Join us as we present a replay of a past event: Lee Chaix McDonough speaks on the topic: How to get Booked as a Guest on Podcasts.

Event Date: August 31, 2022 | Time: 10AM PT / 1PM ET

“…People who listen to podcasts are engaged like no other audience. And so, podcasts are a great way to connect with people who will become raving fans. It’s one thing to do a guest blog or be featured as an expert in someone else’s blog. But when you can be on a podcast, it really gives you an opportunity to develop relationships, both with the podcast host but also with their audience.”

– Lee Chaix McDonough

Lee Chaix McDonough Be a Podcast Guest

Lee Chaix McDonough (pronounced Lee Shay McDunna) is the CEO of Coach with Clarity®, a membership program for intuitive coaches and healers seeking to build their coaching and business mastery. She is also the author of the #1 Amazon book, ACT On Your Business: Braving the storms of entrepreneurship and creating success through meaning, mindset, and mindfulness, and the host of the forthcoming Coach with Clarity podcast. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and her pug Phineas.

Join us here on August 31, 2022 at 10AM PT / 1PM ET

Listen and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Watch the video interview on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, or on our YouTube Channel where you can subscribe to our playlist.



In this episode…

  • Why authors should add podcast interviews to their marketing plans.
  • What podcast hosts are looking for in guest interviews.
  • How to be a desirable guest for podcasts.
  • How authors should go about crafting their podcasts pitches.
  • How to locate podcast opportunities and contact information.
  • How to build a strong and valuable social media presence to attract podcast hosts and their audience.
  • How to come up with and present sample interview questions as a guest on a podcast.
  • How to prepare for podcast interviews without blocking your authentic self.


Hello and welcome to the interview series for the Nonfiction Authors Association. Please enjoy this top replay from the archives.

Stephanie Chandler  01:49
Today’s session is with Lee Chaix McDonough, and we’re going to be talking about how to get booked on podcast interviews. I’m your host Stephanie Chandler. Always appreciate you spending time with us. This event will last 30 minutes, and recordings are available to Authority and VIP Members of the Nonfiction Authors Association.

If you’re new to us, in addition to recordings, our community members receive exclusive templates, checklists, and other content released weekly. Media leads sent out by email every Friday including, by the way, podcasts interview requests, access to our active member community on Facebook, free admission to local chapter meetings, discounts off our year-round Nonfiction Book Awards program, our Nonfiction Writers Conference events, and our online courses and author toolkits, and discounts with our awesome partners including Lulu, Findaway Voices, Office Depot, IngramSpark, and more. We would love for you to join us over at

And now I am thrilled to introduce our guest today. Lee Chaix McDonough is the CEO of Coach With Clarity, a membership program for intuitive coaches and healers seeking to build their coaching and business mastery. She is also the author of the #1 Amazon book, ACT On Your Business: Braving The Storms of Entrepreneurship and Creating Success Through Meaning, Mindset, and Mindfulness. And she’s the host of the forthcoming Coach With Clarity podcast. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two sons, and her pug Phineas. Hey, thank you so much for joining us today.

Lee Chaix McDonough  03:28

Well hi, Stephanie. I am so happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Stephanie Chandler  03:32

What an amazing business you have. And I love this topic, because I have been promoting the idea of author’s leveraging podcasts for years. I personally think they’re so much better than traditional media. I’m in California–if I want to do a drivetime radio show in New York, I have to get up at three in the morning or two in the morning sometimes. And you know, people aren’t necessarily engaged, but when they’re listening to podcasts, they tend to be a little bit more engaged–maybe you get a longer interview. So what are some of the reasons authors should add podcast interviews to their marketing plans, in your perspective?

Lee Chaix McDonough  04:10

Well, I think you just hit on one of the main ones, which is that–people who listen to podcasts are engaged like no other audience. And so, podcasts are a great way to connect with people who will become raving fans. It’s one thing to do a guest blog or be featured as an expert in someone else’s blog. But when you can be on a podcast, it really gives you an opportunity to develop relationships, both with the podcast host, but also with their audience. There’s an intimacy to podcasting that I think sometimes we don’t get in other forums. And so, I think it’s a growing medium. And it’s just a great way for nonfiction authors, in particular, to really allow themselves to build their credibility, to build their visibility, with an audience that wants to know more about them.

