The systems you use for podcast editing and workflow can mean the difference between calm and insanity — for you as well as your clients.
On this episode of The Podcast Club, Molly, Marcus and Adam get down and dirty on systems for managing podcast production workflow.
“[Clients] like to know that we have a system in place,” Molly says on this episode. “Systems are so important, and so many people are really intimidated by [them].”
Project management tools like Trello offer the ability to connect and communicate with clients and your team. It makes your job easier and is critical for helping scale your business (if that’s what you want). Setting up a public workflow system has the added benefit of showing clients the value they’re getting from working with you.
Even though the crew shares the tools they like and what’s worked for them, ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you and your business.
“It’s not one big thing,” Marcus says. “It’s all these little things along the way that add up.”
Tune in to hear their thoughts on how to set up a workflow system, which project management tools are helpful, whether it ever makes sense to do custom work, as well as which mics they’re digging and other podcast industry hot topics.
Tools and tech mentioned in this episode:
✔️ Tula microphones
Podcast Pro: Molly Ruland
🎙️ What she does: Molly is the founder and CEO of Heartcast Media, a full-service podcast production company and content creation lab based in Washington, D.C.
💡 Key quote: “You have to have a system. You have to have your expectations communicated, you have to have a plan. That’s the only way you can scale.”
👋 Where to find her: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Podcast Pro: Marcus dePaula
🎙️ What he does: An audio engineer, podcast producer and website designer, Marcus runs Me Only Louder, a podcast production company in Franklin, Tenn.
💡 Key quote: “So many podcast editors are doing what is best for themselves, instead of what’s best for their client or what’s best for the listener.”
👋 Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Podcast Pro: Adam Levin
🎙️ What he does: Adam is the manager of Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center and is the founder of Podcast Outfitters, which specializes in podcast equipment.
💡 Key quote: “It’s all about finding that one tool, or that one strategy, or that one thing that helps you keep your shit together.”
👋 Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Tips for Podcasters
Top takeaways from the episode
⭐ There are tons of project management tools to help streamline your process. Trello, Asana, ClickUp are some that are familiar and recommended by The Podcast Club.
⭐ Don’t spend hours on custom work. Create and reuse templates, which is more efficient and will help you produce an even higher quality product. “Take the fastest path to the money.”
⭐ Showing your workflow can help with client retention. An added benefit of building a trackable project management system for clients is that they get to see all the behind-the-scenes work and it will make them feel like their money is well spent.
⭐ Don’t create an impossible job that only you can do. If you don’t create solid systems, you’re the only one who will know what you do. This might just seem like an inconvenience for now, but if something happens and you can’t work for a while, you could really be in a pickle! Share the love with your team by creating templates and procedures instead of working randomly.
Inflection points from the show
[4:41] Podcast systems: Molly talks about how implementing systems for your podcast production process or podcast company is the key to growth. Streamlined systems are “the only way that you can ever really scale,” she says.
[11:50] Map it out: Molly says that mapping out your processes will make your life easier because it will help you see if there are any steps that can be eliminated. “Simplicity wins.”
[13:48] Loosen up: Marcus gets frustrated with people who are not open to improving their audio production process because they’re simply used to their current tools. Tech is constantly evolving and updating your production process with better tools or equipment can offer a “huge payoff.”
[14:51] Change from within: People hate change, which is why your customers don’t need to know the ins and outs of tweaks you make to your production process. “It’s all for the customer, [but] should have nothing to do with them at all … people hate to do new shit.”
[21:50] Workflow/project management approaches: The discussion turns to whether it makes sense to create a project management workflow system for your clients (like setting up a Trello board) or plugging into their systems.
[22:30] Template for success: Molly walks through the client-facing project management setup she uses with clients.
[24:26] Show something tangible: Molly says that clients will be happier handing their money over to you to edit their podcast if they know all the ins and outs of what’s going into creating it — and not just the shining, perfect result.
[27:30] What works for others may not work for you: Adam points out that, while a system like Trello works great for some people (like Molly), there are other tools that might work better for others. Ultimately it’s about finding what works for you.
[30:00] Podfest chat: Marcus talks about the recent virtual Podfest Expo and if there’s anything new and notable in the industry.
[33:00] Tech talk: Marcus sings the praises of his new Tula mic, and Molly and Adam take the stand to talk about their mic picks.
[6:15] Molly: “If you don’t really know how the sausage is made, and you’re not seeing any evidence of it, then … it doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal for somebody else to do it. And you’re always going to be disappointed on expectations.”
[12:30] Molly: “Simplicity always wins.”
[15:38] Marcus: “So many of the podcast editors are doing what is best for themselves, instead of what’s best for their client or what’s best for the listener.”
[25:00] Molly: “When someone gives me that amount of money, and they meet with me, and then I share with them this board that has their colors, they’re like, Okay, this was worth it. It was worth spending this money. I see a tangible result from the money that I’ve paid. And I think that’s really hard to prove in podcasting, because so much of what we’re doing isn’t necessarily tangible to the client. They’re not seeing the hours of editing, they’re not seeing the plugins … But when they see this and they see all this work that overwhelms them, all it does is make them glad that they’ve hired me.”
[27:50] Adam: “There’s always some element of streamlining that happens. No matter which side of the whole podcast process you’re on. There’s got to be something to keep your shit straight.”