Podcast interviews are hugely popular, and a win/win for hosts, guests, and listeners. But what makes them so popular, and is interviewing the right strategy for you?

Today’s guest Angie Trueblood is a visibility strategist and the host of “Go Pitch Yourself.” She’s sent over 1,000 pitches (!!) mostly on behalf of her clients, so she’s an absolute pro when it comes to being a podcast guest, pitching hosts, and researching her guests to ask exactly the right questions for her audience.

In this episode, we talk about…

  • Why being a guest on other podcasts is one of the best ways to grow your podcast (and business)
  • How hosts can find great guests for your podcasts
  • How both hosts and guests should prep before an interview
  • The essentials of a great guest pitch
  • How both the host and the guest can maximize their promotion of the finished episode

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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a free AI tool called Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Melissa Guller 0:02
Today, we continue our podcast format series with an extremely popular format, if not the most popular. Of course, I’m talking about interviewing, and unlike the previous formats we’ve covered - where voices were equals, like cohosts - the interview format introduces a clear distinction between two roles: the host and the guest. If you haven’t already tuned into the first three episodes of the series, I’d highly recommend it! They don’t need to be listened to in order, but the first three episodes in the series covered the solo format, cohosting, and panel podcasts, and this episode is the 4th out of 5 in the series.

And it’s a big one, because interviewing is a popular format for good reason. Interviewing offers countless benefits for everyone. I’m not just talking about you as the host, but for your guest, and of course for listeners, too.

So in today’s episode, my guest Angie Trueblood and I are going to talk about being on both the interview side and the guest side of the microphone. We’ll talk about the power of being a podcast guest, and why it’s one of the best ways to get visibility for your business. On the host side, we’ll talk about qualities to look for in a great guest, and how you should prepare for the interview. Lastly, we’ll talk about the essentials of a great pitch, and how both the host and the guest can leverage the finished episode to mutually grow their podcasts or businesses.

Here’s a little bit more about Angie. As a podcast visibility expert and host of the Go Pitch Yourself podcast, Angie Trueblood knows that the only 'perfect pitch' is the one that leads with value and focuses on building a genuine connection. Whether she is teaching entrepreneurs how to pitch themselves or working behind the scenes to secure opportunities for others, Angie leverages her super-connector powers to grow businesses and build long-lasting relationships. When she's not working with her clients or being active in her local community, she loves exploring Richmond, Virginia's parks and playgrounds with her two kiddos, checking out new restaurants with her hubs, and laughing about motherhood over cocktails with friends.

So Angie, welcome to the podcast!

Angie Trueblood 2:52
Thank you. Thanks for having me, Melissa. I'm so excited to finally virtually meet you.

Melissa Guller 2:57
I know! After connecting over guests that you recommended to my show - like former incredible guests, Tasha booth, Natalie Sisson - I'm excited to finally get you on my show. I'd love to start off by learning a little bit more about you. So how did you first start your online business?

Angie Trueblood 3:15
So like so many women these days, I think I transitioned from a corporate job. I was in outside sales, and I had been doing that for about 10 years. And once I had my kiddos, I just felt really pulled to come home. And I thought the best way to do that would be to start something on my own. So the initial jump home was actually with a direct sales company, which I think again, a lot of women take that first step into entrepreneurship because there's a lot of support there. I wasn't building everything from the ground up. And so I transitioned home and very soon after I started to see kind of the entrepreneurial bug rising up in me a bit larger, and I took a business that I was I had created based on a direct sales product, and ended up blogging, it was focused at that point around meal planning.

And once I started blogging, I then created a course. And I actually started pitching myself to podcasters and local media to help spread the word. And I saw the traction that that was able to gain me in that business. And eventually, as I was talking to friends about some of these more PR media opportunities, everyone kept asking, like, how did you land that opportunity? And my answer was always well, I just asked, you know, I reached out and I asked if this might serve their audience. And I soon realized that is not everyone's go to, that's not something that everyone enjoys doing the way that I did. And so I eventually leaned into that gift that I can now recognize as a gift and evolved back in 2017. I switched my business completely away from meal planning into visibility and haven't really looked back.

Melissa Guller 5:05
And well, I love that you mentioned that you realized it was a gift because I think for a lot of women or listeners, we have so many skills, but often they aren't necessarily skills that we realize are so valuable because they come so easily to us that maybe we don't realize that other people struggle or don't want to do the things that we love to do. Yeah,

Angie Trueblood 5:23
or that they're actually valuable. Even in sort of real life. My friends laugh that I know everyone, but really, that's just the definition of a super connector, I think. And it's just how my brain works. When I meet new people, I almost envision lines connecting them of Oh, this person should know this person, they would totally Connect because of XYZ. And so I was able to really, you know, tinker with that skill set and turn it into something that people would ultimately pay me for, which was really nice.

Melissa Guller 5:57
I love that description that you envision the lines Yeah, can Acting different people. Yeah.

Angie Trueblood 6:02
I don't think people think like that.

Melissa Guller 6:04
No, I certainly don't I think in tables grids, I'm an Excel data person. Yeah. And it's so fascinating to hear how other people think. And I think that's one of the best parts about online business. And even podcasting, too, is that you get to connect with other people who think differently from you and have other strengths than you do. Yeah. And I think it just helps everyone. Yeah, totally.

Angie Trueblood 6:25
Now, podcasting is so powerful. I was listening to an episode this morning of the jen hatmaker show, just as I was getting ready, and it just hit me it was I don't know if you've seen it. It was a recent episode with she and her daughter, and I just thought, Man, this is just such a powerful story of this young girl's journey, and I would have never known it had I not been listening to this podcast, and just the power that comes with it.

Melissa Guller 6:51
I love that. Yeah. Well, speaking of podcasts, you do have your own show. So why or when did you decide to start a podcast

Angie Trueblood 7:00
So I decided back in 2019 in March of 2019, and I came out really hot and recorded episodes and an intro and I bought Intro music. And then I didn't really do anything with it. I got overwhelmed with kind of the unknown pieces. And I tabled it for a while until come august of 2019. I was meeting with my coach and telling her about this show idea that I had. And she's like, you actually have episodes and interviews recorded? like yeah, I totally do. And so we kind of mapped out a timeline and we're able I launched it in September of 2019. But I had it in my head taking up space for months.

