As a counterpart to the last episode, how to hire an outside film crew, we are covering one of the core skills we believe in as producers: hiring an in-house production team to work on and grow your show. This is how Tiff and I got into the business, and we intimately know the benefits and challenges of how this works. In fact, it’s what makes Worthfull Media unique among podcast agencies — we are coaching our clients to bring their production in-house when they are ready.
In this episode Tiff and Christine share their inside scoop on the pros and cons of having an in-house production team to make your show.
“The efficiency level of an in-house team is unmatched.”Christine Baird
- (2:30) The benefits of having an in-house production team
- (6:50) How having an in-house production helps your team grow
- (8:35) The challenges of having an in-house production team
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- Tiff Tyler
- Christine Baird
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Many thanks to our production team
- Worthfull Media for audio editing
- Mosaico Productions for video effects
- Amela Subašić for artwork
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.
Did it. Okay. Welcome to this episode of think like a producer, we are continuing the conversation from last week about what it takes to hire an outside film crew and audio crew. Because this week we’re talking all about what it takes and what it looks like and why it’s so valuable to have an in house production crew for audio and video. And you may be already like, whoa, you guys too much, but we want you to really listen in, even if this is just going to be food for thought, that’s going to percolate with you for a while. We really know the value of thinking like a producer on the big scale, even if you’re a one person show right now, because it will set you up in huge ways for the future. And if you’re not thinking this way can be a challenge later on.
So we’re going to cover some basics of how to good things to know about having an in-house team. And then we’ll kind of help you with the next step of like, how to think about this, no matter where you’re at now, just as a point of background and reference, if you’re new to the show, Tim and I both started in podcasting as in-house editors, producers. Like this is how we got into the biz. So this is a lot of our experience. Now it’s been a few years since I’ve been an in-house producer. You know, I have my own agency. Now I work with a lot of clients remotely, but it is so formative for me that I started as an in-house audio editor and then audio producer and like overseeing it. And then Tiff ended up as the producer of that same show. So this is something we know really well.
And we get asked about all the time from our clients who are trying to figure out, like, how do we do the kind of work that you guys are known for? And we’re like, well, it really comes down to having an in-house team at a certain point. Now, you know, we’re here to teach you how to think like a producer, no matter what level you’re at hobbyist beginner, one person, two people, or if you’re already scaled up pretty big and running a full production. But if you’ve been just working with freelancers, contractors and agencies so far, this is the time to listen in because we are going to talk about the benefits, the challenges, and then kind of next steps of how to start taking action towards eventually having an in-house team. Okay, let’s start with the benefits of an in-house team. When we say an in-house team, we mean employees on the payroll of your company who are dedicated to working on your stuff only, and maybe you have a flexible policy where they like can work on other projects, but they’re literally like an employee or like a full-time contractor.
Who’s really got bandwidth for pretty much just you. The huge benefit of this kind of a setup versus working with contractors and freelancers and agencies is that your team is focused. They are focused on your brand, your mission, your audience, your message, your ethos. This is a huge difference in working with agencies or contractors. We can speak to this because we’ve done both. When you’re working with an agency, you are one of several clients. Like there’s just no matter how great the agency is. You’re never going to be the number one priority because there’s always going to be other clients in the mix. And I’m an agency owner, like speaking the truth right now. I like to keep my agency at like a boutique scale so I can give a high touch level of service to all my clients. But even then I am not giving the same level of services I did when I was in in-house producer, obviously.
So there is a huge benefit to having an in-house team, because what happens when your team is all focused on your show, your work, your audience, your message. They literally start to breathe the ethos of your brand. And it just infuses into everything. They do a lot of their decisions, whether it’s like content or edits or ideas, they become so much more focused and sharp and in tune and aligned with your brand. Because that’s literally what they’re thinking about all the time. Like they’re not distracted with other projects and clients and you could be like, oh, I want people who are like creative and have different ideas. If you treat your people well and you pay them well and you give them space to, they will come up with awesome ideas for you. Like it’s a fact. So focus is a huge benefit of having an in-house team and kind of what goes in tandem with that is efficiency.
