By Matt Bertram

By Matt Bertram

Matt Bertram, is the lead digital strategist at EWR Digital. He is the co-host of the Best SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. Currently writes for Search Engine Journal, Forbes and Entrepreneur.

Becoming a guest on a popular podcast guarantees exposure for your business.

Last year in the US, 51% of the country listened to a podcast. This is an increase of 7% from the previous year and 11% from 2017. In an average week, listeners downloaded seven podcasts.

There are over 850k active podcasts in one hundred languages. In terms of brand exposure, 69% of listeners say podcast ads make them aware of new products.

So, how does becoming a podcast guest promote your business?

The podcast format mirrors a radio show. Guests offer insight and entertainment to attract listeners. Unlike radio, podcasts can be heard whenever the listener wants and the voice of a guest will live on beyond the recording.

As promoting your business online becomes more competitive, can you use podcasts to your advantage? What are the benefits of becoming a podcast guest and where do you begin?

This guide shows how effective podcast guests are and how the experience can promote your business to a larger audience.

Marketing Via a Podcast

Internet marketing strategies usually focus on Google listings or AdWords. They seem to start and stop at your website or social media presence.

Creating back-links is important, but it’s time to think of link building outside of the box.

Podcasting allows you to latch onto a new yet old form of marketing. To create and distribute podcasts requires a traditional-style recording studio. This might not be so expensive as a simple laptop and a microphone could work.

The recorded podcast needs a channel for promotion, like radio. Popular stations include iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. Users flock to discover new content and download MP3s hosted on the podcaster’s website.

If you are a podcast guest, your voice and message will reach all those sources. Not only that, but podcasts are shared and continue to be downloaded long after release.
Already have a podcast? Why bother being on someone else’s?

Your business can never have enough exposure. Also, the more podcasts you do, the more of a following you can create.

Finding the Right Podcast

It all begins with finding the right podcast.

Fortunately, there are millions of podcasters to choose from. A great place to start is NPR and iHeartRadio, as they’re ranked as the world’s top publishers.

Search for podcasts relating to your business. Local podcasters are useful, too. They may not offer huge downloads but might capture your desired marketplace.

Things to Check

Here is a list of essential metrics to consider when finding the right podcast:

  • Do they have similar demographics to your customer base?
  • What are their download numbers (Warning! See below)
  • How long have they been podcasting?
  • Who else has been a guest? Are they influential?
  • Social media feedback and comments – good/bad/indifferent?
  • Their website domain authority
  • iTunes ranking

The main metric to look for are downloads.

Like the term hits, downloads can be misleading. The most accurate definition is one unique download by a user of an audio file. Downloads by search engines, for example, skew statistics.

You can view data about a podcaster’s website using a domain authority checker. This shows key phrases they rank under and total back-links. It’s a good indicator of their success.

Keep an eye on customer reviews, too. A five-star podcast is more desirable than a podcast that has one or 2 stars. Ask your existing customers which podcasts they listen to using social media. What would they want to hear you be a guest on?

Finally, research your competitors.

Note the podcasts they recorded and how well they did. That includes metrics and being objective about their performance. How will you do better?

Got your list ready? It’s time to make your approach.

Becoming a Podcast Guest

So you’ve decided to be a guest, but how do you get on a podcast?

Podcasters want to have experts on their show. Listeners download to become engaged in something they’re interested in. Guests offer specialist knowledge very few can bring.

Like promoting your products, you will soon promote your biggest asset.


If you aren’t an expert in your field, then pause here for a moment. Why would anyone want to hear about your business? Unless you’re qualified to speak, then maybe you need to revisit guest podcasting until you do.

However, you may have a story to share that is so newsworthy it needs to be heard. Podcasters want fresh content to attract downloads so if you can offer something original, then that’s what you sell to them.

Prepare the Contact Email

Email is still the formal way of introduction. In your email, you’ll need to:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. State you would like to become a guest on their show
  3. Highlight your credentials and how they relate to the podcast
  4. Back-up your claims with links to your LinkedIn profile, website testimonials, etc.
  5. Suggest how you could fit into their runtime e.g. discuss a niche topic for 30 mins
  6. Share a recording of your voice or podcast via your website
  7. Thank them and look forward to their response

This seems like a job interview and that’s because it is. You’re cold calling and you need to sell yourself in an email before you go on their show.

Outreach Tools for Measuring Success

Writing a personalized email to each podcaster is vital. You wouldn’t read automated spam and neither will they.

Using outreach tools can help manage the process.

BuzzStream lets you send PR-style emails and records their success. You can import your list of podcasters and group them into categories.

Don’t have the podcaster’s full details? BuzzStream has a powerful search tool which will automatically fill in the blanks. They can also offer templates for you to work from if you’re having trouble writing your brief.

The main benefit of using an outreach tool though is evaluating success.

How many emails bounced? How many were opened? What were the click-through rates to your website or social media profiles?

This information will help guide you when following up.

Follow up Your Initial Contact

Podcasters are often inundated by requests to join their show.

Your stats will show if they’ve even opened your email. Give them time. After one week of no response, try emailing them again.

