Are you thinking about becoming a Podcast Producer? Or maybe you’re thinking about starting a podcast for your business, and you’re wondering where to start (and how to do it right!)…
In this post, we’ll hear from Melanie (Mel) Scroggins, one of the co-creators of Podcast Production School and a successful Podcast Producer. She’s going to give us the rundown on what it took to get her business off the ground, as well as some inside info about what kinds of opportunities are out there for anyone interested in this super in-demand service.
Let’s hear Mel’s story… Ready?
Saying Goodbye to 9-5
I wish I could tell you that my exit from the 9-5 world happened with some kind of dramatic flair, like the company went out of business and we were all laid off, or something similarly remarkable.
In reality, though, it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it was inevitable.
I really wanted to believe that it was them – not me...
But the truth was… it was actually me.
I left my 9-5 because I was bored out of my mind and absolutely craved flexibility and freedom.
I struggled, in the beginning, to be okay with that fact (that the “issue” was with me – not my job). But, looking back on it, I’d never take back the decision to start my own Podcast Production business – not in a million years.
Could you use a little (or a lot) more freedom and flexibility in your life? Who couldn’t, right?
Well, my hope is that hearing my story will give you the nudge you need to go after that freedom and flexibility. Because if I can do it, I know you can do it.
Starting My Podcasting Business
After living in Oregon in an RV for the better part of a year (that’s a story for another time 😉), my husband and I moved back to our home state of Texas. With minimal help and very little know-how, I began to build a podcast support business.
I started off creating and sharing my own content. But then something that turned out to be very cool happened…
Friends, and friends of friends, started reaching out and asking me if I could help them launch podcasts for their businesses.
I’ll be completely honest – there were many times I believed I wasn’t going to make it. At one point, I even ended up in another office job (another one, y’all!). I felt so pathetic.
But, I just kept working away at my budding business. Each day after my 9-5, I’d work on a few client shows…
After about four months of consistent client work, I gained the courage to quit my office job for good. It was time to go big and take myself (and my goals) seriously. FOR REAL.
I had a long way to go to build my portfolio and make the kind of extra money I wanted to make, but I was convinced that I had the skills to make a living doing audio production.
And, can you believe it – about a year later I was making well over what I was making in my previous 9-5!
And guess what? I am SO much happier.
Today, I’m my own boss as a voice actor and Podcast Producer.
What My Business (and Life) Looks Like Today
Podcast-wise, I typically have two to three shows I’m working on at a time and I work roughly 15 hours per week on client work. I spend another 10 hours marketing and prospecting for podcast clients and I take home around $2,500 a month from this side of my business.
This is perfect for me – I spend a lot of time on my voiceover career, and being a part of both the production and talent side of things has opened several doors for me.
On a more personal level, it’s just me and my husband at home. We were able to save up a decent-sized emergency fund and are saving for a downpayment on a new house! My Podcast Production business has been a HUGE help in moving us towards these goals.
On top of that, I now have the freedom I’d been longing for. I knew it was possible (even when I wasn’t completely sure of myself!)!
It’s been about three years now, and I still ask myself – is this real life?!
I have the flexibility to work or travel whenever I want to. My life and business are on my terms just as I’d envisioned, and it feels amazing.
The World of Podcast Producers
One of the reasons clients prefer to outsource their podcast support work to freelancers or VAs (virtual assistants) is because they simply don’t have the time, desire or know-how.
Their podcast is just one more item on their very crowded agenda… But that’s good news for us!
There are so many different services you can offer clients. Including (but definitely not limited to)…
- Audio editing
- Marketing and promotion
- Show note creation
The list goes on!
No matter your skill set, there is something you can likely offer as podcast support.
If helping small businesses with their podcasts is something you’ve thought about doing, here are five services you could offer clients as well as what you could potentially earn.
And, if you’re looking for some help getting your podcast off the ground here are some ideas to get you moving in the right direction!
1. Audio Editing
This is a skill that many clients either don’t know how to do or want to do. They’re busy working on their businesses and simply don’t have the time or skills.
If you’re interested in learning how to edit audio, YouTube has a ton of awesome videos on the subject. If you’re worried about the cost of learning this new skill, you can get started today for free – Audacity is a free software program that is great for editors at any level.
You can potentially earn $50-125 per episode.
2. Project Management
Yes, project management! A podcast project manager (or PM) works in the same capacity as a regular PM, they just work on podcast-specific projects.
Project managers offer an invaluable service to clients helping them manage production, team members and content scheduling.
Have a background in project management? Even better!
You can potentially earn $30-75 per hour.
3. Guest Management
If a client is interested in interviewing people for their podcast, guest management is a must-have.
Your job would be to connect with potential guests, be sure they have everything they need for the interview and touch base with them after the interview.
This role is especially important because you’re guest-facing and representing your client’s business. If you have experience in customer service or administration work, this would be an awesome service to offer.
You can potentially earn $25-40 per hour.
Marketing is such a hot topic for any business because it’s absolutely essential for success, and that’s also true for podcasts.