Melissa Guller 7:51
Mm hmm. I think that that's a more common story, then maybe people realize, I didn't tell you how many of my podcast students when they join they Say, I've been thinking about this for months or for some of them years. And I do think that there's a lot that can cause people to feel maybe overwhelmed. But were there some things that helped you get through the overwhelmed or helped you feel excited about moving forward with your show?

Angie Trueblood 8:16
Yeah, I think part of it was bringing my expectations a bit down to reality. Because I have a service based business. So there's a lot of client work that I do in my business, and I was growing a team at that point. And initially, when I thought about launching a show, I will first I thought I was going to do two episodes per week and then I share that with some of my mastermind friends and they looked at me like I had grown two heads, and I dialed that back, but the point at which I was chatting with my coach about it, it was still going to be a once a week show and she pushed back a little and suggested in every other week show and everything. My kind of not overly perfectionist, but when you know, kind of the best way to do something, it's sort of hard to dial back the way that you're going to do it. If it doesn't meet those expectations, I thought and every other week show would not be the best way to go. I thought I needed to publish weekly, but I kind of again, listened and took it to heart and just recognize I didn't have the bandwidth to do a weekly show. And if I was going to kind of dig my heels into that I was not going to have a podcast.

So I took her advice and launched and we've been doing every other week now since September, and it's really doable. I feel really good about the content, my listenership is growing, and it was a perfect fit. So I think first was me, lowering my expectations of what the actual publication schedule would look like. And then also leaning in to get some help. So again, when I first started, I thought I was going to do it. on my own, but the nature of my business is I don't have it's the podcast wasn't my business, right? It was just a support, you know, as a way for me to produce content for my audience. And so I reached out, I found an incredible editor by connecting with someone I had met at a conference. And he really was the one who helped me bring my idea to life and do the behind the scenes pieces that allowed me to focus on the content and really kind of perfecting the craft of it. Because that's, you know, that's a piece of it, too. If you've never, I mean, the first show you ever host it's a totally different ballgame, you know, than writing blogs or even being interviewed.

Melissa Guller 10:42
Mm hmm. Definitely. I think those are such great tips across the board and just knowing first of all what your own bandwidth is, but second of all, that you don't have to do a weekly show or you don't have to do the things that you see other people doing. I think what's most important maybe to consider is just what feels right. For you and what you're able to sustain, because if you can't do a weekly show, or that feels like too much to start, then maybe your podcast doesn't even get off the ground or It feels like this burden right from the start, which is no fun.

Angie Trueblood 11:12
Yeah. And I didn't want to risk going into it and then pulling back, I thought it would be easier to go into it every other week. And then if I feel like, Oh, this is coming really easily to me, I could always ramp up, you know, I just felt like that would be the better way to go than to jumping for the stars whenever that Yang is graded.

Melissa Guller 11:36
Yeah. Because, like you said, it's not just even with the podcast, with all things about your business, you can always add more later. And I think that's maybe not talked about enough like what we see with the very successful people who've been doing their business doing their podcast for years. Of course, they have a ton going on, but it probably didn't look like that in episode one. So you can always release more frequently. You can always do more. But start off with what feels attainable. Yeah, that's great advice. Yeah, for sure. That speaking of your shows growth, how has your show grown over time? And, you know, I don't need specific numbers necessarily, but compared to when you started, how have things evolved.

Angie Trueblood 12:15
So when I launched go pitch yourself, I actually had a free Facebook group at the time. So I had a little bit of an audience. It wasn't a huge group, but it was people who were familiar with what I was doing, and interested, you know, and learning a bit more about me. So I was able to launch with what I felt like with the size of my audience. My email list was super small at the time, I think it was definitely under 100. So I was definitely not launching to a large, large audience. And I feel like this show has helped me better connect with that audience and to kind of grow with them over time. So it's it's two components really, I feel like I've deepened my relationship which is so funny to say when you're hosting a party. Cast.

But I mean, I do feel like I have this connection to my audience. So I've been able to deepen that relationship with the folks who I already knew going into it. But then also, I do guest on a good number of shows. And I feel like the podcast is such a natural way to draw people back to me, and then they can really get to know me and know whether myself and my philosophies are a good fit for me or not. And so, over time, I've seen listenership grow pretty steadily. It's also kind of nice to see little spikes of growth in there and be able to correlate those two different activities. But I mean, it's definitely been more of a slow roll, but I'm excited about it because a lot of the people that stick with me week after every other week, and being really great potential clients and you know, students in my courses, so I feel like it's moving in the right direction, and I get good feedback. And so I know I'm serving a niche that's not because it is such More of a specific show. I know there's not a lot of people out there really focusing on, you know, the topic of podcast pitching or visibility week after week. Hmm.

Melissa Guller 14:11
But I think having an audience that's really engaged, and like you said, you're building this relationship with them over time. I think that matters more than the sheer number of listeners, because you could have 100,000 downloads in your podcast. But if none of them want to work with you, or buy any of your products, then I don't know how much that relationship can really progress. So I think much as people like to talk about, you know, the big fancy metrics are I know, I have maybe some issues with vanity metrics, like Instagram followers. I think that quality of the relationship and the number of people who actually want to pay you money matters a lot more than just your sheer download count.

Angie Trueblood 14:50
Yeah, and it was evident to me when I first launched the program, and that was probably five months after the podcast launched. And when I went back, you know, because I am a numbers geek I didn't. I know I see lines when I think about people meeting each other. But I'm definitely a data nerd. And so after the program launched, and I really wanted to find out where these people first find me, and so when I did a poll of the students, it was definitely either my podcast or someone else's podcast. So podcasting is a big driver of people kind of meeting me and then getting to know me. And I think that's true for almost anyone that has a podcast, you know, if you're doing it right, and you're really focused on delivering good content to your listeners. Mm hmm. Great point. And speaking of your students, and really just your business,

Melissa Guller 15:41
how does your podcast support your business growth? Maybe you can take us behind the scenes on that a little bit more.

Angie Trueblood 15:48
Sure. So my business has two components to it. So we have the one to one client work, where people come to us and they have a small team on that side. They want us to do the strategy work for their podcast visibility. And really what that means is we pitch them to be guests on other people's shows. And we kind of help support them as they get those opportunities. So they hire us to formulate their strategy, do all that backend work, and then pitch them to be on shows, get them scheduled, and all of that stuff.

