In today’s episode, we’re diving deep into the world of podcast production and sharing a look inside our production process at Uncommonly More. These are the tools and processes we use to help our clients build a more profitable podcast.
Managing a podcast can be a lot to handle, from the initial planning stages to the production process and finally to the promotion and marketing efforts. It’s crucial to have a clear roadmap and understanding of each task involved in order to streamline your workflow and maximize your efficiency.
I want to emphasize the importance of not just showing up but showing up in a way that serves both yourself and your community. With a process for you to map out your needs and responsibilities for planning, production, and promotion, you’ll gain valuable insights into optimizing your process and making it more efficient.
But that’s not all – we’ll also be discussing the power of project management software and tools to help you stay organized and creative. Whether it’s Monday or another platform, finding a dedicated tool to store all your podcast-related information, from episode breakdowns to promotional assets, will be a game-changer for your production process.
So, if you’re ready to take your podcast to the next level, join us in this episode as we explore the secrets to building a more efficient and profitable podcast workflow.
3:30 – Your first step has to be finding somewhere to store your process, your ideas, and your tasks
5:00 – How we structure our podcast production dashboard inside of Monday.com
7:50 – The three stages of podcasting that all of your tasks will fall into
12:10 – The importance of line of sight when it comes to managing your podcast overwhelm
14:00 – Why your current “batching” process is actually making production harder
18:00 – What our production process looks like when we work with clients
21:43 – Episode performance analysis allows efficient repurposing
25:19 – Steps to build your customized production process
Mentioned in How Professional Podcast Producers Build a Successful Podcast Workflow
Learn more about Podcast Production Services
Learn more about Podcast Strategy Intensives
Stacey Harris: Strategy is absolutely the first step in building a more organized or a more efficient and quite frankly, a more effective podcast. But as a professional podcast producer, as the owner of a podcast production agency, that's certainly not the only tool in our quiver. Today, I want to talk a little bit about our actual podcast production process. Some of the tools we use, some of the process us as we go through so that you can see what might make your process a little more productive. Welcome to the More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey, and this is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it.
Stacey Harris: All right, let's be honest. Honesty is the best policy. We spent a lot of last week's episode in Soapbox mode in really digging into why strategy has to be the first step. Because everything we talk about today is effective, because we have a plan, because we have a process for doing that, planning. So we have someplace for this stuff to go. And so that absolutely is the first step. It's foundational to what we're going to talk about today. But today builds on that strategy alone.
Stacey Harris: Sitting down and planning twelve weeks of content does not magically make twelve weeks of content manifest itself in a podcast player. I tried. It definitely doesn't work. And so I want to talk a little bit about some tools and some process components we have and sort of walk you through what production with us is like because it's a really good way to see where maybe you want to make tweaks. By the way, this discussion is a great place to be looking at some questions. In the spirit of questions, we've got, of course, Uncommonlymore.com Question, where you can submit a question for a future episode of this show. But also we have our November Podcasting for Profitability roundtable coming up. That is a great place to get your questions answered.
Stacey Harris: You go to uncommonlymore. comRoundtable, get signed up in the confirmation email you get, you will see a link to drop your questions specifically for the roundtable. What's nice about the roundtable and asking questions there is you're on the call. We can have a conversation. I can ask follow up questions. You can get more specific, you can ask follow up questions, all of those things. So that's the benefit of the roundtable. But if there's just something here where you're like, I would really like a bit more clarity, cool.
Stacey Harris: Submit it for a future episode. I'd happy to answer them again for the roundtable. Uncommonlymore.com Roundtable. And the best place to get your question on a future episode of this show is uncommonlymore.com question. Both links are, of course, in the show notes for those things. Don't have to remember them. But let's dig into this. I want to start with tools because I am a big believer in putting all of this somewhere.
Stacey Harris: One of the biggest frustrations that I see podcasters running into is they're holding a lot of information and data in their noggin. You're holding it in your head, and I mean this from the big picture perspective for your production process that we're going to talk about, but also what you want to talk about, like your episode breakdown, your outline, if you will. A lot of us are holding that in our heads and trying to remember the three things we definitely want to talk about. You need a place to put this stuff because what you're going to find is when you have someplace to put this stuff, you more frequently are able to be creative and get through and reconnect with your ideas because you have this information somewhere. So let's start with where this information goes. I'm going to tell you right now, I'm going to tell you my favorite tool doesn't have to be your favorite tool. A project management software is the first tool. Mine is Monday.
