When you make the decision to launch a podcast, it's easy to get overwhelmed with questions:
1. What should I name the show?
2. How do I develop a format?
3. How do I get an open/close produced?
4. How do I find a co-host?
5. How can I be different in my space?
6. How much money should I spend?
7. What do I do about a logo?
8. What podcast hosting service should I use?
There are plenty of blogs, podcasts and videos available to answer some of these questions. However, it can be challenging to sort out which advice is best for you, and it can all get overwhelming. You may think about hiring someone to help, but finding the right person could also be challenging. This is especially true if you're concerned about budget.
I've helped new podcasters answer all of these questions and launch their shows. I've also helped people improve their existing podcasts. Sometimes clients want something as simple as getting a few questions answered. Other times, they need concept consulting and production assistance.
So, I currently charge $50.00 an hour for my podcasting services. Many times, I'm able to answer several questions in an hour or less, and I make sure that I provide a lot of value in that time frame. So, it adequately allows me to provide my clients with meaningful assistance, and it allows me to make something reasonable in the process.
There are household appliances that don't do enough to justify a $50 price tag, and my clients tell me that my work is money well spent.
If I can help you launch or improve your podcast, contact me HERE or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As many people know, I am a BIG proponent of podcast editing. In the first episode of Content Call, I loved how Chris Brogan's wife beautifully coined the process as "good manners". You should call it that because taking the time to edit a podcast means you care about respecting the listener's time. As I've said before, you can do some of the editing before the show starts recording by:
For the last 3 years, I've set the flagship show at Assembly of Geeks to run about an hour. However, there have been times when the recording session went 90 or more minutes. That means I have to work harder in editing, but I've cut 25+ total minutes off in post production in order to get it a lot closer to that 60 minute threshold.
It can be done.
How? Well, most people see editing as just cutting out the "uhs" and "ums" throughout the recording. Yes, you can do that...but you can also do so much more.
Cut out the stutters and stops/starts.
Podcasts are generally the flow of natural conversation, and not all of us are professional speakers. So, there are going to be times where someone stutters or starts a sentence, stops and then starts over. Cut that and tighten those moments into one fluid sentence. There are also times where someone takes a longer than usual pause before saying something, and you can tighten that as well.
Cut the rambles and less important comments
We've all been in conversations where one person has so much to say that we get antsy. We get that way because they dominate the conversation that we don't feel part of it anymore. Remember, the listener is part of your conversation...only you can't hear them speak. So, don't make them zone out or feel antsy. Listen to some of the longer commentaries during your conversation and find places to tighten it. In the end, they might say the exact same thing, only in fewer words. Or, they might just say the most important stuff. Here's an example:
Let's say you're listening to someone talk about the new Wonder Woman movie and they say:
"I thought it was easily the best superhero movie I've seen in awhile. I think Gal Gadot proves she was the perfect choice to play her because you fully believe she IS Wonder Woman from beginning to end. Which is such a relief because so many people questioned her casting, but I knew all along she could pull it off because I've seen her in several other movies. Fast and Furious being one of them. Love that movie. She is the embodiment of what we love so much about heroes, especially Wonder Woman. She stands for what she believes in...she's brave, courageous, intelligent, and she's a badass. It reminded me a lot of this girl that I went to college with. She was beautiful, but she also wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in. I think she could totally cosplay as Wonder Woman. After all the attempts to bring Wonder Woman to the screen...it's almost been worth the wait considering what we got. I want to go see it again."
We can cut a few things and turn it into this:
"I thought it was easily the best superhero movie I've seen in awhile. I think Gal Gadot proves she was the perfect choice to play her because you fully believe she IS Wonder Woman from beginning to end. She is the embodiment of what we love so much about heroes, especially Wonder Woman. She stands for what she believes in...she's brave, courageous, intelligent, and she's a badass. After all the attempts to bring Wonder Woman to the screen...it's almost been worth the wait considering what we got. I want to go see it again."
I've edited my co-hosts, as well as myself this way. The beauty of pre-recorded podcasting is that it's not live. So, you can record the natural flow of friendly conversation, then edit it for an audience.
Remove an entire conversation
If you have to pick several topics for your show, occasionally some will generate little in the way of engaging conversation. When that happens, don't be afraid to cut the whole thing out. I've done it.
As I mentioned, our flagship podcast episodes have run about 60 minutes. However, this past week, I attempted to tighten it a little more. I tried a new format that put the most recent episode of The Geek Directive at 40 minutes. It featured six topic discussions, a fictional story and the usual open/close/bumper/break/production.
If you incorporate these approaches to editing into your podcast, you'll be amazed at how it all adds up. After you're done, you will have effectively made better use of your listener's time, and you would've demonstrated good manners.
There are few things more important in podcast production than respecting your listener's time. Part of that means taking time to edit your episode after you've recorded the audio. All too often, people associate podcast editing with simply taking out a few "uhs" and "ums", but it's much more than that. The truth is that your editing process should be involved in the pre-production, production and post-production process. Doing so will making your work easier, make your show better and make your audience happier.
Editing in pre-production
One way you can "edit" as part of the pre-production process is by doing more than just hitting record and talking until you (and/or your co-hosts) get tired. If you haven't already, take time to give your show a format. If you're not going to divide your show into segments, be reasonable about the length of each episode.
Then, consider how long you should discuss the topic(s) of the week, and stick to that time-frame in each episode. If you choose a total running time of 30 minutes, create a rundown sheet to help you navigate from one discussion point to the next. If you fear you might have too much to talk about one week, consider moving some of the topics into the next episode.
If you break your show into segments, give each one a time-frame and a purpose. For example:
Segment 1: Intro and announcements (5-8 minutes)
Segment 2: Interview (20-25 minutes)
Segment 3: Listener questions, what's coming up next week, closing (10 minutes)
Map it all out and stick to that format every week.
Editing during production
If you know how long you want each segment of your podcast to be, then be aware of how long it's taking to get through each one.
If you have to, put a clock in front of you, or just have an internal clock (or Wrap it Up Box) go off in your head when you know it's time to end the segment. If you start to do that during each episode, the process will become automatic.
Also, don't forget the listener is also part of your conversation. They want to feel like they're in the discussion with you and not eavesdropping on it. If you keep that in mind, it will be easier to record conversations that avoid dragging on for too long.
Editing during post-production
If you're utilizing the "editing" steps in the pre-production and production phases of your show, it will make the post-production work a lot simpler. Yes, feel free to edit out the "uhs" and the "ums", but not all of them. It is possible to clean things up too much where you sound too professional, and your listeners would like to hear you talk like a normal person.
What you should spend more time on is the flow of your discussion. When you're enjoying a conversation, it's easy to get off track. It's also not uncommon to throw in a comment or two that was fun at the time, but doesn't add much value to the person listening to it.
So, take that extra stuff out! It will tighten up your run time and enhance the engagement value of your discussion.
If you're genuinely interested in producing a quality show, you have to put in the extra work. Trust me, your listeners will notice and appreciate it because there are far too many shows that don't do these things. Anytime you care enough to make the best show you possibly can, people recognize it and you'll feel better about your work.