How to Create a Podcast And Book Your First Three Guests (In 4.5 Hours  or Less)

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A few months ago I was considering launching a new podcast concept, but this time I wanted to do something a little different.

Something to shake things up in the industry and challenge conventional podcast wisdom.

I had three goals:

1. See how easy and fast it could be done.

2. Motivate people who wanted to podcast but kept hitting the wall of resistance.

3. Eliminated all the barriers that people use for excuses:

  • No equipment
  • No website
  • No RSS feed
  • No album art


What follows is the step-by-step playbook I used to take a podcast from idea to three booked interviews in 4.5 hours or less.

You’ll learn exactly how to create a podcast and book your first three guests by following these five  simple steps.

Step 1 . Research iTunes – Estimated time: 2 hours 

I researched the top iTunes New & Noteworthy business podcasts that had the right message, were the right market and were the right fit for my podcast.

I did this by using keywords in the search function, reading the podcast descriptions and reviewing episode titles.

I didn’t want to spend too much time, as I was aiming to get my initial 5o podcast guests on the list as quickly as possible.

When I could, I listened to an episode or two, then dumped the show titles into a Google sheet for later.

Why New & Noteworthy?

These are podcasters that are just getting started. They’re chomping at the bit for any chance to promote their show.

It’s a win-win. You get the interview, they get promo.

ScheduleOnce Example

Step 2 .  Systematization – Estimated time: 30 minutes 

I created a ScheduleOnce account and updated the settings, availability calendar and booking form.

I used the $20 per month account which allows you to use booking forms to collect vital information from your guest.

Think Skype ID, Twitter handle, questions you may want to ask your guest, etc.

If you’re looking to go the free route, Aucuity (my new favorite) and Calendly are both rock solid options.

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll want to send your booking link to guests in the body of your e-mail. This helps cut down on the back and forth nonsense.

Sidenote: Busy people have full schedules. The easier you make it for them to say yes, the greater your chances of locking in the interview. 

Step 3 . Templates – Estimated time: 22 minutes 

I created a cold e-mail template and show flow template to send to guests.

A show what? A show flow template does exactly what it says:

  1. It’s a template or structure outlining the interview format and show flow
  2. It’s how you share your canned interview questions with guests.
  3. It’s where you give some details about the show to prepare your guest.

Step 4 . Cold E-mailing – Estimated time: 2 hours 

I went back to my Google sheet and copied the show titles into iTunes search.

Then I used the show link within iTunes to get to each podcaster’s website.

Some messages were sent through the contact form and others I ripped from their website about section.

These are the two headlines that worked best:

Loved the show! 

Get my iTunes review? 

Try to keep things basic and to the point. I didn’t send a book or blog post which helped my open rates.

You’re going to hear “no” at some point, but it’s not personal – remember they’re busy too.

4 Hour Podcast Launch 2015-04-08

Step 5. Victory Lap – Estimated time: 0 minutes 

By 8:06pm the same day I had three confirmed interviews in ScheduleOnce (see picture above), which goes to show that you don’t need all the bells and whistles to create your very own podcast.

The tricky part? Getting your show to consistently rank in iTunes New & Noteworthy.

I’ll be sharing my New & Noteworthy strategy in Part 2 of this series. Stay tuned!

If you think this was helpful, please share it with people who are having trouble getting started with podcasting, or keeps making excuses about why they can’t because they’re still waiting on (insert excuse here).

Ready to launch your podcast? Click here to get access  to my step-by-step launch guide where I show you exactly how to create a podcast and book your first three guests!