How to Get Author Interviews on Podcasts
Below, you’ll discover 9 simple strategies to stand out in the eyes of podcasters and land author interviews on their shows.
#1 – Do your research
First of all, listen to the show before reaching out to podcast hosts. Podcasters are often approached by an author who sends generic emails proclaiming “I love your show,” and then ask to become a guest to promote their book.
Other times, they’re approached with specific pitch letters, but the fit isn’t right.
The reason for the mismatch usually is that the author who is pitching hasn’t listened to the show.
If it feels like a chore to listen to the podcast, that’s a sign that you might be better off reaching out to a different podcast host.
After all, you want to find podcasts that are in your niche, which usually happens to be those you listen to anyways.
Here are a few things to ask yourself when you want to reach out to a podcast for an interview:
Do you listen to them on your own?
Do you resonate with their core message/theme?
Are you involved in their community on a regular basis?
Would you be proud to be a featured guest on their podcast?
Are you a fan of past featured guests?
Answering these positively will help you determine which podcasts to reach out to. Without doing the proper research, you could wind up upsetting the hosts and burning those bridges.
#2 – Rate and review the show
Once you’ve listened to a show, subscribe to it on iTunes. Then, rate and review, too.
Ratings, reviews, and subscriptions help the podcast’s ranking. Most importantly, reviews are a powerful form of social proof that will encourage new people to listen.
Mention the review when you submit your pitch.
For example, you could write, “Listening to John Doe’s description of his struggle to grow his business in spite of his terminal disease was truly inspiring. Now, when things get tough, that message keeps me going. That’s why it was such a pleasure to write a 5-star review of your show on iTunes.”
Your message will bring awareness to what you’ve done to support the show, greatly increasing your chances of landing a guest spot.
#3 – Feature the podcast hosts
If you currently have a podcast or YouTube channel, invite the host to be featured as a guest.
By being on your show, the podcasters will learn about your background, and most importantly, about your book. In many cases, they’ll be compelled to invite you as a guest.
Even if the podcast hosts don’t ask you to be on their show, they’re still much more likely to say yes when you ask them.
Also, I send a copy of my book to my podcast guests, who in many cases write a review of the book on Amazon and then offer to have me on their show.
If you don’t have a podcast, then feature them on your social media or website.
You could also write a blog post about the main lessons learned from the show, and tag the host on social media when the article is published. Be cautious when applying this strategy, however.
A subpar article, a half-hearted effort to capture what’s valuable about the show, or overblown praise will probably backfire.
#4 – Tailor your pitch to the host’s story and the mission of the show
When I first pitched my ideas to Dave Lukas, host of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast, I mentioned how much I loved that he’d created the show as a legacy for his daughter.
When he learned that I related to and understood his mission, it was easy for him to agree to have me on his show.
You can do the same. Find out why they do what they do, and if it resonates with you, then center your pitch around that.
Here are a few tips for tailoring your pitch to land your author interview:
Mention something you learned from their show
Make a connection from yourself to the show’s mission and theme
Connect your book’s message with their show’s
Doing this will help you reach podcast hosts much more effectively and show them you’re a great fit for their show.
#5 – Offer three unique ideas related to your book
Before I submit a pitch, I research the episodes in the past two to three months to see if anyone has explored the topics I have in mind.
If my topics are fresh, I submit them. If not, I reposition my expertise with a different angle.
My book is about influencer marketing. If I notice that only three weeks prior, another guest talked about influencer marketing as part of a business’s marketing mix, I pitch a different aspect of the topic, such as “how to build a list of subscribers with influencer marketing,” or “how to initiate connections with social media influencers to launch your book.”
Resist the temptation to speak about a topic that deviates from your book. If you do that, your interview will probably not bring in new book sales.
I encourage you to take a moment right now and write down three to five topic ideas based on the core message in your book, which you can modify depending on the targeted show.
#6 – Leverage common connections you have with the host
Who do you think has a better chance to get a last-minute appointment with a busy hair stylist: a complete stranger or the friend of a current customer?
The same idea applies to landing guest appearances on a podcast. Common connections matter.
Often, when I appear on a podcast, the host will offer to introduce me to other podcast hosts who might want to have me as a guest.
This is one of the easiest ways to secure future guest appearances.
You might not even need a formal introduction. When you pitch, just mention that you know one or more of their previous guests.
The idea is to find common ground.
#7 – Send samples of previous interviews
In every podcast pitch I submit, I include links to three of my most relevant and significant podcast appearances.
Those podcast interviews are relevant because they’re ideal for the audience of the new podcast I’m targeting, and they’re significant because they have reached large audiences.
If you haven’t had podcast appearances yet, I encourage you to create audio or video clips with valuable content relevant to your audience that you publish on your site, and use those links as samples for the host.
Even though samples of actual podcast interviews are much more powerful, the mere fact that you have a sample of your work will help you stand out among the competition.
#8 – Create a one-sheet
To save yourself time and effort, and to show your professionalism, I suggest you create a “one-sheet.”
A one-sheet is a document that’s a summary of who you are and what you offer as a guest.
You could send the link to your one-sheet with your pitch, or use the information within the one-sheet to complete your guest request form or email pitch.
Regardless of the situation, having this document readily available will save you time and effort.
The main elements of a one-sheet are:
Potential interview topics