Transform your podcasting journey by bridging the gap between recording and publishing. Don’t let delays dim your energy or hinder your success. In this episode, Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard tackle a common challenge podcasters face: managing the time gap between recording a podcast episode and its subsequent publishing. From the get-go, Tracy and Tom emphasize the importance of avoiding lengthy delays, highlighting the negative impact it can have on the energy, promotion, and overall success of a podcast. They dive into the potential drawbacks of leaving episodes limbo, such as missed promotional opportunities and a diminished listener experience. With these, Tracy and Tom discuss strategies to combat this dilemma, from touchpoints and fees to rushing and recording double sets. They stress the importance of providing value to both listeners and sponsors while avoiding practices that may make the podcast feel like a money-driven endeavor. Having an abundance of potential guests is a wonderful problem to have, we just have to learn how to manage it. Tune in now and level up your podcasting game!
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How To Overcome The Challenge Of Long Delays Between Recording And Publishing?
We are going to talk about How to Overcome the Challenge of Long Delays Between Recording and Publishing. I’m glad we’re talking about this, Tracy. We have some customers that have incredibly long delays between recording and publishing.
I want to push the caveat here. This does not matter if you’re doing topics, solo shows, or you and your co-host are riffing together. Record out as far in advance as you want there. This is solely a guest-in-interview model problem.
Can it be one? In fact, Tracy, I was meeting with an existing customer who has guests scheduled out on their calendar to record through July of 2024.
There are a lot of problems with this and part of it is that what I’m promoting now and the reason I agree to be on your show as a guest may be completely different a year from now. My business might be sold and completely different a year from now. You may lose relevancy by doing that. Number one, you use the energy of having invited them and meeting them. That’s what I want to focus on now, Tom. I want to focus on this idea that there is a problem with the long amount of time if you’re using your guest interview process as a relationship builder.
When somebody has a calendar that’s far out in advance when I’m going to go guest on it, my inclination is to say no because what it says to me is, A) You probably have a funnel. They got too many people into it and they don’t care about you. They’re going to sell you something when you get on the call, anyway. That’s an indicator of that. It doesn’t mean it’s the case every time. B) They have a process by which they have too many people that they’ve been seeking out or getting on the show. They’re indiscriminate in their choices. That means that they don’t want me. It’s not that important to me. There are 51 people in front of me, if you’re booking a year out. It’s not valuable, so I usually say no as a guest.
That’s the first part. The indicator as a guest is that you’re either not making good choices in who you’re inviting on your show or you’ve got a funnel which is also meaning you’re pushing a bunch of people into it and you just maxed out. Somebody did a good job on your marketing and got you a bunch of guests. That’s what that means. Either way, that’s not a show that’s going to do what I need it to do as a guest. That’s not a relationship builder. That’s also the other part of it. That’s the first problem that I see from the perspective of being a guest on your show. I know that people will do this like those hosts that have a lot of backlogs of guest interviews planned but will still squeeze in a valuable person that they make a relationship.
When you don’t squeeze me in, when you see me go through the list, and then I apply out and I’m 3 to 7 months or 1 year in advance and you don’t move me up in the list, chances are pretty good I’m going to cancel on you. Now, I don’t value you either and a year from now, I don’t know if that date’s going to be any good. Chances are when there’s a conflict, I’m going to go, “I’ll just cancel that interview. I’d rather go on vacation with my family. I’d rather go take another interview with somebody else.” I’ll remove it from my calendar over the course of time so you will lose more people that way as well.
That is a risk of having a calendar that is so deep. I’ll tell you, this customer that I met with has a very popular show, a popular niche that a lot of people want to be on. I don’t think she was just taking anybody, because the host of this show does a lot of homework on the guest and reads their book, and does a lot of preparation work before an interview takes it very seriously, doesn’t just phone it in.
To your point Tracy, the fact that you are booked out for a year can communicate the wrong things to the potential guest, even if your show is a good one to be on. If you don’t take everybody, on its face, it says, “Why on earth are you booked out a year in advance?” I’m just one of the masses. I’m not going to be special.
Again, it’s not a relationship builder and any good guest interview model should be a relationship builder. Whether you’re building a relationship with authority partners, celebrities, authors, or with people that you would like to be your client, that’s too far out. There’s no energy in the, “I meet you. I invite you to my show.” It’s gone a year later. It’s gone months later. We don’t want that. The other side of what we’re supposed to talk about now is the idea that you’ve interviewed them and now, there’s a long delay in publishing, and that happens as well. Some people will take lots of interviews, and do a batch of them at once. When you do that, then you have this extreme delay in publishing.
