How to make podcast scheduling easy and automated

Estimated read time: 5 minutes



Podcast scheduling has a few steps that should be followed:

  • Identify the guest
  • Communicate with them
  • Invite them on an episode
  • Determine topic
  • Find a time that works

Finding a time that works can be a challenge with everyone’s busy lives. Emailing back and forth can be time consuming, plus it’s not that much fun! So how do we make podcast scheduling easy or at least easier? There are ways. Here are some tips.

Podcast scheduling: When the show has a timeslot

If you have joined the group of podcasters that livestream their shows, you might have a regular time slot. Your show is every Tuesday at 11 a.m., for example. So the question is maybe easier: What Tuesday at 11 are you free? If the guest is never available at that time that can be a potential podcast scheduling issue if you can’t or don’t want to move it. Maybe that’s one of your deal breakers. The show won’t move.

Read next: How to start a video podcast simply

Podcast scheduling: Automate what you can

My show moves and doesn’t have a dedicated time slot per se, so I offer guests more options for the livestream and recording. And I use scheduling automation for this.



Some people don’t like automation, but it does make our lives easier – when it works correctly. I ask all my podcast guests to schedule via my Calendly.com links. Calendly checks my calendar and offers open slots to my guests. They can then book the time directly at the link and an invite is sent to them and myself. Calendly is one tool that does this. There are others out there that you can try as well.

I have two Calendly calendars – one each for:

  • Sponsored guests – where somebody is paying for them to be on the show.
  • Organic/non-sponsored guests – I invited them without a fee.

Both calendar pages look similar and have the details of the show:

Hello,

I’m looking forward to our podcast livestream and recording.

The show is roughly 27 minutes and this meeting is for up to 45 minutes to allow for mic checks, etc.

Once you book we are set to livestream to Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook with video on. Please let me know if that doesn’t work?

It’s a conversational and organic chat with both of us sharing stories and I’ll ask questions as well. The audio version will trigger to my 20 podcast channels in a few weeks as well.

Please be aware that the conversation will be published on a number of different channels, including on Roku and Amazon Kindle. I may also write an article from the podcast content. If you’re not OK with that please let me know.

You don’t need to download any software and can access it directly from your browser.

Previous episodes: https://ChristophTrappe.com/podcast

Talk soon,

Christoph

Podcast intake form

I also ask them to give me links to any of their products, share the proposed topic of the episode with me and agree that I can use this content and run ads around it.

podcast guest intake form

Some people call this a podcast intake form and it is. You might wonder why I’m not asking for more, like a picture. I usually just grab the picture of my guests off their LinkedIn. Easy enough and it saves them a step.

Read next: How to use specific podcast episode artwork (Template)

For my non-sponsored guests, I set the calendar for one show per week on a rolling calendar – so like the next 120 days, for example. In other words, the next 120 can be booked at any given time.

The calendar for my sponsored guests is similar but has more openings and the Calendy-PayPal integration allows them to pay the current fee right there while scheduling.

Rescheduling and cancellations

Stuff happens and sometimes a guest can’t make it. I always leave the cancel and reschedule option turned on and if somebody has to reschedule I just hope they use that link.

Reminders

Using the automatic reminder function in Calendly is easy to remind myself and the guests of the upcoming show.

  • I get a reminder about a week out. I usually schedule the livestream right around then and start promoting the episode.
  • My guest gets a reminder about a day before the show.

reminder email

Hi {{invitee_full_name}},

I’m looking forward to our live episode of the Business Storytelling Show tomorrow.

Please let me know if you have not received the backstage link to join me at the time in the invite. We will have a few minutes to chat and then will go live.

Christoph

Follow-up

Using the Calendly Workflow functionality, I also send a quick follow-up after the show.

Hi {{invitee_first_name}},

Thanks for sharing your insights on the Business Storytelling Show.

You can find our livestream at LinkedIn.com/in/ChristophTrappe and Twitter.com/ctrappe.

I hope you’ll share our episode and I will let you know when our audio podcast has also published.

Thanks,

{{event_organizer_name}}

Things to consider when scheduling podcasts

Some guests really don’t like scheduling their own time. It does feel like this is becoming less of an issue but people have complained to me and publicly on social media unrelated to my podcast that they feel this is rude.

So you’ll want to consider this potential problem. If this is a concern, you could follow an communication sequence like this:

  • “Hello, I would love to invite you to be a guest on my podcast.”
  • They accept.
  • “Would it be okay to send you a link to schedule on my calendar?”

Sending somebody a Calendly link isn’t about shifting work or not being interested in having them on as a guest. It’s about making it easier on the guest and the host to get the scheduling done. The calendar has the available recording times listed and the guests knows their schedule. It’s much easier than emailing back and forth.

Also keep in mind that different time zones can make podcast scheduling even more interesting. “You are how many hours ahead of me?”

With tools like Calendly we don’t have to worry about that as Calendly sends you an invite for your time zone. So it shows up in my local time and the guest’s local time. There’s very little room – if any – to screw that up.


Overall, automating my guest scheduling has really freed up time and made the process easy. The ability to easily reschedule is also great. And why not use the extra time for another higher value task?



Listen to my podcast