What to Prepare Before Hiring a New Podcast Producer

It’s time we tackle a topic that can be a bit daunting – getting ready to work with a new podcast production partner. Whether you’ve been DIYing your podcast or working with another team, there are some crucial things you need to have in place to make the transition smooth and successful.

We know it can feel overwhelming to make a change to your production process, but we’ve not met a client yet who wasn’t happy they made the move. That’s why we’re having this conversion today because it will allow us to make this whole process a lot less intimidating!

In this episode of The More Profitable Podcast, I’m breaking down the four essential items you need to have ready before you start with a new production partner. Trust me, having these sorted out will save you a ton of headaches and help you hit the ground running. We’re talking credentials, access, and all the little details that make a big difference.

3:00 – Why podcasters often overestimate what they need to have ready and how to simplify your preparation process

6:45 – Access to your podcast host credentials is crucial, even if you don’t plan to make a change anytime soon

10:30 – How to set up your website access for your new podcast production partner and why it’s important to retain control over your site

14:20 – Understanding who owns your music and audio files and ensuring you have full access to them

18:15 – Making sure you have access to all your podcast templates and graphics and why they should belong to YOU

22:00 – The questions to ask a potential new podcast production partner 

Mentioned in What to Prepare Before Hiring a New Podcast Producer

Maybe you've been with your current production partner for a little while now, or maybe you have been DIYing for a little while now. Either way, you're ready to step into a new partnership with a new production partner, but you're not totally sure where any of the things you need are or even totally what they are.

Sometimes I find that this can really stop podcasters from raising their hand, from reaching out, from starting a conversation because there is just this assumed lack of readiness, lack of preparedness to hand these things over.

Today we're going to get really clear on the four things you should have as you get ready to start with a new production partner.

Welcome to The More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey. 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.

This is another one of those instances where I think sometimes we are all guilty of assuming we need to have more than we need to have, or trusting someone that we have hired to just hand these things back to us when it's our turn to pay attention to them again.

In the last year, we have onboarded clients who fell into both of these categories. We've onboarded clients this year who were sure we were going to need more than they had and that they were missing something and it delayed them from raising their hands and getting the support that they needed to grow, evolve, to get better results from their show, to get some time and capacity back from the self-production, DIY production of their show.

On the flip side, we have onboarded clients this year into our production team that we're working with other production teams and whose production teams were less willing to part with things than others.

In some cases, we have figured that out. In other cases, we started fresh, we replaced some things. But this is one of those things—this is a bonus tip unrelated to the episode—these are one of those things where it happened enough times this year that it was time for us to create an episode about it because just about every client we have onboarded this year into production has fallen into one of these two categories, where they created that they were going to need more than they actually needed, or were convinced what they had wasn't going to be the right thing, which is something a lot of us do in different parts of our lives and businesses, or on the flip side, they worked with partners who were unwilling to give up the goods as it were.

I want to be super clear about what these goods are so that you can make sure you have them for the totality of the time you partner with someone, not just, “Oh, I've decided to move and now I have to figure out how to get these things from you.” These are things you should have.

As we go through this, we'll talk about how our team handles this. These are questions I would be asking when you go to work with a production partner. Frankly, when you go to work with any service provider doing anything for you, these kinds of questions, these themes are going to be recurring.

Make a note, dig into this episode, and then more than anything, you'll know how we handle this already so you can just reach out and we can skip that question altogether and just get started.

All right, before we jump into our list, which is not long, it's four things, we're cool, this is going to be short and sweet, before we do that, I want to remind you that we have opened up the Uncommonly More Ask Me Anything form. We're going to start rolling these episodes out very soon. I'm super, super excited.

If you head on over to uncommonlymore.com/ama, you can submit your questions. Like I said, we're going to start releasing these episodes in July of 2024. If you're listening to this way later, go back to July of 2024 and you can hear these questions and you can still submit questions because I'm hoping that as questions keep coming in, we'll be rolling this out as a regular feature on the show.

Again, uncommonlymore.com/ama submit a question. You're free to do it completely anonymously. You're free to leave me information and contact details. Either way, whatever you're comfortable with, I just want your question. Cool? uncommonlymore.com/ama. Got it? Pause, leave your question, come back, and we're back. Are you ready?

Let's dig into the four things you should have access to either from your producer or if you're DIYing, you should have them together and be ready to hand over to a producer. Number one—you would be shocked at how often this is an issue—your podcast host credentials.

We had two different clients we onboarded this year where this was an issue and they were both coming out of working with other production partners, different production partners. The problem looked a little different with either client, but the core problem was the same. They did not have access to, and their previous hosts seemed to be somewhat unwilling to give up their credential information even though the clients had been paying for the hosting themselves.

In one case, they were working through a partner-host situation, which I'm not going to get into the details of because it's unnecessary, but they had been paying for it. It was not part of their production cost. It was separate.

