Podcast Editor vs Podcast Agency. Which is better?

Welcome, welcome to episode 522. Today, we’re going to talk about support and hiring the right support for where you are with your show right now and where your needs lie, where you need support. Because the reality is, and we’ve talked a lot about this in the past, there are lots of things that could be causing discomfort in your podcast. There’s lots of things that could be left of perfect, let’s say, and always, always, they ended up being three core areas of issue. In your purpose, in your process or in your production.

And again, we’ve talked about these before. We’ll talk about them again, because I think if you have an understanding of what these three components are, sort of buckets are, it gets a lot easier to solve your podcast problems.

So, I want to talk today about making hiring decisions and how you can get support in each of these categories from two different options. One of those options being a freelance editor, somebody you find on Fiverr or Upwork or a site like that, maybe it’s through recommendation or a podcast group you’re in. But they are just a straight up editor. They are cleaning up your audio and delivering you clean audio. Great. Versus an agency, somebody who’s offering a more robust package as far as strategic support and process support and structure and system. And more full service production deliverables like audiograms or show notes, handling some of the tech stuff that sits in our process of uploading and things like that.

So, I want to talk about this, because when you can figure out where your discomfort lies, is it in your process? Is it in your purpose? Is it in your production? Whatever. When you can figure out where your issues are, you can hire based on solving that problem.

And I think, a lot of times, we hire trying to solve the wrong problem. And that’s why, I think, looking at these hiring options through this lens is going to be really helpful for you. So, this is a good one to maybe be making some notes for yourself around where you feel called out or whatever the case may be. If there’s a part where you’re like, “Oh my God, yes.” Make note of that and look at how you want to invest your time and money in correcting those discomforts. All right.

So, let’s start with purpose.

I am a big, big, big, big believer that if purpose is your problem, stop spending money, stop paying an editor, stop paying a producer until you have some really, really important conversations. Because if you don’t know the purpose of your show, your show cannot get you results.

So, when I talk about purpose, we’re talking about the strategic support, very simply. What is the purpose of you even doing this? What is the point of this exercise in podcasting? If you don’t know what you want them to do next, if you don’t know why your audiences would be listening, if you don’t know why you are spending the time and very likely money to do this, yeah, you need to get some support.

Now let’s talk about how you can get support for a purpose problem. If this is feeling out of alignment, you’re not sure why you’re doing your show. You’re not sure what the point of your show is. Even the purpose of each individual episode. You need to know, “Cool, this episode is built to get them onto this list to sell them this program,” whatever the case may be. Cool?

So, let’s look at how you can get support. Editors, freelance editors, somebody from Upwork or Fiverr is very likely not going to be able to help you here at all, because it’s not what they do. They’re looking to clean up audio. If you have a purpose problem, it is completely unrelated to your audio. This is, in fact, a good place to be looping in somebody like a business coach. Somebody who’s helping you put together your offerings. Somebody who’s helping with your high-level marketing strategy.

And in a lot of cases, not all agencies, but Uncommonly More does this and I know other agencies do as well. They’ll have built into your agreement some strategic support. So, when you work with Uncommonly More, each of our podcasters has a quarterly call with our team. And by our team, I mean myself and their production manager, which for right now, for all of our clients, is Cali, who’s my right hand and who helps me with my show as well, with this show as well.

Once a quarter, we get on a call together and we plan the next 90 days of content together. We look at, are there new outros that need to be created? Are there changes to the intro that need to happen? Are there format changes? Are there guests we can invite in? Are there repurposing we can do? Where can we make sure that your 90-day goals for your sales and your marketing and your business growth are being supported by your primary content piece, which is your podcast. If you’re working with us anyways, it’s a podcast.

And so, we build in strategic support, because we are not editors, we are a production company. So, think about it like, if you were a musician and you were putting together your record, you needed to know the purpose of your record. You need to know what is the theme? What is the message? What is the idea? What is the big picture story we’re telling with this message? Because all the songs we put on this album need to support that big picture message. Also, we need an album hype enough and exciting enough to get them to do what’s next, which is buy concert tickets, because that’s actually where money is made in the record industry, is in a live performance.

