36 – Becoming a Podcast Guest


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Today on the show we are talking about podcasts! How to find apt shows, approach the hosts and get featured to build your audience. As usual, Valerie comes to Tim with her last week’s worth of homework and they go through it systematically with Tim adding in as much advice as he can. They discuss a general outlook and strategy, reader personas, spreadsheeting potential shows and how to organize them. A big part of Tim’s strategy is approaching the right podcasts and spending the appropriate amount of energy on pitching to them. This means gauging the effect that appearing on a show will have, and prioritizing the podcasts according to your needs. The discussion also covers ways to frame your book for different audiences and tips for reaching out to hosts. For all this and more, join us on the Book Launch Show today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The marketing strategy outline for getting onto some podcasts.
  • Different reader personas and casting a net to catch as many as possible.
  • The two different types of podcasts Valerie has identified to target. 
  • Detailing each potential podcast and laser focussing on how to become a guest. 
  • Getting a sense of the following and size of each podcast. 
  • Putting in the effort where it counts at crunch time.  
  • Getting started on appropriate shows and building some experience and confidence. 
  • Reframing your book for the audience you are going after. 
  • The way to communicate with the person you are pitching to. 
  • Creating some momentum and working cleverly on pitching. 
  • And much more! 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Tim Grahl — https://booklaunch.com/ 

Tim on Twitter — https://twitter.com/timgrahl

Valerie Francis — https://valeriefrancis.ca/ 

Valerie on Twitter — https://twitter.com/valerie_francis 

The Story Grid Editor Roundtable Podcast — https://valeriefrancis.ca/podcast/ 

Running Down a Dream — https://www.amazon.com/Running-Down-Dream-Winning-Creative/dp/1936891557

Business of Books — https://businessofbooksmastermind.com

https://bookriot.com/2018/11/14/best-romance-podcasts/

11 of the Best Podcast for Romance Readers — https://alovesotrue.com/best-podcasts-for-romance-readers

Best  Romance Novels Best Podcasts — https://player.fm/podcasts/Romance%2520Novels

Tim Ferriss — https://tim.blog

The Four Hour Workweek — https://fourhourworkweek.com

Ladies, We Need to Talk — https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/ladies-we-need-to-talk/

Forbes — https://forbes.com

The Masquerade — https://www.amazon.com/Masquerade-Part-Robin-St-Croix-ebook/dp/B01LYUZBZV

Diana Gabaldon — http://www.dianagabaldon.com

Kroger — https://www.thekrogerco.com


[0:00:00.3] TG: Hello, this is the Book Launch Show, and I’m your host Tim Grahl. This week, I’m talking with Valerie about really digging in and getting started with outreach. Outreach is one of the things that you have to do to one of those, you have to move people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist, it’s the only way to grow your audience, right?

Is to move people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist. But a lot of times, it’s often the hardest part for authors to really get started on because it just – you have to put yourself out there, you put yourself in the way of getting rejected. It’s also pretty ambiguous, it’s also hard to know where to start. One of the places I think right now that is the best, most straightforward place to start is by being interviewed on podcast.

I really like this for a couple of different reasons, the first is, you don’t have to create a bunch of new content, you don’t have to create — write a whole new blogpost or you don’t have to create anything, you literally, get on the phone, get on a Skype call, whatever it is and hit record, they ask you questions, you answer questions and that’s it. It’s much more straightforward as far as creating the content. 

Also, it creates a very clear win/win for the podcasters, right? There’s so many of these podcasts that are interview based podcasts and so they constantly need new people to interview. By you going on the show, you’re actually being helpful by giving them somebody to interview. A lot of the stuff we’re going to talk about in this episode is just the kind of nitty gritty, planning it out, who you’re going to reach out to, what you’re going to ask them, how do you pitch them. All this stuff that can really trip you up as you get started.

It’s a really helpful episode, I think you’ll start to see how you can do your own outreach as well. Before we jump in, I do want to mention a couple of things. First off, I am starting another round of Business of Books mastermind. This is a six month intensive, small mastermind that I lead, it is each month we go over a new topic and we do group calls and we do individual check ins and it’s really for people that are trying to grow their author business.