You’re publishing out because you only want to do one a week. You’re getting far out and now, your interview and 6 to 9 months to a year. We have some clients who are even a year out between the date they interview and the date they publish. The problem again is irrelevant information. My business is different a year from now. There’s no energy at the moment. At that point, I’m like, “Forget it.” It’s probably much more like a 6 to 12-month problem. It’s more magnified at that level.
Even after a period of three months, the business moves too fast, the industry moves too fast, and things change too quickly. There’s a risk that your interview is no longer relevant and it doesn’t mean as much to the guest anymore. I guarantee if you’re 90 days out or more, then you’re not going to get the promotion level you would’ve got if you were within the 90 days. They’re not going to do their job of promoting it if they don’t believe it as valuable anymore.
It can’t create problems. Are there any exceptions to that, Tracy, that you know of?
The only exception is if you both planned on it. I have a book launch and the book launch isn’t happening for four months. You’ve timed it perfectly for the book launch. That’s different. You’ve both pre-agreed on this date and it has to do with the timing of something that matters to you. You’re going to do a good job of promoting it. If this is your regularly scheduled way, you’re losing the momentum.
The Guest Interview Model
I want to say this because most of our clients and most of the people who start podcasting didn’t realize that this was going to be the biggest value to the podcast. That is what we call the guest interview model. The model where your guests become your best referral partners and/or your best clients. That’s what happens.
I interview somebody on The Binge Factor, who happens to be a producer. They love what we’re doing. It dovetails nicely with them. The next thing you know, they’re sending us dozens of clients. We’ve created that from the interview. Imagine if I interviewed them and then there was no follow-up for four months, I’m now going to touch base with them. They’re going to have completely forgotten.
It’s out of sight, out of mind.
I feel super bad about this, but I did a bunch of batches of interviews before I was traveling in May 2023 because I was going to be gone for three weeks. I did twice as many interviews in April as I normally do. One just published and when the guest emailed me I was like, “Did I interview that guy? When did I interview that guy?” That was a month and a half ago and I still had to remember what his show was and look it up. I interviewed him and it was a great interview. I remember it now. Once I got that keyed into my brain who he was, but I was like, “That’s too far for you to remember. Imagine how it feels for the guest.”
I completely understand. I struggle enough when I would do an interview episode and after that interview is done, I didn’t have the time to immediately record my little intro and my final thoughts takeaways because I do 3 different little segments, 1 for the beginning, and 1 for the end where the guest is not there.
If I don’t do it right when it’s fresh in my mind and I have to come back to it days later or a week later, I’d end up having to listen to the whole interview all over again to remember what are the things I want to mention about that guest or about that interview to complete my whole show. I know this isn’t the same thing we’re talking about here, but it’s an idea that the further in time that you get removed from that interview, the worse it’s going to be for you and the guest when it comes to promotion.
You’ve got a loss of energy, loss of interest, and loss of relevancy. All of those things start to be a factor. What can you do about it? That’s one of the things that I do want to address with us now. I was preparing a whole model for guest email templates and the whole process, and that’s why this episode came up. I realized that my strategies for doing this are an extra touchpoint that a lot of people don’t plan in the process.
When you’ve got raw video and the way that things work these days with all the AI tools and everything, there’s no reason that you cannot do a social promotion post and email message to the guest in an interim point if you’re going out 90 days. At the six-week mark, send them an email with a video meme and post something on social media.
It’s not that difficult for you to put something in the point. You could take a little 32nd clip from something, it doesn’t need to be heavily edited for that, but you just put a little promo and tease the episode that’s coming in six weeks. Give them an email saying you did this on social with a link to what you did on social so that they can go share that and say, “I’m excited this is coming up.” It reminds them of your interview. It shows that you’re providing value and it’s a preview of the value you’re going to provide six weeks later when the episode finally airs. You’re giving them a touchpoint in between. That is critically important.
My second alternative to it is if you’ve gotten yourself into where you’re so far in advance, post twice as many episodes. Publish more and use them to your advantage. It’s going to help everything if you compress them in. Whenever I get too far ahead, we’ll do a couple of weeks where we do double sets of episodes. Your regular listeners are like, “Bonus.” They don’t care. Your subscribers love it but you have adjusted your schedule for yourself and not kept up the ongoing problem of where you’re at a sticking point and you don’t know what to do with that.
