by Rachel Smith
24 February 2023
Thinking about offering your services as a podcast producer – or interested in this field and want to know how to find clients and set yourself up? We chat to Joshua Broadbent from Marker Creative Co about what you need to know.
I’m a multi-skilled creative professional with experience in theatre, website and graphic design, social media management, and podcast production. Since 2015, I focused mainly on web design and helping small businesses increase their online presence – but when the pandemic hit and theatres around the world shut their doors, I started offering social media management, graphic design, and podcast management as well.
In the theatre industry, I’ve toured Australia and worked on various productions such as The Wizard of Oz, Evita, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Come From Away, plus many more.
I’m grateful to be a part of The Content Byte team. Even though I’m not a journalist, it’s given me great insights about freelancing and marketing, and that’s been instrumental in growing my business.
I started out in audio editing during my teenage years, when I mixed tracks for shows at my local theatre company and [learned] via YouTube. This was the perfect combination of self-taught skills. While studying at The National Institute of Dramatic Art, I learned about the more technical aspects of audio production – and I’ve continued building my skills working with clients such as The Content Byte, Popcorn Podcast, Sleepcasters, and through producing my own podcast, Whispers In The Wings.
Producing a high-quality podcast takes skill and expertise, which many podcasters may lack. Without the support of a professional producer or editor, it may be hard to achieve the level of quality needed to attract and sustain an audience. Because of this, many podcasts may not reach their full potential in terms of audience engagement and growth. Outsourcing can help the podcast host to concentrate on the content side of the podcast, while the producer or editor can focus on everything else.
To be a successful podcast producer, you need technical knowledge of audio equipment and software, as you may be responsible for sourcing and setting up the necessary equipment for the hosts. Good communication skills are also vital to ensure a smooth running of the podcast, especially if the podcast welcomes guests.
Having a keen eye or ear for detail is also crucial as clients rely on you to ensure that all the necessary requirements are met for the successful running of the podcast.
Audio editing is a skill that takes time, practice and focus to develop as it’s one of the most time-consuming tasks in the podcasting process. Every cut needs to be seamless and properly balanced to achieve a professional sound. When I first started in audio editing, I took a trial-and-error approach and jumped right into the editing process.
To get started in audio editing, my suggestion would be to dive right in and give it your best shot using Garageband or another audio editing software. It’s the best way to gradually develop your skills.
I’ve been thinking about furthering my skills in podcasting, however I haven’t looked too far into it. I’m know that online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning offer various courses and workshops on different aspects of podcast production, including recording, editing, and marketing. There are also formal courses that specialise in podcasting and radio.
There are several software options available for podcast editing, such as Garageband, Adobe Audition, and Audacity. While I have experience using all three of these options, I personally prefer to use Garageband for editing.
To ensure that all details are captured during the editing process, I rely on high-quality noise-cancelling headphones. This helps me to identify even the slightest of sounds that require adjustment or enhancement.
And when it comes to sharing and delivering edits to clients, I find Dropbox to be a convenient and efficient cloud storage option.
Purchasing of equipment and software, building a website to showcase your services, and marketing yourself through social media advertising. I wouldn’t consider it to be a costly career to begin though.
Yes and no. As podcasting becomes increasingly popular, more people are producing their own shows instead of outsourcing to professional podcast producers. This is partly due to the costs involved in hiring a producer, which can be challenging for independent podcasters who are not yet generating significant revenue. It can take time to build up a large enough audience to attract sponsorships, which is typically the major source of revenue for podcasts. However there are a lot of jobs out there for larger companies seeking producers or editors but they often require you to have some formal training.
While websites like Fiverr offer a platform to list your services, but the market is quite saturated, and getting work that way can be challenging. I find that a lot of freelance work in this field comes from referrals, so it’s always a good idea to let your network know about your services. Additionally, don’t be afraid to reach out to your favourite podcasts and inquire about open positions for an editor or producer. There is also some social media groups such as the Australian Podcast Network on Facebook can also be a great way to connect with potential clients and find work opportunities.
Podcast producers may do some or all of the following:
Ultimately, producers can help podcasters create high-quality shows that resonate with their audience and achieve their goals.
Editing a podcast can be approached in different ways. Some editors prefer to listen to the entire episode before making any cuts. I assume that my clients have already reviewed the episode and provided timecodes for necessary cuts. I listen to the podcast while editing, pausing, and rewinding as necessary to ensure a clean edit and proper audio balance. Consistency in sound quality is crucial, and I adjust the volume of each audio track to prevent any imbalances or fades, ensuring a seamless listening experience for the audience throughout the entire episode.
On average, I can edit a 30-minute episode within an hour, but this varies depending on the level of detail involved, and if there are extra elements to add – such as sponsor ads. It’s a bit more fiddly adding these things and it can make the editing process more complex and time-consuming.
Bringing a creative project from its initial concept to the final product is always a thrilling journey. It’s particularly satisfying to witness a client’s joy when they hear the finished production, knowing that I’ve played a part in bringing their vision to life.
As an editor, I’ve become aware of how frequently we use filler words such as “ums” and “ahs” in everyday conversation. Recently, I came across a TikTok video that stressed the significance of taking a pause during speeches to reduce those filler words, and I’ve started to incorporate this practice into my daily life. I also encourage my clients to follow this tip to make the editing process smoother.
Podcast producer rates can vary as you have to factor in your experience, the scope of work and services offered. Some producers may charge a flat fee per episode, others an hourly rate, however most offer package deals for a certain number of episodes.
One approach I use to work out rates is by evaluating the time it takes to complete specific tasks, such as recording, editing, distributing, content writing etc. I discuss the client’s specific needs before providing a quote.
I recently discovered Riverside.Fm – an alternative to Zoom which provides far better audio and video content (better than Zoom quality). It works in a similar way to Zoom, allowing scheduling and recording of separate tracks, but it records a copy of the episode locally on each computer and uploads it when the recording ends. If you’d still prefer to use Zoom to record your podcast, here’s my quick tip: make sure to record individual tracks separately. It makes editing way easier and more efficient.
My website, www.markercreative.co, or my Instagram are great ways to get in touch with me. I’ll be creating guides to podcast production this year that’ll be available on my website, so keep an eye out for those.