So you want to be a podcast guest. The steps seem simple – right? Find a podcast and pitch the host. Wrong! There is so much more to it than that. In fact, today’s guest Nicole Holland, will tell you that pitching the guest is actually step 3 or 4 in the process. There is some important pre-work to do, which we cover in today’s episode.
IN THIS EPISODE
0:28 Nicole Holland is the host of two podcasts – the Business Building Rockstar Show and Get Guest Ready. Nicole helps subject matter experts increase their visibility exponentially through podcast guesting to create greater impact, influence and income. We’re all about that over here, right? We’re about to find out why industry superstars consider her a genius at what she does. And legit I can vouch for that.
1:15 As you know, in the podcasting world, I’m gonna say it gently, you get a lot of pitches that you can tell that people don’t even know who you are. Your approach to this industry is so different.
6:09 I think still that that background really is what makes you more effective in business especially with what you’re doing now. You’re connecting people. So you have a connection service and you connect guests to podcast hosts and the way that you do it Nicole, no one else does.
7:15 Let’s just start with how you got into this space in the first place. I’ve always been a natural connector. I’ve always been sincerely interested in people and able to read people to adapt, like you, even as a troubled kid myself. I didn’t get into trouble but I didn’t come from a healthy household, let’s put it that way. So being able to assess situations and manipulate. I started working with youth in the juvenile court system many years ago and I would always tell my boys you are master manipulators so let’s turn that skill around and use it for good instead of evil, right? So I was always able to see a situation and figure out how to navigate it and always trying to do good with that. So when I became a podcaster and I would have people pitching me, I would feel so honored and excited especially if somebody who was a representative of somebody really important came to me and said “We love your show and we think this person would be a great guest for you.” And I’m like “Wow! I’m so honored. For sure, let’s book them.” And they come on and they’re in an airport or something and they couldn’t even be bothered to get a proper space to record at. It’s loud, they have an earbud mic that’s going shh shh as it touches their face and they don’t know who I am. They never heard my show. I’m being a bit dramatic here but all of these were real situations just not from one person.
9:10 What I quickly discovered is that this was just phony and it was not true. These people were pitching for their own interest. They weren’t interested in collaboration. They weren’t interested in my audience or my mission or my show or anything. They had no respect for me and that bothered me. Quickly, I stopped saying yes to cold pitches and I really focused on what makes a great guest and what makes a not-so great guest. I started sharing that. When I would have somebody come on the show that I really liked and thought it was a great delivery, I would invite them and say “Hey, would you like to be on more podcasts? Cause I know some great hosts who are always in the market for great guests and I would like to help you.” So I did that from the very beginning and early 2016. Then podcasters that I would connect guests with would say you need to teach that.
10:26 I just kept speaking my mind, I guess, and eventually, by the end of 2016, I had been asked enough time to actually do bookings for people and I kept saying no until finally I said yes. When I said yes, it was a whole turn of events where I said if I’m going to be doing it for one person, I have to build out the systems, I might as well do it for more people. I let a few people know what I was doing and the rest was history. We’re recording in the second half of 2017 and I haven’t even fully launched. I talk about what I do and I share what I do but all of my marketing for telling people about the service I provide to get guests on podcasts is really word of mouth and through podcast guesting itself.
11:18 Can we dig into the pitch? Because it’s a pet peeve of mine. I realize that it goes both ways. I’ve pitched and I’ve been pitched. Because it bothers me when people come on and do the same thing. We don’t have men on our show and if I do have a man on it’s going to be because I really feel that he can benefit my audience. Not that we’re sexist or anything. I want to empower women and give them the space to grow and the support and encouragement that they need in a space that is safe enough to be vulnerable and I’ve had so many pitches that say “We have this great guest for you, I think you’ll love him.” I’m like “Alright, uhm nope!” and he sells commercial real estate and what? It’s a pet peeve of mine. Because of having a podcast and because of experiencing this I am definitely more aware of the process and the little innuendos because you can tell when someone goes the extra mile and does care.
12:37 It really boils down to how do you want to be treated? I think that essentially is what it is that we forget in our world today. We forget basic human etiquette. One of the things is, I don’t try to match my clients up with just anyone. I try to match my clients up with the show hosts that are going to love them, like actually have a relationship with and the potential of a great conversation with audiences that are my clients’ ideal buyers and audiences that are going to love my guest because they love the host. I believe that my client and the host will have great chemistry on air and great synergy. I am really looking at it from a holistic standpoint. When I pitch it really is about first of all, nudging you and saying “Hey, are you looking for guests right now?” Because one of the things I cannot stand, even though it still comes to me every day, even though on my website I have a “Be on my show link” with an application people are just not taking the time to take a look, so I get unsolicited pitches all the time.
