Feb. 22, 2022

Hiring a Podcast Editor

How valuable is your time?

As a podcaster, it can be easy to undersell your value when you are just getting started but knowing that value allows you to answer today's deep dive; when to hire an editor.

Today's episode is filled with many lessons first-time podcasters or even experienced podcasters experience when going through the process for the first time. For example, we have seen at The Podcast Consultants that when a client values their time, they learn to outsource the things the easy things and focus on growth that will increase engagement of the podcast.

·     Spotify purchases Chartable and Podsights (1:26)

·     How does technology like Chartable work (5:41)

·     How to decide who should edit my podcast (9:58)

·     How to create clarity when selecting a podcast editor (14:26)

·     Adding the fine print to make sure you are protected in a contract (19:09)

·     What does it look like breaking up with a podcast editor (21:46)

·     Is a turnkey Podcast Editor a good idea (26:44)

Thanks for Listening!

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Speaker 3 (00:02)

Hello and welcome Podcast me anything and ask me anything for all things podcasting. I'm your host, Ben CLOY, and I am joined here in the studio with Matthew Passy. The podcast control. Matthew and I wanted to move the conversation beyond the podcasting 101 topics and move into the intermediate to advance podcasting strategy.

Speaker 1 (00:18)

To reach your goals.

Speaker 3 (00:19)

To interact with the show, submit your questions to be answered live, book a podcast audio with Matthew or find the notes from today's show. Head on over to Podcastmainiething.com.

Speaker 1 (00:31)

Well, guys, welcome back to another podcast, meaning I am here joined with Matthew Passy out of his local reporting studio out of New Jersey. If you're in the New Jersey area, make sure you connect with Mathew for some local soundproof quality recording studio where you got the production set up. You got an actual production computer. Great set up. I've seen the pictures. It's worth checking out. But we're going to dive into some news out of the Internet and podcasting world that again, we keep talking about Spotify, we keep talking about their mission to make podcasting, this massive thing that they're an influence in, and they continue to make waves. And again, the elephant in the room is Apple continues to I can't even remember the last time Apple acquired a company to integrate into their podcasting strategy, if any. I can't even remember the last time it actually happened. But today, the news coming out of Spotify is a purchase Chartable, which is essentially a podcast tracking app, which changes everything, kind of when what they're talking about for analytics, advertising and brings a whole new ecosystem to the space.

Speaker 2 (01:33)

Well, believe it or not, it's not just that they acquired Chartable. They acquired Charitable and Pod Sites in the same announcement. I don't know if they necessarily made those acquisitions on the same day, but the news dropped at the same time. So Pod Sites is podcast measurement. Chartable is an analytics platform. So kind of both do a little bit of the same thing. Excuse me. And the big thing that Chartable does also is a sense of measurement. And attribution that you can't really get anywhere else. We've actually spoken to Chartables Dave Zorub a few times here on Podcast me anything. Great guy, super happy for him. And some of the things that Charitable is known for are one, they're smart links. So you put out a link to your podcast and it will know, oh, this person clicked on me on an Apple device. So I'm going to open up the Apple Podcast app or I'm on an Android Here's, Google, or I'm not sure what you're on. So you as the podcaster can decide, maybe I want to take them to Spotify, whatever that looks like. They also have this amazing ability to not just know when people click on the link, which a lot of link clicking services can do and measure.

Speaker 2 (02:42)

But they will know that if somebody clicks on that link, will they eventually actually download an episode? So it was super useful to podcasters to kind of measure the success of their various marketing efforts. Right? You can say, here's my smart link that I'm putting in the February newsletter. And we can say, oh, that got X amount of clicks, but not that many downloads. Or here's our Twitter post for February. Oh, that didn't get as many clicks, but all those clicks turned out to be a download. So really helpful to kind of understand what was working for you in terms of your marketing and growth strategies. So the fact that Spotify dropped this announcement that they're acquiring both of these companies on the same day, and more importantly, once Spotify integrates Chartable into Megaphone, that's where they're really going to use it. I understand that Megaphone is a publisher's platform, and so they really need that kind of extra analytics attribution these are important things for people who want to buy ads in thousands of dollars.

