Podcasting Advice from the Bible Belt

I grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt. During this time, if you skipped through the available television channels, you'd see "the big three" and also about a dozen, low-power stations, often with a faith healer speaking into the camera as if he were talking to a single person.

"I'm talking to you right now. I see you there, sitting with [insert ailment] and no hope ..."

I'm going to do something similar here, channeling my inner faith healer to share some advice to someone, maybe you, reading this newsletter ...

Podcasters often find themselves inundated with guest pitches, many of which don't align with their podcast's theme or audience interests. This is going to happen—people can ask for things.

The problems occur when, to maintain relationships, or perhaps just a fear of missing out, podcasters accept mismatched pitches. This leads to episodes that feel disjointed or off-brand, ultimately diluting a podcast's identity and potentially alienating loyal listeners.

It's essential for you to remember that your primary allegiance is to your audience and the integrity of the podcast you produce.

It's OK to say no to guest pitches that aren't a match for your podcast. Being selective ensures that your podcast remains relevant and engaging for listeners.

How to decline a pitch ...

Be polite but firm. Don't leave an open door or extend the conversation any longer than necessary.

You could say something like, “Thank you for thinking of us. This isn't a match at this time.”

You don't need to go into what might happen in the future, when it could be a match, or offer a false sense of hope for somebody who will never be a match for what you do.

Remember, every guest should contribute meaningfully to the narrative you’re crafting with your audience.

Setting clear boundaries around guest selections will not only preserve the coherence of your podcast, but also build respect for your editorial choices. Trust in your vision and the criteria you set for guest appearances, as these decisions shape the unique voice and experience your podcast offers.

Good luck!

What's the worst pitch you've ever had? Let me know via Mastodon, Bluesky, or Threads.

David @ Big Podcast

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