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Five Tools To Help Independent Networks

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(By Matty Staudt) I always tell new podcasters that they must treat their podcast like a start-up. Have a mission statement and elevator pitch for your show, make your market research and competitor comparisons, and know that your show will evolve and improve over time.

If you are starting your network, you are building a start-up. Most of us that start networks come from the creative side and might not be as organized or business savvy as someone from sales or marketing. Here are five sites that have saved me as I moved from the creative to the business side.

Quickbooks- This might seem like a no-brainer for some folks, but I had no idea or organization when it came to paying my talent and contractors, invoicing clients, and preparing year-end taxes for myself and my employees. I now use Quickbooks daily, which has made running my network easier to focus more on content.

Fiverr- I want to ensure each of my shows has fantastic cover art, and I have a choice of voices to pick from for VO’s and narration. This is made easy by trying out freelancers on Fiverr. Most solutions are cheap, and you can afford to have a few folks take a whack at your project to find the right one. I have also used Fiverr to find designers for my decks and website.

Sounds Profitable- This newsletter that Bryan Barletta and the team put out has been invaluable for me to keep up with ad trends so that I know I am monetizing my shows to the best of my ability. As a network owner, my job is to make the most money possible for my shows, and getting this information keeps me on the cutting edge of ad tech.

Slack- Many people and I don’t know what we would do without Slack. We have channels for each show and our clients. We share ideas across the network, making it easy to share audio between producers. We can also do quick calls with each other there and integrate other apps we use.

Charitable- We constantly look at our insights from Chartable to make decisions on our shows. Having one place to get a lot of answers about the audience helps us put together packages for advertisers and clients, it also helps us make decisions about content. People will lie to you, but metrics never do. A good operator knows that they need to make decisions with metrics and their creative gut.

Others we love: Trello for production flow management, Sounder for monetization, brand safety, and analytics, Google Workspace for emails, docs, and file sharing, and Calendly for appointments and scheduling.

Starting any new business is hard, and mistakes will be made. Hopefully, some of these tools can get you going in the right direction!

_Matty Staudt is the President of Jam Street Media and can be reached by e-mail at _

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