Our podcast is a huge part of our content marketing strategy. It helps us attract people who are interested in our business and lets us build relationships with listeners. To build on last week’s interview with Byron White from WriterAccess, this week we want to give you a behind the scenes look at how our podcast gets created. Michelle Luke, our strategic account manager at WriterAccess, is also joining us to share her role in the process.
Working with Michelle is key, as it leverages her expertise in content marketing and allows us to be more efficient in our work—which allows us to spend the majority of our time on tasks that help us understand our customers, develop new products, and focus on sales.
Here is our step-by-step process for creating a podcast episode. For each step, we’ll share both successes and struggles, so you can see how processes have to change and develop to be most efficient and effective.
Throughout the episode and this post, we’ll refer to Asana, our project management tool, quite a bit. It’s a great tool that helps us be super-efficient in knowing what tasks need to be done, who is responsible for each task, and when each step is completed so we can move to the next one. In the episode, we’ll explain in detail how Oie sets up each Asana task for this project.
At the beginning of each month, we choose the next set of topics for the podcast episodes. Some of these are simpler topics that we can produce more quickly, while others might take a little more research and preparation. Having a mix of easy and complex topics lets us start gaining traction on some topics right away while we prepare the more in-depth or complex topics.
Here are some places we find podcast episode ideas:
Overall, the most important thing is to think about where listeners are in their journey and the next steps they need to take. We then pick topics that match the next step of that journey.
Once topics are chosen, we post them in Asana, our project management tool, so Michelle can have a preview as well. The preview helps with planning and anticipating needs like how much time will be needed in later steps.
Outlining each topic helps us figure out how to approach each episode when it comes time to record. It helps us remember specific things we want to cover and provides extra details to the content writer in shaping our story.
We use a template to create these outlines, which can be pretty detailed (although yours don’t have to be!). It helps to start each outline by listing the desired outcome for each episode—what do you want your listeners to gain from your podcast? This focuses your entire episode on helping your customers. In the episode, Michelle shares other methods she’s seen for outlining podcasts.
Some outlines are pretty straightforward and take only an hour to create, while others require more research and can take three or four hours to complete. The time it takes to research is one of the biggest struggles! Once this is complete, we continue to update the status of the project in Asana. This way Michelle is notified that we are ready for the next step.
Next, Michelle gives the outline to the content writer, who creates the podcast show notes, a blog post, and email copy that accompanies each podcast episode. This helps add extra content to the website for SEO purposes, and also serves as a preview to the episode to entice visitors to listen. The writer completes the task in a couple days, and it goes back to Michelle and I to review.
While the content writer is writing, I record and edit the audio. (This is a great example of efficiency—outsourcing and using experts to get tasks done simultaneously!)
Working from the outline we created in step two, we record each episode. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on if it’s just me, Oie, recording or both of us. Sometimes we have to re-record or do a couple of takes to get the right flow and cadence. Initially, we probably sounded pretty robotic and relied heavily on our scripts, but as we’ve done more, it’s easier to talk naturally about the topic at hand.
Similarly, editing the audio varies too. Sometimes it’s quick and easy, but other times we need to re-record certain sections. At first, this was a bit of a struggle—we’re not audio experts, so things like maintaining a consistent volume were initially difficult. Now, we’ve worked out some of the kinks, but we still have plans to hire an expert to help us make sure we have a strong foundation for our audio setup for all future episodes.
Once the audio file is done, we post the final MP3 file to Dropbox where Michelle can access it. Then we update the corresponding task in Asana so Michelle knows it’s time for her to take the next step.
Once the writer has completed the content for the episode, Michelle reviews it and sends it to me (Oie) for additional review. I’ll either make comments on things that need to change or, if they’re quick, just make the changes directly myself. Sometimes these changes are about phrasing or emphasizing certain points more strongly, particularly if the recorded episode differed from the outline we provided.
These requests are sent back to the writer, who makes the changes quickly and sends them back. For bigger revisions, I’ll re-review the entire piece, but for smaller ones, Michelle will just check them and approve everything so she can move on to publishing it all.
Now we’re ready to publish the content! Michelle takes care of all the publishing related to the podcast. This includes:
Michelle has a very detailed procedure to follow for publishing in these different places. It’s crucial to arm your team with all the information they need and train them in your processes so they can work accurately and efficiently. Listen to the episode to hear more about her process and the value of her having detailed instructions from the start.
Now you have the behind the scenes view of what producing a podcast episode looks like. It takes a team of people with different skills and expertise who can work together to get work done efficiently and accurately. Sometimes processes have to be fine-tuned or adjusted to be as efficiently as possible, but that’s all part of the process of starting and growing a business!
If you are looking to launch your own content marketing strategy and choose to go with WriterAccess services, the first few customers will be assigned to work with Michelle. Let us know if you are interested in working with them by submitting a request to talk to Michelle directly!
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Links mentioned in this episode:
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