While podcasting may seem like a solitary pursuit, it takes a village to produce a truly solid episode. Behind every great show, there’s often a whole team of podcast production experts including writers, producers, sound designers and technicians putting their skills and expertise to good use.
It’s definitely possible to create an excellent podcast all on your own, but you have to be willing to wear multiple hats and devote a good chunk of free time to the pursuit. If you’re already groaning at the thought of carving out even more time in your schedule to write, record and edit a podcast, then you may want to look into hiring an agency to help you out.
For most podcasters, the whole appeal of starting a show is getting a chance to be creative, interview guests and spread their unique message to a devoted listener base. But along with these benefits, the process of starting a podcast comes with several mundane, technical or—let’s face it—just plain boring tasks that can make podcasting feel like a chore.
This is where an agency can come in clutch. Hiring a team of seasoned podcasts pros to help take some of the load off your back will make the process a lot less stressful and time-consuming so you can focus on the fun parts and let your creativity shine.
Most agencies will allow you to choose from different packages or à la carte services, which can come in handy if you’re looking to tailor your experience to suit your specific needs and budget. Whether you’ve started a podcast for business or personal reasons, you’ll never regret putting your all into making it the absolute best it can be, and the right agency can be a supportive partner as you work towards this goal.
The keyword here is right. Before you sign on to work with any agency or a freelancer for that matter, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right fit for all parties and that you’ll be getting everything you need for a price you feel comfortable with.
How will you know if an agency is the best fit for you and your brand? Ask questions—lots of them.
Here are five questions to ask a podcast agency before you officially dive into working with them:
Before you hire an agency to help you out with your podcast, make sure you have a full grasp of the services they offer and what exactly each one entails. Avoid making any assumptions about the scope of their services so you don’t find yourself up the creek without a paddle. For example, you wouldn’t want to hire an agency only to find out that they can’t provide you with a service you desperately need like sound mixing or a space to record after the fact.
Once you get a feel for the various services the agency provides, ask them any follow-up questions you have about roles and responsibilities so you’re aware of any gaps that will need to be filled ahead of time. That way, there won’t be any surprises when it comes time to dive into the work and get into a steady rhythm.
Here are some examples of typical services a podcasting agency will provide:
Looking at an agency’s current roster of clients can tell you a lot about the quality of their work, what they specialize in, and the general level of service you can expect from them. If they’re working with several big-name and well-established brands, this is usually a great sign. However, if they seem shifty about sharing examples of their work or their client list is difficult to find online, this could be a red flag.
An agency is only as good as the people that make up the team. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the size of the team, roles and titles, and the career background of each member. A quick glance at the team’s LinkedIn profiles can usually tell you quite a bit about their level of expertise, skills and experience, which could be a good indicator of the quality of their work product.
An impressive resumé isn’t the be-all, end-all, though. After all, you’ll be working closely with the team at the agency on a project that’s likely close to your heart, so establishing a solid foundation of trust, communication and even camaraderie is key. If you can, try to meet the team before you sign on to work with the agency so you can get a sense of whether your personalities will clash or jive.
Before you start working with an agency, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re on the same page in terms of timelines, scheduling and your overall workflow. Obviously, things like being in the same time zone are helpful, but you may also want to learn more about the agency’s style of working and their average turnaround times for projects. Consistency is key when it comes to podcasting, so you wouldn’t want to risk leaving too much time between episode drops because your agency is lagging behind.
Usually, you’ll be able to get a rough sense of the agency’s timelines during your initial meeting, but don’t be afraid to ask for more details upfront. Time is money, and ideally you’ll be working with an agency that understands this concept well.
Now, for the million-dollar question: how much will it cost? Agency pricing can vary widely depending on the size and scale of the company, ranging anywhere from $50 to upwards of $10,000 per episode. Whether you decide to work with an agency on sporadic, ad hoc requests or on a massive, splashy campaign, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a solid return on your investment, so don’t be afraid to shop around and compare prices before you commit.
At the end of the day, it will all come down to your budget and comfort level, but generally speaking, you get what you pay for, so more money = more service. Consider how much you’re willing to spend to really make an impact with your podcast, but remember that splurging on a top notch agency is an investment that will directly benefit your brand or business.
If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of how a company podcast can help to build your sales funnels and increase brand awareness, book a free information session for you and your team!
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