Review: Podcast Production School

Are you thinking about becoming a Podcast Producer? Or maybe you’re considering starting a podcast for your business and you’re wondering where to start…

Podcast Production School teaches the skills and strategies needed to launch, manage and grow podcasts for small businesses. 

We put together everything you need to bridge the gap from where you are now, to offering your first service and earning your very first paycheck as a Podcast Producer…

Or maybe even launching your own podcast for your business! 

Podcast Production School is the collaboration of Gina Horkey, Melanie Scroggins and Hailey Thomas (co-creator of Project Management for Virtual Assistants). These three ladies pooled their experience with online business, project management and their love of podcasts with Melanie’s success as a Podcast Producer to bring you this super-actionable course.

Along with its private membership Facebook community, Podcast Production School has been paving the way for virtual assistants who want to break into this lucrative and booming niche.

But that’s our take on it! Let’s hear from one of the course’s recent alumni, Marcie Sextro, about her experience. Ready?

Take it away Marcie!

Why did you take the course?

You hear a lot of buzz about podcasts lately, and for good reason! The stats about their increasing popularity and the HUGE potential for small business growth are overwhelming.

For example, the course points out that there are currently over 800,000 podcasts on Apple right now, accounting for more than half of all podcast listeners. 51% of Americans over 12-years-old have listened to a podcast, and podcast ad revenue is projected to reach over $1.6 billion by 2022. Phew! 

So yes, podcasts are definitely “a thing” right now and it doesn’t look like this booming platform is going anywhere anytime soon.

What does that mean for me as a VA? That more and more businesses are going to be hopping on the podcast bandwagon and for a virtual assistant like myself, that equals potentially massive opportunity.

I already knew that I wanted to jump in on the current trend of helping small businesses and entrepreneurs with their marketing efforts through the podcast platform. So, when Podcast Production School opened in late 2019, it was a no-brainer – I was all in.

Mel’s story (Melanie) also resonated with me – she basically taught herself everything from the ground up and runs a very successful podcast production business. I’m a huge believer in learning from those who have “been there done that” and streamlining the learning curve as much as possible. So, learning from Mel’s experience and training was also a huge plus for me when it came to deciding to take the course. 

Mel’s Story

Like a lot of us who have made the leap into the world of freelancing, Mel knew the 9-5 world just wasn’t for her. She said ‘so long’ to her mind-numbingly boring day job and decided to strike out on her own and build a podcast support business.

After living in an RV in Oregon with her husband for about a year, she went back to her home state of Texas and started digging in! She began learning everything she could about the podcast process and pretty soon friends – and their friends – were asking her to help them launch their podcasts.

And, also like a lot of us, Mel definitely had her moments of doubt. She even went back to a 9-5 for a period of time, but she built up her business on the side and said a final goodbye to working for anyone else aside from herself. I love that! 

A year later, she was making well over her previous 9-5 salary with her podcast production business. A few years later, fortunately for us, she teamed up with Gina and Hailey to create Podcast Production School.

Having been a VA for a while myself, I really, really appreciate that Mel compounded her years of training and experience into one place so that I could dive in and quickly get going with providing podcast production services. She essentially saved me a lot of wandering around the internet, trying to figure things out on my own and doing the whole “trial and error” thing! 

Tell us about Podcast Production School:

Podcast Production School is a skills-specific training course that not only gives you the 4-1-1 on the podcast world’s reach and benefits for businesses but also teaches about podcast roles, deep-dives into technical skills and provides info about how to set up your own podcast virtual assistant business.

For an additional $1 fee, you receive a month’s membership into a private Facebook group. The group offers live Office Hours, support and encouragement from other students and the course creators, access to industry-specific resources and job leads for Podcast Producer gigs.

The course covers: 

  • An overview of podcasting
  • The types and parts of a podcast
  • Podcast process and workflow
  • Services you can offer as a podcast producer
  • Technical set-up and audio editing
  • Episode distribution
  • Episode and show note creation
  • Podcast project management
  • Guest management
  • Content repurposing
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Working with clients (packages, pricing, contracts and onboarding)
  • Technical training
  • Templates and checklists

There’s also a certification once you complete the course, which I love for marketing my new service to potential clients. It establishes that I’m legit and that I take my business seriously! 

What did you think of the course?

