How to Hire a Podcast Producer
Launching and running a podcast is not an easy job. There are a lot of moving parts involved…scheduling interview guests, episode to production, audio editing, marketing, audience engagement, research…the list goes on.
Whether you’re a solo host doing your podcast as a hobby, or you run a professional network of podcasts, there’s a high chance you’ve considered hiring a podcast producer to help manage all the tasks involved with running a successful podcast.
In this article, we go over everything you need to know when hiring a podcast producer. Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:
- Do You Need a Podcast Producer? 5 Things to Consider
- What Does A Podcast Producer Do?
- The Cost of Hiring a Podcast Producer
- Where To Find & Hire A Podcast Producer
Do You Need a Podcast Producer? 5 Things to Consider
Shows often start with a host who has a show concept, but getting from vision to broadcast takes work. So whether you’re just kicking around an idea or have been at it solo for some time but wanting to advance, these are the questions to ask yourself while weighing your needs for a podcast producer.
1. How often is your podcast show?
Some podcasters may merely sit at their laptop, plug in the mic, and occasionally record an episode when an idea comes to mind. But if you’re looking to grow your engagement you’ll need to produce more consistent content. Monthly podcast listening has increased to 41% over the past year, so it’s preferred to have the minimum release of episodes once a month. Still, you may consider posting episodes bi-weekly, weekly, or even daily to prove reliability and gain loyalty from listeners who can consume up to 8 episodes a week. Most show’s episode turnaround time is 8-14 days. A podcast producer will not only keep you accountable for content creation but assist in organizing your ideas into a timeline that you can execute consistently. In addition, a podcast producer will arrange your episode schedule into seasons which helps you determine how often your show should be published based on your goals.
2. How Big Is Your Team?
Self-managing your podcast and staying motivated is easy when it’s just you, but if your podcast has a small or large team, you may need someone to act as the wrangler, keeping everyone aimed at the same mission. A large or growing podcast may find the need to fill various roles, including an editor, graphic designer, administrator, and writer to name a few. Many podcast producers take on multiple roles, but their crucial oversight of all these departments helps to maintain the crew, schedules, and delegation of duties.
3. What is the style of your show?
If your show requires fact-checking, you just may need a podcast producer to oversee due diligence. Whether it’s a true-crime show or pop culture news, the podcast producer will make sure you are relaying reliable and accurate information which typically calls for a podcast researcher, someone who performs research on episode topics or news. A podcast producer will either take on this role and complete the data collecting themselves or delegate and oversee that process.
Are you an interview-based show? Not only will research skills be handy for the guest background checks and preparedness with questions, but scheduling recording times as well. The producer works to meet the podcasts’ needs and fulfill the schedule demands.
If your show is audio-heavy or music-themed, sound effects and high-quality audio may be your priority, in which case a producer with audio engineering skills is for you. A good podcast producer is your team’s technical wizard.
4. How many platforms do you use?
To keep up with this ever-growing industry, you will want to make your show available on as many platforms as possible and select the hosting site that fits your needs. There are over 30 popular podcast hosting sites, and a producer can help navigate which podcast host suits your show best. Then, there are all the various channels your podcast needs to be on, and you’ll want to be on as many platforms as possible to cater to the range of audience options. A podcast producer knows the best platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and YouTube. In addition, they will have the know-how to upload your audio and videos consistently to all the various platforms and channels.
5. How are you promoting it?
No matter how well thought out your podcast is, it won’t mean much if people don’t hear about it. Many podcast producers execute the show’s promotion and marketing initiatives, which are crucial to your ability to stand out and snag your target demographic. In addition, 94% of podcast listeners are active on at least one or more major social media sites and are more likely to follow a show with an active online presence. A podcast producer often wears the marketing hat promoting through social media like Twitter and Facebook to TikTok, where most subscriptions and followers are usually collected. Any good marketer knows that effective postings must be consistent, frequent, and on-brand, which falls into the podcast producers’ wheelhouse.
What Does A Podcast Producer Do?
The podcast producer is essentially the showrunner which, like in film and television, is the overall manager in maintaining a show’s objective, consistency, and final product. They are in charge of everything from creativity to budget and often wearing many hats to get the job done. A podcast producer is either there from the inception of a show assisting in determining the show’s vision or helps to maintain the show’s established concept and to reach its potential all by fulfilling their primary roles.