Maybe you’ve gotten something going, you’ve started to get your platform going or you’re making a little bit of money or your sales are going up a little bit, but you’re really wanting to take it to the next level. This is based on all the work I’ve done in my own business over the last decade, plus the fact that I’ve gotten to work one on one and looked behind the scenes and helped behind the scenes with lots and lots of really well-known, popular, successful authors and see how they’re running their businesses. I’ve gotten to work with authors that run their own huge consulting firms.

I’ve gotten to work with authors that are speaking full time or are building their info product business or whatever it is. I’ve gotten to help them build that and so what I want to do is help you do that. If you’re looking at – you just feel like maybe you’re plateaued or you’re stuck in the work that you’re doing and you want to – would love to work with me in a small group of people to really just go to the next level over about a six month period, I’m just starting to take applications for the next round of the mastermind.

If it’s something you think you might be interested in, you can go to booklaunch.com/mastermind and there’s a little bit more information there and then you can fill out the application. We’re doing the applications just to make sure that everybody that comes in is a good fit.

I think it’s something that again, if you are looking to really take what you’re doing to the next level and you know, if you could just have and a small group of people come alongside you, that would be all the difference you need to really make that jump. I highly recommend you go check that out.

I also wanted to mention, a few days ago, I just gotten home, I picked my kids up from school, I was just standing in my kitchen, they were upstairs kind of putting their stuff away, getting started on their homework. And my phone rang, I looked down and it was a friend of mine who I haven’t talked to in a while, I probably couple of years, I haven’t talked to, maybe we texted a couple of times and he’s a pretty well-known author himself and I picked up the phone and I was like, “Hello?”

I’m kind of wondering, did somebody die, is everything okay? When you haven’t talked to somebody for such a long time and then they just call you out of the blue, I’m always like uh-oh, what happened? He had read my book, he had read Running Down a Dream and he just wanted to call me to tell me the kind of difference that it was making for him. He had been putting the exercises and the practice and he was just telling me how just a lot of the personal realizations he had about himself, what was holding him back on running down his dream, and just the changes that the book had made to his life.

You know, it’s one of those things that as an author, we can’t hear enough is the people that – you know, there’s people that read the book and don’t like it, hopefully it’s a small group of people, there’s a much bigger group of people that read it and they’re like, that’s good, that’s you know, that’s a good book. Then there’s always that group of people that read it and the book just really speaks to them.

He’s just one of a lot of emails I’ve gotten, conversations I’ve had with people as they drive Running Down a Dream and it really spoke to them. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, I highly recommend you check it out, of course, you can buy it at amazon.com, you can buy it at pernasus.com and you can also buy it at blackirishbooks.com and I recommend you pick up a copy, I think you’ll really enjoy it, if you like this show, if you like just hearing about what it’s like to run down a dream, I think it’s something you’ll really enjoy. Grab your copy but from there, let’s go ahead and jump into this episode and get started.

This podcast is all about marketing, launching your book. But if you’re an author and you have a book, book coming out, book already out, you’re doing something special, you’re doing something that most people are afraid to do in my opinion. They’re actually going after that thing that they want. Everybody says they want to write a book, you’ve actually done it, you’re actually doing it, what that means is that you have a dream that you’re trying to accomplish.

You have this idea, the kind of writer you want to be, the kind of life you want to live, the kind of artist you want to be. I wrote my book Running Down a Dream: Your Roadmap to Winning Creative Battles for people just like you. Based on my last decade of overcoming my creative battles of being stuck in the mud, stuck feeling like I’m always going to be a failure, stuff feeling like this thing that I want is stupid and never going to happen. 

I wrote this book to share the true journey of what this looks like, a lot of self-help books, a lot of books about creativity, they kind of share, “Ah, what was really hard and then look at all the awesome stuff I learned.” This book is different. It will walk you through what I think the real story of running down a dream really looks like. I put everything in there and on top of that, I put the tools I learned along the way. If you know anything about me and my work, you know I can’t help but be practical.

I took that story of running down my dream, of chasing what I wanted in life of overcoming creative battles and I broke it down into really practical tools that you can apply to overcome your own creative demons. Running Down a Dream is out now to Amazon and all the other different places that you can buy books. It’s available on audiobook, ebook and paperback. 

