How to Find Freelance Help for Your Podcast
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Producing your podcast can be an involved process. There’s audio to edit, show notes to write, marketing materials to make, as well as a website to set up and a media host to maintain. If you’re a podcast creator going it alone, it’s a good idea to outsource some of these tasks while you focus on the content of your show. Below are some types of jobs you might want to hire a freelancer to do, as well as where to find freelancers and what to consider while posting a freelance job.
Who you can hire for your podcast
In setting up and producing your show, you might find that it’s easier to hire freelancers to help with skills/tasks you’re less comfortable with. Here are some positions/tasks you should consider hiring on a freelance basis for your podcast:
Graphic/Logo Artists: To develop your all-important cover art (see our related guide “Marketing Your Podcast? Here are Three Things You Need to Do”). You can also hire an artist to create a social media package with banners for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that adhere to certain resolutions or positioning. You may also want graphics for your website, logo files to print on merchandise, or stylized portraits of your hosts for your “About Us” page.
Voice Artists: For professional voiceover introductions on your podcast, as well as non-host ad reads. If you’re doing a creative narrative podcast, you can hire a voice actor for a character for narration that you don’t want to do yourself.
Podcast Editors: If you find editing and mixing your podcast audio takes too much time, you can have an editor handle the processing and finalizing of your podcast’s audio files, and even distribute it to your RSS feed.
Podcast Producers: Producers can edit and mix your show, like editors, but they can have a number of skills to help you with your show: develop your show’s content, find guests, and organize logistics setting up interview dates, and improve your show’s technological infrastructure.
Tape Synchers/Day Producers: Many freelance radio and podcast producers offer services for “tape syncs,” where a producer goes to an interviewee and records them with a microphone while they talk to a radio or podcast host over the phone. This service allows for interview recordings that are much better than phones are capable of capturing. Podcasts that do field recording may also need producers to help cover large events, like conferences or protests, where there will be multiple interviews happening at once over the course of a day. Most producers available for tape syncs are on AIR or city-based radio listservs (see next section).
Content Writers/Digital Editors: Content writers can listen to your show and create fully integrated show notes for your podcast that cover every topic discussed and provide links to mentioned works, like articles or books. Digital editors can maintain your website and write accompanying content to your podcast, like blog posts expanding on certain topics mentioned in your show. They can also ensure the audio for each episode is uploaded to your site.
Social Media Managers: For each new episode you create, you want to make sure you publicize it on your show’s social media channels. This includes providing links to each episode, as well as pulling important quotes from the episode and using them in tweets or posts to entice listeners. Social media managers ensure your show’s social media feeds are up to date and constantly growing your show’s audience.
Where to find podcast freelancers
You’ve got an idea what job you want done for your show, so where should you look? Here are some of our favorite sites:
99designs. A great place to get a customized logo design or other branding needs. You can either submit a project description to a specific designer or create a “contest” to see proposals from multiple freelancers. Who you can find here: Graphic/Logo Artists
Upwork. One of the biggest marketplaces for freelancers. Here you can search for designers, writers, producers, social media managers, and more. Look at how many hours they’ve completed, their rating, and what their skillsets are. You can post specific jobs and wait for applicants, or invite particular freelancers to apply. Who you can find here: All Roles (except Tape Synchers/Day Producers)
Fiverr. A site that’s great for one-off jobs you need done within a week. Search by job type category, and look at freelancers’ portfolios of their past work. Great for finding logo designers, voiceover artists, social media gurus, and content writers. Who you can find here: Graphic/Logo Artists, Voice Artists, Podcast Editors, Content Writers/Digital Editors, Social Media Managers
PodPeople. A podcast production studio that matches clients with freelance producers. PodPeople’s team asks you what you need done for your podcast, and then provides you with a producer that fits your needs and matches your price point. Who you can find here: All Roles
Podcast Motor. A firm that offers podcast editing services for busy hosts. Packages include editing audio for mistakes, adding intros and music, and other add-on services. Who you can find here: Podcast Editors, Social Media Managers (limited)
Radio Listservs/Google Groups. These email listservs are based on the Google Groups platform, and function as city-based groupings of radio professionals. Members can submit questions as well as job postings for radio or podcast work, as well as day work like tape syncs or field recording. Bigger groups include PublicRadioNYC, Chicago Radio Club, Sonic Soiree (Boston), and Baydio (Bay Area). Some of these can be searched for on the Google Groups platform, while others require a current member to submit your email address to be added to the group. Who you can find here: All Roles (especially Tape Synchers/Day Producers)
The AIR Talent Directory. The Association of Independents in Radio is an industry association for radio and podcast producers. While a paid membership is required for access to its member forums ($125/year for an individual or $200/year for a small business), you don’t need a to be a member to search their talent directory for a person’s name, city, or production expertise. If you’re looking for more involved freelance help, it may be a good idea to invest in an AIR membership to access the members-only forums to post podcast jobs. Who you can find here: All Roles (especially Tape Synchers/Day Producers)
What to consider before hiring a freelancer
Before you post your first freelance job, consider the parameters of the job and how it fits into the production of your podcast.
What’s your budget? Setting a budget too low may attract freelancers without the experience you need, while setting it at the market average or above will give you access to freelancers who can improve your podcast’s look and sound. Keep in mind that sites like Upwork take a percentage of a freelancer’s hourly rate, and freelance costs generally are higher per hour than salaried employees doing the same work.
What do you need done? Are you writing a post that clearly lays out what you want the freelancer to do? Having a producer only cut out the worst sounds in your recording instead of carefully cutting out every bad sound and cutting for content are two different levels of work.
What’s your deadline? Quicker deadlines will cost more, while giving a freelancer a up to a week or more can cost less.
Do you need one-off or regular help? If you want a freelancer to help you on multiple podcast episodes, consider taking a bit longer to vet applicants and ask to look at past work.
How much freelance podcast help costs
As we’ve said, the price a freelancer will charge depends largely on the scope of your project and their experience level. With that in mind, here are some example prices for the following freelance jobs:
Podcast Producers: Starting at $35/hour on Upwork. PodPeople can provide a custom quote for the scope of your needs. See also AIR’s 2015 rate card for independent production of podcasts (this should be only a guide and in some cases rounded up, as it will be updated by AIR in 2019).
Tape Synchers/Day Producers: The standard rate for a one-hour tape sync is $150, plus IRS mileage reimbursement for travel to and from the interviewee. This fee should be more for multiple interviewees, more complex recording setups, or longer interviews. The day rate for producers starts at $300-400, and up to $1500 depending on complexity and experience. See again AIR’s 2015 rate card.
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