So that is really more of a concierge experience with myself and my team because you get all of our brains on it. And then the other side of the business is the program that go pitch yourself program. And that is a true what you would think of as a traditional course. But with a lot of support for me in terms of q&a. We've got some really solid bonuses in there, so that people can learn how to develop their own podcast strategy. So they learn how to pitch themselves for really relevant shows that have a likelihood of converting and how to do that without sounding like a robot. And with the intent of creating a relationship, because I feel like that's really what's kind of missing out in the space is that human connection when you're looking for shows to be a guest on. So those are the two pieces of the business.

And the podcast supports both but in different ways. I would say most of my listeners of go pitch yourself would likely be interested more in the program route, like learning how to pitch themselves. A good number of my listeners are also interested in pitching their own clients. So they're trying to learn how to do that. And so it can drive people for sure to the program side of my business, but it also gives me a bit of authority in the space for people who might be interested in working one on one with us. So the beautiful thing and I do this whenever I'm interested in working with someone new, especially a more of a one to one or like a VIP type relationship, if they have a podcast I am bingeing that podcasts. So I get a good sense of who they are. Not necessarily because I want to learn from them, especially if it's something that I want them just to do. But because I want to get a good sense of them.

And so I think the podcast really supports the one on one work by allowing people kind of a sneak peek of who I am. Am I legit? Do I know what I'm doing? You know, am I someone that they feel like they would get along with? well enough to commit to a six month contract. So it supports that piece of it in the authority space.

Melissa Guller 18:33
I love that it's so helpful to hear you describe both pieces because I think what's maybe tricky about podcasting is that it's not immediately obvious how it can tie to revenue at all times, like in particular, your one to one client example. I think you know, that having the podcast builds authority, and I'm sure that some of your clients who are working with you chose you because you had built up that a authority in your space. And maybe they have even gotten to know you through

Angie Trueblood 19:03
your podcasts.

Melissa Guller 19:04
But it's not as tangible. Like you can't point to maybe a specific episode or piece of data and say, yes, this is the episode that I earned X amount of dollars from you in the way that you can with some other revenue channels. But nonetheless, having the podcast does build authority does invite you to join your program. And so it really does, I think, create maybe more of a marketing channel feeling instead of a revenue channel where people assume you have to get sponsorship in order to get paid as a podcaster.

Angie Trueblood 19:34
Yeah, because my business is a business to business

Melissa Guller 19:37
business.

Angie Trueblood 19:39
It is very much a driver to my offerings rather than a sponsorship model, right. I mean, down the road, who knows I could and there are definitely business collaborations that I could use to bring in direct revenue from the show, but right now, it's just supporting and guiding people to our paid offerings. The other thing I will say, as you were talking, I felt this really big push for me to start a podcast because that was the space that I was in.

And I felt like me knowing the behind the scenes, pieces of running a podcast and interviewing and, you know, managing all of those different processes and just how to interview would make me that much would make me stronger as working with our clients and helping instruct others how to pitch themselves because I would have this inside view. So that was definitely a driving force. You know, you always hear don't shoot yourself, you know, I should have a podcast because I'm in this podcasting space. But for me, it really made sense because I knew there were things and I was really good at pitching clients before I had a podcast but I knew I would be even better when I fully appreciated what podcasters experience and just the behind the scenes piece of it.

Melissa Guller 21:00
And I appreciate that so much. Because I think there's so much value in actually experiencing the thing that you teach or the thing that you do, or even as business owners, maybe as your business grows, you don't do every single part of your business. But even at first, knowing how to pitch, knowing how to market, knowing how to do each piece, I think really gives you empathy. And it also helps you work with other people, whether that means new team members or new clients. So really appreciate the fact that you said, You know, I want to put myself in the podcasters shoes really understand this.

Angie Trueblood 21:35
Yeah, well, and now as a host, and I feel like something just clicked over the last couple of weeks because I've definitely seen an influx of pitches for folks to be a guest on my show. And so now seeing what hosts need to kind of manage on that end because a lot of the pitches quite frankly, are not very well thought out. I mean, I'm sure you get pitched as well, you're familiar with this. And so it almost gave me even more respect for the podcast hosts that read our pitches that respond to them. Because I know they are getting multiples in a day. And it, it does have an impact. I mean, you know, my executive assistant, she opens those pitches, and we have to figure out a workflow for managing them. So it also gave me a greater respect for that part of the process to make sure that we were being very respectful of the host time. And that just means even sometimes just them taking the time to read it. You know, we don't want to waste their time ever.

Melissa Guller 22:39
Mm hmm. Great point. And actually, I think that's a nice segue into a big piece of today's episode talking more about that interview format. And I think there really are three different parties involved to I want to talk about so the theory being the host, the guest, and actually the listener, and that's where I'd love to start. So Just in general, why do you think that the interview format is so popular with listeners?

Angie Trueblood 23:06
So with listeners, I think it's a way for them to get exposure to other areas of expertise. And but having those experts vetted by someone they already trust. So I love interview shows if it's a particular podcast, like if the podcast itself is in a niche that I'm interested in learning about, and I really respect the host, I kind of feel that we have a similar approach to business and life right that I would be friends with them, then whomever they bring on the show, I can already know that Oh, that guest is going to also be well aligned with the host and likely with me, so it allows me exposure to other topics without me having to go out and find them.

So it's like the hostess doing the work on my behalf because they are anticipating what I need. They are unable to deliver themselves and they are finding experts to bring in to fill that need. So one as a listener, it helps. I mean, it really just takes the pressure off of me to kind of fill in the gaps. And to the guests is already pretty well vetted. You know, if the host is doing it, right, they're only bringing people on that could totally serve their audience in a way that's aligned with how they approach their general topic.

Melissa Guller 24:26
Mm hmm. I love that I love thinking about the host as a curator, and just somebody who, like you said they're doing the work to find high quality guests, who can probably talk about things more in depth that alone, they couldn't speak on. I think it really expands the amount of knowledge you can get in one podcast having guests because, sure, you could go solo and there are so many benefits to going solo and showing off your own expertise, but by bringing on amazing interviewees, it just really gives your guests so much value.

Angie Trueblood 25:00
Yeah, I interviewed it's not live yet. It may be when this episode goes live, but I interviewed Jordan Gill have system saved me. And she's a systems expert. And she's been working a lot lately helping folks develop their own kind of VIP day or intensive day to sell to their clients. And I thought, Oh, she would be great to bring on from a systems perspective, because a lot of folks that want to pitch themselves to podcast might just want to knock that out in one day, they might just want to take four hours and create their whole visibility strategy and system and then be able to do that over time.

