We’re chuffed to pieces to be able to showcase one of our latest Consultancy, Record, Edit and Publish podcast projects: Business, Babies and Bossing It by Jess Morgan and Cass Bodington.
When these two fabulous women from South Wales came to us, they had oodles of ideas spilling out about a podcast they wanted to create but zero experience in podcasting. The pleasure fell on us at Bengo to do what we do best, helping them plan and produce this brilliant podcast from start to finish.
We caught up with Jess and Cass to get their take on the process, see what they thought of us (eek!), how they think their podcast turned out and their plans for their podcasting future…
So – why start a podcast?
Jess: The idea for it was born out of a strong desire to talk about women in business, ambitious mothers and the judgement we often feel juggling it all. We wanted to start some tough conversations as well. Ones that we felt weren’t being had.
Cass: This was a passion project from my perspective – I’d had a really tough time managing my feelings being a single, pregnant, woman in business. I had no one to look up to who’d been in a situation like mine. I made it a personal goal in the depths of my despair that one day, when I managed to get myself together, I would use my story to help and support other single mums to step away from feeling judged, confused and powerless.
When my client and friend proposed the idea of working together on a podcast around women supporting women, it just fit…et voila!
What did you want to get out of it?
Jess: After years of feeling some hostility, competition and judgement from women, in particular, I wanted to open a space where we could explore what “women supporting women” could actually look like.
Of course, I also wanted it to act as another marketing stream for my creative agency business as well by encouraging engagement and finding clients who understood our mission. I’m not going to lie though, I also thought it would be super bloody fun.
Cass: I came into the podcast hoping that our stories would resonate with a couple of women and help them to feel like they had an ally. But I gained a whole heap more than I ever could have known!
The first episode we aired was my origin story, where we talked about how hard those first years had been. There’s also an episode where Jess and I talked about asking for help, and it was better than therapy listening back to those episodes. I found it a real pinch-me moment, acknowledging how hard I’d worked…from feeling hopeless about my financial future to building a business I’m proud of and creating a happy life for my family! Those episodes are now my go-to when I’m feeling lethargic – they remind me I’ve worked too hard to sit on my laurels.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
Cass: I’d never podcasted before as a presenter or guest. In fact, I’d never even listened to a podcast before, which seems hilarious now!
Jess: I’d never done anything like this before and had no idea where to start. I had grand designs of just popping a mic on and having a few wines with whoever we felt like talking to.
In reality, the planning and preparation took more time than anticipated but, with so much guidance and support, I’m really glad we did put so much effort into it and I’m proud of what we’ve done.
How did you go about it?
Jess: The initial workshops with Bengo were so valuable. We had a great idea and great ambitions but we needed to develop a clear purpose. Part of that was defining our audiences and discovering how we could differentiate ourselves from other podcasts.
This stage of the process really helped us work out what we wanted to achieve with it and what the results needed to look like to feel we’d been successful. It was also a lot of fun to bounce ideas around, explore different approaches, listen to other podcasts…and there were many, many laughs!
Cass: Jess and I are both very much in the camp of calling in experts to save us time and energy, so we didn’t consider even starting the process on our own. We had a text conversation whilst each in the bath one evening saying “shall we do a podcast about women supporting women?”, and the next call we made was to Bengo!
At first, we had 2 days of sessions with Bengo where they pulled everything out of our brains: what we wanted the podcast to be, who we wanted to reach, goals for the short and long terms. We came away from it absolutely buzzing, feeling completely aligned in our vision. We also had a full season episode list to work from too.
Where did you record from?
Jess: It was so easy! With enough guidance and tips, we were able to set up wherever we felt like it. We did some episodes from our homes, some from our workplaces…and even some from bed!
Cass: I mostly recorded from my office, but I’ll be moving to my house for season 2 because there’s less echo – every recording session I would have to cover my office in pillows and duvets to absorb the sound. It was a bit of a chore.
Now I just need to work out where the puppy will go when I’m recording…
What’s been the funniest thing that’s happened to you during the recordings?
Jess: It’s so funny how relaxed you become while recording – you can easily forget that a producer and sound engineer are actually listening to your conversations! This has led to some pretty fruity language, personal revelations and some hilarious laugh-out-loud moments.