Check it out, buy a copy, share it with a friend and it’s a great way to support this show, thanks.

[INTRO]

[0:08:08.9] ANNOUNCER: Welcometo the Book Launch Podcast, helping authors launch and market their books.

[EPISODE]

[0:08:15.9] VF: Hello Tim, how are you today?

[0:08:16.9] TG: Good, you feeling better?

[0:08:18.4] VF: I am, thank you so much. Okie-dokie. My homework for last week was to do some research on podcasts. Now, here is the issue with podcasts. It is so much fun to research them. It is what a lovely rabbit hole this is. There’s a lot of great shows out there.

[0:08:37.7] TG: There is.

[0:08:39.0] VF: But what can happen with me especially is I can waste a lot of time. I very quickly had to pull away back and come up with a strategy for researching them so that I spent my time in a focused way and in a targeted way that was actually going to get me some results. Rather than just 50 more podcasts on my phone to listen to.

[0:09:03.1] TG: Right.

[0:09:05.0] VF: Here’s what I started with. I wrote down my goal for this exercise. Okay, well the goal really is for my marketing strategy. I want to find readers and give them an opportunity to get to know me and my work, if what I do is a fit for them, I want to invite them to my mailing list so that I can start to develop a relationship with them and turn them into fans.

If the relationship creates value for them, I can ultimately sell them more books in the future. That hit, that’s just a plain language version of your connection system, right? Find readers, that’s the outreach, give them an opportunity to get to know me and my work, that’s the content part. If I’m a good fit for them, invite them to the mailing list so I can develop a relationship with them, that’s the permission apart and then if the relationship creates more value, I can sell them more books in the future and that’s the sell part.

All right, believe it or not, I was getting lost in all of these this week. To find the readers, first I had to identify the personas, right? I went through that exercise. Then I had to figure out where these people hang out and what they like to talk about. 

There’s lots of different places where they hang out and we’re focusing on podcasts and because of the nature of the type of books that I’m writing, my approach to podcast research is more shotgun, it’s more casting the net wide as opposed to laser focused. I can really see why conventional wisdom in the indie world anyway, has been for writers to pick a genre that sells very well and write a million books in it.

You know, if I just write a bunch of romances and develops your back list, write a bunch of thrillers if that’s your thing and get a back list. Then it allows you to laser focus everything in your whole marketing strategy.

[0:10:50.5] TG: Right.

[0:10:50.7] VF: But me being me, I can’t seem to do that. I just get bored too quickly. That’s why my net is cast wide. I went back to an exercise you had me do – 

[0:11:04.1] TG: Hold on, I thought we talked about the fact that your whole focus is going to be love stories for busy women.

[0:11:10.0] VF: Yes, absolutely, it is. That puts me in women’s fiction, so when I go to do the podcast research, that means I have to cast my net wide. There aren’t very many podcast that are laser focused on that topic. 

[0:11:24.4] TG: Well, I mean, While you were talking, I googled romance, novels, podcast. I found a link on bookwrite.com that says, “Snuggle Up With These 15 Romance Podcasts”, one on alovesotrue.com that is “11 of the Best Podcast for Romance Readers” and link on player.fm, “Best Romance Novels Best Podcasts 2019”.

I think there’s – maybe I’m getting you off track on what you want to talk about but my thought is, there are laser focus and there are shotgun and the reason why you have to expand outside of laser focus is because there’s usually only a small number of them but there are some. I’m looking here, “45 Romance Podcasts for your Listening Pleasure.

[0:12:13.9] VF: Right. I have looked at those and some of them are applicable to my book, the type of book that I have written because I haven’t written a romance per se. When I look at the types of interviews they do, the books that they’re reviewing and so forth, if you went on Amazon, they’d all be listed over in the romance section.

[0:12:33.1] TG: Okay.

[0:12:34.6] VF: Because I’ve written a love story, yeah, I can dip a toe over in those podcasts, absolutely. But not exclusively.

