How to Pitch Podcasts

Presented live on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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Podcast guesting can help you build authority as an industry expert AND reach a new audience who’s interested in what you have to say.

But if you want to be a guest on top-rated podcasts, you’ve gotta step out of your comfort zone and deliver a good ol’ fashioned COLD PITCH.

Here to save the day is Podcast Guesting Strategist Mai-kee Tsang, who’s going to walk you through:

The 7 Elements of a Successful Cold Pitch

  • Start your pitch by addressing by their name(s) (and spell correctly!)
  • Add a personal touch to put you on common ground
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the podcast’s purpose
  • Prove you’re a credible expert
  • Propose core and sub-topics
  • A no pressure sign off
  • A well positioned P.S. section

And that’s not all. Mai-kee shares some dos and don’ts and some real life examples – everything you need to know for podcast guesting success!

Transcript

Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: Mai-kee. I think I said that right. Yes, you did.

Mai-Kee Tsang: Yes you did. Well done.

Joanna Wiebe: Thank you. How are you doing?

Mai-Kee Tsang: Awesome. Like, I love that in the green room we’re just doing like a shoulder dance. So I’ve got my shoulders out for everybody. Nothing else though, just the shoulders.

Joanna Wiebe: So we have brought you in today to come share with us how you cold pitch podcasts, in particular, but all sorts of things, including Tutorial Tuesdays. Alright, are you ready, you ready to dazzle us? No pressure.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [00:40]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Alright so this is a Copyhackers special Tutorial Tuesdays today and I’m going to be sharing with all of you how you can pitch podcasts with integrity. Even if it’s your first time. And I’m actually going to be sharing with you the seven elements of a yes-worthy pitch.

And where the seven elements actually came from will come a little bit of the story later but they actually came from me asking podcasters, “Hey, what made you say yes to my pitch?” And that’s why all of this is not guesswork. I’ve actually been in the trenches doing this pitch stuff and hopefully all other gems of wisdom I have learned, both the good and bad, along the way of that journey.

I’m going to be relaying to you today, so you don’t make those same mistakes and you can fast forward into sending great pitches. So let’s get started. Here’s what you can expect from our time together today. So first of all, before we get into any of the writing because we’re Copyhackers here and I wanted to share with you one mindset shift, you need to know before you pitch podcasters.

I’m going to show the actual pitches. So I love that Joanna popped a screenshot of my pitch inside of the newsletter today because I want to give you more of that kind of behind the scenes-ness.

Because I think it’s important to show you what is good and also what’s bad. I’ll share with you my bad pitch and the response I got. Okay, just to keep it super transparent. And of course I’ll walk you through the seven elements as well. And we’re going to have a Q and A at the end, which I always look forward to. So before we get started.

Who is Mai-kee Tsang? [02:11]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Hey, my name is Mai-kee Tsang. I know my name is not the easiest to remember when it comes to pronunciation. So the way I say it is month of May, letter k and a silent t. So, Mai-kee Tsang So I’ve got some dancing and signing in here. So I’m a launch strategist, turned accidental podcast guesting strategist and the sustainable visibility mentor.

And today, I help purpose driven copywriters and coaches to become sustainably visible by helping them get booked on the right podcast in order to help them expand their reach for their business and make a deeper impact.

And I just want to linger for a little moment around this word, like around impact. I want you to imagine the iceberg theory. So how about 20% you can see above the surface and 80% you can’t. So your 80% normally represents your subconscious mind and your 20% represents the conscious mind. And I want you to think of impact in that exact same way.

I’ll be honest, only a small handful of people tell me right from the get go, there’s something I’ve shared that has made an impact on them. It’s also important to know that just because people don’t tell you that you’ve made an impact on them, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

They’re going to be some people in your audience who are going to be like a flash in the pan. In a way where things heat up very quickly and they’re going to be some slow cookers in your audience as well. Some that like to actually be in your sphere of influence for quite some time before they actually tell you something, or want to reach out to work with you. You get what I’m saying. But basically, when it comes to podcast guesting, the impact you can make is deep.

How It All Began [04:05]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Okay, but I didn’t always do this. In fact, last June 2019, my referral well ran extremely dry, meaning nothing in the pipeline. Nothing. Nada. And it’s because I was completely complacent with my marketing, because I was relying completely on referrals. And I think I’m not the only one in the room who’s done that from time to time.

