PIX1861 / Pixabay

If you’re working with a limited marketing budget, getting exposure for your business can be challenging. One of the best ways to reach a large targeted audience without investing money is through appearances on podcasts.

There are currently more than 700,000 different podcasts, and that number is increasing very quickly. With so many different podcasts, there are options in just about every industry, and many of these shows need guests.

Not only will podcast appearances provide you with exposure, but they also make it possible to develop a personal connection between your brand and your target audience.

While it won’t cost you anything, it will take some effort and you’ll need to have an organized approach. Here are three simple steps you can follow.

Step 1: Find Your Targets

Although many podcasts actively recruit guests, you don’t want to sit back and wait for people to come to you. To get started, create a list of podcasts that cover relevant topics that you think might be a good fit for your own story.

You may already be familiar with a few podcasts in your industry, and if so, add them to your list. You can also use directories to find podcasts on any topic. iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry, and iPodder are all great places to find podcasts.

With the help of a simple Google search, you can probably find blog posts that list the best podcasts. For example, search for “best marketing podcasts” and you’ll quickly find several useful lists.

One last tip is to identify someone in your industry that seems to appear on a lot of podcasts. Do a search for “John Doe podcast” or “John Doe interview” and you’ll find many appearances that person has had.

Step 2: Tailor Your Pitch

The biggest mistake you can make is quickly sending a pitch without putting much thought into it.

Popular podcasts receive many pitches every single day. I know a podcaster who told me that only 2% of the pitches he receives actually wind up being booked for the show.

When you’re working on your pitch, you need to recognize that there’s a lot of competition for the exposure that these podcasts offer. The good news is that most people put very little time or effort into their pitch. With a little bit of thought, you can create a pitch that stands out and gets noticed.

Before you reach out to a podcast about coming on their show, you need to do a little research. Ideally, you should listen to an episode or two so you can get a better feel for their show. If you’re really pressed for time, you should at least browse through the titles of recent episodes to see exactly what topics they tend to cover. Think about your own experience and how you could tie it in to the theme of their podcast.

Find something unique about yourself or your business that would make an interesting story for a podcast. I wrote an article about how I turned a photography hobby into more than $1 million, and that article was written specifically for the purpose of landing guest appearances on podcasts. When I pitch a podcast, I’ll mention my story and link to the article. Podcasters love personal stories, so come up with a few angles that you can use in your pitches.

Some podcasts will have specific instructions for sending your pitch. They may have a form for you to fill out, or some instructions for how to email them. If they do offer instructions, be sure that you follow them and give exactly the information that they are looking for.

When you send an email with your pitch, keep it brief and get straight to the point. It can be helpful to reference an episode of their podcast or a past guest that you especially enjoyed. It helps to show that you’ve actually paid attention to their show.

In your pitch, quickly explain your credentials, the topic ideas you have, and what the listeners will take away from your appearance on the show. It’s a good idea to include a few different topic ideas so they can select the one that they think is best.

Step 3: Scale Up

When you’re just getting started, pitch some small podcasts first. Starting small allows you to practice your pitch before you start reaching out to the most popular podcasts that get a ton of pitches.

As you start to land some appearances, you can leverage those to get more appearances. When you pitch other podcasts, include links to the best podcasts that you’ve been on so far.

Keep scaling up until you have appearances on several podcasts, and hopefully a few that are very popular with your target audience.