How to Pitch Your Podcast to the Media

Guess what, it’s never been easier to start a podcast. However, with over 850,000 active podcasts (as of April 2021) and more popping up daily, the competition to be heard is fierce. So, how do you stand out amongst the sea of podcasts? Well, you should pitch your podcast to the media. 

Whether you’ve been podcasting for a while or just starting, you have the power to grow, you just need the right knowledge and tools to get more publicity for your show. 

Ready to learn how to pitch your podcast? Let’s go.

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Pitch Yourself to Other Podcasts

By finding other podcasts in your niche, pitching them specific ideas, and speaking on their show you can position yourself to not only mention your podcast, but also position yourself as an expert in a specific topic, and/or promote your particular service or product.

By appearing on other podcasts, you have the opportunity to reach a new pool of listeners. These listeners will probably grow curious and google you after listening to your particular episode.

Ultimately, by appearing on other podcasts, you get to showcase your expertise and therefore gain listeners and potential clients/customers.

Let’s break down some other reasons why you should pitch yourself to other podcasts:

  • Build authority through association; this is crucial to be known as an expert
  • Connect with a larger audience that might not necessarily know who you are
  • Provides a deeper connection and a new perspective for listeners
  • Boosts your SEO visibility when there’s a mention of your brand on a different website
  • Opens the door to get the host as a guest on your podcast too

Not only will you reap these benefits, but you’ll have genuine conversations that might spark some new ideas. At the end of the day, we all yearn for thought-provoking conversations that energize us so above all else that is what this option offers. 

Let’s look at a tangible example.

Hi! It’s Yvonne, again. If you don’t remember, I’m Spreaker’s Content Manager. I also have a podcast called The Branding Lab, which focuses on the importance of branding. My podcast is an interview-style podcast. As a result, I interview experts on the show who share their expertise on the topic of branding. They often come on the show as a way to share their knowledge but also to pitch their own product or service.

For example, our guest Jeremy Miller shared the principles of a Sticky Brand. He shared only a couple of the principles and then urged listeners to go to his website and download his book, Sticky Branding. Another guest ended the podcast episode by promoting her soon-to-be-launched branding course. And another guest not only promoted his book but his own podcast about branding.

This is a win-win situation. Why? Because as the host, I get valuable information from an expert in branding, and the guest gets a platform to not only share his/her knowledge but to position themself as an expert while also promoting their product/service.

How do you find podcasts that you can pitch yourself to?

Instead of losing yourself in a black hole, also known as the internet, consider using these strategies to find like-minded podcast hosts. 

  1. Toggle through the recommended podcasts under yours to discover similar topics. 
  2. Begin making a list in an excel file to keep track of potential podcasts to pitch. 
  3. Note the title of their podcast, their name, website, possible topic, and contact information (more on how to find that later). 

Now that you have a few listed, head over to our good old friend, Facebook. There are plenty of opportunities in Facebook Groups. Here are some you might want to join:

There are thousands of hosts and guests in these groups so to find exactly what you’re looking for head over to the search bar and type in a specific keyword. From there, you can also get a more accurate finding by turning on “most recent” posts only. 

On Twitter, you can easily find thought-leaders in your industry. Check out the link in their bio to discover if they have a podcast. If so, retweet their tweets, comment on their feed or follow them to build rapport. 

You can also sign up for matching services like Matchmaker or Podmatch that use AI to pair you up with hosts based on the profile you create. Both services have free versions for basic features so don’t worry about breaking the bank with these strategies.

But truthfully, the most crucial piece of this puzzle is finding an aligned match. 

How do you know it is a great fit?

Just as you court a spouse, the same mentality goes into finding the right fit for a podcast. You should feel aligned and excited to talk to them. This shouldn’t be a tactic you do only to expose your brand but to genuinely connect with the podcast host. 

While doing your research on this potential opportunity check out their audience and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have more similar, but unique content this audience would enjoy?
  • Are my beliefs aligned with theirs? If you find yourself in a conversation where your beliefs don’t match up, their audience might lose interest, or worse, you both may lose credibility. 
  • What knowledge do I have that would benefit the audience?

Notice all these questions have everything to do with the hosts’ audience and nothing to do with you. Why? Because podcasts look to serve their audience top-notch content. So if they see your main focus is helping their audience, and not on pushing your brand, they’ll feel that sincerity. In return, they’ll want to work with you. 

Lastly, to determine the last piece of the puzzle, think about the demographics and online presence. Since you can’t see the analytics of other podcasts, you’ll have to make an educated guess in regards to their audience.

Alternatively, you can scroll down to the comment section of their podcast platform. Notice who is commenting. Are they mostly male and your audience is only female? If so, it might not be the right fit for you. To get a better picture, check out their website, and other social media platforms to make a sound decision.

So now that you are excited to get started with these potential connections, let’s find their email and discuss what to include inside.

How can you find their emails and what should you include in the email

Most podcasts have websites that will include a contact page. If their email is nowhere to be found check their Linkedin. In the case that doesn’t work try typing “[insert their first and last name]” and “email address” into Google. This curates a more advanced search, so be sure to place parentheses around each keyword otherwise it won’t work. 

