Feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with your podcasting tasks? You may need to delegate in order to improve!
Delegation doesn't have to cost money. So get all the way to the end where I'll share some suggestions how where to find help.
Podcasting tasks to delegate
The book that changed my business most in 2014 was Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business, by Chris Ducker. In it, he shared the three lists of tasks we should delegate.
- Tasks you don't like doing
- Tasks you can't do
- Tasks you shouldn't do
These lists will likely be different for each podcaster. But I think the things we shouldn't be doing will be similar for all of us—anything that prevents us from making great content. Learn more about delegation and these three lists in Chris Ducker's interview by Erik Fisher on Beyond the To-Do List.
I encourage you to make your own three lists to discover what you should delegate. The following are my suggestions.
Editing is like a leech for many podcasters; it sucks the life out of the host. While there are many ways to speed up podcast editing, this may be the ideal task to delegate to someone else.
Even if you enjoy editing, consider how much better you could make your podcast if you didn't have to edit your episodes yourself.
Writing show notes
Show notes are important for search (SEO), accessibility, and engagement. There are also many ways to speed up writing podcast show notes, but this may be something you need to delegate.
I like to write my own show notes for The Audacity to Podcast because it's a form or content-preparation and rehearsal for me. My Once Upon a Time podcast has cohosts with different perspectives and talking points. We collaborate on our notes, but then I have someone else writing our show notes while we're live-streaming. This speeds up the process because the show notes are often ready within a short time after we record the episode.
Writing show notes doesn't have to be an “all or nothing” approach. You may have your basic outline and then someone fills in the details. Or maybe your notes are done and you need someone else to add your multimedia, hyperlinks, and formatting.
Unless you're a professional designer, I highly recommend you get someone else to handle your visual branding. This could be one-time work, such as designing your website, podcast cover art, logo, cards, and such. Or, it could be recurring work, such as designing episode artwork, special promotional imagery, and social-network assets.
I'm already a professional designer, but I no longer offer design services to others. In fact, I'm even realizing I should delegate this so I can focus on what's more important.
If you need something special done on your site, you could spend hours, days, weeks, or even months trying to figure it out yourself. Or, you could delegate this task to someone who can complete it in a small fraction of the time it would have taken you (and they'll most likely do a better job, too!).
Content-management systems, like WordPress, give website-owners a lot of power over their own sites. But there may come a time when you need someone else's help to manage your own website. This could be small tasks such as updating plugins or publishing your content; or bigger tasks such as managing your metadata, keeping your server running, or finding the best solutions for your needs.
Podcasters are often horrible at marketing. Tweeting, “new episode now available,” isn't sufficient. You might need help in spreading your message across multiple platforms, optimizing your content for different outlets, scheduling your promotions, and more.
If you allow your audience to comment on your website, in a social community, or through direct email, you may need some help with moderation. A moderator can block the spam, keep the conversation going, sort feedback, and more.
When I started a forum for our Once Upon a Time podcast, it quickly became obvious that I would never have the time to moderate. I put out the request and found the most active participant who had valuable contributions, and they were thrilled to become a moderator (and now podcast cohost).
You probably can't represent every opinion in your monologues. That's where a cohost can be a huge help. They could be present for your entire conversation, or perhaps only for a specific segment.
Podcasting tasks I think you shouldn't delegate
Not everything about your podcast should be delegated. These are the two most important things I think you should handle yourself.
Preparing, rehearsing, and presenting the content is up to you—even if you are the interviewer! If it's your podcast, then it needs to be your authentic voice.
Others can help you with your content, but I think this should be your top priority to handle yourself.
As much as possible, you should be the one to create and nurture valuable relationships. You won't be able to engage with everyone, but you can try to do for a few what you wish you could do for many.
Where to find help
Delegation doesn't have to cost a lot of money. In fact, there are many ways you could delegate for free!
Look at your repetitive tasks and find ways to automate them. It may be to automate a schedule, automate a workflow, or automate certain content that you have created.
When you need a person's help, ask your audience, first. You may be amazed at the talent and eagerness represented in your own audience. Some of them may be professionals or highly skilled hobbyists.
Their payment may be the joy of supporting a show they love, gaining experience, being promoted in your show, getting special perks or gifts, or even earning money.
When you need help related to your podcast, there are likely others in podcasting communities with the skills you need. When you post a request, be clear about your needs and what you're offering in return.
When you can't find anyone yourself, ask for referrals for someone who could help. You may be only a couple degrees of separation from exactly the help you need.
Students are often looking for real experience and willing to work for whatever they can earn. Check your local high school, community college, or even university. Some states even have special internship programs that cost you nothing but provide the talent you need—some states even pay you for this!
If you're serious enough that you can afford to hire someone, use Upwork, Virtual Staff Finder, Fancy Hands, or another job site to hire a person or team to help you. Be as clear as possible on your needs, timeline, and expectations.
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