Three years ago, I was dreaming of what would come next in podcasting.
I was the lead strategist for the largest B2B podcast agency we were working on the next iteration of our service by figuring out how one of our competitors might put us out of business.
Then I had an epiphany… in a few years, our competitors wouldn’t be other service providers, we would be competing with tech companies. Code, algorithms, and AI would replace an army of audio engineers, writers, video editors, and designers.
In 2024, that revelation has mostly come true.
Now, as an independent marketing consultant, I can accomplish in 90 minutes what used to take a whole podcast production team 2 weeks.
Here’s a visual summary of the process and the tools:
Looks like a lot right?
It’s all set up one time and then happens automatically with a few manual inputs. Let’s break down the tools, settings, and how I’m automating a production company’s worth of work.
A lot of the magic happens before you ever push the record button. Here’s a quick rundown of all the steps that had to take place for a guest-based show.
- Find a guest to interview
- Research the guest
- Find a unique angle that blends the guest’s expertise with the show’s premise
- Outline the episode
- Write unique questions for that angle
- Email the guest the questions
- Schedule the interview
It’s not a complicated process, but it did take a few hours to accomplish for every guest that came through. Let’s take a look at how AI has automated that.
MyShowrunner is a custom GPT I codeveloped with Susan Diaz to semi-automate the whole list above. You type in the name, copy/paste in their LinkedIn profile of the guest you want, and it does additional research, finds the angle, outlines your show, develops questions, and writes the draft of the guest email automagically.
If you’re already using the paid version of ChatGPT (ChatGPT Plus), you’re in luck, because this tool is 100% free when you subscribe to our newsletters. Check it out »
What used to take a producer an hour or two, now only takes 5 minutes. It’s a process that I’m good at and I still use this tool to save myself time.
There’s nothing new or fancy about using a calendar tool to schedule interviews but I’m still shocked by how many podcasters don’t use one. It saves so much time coordinating calendars, sending reminders, and rescheduling!
It’s a critical part of any podcast preproduction.
Production (Via Zencastr)
Zencastr is the central tool where most of the AI and automation magic happens for podcasts I manage. It’s become such an important piece that I make all my clients use this now.
It wouldn’t be as powerful as it is if it didn’t start with the most important part of being a powerful recording tool first. Unlike Zoom, it makes it easy to record high-quality video and audio files locally on each of the host’s and guest’s computers while they talk via stream so that those files can be used to produce the episode afterward.
It’s not revolutionary technology and many other tools like Riverside.fm can do this. Where Zencastr shines though, is that they own the whole production process that takes place afterward, saving hours of downloading and uploading massive files.
Even with the raw recordings, there is a lot of work that goes into turning those recordings into a full episode and all the other content you need to make the most of it.
At Sweet Fish, we would have a team of audio engineers, graphic designers, writers, and a dedicated producer that would crank out:
- An audio episode
- YouTube video
- Blog post
- Social posts
- Vertical video clips
- and pull quotes
Now this is all automatically created for you and anybody can be the producer. Here’s how I’m currently doing it:
Producing The Full Episode
Once the recording is finished, production is one tab away. With a few clicks, it uses Ai to combine the two recordings, level audio levels, cut out pauses and filler words, and have the video footage cut to showcase the active speaker. I particularly like the “Zen” layout with the picture-in-picture format so we can still see the listener’s reactions while the speaker is in full view. You can see an example below.
One of the things that is unique about Zencastr is that it produces a video RSS feed, and listeners can watch the podcast on Apple Podcasts or YouTube. That way you don’t have to make a separate audio and video show. I just start with the video and let Zencastr take care of the rest.
Producing the Vertical Video Clips
Even with your main show syndicated across all the podcast apps, you won’t get far in growing an audience. To grow you have to make the most of each episode by repurposing it into other content.
Before, a writer would have to watch the full episode to find the best sound bytes, take note of the timestamps, title each clip, and then hand it off to a video editor to cut and hand caption the clip.
It was a very expensive process for a 30-to-60-second clip that was typically only posted one time! In 2023, a variety of tools hit the market that automatically transcribes the episode for captions but also for Ai to find and cut the best soundbites out of the episode.
Again, this is another thing Zencastr excels at because it already has access to the recordings and transcription to then begin processing the clips as soon as the recording is over. It even runs the mini transcript of the clip through Ai to auto-title and write the text intro for all social platforms.
