How To Produce a Podcast

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“I’ve an excessive amount of time and an excessive amount of cash, so let’s make a podcast,” mentioned no advertising individual ever.

Podcasting has develop into enormous, however it’s a frightening format for a lot of entrepreneurs. Very like writing a guide, it’s troublesome, time-consuming, and finally gained’t attain practically as many individuals as you want to.

Regardless of all that, I’ve acquired extra questions recently about what it takes to create and produce a podcast. (I believe the curiosity is an act of rise up in opposition to generative AI and written content material.) It additionally appears senior administration in lots of manufacturers is within the format — and advertising groups are being requested, “What ought to we do?”

I’ve been a podcaster for about 10 years. I’ve launched (and retired) as many exhibits as I’ve fingers. I’ve been part of This Outdated Advertising since 2013, however a lot has modified since then.

I put collectively a 2024 model of the instruments and processes, together with the time it takes us to do the weekly podcast. I hope you discover it useful as you start or actively look to construct your corporation case for producing a podcast of your personal.

Ideate the podcast

What’s going to your podcast be about? I gained’t spend a ton of time on this as a result of the subject may very well be an article in and of itself. Some fantastic thought leaders, together with Jay Acunzo and Tom Webster, discuss this subject, and I encourage you to have a look at their content material and be taught from them.

However you must perceive this: You’re creating a present; you’re not the present. In different phrases, for those who say the podcast is “our CEO interviewing a few of our greatest companions and thought leaders in regards to the challenges in our trade,” you wouldn’t have a present.

An amazing podcast is a present whether or not you’re in it or not. It is likely to be higher since you’re in it. And it would create extra loyalty due to your chemistry with a co-host. However it must be an amazing premise whether or not you or your CEO is in it.

Your present also needs to be completely different from others on the market. Put in your Hollywood producer hat and actually get to your podcast’s premise—its standpoint. I’ve written about the way to develop a POV to your firm. However, from the very starting, consider it as a present.

Jay Acunzo has a podcast referred to as Unthinkable. The premise of the present (acknowledged on the present’s web page) is:

“An inside have a look at the unconventional selections of quality-obsessed creators — and the memorable issues they made in consequence. It’s a present about trusting your instinct and your craft greater than greatest practices and blueprints.”

See how that podcast works? Typically, Unthinkable is an interview present; generally, it’s not. However it ALWAYS delivers in opposition to this mission. And it’s not about Jay.    

OK, let’s get to the brass tacks of making and managing a podcast.

Construction the present

I’m utilizing my podcast This Outdated Advertising because the case examine, however the practices apply to any present you need to create and handle in 2024.

As you learn this, you must think about that my co-host Joe Pulizzi and I’ve produced greater than 420 weekly episodes. Other than an 18-month sabbatical, we’ve produced the present for greater than a decade. I point out that as a result of however what we do immediately is vastly completely different than what we did for the primary years. I’ll observe why as I’m going by means of this.  

Every episode includes three components:

  1. Pre-production — writing and prepping the present
  2. Manufacturing — recording, modifying, and mixing the ultimate product
  3. Put up-production — creating and publishing the podcast packages

A few caveats about this behind-the-scenes look. I estimate the time primarily based on mastering the training curve (or a very impressed week). See them as life like timeframes after you’re employed out the kinks in your course of. Additionally, I share hyperlinks to the tools we use, however they don’t seem to be affiliate hyperlinks for us or represent endorsements by CMI. Nevertheless, StreamYard is a sponsor of the present. Total, these are the instruments which have labored properly (or not) for This Outdated Advertising.

Let’s start.

Pre-production

To be clear, Joe and I put lots of thought into the present’s structure earlier than we did the rest. I can’t advocate this extremely sufficient. We additionally by no means thought of ourselves completed. We consistently reviewed, revisited, and tweaked the construction. However earlier than you begin the creation course of, actually understanding the present’s movement, together with phase lengths, is vital.

