As your podcast grows more people can join its team. You don’t have to keep doing everything by yourself.
Perhaps you are running a business podcast, and you already have other people that can help, or your personal branding is growing and it’s time to expand. This is great
There are many different people that can help make your podcast: A producer, an outreach manager, additional co-hosts, an audio engineer, a graphics designer, a writer and/or editor, a voice-over specialist, and more.
You won’t be needing all these roles from the get-go and you can get very far by yourself. It is especially important when starting out, to not overthink it and burden yourself with planning everything that can happen in the future. Keep it simple and move quickly. Your content will be the single most important thing. So if you want to spend your time wisely, spend it planning on that.
But eventually, your podcast will grow and you will need more team members to join you. I know, you may don’t want other people to be part of “your thing”, something you created with such passion. But, hey, be open. It’s about growing what you’ve already successfully created.
One of the first roles that you will be looking for is a podcast producer.
In this article, we will find out what a podcast producer is, what they do, and why it’s a good idea to start looking for one.
- Who is a podcast producer?
- What does a podcast producer do?
- How much does a podcast producer cost?
- How to become a podcast producer?
- In conclusion
Who is a podcast producer?
A podcast producer is someone who, well, produces podcasts. Of course, it is not self-evident who this person might be or what they do.
Preferably a podcast producer is a person who already has done this job, and knows how to do it well.
Podcast producer is trained in certain things and they have been doing them for a while. Of course, they can have no experience or they may be starting out. This is fine too. A will to learn and a passion for the subject at hand are great qualities for someone who wants to get good at something.
Some of the things a podcast producer should be good at or have are:
- (Business) Strategy
- Recording / Editing of audio
- A love for podcasts
That is a high-level overview. We will go into more detail in a minute!
What does a podcast producer do?
Alright, you are starting to think that a podcast producer may be a good first hire for your podcast. Following we will see what they are actually doing, on a day-to-day, and what to expect.
Keep in mind that every podcast producer may have their way of working or your agreement may require them to do as little or as many of the things listed below. The point of this article is to help you understand what a podcast producer could be doing, and not what every podcast producer should be doing necessarily!
A podcast producer will oversee all aspects of production. They are the mastermind, the genius behind all this. They are the person who will have all the information needed, organized in such a way they can quickly refer to and give you the information you need when needed to record an episode.
A producer should be a person who loves organizing things. A clumsy personality type, while not being bad, wouldn’t do any favors. A producer will use a tool like Notion or Google Docs to organize information. They must be good and familiar with it. They must feel comfortable using a computer. And when the time comes, when you need that information, they will share it with you.
You may not be the most tech-savvy person around, and you don’t need to be. You did a good job so far recording your podcast but that’s not your job moving forward. Your job is to produce top-notch, quality content.
You don’t want to fiddle around with audio settings and have in mind if everything sounds okay. That will be the job of the producer.
A producer will oversee the actual recording of the show. They will be there, with you, in the recording room, or they will be online on the audio call, monitoring in the background and making sure everything is as supposed to be.
A producer will help the guest set their audio equipment correctly too. You don’t want to go back and forth with the guests and make any misunderstandings. Your job is to ensure that you extract the best content the guest can give you.
A podcast producer is knowledgeable about audio recording and they can do a good job judging if everything sounds as it should be or if there must be any adjustments. And they will keep monitoring the audio during the actual recording of the episode, so you completely forget about it.
Directing the podcast
A podcast producer will be there to direct the show.
“Here is the structure we will follow, here are the points we will talk about, here are the advertisers we must mention…” and more. Just as a movie director would direct the movie, similarly a podcast producer will direct the podcast.
It’s their job to ensure you talked about everything you were supposed to talk about and you didn’t miss any points. It’s their job to make sure you recorded the intro and outro, and that you talked about the guest and then, at the end thanked them. They will make sure the advertisers’ messages are delivered as agreed upon and not forgotten.
Make room for the producer to work and don’t judge them if they interrupt. They are there to help you and they know what they are doing. They have worked on and planned this for a long time before the actual recording.
We have mentioned that you must be consistent. Releasing on a set schedule is very important for your audience to keep coming back and listening for more. You don’t want to randomly drop episodes, they wouldn’t know when to expect a new one!
A podcast producer will be there to help you schedule the recording of new episodes, the editing, and the uploading. They will make sure they keep the schedule tight. They will remind you about things so you don’t forget.
The producer will communicate with the guests and try to find the perfect time for the recording. Imagine having 3 different guests, with overlapping calendars and trying to figure out a time that works for all of you. Guess what! You don’t have to do this. It’s the producer’s job.
The producer will keep the calendar with everything that needs to be done and they will be sure everything is in place.
You don’t want to make a fool of yourself or make the guests feel like you don’t know anything about them. They will be annoyed and hold back from making the best conversation you could have.
The producer will start researching your guests. They will read their websites, they will check their social media accounts, will watch YouTube videos with them, will read their books, and will keep notes.
They will distill the most mandatory information for you and they will present it in an easily digestible form. You won’t have to read mountains of content. You will read the producer notes and the guest will be delighted about how much you have learned about them.
They will be glad they came to your podcast and they will open up and be happy to have a nice, engaging, conversation. That’s exactly what you want.
