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.
We’d like to introduce you to Sidney Evans, our Audio Editor. When Sidney joined us earlier this year, we gained a man who is equal parts thoughtful, brilliant, and sneakily good at naming podcasts. He’s a mixer of dialogue who cares as much about the quality of content as he does the caliber of audio. For a sound lover, he spends a lot of time being quiet and listening; when he speaks, you better believe something impactful is about to be said. Without further ado, here’s Sidney.
You competed as an NCAA collegiate athlete at Fayetteville State University, where you obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 2013. What are some of the lessons you learned in sports that apply to being an audio editor?
Well, the most important thing is that when you put in the work, you get results. The years I worked the hardest in the off-season and did extra work during the season, I had the most success.
The same goes for becoming an audio editor. I’ve joined groups, done free work, watched tutorials, listened to podcasts, applied for dozens of jobs, and emailed people. I literally did everything I could think of to break into the field. I truly believe becoming a part of the FRQNCY team was my reward for putting in the work because I am that passionate about what I do.
Also, having an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses is something that stuck with me as well. When starting here at FRQNCY, I felt my strength was more on the mixing side and I knew I had room for improvement as far as cutting dialogue. After a few months on the team, I can really see the improvement there, with the help of Enna, one of our amazing producers.
Outside of FRQNCY, you have edited & engineered podcasts including Celeste the Therapist Podcast, The Minority Trailblazer Podcast, The Cope for the Culture Podcast and Our Stories Podcast. What are the characteristics of podcasts that you enjoy editing?
First and foremost, I enjoyed editing shows that are recorded using quality equipment and in controlled environments. I think the creators get the most out of my skill set when this happens because it allows me to take quality audio and turn it into exceptional audio. Also, I genuinely enjoy editing intriguing topics where the host has a solid understanding of storytelling. I know that if I enjoyed the content as an audio editor, the intended audience will as well.
What’s one thing you think every audio editor should know when they’re getting started to make them stand out?
Edit as much as possible, figure out a process that works for you, and stick with it. There are so many DAWs, plugins, tutorials, and information available when you begin to learn the craft. You can easily go down that rabbit hole and get caught not actually editing, which I have experienced. Yes, you always want to stay up to date on the tools that allow you to do your job better, but you still have to do the job. And once you have a workflow that works for you, stick with it because that is your foundation. And if need be, you can modify it down the line.
You’re vocal about the benefits of a plant-based diet — and you’re not the only one in the FRQNCY fam. When you start dragging during a marathon editing session, what snack perks you back up?
A lot of my friends call me an old man for this, but my go-to snack is salted peanuts in the shell. I guess it goes back to my youth from playing and attending baseball games. I can effortlessly eat a whole bag without realizing it. They just work for me and I enjoy them.
You got into podcast editing after deciding that pursuing music wasn’t for you. Any regrets about that decision?
Absolutely not. I’m grateful for that experience and glad I was able to pivot instead of just leaving the audio industry all together. It actually allowed me to enjoy music not only as a consumer but as a creator. There’s a lot of talent required to create great music. It gave me an even higher level of appreciation for those who do so exceptionally well.
You once said that podcasters who want to have “Twitter conversations in the form of a podcast” may not have as much longevity as others. Can you speak more to that?
I believe there is truly an art to podcasting. Obviously, the industry has been growing and people are diving in. And some get stuck into taking the mindset and strategy from one medium and applying it to another. To me, that’s not ideal. For every medium you have to figure out the best approach for that one in particular. A Twitter conversation in the form of a podcast would not be compelling enough for me to listen to. I have listened to and edited enough shows to know that it’s a different art form. You have to understand the podcast medium and add your personal flair to it.
If you were stranded on an island with access to only one podcast, what would it be?
In Godfrey We Trust, which is hosted by the comedian Godfrey. I get tons of laughs, get to hear stories from a wide variety of guests, and learn a little bit about the experiences of those who do comedy.
