Why Your Podcast Pitches Might Not Be Working (And How To Fix Them)

As a podcast co-host, I get a fair number of guest pitches. Putting aside the obvious spammers, most are from experts in their specialty. Which is why it always surprises me when those pitches are bad—as in unintentionally bad.

Just the other day I got a nano ask (it was too short to call it a pitch). They sent me a LinkedIn connection request with a sentence of qualifications and said they’d love to be on The Business of Authority.


Now they might be a perfect guest for us—but I have no way to tell without doing some real homework. Homework that takes a not insignificant amount of time…and why exactly should the “pitchee” have to do unsolicited homework for you?

When your target gets a pitch like this, they hit DELETE. Because unless you’re already a celebrity in your niche, it’s just too much work to figure out.

An easy fix: invest in a little legwork to know what they’re looking for. Luckily, if you’re smart about it, it’s a small investment of your time with potentially big payoffs.

Listen to a few episodes and take notes. Look through the summaries of all their episodes. Has your subject matter been covered before? What can you bring to the party that is fresh and new? Make it easy for them by suggesting up to three one-sentence topic ideas that you believe will be mutually beneficial.

Study how and when they use guests—not everyone has an all-guest format. I once pitched a man for a previously all-women guest podcast and you can bet I brought that up right in my opening.

If you haven’t done much guesting, start with smaller audience podcasts where you have a high value match. They’ll be happy to delight their audience, you’ll get some valuable experience and you’ll both add to your network.

It can sometimes help to demonstrate your audience power, especially if they are hosting a newer, small audience podcast. Maybe you share all your interviews with your email list of 1,000 CTOs—that could be catnip to the right podcast host.

The actual pitch letter can be pretty simple—with a four (short) paragraph format:

Connect to their podcast in your opening—mention an episode or an insider’s thing that shows you actually listen.

Segue to how your expertise can help their audience—and suggest one to three possible topics.

Offer no more than three links including to a podcast guest episode, so they can check you out if they’re intrigued.

Close with a sincere thank you.

If you don’t hear from them, respectfully follow-up (you’d be surprised at how often a little nudge results in a yes).

It really is that simple to craft and close a winning pitch. You don’t have to be a creative genius or even a dazzling writer. You just have to care enough to pitch only when you can demonstrate the genuine value you’d provide their audience.

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