Then in the other case, it was something that the production partners had set up and then never given them the password and email information they had gone and set it all up and never, ever, ever given the client the access points and were, we'll say hesitant to hand them off when the client decided to shift their production to our team.

This happens more than I'm comfortable with, certainly. I will not say it is a universal thing. I will not say that this is something that every client we've ever worked with has run into. We've had a lot of clients who transitioned from one team to another and had no issue whatsoever, but it's something I highly recommend asking when you're looking for a production partner because we have run into it being an issue on the other side.

I will say—and this is 1,000% not expertise, it's just judgment, okay? Let's be really clear. This is opinion—but I find the more secretive they are with this host information or frankly, any of the information we're going to cover today, the more likely it is that you will need to move sooner than later.

It just seems to be that way. Your host credentials. Your podcast host is your Libsyn, your Buzzsprout, your Spotify for Podcasters, the place where your podcast audio is actually uploaded to distribute to the players. This isn't necessarily your Apple Podcasts logins or things like that, although those are also nice to have access to. We have our clients set us up as users so that we can go in and check the data in those places.

But your actual host is the place where you're actually uploading these credentials. Ideally, you own these, it is your email address, it is your password, and you give them over to your production team.

Or, in some tools, you can create users for your production team. The way we do it, we use our client's user access directly. We just have it saved. If we create that, we always create it using the client's email address.

It does mean we have to take the steps of the client going in and confirming the address and things like that, but it means that any information that comes in comes to the client.

If there is a billing issue, you're going to get it. If there is a change that needs to happen, it's going to come to you. I see those too, because I get a lot of them from other access points, if you will. But it means you will get that stuff. It also means that if you want to go in and look at something, you want to go in and make a change to something. You can do that. You can do that quickly and you can do that easily.

Now, I will also add as a little asterisk here that 99% of our clients never log into their host, even though it is their information. But it's important that you have the ability to, even if you choose not to, because you are working with a trusted partner and you don't need to.

Number two goes with this one, and that's your website credentials. The partner you're working with, in most cases, I would suggest having them access it using their own credentials.

So, I would create a user, let's say you're on a WordPress platform. I would suggest having a user set up for your podcast production. I would also suggest having as part of your SOPs that they set the author of any post they create to your user and not to their user.

This actually saved our bacon recently when there was an issue on the website side for a client. The user access for us was accidentally removed somehow. We don't know how, but because we assigned authorship to those posts as we created them to our client and didn't keep them under our user, none of those posts were damaged or deleted in that tech snafu.

I would suggest that, but with that said, I don't have full admin access to everything on their website. I can't change everything. I can't redirect anything. I can't add users. I can't remove users. I don't need to be able to do those things. I just need to be able to come in and create our actual show notes posts and create short links. That's all I need to do. I need to be able to upload photos, and graphics, really, create the posts, schedule the posts, that's it.

I would suggest creating the user credential specifically for your podcast team, but also having in your SOP that those are adjusted to be authored by you. The same thing can be done in Squarespace.

We have clients who use Squarespace. We've got the same thing. We have them set up a user login for us, and then we change the author to our client so it displays as the client created it. Again, should anything ever happen to our credentials, generally when you close these out, you will be able to assign anything created from that to another one.

But if a tech issue happens where things just disappear, you've got an extra layer of protection there, but also you have an extra layer of protection of what that production team is going to be able to do inside of your website because they're not using your admin credential. Cool? Does that make sense? Those go together.

Again, it's about you having control and them having access. That's what it comes down to. The third thing and this is where we start to get into some creative stuff. and these are the pieces we're going to close out with, your music, your intro and outro, your audio files belong to you.

Even if, I will say that this is where we should probably put a little asterisk, you're going to need to watch your contract, depending on how you bought it. But again, this is why I suggest asking this question in the sales call, and in the interview process before you start working together days so that you have clarity over this.

Even if they are purchasing the music on your behalf, for example, the way we handle this is we actually go do the music purchase. Obviously, there are other steps where we go and we choose options and then we send you your options and then you choose what you like and if there's not one there you like, we get some feedback and we bring another option.

We've never had to do more than two rounds. Generally, we nail it in the first, but sometimes you have to go two rounds, but say you've decided on your music, you're ready to go, right as rain, here we are, this is it, we will go purchase that and we will upload it into your files so that you have it alongside every other bit of assets we've created.

Should our relationship end and you want to move to another production partner, we leave those files there. You have complete access to download all of that and move it elsewhere, that music file, those audio files, your raw files belong to you. They don't belong to me.

The only place where a file might belong to me is if we have edited something we have created something and we have not yet been paid for it, then yeah, we're going to hold on to that until the invoice is settled. That makes sense to me.

Seeing that in a contract, getting that response from a partner or a prospective production partner is completely understandable in my opinion. But you're going to buy the music, but you don't get access to it is not okay.

