How to Reach Your Audience through Podcast Guest Interviews


Engaging with your ideal audience is the first step to success. The challenge, then, is to reach that audience. Podcasts are becoming more and more appealing as a means to achieve that end, but podcasts take dedication and consistency to run.

A good alternative is to appear as a podcast guest, and in fact, this remains a good idea even for people who already host their own podcasts. However, landing a guest appearance isn’t simply a matter of sending an email and getting a response. Coaxing that response out of your potential interviewer takes skill, and like all skills, it requires time and effort to acquire. Even then, you need to ensure that the host is impressed with your guest appearance and that their audience sees the value in what you offer.

This playbook will walk you through the exact approach Call for Content has developed to deal with these situations. Our refined strategies and detailed explanations save you the painstaking effort of navigating the process, and what’s more, it’s available as an ebook so you can keep our advice at hand whenever you need it. We’ve included all our formulas, templates, and checklists to smooth things along even further. You can download them below or simply proceed directly to the playbook itself.


Podcasts are booming right now—and all signs point toward that trend continuing. Listeners are consuming a lot of content through audio, which makes being a podcast guest an effective way to reach your ideal customer and grow your audience.

According to Edison research, 58% of listeners spend one to five hours each week listening to podcasts. And 36% of listeners listen to between 1 and 3 hours, 22% between 3 and 5 hours, 13% between 5 and 10 hours, and 13% less than 1 hour.

That’s right, some podcast listeners spend 10 hours or more listening to podcasts each week. Are you surprised at that number? You shouldn’t be. We live in a very busy and hectic world. People are using every minute they can to multitask and learn so they can stay competitive.

Listening to podcasts allows people to learn and catch up on things they’re interested in while sitting on the couch, working out, driving, or just generally on the go.

An estimated 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly. With so many people listening to podcasts, it’s become effective to build your authority by appearing on podcasts and getting straight into the ears and brains of your ideal audience.


Now you can see the value of podcast guesting as a way to reach new members of your audience, build authority in your niche, and grow your following. Here’s the overview of how to make it happen.

Finding Shows That Engage You Ideal Audience

Being a guest on any old podcast won’t help you—you must find the shows listened to by your ideal audience. For example, if you’re an expert in a niche within health and wellness coaching, you’ll seem out of place as a guest on a podcast about e-commerce marketing.

To curate a list of podcasts that your ideal audience may follow, do the following:

  • Ask your customers what they listen to
  • Use a tool like Listen Notes to search by keyword, category, and topic
  • Search iTunes, Spotify, and other podcast platforms

Once you have your list of target shows, it’s time to get booked as a podcast guest.

Have Something Valuable to Say and Saying It Well

You can’t just show up to a podcast guest appearance and wing it. The host will never ask you back and you’ll likely make a bad impression on anyone who listens (if the episode even gets published).

In fact, it’s best practice to prepare topics and talking points as you reach out to hosts. You’re more likely to get booked as a podcast guest with a specific topic pitch rather than a generic, “Hey, do you want to interview me?” pitch.

Reaching Out and Asking For the Booking

Podcast guest placements won’t just land in your lap. Once you decide you’re ready to do podcast interviews, invites aren’t going to just start manifesting. You have to be purposeful and take action.

A well-crafted cold email with a follow-up strategy is what podcast guest outreach boils down to. There is, of course, a lot that goes into making the approach efficient and effective. See the outreach strategies and templates we use later in this playbook.


This is a question we get asked a lot. Do podcast guests get paid, or can you request payment for appearing? This topic, podcast guest reimbursement, is one of the more controversial topics of discussion in the industry.

The short answer is—no, guests are generally paid in exposure, not cash.

There are arrangements that make sense for money to exchange hands between hosts and guests. For example, a sponsorship or paying to appear in an episode (learn more in the Podcast Monetization Playbook). But as an average podcast guest, we don’t recommend asking for payment. Your return will come in the form of exposure to your ideal audience—like traditional public relations.

