Planning & Strategy (Pre-Production) | The Pod Paste Process Part 1

Read Time - 3 minutes

The planning and strategy phase is Step 1 of The Pod Paste Production Process. Please go back to the introductory overview here to familiarise yourself with the full process. Alternatively, you can dive right into this part and figure it out as you go. We don’t mind either way as long as you get something out of this!

Pre Production – The critical work before you hit record

Ancient Asian cultures knew that the podcast pre-production stage was key, even before audio recordings existed. The Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “A man who does not plan long ahead, will find trouble at his door.”

What if a builder/carpenter built a house without drawings/blueprints from an architect? I am pretty sure there would be mayhem, wasted time, burned money, and a lot of stress.

What if a beat reporter for the local paper randomly wrote about whatever they wanted without any outline, topics, or interesting angles? I am pretty sure there would be a lot of re-writes, burned time, wasted energy, and much anxiety.

There is a parallel with this, podcasting and any media format. Becoming a successful podcaster and podcast host has a lot to do with the ability to plan ahead. Usually, the higher the quality of time spent on the planning and strategy phase, the better the interview, the episode, the season, and the whole podcast.

Below I’ll tell you a few tips and tricks that we’ve learned that help us immensely in the pre-production process.

  • Having a main objective/goal
  • Episode scheduling
  • Booking guests
  • Releasing and publishing episodes
  • Podcast distribution & host setup

After reading this you should be ready to jump into the next step of your podcast which is recording. Alternatively, if you can’t wait just click here to read it.

Having a main objective/goal

This is simple in theory and hard in practice. Having an exact reason why you should record a certain episode/season, the topic, and why your target listeners would find this interesting is key. Working backwards gives a clear outline of what needs to be done in the recording and post-production phases.

Episode scheduling/programming

This is the sequence of what episodes come after each other and why. If you rely on guests for interviews, things can get harder to control. Having a general outline and idea for your season or series before you start releasing them will help with marketing and promotion.
Example – You might want to space releasing two episodes in a row with doctors in them, or maybe you do! Seeing this on your outline shows you that it’s either a problem or a solution. It all depends on your main objective/goal (see the previous point)

Booking guests

You may want a guest that is popular, which means their schedules are tight and getting them in person or on a web call can prove challenging. Having a plan of action and a lot of time between recording and publishing can help alleviate the stress that comes with fast turn arounds.

Marketing for releasing and publishing episodes

Once you’ve recorded and edited your episodes, the next stage is the strategy of how to get the episodes heard by your ideal listeners. These listeners could turn into clients, customers, or evangelist that preach the gospel about your podcast to their tight group of friends and family.

Podcast management is a premium service that we offer to help with the promotion, growth, and concurrent campaign integration. There are many tools that we can provide to help you in this stage that ranges from episode artwork creation, audiograms (video clips transcribed from your podcast audio), podcast website creation, podcast videos and more!

Podcast distribution and host setup

This is how your podcast gets onto “Podcast players” or “Pod catchers”. These are Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and more. This is usually the last stage but like many of the stages prior, this can be done at the same time as other ones.

Choosing your host, your plan, and exactly what analytics you would like to track are important for tracking growth and sharing your listenership behaviours to potential sponsors.

The planning and strategy stage is just a snapshot. Hopefully, you have a better idea of all of the work and decision makings that are needed before we hit record to make your podcast great.

Please be aware there is foul language in the beginning

Hip hop group Dead Prez got it right with their song “Discipline” when they said, “Work your plan, plan your work”.

Feel free to jump to step two of the Pod Paste Recording process – Episode Ideation & Pitching here or go back to the overview and start from the beginning.

We can help you create, grow, and promote your podcast in whatever way you need. Whether that’s one quick edit or full service with recording, editing, and podcast management, we’ve got the right team to get it done.

Get directly in touch with us here to find out how we can help you with your next project.