How to Write a Good Letter for a Podcast

There are a myriad of great podcasts that are looking for just the right guest to be on their next show. If you want to be that guest, how do you shoot your shot?

Marc Gutman, host of the Baby Got Backstory Podcast, explains what he looks for when people reach out to him and provides 3 tips on how you can make yourself stand out as a potential guest on your dream podcast.

Video Transcript

Keith Roberts 0:04

Marc, it’s good to see you, buddy. I had a question. Being a podcast guru, I love Baby Got Backstory, I wanted to know, you know, if I’m trying to get on podcasts, how do I write a letter for the podcaster to let them know, I’m a good fit for them that I’m an actual listener, that it’s authentic, you know, what do you like to see in somebody that’s writing to be on your podcast?

Marc Gutman 0:27

Yeah. Good morning, Keith. That’s an awesome question. I gotta say that I get at least one email a day, sometimes more with people on my podcast. And just like all my emails, I survey them really quickly. And I and I give them not a lot of time. Now, what I will say is when when I see when I see subject I’ve got a guest for you actually give that more time I prioritize that, because, you know, I’m always looking for great guests, I’m always looking for great content. But I do have a very specific show flow on a format. And I’ve had even really good friends that you and I both know, that have been like, Hey, I’ll be on your podcast. And I’m like, I would love to have you on the podcast, but you’re just not really a good fit. And I’m very clear and specific for my own podcast.

I want big brands, chief marketing officers, people that have led a big brand and can talk about branding and marketing, or are a household name, right, like UGG Boots or Build-a-Bear, or those are the types of Patagonia’s coming on the show, Kum and Go gas station. Those are the kind of brands that I’m personally looking for now. There are a myriad of podcasts out there great podcasts, where they’re looking for entrepreneurial experts, where they’re looking for productivity hacks, or they’re looking for your type of content. And so this is going to sound overly simplistic, but it’s, it’s the thing that always is the case is, you really just need to target your message to the right podcast host and show and I get letters all the time from these, like PR agencies, they haven’t listened to my podcast. So that’s the biggest thing.

They’re like, “Hey, Jeff, would be a great, great person on your podcast, and he is teaching people how to flip houses.” And I’m like, “How is that even good?” or I’m getting all these like, “Hey, it’s like, Jeff, who runs a marketing agency in Iowa, and is killing it and is now trying to, you know, build thought leadership is the subtext wants to get on your show.” And so that’s just not my audience. And so really matching clearly, with the podcasters objectives and goals are, what they’re trying to communicate to their audience, and always aligning what kind of value you can deliver for that podcaster.

So, to be more specific, and answer your question, a great podcasting letter would have the following elements, it would connect with me and feel like it was personally written, it would feel like you actually have listened to my show. Even if I know you haven’t even like, you know, I think a common tactic is to be like, hey, and I especially liked this episode, and they’ll link to the episode. And I’m always like, did you even like, listen to that episode? I don’t know, right? If you did, or you didn’t, but it felt like you did.

And then thirdly, like, what will my listeners get? And why will it be good for me is a big one. And then fourth, if you can help in this area of distribution, every podcaster wants more listeners, every podcaster wants to grow their audience and their community. And so if there’s something that you can add in terms of value, if you have a big list, if you have a big community, letting the podcaster know that and that you’re committed to helping to publish and publicize the podcast after the fact.

So we have a lot of people on the podcast, I love all our guests, and some have just really pushed it harder than others. And those are the ones that I kind of love a little bit more. Right? You’re not supposed to say that. Like your kids, you’re not supposed to say which podcast guests you, you know, like better, but I like the ones that push my stuff harder, Better. So I would always have them. And then a really good tactic once you start getting on podcasts. If you are a podcaster, asking your guests if there’s anyone else that they know, in their network, that would be a great guest, or if you’re guest on a show, asking that podcaster, “Hey, do you know any other shows I should be on because it is a relatively small community and people are connected by, you know, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon or whatever it is.” We’re all connected in different ways.

Keith Roberts 4:34

That was awesome. And I love the bullets. I’d love to read those two quick questions when you were going. One is, does an email versus an actual written letter matter at all? I mean, the content that makes a lot of sense to they actually listen and how they’re going to help. But does that make a difference to you? If it’s a physical letter or an email?

