How to Successfully Pitch a Podcast: Building Your Rejection Tolerance with Alice Draper


Go to Show Notes here.


Here’s the transcript:




Welcome to another episode of the Widest Net Podcast. I am your host, Pamela Slim, and I am joined today by my guest, Alice Draper. Alice Draper is a podcast publicist who is on a mission to make publicity easy and accessible for underrepresented women entrepreneurs at all stages of their businesses. When Alice started building her business, she knew that publicity in the right places would garner her the authority she needed to position herself as a high end copywriter. And so she started pitching magazines like Vice, Refinery 29, HuffPost and Business Insider.        


This came with an unplanned skill, the art of the pitch, which is how she ended up pivoting her business toward publicity. She has been running Hustling Writers for over two years, and in this time, she has secured her clients in over 500 podcasts, including countless Top 1% and Top Zero 5% podcasts. When Alice isn’t building out publicity strategies or thinking of new story angles, she’s taken advantage of her location independence by housesitting with her partner in places like, is it Tbilisi, Nairobi, or Cape Town? Beautiful. So welcome to the podcast.        


Thank you so much, Pam. I’m so excited to be here. Two of my clients have worked with you, and I’ve read your book, so I view you in high esteem, high regard. Well, I love the fact that we have connected, and I was saying before we started recording, I feel like this is a very meta interview because we’re talking about a critical, tiny marketing action of pitching podcasts, which is something I tell all of my clients. It’s a great way to garner visibility, to be in a watering hole where somebody else has gathered a great community of people who will be usually new to the podcast guest to give you exposure and visibility.        


But the reason why we’re talking is because you pitched me cold. I didn’t know you before, and I instantly emailed you back and said, yes, I would love to have you on my show, and I’m thrilled to be here. So I am going to actually read the pitch that you sent me because I think it’s a really great way that we can begin to discuss and understand the architecture of what it is that you do to connect with people. And so let me go ahead and read it.        


So you said, Hi, Pam. Sorry. Yes. No, absolutely. So we will dig in.        


So you said, Hi, Pam. Happy Wednesday. I’ve loved your recent episode with Eleanor, which is Eleanor Beaton, who’s a past client of mine, who’s another great episode on The Widest Net Podcast. And you said so many nuggets there that I’ve been percolating over and trying to decide whether my partner or I have the greedy job, which was a specific thing that Eleanor said in that podcast interview. Pam, if you’re looking for guests for The Widest Net Podcast, I’d love to join you for an episode to chat about rejections.        


I remember my first editorial rejections vividly. They stung. I had an amazing story idea. I thought it was socially relevant, data driven, and it had a narrow hook. I found the perfect publication and the right editor.        


Then the rejection came in. My stomach dropped and my throat dried up. I’d already imagined the execution of the story. I’d talk to potential sources and visualize sharing the article on social media. What’s the point of this, I wondered.        


But then I met a community of writers who gamified the process of rejections. Are you interested in a podcast discussion on this, specifically in the context of podcast publicity? This is what my business is about. I wrote a feature for Business Insider on this to which you linked to that article and Business Insider. And then you said we could talk about overcoming rejection mindset blocks by relying on community support and gamifying the process.        


Second bullet: how to set rejection goals. And the third actionable steps on cold pitching podcasts from the research process, story development, et cetera. Then you had an about me section. I’m the founder of the publicity business Hustling Writers for Progressive Coaches. We’re on a mission to make publicity easy and accessible for underrepresented women entrepreneurs.        


You listed places where you have written and also podcasts where you have spoken. And then you gave me relevant links to your writing portfolio, your LinkedIn and your Instagram. And then you said, are you interested in this topic? If not, I’m happy to share some other ideas. Thanks, Alice Draper.        


So well done. Because let me just break things down from my side when I haven’t yet heard your architecture of how you approach it and just tell you what really rang relevant for me. And I get a lot of pitches. Let me just say throughout 17 years I’ve been online. And so partly what I liked is I have seen a formula for a lot of people where it’s like insert obligatory link to a past podcast episode.        