This time, however, make it brief by stating you’re following up on your initial contact. Give one latest news item relating to your skillset. This will show you are serious about becoming a guest and are up-to-date on your subject matter.

Review Their Podcast

A final but important point is to add a personal review of their podcast.

Give it five stars and write a comment. Don’t use spam. There should be no links back to your website and make sure you state your name.

Getting podcasts to invite you to speak isn’t easy. Show you’re willing to only promote their podcast at this stage and not expect a reciprocal link.

Making the Most of the Experience

You’ve been given the green light, but it will soon turn red. Are you ready to be a podcast guest?

Before your microphone switches on, you need to plan for what will happen. Your voice will be heard by thousands, possibly millions around the world, and will live on the Internet forever.

Speaking to listeners may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Like a Best Man’s speech, it can actually be quite fun!

Even if you’re an established podcaster, here are some essential steps to help you get the most out of the experience.

What Are Your Goals?

What is it you want to get out of this podcast? Outline your goals.

Do you want to sell a particular product or service? Promote your brand, be it your business or your name? Become an authority to bolster your own podcast?

Once you’ve identified what you’d like to achieve, put the list to the side.

Podcasts aren’t an advert, they’re a conversation. Listeners download to hear real people talk about subjects they’re interested in. They want to relate to you as a person. They don’t want to hear about your wonderful gadget at only $99.95.

That is until they learn to like you.

In order for that to happen, you’ll need to prepare for what could take place.

Prepare and Practice for Perfection

Some podcasters are rigid about the format of the show. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a run-sheet highlighting the questions they’ll ask.

Some may go off-topic. or may even throw you a curveball. Either way, it’s a good idea to plan for all eventualities.

Make sure to have verified statistics at hand that you can quote as needed and memorize them. Listeners are most impressed when an expert doesn’t hesitate. It instills trust which in turn makes them like you.

Is there a breaking news story you’ve discovered that few know of? This could be your bombshell that could feed the headline promoting the podcast. Make sure it’s accurate, though. You don’t want to be called out for fake news.

Building your brand online should be the key objective.

However, before driving traffic to your website, make sure your site works. This may sound silly, but you’d be amazed at how many professionals’ websites have broken links. Also, make sure analytics are set in place – something discussed later in this article.

Oh, and if you’re recording remotely, test your Internet connection. You wouldn’t want your big day to cut out halfway through.

When the Red Light Switches On

There are two types of recording sessions: studio and remote.

If you’ll be recording in the studio arrive early and introduce yourself to the team. You’re the guest so be polite and put over the show. Remember this is a conversation building to trust so you want everyone to like you.

Make sure you have a bottle of water and some Kleenex. Dry throats or runny noses are not your friends when recording audio.

When the red light turns on, wait for your cue. When given the chance to speak take the moment to shine. Don’t rush things. You know how long the session lasts from your research.

Here are some useful pointers to remember:

  • Keep it informative
  • Keep the conversation moving
  • Build trust before endorsing your call to action
  • Recap what you say when appropriate
  • Most of all, keep it entertaining

You don’t have to tell jokes, especially if the subject matter doesn’t call for it. Entertainment can include personal stories of how you have helped your customers. If someone saved $100k on their mortgage by following your advice ears will prick up.

Some podcasts have live phone-ins. No sweat – you’ve prepared for this. Be natural in your responses and try to answer their questions. You are the expert so prove it with a live audience.

At the end of the show recap your main points. Most importantly, mention your website and social media accounts. Use short URLs services to point to specific CTA pages that are easy to remember.

This is also the time to plug any of your products or services or special promotions. The audience will (hopefully) trust you by now and are keen to hear more.

Before leaving, take photos of the studio team. Get selfies to post on your blog and Instagram accounts. Make sure to share them with the podcast, too.

Measure the Response

Once the dust has settled,

it’s time for a review and to measure your success.

Contact the podcasters to thank them for being a guest. Share your positive experience with a memorable quote which they can post to their blog. If you have a special promotion, offer to swap a link on their website to yours and vice versa.

Ask nicely what the downloads for the podcast were. Don’t demand outright if they thought you were any good, but request tips to improve for next time. Plant the seed that you wish to return.

On your end, check your analytics:

  • Link-throughs to your website
  • Spikes in traffic
  • Downloads of your own podcasts
  • Sales

Have you accomplished the objectives set out at the planning stage? If not, give it time. Listeners don’t always download when a podcast is first released.

Write an article on your blog about your experience. Link to the download page as well as the station channel and update your social media, too.

By promoting the podcast, you are promoting your brand and message.

So Let Your Voice Be Heard

You’ve seen why becoming a podcast guest can be so beneficial. Not only will it market your brand, but your voice and message will be online forever.

We believe in the power of podcasts. Our list of episodes dedicated to online business marketing offers hundreds of hours of content. Download and subscribe to hear how we can help position your website to the top of Google.

Podcasts are no longer the future, they’re the now and everyone’s listening.

How to Become a Podcast Guest and How to Make the Most of That Experience |Best SEO Podcast | Houston, TX