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Podcast Guesting: Full Guide To Grow Your Start-Up

Podcast Guesting: Full Guide To Grow Your Start-Up

Transform podcast guesting into a profit engine for your start-up. Learn how to find shows, craft a compelling pitch, and create evergreen marketing funnels.

And no, you don't have to start a podcast, either. Instead, I will show you how to turn podcast guesting into a profit engine for your start-up.

In this article, I will cover the following:

  • Why podcasts are a powerful marketing funnel
  • What kinds of businesses/start-ups benefit the most from it
  • How to find shows in your niche
  • How to craft a pitch that gets you booked with a single cold email

And most importantly, how to turn each interview into an evergreen marketing funnel that brings in customers long after the interview.

1. Why should podcast guesting be a part of your start-up's marketing strategy?

Bar graph statistic of how many people listen to podcasts from 2019-2024.

Source:

Let's dive into the facts and figures, shall we? Recent statistics as of April 2023 reveal a remarkable surge in podcast listeners, reaching 464.7 million. This represents a significant jump from the 144 million listeners recorded in November 2020.

But that's not all. Experts predict this figure will continue its upward trajectory, projected to hit an impressive 504.9 million by the end of 2024. Now, here's what truly sets podcasts apart: their audience. 

According to Buzzsprout, 66% of podcast listeners earn over $75,000 annually, with 17% raking in $150,000. This surpasses the earning potential of any other marketing channel out there.

If that isn't convincing enough, consider this eye-opening insight: a study conducted by Edison Research found that 54% of podcast listeners are more inclined to consider purchasing products or services advertised on their favorite shows. 

Furthermore, 69% of listeners credit podcasts for introducing them to new products.

This means not only is the podcast audience expanding and financially capable of investing in your offerings, but they are also highly likely to take action and become loyal followers of your brand. In addition, these listeners are engaged, passionate, and deeply connected to their favorite shows.

Take, for example, the hosts of "Do It By Friday," Alex Cox & Merlin Mann. With just 4,000 weekly listeners, they effortlessly generate over $5,000 per month in donations. That's an impressive $1.25 per listener, organically.

What does this signify? These audiences are fully immersed in the shows they love, making them highly receptive to endorsements and recommendations from trusted hosts. As Mark Zuckerberg wisely stated, 

"People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising."

And that's precisely where your opportunity lies. By becoming a guest and showcasing your expertise in the manner I'm about to share with you, you can tap into the power of being recommended by a trusted and respected friend. It's the Holy Grail of exposure and influence.

Are you ready to seize this golden opportunity? Then, let's delve into the details.

2. Podcasting's enduring impact: The power of evergreen content

While social media posts may fade into obscurity and lose their impact, there's something magical about podcast content—it possesses an evergreen quality that remains valuable and relevant even as time goes on.

Podcasts share a striking resemblance to YouTube videos that steadily accumulate viewership over extended periods. They possess a unique ability to generate a consistent and growing stream of traffic. When listeners stumble upon a podcast they resonate with, they rarely stop at listening to just a few episodes.

Instead, they immerse themselves in a binge-worthy experience akin to indulging in a captivating Netflix series. As a result, the listenership for each podcast episode gradually expands over time, creating ample opportunities for more and more individuals to stumble upon the episodes where you make your guest appearances.

So, consider the profound impact you can have by harnessing the timeless influence of podcasting. Your insights and expertise have the potential to reach an ever-expanding audience long after the initial release. So get ready to amplify your reach and make a lasting impression through the enduring power of podcasting.

3. Which types of businesses benefit the most from podcasting?

Let's first look into who listens to podcasts to answer this question. Here are some stats on who is currently making up the audience of podcasts:

Millennials: According to a survey conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital, 39% of Americans aged 18-34 indulge in podcasts at least once a month.

Wealthy individuals: The same survey revealed that 41% of Americans with a household income of $75,000 or more listen to podcasts monthly.

Higher-educated individuals: The survey also discovered that 47% of Americans with a college degree or higher tune in to podcasts monthly.

Commuters: Numerous individuals opt for podcasts during their daily commutes. A study by Westwood One found that 73% of weekly podcast listeners listen to podcasts while driving.