But the way, often, that is written, you started with that and you talked about Eleanor and you were demonstrating like a specific part of the conversation that I had with her that demonstrated to me that you actually listened to the episode. But the way that you talked about it felt very human. It was just very relatable. It didn’t feel like you were taking, like, plugging in some piece of the podcast description from a show just to demonstrate that you had actually listened before. So the way that you described it felt very open and human.        


And then when you began to go into the story and the specific example of what it meant for you to be rejected, I was brought, ironically, to all the rejections I got for The Widest Net when I was shopping the book and I was going to different publishers. Book rejections are a whole other ballgame. That is a whole other ballgame. But it also happens with podcasts with people who I have talked to a lot of people that I work with. And so I loved being drawn into your story where you were giving the really concrete example, but then when you were talking about the topic that would be of interest, you made it so easy for me to imagine preparing for this podcast because literally, what are we going to talk about?        


The three bullet points that you laid out. So it wasn’t just, I’m amazing, I’m this expert, and you made it easy once I got hooked emotionally into what you’re talking about to want to talk to you. And then you provided social proof. Why you are an expert at what you’re talking about. And then also you made it easy for me to go and check out the links on your social media and your website, which I always do, to get a feeling and a vibe.        


And as soon as I checked that feeling in the vibe, I was like, oh, I don’t know this person, but I think I like them. I can tell already that we have some similar values and interests. So that is what it felt like for me to be pitched. What was it like for you as you were preparing this for me? Oh, my gosh.        


Hearing you say all of that makes me so happy. I’m gloating right now because I’m like, this is exactly what this is exactly. The strategy I’ve tried to get across in all of the pitches is that human elements, the story hook and then the speaking points and then the link so that people can go and do their research and see if it’s versatile enough. So, yeah, what was it like for me writing the pitch? So I’m a podcast publicist, so I have templates.        


I have a bunch of templates, and I use different ones for different podcasts depending on what I think is a fit for that podcast. I had listened to the episode with Eleanor a few weeks before the pitch, so I think that I just recalled from memory something specific. But it is something that a strategy that I always teach is don’t say I love the show because any discerning podcast host has a bullshit detector and I love the show does not mean you love the show. And so, yeah, always pick up something specific. And even if you just came across a podcast, give it a listen.        


Listen to 1015 minutes, if anything. Not nothing else, and pick up something specific from the episode rather than from, like you said, the description or the number of pitches. I get people pitching my podcast that doesn’t exist, and they mention something about how much they love the Hustling Writers podcast. Let me just ask one more clarifying question because something that does depend, I think, on the volume.        


So as we look at this section of research, as you said, where you do find a podcast that’s a fit. And I actually do want to ask you a question like for you when you are researching and this could be for yourself, but also for the clients that you work with, how do you know that a podcast is going to be a good fit for your client in the research? And then I’ll just follow that with how much research do you need to do? Some people are saying, should I, do I have to listen to ten episodes? What is reasonable for you to really get a sense if it is a good fit?        


That’s a good question. I think it’s definitely easier to research for yourself than for a client. And I think that’s why I get to know my retainer clients quite well and intimately. Because when you are looking for yourself, like you said when you went and looked at my links, Pam, there is usually an intuitive gut response like this is a yes or this is a no. And so you can tell that total value misalignment quite quickly.        


You’re like, okay, this person seems very mature and probably a little bit patriarchal and maybe not my vibe. And you may not even have that words, it’s more of a feeling from the way that they have described certain things in their podcast description, all the way they’re talking in the first 5, 10 minutes of the episode. So for anyone who’s listening, who wants to pitch themselves, my number one thing is go with that gut response. When I am pitching for clients, I mean, I always have an idea of their values.        


Well, I know their values, usually explicitly said it. And you talk to them and you get to know them and stuff. And I also work with people who tend to have similar values to me. So it’s also like, is this something that I align with?        


I’d say that and then I don’t know if it was the first part, the second part of your question: how much is enough research?        


