We were lucky enough to be joined by Charlie from Ladies Doing Stuff. Charlie and her co-host Aamber's show shares their hilariously authentic stories as black millennials in Los Angeles. We were so excited to sit down with them on one of our webinars to talk about the hard conversations and best practices of being a co-host.
These conversations can feel really difficult, or premature–but they're not! If you talk about how you like to communicate and what the revenue split should look like before you hit a conflict point, you can avoid that conflict altogether! And as far as premature goes–we're of the opinion that it's never too early to start taking your podcast seriously. Read on for some more takeaways about how to be the best co-host you can be.
Get in sync
In a perfect world, you'd be in the same room with your co-host rather than working remotely, but we know that's not always possible–plus, one of the wonderful things about podcasting is just how much can be done remotely compared to other mediums.
When you are working remotely, it's important to be in sync–we can't think of anything more stressful than working through what you thought was the latest version of a show script, and then realizing you spent all that time on an outdated draft. Luckily, Google Docs are collaborative in live form and perfect for remote work. They also allow you to share inspirations, goals, and outlines for episodes even if you’re not together when an idea strikes. Having a video (or voice!) chat open while working together on the same doc is about as close as you can come to a live brainstorming session.
Batching a pre-recording your episodes will also help you avoid a weekly or monthly scheduling process. Picking one day to record a bunch of episodes is WAY easier than having to do it on a week-by-wee basis. (Though if you do want to do that, or the format of your show means that you need to, Doodle is an invaluable tool.) The ability to be flexible and pre-plan as much as possible can play a vital role in your podcast’s success. Things are bound to come up unexpectedly so batch whenever you can!
Communication between co-hosts is key, and not just when the mics are on. If you're treating your podcast like a business, then that means you're business partners–so you need to outline protections, expectations, and boundaries to set the tone for how your podcast proceeds in the future. Consider starting off with a co-host agreement.
You should also check in about how you like to communicate. If one partner loves Asana boards, face-to-face communication, and is very protective of their work-life balance, that needs to be detailed in order to avoid clashing and miscommunication with their partner who loves texting business plans at all hours.
The dynamic between co-hosts manifests audibly and visually in the podcasting process. Talk about your strengths and passions and find a way to best showcase them within your podcast. Find friends that are willing to work with you and expose each other’s creativity. The greatest benefit of having a co-host is that you don’t have to do everything on your own.
Dynamic Budgeting for the Future
Creating a budget can feel daunting and permanent. However, your budget doesn't need to be set in stone, or to cover the lifespan of your entire show. Build out a budget just covering the next three or six months of your show–or build a budget that had contingency plans (for instance, if your Instagram ads aren't converting after three months, make a part of your budget being where that money will go.) Depending on your show, you'll have larger expenses in some categories than others–Charlie with Ladies Doing Stuff said that marketing takes up the largest part of their budget right now.Your budget should also account for where the money is coming from. Is it a 50/50 split? Or does one partner cover marketing, and the other production?
Besides setting up a budget, it's important to actually document expenses and earnings. That means your budget is a living document that needs to be tracked an edited–an app like Expensify can help out with both you and your partner being on the same page.
The main takeaway here is that while it’s important to take care of your audience, it’s important to start with taking care of each other, and sometimes caring for a business partner can look different than caring for a friend!