Speaker 1 (03:46)

If not hundreds of thousands of dollars in quantities in millions of dollars in some cases.

Speaker 2 (03:51)

Exactly. But the big thing is, once it is fully integrated, you will have to be a Megaphone customer to use Chartable. So not only is Spotify making big waves by announcing these, but they're also kind of taking their toys and going home and not letting anybody else share, which I think is a very telling piece of what they're trying to do and what they hope to accomplish.

Speaker 1 (04:18)

Which is own the space and leverage it as a place to be a content creator. I think that's something that with all the headlines with Joe Rogan and Spotify, they really want to be a place where content creators have all the resources they have to go to the moon.

Speaker 2 (04:36)

Yeah. And listen, Megaphone is a very impressive platform for publishers, right? They are one of the first to really introduce a robust, dynamic advertising platform. And we've talked about this many, many times in the past. But not only can you insert your own content dynamically into Megaphone, but you can essentially create content, put in ad markers and turn to them and say, hey, Megaphone, sell my ads for me. Right? Just put in what you've got. I'll take whatever ads you can give me. So as far as publishers are concerned, it's really a great place to be. You can manage a whole network of shows, manage your campaigns, things like that. So adding this piece to it, I think, only beefs up the argument for publishers to be on Megaphone versus some of the other players that are out there.

Speaker 1 (05:23)

Let's take a real quick park here to explain some of the tech that if you're new to podcasting or maybe you're just getting started and you hear, like, deep analytics and you hear these things almost like described as magic. Like, how could someone understand all of that from an RSS feed? Could you maybe dive into some of the essentially feed magic that I would call it that happens with Chartable. When someone integrates the RSS feed with some type of analytics platform like that.

Speaker 2 (05:50)

Basically what happens is you put on what's known as a prefix into your RSS feed. So most platforms give you the ability to insert that prefix very easily. You just grab your Chartable link, put it in there. And so now what happens is basically when you go to subscribe to the show, you are routed through Chartable servers first before you are getting the audio from your hosting servers. So by doing that, Chartable is able to measure a whole bunch of different things that some of the other podcast hosting platforms can't do. And by the way, I should probably say this because there are people in the space who are concerned some hosting platforms won't do it. There are concerns about Privacy with things that charitable is doing. I'm not going to say whether or not I think it's valid or not because I'm not a student or an expert in internet Privacy and GDPR and all those different kinds of things. But there are plenty of folks out there who are worried that charitable and even Megaphone's ability to track you is going to be problematic because there is no opt in feature. Yes, you have to hit subscribe, but when you go to a website, there's specifically a thing that says, hey, by being here, you agree that we're going to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah with your information.

Speaker 2 (07:05)

And you don't necessarily get that. With podcasts, I'm going to say yes, I'm sure somebody is thinking about that. I'm sure somebody is working on that. But basically that's what happened. Chartable kind of gets in between you and your hosting platform to see what you're doing, track who you are, and then can deliver more robust information to you and other folks who want to do it, who want to track it.

Speaker 1 (07:31)

And now that you say it that particular way and we've talked about that Privacy podcast me anything. There's several episodes in season one where we Dove into even some of the heads from Lipson on why they're concerned about Privacy. And now knowing that iOS has the do not Track feature, I could almost see it almost as a perfect timing that to prevent this podcasting analytics war from actually capturing some of the things that you're doing on your iPhone so people can target ads to you. Because now you have the ability that these podcast apps couldn't track your activity outside of their app. Prior to the iOS launch, when you have that option, it was pretty much they had access to all the different things you were clicking on. And so now we kind of have a firewall almost naturally before even Chartable decides to draw boundaries wherever they want to prevent that from happening.

