Podcasting has been on everyone’s radar for many years now and it continues to be one of the easiest ways to promote your therapy practice. Reaching a larger audience as a mental health therapist is particularly important as you try to break into the speaking market or sell products or services that do not require your one-on-one time.
This can be anything from a book, to a program, to a course. When you have something other than therapy services to offer clients, podcasting is a great avenue to reach potential buyers. It also helps build your authority and your brand.
Below you’ll find a comprehensive task list for how to get on podcasts and share your knowledge and skills with the world.
#1 Identify Relevant Podcasts You’re Interested In Appearing On
To begin, you need to use both Google and your professional network to find podcasts that are relevant to your niche in mental health. You don’t have to limit your search to your credentials, you can include areas of interest or topics that match your research or skills.
In the realm of podcast topics, there are podcasts that cater to mental health topics and education as well as podcasts that are advice-driven. You want to investigate the podcast to verify that it aligns with how you want it to be presented in the world. If your values are to “not give advice” then you want to avoid podcasts that attract advice-seekers.
To determine which angle the podcast takes, listen to a few shows. You can also review the show notes that are offered in the description below the audio player. This is common on every platform from YouTube to Spotify. Just know that if you see a few sentences only, you will have to commit to listening to get the answers you’re looking for.
Skip ahead to 5 or 6 minutes into the interview to get a real feel for how the interview is going and what questions the host is asking the guest.
Make a list of the podcasts that resonate with you so you can reach out to them in the future.
#2 Validate The Quality Of The Mental Health Podcast
Quality is determined by a handful of parameters. Ideally, you’re looking at a podcast with a consistent posting schedule. As you look through the list of shows, make note of how frequently they add a new episode to their list. Frequent episodes note the commitment of the host to gaining a following and that has a measurable impact on the reach of their podcast. It also gives you a sense of how “new” the podcast is. And while “new” isn’t necessarily bad, you can predict that their audience is small if they are just getting started.
One could argue that getting in at the ground level is great, your show will be seen by most people who listen for a while. But if your goal is to promote or market something now, that is unrealistic if the podcast is new.
- Does the podcast have a clear theme or topic that you can identify? Ideally, the theme aligns with your work/therapy practice.
- Is the quality of the show clear and easy to listen to?
- Does the host conduct a good interview?
- How do they handle the balance between who is talking vs listening?
- And is the host a good conversationalist?
Some podcast guests struggle to come up with what to say and a great host plays the role of helping everyone look good on the show.
Once you’ve picked a few podcasts you like, it’s time to reach out as a potential guest.
#3 Reach Out To Podcast Hosts Or Booking Agents/Team
Most requests to be a guest on a podcast are done through email and or following the process outlined on the “be a guest” page on their website.
To apply, you need to send in a compelling and concise pitch. The steps include a brief introduction, an explanation of your expertise, and why you should be considered as a guest. Be sure to mention how your therapeutic expertise will fit perfectly into the podcast’s niche and consequently, benefit their audience.
Include your credentials, experience, and a few topics you are interested in speaking about. Just be sure that the topics you suggest have not been covered in their past podcast lineup or with other guests. To confirm the originality of your idea, review their past episodes.
Here’s an example of a compelling and concise pitch to the host:
Subject: Unique Perspective on Mental Health for Your Podcast
Dear [Podcast Host’s Name],
I am writing to express my interest in being a guest on your podcast, [Podcast Name]. My name is [Your Name], and I am a seasoned mental health therapist with over [number of years] years of experience in the field. I specialize in [Your specific area of expertise], and my work has been instrumental in helping individuals navigate mental health challenges and improve their quality of life.
I am also the author of [Book title with link / or program name] and you can find my work on my website [insert link].
I have enjoyed exploring your podcast and discussions around mental health and [Insert 1-2 specific topics you enjoyed]. Given my experience, I believe that I would be a valuable guest and contribute to your authority on [Insert topic matter].
Additionally, I would love to explore talking with you about [Mention 2-3 other topics you’re interested in speaking about]. I have not seen you cover these topics yet and I believe that I would be a valuable guest and contributor for your audience.
Thank you for considering my request. I can be reached at [Insert how to connect with you] and look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your name, credentials, and contact information]
#4 Prepping For Your Interview
After being accepted on the mental health podcast as a guest, you need to understand the details of how this particular podcast works. Collect the following details so you can feel prepared for the interview.
- Show length
- Interview date and time
- Is it an interview or a presentation?
- Is it audio only or audio and video?
- If it’s a video, can you bring slides? Are slides expected or not advised?
- How much of the show time will you be speaking?
- What can you promote about yourself/your work?
- How do they tell listeners to get in touch with you/connect to you/follow you?
- What links are you allowed to share or do they do this for you in the show notes?
- Can you promote yourself/your book or products? If so, when?
- What podcast platforms will the show air on?
- How do they promote the show?
- How do they promote you as their guest?
- What is the expectation from you around promoting the show?
- Where/how do you plan to promote the show after it’s live?
- Who is your contact person for questions?
- Who is your contact person on the day of the podcast recording just in case you have an emergency/need before the show?
After gathering these details, prepare your talking points and rehearse your talk. Avoid having such a tight presentation that you can’t give yourself space to simply talk. After all, podcasts are meant to be discussions not lectures.
#5 Do A Test Run With Your Equipment
Nothing is worse than being on a podcast only to have your sound quality go bad or your video camera quit working. At least one week before your appearance, test all of your equipment. Do a dry run with another person to get feedback on how your audio sounds and your video looks.
Once you’re settled, plan your wardrobe. This is less important, obviously, if you’re doing just audio, but if you’re going to be on video, consider what you’re wearing and how the background looks. Remember to look at all aspects of your appearance, hair, makeup, clothing, sound, and lighting. Adjust anything that feels out of place or too understated on camera.
