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podcast pitches and guest communication

You may have noticed that the last two episodes of Clocking In have featured guests! These are the first guests I have hosted on my podcast since beginning a year ago.

Hosting guests on your podcasts comes with a lot of communication and coordination. This brings me to today’s topic-managing guest pitches and communication. In today’s episode, we are talking all about guest communication. We will dive into the expectations that come with hosting a podcast, how to manage pitches, and also how to communicate with guests once they are booked for your show.


Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

As new podcast hosts release more episodes, they’re going to see a rise in podcast pitches. If you haven’t received one of these pitches yet, they are usually someone looking to be featured as a guest on your show. 

I saw a lot of these pitches even though I wasn’t even conducting interviews on Clocking In until this year! 

There are a few ways you can manage these pitches: let them come to your email, direct them to a specified podcast email, let a team member manage them, or even direct them to a specified application form. 

I love a good application form! They can be so helpful in managing pitches. The problem that comes up a lot with these forms is that a lot of podcasters aren’t responding to these applicants. This is understandable if you are getting a lot. 

What Should You Include on Your Podcast Application Form?

You want to be sure that applicants are giving you all of the information you need on this form. You’ll definitely want to start with their name, business name, if that applies, and their email address. This gets the obvious information out of the way so you can easily contact them.

Then, encourage the applicant to share the topic that they are wanting to discuss along with 3 key takeaways that a podcast listener can walk away with. 

This helps you understand exactly what they want to talk about. I’ve seen far too many pitches where they might say, “ I can talk about anything in business!” This helps you narrow this down and gather a real topic you can discuss. 

Beyond these fields, ask for their website, maybe a random fact about them for fun, and how they hear about your podcast. 

Feel free to go further into detail in any of these fields to get a deeper understanding of the applicant. This can give you a better feel of whether or not they are a good fit for your podcast. 

Once they hit submit, it’s important that your thank you message or automated email response communicates expectations with them. Include how often you review applications and how long it will take for you to likely reach out. 

Managing Pitches Through Email

If you aren’t using a form, you’re likely managing your pitches through email. That’s fine! Thats how my team and I are handling ours at this time. 

One thing I would love to see change in the podcast industry, myself included, is more rejection emails going out. This may sound strange but I don’t want to see you ignoring pitches. This isn’t because I love rejecting people. I would rather people know where I stand than them waiting for my response. This also keeps applicants from continuing to follow up even after I’ve decided to not respond. 

Rejection Email Templates 

These may sound a little scary. But don’t worry! I created a pack of six rejection email templates that you can use to respond to pitches you’re not too keen on. Whether they just aren’t a good fit or they had a bad pitch-my templates have you covered. 

They are available in my shop here. 

Included in this pack are 

  • An Automated Response for Pitches
  • “Not Accepting Applications” Response Template
  • “Not a Good Fit” Response Template
  • “Not at This Time” Response Template
  • “That’s a Bad Pitch” Response Template

Because, yes, we can use these to make the industry better in a kind way.

  • “Your Interview Wasn’t a Good Fit” Response Template

This template is for those interview that just didn’t turn out how you expected. This may be because you didn’t do the due diligence to vet your guest or the interview just wasn’t great, which totally happens. 

  • Bonus: The DM Responder (For Getting Pitches Out of Your DMs and Into Your Inbox)

This is for getting pitches out of your DMS, you’ve got to get them out of there! DM pitches are hard to keep up with and leave no paper trail. I highly recommend getting them out of the DMs and into the right place. 

Why Do I Think This is Important? 

The best way to improve this industry, in my opinion, is to provide feedback to the ones trying to make it in the industry. Also, I think it’s so important to stop wasting people’s time. 

Over the last year I have received a number of pitches for Clocking In. Then I realized as a podcasting expert, I can educate up and coming podcasters on a few things. 

First, my podcast for the last year, has not hosted interviews. My rejection email was based upon that. Now that I do interviews, I have adjusted that. I let them know if I just don’t have time or we aren’t a good fit. 

If it is a terrible pitch, I have started to respond to them, kindly. Otherwise, they will never get better if they don’t know. 

Bad Pitches 

Now, let’s go back to the phrase, ‘ I can talk anything about business!’ I see that pitch time and time again from those who are probably brand new to pitching. They may not realize that there are an infinite number of topics to business, and this phrase is not helpful. 

The next time that you get a bad pitch, or one that doesn’t fit with your audience, let them know. Use the template I’ve included in the template pack, it’s there to help you. 

I truly believe in these templates because I use them every day in my business because they are so helpful. 

How I Got The Idea-The Worst Pitch I’ve Received

I saw the need for these email templates when I received a terrible pitch. I got an email from a company saying they listened to my show, loved it, and wanted to produce my podcast. I get it, this was a cold pitch. Yet, had they taken just a few seconds to actually listen to my show, they would have heard that Clocking In is sponsored by Gaffin Creative a podcast production company. 

