If you’re struggling with your podcast or your podcast team, this is the episode for you. We’re digging in on TWO ways you can start to see better results from your podcast team (and by extension your podcast, and your podcast experience).
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.
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.
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. Until you really keep an eye on these two pieces, it’s going to be easy for you to fall into instances where you’re less than thrilled with the team dynamic, 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 the process. 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.
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. 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.
The first way to get better results from your podcast team: Clean up communications and expectations.
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 a line of sight around what’s happening will improve your overall process.
Communications can look really, really different like this. This is something we’ll talk about lots of times, because there are 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 has their very own dashboard. They get access to it, and 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. 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 a line of sight.
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. 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.
That’s 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. 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 tools it might be, it could be a Google Sheet, honestly. It doesn’t need to be 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 a 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, 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.
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 are things that I really need to know about, I have a place where I can go and get that information.
The second way to get better results from your podcast team: Own your role on your production team.
For those 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.
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 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.
When I’m feeling a bit spinny and I can’t see where I’m the problem, I go to my team and I say, “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.” 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 podcast 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.
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.