Stephanie Chandler  05:03

And you make a great point–this intimacy–because it’s what you and I are doing now. And I think that it helps listeners feel like they’re getting to know you a little bit versus reading an article, right?

Lee Chaix McDonough  05:14

I think you’re exactly right. I mean, when you can put a voice to someone’s words on the page, it just–it creates that relationship, it creates a bond. And I don’t know about you, but as a reader, I want to feel like I know the author–I want to get to know their personality, I want to hear a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes. And podcasting is such a unique way to get to do that.

Stephanie Chandler  05:36

Well, and another thing, when you compare it with traditional media, I mean, they might promote your appearance, maybe the day before, usually the morning of. And in podcasting, most of the programs–they’re promoting your appearance before, and it gets recorded, there’s show notes. It stays active forever, right?

Lee Chaix McDonough  05:58

Yes. And the beauty of Google and Search Engine Optimization–if someone is searching keywords, and it includes the topic that you have been on the podcast for, you’re very likely to come up. So again, I’ve also found that podcasters know how to market and promote their podcast better than just about any other media out there. And so that’s the other thing, is that when you appear as a guest on someone else’s podcast, they are going to be promoting you, because it’s going to benefit their podcast and their listenership. So again, it’s this symbiotic relationship where everyone wins–the podcast host wins, the guest wins, and most importantly, the podcast audience wins.

Stephanie Chandler  06:43
I know, I’m a big podcast listener, and I actually use iTunes kind of like a search engine. So if I’m interested in a topic, I’ll look it up. And I am introduced to new people because of that. Do you do the same thing?

Lee Chaix McDonough  06:58

I do. And I love that when you are listening to one podcast, if you scroll down, iTunes will show you other podcasts that you might like, or other podcasts that other listeners are listening to. And so, it becomes kind of this branching out. So you can really discover new podcasts, new people, simply by, you know, opening up Apple podcast, or Stitcher, or Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast.

Stephanie Chandler  07:25

Awesome. So the podcast hosts–what do you think they’re looking for in guests that they interview?

Lee Chaix McDonough  07:32

I think first and foremost, they want to make sure the guest understands the audience and is showing up to serve. So yes, while podcasting is a great way to promote the work that you’re doing, and to build a platform for yourself, I really think it’s important to view that as a secondary gain. The primary gain is the audience, and really showing up and serving them. And so, if a podcast host feels like you understand and appreciate their audience, and that your main goal is to make sure that the audience walks away with something new, or something helpful, they’re going to appreciate that. Because it shows that you respect them, and you respect their people. To do that, I think it’s important that every guest have a clear point of view, a clear message, and that they’re able to share it succinctly and clearly. Podcast hosts–they want to engage in conversation. They don’t want to feel like they’re trying to pull answers out of someone who’s only answering, ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ or, ‘I don’t know.’ But likewise, they also don’t want a guest who’s going to come on and do a monologue either. So it needs to be conversational, you need to have a clear message. But also leave some space in the conversation, and leave a little room for the magic, because you never really know where a conversation is going to end up. And that’s okay. That’s part of the magic of podcasting.

Stephanie Chandler  08:48

That’s a really good point. And it’s similar for what we’re doing here. I always send guests interview questions ahead of time–I don’t necessarily always follow them exactly. So, you know, it allows them to be somewhat prepared in what we’re going to talk about, but it may also detour, so you want to be prepared for all of that. This kind of dovetails into the question of getting the attention of the podcasters. How should authors go about crafting their podcasts pitches?

