Want to become a podcast producer and get fully booked?
There are 2 MILLION (and counting) podcasts out there.
That is nearly a 400% growth in 2 years since 2018. [Source]
As podcasting is projected to be a $1 Billion industry, the demand for roles in the field is vast, more than ever before, so podcast producer jobs are on the rise!
The best part, you don’t even need to have your own podcast to be able to take advantage of these opportunities.
In this post, I had the opportunity to interview Hailey Thomas, a Podcast host, and the co-creator of Podcast Production School.
We are chatting about everything you need to know in becoming a podcast producer, and get clients.
Let’s jump to the interview, shall we?
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you. Please read the disclosure for more information.
Hiya Hailey, tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got started in podcasting?
I’m Hailey Thomas, a mindset coach and one of the co-creators of Podcast Production School – a community dedicated to helping people master the hard skills + strategies needed to launch, manage and grow podcasts for small businesses.
I host two podcasts (“One Year From Now” and “Becoming Internet Famous”) that are all about adding humor and insight to the behind-the-scenes truths of working in online business.
A few years ago, I emailed my now very dear friend, Mel, asking for help with podcast production. We noticed how well we worked together and have since worked together with clients as a Podcast Producer/Manager team.
To be transparent, my link to podcasting has always been from a business-centric perspective, podcasting has opened up so many doors for me! It’s allowed me to interact with people I’ve never met and given me the opportunity to spread my wings creatively like few things have before. I love hosting and I love serving my coaching clients with learnings via my shows.
In late 2019, I connected with Gina Horkey (of Horkey Handbook) who came up with the idea for a program about becoming a Podcast Producer. I mentioned what an amazing addition/asset Mel would be to the budding opportunity and in November of 2019, Podcast Production School was born!
When I’m not working, I’m wife to a talented carpenter, mom to a wily kindergartener and I spend most of my free time reading fiction, traveling and weightlifting.
What does a podcast producer actually do?
Podcast Producers are responsible for working with their clients to create and manage podcasts. And that can look a lot of different ways! From audio engineering to content repurposing and marketing to guest management, there are a lot of different services to offer in this space.
(Don’t worry, you don’t have to master or offer them all – you can cherry-pick what services you enjoy doing and offer only those to your clients if you want.)
Operating a podcast production biz also means you’re self-employed, so finding and pitching clients should be high on your priority list.
Is there a demand for podcast producer jobs?
With over two MILLION podcasts out there (and this number’s increasing daily), you’ll find there is a lot of promise in offering podcasting services to clients, and that’s exactly what me and my team realized when we created Podcast Production School.
One of those reasons is that podcasting allows small businesses to create a more personalized and intimate experience with their audience, which is a great way to approach the marketing idea, Know, Like, Trust.
Even for non-business related shows, the upshot is immense. One of the reasons clients prefer to outsource their podcast work to freelancers or remote podcast producers is because they simply don’t have the time, desire, or know how.
Their podcast is just one more line item on their very crowded agenda. But that’s good news for aspiring independent producers!
There are so many different services you can potentially offer clients. Including (but certainly not limited to):
- Audio editing
- Marketing and promotion
- Show note creation
The list goes on!
How much do podcast producers get paid?
As far as how much money producers typically make, you have to consider factors like, amount of experience, level of expertise, services offered, the level of client they’re looking to work with, etc.
Most Podcast Producers easily average $30 to $50 per hour (or more!) over time.
Can you make a career out of podcasting?
Almost 50% (42.6%, exactly) of our students have a goal to create $2500-$5000 a month as a podcast producer.
Our “first step” goal is to help students develop a side hustle that earns them an additional $1,000+ per month. Some students decide to take it much further than that – earning six-figures as a full-time Producer isn’t out of the realm of possibility!
For example you could offer…
- Audio editing and show note creation to your clients at $500/month. You’d need only 5 clients to create $2,500 a month and 10 to create $5,000 a month!
- Provide three clients with audio editing and guest management at $350/month for their bi-monthly shows, and make your total monthly revenue $1,050/month.
- Or offer full-service podcast production for 4 clients at $750/month, making your total monthly revenue $3,000!
Check out my interview with Sharon Schuler on how she went from zero to be a fully booked podcast producer.
Who is a podcast producer job best for? / Do I need any specific skills to become a podcast producer?
Podcast production is a good fit for people who are:
- Already at least a little bit familiar with online/remote work
- Who get excited about learning a new, game-changing skillset
- Good at organizing online files in multiple places
- Able to manage a variety of tasks across multiple platforms
- Good communicators (or good at asking pertinent questions)
For those of us who live outside of the US, can I work anywhere as a podcast producer?
Several of our current students are based in the UK, Canada and South Africa. All it really takes to do work as a Podcast Producer is to have access to a computer, over-the-ear headphones and a reliable internet connection.