Operating Aboveboard

There are arrangements that make sense for money to exchange hands between hosts and guests. For example, a sponsorship or paying to appear in an episode (learn more in the Podcast Monetization Playbook). But as an average podcast guest, we don’t recommend asking for payment. Your return will come in the form of exposure to your ideal audience—like traditional public relations.

Because the podcast industry is still relatively new, and new players are joining every day, the rules (and even the best practices) aren’t fully set in stone. However, most podcast industry experts we talk to want to keep the industry free from paid guest placements and use other podcast monetization strategies instead. For more information on such strategies, view our Podcast Monetization Playbook.

Guests are generally paid in exposure, not cash.


In most cases, podcast guests are chosen by the show’s host or producer. Some shows have applications while others simply require an email outreach—and some use a combination of both. Guests are chosen for their alignment with the show and the value they can bring to the listeners.

Once you’re confirmed as a guest on a podcast, it’s time to record. The host and the guest determine a mutually agreed upon time to record the interview. The interview can take place in person in a recording studio, remote via video conference, or onsite at an event or special location.

Prepare for Your Podcast Press Tour

By putting together a 360° plan of who you’ll be reaching out to, what you’ll be speaking on, and what you want audience members to take action on, you’ll be able to take full advantage of podcasting as a medium.


A media kit is a single packet containing all the relevant information for your public appearance. It will help to distinguish you as a true professional.

Making a good first impression is probably one of the most important points of a successful podcast guest appearance. There are multiple first impressions made in the process, and the very first one is with the host. One of the most frustrating things for a host is getting everything they need from their busy guests — little things they need to run the show like bios, images, and links. A media kit holds all that for them in one place.

Your media kit should be centered around your authority—why you’re an expert in your niche and on what types of topics you do interviews on. To accomplish this focus, complete the Authority Roadmap and build your media kit content based on the results.

If you haven’t created your Authority Roadmap yet, learn more about it and how to build yours in the Authority Marketing Playbook.

Craft an Effective Bio

One of the most important questions you need to address when you reach out to a host is: Who are you?

To answer that question and make a great first impression, you’ll need a rock solid bio that tells the podcast host a bit about you and why you’re an authority within your niche. You’ll want to prepare several different versions of your bio, each with a specific purpose:

  • Full Bio: A detailed bio you would put up on a website or a blog. It can be up to several paragraphs long and should cover your background, accomplishments, and authority in detail.
  • Summary Bio: A succinct bio that’s generally just two paragraphs covering your background and current work. Hosts may use this version for show notes, on-air intros, and more.
  • Short bio: A bio that’s less than 280 characters so it can be used for social media and short blogs.

Creating your bios before you start reaching out hosts allows you to take time to think things through and create strong, descriptive bios. You also have them on-hand and ready to send when a guest application or host inevitably asks for them.

In addition to your bios, you need to tell hosts what you’re topics you’re available to talk about. Enter: Angles.

Developing Your Angles

When it comes to podcast guest placement, angles are prepared topics and unique perspectives you can offer the hosts to whom you reach out. Angles are important because they narrow your expertise into a tangible subject for a podcast episode. After all, the hosts might not be experts in your industry — you are the expert.

Providing angles in your pitches is vital for getting booked. Start your conversation with the host by being specific; it allows you to provide them with multiple options in case your initial angle doesn’t resonate with them or they already have someone lined up for a similar discussion.

You should prepare three to eight angle options to use, depending on the show and its audience. Remember to develop the angles to align with your Authority Roadmap. Each angle should include the following:

  • Topic: The subject in which you’re an authority and about which you can talk as a guest.
  • Result: The outcome(s) podcast listeners can expect to see or learn.
  • Description: More information about the topic and your unique perspective, as well as why you’re the authority to have on the show for such a discussion.

We organize speaking angles in a spreadsheet. Here are some of the angles for Michael Greenberg, Founder of Call for Content:

Putting Together Your Media Kit

Once your bio and angles are developed, it’s time to package up your media kit and get it ready to send out into the world.

