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Issue #9 • September 2017

How to Use ConvertKit to Automate Your Podcast Interview Setup

Content Marketing Podcasting

There is nothing more frustrating than a good old game of email tag when trying to set up a podcast interview. If you’ve ever tried to set up an interview, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It goes something like this:

“Can you do 9am EST on Tuesday?”

“I’m busy then, how about 2pm MST on Wednesday?”

”What time is 2pm MST in EST?”

“Is that two or four hours ahead of me?”

“Oh wait, I can’t do Wednesday, how about Friday morning?”

“What time?”

It’s a nightmare.

That is why I took some time to automate the entire process using Calendly, ConvertKit, Zoom, Zapier, and Gmail.

In a nutshell this is how it works:

I send my guest a link to my calendar, they book in a time that works for them, and the next time we chat is during the interview. It’s so simple and has saved a ton of time and frustration.

You can’t deny it, that sounds amazing, right!

In practise, the exact workflow is a bit more complicated. This is exactly what happens:

I reach out to a potential podcast guests with a little bit of background about what the podcast is about, what I do, and why I think they’ll be a good fit.

Pro tip: When approaching guests, don’t be afraid to go after the big names. What is the worst that can happen? They can say no. One thing I’ve learnt in my podcasting journey is 100% of people who don’t get asked to come on your podcast never come on your podcast.  

Profound, right?

Once they agree, they always ask, “When would you like to do it?”

That is where this automation kicks in. I send them the link to my Calendly calendar so that they can book in a time slot that suits them– No more back and forth to find a time that works. Once they’ve booked in a time, Zapier then triggers a couple of events.

  • The first is the sending of a prep email that I set up in ConvertKit.
  • The second is setting up the meeting room in Zoom that we will use for the interview
  • The third is another email through Gmail that sends the Zoom meeting link to my podcast guest.

(The final two steps are not necessary if you aren’t using Zoom. If you’re using Skype, you can add the details to your ConvertKit email).

How to set up automations for your podcast interviews

It may sound like quite a mission to set up, but the good news is you only have to do it once.

Here is the step by step:

Step 1 – Create the event type in Calendly

Log into your Calendly account and click on ‘event types’ in the navigation bar, and then click on the ‘+ New Event Type’ button.

Calendly Step 1

Select the ‘One on One’ event type, and go ahead and create it. You will need to give it a name as well as a location. For example, I add that it will be a Zoom call and I will send the link as soon as they have confirmed a time.

Calendly Step 2

Then you’ll need to block out the times that you’re available to do the interview (I have specific times, normally a Tuesday morning and a Thursday afternoon that I use for my interviews).

Calendly Step 3

I then also set up email reminders under the Invitee Notifications tab.

Calendly Step 4

Once that is done, the calendar link and booking pages are created by Calendly.

Calendly Step 5

Calendly Step 6

Step 2: Create the interview prep email in ConvertKit

There are a few things you need to create in ConvertKit in order to make this happen. The first is a tag to identify a subscriber as a podcast guest.

ConvertKit Step 1

Next create the sequence with the email that will be sent to the interview guest giving them the information that you want them to know about the podcast interview.

ConvertKit Step 2

I make sure the email is sent out immediately after they book their time slot. It’s always good to remind them to make sure they’re in a quiet room and what they would need technically (Microphone, webcam etc) to make the interview a success.

ConvertKit Step 3

Next create a new form in ConvertKit so that you can add the podcast guest to your email list. I use a basic inline form with no incentive email sent after opting in.

ConvertKit Step 4

There is one last thing to do in ConvertKit before moving on and that is setting up the automation rule. When the form is completed you want the guest tagged and the email sequence sent.

ConvertKit Step 5

Step 3 : Create the automation in Zapier

Zapier is an incredible tool. It is the duct tape of the Internet– it can stick almost anything together. Zapier is the glue that holds this entire process together. The first thing you need to do is create a new zap using Calendly as the first trigger.

Zapier Step 1

The event that will trigger the zap is a new invitee created.

Zapier Step 2

IMPORTANT: If you have more than one calendar in Calendly the next step is vital. If you don’t create this filter, every new invitee for every calendar will be sent the information for their podcast interview. If you are only using Calendly to set up your podcast interviews  and nothing else then you can ignore this step.

You will want to create a filter that tells Zapier only to continue if certain conditions are met. Click on the + sign to add a filter or action below the Calendly step in the workflow on the bottom left hand side of the screen.

Zapier Step 3

Zapier Step 4

In this step you will filter by ‘event type’, select ‘text contains’ and then use the event type name that you gave it when creating your Calendly event type in Step 1 of this process. That will tell Zapier only to continue if this condition is met.

Zapier Step 5

The next step is to add your interview prep email sequence that you created in Step 2. To do this, add another action, this time choose ConvertKit.

Zapier Step 6

The action you want to trigger in this step is to add a subscriber to a form. This will add your podcast guest to your ConvertKit account and because you setup the automation in ConvertKit in Step 2, they will be tagged and the interview prep email will be sent.

Zapier Step 7

Zapier Step 8

By clicking on the small + icon on the right of the field bar you are able to add fields from previous actions into this field. You’ll see as we progress through the steps we’ll use these more and more.

Zapier Sub

*This next step is optional and you only need to do it if you are using Zoom to conduct your interviews. If you are using Skype you can add your Skype details in the ConvertKit email you send and all that is left to do is turn this zap on and you’re good to go.

The reason I use this step is to ensure that my podcast guest and I know how and where we are meeting online for our interview (No last minute scrambling because you forgot or lost your guest’s Skype details).

In Zapier you will now add another action by clicking on the + icon on the left hand side of the screen and this time you will choose Zoom.

Zapier Step 9

The action you will choose is ‘Create Meeting’. This is going to create a new meeting in Zoom for this podcast interview.

Zapier Step 10

You then need to tell Zoom what it needs to call the meeting, when it is happening, and how long the meeting is. Zapier can pull all that information into the relevant fields from the data it pulls from Calendly.

Zapier Step 11

Once that is done, there is just one last step and that is to create an action that will send the unique Zoom meeting link to your podcast guest.

For the last time, click on the + icon to add another action and this time choose Gmail.

Zapier Step 12

The action you want Gmail to perform is to ‘Send Email’.

Zapier Step 13

Next, you need to set up the template of who the email needs to be sent to as well as the body of the email.

Zapier Step 15

Zapier Step 14

Once that step is completed you can test it and then hit the finish button. You’ve now completed all the steps and you can turn the zap on.

Zapier Step 16

Set up your podcast interview automations today!

That is it! You’ve now set up an automated sequence that will save you a ton of time and frustration.

As overwhelming as this may seem to set up, it’s pretty simple if you follow the step-by-step actions, and it will change your life. It has for me at least.

And if you’re having a hard time figuring what to even send potential guests to get them interested in joining you on your podcast, then join our exclusive Facebook group for podcasters. We have a great community that will support your podcasting journey. As a bonus – once you join you will also get access to my email template swipe file.

Join All Things Podcasting

If you have any questions pop them in the comments below and I’ll be here to help you out.

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Brad Brown

With a background of almost two decades in traditional radio, podcasting was the next logical step in Brad’s journey. Combined with a love for building engaged online communities, Brad uses podcasts as a tool to connect with and grow his impact online across various niches, from Ironman triathlon to growing your podcast. To find out more about Brad and what he does be sure to visit BradBrown.co

Experience this issue your way

Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.

  • This is amazing – definitely using this as a template.
    Thanks Brad!

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