Rather than ignoring this mistake, I decided to let them know. I told them kindly that I am actually a podcast producer and that I produce my own show. I never heard back from them. But I hope they learned something from this pitching experience. 

Guest Communication After The Pitch 

Great guest communication is the key to a successful interview as well as a successful promotion of the show with your guest. You might have guessed it, I have a pack of six email templates designed for great guest communication. 

I have developed the Podcast Guest communication email templates over the years knowing the workflows I have set up. These templates help hosts with a simple pitch, to prepping them for an interview, all the way to reminding them that their episode is live.

I have written these for ease of use and you can grab them here in the shop. 

Included in this pack are 

  • Pitching a Potential Guest
  • Scheduling an Interview with a Guest

Once your guest agrees to an interview you simply shoot them this email to easily schedule the time. This does require a scheduling tool like Calendly, which we will have an in-depth blog about here later this week. 

  • Media Request (From Assistant)
  • Interview Prep (Tech & Question Guide) and Media Request
  • Episode is Going Live
  • Reminder: Your Episode is Live

These templates make communication so easy and help keep you organized! 

If you take anything away, make sure that you are communicating with your guest and potential pitches. While it can be easy to ignore pitches, promotions, or let guest know their interview is live with an Instagram post, there is a much better way for the industry to operate. 

Catch The Show Notes:

Managing Pitches (1:37)

Podcast Application Forms (1:54)

What Should You Include on Your Podcast Application Form? (2:10)

Rejection Emails (3:40)

Why Do I Think This is Important? (5:52)

“I can talk anything about business!” (6:50)

How I Got The Idea (7:42)

Guest Communication after the Pitch (9:00)

Links Mentioned:

https://gaffincreative.com/an-interview-with-my-mom-sandi-robinson/

https://gaffincreative.com/supporting-small-business-tanner-robinson/

Blog Post I Mentioned: https://gaffincreative.com/how-to-schedule-interviews-with-your-podcast-guests

Try Calendly for Your Podcast Scheduling

Templates:

https://gaffincreative.com/product/podcast-guest-communication-email-templates/

https://gaffincreative.com/product/podcast-pitch-rejection-email-templates/

podcast pitches and guest communication

Review the Transcript:

As you may have noticed, over the last two episodes I introduced interviews on the podcast—you can check out my conversation with my mom in episode 52 and my brother in episode 53. With podcast guests comes a bit of communication and coordination—which brings me to today’s topic, managing guest pitches and communication. In today’s episode, I want to talk about communication and the expectations that come with hosting a podcast, how to manage pitches, but also how to communicate with your guests once they’re booked on your show!

Hey y’all welcome to the clocking in podcast the podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals making their way in the working world i’m your host Haylee Gaffin this podcast is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com plus you’ll also find resources show notes and more for the clocking in podcast so let’s clock in and get to work.

Let’s imagine that you’re a brand new podcast host—whether you have a podcast or not, for today’s episode I’m going to talk with you like you are. New podcast hosts will start to see a rise in podcast pitches as their podcast releases new episodes each week.

As a podcast producer with my own show now, I’ll be the first to tell you that these pitches can get overwhelming if you let them pile up and the pitches don’t just magically stop if you ignore them, so you have to set up systems in order to manage these.

There are a few ways that you can manage pitches:

  • You can let them come to your direct email
  • You can direct people to a special podcast email
  • You can have someone on your team manage them
  • You can create an application form for the pitches

Now, I do love a good application form—the problem that i primarily see is that podcasters aren’t necessarily responding to the applicants, which is understandable if you’re getting a lot. So let’s talk about what to include in your podcast application form so that applicants are providing you with everything you need to know.

I always start with the name, business name if applicable, and email address. Then I like to encourage applicants to share the topic they want to talk about, along with at least three key takeaways that a listener can walk away with. This helps you understand what they really want too talk about, because I’ve seen far too many pitches that say “I can talk about anything related to business”

Beyond that, I recommend asking for a website, a random fact about them for fun, and how they heard about your podcast. You can go into more details with questions about their topic to help further determine if they’re right for your audience as well, which will help qualify them for the show.

Once they hit that application button, it’s important that your thank you message or the auto responder email communicate expectations with them. This means including how often you review applications, how long it’ll be before you reach out, and if you’ll reach out whether or not they are a good fit.

If you’re not using an application form for your podcast, this typically means you or someone on your team are managing it all through email. That’s totally fine—it’s actually how I’m managing mine at this point!

One thing I’d love to see change in the industry—preaching to the choir because up until the last year I was doing this exact thing—but I want to see more rejection emails go out. Not because I like to inform people of the no’s but because I’d rather they know where I stand than question it OR continuously follow up and I’ve ghosted them.

