Who’s ready to pitch to podcasts?
According to podcasthost.com, there are over 2,000,000 podcasts available in the United States alone. That’s a virtual sea of opportunity for you to help market your book. Very few podcasts are recorded live, meaning you have a chance to schedule a recording session with the host, or a production team, ahead of time. With a book launch date in mind, you can schedule guest spots with podcasts as a lead-up.
Before diving into that sea of opportunity, you need to determine what podcasts you should be looking for.
It would be easy to think the podcasts you want to connect with are just waiting for you to come to them. That isn’t entirely true. There are podcasts your target audience will be listening to, and they do have guests.
Those podcasts, however, are also swimming in a sea of potential guests.
The dynamic is different for hosts; if hundreds of people want to be guests, they can be more selective about who they allow on their show. If they’re getting pitches every day, then they’re most likely tired of reading them. Every podcast host and production team has stories of pitches from people who have no clue what their podcast is about.
They have to deal with fish out of the water on a daily.
Here’s how you can avoid that.
The Right Fish
For those who have experience with fishing, you know it takes time to catch one. There is the old saying, “the fish are biting today.” Which means it should be easy to catch a fish. Even if it should be easy, patience is required to sit and wait with your line in the water until you do get one.
To keep from waiting longer than needed, figure out which spot has more fish. If you’re marketing a non-fiction book about leadership in the non-profit space, start looking into non-profit or leadership podcasts. There is bound to be some overlap there. You could even find podcasts that specifically talk about non-profit leadership. Podcast listening apps will have tags and categories that you can search through, making that sea of opportunity shrink to the size of a lake, then a pond.
You can even take it a step further by adding more keywords to your search. Your non-profit leadership book may apply to large non-profits, yet you may have many examples from small non-profits. Add that into your search fields and see what comes back. You may also have a wealth of experience in the legal aide field.
Keep looking for keywords and adding them into the mix to see what podcasts match.
Identifying ten podcasts would be a good start for your book marketing strategy.
Salmon or Trout?
When it comes to fishing, you don’t want to catch just any fish.
Seasoned fishers could write their own books on why salmon is better than trout, or vice versa. They’d wax poetic about how to prepare, the lures needed, the right fishing pole, the time of day, the temperature of the water, and the brand of clothing you should be wearing. Once you make it through all of that, you’ll know what you need to do to catch salmon, or trout, or whatever.
It’s similar to pitching a podcast.
You need to do your research!
From your list of identified podcasts, go and listen to the available episodes. Yes, this will take time. It will be time well spent because you will learn so much more than reading the summaries or the taglines.
Podcast hosts all have their own unique style when running their shows. They want to have their personal touch when asking questions, driving the conversation, and presenting the information. If you’re unaware of that, you’ll sound like a fish out of the water if you do end up becoming a guest on their podcast.
Listen to the episodes!
If you find you don’t like a podcast for one reason or another, then it’s worth your time and your book will have a better chance of connecting with the right readers because of it.
Pitch to Podcasts the Right Way
After taking the time to listen to your list of podcasts, you’ll have a better idea of which podcasts take guests and which ones don’t.
Once you’ve decided which podcasts are a good fit, go and find out what the criteria are for accepting guests. If they have guests on their podcast, chances are they’re on the lookout for their next guest, even as you read this.
Don’t email them to say I want to be a guest.
Again, you’ll look like a fish out of water. A fish out of water may be great for comedy, but won’t help you market your book.
Some podcasts will have a form to fill out, some will simply have an email that you can send your pitch to. Read and reread instructions to make sure you’ve formatted your pitch to their specific guidelines. Your book may be a perfect fit for their show. If you don’t follow their guidelines, however, the host will pass without thinking twice.
Remember when you listened to their previous episodes?
That time listening will help you figure out the common themes and topics the host or hosts will bring up repeatedly. Take that research and use it to help you pitch to podcasts. State that your book and your expertise are a good fit for their audience. Use bullet points to emphasize the value you bring to their audience.
This pitch will also serve as a cheat sheet for when you record. You can create talking points from it and use them to prepare for the recording session.
Be Ready for “No”
Once you’ve stated why you’re a great fit for the podcast, and their audience, give them an out.
Give them the chance to say “no.”
It can be a short sentence at the end; “If you feel this won’t be a good fit, I understand and wish you the best.”
While giving the host that chance to say no seems like a bad idea, don’t worry about it. Sometimes when we tell someone they can say no it can have the opposite effect. Or giving them the chance to pass may take the pressure off and allow them to really look at the opportunity presented.
They may take you up on the offer and pass.
At that point, it can be frustrating because you’ve spent that time working on a pitch and you feel this podcast would be a great outlet to talk about your book. You can be frustrated and upset. It’s a natural response. Take a moment to work through that.
Afterward, go back to your list of podcasts and pick another one to pitch.
As the old saying goes, there is plenty of fish in the sea.
Connecting with the Right Podcasts
You may remember the common fishing proverb; “Give a man a fish, and you feed for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The same is true here for podcasting.
To pitch to podcasts, remember the steps;
- Research available podcasts with keywords that match your target audience
- Listen to the available podcasts to find the common themes and topics. This will also reveal if the podcast accepts guests or not.
- Craft your pitch to show you know who their listening audience is, why you and your book are a fit for their podcast, and what value they’ll get when they bring you on as a guest.
- Give them the option to say no. If they do, then move onto the next one and repeat.
These steps will hopefully save you time and frustration as you work on marketing your book. As stated earlier, there is a sea of opportunity here, but don’t dive in thinking the best podcasts are just waiting for you.
Craft your pitch to each one. If you rush it, it’ll show. You could end up being on a podcast that has nothing to do with your target audience. When that happens, you’ll be a fish out of water.
Here is the best piece of advice to take away from this article. Not just about fishing, or pitching podcasts, but also in life.
- Be Patient
It’s a cliche for a reason. Often we miss key details in rushing and in trying to get things done yesterday. When that happens, it sets us back or creates more work somewhere else. Then we need to work even more to tackle the extra load.
Even if you hate fishing, or have never fished at all, be patient.
It’ll be worth it when your book launches, and you have a list of podcast episodes promoting it to the reader who truly enjoys your book.