It’s easy to do that if you’ve already recorded them, but there’s a difference between which ones you’ve recorded and how many guests you’ve just lined up and scheduled. Those are two different things. If you put a lot of preparation in for every interview, you have to read the guest book every time if there is a book.
Our topic now is about the long delay between recording and publishing, not between booking and recording. That’s a totally different topic. I don’t disagree with you. You may need that prep time. There’s also the case to say, there’s probably half of those that are not going to be great guests. You’re going to spend your time reading that book and realize, “I wish I didn’t have to interview them.”
It used to happen to us when we would do our 3D Printing Podcast. We would get some guests because once we got popular, they would apply and I would put them in the long calendar because we weren’t going to do more than one interview a week because it wasn’t our day job and it wasn’t a part of our business. We didn’t care about the interviews. It was important to them but not important to us.
That’s what always happens. It becomes unimportant on one side or the other and they can recognize it or they won’t. Occasionally, we’d get a guest in there and we’d be like, “That was horrible. I can’t even believe we did that interview. I wish we didn’t waste our time.” If you’re doing that much prep work, then you maybe need a better screening process that filters them through with a pre-production meeting with somebody else. It doesn’t need to be you, but maybe a member of your staff where they meet you, discuss and make sure it’s a fit. That way, there is a touch point at some point over the year in advance that happens.
You book on it. They book their spot so you don’t lose it. You get the closest spot you can, but then you have a pre-production meeting and that way somebody could say, “This is valuable. This person’s going to be an excellent client for you, a referral partner, or whatever. I’m going to move them up in the schedule.” You can create a couple of openings that you could just slot people in like an emergency opening.
When that pre-production meeting happens, that can occur. There is now enough time for you to still prep but not so far in advance that they have to then wait a year. They feel special. They’re not going to cancel on you for sure. They’re going to feel like you did them a favor and they’re going to do a better job of promoting even if it’s still six months out instead of a year. You’ve improved the process by doing that. I would be more discerning. That’s just my view on it.
I had a question from a customer and who has this problem where they’ve already recorded episodes out through October 2022 and here we are in mid-June 2023. You’re talking about a solid four months ahead that they’ve recorded and then still scheduled more people out through the summer of 2024, which is the problem we’re talking about, the difference between when you’re recording and when it would publish. It seems like for this show that length of time is only going to get to be more.There is a problem with the long amount of time if you're using your guest interview process as a relationship builder. Click To Tweet
The question that came up is, “If somebody wants to be inserted in the schedule sooner, interrupt the schedule and publish what maybe we might call a bonus episode or something like that inserted in the schedule, would it be a good idea to see if their potential new guests who want to publish sooner would be willing to pay an actual fee to jump the line of everybody else?” How do you feel about that?
A rush fee to jump the line is fine. I don’t think that’s paying to play, which I’m not a fan of as everybody probably knows because I’ve said it so many times here. That’s totally fine if you want to pay to rush because it costs you money to publish more. It costs you more sooner.
It costs your time, especially if you’re putting the time into reading their book or doing your homework on them and maybe you have a budget. You’re producing a weekly episode, but now you’re going to do two episodes in that week. There’s an actual real either cost of your time or what you’re paying a production company to do that additional episode in the same period of time.
Finding The Sweet Spot: Ideal Recording-To-Publishing Timeline
If you’re going to do that in the booking process, which is where I recommend that you do it, offer it right then and there. As you’re booking up and they say a year if you’d like to jump the line, here’s how close you can get. You still can’t get closer than two months out because of our publishing and interview schedule. It can’t be any closer than that so that they’re aware they can’t have it in a week. It’s not something that you can just go ahead and do the interview. Essentially, somebody will contact them and give them a new calendar date and all of that. You still make them book and pay right then and there. I make them pay right then and there, as a part of it.
Put it right into your calendar program and do it right then and there for rushing to book. For everyone who’s booked up, in this case, because they’ve recorded already through October, I suggest it’s time to move them to two a week, but send a mass email to all of those who have been guested and completely recorded, saying, “We decided we’re going to move our schedule to two a week. However, we can’t afford it. We need some help with affording this.” Some message around that we’re looking for anyone who’s interested in moving their promotion up with this marketing opportunity.
Do you mean offering them to pay at that time to be published sooner?
“I can offer you this date but it’s $200,” or whatever that is.
It’s a reasonable fair thing to do. You’re giving them the option of, “If it’s important enough to you to not have so much time, it has to take place before you’re published. Here’s an opportunity for you to move it forward.” I can only afford to do that for those that are willing to pay.