Lee Chaix McDonough  09:17

Well, I think before they even pitch a podcast, the very first thing you need to do is listen to it. And I think you might be surprised. or maybe not actually, as a podcast host, you probably aren’t surprised–the number of pitches that come in from people who clearly have no idea what your podcast is about or who you speak to. When I was hosting my first podcast, Work Your Inner Wisdom, I would get pitches every day from people that clearly had never listened to it. They didn’t realize the angle that I took in my podcast, and they were pitching themselves, or they were PR Reps pitching their clients, and it was completely inappropriate, And so that just got a straight ‘delete’. But, when I got a pitch from someone, where it was clear they had listened to the show, you know, they referenced past episodes or past guests. And then they were able to frame themselves as a value-add to the podcast and for my audience, I was hooked. So first and foremost, before you even create the pitch, please, please, please listen to the podcast and make sure you are a good fit for it.

Stephanie Chandler  10:21

I love that. And value-add to the audience. That is a big one, right? So you’re not pitching your book, perhaps you’re pitching tips from your book, or how the audience’s life can be better, right?

Lee Chaix McDonough  10:35

Exactly. When you are creating your podcast pitch. First off, if this is your cold email, keep it brief. It doesn’t, and it shouldn’t, be too long. You can do a personalized opening, where you make it clear that you’re familiar with the host and with their show. You can briefly introduce yourself–and it’s fine to mention your book, mention your credentials. And then, you want to go into why you would be a great guest on the show. And the reason that you are a great guest has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the audience and how you can serve the audience. I recommend maybe sharing two or three pitch ideas. So giving the host an idea of what you can bring to the show, and how it will support the work they do and really bring some value to their people. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything long and drawn out, just three bullet points of possible topics you could discuss, and then close with your contact info and invite the host to respond if they’re interested. Again, really succinct, keeping it brief. But again, it demonstrates that you’ve put in the time and the effort to research the podcast, and ensure that what you bring to the table meets the needs of the host and the audience.

Stephanie Chandler  11:04

You know, and you’re here today, because we have an open call for speakers and you submitted this as a topic. And I loved it, because it’s not a topic we’ve covered in some time. And it is always amazing to me the pitches that come through–because we clearly say, you know, we’re looking for content specific to nonfiction authors. And we get pitches on depression, and single parenting, and stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what we’re about. Or we’ll get one or two word pitches. So people don’t even follow those basic directions. And that’s how you quickly end up in the ‘Delete’ file. So you’re giving some really good advice here.

Lee Chaix McDonough  12:35

Thank you. And it’s funny, because those topics that you just mentioned–those could very easily be tweaked so that they would meet the needs of your audience. I mean, what about–let’s say you are a single parent, and you’re also a writer? And how do you balance both? How can you find time to work on your next book while you’re trying to manage the demands of single parenthood? I mean, there is a way to link that to your podcast. But if you’re not taking the time to do that in your pitch, then you’re really missing your window of opportunity.

Stephanie Chandler  13:07

Oh my gosh, great point. Wow. So how do you recommend authors go about locating podcast opportunities and the contact information?

Lee Chaix McDonough  13:17

Well we talked about it a little before, when you mentioned using iTunes as a search engine. That’s the best way to start. So I would suggest doing some keyword searches in Apple podcasts, in Stitcher, in Spotify–seeing what’s coming up. You can also go to Google and search kind of your keywords plus podcast. And then, do a little exploring. Give yourself some time to kind of go down the rabbit hole and see what podcasts are out there. Now I would recommend doing some vetting.

So in addition to listening to some of those podcasts, go ahead and check out the reviews–that’s really helpful as well. It doesn’t need to be all glowing five star reviews. In fact, sometimes the sign that a podcast has really made it, is that they have a couple of one star reviews from people who clearly don’t get it. So I wouldn’t discount podcasts that have a smattering of one star reviews. But you do want to make sure that they have enough reviews that shows that they have a strong listenership. So that by taking the time out of your day to be a guest on their podcast will serve you as well. Because again, this should be mutually beneficial. So, checking the reviews, getting an idea of their listenership, I would do that as you are kind of creating your ideal list of the podcasts that you want to be on.

