“I’ll definitely start pitching more podcasts when I get my name out there a bit more.”

That’s something we hear from so many business owners, especially creative online business owners, when they discuss podcast appearances. They assume they have to wait until they’ve got more brand recognition, more clout in their space, or maybe even hit a specific revenue mark.

We’ll let you in on a secret, though: That’s not what podcast hosts care about. Podcast hosts care that you have a unique perspective to bring to their audience. Sure, they want to get more downloads and more reach from their guest episodes, but that doesn’t just come when they book a “big name” client. It happens when their guests offer something truly insightful to their audiences.

Now that we’ve busted through the biggest objection we hear about podcast pitching, let’s discuss how appearing on the right podcasts can help grow your creative business. This is specifically for business-to-business (B2B) folks out there, but some of these tips apply if you’re in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space.

Why podcasts for B2B creative business growth?

There are plenty of other methods to generate leads for your B2B creative business. From a free opt-in to Facebook ads to low-cost digital products, masterclasses and webinars; the list goes on. Why do we think podcasts are a must-have marketing channel for businesses on the rise? It’s not just because this is how we make our living.

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular

Podcasts are growing exponentially — while other mediums are not.

According to recent surveys:

  • 57% of Americans have listened to a podcast
  • 41% are listening to a podcast at least once a month
  • Podcasting has grown by 17% since 2020, and weekly audiences have nearly doubled since 2017
  • The number of podcast listeners now exceeds the number of people who report using Twitter, TikTok, or Snapchat at least once

Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research, even stated:

“With 41% of the US population 12+ listening to at least one podcast in the last month, the odds are pretty good that the next time you go to a “place” and talk to “other people” (which will be later this year, I trust,) the odds are pretty good that you can talk about podcasts with the people you meet, and not only won’t they look at you funnily, they will likely have a favorite show of their own.”

People are listening (and starting businesses) from home

Pre-pandemic, podcasts had already crossed the 50% of Americans listenership threshold, but we weren’t initially sure what would happen during the year of lock-down. Would folks turn away from podcasts and to other media (maybe video?) while at home?

That hasn’t been the case. Podcasts are keeping you company while you do the dishes, go for a walk, and even during the workday.

And with more and more people creating businesses or going all-in on their side-hustles — over 4 million new businesses were registered in 2020 alone — now is the time to reach an eager and engaged audience. No dancing and point on camera required.

Podcast bookings can drive more leads for creative businesses

It’s not just B2C brands or physical product businesses that can drive leads and revenue from podcast appearances. Our client, Jennie Nash, can directly attribute $50,000 in new revenue for her book coaching program, Author Accelerator, to podcast appearances.

Another client, a high-end Facebook ads manager, sold out her client spots for the year and filled a waitlist after appearing on the right podcasts last year.

And more than a few clients have told us that podcast hosts have hired them after bringing them onto their show!

The key is knowing your audience

To find success with podcast pitches and bookings, you might be tempted to get on any and all podcasts you can. This is actually counteractive to your goals, however. If you want to truly grow your creative business or services through podcast appearances, we recommend that you know who you want to reach and you know what you want to offer them.

 Brainstorm audience-specific podcasts 

This can take some time to craft, but ask yourself:

  • Which podcasts are my ideal customers/clients listening to?
  • Which podcasts do I know are “popular” in my space?
  • Where have other leaders in my industry appeared?
  • Are there people I know or have connections to who are starting podcasts/have newer podcasts?
  • Are there curated lists of smaller podcasts I could start pitching? (We share round-ups on our Instagram account all the time!)

We highly recommend creating a list of 15-20 podcasts that would match both your ideal audience and your expertise. This shouldn’t be too difficult, because there are thousands of podcasts in the online business space.

Align your topics to pitch those podcasts

Next up, make sure that you’re looking at each of the podcasts you just listed. What topic could you pitch to all of them, with only small adaptations to your ideas or presentation? Create a list of topics you could bring to audiences. Don’t try to come up with a new topic for each pitch, either. Create a “best hits” list. Not sure how to create this list? The best topics:

  • challenge conventional wisdom, or
  • speak to a specific challenge you’ve overcome and inspire the audience

While it might feel counterintuitive, you want to go as narrow and niche as possible with your topics. What can you speak to that you don’t see anyone else in your industry talking about? Where do you vehemently disagree with what most other folks in your space say or do? Do you have a case study to back up your claims? Those are going to be your juiciest topics.

For example, one of our most successful pitches was for a business educator and jewelry designer who talked about what most creatives get wrong on Instagram and Pinterest, along with exactly what she does to turn likes into sales. When we pitched this topic for her, 50 percent of the podcasts we reached out to booked her!

Once you are confident with your “best hits” list, stick to it. Don’t try to cater your topic too much to a specific season or far-fetched audience — podcast hosts want a topic they know their audience will want to listen to and that they can organically facilitate.

Trust us: this works. Our clients have booked big podcasts like Beyond the To-Do List, What Works, and even Being Boss.

If you’re wondering which topics you should lean into and how to best pitch podcasts, check out our How to Pitch series here.

Want our help with your creative business and B2B podcast bookings?

We understand that not all lead generation and marketing tactics work for everyone. However, podcast listening continues to rise and the number of podcasts do, too. There are currently over 2 million podcasts — and over 48 million episodes — floating around cyberspace as of April 2021.

There’s bound to be a handful of podcasts that align with a.) your ideal clients and b.) your area of expertise. There’s so much potential in booking podcast appearances for small creative businesses. Our hope is that what we’ve just shared inspires you to stop waiting — and stop doubting yourself. You have value to provide listeners and podcast hosts are eager to find people with fresh perspectives. 

We have something new and exciting to share that will help small creative business owners pitch and book more podcasts — if you want to hear what it is, make sure you’re on our newsletter list. Subscribers are the first to hear about our new offers (and maybe get some special discounts).