Denise is the only UK Surveyor who specialises in negotiating leases for salon owners. She is also the host of The I’m Not Doing This Without Alcohol Podcast.
She started Find Surveyors with her business partner Claire because it scared her hearing Salon Owners say they couldn’t afford advice for their business. As a mum of two ambitious girls, she wanted there to be a safe place for women to get advice for their business.
In this episode of the Fearless Business Podcast, host Robin Waite talks to podcaster and fellow entrepreneur Denise Ferguson. Denise is the host of the ‘I’m not doing this without alcohol’ podcast, specialising in relaxed conversations about entrepreneurial journeys. Throughout the show, Denise offers her expertise and advises listeners on boosting their profile by starting a podcast.
When proposed the idea of starting a podcast via her marketing team, Denise was apprehensive. She didn’t feel like she had anything to bring to the table in terms of conversations and hosting capabilities. Moreover, Denise believed that using a podcast as a marketing asset used up more time than it was worth. However, her marketing team insisted, which caused her to turn round and say, “Well, I’ll do it! But, I’m not doing it without alcohol”, and that’s where she formulated her show’s title.
Denise didn’t want her podcast to be overly formal. She found the best podcasts she listened to were ones that were “conversational” rather than the host taking over. Because of this, Denise emphasised that there would be no pressure to be a guest on her podcast. The ability for her guests to sit down, have an alcoholic beverage and talk about their business journey replicated the conversations she had with close friends. Guests found themselves opening up a lot more because they felt more comfortable, which produced engaging and entertaining content.
If entrepreneurs are looking to start a podcast themselves, Denise advises them to look into it deeply. For example, when planning an episode or reviewing guest applications, she asks herself, “who would you want at your table?” this helps Denise stay grounded, not lose focus of what her podcast is about, and allows her to produce content she loves.
There is a multitude of benefits when it comes to starting your own podcast. For Denise, her main benefits were:
Although her podcast isn’t about her business but rather the process of being in business itself, Denise finds that it publicises both her personal image and Find Surveyors. Without the I’m Not Doing This Without Alcohol Podcast, Denise believes that she would’ve never have had as significant an outreach for Find Surveyors as the business itself attracts a niche demographic.
Occasionally, when running a podcast, hosts will find themselves with a guest that is difficult to have a conversation with. Reasons for this typically stem from the fact that the guest is nervous or lacks experience guesting on podcasts themselves.
To help create a relaxed atmosphere, Denise strongly believes that the podcast host must be unapologetically themselves. Based on her own experiences, Denise feels that this builds a rapport between the host and the guest, opening more opportunities for intimacy. Furthermore, she emphasises that the host must research their guest first and get to know them inside out. This helps produce a natural flow between both parties and creates a better experience for listeners.
Ultimately, Denise’s philosophy is to abandon “professionalism” as she requires guests to show up as themselves and not present themselves as someone who they think listeners will like. Denise encourages both hosts and guests to be empathetic; there’s no point in producing content where both parties speak but do not necessarily hear each other.
Developing on what was outlined previously, Denise believes that the key to being a successful podcast host relies on having a thick skin. Sometimes, people have to accept the inevitable some people will like them; some people won’t.
Denise inherited her unapologetic attitude towards life from her father. However, she believes that her attitude developed greatly within her own household as all her family calls a spade a spade. She says that “no matter what you do or how much you try, people are going to judge you anyway, so just accept it”. Of course, she knows this is easier said than done, but from being a successful entrepreneur herself, the best entrepreneurs are the ones that are fearless.
Salon Owners Club - Membership for Salon Owners.
I’m Not Doing This Without Alcohol Podcast
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