Your final option is to use websites like Hunter or Find that Email that helps you to, well… you guessed it, find their email. 

Now that You have their email, let’s discuss subject lines. 

First and foremost– the subject line. If it doesn’t steal their attention in .5 seconds, your email will be gone quicker than an hour of watching kitten videos on Tik-Tok. 

We recommend getting straight to the point. Consider saying something like, “podcast pitch- __ ways to get ____ result” or “podcast pitch- how ___ helped me strengthen my _____skills.”

Let’s say you’re a copywriter but you also love Hip-Hop music. Unique combination right? Your subject line might go like this: “How rap songs can strengthen your writing”. Be specific and concise. 

Remember to include a hook. 

A hook is exactly what it sounds like — a concept or an idea that gets people interested in what you have to say… and what you have to offer. If you want to learn how to write a killer hook, we recommend checking out this article.

The subject line is step one. Now, let’s talk about the body of the email. 

In the body of the email, you want to include a couple of key pieces of information

  • Acknowledgement that you’ve listened to their podcast in some way – this creates personalization and lets the podcast host know that you aren’t sending mass emails.
  • What is your speciality – what do you do?
  • What would you like to talk about – make sure to provide a couple of options that the podcast host can choose from. Be specific.
  • A short bio and links to past podcast interviews if possible. Why? Podcast hosts want to hear how you speak. Nothing kills an interview more than a guest that lacks energy.
  • Your email and your phone number + an invitation to schedule a quick call if need be for further clarification.

Confused about how to pitch your podcast? Here is an actual pitch [with names removed] that our content manager received for The Branding Lab Podcast.

Subject Line: Topic & Guest Suggestion for The Branding Lab Podcast

Hello [name]

My name is XXX and I'd like to suggest a topic for your next podcast episode - "How to Emanate Positivity Through Your Brand with [podcast guest]"

This is one of the many topics my client [name] can discuss during an interview on The Branding Lab. With plenty of experience in brand building and social media management, [client name] has tackled every challenge with a positive approach and believes that this played a key role in his journey to success. I think [client name] is a perfect fit.

Here's some more information about [client name]:

[include information like a short bio; links of articles you've been featured in; previous podcast episodes you've been on; videos]

We would be more than happy to share the episode featuring [client name] on our social media platforms, as well as give your show a great review on the platform of your choice. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I look forward to hearing the chemistry between you and [client name] in action.

Kind regards, 

Let’s dissect that pitch, shall we? 🤔🧐

First of all the subject line is spammy. This is probably why this particular email was sent straight to the promotions tab. Imagine that The Branding Lab podcast was receiving hundreds of pitches per day. This email would go straight into the trash. Why? Because it didn’t include a hook in the subject line.

Another problem? No personalization.

The individual provides no context on whether they ever listened to the Branding Lab Podcast. It sounds like the individual is sending mass emails to any podcast that focuses on the subject of “branding.” It would have also been nice if they would explain some of the talking points they would like to cover. How to emanate positivity through your brand is a rather vague topic – so what does that really mean?

In a recent blog, Growing Your Audience With Podcast Guests, we discussed how taking it a step further and creating a video pitch will help you stand out. Additionally, depending on your industry, you might consider adding a bit of personality with a gif. This adds an extra flair to your message! 

Let’s consider another media option. 

How to Pitch Your Podcast to the Press

Let’s break this down. It’s similar to pitching your podcast to other podcast hosts in that you must do your due diligence and thoroughly research beforehand. In contrast, pitching to the press opens up a wider audience. The press could be a well-known publication or broadcast station. Ultimately, pitching your podcast to the press may render larger returns due to more listeners. 

Why you should pitch your podcast to the press

The main reason to pitch to the press is simple; it’s the most effective way to get your idea to thousands, maybe millions of listeners very quickly. As we mentioned earlier, when you pitch your podcast to other podcasts, you don’t know their audience size. However, with publications like the business powerhouse, Forbes, or the wellness brand, Thrive Global the opportunity to get your podcast heard could gain major global exposure. 

Let’s cover how you should go about making contact with massive companies.

How do you find journalists that could cover your podcast?

At the end of the day, large businesses are made up of individual people. So, all you need to do is find the right person to speak to. 

So, back to Linkedin! Often position titles are not clear and don’t directly say, “podcast director” or “head journalist”. Start by typing in terms like “writer” or “video creator” in the search bar under the company instead. From there you’ll be able to message that person in hopes of getting connected with the right person. See if you have any mutual friends that can put in a good word or even get you acquainted with the right person. 

Not a LinkedIn fan? Well, then Twitter should be your go-to. Twitter is THE place to be for journalists.

One of the most effective ways to find journalists is to check out other peoples’ Twitter lists. Many users make lists of relevant journalists in their field so they can keep tabs on what they’re interested in. You can save a lot of time by following other peoples’ lists. And if you’re wondering how to find relevant lists, follow journalists or PR companies in similar fields.

Let’s look at a tangible example

Let's say you want to get your podcast featured in the Huffington Post. 