You know, it’s fine. I don’t get a lot of letters. So I think so. I mean, it’s always cool when you get a letter, I think an actual letter and this is just my my anecdotal opinion gets you more attention, because I’m going to open it, I’m going to read it, I’m gonna be like, “Wow, what is this letter?” but then there’s probably that extra step required on me like to say, like, “Hey, if you want me as a guest, you got to like, now email me.” So I would just follow that letter up with digital communication and say, “Hey, you probably got my, my handwritten letter, I want to make this as easy as possible.”

Marc Gutman 5:20

That’s the other thing, like anything that you can do to go out of your way to make it easier for me as the host and saying, “Hey, like, I’m going to come prepared, I’m going to make your job easy.” You probably don’t want to say exactly like that. But you know, you want to communicate that you are going to come prepared, you’re going to make a great show. And you’re going to make it really a good experience for them. And it’s so it’s kind of like sales one on one, right? It’s like this idea of like understanding who your audience is who your target because the podcaster is your target customer. And I think we’re gonna talk about this a little bit later today. But I’ve really come to believe that using what I’m now calling open up other people’s platforms, is a great way to generate leads, get your business out, out in the world get, you know, getting more awareness. And I’m a believer in this methodology. I think getting on podcast is a great way to do it.

Keith Roberts 6:16

Awesome, man. You mentioned earlier, the best guests, your favorite child, are the people that push you or push your format. Can you just talk to me a little bit?

What do you mean by that?

Marc Gutman 6:26

Yeah. So on a very simple level, when we released the show, we provide all our guests with social media assets, with links to the show. And so it’s those guests going back to that idea of OPP that have a big audience that have their own community, and they publicize our show out to that community. And they do it in a way, you know, maybe more than once, they do it in their newsletter, they tweet about it, they really, you know, are proud of the episode. And they, they and of course, their community is going to be the most interested in the episode because it’s about them.

So it’s like this built-in audience, but then that’s, that’s exposure, I’m getting to a whole new audience as well. And that’s really valuable to me, I mean, as a podcaster, that the metric that is probably the most important is new listeners and growing that audience. And so in addition to the fulfillment I get from doing the podcast, right, but the what I’m really trying to do is grow my audience like everybody else, and those people that helped me do that definitely go up in my book.

Keith Roberts 7:31

Awesome. One last question. So you mentioned that it was a relatively small community. And I don’t know why. But I have this perception that it’s this enormous, you know, there’s so many so much content, there’s so many podcasts, what is the right community? Do I just have the wrong perception error? Is it getting into the right group, where it’s like the, you know, the a level of me, I think, like, you know, Rogan, or those guys that that are crushing it and have this enormous audience and 10s of millions of followers and just ridiculous, but then all the way down to you know, I’ve gotten hit up to be on a few. And my personal attitude is every audience is a good audience. If I’m speaking to a group of one, I’m going to do my best, but as a podcaster, is there any niche that you’re trying to get into? Or community or how do you how do you break into that?

That’s a great question. So you’re absolutely right. I mean, when you have the Rogan’s and the karolos of the world, I mean, I think of them more as like, old school, like radio personalities, you know, they have really big audiences. And that’s just a little bit different. I think the the, the beauty and the curse of podcasting is it’s, it’s accessibility. And it, you know, it is it seems really big, but it’s nowhere near the size of YouTube. It’s nowhere near the size of all these other ways of communicating that we have.

Marc Gutman 8:48

And so while there are a lot and a lot of people are doing it, I think it’s really just about finding those people that have a great community, like so for you for a journal. Clearly, an entrepreneur focused podcast would be great. And you started to get on different ones of those and I don’t know, but you know, there’s like Johnny Lee Dumas, Dumas and Pat Flynn’s another one that comes to mind that I would say is upper tier underneath those like Rogan’s and those corellas you know, and they, you know, they all know each other, they all run in the same circle.

So that’s what I meant by like, it’s a smaller community. Like, you know, if you can get on a Pat Flynn show, like he’s gonna be able to send you somewhere else, if you can get on our friend Pete Vargas, his show, he’s gonna maybe recommend you to Pat Flynn or Johnny Lee Dumas or something like that. So and these are people that I personally don’t know, I just know of them. I’ve bumped into him a couple of times at events, but I think that a lot of podcasters emulate other podcasters as well. And so that could be you know, as you start to have a conversation with them be like, okay, like, well, what shows are you kind of modeling after what are your influences and I think that’ll give you a lot of information too.

