Hey founders, my name is Louis Nicholls and I help founders learn sales, find their first customers and grow a profitable business at SalesForFounders.com. I'm also the author of the Social Proof Handbook.
Today, I want to take you behind the scenes on how I booked myself 5 podcast guest appearances in just a few days.
Appearing as a guest on podcasts is a great way to reach new audiences, build trust, and establish yourself as an expert. So it's probably something you should have on your radar at some point in the future.
But finding the right podcasts and getting them to accept you as a guest isn't easy. You can end up wasting a lot of time doing outreach, for no results.
So here's a step by step guide of what worked for me. Including the exact cold email which got me this reply...
Ok - so let's dive into how I booked myself onto a lot of podcasts, fast.
It started with a tweet...
The Sales for Founders course has an amazing conversion rate. But that's only useful if people can find out about it in the first place!
Inspired by a chat I had with Pat Walls about his new CRM tool, I decided to give podcasts a go.
Which meant I first had to...
Step 1: Find some (relevant) podcasts to appear on
Now, as you probably know (and I quickly found out), podcast discovery is broken.
So I tested a few different ways to find podcasts that have the same audience as my product.
Here are the top 3 that worked really well for me:
- podcasts I either already listen to or where I know the host
- going to communities where my audience hangs out and asking them what podcasts they listen to
- searching for podcasts that featured guest episodes with people who are like me, but 1-2 steps more 'internet famous' (eg Val Geisler, Courtland Allen)
In total, I found 19 ideal podcasts with about ~15min work.
After making sure I'd listened to a good chunk of each podcast (and discounting ones that were way too big/small/not recently updated/quality wasn’t quite right)I was left with 13 'perfect fit' podcasts to reach out to.
Step 2: Reach out and ask to be a guest
The next thing I needed to do was reach out to the podcast hosts and convince them to book me as a guest in the next few weeks.
And this is easier said than done - even smaller podcasts get 5 pitches for each available guest spot.
So I put together a unique cold email for each guest. Consisting of...
- 'proof' that I listen to the show and am serious
- a clear, powerful explanation of the value to the host of having me as a guest
- a clear, powerful explanation of the value to the host's audience of having me as a guest
- a few, tailored topic suggestions to make it easy for them to say yes
Because I was using Pigeon as my CRM (inside of Gmail), writing and sending each email only took ~2min/each for a super tailored email.
Here's one of the emails I sent, which got that amazing response from above...
Step 3: Follow up
From the first emails I sent, 4 replied saying "yes", 1 replied saying "yes but not in the next few weeks", 1 was an out-of-office autoreply, and the rest hadn't replied at all after 2 days.
So I sent a short follow up message to the no-replies. Pigeon made this super easy to automate and track.
Which leads me to the final results after ~3 hours invested over 3 days...
- 5 podcasters agreed to have me as a guest within the next 6 weeks
- 1 wanted to check back in the near future
- 7 didn't reply (yet)
That might not sound like a lot. But it's a big deal...
it means an additional >30'000 potential customers who'll hear me speak and discover the S4F course over the next ~6 weeks.
Not a bad return on a few hours work.
- Podcast discoverability on the major apps is broken. Use the hacks I mention in step 1 to find the perfect podcasts for you, fast.
- Podcast hosts get a lot of requests and rarely answer them. To give yourself a chance...
- listen to the podcast (and make it obvious when reaching out)
- lead with the value for the podcaster and their audience
- make it easy for them to say yes (eg by suggesting topics their audience would like)
- follow up!
This is a great example of how having the basic sales mindset and skills will make you more successful in every aspect of your business, from product to marketing.
I hope you found this useful. Feel free to adapt my cold email template for your own use and - if you have any questions - just reply to this email and I'll do my best to help.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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