As podcasting emerges as the new trusted medium, there are endless opportunities to promote the content you create. The best part? You don’t need to be a mastermind of social media to promote your podcast effectively, you just need to have the right toolkit.
Keep reading for tips on how to build your podcast’s social media graphics package, how to use automation to your advantage, and how to get listeners and guests to share it like it’s hot. Let’s dive right in!
Start with Graphics
The first thing you’ll want to do is create your podcast graphics package. You can get started by creating an audiogram and a quote template in Canva, which is especially great for beginning or time-strapped teams. More advanced graphics software like Photoshop and InDesign give you even more design power.
A great audiogram example is from the Jane Goodall Hopecast below. In this graphic, we included host and guest headshots, captions, the quote attribute, a waveform, and the podcast logo.
Quote graphics are also great and low-touch examples of content to post. Plus, they have been shown to increase engagement rates by more than 160%. Pro tip: When designing these graphics, make sure all text is large enough so viewers will be able to read it while scrolling through their feed without zooming in too close.
In the example below from Salesloft’s Hey Salespeople, we included the quote, the quote attribute, the episode number, the podcast logo, as well as icons of where people can listen.
Make sure you’re using clean, engaging and quality graphics so listeners are excited to share, and guests feel proud to promote the show and their appearance on it.
Use a Social Media Scheduling Tool
These tools not only save you tons of time, but also automatically take into account the different time zones of your listeners and optimal posting times when they are online the most. This way, you can promote your podcast to more people, and potentially get a bigger following without any of the guesswork or tedium of real-time posting.
Incentivize Social Sharing
Most people discover podcasts through social media shares. Incentivize listeners to share your podcast posts by providing exclusive content like behind-the-scenes photos, videos from recording sessions, or discounts on merch.
Offering giveaway prizes for social shares is a classic tactic used across all industries. The giveaway could be anything as long as it adds real value to your listeners’ lives and shows them that you know who they are. Here are some ideas:
- Signed copies of books authored by your guests
- Podcast merch like T-shirts, stickers, mugs, etc.
- A gift card to a business relevant to your podcast topic
(Pro Tip: Make sure to track the effectiveness of these tactics!)
Make it Easy for Guests to Share
If you produce a podcast that features guest interviews, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy for guests to share their episode with their network. Create an easily shareable folder on Google Drive or Dropbox with all of the graphics for that guest’s episode and email it to them at least a week (ideally two weeks) before their episode goes live. This allows them to factor the episode promo into their standing content calendar. Then, don’t forget to alert them when their podcast is live.
That’s it! Hopefully we got your wheels turning on how to promote your podcast on social media. With engaging graphics, a social scheduler, and bomb sharing incentives, you’ll be a social media pro in no time.
Let’s allow ourselves to dream. What does your blue-sky podcast reality look like? Do you envision a podcast that’s number one in its genre, with thousands of downloads per episode? Heck yes, you do!
You probably already know that this level of success as a podcaster takes tons of time and commitment. And as your podcast grows, it can be tough to know when to take the podcast leap and invest in professional podcasting support to help you reach your dream.
Here are three tell-tale signs it might be time to get help from experienced podcast pros:
- You’re unable to keep up with production demands on your own and have less than five hours left each week to devote to your podcast.
- Your audience has grown exponentially, but quality suffers because of lack of time and resources
- Podcasting is no longer just an hour or two per week hobby – it’s become a second job.
If any one of those three statements is true, then it’s probably time to take the pod leap of faith.
Need some ideas of what you can offload to podcast pros?
- producer support (including guest booking, scheduling, and prep work)
- finding the perfect guests (or a co-host)
- post-production (editing, mixing, mastering, and sound design)
- writing content for each episode to help you promote your podcast and make your podcast more accessible
- designing episode graphics for promotion
Think about the bandwidth you’d gain from offloading any one of those tasks. And more bandwidth means more time to think about the overall vision of your podcast, and other goals you have in mind for it like monetization or building a brand around the subject matter of your podcast.
