How to Get Better Results from Your Podcast Team

Hey, hey, hey. Episode 517. I want to talk about your podcast team today, because podcast teams can look really, really different. It can look like a one person show and it can be just a podcaster recording, editing, releasing, show notes-ing, all of the pieces are created and executed by the host. It could look like having several freelancers or contractors sort of each in their expertise. And so you, as the host, are recording and then you hand it off to an editor and then the editor gives that edited file back to you. And then you take that edited file and you give it to a copywriter who’s handling show notes and social media posts for you. And then maybe you have a VA who goes in and uploads all of that to your website and to Libsyn, or whoever you’re hosting with, and create social graphics or schedule it all or whatever.

And so that could be your podcast team, or you could be working with someone or an agency like ours, where all of those pieces are handled by our team, so you have one point of contact. You have one production manager, we call them at Uncommonly More, different agencies call them different things. But they’re sort of like the project manager for your show, and they’re managing each individual bit. It could be any of those things.

However, there are two things that I find can still cause some weirdness. And so those two things are what we’re going to cover today, because until you sort of really keep an eye on these two pieces, it’s going to be really easy for you to fall into instances where you’re less than thrilled with the team dynamic, with the process, with the production side of your podcast. We’ve talked a little bit in the last few weeks about your purpose and knowing why you’re recording your show. We’ve talked a bit about process. That’s what we talked about last week and sort of finding your own rhythm.

And this week, I really want to talk about the production side, because generally speaking, your podcast issues are going to fall into one of those three buckets. And so we’ll be talking more, and more, and more, and more about this, but I want to be really, really clear that when things fall inside of this bucket, this production bucket, these are, in my opinion, the easiest problems to solve. And if you’re working with a team or if you’re working on your own on this, it often comes down to one of these two things. And when you can keep these in check, you can keep everything in check. And so that’s really where I want to spend some time today.

First things first, I want to talk about communications and expectations.

I think this part of it is so, so, so critical. In fact, when we run into conversations with prospects or with clients who’ve had other teams before, oftentimes we have conversations where the biggest issue was misalignment when it came to communication, or poorly communicated expectations. And so I want to be really, really, really, really, really clear that how you communicate with your team, how you get line of sight around what’s happening will improve your overall process.

And communications can look really, really different like this. This is something we’ll talk about lots of times, because there’s lots of pieces to this conversation around communications and line of sight. We do it internally at Uncommonly More with dashboards. We use a project management tool called Monday, and inside of Monday each and every single one of our clients have their very own dashboard. They get access to it, any relevant people on their team get access to it. So oftentimes their VAs or OBMs, anyone in an operations role in their business, is often generally going to need access as well as the client. And we 100% have clients who never, ever, ever, ever go in there and they leave ownership of that to that OBM, that VA, that operations person, which is cool. I’m unattached to who’s in there as long as somebody has line of sight.

And so in that case, the client has the communications with their right hand. Their right hand handles communications with us. And knowing that makes the whole thing run more smoothly. And their right hand or/and the client directly can always go into Monday, ask episode specific questions to us, put their episode ideas, see where their show is in process, see what they have scheduled already, see what has been released, see stats for the first 30 days of all of the episodes we’ve produced for them in that dashboard in one place.

And so that’s sort of the key communications piece that I want you to look at having, is where can you build in something that allows you to get all the information you need from your team in one place? So if you’re managing multiple people, having one dashboard in your project management software, regardless of whether that’s Asana, or Trello, or whatever other tool it might be, it could be a Google Sheet, honestly. It 100% can be a Google Sheet. It doesn’t need to be something particularly crazy fancy. There may be things that are harder for you to duplicate from what I mentioned, but whatever dashboard you need to create, that gives you line of sight of where everything is: what’s happening, what’s happened and what’s going to happen.

Knowing those things allows you to make better choices, really, really, really helps set expectations, keep expectations really clear, and reduces the need to… I’m trying to find the nicest way possible to say this, but like poke at your team. For me, I hate and, I use that word with all possible meaning, having to feel like I’m micromanaging a situation. I also hate feeling micromanaged. And so when I can put things in place where I can just be really transparent and give clients everything they need, they’re not going to try to micromanage my team and I don’t have to micromanage the client.

So you’re really clearing up everything when you create some sort of landing spot to handle some of the little tiny communications. That way when there are big communications or when there’s things that I really need to know about, I have a place where I can go and get that information. My clients and our team all have places where they can go to connect and say, “Hey, I want to make a change here.” “Hey, this is ready to go.” “Hey, I haven’t seen this yet. Can anybody give me a line of sight of when it’s going to happen?” “I see the due date is blah, blah, blah. Could we move it to X, Y, Z?” Whatever the thing is that needs to happen. And so if you’re currently running into a lot of frustration, I want you to look at creating some kind of central place to be, some sort of landing spot. For us it’s this dashboard. For us it’s this place where we can have all of our communications and all of our expectations really transparently in one single place. I encourage you to create the same.

