There’s no getting around it. Producing a high-quality podcast takes a lot of work. There’s much more to it than simply buying a good quality microphone.
If you’ve got a job that isn’t too demanding and you’re willing to put in your free time, it can be managed. But if you’re already very busy or you’re running your own business, producing a great show becomes far more challenging.
Given the increasing level of competition in the industry, shows lacking in production quality rarely succeed anymore. So if you’re convinced podcasting is right for you or your brand, it's a good idea to make the investment required to do it well. And typically that means outsourcing certain tasks within your production process.
Last year, we spoke to Noah Labhart, host of Code Story about why he decided to outsource parts of his podcast. Noah is the CTO and co-founder of Veryable, so he was finding it virtually impossible to do everything himself. Here’s what he said:
I really wanted to do it all myself, but it was taking me so long to get each episode done. I’m married with three kids, running a startup, and I’m also a podcast host. That leaves me with very little free time. So I finally realised that I needed to get out of my own way to make Code Story happen.
So I ended up hiring an editor to help me finish season one, and he did a fantastic job. He immediately grasped my vision for the show and knew exactly what I was looking for. And then I also hired a freelancer to help promote the episodes. She handled all the social media promo for the podcast and also ran the newsletter to help get the word out. I don’t think I could have done it without that additional help.
Podcast outsourcing allows you to create better content at a faster pace. But every show is different, so it’s up to you to decide where you could use some extra help. Keep tabs on your current production process and make note of any tasks that are particularly costly in terms of time.
In this article, we’ll explore 9 different production tasks you can outsource to help manage the workload associated with your podcast.
1. Audio or Video Editing
This is probably the most commonly outsourced element of podcast production. Editing takes up a lot of time, often double the length of the original recording (if not more). It also requires a certain degree of technical skill and know-how to get it right. For this reason, many entrepreneurs and branded podcasts outsource their editing. The time saved is more valuable than the cost. And the final product is much higher quality.
There are now loads of freelance editors and podcast production agencies out there to choose from. When deciding who to work with, the aim is to find an editor whose judgement you can trust. Ideally, you should be able to hand them your raw audio or video files and leave it up to them to decide which parts to cut and which to leave in. They’re the experts and that should be part of the service they provide.
But as Noah Labhart mentioned, it’s vitally important your editor clearly grasps the vision and direction of your show. That way you won’t be slowed down by needing to make constant revisions and changes to their work. Here are a few places we’d recommend to find top quality audio and video editors:
2. Pre-Interview Research
Good interviews require good preparation. To get the best content, you need to understand who you’re speaking to and how their expertise can benefit your audience. That usually means Googling them, checking out their socials, reading their book (if they have one), and listening back to other interviews and talks they’ve done. During this research phase, most interviewers will prepare a few notes and talking points to help guide the conversation in their right direction during the recording. But all that takes time.
If you’re new to podcasting, we strongly advise doing your own research on guests for at least the first year. It’s a fundamental part of becoming a better interviewer, and it will help significantly improve the quality of your episodes. But if you’ve been podcasting for years, and you’re looking to record interviews at a faster pace, you may want to hire a dedicated researcher for your show. Their job is to do all the background digging for you and prepare some cliff-notes on each guest.
Of course, you can’t simply rely on those cliff notes alone. You still need to have a clear understanding of who each guest is yourself. But by cutting down on the amount of time you spend trawling through the web for information, hiring a researcher can really speed up your production workflow. You can find experienced researchers on all the top freelancing platforms including:
3. Script Writing
If you record solo podcasts or your episodes take more of a narrative format, having a pre-prepared script is basically essential. Without it, your content is going to meander, ramble, and fall flat. You can’t just get behind the mic and “wing it” (and if you think you can, good luck with that).
But good writing takes time. A lot of time. So preparing a fresh script every single week might not be an option for you. If that’s the case, you might want to hire a copywriter. They can help you by listening to all your ideas and synthesising them into a coherent, logical episode script with a beginning, middle and end. Writers will also usually be able to help you generate compelling ideas for future episodes.
There are a few things to keep in mind when working with a podcast script writer. First, it’s very important they clearly understand your podcast’s tone of voice and style. Shop around until you find a writer you feel confident in. If you choose whoever’s cheapest, don’t be upset when they deliver shoddy scripts. You get what you pay for with writers.
Next, it’s very important to give your writer a good brief when you speak with them. The more information you give the better. Remember, they aren’t mind readers. You need to paint them a clear picture of your vision for the episode. Armed with enough detail, they should be able to create something great.
4. Podcast Artwork & Imagery
We weren’t all blessed with artistic ability. And if your podcast artwork looks like it was created 15 years ago on Microsoft Paint, that’s going to seriously hamper your chances of success. It’s the first impression people get of your show, so it matters.
Be as honest as you can in your appraisal of your current podcast artwork. Does it look professional? Is the text / font easy to read? Does it help convey the central theme or message of your show? If not, then it’s probably worth hiring a graphic designer. Alongside updating your artwork, they’ll also be able to help you redesign any visual material you’re using to promote your episodes on social media.