Now, most podcasts–not all–but most will have a website where you can get their contact information. So certainly, for example, when my podcast goes live in a few months–Coach With Clarity–you’re going to be able to go to and get all the information on the podcast, and how to contact me. So certainly check out the webpage for contact information, or check out their social media platforms. They may not have a strong web presence, but they may be huge on Facebook or Instagram. So you can certainly check there.

Before you do kind of a cold DM, see if they have guidelines for submitting yourself as a guest. Many podcasts, whether it’s on their website or on social media, will have a link where you can complete a form and apply to be on the show. Do that as opposed to just trying to slide into their DMS and introducing yourself. When you follow their process, it shows that you’ve taken the time to do your research, that you respect their time, and that you’re willing to follow their process as well.

Stephanie Chandler  15:35

One of the first things I do when I’m looking through those pitches is–I go to the submitters website. So I think that’s really important, too. That your website, you know, is up to date, it’s impressive. Sometimes I get really excited about a guest when I look at their website and see all that they’re doing beyond just what I’ve seen in a short pitch. So that’s a good reminder too; to make sure you’re kind of ready for getting these pitches out.

Lee Chaix McDonough  16:05

Absolutely. And I would suggest that–based on your particular niche, and the podcast you’re looking at–in addition to your website, make sure that your social media game is where you want it, too. For some people, that’s going to mean a really strong LinkedIn presence, particularly if you’re kind of going the more corporate or professional track. For others, perhaps it’s Facebook. Others Instagram. Wherever it is–and you don’t have to be everywhere–that’s the other thing. It’s okay to pick one and allow yourself to shine on that one platform. But do make sure that you have a social media platform where you are showing up, you’re being present, because that’s another thing that hosts look for as well. They are going to promote this podcast episode that you’re on, but they’re gonna want you to do the same. And so, if you have a solid social media presence, it’s a signal to the host that, ‘Okay, this person can also share the episode with their people and maybe bring some new listeners into my show as well.’

Stephanie Chandler  17:03

Absolutely. That’s a huge, great tip there. Because I’ve seen that too, where there’s either no social media presence, or the social media presence looks completely neglected. And that kind of, you know, changes my opinion of the guest. Not that we’re expecting everyone to be a superstar. But we do want to see that you’re operating at a certain level, right. And in order to be an authoritative guest on a program, you want to actually have a good online presence. So your tips are so valuable, Lee. That’s really great.

Lee Chaix McDonough  17:38

Thank you. One more tip I’ll share–again, I know it might feel like we need to be in all places at all times. And especially when you are a shop of one, it’s really hard to do that. It’s hard to be on Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Instagram. And so, what I would suggest is–if you’ve selected one platform where you really want to spend your time, don’t neglect the other platforms, but maybe in your banner image, let people know where they can find you. So for example, let’s say you’re really investing your time in Facebook, and you don’t want to be on Twitter, you can still have a Twitter handle, but on your Twitter banner–that photo–let people know, ‘Hey, the party’s over at Facebook, come find me there.’ And so that way you can direct people to where you are, even if they are finding you on another platform.

Stephanie Chandler  18:25

That’s an awesome tip. I love that, especially if maybe you started your Twitter or your Instagram account and then abandoned it. That’s a great way to do that. We’ve all been there, right? So what do you feel about authors preparing interview questions in advance? What’s your advice there?

Lee Chaix McDonough  18:45

I would say proceed with caution. And Stephanie, I’ll be really interested to know your take on this as well. When I was hosting my first show, I would prepare some questions in advance to share with my guests. Again, because I wanted them to feel prepared. I didn’t want them to feel like this was going to be an ambush or that I was out to get them. I want to help them be their best on my show. Because that helps them, and it helps me, and again if it’s best for the audience. Now, if a guest were to come to me and say, ‘These are great questions, I’d also like to talk about x, would you be willing to ask me about that?’ Here’s one way you could do that. Well, you know what, that–all of a sudden, it feels like we’re in partnership with each other. And so I am more than happy to do that. Because, again, they’re coming from the perspective of working with me, as opposed to maybe someone who would email me and say, ‘These are the questions I want you to ask me.’ All of a sudden it’s like, ‘Wait, who’s podcast is this?’ Right? And it feels really presumptuous. So I think there is a way to ensure that you can talk about the content that’s important to you. But again, remember, this is about building relationships, and it starts before you even get on the show. So, be tactful, be diplomatic, and always ask if it’s okay to explore this topic, and then provide a question as a sample, not as something that’s carved in stone.