Fitness enthusiasts: Health and wellness enthusiasts strongly favor fitness-related podcasts. The fitness category stands out as one of the rapidly growing podcast categories, as per a study by Podtrac.

Business professionals: Entrepreneurs and business professionals find business-related podcasts highly appealing. According to Edison Research, 48% of podcast listeners are employed full-time, with 26% being self-employed.

A survey conducted by Midroll Media unveiled that 86% of podcast listeners hold management positions, with 57% at the director level or higher.

Parents: Many parents turn to parenting-related podcasts to enhance their knowledge of child-rearing and family dynamics. Edison Research's survey disclosed that 31% of podcast listeners are parents under 18. 

So, if any of these profiles align with your target audience, paying attention to the podcasting landscape is crucial. Now, let's delve into the motivations behind podcast listening. But first, here are some statistics that shed light on the primary reasons people listen to podcasts:

According to a study by AdWeek, 16% of business owners listen to podcasts to acquire new insights on business and technology. (https://www.adweek.com/performance-marketing/the-10-biggest-trends-in-podcasting-right-now/)

Learning new things: A survey by Edison Research indicates that 62% of podcast listeners tune in to expand their knowledge.

Seeking entertainment: Westwood One's survey reveals that 60% of podcast listeners listen for pure entertainment.

Staying informed: The same Edison Research survey highlights that 44% of podcast listeners tune in to stay updated on various topics.

Enhancing mental health: The self-improvement category emerges as one of the fastest-growing podcast categories, as noted by a study conducted by Podtrac.

Given your newfound understanding of the podcast audience and their motivations, it is worth considering whether integrating this medium into your business strategy is viable.

While I value participating as a podcast guest, it is essential to recognize that it may not be the optimal marketing approach for everyone, especially if the primary objective is monetary gain.

If you operate a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment or engage in e-commerce, the advantages of podcast guesting might not be as pronounced compared to businesses focused on coaching or developing software as a service (SAAS).

For instance, a mechanic might not attract a substantial client base through podcast appearances alone. However, if they offer a course teaching mechanics how to enhance their business, the prospects for success become much brighter.

I want to emphasize that businesses based on expertise will derive the most significant benefits from engaging in podcast guesting.

These businesses typically include:

  • Coaches (life, health, business, etc.)
  • Consultants
  • Course creators
  • Content creators (bloggers, influencers, etc.)

Personal brands often center around these types of businesses. Since podcasting enhances personal branding efforts, it becomes an ideal channel for them. Moreover, SAAS companies can experience a favorable outcome if the founder is willing to take a prominent role.

For instance, imagine you have developed software that empowers individuals to establish and monetize online communities.

You can share the story behind your creation or provide valuable insights on building a profitable community by appearing as a guest on shows within the entrepreneur, business, and marketing domains. 

This strategy establishes a connection between your brand and the value listeners gain from the episode. The underlying fact is straightforward: If your product improves someone's personal or professional life, podcasting represents a goldmine, as people primarily tune in for those reasons.

Therefore, presenting an offer that accelerates their progress will likely generate interest and engagement.

4. Four ways to find podcasts in your niche

In 2021, I had no choice but to figure something out to save my dying hypnotherapy business. After getting clients from a talk I delivered to a group of entrepreneurs, I began obsessing over how to get in front of more and more groups of entrepreneurs.

This was when the idea of podcast guesting came to me. And since then, I've been able to get booked on over 70 shows and generate six figures in new clients that cost me $0 to acquire. Now I want to show you how I did it. But first, you must know how to find shows with your ideal audience; otherwise, there is no point.

1. Directly ask your audience what their favorite podcasts are

In 2021, I was at a crossroads, desperately seeking a solution to revive my faltering hypnotherapy business. After captivating a group of entrepreneurs with my compelling talk, I became consumed by the idea of reaching even larger audiences within this niche.

That's when the concept of being a guest on podcasts struck me. Since then, I've successfully secured bookings on over 70 shows, resulting in a substantial six-figure influx of new clients, all acquired without spending a single penny.

I'm eager to reveal my strategy and guide you through the process. First, however, it's crucial to identify shows that cater to your ideal audience; otherwise, our efforts will be in vain. I employ three practical approaches to accomplish this:

Seek direct feedback from your audience regarding their favorite podcasts.
The effectiveness of this strategy hinges on the quality, reach, and engagement of your existing followers.

