How to Easily Pitch to Podcasts in 2023 [+Real Examples]

Rudi Davis
By Rudi Davis

Podcasts have hit the mainstream. Studies estimate that 424 million people globally were listening to podcasts by the end of 2022 (with 100 million being in the US alone). 

And while not every podcast has the reach of the Joe Rogan Experience, there are countless podcasts within every industry and niche. What’s more, many of these podcasts have enormous influence among their highly engaged audiences.

It’s little surprise, therefore, that podcast guest appearances have become a key aspect of many brands’ and businesses’ PR strategies. 

But how do you write a podcast pitch that gets you noticed above everyone else? 

Well, there’s a simple answer to that. Simply copy what works and adjust it to fit your circumstances. This is exactly what I’ll show you in this guide. Here’s what we’ll cover:

How to approach podcast pitching

Podcast pitching is no different than other types of media pitching. You need to offer some interesting talking points, explain why you’re qualified to talk about these topics, and pitch it to the right targets.

That being said, there are some subtle nuances when it comes to pitching to podcasts, compared to say newspapers or TV. I’ll explain these below.

So let’s break it down.

1. Define your objectives

What are you trying to achieve by getting yourself or others to appear as guests on podcasts? This often falls into one or more of the following categories: 

  • Promote a product 
  • Build thought leadership 
  • Develop a narrative within an industry
  • Increase exposure 
  • Earn backlinks   
  • Build relationships with the media

Let’s take this company, Intelligent Relations, as an example. Let’s say the Chief Marketing Officer wants to build the CEO’s thought leadership credentials within the PR industry.

This will give us a clear objective, which will then enable us to write appropriate pitches and target the right types of podcasts. For instance, we could write a pitch in which the CEO wants to discuss the impact of AI on the PR industry and how this will impact traditional PR agencies.

2. Do your research  

Before you start writing and emailing pitches out to podcast hosts, research the podcasts you’re aiming to get onto.

Think of this by topic or industry. Referring to the above example, we would research podcasts aimed at the PR industry.

This research serves several purposes. It’ll enable you to build a list of target podcasts, as well as give you an idea of the types of topics that these podcasts discuss, just by looking at the show notes.

Pro tip – look out for podcasts that frequently mention guest names in their show notes, as opposed to those that rarely, if ever, mention guests.

Streaming platforms such as Spotify and iTunes are a good place to start. Even better are specialist podcast search engines, such as Podchaser and Listen Notes.

3. Don’t write a sales pitch

It’s not the job of a podcast to promote your product (unless you’re paying to sponsor it). Therefore, don’t just straight-up pitch your product, like you would a target customer. 

You need to create a broader narrative and talking points that the podcast’s audience will find interesting and entertaining. 

The key thing here is the concept of storytelling. For example, if you want to talk about your product, then unpacking the origin story of how your product or company came to be, and the hurdles and adversities you had to overcome, could be a way to do this.

Another great way to come at this is to reference something that’s in the news and offer yourself or the person you’re pitching as an expert source on this subject. It’s even better if this person can provide a fresh perspective on the story. 

Referring again to the above example, AI language models such as ChatGBT have generated huge amounts of media coverage. Therefore, we could use this as the basis of a pitch, and offer our CEO as an expert who can discuss how this will impact the PR industry.

4. Set realistic goals

Getting onto a top-tier podcast with millions of listeners is just as hard as getting featured in a top-tier newspaper or TV show (if not more so). Therefore set realistic goals for yourself, your client, or your boss.

If you don’t have much media coverage, then smaller podcasts that focus on your specific industry are a good place to start. And while these may have small audiences compared to other podcasts, you’ll often find that these audiences are highly engaged. 

How to write a podcast pitch

When writing a podcast pitch, aim for about 150 to 175 words. Think of it as the trailer rather than the movie. Now I’ll walk you through a typical pitch layout from top to bottom, starting with the subject line.

Make it crystal clear in the email subject that you’re pitching for someone to appear as a guest on the podcast. Then include a short summary of what the person plans to talk about. We use this format at Intelligent Relations:

“Guest Rec: [Pitch title]”

Open the email with a short introduction saying how much you enjoy their podcast. If you’re only pitching to a small number of podcasts you could go one step further and personalize each email by calling out some recent episodes. 

Next, introduce the person you are pitching. Link to their LinkedIn profile and explain in one or two sentences why they would make a great guest. Focus on their experience and expertise and how this relates to the podcast’s audience. 

Pro tip: Podcasts hosts and producers will want to hear what you or the person you’re pitching sounds like, so include links to any previous podcasts, webinars, Youtube videos, or any other relevant recordings you have.   

After the introduction, provide a list of the talking points you or the person you’re pitching can discuss on the podcast. These can be evergreen topics or things that are topical and currently in the news. 

Finally, provide social proof of the person you’re pitching. This is a fancy PR term that basically means providing proof of an individual’s expertise. This can be achieved by providing links to previous media coverage, calling out some highlights of an impressive resume, or detailing their social media following.

Successful podcast pitch examples

Example 1

Here’s a podcast pitch we wrote and sent to cybersecurity podcasts on behalf of a client. We honed in on a timely topic that generated a lot of news and offered our client an expert on the subject. 

podcast guest pitch example

Example 2

In this podcast pitch example, we pitched an evergreen topic to institutional investor podcasts, offering our client to discuss a topic that will be of interest to many people in this industry. 

podcast guest pitch example

Podcast pitching template

Hi {first name},

I’ve recently come across the {{podcast name}} podcast and really enjoyed listening to your insights on [subject]. 

If interested, I have a guest suggestion for your podcast who I thought could be a really good fit. His/her/their name is [name] and [1 to 2 sentence bio]. 

[Name] would love to discuss [summary of overall topic]. Specifically, [name] can unpack the following talking points on your podcast:

  • [Talking point 1]
  • [Talking point 2]
  • [Talking point 3]
  • [Talking point 4]
  • [Etc]

[Name] is an expert on [topic] and has recently been featured in [link to media coverage] and [link to media coverage]. Also, here’s a link to a recent podcast he/she/they appeared on so you can hear [name]’s presentation style. 

Let me know what you think. I’ll be happy to make an intro to [name] if you would like to have an informal chat.

Thanks for your time.

Best

Managing podcast outreach 

Once you’ve written your pitch, you need to start sending it to target podcasts. The size of your target list will vary depending on the industry and objectives. However, a useful yardstick to work by is our podcast pitching success rate at Intelligent Relations, which is roughly one successful pitch out of every 15-20 pitch emails.

In terms of what email addresses you should send pitches to, check each podcast website. Some will provide you with a specific email address to send pitches to, while others will just have a generic email address.

Pro tip: Always send a follow-up email if you don’t get a response to your original email. Send the follow-up email five to seven days later. But leave it at that and don’t send any further follow-ups.

Once you start receiving positive replies, the next step is often to have a discovery call with the podcast host. This isn’t the actual podcast recording, it’s just an informal chat so the host can get to know you and discuss your talking points. If they like what they hear, then the final step will be to set up a date to record the episode.

Wrapping up 

The most important thing to remember is that you need to focus on telling a story in your pitches. Don’t just pitch your product, as podcasters don’t care about this. They want to educate and inform their audiences. 

Demonstrate how you’ll do this in your pitch and you’ll be one step closer to securing guest appearances on your desired podcasts.