credibility and visibility as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, or coach to promote that you've been interviewed on some of the  top podcasts in your industry? Such interviews establish you as a go-to expert, increases visibility of your brand, opens the door to a network of  influencers, and provides countless unpredictable benefits. 

According to Convince and Convert, there are 57 million podcast listeners in America alone. The launch of the new Google Play Podcasts and the installment of Apple's CarPlay in cars starting from this year seem to be signs of a growing industry.

The fact that podcast listening has shown sharp gains both on a monthly (from 17% to 21%) and weekly (10% to 13%) basis is good news for both podcasters and all of the entrepreneurs, coaches, and marketers who wish to build authority, promote, and grow their business by being podcast guests.

The podcast guest expert.

"The growth of the podcasting industry is a good sign for podcast guest experts who have clarity on their message and know what type of shows would be a good fit for it," says Yann Ilunga, organizer of the largest digital conference about podcasting, the Podcast Success Summit.

"It's important to put things into the proper perspective, though," he says. "People seeking to be guests have a tendency to aim for popular podcasts. However, being featured on big shows with little experience as an interviewee can actually do more harm than good." Instead of trying for a more prominent podcast, Ilunga suggests you begin with smaller venues to master the craft of the podcast first.

Newer podcasts are a great way to get interview experience. Once you're acquainted with the process, you can reach out to more popular channels. Your experience on smaller podcasts will help you to clearly articulate your message, feel comfortable in front of a microphone, and provide value to every single show in which you participate. When a podcaster sees that you have experience as a guest you become a far more likely candidate. 

Finding podcasts to appear on.

The iTunes store and Google's new podcasting portal are great places to search for podcasters to approach.  Browse the podcast resources under your industry category, look at new shows in the New & Noteworthy section, or search for experts in your industry and see which podcasts they have been featured on. 

New podcasts are the low hanging fruits. While they do have smaller audiences, they offer a more flexible publishing schedule (your show will air live or soon after recording). Also, they really are great platforms to gain experience and improve your skillfulness.

Getting the podcasters' attention.

Begin your process by tuning in to your selected podcasts to become familiar with the host's personality and learn more about the style of the podcast. Recognize the type of audience the podcast reaches, as well as the types of topics the host focuses on.

When pitching yourself as a potential guest, let the host know: 

  • Who you are and some of your accomplishments: If you have won an award, written a book, etc. If you've been on previous podcasts, mention them here.
  • You listen to the show: This demonstrates that you are familiar with the show and the host's favorite topics, and that you understand their audience
  • Suggested topics for the interview: Aim for the "sweet spot": a mix of your area of expertise and what's usually being discussed on the show in question.
  • About your influence: Inform the host that you will share the interview with your list and on social media. Distribution is important, so hosts look for influencers as guests.

Research is a critical part of the process. "Podcast hosts get pitched all the time," says Ilunga. "A seasoned host can easily spot those who are reaching out without having done the proper research." Conduct the above research (plus some) and you're more likely to be selected as a guest.

Making the most of each opportunity.

Once a date and time for the interview is agreed upon, begin to strategically plan the content. Ask the host if he or she would like for you to supply questions for them to ask you during the interview. They will most likely request a professional bio that they can read to introduce you, and possibly a headshot as well. If you have something to promote (a book, a class, special discounts, etc.) be certain to ask the host what his or her policies are on allowing promotion and send them the information in advance. If you get the green light, place this resource on a dedicated landing page and mention the link during the interview. 

Planning ahead will turn every interview into an opportunity to build authority, generate leads, and attract prospects. Do some homework and preparation and you'll soon be a featured expert--just like those you admire, others will admire and respect you.