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SPI 548: Reading Bad Emails from People Asking to Be a Guest on This Podcast

Today is all about podcasts. Specifically, being a guest on someone’s podcast. More specifically, how not to ask someone if you can be a guest on their podcast.

As I talked about with Ray Blakney in episode 547, guest podcasting is possibly the best way to gain exposure and trust from an audience that doesn’t know you yet.

I get a lot of emails from people asking to be a guest on one of my podcasts. I’m talking dozens a week. Some of those emails are compelling, written by someone who’s taken the time to follow and listen, who cares about how they can be of service to my audience.

But most of the emails… well, they’re not great.

That’s why today I’m going to share some of the ways to most definitely not ask to be on someone’s podcast.

I want to preface this episode by saying that I don’t mean to offend or make fun of anyone. I’m here to educate. I’m not going to mention any names. And if you’ve sent me an email like this, I hope you’ll take this as a chance to learn and improve.

But the truth is, you’re never going to be on another person’s podcast if you approach the ask the way these people did.

So what should you do instead? Well, first of all, listen to episode 547 if you haven’t already. Ray and I talk about strategies to position yourself, how to ask, and what to do when you get on a podcast. The most important thing is to know the exact superpower you possess that can provide value to a podcast host and their audience.

SPI 548: Reading Bad Emails from People Asking to Be a Guest on This Podcast

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now, your host. He’s not sure what he loves more, creating podcasts or listening to them: Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: I want to preface this episode by saying, just right up front here, that I don’t mean to offend anybody. I’m not here to make fun of anyone in particular. I’m here to educate. I’m not going to mention any names. And if you maybe are one of these people who have sent me these emails, again, I’m doing this to educate you and everybody else who is listening right now.

Pat Flynn: But I’m going to be talking about guest podcasting because this is what we spoke with Ray about in episode 547. Highly recommend you listen to this. Guest podcasting is, in my opinion, one of the best ways, if not the best way to gain exposure and trust from an audience that doesn’t know you yet, in the most fast and efficient manner and most genuine manner.

Pat Flynn: In that episode, we talked about strategies to position yourself, to how to ask, to what to do when you get on those podcasts, et cetera. But the truth is you’re never going to be on another person’s podcast if you approach the ask in the way that these people approached the ask when they were trying to get on my show.

Pat Flynn: So these emails that I’m going to read to you and again, I’m going to not mention any names. I’ll just use the name Joe just as a sort of placeholder. So sorry to all the Joe’s out there, but this isn’t about you. This is just about these emails that have come in. And then I’m going to assess these emails and I’m going to share with you what didn’t work. And again, these are people who have spent the time or maybe just copy pasted to reach out to me to see if I would let them on the podcast. And we’re going to discuss a few of these as we go.

Pat Flynn: Let’s start with Joe number one. This is the email subject line: “Podcast Guest – Award-winning Business Coach Joe.” And there’s an emoji a light bulb emoji. So, caught my attention with the emoji, but very much already centered around who the guest is and not what the guest could do for me, as you’ll hear in the introduction of this, as well.

Pat Flynn: “Hey Pat, allow me to introduce you to Joe, international award winning business coach and consultant, keynote speaker, and podcaster. Joe coaches women in business to hit four to five figures per month and then into six to seven figures without burning out in the process. This is why I believe she will be an incredible guest on the Smart Passive Of Income online business and blogging podcast. I truly believe her message perfectly aligns with your heart to empower and equip your listeners with actionable information to build a successful online business.” And continues into a whole ‘nother paragraph with some accolades of hers.

Pat Flynn: Then the next paragraph, “Her authenticity and commitment to her clients makes her unique in a world that pushes more work and less connection. Da, da, da, da, da.” Here are a few talking points. And then there’s “Joe is an outstanding guest, genuine, grounded, and razor sharp, da, da, da. Oh, and one last thing, Joe would be happy to share this episode with his audience or her audience of 19,000 followers and email subscribers.”

Pat Flynn: Okay. So number one, Joe, didn’t reach out to me. This person did. So my number one rule is if you need somebody else to ask, then it’s already a no. And that’s in most cases, right? I think a genuine ask from yourself to that person is what matters. And when we talked about this with Ray earlier this week, all those emails that you send out are going to be coming from you, not an assistant.

Pat Flynn: That’s not to say they can’t work. I think there’s a place for assistance and people who you’ll go and sort of find podcasts for you to be on, but I still think that, I mean, a genuine person-to-person ask is definitely the way to go in my opinion. And of course, if this is something that’s really important to you, then you might as well start to build a relationship with that person instead of having somebody else do it for you.