Speaker 2 (08:16)

Yeah. And I'm not sure how much of your activity they can track one between what the podcast itself, technology wise, provides the services that are picking it up. Brian Barletta at Sounds Profitable. Probably be a great person to have on the show to kind of better understand this or bring back Dave Zorub again to talk about that, since he is the creator of Chartable and very smart dude. Also very nice dude. So I'm not 100% sure. But at the end of the day, yes, the truth is, having this information means there's going to be way more customization in the ads. I mean, even right now, the one thing Megaphone does that I haven't seen anywhere else is they can actually serve up ads to you based on where you are so you can actually hear an ad that might be more specific to your geographical region. I'm starting to hear in one of the shows I listen to ads for a local car dealership group, whereas other shows I only hear buy a Ford, but now it's like buy a Ford from So and so, which I've never really heard before. So they've already kind of had some of their hooks into that idea.

Speaker 2 (09:23)

But yeah, it's going to get bigger and better and more powerful.

Speaker 1 (09:27)

Well, let's let the cat out of the bag and dive into our deep dive. And the question that I want to drop with Matthew, he has no idea this is coming, but he's going to be perfectly aligned. His life has prepared him to answer this question. Matthew, how do we decide which editor to hire for our podcaster? When you think of different people that you've worked with different people, you've onboarded, you've off boarded. And it's a real complicated process because I get pitched people editing my podcast all the time. They offer free editing for the first episode and it just kind of creates overwhelm. How do you work through who should edit my podcast?

Speaker 2 (10:03)

That's a really interesting question. I suspect that who should edit your podcast? It's almost like a job application. So one the first thing you probably want to look for is what editor or what producer is offering me the services that I need. I've had a few people recently reach out to us who want us to work on their podcast and they're saying, listen, I'm looking for a one stop shop. They can do editing, production, recording, guest services, marketing, pre, product, blah, blah, blah. And we get to a spot where we're like, listen, we're not really equipped to help you with show prep. We don't have researchers on the staff or we're not going to be the ones who are doing your guest scheduling. And so we're just not a good fit for you. So the first thing is basically you need to figure out what it is you want and then make sure that the people who you are talking to can actually deliver on those services that they promise. Once you kind of get past that point, I would say it's really about chemistry. It's really like a like I said, it's like a hiring process or to get a little corner.

Speaker 2 (11:13)

It's almost like a dating process. Right? Is this somebody who you can work with? Is this somebody who you can gel with? Is this somebody who matches your culture, your morals, your attitude, your vibe, if that's what you're thinking about. But I would say talk to as many as possible. I would always be a little bit skeptical about the person who's willing to edit your episodes for free first. I know that there are lots of people who do that, and it's been a decent way for them to find work. But to me, that sounds like someone who is hungrier for the work than they are for your show. And so I would always be skeptical about somebody who just wants to acquire as many shows as possible and isn't necessarily interested in your show. But also look at the catalog of other shows that they put out there. Are they in a similar space as what you are going to be in? Not that an editor has to stay in their Lane, right? We do a lot of financial podcasts, but we're happy to work with other professionals and some amateurs and people who are interested in this and interested in that.

Speaker 2 (12:27)

But it's kind of good to work with someone whose catalog is consistent with the things that you're working with only because it could create some other synergies that can be super useful for you later on. The other thing I would do is even before you and maybe you won't be able to get access to the stuff until you've talked to them, but ask them for some of the clients who shows they work on and listen. If you don't enjoy what you're listening to, well, then this person is not going to give you a much better product than what you're getting than what you're listening to, and maybe even ask for a couple of referrals. I've had many clients who want to talk to some of my existing clients and ask if they can just quickly send an email or even have a call with them to see what working with me is like. And that's okay. I would say most of the time that doesn't happen because they're usually referred to me in the first place. But if the editor is not comfortable sharing at least one reference, that might be a red flag. If they're not comfortable sharing their material, that would definitely be a red flag.

Speaker 2 (13:36)

If they are lowballing you, that would be another red flag. Like, it's great to have an introductory rate, but at some point this person is going to want to get paid more and you're either going to create a bad relationship with this person if they are low balling you, and then you get into a good rhythm and then they get frustrated because I'm doing so much work and I'm not really getting paid what I deserve, and then the work is probably going to suffer as a result. So if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But just in general, just make sure you vibe with the person. Don't work with someone who you wouldn't want to. Let me put it this way, don't hire somebody you wouldn't want to work with.