But, you know, the cool thing about podcasting is once you get on a show, you’re sitting there talking with the podcaster, you have their ear, and there is always this magic moment before and after we start recording, where we’re either just, if I haven’t met someone, for the first time, we’re kind of getting to know each other and having pleasantries, but then there’s always this super magic moment, where I’m like, Okay, that’s it, we’re gonna wrap here, I typically leave it recording, not that I’m gonna ever use it.

But then all of a sudden, like, it’s, you know, and I wish I could, because that’s when the guest opens up, that’s when we start to have real talk. That’s when we like, you know, say things like, “Oh, that was really awesome. Like, you know, who are your influences? Like, is there anyone else I should talk to?” Like, all these things that can happen in about a span of two to five minutes post interview, that, that’s really the golden time. So as I think about it, and you kind of just extracted that out to me that’s like that, that’s like the secret time that and don’t waste that time. As a guest, you know, don’t, don’t say thank you great, like, kind of have a plan for that have, have a plan to think about. Like, okay, after my interview, when I have this person’s ear, what do I want to talk to them about? What do I want to ask them?

How might I be able to help them? And how might they be able to help me I always ask every guest, thank them for coming on the show. And I say like, “How might I be able to help you?” And then we have a conversation around that. And typically, just because it’s human nature, and they’re good people, they say, “Well, how can I help you?”

Keith Roberts 11:23

Right, it’s reciprocating.

Marc Gutman 11:24

Yeah. And if I can think of something I do, but you know, and usually it’s like, Hey, I would love to have a guest like you back on the show. It’s a big brand. It’s a great, can you tell me how you work with companies like mine? Like I mean, this is just like, you’re getting like unparalleled access. So it’s like, yes, we’re trying to get audiences. But you’re also like, you’re getting information. So I hope that answers your question about how to kind of break it down. I think, you know, I don’t know if there’s any. And I’ve been looking at this a little bit like great databases on how to like search for this kind of stuff.

I do think that it’s like a little bit of elbow grease, I think you might need a VA or you might need just to do it yourself to go to Apple podcasts, start searching via different categories that you think are relevant. And I think you also want to track this. So you know, if you’re giving away an offer on a podcast, if you’re supplying your own links, be really diligent in short links trackable links, things where you can start to see who is driving traffic for you. because that’ll also help you determine what kind of audience you want, right?

So like, say, all of a sudden, I’m on a podcast, and I’m on my podcast tour, I’m talking about branding, and I go on all these different ones. And all of a sudden, I show up on some designer sweb site who, or I’m sorry, podcast, who teaches, you know, teaches designers how to build businesses as an example, because I kind of have that in my mind. And all of a sudden, like that starts driving leads and things like that, for me, clearly, I want to go find more people like him. And I think that this is, I think that people have a tendency just to kind of show up on podcasts, you know, say their thing and be done with it. And there’s so much more to be done.

And I’ll just kind of close out here with that same idea that with podcasting, the audio content isn’t always indexed. And a lot of times on our podcast, in particular, we’ll transcribe the show. We’ll put that on the on the website. So that also gets indexed. But you have, like, I mean, we subscribe to a transcription service. That’s like $9 a month for like, unlimited transcriptions are virtually unlimited. I think we have a cat, but we know what, and it’s, you know, it’s not perfect. But we were transcribing everything to put on our blog. So it gets indexed. And then, but then also, that just creates micro content.

And so, you know, just be smart about it. Like, I mean, I love podcasting. I think it’s such an amazing format. Think about, you know, you and I both love howard stern. And one of the things I’ve always taken from him is anytime he goes on any talk show, he gets, like, all anxious, and he freaks out because he’s like, I’ve got to deliver the goods. I got to be a great guest. You know, and like having that mentality, like, like, How can I be a great guest will go so far and, and, and be such a huge asset, and really, to help you shine in the eye of the host, but also like will produce great content. And at the end of the day, great content, great content.

Keith Roberts 14:20

Amazing. Thanks, brother. That was incredibly insightful and super helpful. Thank you very much. I’m going to start writing some letters to podcasters

 

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