Whether you’re a new or veteran podcaster, you’re always looking for ways to grow your audience. Social media marketing, email marketing, and blogging are useful techniques, but there’s one strategy that rises above the rest: podcast collaboration.
If you listen to podcasts, you’ve probably seen this before: Your favorite host brings a guest on who also works and creates content in the same niche. After the interview, you decide to check out the guest’s podcast. Soonafter, you’re a regular listener.
This means that even though podcast collaboration is a marketing strategy, your audience loves it! Each new guest represents the potential to enjoy more amazing content. It doesn’t feel like marketing to your listeners. It just feels like value.
Looking for more ways to promote your show? Learn all of the tactics professional podcasters use to promote their shows in our complete podcast marketing guide.
8 Podcast Collaboration Strategies
Collaborating with other creators and experts is one of the fastest ways to grow your podcast. You don’t have to collaborate with just podcasters. You can work with creators of any kind, as long as your audience finds them relevant and valuable.
Keep in mind, however, that collaboration is a two-way street. You will be expected to give just as much as you get from your partners. If your show is especially new, you may be expected to give quite a bit more.
Let’s go over the top podcast collaboration strategies.
1. Find other creators your audience will like
Your first step is to find collaborators with audiences that are similar to yours. They don’t have to be identical, but their audience should be similar to yours so that their listeners actually care about what you have to say.
For instance, if your podcast is about cryptocurrency, you should look for shows about crypto. But you can also appear as a guest on shows about blockchain, finance, and technology.
Where do you find collaborators? Since you are interested in your own niche, you probably know a few creators that would make good collaborators. Consider anyone who podcasts, makes videos, writes articles, streams live, speaks publicly, or offers courses. You can even target social media influences. Start a list with these names on top.
The simplest way to find potential podcast collaborators is to browse podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Search for the same terms that also apply to your show. Write down the names of any shows that seem interesting.
Search all of the big platforms for influencers like yourself. Pay careful attention to their follower count. Obviously you want as much exposure as possible, so it’s tempting to target influencers who have huge followings. But high caliber influencers get a lot of collaboration requests and only accept the ones that offer equal value. Target influencers whose audience sizes match your own.
2. Organize “shoutouts” with other podcasters
A shoutout is pretty simple. Simply mention another podcast in one of your episodes. Explain why you like it and why your listeners should check it out. Ideally, you should do this organically. Perhaps you might mention a specific episode that relates to the content of your episode.
Say something like, “If you want to learn more about that, I highly recommend John Doe’s podcast, specifically episode 103 where he discusses…”
In exchange, the recipient of the shout out should perform one as well to promote your show. For best results, you may want to give the collaborator some notes about your show or episode to help them promote you well. Both parties should tell their listeners exactly how to listen to each show and include links in their show notes.
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3. Appear as a guest on lots of shows
One of the most powerful ways to collaborate with other podcasters is to appear on their shows as a guest. In exchange, you can have them on your show as a guest.
“Being interviewed on other podcasts that have large audiences has been more effective than any other strategy,” says Jeff Sanders of The 5 AM Miracle With Jeff Sanders. “I’ve also worked very diligently for years to ensure my show consistently delivers high-quality content, with high-quality audio, every single Monday morning. Consistency, quality, and exposure to larger audiences will always help grow any show.”
What’s great about this approach is that it’s some of the easiest marketing you’ll dig into. You don’t have to do the editing or promotion. Just give them 30 minutes to an hour of your time, talk about topics you already know, and enjoy the free exposure.
Since there are more than two million podcasts, you have plenty of potential collaborators. No, it won’t make sense to appear on all two million, but there are lots of shows with overlapping audiences that would love to have your expertise.
4. Podcast as a guest host
If your audience is similar to a potential collaborator, a fun way to cross-promote is to produce an episode – in your style – for the collaborator as a guest host. Have them publish it under their show’s name. In exchange, publish one of their episodes to your podcast.
If you opt for this technique, each guest host should record an introduction that clearly explains what the listener is about to hear. Say something like, “This week, my friend John Doe is going to take over my podcast. He’ll be talking about…” Then let the guest host dive in. Then record an outro that thanks the guest host and tells the audience how to learn more about their show.
Need help with the beginning and end of your podcast? Check out our full guide on podcast intros and outros.
5. Use a podcast guest matching service
A guest matching service is a platform or service provider that brings podcast hosts and guests together. Yes, some of these services charge a fee, but the cost of the service is often far less than the cost of doing the work manually to reach out to potential guests.
Here are some popular guest-matching services:
- PodMatch – Matchmaking platform that starts at $6/month.
- Podcast Guests – A free newsletter with weekly opportunities.
- Perfect Podcast Guest – A free online directory.
- MatchMaker – Matchmaking platform with free and paid tiers.
If you decide to join one of these services, don’t forget to join as a host and as a guest. This way the service will place guests on your show and put you on other shows.
6. Send a quality podcast collaboration pitch
Once you find a potential collaborator, send a pitch that introduces yourself, your show, and any of your other work. Send samples of some of your best content. Most importantly, don’t be coy. Be absolutely clear that you would love to collaborate. It’s even a good idea to propose some collaboration strategies, like appearing in each other’s content, giving shoutouts, or simply sharing each other’s social media posts.
Ideally, you’ll want to get the collaborator on a call so you have a genuine conversation about how you can work together. If you’re trying to get on their podcast, this is an important step, because it demonstrates your ability to have a pleasant conversation.
Finally, make it clear that you are open to other collaboration strategies. Ask the potential collaborator if they have any ideas as to how you can work together.
7. Make yourself an AMAZING collaborator
The final podcast collaboration strategy is arguably the most difficult, but also the most important. If you want to create lots of collaboration opportunities, you have to transform yourself into someone that other creators are desperate to work with.
Here are some tips to make yourself a great collaborator:
Be an undisputed expert in your field. If you know your stuff – and no how to communicate that knowledge – other shows will clamor to bring you on. So it’s absolutely critical that you know what you are talking about.
Bring something unique to the table. True experts aren’t just knowledgeable. They also have unique experiences and opinions. They expose audiences to new ideas and ways of thinking. Don’t be afraid to offer unusual or controversial opinions.
Have answers prepared for common questions. You can anticipate certain questions based on your niche and expertise. Think ahead and have some answers ready.
Deliver more than you promise. If you agree to promote five of a collaborator’s episodes, promote 10. If you agree to a 30 second shout out, do it for a minute. If you agree to a 30 minute interview, stick around for a full hour. The goal is to make your collaborators feel like you offer tons of value.
Offer lots of collaboration ideas. Podcast collaboration is easy when you’re working with other podcasts. You visit their show and they visit yours. But when you work with different kinds of content creators, you have to be a little more creative, so try to approach each potential collaboration with some unique ideas to create buzz.
8. Create your own promotional materials
If you want collaborators to promote you well, it’s helpful to send them copy, images, and other marketing assets. They’ll be more likely to follow through with the cross promotion if they have all of the tools they need to promote you well.
What should you send? Anything you would use to promote yourself. That might include images, videos, audiograms, your media kit, or paragraph copy about yourself, your show, or individual episodes. In fact, some podcasters like to write social media posts and newsletter copy for their cross promoters.
Grow Your Show with Podcast Collaboration
Podcast collaboration is one of the simplest and most effective ways to grow your show. It also gives you a chance to meet interesting and knowledgeable people in your niche. There’s no doubt you’ll find it a satisfying and fulfilling experience. Use the strategies we outlined above to effectively collaborate with other podcasters and content creators.