Interviewing remotely

The top 5 reasons you should outsource your podcast interviews

by | Mar 7, 2024

Did you know that It can take between 5 and 50+ hours to produce a 1-hour podcast episode?

With numbers like those, it’s no surprise that companies outsource all kinds of tasks for their branded podcasts, from editing audio to writing show notes. Outsourcing the right tasks can help you launch episodes faster and consistently without interrupting your team’s workflow.

The most commonly outsourced task is audio editing. However, there is one other area that most people don’t even consider, which can save you a ton of time when you outsource it. It’s also an element of podcasting that can make or break your results.

Podcast interviews.

Yes, you read that right. Hiring someone else to interview podcast guests for you is something you can and potentially should outsource. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 23% of podcast shows use an interview format. And other popular formats, such as a narrative style, include interview clips within each episode.

If you add up all the time it takes to find the right guests, contact them, conduct research, prepare interview questions, and interview them, those production times will add up.

In this article, I’ll explain when it makes sense to outsource your guest interviews and give five reasons why you should.

Podcast interview

How long does it take to conduct a podcast interview?

We all know podcasting takes time, but how much?

Probably more than you realize (check out the “Mistake 01” section in the 6 common pitfalls of the podcast planning process article for another example).

There’s a big difference between casual shows, where you invite friends and ask them the same canned questions, and branded shows, where you carefully research and interview experts. The casual show won’t require much effort, and it’s perfect for any individual who is just starting out. However, if you are running a branded podcast for an established company, you’ll need much more preparation. Your company’s reputation depends on the quality of the content you put out there.

At Come Alive, we’ve been helping companies produce branded podcasts since 2016. We take care of everything, from strategic planning to interviewing. Here, I want to share the steps of securing and recording a standard podcast interview and the time it takes to complete each step. I’m assuming the topic is already set, but we need to find a guest to discuss it.

Podcast interview steps and the estimated time it takes to complete them:

  1. Find and research potential guests. 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Contact the guest and confirm the interview. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Conduct a pre-interview (optional but helpful). 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Research, write questions, and plan the interview. 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  5. Conduct the interview. 30 to 90 minutes.
  6. Organize, manage, and share files. 15 to 30 minutes.

Total time: Depending on the variables surrounding the podcast and guest, you’re looking at 2.5 to 7.5 hours per interview.

However, the math shakes out. It’s probably more than any marketing team should spend.

Types of podcasts that can outsource their interviews. 

Not all podcasts can outsource their interviews.

You won’t want to outsource your interviews if you use your podcast to network, strengthen existing relationships, or develop new ones.

If you have a straightforward interview show, it will also be hard to outsource the actual interviews.

For example, Joe Rogan shouldn’t outsource his interviews.

However, for many shows, the host doesn’t need to be present for the interviews.

Dynamic interviews and narrative shows work exceptionally well for this. These are the types of shows you hear on public radio, with multiple voices, music, sound design, and a host who guides the story but doesn’t necessarily interact with the guests.

For example, Ira Glass doesn’t need to conduct the interviews that make up This American Life.

And what if you don’t have a show yet?

Outsourcing your podcast interviews is something to consider during the planning phase.

This is especially true if you are considering a host who doesn’t have a lot of time—people like founders and C-level executives fall into this category. They make excellent hosts, but show production schedules are often at the mercy of their availability.

I’ve watched podcasts stall out for over a year and completely stop because the host got too busy.

It’s avoidable with the right planning and support.

podcast interview setup

Top 5 reasons to outsource your podcast interviews.

With the types of shows out of the way, let’s go over the five reasons you should outsource for the Debby Doubters still reading.

#1 Outsourcing interviews for your podcast saves you time.

Easily, the most important reason to outsource your podcast interviews is the amount of time it will save you.

One of our clients recently made the call to have our team take over the interviews for their podcast. They had a hard deadline for their podcast launch, but the host, a company VP, didn’t have the time to schedule the necessary interviews for the season. At most, he could have handled 1–2 interviews per week. He would have had to conduct at least 6 weekly interviews if they wanted to launch on time.