[0:12:40.7] TG: Right, well, I think it’s important that you see that just because your book can be applied in different ways doesn’t mean that you have to only – this is something that I felt like Tim Ferriss did really well all the way back in 2007 when he came out with The Four Hour Workweek is when he pitched to say tech bloggers, he talked about all the ways, all the things in the book that were specific to the tech industry. And then when he pitched the book to lifestyle, you know, entrepreneur type blogs, he talked about all the stuff in the book that was about quitting your job and living the life you want to live, you know?

He was constantly reframing the book to fit whatever niche he wanted to talk to. I think the fact that even t8hough your book may not be a straight kind of trashy romance novel, doesn’t mean that it’s not something like when you pitch it to the romance people, you pitch it as a romance novel. Because it is. Now yes, there’s other things in and it’s broader than that but you kind of adapt it to the audience of the outlet you’re trying to pitch it to.

[0:14:02.0] VF: Right, but I’m not limited to the romance podcasts or the podcast that are interested in love stories, right?

[0:14:08.8] TG: Right.

[0:14:10.3] VF: You had me brainstorm a list of other topics that I could talk about.

[0:14:12.8] TG: Okay, yes.

[0:14:13.8] VF: Right? What I had when I started to do my research was just a list, an unorganized list of things I could possibly do and it was just you know, it was a rabbit hole. I was getting lost, I was going deeper and deeper until if you look at the spreadsheet, what I have is just a list of podcasts in the first column — like I have no way of knowing which of them I should be targeting, how to pitch each of them. 

I came up basically with two main kinds of podcasts. Interview based podcasts, right? Which would be, say a lot of those ones you just found and there’s other ones as well, writing podcasts, they’re all interview based. Then there’s these book club podcasts. The book club podcasts, the ones I have found so far anyway are not interview based. I think the most I can do with them is offer to send them my book for them to review on the podcast and if they wanted to do a meet the author event — because some book clubs do that, then I could make myself available for that. That’s kind of, I think, the most I can do with those types of podcasts, right?

[0:15:19.7] TG: Correct.

[0:15:20.1] VF: Then, with the interview based podcasts, I have groups so that I can lasers focus my research, by group. One of them would be podcast that have to do with love stories, you know? The romance podcasts and so forth. Another one would be podcast that are about women’s issues. 

Two of the podcasts are about women who are writers and it’s talking about running a business as a writer and I have leads on both of those. Another one is about writing creativity, specifically for women and I have a lead on one of those. What I had to do, once I made my list of different podcast topics that I could research, I had to organize them so that I could laser focus and take one at a time. Does that make sense?

[0:16:06.1] TG: Okay, yeah.

[0:16:06.4] VF: I used the spreadsheet that you have from one of your courses and of course the first column is just the list of podcast and then you have a contact name and a podcast and then you have a contact name and a podcast description, it’s all very straight forward except for two columns. I need your help to figure out how to approach these two. 

That’s the tier column and you’ve got three, two or one’s so, how do I figure out if the podcast is a three, a two or a one some of them will be obvious. Like the “Ladies, We Need to Talk” would be a top tier and I assume the top tier would be one, right? Yeah. They’re big influencers. Other ones would obviously be a three or a two but for most of them, how do I figure that out if I’m not already – like “Ladies, We Need to Talk”, I know that one because I’ve listened to all the podcasts.

[0:16:50.7] TG: What’s the other column?

[0:16:52.1] VF: The approximate reach. How do I figure that out?

[0:16:54.6] TG: Yeah, those are the ones that most people have problems with and it’s hard because most people don’t post like how many email subscribers they have or how many downloads they get each month of their podcast or whatever. And so, all I use that column for is to try to find some kind of indication about the size of the following. So that is where if they don’t have like how many comments do they get on blog posts, how many Twitter followers do they have, how many Instagram followers do they have, to just try to get a sense of the audience size. So that you can understand how big they are. 

The other thing that you can do with podcasts is to look at how high they rank in their category inside of iTunes. So that you can get a sense for that as well. Now the tier three, two or one, I use that a little – I want to use that as heavily on this. So normally with this, when I develop a spreadsheet, it was to help with book launches. So six months before a book is coming out, an author hires me and the first thing I have them do is fill out the very left column. Which is just the name of the outlet, right? 