And having worked with agencies as an agency, contractor freelancer, and in-house the efficiency level of an in-house team is unmatched. Like literally if you train your people well, and you’ve given them time to onboard and get their systems, right. Which is a process that we teach on this show and in our coaching programs. But let’s say you’ve gotten your team there. It is like crazy efficient, right? They can just like pick up, put down, edit quickly, turn around new idea. Let’s shoot it right now, edit it, turn it out tomorrow. Like that’s the kind of efficiency that know people drool over it. Because if you know, working with agencies, like of course there has to be like a turnaround time and a window. And I mean, they’ve got other clients to manage, they got to like protect their people. But if you have an in-house team, you can just be working at such an efficient pace and you can kind of output a lot quicker and you can edit and flip and change and try and experiment because your team is just kind of got the same language and they’re all on the same page.
Now, asterix, asterix, this does not mean that you can abuse your team and pour like insane deadlines and workloads on them. That’s not cool at all. It will literally every time lead to burnout and losing good people. So we know this on the larger sense of business, right? Like that doesn’t work for anybody in any business. And it really doesn’t work when people are putting in the kinds of hours that editors and producers put in. So efficiency doesn’t mean you can use and abuse your people and just expect them to like do everything all the time with no heads up and forever. But when you’re treating your people well, and you’ve got your systems up and running and you have everyone on the same page, you will just naturally be way more efficient. Okay. Tiff, I’m going to throw it over to you to cover the last benefit, uh, because I think this is where you have so much experience and insight, and then you can talk about the challenges.
Okay. So for me, it’s always growth the opportunity to grow and learn together. Um, like Christine mentioned, if you haven’t listened to the show before we both started off kind of working on the same podcast and my position and role changed, uh, possibly five times within five years of working on this production. But I moved from, you know, shooting and editing the podcast, the video side of the podcast on my own to having a team of editors and of all the roles that I’ve had on this team, being a post-production supervisor, which is basically the person that’s watching the editors, making sure the quality of the work is there was one of the best parts because I got to train new editors. I got to grow with them and see their different styles. You know, I still think of the three editors that I worked with.
All of them edited the same, uh, video with the same note I could tell who cut what, because they do have their own style and creativity and what they do and their timing in their flow. And it really became a family system. So when, so that I stay in touch with my editors, even, you know, having left the production, everything, but it’s just, it really becomes a family unit, but it becomes a, a really cool way to encourage, to learn, to grow people coming up with new ways of cutting or new ideas, new way to subtitle, which we know is like the biggest thing you need to do right now across social put captions and subtitles. And it just, it just becomes a, I don’t want to use your word, Christine, but an incubator almost like everyone gets to grow and learn together.
Um, so I that’s really been one of my favorite parts about working with an in-house team. It’s not like a new person every week that I got to figure out who they are. I know who my team is to know what they can do. I know what they’re good at what they’re learning. And I can really support as a leader now, challenges of having an in-house team. Cause you know, here at think like a producer, we like to give you both sides. We, I think are probably best. Every episode is always, two-sided like, here’s one way of thinking about it. Here’s another way of thinking about it. Um, the challenges side, I think this is always more so on the hiring that I’ve kind of seen. So some people are like, well, I want someone who’s got all the experience, you know, uh, versus people who maybe need a little bit at time when, you know, they’re, entry-level, maybe they’re one or two years out of school.
Maybe they’ve never edited a podcast before. And it’s going to take some training from someone who’s more experienced on your team. The back and forth with that is always kind of like the cashflow of it. Right. Do I hire the experts who kind of know what they’re doing, who are going to have to learn our production, our system, but there’s no training, but that’s going to be more money on my side or do I hire the entry-level and just take the time to train them might save me some money for right now, of course, in the future, I want to give them bonuses. And as they grow and learn and more money’s coming in from the show, you know, give your people raises. We support raises here at Think Like a Producer. So you give your people cash. Um, but yeah, just that sort of can always be a back and forth.
And I’ve met a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of different small business owners. And this is always a big challenge to think about. And it’s just kind of knowing what you want, what you have the money for and where you want your ship, where your show is currently. If your show is making money and you guys are like, we’re just going to go full force. Hiring experts make sense. If your show is just growing, why not have some people come in and grow with you, but this is just something to think about. And of course, it’s just the cashflow. Do you have enough money to hire people in house right now? Um, part of this is sort of like, you know, we talk about seasons a lot on our show. We like the idea of having a break, you know, mapping out your holidays, mapping out your vacations.
Maybe you’ll have two seasons as opposed to every week, 52 weeks out of the year, you’re posting a show one or two shows. Some people do two, three shows in a week. That’s just a lot. And if you’re hiring someone, in-house, that’s a lot of obviously a lot of cash, but it’s also, you know, if you are going to do seasons, what are they going to be doing on the off times that you’re not actually, uh, producing a show? Are they going to be preparing, are they going to be going back in pulling old content and posting and getting more traffic in just kind of knowing exactly what this person’s going to do year round. If they’re going to be employee and only focused on your business, again, it’s a challenge, but it’s more just something to think about. Um, because if you’re going to have a work-life balance, then they need to have a work-life balance too.