And while I'm great at systems, I thought she probably knows some, you know, hacks and tips and high level approach to getting intense topics of work done that I'll never know. So I brought her on and I felt like Yeah, she was totally able to fill the gap between what my people likely can get for me Which is more of the high level strategy piece. And then from her, you know, it's really how to be productive and efficient. So she filled that gap so nicely. And it was me. She doesn't talk about that on a regular basis. She doesn't talk about working in intensive sprints. Right. But I knew that her skill set could benefit my people, if I could, you know, just shift the topic a little bit.

Melissa Guller 26:23
I think that's really interesting. And I think it, you know, brings us nicely into talking about the hosts perspective, which is what most of my listeners will identify with. And you're already starting to talk about this. But when you're finding guests for your own show, I think it's so much deeper than just thinking about people that you like, you're already starting to describe this about, you know, what topics Do you want to talk about, or what specifically Do you want to hear, but how do you find guests for your show, or what's your thought process there?

Angie Trueblood 26:52
So I really map out. I know that people that listen to my show, I have a really good idea of who my ideal listener is and They're interested in increasing their businesses visibility. Primarily they like to start with podcast guesting and that's what I promote all day and all night. I feel like that's the first place if you're going to kind of tackle visibility in your business podcast guesting is a great first step. And then I started thinking, Okay, well who can support them as they do this? What are other things, they're going to need to be able to convert some of these interviews that they might land into real business.

So I've brought Erica Holmes on my show months ago, and we chatted about what should your website look like? Like what are the key pieces to have on your website when a stranger clicks over to it because they heard you on a podcast, right? And we talked a little bit about even a nurture sequence like what does a welcome sequence look like? because ideally, at the end of an interview, you're going to have someone opt in to your email list. Well, what do you need to know to make them stay? You know, so I am always thinking of how else Who are the other experts that can support my people as they step into this space? Because it's not just about emailing and getting your pitch accepted, it's about how do you ultimately convert it. And then as I look, okay, we're going to have a couple of interviews coming up on speaking, because that's a logical next step.

And I've seen a lot of, well, I was interviewed, actually, on a Instagram Live, I've never even done an Instagram Live. And so this poor woman had to walk me through the total logistics of it. But that's another big thing getting interviewed on Instagram Live. So I foresee that coming in the future. So I more think about the topic first. And then I kind of get the angle that I want. And then because I am a bit of a super connector, I always can kind of come up with like, who would be a good fit for that. And if I can, I'll reach out to folks in my network to see if they might be able to refer someone. So for me, it's always the topic first. Unless I stumbled across someone who I think is a perfect fit that I need to connect my audience with,

Melissa Guller 29:07
hmm, it's so helpful to hear kind of both, I think most hosts maybe have their own preferences. Maybe some of them like the topic first approach. I know I really love thinking about the topics first, just like you said, you want to anticipate what your listeners would love to hear. Yeah. And then figure out who can best talk about that. But sometimes you really do just find somebody amazing. And you know that you just have to get this person in front of your audience. Yes.

Angie Trueblood 29:34
And that works, too. I mean, for that, and this is also the other the part I love about the space that I'm in, it's very much like fitting together pieces of a puzzle. So if I find someone that I know, I want to bring into my audience, you know, the first step is well, why why am I so passionate about exposing them to my audience? And then it's like, Okay, well, how can I take their expertise or just their experience right? And shifted a little bit to really be able to fall in line with what my people expect every week that they show up. Because I think that's also important. And I have found that, and especially us pitching other shows, the more engaged shows are the ones that do tend to be a bit more niche because their audience knows every time they show up that it's going to be a really relevant topic. So I don't steer too far off of the visibility space, because I don't want my audience to ever question I was gonna put out a relevant episode this week, or, you know, is she going to get someone that's really going to speak to my needs in the visibility space?

Melissa Guller 30:44
What's great about a niche podcast as well is that I think it's a lot easier to recommend it to friends. Yeah, like if I know somebody is looking for info on how to become a guest on other shows. I always refer them to you because now I know like you're the woman in the space Who knows about this? And who knows the people who know about this. And so you've become easily like the go to person in my mind.

Angie Trueblood 31:07
Yeah. It's also easier I think as a host to when you get cold pitches coming in. It's easier to know if they're a good fit or not, right? Because you can either take that topic and it fits nicely under your umbrella. Or it's so far out in left field that it's an easy No, I mean, I had someone this week pitch me for Facebook and Instagram ads, which I mean, visibility is typically earned. Visibility, you know, podcast pitching and speaking, it's typically an earned media opportunity. And I'm not talking about advertising on my show. So for me, it was an easy Oh, I don't really have to think much about it. I just know it's not a good fit. So I think it also makes the folks who are doing the podcast pitching right if there are people that are interested in being on your show, if your show is nice It actually makes it easier for them to pick a topic that could be really relevant to your audience. If if they're taking the time to understand who your audience is.

Melissa Guller 32:09
Mm hmm. Well said, and I can't wait to dive more into the guest side, I have one more question about the host side, which is we've talked about kind of up until the moment where you have the guest, but then, of course, you have to bring them on and create great content. And I think a big part of that is, of course, maybe the prep process. So how do you prepare for interviews? Or what are some interviewing tips that maybe you would offer for other hosts?

Angie Trueblood 32:34
Sure. So interviewing was one of the biggest challenges for me when I started my own show. I feel like it really is a different skill set. And I, I didn't struggle in the actual talking to people. I mean, I've done a pretty good job of that up until this point, but I always felt pressure myself in pulling out of my guests like the absolute best content. For my listeners, and I remember one of those first episodes that I recorded, I actually asked the guest to luckily it was a good friend of mine. Hey, can we record rerecord this, I feel like there's more I could have pulled out of you and just how I structured the interview. So it definitely took me kind of finding my footing in that space. And so I, of course, I tend to reach out to my guests. So I pull from either my network of people that I've already connected with, luckily, now we have pitched to a lot of different podcasters. So I, I know more people and you know, they serve a variety of niches.