Here’s a summary of what should be in your media kit:

  • Bio in all three lengths
  • Headshot
  • Who to contact for your media appearances
  • Important links like your social media profiles, personal website, and business website
  • Potential angles
  • Meeting booking links

A well-crafted media kit with a strong bio and defined angles can be the difference between landing a podcast guest interview and not getting a response from the host. When you provide the right information to the host, you make their job easier, ensure your information is presented properly, and improve your chances of booking the guest interview. Each booking is another step forward in your plan to use podcast guest placement to grow your business.

The next step: making sure the new audiences you reach actually engage with the information you share.


When you create and optimize a podcast guest placement strategy, you need to know whether it’s working, and if so, how well. “Working” usually means new followers, leads, and sales.

How do you convert someone from a listener of another podcast to one of your customers? You start by promoting a free gift like an audit, ebook, consultation, or something else of value. You then continue to build your relationship with them through email, social media, and even your own podcast.

Mention your download offer on every podcast interview you do — most hosts will actually ask for your shareable links in advance. You can also promote the download at non-podcast speaking engagements and on social media.

Creating an Enticing Download

Your free download needs to be jam packed with value for your ideal audience. When visitors download it, they need to use it and see some sort of shift in how they think or what actions they take. It also needs to align closely with your podcast guest pitches—promoting your download on a podcast should flow seamlessly from your interview conversation.

Examples of Download Formats

  • eBook
  • Checklist
  • Audit
  • Consultation
  • Scorecard
  • Template
  • Workbook

We have found that robust, targeted eBook that help readers accomplish something specific are the highest-performing option. In fact, these eBooks often include elements like checklists, workbooks, and templates within them for additional value.

Learn step-by-step how to create an ebook visitors will actually want to download by viewing our Ebook Guide.

Using the Download for Email Capture

Whatever type of download you create, you must implement an email capture form to collect email addresses. You’ll grow your list and have direct access to your audience’s inbox, which is impactful because email marketing has a $44 ROI for every $1 invested, according to Campaign Monitor.

Resource downloads—often called lead magnets—have several important pieces to make sure they’re as effective as possible.

  • Landing Page: Even though you’re giving the download away, you still have to provide strong persuasion to encourage visitors to put in their email. Include strong calls to action, information about what the download includes, and the benefits the download provides.
  • Download URL: Create an easy-to-remember (and say) URL for your download page. After all, people will be hearing it. Also include a link in your website navigation and/or on your homepage.
  • Thank You Page: After the visitor downloads your giveaway, send them to a custom thank-you page. Include your social media links, a meeting booking link, and even a one-time discount or promotion offer.
  • Email Capture: Use a form or chat bot to collect visitors’ email addresses.
  • Downloadable PDF: Include the downloadable PDF on your thank-you page and deliver it by email to anyone who downloads it.

Once your page is created and optimized, you can promote it anywhere and everywhere your ideal audience spends time.

Following Up With Leads

If you don’t have a workflow set up for following up with people who request your download, every single email you collect is a missed opportunity. Create an automated email series with a tool like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit or any other email marketing platform. Deliver the download and follow-up with contacts to stay top-of-mind.

Example Follow-up Email Series

  • Email 1: Deliver the download, share next steps
  • Email 2: Ask how they’re using the download, see if they have questions
  • Email 3: Share a case study and/or client results, request to connect on social media
  • Email 4: Ask to book a meeting (or whatever the next step in your sales funnel is)

Then each subscriber can be added to your ongoing email newsletter list so they hear from you on a regular basis.

Now that you’ve got a complete media kit and a download to promote, let’s make sure hosts like you enough to invite you on the podcast as a guest.

Researching Potential Podcasts

Making sure you’re a good fit for the show comes down to more than just aligning yourself with a general topic. It is important that you not only have a way to relate to the show as a whole, but to relate to individual episodes, points of view of the host has, and the niche topics that the show addresses.

Finding the right shows gives you an idea of who you’ll actually be talking to. So identifying if you’re a good fit for the show comes down to a couple of points:

  • Does the host address topics that you’re an expert in and have a strong opinion on?
  • Does the host’s audience align with who you want to speak to? An easy way to check this is to look at previous guests and see if they sell to the same audience.

