Landing guest appearances on reputable industry podcasts is a smart way for lawyers to boost their brand and online reputation. Doing so can help you to tap into an audience of potentially thousands of new people interested in what you have to say. So if you want to connect and share your expertise with a new audience, start reaching out to podcasts hosts and book some interviews. In this blog post, we share an 8-step process lawyers can follow to find, pitch and land podcast guest appearances that will help boost their exposure and thought leadership presence.
1. Look for shows that align with the value you can offer.
The natural first step lawyers can take to land a guest appearance on an industry podcast is to find those where you’d like to be featured whose target audience aligns with yours. You want to be able to provide value to the listeners. With over 1.5 million podcasts and over 34 million episodes available, you need to narrow down your efforts. Check out iTunes or other directories such as TuneIn or Google Play. You can search by category, by keyword or phrase, or by a particular person’s name. It’s also worth spending time browsing the “New and Noteworthy” section and the “What’s Hot” section.
2. Do your research before reaching out.
If you aren’t familiar with the podcast, that will show in your conversation and won’t appeal to the host. Ask yourself the following questions when you’re considering hosts to reach out to:
- Is the podcast relevant to your subject area expertise?
- Does the host actually do interviews?
- Is the podcast active (have they published recently)?
3. Contact the host and request an interview.
Once you’ve compiled a short list of podcasts that meet the criteria above, it’s time to reach out. The best way to do that is really up to you, but the most common ways hosts expect to be reached is via email, LinkedIn Message, or a contact form on their website. Some podcasts might even offer a form for interviews on their website.
Make sure to send a personalized message (not simply copy and pasting to everyone on your list). Make sure you include the following elements:
- Your name, contact information, and link to online credentials like a blog
- Your professional bio and achievements
- A list of topics you’d be prepared to discuss and how that might add value for their audience
- Social proof, if you have some (other interviews you’ve done or items you’ve published)
- A media kit or one-sheet if you have something like that (but don’t worry if you don’t!)
Mention that you like their podcast (you might mention a particular episode), why you find it valuable, etc. Ask if they are looking for any new guests and offer some topics to discuss. You can ask to schedule a call to see if you are a fit. You may want to follow up if you don’t hear from the host after about a week. Remember some podcasters are likely to get many requests and it will be easy to fall through the cracks if you don’t follow up.
4. Schedule the interview.
If a podcast host agrees to an interview, the next step is to coordinate schedules. Many hosts use a calendar software such as Calendly to book interviews. At this time, confirm how the host will call you and cover necessary logistics (such as exchanging Skype IDs or Zoom links). Make sure everyone is comfortable with the technical details and ask about recording the session.
5. Do your prep.
Treat your podcast experience the same as any other important meeting or appointment. Be prepared to put your best foot forward by doing the following:
- Show up on time or early if that’s an option. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t no-show, but if you need to, you should not expect to rebook with that host.
- Use an external microphone and headphones. We don’t recommend using your computer’s audio options. Nor should you be on your mobile phone. It’s also important to use headphones so that you don’t get feedback from the audio. Invest in proper equipment for better sound quality.
- Minimize background noise and distractions. Do your best to get in a quiet room by yourself. Close windows and doors, and ask others around you to give you privacy. Close other tabs on your computer, log out of social media, and turn off notifications on your phone and laptop.
6. Give a fantastic interview!
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. It’s important to connect a few minutes early so that you can test the connection, thank the host, and ask for any reminders on their audience or publishing date. During the interview, we suggest using the host’s name often, and using real stories and examples whenever possible to illustrate your points. Make sure to share your best advice and try to provide value. Respect the time limit and don’t ramble or go over the allotted time. Don’t forget to be a great listener too! The best conversationalists are those who really listen to their partner.
7. End with a call-to-action.
Generally speaking, podcasts are pitch-free zones. People don’t tune in to be sold to. That being said, be prepared to tell people what to do if they’re interested in learning more about the topic. Make sure you give listeners a way to find you if they would like further information (share your website, email, or other links, for example). Remember to thank your host as well.
8. Share your interview with your audience.
The podcast host is likely to send you an email when the podcast is published. One of the reasons hosts like doing interviews is that the subject matter expert can share the podcast to a whole new audience. Make sure to share the podcast link and tag the host on social media. Podcast interviews are great fodder for social media.
Landing a guest appearance on a reputable podcast is a great way for lawyers to get in front of their ideal clients – and build an audience – fast. Like all life skills, it takes practice and patience to learn a new skill. Many lawyers could really benefit from being interviewed on podcasts but are intimidated about reaching out or the actual interview process. Follow these steps to get your first interview under your belt. Do your research, carefully prepare, and give an outstanding interview – and then promote this new social proof to your audience.
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