We’re answering a listener-submitted question today, and it’s a great one! Heather asked us what a podcast production team looks like and how those roles best work together.
In this episode Tiff and Christine break down all the roles that a full-scale audio and video podcast needs for successful production, what roles need to be filled first, and how to strategically combine roles for a smaller team.
“Some people don’t feel acknowledged for all the roles they are filling by having their own podcast.”Tiff Tyler
- (1:56) The creative vision roles: host, producer, talent booker
- (5:05) The audio roles: audio engineer, audio editor
- (7:37) The video roles: shooter, video editor, post production coordinator
- (12:31) The marketing roles: social media marketer, copywriter, designer, YouTube manager
- (19:01) Who to hire first
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Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly to learn how to think like a producer.
Happy Thursday, happy think like a producer Thursday, welcome to this episode of think like a producer. Today we’re answering a question, really a comment directly from Instagram, from Heather Francis. Hey, Christine’s friend Heather. Uh, she asks the differences in relationships where various team roles and responsibilities. Look, Christine and I have worked on teams together, worked on teams separately. And of course, this makes sense. As a, as a question from all of you, how many people does it take to run a successful podcast? Now I’ll start off and say, of course there are the solopreneurs. The people who start are on their own. I believe every podcaster that I’ve worked with, they started with themselves when it came to their business, even with their podcasts. So we’re going to first shout out solopreneurs. There are a lot of different roles, but it is possible for you to start this on your own.
Christine made a beautiful podcast. DIY course, the link is in our show notes, but overall, yes, you can get a mic, go back and listen to our recommendations on mics and audio equipment, different things. You can get a mic. You can purchase a hosting service, go with a free hers hosting service and start your podcast on your own. But if you’re talking about kind of the big leagues, right, we’re talking about going into having maybe one podcast a week for 52 weeks, maybe the entire year, maybe you are going to do multiple podcasts. We’ve worked on shows that had three podcasts in one week. If you’re really looking to make this one of your main things, getting sponsors, making sure that this is a real part of your business, then it makes sense that you would want to know if you were to grow and have a team, what the roles and responsibilities will be.
So like I said, just starting off, shouting out the solopreneurs. It is possible for you to do it on your own, but we want to break down. I believe Christine, there’s 12. We want to break down the 12 different roles that it come, that comes to a podcasting team. And I’ll just start off kind of with the people that have the creative vision. So usually most likely you’re the host. If you’re listening to us most likely, you’re the producer. Maybe the person that is helping with the idea of the show, helping maybe even book the talent or the guests that are going to be interviewed on the show. Most likely you’re the person that came up with the vision, and this is a roll on its own. I don’t think people give this enough credit. If you’re the host of a show and you need to show up and you need to be there and be prepared and, and gather the notes and know who you’re interviewing, or you’re going to have an educational show like you’re and I, and be prepared for what you’re going to record.
Like I tell you guys all the time we record every Friday, two hours, uh, every Friday we make sure that we show up we’re on time and we’re prepared. This is a job in itself. And I want to make sure that you have that. Ellen, most likely on her show shows up and does her thing. Uh, Lewis Howes that we’ve worked with, like his whole job is to show up and be his best self. Then there’s the producer. Now, sometimes the host ends up being the producer, but the producer is the person who is in charge of the overall making sure from start to finish. Everything is good. Now that can be running the team and supporting all the creative roles that we’re going to get into the, the technical roles that we’re going to get into the entire team. But overall, their job is to take the big vision, the idea, and help bring it to life with each episode, making sure that we’re, the episodes are posted.
If it’s every Thursday, like our podcasts that it’s getting done every Thursday, if there needs to be 10 pieces of social media content that goes out, it may not be their direct job to post that social media post or to make those tweets. But it’s their job to make sure that everything on the list gets done for each episode, marketing, you know, all the way through on whichever platforms that you’re represented on. And then there’s the talent Booker. Again, a role that sometimes ends up being the host sometimes ends up being the producer, but truly is a job all on its own relationships is a job. Christina and I talked about this on a couple of episodes already, just to build a relationship, to maintain a relationship, to kind of go after your ideal guests. And maybe they won’t be on the show for three years, but you’re continuing to build and nurture that relationship over and over again, a talent Booker.
