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What full-service podcast production means to me: Thoughts from a producer 10 years in the business

by | Nov 2, 2023

In October 2023, I had the opportunity to go to sunny Los Cabo Mexico for a business trip. 

It was a conference unlike any other as I got to listen to sessions poolside, had lunch and dinner groups with other business owners, and even had time to process what I was learning while walking the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean. I took away a ton (you can read my full reflection here). But one thing stood out more than most. 

A lot of business owners don’t understand what full-service podcast production means or that it even exists. 

Audio and podcasting have been my career for the last 10 years. I’ve been personally podcasting since 2012. My team and I have produced hundreds of shows and helped our partners get millions of downloads. 

But A LOT of people still don’t understand what I do or why it matters to them. 

Are you on the fence about podcasting? Think you want to start one, but feel like it’s either too hard or too much to learn? This post is for you. 

Here is what full-service podcast production means to me. 

Jeff Large public speaking

You don’t have to be an expert. 

You might think you have to do a bunch of research and learn all the things. 

  • What equipment should you get? 
  • How do you do interviews when your guest is in a different location? 
  • How do you edit? 
  • How long should it be? 
  • How do you get it on Apple and Spotify? 
  • How do you promote it? 
  • How do you know it’s worth doing? 

If you’re like most owners and executives I know, you probably started thinking about all of that stuff and gave up. It’s too much and you have more important things to do. 

Full-service podcast production means you don’t have to be an expert. In fact, you don’t need to know anything when you get started aside from you want a podcast for your business. 

My team handles all of it.

What you can expect when working with us.

Phase 01: Planning

You show up and brain dump everything you’ve already figured out: 

  • Your general dreams, hopes, and most importantly, goals
  • Your definition of success
  • Topics you want to cover and the people you want to interview
  • Any title, show description, and cover art ideas
  • Etc.

Bring us everything. 

Then our team gets to work thinking, researching, refining and building on your direction. We take your industry expertise and vet it against our podcast expertise. The result is a podcast with a clear focus and a refined strategy.

While that’s taking place, you’re also getting all of your technical needs and questions covered. 

Your show title and categories are decided on. Our team designs your cover art. We also mail you your recording equipment and set up any related software for connecting with your guest. 

You go from total overwhelm and not even knowing how to focus to putting your refined ideas into motion—from nothing to better than you imagined. 

Next is production. 

Recording on-location

Phase 02: Production

Production, simply put, is the recording and editing of your episodes. 

Side note: Some freelancers and agencies try to use this phase as a differentiator by using phrases like “making your audio sound more professional by removing the umms and background noise” or “industry quality audio.” Those are table stakes. You can translate all of that to “we make your podcast sound good” and hopefully every podcast producer is doing that. 😆

Our team likes to start with at least a trailer and four to five episodes before launching. This gives much needed one to two months worth of padding to the schedule. That way stress stays at a minimum. 

Are you considering making a podcast with an interview component? 

We’ll help you vet and decide on guests, put processes in place for scheduling them, and let them know what to expect. We’ll help you prepare for the interview. Our team will even make sure you and your guests are comfortable with the video recording platform. 

Don’t have time to run your own interviews? No problem. 

Several of the shows we produce have our team conduct the actual interviews. This is useful for many of our clients. It saves you time and often leads to better interview content (consider how many interviews you’ve conducted compared to our team conducting over 600+). 

When it comes to editing and assembly, our team does that too. 

We listen back to all of your audio and choose the best parts of each interview (i.e., the selects). This helps tighten up otherwise long episodes. So now your listeners are only getting your best material. 

We also handle tracking. When you edit an interview into bits and pieces, it often needs narration, i.e., tracking to tie it all together. Our team writes the talking points and scripts whatever you/your host needs to say. 

Finally, your show is uploaded to our media server and we make sure it’s ready to be distributed everywhere.

Again, you go from not knowing what to ask and feeling self-confident about how you might sound to having a dedicated team making sure you and your guests sound even smarter and more relatable than what you recorded.

Phase 03: Promotion

Even the best shows benefit from a promotional strategy. 

All of our podcast services include the standard show notes, transcriptions, social media assets, and copy to reuse for more social and/or newsletters. We don’t manage it for you, but we will advise on how you can maximize it. If you are looking for even more marketing help, we’ve helped our clients do everything from repurpose the podcast into exclusive membership content to set up paid, earned, and owned promotional campaigns. 

And even though we talk about repurposing content, a promotional *strategy* is a lot more than reusing content everywhere. 

If the premise of your show is boring, your content will be boring. If your production value is trash, your repurposed content will be trash. Not to mention the bigger point that “strategy” implies, you guessed it, strategy. 

Success looks different for everyone. 

Many people want lots of downloads. But why? Some of our successful clients had hundreds of downloads, while other successful clients had hundreds of thousands

How could that be? 

Because different objectives are important to different people. Our team spends the time understanding what that is and tailoring a podcast (and promotional strategy) to take you there. Thus, you get clarity and peace of mind that the right people are going to hear your podcast.

Finally, you need to know if your show is working. 

Podcast Analytics

Phase 04: Progress

There is more to validating a podcast than counting downloads. 

Podcast analytics are hard to account for. The data that matters is often scattered across several different platforms with no easy way to view them. This leads to a lot of guesswork to whether your podcast is worth it or not. 

Our team does the work to research what matters and presents it in easy to understand quarterly reports. 

This might mean looking at anything from your media host, Apple Connect dashboard, Chartable, listener reviews, or email click-through rates. It is all depending on your goals. You’ll also get our subjective take on what we personally think is working well, what we’re wondering, and what could improve. 

You go from feeling confused and unclear about whether your podcast is worth the investment to knowing what your podcast is accomplishing and where it can still improve. 

Wrapping up.

Anyone can make a podcast. 

You could get one up and running in a few weeks if you are dedicated. But will it resonate with your audience? Will you be able to keep up with making it? I only want to work on shows that have a purpose and are worth creating.  

Beyond the difficulty of making one, podcasts are being underutilized. Most podcasters are leaving a lot “on the table” when it comes to what it could be doing for your business and your audience. 

Hiring the right full-production agency addresses these concerns and more. 

No more stress. No more confusion. No more guessing. 

Interested in starting a podcast? Don’t go at it alone. 

Like what I have to say? Learn more on our service page or reach out directly.