So, we need to be driving them to what’s next with the story we put together here. Now, as an artist, certainly your voice is the most important voice in that conversation. However, making those decisions in a vacuum, making those decisions alone is really, really difficult and it’s often incredibly valuable to have the perspective of a more strategic-minded, less emotionally attached to the content producer.

That’s what a record producer… Well, it’s part of what a record producer does. I’m oversimplifying this, but you get the point. Your producer is keeping your strategic big picture trajectory in place, so that you, the artist, can put together the content that really speaks to you. And it’s really going to help you connect with the listener.

And the same is true in podcast production. It’s exactly what we do with our clients. We’re going, “Cool, who are we talking to? What are we moving them into? What do they need to know? How can we support them in making the choice that’s right for them?” Which in some cases we’ll be working with you, in a lot of cases, we’ll be working with you.

And that’s where we really, really, really, really, really, really make sure that our purpose is always tied to our process and production conversations. In fact, our purpose gets so tied in to our process, that in our dashboard, every single episode we’ve got, what is the call to action? And that call to action is the purpose of that show. We are driving them to this. This is what we want them to do next.

So, that is part, not entirely, totally, for sure, but at least in part, our purpose for the episode. So, it’s tied into everything we do. And that starts with, again, that quarterly call where we’re looking at, who are we talking to? What do they need to hear from you in the next 90 days? So, that’s purpose.

Let’s shift gears into process.

Process often feels the loneliest, because it’s you and a microphone, baby, it’s you and your thoughts and sharing your content. And it can feel like this is the one part I have to do. I cannot outsource me sitting here and talking to you. It just, it’s not an option. There’s no magic lever that makes me not need to sit here and talk to you. And yet, my voice ends up on this digital audio track. It just isn’t a thing.

But this is also a really important place to be supported. And this can happen with the support of a VA. This can happen with the support of a project manager. This is not going to happen with the support of an editor. Your editor is not going to step in at all until you’re ready to hand them an audio file. And in fact, part of the process, like uploading the audios and scheduling the show notes on the website, I consider those process tasks, because they’re just steps in distribution. Some editors may help there, but the bulk of freelance editors, and I won’t say it’s 100%, but the bulk of freelance editors are going to take your raw audio and give you edited audio.

You will need to set up the system in which they do that, they deliver that. You will need to monitor the process that they’re doing. There won’t be a lot of support from them. In some cases, you can find process support, again, with VAs and project managers. There are ways to get support here that are not a full agency. But you’re going to need to manage those pieces individually. So, that’s an important thing to remember.

And there may be a season in your podcast, in which that sounds really good, because you still want your hands on all the pieces, or you’re not quite sure yet, or you already have a VA on your team who’s going to be able to take the lead on that very quickly. Cool. This can look like a lot of things, but it’s not going to come nine and a half times out of 10 from a freelance editor.

Now, when you work with an agency, again, not all agencies are the same. I’ll speak for Uncommonly More. When you work with our agency, we’re really looking to put our clients in a system. That’s one of the big benefits of working with us is we have process already established. Here’s the project management tool you’ll be using. Here’s how do… We have a video training that you get on. Here’s how to use your dashboard. Here’s where you’re going to put your files. We handle the show notes. We handle uploading the show notes. We handle uploading the audio.

So, even those last bits of distribution that happen in the process are handled completely by our agency. We put our clients in a place where the only part of the process that they completely create on their own is them actually sitting down and doing this and creating a raw audio file. But also a lot of what we do is offer support and accountability in that happening. Because you have your deadlines on a dashboard. You have somebody to talk to.

So, so often I have conversations with our clients around how to get back into recording or, “I’m feeling burned out. I feel like I’m always creating content. How do I shift out of this?” Because here’s the deal and I’m not going to sugarcoat this for anyone ever, but certainly not you right now, it’s going to happen. That is inevitable. In fact, it’s going to happen more than once, it happens regularly. This will not always be exciting and fun. It’s not all people seeing you in a hallway at an event and being like, “Oh my God, I love you show, I binged it. It was amazing.” And trust me, that’s so fun. It’s happened so many times. I love it every single time when people come up and say that they listen to the show, or they DM me and they tell me how they took action on the show. I love that.

