Here’s What Successful Podcasters Do Behind the Scenes
If you’re a fan of podcasts, you might feel like you “know” a few of your favorite podcast hosts personally.
That’s because the best podcasts seem intimate and authentic, and almost effortless. They make listeners feel like they’ve just pulled up a seat at their host’s kitchen table, listening in on conversations that have organically popped up between friends.
This intimate feeling can be deceiving though. Although there might indeed be just one or two people present at the time of the recording, the best podcasts usually require a full team of people who all specialize in different parts of making a podcast great. Each of them puts hours of work in before you listen to the final product.
If you want to produce the kind of podcast that can really connect with listeners, you should seriously consider using the same kind of team the pros use. Here’s more about how successful podcasters tend to delegate their work.
The Many Roles of the Podcaster
Although it’s technically possible for amateur podcasters to record and upload a podcast with little more than a smartphone, new podcasters quickly discover that the recording is just the beginning.
Here are some of the “hidden” roles that are required to make a great podcast.
Those with no professional audio background will face a steep learning curve if they want to produce a podcast that sounds as good as the pros.
Using the right kind of equipment is important, but a lot of audio quality work happens after the initial recording with tasks such as these:
- Editing out distracting or unnecessary words and noises (these are things like stallers and crutch phrases such as “um” and “you know,” and audible breathing or other “mouth sounds”)
- Removing long silences
- Understanding how vocal balancing, compression, and equalization affect audio quality
- Removing or reducing background noise
- Setting the “perceived loudness level” of the recording to the industry standard
- Tagging each completed episode with the correct metadata (ID3 tags contain information such as each episode’s title, artist, album, and track number)
- Converting the file into a high-quality MP3 and uploading it to your media host
Of course, the hosting of the show itself requires some creativity. But a podcast’s “creative work” doesn’t stop there.
First, there’s the album art and intro/outro music to consider.
Then, for each episode, you’ll need to write show notes, transcribe conversations and polish transcripts, and come up with titles and tags. If you’re running ads on your podcast, you’ll need someone creative to write and develop them. You might even choose to produce episode-specific art, social-media-worthy images, and blog posts.
If your podcast is one of the many that involves hosting guests, there is a lot of time-consuming work required to communicate with and schedule potential guests. Plenty of attention to detail is required if you hope to get the interviews lined up and published on a regular schedule.
It takes work to get the word out about your podcast and make sure its best foot is always forward.
Someone with marketing skills can make sure that the podcast has a consistent look, feel and personality. With the help of creatives, they can develop and publish a web site for the podcast (or add a page for your podcast to your existing site) and make sure it’s listed on all major podcasting platforms.
They’ll also work to develop and maintain relationships with podcast guests, listeners, and potential advertisers.
This is the work that must be done as the “CEO” of your podcast. It’s the big picture thinking and decision-making that determines the podcast’s identity and future. Strategic work includes things like:
Choosing topics and guests for your podcast
- Reaching out to your target audience and getting feedback
- Reviewing data such as downloads and shares and using those to inform your strategy moving forward.
This is the work that informs all the rest of the tasks, especially marketing and creative work. As you can imagine, this is arguably the most important podcaster role of all. Successful podcasters spend a majority of their time on strategic work and avoid getting bogged down in too many details.
That’s where delegation comes in.
The Power of Delegation
If you’re like many podcasters, this content plays a big role in your life’s work and your passion. Your personal reputation and your personality are on the line with every episode.
That’s why in most cases, you’re the one who needs to be handling the most important, CEO-level work. Letting experts handle the other details (such as uploads and tags) frees you up to do that.
That’s not to say that you have to stay completely ignorant of the other details of your podcast. It certainly doesn’t hurt to educate yourself about audio production over time, for example. But if you insist on playing every single podcast role yourself, the resulting content will show it.
Podcast editing and production services are becoming more popular and more accessible as the audience for podcasting grows. As these services become more widely used, listeners will be less willing to put up with shoddy sound quality or conversations that haven’t been edited down to respect their time as much as possible.
Although hiring experts might seem like a luxury, consider that spending hours and hours producing a podcast that listeners don’t stick with because of the poor production is an even bigger risk of time and resources.
How to Choose Your Partners
By now, you may have already decided that building a skilled team to help you produce your podcast is well worth the investment.
But where, exactly, will you find this all-star podcast production team?
As we mentioned, there are many unique roles to fill. Ideally, you’ll find capable people who specialize in each of them.
Generally, you have two options when it comes to building a team: Work with individual freelancers, or partner with a podcast production company.
For more on how to choose who you work with, don’t miss: 6 Things to Look for in a Podcast Partner
Freelancers can seem more affordable and more personal, because you can hand pick who you work with. You can also opt to focus on hiring individuals for the skill sets you need the most. However, many freelancers go into podcast editing as a hobby or side project. That means they might have limited availability, and you might not be able to rely on working with them for the long-term.
Plus, if you hire more than one freelancer, you might find you’ve created additional work for yourself. You’ll likely have to field communication and facilitate relationships among the freelancers if they’re expected to work together.
By contrast, podcast production companies can handle as much or as little of the podcast process as you like. They are fully dedicated to the job of podcast production, focusing on it full-time, which makes them more available and reliable than freelancers. They often bring years of experience to the table.
If you’re interested in trying out an editing service for your podcast, we hope you consider working with us at Podcast Press. We employ hundreds of team of audio experts with years of experience, continue to work with many satisfied customers, and offer a completely free 7-day trial.