This is their main job to reach out, to be able to get this person in, to schedule them sometimes to keep the relationships going. And another thing that we’ll probably talk about later on the episode, but when it comes to social media and marketing, you gotta think about this too. They’re the ones that’s going to help make sure that the talent wants to promote our episode. Right? Kind of keeping that relationship going for the shows that Christine and I worked on, we probably made six to seven pieces of marketing content per episode at a minimum. And so the talent book or the person that was scheduling them would always give those those promos over so that hopefully it would be a cross promotion. So that’s kind of the creative vision team. The people who have to know the direction of the show know who’s going to be the best guests, know exactly what we want to be promoted and shown for each episode, the host, the producer and the talent Booker. But Christine, I am not going to pretend like I know this team as well as you do. I’m going to give it up for the audio side of the, kind of like the full podcast team.
Amazing. Okay. So we just covered creative vision. You could think of that as a department. Now I’m going to talk about the audio department and it’s pretty straightforward. This isn’t going to come as a huge surprise, but technically you might actually have two people in this department. So the first one we’re going to call the audio engineer. This is a person who’s actually on set when are getting recorded and making sure that the audio is being recorded properly of all the equipment’s working. And they’re actually monitoring the audio levels throughout the whole recording. If you’ve dabbled around with recording, you know, a lot of things can actually happen during the recording. And if someone’s not monitoring that, it’s the worst. When you finish an awesome recording and realize, Oh, actually the microphone cut out halfway through and dropped. Nobody wants that. So we’re going to call the audio engineer.
It’s the person who’s onset or the recording. And they make sure that the audio is set up properly and it’s recording properly throughout the entire length of the interview or the episode or whatever it needs to be. Now, second person in the quote, unquote, audio department would be the audio editor. And this is the person who gets the raw audio files from the recording. And they actually do the magic. Like they go through, they listen to every single second. They clean everything up. You know, they take the notes, they finish the file, they mix it with the music and the intros and the ads. And they package it all together in an MP3 and then, you know, send it along its way. So again, not a huge surprise, but we wanted to differentiate that if you’re doing a more robust production where you have like a studio kind of set up and people come into a studio to record episodes, you’re going to want to have someone there dedicated to setting up and monitoring the audio.
Um, one, because it’s essential that your audio is good, but two, because the other people in studio that day all have other jobs and yes, you can cross over and you could have the producer be the audio engineer. I mean, that’s what I did when I was on school of greatness. I was audio engineer and producer, but I just want to differentiate like that’s an actual responsibility somebody needs to have. And sometimes that is going to be a separate person from the actual audio editor who could be anywhere. I mean, what’s awesome is you, once you have recorded files, you just throw them into Dropbox, Google drive, or we transfer. They can be sent anywhere in the world. So your audio editor doesn’t need to be technically like onsite, if you will, your audio engineer would. K, Tiff talk to us about the video team.
Video. So here’s a term that comes out a lot. I’ve seen it posted people, ask, you know, I’m looking for a videographer and that term didn’t really exist. I think w when I was growing up, but it has really, you know, taken off in the last four to five years and that’s a combination of a shooter and an editor, but just so everyone knows here right now, two very different roles, two very different people, two very different talents. Now, of course there are multihyphenates, Christine and I have been multihyphenates our entire career and we’re, you know, getting really good at one thing. However, uh, I just want to make sure that I point that out because the shooter also knows the director of photography or camera operator. There’s kind of like a different terms when you’re the industry, but the shooter, the person who’s filming that if you’re doing a video podcast, that is one complete job.
