How to Get Help With Your Podcast
There are many reasons to get help with your podcast, and many different ways to get it.
Are you feeling stuck? Or just thinking that something's not quite right? In that case, it might be time to get help with your podcast.
There are many ways to do this; in the following guide, we'll talk about each.
Like almost anything else in podcasting, there's no “best” way. You, your situation, your struggles, and your budget, all affect what you need. Podcasting is like one of those puzzle cube games from the 1980s: turn one part, and all the other parts are affected.
First up though, what are some of the potential motivations behind seeking out a helping hand?
Why Get Help With Your Podcast?
There are a few different reasons. In our experience, here are the 3 most common ones. Do any of them ring a bell with you?
You Want to Save Time
All the information you need to get help with your podcast is available online. Unfortunately, so is all the misinformation. Wading through and vetoing everything with a “trial and error” approach can take a long time. And it can be costly, too…
You Want to Save Money
Which brings us on to the next point. You've just stumbled across a Reddit thread from 2014 telling you that unless you buy this $400 mic, your podcast will sound terrible. It might be good to get a second opinion on that!
You Want to Sound Professional
The “trial and error” approach generally involves quite a lot of “error”. For most people, there's nothing wrong with muddling along in the early days, testing and figuring stuff out. But if you're podcasting as part of your business, then you'll likely want to get things as right as possible from day one.
Best Ways to Get Help With Your Podcast
There's all sorts of things you might need help with. You might be won over to the idea of doing a podcast, but have no idea where to even start. Or, it could be a more specific area you need guidance on – like equipment or editing. Perhaps you've been running a show for a while now, but feel that it's gone a little stagnant. Do you just need help getting back on track?
Whatever it is you need, here are the various avenues you can explore.
Listen to Podcasts About Podcasting
Perhaps the most obvious way to get help with your podcast, is to make use of the podcasting medium.
Listening to someone's podcast means you can immediately decide if you think they're worth paying attention to. If it sounds good, keeps you engaged, and answers the many questions you have, then you're on to a winner.
Take a Podcasting Course
Many long serving podcasts about podcasting have hundreds of episodes. Perhaps you simply don't have the time to listen through a large back catalogue of content.
Instead, you might opt to pay in money, rather than time. Taking a podcasting course can cut all the fat, and guide you through everything you need to know in a structured, succinct manner.
There are many courses out there on the market – here are some of our favourites.
Buy a Book About Podcasting
Maybe your brain works best when you're reading. If that's the case, then why not get help with your podcast in those ancient and mystical blocks of wood we call “books”?
Here are the best podcast books to launch and grow your show.
Books don't need to be physical either. In fact, here's a tip for you. Use the search function on our site to find articles answering every single question you have about podcasting. Then, sign up to an app called Instapaper where you can create your very own free “book” to read on your Kindle. Be sure to add in our main guide on how to start a podcast!
Join a Podcasting Community
There's two ways you can do this.
Firstly, there are free social media communities. These can be great, but there are some pitfalls to be aware of. They can be busy and noisy places with a lot of chatter to cut through and find what you're looking for. You're also likely to bump into well-meaning but misinformed people, as well as the odd obnoxious know-all. Social media can also be a procrastination trap, so be wary of this route if you're looking to save time.
Secondly, there are paid membership communities (like our own at The Podcast Host Academy). In these dedicated communities you'll exclusively find folks who are serious about their content. This route cuts out the many negative aspects of social media too. On top of that, the community aspect is just one part of the wider offering of any membership site. You also get access to things like courses, live Q&A sessions, and downloadable resources.
Of course, the trade-off is that it'll cost you. You're always faced with the choice of paying either in money, or in time.
Hire a Podcast Mentor
You can get help with your podcast directly from another podcaster. Imagine a veteran: someone who's been there, done in, and made all the mistakes that you won't have to.
Some podcasters offer mentorship as a service. We've talked about podcasts about podcasting already – most of the folks behind those run coaching programmes. Our own one is The Podcast Launch Package.
With this route though, you don't necessarily need to pay someone. You can reach out to a podcaster you admire, and offer your services in exchange for some of their time and wisdom. Do they need some editing done? Shownotes written? Someone to monitor their twitter account? This is a great way to build relationships for cross-marketing and support later on down the road. For more on this, check out Should I Hire a Podcast Mentor?
Keep up with the News
Though this isn't a direct way to get help with your podcast, it's still worth mentioning.
Keeping up with podcasting news and staying informed means you'll become a lot more familiar with the medium in general.
Of course, there's a danger here of constantly getting distracted by things that don't matter. Alcoholic Gerbil Studios has just acquired Prostate Examination Productions for 18.5 trillion! What does this mean for me and my podcast?
Nothing. Literally nothing 🙂
Getting Help With specific Aspects of Your Podcast
It could be that you simply need help with one aspect of your podcast. If that's the case, then let's take a look at some common struggles, and some ways to conquer them.
Firstly, though. An important consideration…
How to Get Help If You've No Budget
The obvious answer to any “how do I get help with” question is, “take a course”, or “hire someone”. But not everyone has the budget to do that.
If you don't, but you'd like to work with someone who can help you, consider a “skills exchange”.
For example, you might love social media, but be clueless about audio editing. You could offer to run someone's Twitter or Instagram for them, in exchange for some coaching.
Or, you might love to write, but feel hopeless in front of a mic. If that's the case, could you write the shownotes of an accomplished presenter, in exchange for some tips and advice.
The bottom line is that skills and time are exchanged, rather than money.
You could find your own potential mentor or partner by reaching out to podcasters you admire.