With graphic design work for your podcast, the key is to deliver an impression that suggests a professional, high-quality show. The visual look of your show should be able to rival those produced by top-tier production houses like NPR and Wondery. A small investment here goes a long way. Here are some of our top recommendations for outsourcing podcast graphic design:
- The Podcast Design Company
- Upwork - Podcast Cover Art Freelancers
- Fivver - Podcast Cover Art Freelancers
5. Guest Booking & Management
Finding, contacting, and scheduling interviews with guests who come on your show can get pretty tedious after a while. There’s always some inevitable back-and-forth email ping pong to get everything organised across calendars. So if you can find a way to cut down on the amount of time you spend sourcing and booking guests, it can be a real timesaver.
Enter MatchMaker.fm. It’s the leading podcast to guest matchmaking service and allows you record better episodes and reach new audiences at a faster pace (for free!):
- First, you’ll find and contact better experts who already know what it takes to be a great podcast guest.
- Second, it gets you free exposure for your podcast and business through guest slots on other podcasts. Getting in front of new audiences helps spread the word and funnels listeners back to your own show.
You can create a profile in seconds. And once you’re on the platform, you can start making and taking bookings within minutes.
Intuitive search functionality allows you to filter relevant guests and podcasts by categories including business, comedy, news, fitness, entrepreneurship, and many more. If you want to find nearby guests to record in-person, you can filter by location. And if you’re one of those clever bilingual individuals, you can search by language spoken as well.
When you find profiles you love, you can favourite them for easy access later. Or alternatively, you can contact them immediately via MatchMaker’s instant messaging service. While MatchMaker.fm isn’t strictly outsourcing, it’s completely free to use and streamlines the whole guest booking and management process, making life easier for working podcasters.
If you’d prefer to take a completely hands-off approach to guest management, you might want to consider hiring a virtual assistant to take care of it for you. Virtual assistants have really blown up in popularity in recent years and it;s easy to see why. They can take care of the administrative work associated with pitching, booking, and following up with guests - allowing you to focus on creating great content. Below are a few of the top recommended virtual assistant platforms:
6. Show Notes
Like scripts, episode show notes represent another significant writing task associated with each episode. For many podcasters, they can become a real burden. That was certainly the case for Hishem Azzouz, host of The Recruitment Mentors Podcast. When we spoke to him last year, he explained his motivation for outsourcing them:
Show notes used to cost me a lot of time. I had to go back, listen to each episode start-to-finish, make notes as I went, then convert those into a full description and episode title. That process was often taking me 2+ hours and was eating into my free time every weekend. So last month I hired a freelance copywriter.
Their job is to listen to each episode, write the description and title, provide a timestamped breakdown of the content, and list any relevant links to things mentioned in the conversation. It’s been a game change for me.
If Hishem's struggle sounds familiar, then hiring a freelance copywriter might be the way to go. It can be tempting to abandon writing show notes altogether. But if you’re serious about growing your audience, that’s not a wise move. Creating detailed and engaging show notes is the only way to funnel SEO traffic to your episodes. Google’s algorithm can’t “hear” your episodes, so it needs to be able to “read” them instead. Here are a few services that specialise in outsourced podcast show notes:
7. Repurposing Episodes Into Other Formats
Sharing a link to your podcast audio on Apple Podcasts or Spotify will only get you so far. In recent years it’s become increasingly important to repurpose your episodes into other formats to maximise their reach and engagement. There are lots of different repurposing options, you can convert your episodes into:
- Images for social media
- Full transcripts
- Long-form blog posts
- Audiograms and video teasers
- Downloadable PDFs
But creating new assets for each of these formats takes time. Unless you have a team working with you on your podcast, repurposing is pretty difficult to manage. So most podcasters outsource it if their budget allows. There are now multiple agencies out there that specialise in podcast content repurposing:
To learn more about effective strategies for content repurposing, check out our conversation with Amy Woods, founder of Content 10x:
8. Social Media Management
Even if you’ve gone to the trouble of repurposing your podcast into other formats, that material still needs to be shared on the right social platform at the right time. If you’re already well versed on the ins and outs of channels like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you may be able to manage this yourself with the help of a social media scheduler like Buffer or Later. They allow you to plan everything in advance, so you don’t have to manage it on an ad hoc basis.
But if social media isn’t your thing, or you simply haven’t got time to read and reply to comments on your posts, then you might want to consider hiring a freelance social media manager to take care of it for you. Alternatively there are lots of agencies who specialise in running outsourced social media campaigns. Here are a few of our recommendations:
9. Working With a Podcast Production Agency
For many entrepreneurs and businesses, launching and running a podcast just isn’t feasible given their time constraints. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an option. By working with a podcast production agency, you can outsource the entire production process. All you have to do is get behind the mic and talk, and they’ll handle everything else - from editing and branding through to distribution and marketing.
Podcast.co offers complete done-for-you podcast production services for ambitious businesses, brands, and consultants. If you want to tap into the power of podcasts without the hassle, outsourcing to a team of experts allows you to skip the awkward years and launch a great show right away.
Most podcast production companies start working when you stop recording. With them, you get nothing more than editing services (and maybe the occasional intro or outro jingle). But creating a valuable podcast is about so much more than audio production. That’s why Podcast.co cover all bases. You’ll get expert guidance and support from start to finish including:
- Market Research
- Podcast Concept Development
- Host Sourcing
- Guest Booking
- Professional Quality Recording & Editing
- Hosting & Distribution
- Marketing & Promotion
If you want to create an incredible show that resonates with the right listeners, get in touch for a free consultation to discuss how podcasting can help support your broader business goals.