Managing audio files
This can be a big problem really soon. I don’t even know where my podcasts’ original audio files are located, or if they have been deleted. But guess what. I and the co-hosts of the show don’t have a podcast producer.
We are left with only the final mp3 files of each episode, that is uploaded. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about it.
But during recording, there can be a mess. “Where is this guest’s audio file? Why a portion is missing? Why is it of so low quality? We recorded a week ago and can’t find anything!”. No need to worry anymore.
They will have every bit of information needed to assemble the final episode’s audio file.
They will also have your podcast’s music theme, audio effects, and sponsor messages ready to be added.
Editing the audio before mixing
Audio editing can be an easy process, but as you add more guests, theme music, sponsors, and more, it can become daunting.
Audio engineering is a different field all by itself and there are people doing this for a living. There are dozens of audio plugins and techniques one can use. It needs real training and working in this for years to get good at it.
Hopefully, the podcast producer has gone through the process. They have learned about editing and mixing. They probably already have a favorite DAW that they are very comfortable using. They can cut and splice audio, and use EQ and compression like it’s second nature.
Promotes the show and episodes
A producer will be the one who oversees the promotion and sharing of your podcast episodes on social media, emailing interested people, and more.
They will make a content calendar and they will make sure that something gets posted every week.
They will make best-moment audio clips from your episode and they will upload them on Instagram stories and Twitter. They are familiar with media editing software. They will know what the best time to post something is.
A podcast producer is familiar with social media and how people are using them. They are even familiar with creating an emailing list and using related software to build one. You don’t want to only rely on big companies to build an audience!
On some podcasts I listen to, in the outro, the podcast producer comes in and does a quick fact-check of what was mentioned in the show.
Did someone pronounce a name wrong? No problem. Did a co-host get a date of a historical event wrong? The producer will correct this here.
Even if they know you made a mistake during recording, they don’t want to stop you, while you are in a flow. They can fix it later!
Checking analytics and metrics
The producer will be familiar with the analytics and metrics your podcast hosting platform provides.
They will be able to run some quick analysis on them, see what episodes perform better, what times it is best for your episodes to be released, and make a quick summary with you.
They don’t need to have strong mathematical skills, podcast hosting companies aggregate the data in an easily digestible form.
Supports the hosts
The podcast producer will be there to generally support the hosts, in whatever they need.
Do they have a question about podcasting? The producer will be able to help you. Do you have trouble submitting your podcast to apps? They will help you. Do you have any trouble with making the right content? The producer will come up with some tips, based on what you have already put out there.
They will not judge you, they’re here to help!
How much does a podcast producer cost?
The simple answer is: It depends!
I don’t want to go ahead and give any figure here. It would be unfair.
The price range can greatly vary, based on how much work a producer will do, their past experience, and more. Come in contact with a few producers, describing to them what you actually need and they will come up with a quota. After reading the above, you know what work they can be doing and what to ask for.
A producer can charge you on a per-episode or monthly basis, depending on how much content you want to put out there.
How to become a podcast producer?
Alright, maybe you are not a podcaster and you want to become a producer. That’s fascinating! Podcasting is constantly growing. There are expected to be more than half a billion listeners soon. More and more podcasts keep popping up, so the market for producers keeps growing too!
Learn about podcasting
Knowing about podcasting is the most important thing about becoming a producer. Hopefully, there are a lot of resources to keep learning from. Go ahead and read everything you can find, listen to podcasts and analyse why they are good.
You must be really interested in podcasting in general and curious.
Learn to work with audio
Working with audio is a thing that you will be doing on a daily basis. You can’t skip it. A podcast producer must have some audio recording, editing, and mixing skills.
There are many resources to learn from and numerous different software to use.
I would suggest you in focusing on one DAW and get good at it. I would suggest picking one of the following:
Learn about project management
A podcast producer will manage the whole podcast! They are expected to know about project management. There are numerous books that you get to grab and read. But most importantly you must be thinking about how to best organise things and keep information.
Learn about marketing
One of the jobs you will be doing is, besides marketing the podcast, to be marketing yourself.
You want to help podcasters understand why they need you and why they should hire a podcast producer in the first place. You are someone that can make their life easier and help their podcast be much better. But firstly, you have to come up with ways to get them familiar with why you are needed!
As a podcast producer, you will be writing a lot. You will use a project management tool to keep information available, you will do research on guests and summarise for the hosts, you will write podcast promotional material, you will be creating social media posts, you may be writing a newsletter for the show, and more.
Writing is an important skill whatever you are doing!
Have communication skills
A producer will be communicating with the hosts, guests, and the audience. You want to have strong communication skills and be able to explain things in simply.
Participate in the podcasting world
You must participate in the podcasting world, as you will be interacting with many podcasters and podcast listeners.
Find some podcasting-related social media groups, join them and participate!
Learn about podcast platforms
You must be familiar with what podcast listening apps are used by the audience. Also, you will be the one that will be uploading new episodes so you may want to get familiar with podcast hosting platforms. Don’t worry though, they are simple to use and their support can be there to help you!
Alright, in this article we learned what is a podcast producer and why you may need one for your show. They really can make your life easier and help you focus on your content. Because in the end, this is what matters the most!