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3 Things To Consider Before Bringing On A Co-Host

November 15, 2021

In episode #79 of the podcast I talked about ways to navigate the difficult discussion that is firing your Co-Host, but I also talked about some things you could do before “hiring” a Co-Host. I thought I’d type that out here for anyone who prefers reading over listening. And, you know, all that sweet sweet SEO juice.

#1 Freak them out with your vision

As the Producer, the CEO, if you will, you’ve got a vision for this podcast, and it might be grand – in fact, there’s a good chance it’s pretty grand. This is your no-holds-barred, no-limits, big-dreaming vision. Share that with your Co-Host candidate and tell them they’re a big part of you realizing that vision, and that you’re going to depend on them to act as such.

“But that might scare them away!”

Yeah, that’s exactly correct, it might. But that’s a good thing because, if it’s true, you don’t want to find out they’re not willing to commit to a vision that big when you’re 6-months in and just starting to turn a corner. It’s preferable to lose them before you hire them over losing them once you depend on them.

#2 Talk very specifically about responsibilities

Editing, guest-wrangling, social promotion, and supporting-content creation (like episode artwork, or memes for your social, or whatever) – you need to be doing these things, and it can’t all be on the CEO, it’s gotta be a somewhat fair distribution of responsibilities.

You’re the CEO, so you can’t expect your Co-Host to feel as vested, or have as much to gain, as you do as the CEO, so a 50/50 split of effort probably isn’t appropriate, but 60/40? 70/30? Absolutely.

Your Co-Host cannot just show up and be talent for the runtime of the episode – that’s not enough commitment in almost 100% of cases, and you’ll get more and more frustrated about their doing so the longer it goes on. You can’t do this on your own and if you don’t realize it now, it’ll be a hard lesson to learn later.

Identify the weekly and monthly tasks that your show requires, and divvy them up between you and your co-host. Get a verbal or written commitment that you can use later to hold your co-host accountable if they begin slacking off; you want to be able to show them what they promised, that ways it’s not about you coming down on them, it’s about them not keeping their promises or meeting the expectations they set with you.

#3 Have the money talk and form an LLC

Don’t take for granted the strength of your relationship with your Co-Host as being such it could survive a “money argument.” Money fucks with people, it makes all of us a little weird, and no two people seem to view it or regard it the same.

Early expenses include podcast hosting, website hosting, a communications based solution (like Riverside.FM), and probably some social tools or design tools. Here’s an example:

  • Adobe Creative Suite : $50/mo
  • Captivate.FM : $19/mo
  • Custom Domain : $15/yr
  • Website Hosting : $15/mo
  • Izotope RX9 Standard : $399
  • Zapier : $19/mo

That’s $103 in monthly purchases, $15 in annual renewals, and $399 in one time buys. That’s $1650 in your first year. Plus your gear, which, depending on your budget might add $500-$1000 in upfront startup costs. That’s ~$2100-$2600 in the first year.

If you want to take on that entire financial burden, you better be damn sure you really want to. If not, you’ll get sour over time and you’ll use the financial investment as a way to shame your Co-Host when you want them to do something – and that’s not fair to them. 60/40 is more than fair; 50/50 if you can get it.

My recommendation is, as I’ve talked about before, to found an LLC, open a business bank account with NOVO Bank, drop the money in that account, and use a company debit card to make these purchases. Isolate money for the podcast from your (or your co-host’s) personal money.

Get the financial commitment up front, deposit both halves into a business checking account, and spend from there. Keep track of it, and make sure you spend it all by the end of the year so you don’t operate at a profit your first year.

And that’s all I’ve got for you today. Take care!