I don’t know if this is the right advice to give, but I wouldn’t over research because you are simply sending the pitch and the chances are that pitch is not going to get accepted because more often than not, pitches don’t get accepted. So I would go with gap response.        


What can you tell from the way the first five minutes of an episode look like? Maybe you want to look at the host website, see what kind of vibe you get from their website or their LinkedIn.        


What kind of intuitive feeling do you have looking at the podcast? And then once you’re accepted, I would go in and listen to an episode or two, but I wouldn’t overcomplicate and over research because I also recommend in the research process that you kind of look for podcasts in your niche. So look for other thought leaders who you look up to and see what podcasts they’re going on, because chances are they’re probably going on podcasts that are in value alignment with themselves. And if you feel like you have shared values then there’s a good chance that you’re not going to left field away from.        


It does, it’s very similar advice I talk about in The Widest Net where one of the ways that you can begin to deconstruct what I call watering holes, the places in person and online where your ideal clients are. That one of the ways first is to ask your ideal clients what they do listen to and what they like because that can be a good indicator. And then also as you said, to notice the people who you respect and notice the places where they are. I’m curious sometimes I have the experience myself where I might realize there could be a show that would be amazing, the visibility there would be incredible, but I can notice the kinds of guests they have.        


My friend Guy Kawasaki, for example, has his podcast, Remarkable People. I love that podcast. I love the way that he just plans and prepares for it. But literally he is often talking to people like Jane Goodall or the heads of large companies or people who have done huge systemic change and it is not to discount work that I have done, I feel very proud of work that I have done.        


But when I look at it realistically, first of all I think I would not want to put my friend, Guy, in the position of feeling awkward and uncomfortable and rejecting me because I can just see I am really not that right fit. And it’s not just to be hierarchical about it, about somebody who is super famous. But there is a different vibe. If you notice in the kinds of guests that might be on a podcast, there are some people who are only going for the super famous and then you notice other people who it’s really more about a topic and they might bring in somebody that has a much smaller platform for the interest in the conversation. So that to me is often the thing that can provide clues and where you might notice as we begin to transition a little bit into thinking about rejection.        


The process of rejections is you just get in this habit of doing the pitches and having it happen on a regular basis to try to get what that conversion rate is. I find not hitting too high on whatever. Tim Ferriss’ whoever is like the big podcast that people want to get on is often helpful at first. So is that do you kind of see it that same way or do you just say like swing big and go for the gold? I’m curious.        


I suggest a mixed approach because I don’t want to shut down the big podcast because big podcasts do take on interesting guests. But like you said, Pam, if they are only interviewing Jane Goodall and like Brene Brown and stuff, then you can see that this is a show that is prioritizing bringing on famous people and they’re probably not going to bring on you or me. But if it’s like, I know Adam Grant show. He’s had a client of mine on and he’s, I think, more topic oriented, so he brings on people who speak to the topic he wants to address. So don’t discount the big shows.        


But to add to what you were saying, I think that starting with small shows can also give you that confidence boost of like, you’re getting acceptances, you’re getting the ball rolling. And if you are exclusively pitching really big shows, your rejection rate is inevitably going to be very high and you might lose momentum. You might think that this is not getting you anywhere. So if you have a big goal, go for it. Network with the host outside of pitching them, connect with them on LinkedIn, engage with them.        


But if you want to start seeing results, have a bit of diversity in the sizes of the podcast you’re pitching. That’s right. And part of that does go into the heart of the conversation. I’m sorry, the heart of the pitch, which to me felt like a conversation, ironically, even though it was just an email from you. But that is where you, as the person pitching, are doing the work of really helping the host to see where your body of work fits in what it is that they’re talking about. Ironically.        


Again, for Guy Kawasaki, that was how I first connected with him when I had no platform. I did that big pitch where he was a huge blogger. I had six people or something that were subscribers. But I did know that what I had written was something I thought that would really be of interest to him. So when you’re thinking about this editorially, looking at the templates and for the part of the approach where you did bring us into that story, in this case of your rejection, is that part of what it is that you’re always suggesting that people do is to have some kind of a personal story?        


