You may not think that you need a podcast producer for your show. Maybe you think that as a new podcaster, it’s too early in the game to get that serious about the show. Or, maybe you’ve been doing all the work yourself for a while already, and have done ok so far. It’s just you saying stuff into a mic, after all.
The thing is, you may lose a lot of potential ROI for your business because you ignore your podcast. A successful show might give you fulfillment and help a bunch of followers. But a great show can establish you as a thought leader in your space. An impressive show can open doors that you never thought possible. You building relationships with your ideal customers could be just beyond that barrier of a properly produced show. When you decide to create excellence, you can produce real results. And you need a podcast producer to make that happen.
What Does a Podcast Producer Do?
The job of a podcast producer is the complete oversight of a podcast. This is basically getting podcast episodes ready for public consumption on time, following a consistent schedule. It usually means being responsible for all the back office of each show. A podcast producer can also double as a sound engineer on top of being a manager or oversee the creative team.
Most times, a solo podcast producer may also be in charge of choosing the subjects and storylines of each episode, and even the general podcast theme. Or, at the very least, their expertise is used to guide the decision-making process. A person may have a lot of wisdom to share, but not necessarily the marketing savvy to sell it to more of the right audience. That being the case, a podcast producer can give valuable insight where content is concerned. The podcast hosts would then pitch ideas to the producer for approval. At the very least, a podcast producer could help to get the first podcast episode ready, as a sort of template to follow.
A show’s host may have several major skills. Depending on what those are, a podcast producer can also do initial interviews with sources. Because of their experience, they can fashion more evocative questions. They can also arrange questions in a way that makes the episode flow more smoothly for listeners. Fact-checking, guest coaching, and managing relations with publishing partners can also fall to a podcast producer. Ultimately, they are creative professionals with proficiency and experience in the sphere of long-form audio programming.
The job of a podcast producer is not so easily dismissed. You need more than an idea guy to push your podcast beyond the hobby stages. You need the person who can effectively execute a winning strategy to launch you on the path to success.
How Does a Podcast Producer Compliment the Host?
Most new podcast hosts are experts in some field or other. They are looking for a way to reach a wider audience. They have a lot to say, and they want more people to hear it. Regardless of a host’s expertise, a podcast producer supports that singular vision. A podcast producer is the wind beneath the talent’s wings, so to speak.
A podcast producer allows just about anyone with a great idea and some fancy know-how to become, well, famous. Whether a podcaster can bring benefit to others through what they have to share depends a lot on who’s producing for them. Sure, the story and the style of delivery matter. But the actual production value of the show is not just bells and whistles.
Yes, almost anyone can put a podcast episode together on their own. All you really need is a good microphone or two and some software to help you record high-quality audio tracks. With a couple of nice audio clips, you can create your unique intro and outro and you’re off to the races. But these few basic elements are not enough to get you past the realm of the mundane.
Any podcaster who wants more needs a producer to work with them. A podcast producer will help the talent execute greater creative expression. The host has exceptional ideas, and the producer has the technical know-how. A producer can bring in more complex structures to support a greater vision for where the host wants the show to go. A producer can introduce additional elements at strategic times to take engagement to another level. Captivating an audience is no easy feat. You need a podcast producer to help you plan and set goals and take the actual steps to achieve all of this.
So, those are the chief responsibilities that a podcast producer role will usually entail. In summary, a podcast producer:
- Provides oversight for production. They guide the process from start to finish to ensure that the process completes successfully to deliver the intended results.
- Edits, mixes, and masters audio. They do, or manage, editing and post-production work to get podcast content ready for public consumption. A podcast producer might add new content, such as narration, to make episodes more cohesive. They might also weave in clips from outside content like the news or music to support the story being told.
- Provides the creative vision for a show. They give form to the story that the talent wants to tell. And they do what needs doing to execute the vision.
- Coordinates guest interviews. They prepare the interview elements of the podcast and develop talking points. They also guide the host and guest to ensure that the content follows the effective strategy set in place.
Below are some other areas that a podcast producer works within to help a host execute a great show. Now, a producer is actually usually a team. How many there are depends on how complex the podcast concept is. Production agencies also exist that help several podcasts at once and therefore divide roles among team members with different areas of expertise. If you aren’t prepared to take on all these responsibilities or don’t have these people to work alongside you, then you’re going to want to hire a podcast producer.
