If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you want to speak on podcasts (no pun intended). But if you’ve never been interviewed on a podcast before or achieved some extraordinary feat, it can be hard to get started.
An increasing number of people are reaching out to podcast hosts these days—which allows them to be pickier, and turns podcast guests into a commodity. But there are certain things you can do to stand out and avoid the most common mistakes.
The trick is to start small, share your message, and build your social proof before reaching out to podcasts with bigger audiences.
To help you along the way, we’ve developed a super simple guide to booking your first podcast appearance. In this article we’ll explain our foolproof four-step strategy to help you secure a podcast interview in less than two weeks.
1. Define your audience
Who exactly are you trying to reach through podcast appearances?
The answer to that question is the most important part of this process. Defining your target audience will allow you to:
- Identify topics that will resonate with listeners.
- Narrow down your research to around 100 podcasts (from over 1.8 million!)
- Craft a compelling call to action and lead magnets.
- Keep your message strong and specific.
If you have more than one target audience, we suggest choosing the one that will add the most value to your business.
To keep this as simple as possible, just fill in the blank: “I want to reach people who _______.”
2. Register on MatchMaker.fm
You don’t have to send emails or LinkedIn messages to connect with podcast hosts; instead, find the ones who are actively looking for guests on MatchMaker.fm.
All you have to do is sign up and create a profile—but make sure you don’t skimp on this step. You want your profile to be so polished that it’s a no-brainer for hosts to invite you to speak on their podcasts.
Here’s what to include in your profile:
- What makes you a great podcast guest?
- 3–6 unique topics you can speak about
- Work testimonials and/or previous podcast appearances
- Social media links and website(s)
- A high-quality profile picture
3. Do your research
Once you’ve registered for MatchMaker and logged in, click on “Find a show” to see all the podcasts on the platform, organized by category.
Now it’s time to narrow them down.
Since you’re looking for a specific type of show, you’ll be better off using the search bar instead of filtering by category. Brainstorm several keywords that are relevant to your audience—based on the results of step 1 above—and search for them.
Take the first 10 podcasts that appear for each keyword and find out a bit more about them. If one stands out, copy and paste the URL into a document. Try to find at least 20 solid options.
4. Get in touch
Podcast hosts get plenty of messages every day on MatchMaker—but most of them are pretty terrible. The platform allows you to send pre-made messages, which essentially tells the host that you haven’t made the slightest effort to learn about their show. Don’t do it!
Instead, follow these simple steps:
- Choose a podcast from your list.
- Read the description, then click “Check out the podcast” to visit its website.
- Scroll through the episode titles and descriptions to find one that seems relevant.
- Listen to some (or all) of the episode, find one thing the guest said that’s related to your expertise, and write it down.
- Repeat for all podcasts on your list.
- Reach out to each host using the template in our downloadable handbook.
Yes, this process takes time—but remember, relevance is essential. In fact, it’s even more important than personalization, despite what you might think.
After you’ve completed all these steps, it’s only a matter of time before you book your first interview. Once you do, check out our tips for preparing for your podcast appearance!