How to Land Your First Job in Podcasting
Get a job in what you love, that’s what they say. Well, if what you love is podcasting, you’re in luck. There are loads of podcasting jobs out there - in fact, there’s a whole industry full of them
But how do you actually get there? Where to even start? We’ve got the ultimate guide to getting yourself a podcasting job. We’ll go through:
- What kinds of roles you can take on in the industry
- Why you need a portfolio (and how to build one)
- Why you should listen to lots of podcasts
- How to keep up on industry news
- The best places to look for job openings.
So if you’re looking to start your career in podcasting, hop on in!
What Roles Can You Get?
Any task other people would rather not spend their time on is something you can get paid for. Whether you’ve got a specialised skill set, or you’re more of an all-rounder, there’s a role for you in the podcasting world. Let’s take a look at the main areas you can work in.
Lots of people are really proud of their podcast and want more than anything to reach more people with it. But they don’t all love the actual work of getting their show in front of new listeners. That’s where you come in.
If you can create good content, you can create marketing. Anything the podcaster can share on social media to grab people’s attention and convert them into listeners counts. Repurposing podcast episodes into other forms of content is a great way of doing this. Take someone’s podcast and turn it into video clips, audiograms, blog posts, or shareable graphics. Done well, that’s valuable enough to make a job.
Being social media savvy is an invaluable skill for this role. Marketing expertise can be as simple as knowing how to gain followers, and get them from Instagram onto Spotify to listen to your podcast.
Audio production and editing is a gruelling process for many podcasters who don’t know what they’re doing. So if you’re someone who actually enjoys this part of podcasting, you’re in luck. There are enough podcasters out there who hate this part, you’re bound to find someone willing to pay to have it done for them.
Technical skills like audio editing, mixing, mastering and exporting to client specifications are vital for this role. You’ll be responsible for taking someone’s raw audio file, complete with all their ‘ums and ahh’s and background noises, and turning it into something tight and professional. Knowing how to add in sound effects and music too can help spice up podcast episodes.
Keep in mind that if you’re looking for jobs in this area, they might not all have the same name. Search for keywords like ‘audio production’, ‘podcast production’, and ‘audio editor’ to see all the job openings available.
It might seem counterintuitive for a medium associated with audio, but podcasting involves a lot of graphic design work. Every podcast needs good cover art to start. And on top of that, great visuals can promote the podcast everywhere from social media to prints on bags and hoodies sold as merch.
So if you’ve got a prowess for turning podcast concepts into beautifully slick artwork, you can be hired. There are many freelancing sites like 99Designs, Upwork and Foylo to help you find work as a graphic designer.
There are so many people out there wanting to start (or grow) their own podcast, but with no idea where to start. You remember starting out. The first few episodes you ever made, you probably didn’t totally know what you were doing either.
All that time experimenting with what works best has given you well-earned podcasting wisdom. It’s easy to underestimate how valuable that is. If you can point someone in the right direction with their own podcasting visions, congratulations. You have what it takes to build a career in podcast consulting.
All you need is a bit of experience and knowledge, and good communication skills to pass your info onto your clients. This job is great for someone who’s more of an all-rounder. The more areas of podcasting you know about, the more you can advise clients on. So if you can do a bit of everything, from audio editing to marketing to monetisation strategies, consulting could be the place for you.
Making a whole podcast
You could get a job making podcasts for other people. This is perfect for if you’re an all-rounder, but you’d prefer to be out there making the thing rather than just advising others on how to do it.
Many businesses are realising they can reach more customers and get more sales with the help of a lovely little podcast. All you’ve got to do is convince a client of this, and get them to realise it’s worth their money to hire you to actually make it.
You need a lot of different skillsets if you’re planning on doing the whole shebang for your clients. Knowing how to create and launch a podcast, produce and edit it, and market it are all essential. So you need to be someone who has good ideas, and can execute them well from start to finish. You need to know how to pitch your ideas to others, and persuade potential clients that a podcast is what they need to take their business to the next level.
Looking for ideas of what exact services you can offer your clients? Take a look at what Resonate Recordings does for their customers.
You know all the ins and outs of the podcasting world. Why not create a resource to help others get their heads around it too? Make anything from videos to blog posts about the trials and tribulations of being a podcaster. You could even make a podcast about it.
Once you’ve built up an audience, you can start monetising it. Create your own products, like premium online courses, or get paid to sell other people’s stuff through affiliate links. If you have a decent-sized audience, you can even generate your income through ad revenue and Patreon sponsors.
Why You Need a Strong Portfolio
Having a great portfolio is essential for landing a podcasting job. The most obvious way to build one up is to make your own podcast. Pick a topic you’re passionate about and know enough to keep you going, and put out regular episodes. Your podcast can prove a lot to potential employers about you.
Your podcast proves you’re reliable
Having a regular schedule can prove you’re reliable and you know how to manage your time. Planning and sticking to deadlines may seem like the very basics, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget about this part of a job. So use your podcast to show anyone who wants to hire you that they can trust you to deliver on time.
Your podcast shows dedication to the industry
Keeping a podcast running for a considerable period of time displays real commitment. It’ll send a message that you do care about the industry. Basically, employers will know you didn’t just wake up one day and decide to apply for podcast jobs on a whim with no real knowledge or experience behind you.
Making a podcast shows off a variety of skills
It’s all well and good claiming you have these skills, but nothing will prove it to clients unless you can showcase them. And going through the steps of launching, producing, and marketing your podcast will teach you so much more than any textbook ever could. You’ll learn all the skills through the experimentation of actually doing it yourself.