I only have it because I’m only going to crunch it for two months or something like that. I only have eight spots. You do also have to live up to the four you committed to being published in the next month. You can’t change them.
They waited. You can’t bump them anymore.
Strategies To Minimize Delays And Maintain Energy
That’s not fair to them. You can only go to the ones in the second half of the schedule. That’s what I would do. I would increase it if you need to cover your cost, then cover your cost. I would generate it as a profit center. It looks a little slimy like that’s what you intended. What will happen when somebody says, “How was your experience on that show? Was it good? Should I guest on that show?” I would say, “No.” You don’t want to have that be the feeling and the outcome that it felt like you were scammed all along the way or pushed to pay more. Nickel and dimmed is what it starts to feel like when you get those requests.
With the right messaging, that can be handled.Any good guest interview model should be a relationship builder. Click To Tweet
You just got to be careful with it.
Balancing Costs And Scheduling For Optimal Results
If your show is as popular as this one that I met with, and it’s a high-volume show doing a lot of episodes, but there is a real cost to it and moving it up that makes a lot of sense. Although even when you change episodes in your schedule, that can be complicated. You got to make sure you remember to change everything, schedule-wise that you may have planned in your calendar.
Your social, your audio, your video, and everything has to change. Make sure you’re getting good support there to make that happen everywhere.
The reason is to make it worth your while and make sure someone pays they get value, you get value, and cover your costs of increasing your frequency, but ultimately, that’s going to increase the number of listens per month if you have any paid third-party sponsors because you’re publishing more episodes in the given month.
The Power Of Increased Frequency In Podcast Publishing
If you’re already taking and making money off of dollars, more episodes are better. You don’t understand how that works. It not only increases your popularity, your downloads, and your listens, but it increases your ad revenue if that’s what you’re already operating within.
Not every show is doing that, but those that are would make a lot of sense.
Understanding The Impact Of Delays On Podcasting Success
I’m not a fan of the long delays between recording and publishing so try not to get yourself into the situation to begin with. There are ways out of it, touchpoints, fees, rushing, and doing double sets of episodes. That’s what you got to do. My optimum level from the time to record to the time to publish is no more than two months. Somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks is ideal. There’s still a great amount of energy in that 4 to 6-week model.
Maintaining Relevance And Promotion Within A Timeframe
As you start to get to the end of the eight weeks, it gets a little bit outside of the energy level that you want to have from a promotion standpoint or from a relevant standpoint. You’re at a little riskier timeframe. Right in there, that’s a perfect window to keep it at. It gets you enough ahead so that you’re not behind the eight ball trying to like, “I got to get a recording in so I have an episode for next week.” You’re not behind on recording.
That is the sweet spot. I agree. You don’t want to be behind and under the gun. “I got to be a slave to my podcast. Record something because it’s got to be published next week.” You want to be 4 to 6 weeks ahead. That’s ideal.
There are only two times a year that I go out to the eight and that’s at the holidays and usually May is a giant travel month, with lots of events. It’ll be like May to June or something like right in there. I might get about two weeks ahead and I’m on the outside edge of my schedule. Those are the only two times a year that that happens.
That sounds like some sound advice from long hard experience, Tracy.
It definitely is, but I am in over 3000 interviews now. There’s an energy to interviewing, to follow up, to promotion. Sometimes, it can be way harder to reignite that and we want to avoid that.If you're already taking and making money off of ad dollars, more episodes are better. It not only increases your popularity, your downloads, and your listens, but it increases your ad revenue if that's what you're already operating within. Click To Tweet
The Wonderful Problem: Embracing The Energy And Excitement Of Podcasting Success
There is an energy and we’ve demonstrated a practical reality to it, logistics, costs, and other things. Lots to consider, but isn’t this a good problem to have? Rather than some people that aren’t publishing because they’re struggling to find the right guests, don’t have the right support, or who knows what, to me, this is, “What a wonderful problem to have?” Too many people want to be guests on your show. The show that I was talking about, like yours, has a selection process. There is prescreening and all that like you have for The Binge Factor.
Anyone who has the opposite problem, the problem of not having enough guests on their show is either not working hard enough on their show or there’s a fundamental flaw in their show, likely the name of the show, the premise for the show, or something like that. It is usually a technical or a workload problem.
Thank you everybody for tuning in to this episode. if you want to reach out, there’s certainly a contact form there, even a phone number on our website if you need to call for something. You can reach out to us anywhere on social media at Feed Your Brand or Podetize.