To Co-Host Or Not to Co-Host...that is the question
Starting a podcast is exciting and for some, this excitement is heightened by the thought of starting a podcast with a friend.
Co-hosting a podcast sounds so great in theory… another brain to bounce your ideas off, someone who can keep you accountable and someone to share the heavy lifting with. Two heads are better than one, and half of the work is better than all of the work, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. So many times, I have seen two people start their podcast journey together with the best of intentions, then all of a sudden, their relationship gets complicated and their successful podcast grinds to a halt.
One partner may feel like they’re doing way more work than their partner (did somebody say group assignment?)
Or someone wants to take their podcast in one direction, but their partner isn’t quite on board.
Or the on-air chemistry just isn’t quite right. The hosts are talking over the top of each other in interviews, the episodes are a bit awkward and there’s a power struggle happening behind the scenes, meaning that no one is focused on getting the most out of each guest.
Like most team projects, success comes from getting everyone on the same page from the outset, and your podcast is no different. Getting clear on what your podcast is, how it’s going to work and where you’re taking it in the future as early as possible will reduce the chance of misalignment and increase the chance of a prosperous podcasting partnership. Not only that, but you’ll also ensure your off-air relationship remains intact as well!
So where should you start in creating alignment between you and your future co-host? Use our checklist below to get you and your podcast partner on the same page from day dot (and help you to stay there).
Tip — Some of these questions may seem uncomfortable to discuss now but butting heads with your co-host and losing a friend in the future will be far more uncomfortable. Take the short-term pain for the long term gain.
Checklist: 10 Questions To Ask Your Podcast Partner
1) What is the goal or purpose of your podcast?
What does success look like for the podcast? What difference are you trying to make to the world? What ROI are you aiming to achieve?
2) What amount of time are you each willing to commit?
How long are you each willing to commit to the podcast for? How much time can you each devote to your podcast on a regular basis to ensure a consistent stream of episodes are released?
3) How much money are you each willing to commit?
How much will it cost to edit, produce and market your podcast? How much are you each willing to spend on this each month?
4) Who owns your podcast?
Is your podcast jointly owned, or does one party predominantly own it? If someone no longer wants to do the podcast, will the podcast dissolve, or are you happy for the other person to take it over?
5) What are each of your on-air roles?
Who does the intro? Will one of you ask most of the questions, or will you take it in turns, depending on the guest?
6) What are each of your off-air roles?
What will you each be responsible for in-between episodes? e.g. Who is responsible for editing? Who will book your guests? Who will manage your Social Media?
7) What is the format of each episode?
How will you structure each episode to maximise the value of the interview? How will you ensure you’re not “treading on each other’s toes”?
8) When are you both free to work on your podcast?
At what times of the week do your diaries sync? When are you both available to discuss and plan the podcast, and interview your guests?
9) What’s the personality of your show?
What style of podcasters do you want to be? How do you want people to feel after listening to each episode?
10) How will you stay aligned?
Over time, your podcast goals will change, as will the way you want to host and run your show. How often will you jointly reassess whether the podcast is working for you? How often will you revisit each question above with your co-host? It’s important to regularly check in with your partner and make sure you’re still on the same page. As with any relationship, constant communication is vital. The questions above and a regular way of checking in with them will keep you aligned and keep your podcast’s success on track.
I hope our checklist helps you have a constructive, open conversation with your potential podcast partner, so you can avoid nasty surprises and work through any differences in opinion.
Here’s to the future success of your dynamic duo!