An easy way to check these is to see if the episodes generally cover topics relevant to your niche and if previous guests sell to your audience.


While some people might think it’s sufficient to just listen to one episode (or, God forbid, just read the about page) before pitching for a guest spot on the show, listening to several full episodes is the way to success. You can’t really assess a podcast based on a single episode.

Taking Notes to Influence Outreach

There are certain elements about a show that you need to note when listening to a few episodes. Listening closely and taking notes are important for a few reasons:

  • You’ll be informed about the host and the show, which will help you build rapport effectively.
  • You can collect the information you need to write a compelling and engaging outreach email.
  • Your episode references will provide great conversational points to talk about before, during, and after the interview.
  • You’ll start with an element of comfort during the interview since you’ll be familiar with the host and show.

As you listen to the show, have a notepad ready to jot down important points. You’ll use the information to construct not only your outreach email but also your interview.

To understand a show, follow the basics of journalism.

Show Details to Note

For each episode, look for and identify the following:

  • Who were the guests?
  • What did they discuss?
  • What were their opinions?
  • What were their areas expertise?
  • What industry pain points did they address?
  • How did they propose these pain points could be solved?
  • What is the story behind the guest and what makes them unique?
  • Do you relate to the discussion, topic, and theme?
  • Do you have a different opinion?
  • Do you agree with the pain points that were addressed, or where there any pain points overlooked?
  • Were the solutions to the pain points concise? Do you have any additional value to add, do you disagree with the solutions, or do you have a different solution that’s more effective?
  • How would you address the pain points discussed (including overlooked pain points)?
  • What are two of your angles that would align well with this interview?

After a few episodes — about four, in our experience — you’ll have enough information to:

  • Determine which episode you can use to pitch yourself as a guest.
  • Deliver an opinion, compliant, or disagreement about a certain episode.
  • Write an honest, engaging, and compelling placement email.

The Pitch: Put it All Together

Once you have your angles set and you’ve properly reviewed the show, you should be able to compile the pitch based on best fit for your expertise and angles.


If you’ve done your research correctly, it’s simple to match the topics that are relevant for each show. This is important, though, because you want to participate in the host’s discussion and relate to the audience.

While deciding on your pitch topics, you might notice that some topics cross over into other niches or sub-niches. Make sure what you’re pitching is relevant to the show and doesn’t go off-topic, or else the host will consider you a poor fit.

Here is an example of a response from a host when the guest is well aligned:


Getting the guest placement comes down to reaching out with an effective email. So, what makes an email effective?

Firstly, the whole email shouldn’t be very long. Start with a good subject line and reach out to the host in a very casual way. Comment on a previous episode and tell them how having that guest was a good idea for the show.

Expand on the points you just mentioned, but integrate your own opinions to follow up with a different point of view. Pitch yourself in a brief paragraph and then offer a few alternative topics to give the host choices. At the bottom of the email, ask them for the next steps to get you booked.

The Outreach Template in Action

Here’s an example of a real outreach email we sent on behalf of a client.

Subject line: Good episode, but establishing recurring revenue can be easier than you think

Here’s a summary of what should be in your media kit:

Guest Outreach Response

After sending the above email, here’s an actual response we got from the show to confirm the booking and set up an interview.


Now you have all the tools and templates you need to get booked as a podcast guest. Once your media kit is prepared and you’ve researched your perfect-fit podcasts, it’s time to pitch the podcast hosts.

As with anything in authority marketing, results come with consistency. This is especially true with pitching for podcast guest placements. Set time aside to send 10 pitches each week and watch your calendar fill up with podcast interview requests.

Before the Podcast Appearance

With a bit of preparation to keep yourself on track, you’ll be a pro podcast guest in no time.


A lot of people, especially when they’re getting into podcasting for the first time, don’t really realize everything they’re going to need. While the podcast host will manage most of the logistics, as a guest, you’ll need to have some tools and software in place on your end.