Offering this service can make a good podcast an even better podcast. Getting in front of the right people can create unique opportunities for your clients and provide valuable resources to people who are looking for exactly what your client is offering.
If you have a background in marketing, podcast marketing is a huge piece of the industry and could provide you with lots of potential clients!
You can potentially earn – $50-70 per hour.
5. Content Repurposing
When a podcast is published consistently for a substantial period of time (six months to a year), it’s a good idea to repurpose content, i.e. reuse and redistribute content that has already been created but in different ways.
Have you ever seen an audiogram or sound bite? Those images with a moving, squiggly line, and/or a quote over an image of a person? This is one small example of content repurposing that is used to promote a podcast.
A large enough show has a dedicated team of people constantly utilizing bits and pieces of older podcast episodes to churn out fresh and updated content.
If you have a background in social media or design, you could definitely offer this much needed service.
You can potentially earn $25-40 per hour.
How I Knew Becoming a Podcast Producer Was Right for Me
Listen up… This is important because becoming a Podcast VA isn’t for everyone.
Work will never be perfect. There are still tough projects, frustrating client experiences and lots of work to do every day. But it’s not about things being perfect. It’s about being honest with yourself and pursuing your calling – whatever that may be for you.
For me, that calling was, and is, audio production. I love everything about it – editing (putting the episodes together from scratch), making sure they get out into the world (publication and distribution)… It hits all my needs/wants in a way working in an office never could, and makes great use of my analytical and creative skill sets.
But your podcast support journey may be entirely different…
One of my favorite things about becoming a Podcast Producer is that there are so many variations of the role. And business owners need all of them!
This All Sounds Exciting, But Where Do I Start?
Some of you may be excited about the prospect of starting your own podcasting support business while others of you might be shaking in your boots thinking, “I was really excited, but now I’m overwhelmed!”
Don’t worry. I’ve been there too.
I spent tons of time learning audio editing strategies, keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest in basic marketing efforts and figuring out distribution – all on my own. It was definitely taking the long road to my ultimate goal of flexibility and creative freedom.
But when I look back at the skills I had before experimenting with audio production, I realize that my new skills directly tied into the ones I already had.
I enjoyed working on my own and being in charge of projects, so it makes sense that podcast production and management is something I’m in to. I have total autonomy to work on my own time while keeping to deadlines, and I have the creative freedom to make an episode what I want it to be with my client’s wishes in mind.
I took something I enjoyed doing and turned it into a VA service that could substantially support my personal, professional and financial goals… and you can, too.
If you enjoy listening to podcasts and have ever wondered what the podcasting process is like, you probably already possess a skill set that can be utilized for podcast support.
Do you have a background in marketing? Go for podcast marketing! As I said earlier, this is one of the most in-demand services out there. Clients need help telling people about their show and continuously promoting it.
What about customer service? Then guest management could totally be for you! It’s also a crucial service clients need to facilitate interviews and keep their shows organized.
If you’re even remotely interested in providing podcast support, then you’re closer than you think.
While I’m grateful for learning an in-demand skill set, I wish someone or something had been there to help me get from point A to point B more quickly. Trial by fire is fine if that’s the only option, but what are the other options?
The Fastest, Easiest Way to Become a Podcast Producer
Late last year, I teamed up with my good friends (and fellow podcast lovers), Gina Horkey and Hailey Thomas to streamline your journey.
We created Podcast Production School to help people learn the skills and strategies needed to launch, manage and grow podcasts for small businesses.
Our goal was to put together everything you need to bridge the gap from where you are now, to offering services and earning your very first paycheck as a Podcast Producer…
Or even launching your own podcast for your business!
In the beginning, I felt like there were so many questions and barriers to moving forward. All three of us have been in the early stages of business and know how hard it is to get going at first.
So we’ve gone out of our way to make it as easy as we can for you!
We’ve got three FREE workbooks designed to help you explore the world of podcasting…
- A list of the top podcast skills that businesses need help with.
- Our podcast launch checklist so you can launch with a boom (instead of a fizzle).
- Our custom podcast production checklist that we use with all of our clients.
And if you’re ready to go for it and either start offering services as a Podcast Producer, or even launch your own podcast, then definitely consider enrolling in Podcast Production School. I know that if you take action with everything we’ve included in the course that you’ll be well on your way to success – and it’ll be a much shorter, streamlined road for you!
Ready to launch a Podcast Production business like Mel did? Or level up your existing business in a kickass way and launch a podcast? Enroll in Podcast Production School!
Melanie Scroggins is a voice actor and audio producer hailing from Texas. She began her audio production career producing podcasts for small businesses and later added voiceover to her list of professional specialties. Melanie’s voice has been featured in a documentary series, a video game and two national commercials. Melanie is passionate about audio production and is excited to lend her technical expertise about the podcasting process in Podcast Production School. On the home front, Melanie is a married cat mom of two and in her free time she loves spending time outdoors and getting together with friends and family.