As a former broadcaster, I jumped in with both feet, happy to be back in the audio world. I was pleasantly surprised to find that you don’t have to be a techie to be a Podcast Producer! The array of roles laid out in the course revealed that there are plenty of other skill sets that are needed to support a thriving podcast.

Podcast Production School is in the already-proven format you’d expect from a Horkey HandBook course. Each lesson gives practical training and information, as well as templates to download, examples, tons of links to resources and lesson homework that puts the newly-learned knowledge into action.

Three things I found to be really helpful in Podcast Production School were:

  • The technical training
  • Relevant and informational external links
  • The Podcast Production School Facebook group

Let’s face it – no matter what you tackle online, the technical side can be daunting and riddled with so.many.steps to navigate. The Tech Training module of the course uses both audio and visual teaching styles, and then instructs you on how to practice the steps to really integrate the material. This learning style definitely worked for me to fully grasp the concepts being taught.

The course is also full of quality external links that give examples of the lesson content in context. This is so helpful because you can hear from even more experts in the field of podcasting and marketing and it really rounded out the information.

And yep – I did have questions, and being able to pop onto the Facebook group made it easy to get answers and not get hung up as I was going through the material. The wealth of additional articles, Q & A sessions and supplementary training on subjects like pitching clients has been so helpful.

Networking with the other students has also been a huge plus and helps to alleviate the isolation that sometimes comes with being a solopreneur.

I also came into Podcast Production School not entirely clear about what it “looks like” to offer these services – and didn’t know that there are so many potential roles to be filled as a Podcast Producer. The information took things from a broad concept that I knew I was interested in, to really providing me with a vision for where I want to take my business.

For example, there are pre-production and post-production needs for any podcast.

Pre-production services you can offer are:

  • Technical set-up – Working with things like audio equipment (mics, etc), the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), software, file storage, sound preferences and capturing room sound. 
  • Project management – Overseeing the moving parts of a podcast, like making sure the tech side of things is handled, guests have been communicated with appropriately and managing team members. 
  • Podcast production – Getting hands-on with actually getting the podcast produced, like moving the audio through all the necessary steps to get it published.
  • Guest management – Interfacing with podcast guests, all the way from sourcing them to connecting with them post-production to say thank you and providing them with content to promote. 
  • Consultation – Being available to clients for questions, troubleshooting, sharing best practices and thinking through strategies.

Post-production services you can offer are: 

  • Audio editing – Taking the audio from a raw recording to an amazing, publishable finished product! 
  • Episode distribution – The process of getting completed podcast episodes out to listeners, other podcast directories (Apple, Google, Spotify) and all the other places you can find podcasts.
  • Episode and show note creation – Creating the written content that summarizes what the podcast is all about.
  • Re-purposing content – Using the podcast content to create other, shareable content for social media and other marketing purposes.
  • Marketing and promotion – Getting the word out about a podcast and building an audience! 

Not only was it incredibly valuable to me to have all the possibilities for services I can provide listed out in the course, but there’s a lesson on each one that walks you through what it is and how you would offer it as a service. 

While the price point on this course is a bit higher than the other Horkey HandBook courses, Podcast Production School covers all the basics of podcasting as well as building a solid, sustainable business providing these services. The ROI on the course was definitely worth it in my opinion.

If you follow all of the course guidance, like how to source clients, pitching how-to, setting rates and using contracts, for example, you can literally start looking for work as a Podcast Producer right away and not only make back your investment but be in profit fairly quickly.

Would you recommend Podcast Production School?

Definitely – I loved this course. I’m thrilled that I have lifetime access to it so I can review it as many times as I want, especially since they keep the course updated with current and relevant material.

I’ve also connected with the course creators and they are approachable, funny and willing to share not only their triumphs but their struggles. That’s real-life business and exactly what I need to hear as I develop my own Podcast Producer business.

I’m really so grateful for Podcast Production School! For me, it was the final piece in the puzzle to start using my broadcasting degree to work remotely. I feel like I can finally create a career in a field I love – in a way that works for me– because of this course.

Ready to build your own thriving Podcast Producer business like Marcie is? Jump in here and get started today!  

Marcie Sextro is the founder of Platform Building for Creatives. As an author, she understands the challenge of creating and building a thriving social media presence. Marcie lives in the great state of Nebraska, has been married to her hubby, Dean for 34 years and has five children and three super-smart and beautiful granddaughters. Her favorite things to do are curl up with a historical fiction book and going birding.

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