14:13 Because I have nothing better to do than to get an unsolicited spammy email from you and then to click around to learn about you, are you kidding me? I get so fired up. How rude! I don’t know why people don’t understand how rude that is, you know?
15:01 I am a big proponent of, first of all, giving value to the host. Second of all, paying attention to who is the host, what’s their audience interested in, what are they interested in and do you actually like the host? Do you think you would want to sit down and have a coffee with the host if your pitching yourself or for me, my clients, if I think you would get along well. Then send a message to the host once you get their attention. Get their attention first, get them to nod at you and pay attention to you and then say are you currently looking for guests. Based on what they say, then you figure out your next move.
16:06 What is the best way that somebody has impressed you with getting your attention? I can’t think of anything that really really stands out. Overall, I think social media is a fantastic way to do it and there’s a fine line between being interesting and of value, and being a bug. You want to make sure that when you’re trying to get somebody’s attention you are complimenting them, sharing their stuff, liking their posts, stuff like that but subtle enough you don’t seem crazy. There are so many people who are just doing these things to get attention. You don’t want to be that person. You want to actually be sincerely interested. Comment on things if it’s appropriate. Share their stuff if it’s appropriate and maybe they’ll like your comment or respond to your comment. Now you know that they have acknowledged you, even if it is a team member that is working for them. Then there is some two way interaction, it’s not just one way.
17:20 I can tell if somebody is getting my attention specifically to pitch me or if they are getting my attention because they sincerely value what I’m putting out in the world. The people who sincerely value what I’m putting out into the world, or are good enough at pretending to, those are the people I will always value and give my time as long as they continue to prove that they are sincere. What i don’t appreciate is when somebody is just doing it specifically to say I want to be on your show.
18:44 Be subtle until the person has acknowledged and said Yes! I’m interested in you and then when they tell you what to do, do it.
19:40 Most people don’t ask for a whole lot. It’s helping to make the show good quality and put the information that needs to be there to help to promote and support you and give the audience what they need. I don’t think that most hosts ask for a whole lot of crazy.
20:05 For me, my application consists of make a maximum of 3-minutes video telling me why you’re the best guest for my show. I want to see your face. I want to know what you think. I want to hear you talk.
20:37 That’s a great idea actually because you really get to experience their energy. I’m woo, I just want to know if I like your energy. Do you connect or is it gonna be like Bueller? Bueller?
21:23 What kind of tips can you give to somebody who is wanting to put themselves out there, they want to be a better guest but they are scared to death to be seen to be vulnerable or even to acknowledge to themselves that they are experts in their field?
21:52 If you don’t think you’re ready, don’t do it. You’re not. I don’t think that there is any niche, or if people say oh well do I really have value to add to a podcast? Yeah you do as long as you know you do. If you don’t know you do but you think you do and you can fake it, great, that’s a good place to start. If you don’t see your value, no, don’t go on a podcast yet.
22:25 If you are insincere or inauthentic when you’re on a podcast, people will feel that. When you’re doing podcast interviews the listeners are using their ears to sense you. They’re not seeing you, they’re not reading you and putting it into their own voice in their head. They are hearing you. If you are telling fibs or you aren’t believing what you are saying, there is a good chance that they won’t either. It’s really easy to make a bad name for yourself.
23:15 This is evergreen content. We’re recording this in Sept 2017, but you listener can be listening to this in June of 2020. I mean who knows? By then, I’m sure my message would have changed and I may be doing something completely different, but you will still be able to hear my truth and connectedness the same way as someone listening in 2017. That’s really really important.
24:09 You have to have the truth to back it up. You can’t fake it. You can’t say “I am an expert in my field because I am identifying that. There are a lot of marketing tactics where you can do that. You can say “I am declaring myself an expert and I am going to now build my momentum.” You should not do that, in my opinion, in a podcast interview because people smell insincerity. They know when you’re not being truthful. You don’t want that content out there because years down the road or months down the road if you’re ready to really be seen and be heard and you want to get on a great podcast and this icky stuff is out there when you’re getting vetted when people are listening to say is this person a great guest, they’re going to come across that stuff and judge you on it and it can hurt you in the future.
25:06 It’s not like a bad interview will be the end of you, don’t get me wrong. But I do say that if you are thinking of podcast guesting, don’t jump in too quickly. That’s why I created the podcast Get Guest Ready because I walk people through a process of before you pitch a show. Before you even identify a show you want to be on, let’s do some deeper work and figure it out. Who are you? What is your value? What is the value that the host and the audience will appreciate from you? How do you find the right host? How do you find the right audience? All of that pre-work is essential in being a great guest.
25:53 What I come across all the time are people who are afraid to approach people, they are afraid of the interview format and the nerves because it is a bit on par with public speaking and what you’re saying is that that is okay that is step 2 or 3 or 4. Step 1 is getting really comfortable with your message, your truth, and talk about it with everybody.