How do we formulate that? Yeah, that’s a great question. I think the story is the hook. So I don’t think that pitches that say, like, I think you mentioned this earlier, I’m so amazing, I’ve done all these things, have me on your show, are effective for good podcast hosts, most podcasts, and the story is everything. When it comes to story, I think there’s so many ways you can look at trying to find a story that’s rooted in your business and rooted in kind of the objective of where you’re trying to take your business.        


One of the things I suggest people do is look at the sort of growth, the failures you’ve had. I don’t know if failure is the word, but the things you have overcome to get you where you are now. Yeah, I did that with the rejections. Right. So I don’t know why this example comes to mind but if you were a pleasure coach and you had no orgasms for five years and didn’t experience pleasure for five years, and you kind of jumped straight into that story.        


And then I developed this program while working on my Masters in Psychology that I now teach people and stuff. Would you be interested in a conversation where we outline the first five strategies that women can improve their pleasure? It doesn’t feel boastful. It doesn’t feel like I’m amazing and incredible and come you’re kind of hooking someone into the story. There’s an emotional connection and then there’s like how you overcame that and the solution you can offer to their listeners.        


I think it’s a perfect example. I’m ready for that episode. So that could be a good one. I probably have some clients that are experts in that. Right?        


But it is a great example in the way that you were describing it. It’s not only the classic rags to riches story sometimes that I think we all joke about a little bit, where you can have the sort of meme of the motivational speaker sometimes who always has to have a very dramatic story. It’s really that human part of connecting. I call it the mission at your root. It’s like connecting to that personal reason why it is that you are interested in this topic.        


I know. For me, it’s one of the reasons in The Widest Net why I opened the whole book sharing the story of my dear friend and longtime client, Karly Cunningham from Big Bold Brand. Because it was, remember? And thank goodness, and I really appreciate that she was willing to let me share what was a vulnerable moment for her, which was after her business was doing really well. We happened to connect at a time where just things dried up and it felt so terrifying for her.        


But I really did want to bring people into that part of the story because it is the part that I think we’re most afraid of. And of course, the problem that we’re solving for, of never wanting to feel like because we have not instituted marketing operations. None of us want to get to that stage where we are just without clients and we don’t know where to look. It can be so terrifying. So I can see that as an editorial hook for you as a writer, as a copywriter, to be bringing people in.        


But it’s really interesting. I don’t think I’ve thought about it so much as part of pitches. So that’s a really helpful piece. And then do you usually, in the way that you structured it for me…        


What I recommend to my clients is, of course, you are pitching the kinds of things that are most relevant to the services that you’re offering, to the kind of conversations that you have. Because that is how you both make it easier for the host to interview you, but also so that you make sure that you’re not just talking about a random topic. That’s not going to help you. You can talk about running and you’re running like a productivity business and there’s just no link. It’s great publicity.        


Publicity, but it may not move the needle like you want it to in business.        


That’s right. So I do appreciate that. I think I’ve gotten bolder through the years when I am asked to be a guest on a podcast if somebody is reaching out to me and I agree and where it feels like. And sometimes I’ve written three books, so sometimes they may want to go back to Escape from Cubicle Nation or Body of Work, but I like bringing it through and just being clear with them in some of the pre call preparation that this is really the work that I’m doing. I find good hosts do care about the experience for the guest who they’re interviewing.        


Like, I always want my guests to be highlighted in the business that they are growing from today forward and having an interesting conversation is super helpful. I always want to be really helpful for the audience, but this can be another thing, I think as you’re pitching to not be shy about it, to really be asking for the topics that you want to talk about. Yeah, pitch the topics you want to talk about. And that’s why I kind of said find stories related to your business like or your business mission and often when your reason for your business is because of something you went through like nine out of ten times, I’ve found that is the case. And then on your point, Dorie Clark wrote a really great article, I think, a few years ago for HBR on Podcast guesting and she mentions and it’s something I recommend all of my clients do during the launch of her book, Stand Out.        