Text Content Creation (Via Cast Magic)
With audio and video taken care of, the major pieces that are left are the text content components. That’s where Cast Magic comes in.
You upload your audio or video file and it transcribes it, enhances that transcription with Ai, and then goes to work creating all the text content you could possibly ask for by leveraging Ai against that transcript.My favorite part is that you can craft your own perfect prompts and save them so that after every upload the content is crafted to match your own tone and style.
I often use Cast Magic to knock out:
- Show title ideas
- Episode description
- A blog post
- LinkedIn post
- Twitter thread
- and multiple custom prompts depending on the show
See it for yourself! The link to the left will show you how it transformed my episode with Susan into a wall of content.
Unlike nearly every online channel, it’s nearly impossible to grow a podcast show without outside distribution. It’s one of the hard realities of podcasting in that there are few ways for people to discover your show in the podcast apps themselves.
This is why it’s important to cover all your basis and with the technology available today, a one man team can check off all the boxes in just a few minutes.
The obvious first step to getting your podcast distributed it submitting it to the top podcast apps. It’s a pain to set up your feed with 20+ accounts but you only have to do it one time. After that, you will likely never think about it again.
The top two apps are Apple Podcast and Spotify. Do these first.
Then, if you have some free time, make sure you get on the rest of the smaller players: Amazon Music, Audible, Castbox, Castro, Downcast, iHeart, Overcast, Pandora, Player.fm, Podchaser, Pocket Casts, and TuneIn.
Beleive it or not, there are 30+ more, but those don’t matter. 😝
After Apple and Spotify, YouTube is in a category in and of itself. As the second largest search engine, insane traffic, and recommendation engine, it’s become the third most popular place to find and consume podcasts. It’s why I believe podcasts MUST have a video compontent now even if isn’t as visually appealling as most YouTube videos. Some people just like to watch.
Zencastr, again 😅, excels here since it records and publishes a video feed. Unfortunately that feed can not natively push video to YouTube yet. There’s simple work around through with Zapier. Connect your Zencastr RSS feed to your YouTube channels via Zapier one time and every episode will automatically be posted there.
I once audited 500 B2B tech companies with a collegue and discovered that nearly half of the companies that had active podcasts never published the episodes on their website! 😬
All that attention wasted.
There are so many ways to automatically update a website with an RSS feed. Let you show you how I am accomplishing two of them.
- Danchez.com (the site you’re reading right now) is a WordPress site that uses a free plugin to automatically import every new episode as a blog post like this one. It only imports the audio component rather than the video, but it’s worth not having to log in, paste in the content, and schedule each post.
- AiMicroskills.com is a podcast website I built on Podcastpage.io that pulls in the video, automatically links to the timestamps, and is built specifically for hosting podcast content. I’ve used a few different website builders dedicated to podcasts and this one is my favorite.
It used to be enough to publish a post with your episode embedded into it and sharing a link of that across the social sites. Now, that won’t get you far.
You have too post the content natively and that’s where Zencastrs video clipping tool really shines. I’ved used other clip creation tools but what Zencastr did that was better was to make it frictionless in posting a good clip to all the social networks (complete with the appropriate text) to all the relevant social networks with one click. It even automatically schedules them out if you publish more than one at a time.
Because of the popularity of vertical video, we are in a rare season where one vertical video clip can be sent to three destinations:
- YouTube Shorts
If you’re turning every video into a handful of shorts and easily pushing them all out across these three channels, the ability for your show to be discovered goes up dramatically.
What Does the Future Hold?
With a few inexpensive tools, you can now accomplish the work of an entire production team in a fraction of the time and there is more to come.
Here are a few things I’m sure are just around the corner for podcasters:
- Creative Show Development with Ai: I’m personally building out some tools for this that I’ll be releasing soon. Subscribe to Ai Microskills to get notified. 😁
- Guest Coordination: Right now, most of the communication with podcast guests is done manually. There’s no reason for this though since most of the information is there for automation and it’s a huge need. I’m amazed at how many shows I’ve been a guest on that never notified that the episode had gone live.
- Automated Ai Thumbnail Creation: Within a year or two, you will likely be able to create custom images on the fly that match your show cover art yet have unique elements that fit the episode content.
- Ai Content: Within the next five years we will begin to see shows that have hosts are are Ai or the content will be entirely Ai created. This will be great for niche news summaries that contextually popular news for a niche industry. I’m sure there will be a hundred more applications but there’s at least one strong illustration for you.