I remember when I was filming like five to six, you know, a week that is a lot for set up for making sure that everything’s together and then to go because I was a videographer to then go and spend another four, six, eight hours editing that same exact podcast or those few podcasts. It’s a very big job to put on one person. The editor, as Christine mentioned, like there’s a separate audio engineer and a separate audio editor. This would be a video editor, the person who’s not only cutting the full podcast that you might be able to put on YouTube, but who’s also splicing together. All those different promos that you might be putting together across TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, all the different places, Twitter, you know, video is everywhere. So just making sure that we understand that is a full-time job to edit all those different clips, promos the videos together.
And then also the post-production coordinator. This is someone that really reviews all of the content before it goes out to the social media team or anyone else to promote, which we’ll talk about in a different section of team roles. But this is something I ended up becoming when I was working for the school of greatness that I didn’t understand really until I was in that role. That it’s very important when you have a lot of people on your team that the talent doesn’t always have to review all the, and, and kind of give all the different critiques or edits, especially when it comes to subtitles and captions. And, you know, if there’s misspellings and different things like that, it’s really nice to have somebody who their entire job is to make sure that all the grammar is correct, to make sure everything is spelled right, to make sure that you’re not cutting on a blink, you know, to make sure that the edits are smooth, that the music and the audio is coming in correctly.
And honestly, this person could probably also help with the audio side too, with reviewing the audio and making sure the ads and everything are coming at the same time. That could be the producer role, but it could also just kind of help with post-production coordination, just making sure that everything is lined up. And I would say this is especially important for people who edit their podcasts. Now I worked on podcasts that people were like, just, we don’t want you to cut anything out, give us the entire conversation with no cuts, but then there are podcasts that they want it to be a little bit tighter. They don’t want as many arms or people thinking, or maybe there was one question they thought maybe won’t resonate with their audience. So they cut that out. So making sure that across the video and the audio, if there are any major changes, having someone that’s able to review this, a quality control person outside of the producer, like before it gets to the producer, before he gets to the host, that’s checking all of these things.
That is a job on its own. And I actually really enjoyed it. It’s fun because it’s, it’s also team management. It’s making sure that the people who are the more of the technical artists are getting as much love and care as the hosts and the producer and the people who have the major vision. What I loved about this job was being to be that in-between person. So think about that. Um, and if you are a solopreneur, I will say one quick bonus tip, have your friend look at your video before you post it. I have missed so many spelling mistakes and stuff. When I try to do things on my own, when I’m creating my own work, you know, personally outside of paid jobs and just sending it to one other person to review, which is what this post-production coordinator really is that quality control person is.
It always helps. So if you are a solopreneur and you’re like, man, I don’t know if I could pay a whole person just to quality control, then maybe just making sure that there’s more than one eye or one set of eyes. So more than one set of eyes. And I will say working with you, Christine, on these kinds of things, that was really helpful because you are the grammar queen, like you said, your mom’s like an English teacher, right? Yes. So when I was learning and, you know, understanding how to quality control Christine was really, I mean, you were very intricate and important in me and in my learning so that when I took over kind of more of the producer role, that I could pay attention to the things that I wasn’t trained to pay attention to, but I’ll let you go over the marketing side of, you know, these team roles when it comes to a podcast.
Hmm, awesome. We’ve made so much headway. So yeah, we already have kind of the creative vision department, audio department, video department, and the fourth department we wanted to address is the marketing department. And this is essentially four roles. And again, of course they could be doubled up and the producer could be doing some of these, but we want to make sure you understand there’s actually four different roles within marketing, a podcast or a YouTube channel. So first is the social media marketer. That’s pretty self-explanatory these days, almost every brand has one. So this is the person who’s actually in charge of putting together the content calendar and posting all the pieces of content that promote your show on your social media channels. So like Tiff said earlier, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook. You don’t need to be on every platform, but whichever platforms you are on the social media manager or marketer is going to be in charge of putting together the content calendar, actually uploading and posting and writing those posts and engaging and seeing how they’re working and replying to comments.
