written by
David Hooper

Why Your "Podcast Guest Pitch" Is Being Ignored

Media Training Hall Of Shame 4 min read

If you're pitching podcast hosts to be a guest on their podcasts, but are being ignored or otherwise not getting the responses you want, listen up.

Every week, I get several "guest pitches" for my podcast. I'm going to analyze one of them here and explain a few reasons why I didn't respond to it.

The Initial "Guest Pitch" Sequence

Here's the content in text form, to make it easier for you to read:

Hey, 

My name is [REMOVED] and I'm heading up Growth at [REMOVED] (ex Head of Growth at [REMOVED])

I've listened to a few episodes of your podcast and I really love what you're doing! 

For the past 4 years I've been heading up growth teams at the world's top SaaS companies: notably [REMOVED], and now [REMOVED]. 

After listening to your work, I believe your audience will enjoy hearing about my journey (and the mistakes I've made along the way). 

My promise to you is that I'll share an honest and practical story about how I scaled growth at [REMOVED] from just myself to 11 full time people, and contributing over 30% of new revenue growth every single month - among many other big fu%ck ups and successes.

I want to tell the raw story of what leading growth is actually all about. 

1. There are many topics we can discuss, for example:
2. How I scaled SEO from 0 product signups to more than 30,000 per month
3. How I scaled paid ads from €0 ad budget to more than €300,000 per month
4. How I built a growth marketing team from just myself to 11 full time people 
5. + many other interesting stories in my 4 years heading up growth 

For references and credibility please check out my LinkedIn and here are few podcast episodes I've done in the past:

- [REMOVED]
- [REMOVED]
- [REMOVED]

Anyway, would love to hear your ideas and would be thrilled to join RED - The Marketing Podcast For Experts. If you're up for it lemme know. 

Take care,

The First Followup

A second email was sent four days later:

The Second Followup

A third email was sent four days after the second:

The Third Followup

Four days after the second followup, I got this:

Why I Didn't Answer

Below is the initial email with markup and highlights of some of the important parts:

There are four things you want to pay attention to:

  1. Lack of clarity.
  2. Self-focus.
  3. Lack of specificity.
  4. Lack of personalization.

The first two are easy fixes. You can clarify jargon (like "growth") easily adding a few more words to describe what you're talking about. Its also simple to change I-statement language to focus on the recipient, not you.

Getting specific in your pitches helps a lot as far as getting somebody to respond to you. Which episodes of the podcast did you listen to? Why do you like them? What related information can you bring to the already-occurring discussion?

The "Personalized" Photo

The image attached to this email is very clever.

Unfortunately, the text of the email, at best, isn't completely truthful. This isn't a custom Photoshop graphic – this email sequence was sent with a cold-email tool called Lemlist that takes a single image and automatically customizes it for the recipient. Not only can it add custom text to an image, it can also overlay custom images.

So this guy could have sent an image of himself holding up an image of my podcast cover art without any extra work on his part.

Lemlist is a great tool and very effective when it comes to getting a response from people, but don't lie.

The #1 Reason Podcast Guest Pitches Get Ignored

I didn't respond to the first three messages because they landed in my spam folder. If people don't know you're trying to reach them, they can't respond to you. It was only after getting the final message in his four-part sequence that I was able to pull out his first three attempts.

Not that I would have responded. In order to be on my podcast, I need some very specific information from you. I get this via a guest submission process. Had this guy looked at my site and simply submitted the form, not only would his pitch have gotten to me, it would have immediately given me the info I needed should he be a match for what I do.

A 5-Step "Podcast Guest Pitch" Process

There are hundreds of little details to think about when pitching yourself as a podcast guest. But for now, focus on these basic elements:

  1. Listen to a few episodes of a podcast before pitching. If a podcast isn't a good match for what you do, don't pitch it. If a podcast doesn't have guests, don't pitch it.
  2. Check for a "guest submission" process before pitching. If there is one, follow it.
  3. Focus your guest pitch on a specific solution for the audience. What can you do for this audience?
  4. Be detailed in your pitch. Mention specific episodes and elements of the podcast. Talk about what like about the podcast.
  5. Be patient. Give the host enough time to followup with you.

Good luck!

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