How to Pitch and Get Booked on Podcasts
Want to get on more podcasts this year, what about media presence or speaking at events or conferences but aren’t sure how to pitch yourself?
Maybe you feel you don’t have the time to pitch or don’t know the best way to do it and get results fast. This is where Ron Story Jr (of PitchDB) comes in…
Ron Story Jr. has been a full-time entrepreneur for over 20 years with a key role in the creation and development of over 30 companies. His latest, PitchDB, helps people compile lists and effectively pitch themselves to appear on podcasts, in the media and at conferences.
Ron shares the story of PitchDB and his best hacks for creating lists, pitching (and hearing YES!), and getting more visibility and opportunities.
The Origin Story of PitchDB
- Ron has been known as the sales guy who sets up sales systems for startups.
- After a friend asked him to help him get speaking gigs, Ron helped him get the meeting to discuss the speaking opportunity. The friend suggested Ron kept doing that because getting meetings can be hard!
- Launched in November of 2019, PitchDB was initially created as a platform to help people get speaking gigs.
- However, with the pandemic and the cancellation of pretty much every in-person event, podcast interview opportunities were added to the platform.
- As Ron puts it, ‘PitchDB was built from a sales’ perspective, not from a speaker’s perspective. Volume, tracking your data and following up are what matters.’
It’s All About Following Up
- It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re trying to get on a platform that’s going to allow you to share your perspective (be it media, a stage or a podcast), the key thing you can do is to follow up.
- When pitching yourself, you may spark a host’s interest but it’s the follow up that will enable you to share more details and to make it happen.
- Keep in mind that we’re all busy so not getting a response to your pitch isn’t something you should take personally…follow up and get in touch again.
- Following up and providing podcast hosts with key information helps them save hours they would have spent on guest research.
The Thing About Podcast Interviews
- According to Ron, from a selfish standpoint, a podcast guest benefits more than a host from the interview.
- While a host gets a guest that (hopefully) shares great information, a guest gets the opportunity to get visibility in front of an audience.
Tracking Your Efforts
- Tracking your pitching efforts is something that happens automatically in PitchDB.
- Thanks to the platform, you can see your booking rate for specific contexts, be it podcast guest interviews, media appearances or speaking engagements.
- Once a pitch has been accepted, you can ask the host for information about the audience size and add that to your PitchDB dashboard. Now, you’ll be able to see how many people you have impacted through guesting in a specific window of time (e.g. one year).
- Juxtapose that number against your revenue and you’ll be able to say something like ‘For every person that I reached on this show, I made $3.’ Now focus on getting on more shows and make more $3.
- Podcasting needs tracking of your key performance indicators like you would for Facebook ads, Google ads, direct mail or email marketing.
“Podcasting guesting needs tracking of your key performance indicators like you would for Facebook ads, Google ads, direct mail or email marketing.”
How to Be Magnetic as a Potential Podcast Guest or Speaker
- For Ron, the key is to know – exactly – who has your audience.
- Ron believes in a 2-step pitching approach.
- The first step is to approach a podcast host and ask ‘Are you looking for interesting guests for your podcast? If so, can you tell me the next steps?’’
- Send your podcast guest one-pager only after you have received a positive reply to your questions.
Getting Started With Pitching: Outsourced or DIY?
- Ron believes in “getting your hands dirty” first so that you can teach someone to help you with pitching.
- Getting some experience is also an excellent way to gain respect from your employees because they will have seen you do whichever task you’re going to assign them.
- Outsourcing pitching you as a podcast guest is a good example of why you would need to do it first, before assigning it to someone else. Ron has seen people outsourcing pitching only to notice that the person hasn’t connected their email to PitchDB, they haven’t created a list of contacts and have only sent a couple of emails in 2 weeks…
- Having clarity on the process – and actually knowing what needs to be done – is also going to help you save money on any employee or virtual assistant you’re going to hire.
- Think about this: what would happen if someone you outsourced something to quit and you knew nothing about the process? You would be in trouble, no doubt!
- Ron’s approach is pretty straightforward: he records himself carrying out the task using Loom.com, then he sends the video to his employees asking them to record themselves doing it.
What to Include in Your Pitches
- The first thing you should include in a pitch isn’t where you went to college or things like that but provide a short bio with the value you would provide to the show and to the audience.
- Then, you can improve some social proof of your past interviews in the form of links to a couple of past podcast interviews or YouTube interviews you have done – all with the purpose of showcasing your value.
- Instead of asking to be on the show, Ron asks the host to have a 10-minute intro call. He’s confident he can convince the host to feature him on the show.
- As Ron puts it, he’s a big fan of not telling people what to do but to tell them what he does.
How to Find Shows to Be Featured On
- This is Ron’s biggest hack, which will ensure you won’t have to worry about podcast research ever again. Make a list of the people you aspire to be, those who are on your level and those you are one step behind from.
- Next, look at the podcasts they all have been featured on. You know that those shows covered your topic and that they have the right audience for you because they featured your competitors.
- You can do that in PitchDB or even by using a platform like Apple Podcasts and Excel.
How to Approach Conferences and Media
- When it comes to pitching yourself to speak at a conference, Ron’s approach is exactly the same he uses for podcasts but asks ‘Are you looking for interesting speakers or even replacement speakers for your event?’
- Things happen, people get sick, and conferences typically have breakout rooms and other sessions, which means that you would get opportunities as a replacement speaker.
- This is the strategy Ron used to get his TED Talk. He offered to be a replacement speaker but nobody dropped out. However, he got a call from the organizers saying that they would have wanted him to be the main speaker of their next event.
- If you’d like to apply to speak at a big conference you shouldn’t worry too much about sending your bio in the first email or contact, rather focus on getting a link to the “secret application page” for the event that can’t be found on Google.
- PitchDB also provides you information and key contact details for people who work in media, radio, television, and in the press.
- When it comes to writing, Ron suggests aiming at becoming a contributing writer for industry-specific publications because you’ll have the opportunity to write more often for your column compared to more general publications or sites that may feature you once or twice.
How Take PitchDB for a Spin
- The first option to test PitchDB out is to sign up for a so-called passive account. It won’t let you pitch but it lets you create a profile that people can find.
- The second is to head over to PitchDB.com/smooth and sign up for a free account that also includes $50 worth of credits!
- Those $50 will let you pitch 25 podcasts, speaking gigs or anything else you’d like to pitch.
- Ron shares that, on average, if you reach out to five people you’re going to get at least one yes. This means that with the 25 free pitches you get you could be featured on at least 4-5 podcasts.
Ron Story, Jr., has been a full time entrepreneur for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the creation, development and leadership of over 30 companies.
Ron went from a struggling insurance salesman to becoming a self-made entrepreneur, now living in Medellin, Colombia.
He is the founder of software company, PitchDB, the world’s largest podcast search engine with nearly 3 million hosts. It saves hours of digging for podcast contact details in just a few clicks.
He is also the author of a book titled “The First 100 Miles”, which challenges business owners to recognize the opportunities in front of them and offers practical ways to grow faster.
He is a starter and a fixer at heart who has learned many valuable lessons as an entrepreneur over the past two decades.
Born and raised in East St.Louis, IL, Ron started his first business as a kid, collecting and recycling aluminum cans so that he could buy the toys he wanted.
That drive to solve problems continues today, just on a larger scale.
PitchDB.com/smooth → get a free account plus $50 of credits for free
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