First, create a calendar link that outlines your availability and allows hosts to book directly with you. Acuity and Calendly are good, commonly used booking tools that integrate with your calendar. Create three different booking links for different purposes:

  • 30min for short shows and intro calls
  • 45min for shows around 30minutes in length
  • 60min for longer shows

Secondly, invest in a good microphone. At Call for Content, we generally recommend the Blue Yeti. Having a decent microphone with a pop filter is important for clarity. A good microphone is important so you don’t sound muffled or distorted on the show, while the pop filter is a piece of foam in front of or on the mic that helps reduce explosive popping sounds (like when we laugh).

Thirdly, you should install Zoom and Skype, which are both are popular recording platforms for podcasts of all sizes.

After you set up the microphone on your computer and the conferencing software is installed, you’ve got the basics ready to go.


Before you go into an interview, take time to prepare your talking points and what you want to talk about. Lay out a flow of questions and answers. You could have a couple of go-to stories that you associate with each angle—stories are a powerful communication method. The story format we most commonly use with clients is a variation on the standard three-act structure.

Story Template

  • Bookend Sentence: Hook the audience with what result was achieved or a one-sentence description of conflict
  • Set the Context: “We were playing outside on a beautiful summer day…”
  • Put the Problem in Play: “When our bullies came up and demanded our toys…”
  • Walk Through the Resolution: “…so we started a lemonade stand, hired my older brother (a varsity linebacker) for protection, and now we run the block”
  • Bookend Sentence: An actionable audience takeaway like, “Never be afraid to outsource to an expert”


When you’re in an interview, you’re talking to a friend—podcasters are friends, after all. Tell your story, share your wisdom, and you will pull in your audience with the authentic conversation that follows.

Don’t be afraid to ask, “Hey [host name], could we do a 15-minute call before the interview?” Doing so is a great way to build rapport, make the show flow smoother thanks to a plan, and maximize the value you can provide on air.

While recording, listen closely to what the host is saying to or asking you. Understand that 90% of the time the podcast isn’t live, which means you can ask the host if they can stop so you can pause to gather your thoughts or rephrase your answer.

Speak in a conversational tone, be relaxed, and don’t try to put on a persona of any kind—just be your true self. That’s why people relate to podcasts the way we do; they’re natural conversations! Being authentic lets listeners in to trust you. The show’s host will appreciate your authenticity since it will help them to provide the most value to their audience.

Having a sheet that lays out major information for an appearance helps prevent rambling. Ours usually include:

  • The Show Outline: What’s this conversation going to be about?
  • Your Angles: What major topics should you cover?
  • The Actionable Step: What one thing would I like the audience to take away from the episode?

Make a note of points you’d like to bring up during the conversation, along with your stories, to create a roadmap for each appearance. We do this for every client as part of our podcast booking service, and it’s been an effective way to help guests nail the interview.

Provide as much value for the audience as you can. Always share helpful and relevant information. Try to use examples listeners can relate to. If you’re going to use a story as an example, make sure it’s relevant to the topic and to that audience. Talking points should always be tailored towards the audience whenever possible since this will make it easier for them to understand your message.

During the Podcast Appearance

While it may be exciting and nerve wrecking all at the same time, there are a few things you can do to make your interview as smooth and enjoyable as possible.


During the interview, treat it like a conversation with a close friend or colleague. Engaging dialogue comes from not being afraid to ask the host questions or disagree with something they say. Debates can make for incredibly entertaining conversation.

Your interview is a discussion, not an interrogation, and the host will enjoy the element of surprise as much as the audience will. You don’t have to sell yourself—you have already been pre-sold by getting on the show. At this point, it’s all about bringing value to the audience and show.


Creating a set of flashcards or a mind-map will help you remember important points you want to cover and eliminate the fear of striking a blank in the middle of the interview.

Flashcards can contain short, simple points that trigger your memory and help you answer questions easily and concisely. Having this small arsenal will also help you stay calm and composed.


When you’re asked a question, don’t rush to give an answer. Let the question sink in for both you and the audience. A brief pause is extremely effective in helping you gather your thoughts, calm any nerves, and deliver an epic answer.


