Outsourcing Podcast Production: Low Budget V Premium Services
Whether you’ve been podcasting for years, or have yet to release your first episode, there’s a good chance you’ve considered outsourcing as an option when it comes to managing your production schedule.
We've worked with dozens of companies in producing their shows over the years, and there's a wide range of reasons cited for taking on help. Reasons like…
- They have little or no experience in mixing or producing audio
- They would rather spend time working on things they enjoy, rather than editing/mixing audio files
- They feel reassured by having professional support behind them and their show
- They know that having high production values can help accelerate their success
Regardless of your own reasons, there are a number of options available to you should you decide to outsource the heavy lifting. There are certainly no shortage of individuals who offer podcast editing services nowadays.
The question that we're asked most often, though, is cost. Given the range of prices out there, how can you tell what you should be paying? Should you go for the lowest cost option, or is it worth paying more?
Well, in an attempt to ensure you don't waste your money, lets look at the options. From there, we can advise on what level you should jump in at.
Low-cost podcast production services are often offered by individuals on websites like Fiverr. Many freelancers fit this work around a full time job or university/college course. That means they assign a few hours in the evening to working on their clients’ podcasts.
Some podcasters find excellent audio producers in this manner. Others will also find producers at the opposite end of the spectrum. In the latter case, podcasters have had to constantly check (and even give a second editing pass to) each episode they get back from their producer.
The point is that it’s really a bit of a lottery, you’re never sure how qualified or able someone is until you see a range of their work. But, you can use customer reviews and referrals to get around this problem. In that manner you could find someone with a good level of skill.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones, though, you might quickly realise that a cheap service doesn't equal a good value service. You end up spending more time trying to manage the situation that you would if you just produce every episode yourself.
If you find a reliable and skilled producer then everything can run smoothly for long periods of time. However, the risk with an individual, rather than a team, is that you have all of your eggs in one basket.
It’s important to think about your contingency plan in this scenario. Ask yourself what you would need to do if your outsourcer gets ill, goes on holiday, or decides they don’t have time to do freelance work anymore? How much disruption would this cause you and your show?
If you choose to pay a bit more for your podcast production service then you're committing a fair bit of funds from what is no doubt already a very tight marketing budget. So, how can you tell it's worth it?
Firstly, premium production services are much more likely to be provided by a team, rather than based on the work of an individual. With a larger production team behind you, you can be fairly certain that each team member will be skilled and able to produce your show. They've been chosen as employees by the founder, for example, and they'll be working full time on this service.
Another benefit of working with a team is that you’re much less likely to experience disruption in your schedule because of someone else’s holidays or illnesses. A good company will have plans in place for both instances.
Finally, a team of podcast producers will have a wealth of collective knowledge and experience. That means they can offer invaluable advice and guidance on every aspect of your show, more so than any individual.
Making a Decision
In order to figure out which route is going to be the best fit for you and your podcast, ask:
- What impact could disrupting my normal schedule have on my audience?
- If my show doesn’t have the best production values, what effect would that have?
- Can I make back the investment in a premium service through my business?
- If you don't have the budget for premium, perhaps it's worth risking a low cost service?
There will be exceptions, but the vast majority of people podcasting as a hobby, or simply for fun, wont be affected if they miss the odd episode, or have a lower (or inconsistent) production quality to their show. They're also less likely to be making money through their podcast. In these cases, opting for a budget podcast outsourcing service would certainly be advisable.
On the other hand, those who podcast for business reasons – to put out content and build relationships with their audience and clients – would probably consider inconsistent release schedules and potentially low production standards very harmful.
This type of podcast, if done in a quality and professional manner, will lead to business opportunities and income streams further down the line. That means the investment can be made back multiple times. In that case it makes sense to opt for a premium service and eliminate all the risks that would come with going low-budget.
Looking for Production Services?
In our Podcast Production Directory you'll find a small list of trusted and reliable companies, along with the details of their pricing and what services they offer.
Production is a service we offer here at The Podcast Host too, so feel free to take a look at our offerings, and get in touch if you'd like to discuss a project!
Want to Automate Your Editing?
What if you've never used editing software before? Maybe you're concerned that you don't have the budget to outsource your production, but don't have the time to learn it all.
If that's the case, you might want to check out our “podcast making” tool Alitu, which practically builds your episode for you.
Alitu is really simple to use, and will take care of the processing, editing, and publishing of your podcast, without the need for any actual editing software.
So whether you're a complete beginner, or an experienced podcaster looking to drastically cut down on your production time, Alitu could be the answer you're looking for!