Please tell me alone. But yes, my referral well ran extremely dry. So what did I do? I asked for my mentors at the time, I asked them, “What should I do to help you eradicate this problem so this never happens again? Because it was so awful to feel like, Oh my God, there’s like no way out. But they all told me, hey you should get some podcasts.

And I was like, how? They just told me to do it, but didn’t know how. But luckily I’ve been trained by various other mentors, who threw me in the deep end for many situations. So I’ve really learned how to swim, whichever pool of water.

So I decided to go all in. And I challenged myself to reach out to your 101 podcasters last summer in 30 days.n And all of them were personalized, I want to emphasize that. They weren’t copy and paste or anything. Each of them were personalized.

And because of that, this is what happened. I received one yes in every three but just like time which allowed me the opportunity to guest on over 40 podcasts. Now, I couldn’t fit them all in this collage. But hopefully you can see a couple of familiar names here.

And I want to give you a real picture as to what that meant in my business, like, Yeah, that’s great and everything, but we’re not just going for ego strokes. Here we’re actually going for much more depth in regards to what it means for our businesses.

The Impact of Guest Podcasting [06:05]

Mai-Kee Tsang: So what did all of this mean for me? I started attracting dream clients who would book my services without questioning my project rates. So if you felt like you need to, like, raise your prices. But, you know, sure you can. Come on, that much because of your positioning at the podcast guest expert.

You may find along the way to actually shorten the sales cycle because they already invested in you because they’ve listened to you for 45 minutes, 60 minutes on this interview that you’ve done. And I found that my project rates weren’t questioned. In fact, they’re like, oh, yes, I knew it was going to be like this, but I’m going to go for it anyway.

And here’s how it looked like on an actual form. So just to give you some context, there was a lead who came to me after listening to this podcast, Online Course Masters, I pretty much gave away the farm and had a mini market class around launching at the time.

In their mind we hadn’t connected ever. Never on social, she hadn’t she hadn’t signed up for my email list or anything like that. She just heard me on this interview and found her way to me and was already ready to invest $3,000 in my packages.

It also allowed for consistent influxes of engaged subscribers to my email list because when someone had listened to you for an extended period of time, you bet your honey buns that they feel a lot more engaged than somebody who’s just a freebie seeker, because we all have freebie seekers on our list from time to time and that’s cool.

But when somebody has come directly from a podcast interview, they’re already invested. You’ll find they can be a lot more engaged and loyal to you. And you may find yourself being invited to teach inside things such as paid courses, membership sites, masterminds, all the things because you have been positioned as an expert. You built the relationship with the host by now, and you’ve demonstrated your expertise. So this is what event for my business.

So I want to ask you now. Now that you see the possibilities of what guesting can do. I’m curious, which areas would you like to grow most by podcast guesting? Do you want to attract more clients? Grow your email list? Or do you want to build a deeper relationship with the host for more high end networking? Type A, B, or C in the chat box below. And yes, you can pick multiple ones if you want to.

Joanna Wiebe: Amanda was like, “All!” Lots of all of the aboves.

Mai-Kee Tsang: Awesome, yes. And you know the wonderful thing is? You can achieve multiple goals at the same time. It really just depends on your intention, right from the get go, and how you choose to carry through the relationship after your interview has gone live. So you can do all of the above here. All the A, B, C. So just the As, Bs or Cs or another kind of combo you covered.

Joanna Wiebe: That’s good because everybody wants all of them. I’m curious about the ones who don’t want to grow their email list, though, when they’re like A and C, but I’m good without B. What do you mean you’re good without B? You need B too!

No, that’s cool. That’s cool. And then, of course, Martha had to ask, just us, how to get your accent. So you may want to do like a separate training program on acquiring your accent.

Mai-Kee Tsang: Oh, that that’s gonna be interesting.Thank you so much. I appreciate that. Alright, so we got a lot of ABCers in the house and in the case that you don’t want to grow your email list. Okay, but of course as Joanna said, why not?

The Mindset Shift [09:50]

Mai-Kee Tsang: At some point, at some point. Alright, so let’s move forward. So before we get into the actual pitches, or I’m showing you screenshots and all the things. There is one mindset shift I always, always recommend that you consider.

And it’s this. So this “Service over self importance.” Anytime. Every time. And here’s why. Podcasting isn’t just about building your authority, it’s about building relationships. Podcasters can smell from a mile away when guests just want to leverage their platform.

