“I’ve been wanting to get into podcasting … but the editing has scared me off. When I think I have to be perfect, I can’t perform. When I think I have to edit, I can’t even record.” Those are valid fears. And you’re not alone. Maybe you’ve heard other podcasters say that they outsourced the editing of their podcasts. You heard them say one or more of the following:
- I am able to spend more time doing what I do best.
- I am able to spend more time with family.
- I have more freedom.
You have questions about the process of starting and maintaining a relationship with an editor. I can help. I’ve worked with clients for quite some time, and I want to offer guidance on how to outsource audio editing.
Imagine being able to record your audio and upload it to someone for editing. Imagine the joy of receiving the edited audio and being able to upload it, publish it, and be done with it. Share your message, sound great, save time, and be consistent. That will be possible when you outsource audio editing. Now there’s a reason for hiring an editor.
As someone who has been editing audio for many years, I understand your pain. You LOVE the idea of recording audio. You want to continue to make connections and establish yourself as an expert. There is work to be done before and after you record. That work, for many, includes audio editing, which takes time by itself. In fact, it takes even more time if you are just learning). Lack of time is a reason people abandon their plan to add audio to their content strategy, (or don’t start in the first place). And, then after all that work, you are exhausted, you don’t have time to put energy into other tasks, such as promoting your content, so nobody listens to it. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Where To Find An Audio Editor
There are several ways you can do this. However, one of my fellow editors has suggested a pain-free process for doing this, and that’s the one I’ll mention here.
Click here to learn more.
Advantages of outsourcing audio editing
Here’s a formula that will help you. This comes from an episode of podcastification.
- Decide how much one hour of your time is worth to you. Example: $300.
- Multiply that number by the number of hours you spend on editing per episode. Example: 3 hours.
- Multiply the answer to step one by the answer to step two. Continuing with my example, 300 times 3 equals $900.
- If you publish one episode per week, multiply the answer to the previous step by four. Continuing with my example, 900 times 4 equals 3600. That’s how much you’re spending per month.
- Now let’s think ahead. What if you hired someone to edit your audio at the rate of $120 per month. Subtract $120 from your answer to the previous step. 3600 minus 120 equals $3480. That’s the amount you are leaving on the table.
Now here are some reasons for not working with an editor, [perceived ones included]. When appropriate, I will give a response.
- That will mean an increase in expenses. Given your situation, it might be worth it, given the reasons I gave for working with an editor.
- “I tried to work with an editor. He didn’t give me the quality product I was expecting.” That could be because either you didn’t ask certain questions before hiring that person, and/or you didn’t specify what you were looking for. Recommended questions will be covered in the next section.
- “I’m a control freek.”
- “I like having a personal hand in my final product.”
- “Editing is relaxing.”
- “An editor couldn’t possibly recreate what I do to add the flourish that makes my podcast unique.” Not only is that not true, a skilled audio editor might do it better.
- “Editing costs money so I do it myself. When I make enough cash from the show I’ll invest in an editor.” As long as you’re able to make the investment, where the money comes from doesn’t matter.
- “I’ve been doing it for ten years.” The issue is this: Is that something you should do moving forward?
- “I record onSunday night and publish on Monday morning.”
- “… When I edit my episodes I know what I need to do better.”
What To Look For In An Editor
Tip 1: Know that hiring an audio editor is an important decision for your podcast.
Tip 2: Although knowledge of editing is not required, It helps if you know something about editing in order to hire an editor and not get burned.
Tip 3: You want to know about the financial investment: Some charge per episode, some charge an hourly rate, and some charge a monthly fee. Some even charge according to the lenghth of your episodes. In my opinion, I would go with either per episode or per month because those are easier to predict from month to month.
Tip 4: Understand what you will receive in return for that investment: The editor should have a web site. The sales page for the editing service should be easy to locate. The sales page should spell out what you will get for your money.
Tip 5: turn-around time: How long will it take for you to receive an edited version of your audio? This will matter to you.
Tip 6: You should be able to answer this question: Does this person have experience using audio editing software, or will he or she need to spend time learning that? I recommend that you hire someone who already has the skills.
Tip 7: Another important question to ask is this one: Does the editor have happy clients? If an editor has a web site, look for testimonials.
Tip 8: Know How files will be shared: I use and recommend Dropbox. However, I know some people who use Google Drive.
Tip 9: Another thing to be concerned about is time spent on communication, back and forth file exchanges, etc.: Ideally, a podcast editing service should be set up in a “set it and forget it” sort of way so that when you are paying for someone else to edit your audio, you’re not having to do ANYTHING from the time you hit the “stop” button on your recording software and upload the file to Dropbox.
Tip 10: Don’t be afraid to speak with the person you are interested in hiring. Don’t let him or her hide behind email. This is a great time to clearly communicate your expectations.
Tip 11: The editor should be able to provide samples.
Tip 12: Ask this question: Do I, as the client need to provide detailed notes for each episode? If I want to provide specifics on a particular episode, will that be allowed? I may want certain things deleted, I may want to insert something at a specific point in the episode.
Tip 13: After you have found an editor, trust him or her to make your sound completely reflective of your voice and your brand. He or she will be able to help you sleep at night because you know the technical end is taken care of. You end up having a partnership with that person, in which they can keep on top of the most current trends with technology in podcasting. Knowing you have someone that is making your audio the best it can be, and knowing you can trust them with your podcast is vital. Ideally, they would take ownership of the audio for your podcast and treat it with the care they would their own.
Tip 14: if you can hear it, so can the microphone. Before you start recording, reduce the noise in your environment. Examples of things you can do are:
- fans and air conditioners, [turn them off]
- Minimize echo/reverb.. [one way of fixing this might be through microphone placement. More on that in another tip]
- computer, [turn off if you can] – Consider using either a digital audio recorder or a smartphone recording app.
- Make sure you have enough memory.
- Close any programs that don’t need to be open while you record.
- Are you speaking loudly enough?
- Are you unknowingly breathing heavily into the microphone?
- Is there typing in the background? [You’ll want to minimize this.]
- Can you hear side conversations in the background?
Tip 15: Before you publish an episode, listen. If something needs to be changed, the best time to make the change is before you publish the episode.
Tip 16: refer to
episode 81 of the Audacity To Podcast.
You’ll learn about microphone placement.
Tip 17: If you use a computer to record, Make sure your computer is optimized for recording.
Tip 18:: Do a sound check before you start recording. Listen for the following:
Tip 19: Before you hit record, spend some time outlining your content. Don’t script every word. Point form is good enough.
Tip 20: Ask your editor for additional guidance.
Tip 21. At the beginning of your relationship withthe the editor, make sure he or she understands the flow of each episode and what degree of editing you are expecting.
If you follow these tips, then your workflow for each episode will be as follows:
- Upload to Dropbox
- Let the editor know that there’s audio waiting for him or her.
- Receive the finished episode
Questions, Possible Problems, and Solutions
Do I have to provide notes for each episode?
You only need to do this if there are specific things you want done to an episode. Other than that, clearly communicate how you want each episode to flow.
Poor Audio From Your Guest
Daniel J. Lewis suggests the following in episode 190 of The Audacity To Podcast:
“Ensure your guest knows how to use a microphone. Generally, this means doing only three things: talk into the mic, stay a consistent distance away (a fist-width away is usually ideal), and don’t touch the mic or anything connected to it.
Ensure your guest is in a quiet and low-reverb space for recording. This should also be somewhere with a good Internet or cellular connection (wired is best if talking over a telephone line or a computer).
If you want to outsource audio editing, I hope this detailed post gave you the information you need. If you need more information, go to the contact page and send me an email.