Luckily, because their podcast format was a dynamic interview show, they quickly decided to offboard the interviews to us to free up the host’s much-needed time and meet their deadline.

We helped them find, research, schedule, and record 24 interviews over a month, saving the host over 30 hours of work so he could focus on recording narration scripts instead.

#2 Outsourcing interviews for your podcast will get you better quality results.

Think of some famous interviewers. Larry King, Terry Gross, Oprah, Cal Fussman, Marc Maron, and Guy Raz come to mind.

These people have had hundreds, if not thousands, of interviews.

Who will conduct a better interview: someone with zero to little experience or someone who interviews for a living?

It’s an obvious answer, but many people don’t think it through.

Personally, I’ve conducted over 600 interviews and produced a lot more. I spend time reading and studying the techniques of some of the best journalists and interviewers out there. When we work on client shows that require interviews, we also bring in journalists and other people who have worked as interviewers for entities like National Public Radio.

Be realistic with yourself and park any pride you have at the door. If you think someone else could conduct a better interview than you, let them.

#3 Podcast agencies are better equipped to find and book the right guest.

You probably have a finite number of people in your network who would make amazing podcast guests, and you may have a few more who would make decent guests.

What happens when you run out?

Most individuals and agencies that help set up and conduct interviews are better skilled and equipped to search, find, and schedule meaningful guests for your podcast.

For example, our team has multiple places to look, people to ask, and processes to follow when it comes to finding podcast guests. And people are more responsive to us because it is obvious this is what we do.

Beyond finding people, we have processes that increase the likelihood of the potential guest saying “yes” that have been vetted over years of doing this. Many of my podcast agency friends have similar resources and procedures.

The point is, you probably can’t beat a strong agency partner in finding and booking qualified podcast guests.

Researching podcast guests

#4 Outsourcing podcast interviews means you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of connecting with guests remotely or in person.

Imagine running an interview process so smooth that all you need to do is pick the guest and wait for the podcast equipment to arrive directly at their door, complete with step-by-step tutorials on how to use it.

That’s exactly what my team does for our clients. We even offer a pilot call to test things before their first official interview.

Even with a smooth process like this one, the technical aspects of interviewing are stressful.

It’s technology. You’re going to run into issues with hardware and software that will need to be troubleshot. And that’s difficult when using said hardware and software isn’t something you regularly do.

On the other hand, this is second nature for the people recording interviewers every day.

A few days ago, I conducted an interview with a well-established professional who was using their microphone incorrectly. It made me wonder how many interviews this person has done with the microphone pointed the wrong way!

It may sound small, but it’s a huge mental relief to not have to worry about using and troubleshooting podcast equipment and recording software.

#5 Outsourcing podcast interviews means you don’t need to worry about managing or sharing your files.

Similar to the prior example, when you outsource your interviews, you never have to worry about finding, organizing, and sharing all of your audio and/or video files.

Sharing and organizing files is annoying on its own, you need to figure out:

  • What file naming conventions are you following? 
  • Where are you saving the files? Do you have enough storage space? 
  • How are you organizing them? 
  • How are you sharing them with your podcast production team? 
  • How fast (or slow) is your internet connection?

If your podcast team is running the interviews for you, they automatically have everything they need and likely have systems in place on how to name, organize, and get the files to the right people on the team.

Instead of figuring out all the expectations, you can sit back, relax, and simply wait until they deliver an edited episode for your review.

Wrapping up. 

Outsourcing podcast interviews doesn’t work for everyone. If you want to be the one talking to the guest, or you have a straightforward 1:1 interview show, you probably can’t replace yourself.

However, if you’re producing a narrative or dynamic-style show, or you want to feature a host with limited availability, you should consider outsourcing your interviews.

You’ll save time and be able to prioritize what matters most, you’ll likely get better results from using a professional, you’ll avoid added stress, and you’ll likely have a lot more fun podcasting.

These are the exact types of tasks we’re doing to help B2B businesses make killer podcasts that build trust with their audiences. If you want to learn more, schedule a discovery call with our team today!