Normally it’s, “Hey, I’ve just launched a book and here’s what I can talk about.” That’s great and everything, but how does that relate to my audience? That’s what every podcast will ask themselves. And you can immediately be put on to the no-no list if you reach out to them that way.

Now, a heads up, all the podcasters I’ve reached out to at the time, about 95% of them were actually cold, meaning I didn’t have a prior relationship with them. But my booking rate was so high, because I embody this. Before, of course, that was not the case for my first pitch. Which I shall show you.

Podcast Cold Pitch Examples [10:59]

So, fancy seeing some pitches. I said, both good and bad to give me some thumbs up so I can only Joanna and Angela here. S, thumbs up from you two? And everyone else in the comments, if you ready to see the actual goodies. All right. Awesome.

Cold Pitch For Podcast Guesting [11:08]

So, here’s my first pitch. So I’m going to read it out to you. Okay, so I’m just going to call this person, Sam.

Hey, Sam.

Are you currently taking guests for your podcast?

I’m a launch strategist and conversion copywriter. And I would love to be able to share my insights on how to build your authority as a small business owner, especially during times of launching.

I’m currently conducting the challenge of also pitching to 101 podcasts as well, and I’m happy to break that process down if you feel it could be beneficial for your audience.

If this resonates with you at all. I would love to hear from you.

If not, no worries – and wishing you all the success and can’t wait to see what you do with your 100th episode, coming out in the next few months!

All the best,

Mai-Kee Tsang

So, I cringe every time they before I actually show you the rejection message so skip ahead to this and I want to actually ask you, why do you think this pitch didn’t work? And feel free to be brutal because trust me, I’ve been harder on myself than anyone could ever be to me. So feel free. Give it to me in the chat. Chat with me why you think this didn’t work. And I’ll show you the actual message I got from Sam.

Joanna Wiebe: Okay, I’ll give you a break while I read some of these answers out, if that’s cool? Tara said, what’s in it for them. Terry said you’re just trying to do a challenge. Danica says too hesitant? Dawn says it’s all about you.

Someone else says super generic, no what’s in it for me? It’s all about you and not them. You’re a number. You’re showing the benefit to yourself, not Sam. It was all about you. Feels generic. Too much about you. You told him he was just one of 101. Started with I’m a launch strategist instead of focusing on the podcaster. Look at all these copywriters in the room!

Mai-Kee Tsang: I know, right? Okay, my heart can only take so much now. No, it’s true. You’re all right. It’s all very true.

First Cold Pitch Rejection [13:14]

And this is actually what Sam said to me:

Hey, Mai-kee!

I hope you’re doing well. I’m really focused on some very specific topics at the moment (and conversion copy isn’t one of them). I’ll keep you in mind for the future.

That piece of unsolicited advice… telling me that you’re pitching yourself to 101 podcasts is a bit of a turn-off and tells me that you’re looking for quantity is not really a good fit.

Podcast hosts generally want to feel special, like you’re focused on them.

So if I were you, I wouldn’t tell other hosts that you’re pitching to 101 podcasts.

Joanna Wiebe: I mean, at least it’s a useful rejection

Mai-Kee Tsang: Yes, it is. And trust me, after I hit under a rock and told my masterminds I’m going to quit this job. I have so much shame, so much shame attached. I actually managed to apologize to Sam in real life, and he or she didn’t think anything of it.

He was like, oh, honestly, that was just some unsolicited feedback. I didn’t take anything personally, which I super appreciate, but that just goes to show the impact that can happen if you make a really bad first impression. Because I’m pretty sure he would never have me in mind for his podcast but that’s fine because you know, I screwed up.

So that’s that that’s a first rejection and thanks to him, I did actually formulate my own pitches that were a lot more personalized that didn’t mention this challenge. And bear in mind, the only reason why I mentioned pitching 101 podcast is because my mentor actually mentioned that in her pitch.

But I did not take into account that the person she wrote that pitch to was a friend of hers for like five years. So maybe that could work in a warm scenario when you already know the host but completely cold off the bat, instant turnoff – exhibit A.

So of course, want to see a successful pitch?

Example of a Successful Cold Pitch [15:13]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Here’s one of my best pitches and maybe you know some of these guys? Rob and Kira from The Copywriter Club.

So let me start off with the subject line: Podcast Guest Request for TCC (Let’s get some Copy Moles Overground — pretend that’s a mole).

Hey, Rob and Kira!

My name is Mai-kee Tsang. I’m a fellow podcaster, copywriter, a Copy Mole in the Underground, and a 2019 student in your Think Tank Mastermind – so I’m hoping you may know me a little bit by now.

