As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. So on that basis, forming a podcast team could be the key to making every aspect of your podcast the best it can be.
Having a group of people all rooting for your show makes it easier to motivate yourself to keep going even after the initial momentum and enthusiasm has started to wane. Your team can also help you out with the parts of podcasting you’re not so keen on. Hiring experts with specific skills means every part of your podcasting process gets done by people who really know what they’re doing.
But how do you form a podcast team? Who do you need in your team, and how do you know who to hire? Every podcast is different, so the job roles won’t be the same in every team. But there are some common roles that most podcast teams tend to have. We’ll take you through what they are, and how to decide which positions are right for your podcast. We’ll also go through our top tips on how to manage a team once you’ve started to build your own.
The 7 Most Common Podcast Team Roles
A great podcast team will have the perfect blend of skills to make their specific show. And since every podcast is different, every team is going to be different.
But there are some jobs that crop up again and again on most shows. This list includes the most common ones, to give you a starting point if you’re wondering who you might want to hire first.
1. Executive Producer
The captain of the ship.
The executive producer is in charge of the podcast as a whole. They oversee the production process and make sure the show is executed according to their vision. They also make sure the other team members are on track and all on the same page, so episodes are always released on schedule.
Your executive producer has to be comfortable with taking on a leadership role and being the one to make tough decisions. They should also be organised, focused and good at communicating with other team members.
2. Podcast Host
If you’re currently running a one-person operation, this is probably the role you already identify with. The podcast host is the voice of the show, so they need to be charismatic. They also need to be comfortable talking for long periods of time - something that’s harder than it sounds.
The host is also the face of the show, and can be involved in some of the marketing for the podcast, like social media posts. It goes without saying that whoever the host is, they need to be expressive, articulate and enjoy connecting with others.
3. Audio Engineer
Proven technical skills with a meticulous eye (and ear) for detail.
Your audio engineer transforms raw recordings into polished podcast episodes. They edit out any awkward pauses or ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’. And if there’s background noise in your recordings, they can sort that out too. They’re also responsible for stitching together all the different parts of your podcast. They’ll transform your separate recordings of the intro, segments, ad breaks and outro into one coherent episode.
This person should have proven technical skills and ideally some previous experience in and audio editing role. They should also have good attention to detail - cleaning up all the little blips and mistakes in a recording takes a careful ear.
4. Outreach Manager
If your podcast has guests on it, you might want to hire an outreach manager. This is someone whose job is specifically about getting new guests on board to appear on your show. They will email potential guests with pitches, and persuade them why they’d want to guest on your podcast. Over time, they should be able to build up a network of people who can easily be called upon to fill up guest slots when needed.
The outreach manager should be personable and persuasive. They also have to be organised, as it’s their job to schedule in guests for recording sessions and liaise with the rest of the team.
Episode titles, descriptions, blog posts, intro scripts and more.
A podcast is all about speaking, so why would you need any writing involved? Turns out, writing is actually a pretty important skill for making a podcast. Even if you don’t want a full script for each episode, having an outline can be a useful way to make sure you stay on track while you’re recording.
Writing is also an essential part of your podcast marketing. From podcast episode descriptions and titles to blog posts and social media posts, good writing will elevate your marketing. You want someone creative who understands the fundamentals of SEO and digital marketing for this role.
6. Graphic Designer
Your graphic designer will create the whole look of your podcast. Your podcast logo or cover art is one of the first things new listeners see about your show, so it’s worth making sure you get this first impression right. On top of that, a graphic designer can help make headline images for blog posts, and images for each episode to share on social media. They can also make sure your podcast website and landing page look professional.
Whatever the graphic designer makes has to fit the tone and brand of the show, so you want someone who really gets what your podcast is about. You also want someone who’s confident making different types of graphics for different purposes. They should be organised and focused, so they can make promotional images to go out with every episode release.
7. Administrator or Coordinator
Dotting the i’s crossing the t’s, and making sure things run smoothly.