But that’s not the feeling I have when I sit down and I go to record. I have a hope that that will be on the other end of this, but it’s like going to the gym. I’m not hoping I’m going to feel really good during it. I just know I’m going to feel really good when I’m done. In fact, when I’m in it, I’m just going to feel tired and sweaty. But when I’m done, I will feel so, so glad I did it.

So, I have to hold onto that future thing, which, again, like the gym is sometimes hard to summon and it’s sometimes elusive. So, we have to be paying attention to, how can we be supported in those times that it’s hard? And that’s a big part of what our agency prides itself on giving to our clients. That’s the Uncommonly More piece. We’re legitimately in this together. This is our thing. We care about this thing too. So, I think finding that support is really, really helpful.

Last piece, the production piece.

How are you supporting by a freelance editor in your production phase? Well, this is a big one. They’re actually editing your audio. They’re actually taking your raw audio, cleaning it up, taking out the amount of times I say all right, or um, or whatever, clicky noises that happened in the background or that time you knocked your mic with your hand. I’ve certainly done that one. A sneeze fit in the middle. I’m trying to think of what other ridiculous things I’ve done. My chair going… Sure, now it won’t make the noise. Whatever, whatever the thing may be, they’re cleaning it up and they’re giving you a high quality, professional audio. Awesome.

Now, you need to go and create audiograms. So, make sure that you are also getting them to give you a one minute or less clip of the podcast using an audiogram. Cool. Any other audio clips that you need, they can create for you, but you’re going to have to ask them to do that. Cool, their production is handled. That’s the end of your support with production.

However, when you work with an agency, and honestly I’ve never seen an agency where this wasn’t true, but I’m going to, again, give you specifics as far as Uncommonly More, because it’s what I know. We’re going in and we’re editing for all the same things, high quality audio, but we’re also paying attention to the right intro, going on, the right outro going on.

We’re looking for high quality clips that we can clip them out for your audiogram and making your audiogram, including the graphic background and all of those pieces. We’re SEO optimizing show notes, timestamped show notes and getting those up on the website and creating the graphics for that episode and putting all of your assets in a folder. So, all you need to do is go and get your audio file or your audiogram or your graphic or open up the doc that has all your show notes stuff in it, so that you can clip those out and use them for social media or in your email.

And you have your link that’s right there on the dashboard in our project management software, there’s also a link to the folder that has all your assets in it. All of that stuff gets wrapped up and put into. So, all you need to do is go market your show, because everything between you getting done talking and you starting to talk again to tell people it’s ready is done. It’s uploaded, it’s scheduled, it’s embedded. Its graphics are created. Its marketing materials are created. And you’re good to go. Check, check, check, check, check, check. Everything in production is handled.

That is the difference between when you have to micromanage anybody you have and really each of the individuals you have on your team. Because maybe you have a VA supporting you to get the audiograms done or the graphics created are up on the website or the show notes written. Cool. But you have to manage both of those people and you have to manage the project at every step.

Agency clients, our clients, they hit record and they forget about it. They’re done. They’re on to the next. Which makes it a whole lot easier to batch episodes, because I don’t have to worry about the other eight tasks that need to happen today or the other 15 tasks that need to happen between now and release day. Nope, I’m done with this episode. I’ll touch it again when it’s ready to market, that’s it.

So, look for you, where are your frustrations right now? Are they in purpose? Are they in process? Are they in production? And look at where the best help for you might be. If for right now your process is killing it, you’re super clear on your purpose, and all you need is a clean audio file. You’ll handle everything else. Good on you, an editor’s all you need.

But if you’re looking at a production schedule that’s overwhelming, that’s frustrating and quite frankly is not getting done. It’s time to bring in an agency and you’ve got one right here. You don’t even have to go looking, head over to UncommonlyMore.com/podcastproduction info is all there, a breakdown in everything we do is included, a couple of thoughts about working with us from some clients we work with. Submit your application. We’ll have a conversation and we’ll get you handled.

All right. All right. I look forward to getting started handling your show and my team looks forward to getting started handling your show. And I look even more forward to chatting with you again next week. Thanks for listening.

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