Size isn't the sole determinant; engagement holds greater significance. With an actively involved following, you can achieve remarkable outcomes by asking your audience about their preferred podcast choices.

As Brian Tracy astutely remarked, "Those who dare to ask for what they want are the ones destined for future success," this principle holds particularly true in our case. All you need to do is request input from your audience. One direct method would be to create a Facebook post or send an email resembling the following:

Direct method of asking people their favourite podcast through a facebook post. Image is of a person posting that facebook post.

As you can see, I received responses from 34 individuals who shared their podcast recommendations, providing a substantial foundation for building an extensive list.

2. Explore facebook communities tailored for podcast guesting

Facebook is a bustling hub of various communities, catering to various interests. For example, I'm a member of a group that showcases uncanny resemblances to Adam Sandler. Believe it or not!

While it may sound peculiar, the exciting news is that these communities extend beyond peculiarities and include Facebook groups specifically created to aid individuals in discovering podcast opportunities and connecting with potential guests.

To tap into these valuable resources, you must leverage Facebook's search function and enter "Podcast guest" to unearth these groups.

Screenshot of Facebook's search function and enter "Podcast guest" to unearth these groups.

Once you've gained access to these groups, the next step is to pinpoint the ideal shows for your podcast guesting endeavors. Thankfully, the process is straightforward. Navigate to the group and direct your attention to the top right corner, where you'll discover the search icon eagerly awaiting your command.

Screenshot of facebook page about navigating to the group and directing your attention to the top right corner, where you'll discover the search icon eagerly awaiting your command.

Enter your chosen keyword or niche into the search bar. To illustrate, suppose you aspire to appear on a business podcast. In that case, simply type "Business" or "Entrepreneur" to narrow your search and discover relevant opportunities.

Continuing the above example, this is also a screenshot where to illustrate, suppose you aspire to appear on a business podcast. In that case, simply type "Business" or "Entrepreneur" to narrow your search and discover relevant opportunities.

As you execute the search, many posts aligned with your niche will emerge, presenting potential opportunities for you to pitch. It's essential to diligently save the podcast names, along with the corresponding links and personal profiles of the individuals who shared them, in a well-organized spreadsheet.

3. Harness the power of Google (Naturally, this inclusion is given)

Indeed, when discovering podcasts, Google takes its rightful place at the top of the list. Surprised? No need to be. Google offers a seamless method to uncover podcasts that perfectly align with your interests.

All you have to do is conduct a search using the formula 'Your Subject + Podcast' on Google. For instance:

"Entrepreneur podcasts"
"Mindset podcast"
"Parenting podcast"
"Lawyer podcasts"

It's a straightforward approach yet highly effective in yielding the desired results.

4. Leverage podcast-matching software to discover relevant shows

Image divided into 4 sections giving 4 examples of podcast softwares namely: PodMatch, Guestio, MatchMaker.fm, PodBooker.

One of the strategies I thoroughly enjoy employing is podcast matching software such as Podmatch, Guestio, Matchmaker.fm, Podbooker, and Rephonic. These great platforms grant you direct access to podcast hosts within your niche, leading to incredible achievements.

The beauty lies in that individuals willingly subscribe and pay a monthly fee to these tools to discover exceptional guests for their shows. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to find guests create an ideal environment for success. With a simple search, you can uncover hidden gems within your niche.

It's a breeze. Begin by searching for the podcast you wish to pitch. These platforms provide valuable information, including their website and social media accounts. Moreover, you gain direct access to their inbox, which I'll explain how to leverage shortly.

However, merely discovering podcasts on Podmatch or similar platforms, as well as Google and Facebook, isn't enough. It's crucial to obtain their email address, especially if you aren't using these platforms for direct communication. 

Ensure you track down their email using tools like hunter.io or by exploring their websites and Facebook business pages.

5. Mastering the art of getting booked (Crafting an irresistible pitch)

Before delving into the framework of a persuasive pitch, let's explore a fundamental rule of marketing: Your audience's primary concern lies in what you can offer them, not who you are.