This Outdated Advertising’s movement consists of 11 segments:

  • Chilly open — one thing humorous or a provocative joke to kick us off (30 to 45 seconds)
  • Theme music opening — our customary theme music (30 seconds)
  • Episode introduction — welcome the viewers to the episode and thank our sponsor (30 seconds)
  • Intro chit chat – Joe and I say hello to one another and discuss sizzling information objects, ending with my introducing the agenda of this week’s present. (8 to 10 minutes)
  • Foremost information story — protection of the principle information story (20 minutes)
  • Promoting — mid-show adverts (as much as 90 seconds, relying on sponsors)
  • Remainder of the information — one or two different information tales (10 minutes)
  • Hits and misses — one hit and miss from the world of selling (10 minutes)
  • Rants and raves — a rant or rave from every of us about one thing in advertising (10 minutes)
  • Wrap — what’s up for the approaching week (two to a few minutes)
  • Finish music — music with voice-over asking for subscriptions, evaluations, and so forth. (30 seconds)   

We try for a 60-minute present. That point is certainly “ish.” We virtually at all times miss that mark however not often exceed it by greater than six or seven minutes.

This Outdated Advertising is a information present and is structured as such. The meat of the present (50 of the 60 minutes) covers the information and the matters we expect are related and entertaining to entrepreneurs. The podcast is designed as a “hot-take” present — our editorializing present occasions.

Once I was doing an interview present, I structured it into three segments with the interviewee (the meat of the present). A structured present movement retains you tight and on time and offers your loyal viewers predictability. They know what they’re going to listen to, even when it varies in format.

We document This Outdated Advertising on Thursdays for a Friday launch. My pre-production script (assigned to every phase) is because of Joe and our manufacturing group on Wednesday afternoon. So, I normally begin it on Monday (if I’m fortunate) or Tuesday afternoon.

The script outlines the 4 anchors in every episode — the principle information story, the secondary information tales, hits and misses, and rants and raves. I additionally script each introduction, which features a new joke.

If I’m completely candid, writing the script can take 20 to half-hour if I’m impressed and the information is clear. Throughout sluggish information weeks, it could possibly take a couple of hours. Some weeks, the information gods in advertising simply don’t come by means of.

I write the script for the episode utilizing the Evernote app. Sure, I script the introduction, the transitions, and all the things besides our takes on the information. I generally script my rant or rave. I’ve each episode in an archive so it’s simple to seek for issues we’ve talked about and continuously name again to on our present.

I ship the script and any new sponsor to document to Joe.  

This pre-production work normally takes a few hours every week.

Manufacturing

This half has modified the second most over the past 10 years. Within the early days, Joe and I’d speak on the phone or by means of Skype and document the present on the pc. Then, we’d mix audio recordsdata in post-production. Regardless that this added to post-production time, it labored properly as a result of the early days of podcasting recording instruments, akin to RiversideStreamYard, or Squadcast, had been notoriously fickle. Due to our busy schedules, we didn’t have time to do it once more if a recording failed.

Fortunately, these instruments are way more reliable. We now use StreamYard as our recording platform. The 2024 twist is that we added video. In reality, we now think about This Outdated Advertising a video present can also be accessible as a podcast. This transfer will change the present construction in the long term (see above about at all times engaged on the product). We’ve already gone to a extra visible and tighter segmented present.

We’ve actually targeted on publishing on YouTube due to developments for podcast discovery on the platform. The demand for each audio and video has skyrocketed, which is why we additionally publish a “reside” present Friday morning on LinkedIn.

Thus, the tools record — cameras, lighting, and microphones — has been up to date within the 10 years. I’m pleased to ship you a full tools record for those who like. We each use Sony DSLR cameras for video. I exploit an Electro-Voice RE20 microphone, and Joe makes use of a Shure MV7. We each have Elgato key lights for our lighting. I can not advocate sufficient getting your sound, lighting and surroundings proper. It’s not as simple as throwing up a mic and clicking document . Take a look at. Rehearse. Get it proper. And to the extent doable, document each episode in the identical place and time.

We don’t document after we’re on the highway. We could document two episodes at one time to keep away from having to document in resorts.

It takes about 90 minutes to document every episode. On Thursday mornings, we chit-chat for a couple of minutes to catch up, undergo the present script, and do a walk-through of the present. That course of takes about 25 minutes. Then, we hit document and don’t cease except a technical challenge arises (there have been quite a lot of) or if we actually, actually flub it up (there have fortunately solely been a couple of).

After we’re executed, the present is virtually completed. Since StreamYard permits us to put the music and promoting in actual time, it’s able to go.   

Podcasts that includes friends face the largest problem in recording as a result of all the things I simply talked about about tools and high quality is in danger. Most friends aren’t tech-savvy sufficient to make it work. Just a few years in the past, I did an interview present utilizing Zoom to document visitor interviews, and the sound high quality was at all times hit-and-miss.