Pat Flynn: It just feels very cookie cutter, especially I mean, a tell-tale sign for me is when they is the full name of my podcast. They would be an incredible guest on The Smart Passive Income online business and blogging podcast. People who know my podcast would call it SPI or at least the Smart Passive Income Podcast. That’s how it is always said. So there’s a little bit of a clue there as well.

Pat Flynn: So Joe number one, I’m sorry, that just didn’t work. Joe number two. “Hi Pat, this is a follow up in case you missed our last email.” So this person did follow up, which is always a good thing. I think it’s important to follow up, but when it comes to the original email, you’ve been using “the Smart Passive Income business and blogging podcast.” There it is again, “by Pat Flynn.” It even says by Pat Flynn, which is referring to me in third person now. So Nope. Already, no.

Pat Flynn: “As an incredible platform to share your message and inspire your followers on social media strategies and productivity tips,” which is literally just pulled out of my description, “the style in which you’re actively engaged with your guest in interviews, alongside your ideas on online business and blogging strategies is part of the reason why I highly rate you as a …” Okay. So talk to a person like you would talk to a person, right?

Pat Flynn: If you’re talking to a person in real life and you’re trying to ask them on the show, you’re not going to normally say, “Hey Pat, I love your podcast the Smart Passive Income online business and blogging podcast where you talk about business strategies and tips for social media and productivity.” That’s number one, but number two is you wouldn’t really say, “You know what? I highly rate you as a potential for somebody who has a podcast that I could be on.” Like that’s just, no.

Pat Flynn: Okay. Next, Joe number three. “Dear podcast host.” Err. Done. Please, really? The subject line is “podcast – Joe.” It just says this person’s name. “Dear podcast host, Joe will be traveling to Orlando, Florida in July. He travels the country as a public speaker. He’s interested in discussing his legal and business expertise with you. Joe is an attorney author, da da, da, 50 more accolades. He often discusses his book, underlined and bolded name of book here, Joe.” Again, another paragraph about Joe, another paragraph about Joe mentioning that he’s the CEO of his company for the third time. And if you’re interested, please contact this. Nope. Sorry, Joe number three.

Pat Flynn: Next, “Dear Smart Passive Income Podcast crew. Okay, so at least you are familiar that I have a crew behind me who helps. My name is Joe and I work for Joe’s publications in the marketing department. I was made aware of your podcast and wonder if you might be interested in having some of our authors as guests.” Okay. “Namely, Joe, author of name of book, we would be happy to offer a few e-book copies and a permanent discount for your podcast good for all of our products in all formats.”

Pat Flynn: Okay. So I like the attempt of seeing, well, what’s the benefit for me. I appreciate that. Free e-book copies that I could offer as a gift and some discounts that I could offer to my audiences. Well, I do appreciate that, but I think that we have to think a little bit more deeply about what you, my audience would appreciate and it’s not necessarily more content and e-books that are from whoever, but actual, genuine conversations and story about something that’s really important.

Pat Flynn: So this person made no reference to the kinds of episodes that I prefer, the benefit that this particular author that they are highlighting here could offer the brand, how maybe it’s different than other episodes. There’s so far in any of these emails, no mention of at all listening to the show. Everything’s been cookie cutter pulled from the description. So I’m sorry, Joe number four. That would be a no.

Pat Flynn: Joe number five. “Dear Pat, good day. My name is Joe. I’m from an online business network that aims to equip entrepreneurs with the right support tools, knowledge to run their online business. It was founded by da, da, da, an experienced entrepreneur and former … “Okay. “We have been listening to your podcast, AskPat, a weekly coaching call on business, blogging, marketing, and lifestyle design.” And okay, so there’s literally copy, cut, and paste from the name of AskPat. They literally call it “AskPat 2.0 weekly coaching call an online business, blogging, marketing, and lifestyle design.”

Pat Flynn: “We find it inspiring and motivating and would like to explore pitching an interview with name on your podcast channel. Below are topics name can talk about. Name again, name, accolades for name, things we could talk about with name, name, dropping here. They’ve also interviewed personalities such as so and so, so and so.” I recognize a few of these names, Gary Vaynerchuk, Neil Patel, et cetera.

Pat Flynn: “You can find another profile for more information here.” I am summarizing this email, which is literally pages long. I do not have the time, nor do most podcast hosts have the time to read an entire profile on somebody, let alone somebody who is not actually writing and genuinely sending this email, but somebody again doing it on their behalf. So I’m sorry, Joe, or the person who works for Joe, this would be a pass as well.

Pat Flynn: Okay, I got one more for you. And then we’ll talk more about the best practices and some of the things that have worked for people who have come on my show, even those who have reached out cold. “Dear Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn team. Dear Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn team, I hope the email finds you in good health.” I like that opening.

Pat Flynn: “I am Joe, a part-time podcaster. I’ve helped my friend to start his own podcast and monetize it. And I would love to have Joe on your show.” Okay, well at least this person is speaking a little bit more like we would in a conversation, but then it goes again into the whole just plowing of information into my face about why Joe should be a guest on the show and just more of that. So again, Joe, number six, I’m sorry.

Pat Flynn: So sorry, Joes, that’s a no go. So, let’s talk about what worked. I mean, hopefully you can get a sense and yeah, I’m poking a little bit of fun here. I’m not mentioning any names except Joe, but these are not actually from any Joes, by the way, but we’re just talking about the approach.

Pat Flynn: So what should be the approach? Well, first of all, your approach should be listening to episode 547, if you haven’t done so already, because that outlines the exact approach that you should take, but most important is an understanding that you know exactly the superpower you have that could be offered to provide value to that podcast host and/or guest and their audience.

Pat Flynn: I very much appreciate when somebody reaches out the fact that they know me, they know my brand, they know you the audience, they know the kinds of episodes that have been here on the show. And yes, sometimes people list their favorite episodes and okay, you’ve listened to the show, great. What else? What else do you have to offer besides the fact that I now know that you actually listen to the show? Which gets you in, gets me to read more of the email, but I’m not quite convinced yet. Anybody could listen to the podcast. Right?

Pat Flynn: Well, you could listen to the podcast and realize that I haven’t talked about a particular topic very much. You could realize that this topic that you know a lot about that I don’t know a lot about would be massively valuable to my audience. And my audience and the value that they get from listening to the show because it is valuable, it takes their time is what is most important to me.

Pat Flynn: I also appreciate when we don’t even talk about being a guest on the podcast at all first. I appreciate when you reach out to just say thank you or to say hello and exchange ideas, or to potentially have a direct message conversation asynchronously where we can go back and forth and just chat about something and connect. Most, if not all of the guests on this podcast have been a result of a connection, a connection directly, or connection through a friend.

Pat Flynn: For example, there is an episode coming out very shortly with an amazing woman named Marisa. And in that episode, I know we’re going to talk about money and the money mindset that we have, the stories that we tell ourself about that, and to hopefully unlock better money thoughts and practices as we are becoming business owners. That was a direct result of James Tramco, who is a friend of mine and my coach saying, “Pat, I had a really great interview with this woman named Marisa. I highly recommend her for your podcast.” Boom. She was in. I actually reached out to her for that and it was all due to James in that connection.

Pat Flynn: So yeah, Marisa Pierre, that’s coming in episode 551, a few episodes from now, right? This is episode 548. That’ll be three episodes from now. So look out for that. Make sure you subscribe if you haven’t already. Now, I highly recommend, again, you go back and listen to episode 547. You go to and you check out the tool that they use because they can get you in on the podcast that makes sense for you, but it’s still up to you to be able to be genuinely approaching these things from a place of service.

Pat Flynn: As you can tell, if you’ve been listening to this show for at least a couple months, you’ll see that that’s a theme that radiates throughout everything that means success in the online space, coming from a place of service. When it comes to becoming a guest on another person’s podcast, you have to take it with that in mind as well. So I hope this was a somewhat enjoyable episode. It’s fun to go back, and how often do I get those emails? Dozens of times a week.

Pat Flynn: It was very easy for me to pull just from the last couple weeks different versions of the same kind of email, the email where a person obviously hasn’t listened to the show. They have copy and pasted something and are just kind of playing these throw a spaghetti at a wall, throw a spaghetti … throw a lot of spaghetti at a wall and just hope something sticks.

Pat Flynn: There are better ways to do it. There are more genuine ways to do it, and it all comes down to relationships. It all comes down to providing value. And the other piece of advice I could offer you is, why don’t you just go out there and meet people? And you can do this online. I know that’s hard, and if I was just starting out and hearing that advice, I’d say, “Well, that’s much easier said than done.” Of course, but you got to do it.

Pat Flynn: You got to go out there. You got to put yourself out there and often ask, “Well, what’s the worst that can happen? Well, weigh that, like actually what’s the worst that can happen? Weigh that against well, what’s the best that can happen? You never know, the next person you reach out to and try to provide value to in some way, shape, or form, that could change your life. And isn’t that worth the risk? I think so.

Pat Flynn: Now, I appreciate you for listening in. I hope that you enjoy this episode and I look forward to serving you in the next few because we got a lot of great stuff for I’m up, a lot of great guests and just keep rocking it. Thanks so much, SPI, appreciate you. And we’ll see you on the next one. Cheers, and as always team Flynn for the win.

Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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