Or, maybe there's a local podcasters group in your area? If that's the case, you might be able to find someone there who'd love to work with you.
How to Get Help With Your Podcast Editing
Editing and production – this can be a huge barrier for many podcasters. Very few folks get into podcasting because they want to become sound engineers, after all.
There's 3 main options here. You can learn to do it, you can use a tool to simplify it, or you can outsource it.
For the “simplify it” option, check out our ‘podcast maker' app Alitu. Alitu is designed to let you produce and publish your episodes without the slightest clue about audio production.
And, if you really want nothing at all to do with the editing stuff, you can simply pay someone else to do it. For this, we recommend Music Radio Creative.
Deeper Dive: Podcast Editing – The Ultimate Guide
How to Get Help With Your Podcast Equipment & Recording
Whilst you can distance yourself from the production of your episodes, it isn't as easy to do so with the equipment and recording.
If you're the host of your podcast, you can't really avoid the microphone and the record button.
Fortunately, you can put together a super-basic setup that's cheap, easy to use, and still sounds great.
But if you'd still like more guidance on this front, we have a selection of courses in The Podcast Host Academy that introduce you to the gear side of things. From what it all does, to how to works.
If you have a bit of a budget behind your show, you could also look at hiring a local music or radio studio to record your episodes. You should arrange this so a sound recordist is on-hand. All you'll need to do, is turn up and talk.
I mentioned local podcasters groups. If there's one near you, you'll probably find someone there who you could hire as a producer, or who'd be prepared to help you out with the gear stuff.
Deeper Dive: Podcast Equipment – The Ultimate Guide
How to Get Help With Podcast Presentation
When the time comes to hit record, many new podcasters find the presentation particularly jarring. There's a good chance you've never presented any form of media before, and now, here you are, feeling like you're trying to impersonate a radio DJ.
If you're looking for help on the presentation side of things, there's two main options. You can invest some extra time in becoming an accomplished presenter, or you can outsource the presentation to someone else.
If you want to hone your presentation skills, consider taking a course (like Voice Training for Podcasters), or hiring a voice coach. You could also consider joining a local Toastmasters or Drama club. Comedy Sportz has improvisation classes across the US and in the UK. Even if you don't want to join an improv group, the courses will definitely improve your mic presentation skills.
If you absolutely hate presenting, but still want to run a podcast, it might be a better idea to find someone else to do it for you. This might be an existing podcaster, or a friend who's a confident speaker.
A compromise here, especially if you're the expert on your subject, is to get a co-host, rather than outsource completely. That way, your show can get the best of both worlds. And in working with a co-presenter as an anchor, you'll gradually start to get better and enjoy it more too.
How to Get Help With Podcast Music
There's no rule that says you have to use music in your podcast. But, it can add that extra layer of professionalism, and help instantly identify your podcast to your listeners.
There are many different ways to find music for your podcast. These range from free-to-use tracks, to paid ‘Royalty Free' tracks, to commissioning the creation of an original piece.
Learn everything you need to know in our guide – How to Find the Best Podcast Music For Your Show
How to Get Help With Podcast Shownotes
Shownotes are the hidden annoyance of podcasting. They're important to write, for a few different reasons – mainly because they make your listener experience better. They enable your audience to go back through your episodes and find links to resources and anything else that was mentioned on the show. They're also good for SEO and helping your website to perform well in Google searches around your topic.
But putting them together can sneak up on you in the early days. You mix your episode down, head over to your media host to quickly upload it, and suddenly you're confronted by a big empty text box. You need to write something.
For a deep dive on this, check out our guide to creating great podcast shownotes. To make a long story short, your shownotes can be extensive (say, a 3000 word essay), or ultra-lite (like a handful of bullet points).
If you like the idea of opting for chunky shownotes, but don't want to spend loads of time writing them, then you could always use a transcription service to give you a solid base to work from. A transcription may be easier to turn in to thorough shownotes than starting with a blank page.
Or, you could choose to outsource. Many podcast production companies also offer help with shownotes. However, if that's all you need help with, you'll likely be much cheaper going down the route of a Virtual Assistant or skills exchange.
How to Get Help With Your Podcast Website
There's a good chance that, if you're launching your very first podcast, you'll also be launching your very first website. That can feel like a lot of new things to try and learn all at once.
If you'd like your own peerless website though, then we have a free course that'll walk you through the entire process!
How to Get Help With Your Visual Design & Artwork
Podcasting may be an audio medium. But visuals are still important.
You'll need cover art for your show. This is a vital part of picking up new listeners. Most people will initially judge your podcast by its cover. Even if you have brilliant content, you'll struggle to grow if you have rubbish artwork.
Deeper Dive: How to Design Great Podcast Cover Art
You might also need some images or headers for your website. Or graphics for sharing the podcast on social media.
Whatever you're looking for, a great DIY option is Canva. Check out our full review of Canva right here.
Alternatively, you can hire someone. We run a Custom Podcast Artwork Service where we can work with you to design the perfect image for your show. There are also alternatives, like 99 Designs and Fiverr.
Or, you might know someone who's a talented artist or designer. If it's one of your friends, you can go the skills exchange route and offer to buy them dinner, mow their lawn, or help them clean out their garage.
Summary: How to Get Help With Your Podcast
So there are the various reasons you might want to get help with your podcast, and the many different ways you can get it.
The most appealing and practical methods will depend on you, your show, and your budget.
Seeing as you're on the site, you can type in any question you have about podcasting into the search bar. I guarantee you'll find an article about it.
Or, if you'd prefer more tailored help, check out The Podcast Host Academy. There, you'll get access to our courses, live coaching, downloadable resources, and community forums. It'd be great to see you in there!