So I usually have some level of familiarity with them. But I do always like to kind of poke around their digital homes, so their website, their social media accounts, just to get a good sense of who they are. And then I create I have it template ID but I create a Google Doc for it. every interview, and I share it with them so that they can see it's really the strategy of the interview. So I have a section on it, where it's really the premise, and that is, why do I want this person on my show? Basically, how are they going to serve my people? And then I have some suggested questions. And it's not for them to answer to me. It's just so that they can get a good sense of where I'm picturing the interview go. And they it's shared in a way that they can also comment. So if they want to add any other questions that's there for them. And I think that lets the guest show up, one feeling really well prepared, right? Because we've definitely had instances where I've had clients get on shows and we weren't quite sure even the angle the host wanted to take. So I think that's really important is making sure your guest is clear on what topic you're going to be talking about. doesn't need to be totally, you know, mapped out for them, but they need to they need to feel comforted.

When they show up to be a guest on your show, and then also, by me kind of bulleting out some of the questions, it allows me to get a good sense of the flow. And okay, well, how am I this sound, so it's almost a dry run of the interview. Of course, I leave in there the ability for me to kind of ebb and flow as a guest and I feel comfortable with, but that's sort of the process that I take. And it's, it's definitely worked better than I feel like I kind of went into interviewing blind when I started and now I have more of a process down.

Melissa Guller 35:34
Mm hmm. I think that most interviewers will develop process, but I love that you pointed out that this is a learned skill, because interviewing does not feel anything like a normal conversation. And it really does take getting used to and I hope that people after their first interview, like maybe they will feel like it was a little uncomfortable, and it probably will be but the only way to get better is with practice. And the more you interview guests I think the more comfortable it gets, but it's definitely not an overnight thing. It certainly wasn't for me.

Angie Trueblood 36:04
No, for sure. And I think, you know, I look at shows that and hosts that interview total strangers. And I don't think I've ever I've definitely been the total stranger that's getting interviewed. But I don't think I've brought anyone on my show that I didn't have some level of familiarity with. So we'll tackle that bridge, I guess when it comes.

Melissa Guller 36:24
I've been on the other side, I've interviewed a lot of people who I did not know in advance. And I think what really makes the difference is that I stalk these people. I look at not just their own website, not just their own social media, but I also read articles that have been written about them. If they've been on other podcasts. I'll tune into those shows. And I think really, the theme of all of this PrEP is, no matter your personal style, just going into it with a clear plan, and a clear sense of what you want listeners to get out of the episode is what's going to make all the difference well It,

Angie Trueblood 37:00
it's such a great benefit to not just for the listeners of the podcast. But as you as a podcaster are likely to grow, or likely interested in growing your own network, when you have a guest Come on, and they see your level of professionalism demonstrated in how well you are prepared, that goes a really long way to in them recommending you whatever your niche or business is, but it just puts you in a different category likely, in their mind, which helps with collaborations in the future. So showing up prepared, it doesn't just benefit your listener, but it ultimately benefits your business too. Because it's your brand, right? How you show up to interview is a total reflection of your business brand as well.

Melissa Guller 37:48
And I love that and it's a great point because you can do that from day one. No matter how many followers you do or get out have. You have it totally within your control to be super professional and prepared and that will pay off over time because so Relationships are so key. Yeah, totally. Now we've talked about the listener, we've talked about the host. And now I'm, of course excited to talk about your area of expertise, which is the guest. And I imagine that a lot of listeners might be interested in being a guest on other podcasts to help grow their own podcast audiences. So I'm really excited to dive in. And I think maybe we'll just start with the basics. Maybe listeners haven't considered being a podcast guest before. So what are some of the benefits to being a podcast guest on someone else's show?

Angie Trueblood 38:30
Well, if you host your own show, which I know if you're listening to this podcast, you likely do. It is such a great way to introduce you to new audiences and to have a really easy ask for them to come back and listen. So it's a great way to showcase either your expertise if you're in more of a business to business type Nish or if you have a journey, right if you're coming at it from a bit of a different non business angle, it's Still a great way to get in front of audiences that are totally cold to you, for the most part, kind of meet them in that most virtual podcast way. And then if they like what they hear if they feel well connected to you, at the end of that interview, it's an easy ask for them to pop over and give your show a listen.

And then, if your podcast is also kind of what's the word I'm looking for here, if, if you're a podcast, if they go over and they listen, and they fall in love with you, it's typically very easy for them to subscribe and become a listener. And then ultimately, they could become, you know, a buyer or a client or a student, depending on what it is that you offer. So it's just such a great way to meet new people and introduce your show to new audiences. And this is maybe a bit of a leading question, but why do you think being a podcast guest is different from doing something like guest blogging, So, from the podcast perspective, it what I have seen because I, we've had clients that have their own shows and clients that don't have their own shows. And so we always will offer, you know, at the end of an episode, often there'll be some sort of opt in that you can join their email list to get a download. Well, that takes a lot of commitment from the listener to kind of say, Hey, I listened to you for 35 minutes, I think you're great. Now I'm going to give you my email address. In this day and age, you know, when our emails are already overcrowded or super busy, sometimes that's a harder conversion than going back and listening to your show.

So I think just from the sake of if you're trying to draw listeners back to your show, having them find you on the same medium that you're asking them to go back to, it's a lot easier of an ask, but then also just the medium itself. I mean, when you're reading a blog, an article, anything written in your head, you get a little Bit of a sense of their personality, but it is so much more vivid and dynamic. When you're listening to their voice, and you're listening to the way that they respond to questions. You also remember are often being introduced to them through someone you already respect. So again, it's kind of like your, as a guest, you're almost being pre vetted, and kind of introduced to this audience as an expert that the host gives their 100% support of, so there's a lot of different reasons. But I mean, I think first it's just sent know like and trust factor that's different in podcasting than it is in blogging, I think. And then it's just the medium being so easy for you to find someone on a podcast and then go back and listen to their podcast.

Melissa Guller 41:49
Mm hmm. Such a great point. And when they're thinking of other podcasts, what should they be looking for in another show? For example, should it be a podcast that talks about exactly the same topic as them or what would you recommend?

Angie Trueblood 42:00
So definitely not the exact same topic and I think that's where a lot of people spin their wheels in the podcast guesting space is because they're pitching shows that are in the same exact niches them. So I don't know of many other shows that talk just about podcasts guesting, but if they were out there, I would not pitch myself to them. Unless I had a really unique spin on it. What we aim more for are our complimentary shows. So if you think about who your ideal listener is, and you think about what do they need, what else is going on in their life around the same time that they might decide to tune into my show? Those are the types of podcasts that I pitch to. So for me, we help with podcasting obviously, okay, well what what's happening in my people's life that might spur them to want to learn more about it?