She religiously mentioned the self assessment workbook that was related to her book because she was doing a podcast of the seat to promote her book. And she got her email list from like nine and a half thousand to 25,000 in nine months through podcast guesting. And the reason why that growth was so significant was because the listeners had incentive to act on what she was telling them to do, which is download the workbook. It’s much more powerful to have a lead magnet that the listeners want and is related to what you’re talking about than to just tell them to go find you on LinkedIn or follow you on Instagram or sign up for your newsletter that has good content. Being a good guest, they very well may do that, but I think a powerful lead magnet can just sort of give you that edge.        


I agree. I talk about stacked opportunities, which just means that for any one thing that you’re doing, if it can have multiple benefits for your business. So you can get the visibility through being a guest on a new show, but then you could also have the benefit of increasing your email newsletter list or promoting something that is important to you or highlighting an issue. So I think that’s really helpful. We will see in the show notes and I’ll make sure that we include this pitch.        


I always include a transcript on my blog of our podcast episodes, but that way people can see just the structure and knowing if you’re a frequent listener to my show, you can understand that for me it was something that just hit a whole number of areas. Now it could have been the opposite. On the notes of lead magnets, I have a pitch template on my website. Well, and might you be able to share that with us in the show notes? That would be amazing.        


Okay, so we will do that so that people can get that pitch template. That’s so helpful. So let’s talk about rejections because I could just as well have said no thank you, I could have ignored you, which is very common. I try to practice because I always want to appreciate the fact that somebody is taking the time to do a Tiny Marketing Action, but when I get overwhelmed or my email box gets too stuffed, I don’t always take time to say thank you, but it’s not a fit. So why is this comfort, tolerance, embracing of rejection such an important part of pitching?        


Great question. Not responding is totally normal. And I just want to say to anyone listening, like there are probably, there’s probably a chance that you’ve been that person who has these emails, well meaning emails that you just don’t get to because you’re overwhelmed, like you said, Pam. So anyone listening, don’t be afraid of the no response. It’s completely normal.        


Getting comfortable with rejections is, I think, one of the most effective things we can do for our marketing efforts, especially our outreach efforts. And one way I always recommend is just have a spreadsheet and have an output goal. I would say a rejection goal, like have a goal of 100 rejections. But if you don’t want to do that, have an output goal. Like know that you’re trying to get 20 pitches a month done like five a week.        


That’s not a lot of time because when we pitch, when we feel like it, then it’s not sort of systematized. I think we can get so emotionally caught up in it and caught up in this host and this podcast and it sucks a lot more energy, at least it did for me, and that was my experience. Editorially. If you are kind of doing it because of this one specific publication or one specific podcast, it can feel a lot more devastating when they just ignore you. But if you’re doing it because you said to yourself, I’m sending five pitches, I’m sitting down, I’m sending these five pitches.        


You’d be like, wow, this is a really great podcast. I would love it if this happens. But I feel like it almost like compartmentalizes. It’s like okay, on the spreadsheet it’s done, I’ve forgotten about it. And then when the acceptance comes in, it’s a warm surprise.        


And when the rejection comes in, it doesn’t feel that personal. It’s like, okay, I’m focused more on the action of doing it than I am on the results. Which sounds kind of counterintuitive, but I think it was effective for me at least. Oh yeah, I think there is science behind it too, because it allows you to be looking at that right metric. Because as you think about that kind of behavior that you’re going for, which is just the repetition of Tiny Marketing Actions, seating activities, which is something I tell folks all the time.        


I’ve written blog posts about how usually it takes ten times more literally of effort than you think of. And I’m not suggesting that every day we are spending 8 hours a day pitching, but if for example, you say that you would love to be on a podcast once a month, so have twelve guest episodes during a year, that for many people. They say, okay, so maybe I’ll pitch 24 and I’m saying, well why don’t you pitch 120? Because that probably is going to be more. But as you said, psychologically, if we are going to look forward to being rejected, we know that one more rejection can mean we are one step closer to getting to somebody saying yes.        