For many people, it can be nerve wracking to stand up in front of people and talk. If you think about how many people are listening to the interview, you may very well experience that same sort of anxiety. That’s why it’s important to forget that anyone other than the host is listening. Focus on the conversation at hand and let the fact that people will hear it later fade from your mind.


The great thing about podcasts is that audience members have trust and loyalty to the show. They choose to listen to that specific show. They do this because they want to listen and relate to real people in their industry who are not fake or scripted. The real you is exactly what and who they are looking for.

Be yourself and they will love you for it.


Audio quality is essential when it comes to presenting a great show; there’s nothing worse than listening to a podcast episode where you can barely hear the guest. It’s quite frustrating and might just taint your reputation.

When you set up your scheduling links, reserve time for interviews in a slot when you know you’ll be in a quiet place. Turn off all notifications and alerts so you can focus on the task at hand and give your undivided attention to the host and audience. Besides, you don’t want those irritating notification dings going off mid-interview.

Speak naturally and try to avoid filler words like “umm” and “uh”, but don’t worry too much about them, since they can always be edited out. What’s important is that you provide clear and concise answers.


Potentially one of the biggest mistakes people make when appearing as a podcast guest is trying to sell something, even if it’s not on purpose. You’re not there to sell; you’re there to build a following.

Your goal is to get your message to the right ears and provide listeners with something of value. Making sales is something that happens much later. You can talk about your promotables (your download, website, and social media profiles), but again, those should all deliver value to the audience.

A brief mention of your website and download will let listeners know that they can come to you when they feel ready. You’re entirely there to build rapport — not only with the host, but with the listeners too. You’re there to establish your authority, which means gaining the audience’s trust.

So, refrain from trying to sell yourself. Approach the interview with the mindset that you’re there to deliver information that the audience can’t get anywhere else.

After the Podcast Appearance

You’ve finished the interview and your episodes is headed off to the host’s production process. Even though the interview is done, there are still a few things left for you to do.


Few people understand how much work goes into building a podcast and developing an audience. As a guest, you need to keep in mind that you’ve been offered an opportunity and be grateful for that opportunity. Thanking the host not only shows what a great person you are and what a great guest you were, but also opens the door to further interviews.

It’s not uncommon for a guest to appear on the same show two or three times, especially if they’ve proven their value to both the host and the audience. If you think the information you provide is amazing — and, as an authority, you ought to — you can work toward another opportunity with the same show to share more of your knowledge, grow your authority even more, and build further trust among that audience.

Reach out to the host to thank them both after the interview and after the episode is released. Recap some of the moments you enjoyed in the conversation.


After you thank the host, ask for a small favor—and offer the same in return. Ask if the host know of other shows and hosts you should connect with that would be a good fit. If they’re willing to do an intro email, even better.

In the same vein, offer the host some names of other guests who might be good fits for the show. This word-of-mouth cross-promotion is how the podcast industry will continue to grow and thrive.


After you complete the interview, it could be weeks or months before your episode goes live. Stay in touch with the host to learn when your episode will be published. When the episode goes live, share it with your audience. Post it on social media, include it in an email newsletter, do a blog about the episode, and add it to an archive of podcast guest appearances on your website. The host will appreciate the extra ears, and you’ll continue to build your authority with your existing audience.

Becoming a Sought-after Podcast Guest

You now have everything you need—the strategy, the processes, the templates, the best practices—to use podcast guest placement to attract new clients and grow your revenue.

There’s a lot to do as you ramp up your podcast guesting efforts: Build a strong media kit. Find your perfect-fit podcasts. Make a good first impression. Then pitch, prepare, and follow-up to start seeing your ideal customer come to you.

How long will it take you to get all these pieces in place? Six months? A year?

Call for Content offers end-to-end, done-for-you podcast guest placement. We’ll take care of everything: finding the right shows, building your media kit and download, sending outreach pitch emails, coordinating your bookings, and making sure you nail every interview.

And we’ll do it all in 12 weeks.

You’ll get your message in the ears of your audience with the corresponding strategies to turn those listeners into customers.

Don’t go it alone. The sooner you start, the sooner you see results