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6 Main Reasons Why Most Podcast Guests Are Rejected by Show Hosts

6 Main Reasons Why Most Podcast Guests Get Rejected by Show Hosts

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

No one likes rejection. Yet, many podcast guests are being rejected every day. In this post, Tonya and Michael from BrandFace reveal 6 common reasons you may be getting rejected, and exactly what it will take to fix those issues and get to the top of the guestlist for your most sought-after podcast appearances.



Read The Blog Post: Why Most Podcast Guests Are Rejected

No one likes rejection. Entrepreneur magazine wrote an article in 2020 titled Five Fears All Entrepreneurs Face. Guess what was number three on that list? Rejection!

When Alex asked us to talk about what it takes to become a sought-after podcast guest, we thought it’d be great to discuss why podcast hosts reject guests.

***This post is a transcription of one of the talks from our PodPros Quarterly Virtual events.

There are two reasons we’re excited about this topic.

Number one, we specialize in personal branding.

Number two, we also have a podcast, and we get a lot of requests to interview guests.

We’ve seen many things go wrong with guest pitching, which leads to our topic of discussion: the main reason why podcast guests are rejected and how to overcome them.

Top 6 Reasons Why You Are Rejected as a Guest


1. Your message is vague or unclear.

2. Your topic is not compelling or unique.

3. Your topic is unrelated to the podcast theme.

4. Your topic competes with the host’s business.

5. Your online presence is inconsistent.

6. You don’t have a press kit.

1. Your message is vague or unclear.

When podcast hosts are seeking a guest, they need to know what value you can bring to their audience. If your goal is to be an expert guest on a particular topic, what specific message do you have for their audience?

If it seems like you aren’t clear on that, hosts tend to dismiss you pretty quickly. For instance, a guest description like “I work with people to improve their position in life and achieve their goals” is too vague and unclear.

It may sound well-meaning, but it’s not specific at all.

So ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you work with people?
  • Which people do you work with exactly?
  • What do you do for them, and how does that impact their lives?

This should help you gain clarity on what your message is.

2. Your topic is not compelling or unique.

Let’s assume your message is dialed in. Still, that doesn’t mean that a podcast host considers your message important enough for their show.

For example, if you teach people how to trade cryptocurrencies, how’s your approach different from everyone else talking about cryptocurrencies? How does what you have to say change the viewpoint of the listeners?

When the subject matter is compelling or unique, podcast hosts will grab it up right away.

A great example is what we are talking about right now:¬†six reasons why most podcast guests get rejected. It’s compelling. It’s different. And instantly, you want to know why.

3. Your topic is unrelated to the podcast theme.

This one is a no-brainer. Yet, it happens all the time! In fact, we see it a lot on our own podcast.

Often, people reach out to us to promote their new book or course, etc. Yet, they don’t realize that their product is not what our podcast is about.

Our podcast focuses on how their own story impacted that product and how they use their personal brand to promote that product.

If you look at our PodMatch profile, you see that our podcast topic is Successful Personal Brands.

Our ideal guest criteria reads:

Looking for coaches, authors, podcasters, speakers, and other entrepreneurial experts who have a well-defined personal brand and want to share how they have started and grown their businesses as a result of their personal journey and what they are known for.

Pretty specific, right? That’s what’s important to us.

4. Your topic competes with the host’s business.

You’ve to ask yourself, why would someone want to have their direct competitor on their show? While there are some rare circumstances where you might consider that, all in all, it’s rarely the best move.

Podcast hosts want people who compliment their business or act as ancillaries to their business. Are you that?

5. Your online presence is inconsistent.

Think about it. People will most likely look you up online before considering any business relationship, including podcasting.

When pitching yourself, you’re also sending them links to your website, funnels, social media channels, etc. Suppose they see different messaging, imagery, and calls to action everywhere they look. In that case, they might think you’re pitching yourself as a multiple personality disorder expert!

You don’t want that.

This reminds me of when I first started working with Tonya, and she taught me the personal branding principles. I had seven construction trucks on the road, and they advertised our company on the sides.

We began to dig into the branding and quickly realized that several had different logos. Some even had different phone numbers! The messaging was far from consistent.

¬†6. You don’t have a press kit.

A well-done press kit is one of the greatest assets of your business. It lets the podcast host know that you’ve got your stuff together.

Essentially, a press kit will include everything that goes into your PodMatch guest profile.

You might be wondering: is it a must I have a professional press kit?

Indeed, some people might not notice that you don’t have everything put together. But I can promise you this:¬†they always notice when you have everything put together.

So how do we fix these things and avoid rejection?