That’s where rejection email templates come in—that sounds so scary. Ha. But I created a pack of 6 podcast pitch rejection email templates available for $19 in my shop. Included in this pack are 

  • An Automated Response for Pitches – for the application thank you page or your autoresponder to a special inbox.
  • “Not Accepting Applications” Response Template
  • “Not a Good Fit” Response Template
  • “Not at This Time” Response Template
  • “That’s a Bad Pitch” Response Template – because yes, these are the emails that make the industry better.
  • “Your Interview Wasn’t a Good Fit” Response Template – because it does happen. 
  • And then a Bonus: The DM Responder (For Getting Pitches Out of Your DMs and Into Your Inbox)

Why do I think this is important? I think the best way to improve the industry is to provide feedback to the people who are trying to make it, but also to stop wasting people’s time. Oover the last year, I’ve received a number of pitches for Clocking In—at first I ignored them, but then I realized that I have to educate some people on certain things. First, my podcast wasn’t hosting interviews. For 51 episodes, I didn’t have an interview on the show. So my rejection email was based on that, it was short and sweet and highlighted that I just didn’t have interviews. Now that I do, I’ve adjusted it based on the needs of the pitch. If it’s not a good fit or doesn’t fit into my calendar, I let them know.

If it’s a terrible pitch, I’ve started to respond, kindly, but otherwise they’re not going to get booked on a podcast and they’re not going to get better until someone tells them what they don’t know.

Let’s go back to the “I can talk anything related to business” pitch that I’ve seen time and time again. I get it, if you’re brand new to pitching yourself, you don’t know that there are niched topics and conversations you can have about business. I can take business, select marketing as the topic, then build 500 conversations off of that with how much there is to talk about just marketing in business.

The next time you get a bad pitch or one that doesn’t fit with your audience, let them know.

This idea actually came from a pitch I got in my inbox a few months ago. It was from a podcast production company who said they listened to an episode of my podcast, liked what I had to say, and told me they wanted to produce my show—it’s a cold pitch, I get it. But had they taken 60 seconds to listen to the first minute of my show, they would have noticed that my company, Gaffin Creative a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs, is the producer and sponsor of the show.

So rather than ignoring it, I let them know—kindly. I didn’t hear back, but it taught them a lesson for future pitches—at least I hope it did.

Now in my podcast pitch rejection email template pack, I’ve created these 6 email templates with intention. They’re concise, get the message across, but they’re also kind. You can grab these templates for $19 at the link in the show notes or at gaffincreative.com/shop.

Once we’ve moved out of the pitch phase, we’re looking at pitching potentials guests yourself and communicating with them after they’re booked.

I think guest communication is key to having both a successful interview, but also a successful promotion of the show with your guest. THe more informed they are about the podcast episode, the more likely they are to work the show into their promotional materials.

And you guessed it, I have a pack of 6 email templates specific to guest communication, from a simple pitch to prepping them for an interview to reminding them that their episode is live, I’ve written these for ease of use and you can grab them for $19 in my podcast shop at gaffincreative.com/shop!

Included in this pack of guest communication email templates are templates for the following:

  • Pitching a Potential Guest – to help you get in their inbox and share your request
  • Scheduling an Interview with a Guest – once they’ve agreed, you’ll shoot this email for an easy scheduling process (requires a scheduling tool like calendly, which I actually have a blog post I just published about how to set that up that I’ll link in today’s show notes)
  • Media Request (From Assistant) – If your assistant or producer is handling creating graphics and communication.
  • Interview Prep (Tech & Question Guide) and Media Request
  • Episode is Going Live – I recommend sending this out ahead of time so they can plan to schedule it into their own promotions
  • Reminder: Your Episode is Live – I usually recommend sending this out the day before or the day of the release day

These email templates make it super simple for you to communicate with your guests, share the information they need, but also help keep you organized in all of the things you need from them.

If you take away anything from today’s episode, make sure that you’re communicating with your guests, your potential pitches, and even the ones you’re saying no to. While it can be easy to just go with the motions, ignore the emails and pitches, and let guests find out that their podcast is live with an instagram post, that’s not the most effective way for the industry to operate.

If you’re interested in grabbing these two packs of email templates you can snag them for $19 a piece at gaffincreative.com/shop or grab the podcast bundle, which includes all of my shop items at a discounted rate! 

Head to gaffincreative.com/shop. While you’re in the shop, you’ll also find all of my podcast educational offerings, from courses to free downloadables, and even a year’s worth of blog posts all at gaffincreative.com/shop! Thank you all so much for listening to today’s episode and I’ll see you next week! 

This has been another episode of The clocking in podcast. You can find the show notes for this episode and more at Gaffincreative.com. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. If you love this episode, I’d be so honored if you leave me a review in Apple podcast app. Until next time, I’m your host Haylee Gaffin, clocking out.