Well, a lot of them have actually just launched their own show or are interested In scaling their podcast, and so they recognize that podcast guesting could be beneficial. So it makes sense for me to be on a show like yours, Melissa, because the people that are listening are invested in growing their show. So the more types of complimentary shows and you can there's definitely more niches of complimentary shows, you know, than just one or two. I mean, this can we've had clients for over a year and we're constantly uncovering new complimentary niches. It's just a matter of making sure. And I'm all about, you know, collaboration over competition. So I'm not saying that when I use the word competitive, I don't mean like a real angry competition, but it's just a better conversion also for you as a guest if you're on shows to where no one has really filled the expertise that you're filling on that show.

Melissa Guller 43:52
Mm hmm. I think that makes so much sense the complimentary niches instead of just a direct exact overlap and I think thinking about like, deep have the same audience versus Do you have the same expertise could also be helpful? Totally.

Angie Trueblood 44:06
Yeah. I mean,

Angie Trueblood 44:08
it's also Yes, because there is definitely there are definitely people who have the same and I've been on shows before that are totally complimentary to what I do, but they've had a couple of guests on there who talk about podcast pitching and podcast guesting. And so when I have pitched for shows like that I just tweak my topic, so that it's different than what these other experts have talked about. It's really this ability to be able to flex your expertise to suit different types of shows. And I think if people can get comfortable with that, again, it goes back to that puzzle, right? But if you can be really comfortable fitting your all the different various pieces of your expertise under different umbrellas. I talked about that a lot, then you'll have much better success and getting on shows that are complimentary.

Melissa Guller 45:00
Hmm, well said, and I think something else worth talking about is the prep. So as a guest, what should someone be doing to prepare for their interview?

Angie Trueblood 45:10
Well, it goes back to doing a lot of the same prep work that you do as a host. So make sure you know who you're talking to. I always listened to a couple of episodes. And candidly, I don't listen to whole episodes. But if I have time, I will. But typically, you can listen to sort of the beginning of an episode, a middle chunk of another interview, and often the end of an episode are really good indicators of how that host approaches the interview. The other thing is, I definitely look at their website to see what it is they're offering. So you have a sense of what's their goal with this podcast. If they're drawing their listeners back to some of their paid offerings, then how can I complement that over the course of the interview? So it's, it's doing all of that background work? But with an eye or an ear, I guess, to better understand, why are they showing up in front of this audience? And how can I help this audience further along on their journey?

Melissa Guller 46:00
Mm hmm. Great point. And I know you've sent almost 1000 pitches, I think I read on your website, speaking of research, including, of course, pitches for clients, which is incredible. And I know you're offering my listeners a great free resource that I'll include in the show notes, which is a roadmap for our podcast pitching success.

But maybe to give us an idea of the process. What are maybe just one or two things that you think most guests are really doing wrong when it comes to their pitch?

Angie Trueblood 47:10
So a lot of times that it's actually some of the questions that you asked me, which I think it's great for your listeners to hear is, you can't skip over the strategy and really have an effective pitch. So if you're pitching to shows that really are more competitive in nature, it's going to be really tough to get on. Some of those shows unless you have a relationship or just a really stellar story that's so different from anyone elses. Same goes with the topics.

One thing that we see a lot is that pitches will include either a number of topics that, you know, quote could be a good fit, you know, kind of this more general pitch of, you know, hey Melissa, I love Wit & Wire, it's a great podcast, I think I might be a good guest. Here are five different topics I could talk about. Well, that really puts the onus on the host to figure out where you fit into their puzzle. And we're all really busy podcaster or not, and the host typically doesn't have time to figure out where this potential guest fits in. But if you take time on the front end before you start pitching, and you'll get a good sense of the type of shows you're going to pitch to, then you can also get a good sense of The topics that would fit well with those specific niches. And so that's the strategy piece of it that I think far too many people skip over to be candid. And it's seen in the pitches because the pitches just end up being really boilerplate templated emails that, you know, we're likely blasted out to 50 different people. So I think that's really the first step. But I can totally get into more specifics if need be. I love that.

Melissa Guller 48:30
And we'll let people download the resource and get the roadmap and get all that good info. But I will say like, as a host, who does get pitched fairly often, it is really obvious when somebody has sent the same email to everyone. And because nobody's really getting specific, like the bar is kind of low, which I think is an opportunity. Like if you go out there and you really do your research, and you put together a strong compelling pitch that was clearly intended for that podcast for that host. It's really going to stand out amongst the kind of boilerplate II boring, dare I say uninspired pitches that I get more frequently?

Angie Trueblood 49:08
Yeah, if I had a nickel for every time that a host wrote us back, I had one a couple of weeks ago, and it was a pitch one of our teammates sent. The host said, Just a heads up, this is not a good fit for us right now. But I delete 99% of the pitches that I get. Thank you for such a well written email. And I think that's also where people sometimes get hung up in the pitching space of they get a little too in their heads about, you know, if they say no, it's all about me.

And that's not the case at all, really, most of these hosts just like we talked about when you're asking from the host perspective, most of the hosts have a really clear plan for their show. And so if you pitch them a topic, it might be really well written. It might be totally relevant to that audience at some point, but if it doesn't fit into The short term plan for this show, there's nothing you can put in that email that's going to get that host to say yes. But you can start a relationship. I mean, I was able to write back to that host and say, Hey, Angie here, I really appreciate you writing back to us. And just saying that, you know, and so now I feel like the door is a little more widely open, for us to pitch someone else, and maybe that will be a good fit. So I just I think that's important to recognize for sure, as people take that first step into pitching.

Melissa Guller 50:31
I'm so glad you brought that up. Because I do think that probably earliest rejections in particular, it is easy to feel like that's so personal, but so much of it is not personal at all. And I'm sure to some extent pitching is a little bit of a numbers game. Obviously, you can stack the odds in your favor by doing your research and being strategic and personal. But not everyone will respond. Not everyone will say yes, yeah, but that's okay. It's not about you, that's just about if you were a fit for them, and if there was some Like mutual connection? Yeah,

Angie Trueblood 51:02
absolutely. All of that is so important. And that's why it's hard. Even when people come to us, and they ask for kind of a percentage of acceptances. I mean, I'm able to give what we shoot for for sure. And like kind of what our averages, but there's just no guarantees, because this is it's a marketing opportunity, right? It's a marketing activity. And I can't guarantee placement anywhere. And I feel like if you're working with a PR group, who is guaranteeing placement, I would definitely question them and how they're making that happen. But I think it's easy in those first couple of pitches, like you said, take it personally, and it's just not something that's going to hang you up more than it's going to push you forward. So if you can almost as you send the email, send it off with any without any emotion tied to it, and you'll be better off because then you'll keep pitching others and you'll start to get yeses. Mm hmm.