Speaker 1 (14:21)

I love that. And the question I'm left with is if you get a good vibe between, say like three people, one thing that I've I think is really hard because it's such a wide variety is getting it to Apples to Apples because a lot of nuance comes from their audio engineers to ability to make it sound good. And it's always hard to say. Like, this person charges $150 an episode and you don't really know a lot about the audio. How do you get to Apples? Apples? Maybe someone who says 75, but the bullet points are the same. What are some of the things maybe you would recommend to ask a question to understand, to get that difference, maybe so that they can see it clearly or what they're paying for and what they're not paying for within the process of picking that price point?

Speaker 2 (15:08)

So some of the questions that I get asked often that I think have helped in, I don't want to say sealing the deal, but I think have made people more comfortable with me is they'll ask a question like, how do I ensure my guest is going to sound good on the podcast? If the person who you're working with, if their answer is just, oh, we'll take care of it, how right? What is that going to mean? How are you going to coach them? How are you going to train them? What is your recommendation for sending them equipment? How are you going to make me sound good? Right? I guess when it comes down to is this person asking the right follow up questions to your questions? This is something I've talked about on this podcast a long time ago, but I was always driven nuts by the podcasting groups on Facebook and other places where somebody asked a question like, what microphone should I use to get started with a podcast? And you get a flurry of people who are just chomping at the bit to recommend a microphone, but they haven't even bothered to ask the person, what's your format?

Speaker 2 (16:16)

What is your set up? How are you going to podcast? Because, listen, I've got microphones that I prefer, but it might not make sense to tell you to get the ATR 2100 alone. If your format is going to be interviewing people going around a table or to tell someone they absolutely need to have a Roadcaster pro if all they're doing is if their podcast is going to be they're traveling to podcast. Roadcasterpro is a big piece of equipment and it doesn't make sense to carry that from place to place if you're going to be doing this in a mobile situation a lot. So when you are asking an editor for some advice or trying to get a sense of how they work, make sure that they are trying to customize their response to you, and also make sure that they're not just telling you what you want to hear. There have definitely been plenty of conversations that I've had with folks where I've said to them, Listen, I like what you're thinking about doing. I think it's a good idea. Maybe this makes more sense as a video and I'm not really the person who does that.

Speaker 2 (17:25)

But I think for your topic that makes more sense because for me it's yes. Is more business good? Of course it is. But I don't want to help somebody produce a bad product, or I don't want to help somebody produce a product that isn't going to help them. It's a question of do I have their best interest in mind, or do I have my best interest in mind and saying yes to everybody and telling everybody you can do anything that they ask you to do or just appeasing them with whatever they say is probably an indication that that person has their own interest in mind and is really just looking for more clients, more dollars, and isn't really thinking about how is your show going to be successful? And then, by the way, I think about if there are any terms or contracts or ownership concerns, right. The one thing that I've been seeing popping up more and more is who owns the content, right? If we're creating a podcast for you, is the editor the owner of your music, your show, your content? Do they control your hosting site, your login credentials? Do they wall you off from seeing your analytics?

Speaker 2 (18:40)

Are you in some sort of long term contract for twelve months when you're really not even sure if you want to do this for three months? I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with long term contracts, but they might get you stuck into something that you don't want to be stuck into, or you might lose access to your content and all your work and all your effort will just go away. And I don't think that's not a good thing for anybody either.

Speaker 1 (19:09)

You hit on one. I'm interested to see if you would add anything to that bullet list. What should a client add or demand or request into the contract to protect them that you would almost do from a consulting point of view, even if you weren't to be the editor.

Speaker 2 (19:25)

So I would say the client should always have the ownership of their hosting site unless they are joining a network, in which case the network typically is managing it. But I would probably have something in there that says the intellectual property belongs to the host and the creator. Even if things break up, we should be able to take our stuff with us. Make sure there is a clause that says if I do decide to leave that you'll help me redirect my feed to something else. If something does go wrong and we want to change directions or fix things up, make sure with us, we put all of our content on the Dropbox or Google Drive that the client has access to typically. So if anybody's thinking about leaving us, they should download all their content. We don't even have to know that they're doing it, but we make everything available to them if they want it. So if they do decide to go work with someone else, they don't have to relaunch their show and get a new intro and new outro new artwork because we're keeping them from it is what I would basically say.