First things first. Open Twitter and do an advanced search for the words "Huffington Post" and "editor." You will then click on People and VOILA. The first person that probably comes up is Elise Foley, the HuffPost deputy enterprise editor. In her bio she has also included her email. If we click on her profile and on the three dots that are right beside the follow button we can also check out Elise's Twitter lists. One of the lists is Huffpost which includes many other Huffpost writers and reporters. 

But before you send a mass email to all HuffPost writers, take the time to follow a couple of them. Respond to their tweets. Build a rapport. PR takes times and it is all about developing relationships. 

Like before, make sure to do your research. Go through the journalists’ work and see where you can bring a fresh angle into the mix. Think about niche-specific gaps that aren’t being filled in their coverage. 

Let’s think about it from a different perspective. You’re an expert in your field, maybe you know a lot about teaching because you used to be a teacher but you’ve pivoted towards entrepreneurship. What else do you know a lot about or are passionate about? Let’s say you’re a retired teacher, that’s now an entrepreneur, and also loves to travel. All these pieces work together to create a very niche topic. Your unique passions and experiences make up for a great story that journalists are seeking. 

When it all comes down to it, stories sell.

So reflect on how your life experiences can be packaged into an inspiring or bold story. Also, it is important that it is an authentic story. People can relate to real stories because they may have been through a similar situation. Often when we share something vulnerable about us, it empowers someone else to take action or to feel reassured. 

Now, this is important. Make sure the company or journalist you’re pitching accepts pitches and interviews because if not you’re wasting your time. Do some digging on their website as you might find “pitching guidelines” that would be helpful.

How to craft a PR pitch and what to include inside it

Let’s revisit the earlier reference to courting your spouse. Remember your first date? Stomach butterflies, sweaty palms, and long conversations about your passions. You spent hours getting to know each other. 

How is this relevant to crafting a PR pitch? Because, you want to get to know the journalist you’ll be pitching way before you click the send button. What books do they read? What are their hobbies? Research their social channels and website to gain valuable information so you can find what makes them tick. 

Imagine when you get an email from your friend versus when you get one from a company trying to sell you something. You feel connected to your friend because they’ve personalized the email. 

The same goes for pitching journalists. Connect with them on a personal level and they’ll be curious to find out more about you. 

Besides finding connections, you want to be entertaining. Publicists and journalists have hundreds of boring emails landing in their inbox daily so tell them a story they’ll be interested in. 

Meet Selena Soo. She’s a PR expert that crafted a calendar for this entire year jam-packed with important dates and 179 different story starters so you can pitch fresh content. Use this tool to get your wheels turning.

As we said, stories sell.

Remember the Twilight Series or any of the other zillion Disney movies that are still popular today? Everyone loves a good story because they’re emotionally relatable. Take time on the front end cultivating your inner J.K Rowling by creating a story out of your life.

Ponder how you can weave important dates like World Day for Cultural Diversity or International Yoga Day into your message to make it more relevant? (of course only if those dates apply to your industry)

After you’ve written some ideas down make sure to also include the following in your message:

  • What makes you especially equipped to talk about this topic?
  • What epic edge do you have that others don’t?
  • Why would their audience care?
  • Links to your website, other episodes you’ve been on, and any other media coverage that might be relevant
  • Your contact information and social handles
  • A way they can book a quick 15-minute call with you to discuss your idea (use scheduling tools like Calendy or Acuity

Consider their time zone before clicking the send button. According to CoSchedule, one of the best times to send an email is at 10 am so to ensure the highest open rate probability find out where they are in the world.

Want to learn more about the best time to send an email? Check out the article linked here for all the info you need.

How to follow up if the journalist doesn’t answer

There’s a hidden email tool on Gmail you might not know exists. It’s called Gmass. It’s an intuitive extension that first and foremost allows you to send mass emails at once. For our sake, we’re not using it for that but rather for follow-up purposes. Its follow-up feature allows you to set a date and time for a second, third, and even fourth follow-up! 

Although you might not need four follow-ups typically you will need to circle back around at least once and this app will save you the time you can use prospecting other leads. In the second email it’s important to be clear, concise, and restate your message so that they can quickly read what you’re all about. 

There is also another tool that might be helpful. It is called Hubspot Sales and it is an email tracking tool. Why is this relevant? Well, let’s say you’ve sent an email and you’ve noticed that the person never opened it. Then you’ve probably got the email wrong. Or maybe the hook wasn’t good enough and the email was instantly trashed. On the other hand, what if your email was opened 10 times in a span of two days. That might signal that the person is interested in your pitch. This would mean a follow-up might be in order.

In the end, if your pitch doesn’t get picked up then focus on pursuing other leads. You can even recycle the pitch, who knows, maybe one person’s no is another person’s yes.

And, just remember that for every journalist or publication that says no just means you’re one step closer to finding that one ultra-aligned company to say yes.

You have the knowledge and unbelievable expertise, begging to be shared.

The question is: are you ready to get real and share your authentic story with other podcasters and the media?  Are you ready to pitch your podcast to the media?

Because if you do, your listeners will be your loyal audience forever.

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