This is something we grew into. This is something that even occasionally evolves and is customized for clients based on their needs, but has probably been the biggest game changer in the course of the little over two years Uncommonly More has been around, is these dashboards. So first and foremost, create some sort of landing spot and your communications will get better, and you will get better results from your team. The second way to get better results from your podcast team.

The second thing I want you to be looking at, is really owning your role.

I think it’s something we all fall into from time to time when we have hired this out. So this is going to be less relevant if you’re DIY-ing. Honestly, if you are doing DIY-ing your podcast, the most efficient thing you can do to get better results from you: dashboard, system, process. And if that’s unclear, we can talk about that in a one-on-one call. Book that on the site.

But for those of you who are definitely investing on some level with some podcasting, whether it’s one that looks like Uncommonly More where you have more of an agency and you have one contact and they’re handling everything in that one place, or if you have created your own podcast team with several contractors with your own business, cool, either one. Until you own the role you have in your show’s production, in your show getting done, in the process of that, you’re going to really, really struggle to get the best results from your team.

Because the fact of the matter is, we are most commonly the person in the way. I say this as somebody who runs an agency that has built all of the systems and structures within that agency and use every single same thing. However, there are times, more frequently than I’d like to admit, where I’m in the way, where I’m recording last minute, where I’m changing my mind at a stage that is inconvenient for the team. It is really, really, really, really, really easy for us to want to purchase our way out of a problem when we are most likely the cause. So if you’re seeing that your turnaround time is really, really tight repeatedly, if you’re seeing that it’s consistently getting sort of jammed up or sticky at any point in the steps and in the to-do’s that are on the list, I want you to look at what in that spot are you responsible for?

I’m also really, really terrible about approvals if I don’t do them right away. If I don’t do them when I see them, I forget they ever were sent to me and I don’t get them approved. And so I have times where I go in and I look for approvals so that I don’t have to always be responding right then, so that my team knows, and this kind of goes into communications, when I’m going to do approving things. And frequently, I’ll approve something right away, or I’ll hop in and I’ll say, “Hey, I’m going to look at this X-Y-Z. Follow up with me.” And I empower them to be like, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. “Stacey, did you do the thing?” Because that’s necessary. It might be necessary.

I truly believe that when we can take responsibility for our role in the process, we make better investments, and we get better results. And so before you go to change your investment, before you go and change the team, make sure you’re taking ownership of your role in the process. And here’s the deal. If you’re not sure if you’re the problem, A) you probably are. And B) ask. Ask your team.

This morning is a great example of this. We’re busy right now. We’ve got launches we’re handling, and we’ve got our clients, and we’ve onboarded a couple of clients in the last couple of months. And it’s the beginning of the year and we’re grinding. There’s just a lot of stuff going on. Not anything impossible, not anything that can’t be managed, but there’s just a lot going on.

And so one of the things I did this morning, because I was feeling a little spinney. And so I went to Cali and said, “What are the things you’re waiting for me on? Tell me where I’m in the way. Tell me where I am the problem, so that I can fix it.” Because sometimes we don’t know. And I didn’t know if maybe I’d lost something. I didn’t know if it was in the way somewhere. It turns out I wasn’t. There’s a couple of podcasts episodes that I needed to record. Thus, why I’m recording this now. But it’s often hard for me to see where I’m the problem, mostly because obviously I couldn’t be the problem. I’m perfect and wonderful in every way, just like you. And so I have to ask.

And so I encourage you, if you’re sitting there and you’re listening to this and you’re saying, “There’s no way on the problem,” go ask. And don’t say, “Hey, am I the problem? But say, “Hey, where are you for things?” “Where are you getting delayed because I need to get you something, approve something, deliver something, whatever, follow up with something, whatever the thing may be?” Ask. All right?

These are the things that I want you to look at. I want you to look at your communications. I want you to look at, do you have one place where everybody can go to get everything that’s happening, they can find out the little questions they need answers to. And I want you to look at where are you gumming up the process? Where are you in the way? I want you to take ownership of your role in your show, whatever that role may be, however big or small that role may be. All right?

We’re going to talk more about this in future episodes. So if you have questions specifically about working with a podcast team, whether it’s mine or somebody else’s, whether it’s another agency, whether it’s putting together your own show, whatever it is, hit my inbox. Hit reply to one of the emails that go out. If you’re not on the email list, let me know and we can fix that. Go to the website and fix that. DM me, whatever. I really, really want to hear from you, because I think that there is a lot, a lot, a lot of frustration that can come from being with a misaligned team. And so I want to talk a lot about that, or more about that, this year. All right? All right. I will see you in our next episode.

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