Speaker 2 (20:45)

The other stuff is, yeah, maybe you do have to sign a contract, but make sure there is some sort of out for you, even if it's a 30, 60, 90 day, whatever. Just something that gives you the ability to move on if it turns out to not be a good fit, right? There are sometimes that you start to work with someone and it's great. And for whatever reason, three, six, nine months down the road, you go, Listen, I think we need to go in a different direction. We have helped a few clients launch and edit their show for a while, and they've come back and they said, Listen, this has been great. We got on the right foot, but we need to save some money and so we've able to find another editor who's considerably cheaper. And I'd say, okay, cool, great, here's all your stuff. No problem. And if somebody is super possessive of your thought material, I would be weary of that.

Speaker 1 (21:41)

Let's pivot to the opposite side of this question. Instead of hiring an editor, what is the process look like if we need to divorce the editor? Because it's kind of like breaking up with the insurance company. You want to avoid that phone call, but you know, you need to do it. And you have to potentially tell this person who's been your insurance agent for a long time, you know what? It's not you, it's me. And I need to find somewhere else. Because for whatever reason, what does that process look like when someone breaks up with a podcast that are either coming to you, for example, or just things that you've learned when people have broken up that people need to know?

Speaker 2 (22:15)

We haven't dealt with this a time. We've taken on a couple of shows, and for the most part, it's been pretty easy, pretty amicable. There was one that was a little bit of a nightmare, and it wasn't necessarily because the person was being malicious, the person was just being non responsive. But I guess what I would tell a client if they're looking to switch from one editor to another is don't play your hand too early. In other words, don't turn to your editor and say, this isn't working. I'm going to find somebody else. Because there are a few things that have to happen between you going from one editor to another, probably. And if you don't have that other person in place, if they're not ready or whatever, you don't want to be left with weeks and weeks and weeks of that episodes because you jumped the gun and now your current editor is a little upset or jealous or whatever and not getting back to you. This is especially important if that editor does manage and control your hosting credentials and your RSS feed, right? If you leave and they're like, okay, no problem, go start your own show and you can't keep your subscribers.

Speaker 2 (23:32)

That is, I'd say, a big problem for you. Do your shopping, talk to some other people, maybe even let them edit an episode that is coming up, even if you have to have both Editors do it just to make sure that it's going to work. And then work slowly, transition pieces slowly over, or make sure you're getting your music for the new editor. Make sure you're getting your production elements for the new editor. Make sure that you either have the credentials to your hosting site or you've kind of laid the groundwork to say, hey, we're going to switch hosting, blah, blah, blah. Will you be able to help us with the redirect kind of stuff, things like that? So I would say try not to break it off too hastily and kind of get your Ducks in a row before you play your hand to your current editor.

Speaker 1 (24:32)

And what I would add to that is the question could also lead to when do you divorce editor? And I think from my view of just when you've had to break up different things, when your gut says so, you need to follow through on it. Because those early gut feelings are just that, even when you're trying to figure out the right editor, I think those gut feelings of like, man, that was kind of a little bit weird. What was that? Those usually just get exacerbated when the relationship starts going. And you also highlighted something that I just want to point out to make sure everyone gets a point to it is make sure, you know, the bones of your production elements, like the audio logo, the production songs, even just the simple Adobe audition file, maybe of your intro, because those components can be really difficult to recreate and to get the same kind of example. And they could be easily something that's not necessarily someone shares back with you and you have to kind of reboot those, recreate them, repay for them. So it's not necessarily important to have, like, say, the production element of the entire episode.

Speaker 1 (25:31)

But I think even in documenting your contracts in the beginning, document that once these production elements are complete, please provide the final version of these. And as revisions happen, please provide them updated. Because to me, those are the key things that allow you to take your podcast somewhere else and reboot. And it's almost like your insurance policy or your life insurance policy. As long as you've got these things, you can reboot anywhere. But if you don't have those things, life's going to be really hard and it's going to be a good two week sprint, if you're lucky, probably of getting through this tagging through emails, lots of awkward phone calls, and just frustrating times through that break up.