Suppose your pitch revolves around self-promotion, the hosts you reach out to will swiftly lose interest. So avoid initiating your pitch with lines like: "I specialize in helping ____ achieve ____, and my name is ____." Why? Because such an approach emphasizes "I," diverting attention from the hosts' interests.

As the host of a prominent podcast, I frequently receive pitches from potential guests, and the majority of them commence with statements like, "Hey Adrian, my name is...and I believe I'd be a perfect fit for your show because…."

Upon encountering these opening lines, I often refrain from reading further. It's not personal; it's simply human nature. Now is the ideal moment to reassess your approach.

6. The framework to create powerful video pitches (How to stand out):

1. Connect

Before delving into the ways you can enrich the host and their audience, it's crucial to establish a genuine connection. Discover a means to relate to a recent episode or the show's overarching theme. Exude specificity during this pivotal stage, as it can make or break your pitch.

Address the host by name, mention the title of their show, and elucidate why you appreciate it. This approach instantly captures their interest, as it feels relevant and personal. Considering the average attention span lasts a mere 8 seconds, your task is to seize those fleeting moments.

Initiating the pitch in this manner effectively means buying some valuable time.

2. Introduce yourself through a story (In a way that demonstrates your expertise)

Once you've established a connection, it's time to introduce yourself captivatingly, utilizing the power of storytelling. For instance:

"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Adrian, and in 2021, a remarkable journey unfolded. Appearing on 52 awesome podcasts allowed me to experience an astounding six-figure surge in sales. But let me take you back to where it all began... [Share engaging story, emphasizing the emotional aspects akin to the 'Hero's Journey']."

This approach instills a sense of emotional investment, a crucial factor in priming them for a positive response. Following this, elucidate your role and how it can bring value to their audience (and ensure you deeply understand their target audience).

Once you forge this connection, effortlessly proceed to the next step.

3. Make The Ask

With their emotions captured, the moment has arrived to express their desires confidently. Be straightforward and inquire whether they want to feature you on their show. However, it's vital to present your request in a manner that highlights mutual benefits.

For example, you could express: "If you believe our collaboration would align well with your show, kindly inform me of the next steps. I am genuinely thrilled at the prospect of working together."

Avoid excessive efforts to impress or artificial language. Instead, keep it authentic and straightforward. Remember, you're engaging with another human being, not an automaton.

7. How to be the kind of guest that people want to follow? (Ace the interview)

To truly captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression, there is a fundamental element to prioritize: The art of weaving client stories into your answers.

Why? Because storytelling possesses an extraordinary ability to stir emotions, making it a proven catalyst for increased conversions. A study conducted by Origin revealed that storytelling could amplify brand recall by up to 22 times and enhance purchase intent by up to 3 times.

The chart below vividly illustrates the undeniable impact of stories in generating more engaging content:

Image has pie chart that vividly illustrates the undeniable impact of stories in generating more engaging content.

A survey conducted by Optify for Holger Schulze in 2012 revealed a compelling statistic: 81% of respondents ranked engaging and captivating storytelling among the top three crucial elements of content marketing.

By incorporating client stories into your discussions, you unlock the potential to engage a larger audience. But it doesn't stop there. Utilizing client examples to address questions allows you to position yourself as an expert, offering valuable insights.

For instance, when confronted with a query like, "How can one enhance their leadership skills?" consider responding with, "Allow me to share the experience of one of my clients who encountered similar challenges. Here's how we tackled it together."

By elucidating the process you undertook to assist your client, you impart valuable information and establish yourself as a respected authority on the subject. While it may seem simple, answering questions in this manner resonates deeply with your audience, attracting individuals who face similar obstacles.

Commence with a captivating story and culminate with a valuable lesson. For example, "...and that is precisely why I shared this story—to underscore the significance of (insert lesson). Now, allow me to provide practical tips to enhance your skills."

By commencing with a story, you seize your audience's attention and forge an emotional connection, resonating on a profound level. Remember, stories are a potent tool that sets you apart from others.

Utilizing unique stories and compelling case studies allows you to stand out and leave an indelible impression on your audience. And when this occurs, it's time to transform the podcast interview into tangible profits.

8. How to turn every interview into a customer acquisition channel?

How do you turn listeners into buyers? There is a simple but crucial process to follow. At the end of every interview, you will be asked, "How can the audience follow and connect with you?" Or even "How can the audience get [your product]?"

