Soozi Baggs is the host of the Maternity Leavers podcast. She shares advice that can help guide pregnant women and mums to start their own businesses while they are on maternity leave. Her podcast is geared for women who are in the UK.
When did you first start podcasting? What’s your experience in podcasting from then to now?
I started really recently – only launching my show in June 2014. I’d known for months I was going to do it and I had a clear idea of the kind of show I wanted, but it wasn’t until April that I got my act together, found the time, and booked in several guests to get me started. Since then I’ve kept it going weekly up to episode 23. I’ve found lately though that I need more time for my one-to-one clients and have therefore switched the show to a monthly format for the foreseeable future. I still love doing it though and will be increasing the frequency again as soon as I can!
What inspired you to become a podcaster?
I studied a media course in my teenage years – I never even completed it! But one module that I got really involved in was the one about radio presenting and production. I learned all about the technical side of producing adverts and other snippits of audio, and I worked on two student radio stations – doing everything from writing and reading the news, to presenting a breakfast show and an afternoon show. Sadly, although I continued being a bit of a chatterbox, I never pursued any of my radio dreams, but I did consume masses of podcasts for years as I was commuting in London. So when I started my own business, making a podcast part of it was a natural choice.
What is maternity leave like in the UK? What sort of information can a person expect to hear about in your Maternity Leavers podcast?
Maternity Leave for most employees in the UK is 12 months. It’s paid for 9 months of that, and depending on your company, you may get more than the basic minimum too. So, if a woman takes off the full amount of time, that gives her a lot of time to plan a career change or to start a business. And that’s how Maternity Leavers itself came about – I help new mums on maternity leave to set up their own businesses. The podcast features interviews with women who started their own business when their children were young. We talk about how their business fitted in with their career direction at the time, and also discuss how they make it work in terms of childcare, productivity, working hours, and things like that – and of course their advice for mums just starting out.
What words of wisdom do you have for women who are thinking about starting their own podcast?
I would say if you feel drawn to it then definitely give it a go. If an open ended show seems daunting, commit yourself to a specific number (you don’t have to share this with anyone). If you love it, you’ll keep on going anyway!
And if you have guests, streamline your process as soon as possible. Many of my guests self selected themselves and contacted me after I put out a few calls on Facebook, which was great and saved me having to email lots of people. Then, an online scheduler that converts to the user’s local timezone is absolutely essential so they can book themselves in easily without sending emails back and forth about availability. Finally, encourage your guests to share their episode on all their social media channels, which will help your reach – and reassure them that the show came out great, in case they hate the sound of their own voice and don’t want to share it!