HelloCast came to be because as a podcaster I personally wanted a dedicated system that would make life much easier for running my podcast.
I had moved from Google Sheets, to Trello, to Airtable over the course of two years. Because they’re basically blank slates, where you have to create your entire productivity system, this led to constant tweaking.
Eventually, running my podcast became a stressor. Have you ever felt stressed about your podcast? That’s not why we got into podcasting, is it?
These are the five main elements I had to keep organized and stay on top of:
1. Managing my podcast episodes
I had episodes I had to plan for. Episodes in the near future that needed finalized and scheduled for release with my hosting provider. And episodes in the mid future that needed to be planned out more thoroughly in terms of guests, topics, research, my angle, and my talking points.
What I wanted was to be able to see a bird’s-eye view of all my episodes in list and calendar views. I also wanted to be able to drill down and go over all the specifics of individual episodes in advance, not just when I was ready to push them into my hosting provider.
2. Managing my podcast guests
I had a massive list of potential guests to stay on top of, along the status of my reaching out to get them committed and scheduled. I did my outreach via my Gmail account, but I had to have their social links, their bio, and the status of my outreach efforts (such as “targeted” or “attempted” or “contacted” or “committed” or “scheduled”).
What I wanted was to be able to look at all the people I had in mind to invite onto my podcast, and filter that by this ‘status.’ I also wanted to keep all their contact details in the same place, no second app — no separate contact manager or Google Contacts to navigate over to.
3. Managing all my podcast files
Audio files can be big. My episodes range in size from 35MB up to 50MB each. You get 50 episodes into a podcast and all of a sudden you need an archiving system if you want to preserve the space on your Mac or PC. But I hated creating and maintaining complicated folder structures where all of my files would be.
What I wanted was to keep everything off my hard drive, if at all possible. Basically I wanted my episode docs (audio files, scripts, etc.), my guest docs (headshots, PDFs they’d send me of their bios, etc.), and my sponsor docs, all organized in a place that wouldn’t be stressful from a storage standpoint, but was context-savvy, if you catch my drift.
4. Managing my production checklist
I’m wanting my podcast to get better and better over time. That means consistency in everything I do. So I’ve developed this checklist of activities that make up all of the steps involved with my episodes, depending on where I’m in in the process of creating that episode.
I kept a simple checklist for reaching and securing guests.
I kept a checklist for preparing to interview my guests.
I kept a checklist for editing and producing my episodes.
I kept a promotional checklist for each episode.
What I wanted was, within the context of a single episode, to check off these tasks to make 100% sure I did them all, like a professional would do. And I didn’t want yet another todo list to manage for this on an episode-by-episode basis.
5. Managing my podcast sponsors
In short, what I wanted here was to be able to see what sponsors were locked in, with all their sponsorship details, contact info, and also in the context of the episodes that they were ‘attached’ to in the same place as my episode details above.
When I say ‘sponsorship details,’ I mean what they were paying for their sponsorship, a backup of my contract with them, and an outline of what I needed to say in their ad, the affiliate link that I’d be referencing, all of that.
I felt like having one place to manage all of this was impossible. The idea of a single app that does all of this, that’s podcaster-friendly? But I partnered with the incredible Phil Baylog, formed HelloCast LLC, and we made it happen.
HelloCast: Managing Everything in One Podcast App
Well, that’s what we’ve built in HelloCast. Whereas podcast hosting companies like Libsyn, Podbean, Simplecast, Blubbry (all fine companies by the way), and others give you fields that seem very similar to HelloCast, they’re built with the last mile in mind: publishing your episode.
And while Trello, Airtable, Evernote, and Basecamp are all wonderful project management tools, you . have to configure them and work within their constraints of fields and user permissions and so forth.
Podcasters don’t quit because they can’t talk on a mic, for the most part. They quit because the time off the mic is stressful and/or tedious and/or not rewarding. Relieving this stress so you can focus on content is the purpose of HelloCast. Here’s what you can accomplish with our app:
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1. Plan Your Future Episodes
With HelloCast, you can get ahead of schedule with planning your podcast episodes.
If you run a podcast with a cohost, you can get your thoughts down on topics you want to discuss on future episodes and clarify all the points you want to make.
If you run a true crime podcast you can plot the episode’s script and story arc, while also compiling all of your show research and references.
If you run an interview podcast, you can map out the standard questions you like to ask guests and outline your segments.
You can view your entire list of episodes — published, in-production, upcoming. You can filter that list by status, by tag (see more on tagging in #2 below). You can find the most important episodes by starring them (no matter what criteria you use to identify an ‘important’ episode).
You can customize the statuses of episodes to enable all this filtering.
When viewing or editing individual episodes, there are dedicated fields for your title, notes, research, guests that are included in the episode, and you can upload any or all files that are important for that episode.
2. Stay on Top of Your Guests
With HelloCast, you can manage all details related to every single one of your guests. It’s a full contact manager for podcast guests.
Add your guests’ email addresses, website URLs, Skype usernames, Twitter handles, Instagram, Facebook accounts/pages/groups, phone numbers, headshots, bios, and the companies they represent.
You can also add tags to your guests to indicate anything related to those guests. Where they’re from, the industries they represent, their interests, their genders, their attributes, any reason you may want to segment or organize them. You can then filter/search for guests by these tags.
3. Manage All of Your Documents
With HelloCast, you can upload just about all of your documents attached to episodes, guests, or sponsors.
The only limitation? 100 megabytes per file. Keep a backup copy of your audio file(s), without using up your hard drive. Upload guests’ photos, episode artwork, sponsor logos, PDFs, JPGs, PNGs, DOCs, XLSs, you name it.
This is a subtle feature with huge benefits.
4. Manage Tasks within a Workflow
With HelloCast, you can create a podcast-specific checklist of activities you (or your team) needs to follow and cross-off as you go through the planning, recording, editing, producing, and promoting process.
5. Track Your Sponsors
With HelloCast, you can keep tabs on all of the most pertinent details of your podcast: the company, your contact person, and your sponsorship terms.
A ‘sponsorship’ is different from a ‘sponsor.’ And you can keep all the info you’d imagine would make sense regarding a sponsor in HelloCast. And you can attach your sponsors to specific episodes so you can see them when reviewing episode details.
HelloCast is Your Answer
‘Podfade’ is the term used for a podcast fading into oblivion, quietly, sadly. We don’t want this to happen with your podcast. We want you to stay motivated and energized to produce your podcast as often as you normally produce episodes.
While there are many more incredible features we could and will add to HelloCast in the weeks, months, and years to come, as it stands today it’s a one-of-a-kind. One app to manage each aspect of your podcast. We’ve even added a unique Learning Resources section to help you with each of the various aspects of your podcast, including interviewing skills, podcast strategy, landing guests, monetizing your podcast, and more.
Come join us! With plans that are suited for solo/indie podcasters, those expanding to a second podcast or who work a cohost, to entire podcast networks, we’ve got systems to help each of the groups of podcasters bursting onto the scene.