Stacey Harris: We love Monday. I'm actually certified in Monday. We have built out Monday.com interface, like dashboards. And all of that workspaces for clients. I'm a big fan, a big fan. With that said, and I say this about literally every tool, if you've tried Monday and you hated it, great. Don't use Monday. Monday.com is not what makes our process work.
Stacey Harris: I love Monday. I think it absolutely makes it better. I think there are some features and benefits to this tool that work really well for me and work really well, by extension, for our team. But they're not the only project management software in town. In fact, there are other softwares that are much more. Monday.com is really built to be a work management system. It's really built to be a work OS. So we've got our CRM built out in there.
Stacey Harris: We've got lots of things built out in Monday. It's not simply project management. If you are using something like Trello or Asana or ClickUp, great, fantastic. Build out a board, a workspace, a dashboard, whatever it's called in that tool to manage your podcast. And I want you to use it for your podcast only. Now, does this mean that you use Asana for only your podcast? Does it mean the only thing I have in my Monday.com is my podcast? No. But I have boards inside of my Monday for lots of different things. We've got boards for each of our clients.
Stacey Harris: We've got boards for sales activities. We've got boards for the Podcasting For Profitability Roundtable and the profitable Podcaster Mastermind and Podcast strategy intensives. I've got boards for everything. I'll be honest. Each of our clients have at least two boards dedicated to them. One that they're actually on with us so that they can see all of this stuff. Because, spoiler alert, one of the benefits of podcast production with us is you don't have to do this for yourself. We build it all out right in our Monday.
Stacey Harris: And then we have an internal board for the stuff that I need to make sure I do for a client. Like we've got to edit a new intro or we've got to send them something, they need a referral for something, whatever. I will put those tasks in our internal board just because they don't actually need line of sight of that and it just makes the regular board messy. And then some of our clients have additional boards for maybe secondary private podcasts we produce for them, or for dynamic ads, if they're running dynamic ads, those kind of things. But that's all in individual workspaces because I want a board dedicated purely to your podcast. And the reason I want this is because it makes every stage of our process better. And so we use Monday from the planning stage. We use Monday from the very first moment that we're thinking about the podcast.
Stacey Harris: And the way we've got it laid out is each episode of a podcast gets an item, gets a line, is its own task. And then inside of that, we've mapped out our process. So there's recording stage, editing stage, the transcription stage, the show note stage, the scheduling stage. Some of our clients also have a marketing stage in there because really it comes down to there being sort of three chapters, three components of your podcast and that's the planning, the production, and the promotion. Everything that you're going to need to do for your show is going to sit in one of those three buckets if you are struggling with your show. The problem is in one of those three buckets, either the planning, the production, or the promotion. What I want you to be thinking about when you're looking at laying out a production process for your show is delineating for yourself what is planning, what is production, and what is promotion, and what are the tasks that have to happen in each of those. So for the bulk of our clients, their promotion stuff actually kind of happens in their own project management software.
Stacey Harris: For some of our clients, they have a marketing column built into our dashboard so that they know it gets assigned to them, it's marketing ready. They can go schedule their emails, schedule their social, get those things going using the marketing assets we've provided them. So there is some promotion that happens on our board, but it all sits in a container called marketing assets. And that's where we sort of tag what marketing assets have been created for that episode in our work with our production clients. That's audiograms or reels, depending on if it's a video or audio only podcast, that is quote graphics, that is episode specific marketing graphics as well as of course the actual delivery of the show. So those are just the marketing materials that are created. Most of our clients then use some or all of their show notes to create the social and the email for their show. So that kind of sits there but it sits in the show notes section of our process.