P.S. If you’re ready to take the leap, we are here to help. We know it can be a big transition from podcasting solo to doing things with a podcast production company – but we promise it’s 1,000% worth it.
Click here to take the podcast leap and get started.
So, you’re a podcaster and you’re ready to interview guests, but have no idea where to begin. What questions should you ask? How do you keep your guests comfortable and engaged in the conversation? What happens if there’s an awkward silence? Have no fear, interviewing guests can be a breeze as long as you do your homework. Ready to learn more? Let’s hit it!
What to do before your interview:
Do. Your. Research.
Research your guest beforehand and find out any personal information like interests or hobbies. Start by checking out their social media profiles like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Conduct additional research on what has already been written about that person online, in print media such as newspapers or magazines, or from other podcasts they have been on. This will help you get to know your guest better, and keep you from asking questions other interviewers or authors have already asked ad nauseum.
What type of questions are most effective:
- Instead of yes/no questions, ask open ended ones. They result in more engaging and interesting conversations. This conversational style also benefits listeners by giving them hints as to what direction topics might be heading in without knowing too much beforehand.
- Ask leading questions, where you ask a question in order to help guide the conversation topically.
- Ask follow up questions to dig deeper into an answer that’s intriguing.
- When in doubt or if the conversation stalls, ask your guest about something they are passionate about. They’ll always have something to say!
- Respectfully disagreeing with your guests or playing devil’s advocate can be an effective strategy, which can lead to spirited debate and interesting conversations. Be careful of your tone and approach. Being too combative is a no-no, so tread lightly and use this approach sparingly.
Make your guests comfortable:
First and foremost, talk with them before the interview starts. Provide some space before you hit the record button for some low-stakes conversation to break the ice and build rapport. While you’re talking, guide your guest through the interview flow and what they can expect, including how long the session will last, roughly how many questions you’ll ask, and any topics that are off limits.
Again, do your research. Knowing the person and their interests will go a long way in facilitating an interview that people will enjoy listening to.
Interview best practices:
- Be prepared for technical difficulties. Wifi connections drop, distracting noises happen, equipment stops working. It happens. Don’t let it frazzle you. Stay professional and try your best to get things back on track.
- Be confident and don’t be afraid of silence. There is nothing wrong with being quiet every now and then in order for both you and your guest to have a moment to think. Most people take a moment to gather their thoughts before answering. And some of the best answers come when the guest is given enough space and silence to thoughtfully respond.
- Make sure that whatever topic(s) your podcast deals with can stand alone without any other show needed in order to fully explain the content.
- Prepare and do your research about your guest and the topic at hand – we know we sound like a broken record, but that’s how important it is.
- Know when to stop asking questions. If things are getting too deep or personal (and that’s not the point of the interview), it’s time to change topics. Or if the guest is noticeably tired and not as engaged, it’s time to wrap the session.
Let us know how it goes if you try these tips. And drop a comment below if there are any tips we should add to the list.
Welcome Aries to your month of reign! Er, I mean, month of unbridled energy! Aries, you are a powerful sign and you know it. Your drive and honesty inspires everyone around you to heckin’ go for what they want and your spontaneity and independence encourages them to have fun along the way. And especially with this Spring season, your Aries nature knows no bounds. Here are three podcasts we picked out just for you, Aries!
This one is a no brainer since you love being bosses, duh. Your Type A nature and entrepreneurial spirit make you adept leaders, born to build things for yourself. This podcast is perfect if you want to tap into heart-centered stories about being your own boss.
This podcast dives into deep topics and hard questions that are usually left out of polite conversations. And frankly, who has time for that, right Aries? Listen for the perfect balance of storytelling and sass.
This podcast caters to your need for perfection. It’s a great way for you to feel like you are vicariously fixing your own life, while secretly side-eyeing and getting all the tea on Iyanla’s guests.