How to Easily Book Guests for Your Podcast

Booking podcast guests can be a mess without the right tools. Missing one step can mean a bad recording, forgotten instructions, and unprepared interviewers. That’s why I’ve automated my entire guest booking process. I don’t forget anything, and I make sure guests are ready to record. Here’s how I do it.

Watch the Video

I created a video where I walk through the whole process here:

Tools of the Trade

To start, these are the tools I use:

  • Calendly for scheduling, email reminders, and calendar invites
  • Zapier to connect Calendly to everything else.
  • Riverside for Recording Episodes
  • Notion for show notes
  • Airtable for the show schedule/organizing

At the center of these tools is Zapier, the linchpin connecting everything. Let’s see how it all fits together.

Calendly Kicks it off

The only manual part of this process until the guest and I meet is me sending them a link to my Calendly, which you can see above. It includes information about the show, as well as a link to helpful notes.

Calendly connects to my calendar to look for available times, and then based on criteria I set for when I want to meet, it displays available times to the guest. You might have noticed I only record on Tuesday-Thursday – that’s very much on purpose. I’m also able to collect some helpful information about the guest before we record:

All the Communication

Calendly also handles all of the communication with the guest. It creates a calendar invite it sends to both of us, includes my Riverside link, and sends reminders. I’ve set up two emails. The first goes out 24 hours before the call to remind them about it, and to ask them to review the guest notes.

The second goes out one hour after the end of the meeting, thanking them and reminding them to send me their recording so I have the best possible audio.

I also get a text reminder to do a “post-interview summary.”

Once they choose a time, everything gets sent to Zapier.

Zapier Automates Everything Else

Let’s walk through each step:

First, an invitee is created in Calendly. This is the trigger, which sends all of the data to Zapier for processing.

The next step is to make sure we have a submission from the How I Built It calendar. With the Calendly trigger, you can’t specify which link you want to use, so we need to use the Zapier filter, and look for specific text:

I took a look at the information sent to Zapier, and determined this filter – if the event name started with How I Built It – would work (which it does).

If we are dealing with the right calendar, 2 things happen:

A note is created in my Notion, I do this to easily share the notes with my VA, who puts together the links in WordPress. It has all of the guest’s info and some headings/prompts to use during the interview. I take lots of notes to make sure I have accurate show notes and descriptions. I also share this with my transcriber, so she knows proper spellings and doesn’t have to Google anything she’s unsure of.

Then, the info is sent to Airtable. Airtable is where I manage the show schedule, who’s sponsoring each episode, and the current status of each episode:

Now We’re Ready to Record

I set this automation up because it helps me keep track of all of my guests and episodes and helps them stay prepared. I’ve gotten many compliments on how well I help them prepare for coming on the show, and that’s all thanks to the automation!

Did this give you any ideas? Does this help you with your podcast? Let me know in the comments.

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