It does powerful things. It just reduces the negative emotion around doing it. That can often block people from taking the action and it is reinforcing. The important thing in the behavior is to take the action of pitching. Not that you are successful if you get a yes, we all want a yes, otherwise you wouldn’t spend your time doing it.        


But success is doing it. Which is what I say in tiny marketing actions all the time. Yeah, exactly. And if you can get comfortable with the doing, a lot of the other stuff becomes easier. You’re tracking this in a spreadsheet.        


So maybe you pitch yourself regularly for two months. It’s kind of like looking at your Google Analytics and you can be like, okay, didn’t perform very well, or this topic performed really well. This topic did not perform well. Perhaps this topic is not very interesting. Maybe I need to come up with a new topic or something.        


So you’re really systematizing it and depersonalizing it. And I think that that’s achievable. You can be personal in the writing of it, but when it comes to actually sending it, being sort of too emotionally caught up can really hold you back from taking steps forward. Absolutely. I love that we are so in alignment around…        


…that methodology. It’s really great to hear somebody else say it because all my clients are sick of hearing it from me. What about community? You mentioned that in the Hustling Writers community, and part of having other people who you can be talking to about this can be powerful insulation for some of the negative emotions that come with rejection. What’s your experience with that?        


I really firmly believe this. I was on a call, executive coaching call, with a bunch of entrepreneurs who many of them lived in a business for ten plus years and were really far along. And someone was kind of talking about their stumbling block, which is reaching out to old partners, old contacts, and kind of taking the step forward to launching this new product. And she’s like, she knows that she has all of these connections, people who respect her, people who would help her get this out there. But she wasn’t doing it because she was so scared of being rejected.        


And she started crying on this call. And I really sort of thought back on that, and I thought about how in my own business, this is kind of separate to pitching podcasts, because I got very comfortable with rejections when it comes to media, but I wasn’t comfortable with rejections when it came to my business. And it was only by working alongside other entrepreneurs that I was confident enough to launch a new product which was now separate from my labor, then doing it externally, even though I knew that this was something I could do and should do. And the reason was community. It was literally just having people being like, if it flops, it’s normal, and I think it’s great.        


I think you should go for it. And so that’s really the power of community when it comes to putting ourselves out there is rejection feels lonely and it feels isolating, and it can feel shameful. And when I was writing, like, working as a freelance journalist and pitching publications, I came it was called something of rejects, which was for journalists, and it was all about rejection goals, and it was all about seasoned veteran journalists celebrating rejections from The New Yorker or from The Paris Review and then sharing. I was about to get my 160th rejection this year, and then I got accepted into The New Yorker, and everyone celebrated that. And that totally shifted things for me because I was really young, I was really new to the field, and I was like, these are people who have so much more experience than me, and they are openly sharing this process, and they’re openly sharing these metrics.        


And that removed a lot of the shame for me because I was like, if they’re getting rejected, it’s totally fine that I’m getting rejected too. It’s not about me. This is just an industry thing. I think it applies to all ways of putting ourselves out there. If we can find people who are also putting themselves out there.        


It can shift the way we look at it and no longer feels like it’s about us. It’s more like it’s about the industry as a whole. It’s about the process of putting yourself out there. But it’s not a me thing. It’s not like an attack on me and my product or my pitch.        


Yeah, this will probably show my petty side, but my sister is a lifelong writer and editor and my dad was a photojournalist, a photographer, and a journalist. And so early in my blogging career, I had been asked to do a piece for a much larger small business website. And so I was really excited and I submitted the article and I was friends with the founder of the site, but I guess they had hired an editor to review it and he sent it back, he rejected it. And with some I felt a little bit snarky, like this wasn’t so solidly developed. And then he said, and she uses too many exclamation points.        


So I was like crying in my email to my Dad and my sister and just saying because we always would commiserate around those rejections or just our own anxiety around it. And so I got over it, just kept writing and so forth. And then when Escape From Cubicle Nation came out, I actually did an opinion piece for the New York Times around escape from cubicle nation. And so as petty as we are, my dad and my sister sent me an email with a subject line like congratulations, with about 20 exclamation points because we were remembering that rejection from that editor. But what I like also.        


