Why Does Every Podcast Need a Producer?

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Enna Garkusha is FRQNCY's podcast producer who keeps productions of every size organized, on deadline, and up to best practices.

The beauty of a podcast is that anyone can make one. However, if your goal is to monetize your podcast or reflect on the quality of your brand, then it take a little bit more muscle to make your podcast worth the attention of thousands of listeners. Just ask Enna Garkusha, FRQNCY’s podcast producer who keeps productions of every size organized, on deadline, and up to best practices.

Enna is a creative, a master multitasker, and a self-proclaimed “over-analyzer” – three characteristics that suit her well in her role as FRQNCY’s producer. A Southeastern Emmy-nominated producer, Enna started her career in the media industry in 2014. Her experience that spans live broadcast, sports marketing, and digital video production. Enna is a cat mom and a plant lady who enjoys watching old Seinfeld reruns and true-crime documentaries. Born of Russian immigrants, don’t be surprised if you hear Enna drop a da or “Nyet; she doesn’t want to let her Russian get rusty. 

Keep reading to learn what a day-in-the-life looks like for Enna as FRQNCY’s producer.

In one sentence, can you describe what you do as a podcast producer? 

I manage project workflows, timelines, recording sessions, and am the liaison between clients and our team. I’m tasked with making sure that our client’s vision is coming to life.

Can you walk us step-by-step through your role in the production of a  FRQNCY podcast episode from start to finish? 

I’m in constant communication with the client and guiding them through the production process step by step. I help handle all aspects of planning, prepping, and recording an episode. I then work with our rockstar editing team and manage the post-production phase. Sometimes I’m even a part of the initial development of the podcast depending on the client.

What’s the hardest aspect of being a podcast producer that would come as a surprise to most people? 

The hardest part about being a producer is being patient. Sometimes it’s really difficult to have a project that can’t move forward because of something that’s out of your control.

Ultimately every podcast I work on belongs to the client, and the client is responsible for every major decision. My job requires my deep involvement in a project. When you become so invested it can be difficult to let go. The podcasts that had so much potential but didn’t get made or never released for whatever reason is where I end up most disappointed.

Your background is in video production. How are the skill-sets used in podcasting similar and different from what you did as a video producer? 

They are very similar in that they both require putting together puzzle pieces to make a larger picture.

With video and audio you have these raw elements, and then you decide how you want to put them together. It’s kind of like a puzzle that can fit together in an infinite number of ways. It’s up to you to decide which way will be the most profound and impactful for telling the story you want to tell. The only real difference between the two is that video has a visual element to that process and audio doesn’t.

I got into audio initially by doing lots of freelance video work where I learned what it takes to tell a story well. It was pretty easy for me to eventually transition into audio because I already knew the fundamentals of what it took.

In addition to producing several of FRQNCY’s podcast projects, you were also the Director of Photography for the videos in FRQNCY’s online course. How do you see video playing a role in the future of podcasting, and do you think video production is a valuable skill for aspiring podcasters to attain? 

I think video can be such a strong tool for providing accompanying visuals for a podcast. You think of a podcast as just audio, but there are always visual elements involved. For example, cover art, which totally sets the stage for a podcast’s tone. Video is important because we are such a visually-driven audience when it comes to the kind of media we consume on a constant basis. When I listen to a podcast, I want to know what the host looks like so I can picture them talking in my head. When it comes to branding and associating your show with a visual, video can fill in the missing parts of the universe of your podcast. Video podcasts are getting more popular, and there’s always potential for a podcast to evolve into a video series if you can dream big enough!

What’s your most valuable tool that you use as a podcast producer, and why? 

 Without a doubt, the most important tool I have is communication. As a producer, my job is to take someone else’s vision and bring it to life. That requires so much listening, collaborating, coaching, and problem-solving.. Sometimes clients are completely new to podcasting and doesn’t even really know what they want. For them, it takes a little investigating to get to a place where we both have the same understanding. There’s a constant back and forth between me and whoever I’m working with to take an idea and slowly mold and shape it into its final form. Essentially, I’m educating the client on how to become a good podcaster.

If you had unlimited time and resources to produce a podcast about anything, what would it be about and what would you call it? 

So I have this running joke with my friends, that every time millennials have a very thoughtful or insightful conversation with each other, we always end it with “Man, that should be a podcast!” And I’m always the one who’s like, “I can literally make that podcast happen!” 

I guess I would want to create a forum for myself and whoever else to be able to sit down and have a conversation about anything. It has no real strategy or intention or purpose, but is also interesting and fun. The name of the podcast would probably be “You Know What I Think About That…?”

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