That’s a really important job. We’re not going to belabor that because I think you probably know that if you’re following our show, you work in the industry, you understand, but that’s a very important job. Second job in the marketing department is copywriter. And you probably have somebody on your team already. Who’s doing copywriting for the rest of the brand. So it can easily be the same person, but a copywriter’s job is to actually write the written version of whatever you want this podcast to be found for in like the SEO machine. So we’re talking Google and anywhere that you want the podcast to be found when people search for that kind of content, a good copywriter understands how to write content in your blog posts or any kind of place that you would be promoting your show that you own. So like your email lists, like I said, your website, if you have blog posts for every episode, they’re going to be the one to really smartly optimize all of that written copy to show up very well in the search engines.
And obviously to keep the voice of your brand throughout anything that’s written, the main things were podcasts are going to be blog posts and emails. But I mean, you might actually have other platforms where you’re writing. Um, you might have like a guest column on another company’s platform. And so you might have a copywriter writing a special article once a month for something like that. So anything written that relates to the show that you want to have optimized really well for SEO, that’s what a copywriter is going to cover. Then third role in this marketing department is designer. And again, you probably already have a graphic designer on your team. If you have a show or have been, you know, seriously investing in a brand. So this graphic designer can be the same person that does the rest of your graphics for your brand. But what they’re going to be doing for each episode is they’re going to be creating any kind of specific artwork that you need to promote that episode.
So that could include like a YouTube thumbnail. It could include social media posts. It could include like header images for your blog post or your email for that episode, any kind of image that you need to be custom made for every episode that you want branded obviously with your podcast brand and your branding and your colors, that’s what the designer is going to do. And then for us, and this is really where Tiff is going to add some extra sugar at the end, because she has done this amazingly for years, the fourth role in the marketing department. If you have a video show, you need a YouTube manager, and this is a, it literally is a distinct role because there is so much strategy to managing a YouTube channel. It’s more robust in my opinion than any other social media channel. And so if you really want to optimize the power of YouTube, you should really have like a dedicated person who understands how to do that. And they’re going to be uploading and writing the descriptions and interacting with the analytics and the comments on your YouTube videos. If you have a YouTube based show. And so that’s going to be, yes, this could be the same person as the social media manager, but you would only want to put that on them if they had the skills or you were willing to educate them about this specific ways to market on YouTube. So Tiff, I’m going to hand it over to you to make sure I didn’t miss anything obvious about a YouTube manager.
I think that’s great. I mean, I think all these roles, the beautiful part of it is that we want to leave space for research and learning. Like you mentioned, uh, you know, of course anyone’s going to come to these jobs with a certain amount of skillset, but I will be the very first to say, I learned most of my job on the job. I learned most of my skills while I was doing it. And when you are fulfilling multiple roles, if you’re just day to day having to post, right, all these different things, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth. It doesn’t leave a lot of room to learn something new. And so a YouTube manager is not just the, you know, putting, posting the video or coming up with a thumbnail idea of stuff that people think it’s researching. What titles are actually working, what topics are working.
There was a point where for a team I was working with the YouTube manager was making suggestions to the creative team because every genre that, that, um, podcasts fell in, they found like popular videos that were working or popular topics that we’re working with, able to feed that back to the creative team and the host to see if that would work for the vision of what they wanted. So just think about that. You know, it’s just allowing some space and some growth and some research in all of these different roles, because truthfully, everyone should know what the vision is, but overall it’s a lot on a host and a producer to have to constantly come up with new content and new vision. But at the entire team is creative. The entire team has creative space to learn and to grow. There’s just, it’s, there’s just so much magic that comes with that.
Um, but like Christine mentioned education. So one thing we definitely want to make sure we, we leave you with here. As we wrap up this podcast, we always want to give you a tangible, right? So you’ve kind of heard, like I said, most of you probably are solopreneurs, and you’re listening to all the different things. And we just want to acknowledge you for all the things that you’re doing by yourself, because maybe some people don’t feel as acknowledged for all the different roles that they’re fulfilling by having their own podcast, whether it’s audio or video show. So let’s acknowledge you right now for being amazing and doing all these things yourself. If you decide to grow a team, this is what the roles and everything could look like, but your next question might be, who do I hire first? If I am a solopreneur, and now I want to move into having a team?