Stephanie Chandler  20:14

That’s perfect. Sample interview questions are what I call it. And I do like to provide them for a couple of reasons. One is, I like to prepare myself. And I like to–before I release a new book or something, I will sit down and think about all the questions I’ll be asked, and then how I would answer those. I just always like to be really prepared. And then I’ve been surprised over the years by how many media professionals have asked for that. I did a local television interview a couple years ago, you know, good big morning show here. And I was shocked when they asked me to send over questions. So yeah, I think you’re right, don’t presume that your questions should be used. But providing them as a, you know, option, I think is helpful. Someone also recently sent me–when I booked her as a guest–she sent me a link to a blog post she’d recently written about the topic we were discussing. And that was really helpful for me and getting prepared for that interview, because I could see what her perspectives were. And so I really liked that. I think anything that goes a little above and beyond makes you memorable, too.

Lee Chaix McDonough  21:29

I absolutely agree. And I think that’s brilliant to send the blog post in advance. I think, you know, a lot of podcast guests will have what’s called One Sheets, where literally it’s one sheet–it’s just a PDF–and it’s got your picture, it’s got your name and how to pronounce it, your credentials, some bullet points about things you can talk about, or things you’d like to be asked about. And again, it’s just a little cheat sheet to send to the podcast host or podcast producer in advance. And a lot of times, I will include links to other shows that I’ve been on, or other places I’ve been featured, so that they can get an idea about who I am, and my style, and just to ensure that I’m a good fit for their show. I think anything we can do to make life easier for the podcast host, the better.

Stephanie Chandler  22:14

Heck yeah. And then we’ll want you back because you’ve been a great guest. Is there anything else you think authors should do to prepare themselves for these interviews?

Lee Chaix McDonough  22:25

You know, I think the main thing, if I can just say it again, is please listen to the shows before you are interviewed. That will serve you so well in the long run, and it’s a sign of respect to the host. I think the other thing to remember too, is that you do not have to be perfect to be interviewed on a podcast. It’s okay if you make a mistake, or if you cough, or if you need to take it from the top. A lot of podcasts will do some light editing. That’s something that you’ll want to check in advance, though. So if you have any questions about that, ask the podcast host in advance whether it’s a fully edited show, whether there’s some light editing, or whether it’s just what is said goes–that’ll help you prepare as well. But again, podcasting, because it is a more intimate medium, the audience wants to hear from the real you. They don’t want anything perfectly polished, they don’t need this, like nice, packaged good, but they want the real you. So allow yourself to show up authentically, even a little vulnerably. And just be present, be in the moment. And think about the one person that you’re talking to–the one person that you want to reach in that interview. If you can really keep them in your mind’s eye as you’re answering the questions, then all of a sudden, they become your lighthouse. They’re like the beacon that you’re heading towards. And that can really reduce any nerves or anxiety that comes up.

Stephanie Chandler  23:49

Gosh that’s a great tip. I’m also thinking about just pacing, right? Because any kind of media, you kind of want to pace with the program. But you want to be mindful of time, which can be tricky. And podcasting, you know, we do about a 30 minute program, sometimes a little less, I try not to go over. But I’ve had instances where the guests will, you know, give these super short answers to questions, and we kind of have to drag it out. Where,like, you’ve come very prepared, you’re giving really great examples. So you kind of really want to be thoughtful about how you’re going to answer questions as well, right?