26:37 Get comfortable, get confident in your message yourself and then let’s talk about getting on a podcast and then we can deal with the nerves.
26:47 The nerves are the third because the first is getting comfortable with yourself and your message and being vulnerable. Next is where do you search and what shows to be on.
27:11 Oftentimes, once people do dig into what they really want to get out of it and who they should be speaking really with and to and they let ego subside, then they figure out often the shows that they wanted to be on are not the best use of their energy.
29:52 When you get on a podcast that is a perfect fit, magic happens.
30:18 I’ve been on small podcasts and seen tons of engagement and connection as a result and big podcasts crickets. It really boils down to your audience and what you have in common and what you’re looking for, for sure.
30:42 You’ve gotten your message, you feel comfortable, you’ve gotten over the nerves and you’ve had a couple of good podcast recordings, you’ve a guest on a couple of things and then what? Do you hit it and quit it? Is it a one night stand?
31:08 I will say, I’ve guested on well over 100 shows by now and not all of them were marrying material. It’s fine, you’re on a show. I always think it’s really important to appreciate the host regardless of whether or not you want to have a long-term relationship. Appreciate the host by doing little things like sending an email thanking them, sending a tweet, sending a card, things like that. Letting them know you appreciate them. They put you on their platform. That’s a big deal, they didn’t have to. That’s really honoring them, sharing their content still. Making sure to let your audience know, once it goes live, that you’re there.
31:58 The only time I would say don’t do that is if it’s a really bad experience and in that case I would suck it up and go to the host. Say “Listen this wasn’t a fit and I sincerely appreciate your effort. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to have me here. I just don’t feel like this is a right fit for both of us and I would like you to not run this interview.” I don’t think I’ve ever had to go there.
33:09 The host will probably respect you for doing it and if not, that’s okay because you didn’t have a good experience anyhow. It can’t get any worse. That’s a rare occasion.
34:47 Show some support. Just little things. Sharing their stuff, being an ambassador a little bit, rating their show – leaving a review.
35:04 That’s a nonnegotiable. I tell my students this, if you want to be on someone’s podcast and you can’t sincerely find something that you can write a 5-star review about, then you should not be on the podcast.
36:38 So you did mention your summit, and you have that coming up very quickly here. Let’s talk about that. You have a very interesting approach, and I like the way that you’re running it because you’re doing it like a conference. I always say I love, love, love summits because it’s like a crash course conference that you can do in your pjs.
37:42 This is the 3rd year I am doing the Business Building Rockstar Summit. It actually came before my podcast did. What I do is I pull together experts on different marketing strategies, how to build an online business like a rockstar. So I pull together rockstars in the different niches.
39:18 The last 2 years it was a pre-recorded so people could download for a specific period of time for free and if they wanted the content to refer back to they could upgrade to a paid pass. This year I’m doing it differently than I’ve ever done it before and it’s actually going to be delivered live. It’s 10 days. November 1st through the 10th and all of the sessions are going to be live. Super exciting! We are starting with foundational stuff on day 1 moving through different ways of selling from membership sites to creating digital programs to doing 1:1. We’re going into social media for attracting new clients. We;re going into more advanced strategies like podcasting, podcast guesting, writing a book, all these other things.
40:40 As long as you have access to the internet – you can use your mobile or your computer – you can go to bbrsummit.com/profitparty you will see a special message from Tonya and myself and you can sign up there for a free ticket and come and play!
42:21 The way it is organized is so that you can pick and choose. So when you opt-in and you get your free ticket you’ll also get the program or playbook where you can see the schedule and you can figure out what topics you;re interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or you’re more advanced, if you’ve not started using Facebook messenger bots for growing your business, that could be a really amazing session for you. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a wantrepreneur and haven’t started out or you’re already long-time in business but you haven’t written a book yet and you want to explore that, awesome, pick that session. The way that we’re connecting, the way that the sessions are run are that we are talking to people with a beginner’s mind. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a beginner in business but it means that this topic is something that you haven’t explored thoroughly yet. We’re really coming from a place of here’s how to get started with this. Here’s how you try it on. You don’t have to invest in it. You don’t have to spend a thousand dollars to get in someone’s program to teach you blah blah blah. I don’t want people to leave feeling confused by these sessions, I want people to leave feeling empowered.
44:20 There’s nothing you have to do. If it doesn’t feel good to you, don’t worry about it.
44:30 If you’re in it for business and this is what you’re doing and you want to do it, then YES it should be fun!
- Pay attention to all of the steps to take before pitching a podcast host.
- Make sure that you know your message and are ready to be vulnerable.
- Know your podcast host, their audience and how you can benefit them.
- It isn’t about how big the podcast is, but how your connection is.
- Appreciate your host after you have been on a podcast.
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