I wanted to reach out to you both today to ask if you think your TCC audience would benefit from learning about how to build their authority and increase the visibility (i.e. going from being underground to overground) by guesting on podcasts.

After binge listening to the TCC podcast when I first started my copy biz in June 2018 – and meeting Rob IRL in London in the following month – I know you looove interviewing fellow copywriters and experts about their process, habits, successes, AND failures for your audience to steal an idea or two from.

And I believe I can really contribute to the conversation (and have something steal-worthy for them to use in their own work).

If this is piquing your interest in any way, here are some ideas we can possibly cover in our interview:

  • How to overcome mindset blocks that WILL happen to you when you pitch to podcasts – especially the bigger podcasts (Who am I to pitch to this person?”, “I don’t have enough experience to be an expert.”).
  • The 8 elements of writing a value-rich and audience serving pitch
  • What to actually do and say when it’s interview day (including my secret “Ramp Up Routine” to get into state)
  • And if you’d also like to get the inside scoop of my 101 podcast pitch challenge – there are no questions you can’t ask

But of course, I’m totally open to your own spins and angles to best suit your audience!

And finally, whether or not I’m a good fit for your podcast, I truly wish you all the continued success for your show and will continue to be a super fan of TCC no matter what!

All my best,

Mai-kee

P.s. If you only hear my voice is like (pinky promise I don’t sound like nails on a chalkboard – or so I’m told) — LINK

P.p.s. Being a podcaster does have its perks – I’ve got all the equipment to ensure audio quality will be top notch (helloooo Blue Yeti!) if we do decide to go ahead.

Mai-Kee Tsang: Alright, so why do you think this pitch worked. Please do share your insight in the chat box.

Joanna Wiebe: Let’s see, no one has any Oh, Jonathan does. It’s all about serving their community. Chani says you were focused on them. Emily says respectful shows you know them and a fan. Teri says you establish yourself as an authority and how it would benefit their audience. Personalized and you had contact with them previously. Humility and putting what others need first. You did your homework. More about that chatty and warm. A nice usage of social proof lots of them a whole bunch came in at once, and my eyes hurt, so…

Mai-Kee Tsang: We get the idea. Thank you. And thank you, Jonathan, for leading the charge and for everyone who’s sharing their ideas. Yeah, all of the above.

The 7 Elements of a Successful Cold Pitch [18:43]

  1. Start your pitch by addressing by their name(s) (and spell correctly!)
  2. Add a personal touch to put you on common ground
  3. Demonstrate your understanding of the podcast’s purpose
  4. Prove you’re a credible expert
  5. Propose core and sub-topics
  6. A no pressure sign off
  7. A well positioned P.S. section

Start Your Pitch by Addressing by Their Name [18:45]

Mai-Kee Tsang: So I want to share with you the seven things that made this happen. Okay? I address them by name. And I spelled the names correctly. Now I say that as a podcaster, with a slightly unique name and it baffles me how someone can spell it wrong. Even though it’s in the email address. It doesn’t leave a good feeling.

But I started off the page, saying, Hey Rob and Kira. So when you’re writing your pitches spell it correctly and always use a name. The pitches that say “hi,” – forget it. Alright, so names are very simple, very important.

Add a Personal Touch to Put You On Common Ground [19:24]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Number two, add a personal touch to put you on common ground. So in the pitch I shared how I’ve been related to them in their community. I said, I’m a copy mole, I’m a Think Tank Mastermind student of theirs. And I said the word fellow. That’s the key word.

What puts you on common ground. Are you fellow lovers of cat gifs. Are you fellow lovers of spaghetti? I don’t know. It could be anything.

But as soon as a host realizes that you are similar to them in some shape or form. Remember that like attracts like. And it really helps to ease this unknown feeling that they might have, especially if it’s a cold pitch – to add a personal touch.

Demonstrate Your Understanding of The Podcast’s Purpose [20:05]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Demonstrate your understanding of the podcast’s purpose. So what I mean by this. For those of you who do listen to TCC, you’ll know that the phrases like steal an idea or two. Or you know successes, habits and failures. Those are words that are keywords that Rob and Kira used to use at the beginning of their podcast intro. And they also use it in their podcast description.

So just like how we use voice of customer data to reflect the words that customers use in our copy. It’s the same thing. Right, just see what they’ve written, which key words can you pick out in the intro or in the podcast description and reflect back at them to show that you understand their podcast purpose.

