podcast production process

BTS – A Look at Our Podcast Production Process

Welcome. Welcome. I’m stoked about this episode because I’m actually going to take you a little bit behind the scenes. Actually, a lot of bit behind the scenes of what our podcast production process actually looks like for our team. Now, I want you to really listen to this because yes, this absolutely is an episode built to show you how incredibly cool my team is. How incredibly amazing the Uncommonly More team is at getting podcasts produced and supporting our clients. Mostly because they’re amazing and I love each and every one of the people on my team. They should be raved about regularly. But also so that you can see here’s what’s possible when you work with Uncommonly More. But this is not a standalone sales pitch.

Every single step I’m going to talk about, every single piece we’re going to break down today, you could be implementing on your own right now. As you DIY your show or project manage with your contractors in different ways as you get your show produced in sort of a hybrid model. Or you could be looking at your existing podcast production team’s process and saying, “Hey, I’d love to see these shifts.”. And if they’re unwilling to make those shifts, find a different production team. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. All right. Yes, this absolutely is look how cool we are. That’s what behind the scenes is for, guys.

But more importantly, this is about identifying for you where you are right now. How can you make your system and your structure work more for you as you produce your podcast in whatever format right now.

Whatever production process you’re working with right now on your podcast. We did an episode about different ways your show could be getting done, DIYing, working with independent contractors, an agency. I will link to that in the show notes: Who Should You Hire to Produce Your Podcast. There will be a link in the show notes for this episode to that.

All right, let’s dig in. First a little asterisk, a little aside, a little note. This is how 90% of our clients work. If you are a client currently listening to this and you’re going, hey, that’s a little bit different than how I work. It’s because we’ve customized yours slightly. If you want to see a change, or something added on that maybe you don’t have right now, let me know. Reach out in Slack. That’s what it’s for. All right? But this will be how 95% of our production works for our clients. Because, we really do put everybody through the same damn process.

Starting is where we have some nuance because we have either our launch package, which will really get you some support in setting up and launching your show. There’s also some strategy support in there.

So you build out your content calendar for the first. We usually do 12 weeks, really three to six months of your show, including episode ideas and things like that. Or they come in and they have an existing show. Maybe you’ve been doing your show for a while and it’s time to up level it. In which case, generally speaking, you already have a content calendar and strategy in place. So what we do is a little bit of a review. Hey, here’s some things we might need to change. Here’s some places your podcast isn’t currently going out to. We’ve had this happen a lot where clients aren’t on Spotify or Google Podcasts or whatever. Whoever set them up only really put them out to Apple podcast and so we go through and we submit shows to everywhere.

Because really, put your podcast everywhere. There’s no charge. It costs you nothing. Do it. And generally speaking, those clients happen in a couple of ways. Like I said, they have their own stuff going on. Or before we launch, we’ll actually do a podcast strategy session or the support and strategy package. And in that, we’re building out a content calendar and supporting them there. One thing I think sets my team apart in a major way is the fact that we also do marketing strategy. And you’ve got a team of people who understand that this podcast is built to generate you revenue.

So you have a strategic mind to come in and ask questions and get support and connect with and run things by because we’ve built that.

Those are kind of how clients come in.

The first thing we do in the podcast production process on our side is set up a couple of things. First, we use Monday for our project management. Each and every one of our clients gets their very own Monday board. Some of our clients actually have access to that, and we assign production stuff to them. Hey, record your episode here. We need this file by then. For some clients, we go into their project management software and we run it on their side. They are still set up in Monday on our side because all of our tasks will be run through our project management software. That’s how we keep our team and communication and everything clean.

The other thing we set up for every single client is a Slack channel in our company’s Slack. That way our team can communicate about whatever may be needed. We also set up a Slack workspace for each client, so they have their own workspace they can add any existing team members. Or we go into their existing Slack should they already have one set up.

That way we can be in communications with not just you, but your entire team about what’s happening in the course of production.

This is really helpful if you’ve got somebody who’s an integrator or an OBM or a VA who is running the day to days of your business and your schedule and helping you sort of get things done, but isn’t able to help you with the actual podcast production process. This is really beneficial to have us in communication. Because I can often talk to them or Cali, who I’ll talk more about in a little bit, can talk to them and say, “Hey, when are these interviews going to be in? Do we have these files? Can you get me this whatever?”

Those are the very, very, very first two things that are set up. Obviously once the contract is signed and the first month’s invoice is paid, that’s the very, very first step. But once we’re actually rolling, we set up Slack, we set up Monday, and we get into any project management software they may already be in.

The next thing is, is we look at your content calendar.

We do not work with clients who do not have a content calendar. You need to actually have written out, these are the episodes I do, this is when they go live. If you haven’t built that, that’s something we can absolutely do again in those podcast strategy sessions. And we can often for a client whose up leveling. That’s often what we’ll add there as sort of the first month is that strategy hour, which gets us working with you to build out that content calendar.