But what, what’s number one, like what’s the most important? What do I do? My, my brain is kind of exploding here, head exploding, emoji, whatever that looks like. So I wanted to give you just some, some tips because everybody is different. That’s why Christine and I, I mean, our main job outside of this is very custom for each client because we know that every job in every role is different. So we can’t give you like, this is the number one person you should hire next. But here are a couple of things you can think about what parts, if you are doing this all on your own, or you just listen to our, all of our descriptions, like what parts you’re like very, very excited about. And what part is you’re like, I would absolutely never want to do that a day in my life, or you’re doing right now as a solo preneur or solo, you know, team podcast, team yourself.
And you’re like, this is the part that brings me the least amount of joy. Think about that, write all these things out, you know, write all the different rules out and what you do on a regular basis when it comes to publishing your show and whatever it does not bring you the most joy to me, that would be where you would start to look at who can I hire to fill this role so that I can make sure that I am at my utmost best. Um, and then Christine, what would you say would be like the next thing people should think about when they’re thinking of the first person, or first couple of people they want to hire for their team?
The other important thing to keep in mind is what’s taking the most time, or you could think of as like, what’s the most tedious part of the process because your time is really valuable, especially if you’re the producer or the host of the show. And so likely you have a lot of other things going on that only you really should be the one to be doing. So if you’ve realized, like I am spending a lot of time every week editing my audio or writing my blog post or planning social media, that’s going to be the next person you should hire to free up your time to do the things that only you can do. So that would be the follow-up like, obviously start with joy, like keep the things that bring you the most joy and like delegate things that don’t, but then follow up.
Even if you really love editing your audio, if it’s taking too much time and you realize like, I don’t actually need to be editing this, I could definitely hire an editor, do it because that will free up a lot more of your time for the creative work and the relationship building and all the things that you’re probably better suited to. Um, and to be honest, once you have brought in other people to support with those really tedious parts, you’re actually helping train your team to evolve with you and probably take on bigger and bigger roles as you go. So just to kind of give you a bigger picture, if you’re thinking strategically about building a team down the line, and I both started in pretty simple roles where we were just hired kind of like at an entry level position, but we both ended up evolving and to be fair, we both ended up doing almost every single one of the roles we just said, not that we would recommend that, but it was a really profound education.
And so, because we were brought in originally for a really simple role, just to like free up the time of the person who’d been doing it before we ended up getting really well cross-trained and we became who we are today, you know, very experienced producers who can speak from firsthand experience about everything we just covered, um, because the host or the producer was willing to delegate to us. And then that’s how we developed into like having more and more skillsets that became more and more valuable to those teams. So if you’re struggling with the idea of delegation or like, no, I should just do it because I’m going to be quick at it. Well, think about how you’re shooting yourself in the foot term. If you don’t hire people early and kind of bring them into the brand, get them really in sync with the ecosystem of how the brand works and the voice and the vision so that they can grow with you.
So when you’re really in a place where you can’t afford to be doing anything, but whatever your distinct role is, then you’ve got the experience and the people in the team that’s already operating really well. So that’s what I’ll say about that. Um, one other note I want to make, and I know Tiff feels similar to this is you may be like, okay, you guys, that was really awesome, but you know, pie in the sky dreams like that’s 12 people you just told me, I have to hire, like, how do I actually do this? Like tell me the truth. You know, how does this start? Well, to be honest, it usually does start with maybe two people on a team and you can grow and learn and evolve. And there’s no shame in that. Like truthfully, uh, when I began in this industry, I was like the number two hire for my first client.