Stacey Harris: So we lay it out so that you can see what needs to happen or where in the process each episode is versus having it set up as a series of tasks. So we don't have sitting as a task edit episode six one eight or transcribe episode six one eight. We just have one task that is episode six one eight. And when we're in the planning stages is just a working title or sort of a theme for the episode and then it gets assigned to whoever needs to record it. In the case of this example it was this episode and it was assigned to me with a due date and then when I'm done recording, I mark recording as done. And then in Monday we have it set up so that a workflow goes through and automatically removes me, adds our editor and moves the due date. So now our editor sees it as ready to go. Once our editor has edited it, they mark it as complete and again the workflow kicks in and it assigns it to our transcriptionist, moves the due date out a little bit and our transcriptionist is assigned again.
Stacey Harris: From there they mark done. I'm just going to go all the way through with this. They mark done. The same thing happens, a workflow kicks in, auto assigns our show notes writer and moves that due date out a bit. And so when our show notes writer goes and opens up their Monday and they see my work tasks, they can see real quickly. These are what are ready for me. From there, our show notes person, our show notes writer, actually marks it as done and then spoiler alert, guess what happens next? That's right, our scheduler is auto assigned that due date is pushed out and it's ready for them when they mark it as done. It actually moves to a different group on that same board.
Stacey Harris: So we've got our in process episodes sitting in one group and then it moves to scheduled once it's been scheduled and then it automatically moves down to released once that release day rolls out. The reason I talked you through all of that, I talked you through those elements is because I want you to have line of sight over all of that in whatever project management software you're using. I want you to be able to quickly see an episode and know exactly where it is. I want you to be able to look one time and know what's happening with it and what needs to happen next because otherwise you're going to spend a lot of time. And this is where we start talking about moving this through efficiently, just trying to hold on in your mind or figure out in your software where an episode is. This is especially true for those of you who are like mostly DIYing. Maybe you've got a freelancer who's doing your editing or your VA is scheduling your social, but you're doing the actual recording and editing and producing of transcripts and show notes, et cetera. So you're currently having to hold on to your mind where in the process that's done or just as bad, you're doing all of those things in one shot.
Stacey Harris: Which is why it feels like you can never get on top of your production because you're sitting there and planning, figuring out what you're going to say, saying it, actually getting it, recording, maybe cleaning up your edit, maybe using a tool like Descript or something like that, which is also going to give you your transcript. And then you're turning that into some show notes, which is basically a paragraph intro and three to five bullet points. Yes, I know. And then you're scheduling it all right there. Again, all in one shot. You're doing this. That's why you can't get more than one episode. That's why when I say the word batching, you're like, that's impossible.
Stacey Harris: That's because you are doing several hours worth of work all in one shot for each episode. So that when you get done with it, you're exhausted and you're like, I'm going to wait until I have to do the next one to do the next one. And that's why you are in this cadence, this never ending loop of production, because you have literally taken planning, production and promotion and swooped them all into one container. You are doing three buckets worth of tasks in one shot. Your overwhelm is understandable. So whatever tool you're using, make sure that you have delineated planning the production and the promotion so that you can separate out and shift the due dates. So that you have the ability to be in just planning just quite frankly, each touchstone of production. And then in quite frankly, again, each touchstone of promotion.
Stacey Harris: Because writing it, scheduling it, and following up with comments and engaging in any way, sharing in any way, replying to emails, whatever that may be, those are their own tasks, right? They're their own flow. And I want to make sure you're able to show up in a way that feels like it's serving you and the community in which you're speaking to at the same time. And so that's got to be the first component, is mapping this out in a way that speaks to all of the needs of each step. And so I'd encourage you sort of to start this off. If you're looking at project management softwares or you're looking at running this more efficiently, I want you to start with a piece of paper. And what are all the things that need to be done for your planning, what are all the things you need to be done for your production and what are all the things you need to do for your promotion? And then understand who does each of those things, how much time does each of those take. And that's how you're going to map out your workflow as far as like, how much do I batch, where do I batch these? Because I need more time to batch record four episodes than I do to batch schedule four episodes. It takes me longer to schedule than it takes me to record.
Stacey Harris: It takes me longer to edit than it takes me to record. It takes me less time probably to write show notes than it does to record. But each of those steps has its own nuance and its own time. And so I want you to get really clear on what they are because also the steps you need to record might not be the same as mine. Maybe you're not doing a transcript, or maybe you write a blog post instead of timestamp show notes. And so you get a transcription and you're just editing the transcript into a blog post. There's lots of versions of this. There's lots of variables here that I want you to look at so that you can understand what you need to be mapping out.