The reason we do this is because we mark some very important things in this document. Episode titles, some notes, which can be really helpful in recording the episode, but also the call to action. And that’s how our team knows what midrolls, intros and outros to be using depending on what you’re actually selling. Do you see how we’re sort of again, bringing in that strategy point? This document becomes really critical part for us in knowing what needs to happen in these episodes.

The next thing we do is we get all the brand elements.

Generally with our kickoff, we have a designer who comes in and creates the backgrounds for audiograms or graphics for show notes on your website or social media graphics. If you don’t have those pieces already, a lot of our clients have a designer that they’ve already worked with and they have those pieces already, in which case they would send that along with their brand elements. The other things we like to know is colors because when we create the audiogram, obviously we want to make sure that the actual image matches what’s happening and the colors all work together and so you’re going to send us all of your brand elements.

You’re also going to send us any existing audio you have, intros, outros or midrolls. A lot of times we have clients coming in and they’re maybe doing those off the cuff with each episode instead of having prerecorded ones, which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. I like a mix. And so often our clients have a prerecorded midroll that will run and generally speaking, we work with them to upgrade their intros and outros. And that includes us finding them music. Usually, I try to give clients three to five choices, and then we actually get that purchased and edited and those files upgraded and updated.

That’s kind of our kickoff. That’s the things you’re immediately going to go into as you start to build your podcast production process with us.

Let’s talk about what actual production looks like.

The day to days of recording your podcast. I really, really encourage our clients to batch. I batch our episodes two to four episodes at a time. As I’m recording September, I’m actually doing two and two this month. Last month I did, I think one and three. For October, I’ll probably, we do all four in one day. I already have it mapped out for when they’ll get recorded in September.

But I do like batching because it makes it easy on you to stay in one space, in one mindset. It also makes it really easy for our production team to just have everything for the month ready to roll.

In Google Drive, when you’ve started, we’ve set up folders. And this is where you put your brand elements. This is where you put your audios. Generally there’s three folders, brand elements, raw files, edited files. I think you’ll probably know pretty quickly where you put things. Inside of raw files, we have more folders, each identified by their episode number. And our client puts all of their raw audios into those folders.

From there, Cali, who is our digital marketing manager, she kind of project manages all the podcast production and all of our podcast production clients. She will then take those, put them in our project management software as ready to go. Making sure all the elements we need from you are already ready to go. And she has our podcast editor, Lauri, then go in and do those edits. They get assigned, once the edits are done the next step is our digital marketing assistant and that’s Shannon. She goes in and she actually does the show notes.

We customize show notes a little bit based on the clients.

Shannon will get a task that show notes are ready to go. Some of our clients actually write a blog post to go with their podcast. In which case we grab that from them. Again, that would be in their raw audio file. Some of our clients do timestamps, we create those and optimize them for SEO. Some of our clients do a full transcript. We absolutely handle the transcript and reviewing the transcript and putting it in the show notes. And so Shannon goes through, and she does all the show notes. She creates all the audiograms, she creates the show notes, she creates any short links or pretty links that we’re going to be using for that episode. She optimizes everything for SEO.

Everyone on my team has been trained for SEO optimization, which is really cool to have, something that we did this year and I’m really excited that we did it.

She submits everything to your podcast host. Most of our clients use Libsyn. We have a couple clients who are on something else, we highly recommend Libsyn So most of our clients are on Libsyn. And then we put all of those pieces, everything in the edited files, again in folders based on episode number. And what’s really cool is whether you work with us forever or you work with us For five months, our contract is 12 months so it’s going to be at least 12 months. But whether you work with us for 20 years or one year, you walk away with all of those files. All of those graphics, all of those audio grams, all of those show notes, everything is yours and you have access to all of those folders.

And that’s really helpful because a lot of times clients will go in and look at the optimization stuff, the show notes stuff, to pull in their social captions. For some of our clients they’ll go, well all of our clients will go in and pull the audiograms. We usually create square and story shaped audiograms so you can use them in the grid or on your stories.

It makes it really, really powerful for you to then just go run with your marketing. And again, all of that is set up on the backend.

And so from the moment you drop it in the file, our team has a process for going and reviewing the folder, seeing what’s there, scheduling it out for our team, handling all of the editing because there is a content calendar that has what call to actions, my editor knows exactly who to pull in for midrolls or outros or whatever.

We have the ability to then optimize your show notes based on what you’re selling, so we can make sure we have links to whatever it is that you mentioned in the podcast, as well as whatever. You’re just sort of selling in that season, that needs to be included. And we can optimize those marketing materials for you so that you can then run with sharing your show really, really simply. And all that happens totally behind the scenes for you. You drop a raw folder in and when you’re ready to promote you go get all the pieces and that’s it. That’s all you’re responsible for because we’ve built out that structure.

