In the world of professional podcasting, where captivating content reigns supreme, professional producers work behind the scenes to make podcast hosts successful; producers play a pivotal role in crafting the magic that makes podcasts so compelling.
But what role does a podcast producer play for independent podcasts and smaller brands? In this blog post, we'll break down exactly what they do, what they cost, and where to find them so you can decide if it's the right fit for you!
What exactly does a podcast producer do?
A podcast producer plays a multi-faceted role in creating engaging audio content. Their duties extend beyond mere recording and post-production. They are instrumental in managing the podcast production process, ensuring high quality and consistency in every episode.
Their responsibilities can range from developing episode themes and scripting talking points for the podcast host to the technical aspects such as managing sound quality and editing the audio to perfection.
What technical skills should a podcast producer have?
Whether you're looking to be a podcast producer or looking to work with one, there are several necessary skills you should be aware of.
- An ear for quality: An experienced podcast producer should be able to easily distinguish between high and low-quality audio and tweak and adjust sound levels to perfection.
- Audio editing skills (+ proficiency with DAWs): This is the bread and butter of a podcast producer's toolkit. Proficiency with audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition is a must. This includes everything from trimming segments and fixing audio glitches to adding sound effects and music.
- Strong communication skills: A podcast producer needs to wear many hats and juggle multiple roles. Effective communication is key to managing relationships with the host, guests, sponsors, and anyone else involved in the process.
- Organizational prowess: Managing the production process from start to finish requires stellar organizational skills. This includes everything from scheduling recording sessions and coordinating with guests to keeping track of multiple episode timelines.
- Social media savvy: A bonus but increasingly important skill is understanding the power of social media. A podcast producer should know how to advertise and promote the podcast on various platforms, driving more listeners to the show.
- A creative touch: Last but not least, a dash of creativity can make a world of difference. This could be in the form of coming up with unique episode themes, designing engaging episode formats, or simply knowing how to create a compelling narrative.
Each of these skills contributes to the multifaceted role of a podcast producer. They're everything from the technical director to the creative director and project manager all in one.
How to hire a podcast producer
Working with a podcast producer doesn't have to cost a lot. Here are some affordable ways that can make this luxury a possibility for podcasters with smaller budgets.
- Freelance producers: Many experienced podcast producers offer their services on a freelance basis. This can often be a more affordable alternative to working with established production companies. Hiring a Fiverr Pro can be a good option if you're on a budget.
- Part-time producers: If you don't require full-time support, consider hiring a part-time producer. They can offer a balance between professional assistance and budget constraints.
- Online platforms: There are numerous online platforms that connect podcasters with experienced freelance producers. This article from The Podcast Host lists some excellent options.
- Barter Deals: Some hosts may opt for barter deals, offering advertising space or mentions in their podcast in return for production services. This can be a win-win situation, especially for emerging podcasters.
- DIY Production Tools: For podcasters with a knack for technical work, DIY production software and tools can be a cost-effective way to achieve high-quality editing. However, this requires some technical proficiency and time commitment.
You'll be working closely with the producer, so doing a trial run can be helpful to ensure it's a good mutual fit.
Bonus tip: Looking for podcast production jobs? This guide from Castos breaks down all the best job boards for podcast-related gigs!
Pros and cons of hiring a podcast producer
Just like anything else, there are both advantages and disadvantages to hiring a podcast producer. Here's a quick rundown:
- Quality control: An experienced podcast producer ensures high-quality sound and a smooth flow of content, which can significantly improve listener retention.
- Time-saving: The technical aspects of podcasting, such as recording, editing, and managing sound quality, are time-consuming. A producer handles these processes, allowing the host to focus on content.
- Professionalism: A producer brings a level of professionalism to the podcast, making it more appealing to listeners and potential sponsors.
- Cost: Hiring a professional producer might be beyond the budget of small or independent podcasters.
- Loss of Control: While a producer brings a fresh perspective, the podcaster might feel the loss of complete creative control over the production process.
- Communication Challenges: If the producer and host are not on the same wavelength, it can lead to miscommunications and potential disagreements.
Podcasting is a collaborative art where podcast producers play a crucial role in ensuring high audio quality, smooth content flow, and overall professionalism. Their complex role demands diverse skills like audio editing, effective communication, organization, and creativity.
While hiring a producer may pose challenges related to cost and creative control, there are affordable alternatives like freelancers, part-time producers, and barter deals that offer a balance between professional assistance and budget constraints.
Want to try and save money on a producer and handle it all yourself? Our Ultimate Podcast Planning Guide can help!