You mustn't make this crucial mistake that many other podcast guests make. And that is listing every possible way to reach out to you. Like your websites, social media handles, podcasts, newsletter, etc. Many times guests do this, thinking it will help. But instead, this creates a problem of too many options.

Instead, give the audience one link, and ensure it takes them to a place where you can capture their contact information to follow up with them. I avoid perplexing them with numerous choices and concentrate on the most critical aspect- getting them to join my email list.

And only drive the audience to that list and no other one unless the host insists on knowing where someone can buy your products; if that's the case, then give that link too, but no more, absolutely none.

9. Transforming listeners into buyers: The essential path to follow

The process of converting listeners into buyers is both simple and crucial. Understanding the critical steps involved will enable you to navigate this journey effectively. After each interview, you'll inevitably encounter the question, "How can the audience follow and connect with you?" or perhaps, "How can they obtain [your product]?"

Avoiding a common mistake made by many podcast guests is of utmost importance. This mistake involves listing every conceivable way to reach you, such as websites, social media handles, podcasts, newsletters, etc.

While guests often assume this approach will be helpful, it creates a problem: an overwhelming array of options. Instead, focus on providing the audience with a single link that directs them to a destination where you can capture their contact information and follow up with them effectively.

By avoiding the confusion of multiple choices, you can concentrate on the most crucial objective: inviting them to join your email list. For instance, I direct the audience to a specific link where they can access a guide from me, utilizing email marketing as a means of subsequent communication.

Therefore, you aim to create a compelling lead magnet—a valuable resource that entices them to take action. Watch this video by Dan Henry, a highly successful internet marketer, to learn how to create one.

Drive the audience exclusively to that designated list and no other unless the host specifically requests information on where to purchase your products. In that case, provide the relevant link, but avoid adding additional links.

10. Crafting an effective follow-up sequence for converting new subscribers into customers

Let me walk you through my proven approach for converting new subscribers into buyers, which I believe will provide valuable insights and ideas for your follow-up sequence.

  • I offer new subscribers access to an exclusive e-book in my email sequence. At the end of this e-book, I present a one-time, four-day discount for my course, creating a sense of urgency.

  • Over those four days, I strategically sent ten emails using a storytelling framework called "Daily Seinfield Emails." These emails include client stories and emphasize the closing of the limited-time discount. 

  • The stories engage and connect with the subscribers while triggering the fear of missing out (FOMO), which can drive conversions.

  • If, after this sequence, the subscribers haven't made a purchase, I move them to a daily nurture list. I continue to use the Daily Seinfeld-style emails on this list to nurture and convert them over time.

Email marketing is my primary focus because of its exceptional effectiveness, which often surpasses social media marketing.  According to Optin Monster, most people check their emails first thing in the day. 

Moreover, with only 6% of your followers seeing your content on social media compared to an average engagement rate of 22% among email subscribers, email marketing becomes a channel worthy of significant attention, particularly in podcast guesting.

By leveraging the power of email marketing, engaging storytelling, and timely discounts, I have achieved remarkable success in converting subscribers into buyers. Adapt and customize these strategies to suit your audience and objectives; I'm confident you'll see positive results.

Pie chart image of email vs. social media, first check of the day.

Source:

To make it even better? It's a fact that 99% of email users check their inbox daily, with some checking it up to 20 times a day. This presents a higher opportunity to convert compared to other channels. To take advantage of this, ensure you have an email follow-up campaign for the leads you generate from your podcast interviews.

In addition, if you're interested in learning how to write sales emails and create high-converting email campaigns, check out this article here that breaks down the complete framework for crafting persuasive emails that sell.

Summary

Podcast guesting is a formidable marketing strategy. It allows you to reach your ideal buyers and establish relationships with hosts, position yourself as a niche authority, and foster a stronger connection with the public.

While this strategy isn't complex or novel, many businesses fail to leverage its potential or maximize its effectiveness fully. By diligently following the distinctive framework I presented here, you'll experience an increase in show bookings, attract a more extensive customer base, and witness the growth of your brand.

My name is Adrian Moreno. I’m an entrepreneur at The Power Pitch , writer and podcaster. My content focuses on growing businesses without capital.

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