Be Our Guest: Leveraging Podcasts to Enhance Thought Leadership

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, offering unique opportunities for executives and business leaders to position themselves as experts while speaking directly to their target audience. In this blog, we offer a quick overview of why podcasts are a solid strategy for enhancing your thought leadership and offer tips to become a podcast guest.

What are podcasts so popular?

Podcasts are prevalent because of their convenience. Users can listen while running, driving, cooking, cleaning and more. Podcasts offer education and inspiration without needing to spend lots of money. A few keys stats:

  • In 2021, 78 percent of Americans were aware of podcasts.
  • Almost 60 percent of Americans listen to podcasts.
  • There were an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in the US in 2021. 
  • Forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023.

What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership is the expression of ideas that demonstrate expertise in a particular field, area or topic. Thought leaders are passionate about their work and excited to share knowledge with others. For marketing purposes, establishing thought leadership has many benefits, including: 

  • Boosting industry presence
  • Building brand awareness
  • Establishing credibility for the individual and company
  • Connecting with customers

Guest podcasting is one strategy that allows you to speak directly to listeners in your target audience. Podcast hosts are looking for quality content and guest speakers. This creates a perfect storm of thought leadership opportunities. 

How do I get booked on a podcast?

Step 1: Research

The first step is to research potential podcast opportunities. If you are an avid podcast listener, you may already have a list of go-to podcasts in your field of expertise. This is a great place to start. You can also research other thought leaders in your industry and see which podcasts they’ve already appeared on. Prioritizing target shows will help you focus efforts moving forward.

Step 2: Build a Database

Once you have identified your target podcasts, develop a database of podcasts with associated guest pitching contacts. This may take a little legwork, but can be done by researching host and show websites to find the right contact information. If you can dedicate some budget to this, there are programs such as PodChaser or PodSeeker, that will help you build your database and provide contact information.

Step 3: Pitch Yourself

Podcasts are an amazing way to establish yourself as an authority figure. Write a quality pitch that includes your biography and experience as a speaker. You can also be creative and offer topic ideas. Proactively reach out and follow up. Many podcasts are looking for a constant stream of new guests. The more you educate the hosts, the more you increase your chances of being invited as a guest.

Step 4: Be Prepared

Once you’ve secured a podcast opportunity, be sure to have all your talking points prepared on the day of the recording. Since most podcasts are conducted virtually, make sure your technology is set up properly and you are aligned with any specific requests from the host. Secure a quiet space where you can record your podcast interview without distraction and background noise.

Step 5: Promote Your Appearance

Once you’ve recorded a podcast, the turnaround time can be 3-4 weeks or more depending on the program. Once the show goes live, leverage your and your company’s social media channels, blog or website to promote the appearance. 

Looking for more ways to build and support a thought leadership campaign? Check out our blog on how to establish thought leadership.

Rebecca Wrenn

Director of Client Services and Operations

Rebecca joined Sweeney in 2014 as an account executive and subsequently shifted roles in 2016 to support the agency leadership team in successfully establishing a highly effective, full-service creative capability, including branding, design, and video production services. In 2020, she pivoted once again to take on a senior account leadership role while simultaneously leading agency operations. With nearly a decade of strategic marketing, communications and creative experience, Rebecca currently directs several agency account teams, while also managing critical aspects of agency’s operations. Her deep knowledge of the account management process and her high creative aptitude are an exceptional benefit to the agency and its clients.