This is a guest post by Marina Barayeva, host of Marketing for Creatives. It's a podcast for creative entrepreneurs and business owners about how to market a small business. Marina is also a portrait photographer based in Beijing, China. Her mission is to inspire people to do what they love and help to grow it as a business. Here, she'll show you what she's learned about how to manage podcast guests for well over 150 episodes.
When you invite people to be a guest on your podcast, or they pitch you their ideas, it can be overwhelming to organize all the information about the guest, outreach process, podcast topics, etc.
In the beginning, you get in touch with only a few people. The more you grow and the more episodes you post, the more guests you reach out to. Some of them will say ‘No’, some will say ‘Write to me in two months again’, some will not reply for a long time. It’s so difficult to remember all of these.
I tried Excel, Evernote, Google Docs and several other kinds of customer relationship management software ( or CRM), but it still wasn’t productive and really effective.
While something like Excel can be a simple solution, I almost gave up when I started the Marketing for Creatives podcast, because managing the podcast guests and clients of my main business was crazy.
You don't have to go through all these tests too. I’ll show you a more advanced and still easy way of tracking the data by using the HubSpot system. Free features will be more than enough for you.
It will take you about 1 hour to set up your account, but save you a ton of time in the future. Later, all you need to do is add the new contacts with the necessary information, and manage the stages of the interview process. It will look similar to this.
The setup process includes the next stages:
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- Create your profile
- Add properties for collecting additional information about the contacts
- Enter Deal properties for a podcast guest outreach
- Creating a Pipeline for a podcast guest outreach
- Customizing the profile and properties for the new deals and contacts
- Customizing a contact page
- Adding a new contact
- Add a new podcast interview deal
- Customizing a Deal page
- Working with a Deal page to manage the interview process
I recommend doing all these steps at one time, as it may be a little complicated for non-tech people. But no worry, every step goes with the images. Get your coffee and let’s start.
Create your HubSpot profile
First, create your profile on HubSpot. Start with CRM Free. That’s not a free trial. It’s forever free, with unlimited users. Also, you can save up to one million contacts, companies, deals, and tasks. If you want more features for your business, you can upgrade anytime.
Fill your data.
Enter your website and company name.
After you register, check your email box and verify your email.
Complete the rest of the steps to start using CRM
Creating properties for collecting information about the contacts
HubSpot set the basics for you from the beginning. Before you start adding new contacts and deals, you'll want to customize the profile. We’ll start with your contacts.
I prefer to keep some info about the person, so I can easily find it anytime. You can add there the same properties for the contact as shown below. Or feel free to pass on those that you don't need, and add your own.
Go to Contacts tab. From the Customize menu, pick Edit Properties.
The Contact information section already has the main things you may need.
Add new properties to the Social media information section
You may want to add a few more properties to the Social media information section. I have properties for all the main social media networks, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram there.
To add a new property, click Create a property.
Create your Label. An Internal name will be the same as the label, but you can modify it if you want. A Description is optional, but you can add some information that may help if you add an assistant to the system, and he or she will fill the people’s data for you.
In the Group pick ‘Social media information’ and the Field type is Single-line text.
I also want to note how many followers a person has on the network. Let’s add the new property for that. Click Create a Property again, and fill the new form. At the field type, pick Number.
If you want to edit any information later click Edit for the property you want to edit.
Here is the list of the properties I have for the Social media information tab.
Create properties for extra information about the person
If you want to add some further information about the person, then you can either add new properties to any of the current groups or create a new property group.
Let’s create the new group Additional Information.
As it’s empty, we need to create new properties there.
Your network is your net worth. Your goal is to organize the main information about people that you think may be useful for you in the future so you won’t need to go search the internet all the time. There is no need to fill all the fields for each person you will add: put what you think is valuable for you.
Here is the list of properties I have:
Blog topics section shows me what the person writes about. As I focus on business and marketing for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners, I’m interested in working with people who share content such as:
- Social Media Marketing
I would also like to know if the person focuses particularly on creative entrepreneurs and small businesses, which are exactly my audience or on women entrepreneurs, which also resonates with me.
As I believe in collaboration these points not only show me what topics can be interesting to my audience if I invite them for the interview, but also tells me in which areas I can bring value to the person and his/her community.
For this property, pick Field type, Multiple checkboxes, and add all labels you need.
Think about them as the tags that will help you to quickly find the right group of people. Later, you can filter your contacts with specific topics from this list. When you have a lot of contacts, it's very convenient.
It’s also useful to know how you engaged, and on what projects you worked with the person. I label it Connection Points. It’s kind of your relationship history.
As with some people I've engaged for a few years, it’s always good to remember how, so when you get to their radar once in a while you can refer to the situations.