Our 3 Ds To Avoiding Rejection As Podcast Guest.

It’s simple. Define. Develop and Display your personal brand.

All six of the reasons a podcast guest could be rejected are answered in this formula. So read keenly.

The first phase: Define.

Before you search for potential podcast matches, you need to know your ideal customer profile.

You want to make sure you’re talking to the same audience as your podcast host. If you’re on a podcast to serve as an expert on a specific topic, who will benefit from your knowledge?

One of the things we love about podcasting is the cross-promotion in this industry. Appearing on the right podcast benefits not only the podcast host but also you.

Next, you want to make sure you can offer knowledge and experience that no one else can offer. In other words, what makes you different?

You don’t want to be floating out there in what we call the “sea of sameness,” You want to be the one that’s different.

That uniqueness is what podcast hosts are looking for.

The final thing you’re looking to create in the define phase is a 75-mile-an-hour view of who you are or what you stand for.

Something shiny to get people to stop and pay attention to what’s going on‚ÄĒthese are the elements of your brand that people see first. They decide from that initial view whether they want to engage further with you.

Think of your brand as a book. You cannot fit the entire story on the cover of the book. Nobody would read it, and no one could. Instead, you need to make sure that the cover has a captivating image and words that draw somebody in for the first time.

A 75-mile-an-hour look that says, “This is interesting. I want to open that book and read the first page.”

Remember, nobody’s ever going to see all elements of your brand in one place at one time. They’re going to see parts and pieces of the brand, and you want to make sure they’re cohesive and capture attention right away.

The second phase: Develop

This phase covers your brand messaging and your brand imagery.

Podcasters will look you up online first, for instance, your profile on PodMatch.

You need to make sure that your message and image are congruent with what you stand for. Your messaging consists of things like an elevator pitch, your biography, and topics of interest, to name just a few.

It’s your story put together in a very concise and pointed way.

As Mark Twain once said,¬†“If I had had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.”¬†Good brand messaging communicates the most important things quickly, efficiently, and with the proper emotion.

You have to take the time or seek good help to make sure that message is correct.

The next thing to tackle is imagery–what your brand looks like.

This includes things like your brand colors, logo, background elements, and last but not least, photos of yourself. You want to ensure that it’s the right image paired with the right words.

Once you have all the branding elements, only then should you begin to market yourself. This lets you avoid a huge mistake that we see people make- trying to market yourself before your brand is built.

That’s why frustration levels are so high when it comes to marketing. Many things get blamed when your business doesn’t grow or when it grows in the wrong direction. But the truth is:

Most of the time, when you think that it’s a marketing problem, it’s actually a branding problem.

Here’s why.

There’s a difference between marketing and branding. Marketing is using different vehicles or platforms to get a message out to your ideal customer. It can be a social media post, Google ads, a billboard, or a postcard. It’s a vehicle to get a message and image out there.

However, the message and image that you’re putting out there; that’s your brand. You’ve got to dial that in first.

The third phase: Display

The third and final phase in this formula is Display. It’s time to put your message out there. Everywhere and consistently, remember those two words.

You now have all the elements ready for a professional press kit. Your PodMatch profile can now be completed with great confidence.

We hope that this helps you get accepted and not rejected in this podcast world that’s growing every day.

Want more amazing content on podcast guesting? Check out the following resources:

About Tonya Eberhart & Michael Carr

Tonya Eberhart is the founder of BrandFace¬ģ and Branding Agent to Business Stars. She‚Äôs also the author of four books on personal branding. ¬†Tonya‚Äôs humble career began while selling vacuum cleaners door to door to pay her way through college. ¬†That led to a job in radio, where she observed local business owners who were featured in their own advertising and positioned as local celebrities in the market. That‚Äôs when she realized the power that personal branding has on a business. Almost two decades and many successful brands later, she founded BrandFace¬ģ, a personal branding firm consisting of four personal branding books, a speaking series, and personal branding programs that are designed to help serious professionals differentiate themselves.

Michael Carr is America‚Äôs Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer and the Abundant Life Broker. During his 28 years of experience, he has been actively involved in over 78,000 transactions and licensed in as many as 31 states in the continental U.S. as a broker and an auctioneer… ¬†Michael first met Tonya in 2013 when he became a client. He immediately put her exclusive personal branding concepts to work at his own brokerage, and as a result, his real estate business quadrupled over the next year and continues to grow in recognition, revenue, and recruitment. ¬†On the heels of that success, they decided to co-author BrandFace¬ģ for Real Estate Professionals, which became the #1 international bestseller on Amazon. ¬†And today, he is a partner and the COO of BrandFace.