Automate Booking Podcast Guests

Automatically Scheduling Podcast Guests with Calendly and Zapier

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.
  • Zoom for the calls
  • Evernote for show notes
  • Airtable for the show schedule

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

Calendly Kicks it off

My Calendly page for the podcast

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 Thursdays – that’s very much on purpose. I’m also able to collect some helpful information about the guest before we record:

Form asking for name, email, company, job title, topic, links, and a disclaimer.

All the Communication

Calendly also handles all of the communication with the guest. It connects to Zoom to create a meeting and link, creates a calendar invite it sends to both of us, and 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.

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

Zapier Automates Everything Else

My Zapier Zap for guest flow

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:

Zapier Filter Step

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 is does).

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

A note is created in my Evernote “Show Notes” notebook. It has all of the guests 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, which I have a nice Kanban view for:

Kanban view of my  podcast schedule from Airtable

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 it 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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