When you work on several projects at one time, it’s good to note what deal is in the progress right now with your prospect.
Let’s create a new property Deal in Progress. It’s more effective to not overwhelm people and have only one deal at one time. For this property, choose Dropdown select, and add labels for the projects you usually working on.
It's practical to add some notes about what Social Presence the person has. One of the easiest ways to connect with the person is to get familiar with their content, and refer to it in the email.
If they have a book – read it. If they are speakers, then more likely they have their videos on YouTube – watch them. Also, speakers are often good podcast guests, as they got used to talking and sharing their experience.
Here are some checkboxes you can add:
As a podcaster, one day you will want to be a guest on other podcasts too. It’s good for marketing your own podcast. Furthermore, it’s always easier to get in touch with people who host a podcast.
If the influencer has a podcast, or you want to get connected to any podcast hosts, you can start building the relationship by leaving a review for their podcast, listen to their episodes and send them some notes, questions, or just a grateful email.
Create the property for the podcast data.
The properties above cover most things you may need, but there are times you may want to add some extra notes. I have two more fields: Specialization and Extra Notes.
In Specialization, I put what exactly topics person talks about. For example, they write about business, but their specialization is how to build a personal brand. You can often find it in Summary of their LinkedIn profile.
Add anything else you want in the Extra Notes. I often write there who the person was introduced by, at what conference we met, or on which online conference I found him/her, etc. The form settings will be the same as above.
Filed type for both sections is Multi-line text.
Feel free to add any other properties, or use only a few from listed above.
Create Deal Properties
Deal Properties help you organize the podcast projects, making them easy to find and manage. Let’s create a few extra properties.
Go to the Deal properties tab.
Create a new group of properties specifically for the podcast guest outreach.
We’ll need three properties there for keeping the process organized.
Date of the first request is when you first time reached your guest. Sometimes it may take you a few months to reach an influential guest. You use the same field if someone reached you out for the interview.
Group is Podcast Request, and the Field type is Date Picker.
Date of the Interview and Publication Date are similar. Check the settings here
Create the Pipeline for the Podcast Interviews
Next step, go to the Sales tab of the right menu and click Deals. Your free account allows you to have one Pipeline.
You already have one created automatically. Click Edit to modify it.
You can change the name of the pipeline there if you want. These are all steps of the process that were created by HubSpot:
Change the stage names as shown below. Then, for updating the stage properties click Edit Properties. We’ll start from the Interview Request stage.
Scroll to the Podcast Requests group in the left list and check Date of the First Request and save the property.
Then edit property for the Interview Scheduled stage. Check Date of the Interview.
For Scheduled for a Blog stage, set Publication Date property.
Also, set properties for Closed Won – Closed Won Reason and for Closed Lost – Closed Lost Reason.
Check that you have all these stages with the right properties:
When you finish, click Save to save the pipeline settings.
Customize the properties you want to fill when you create a new deal
When you create the Deal for each person for your podcast interview, it’s good to have certain fields that you fill right away.
On the top of the same setting page, click Manage to set the properties your team sees when creating deals.
Choose Start from scratch.
Remove all preset categories. From the left menu pick those that we created for the Podcast Request group and save the settings.
Customize the properties you want to fill when you create a new contact
Every time you add the new contact you need to fill out the form. While we have a lot of properties in the system, let’s pick those that you want to fill most of the time.
Go to Contacts & Companies tab and click Manage for the Set the properties your team sees when creating contacts.
Choose Start from scratch.
There will be the required properties at the top and below optional. Pick from the left column those that you want to fill in the beginning when you add the new contacts. You also can make them optional or required by marking the checkbox on the right. I leave all the fields optional.
Customize a contact page
Next, go back to the Contacts page of HubSpot. Click Customize, then Edit Columns.
On the left side, you see all the properties you have. On the right side those that shown on the contact page. Pick those that you want to see right away, then drag and drop in the more convenient order.
I would suggest having at least Email, Website URL, Deal in Progress. The rest is up to you.
How to Add a New Podcast Guest Contact
Now let’s add your first contact. Click Create Contact.
You need to add an email and the name.
Go to the site or the person who you want to reach. On their website's About page, you more likely will find the name of the owner if the site's named differently.
There's usually a contact form on the site, but I prefer to send a direct email. My two favorite extensions for Google Chrome are Hunter and Ninja Outreach. Most of the time, you'll find an email of the website owner, or closest assistant with them.
Fill out the data you know in the HubSpot form.
After you create the contact you will have all the data that you collect in one place. You can add any notes and activities there.
Let’s modify About section, to have all the main information about the person that you want to see right away.