Lee Chaix McDonough  24:32

Yes. I mean, and no lie, I took some notes before our interview today. Because I wanted to show up prepared, I wanted to make sure that the things that we would be talking about today would serve the audience. And I think that’s the least I can do as a sign of respect. But also, let’s be honest, it serves me too. Because if I show up unprepared and winging it, then I don’t look good. And that’s not going to help me sell books, or connect with the audience, or so forth. So again, just a little bit of preparation in advance goes a long way. But again, I didn’t script my answers, you know. I’m not reading from a piece of paper, it’s like literally just jotted down bullet points. So you want to be prepared. But you don’t want to let that preparation block you from being your real self. Again, podcasting, at least the way we’re doing it, it’s a conversation. So allow it to be conversational.

Stephanie Chandler  25:24

And I love that you have some notes, maybe some points you want to make sure to make. That is a pro. That’s a pro showing up for a podcast. So that’s what everyone listening should emulate. Have we missed anything, Lee? Any other tips you’d like to offer today?

Lee Chaix McDonough  25:41

I think we’ve really hit the highlights. I will say that the more podcasts interviews you do, the more addicting it becomes, and the better you become at it. So it’s okay if your first interview maybe is a little rocky. Or you listen back and you go, ‘Ah, I wish I’d said this,’ or, ‘I wish I’d answered this way.’ It’s all part of the process. And every interview you do is data that you can break down and listen to, and allow yourself to improve the next time out. So give yourself a little grace, give yourself a little compassion when you’re first starting out. But again, the more you do it, the better you get at it. And really, podcasting is such a growing field, that I want to see every author out there promoting themselves and their work through a podcast. It’s just such a wonderful and engaging way to build your credibility and your visibility in the field.

Stephanie Chandler  26:38

Oh it so is. And just as a reminder, we send out every Friday, calls for interview requests on podcasts. We actually cultivate those, we have a submission form, we’re getting more and more requests for guests. And we’re also compiling those. So if you’re not yet a member of the Nonfiction Authors Association, our Authority of VIP members get those media leads every Friday. So Lee Chaix McDonough, can you tell our listeners what services you offer and how they can connect with you?

Lee Chaix McDonough  27:10

Absolutely. Well, when I’m not listening to and being interviewed on podcasts, I run Coach With Clarity, which is a comprehensive coach training program for helpers and creatives who want to leverage their existing professional knowledge and expertise into a successful coaching practice. So I have a membership where we’ve got weekly calls and all sorts of great stuff. So if the idea of coaching has ever inspired you, then I would encourage you to check out the Coach With Clarity membership at And if you’re kind of interested in, ‘Well, okay, so if Lee’s on this Nonfiction Authors podcast, is she a nonfiction author?’ She is, yes! I wrote a book last year called ACT on Your Business. And it’s all about how mindset, and values, and mindfulness are really the pillars of a successful entrepreneurial experience. So you can check that out at Amazon, or you can go to

Stephanie Chandler  28:09

Awesome. You’ve been such a wonderful guest, and a great model for being a podcast guest. So thank you so much, Lee, we really appreciate you.

Lee Chaix McDonough  28:18

It’s been my pleasure. And Stephanie, I have to say you make it easy. So thank you for this wonderful experience.

And thank you to our listeners for joining us today and every week. For a list of guests and topics just check our schedule on the site, use your favorite search engine, or better yet, sign up for our mailing list at

Quotes from our guest…

“…People who listen to podcasts are engaged like no other audience. And so, podcasts are a great way to connect with people who will become raving fans. It’s one thing to do a guest blog or be featured as an expert in someone else’s blog. But when you can be on a podcast, it really gives you an opportunity to develop relationships, both with the podcast host but also with their audience.”

“I don’t know about you, but as a reader, I want to feel like I know the author–I want to get to know their personality, I want to hear a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes. And podcasting is such a unique way to get to do that.”

“Allow yourself to show up authentically, even a little vulnerably.”

“Think about the one person that you’re talking to–the one person that you want to reach in that interview. If you can really keep them in your mind’s eye as you’re answering the questions, then all of a sudden, they become your lighthouse. They’re like the beacon that you’re heading towards.”

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