Having a specialised area of expertise can be enough to get you far if you’re really good at what you do. But the more of these you can dabble in, the better. This is especially true at smaller podcast production companies with fewer employees. You might end up covering more than one role.
Here are some examples of how you can show off your skills in your portfolio.
- Creativity - if you’re coming up with ideas for your own content, you can show off your flair for creativity and originality.
- Writing skills - write your own podcast episodes, and include comprehensive show notes. You could also run a blog to go alongside.
- Editing and audio production - playing around with editing software will teach you how it all works for a podcasting job.
- Social media marketing - running accounts to promote your podcast on Instagram, Facebook, and any other social media sites show you’re internet savvy and know what to do to gain a following.
How to promote yourself with your portfolio
Now you’ve built up a portfolio. How do you actually get it in front of the people you want jobs from?
Hosting a great podcast is no good if you never mention it anywhere. So it’s time to promote yourself and your work everywhere you can. Here are some great ways you can show off your portfolio to potential employers.
- Make a website page - put a link to your podcast, as well as links to any other content you’ve produced. Put a bit of text about yourself here too, and make it engaging so people reading see you know how to write.
- Make a short video or audio clip - explain in it what projects you’ve worked on, and what you’ve gained from each one. You can use this to show off your production skills while you’re describing them.
- Make a showreel/demo - create a short showreel of your best work, to prove what you can do.
Why You Need to Listen to Podcasts
Anyone working in the podcasting industry needs to love podcasts. You don’t quite need to live, breathe, and eat them for breakfast (although some of us definitely do!). But you’ve got to be pretty invested if you’re going to be spending your 9-5 thinking about them all the time. So it’s a really good idea to be well versed in the podcasting world. And that means listening to a lot of them.
Make sure you’re listening actively rather than passively. You don’t want to be caught off guard in an interview by simple questions about your favourite new podcasts. You’ll have a lot more to say if you’ve been paying attention with your analytical brain. Think about what keeps you listening, and what you’d improve on if you were the host.
Going into an interview, you should always have four or five podcasts in your mind you can answer questions about. Try to have a variety of podcasts you listen to, from a mix of different genres. Working on a chat show podcast would be pretty different to a solo audio drama, so it’s good if you know a bit about both.
How to Keep Up with Industry News
Knowing what’s going on in the world of podcasting will stand you in good stead. There’s a constant stream of news you should be aware of, but it can be a little overwhelming at first getting your head around it all. So get into the habit of regularly catching up on podcasting news, and you’ll be golden. Here are some of the best ways we’d recommend to make sure you’re up to date on all the important info in the podcasting industry.
Newsletters are a convenient way to keep up to date. Scan through the biggest headlines and decide which stories deserve more research.
- Pod to Pod - a weekly newsletter that reports on the latest podcast news, trends and events.
- Inside podcasting - a weekly newsletter that gives you 10 stories in an easy to read format. Includes podcasting trends, reviews, tips and tricks for podcast hosts, and industry news.
- The Bello Collective - a fortnightly newsletter focusing on podcast recs, but will also update you on audio industry news.
- PodNews - a daily newsletter that aims to break all the latest podcasting news as it comes. Run by veteran podcaster James Cridland.
Networking is the part of building your career many people forget about. Making contacts in the industry can seem elusive if you’re just starting out. Happily, though, you can do a lot of this work online. You just need to know where to look.
- Facebook - there are countless facebook groups made for discussing podcasts. Check out The Podcast Community, for example. Make sure you follow their community rules though - many groups don’t allow self promotion or affiliate links.
- Twitter - follow Podcast Movement to join the community. You’ll get news, updates and events in the podcasting world.
- LinkedIn - the perfect place to start networking online.
If you love podcasts, it makes sense to get your news on the industry from, you guessed it, a podcast! There are loads out there, but these are the top ones we’d recommend.
- The Feed - made by podcast hosting company Libsyn, this show gives you all the tips and tricks to grow your audience. It also keeps you up to date on the latest podcast listener stats and trends.
- The Podcast Report - the ultimate guide to everything podcast related, this show covers everything from how to monetise your podcast to what Apple Podcasts changing their layout means for podcasters.
- The Podcasters’ Roundtable - this is more focused on giving different opinions about podcasting news, rather than solely dispensing information. Listen for lively discussion about the latest podcasting headlines.
Best Places to Find Jobs
Finding a podcasting job doesn’t have to feel like a wild goose chase. When you know where to search for opportunities, the whole thing becomes a lot easier. Here are some of the best places you can look.
- Job boards - Podnews has launched their own job board specifically for podcasting jobs. Also take a look at more general boards like indeed.com, jooble.org or angel list, and search for roles like ‘podcast producer’ or ‘digital content producer’.
- LinkedIn - search for keywords like ‘podcast producer’.
- Podcast production companies - there are loads of companies in the industry (House of Pod, Gimlet Creative, Podfly, to name a few - use this list to find more). Check out their websites for any job openings (click ‘about us’ or ‘team’ to find where they usually list vacancies). Or reach out to companies directly to ask if there’s any opportunities. Even if there aren’t any at the moment, you’ll have put yourself on their radar for the future.
There you have it, your ultimate guide to getting a job.
As with any job search, getting a podcasting job may take a little patience. You’ve got to put some time and effort into it. But with a bit of perseverance, and by following our tips, you’re on your way to getting a job that genuinely makes you excited for that Monday 9am. Good luck!