Podcast Producers Provide Strategy
A successful podcast is a full-time job, so commitment is imperative. The producer’s job is to keep you on track. They often participate in creative brainstormings, managing content pitches, and assist with cultivating a show concept. Then they develop the strategy and plan to execute it, such as detailing deadlines, designing the show’s format and identifying milestones.
Podcast Producers Help Find & Schedule Guests
One of the most popular podcast formats is the host and guest interview scenario. Podcast Producers must excel in communication and outreach as they often are the primary contact and sometimes need to coach the guests on the format, questions and topic of the show. In addition, producers research, seek out, and schedule their expert guests, influencers, or celebrities based on the show’s themes. Communication with guests and their management teams requires administrative experience with emails, phone calls, and coordinating, which sometimes requires online calendar scheduling software to book appropriately and efficiently.
Podcast Producers are Do Podcast Editing & Technical Direction
There is no podcast if there is no sound. Podcast producers are sound engineers and should be well versed in the best equipment and setup needed. They know how to record, edit and manage audio recordings. Whether they are directly doing the engineering or soundboard setups or overseeing it, the producer is the go-to person from placing a microphone on the desk to quality control of your content before the uploading and broadcasting occurs. They are often tech support during recordings and the post-production lead after.
Podcast Producers Execute on Marketing
Producers control the database to send out press releases, newsletters, media kits, and updated information via mail or email. They also have insight as to how and when to incorporate retail sales of branded merch. If you have the budget, a producer will manage paid ad accounts and campaigns. As mentioned above, social media is key to advertising your podcast, and a podcast producer is skilled at marketing on multiple platforms. They also are responsible for general online presence, from branding and logos to website design and collaborations with other podcasts and sponsors. A savvy producer navigates the timing and release of a particular guest’s episode by weighing their social media following and word-of-mouth influence and popularity and using it as a cross-promotion opportunity knowing that guests often share their interviews online.
Podcast Producers Nurture Audience Engagement
A podcast producer is as invested as the creator and therefore measures the show’s success by tracking its analytics and statics. They are proficient in using popular hosting sites like Blubrry, Transistor, or PodTrack to collect pertinent data. The information gathered breaks down the show’s metrics, demographics, and subscriptions, which helps to measure success and growth. A producer uses SEO and call-to-action strategies to advance newsletter subscriptions, ticket sales, subscriptions, and Patreon membership. A producer ensures that you’re marketable by fulfilling your niche, researching the competition, and using feedback from forums like Facebook groups to improve the show’s appeal. Finally, producers manage and expand on the vital connection to listeners by publicly acknowledging reviews and replying to online comments.
Podcast Producers Write Show Notes
Producers handle the show notes, found on either the episode site or the show’s website. This responsibility is essential to the marketing and audience engagement. Show notes are the details of an episode that go beyond a summary. They include relevant links and resources on the topic as well as guests’ bios, social media and any other relevant details. Producers gather the data and arrange the notes to make your podcast the central source of information on an episode topic and introductions to archived episodes while inviting online searchers to future ones.
Podcast Producers are Industry Experts
Podcasting is a social, competitive, and fast-moving field. A podcast producer needs to be both an industry expert in your niche, and an expert within the podcast industry as a whole. They stay up-to-date in the podcast industry by attending conferences, podcast events, and festivals like the well-known On Air Fest or We Are Podcast. In addition, they arrange for themselves or the primary host to appear on other podcasts to expand their audience and create a wider community.
Podcast Producers Can Help Co-Host
Part of the appeal of podcasts is its intimacy between listener and host and its seemingly informal nature, which is why you often see producers multi-task as a co-host. When the podcast producer adds commentary, helps address tech issues, gives insights on research, and introduces the topic or guest, it gives the listener a sense of realness by breaking down the third wall and provides insight into the high production value that goes into each episode.
The Cost of Hiring a Podcast Producer
One of the big deciding factors in hiring a podcast producer is your budget. Things you’ll want to think about when determining your budget for a podcast producer is:
- How much time will a podcast producer save me?
- How much revenue or value can a podcast producer help generate?
- Do I want to subcontract out all the individual tasks or have 1 person to manage everything?
In answering these 3 key questions, you can start to formulate how much you’re willing to budget for a podcast producer, and to find someone whose costs can match your budget.
Depending on the skill level, experience, and the job duties you seek, the costs can vary widely.