And I learned everything on the job. Like Tiff said, I had no idea. I would eventually ended up working on a team of a dozen people and managing a lot of different, you know, quote unquote departments. So yeah, it can start really small and simple, but we will say this time, and again, the quicker you can delegate and hire out pieces of the production process, the quicker your show can become what it’s really meant to be. Because as you can see, there are actually like 12 distinct roles in producing a good, robust, powerful, impactful show. And so you, you, your vision may never be to have videos. So that may be off the plate, which is totally fine, sorry, Tiff, uh, or your vision may be to have a really simple show where you’re just kind of doing like an audio journal and you don’t need it to be like this crazy built up thing.
That’s totally fine. Like, don’t feel like we’re telling you, you have to eventually hire 12 people. We’re specifically giving you are like a hard one experience that if your vision is to have this like really awesome chart, topping millions of people, listening show is impacting so many people every day. That’s amazing. We can help you get there, but you got to know it’s going to take a team of robust experience, committed people who all have distinct roles. So that is my little plug at the end for saying, yes, you can have an incredible show that impacts millions of people. It’s going to take a team and it’s totally fine if that’s not your vision and you want to keep a really small team, but hopefully this episode has helped. You kind of realize the roles that you can delegate. Even if you only end up hiring a couple of people to help you produce your show. So Tiff, any last words of wisdom before we wrap it up?
If you end up hiring a couple of people, which is most likely what’s going to happen in the very beginning of this journey, then look at the educational resources that you have around you. One person I love is Jasmine star and she has her social curator because posting everyday on Instagram is not easy. I mean, trust me now that we’ve got our think like a producer account and we both have our own personal brands accounts, it was just like, okay, so what’s going to be each day, but her social curator, which I, I love. And I’ve actually been a part of, I’m still a part of helps you plan out like 30 days at a time of what you’re going to post and different things. And so if you are going to hire someone that maybe is going to be your social media manager and your YouTube person, and maybe also knows how to edit audio, giving these kinds of resources and just looking up different courses in books.
I remember, I mean, Lewis bought me books and then webinars and those different things when I was at the school of greatness, just because he wanted to invest in my learning, knowing that I had so many different roles to fill. So just think about that. What can you do? How can you educate if you, if it’s just you, or if it’s a small, you know, very, very skeleton crew, how can I invest in them learning so that they feel good and they feel like they’re growing, even though I’m asking them to new a few more in different things in just one particular role, you’ll find those people were out there, you know, but, um, overall that really, really hope that this helps. I hope this answers your question, Heather, thank you so much for asking it. This is a Q and A based show. So please, any questions you have, you can leave it under a YouTube comments.
You can literally give us some feedback on our Instagram account. We have our webpage at worthfullmedia.com/tlap. You can read our show notes, click on as many different offers that we have, but also just make sure that you guys leave us a review, a comment on any of these platforms. We are here for you. We want to support you. We want to continue to give you as much information, knowledge as possible. They’ll tell you, Christine. I would not have thought about this question. I don’t think I would have thought to actually break down each role because we’ve done so much. I didn’t even even looking at this. I’m like how I acknowledge you all earlier. I’m like, I want acknowledge myself real quick, to be able to do all this.
But yes. Uh, you know, we, we have a certain amount of experience. We get a certain amount of questions from clients individually, and that’s what the show is based off of, but your questions continue to help us know how to help and support you individually. So thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for watching. Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast across anywhere you listen to audio and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you want to just look at our beautiful faces and just watch us talk to you, feel free to do that, but enjoy the rest of your Thursday. We’ll see you next Thursday on Think like a Producer.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production, massive things to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you are ready to launch your podcast, you can check out the Worthfull Media podcast course at worthfullmedia.com and as a special gift to our listeners, we are giving you $50 off the podcast course. All you have to do is use promo code T L A P. If you have launched your podcast or YouTube channel and show, and you are looking for the community to support you as you continue to grow, as well as some Q and A directly from Christine and myself, then please check out our think like a producer channel. The link is in the show notes for more.