For some podcasters, requesting a review is the best way to help their show. For others, what they need is an in-depth, meticulous, critical look at their episodes to make sure they’re on the right track. I’m here to help. As someone who writes podcast reviews and has a degree in English Education, I can provide detailed, thorough, and specific edits while still keeping to my philosophy of being supportive to podcasters.
Think of me like a book editor, but for podcasts.
Given podcast editing is a very different thing (I won’t be working with Audacity, Audition, etc.), I can’t call myself a podcast editor, but my consultations will be very similar to what a book editor will do.
Here’s a run down of the things I’ll be commenting on as I listen to your podcast:
- The writing: dialogue, plot, structure, pacing, transitions, etc.
- Production: bed music, timing, sound effects, sound design, etc.
- The acting (if applicable): under-acting/over-acting, inflections, sincerity, etc.
- The structure (if applicable): intros, outros, ad reads, segments, etc.
- The podcast as a whole: the tone your podcast sets, how cohesive the podcast is overall, whether you’re achieving the goals you set for the podcast, etc.
- If you have them, I’ll also take a quick look at your site, socials, etc. to make sure they’re cohesive with your podcast–I’m not a social media or marketing consultant, though, and I highly suggest you talk to one of them if you want in-depth critique on these
Here’s how I’ll give my responses:
- First, once I’ve confirmed your consultation, I’ll send you an email to say hello and ask what your goals are for this episode. I’ll want to know your demographic, podcasts you aspire to be like (even/especially podcasts that aren’t in your genre), and how much re-working you’ll want to do on your podcast. If you don’t want to do a full overhaul, tell me in advance. There’s a good chance you won’t need such massive edits, but this is an important thing to discuss in advance.
- This should be expected, but just in case: I will not tell you that you shouldn’t make a podcast. I also will not tell you that your podcast is straight up bad. My goal is to help you make your podcast the best it can be, no matter how rough the first draft(s) are.
- My responses will start out as a document. This can be a Word document, a Google doc, an email, a PDF–whatever fits best for you.
- This document will start with a write-up of my general sense of your podcast: the highlights, the pitfalls, and main points on how you can improve. This may include recommended reads/listen/watches, moments that I really loved, things that I think might alienate a listener, etc.
- The next section will be a list of notes with timestamps of the episode giving detailed remarks for each timestamp given. Think of this like getting an essay back from a teacher and seeing all that red pen (though some of my red pen is likely to be things like, “The performance felt really genuine in this line” or “This dialogue made me laugh out loud”).
- Finally, I’ll follow-up on some more points and likely ask you a few questions.
Here’s what happens after I give my responses:
- I’ll be around to discuss edits, especially if you have any questions or need clarification. To me, consultant doesn’t mean I just throw a bunch of edits at you and walk away. To me, being a consultant means I give you feedback, critique, and also a little bit of cheerleading if you need that, too. (I also have experience as an actual cheerleader. I’m not making that up.)
- I’ll also be awaiting your second draft, should you wish to make one after getting my feedback. Second drafts come at no additional cost. Send me your second draft so we can talk about how much you’ve improved!
- After your second draft, I’ll send you a bit more feedback. This won’t be as detailed as it was for your first draft, and it won’t include timestamps, but will instead point out any additional moments you could clean up–or just rave about how great it sounds.
- If you want to send me a third/fourth/etc. draft, prices will be negotiable.
I charge for consultations by minutes of podcasting you want me to review. Seconds won’t be taken into account, meaning audio that clocks in at 0:30:59 will still be considered 30 minutes. My consultations start at a minimum of $50, like any good tattoo shop.
Here’s a breakdown in pricing:
- 0-30 minutes of audio: $50
- 31-45 minutes of audio: $75
- 46-60 minutes of audio: $100
- 1:01-1:15 of audio: $125
- 1:16-1:30 of audio: $150
- 1:31+ of audio: We can discuss rates over email.
My consultations can be paid for via PayPal, Venmo, etc. Payments are required before the consultation begins, but after I have confirmed your consultation. I will email you a receipt once your payment has been received.
What to know before requesting a consultation
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to consultations:
- My edits are going to be in-depth, straightforward, and honest. You’re not paying me to tell you that you did a good job and give you a hug–you’re paying me for my expertise in helping you make the best podcast you can make. Be sure that you’re okay with direct critical feedback before you ask for a consultation. I suppose you could pay me to just tell you that you did a good job, but I would be really uncomfortable taking your money for that.
- Be very clear about what you want your goals for the podcast to be. If you tell me you want the show to be as great as it can possibly be, that might mean some intense, time-intensive work on your part. If you want the podcast to be the best it can be without having to go through substantial edits, re-recording, restructuring, etc., let me know in advance. I will tailor my edits to fit your goals.
- For hopefully obvious reasons, I will not review any podcast that has gotten a consultation from me. I am happy to direct you to other podcast reviewers who may want to write about your work, but I will not contact reviewers for you. If your podcast has already been reviewed, you can get a consultation from me–it just can’t go the other way around.
- Consultation notes are for your cast and crew only. If you share your notes with podcasters outside of your specific podcast, I will immediately stop your consultation.
- Your status as one of my Patreon supporters will not get you favor, discounts, etc. on my reviews or my consultations.
- Unlike my reviews, I am happy to give consultations to friends I know outside the podcasting world who are now making a podcast. This won’t get you any discounts, though. Sorry, friends–consultation takes a lot of time and effort.
How to request a consultation
To request a consultation, I want to make sure we have a conversation first. Do not send me any payment until I have confirmed your consultation. To start the conversation, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information and a subject line that reads “Consultation Request: [Your podcast title]”:
- Who you are and what your role is on the podcast. Let me know if you’ve made other podcasts, if you’re a newbie, etc.
- A description of your podcast including a summary and your demographic (if you demographic is “as wide an audience as we can get,” that’s totally sufficient)
- Links to your podcast’s site, socials, etc.
- Your goals for your podcast and for the consultation. How much editing are you willing to do? Is there anything you absolutely cannot change/do not want feedback on?
- Areas you think need the most critical attention
- Part of your podcast you’re especially proud of
- Any inspirations you had, tones you want to achieve–think about what you’d want me to compare your show to if I were to write a You Should Be Listening To for it
- How long the audio you want consultation on is; this will determine your pricing bracket
- Any important dates I should be aware of (upcoming Kickstarters/Indiegogos/etc., upcoming release dates)
- Please note that my consultations are intensive, meaning I will listen to your audio several times before sending responses. This means that if you expect a consultation with two drafts and lots of conversation, your consultation period could take about a month. This is case-to-case, of course, and I will try to accommodate all reasonable important dates.
- Anything else you think is pertinent for me to know before we start your consultation
You should receive an response email within 48 hours. If you don’t, please email me again or DM me via Twitter. At this point, I’ll either confirm your consultation or ask you a few more questions before confirming. Once I confirm your consultation, you’ll send the payment, I’ll send a receipt, and then we can get started.
If you have any questions about consultations before requesting one formally, please feel free to email me or DM me on Twitter! I’m always happy to discuss the process.
I look forward to working with you!