So it is either the author or the podcast owner or the board’s Forbes or whatever it is, of all the influencer outlets they have potential access to. And some of the people I’d worked with would list out literally a 150, right? Because they are well known, they have met all of these people that have blogs, that are authors, that run podcasts, that were in conferences, that are TV producer, whatever it is. 

And I needed a way — when I found out after a few years of doing this, I figured out that getting the top eight to 12 people that a person is connected to, to do big promotions would get about – you know these are approximate numbers — but it’s like that would sell 90% of the books to the entire list of a 150. Because most people don’t have that big of a reach even if they have a following. So even like me, I have a pretty decent following but of when you compare me to other well-known internet people, I am drop in the bucket. 

What I try to use the tier one, two and three for is okay, helping my clients think through what we are going to do for each person. Because I had a client a couple of years ago that was like, “I am going to be on a hundred podcasts.” I’m like, “Well, fine except that probably 10 of those, if you add up all the listenership of 10 of those it is probably double if you add up the other 90.” So let us focus on those 10 and do some really good promotion to those 10 and we’ll get to the other 90 later, if at all. 

So I would tell them like, “Okay you need to tier these people out.” So you only get eight to 12 tier ones and then tier two are people with medium size audiences and then tier three are people with like they have audiences but it’s relatively small. And what that does is it allows us to figure out where we should be spending our time. Because if you look at a list of a 100 or a 150 influencers and they’re just blah a list of them, it feels overwhelming. 

You don’t know where to start and what you end up doing is spending as much time on the person that gets a thousand downloads a month for their podcast as you do with the person that gets a 100,000 downloads a month on their podcast. And so you are splitting yourself way too thin. I am working on a launch right now. We are doing the same thing, he is a really well-known author. He’s been doing stuff for a very long time, he could come up with a list of a 100 people easy. 

And I am like, “You only get 12. What are the best 12.” And now we’re just spending time doing really targeted campaigns for each of those 12. Now in your case, it’s a little different because you are not – the other reason that we do that is because we’re on a time crunch. The book is coming on a specific day. We want all the promotion to happen around that launch and so again, there is only so many things we can do between now and the launch. 

And so I don’t want to spread my author thin doing a 100 different podcast episodes when if they just do 10 they’ll get the 90% of sales just off of doing 10 and they don’t have to waste time doing the other 90. Now in your case it is a little different because it’s not so much a time crunch. It is mostly getting into the rhythm of doing this on a regular basis. 

So what I would recommend to you is to not worry so much about the tier one, two or three. Not even right now to worry so much about the approximate reach. So don’t worry about that and somebody in your case, what I need them to start doing is to start moving and getting on podcasts. In fact, if you have one that you know is really like a top tier one that gets a lot of listenership, I would encourage you not to go after that one yet. 

[0:22:06.0] VF: Right.

[0:22:06.5] TG: What I would encourage you to do is to pick a few that are in that same ecosystem of women’s issues or something like that and pick some kind of mid-level one that aren’t super well-known but it allows you to get your feet wet and it will – you don’t want the person that you are pitching at a high end podcast to think that you’re like never done this before, right? So you want to raise your status a little bit by being on a bunch of smaller ones.

And that way if you are nervous or you are getting a little overwhelmed during an interview and you mess something up, you don’t feel like you messed up your big chance on a big podcast. Does that make sense? 

[0:22:55.7] VF: Yeah, it makes perfect sense. 

[0:22:57.1] TG: So I wouldn’t worry too much about those columns right now. Just start reaching out and getting on any interview based. So I mean if you want to reach out to the ones that are like book clubs that review books and offer them the book that is totally fine but I think if you – like how many interview based podcasts are on your list right now just ball park? 

[0:23:22.1] VF: About 20. 

[0:23:23.1] TG: Yeah, so just stop and pitch those 20 and try to get as many of those 20 to say yes or like 15. If there is a few you want to hold back on and so I want to – you know what I’d like to do is see over the next few weeks if you can get four or five interviews done and see how that goes before you keep going down the rabbit holes. 