And so I want to talk a tiny bit more about that structure, because if you’re DIYing this, I want you to look at what is your process for optimizing each piece?

What is your production process for building assets out of what you’re recording on your podcast? Because the reason I highlighted that you walk away with every single piece of what we’ve created is because I want you to think about these podcast episodes as assets. I want you to think about them as the intellectual property they are. This content could be turned into a book. It could be turned into a program or additional resources. It could be turned into an opt-in. There is a ton of stuff that you can do with these pieces, not to mention guest posts and just re-sharing content as marketing materials.

We have clients who have the same programs they run year after year and guess what? We frequently go back and rerelease old episodes for clients so that they don’t have to build new episodes every single week, forever and ever or every single version of a launch forever and ever, because we’ve built promotional assets for them that they have access to forever ever. That’s incredibly valuable.

As you’re DIYing, I want you to look at the optimization, I want you to look at the storage and I want you to look at how you’re building assets with your intellectual property versus just another piece of content that has to go out.

And that means thinking pretty big picture. That really means setting up a structure so that you really simply know where to go back and get things. When we store episodes, we store them by episode number so that they’re really easy to search. They’re really easy to go find. If I’m looking for the audiogram that goes with episode 497, which happens to be the episode that we’re recording right this very second, I can type 497 in Drive and go find it immediately. That’s the kind of access you want to be thinking about when you’re putting these pieces together. And again, when you work with a production agency, they’ll build these, or they should be building. At Uncommonly More, we’ll build these things out for you. We’ll build the structure out for you.

What’s really amazing about putting a structure behind your show is you change the way you think about your show.

You change the way you think about investing time and yes, money, in your show because no longer am I thinking about the thing that has to go out next Tuesday or Wednesday or Friday or whatever day you release episodes. But I’m thinking about the next sales tool being shared with my audience. I’m thinking about the next asset I’m building for my business that will be a sales tool long term. And yes, not every single episode will be beneficial for life. We used to run a series on this show called Three Things You Need to Know, that we did once a month, the first week of every month, first Tuesday of every month was three things you need to know for that month.

And while some of these episodes are still hugely popular, I don’t get a lot of repurpose-ability out of them because I’m talking about what’s happening right then. Yes, they were sales assets with a shelf life. Whereas an episode like this one, is a sales asset that will live forever. And here’s the kind of thought process I want you to have. When I sat down and decided to do this episode, I wasn’t thinking about when I could release it and it would be most beneficial in a release schedule. I wanted to add a piece that educated about our services inside of our launch or podcast funnel.

Seriously, this episode, although it’s being released in September 2020 and will be hugely valuable to you right this very second, is being built because I want to put it in a funnel.

It’s being built and maybe that’s how you got here, which see it worked. I built this as a mechanism to go into something that will last me a year, 18 months, two years. I built something that is now a part of my sales team. And that’s how I want you to be thinking about your content. Again, each and every episode won’t be that way, but the bulk of your episodes should be. And when you have support in getting that done at a really high level and you have support from a team who understands marketing and the strategy of building these assets, it changes the way you approach and you think about the investment that is your show. And that’s what I want this episode to do for you. I want it to change the way you’re thinking about producing your show.

And maybe that means you’re going to talk to me and we’re going to work on building you a launch plan or a strategy hour or maybe you’re going to come on for full production. Whatever that is, I want you to look at what is your next best step in up leveling the process of supporting the asset growth that is your podcast production? All right, I want to leave you with that.

If you’re ready to make the change and you want to do this right now, head over to uncommonlymore.com, check out the podcast services page. There, you will find everything you need to know about the various ways you can work with our team.

You can also head over to the meet the team page and you can meet the people I mentioned in this episode. I mentioned Cali, I mentioned Shannon, I mentioned Lauri, that’s our existing team as they exist in August when I’m recording this of 2020, that team will be growing as we move into later 2020 and early 2021. If you’re listening to this later, go check out that page because there’ll be new faces there in addition to those faces, as our team has expanded.

I love this process and I love this team and I love the clients we get to work with. But more than anything, I love the system and the structure we’ve built. Because it allows the people we work with who are doing really freaking cool things in the world, to stand a little taller because they are literally supported by this structure. They get to step up on this box that we’re building for them and rise a little higher, see a little further, reach a little further.

Their voice gets to carry a little further because they’re being set up for success with their show.

All right. All right. I’m putting my soapbox away, setting this aside. I hope to hear from you soon. I want you to head over to Instagram or if you’re on the email list and you got the email, hit reply. Or maybe you’re in the launch podcast funnel and you got this episode, hit reply on the email. Let me know what you’re going to take action on with the show. Let me know where in your own production process you’re going to add a little more strategy, a little more systematization so that you can also step up and stand on that structure and be supported by that structure. All right. I will see you in the next one.

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