Your show is like your baby. You wouldn't just grab anyone off the street to babysit, right? As you can imagine, one of the first things people ask when they are looking for an editor is "how much"?
While that's a valid question, there are some things to take into consideration, instead of just looking for the cheapest deals.
Consider your show and its needs
Is it a solo show that won't take much editing?
Is it a show with two or more people that would require extensive editing?
Are you looking for someone to take out all the "um"s and "uh"s?
Do you need intro music, outro music, ads, etc. added?
Are you looking for an editor who will take the file and turn it around without much interaction? Or do you feel you'll need to give notes to them before they begin working on your show?
Questions to Ask Potential Editors
Of course, you're going to want to shop around, and editors expect that. I believe in asking potential clients what their show is about first to get an idea of how they envision it. There may be some editors who will take any show that comes their way, but you want to make sure your editor is a good fit for your show and will enjoy listening to it on a regular basis.
Some questions you might ask are:
"How long have you been editing?"
"Have you ever edited podcasts about ____(whatever your show is about)?"
"Do you have any samples of your work or podcasts you've edited?"
"Tell me about your process for editing."
"Do you stay current on news in the podcasting space?"
"Do you charge by the length of the podcast or by the month?"
"How did you get into podcast editing?"
"How many clients do you currently have?"
"Do you raise your rates annually?"
"What is your turnaround time between sending my raw file to you and getting the finished one back?"
"What other services do you offer in addition to podcast editing?"
"When will I be charged?"
"How much communication can I expect from you?"
And, of course, "What is your rate?"
What Happens During a Consulting Call
I can't speak for all editors, but when I have a consulting call with a someone interested in podcast editing, one of the first things I'll ask is for them to tell me about their show. There are certain shows I know right off the bat I won't be a good fit for.
This is why getting to know your editor is crucial. You wouldn't want an editor who doesn't actually like listening to your show, right?
Another question I ask potential clients is to tell me how far into their show they are. I've worked with clients who are at the very beginning stages and I can offer them tips and answer questions they may have. This is one of the reasons asking how long an editor has been editing and how familiar they are with the podcasting space can really help your show.
In all honesty, I've been going back and forth about putting my prices directly on the website for people to look at before even scheduling a call. One reason I don't do this is I just like getting on the phone with other podcasters. A lot of the time, we talk about my services for 15-20 minutes, and then go into other aspects of podcasting. Sometimes you just need someone who's been in the industry for a while to help point you in the right direction.
It's not quite the same intensity as a Strategy Session, but if I can help in any way, I'm glad to do so.
One thing I look at when I'm talking to a podcaster is how passionate they sound when they're talking about their show. Confession: I love it when I hear it sounds like you're about ready to burst with excitement.
"But, you're not taking on clients at the time. What can I do?"
While I don't have the time in my schedule to take on another regular client at the moment, I would be glad to recommend some fine editors I know (while it sounds like we should all be in competition with one another, we're actually a pretty close-knit group — because we're all a bunch of podcasting geeks).
If you'd like some recommendations, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've also started working with another editor to help build his business up (I told you editors were close!) and I'd love for you to give him a try. Adam Higgins is new to the business of podcast editing, but he's been working on his own show for more than a year.
The Best Price for an Editor
If you've gotten this far, we can finally talk about money. Podcast editing prices can range anywhere from $50 to $250 per episode, for the most part. Some give a flat rate for the month, and some charge by the amount of raw audio you give them, meaning if your show is 15 minutes long, you'll be paying less than someone whose show is 45 minutes long.
Shopping around for an editor is a great way to find the best price for your show. Those with longer shows or shows that have a lot of people on them may do better with a flat monthly charge, while shorter shows may get a better deal with an editor who only charges them for how much audio is recorded.
There are some websites where you can find editors or people who write show notes at what seems like a very low price, but be wary of a deal that seems too good to be true. More often than not, there are stories in Facebook groups about finding an editor off of one of these low-cost sites and getting what you pay for.
With any editor, make sure you ask questions and can trust their answers.