Lead Time FTW: Why Consistency is Key to a Successful Podcast

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We’ve all heard this adage before – consistency is key. But for your podcast release schedule? It’s hella key.

Create consistency for your podcast through lead time

Why is consistency so important for podcasters? Because it’s expected by listeners. First, consistency helps build trust with your audience, who are wayyy more likely to listen, subscribe, and engage with your podcast when they have a reliable episode release schedule they can count on. Second, because it will make your life so much easier as a podcast creator. No more 11th hour email chains to your editor about getting an updated version, no more late night episode description writing, and definitely no more late episodes.

So what’s the secret ingredient to make episode consistency a breeze? Two words: Lead. Time.

The best approach to guarantee consistent podcast production is to create lead time. Think of it as basically a production buffer zone before an episode releases so that you can keep up with publishing on schedule over time.

Who can benefit from podcast production lead time?

The short answer is everyone. For you skeptics, here are just a few signs that your production schedule could benefit from an added production buffer:

  • Your episodes consistently get released late, at different times, or not on schedule
  • You’re spending more energy prepping for each individual episode than actually creating it (even though you still hit your release goal)
  • You don’t have a production calendar and you’re just trying to get each episode out when it’s done without any deadlines or timelines in place

If any of that sounds familiar then adding lead time into your production schedule will be revolutionary for your podcast and, frankly, for your own sanity.

How to build lead time for your podcast production

Building out two weeks of episodes in advance can seem daunting. But don’t let that scare you away from giving lead time a shot. In fact, there are several strategies to help make the production of two weeks of content flow more smoothly and save you some stress along the way.

  • If you don’t already have a production calendar, start one. Track every milestone of producing your podcast from recording the interview to post-production to promotion.
  • Start with a two-week lead time as your goal. That means you are completing the entire podcast production and scheduling the episode release two weeks before the release date.
  • Try to complete your tasks in batches. For example, if you are aiming to establish a two-week lead time, try recording two weeks worth of interviews at the same time. Edit two weeks worth of audio in one work block. Schedule two weeks worth of social posts at a time. You will be amazed at how much time you have to plan, strategize, and breathe when you batch your work.
  • Need some extra support? Tag the help of a professional podcast producer.

Hopefully we convinced you that lead time is the key to consistency… which is the key to a successful podcast. Our own producers practice these guidelines and we can attest to the difference lead time can make. Over time this will become second nature to your podcast workflow and you will find that you encounter less mistakes, more room for revisions, and ultimately, a happier, more devoted audience.

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