Melissa Guller 51:57
Well said Yeah. Well, I just have a couple of questions as we start to wrap up, and we've both kind of hinted that we're numbers, people. So I do want to ask a little bit about metrics. So something I know you've talked about recently on your podcast, go pit yourself for metrics for guests. So I'd love to hear a little bit more about that. So let's say I'm interested in being a guest on someone else's podcast, and it all works out. What are some of the metrics I should be tracking to see if that guest appearance was successful?

Angie Trueblood 52:26
Yeah, so we definitely track. Let's go the podcast route first. So you're a host of your own show. One thing I love to look at are my go pitch yourself downloads the day that my interview episodes go live. So I noticed this early on, it was back in December of 2019. And because I publish every other week, you know, there's definitely an off week in terms of downloads. And there was I was looking in libsyn, and I saw this spike in an off week, which wasn't normal. And it was was the day that I had an interview episode go live. So I was able to very easily correlate that interview with increased downloads to my show. So I think that's the first thing is definitely track your podcast downloads. And if you're a total numbers nerd like Melissa and i, you can even get into the minutiae of looking at the day and see what kind of growth you see the day that interviews go live. So that's the first thing for hosts. We also track opt ins. So we always give a call to action of joining an email list for some sort of freebie. You mentioned my roadmap to podcast pitching success. And there's a couple of ways you can track interest in that. So we use pretty links to sort of get a general idea of how many people are clicking over for different shows.

And then recently, I did create a better tracking system in ConvertKit to where I can track actual opt ins that are coming from broadcast. So, pretty links gives me an idea of which shows generated the most clicks. So it kind of breaks it down by show that I'm on. But then over in ConvertKit, I'm actually able to see how many people join my email list from me being a guest on someone else's show. And I can compare that to my opt ins for Facebook ads, and then my opt ins for just my native website, opt in. So I think that's a really big one to kind of track. Also, if you're offering a one to one client service, it's really important as you have people scheduled calls with you discovery calls to say, Where did you find me? Because I have absolutely had one to one calls that have come from interviews, they'll put right on the forum. I heard you on XYZ podcast. And, you know, we've closed deals and work together for extended periods of time. And then you mentioned before to kind of your aversion to vanity metrics. Same button just for fun, we track them all track. I know. So we track Facebook and Instagram. And that's pretty much it. I have had some clients who are more visible on LinkedIn. But I don't know enough about LinkedIn admittedly, to know if tracking even would make sense in that space.

Melissa Guller 55:22
And I think all of those metrics are so helpful and in different ways, like getting people to join your email list. And I love that you mentioned an ability to tag whether you use ConvertKit, or any platform, just knowing where people come from. And I love that you mentioned the opt in form for the discovery call and just asking people, I do that for my courses, too. I just asked how did you hear about me? And I think that it sounds so simple to do, but it's often overlooked. You can just say, Hey, tell me the information instead of relying on the data.

Angie Trueblood 55:52
Yeah. What's funny now that you mentioned it, I have never segmented I guess most of the folks cuz I do have my podcasts fairly well optimized for opt ins to. And so I have never considered that as sort of a fourth stream to kind of measure where people are coming to me from. I mean, typically that would likely be they would hear my podcasts, they go to my website, and so they would be captured in that more general tag. But it might make sense actually, to give them a separate Pretty Link as well for an opt in to really start tracking like are people hearing me on someone else's show and maybe just, you know, testing me out to see if they really want to give me their email address. And then they listen to my show for a couple of episodes, and then they decide they want to join. So that actually gives me food for thought.

Melissa Guller 56:42
Oh, good. I love offering food for being helpful. So I'm glad to hear that. I have just I think one more question I want to talk about because we've talked a lot about the episode itself, but I want to also focus on promotion and of course the getting visible part. So I think in a great guest host relationship, both parts Are you really interested in promoting the podcast episode? So how do you think each person could make the most out of their episode content? Like what could the hosts do? And what could the guests do?

Angie Trueblood 57:11
So for sure, the host is kind of the, I feel like they sort of set the tone for how the interview will be shared, and also to what degree it will be shared. So I think it's important for the host to make sure they send an email ahead of time, you know, well ahead of time if they're able to, but at a minimum the day before, you know, hey, your show is coming out tomorrow. Here's a couple of graphics. And I mean, I have a canned email that I send before my interview episodes go live. And it attaches, you know, they get an Instagram grid pic, they get an Instagram story and a Facebook, post all graphics and I say you can share it wherever you feel comfortable. And then so we do that and then the day that it goes live, we'll do An audio clip. So typically we use headliner to create the audio gram, and we'll tag our guest. And then the next day, we'll actually do an Instagram grid post. And we do Facebook as well.

So I think, I think the host sets the tone and kind of the energy that's going to be behind the share and promotion. And so we, you know, we use our energy and we definitely commit to sharing. And then, from the guest perspective, I kind of mirror the energy that the host does. So if it's someone that has sent me a lot of resources that I can use to share, I am more apt to share those, the day the episode goes live, if I'm able to, if not, we have a holding spot, kind of in my social media content plan to where once a week, we share our client features and our student features and so we'll then put my interviews in there as well. So we have a way to kind of capture that.

And I think that's important for people who are guesting fairly regularly just figure out an easy system for you to capture the shows that went live, so that you can do your due diligence and sharing them. And then I also share that within my email newsletter, so at the bottom and my newsletters a bit different just because of the space that I'm in. But we have three different segments to it. And the third segment that I include every time is podcasts I'm loving. And so often those will be interviews that I have had, you know, and other people shows and I'll share those to my email list. But I just think it's important.

Also to not just share it as a guest as like a one and done right and a host as well to be quite candid like you've spent all this time here You and I have spent at least 47 minutes recording this episode. There's a lot of really good content in here so it can be pulled up. A lot of different ways and repurposed over time without us needing to recreate the wheel and go interview a ton of other people or create a lot of other content. So I think it's important for folks to share it when it goes live for sure. But then definitely pull content and keep that going and kind of keep that fire burning a little bit.