Cass: We interviewed a clinical sexologist, and Jess and I were asking her all these questions about the orgasm gap and so on. Then she suddenly turned a question on us and asked: “Do you remember the first time you masturbated?”
We both totally crumbled, looking frantically at each other and hoping the other one would break first. Luckily for me, Jess broke the silence and I kept my modesty intact. Brilliant!
Jess: Yeah – the was a standout moment for me! We envisioned a pretty serious in-depth conversation about female empowerment and feminism, and it was, but it was also hilarious.
Anything freaky happen?
Cass: Yup! Amazing women kept saying “HELL YES” to coming on our little podcast! We were blown away by the guests who said yes without question.
For a podcast that started life about women supporting women, this was beyond our wildest hopes. We are still totally star-struck and humbled that such high-level, busy women gave their time to two rookie podcasters from South Wales!
What’s been your proudest moment?
Jess: The numerous messages of appreciation and support from women all over the country through season one. It made us even more determined to keep going and even start planning season two. So many wonderful messages really made us feel that we were on to something bigger than we ever thought. It became more than just fun, more than just a marketing stream for our businesses, it became a passion!
Cass: Hitting number 12 in the Apple Podcast Entrepreneurship charts! We were above Mary Portas!
But most of all, we have had so many messages from women thanking us for talking about parental leave, running businesses with kids, the judgement we faced and bringing the conversations into the open. I’m teary recalling this thinking back to the messages as I was very uncomfortable sharing my story at first. I even shared more than my friends knew. But knowing that my discomfort has helped other mums who are struggling makes it beyond worthwhile.
How have you found the process / working with Bengo?
Jess: The process was so thorough and in-depth. We really felt looked-after and hand-held all the way through. Bengo covered everything: from defining our purpose, choosing the right microphone and how to approach guests…plus, all the technical stuff and publishing. It was all taken care of like magic!
Anyone who thinks they can do it by themselves is bananas. You just won’t get the same quality of production, so get an expert!
Cass: Podcasting is straightforward right? Wrong!
My goodness. We didn’t even know what we didn’t know. The Bengo team have been outstanding. From concept to creation, they’ve been by our sides every step of the way. Not only has it been invaluable but a serious heap of fun too. A crazy journey, but we’ve loved doing it with Team Bengo.
What have your listeners said?
Cass: We love watching listeners posting our podcast on their socials as they listen. We couldn’t have asked for more in terms of the messages we’ve received. And we’ve had so many requests to be guests on other podcasts as well!
Jess: We’ve had such a great response, it’s been amazing! Here are a couple of my favourite messages:
- “I just wanted to reach out to say how thankful I am for finding your podcast. I’m a CEO and for me taking a long maternity leave was never an option – nor did I ever plan for it. A week after giving birth, I led my first board meeting, breastfeeding through it. What’s hard is finding others like me and facing adversity and questions that my husband will never hear – like ‘oh isn’t it too soon?’ and ‘aren’t you too hormonal to make sensible decisions?’. Your podcast is a breath of fresh air and I’m so pleased to know that others like me exist. Thank you!”
- “I haven’t been this excited about a podcast for a long time. I love that I can relate to the show on every level. Hilarious, informative and inspiring…what more could you ask for?! Well done ladies!”
Have your expectations changed since you’ve launched?
Jess: They’ve definitely changed. I’ve accepted now that we can’t please everyone.
I didn’t expect any listeners really, so the fact that we’ve done so well in the charts means that we’ve done more than we imagined. With that does come some criticism, but that’s exactly why we wanted to create this podcast in the first place.
As long as I know we’re creating something valuable, that’s enough for me.
Cass: Yes! We really want to make a difference in the world but had no idea how important some of the conversations would be to other women. I really want to push those conversations forward in seasons 2, 3 and beyond!
Jess: As Cass said, seasons 2, 3 and more. I really feel like we’ve got the flow now and there’s nothing we can’t achieve. What we’re doing is important, so we’re going to need all the support we can get from Bengo as we grow to reach new listeners!
Give the ladies a listen…
And if you like what you hear, don’t forget to subscribe / follow (it doesn’t cost a penny!), leave them a rating or a lovely review 🙂
“Be more boss in every area of your life. Jess and Cass share their adventures (along with some inspirational guests) of raising strong kids, building successful businesses and creating the lives we all know we deserve.”