This Outdated Advertising’s complete manufacturing time is about two hours per week, relying on any obligatory modifying or tweaks. If in case you have friends in your present, estimate the manufacturing time to be two-and-a-half to a few hours.

Put up-production and publishing

First, let me share some post-production ideas for a guest-based present. Once I produced an interview podcast, modifying the interview was probably the most laborious half. It may take me three hours to edit a one-hour interview right into a 30-minute episode. Listed here are a couple of interview methods that I discovered alongside the best way:

  • Construction, construction, construction: Have a VERY tightly structured set of segments to your questions, even for those who generally differ from them. Don’t “wing it.” It’s a lot simpler to make a really structured interview sound conversational than it’s to show a dialog right into a structured interview. A construction permits you to mix, edit, or re-record your facet of the query.
  • Visitor, visitor, visitor: They need to do 90% of the speaking. Make your position easy to permit for potential modifying. In case you can, don’t ask sequential questions. Don’t say, “My first query for you is ….” or “My final query for you is …” The reply to that final query may very well be probably the most superior factor to start out with. In case you don’t give voice to the query quantity, you’ll be able to edit it so the very first thing is the very last thing they mentioned.
  • Chilly opens: An amazing trick to open the podcast is a 30-second pithy or provocative soundbite out of your visitor. However inform them that you just’d like to do this earlier than the interview — and document that half individually. Or if the very best soundbite comes out throughout the interview, take a couple of extra minutes on the finish to ask them to say it once more however direct them to say it in a shorter means.
  • No self-introductions: Give a brief introduction of the visitor and get to the interview. Don’t say, “Why don’t you introduce your self to our viewers?” 9 out of 10 occasions, they’ll take too lengthy to get to the purpose.

OK, again to the post-production course of for any podcast format. This half has modified probably the most in 2024.  

Put up-production for This Outdated Advertising used to easily require outputting the file and importing it to our podcast distribution service (Libsyn). All that has modified is making a video podcast, which can also be an audio podcast.

As soon as the present is recorded, we then schedule it to go reside on LinkedIn by means of StreamYard. That doesn’t take lengthy.

Nevertheless, then the actual work begins. We’ve a crack post-production group that cuts the podcast into smaller chunks. They edit, add, and work to create six- to eight-minute segments for YouTube. They create even shorter variations for YouTube Shorts, Reels, and TikTok optimized for vertical (cellular) viewing.  

It is a time-consuming course of. We’ve solely been doing it because the starting of the yr, however it’s already paying off by way of attracting extra eyeballs, extra subscribers, and rising our viewers.

For the audio episodes, we add the MP3 file from StreamYard to the Libsyn podcast syndication platform so it could possibly seem on Apple, Spotify, and so forth.

We create a thumbnail for every episode, normally utilizing generative AI. Then, the brand new episode of This Outdated Advertising is completed.

Put up-production is probably the most laborious a part of the method. It takes 10 to fifteen hours per week of a number of folks’s time. That’s why you need to consider your podcast as a product. You make the product accessible and develop the trailers, the teasers, and the alternate variations for a number of digital channels.

Podcasting: It’s a dedication

After 420 episodes of This Outdated Advertising, I can let you know that the toughest half, by far, is being constant. Producing a weekly present is, properly, weekly. When you get right into a movement, it turns into a muscle reminiscence, however it’s nonetheless a exercise. Once you’re attempting to stability the remainder of your life and work, it may be difficult some weeks.

Simply know that there are greater than 2 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts — 40% have lower than three episodes and 24% have just one. Take into consideration that. 1 / 4 of all podcasts on the market have just one episode.

Content material doesn’t kill podcasts. An absence of dedication and manufacturing care kills podcasts.  

My recommendation is to decide to doing a minimum of 12 episodes (weekly or month-to-month). In case your present isn’t time-sensitive, I like to recommend recording a minimum of six of these earlier than episode one debuts.

Bear in mind, recording and producing the podcast is step one. Like every product you make, the promotion will make your present discover its viewers.

I hope this behind-the-scenes look may help you develop a present with a sensible understanding of what it takes to do it properly.

All instruments talked about on this article had been instructed by the creator. In case you’d wish to counsel a device, share the article on social media with a remark.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute