The Art of Producing Great Podcasts

Interview with a Pro Podcast Producer: Corey Coates from Podfly

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Tell us how you got into podcasting and the Podfly origin story.

I was a professional musician, playing guitar for various rock bands. I realized it was time to make a transition in life and set up a small project recording studio. I learned audio engineering from the ground up. I saw the future business opportunities but also wanted to try something different. So, I packed up and moved to Costa Rica where I had a successful career in teaching and managing language schools.

In 2004 I had started an independent music podcast with a friend which I continued doing during this time, along with a little bit of audio editing on the side. I was approached by the Overseas Radio Network to do a weekly call in show, “This Week in Costa Rica”, which eventually led to a program director position. More people were asking for help producing podcasts and I realized how much I missed this work, so it was the right time to start Podfly. And, here we are 3 ½ years later with a staff of 25 people providing a range of services to many podcasters and organizations.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting a podcast?

  1. Ask yourself: why me? What do you think you can offer that’s different? Be able to state clearly “I’m doing this podcast because _____”.
  2. Niche down in content. Don’t be broad. Be something special.
  3. Manage expectations. What will success look like to you? What is your objective? The way you approach the process needs to match your expectations and goals.

What are the biggest mistakes you see podcasters make?

Setting initial expectations too high can be problematic because you don’t allow time to grow through the mistakes. Allow yourself space to make mistakes early on if you’re new to this. Don’t shoot to release 10 perfect episodes immediately or book “A list” guests when you’re just getting started. Be realistic; give yourself room to learn from mistakes and get better.

What should a podcaster think about when considering outsourcing production?

Decide whether you need an engineer or a producer. An engineer takes what you make and simply sweetens it by making it sound better. A producer, on the other hand, helps you craft the show.

What’s in store for Podfly in the coming year?

We’ve expanded out into full podcast production, which ranges from podcast set-up (equipment, show format, hosting) to audio engineering and post-production support such as copywriting for show notes. We’re working with more organizations, including broadcast media networks who want to move into podcasting. We see future growth in helping people with promotion so we plan on creating marketing tools and kits for podcasters in 2017. There should be many exciting things coming in the years ahead!

Corey Coates is the founder of Podfly Productions, a boutique podcast production company. Podfly offers a full range of services from podcast planning to post production (audio engineering, copywriting and feed management)…they do all the heavy lifting and technical work so you can focus on creating great content and growing your audience.

Recap of Podcast Movement 2016: Inspiration, Connections, Resources

The Podbean team sponsored Podcast Movement (PM16) for the 2nd time this year and we were truly honored to be part of such a great event. Over 1500 podcasters attended the three-day event in Chicago just after Independence Day.

The event was filled with big headliners, information-packed sessions and lots of great networking. The Academy of Podcasters awards kicked off the first night with a big celebration of all the quality podcasts in different categories. Our Director of Communications, Shannon Martin, got to present the award for the “Family and Kids” category. We all filled up our playlists with many new podcasts after the awards (you can find the winners from this and other podcast awards in the “Awards” category on your Podbean app).

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It’s All About the Podcasters

We all agreed our favorite part of the event was networking and chatting with old friends, new friends and potential partners. Hanging out with our Podbean customers was by far the part that energized and excited us most! Most of them were even nice enough to pose for selfies with us or do testimonial videos (check them out on the Podbean Facebook page).

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Our team member, Jennifer Crawford, had the chance to record a new episode of our Podcasting Smarter podcast on-site with our friends from Language of Bromance. She used the Podbean app and her newly acquired Samson mic to record the episode, so check it out to get an idea of how easy it can be to podcast on the go (and for some great inspiration from our interviewees)!

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Words of Wisdom

We spent most of our time at our table talking to podcasters but we got the chance to pop in on a few sessions. Many agreed that the keynote from Kevin Smith was quite inspiring, as he shared his creative story. He remarked on what he sees as “the new American dream”: do something you love and then figure out how to make money doing it.
For most podcasters, it is that love that comes first. The podcast may be tied into a business or you may have ideas for monetizing, but most people start with something they love with little thought to the money (or plans to focus on that later). Kevin was a perfect example…he only sought out sponsors when his business manager told him how much it was costing to produce the podcast (and he reacted, “What, I thought this was free!?!”—with slightly more colorful language). This is a big part of why Podbean has been adding easy, integrated monetization options (premium, crowdfunding and now our ads marketplace) to help podcasters continue to focus on their passion while helping them get paid/offset costs.

Tracy and Heben from Another Round reminded us to seek out work by people who are different from us, to try to gain more understanding. Wise words in today’s world especially. If you haven’t listened to them, they do an amazing job interviewing a wide range of guests, and have a lot of fun doing it.

There were sessions on a wide range of topics. We picked up some great tips and resources in a social media presentation by Carole Sanek and caught a bit about monetizing and podcast metrics. We’ll be taking full advantage of our virtual ticket to review all the sessions we missed, and we’ll be sure to pass along valuable insights.

Resources

The exhibit area was packed with cool resources for podcasters. We picked up a Samson mic and talked to the folks at Ringr, the software we’ve been using to record Podcasting Smarter. BSW (Broadcast Supply Worldwide) was also there showing off some cool gear.
There are a number of companies that can help you with podcast production…editing, show notes, securing guests and more. We’ve gotten to know the folks at Podfly over the past couple years. They offer high quality production when you’re looking to outsource, specializing in audio editing and show notes. Darrell Darnell runs Pro Podcast Solutions, providing a full range of services (and a lot of great information on his site). We also chatted briefly with the guys behind Hindenburg, multitrack audio editing that offers a lot of functionality.

There was a brand new offering that is just getting ready to launch, Podcaster’s Toolbox, designed to help you manage and promote your show (we got a sneak peak at the cool software). We also got to say hello to some of the people behind the great Facebook groups dedicated to podcasting, such as Dave Mooring who runs Podcast Marketing, and resources like My Podcast Reviews and Podcasters Society from Daniel J. Lewis.

There are too many great resources to cover, so keep an eye out for more information and guest posts from some of the experts themselves. We also hope to have more great partnerships and features to offer you from the connections we made and podcaster feedback we received.

We hope to see you next year at PM17 in Anaheim, CA! Happy podcasting!