Melissa Guller 1:00:21
I love that tip, because podcast episodes are such like, in depth, wonderful pieces of content. Yeah. And even just from an episode like this, I could pull five separate topics and promote this not even just the week that it goes live, but over time as well. And so maybe instead of thinking about the episode release as the one and only day you can promote one and only time imagine rotating content from a few months ago as you start to build out your library because it'll look amazing for you the host to share your guest to share great value. And like you said, I love that you mentioned that the host kind of leads the way and any host that has shared my episodes have gone on their show, I'm way more likely to share them to promote their services. There's just this like reciprocity that I feel develops over time.

Angie Trueblood 1:01:08
It's really mind boggling being on this side of it for like, I see kind of the back end of a lot of shows. And it blows my mind when we don't like we discover that an episode went live without the host reaching out to us. I mean, it's fine either way, but I just think, you know, you poured all of this effort, I hope into finding this guest, prepping for the interview, actually having the interview editing, doing all this stuff. And then the day that it goes live or even the week that it goes live, there's there's no action taken to promote it. So I hate that because I feel like it's not been a waste of time, right? Because their listeners are listening week after week, but there's just so much more that could be done with it. It's always really surprising to me.

Melissa Guller 1:01:55
Yeah, I think that there's been so much you know, great insight throughout the episode but even just as host Or aspiring hosts, really leading the way being clear about the intention of the episode being clear about when it's going out and how the guests can promote. I think having that kind of open communication is something that I've noticed we've just been talking about the whole time. Yeah,

Angie Trueblood 1:02:14
yeah. Well, I yeah. And it kind of goes back to that whole connection piece. And that's, I think, why I love podcasting so much, because it is an avenue to meet new people and develop that relationship with it. So thank you for recognizing that I think I don't know that I fully had.

Melissa Guller 1:02:31
Well, I think that's, you know, a nice way to end but I do want to just give you one more, maybe opportunity to share, do you have any final words of wisdom to share with our podcasters before we go?

Angie Trueblood 1:02:42
Yeah, I mean, I would just first give yourself a little bit of grace, especially in the pitching space, because folks tend to have a little bit of mindset issues, I guess, around that and like we talked about before taking a know very personally, and I would just encourage you to kind of twist How you're looking at this, you're not pitching, as, it's not all about you, right? It's really about that listener and by you not pitching to be a guest on other shows, you are holding back your gift, right what you're really good at and how you could kind of pour into this world, you're preventing you from sharing that with other people by not putting yourself out there. So I think often if you can just twist how you look at it, and it be far less about you and much more about serving others, it can help knock down some of that, the challenges and sort of the stigma associated with it.

Melissa Guller 1:03:39
I've never thought about it in that way. But I really love that shift in thinking and I hope that listeners do too. So just before we go, where can my listeners connect with you or get in touch?

Angie Trueblood 1:03:50
Sure, so they can definitely hop over and listen to go pitch yourself the podcast. Again, we publish every other week. I also have the download. So that is the roadmap for podcast pitching success and they can find that at angietrueblood.com/witandwire. And that really goes over the six step approach and framework that we use with our one to one clients and with my go pitch yourself students, so and also we included the five most common mistakes that we see. So there are some real tangible takeaways in there. But yeah, they can grab all of that. And then I'm on Instagram and Facebook.

Melissa Guller 1:04:23
Amazing. Well, Angie, it's been such a pleasure having you on this episode. And I hope that listeners got as much value out of this as I know I did.

Angie Trueblood 1:04:29
Yeah, this is great. Thank you, Melissa.

Melissa Guller 1:04:33
Thank you so much for joining us this week! To learn more about Angie or to check out the other episodes in our podcast format series, check out the complete show notes at witandwire.com/13.

Angie is also offering Wit & Wire listeners an incredible free resource you can download, which is her Roadmap to Podcast Pitching Success. The roadmap details the 6 steps needed in any effective podcast pitching strategy plus the most common mistakes to avoid. Download it for free at angietrueblood.com/witandwire, or in the show notes.

Before we go, if you’re enjoying the podcast or this series, I hope you’ll pass it along to a friend! I’d love to help as many new and growing podcasters as possible, so if you think someone would benefit from a little more podcasting knowledge, I hope you’ll pass along the link to witandwire.com/podcast or share a screenshot of your phone listening to your favorite episode so far on social media. Make sure to tag me @witandwire so I can reshare it!

Up next, we’re tackling the format I knew the least about: narrative podcasts. This next episode was an amazing learning experience for me, since it was the only format I’d never tried before, and I’m really excited to share it with all of you.

Thank you again for joining me, Melissa Guller, in this episode of Wit & Wire. I’ll see you next time, podcasters!

Today’s guest: Angie Trueblood

As a podcast visibility expert and host of the Go Pitch Yourself podcast, Angie Trueblood knows that the only ‘perfect pitch’ is the one that leads with value and focuses on building a genuine connection. Whether she is teaching entrepreneurs how to pitch themselves or working behind the scenes to secure opportunities for others, Angie leverages her super-connector powers to grow businesses and build long-lasting relationships. 

When she’s not working with her clients or being active in her local community, she loves exploring Richmond, Virginia’s parks and playgrounds with her two kiddos, checking out new restaurants with her hubs, and laughing about motherhood over cocktails with friends.

Connect with Angie

Angie’s Roadmap for Podcast Pitching Success

Are you excited to be a podcast guest? Angie’s roadmap includes the 6 steps needed in any effective podcast pitching strategy, plus the most common mistakes to avoid.  

Download yours for free at angietrueblood.com/witandwire

Podcast spotlight: Go Pitch Yourself Podcast

“Angie Trueblood is a self-made visibility strategist who is determined to inspire and equip mission-driven entrepreneurs to start putting their hard-earned expertise to good work. Discover how to connect with audiences of your ideal clients through podcast interviews, online publications, speaking opportunities and more, in a way that feels authentic and moves your business forward. If you’re tired of doing #allthethings to get known in your niche, it’s probably time to get more strategic and focused. Not only will Angie help you develop a strategy that is do-able and effective, but she’ll also share behind-the-scenes secrets on what industry experts love (and hate) to see in the pitches they receive.”

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