Scroll down and click View All Properties.
The next page shows you all the properties and data that you have for the person.
To display the necessary information about the contact on the main page in the About section, choose Set default properties.
Then, pick the properties you want to see on the main page from the left column and drag and drop the order of the fields on the right side. Click Save.
When you have done that, click Back to contact record link at the top to go back to the contact page.
How to Add a New Podcast Interview Deal to the Contact
Now we finally will bring together everything we set up before. On the person’s main page scroll down to the Deal section and click Create deal.
Write the deal name as the name of the person and potential title of the interview.
Pick the Pipeline ‘Podcast Interview’. Then, the date when you reached the person for the first time.
Set the Deal stage to the current step of the outreach. In my case, it’s the Interview Requests.
I recommend filling this form right away, when you send a request to the person. There is no need to fill the rest of the fields if you don’t know them yet.
After you create the deal, you will see the deal page. At the top, there is the name of the person and the title and the stages of the interview. For now, it’s on the first stage Interview Requests.
How to customize a Deal page
Let’s customize the left menu of the Deal page. Go to the View all properties of About section.
On the opened page, click Set default properties.
From the left menu pick all properties that you want to see on the main page of the deal.
Remove all unnecessary properties left from the About section so you will have only next fields left.
Go back to the deal record. Now on the left side, you will see right away all the interview process details.
How to Work with a Deal page for the Podcast Interview Process
In the middle section, you will track all the information about the podcast interview process. Notes option is for the basic data related to the interview.
In the Email tab, you can connect your email service. I prefer to use Log activity for that. Pick how you contacted the person.
Here will be very helpful to set up the date when you sent the request and create a follow-up reminder. This is where HubSpot will take your assistant role. When you mark the checkbox, it will send you an email reminder to follow up on the tasks you note there.
There is often the question: how many times to follow up and how often? When I do any outreach I’m ready to send at least three emails. If I’m very interested in the guest, I’ll send more.
Someone said one day, “I’ll try to reach so many times till they say No.”
I would add to that also that No means only Not right now. Circumstances on his/her or your side can be changed and the person can say Yes another day. Even if you hear No, but still would like to have a project with the person you can try again in a few months or when you feel you can have a better chance.
This follow-up function is very helpful when the person tells you to reach out again in a few months.
I set the task to follow up in 5 business days.
Every time I send a follow up I create the new Log activity to track the process.
You can also manually create a task. Pick the date when you need it done and create a task to send you an email about it.
On the schedule tab, you can create a task Interview, set the date there and sync with Google Calendar.
All your activities for the deal will be listed below.
How to manage each step of the interview process
When you get to the next stage of the interview process mark it on your timeline. Click on the stage Interview Scheduled.
It will show you the pop-up message asking to pick the date of the interview (remember we set that in the Deal settings?).
There is another way to visually manage the stages. Go to the Deals tab.
Choose the Board style. Now you will see all the same stages where you can drag and drop the person’s card to any parts.
Follow Up Later stage is for those prospects that told you to follow up in a month or after a certain event. They may be busy with a conference or writing a book at the moment you reached out to them. Create the task for that person in his deal card that HubSpot sends you an email reminding you about that.
When you move the card between the stages there, it will also show you the pop-up messages for the previously set steps. For example, if you move it to the Scheduled for a Blog step you’ll be asked to pick the Publication date.
Track the Results of the Interview
After we created our Pipeline of the interview process in the beginning, we got two stages Closed Won and Closed Lost. When you move the deal card to any of those places type the result.
Track the reasons why your proposal got rejected.
To go back to the deal itself, just click on the title of the deal and you will see your information organized in one place.
Remember to change the status of the contact on her/his contact page every time you work on the deal with the prospect.
If you follow the steps I’ve outlined in this guide, the whole process of adding new contacts and following the podcast guest’s outreach process will be easy.
To make it even easier you can add your assistant as a team member to the system and delegate part or all the organizing work to then. Here are the instructions:
When you have more contacts, it will be easy to search for the information based on the properties we created in the beginning. Here is how to use HubSpot filters:
A Slew of New Features for Filtering in HubSpot
The last, but not least, here is how you can export any data from your database:
Having all this information to manage podcast guests is an excellent start. You won't get Elon Musk mixed up with Jeff Bezos, or vice versa. It definitely helps you avoid some mistakes, though not all. Our guide to Podcast Interviews: Everything You Need to Know can help you with recording, editing, producing, and most importantly, preparing the interview itself. For more intensive information about all aspects of podcasting, join us at The Podcast Host Academy. Our podcasting courses, resources and tools, and weekly live Q&A sessions can help you with any aspect of podcasting that keeps you awake at night. Join us!