How I’ll cut 20 hours off next week’s work schedule (and get 2x as much done)
I apologize in advance for creating a click-bait kind of title. Damn, I’m that guy now.
Anyway, I wanted to share something I’m excited about: Next week I’m legitimately saving myself 20 hours of work while getting done more work than I typically do.
I finally wised up and hired someone to edit five of my upcoming podcast episodes. Since February of 2016 I’ve been recording, editing and releasing shows for my podcast (The RV Entrepreneur). I’ve had a blast recording the episodes, researching my guests and having thoughtful conversations… but the editing process has been eating up too much of my time.
Since June I’ve spent over 75 hours editing episodes. I did the math and realized I’m spending 4+ hours on each one. This is WAY more time than it should ever take to edit a 40–60 minute podcast episode and draft up a show notes page. I’m realizing the tediousness of editing podcast episodes is not something I enjoy. I’ll sit back, scroll through Instagram, check email, and do other random things while editing episodes.
In turn, it ends up taking way longer than it should to edit episodes and I think I do a pretty half-ass job (if we’re being honest here).
There wasn’t a huge tipping point or breakdown that I reached for deciding to hire an editor. However, in addition to the podcast my cofounders and I are in the process of trying to onboard early customers for our start up (CampgroundBooking.com) and like everyone else — have several projects I’m balancing. I just wanted to quit feel like I was fighting for more time.
The reason I’ve never hired someone up until this point
A small part of the reason I hadn’t hired out was because I wanted to learn the editing process for myself and make sure each episode was high quality. Listening to each episode forced me to critique myself, the questions I was asking, and improve my performance.
But, aside from improving quality of episodes, the main reason I hadn’t hired out for editing was money.
An editor costs dollars. While I’ve had a handful of podcast episodes sponsored, the show isn’t bringing in revenue at this point. I made a conscious effort to focus on the quality of the show and increase download numbers before I ever worried about sponsorships.
Side note: I spent a little bit of time in the beginning creating proposals for sponsorship, but realized it took too much time for too little return. It would be best to just wait for more longterm sponsorships that paid more.
Hence, since the podcast isn’t profitable I didn’t think it made sense to spend money on an editor.
Then I realized something.
If on average I was spending 4 hours to cut, edit, and write show notes for each episode, it would take me 20 hours to edit 5 episodes (how many I have in the que at the moment). What if instead of spending those 20 hours editing podcast episodes, I found a sponsor to just cover the costs of hiring an editor?
Previous sponsors for my podcast were willing to pay $250 per episode. I wouldn’t need nearly that much per episode to hire an editor. I could drastically drop the prices of my sponsorship so that I could just cover the costs of an editor.
This would free up an exorbitant amount of time and allow me to focus on recording new episodes or working on my actual company (plus, the work is still getting done).
Once I made up my mind, I decided to give it a go. I sent an email to a company who I thought might be interested in sponsoring a few episodes of the podcast. I gave them a sponsorship rate of 1/5 of the amount I had charged companies months ago.
I was upfront with them on why I wanted them to sponsor the podcast (because I’m hiring an editor), why my audience lined up with their customers, and what the exact deliverables/timeline would be.
I didn’t wait for a response, but contacted a friend who I thought may be interested in helping me edit some podcasts episodes. She said absolutely and I immediately felt a sense of relief. Even if the company decided not accept my proposal, I could spend some of those 20 hours to pitch other relevant sponsors so that I could cover her costs. I was confident I could find another company to jump on the deal (since I believe it’s a really good value for the number of listeners on the show and how niche the podcast is).
Before I had time to do any more outreach, the company accepted a day later.
I wanted to write a brief blog on here and share this experience because this has been a big learning experience for me. My previous mindset had been that if something wasn’t making money, I shouldn’t spend money on outsourcing. This was a limiting mindset and I was wrong. The better mindset was to ask myself: how much money could I earn in those 20 hours doing something else and would it cover the costs of outsourcing?
In this case, the answer was overwhelmingly yes. In 30 minutes of writing an email and a proposal I was able to cover the costs of hiring an editor, saving myself 20 hours of work for next week.
Gary Vaynerchuck also said something recently about outsourcing that I love (and I’m paraphrasing a bit). Gary said that if someone can do something 80% as good as you, then it’s worth outsourcing. In this case, I think a decent editor would be 95%-100% as good as me (if not better).
I’m beyond excited to save some time and focus on creating more content.
If you’re someone who has some experience in the outsourcing arena, I’d love to hear any tips you have or things you’ve learned.
Thanks for reading,