Our students can work with clients in their local community, home country or worldwide. We’ve entered into a global economy and the internet has made it possible for Producers and clients to work together regardless of their location!
Do I need to have my own podcast in order to become a podcast producer?
You don’t need anything more than a love of the medium to become a freelance producer. Only about 6% of our students have their own shows at all!
What tools and equipment do I need to become a podcast producer?
To start serving clients, all you truly need is:
- Audacity (editing software) – $0 (it’s FREE open-source software!)
- Over-the-ear headphones – $15+ (you can get a decent pair for cheap!)
- PayPal biz account (to get paid) – $0 (FREE!)
If you choose to invest in a course to help you learn (might we suggest Podcast Production School ;)You’re looking at an “all-in” cost of just over $500, INCLUDING your learning investment.
We teach our students about all the possible tools and platforms you can use in your business (including suggestions for those headphones!).
But to be clear, most of them are free (or have a free trial). All other purchases are 100% up to you and your client. Your clients will either have a lot of these tools already in place or look to you to set them up with their credit card (not yours!).
How do I get clients as a new podcast producer?
If you Google the question, ‘Where to find clients as a freelancer?’ you’ll find the internet littered with helpful tips and tricks.
Google alone kicks back over 1.7 MILLION results! This is because finding clients is a common challenge when you’re just starting out!
When each of us started our respective freelancing businesses, the most important thing we did to find clients was to realize that CLIENTS ARE EVERYWHERE.
I.e. When we stopped worrying about how exactly we were going to get hired and instead became curious and open to meeting prospects anywhere and at any time, it seemed like clients showed up out of nowhere! 🤩
The same applies to your prospecting efforts. Clients really can (and do!) come from anywhere.
With that said, there are several methods to finding clients as an independent Podcast Producer. Here are our top two suggestions:
#1: Podcasting Groups
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve come across podcasters looking for various podcasting services in the many podcasting related Facebook groups (<– you must be logged into Facebook for that link to work) we are a part of.
Tip: If you don’t have a Facebook account, it’s worth signing up for one to prospect. Be sure to have a profile picture and fill out basic profile information so you don’t look like a bot. 🤖
Facebook (and other podcasting communities) are great for finding clients and connecting with other individuals who will be working in the same industry as you. Use Facebook, LinkedIn or Meetup to look for groups that are about podcasting and any of your interests (like True Crime, Comedy, Lifestyle, Business, Sports and so on).
You can add any host or show that sounds interesting to you to your tracker. 🙌
#2: Job Boards (LinkedIn, Monster.com, Indeed, etc.)
We send regular leads to our Podcast Production School students pulled from job boards across the web.
Even though you’re not a student (yet!), you can still use job boards to your benefit. Look for businesses that hire for roles around podcasting. This includes roles listed as ‘Podcast Producer’, ‘Audio Editor’, ‘Podcast Marketing’, ‘Podcast Copywriter’, etc.
Even if a Podcast Producer job isn’t listed at that time, you never know when one might come up (the industry is growing VERY quickly)! Your goal is to see what companies you might like to work with and add them to your pitching tracker.
Be creative and try out different job boards. 🤓
Our Pro Tips:
- Take it one step at a time. At this point, you don’t have to reach out to anyone. You’re just gathering information, so don’t spend too much time on one location.
- Look for their business model. Not all podcasts are able/willing to spend the dollars to hire a producer. A simple way to increase the likelihood that they will is to see if you can spot the business model they’re using. Are they monetizing by promoting their own products or services? Promoting products or services of others? You don’t have to know the details of it all, but nine times out of 10, if the podcast is connected to a revenue stream, they likely have a need and the resources to hire a Podcast Producer.
What’s the best way to get started to become a podcast producer?
In the beginning, it can feel like there are so many barriers to moving forward. And so we went out of our way to remove as many of the blockers as we could.
We created this FREE workbook – What Services Should I Offer?
It’s designed to help you explore the career of a freelance Podcast Producer and decide which services are best suited for you.
Included in this free workbook:
- What is a Podcast Producer?
- What services should I offer?
- Example service menu and starting rates
- “Which services should I offer?” questionnaire
Ready for more? Check out the Podcast Producer jobs we send out each week so you can see the kind of podcasting jobs being hired out every day.
Dive into the workbook and explore what’s going to work best for you!
Final Thought on How to Become A Podcast Producer (and Get Clients)
Thank you Hailey for such an insightful interview!
I learned so much about Podcasting, and what it takes to become a fully booked podcast producer. I hope you did too.
It certainly sounds like an exciting field and the uprising opportunities for those who are looking for flexible ways of working.
I also love the fact that you don’t even need to own a podcast to take advantage of the growing opportunity.