Anything that goes into creating your show belongs to you. You're paying for it by way of paying us. I will say we put a cap on the cost of music which we include in our cost just because sometimes we've worked with clients in the past too where they ended up with something really custom and that was at a higher cost. We worked with them in getting that done and they paid that invoice directly.

Other times we've had a client pick a file that was more than the limit we set. We just added the difference to their next invoice. This doesn't have to be complicated. It can look like lots of things. It can look like whatever's easiest for you.

In some instances, we've had clients pick it out and go purchase it themselves and then upload it to the folder. But if you buy it and by paying your production partners, you have bought it, again, make sure it reflects that in the contract, but in my opinion it should, it belongs to you and every version of it, because oftentimes we choose audio clips that have variants, that have a 15-second version, a one-minute version, a four-minute version, and we'll use different versions of those audios for different elements to run behind bumper ads or as an intro or to lay under the or the outro or whatever that may be.

But we have all of the versions, which means our clients have all of the versions. All of the versions exist in their Google Drive folder so that they can use them for anything at any time because it belongs to them.

The last piece we're going to cover and the other creative part of this in my opinion is the templates that are created. Your podcast cover is not so much a template, a standalone graphic, but that belongs to you, that's yours. You should have a full 3000 x 3000 high-res usable version of that.

Your quote templates, your new episode graphics, your website headers, your email template headers, your YouTube graphics, any version of the graphics created for your show should belong to you.

When we create templates, if we're off-boarding a client, all of those get shared. All of those get sent right along with the rest of our files. We let everybody know you've got 30 days to go and take these somewhere else. Make your own copy, download your own files. We save everything for 30 days. We then may remove it.

I'm going to be completely honest with you. Generally, we don't remove things for like a year because I do it once a year where I go and I archive things. That's part of what I do in December. Just full transparency. That's part of my end-of-the-year cleanup.

But we let everybody know 30 days so that there is an act now prioritization of getting those things over. Also, there's a line in the sand, so there's a point in which we are clear to archive them, and move them offline. I back up a lot of stuff to hard drives and things like that so that we don't lose things.

But I'm no longer responsible for holding onto those assets. They're all yours, but they are all yours. You can create new, you can evolve these or you can straight up keep using them, even though we're no longer your production partner because they belong to you.

If these things don't belong to you when you're done with your current production partner, I would look at that. I would address that. More common though is you might be at this point and you're like, “I actually don't know which of these things belong to me.” Go ask. Go find out.

Understand what you need to have should you decide to make that move, even if you don't have any interest in making that move. If you're somebody right now who already works with us and you're like, "Oh yeah, I didn't think about any of that," it's all in your Google Drive folder.

You can go find all of it in your Google Drive folder. Your music will be in your raw folder, inside the raw folder, you'll see an intro and outro folder, that's where your music lives. Your templates are in Canva, you'll get an email of them should you ever need to go somewhere. You can have access to them right now if you don't already.

I can't think of anybody who doesn't have any kind of access to them. But if you don't, we can fix that. If you want it, you got it. I implore you to make sure that you are in a partnership that feels supportive and not restrictive. By restrictive, I mean, I couldn't go in and make a change to something, I couldn't go in and see something, I couldn't today move this to somebody else if I needed you.

Now, I will say the one level of restriction we have is we require 12-month contracts. You work with us one year at a time. This is imperative because it allows for our own structure and planning in the business and in our team support. But also it gives us a line of sight over the way we bill.

We do a flat rate of billing. We bill the same amount every month at the time of recording this for an audio-only show, that's $1800 per month. That's just what it is. It doesn't matter if there's four weeks or five weeks. It doesn't matter if we have a call that month or not. It doesn't matter if you need new templates or new music, or you don't.

That's what the cost is, 12 months of that. Then our clients tend to stick around. We have clients we've worked with for years and years and years. I've got clients on just the production side of things that we've worked with for six years at this point.

I have clients from before my production days that I've had for, I think our longest clients have been with us 11 years. People tend to stay, people tend to stay, but that one-year contract really allows us to provide all of the things we provide without having to nickel and dime month to month, which I think is important and is my preference.

That's the way we do things. It doesn't have to be the way you like things done. It's a good sign we're not the right team for you. But if you do like the way that's done, that's a really good sign we are the right team for you.

With that said, if you would like to have a conversation about what production looks like with our team, head on over to uncommonlymore.com/production. You can book a chat with me. We can talk through what it looks like, what you've got, what you don't have, what we need to get you, and we can get started working with our team soon.

Head on over again to uncommonlymore.com/production to book that no-obligation conversation with me, and we will talk soon. Otherwise, and even still, whether you book that or not, you and I will meet right back here next week for another episode of The More Profitable Podcast. Talk to you soon.

Thanks so much for listening to this 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 over at uncommonlymore.com.

If you haven't yet signed up for The Podcast Newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes. That's over at podcastnewsroom.com. The last favor I will ask, because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating and review for the show. If you go to ratethispodcast.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. This is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going. Talk soon.

Scroll to Top