Some of the most popular questions I received last year were regarding Instagram growth and how to improve engagement on the app. When I first started blogging, I felt super lost, so I would love to be a gateway for others who don’t know where to start or want to learn more about the industry.
First, I would like to introduce you to some of my resources. When I got serious about growing a healthy following, I binge listened to these podcasts back-to-back for months. Each of the hosts on my list have unique career paths that led them to social media marketing. Therefore, I feel their collective voices provide a well-rounded perspective of the industry. These podcasts share valuable lessons for influencers and entrepreneurs who recognize the value in utilizing the internet to elevate their business.
Fohr Casts: A Drink with James
A Drink with James was the first podcast-style show that began answering some of the many questions I had about blogging. Every week the host has a glass of whisky on camera and answers questions that are relevant to brands and influencers who utilize popular platforms for advertising partnerships. I was first introduced to A Drink with James by my friend Stephanie. At this time, the show was only available on YouTube, but has since expanded into a podcast named Fohr Casts.
James Nord hosts the show and is a former photographer turned co-founder living in New York. As a photographer, he gained a lot of notoriety on Tumblr which was his first experience with social media marketing. At one point he was one of the most followed photographers in the world. Big brands began to notice and hire James because of his large following. His relationship with photography and social media collided at a pivotal time in this industry because between 2007-2008 social media marketing was just becoming a “thing.” The term "influencer" didn't even exist and the industry primarily consisted of a few prominent bloggers. James and his partner Rich, who used to work for Tumblr, decided to create their own platofrm: Fohr.
Fohr is not only a podcast, but a great resource for connecting brands and influencers for collaborations. An influencer is able to connect their social media channels, create an automated media kit, analyze individualized social media statistics, and much more. I feel Fohr is a wonderful tool for influencers and bloggers regardless of their following size and I highly recommend adding this podcast to your rotation.
The Influencer Podcast with Julie Soloman
I don’t remember the exact order I listened to the rest of the podcasts in, but at one point I was binge listening to them simultaneously and found them equally as helpful, knowledgeable, and insightful. Coincidentally, The Influencer Podcast with Julie Soloman interviewed James Nord from Fohr in episode 48. I really enjoyed this episode for two reasons. The first being that it was a collaboration with two of my favorite hosts and the second being that James shares his unique journey with social media marketing over the last decade.
Julie Soloman has a degree in Journalism and first moved to New York to pursue her publicity career. Eventually she moved back to her hometown and opened a boutique PR firm. Shortly after, she moved across the country to LA which is when she started her blog. As a publicist and marketing strategist she began applying her skills to brand partnerships and other influencers wanted to know her tips. This segment of her blog gained popularity so she rebranded and created a podcast. Her outlets focus on how to amplify your business using social media, how to properly pitch yourself to a brand, monetizing, and branding/rebranding. I love her perspective because she has experience in the traditional PR/marketing industry and has successfully applied her skills to the new world of social media marketing.
Many of Julie’s recent episodes are quite short and primarily promote her online program, so I would recommend starting the earlier shows first and prioritize the recent ones last. The older ones are much longer and have a lot of useful information whereas the newer ones are outlines of previous lessons.
Goal Digger The Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
Next on the list is Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher. Her podcast aims to provide attainable advice for others seeking to improve their business. At the age of 22 Jenna made a small investment into a camera that led her to discover her love for photography. Jenna Kutcher is a photographer who transformed her passions into a multi-faceted business that also include her roles as influencer, podcast host, and online educator. She was able quit her corporate job to pursue her dream career and wants to teach her audience how to do the same. She has been featured in Forbes as a top-rated business podcast and recently hit the status of self-made millionaire. In episode 215, Jenna shares that she and her husband were able to pay off their debts by the age of 30. I really respect and value this quality because I try to keep my debts at a minimum as well.
What I love about Jenna’s show is that sharing her vulnerability has catapulted her podcast and social media business to new heights. She struggled with two miscarriages within two years and opened up about the difficult journey with her subscribers. Jenna and her husband recently welcomed a baby girl into the world and I couldn’t be any happier for them! I love the way Jenna balances sharing intimate moments and valuable guidance with her audience. Lately, I struggle with how much is appropriate to share on social media and I appreciate the way she balances the two perspectives (personal and business) on her outlets. Jenna is a prime example of a go-getter and a wonderful inspiration to influencers and small business owners with a variety of backgrounds.
Boss Girl Creative by Taylor Bradford
Last on the list, but certainly not least is Boss Girl Creative by Taylor Bradford. Similarly to Jenna, Taylor Bradford is also involved in multiple successful businesses as well. Her background is eclectic and I resonate with that! I have always believed that people are able to have more than one career in their lives- even if they are seemingly unrelated. Taylor graduated with a BA in Kinesiology and minor in Business in 2003. She started off as a personal trainer and purchased four rental properties with her husband. She had tenants move in who made a lot of money as Landmen and she asked them to teach her everything they knew in exchange for personal training. Taylor went full-time as a Landman in 2010 when she picked up blogging as a hobby. She created her podcast to recap all the information she learned as she grew her blog and transformed it into a business.
Boss Girl Creative is a podcast truly for bloggers. Taylor primarily focuses on the importance of maintaining the essentials of your website such as SEO and regular updates. She believes that it’s important to never forget the basics and to continuously refer back to them to optimize your platform. I say it’s a podcast truly for bloggers because many new influencers do not have websites. Whether you are already an established blogger or new to blogging, I recommend listening to this podcast if you want to create a user friendly website or optimize the one you already have. Taylor also talks about not “putting your eggs in one basket” and I feel maintaining a website or using multiple platforms is a great way to have a strong brand and build a multi-faceted community as she has.
I hope that you find these resources helpful and that these podcasts resonate with you! I felt it was best to introduce you to the tools I use to educate myself on blogging and Instagram before we dive deeper into the topic for future posts. This industry is relatively new and there isn't always one “correct” answer for each scenario which can make navigation difficult without background knowledge. As a blogger, influencer, or business owner you have to be your own advocate and the best way to avoid extensive trial and error is to educate yourself on your craft first!