In my early university career, I had a tutor who would give me terrible marks. And my whole identity was writing. This was an attack on my identity, getting these bad marks. And from there I started pitching myself in university and getting articles accepted and internships with big magazines. And so much of it was out of this pettiness of like, I will be better than you.        


I will get more writing, kind of, out there in the real world than you are. Pettiness can serve us. It does, I know, and that it does go to having good commiseration. There is nobody. I miss my dad so much for many, many reasons, but that’s one of them.        


He was always really good about that. But I will say, and this really does go to the craft of things like doing a pitch or for our writing. And when I had so many rejections for the widest net early on, it did force me to get better. And where we may have our petty moments, when you begin to notice that something is really not landing, it’s not working, or you get pushback that sometimes can feel personal, it is an invitation to do better. I remember as I was tearful, notice the theme of tears in various places, but I was tearful in a cab in New York City after a meeting that didn’t go successfully with a publisher.        


But I really had that look at myself in the mirror and what I realized in that moment that was very powerful for me were two things. One of them, I had had a longtime relationship with a publisher and so I was sort of shocked. I had not only had a strong relationship for my own books, but also in being extremely supportive of other authors, writing a million blurbs and doing a lot of support for that publisher. But I had that realization that was very powerful for me. That was as much as I do believe that I have a strong relationship and I know they respect me in my work, they are not making decisions based on relationship at all.        


And so I felt like I was playing the completely wrong game and I wasn’t doing my book and the idea behind the book a favor by not creating a much more powerful proposal that, by the way, my friend David Muldauer shout out to you David had told me long ago I had not developed a full proposal. I had a relationship. I’ve been talking about the book and so I didn’t really give it that preparation that actually I think the idea deserved. So it was really one of those sobering moments where I had to take responsibility and it didn’t sour me forever to building human relationships because I still think that it’s important in a variety of ways.        


But you do need to know the game that’s being played. And as we go back to podcasts, in this case of pitching that for various shows, you may realize they have a specific objective or they have a plan, a process in which they’re doing vetting that’s supportive of the hosts. And so it’s important for you to learn everything you can in order to do it successfully. That’s such a great example. Thank you for sharing the story of the book because I think there is that very humbling moment where you realize it’s just not landing.        


And if it’s something that’s really important to you, like writing a book, all the hours you put into your proposal, getting to the meeting with the publisher and realizing it’s still not working the way you would want it to, I think that’s the growth mindset, right? Okay. This isn’t just about the relationship. And with podcasts it’s like, what do podcast hosts want? They want something that’s going to be valuable to their audience.        


That’s why I always recommend there be value driven speaking points. They want to know, kind of, if you’re going to help promote it. So I don’t think I included this in my pitch, but you can also say, like, I will be sharing this on my feed.   


Yeah. I would say hosts often want to know that the guests are going to promote them. So make that explicit in the pitch that you will share the episodes. If the host likes what you’re saying, they probably want to know more about you. So make that easy for them by including links.        


Otherwise. That’s a good google. You. I think I mentioned value driven speaking points. And I think you get to know that the more you talk to hosts and if you look at the data and you have that humbling moment of like, no one is picking up my pitches.        


See if you have radically honest friends who have podcasts that can give you feedback. Of course you don’t want to give it to a very nice friend that’s going to be like it’s really nice. I don’t know why they wouldn’t take you on. You want the friend that’s going to give you the honest feedback, and the more feedback you can get, the better. But I mean, when I say get comfortable with rejections, also know that you’re using that spreadsheet to track your results and your analytics.        


And if it’s not working, apply that kind of marketing sort of cap where you’re like, okay, what’s not working? How can I improve this? And like you said, Pam could be totally restructuring your brain away from what you think is interesting, which is something that I think we’ve all had to go through as communicators to what the receiver wants to see. That’s right. You really do it in the right way.        