This leadership role requires a detail-oriented person. The project manager of a podcast will keep team members focused on their individual tasks. They will also keep all the moving parts organized. Often, the project manager will also make sure that team members stay motivated. This is because the ultimate responsibility of a project manager is to make sure that team members complete new episodes on schedule.
Guest Outreach Manager
This people person looks for fresh voices to bring on the show. The talent will always have a say in who gets on with them. However, it’s easier and often more effective to have someone else do the actual outreach. The guest outreach manager will have a knack for getting people’s attention and stoking their interest in doing a show. They look for and book the right people for each episode. They know whether the show needs an industry expert, a thought leader, or someone with a lot of experience in the trenches. The value that these guests add through their experience and wisdom is crucial. This value is what will boost show ratings and bring in business, encouraging more guests to come on.
If you have a great guest outreach manager on the team, you can even get guests to take on some of the work. Many podcasts will skillfully pass the burden of topic selection over to guests. And they will even make it sound like they are being generous! A great guest outreach manager will easily nail down one episode topic after another by asking guests to choose a few topics that they are most interested in or passionate about. This can be a problem that they have overcome using a specific strategy that they developed. It can even just be a few tips that they have mastered over the years or a mindset that has revolutionized their life or business.
After the interview, the guest outreach manager becomes a guest relations manager. At this stage, the work revolves around taking care of the established relationship. This is not a one-off deal, but an opportunity to reap additional mutual benefits. New revenue opportunities may be on the horizon besides referral partnerships as your exposure to new audiences increases. The host can also do this part since they have already built rapport with the guest during the episode – it’s not set in stone.
Voice Over Talent
The podcast host can record the intro and outro of a podcast. Sometimes, though, a different person introducing the host and signing off the show supports the overall strategy. Voice-over talent only comes in for this bit, but it’s an important role. This voice must make a great impression. It has to blend with the overall theme of the show and be striking yet not draw away from the host.
Copywriter, Content Writer, and Editor
Podcasts are not purely audio content. You will need some different text content to go along with each episode. Sometimes, you will need more than one version of these snippets for each of the different platforms on which you will feature the show. This means having a good copywriter and possibly an editor on the team to do up all that text for you. A copywriter gets people to click on an episode. It’s their catchy episode headlines and show descriptions that captivate this scroll-crazy internet generation. A copywriter can also help with intro and outro text, ad scripts, and show notes that make each episode pop and stay in memory longer.
A podcast can be an excellent source of valuable content. If you have a podcast producer helping you, it should be a veritable gold mine. With a talented writer to back you up, you can repurpose a lot of the audio content you produce. This way, you can create written pieces to support your content marketing strategy. Podcasts are very rich sources of original content since they are basically conversations. An excellent writer on a podcast production team has the right experience to pull nuggets from episodes to create a variety of additional, repurposed content. Ideally, you will want to at least create blog articles and social media content.
Your podcast will always need some great cover art. Podcast production is never complete without it. A graphic designer will create stunning podcast images that accurately reflect your brand. The overall look for the podcast will need to be cohesive and expressive of who you are. The branding should always come out whether a person is looking at cover art, headline images, quote images template, or any other design on the podcast landing page, host sites, and social media profiles.
All written content is always better with visual content. As you produce blog posts and social media posts, you will want to throw in some branded art to complement the text. You can choose to use stock photography, of course, but you should not pass up any opportunity to advertise your show.
Podcast production always involves some administrative work. Like the project manager, this work requires organization and focus. Clear communication is also vital to getting tasks done and keeping everyone on the same page. The administrator handles the many small parts involved in podcast production, like:
- getting the podcast domain registered
- setting up podcast hosting
- putting together podcast profiles and pages and launching them – Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, etc.
- publishing podcast episodes manually or scheduling them to publish
- Sending guests shareable links with postable snippets and media when their episodes and related content go live
- promoting each podcast episode on all channels, including email and social media profiles, by scheduling or manual posing
- asking for reviews on each episode to generate exposure
So, Do You Need a Podcast Producer?
Many of the points that we went over in this post just touch on the overall advantages of having a podcast producer. The actual role and responsibilities of a podcast producer for your specific show may differ depending on your specific needs. The host can perform some functions, or existing members of their business teams can do this. The host can also outsource these roles.
Ultimately, whether you need a podcast producer for your show depends on what you feel comfortable handling and what makes the most sense for your bottom line and your goals. If taking on the tasks will take up too much of your time, for instance, then we recommend you get some help. The same goes if you’re not confident that you can do all this stuff at the level that you need to reach your success targets.