Victoria Brown is a business coach and marketing mentor based in Solihull in the West Midlands, helping other lovely small business owners get unstuck and action their goals
And she just so happens to also share loads of tips and stories from other brilliant business owners on her podcast Creative Slurp, which you may remember was featured in our blog post 9 stellar small business podcasts handpicked by small business owners.
Victoria started Creative Slurp in December 2021, after umming and ahhing about it for a couple of years, and since then she’s racked up a brilliant 63 episodes.
As a podcaster of nearly 2 years, she also contributed to 6 success-killing features of a bad podcast pitch, giving us the lowdown on what puts her off having someone as a guest on her podcast.
If Creative Slurp could be summed up in once sentence, it would be: Inspiration, support and juice for creative business owners.
Let’s get into it.
1. Why did you start your podcast?
I already had an audience of jewellery designers and makers after creating my blog, The Jewellery Spot. A podcast seemed the natural progression, as I have a background as a radio journalist and producer.
However, due to perfectionist tendencies and overwhelm about the whole thing, it took me two years from recording my first episode in 2019 to actually launching Creative Slurp in 2021.
The delay actually meant the podcast ended up very different to how it would be if I’d launched back in 2019, as the focus of my business had changed. So I’m kind of glad now, looking back, that I did delay.
Two things got me to pull myself together and finally launch: firstly, getting an accountability partner who got straight in there and launched her podcast with no prior radio experience, which embarrassed me for not getting on with it.
And the other was to do the exact opposite of what marketing strategies teach you, and to tell no one about the podcast until a few episodes had launched. Although this is clearly not a sound marketing strategy, it helped me get over my perfectionism and just publish the damn thing.
2. What was your original goal for Creative Slurp?
When I first thought of launching my podcast in 2019, it was going to be focused on jewellery designers and their stories.
But that had changed a bit by 2021, and I realised I wanted to provide a resource for creative business owners who needed practical tips, to be inspired by people who’d been in their shoes and sometimes just a pep talk and a feeling of not being alone.
When I started my jewellery business a few years before, I devoured podcasts and found them a useful source of inspiration and tips, and it was helpful to feel I wasn’t alone in my business – I didn’t have any friends or family to talk to about business.
However, the podcasts I listened to were all American, and sometimes the content didn’t quite feel appropriate to me, living in the UK. So I wanted to create a resource like that for creative business owners in the UK.
I really want them to feel like I’m having a chilled coffee and chatting business with my guest, and they’re at the other end of the table listening in.
I was going to call it ‘Creative Juice’ as I wanted it to be the juice for creative business owners, but you can imagine just how many podcasts and books already had this name…
So, I decided to go off on a slight tangent and call it ‘Creative Slurp’, to refer to a slurp of creative juice. I’m now glad I did, as the unusual name seems to attract people’s attention.
3. “90% of podcasts don’t get past their 3rd episode” – what helped you to keep going?
Stubbornness. I’d gone to work in radio in 2005 at the BBC, hoping to be a presenter, and it never came off, so I think I really wanted to prove myself.
Having produced a lot of radio and blog content over the years, I know there’s no point in producing just one episode, you have to be in it for the long haul.
I was also really driven to help create a resource for my audience that was like the podcasts I listened to starting out.
The fact it took me two years to finally launch it was definitely a driver too. There was no way I was giving up after three episodes once I’d finally got going.
4. What benefits were you expecting to get from podcasting?
I wanted to build a really strong relationship up with my audience. I knew from being an avid podcast listener that it’s a really good way of nurturing your audience and building that vital trust that they need before they work or buy with you, so I wanted to get that benefit.
I also wanted to grow my audience, and given I had a lot of strong skills in broadcasting, it felt a wasted opportunity not to use those skills.
5. What has been an unexpected business/commercial benefit of podcasting?
Building relationships with other business owners that I look up to.
I had a wish list of people that I wanted on the podcast when I first started, and I’m so proud to say that now I’m at the point where some of those people on that list have approached me to be on the podcast.
To be approached by own heroes was a really big boost. I get to ask them all the questions I want the answers to on behalf of my audience, and that’s an amazing privilege.
Also, getting into Apple’s top 30 Entrepreneurial Podcast Chart was a shock – it just shows what’s possible if you keep going and getting momentum. At some points I’ve been listed above some huge names in the business world, and that’s been a boost.
6. What’s your least favourite thing about having a podcast?
The amount and time it takes to produce episodes.
I think that podcasting is an absolutely brilliant tool for the right business owner, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. It’s a huge commitment, especially if you haven’t got the resources to outsource the editing and production.
I was very lucky that I had a background in broadcasting, and am used to editing and producing radio. I don’t think I’d have even gone there if I hadn’t had that experience, as it’s such a lot of work.
7. What do you wish you knew about producing a podcast before you started?
How different it actually is from doing live radio. As a reporter, the interviews I’d do would be no more than 3 minutes long – so very short and snappy. And then, as a producer, the longest interviews my presenters would do would be a maximum of around 20 mins.
So, to suddenly be faced with interviewing someone in more depth was pretty intimidating. I learned pretty fast though, and I feel I get better with every interview.
8. What is your next step for monetising Creative Slurp?
Looking for a sponsor. I would love to get sponsorship for my podcast, so that it’s not taking time away from my business, but is actually contributing to the bottom line. I feel that it’s established enough now that it’s a good time to start looking at this.
9. How much would you recommend that a new podcaster budget for getting started, and where should they spend it first?
I would spend around £100 on a half-decent mic, use a pair of headphones and laptop you’ve probably already got, and download the Audacity editing software for free.
You also need to sign up for a podcasting platform, which is where you load up your episodes, and they upload it to all the major platforms, like Apple, Google, Spotify etc. There are lots of options out there.
I’m on Simplecast, which I like, and it costs me around £12 a month.
That’s all you need.
10. What is a really small thing you’ve done that has helped Creative Slurp grow?
Being brave. I have no doubt that having a clear idea of what my podcast is about and who I want on, and then being brave about inviting those people is the reason my podcast has been so successful.
I see a lot of podcasters just have their friends on, because it’s easy, but that’s the worst thing you can do. You need to decide on your dream guests and work up towards getting them on – just ask them – so many people want to be on podcasts, that you’d be surprised how many people do say yes.
My broadcasting background has definitely helped me with this, because I had to build up that muscle to ask celebrities and other high profile shows all the time, and I often got knocked back. So, it gave the confidence to ask people on my podcast now. But anyone can do this.
No one feels brave all the time (I certainly don’t), but everyone has little pockets of brave time they can use.
My top tip is to write your own wish list of podcast guests you’d love to have on, who make sense for the purpose of your podcast, and then when you’re feeling brave, send them a little request on email, Instagram DM, or LinkedIn.
Start with the easy ones you’re comfortable with, and build up slowly. You’ll be surprised how quickly this builds. I’ve got some really big names on my wish list, but I’m still building up to asking them.
As recommended by you
We asked Victoria to recommend 3 people, organisations or resources that have helped her as a podcaster…
- Simplecast – the podcasting platform I use.
- Envato – a great place to buy royalty free music for your podcast intros/outros etc.
- Audacity – free to download, as good as broadcast quality software, plus pretty simple once you get your head around it.