That usually makes your idea better. It makes a more clear, path happy end to my story. Thankfully, McGraw-Hill believed in the book and it won Best Sales and Marketing Book of 2021. So that was another chance where I do not believe, I really don’t believe I would have gotten there had I not gone through that experience of being rejected, having that humbling moment. And that made me work harder for the ideas in the book.        


So it goes to I love this pattern as we’re looking at developing habits around rejection, being clear as to what it is that we’re going for. We’re not going for yeses. We’re going for no’s. So when you get the yeses along the way is where you tend to get to your end goal, I guess. Finally, I am curious.        


I work with a lot of folks who are scaling their businesses and so they’re getting to a stage where they can’t do everything themselves. When does a business owner hire somebody like you to be doing the work of outreach for podcasts? It’s a really common question that I get: how do we make a decision? What’s the return on investment? Just how do you know when it’s time?        


That’s a great question. I think it really varies by business. I mean, I’ve worked with someone who started working with me on retainer from very early on in her business.        


I think that when you know that you have services beyond just your labor, once you have in some way productized your services and you are selling group coaching offerings in some way, kind of your business exists as a product. That’s when I would look at moving beyond yourself. But if you are at a point where, sorry, I just lost my train of thought, where you can’t outsource it, you can still get help. I have a program that sort of teaches you and I do a story development call where you can figure out how to streamline it, how to get second opinions on what makes a strong pitch. And something that also some people do is that they hire their VA who has some writing skills or their copywriter, if they have even a freelance copywriter, to take on some of this work.        


Because once you have your pitches and you have almost an SOP of what this procedure is to find the appropriate podcast, it doesn’t all have to be managed by you and it can be quite easily, you know, I’ve had copywriters both through my program to figure out how to just do the pitches for their clients because it’s not rocket science once you have the pitches. Yeah, I do appreciate that. And we just have an episode on the widest net about productized services with John Warlow, who’s the author of Built to Sell and The Art of Selling Your Business. So there’s a lot of good extra information there.        


And that really makes sense to me, where either you have something that is more scalable, where you just need to really be in business development or I see it a lot where people have something like a book launch or a big product launch where they need to have a lot of activity and with people who do get to know the hosts and develop trust in a relationship. Like in a classic PR relationship. Sometimes I find that can also be helpful. Where it’s not just you who is unknown to everybody, but it could be somebody who already has successfully pitched guests that they have enjoyed that can make saying yes easier for the hosts. Yeah, if you have a book or something, that’s a very good reason to start pitching podcasts.        




Yes. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I just know for me, and my mix of Tiny Marketing Actions, I do regularly now. I do have my own podcast, which is helpful for meeting new people like you and connecting with new audiences as people are sharing. But I also try to be a guest at least twice a month, and if it’s more, I do more because I just find it’s a really helpful way to bring in those fresh visibility. Speaking of which, what is the best place for people to find you and what’s your preferred way for them to connect with you?        


I think LinkedIn is a great place. If you search Alice Draper, it’ll have in the show notes. The URL. Otherwise you can email me, which is, and my website is And if you want the pitch templates that’s also I think it’ll be in the Show Notes.        


But. Yeah. And that also has a guide and kind of the core things you would include in a pitch, personalizing it, having a story hook, that sort of thing.        


That’s wonderful. Well, I appreciate it. It’s a good example of a very effective kind of a lead magnet, something people would trade for because it’s just extremely applicable to what everybody needs. People are constantly asking me for templates or examples, and I don’t always have them. Often I’m consulting with business owners that are developing them on their own.        


But thanks for creating that. It’s a good example of something that’s going to be helpful. So thank you so much for spending time with me. It’s great getting to know you, and I look forward to just working with you and sending clients your way. Thank you so much, Pam.        


I had such a great time being on the show. It’s such an honor. Well, I appreciate it. For those of you that are listening, make sure to check out the Show Notes  at for tips and resources that were mentioned in the show. I want to thank my 31 Marketplace production team La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboleda, and our award winning narrator Andia Winslow.        


Until next time, be sure to subscribe to the show and enjoy building partnerships, organizations and communities that grow our ecosystem.       

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