I can't pinpoint the first time I listened to a podcast but it has got to be around the beginning of 2019. I didn't really understand the point of them and having always been a visual person, I much preferred watching videos of people rather than just listening to them.
But as the year went on, and time seemed to speed up, I found that I didn't have much time to sit down and watch a YouTube review or read a book. I'm originally from Hampshire and having never really got over the fact I don't live there anymore (homesickness really kicked in around the 4-year mark!), I am constantly in the car driving back.
As much as I love listening to music, there is only so much radio a girl can handle. 4 hours is a long time, luckily I love driving, however, that time could be spent getting a lot done for my photography, so I like to try and utilise the time by listening to podcasts.
The majority of these recommendations are business based, and also predominantly created by females (which ties in quite nicely with the fact that it was #internationalwomensday the other day!) although I have added a couple of light-hearted ones in just to lighten the tone!
"Putting the spotlight on female entrepreneurs in their teens, twenties and thirties who have dared to go solo and launch their own business in the UK…"
I remember discovering this podcast whilst stuck in my car queuing to get past Stonehenge. I must have been about 4 hours into one hell of a journey (it normally takes me 4 hours door to door) with around 2 hours left to go by the looks of how all the traffic was going. I wanted something that wasn't just another business podcast telling me to do certain things, I wanted a podcast that felt like I was just listening to friends talk. Business podcasts telling you how to sort finances out or how to build a website are great but after about an hour I do tend to zone out a little bit. I really enjoy hearing stories about people and their lives so to listen to stories about ambitious and motivated women similar to my age was just what I needed.
You can really tell that Fi, (Fiona Grayson) the Founder of She Can She Did, puts so much effort into each and every episode. I love hearing her little summaries at the beginning of each podcast as I then know exactly what I'm about to listen too. It also means that if I don't have quite enough time I can filter through the summaries to find one that is really beneficial to me.
I also love this podcast for the fact Fi introduces so many new businesses to her listeners. About 80% of the people she talks too I've genuinely never heard of but by the end of them I feel like I could count them as a friend - that is how lovely her podcasts are! It's also nice that she talks to really down to earth ladies who, most of the time, have created a business pretty organically, with little to no investment, which proves that creating a successful business really is possible with enough drive and determination.
"The Winging It Podcast is here for business babes and savvy career women to help you learn how to build, maintain and totally own a career that you love with a heavy emphasis on prioritising your own wellness to live your happiest life."
I found both She Can She Did and The Winging It Podcast around a similar time. The good thing about Apple Podcasts is that when you click or subscribe onto a podcast it often shows other similar ones that other listeners have been listening too, which is probably how I came across this one.
I love Lucy's approach to these podcasts and her guests. She's not afraid to say what she's thinking, whether it be about something that happened way back in the past or something that happened literally last week with a client.
This podcast is a lot more business focussed, as in a lot of the time it is having a guest on to tell the listeners how to achieve something etc, but I do find them useful and actually learn a hell of a lot from them. I think because I feel like I can relate to Lucy so much ie. her personality and her humour, I genuinely really enjoy listening to them.
3. It Starts with a Click - Olivia Bossert
"It Starts With A Click" was created to help fashion photographers grow their businesses on their own terms."
Having graduated from University in 2018, I was, as I always bang on about, at a complete loss with what to do. My portfolio wasn't up to scratch and I knew I needed to change something. This was when I decided to look at the idea of going down Fashion and Lifestyle photography. I had been following Olivia on Instagram for a while, and after assisting her on a couple of shoots, we became friends. I was blown away by her knowledge so when I saw she had created a podcast I knew it would be so educational.
I'm not saying every photographer is secretive, but I'd say that up until recently, a lot of photographers were very 'hush hush' about how they gained clients, how they edited images and how they succeed in such a saturated market. Olivia breaks this mould completely. Each podcast is packed with tips and tricks to help you succeed in this industry. I think I also really like this podcast because it is pretty niche. A lot of podcasts for photographers are very generalised, trying to suit an array of photographers from food to weddings, events to sports. By having a podcast that is solely focused on fashion photography, you know exactly what you're getting and you know it's coming from someone with real experience in the field.
4. Foreign and not so Foreign - Rob Hronkovic & Natasha Plant
"Two graduates trying to fight through life, one language barrier at a time, giving unwanted advice and honest opinions."
If I didn't include this podcast in my top 5 then I would be an extremely bad friend. Natasha and I met when we were working in a pretty sh*tty, well know steakhouse chain. Both newly graduated we used to spend our mornings depressed as hell, wondering why we weren't in well-paid jobs suited to our degrees. It's a pretty weird thing to bond over, and I can't say we were healthy for each other AT ALL (lol), but our friendship blossomed. We used to talk about starting our own YouTube channel - be thankful we didn't because it would have consisted of us dancing to High School Musical and crying over the fact we hated our jobs. Where was Tik-Tok when all of this was happening!!!
Rob is Tasha's boyfriend and an all-round great guy. The type that's not afraid to make tik-toks with his girlfriend's friend. I literally love them both so when they announced they were finally creating a podcast I was so excited for them.
They've only got 2 episodes out at the moment, one of which features yours truly, but if you want to listen to two people that are SO RELATABLE and funny, especially if you are newly graduated, then make sure you listen to Foreign and not so Foreign.
5. Happy Place
"Fearne Cotton talks to incredible people about life, love, loss, and everything in-between as she reveals what happiness means to them."
My final recommendation is Happy Place by Fearne Cotton. This one has nothing to do with business, or graduating, but rather just day to day life. She talks to some big stars about how they've coped with certain barriers in their lives which give such a raw and vulnerable insight into the real lives of these 'celebrities' we know.
My particular favourite one (that I've listened to so far) is the Tom Odell one where he talks about panic attacks and anxiety. Its something that I can relate to only too well so to know that someone, that has a pretty big following, has experienced the same thing, and is learning to cope with it was really beneficial.
I also love listening to this podcast as you don't have to concentrate. I know that sounds pretty weird but I always feel like with business based podcasts you really have to concentrate in order to take in all the information. With Happy Place, you can just relax and switch off for half an hour or so.
I hope this gives you some inspiration for who to listen too. With everything that is going on in the world, and total isolation seeming to be pretty imminent, a hell of a lot of small businesses will be struggling. Maybe take an hour to switch off from all the bad news and listen to some of these podcasts. I promise they will bring motivation and happiness back and just remember, we are all going through the same thing. Covid-19 is hopefully a temporary bump in our business roads and as long as we stick with our business (whether you're a Photographer, Illustrator, MUA, Hair Stylist etc) we will all be ok!
Most importantly, STAY SAFE, be kind and take this time to just relax and re-focus.