Speaker 2 (26:09)

Yeah, no, I think you nailed it exactly on the head. It's good to have someone who can do it all for you. But if, God forbid, they get sick, they get hurt, your relationship with them falls apart. You should have some semblance of how to run things without them, even if you don't have to do it. It would just be good for you to know to use a popular how the sausage is made.

Speaker 1 (26:37)

Because if you made me realize that it might actually be hesitant to hire a podcast editor that says he's turnkey or she says she's turnkey, because turnkey would almost imply you record, they do all the work and you never have to see any of how the sausage is made. And as a person who owns your content, if you don't want to own your content, maybe it doesn't matter. But if you want any types of property to your content, turnkey to me, is almost too good to be true in this case. And on the breakup end is going to be like, man, that was really not the best method. Even though it was easy, I really ended up paying the price at the end.

Speaker 2 (27:11)

Yeah. I mean, again, it really depends on what you want and what you're looking for. And what does this podcast going to do for you? Or if you're joining a network. Right. Like are there benefits the network that make that turnkey solution ideal for you and not have to think about it, but for the most part it is good to know what is going on. Don't just believe the magician that they're doing everything they say, have some understanding of what is going on so that if you need to make changes, if something goes wrong, you're not left with something that could hurt you, hurt your show, hurt your audience, or hurt your brand. Right? If I don't own the RSS feed, if I don't know the hosting site and I have a problem, I'm not saying I've ever seen this happen. I'm not saying it's going to happen. But there's nothing that stops a person from just deleting your show or throwing some malicious content in your feed or changing the name of the show to something. Especially if this is attached to your company, know what's going on, know how to access it, know how to get in there and make changes and just understand the mechanics of it.

Speaker 2 (28:26)

So that God forbid, hopefully none of these things ever happen, but God forbid they do. You're not stopped holding the bag trying to contact Lipson and say, hey, this is my podcast, but I can't get into it. Can you help me? And they're like, Sorry, I don't know who you are. Your email is not on here. Your name's not on here.

Speaker 1 (28:46)

I can't help your credit card, right?

Speaker 2 (28:49)

For all I know, you're the malicious one. I can't do anything. And then you're stuck with something out there that's bad for you.

Speaker 1 (29:00)

Those are all good answers. And I think this was a good topic to go on because this is the meat of the podcasting where we talk about the editing and it's what Matthew does for a living. So if you want to maybe divorce your current podcast editor or maybe add a podcast editor into your mix, because often what I had to learn and I still edit my own podcast, but I still regret this from the very beginning. Is not getting an editor involved soon enough. Because what you don't really realize when you keep publishing your own content every week is that you can't really get increased the lift that you have under your wings and increase the altitude your podcast is getting. It's because you're focused on production week after week after week. So there is a certain point where hiring an editor makes sense because then you can focus on other things once the interview recording is done. And then a lot of the podcasters that I've seen climb fast focus on editing in the early days, hire an editor later, and that allows them to free up and focus on other things. And the podcast starts to take off because in the beginning, it is about publishing.

Speaker 1 (29:56)

But then once you get to the point of like, okay, I got this down, you need lift, you need altitude. And hiring editor is a great way to do that. So head on over to podcast consultant.com. Matthew has all this information there, including his pricing. And you can also schedule a consultation call where Mathew can talk about his services and seeing where you are and where you want to go and if he's the right fit for that. So, Matthew, thank you again for opening up your ideas, your contracts, your methods, and your secret sauce here of how the sauce is made, because it's not something we've talked about here. And I'm really glad we took the time to do it today.

Speaker 2 (30:26)

And one more thing I'll add to that is if we're not the right fit, that's okay, I will help you get to the right fit, right? We have relationships and access to communities of thousands of other really good Editors, really good producers. And if for some reason we can't do what you want us to do or our chemistry, isn't there? No problem. I'm going to help you find those resources that you'll need to get your show going and to find the right producer for you. So truly, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out and Ben thank you. It was nice being surprised today. I like that.

Speaker 1 (31:00)

And it was a good one where it was like man, it was right there in front of us the entire time.

Speaker 2 (31:05)

Amen. Bye.