So much of getting a podcast right comes down to production. Sure you need a great host, but as a podcast host and producer myself I can tell you that production makes the difference. But so much of what a producer does is invisible or at least not obvious. So what should a producer do and what’s the most effective way to do it?
Let’s go through each step to make it easy for you to get started.
- Set up a recording space
- Write a script
- Record the podcast
- Edit the podcast
- Distribute and promote the podcast
- Get the best advice you can
Once you’ve got your podcast idea set up and have come up with the perfect name, you need to set up your space. Start by considering your needs. Do you want your video podcast to be based around a single static shot, do you want to use multiple angles, or do you want to be fully mobile?
Based on those requirements, you can choose your equipment based on your budget and needs. One specific tip is to take lighting very seriously. Video shot on your cell phone with great lighting will look far better than video from an expensive camera with bad lighting. That’s why lighting is going to get you far better ROI than a camera.
Also don’t forget the psychology of your recording space. As mentioned in the intro, one of the greatest challenges of creating a quality video podcast is ensuring you’re in the right mood and headspace when needed. Crafting a recording space that puts the host and guests into that mood is a key to success.
Producing a video podcast doesn’t always involve script writing, but it usually does involve some input. The best way to begin a script is with a template because it helps you build some consistency in your show and avoids starting with a totally blank page (because we all have at least a little Vacansopapurosophobia).
As a producer, you need to be a sounding board on scripts. Your instincts are invaluable in working out what’s going to resonate with your intended audience. That said, you should also be testing your scripts to see what works and what doesn’t. More on how you can do that below.
In general though, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. So much of the process of learning to create a great video podcast comes from doing. Instead of spending too much time getting the script perfect, try recording what you have and iterating from there.
Whether you’re manning the camera or just overseeing the recording, a producer has to make sure recording goes smoothly. Start with a checklist to make sure you’ve done everything needed before you start. This should cover everything from making sure you’ve got sufficient memory and batteries to having some water handy for the host and/or guests.
Remember to take that checklist seriously! I, for example, have wasted hours of time simply because I forgot to tell my recording software to switch from my laptop’s internal mic to my external one. After recording an entire episode I notice the sound is bad and realize my mistake. Re-recording is always a pain so use a checklist to avoid it.
Here’s an example of some things you might want to include:
- Equipment all has enough battery
- Equipment all has enough memory
- All of the audio and video recording settings are correct
- Everyone who needs to know has been told to be quiet during filming
- Cell Phones have been silenced
- Everyone has some refreshments
Editing a video podcast can be a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing. The key is to develop a system. The first thing you’ll generally need to do is fix up the video with some color correction before using an equalizer, compressor, and noise reduction on the audio. If all of that sounds like another language to you, don’t worry. I didn’t know the first thing about audio editing before beginning to podcast and with some help it’s easier to learn than you think.
Honestly, getting the settings for these things just right is a bit tricky for someone with no experience. In this case, your best bet is to hire a professional to get your settings right and walk you through the process. Then, you’ve got a set of instructions you can be confident in and you’ve saved a bundle compared to hiring a professional to edit each episode.
Here’s where you really need to put in some extra effort. Far too many producers and hosts think their work is done once an episode is finished. But this is a mistake. Repurposing content is an essential step for a successful video podcast. The reason gets back to what I mentioned about testing your podcast scripts.
Start by breaking your episode into microcontent. Create short video clips, audio clips, images, charts, or even articles around different elements of the episode. Then, release that content on as many social media platforms as possible. Before, if an episode performed poorly, it would be hard to determine what worked and what didn’t. With this technique, you can isolate different ideas, themes, etc. and see how they perform with your audience(s).
This technique has the side benefit of encouraging viewer growth by getting your video podcast out there in front of more people. You can even ask your audience to let you know what parts of each episode they enjoyed the most.
As a producer, you always need to be thinking ahead and looking for ways to improve the show. But as one person, there’s only so much you can really do. That’s where it helps to get the best advice you can about creating, producing, and distributing episodic content like video podcasts. We’ve got years of experience doing just that, so if you’re wondering where to start or thinking about how to take your show to the next level, book some time with us and let’s chat.