Take it from someone who's made a living from behind the mic for more than twenty-five years, some guests don't belong behind a mic. These steps will keep you from becoming that guest.
Step #1: NO PITCH, NO GLORY.
Sliding into DMs is effective, as long as you have a specific pitch.
It's not enough to be a respected leader in your niche with a service and/or book. Know what kind of value your presence will bring to the prospective podcast host's audience. Remember, if their guests aren't interesting, the audience won't be interested.
Copy/pasting the same message to a ton of people who have a podcast won't work. Podcasters are entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, authors, and/or creators. If you have a vanilla pitch that's irrelevant to their niche, your message ends up in the trash.
It's really that simple. A super intentional request with a specific hook sent to a smaller number of people will ALWAYS beat the generic copy/paste to a bazillion hosts.
Step #2: Guesting on a podcast helps your brand reach new audiences. It can also elevate your status as a thought leader in your space. And if executed correctly on social media, two or three podcast interviews can go a long way.
But where do you start when there are millions of podcasts in existence? Small.
That's right, start small.
Cold calling a podcast like The Joe Rogan Experience or The Tim Ferriss Show will almost certainly fail. Instead, spend a couple hours looking for active podcasts in your field. Find the top fifteen (or more) and have your pitch ready (see lesson one).
And pay no attention to follower count, etc. Indeed, podcasts with hundreds of downloads still have rabid followings.
See also: Kevin Kelly's "1,000 true fans."
We all start somewhere. So start SMALL. It works.
Step #3: Once you get booked, it's time for homework. I know, I know, you thought you were DONE with homework. Ha. Yeah right, kid.
Don't ask for questions ahead of time. Preparation is key but you do NOT want to have questions in advance. Your answers, no matter how hard you try not to, will sound robotic. This is a conversation, not a print interview.
Be sure your host has your press kit. They will want to make sure to be prepared for you, so getting them a headshot, short bio with social media handles and an ebook (or physical copy if booked far in advance) will go a long way.
Once interview time has arrived, be sure to keep something to drink nearby. Water works. But you can also keep some milk or apple juice to coat your throat.
Don't be afraid of the dreaded "umm" and awkward silence. These things happen in the flow of everyday conversations. Which is why people have flocked to podcasts over the past few years. Nothing beats authenticity.
So before you start sliding into DMs and sending emails, consider these steps. They could make the difference between elevating or diminishing your brand.