Because the other thing is that with each person that you’re on their podcast, you are going to follow up with them and ask them for who you should be on next. What podcast you should be on next and get referrals to the next one. So I think 20 is a good starting spot and to just start pitching them. 

[0:24:06.0] VF: Okay, so how do I do that? 

[0:24:07.4] TG: So I have a template that I can send you and we could put in the show notes but the basic idea is that you want to keep it short. I think the biggest mistake most people make is that they are so nervous that they are not going to put something in or be misunderstood or whatever that they end up writing like a 600 word email. So my thing is like keep it really brief, five or six sentences, you know three paragraphs that each have one to two sentences so it is really easy to scan. 

I always start with a quick introduction, so this is assuming you don’t know these people at all. So if you know the podcaster it is mostly just like, “Hey, can I come on your podcast,” you know? If they don’t know you, you need to establish yourself a little bit. So you can just say, “Hey John, my name is Valarie Francis. I am the author of The Masquerade series and I am reaching out to see if I would be a good guest for your podcast.” 

I like to just say upfront why I’m emailing, you don’t want to preamble this and then the next thing I do is I give them some kind of indication that I have done a little bit of research on their podcast. Most of the people that are pitching these podcasts, they are copying and pasting the same email over and over and over and as somebody who has been on the receiving end of these types of things, you can tell really easily when they put no thought into it. 

So this is where reading the site, listening to at least one episode, maybe two or three episodes of the podcast, so that you can just write one or two sentences about showing that you have listened to the show and why you think you’d be a good fit. So I usually put something in like, “I am a fan of the show. I particularly liked your guest Sue, when you talked about X.” Like I try to just drop in some kind of detail that shows that I didn’t just – they are not just on a spreadsheet list somewhere, you know what I mean? 

And then I say, “You know I feel like I would be a guest that you’re fans would really enjoy because…” And this is where we come into the Venn diagram where if it was a romance podcast, it would be “Because I am an author of a 12 part romance series for women in a hurry and I would love to talk about what it’s like to write romance with your audience.” Or if it is about women’s issues say, “I have written a 12 part book for women that touch on some of the major issues that run through the lives of the modern day woman. I would love to come on and talk about that.” So this is where you frame your book to fit the audience.

[0:27:03.7] VF: This is interesting that you say that because I remember coming across a clip of an interview with Diana Gabaldon, I have no idea how to say her last name. And she said she would be sitting at a book table at an event and people would come up to her and say, “What’s your book about?” She said her answer would depend on the person standing in front of her. If it was a woman, she would play up the romance, the love story part of it. 

If it was an older man, she would probably bring up the war aspect. If it was someone who looked like they like science fiction and fantasy, she would play up the time travel aspect. So that is basically what you were saying right? 

[0:27:39.6] TG: Yeah, you reframe your book to fit the audience that you are going after and again, if you do this in just two sentences, you will set yourself apart from 95% of the other people that have pitched the podcaster to be on their show. Because you have shown that you actually listen to the show because you pointed out something particular that you liked and you showed that you’re familiar with the show by telling him why you’re right for his audience. And those two sentences alone will greatly increase the amount of yesses you get. 

In fact, I was just walking some people through this over the last few months and a couple of them got email and I have gotten these email responses back too, from the podcaster whoever they’re pitching thanking them for actually being somebody that listens to the show or has listened to the show or thank you for sending me something so well thought out. Because the amount of shit, copy and paste pitches they get is ridiculous. 

I mean I get this all the time where people want to guest post on my blog and then they just list out all of this stuff that I am obviously not interested in. And so even if there is something in there I might be interested in, I just stop reading because it is so obvious they are not actually interested in posting on my blog. They are just interested in posting on a blog. 

So introduce yourself, say that you are about to pitch them for being on the podcast by saying, “I would like to be a guest on the podcast.” Two sentences and then, “Let me know what you think. I am happy to send you a copy of the book, Valerie.” Super short. I think I just listed out five sentences.

[0:29:16.2] VF: Okay. 

[0:29:16.9] TG: So you send it out. This is how I do this, so send it out and the first thing you do is go to the website and see if they have instructions on how to pitch the show because some of them have a contact form or an email address that is particular for you if you are interested in being on the show. 