Prove You’re a Credible Expert [20:50]

Mai-Kee Tsang: And number four, prove you are a credible expert. So this could be in many different forms. It could be the fact that you’re telling a little story. For example, in the past, I’ve used, “Hey, I’ve done 13 launches in one year with a mentor before. And here’s what I learned from that.”

It’s a hook story, they’re like “oh, how did you do 13 launches? That’s crazy!” So that’s one version, or you could share a little bit of a testimonial. I don’t actually recommend you do that very much. I would actually much prefer that you share a little tidbit. A little hook story like the one I just said to prove that you are an expert.

Like show before tell, right. Or you can share any accolades that you’ve got or and that you’ve been featured in Forbes, perhaps. Whichever one, pick your fancy to prove that you’re a credible expert to be talking about these topics.

Propose Core and Sub-Topics [21:42]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Prepare the topics core and sub. So some pitches, you may want to use just the core message, or the sub topics or both. And all this really is is just directing how this conversation could go.

So the core topic is, pretend that’s what would be the name of the podcast episode when it goes live. And the sub topics are pretty much just the buffet pieces that the host can pick and choose from to direct the conversation.

But the point is that you do the work so that they just need to say yes. To give them a good reason to say yes, by proposing a topic that it’s relevant, it’s somewhat unique and it’s personalized for their audience.

The No Pressure Sign Off [22:31]

Mai-Kee Tsang: Six. The no pressure sign off. This is that line in the pitch that you saw earlier where I say whether or not I’m a good fit, I truly wish you all the best of success. Because they’re all going to be some times where it’s just say not now, it’s not a forever no. But if you leave an impression on the podcaster, that’s like it’s ride or die. You take me or not sort of thing, you’re going to be put on the no-no list.

So just remind them that I acknowledge that this is your podcast, this your platform, your audience. I’m offering myself up to you to see if this could be helpful, if not, I totally respect that. The no pressure signup.

Well Positioned P.S. [23:12]

Mai-Kee Tsang: And finally, the well positioned P.S.section. So you can use a P.S. section, however you like. If it’s somebody who doesn’t quite have that playful connection with. I’ll give you an example in just a second on what is, you can just go straight to, hey, here’s an interview I’ve already done with xyz. I recommend you check it out from, insert timestamp because that really gives specificity. I believe I did that for Joanna in my pitch to Copyhackers.

If you look in the email in my P.S. section I mentioned Rob and Kira, and I know Rob and Kira and Joanna are friends. So of course I picked their interview and because my topic for Tutorial Tuesdays was all about pitching, I told the timestamp that starts when I read a pitch out loud.

That specificity can really make a great impression and it shows them that you’ve gone the extra mile, yet again, for them to make their life easier. You can refer to your microphone if you want to, take a selfie with it if you want to say like, hey, look, I got this! The audio is going to be great.

Or if you are fun and playful, like myself, and there was a host who loved Disney. She loves Disney. I knew that because I searched on her website and on social and everything, and she always made references to Disney. So I said in the P.S. section, “Hey, if we’re able to have this chat on this interview. I’m more than happy to do my imitation of Stitch from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch for you.

And while that didn’t immediately reach the host, she reached out to us. The team loved it. And they’re like, we want to hear that Stitch voice. So the P.S. section can also work wonders.

Those are the seven elements of a yes-worthy pitch. That’s everything for this Tutorial Tuesdays’s how to pitch a podcast with integrity and the 7 elements. And for those of you who want to have something beyond the screenshot of that slide I just shared, I’ve actually created an exclusive resource, just for Copyhackers. So these are my podcast pitching templates and anybody who’s a Copyhacker knows that we have themeplates, not templates. So there’s pictures I shared with you. I’ve got a couple of examples inside of this resource, and it actually breaks down element by element, so you can see it in action.

But not only is that the long form pitch that I shared with you, but also got a short form pitch. If that’s something one experiment with two and it’s just the $15 that we need to do is go to copyhackers.maikeetsang.com and you’ll be able to get instant access once that goes through.

Joanna Wiebe: Wicked. Thank you again. Thanks everybody for chatting. That was the last Tutorial Tuesdays of 2020. Let’s all pray for a better 2021, it wasn’t all bad. And we’ll see you guys have a really happy holiday season and enjoy yourself. Stay safe out there. Thanks everybody.

Mai-Kee Tsang: Thanks everyone.

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