Right. Everybody gets to win on this side. And the one thing I kind of added here, Christine, that I didn’t before we talk, uh, throw in, when we were talking about this show or this particular episode, the turnaround, this is probably, you know, just one of the most unexpected challenges. I would say I’ve noticed that any new business owner or entrepreneur, you know, kind of gets into is that some employees stick around for a long time. And some don’t, some people come in for a year or two and then they move on somewhere else. Some people will stay for five or six years, but then may need to move on. And I think there’s really no solution to this. You never really know what’s going to happen, but I, you know, I’ve just experienced. It’s the best way to put this. Christine I’ve experienced, you know, sometimes the unexpected pain and grief that a business owner can go through when it comes to hiring people in that turnaround.
And it’s not something that’s going to crush your business or something that’s going to take away from your show or your production. It’s just something to be prepared for that people move on. And really the bit, the best solution is to have a good system you’re tracking the work, you know, what everyone needs to do. So if you do have a producer that leaves the next producer has a good document of everything that went down and they can pick it up and kind of run with the ball quickly, as opposed to, well, we just had one person who knew how to do all of this stuff. And now we don’t know what exactly it was that they did on a regular basis. We just gave them everything and they took care of it to having a really good system and being prepared for the turnaround of employees.
Once you start to hire in-house is going to really help you in the long run. Um, so here’s a little bonus tip that I feel like someone’s going to come back to me and be like, oh my gosh, I totally knew what you were talking about. Uh, but yeah, you know, we’re obviously talking to people who are in this kind of growth phase in their production, or w where they want their show to go. But of course, some people may not quite be there yet. Christine, they may not be at the place to you hire in-house, uh, what kind of encouragement can we give them right now, if they’re just not ready to hire an in-house team
Chorus, honestly, you’re in great company. Most podcasters don’t have an in-house team. This is like a unique experience that Tiff and I had early in our careers. So we want to bring it in because we’ve seen the power of it, but we realize how unique of an experience we had. And a lot of our clients come to us and say like, how do I create that kind of, you know, these kinds of shows you’ve worked on. And we’re like, well, really consider having an in-house team. And we can help you train and coach and hire and get those systems and people on board. But like I said, at the beginning of the episode, just take this and let it start to percolate in the back of your mind. If you’re currently a team of one, if you are a host producer and editor, awesome, because you are essentially your first in-house production member, like you are it, you are the first and that is going to be so invaluable.
Every little bit of experience you get as your first producer, your first editor, whatever you want to call yourself, that is going to just expedite the process. When you do get to a point someday down the road, where you’re ready to hire, in-house a team, any experience you’ve built up doing any parts of the process yourself, we’ll just be super helpful to onboard those people, to get them up and running quickly, to kind of have a much more streamlined experience of what it’s like to work on your show. If you’ve been working on your own show. So give yourself some credit, acknowledge yourself for being in-house person. Number one, and like, think of everything you’re doing while you’re kind of soloing it, or maybe working with one other person, or it’s just you and a freelance editor know that all that experience is so valuable.
And it’s going to pay off when you are ready at whatever point down the line to grow your show into having an in-house team. And obviously we’re saying this with the caveat that this isn’t everyone’s vision, and it doesn’t need to be, this is for a specific kind of business owner person with a certain kind of body of work where they know we’re going big with this thing, we’re scaling it. We’re bringing in a good amount of revenue. We want to be able to create amazing high quality media in house. So if this is speaking to you, and this feels like a far off dream, have a little hope, let this be an inspirational episode for you. And just start to think about every part of your journey and what you’re learning as awesome experience that will pay off big time when you’re training your team in house later.
Okay. We obviously did a bit of a deep dive today into a niche part of thinking like a producer. We know the value of it. We also know that this may be exactly what you’re thinking about right now or not at all what you’re thinking about right now, if this is speaking to you know, that we do run an incubator where we coach hosts and producers about how to master all of this. So if that is speaking to you definitely check it out. Look at the link in the show notes for more information about the incubator and our coaching program. And until next time we hope you have an amazing week creating your show, thinking like a producer and dreaming of one day, having an in-house team.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production. Massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
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