One of the first decisions you make when starting a podcast is deciding to go for a DIY approach or hiring the professionals.
There are pros and cons to each approach, so here’s our handy guide to help you choose whether you produce your podcast yourself or hire a production company...
Understanding the Options
First, it’s important to understand the two options available to you. If you choose to do the podcast yourself, you’ll be responsible for everything to do with the podcast - as the name suggests. This includes planning, recording, editing, hosting, distribution and promoting the podcast.
Conversely, hiring a production company takes a lot of those responsibilities off your hands. Whilst you’ll still be involved in the planning and recording of your podcast, a lot of the process will be handled by the production company, including the potentially time-consuming process of editing.
If you’re leaning towards the DIY route, there are a number of things you need to consider before making your final decision. For example, although you’ll save yourself the fee you would pay a production company, you’ll be putting an extra drain on other resources such as time and focus for you and your team.
When producing a podcast you should expect to spend an hour recording the episode, and then between 3 to 4 hours editing the podcast, uploading it to your hosting provider, writing the show notes and creating the promotional material for the episode.
Expect to spend at least 4+ hours creating each episode for your podcast
You’ll also need to invest in specialist equipment which comes with a cost attached.
Running a podcast completely in-house is a lot more work than you might think. As well as all the planning and effort that goes into recording each episode, you then need to deal with the post-production which includes editing, hosting, distribution and promotion. These can all be time-consuming parts of the process.
When it comes to editing, each episode will need to be edited from the raw files into a polished final product. If you’re taking this responsibility on as well, it not only takes time and expertise, but a good computer and specialist software.
Editing involves seamlessly removing mistakes, false starts, background noise, as well as applying compression and EQ to make sure you can hear everyone speaking clearly.
If the process of editing seems too daunting, you can opt for a hybrid DIY & Production Company approach and outsource the editing to the specialists. At Story Ninety-Four, we offer an Edit Only service which means that all the editing is taken care of by us, so you don’t have to worry about it.
If editing your podcast is too much of a drain on your time, you can outsource the editing to the specialists.
Lastly, you need to think about the quality of your podcast, and remember the reason for starting it in the first place. If you don’t have much experience in podcast production, the quality of your podcast may be of a lower standard than you were hoping for, which in turn may then detract from the overall aim.
The DIY approach is perfect for some aspiring podcasters, but not all.
DIY Pros and Cons
- Pro: No hiring fee for a production company
- Pro: Autonomy over the entire process
- Con: Drain on non-monetary resources such as time
- Con: Still includes costs for equipment and software
- Con: Lower quality finished product
Podcast Production Company
That last point takes us neatly onto the major strength of choosing to hire a production company - they have the expertise. Whilst hiring specialists isn’t always a guarantee of quality, if you do some research and choose your production company carefully you should be able to find experts who can produce a quality finished product like the one we produce at Story Ninety-Four.
Another major advantage of hiring a podcast production company is that it takes a lot of the stress off your hands. You won’t need to worry about making mistakes or taking the time and effort to learn new skills because the production company will be able to offer their expertise and take care of the technical elements for you.
Hiring a podcast production company takes a lot of the stress off your hands.
You may have some slight trepidation over handing part of the production process over to another company, but remember that they’re working with you. You will still be able to retain creative control over the content of the podcast - after all, you’re the expert in your field, just as they’re the experts in theirs!
Production Pros and Cons
- Pro: Higher quality podcast produced by experts
- Pro: Takes the stress away from you and your team
- Pro: Saves you startup costs such as equipment and software.
- Con: Comes with the cost of a hiring fee
- Con: Lose some of your autonomy over the process
And that’s all there is to it, both approaches have their pros and cons but remember that any costs you pay in the short term by choosing a production company you may well recoup in time and effort down the line!
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