For people who wear makeup, the camera often requires a little darker makeup than you would traditionally wear. Do a test run with a darker eyebrow, lipstick color, and blush. See how it looks/feels and never try out a “new shade or color” on the day of the recording if you haven’t seen what it looks like on camera already.
#6 The Day Of Your Podcast Appearance
Now that the big day is here, it’s time to turn on the charm and professionalism. A best practice is to arrive a little early, but not obnoxiously early. 5 minutes will do unless the host has shared an arrival time. If that’s the case, just show up when they said to.
Remember that the host likely has multiple agendas going on so if they are distracted, don’t take it personally. That may just be their nerves or their to-do list interfering with their focus. Follow the steps you’re asked to take and remember podcasts are one-take. You can’t get a do-over if you say the wrong thing, so stick to your talking points and don’t reach too far outside of your comfort zone.
If you say anything you need to correct or expand on for clarity, be direct about it. Say something like, “Can I say one more thing about that?” and you’ll most likely be given the air time to finish your thought. Remember, your host doesn’t want to look like a jerk, especially with the nature of the mental health topics you’re covering.
Manners and politeness go a long way here.
#7 After Your Appearance
Send the host a thank you note in appreciation of the opportunity to be their guest. Remind them that you will promote the podcast once it’s published and ask to be notified when that happens. If you’re savvy with Google, you can set a Google Alert with the podcast name, your name, and the topic to get advanced notice once the podcast publishes.
#8 Promoting Your Appearance
Once the interview is live, you want to follow through with your commitment to promote your interview across your network. Whatever you agreed to do, you should follow up on. If you’re posting on social media, tag or link to the podcast’s social account so they can see what you shared. This is a great way to keep the producers informed while also tying your name/business to this mental health podcast.
If you get comments or questions from other people, share those with the host so they can see the “buzz” your appearance on their show generated. This is how you subtly suggest returning to the show as a future guest.
Remember, all podcasts, mental health or otherwise, are only as valuable to the producers as their popularity. If no one is listening, why keep doing it? Showing your support and partnership by not only promoting your appearance but also in the conversation and energy you stir up will make you a desired podcast guest for future shows and other podcasts.
A Few Frequently Asked Questions About Mental Health Podcasts:
#1 How can I listen to a podcast?
Every mental health podcast is available on various platforms, but where they are published is show-specific. The host chooses where to place their podcast, they don’t automatically show up on the different platforms. That said, what’s possible ranges from Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, to Spotify and more. But, again, the host has to choose for the shows to be there for the episodes to appear.
Podcasts can be listened to on your mobile phone, computer, or tablet. They are super flexible and can be streamed from your devices to your car or speakers wherever you have them set up.
#2 Why should I consider appearing as a guest on a podcast?
Appearing as a guest on a podcast has many benefits including giving you time and the opportunity to share your wisdom, expertise, research, perspectives, and questions with a broad audience interested in the same mental health topics. As you do more of this, it also expands your public reputation and deepens your body of work online. All of which help to build your professional authority and can even drive traffic to your website.
#3 How should I pick my topic to discuss on a mental health podcast?
To pick the right topic, you need to do your research. Review the list of episodes and pay special attention to anything that is close to what you want to talk about. You may even want to listen to those episodes to make sure that you have a unique angle for your discussion.
Choose something you’re passionate about that also has some “trendy” angle to it. This gives the host the sense that you’re “keeping up” with regular people and their interests, not just lost in your own research or ideas.
If you’re unsure about how many people actually care about the topic you’re interested in, go to Google and search your topic under either “News” or “Trends.” This will help you see what’s being talked about in mainstream media.
Pick something that you’re qualified to speak about, that’s both of interest to other people and not yet covered on the podcast. That’s the winning formula.
#4 Do podcasts pay their guests?
Typically, no. Being a podcast guest is seen as having value for both the podcast host and you as the guest, so there is no financial exchange. That said, as your reputation grows and your proof of sharing your interviews with your audience, you can start to see what kind of “influence” you have.
Influencers do get paid.
So if monetizing your presence is a goal, you need to develop a responsive audience on either social media or your website that drives traffic to the podcast. That’s how you earn the reputation that you’re a high-value, influential guest and then it is possible to ask for compensation and receive it.
#5 Can I post my interview from the podcast on my own website?
Yes, you can. If you’re a frequent podcast guest, consider building a media page so you can market your appearances to your website visitors. Your media page should list the shows you have been on with a title, a little synopsis, and a link to listen. That page is also a great way to show hosts your body of work and professionalism and you can share this link in your query letters so you don’t have to sell your skills and value, you can show it instead.
#6 How often should I try to be a guest on mental health podcasts?
Once a month if you can do it. This level of frequency shows you’re relevance in the mental health market and builds your reputation as a guest. And remember, savvy podcast hosts are keeping up with their competition. Mental health podcasting is no different and once a host sees you on a few shows with something new and interesting to say on each one, you may find inbound requests asking you to be a guest appearing in your inbox.
#7 Can being a guest on podcasts help my SEO?
Absolutely. Here’s my take on this:
Appearing on mental health podcasts is a super smart way for therapists and mental health professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with a larger audience. By following the steps outlined above, you have a step-by-step guide to finding relevant podcasts, reaching out to podcast hosts, preparing for your interview, and promoting your appearance once the podcast is live online.
Being a podcast guest is a great way to gain credibility and professional exposure for your business and your brand. Our advice is don’t hesitate to put yourself out there.
If you need help getting on mental health podcasts or starting your own podcast, please reach out to consult with our team.