142. The Podcast Producer with Sean McMullin

September 24, 2020


“I imagine myself on a spaceship, sitting at a console, with all these readings coming back from different bridges.”
—Sean McMullin

For me, podcasting is one industry that highlights the many different things we can do today versus say, 15 years ago. Technically, podcasting has been around for a while. But many say that podcasts didn’t really become a thing until iPhones came out. iPhones made the distribution of podcasts easier which made it more convenient for people to listen.

Others say that it was in 2018, when the popular podcast Serial came out, that podcasting became truly mainstream. That show shattered podcast-streaming and downloading records and made Adnan Syed close to a household name.

No matter when or how or what, the fact is, there’s no turning back anymore. With over a million shows available on Apple Podcasts alone and heavy investments made by companies like Spotify, I heart Radio, etc. podcasting is an industry in and of itself.

Second Breaks Ep142 Sean McMullinAnd this industry is supported by a cornucopia of roles and jobs for folks who want to be in on the action. There are different ways to work in the industry.

IN THIS EPISODE

I’m joined by Sean McMullin. Sean is the co-founder of Yellow House Media, a podcast production company that produces many shows including What Works, Break the Ceiling, Happier Approach, among others.

Although he has his hand in many podcast pots, Sean himself is not a podcast host — unlike many others, like me, who perform all the roles required to get an episode out there. So, I wanted to explore the world of podcast production from his perspective.

We talk about what the role is really about for him, what it takes to get a podcast off the ground and in flight, and where he is focusing his growth in the coming years. He also gives his advice for anyone who wants to jump in and get on with podcast production.

MENTIONED

Follow Sean McMullin on Instagram
Yellow House Media
Pat Flynn’s resources for podcasting
What Works (podcast)
Happier Approach (podcast)
Break The Ceiling (podcast)
Podcraft (podcast)
Conviction (podcast)
Briefing Notes, the 40th, a Relevance Edition
Follow Second Breaks on Instagram
Connect with Lou Blaser on LinkedIn

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FROM THIS CONVERSATION

You can go to Spotify or Apple Podcasts or something, you can see what the hot podcasts are, but what are people really listening to?

The thing is if you want to be part of a podcast community, that’s how you do it. You get out and you say, Hey, what are you listening to? You make comments, you tag people and you say to yourself, what can I bring to this conversation. As opposed to, what can I get out of that conversation? And I think that during that experiment, I kind of accidentally landed on this thing where I developed a bunch of relationships.

Sometimes I pretend like I’m on a spaceship and I’m sitting at a console and there are all these healers out. Readings are coming back from different bridges on the, it’s just, it’s just what I do is project management.

I think something that I didn’t entirely anticipate was the project management element. That’s what I do most of the time, but it’s fun that the end result is something that people listen to and enjoy.

Every business has a project manager. Oftentimes it turns out to just be the business owner. Or you hire someone to do it. Ultimately someone has to do it. Someone has to make sure that all these details are moving smoothly with each other, in conjunction with each other, and happening at the right time or things break down. And it’s just, I get to do it for a bunch of different people with podcasts.

The thought partnership is my favorite part. That’s why I look forward to having that opportunity to really swap ideas and be a sounding board for a client to be like, Oh man, I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I have these ideas, you know, what do you see?

I am not someone who prescribes growth for growth’s sake. I think it is important for us all to be aware of when we have reached enough. And I think that it is okay to say, Hey, I’m good, but it’s hard sometimes to know when that is.

I’m going to bring this back around to second careers thing. Because I’ve got some more careers in the future. So when it comes to growth, I’m looking at Yellow House and I’m saying, well, what kind of growth do I actually want?

I have a couple of podcast ideas and one of them is really good and I would love it. And I still think about doing it. But I have so many interests. There are so many things that are so important to me that when I decide to do that, something else has to give. And it is challenging for me to make that decision.

You may have a perspective of what podcasting is about. And you’re really not going to have a really good feeling for it until you’re involved with it. So you want to find out what it actually is. I would say listen to a massive amount of podcasts, diversify. Anything you can do to develop that knowledge of what all the moving parts are, I think would benefit.

I mean, have high expectations, make your podcasts the best you possibly can. But also there’s nothing wrong with shoestring it and, you know, doing your own thing and getting in.


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