How to Approach Podcast & Blog Guests [Plus BONUS Email Template!]

Casey Mason, the gal that drives The Real Her Project Podcast has shared her industry smarts and wisdom when it comes to starting and nurturing your Podcast.
Whether it is a blog you are looking to up level, or a podcast you want to stand out, collaboration is still my favourite and most cost-effective way to increase reach and get your brand in front of a wider audience, who are still in your target market.
After hosting The Real Her Project Podcast for almost a year now with no experience when I first started, I had no idea how to get it off the ground and in front of potential clients eyes (or ears for that case) and amazing as the internet it, it is hard to stand out.  With a small budget, I had to get creative and that’s where the idea of an interview came out.
Interviews are great because they translate well both written and spoken, it can be an in-depth look into a person’s life who may not have the time to blog or podcast like us (or simply doesn’t feel the need to) and of course, it’s a fantastic way to get your name in front of their audience.  Most people who are interviewed want their story heard, and from my experience 99% of the time, they are happy to share the content you created together.
But what do they get in return?  I am sure you are probably thinking.  Well, just as much exposure as you! Even if you are just starting out today and you land your first collaboration, there is still the opportunity one year, five years or ten years down the track that someone new will stumble across your content and want to find out more.  However, if you are established in your business and have a following of your own, this is an incredible opportunity to reach new customers for your guest, so it can be a win-win all round.
It’s also a great way for your guest to look back on their accomplishments.  I have had so many guests who get excited to come on a podcast and get the chance to look back over their journey so far.  It is a great memory they can cherish forever and share with their community as well (which is always a bonus for you).
So how do you reach out to a potential guest for your blog or podcast?
For me, sliding into their DM’s has been the easiest and most effective way to capture their attention.  If you want to collaborate with someone who is more established, has a larger following or community, sometimes emails can get lost.  A super personal, genuine and honest DM will most of the time, capture their attention and warrant a response.
Just as a side note here though; don’t be fooled by large follower counts.  Some of my best interviews have been with micro influencers who have an engaged community and genuinely care.  Make sure the person you are reaching out to has a strong connection with their audience online because they are the ones who will be consuming.
If your dream collaboration isn’t on Instagram however, where do they spend their time?  Follow, subscribe or like and immerse yourself in their community. Take the time to get on their radar and like their photos, comment when you are impressed and share the love.  People are far more likely to work with someone who has a genuine interest in what they do and are not just using them for their follower count or engaged community.
Below is a basic template I personally use to reach out to all The Real Her Project podcast guests:
Hey name
My name is your name and I am your title of your business
I have been following you for a while now and I really love compliment something they do that you admire
And I was wondering if you were interested in coming on my podcast to talk all things set a topic so it is clear
I really think my audience who are say what their interests are would really get something out of this
Either way, thank you so much for your time, keep doing amazing things and I look forward to connecting in the future.
Short, sharp but noticeable.
It is important to get your intention across really quickly, and then you can move all the final details over to email once you start chatting.  
I think a lot of people think there is a complex and “professional” way to go about this, but with social media a daily norm, it is more important to make a personal connection than come across as a professional set up, all of those details can come later.  In my experience as well, more than half of the women I reach out to, reply. And when they do reply, it is always a yes.
So don’t be afraid to aim big here, don't let the fear of rejection hold you back either.  I have messaged women and haven’t heard back from them for months because they are just busy or their DMs have blown up and it got lost.  You never know where that small message will come back and reward you in the future.
To start to wrap this all up, I wanted to share some of the amazing opportunities that have come my way due to collaborating.  Besides the obvious, growing my brand for free, there is so much more you can get out of working with the people you admire:
  1. I have had multiple young girls reach out to me for coaching because they found me interviewing their role model online.  Through free collaborations, I have gained paying clients, it literally blows my mind. I believe this is because when there is no money involved, the interviews are honest, raw and real.  And people LOVE coming back to the basics when social media can get so curated from time to time.
  2. I have also been very blessed to now have a lot of these podcast guests be mentors in my life.  If I need help in their area of expertise, they are always willing to lend a hand, share a tip or point me in the right direction.  I have formed genuine relationships with these powerhouse women that I am lucky enough to now call friends.
  3. I have also had to opportunity to create a convention which brings some of these amazing women together in an effort to inspire the next generation.  Not only are my speakers, old podcasts guests, but a lot of the goody bag treats and lucky door prizes have been donated by previous collaborations - it’s just amazing.
What I am trying to get across here is a collaboration doesn’t have to be one sided or a once off thing.  To me, it is about building a network and making it work on both ends. If you can both increase your reach and make a new friend/ connection at the same time, I honestly couldn’t think of anything better.
So don’t be afraid, pull out your phone and start DMing the people you want to work with, you will be surprised who you hear back from.