Freelance Podcast Producers
If your podcast is in startup mode, you may want to hire a freelance podcast producer per project. Flat rates per episode can average from $25 to $100 on the lower/middle-end. However, keep in mind that prices increase the more you need from a producer; for example, if you don’t own editing software or recording equipment, a podcast producer may charge more for use of their equipment.
Another alternative is hiring a freelance podcast producer per hour. Hourly rates for this typically start as low as $10 an hour and go as high as $100 an hour. Even at $100 an hour, you might be saving money on a freelancer vs a full-time podcast producer, if your needs are just are not continuous.
Fulltime Podcast Producers
If your podcast production requires long-term commitment, then hiring a full-time producer is recommended. The average yearly salary range of podcast producers is $24,000-62,500, with the national average being $47,000 a year, which is around $22-23 an hour.
There are many options and multiple avenues to take on the road to producing your podcast, and the process of hiring your much-needed podcast producer takes a review of your needs, goals, and budget. Once you’ve made a choice, you’ll find your podcast producer is merely a click away.
Where To Find & Hire A Podcast Producer
By now, if you’ve decided that you need a podcast producer, the next step is to find the perfect podcast producer that would fit your show and budget. As the number of podcasts is quickly growing, the role of podcast producer as a professional career is also growing.
Fortunately, a lot of professional podcast producers are advertising their professional services using their website, so you can always try Googling “freelance podcast producer” to see what comes up. Where you’ll find the right podcast producer for you will largely depend on your budget and whether you need someone full-time or a part-time freelancer. If you’re not sure if quire ready to commit to a full-time producer, we recommend you try out a part-time freelancer first to see if it does help streamline your process and raise the quality of your podcast.
Here are some great options below for finding a podcast producer that’s right for you.
Find a Podcast Producer through Hiring Websites
- LinkedIn isn’t a freelancer website, but many freelancers, and potential full-time hires, have profiles on LinkedIn. We recommend you search “podcast producer” in LinkedIn, scan through the profiles, and reach out to connect. Even if they’re listed at a current position, there’s a high chance they might be looking for more podcast clients.
- Upwork is one of the largest platform for freelancers and contractors. With Upwork, you can either search directly for podcast producers or create a job posting for a podcast producer, listing out all your requirements. We recommend the latter, as it’s free to post a job and you can get very specific about your needs. Through the platform, you can vet out potential candidates by assigning small freelance tasks to start at a fixed budget, then after you build confidence and trust, ramp up their responsibilities and budget.
- Fivver is one of the lower-end freelance marketplaces, and they have hundreds of available podcast producers available fitting a variety of budgets.
- Twine takes inventory of your needs and matches you with potential candidates. With Twine, you don’t search for candidates. Twine sends you “pitches” from potential candidates, and you can pick the
- PeoplePerHour is somewhat a blend of Fivver and Twine. Like Fivver, you can search directly for podcast producers, and search through the sea of freelancers offering their related services. Like Twine, you can also post a job, and their AI algorithm helps match you with potential candidates, and the freelancers pitch you project proposals.
- FlexJobs.com is basically a job board built around highly qualified freelancers who have a need or desire to work from home or to have more job flexibility. It’s a great opportunity to find a good podcast producer, with a working situation that just fits your needs.
Find a Podcast Producer in Established Podcast Groups
Joining Professional Podcast Communities is not only great for knowledge-sharing and networking, but it’s also an excellent resource for hiring an experienced podcast producer. Professional groups and communities are invaluable resources, so we really recommend joining at least 1 or 2 podcast groups if you want to level up your podcast game. Here is a list of some of the top podcast groups in the industry that can help you find a podcast producer.
- Facebook Podcasters Support Group is a private group with over 30k members. It shares tips and tech advice and organizes meetups.
- Facebook Podcast Community Group This public group was formed as a safe space to ‘spill the tea’ on podcast events and conferences and also includes job seekers and posts for hiring needs.
- Reddit Podcasts covers topics from what’s the best equipment to creative ideas and recommendations.
- Podcasting Technology Resources Linkedin Group shares technical podcasting tips as well as content ideas.
- #Podcasters is a popular free Slack group for podcast professionals. It connects podcasters globally for discussions and networking.
- She Podcasts has 19.9K female podcasters. It offers support and answers questions about the podcast industry.
Founder and Editor of PodInbox.
Avid podcast and audiobook listener.
Lives in Portland Oregon.