Ari Meisel, the career, business, and productivity coach, is also the host of a podcast with over 300 episodes. The Less Doing Podcast is a much listened to show all about life hacks, automation, and productivity.

Although Meisel created the podcast from the ground up, he doesn't exactly run it - the automations he's set up takes care of most of the work for him.

With this checklist, which is Meisel's own production process, you too can automate your podcast production and increase your audio content output exponentially

Meisel's checklist will guide you through the pre-interview stage where you'll set up your initial Zaps (via Zapier) and interview scheduling. 

You'll then move to the interview stage, where the podcast episode will be recorded, saved, and edited.

After that, you'll complete post-interview tasks, where the episode will be transcribed and promoted

The first time you undergo this checklist you'll set up all the required Zaps. Then, run this checklist for each episode you create, as there are a handful of manual steps.

Ready to produce stellar content in record-fast time?


To begin automating the podcast production process, you'll need to create a Zapier account (if you don't already have one). 

Zapier is a tool which connects thousands of apps together and thereby automates certain processes. This lifts the burden of having to repeat certain tasks yourself. It's also the main tool for connecting many of the apps featured in this checklist.

Once you've made a Zapier account, you're ready to start process automation.

Consider if you've previously set up the required Zaps

Consider if you've previously set up the Zaps featured in this podcast automation process before.

By answering 'yes' or 'no' in the dropdown below, the following tasks will change.

This is done via conditional logic.

If you haven't built the Zaps and automations before, you will complete all the tasks in this checklist.

However, if you have set up the Zaps and automations before, you will only be shown the parts of the process that require manual input, such as instructing the VA service. (Make sure all automations are working before starting.)

Have the interview scheduled via Calendly

Have your episode guest schedule the interview via Calendly.

Calendly is a tool in which others can book a timeslot to speak to you. 

For a podcast, Calendly is particularly useful as a time and date which works for all involved can be chosen easily.

Create an account and send the guest(s) your personal Calendly link so they can choose the time and date themselves.

You'll want to make sure you capture the guests' emails, phone numbers, and social media handles via the Calendly forms. This information will prove useful later on.

Ensure a Zap is set up for voicemail confirmation

Ensure a Zap is set up so that your guest(s) receives voicemail confirmation of the interview.

The time and date for the conversation have been decided by the guest(s).

You will now want to set up a Zap providing the guest(s) with a voicemail confirmation of the interview. 

As Ari Meisel says:

"There’s a zap in place that triggers after the booking is logged in Calendly. It’s on an hour delay at which time it sends a voicemail from me using Slybroadcast. It says, “I’m so excited to have you on the podcast. If you haven’t heard my podcast before, here’s a clip so you can see how casual it is and get a feel for it." - Ari Meisel, Want to Build a Hands-Free Podcast Production Process?

To help you set up your first Zap, follow the instructions below. Use the screenshots provided as visual cues.

1. First, log into Zapier and hit "Make a Zap!"

2. The trigger app will be Calendly. The trigger itself will be "Invitee Created". This is whenever an invitee schedules an event via Calendly.

3. The action app will be Slybroadcast. The action itself will be "Start New Campaign Using Audio File". This means a pre-recorded Slybroadcast voicemail will be sent to the person who scheduled the conversation.

4. Edit the details during the "Set Up Template" step to your liking, ensuring you're putting in the correct information in the corresponding fields - especially the phone number of the guest(s).

5. Turn the Zap on.

Set up a Toky text notification Zap

Set up a Toky text notification Zap reminding the guest of their interview time and date.

Toky is a virtual phone system. It's a great tool for communicating with others via text.

By setting up a Zap which sends out a text reminding the guest of their interview time, the likelihood of them forgetting to show up is dramatically decreased. 

The phone number(s) of the guest(s) can be found from the Calendly form, and the notification should be sent 24 hours before the conversation takes place.


The interview is the most important part of the production process. After all, without the content itself being high quality, listeners will be less likely to listen and subscribe. 

But with that being said, you're now implementing processes to help you create the best material possible.

It's time to proceed with the interview itself.

Host the interview via Zencastr

Host the interview via Zencastr.

Zencastr is a cloud-based recording tool. Podcast episodes can be recorded anywhere, anytime.

To learn more about Zencastr and its usefulness for podcasts, watch the video below.

Save the episode file on Dropbox

Save the episode file on Dropbox.

You've now used Zencastr to host the episode's conversation and you're ready to move forward.

The next step is to save the episode file on Dropbox, so that the VA team you're working with can access the file remotely. 

Make sure your Dropbox folder can be accessed by the VA team, to stop any potential bottlenecks.

Have your VA edit the podcast

Have your VA edit the podcast.

Once the file is saved in Dropbox, have your VA service go to your Dropbox folder and edit the podcast. Ask them to pull two clips - one which is 15 seconds, another which is 1 minute - which will be representative of the episode.

You'll also want them to add an intro, outro, and add the show notes.

"They do the audio editing, put in the intro and outro, do the show notes. They also pull out a 15-second clip and a one minute clip that is representative of the episode." - Ari Meisel, Want to Build a Hands-Free Podcast Production Process?


The post-interview tasks are the final steps in this process improvement

By following the tasks, you'll have the podcast transcribed and promoted, so that different audiences can access your new material.

Have the VA service email the guest(s)

Have your VA service of choice email the guest(s).

It's now time to reach out to the guest(s) and thank them for the conversation.

Meisel has a Zap step in which the email is automatically sent. Use the below screenshot as a reference for building your Zap which sends an email notification to your VA service of choice.

"After the interview, Magic, our VA service, gets an email saying, “I just interviewed this person, please send them a copy of both books as a gift, take note of their email address and social media handles." Once the episode comes out, we then reach out to the person, thank them for appearing on the podcast and also give a link to subscribe." - Ari Meisel, Want to Build a Hands-Free Podcast Production Process?

Ask the VA service to upload a 15 second clip on Instagram

Ask the VA service to upload a 15 second clip of the episode on Instagram as a story and a regular post.

A great method to reach as many users as possible on Instagram is, after having your VA service convert the file to Wavve, have them post the Wavve file both as a story (which disappears after 24 hours) and as a permanent post on your profile. 

Use to publish the podcast on YouTube

Use to publish the podcast on YouTube. is a tool which automatically repurposes your material on other platforms. For his business podcast, Ari uses to publish his podcasts on YouTube. Other platforms to crosspost to - such as Facebook and Soundcloud - are also available.

It's similar to Zapier, where you can create connections (inputs and outputs) to repurpose your content

Transcribe the podcast via Temi

Transcribe the podcast via Temi.

Temi is a service which transcribes audio to text. 

Temi is a Zapier-recognized app, so you can link it up to Dropbox so that once a there's a new transcript from Temi, it can be uploaded straight to Dropbox.

Have the VA service promote the transcript

Have your VA service promote the transcript.

The transcript, via the Zap, should be in your Dropbox folder. You'll now want to have your VA service promote and publish the transcript. Meisel uses and suggests one of these sites be Slideshare.

As Meisel says:

"Slideshare is owned by Linkedin. It’s been around a long time and has been a place for people to post mostly slides; duh, like powerpoint presentations. But a lot of people use it to post content that is not video or audio: documents, infographics, presentations. I don’t know why, but SlideShare seems to get the best SEO juice, so it’s an interesting add-on to the process." - Ari Meisel, Want to Build a Hands-Free Podcast Production Process?

The production process has now been completed, and you've set up, recorded, published, and promoted your new podcast episode in lightning speed! 

Why not create a process for everything?


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