Stacey Harris: So when we sit down and mapped out our process, that's exactly what I did. I go, cool, what do we need to be doing for planning? And that's what prompted us to have a quarterly planning call with our clients. That's our planning bucket. When we talk about being in the planning stage, we have a container for our production clients where that happens so they don't have to build that cadence into their own workflow because they know once a quarter they're going to sit down with me and we're going to do that. In fact, we're kicking that off right now. We're in November. We're planning our Q One content with clients this month. And so they just know that's when it's going to happen.
Stacey Harris: Then they're assigned these episodes after they go into Monday so that they can do the recording. And they've got, again, an episode title, like Working title. They've got notes in the updates of what we outlined they would talk about. Oftentimes our clients will go in and leave additional stuff in there, like if they've got links that they want to reference or an affiliate code that needs to be included, things like that will all get dropped. And what's nice is having this in one central place means everybody in our production team can see all of that. So we're giving context, we're giving prioritization, and we're giving notes to every person on the team every time we have those updates. So when our show notes writer sits down, they know what links they're going to need to include. They don't have to go hunt them down.
Stacey Harris: They're right there. And oftentimes there'll be we mentioned this, and I'll leave the link in the show notes that they've got to go find the link because it wasn't in updates. That happens absolutely. But for the most part, they know what's there. When our editor is choosing a clip for Reels or for an audiogram, they can see the prioritization or the notes we left that show. Like, this is the takeaway we're trying to get to. This is the thing we want to be calling out. Cool.
Stacey Harris: Then that's what we're going to prioritize as a clip for the show. Right? And so, again, there's a big benefit to having this documented, even if you're working alone, because you are not holding all of this in your head at each touch point. This is all in one place. And so our planning gets bucketed quickly and easily into those quarterly calls. And then we go into our production process. And that's like the bulk of our day to day work because that's not happening quarterly, that's happening all year round. And so as soon as our client has recorded it, they can go in, mark recording is done, our editor is automatically assigned, and our production process can go into play. And like I said, I've worked just through that already, editing, transcription, show notes, and then scheduling.
Stacey Harris: And that means that in our production process, we go from everything from raw audio to you're ready to market your show. So I mentioned that we have a space where we can tag what marketing assets were created. That's not the only information we leave here as we close out production, though, when we bridge that production to promotion category, we've also got some other assets here. We've got our website link right there in the episode info. We've got a link to the Google Drive folder where all of the assets we've created are. We've got a note about what keyword we wanted to focus on in that episode. Generally, those are provided by clients based on their SEO work, or we will optimize based on the we're working content first. This is the content.
Stacey Harris: What is the most optimized way to get here, get to this question, and then we go into our stats. So we've got all of that built right into our dashboard. So when I opened up my to do item to record this episode today, I'm literally looking at just that. And I'm looking at all of this information about this episode. We rereleased an episode a couple of weeks ago about content ideas. We were able to really quickly go in and get everything we needed. Because we had all of that documented in one place. We had all of those elements together already.
Stacey Harris: We were able to see how that episode had performed previously. So we know what we might want to tweak, how we might need to change it, or we don't need to do anything because that episode did gangbusters both times, which hopefully is true. But that's what makes this most efficient. That's what makes this so organized is we have an understanding of all the things that needs to get done, and we have a place to see really quickly what those are and where we are with them. And then as we start talking about getting to that third container, that promotion container, we've also got quick access to all of the things we created to make it as efficient as possible to move through promotion of that episode or repurposing of that episode. I want you to take some time today to think through what your current dashboard for your podcast looks like. Is it in your head? Is it a Google spreadsheet? What is it? And by the way, it can be a spreadsheet. It can be a project management software.
Stacey Harris: It can be whatever it is that you will actually use that is the component of this that I think is most important. It doesn't have to look one way. It doesn't have to look like mine looks. Although if you move into production with uncommonly more, it will look this way because this is what production with us looks like. But in a lot of cases, our clients come to us with either none of this in place or like a Google spreadsheet. And it's just a list of every episode they've ever done. Cool, this is great. Let's move forward from here because now we can see what you've done.
