Companies outsource all kinds of jobs for their podcasts from editing audio to writing show notes to booking guest appearances as some of the most common.
However, there is one area that can save you a ton of time and dramatically improve the quality of your show that most people don’t even consider.
Yes, you read that right. Hiring someone else to interview podcast guests for you is something you can and potentially should outsource.
In this article, I’m going to explain what kinds of podcasts can outsource their guest interviews and the five reasons you should.
How long it takes to conduct an interview.
We all know podcasting takes time, but how much?
Probably more than you realize (check out the “Mistake 01” section in our 6 common pitfalls of the podcast planning process for another example).
Here are components of an average interview. I’m always assuming we know the topic but need to find a guest to discuss it. I’m not talking about the kind of show where you can ask a friend and casually discuss the same canned questions as the last five shows.
Actual times will vary. These are just estimates:
- Find and research potential guests. 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Contact the guest and confirm the interview. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Conduct a pre-interview (optional but helpful). 15 to 30 minutes.
- Research, write questions, and plan the interview. 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Conduct the interview. 30 to 90 minutes.
- Organize, manage, and share files. 15 to 30 minutes.
You’re looking at 2.5 to 7.5 hours per interview depending on the variables surrounding the podcast and guest.
However the math shakes out, it’s probably more than you should be spending.
Types of podcasts that can outsource the interviews.
Not all podcasts can outsource their interviews.
You won’t want to outsource your interviews if you are using your podcast to network, strengthen existing relationships, or develop news ones.
If you have a straightforward interview show, it’s going to be really 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 kinds of shows you hear on public radio with multiple voices, music, sound design, and a host who guides the story along 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.
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 too bad. And avoidable with the right planning and support.
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.
Outsourcing interviews for your podcast saves you time.
Easily the most important reason you should 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 their interviews. The host has a VP role in the company and is currently overseeing the entire content and learning strategy.
They are producing a dynamic interview show with us and quickly decided to offboard the interviews to us in order to free up the host’s much needed time and to speed up the launch process.
We’re currently finding, researching, scheduling, and recording interviews with 24 interviews over the month. It’s already saved the host over 10 hours worth of work and now he can focus on recording the narration we’re preparing for him.
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 for me.
These people have had hundreds, if not thousands of interviews.
Who is going to conduct a better interview: someone with zero to little experience or someone who interviews for a living?
It’s an obvious question but many people don’t think it through.
Personally, I’ve conducted over 500 interviews and have produced a lot more. I spend time reading and studying the techniques of some of the best journalists and interviewers out there. Other people we bring in for this kind of work are journalists and 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.
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. You may have a few more who would make decent guests.
What happens when you run out?
Most individuals and agencies that help setup 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.
Outsourcing podcast interviews means you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of connecting with guests remotely or in person.
My team ships all of the podcast equipment our clients need directly to their door. We provide step-by-step tutorials on how to use their equipment and we offer a pilot call to test things before their first official interview.
Even with all of this help, 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 person who was using their microphone incorrectly. It made me wonder how many interviews has this person done with the microphone angled incorrectly!
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.
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.
- 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 of the expectations, you just get to wait until they deliver an edited episode for your review.
Outsourcing your 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 who has limited availability, 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 a lot of extra stress, and you’ll likely have a lot more fun podcasting.
Last, these are the exact types of tasks we’re doing to help our founder and marketing clients make killer podcasts. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our services pages.
Thanks for reading! Reach out if you still have any questions and we’ll do our best to answer.