Insight

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Feed your mind as well as your body

At the beginning of last week, I shared something on LinkedIn.  The Lomas house needed to step away from the Today Programme on Radio 4 and start its day differently.

191114 LinkedIn Post Re Podcasts

We were slow to get up in the mornings as we sank ever further into the quagmire of Westminster politics. More and more often, beginning our day with a disagreement. Leaving the house grumpy. Miserable at the state of the world. Not hearing any news relevant to our own region.

Turns out that it wasn’t just us. Others in our team, in our network, in our circle of friends and in our street felt the same.

So I asked for podcast recommendations and we spent the week listening to something new every morning. We have listened to people talk about planning, mental health, heritage, gardens, cycling, engineering, business and social media. We have heard different voices and fresh points of view. Lots of women, younger people, folks working in other industries and different parts of the industry.

And we have begun our day positively. Happier, kinder to each other, more energised. We’ve also found that we make better conversation.

In the words of our graphic designer Laura, “I always pop on a podcast episode or an audiobook for the first hour when I first sit down to work, just to frame my mind, and try to learn something new. I’ve found that starting the day full of gratitude has had such a positive impact on my daily work.”

We ventured back into the Today Programme this morning… and promptly turned it off, preferring to get up instead. The other half said, “Getting up has become an event to look forward to rather than a drag”. Looks like our mornings will be more positive from now on.

Thinking about creating a podcast?

A podcast is a brilliant marketing tool. It gives you the space to present a complex idea, brings others into your conversation and positions you with those clever minds.  You can create something specifically for your own niche audience.

Our top tips for creating a great podcast.

  • Do plan your conversation. As host you are also guide – make sure you’ve prepared more questions or insights than you need. And if the conversation runs dry, bring it to a close.
  • Don’t answer your own rambling question before your guests. Yes it’s your podcast, but the guests are always more interesting than you are.
  • Do take care with your audio set-up. Quality of sound really matters.
  • Don’t interrupt the conversation with an advert. Sponsors – please tread lightly.
  • Do remember your audience. “London” is not “everyone”. Please don’t present a regional issue as a national one, or a challenge for older people or professionals as something that affects everybody. We’ve turned off three podcasts this week because of bias.
  • Don’t be afraid to be controversial. A fresh point of view, a disagreement, a question. That’s what makes a conversation interesting.
  • Do engage with your listeners on social media. New listeners come from recommendations; word of mouth is your most powerful marketing tool.
  • Finally, do be interesting. If you’re interested in something, you can be confident that others will be too.

Here’s what we listened to:

50 Shades of Planning. A podcast by planners, for planners. Always enjoy this one. Recommended by Kevin Whitmore of BECG.

Creative Class. Aimed at freelancers but with important messages for anyone running a business. Recommended by our graphic designer Laura Stoker.

The Disrupters. BBC podcast talking to people who have disrupted the world of work. Recommended by Naomi Kelsall at Kelsall Architects.

The Engineers Collective. Conversations about how engineers think and work. Recommended by Jonny Yusuf at DYSE.

The English Heritage podcast. “Bringing the history of our sites to life”. Recommended by Bernadette Bone of BB Heritage Studio.

Hashtag Authentic. A series of podcasts about mental health, social media, running a business or working freelance. Recommended by Sarah Green at Another AI.

Roots and All. Conversations about garden design and landscape architecture. Recommended by Carolyn Willits of CW Studio.

Without fail. “Candid conversations with people who have done hard things”. We listened to “The Cyclist Who Blew the Whistle on Doping” and it was brilliant. Recommended by Paul Swaddle at The NBS

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