Stacey Harris: In some cases, we can link to where those assets are, which makes it a whole lot easier for us to repurpose. But oftentimes they're coming. It's just a Google Doc. We had one client who started with us where it was literally a Google Doc. It was the episode number, the episode name, and it linked to the Drive folder where all of the different elements were. And that's what they had for their first, like 40 episodes. That was what they had through the experiment of do I want to do this? Is this something we're going to keep going? We talk a lot about that sort of experimental trial phase. It's why we don't do a lot of launches.
Stacey Harris: We tend to work with podcasters who are already like, yep, I'm doing this. They tend to start with us at like 30, 50, 75 episodes. We've had clients who've started with us after they've done 100 episodes already, but they know they're in it. And so whatever they were using to get it done while they were in the figuring it out stage got them through the figuring it out stage, and that's great. And then we can up level them into, we're staying with this. This is a core element of our sales and marketing process. Let's give it the space, prioritization clarity. That it.
Stacey Harris: And we need to sustain this never ending production process. This is something that is absolutely customizable. However, there are some elements that you've noticed over last week's conversation and this week's conversation that are non negotiables and it comes down to planning and line of sight. And unfortunately, there is not a productivity hack or project management tool that without effort will work. You have to take the steps to be making that time for planning and strategy like we talked about last week and to make the time to be really honest with yourself about what your process looks like. What are the touch points of that, what are the time needed for that so that you can optimize because you cannot optimize something you cannot see, you cannot improve, something that you are unclear on, you cannot make more efficient a process that does not exist. You have to take the first steps of building out this process. So I want you to, as this episode comes to a close in a few minutes, sit down and get really honest with yourself about what steps you're actually taking.
Stacey Harris: What is the current lift. Because part of the reason it feels overwhelming right now is yes, because there's a lot to do, but also because you're not really sure what all of those things are. You are just sort of rolling through them and hoping they all get caught. And that is going to lead nowhere but frustration and overwhelm. End of list. And that lack of clarity can be heard. And that lack of clarity is what's causing you to feel frustrated about the lack of conversions. A confused mind says no, that is a cliche for a reason.
Stacey Harris: We have to be clear or we're fighting a big no to actually get this done. We have to be clear so the listener can be clear, so that they can say yes. That clarity comes from planning and line of sight. Last week's conversation was planning. This week's conversation was that line of sight. If you have questions, reach out. But I'm going to be honest, the fastest way to fix this is start working with a production partner who's already built this. Spoiler alert.
Stacey Harris: That's me. That's us. That's our team here at Uncommonly More. We have spots, one more spot to get started with us this year, which will lock in your current production rate that we offer right now. That will be your rate. We will also have space to start with us in January. If you want to have a conversation about starting with us in January which will secure your current rate, we can have those conversations now too. If you're going to get started with us in January but want to stay at the current rate, those contracts have to be signed before we close up December 15.
Stacey Harris: We take the last two weeks of the year off every year so our team goes into winter hibernation starting December 15. So contracts have to be signed by December 15. Contracts that are not signed by December 15 but want to start with us at any time in 2024 will be at new rates. If you want to know what those are, make sure you're on the email list, make sure you sign up for the Podcast Newsroom or if you signed up for the Podcasting for Profitability roundtable, those are the two easiest ways to get on the list. They will have all the details first as far as what those new prices are and any other changes that we're making, although I think it's just the prices. Anyways, if you want to get started with us, now is the time. Head on over to Uncommonlymore.com Podcastproduction, book a call for us to have a conversation, and we will absolutely decide together when the right time is for you. With all of that, let's wrap it up.
Stacey Harris: I'll see you right back here next week. Thanks for listening. Thanks so much for listening to the show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about podcast strategy intensives or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you haven't yet signed up for the Podcast Newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step.
Stacey Harris: If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes. That's email@example.com. And the last favor I will ask, because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating or review for this show. If you go to rate Podcast.com more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you, I can't wait to chat with you. So this is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going.
Stacey Harris: Talk soon.