I always follow their rules, right? Especially the first time I try to reach out, I don’t try to snag them on Twitter or something to be on their show. I follow their rules. Because again, that’s showing that I have done my research and I am respecting their show. 

Now if they don’t have that, I will email whatever email address I can find. If they don’t have that I will pitch them on social media and I might even add a little line of like, “Hey I couldn’t find an email address for you. If you have one I am happy to send it over there.” But I really again, especially with the first pitch just try to be very respectful and so if they have rules or they have guidelines on how to pitch yourself to be on the show, just follow that. 

Then what I do is I wait a week. So five business days and then I follow up if they haven’t responded and usually what I do, especially if I sent an email is I go back in my sent folder and I hit reply to my own email and that way, there’s that RE: in the subject line. So it is much more likely to get their attention and I just put one line. Something like, “Hey I was just following up on this.” And then the email is below because you replied to your own email. 

And I found it takes two to three times to really get people to respond and then if they don’t respond that’s fine. If they respond and say yes, then you go on the podcast and follow their instructions and all of that. If they respond and say no, I always respond back asking them for referrals of a podcast they think would be a good fit. And a lot of people respond to that because they felt bad that they had to say no in the first place. So that’s my methodology for that. 

[0:31:23.5] VF: So this is something that I am going to need to create a rhythm for, right? It’s not that I do everything now this week and then I do nothing for six months. So I would want to be pitching a couple of podcasts a week, right? 

[0:31:36.0] TG: Yeah, like what I would do now is pitch like five or six and see what happens because what happens is, if you do two a week you’ll end up you can rhythm it but they won’t. They’ll be like, “Yeah, let’s do it, in April.” And so you set a time and then you pitch two more in March and they’re like, “Yeah, let’s do it,” the same week in April. So what happens is you might get in the rhythm, which is perfect but it’s like when I got my first job, I was bagging groceries at Kroger. 

And it was always so strange to me that no matter what time of the day I work, no matter what was going on, it would be like all the lines would fill up and then all the lines would be empty. Now if you watch people coming in the store, it looked like they were just coming in at a normal rate but it felt like they all waited at the back of the store with their carts and they would raise to the front. It is just weird and you see this through life of like no matter how much you try to keep things normal, when other people are involved there’s always a high and low to it. 

I am sure people have actually studied this. But yeah, I think getting in the rhythm but I think upfront, just send out five or six and see what happens because if you start sending out – once you start going based on referrals, you are much more likely to increase your responses in the number of yesses but when you are starting kind of cold, people aren’t going to respond. They are going to say no and that kind of stuff and I’d rather you get too many. 

And then be like, “Oh crap!” Then do two a week for the first month and nothing really happens. Does that make sense? 

[0:33:12.5] VF: It does. It is getting exciting now. I mean I have to spend so long getting things organized and untangling the marketing mess that I had created. Now that that’s done things are starting to move. This is fun. 

[0:33:25.3] TG: Good, so does that sound doable? 

[0:33:27.5] VF: Absolutely, I can do this. 

[0:33:29.0] TG: Good. So I would say do that as quick as you can so that maybe you’ll get a few responses by the next time we talk and then we’ll go from there. 

[0:33:38.3] VF: Awesome, okie dokie. Think good thoughts for me this week.

[0:33:41.6] TG: Oh yeah, you got it. Easy-peasy.

[0:33:44.4] VF: All right, I’ll see you next week. 

[0:33:45.8] TG: All right, thanks Valerie. 

[END OF EPISODE]

[0:33:47.2] TG: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Book Launch Show. For all the past episodes, the show notes, or to connect with me, you can go to booklaunchshow.com. I have dozens of free book marketing resources and articles that you can access at my website booklaunch.com. 

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[END]

Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl is the author of Your First 1000 Copies and the founder of BookLaunch.com. He has worked with authors for a decade to help them build their platform, connect with readers, and sell more books. He has worked 1-on-1 with over a hundred authors including Daniel Pink, Hugh Howey, Barbara Corcoran, Chip and Dan Heath, Sally Hogshead and many others. He has also launched dozens of New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestsellers.

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