Your administrator’s job is to make sure everything is done on time and to keep things running smoothly. They’ll be the one to register your podcast domain name and set it up ready for the show to launch. After the launch date, they’ll be scheduling your episodes, publishing all your social media posts, and coordinating your email list. They should also make sure guests have everything they need, and are notified by email once their episodes have gone live.
The administrator has to be organised and focused. They should also be confident in communicating with everyone else in the team. They’ve got to be on the ball, and ready to pipe up if something isn’t happening on time.
How Big Should Your Podcast Team Be?
So how many people should you be looking to hire? The good news is, you don’t need a massive team to make a great podcast. Generally, larger teams are only needed for podcasts with bigger budgets. In these teams, at least one person will fill each job role listed above.
Each team member can take on multiple roles.
But if you’re working on a smaller podcast, you don’t need as many people. Each individual can take on more than one role. So if you’re charismatic, personable, and love being a leader, you could be the executive producer, podcast host, and outreach manager all at the same time.
You can also choose to outsource some of the work. For example, you can hire a freelance graphic designer to create your podcast logo. They could also design templates for you to use for social media posts with every episode release. And graphic design isn’t the only thing you can outsource. Use a service like Podcast.co to take on the role of the audio engineer and edit your recordings for you. We can also help you market your podcast for you.
The specific job roles that make up your team will depend on your podcast. If the most important thing about your show is your guests, an outreach manager could be essential to you, but you can outsource the audio editing. Or if your show is all about creating an immersive soundscape, your audio engineer might be the most important person on the team. Think about what’s most important for your podcast, and that will give you an idea of who you should hire first
How to Build Up Your Podcast Team
So now you know who makes up a podcast team. How do you go about actually making one? We have our best tips on how to start a podcast team. Following these will help make your team the most efficient it can be, and it might save you a lot of time and trouble down the line.
1. Think About Your Own Skills
The people you hire should have complementary skills to your own. As Mark Asquith, CEO and co-founder of Rebel Base Media explains, ‘it’s important to know where your gaps are.’ Then you can make up for the stuff you’re not an expert on by hiring people who are.
It’s important to know where your skill gaps are.
So, if you’re amazing at audio editing and production, but you need help knowing how to promote your show, hire someone who’s experienced in marketing. Your goal should be to have a team where each member brings a different strength to the podcast
2. Start With a Small Team
The danger with immediately creating a massive crew is that you won’t be sure every single team member is necessary to make your podcast better. And the bigger your team, the more money you’ve got to spend on it.
So if you can get stuff done just by hiring one or two more people to help you out, start with that. It’s easier to build up your team gradually than jump in at the deep end of managing a podcast team.
3. Give People Part of Your Show
If your podcast is running on a smaller budget, you might not be able to pay everyone in your team a brilliant salary. If that’s the case, another way you can compensate people is to give them part ownership of your podcast.
So if you’re starting by hiring two new podcast team members, consider giving them each a third of the rights to your show. This might get them more invested in the podcast, motivating them to do the best job they can.
5. Set Ground Rules
Figure out what rules you need everyone to be on board with, and make sure they’re clear from the start. This could be that no episode gets published without your approval first. Or put a limit on the amount that the outreach manager is allowed to offer to guests for appearing on your show.
6. Keep Everyone On the Same Page
When you’re managing a team, you need everyone’s schedules to line up with each other. And you need everyone to be aware of exactly what’s needed from them when. Using a simple project management tool like Trello or Monday can help everyone keep track of all their deadlines.
Now you’re ready to build your own podcast team. You know the most common job roles on a team, and how to decide who you should hire first. You also have all our best tips on how to manage your podcast team effectively.
Make sure you recruit people for your team based on what your specific podcast needs. And pay attention to where there are gaps in your own skill set that you could use a hand with. You want everyone in your team to have complementary skills, so they can all work together to create a great podcast. Having a great podcast team can push your podcast growth to the next level, so it’s worth putting effort into hiring the best people!