Over the last few weeks I have done a hell of a lot of driving to see family and friends. Unlike many people I know, I actually like driving long distances, which is just as well since I choose to live in Plymouth which is miles from anywhere. You know when you’ve traveled a particular route too often, when you find a desire to Tweet about the disappearance of the plastic camels from the side of the road, or have a rating system for the Service stops along the way. However, in order to keep myself sane on a long drive I find that listening to business podcasts can be a great help.
While I occasionally dip into a radio show or pop on a CD, I find listening to podcasts has a number of additional benefits:
- Stops me going into auto pilot (music and radio can lull you into reverie)
- Learning new things, hearing new ideas (or old ideas expressed a new way), hearing successful marketers reveal their tips and tactics, getting recommendations of other books to read and podcasts to listen to
- Makes me feel like my time isn’t wasted (4 hours of learning new things or having knowledge re-enforced seems a better use of my time)
- Entertainment – most of the podcasts I listen to have an element of entertainment and humor as well as useful insights
Best Business Podcasts
- Freedom Ocean is presented by James Schramko and Tim Reid and is especially aimed at helping beginners learn more about and master online marketing. This is useful whether you have a business already or are looking for a business model you can pursue. Even as an experienced marketer I constantly pick up valuable titbits from James and generally enjoy the banter between them.
- Dominiche – The Art of Buying and Selling is presented by Ed Dale and Danny Batelic. Both of these Australians are well known in the online marketing space but the podcast goes further and explores buying and selling on all levels. Although this podcast was started back in July, last week was the first time I started listening and have since devoured most of their episodes so far. Ed is always amusing and Danny’s dry humor makes him the perfect foil.
- Back to Work is hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin, and covers topics such as productivity, communication and work. Merlin cracks me up – I loved his You Look Nice Today podcast and wish he’d make more – and while this podcast is not branded as comedy it is highly amusing. I find Merlin’s mind fascinating – on the surface he appears to just jump from story to story and topic to topic without really ending the previous one, but has so much insight and information to share on improving businesses and personal productivity. One of these podcasts at a time is usually enough for me and I need to break them up with something else. They can also get more geeky than I can handle, and I’ve had to turn off in the past when they spend 20 minutes discussing keystroke shortcuts!
- Small Business Big Marketing. This is Tim Reid again, this time with Luke Moulton (what is it about Australians and podcasting?), with more witty banter and loads of great advice for small businesses and how they can improve their marketing efforts. This podcast always reminds me of a radio format that was common in the 90s in Australia (not sure if it still is) of having two male presenters on air. Small Business Big Marketing has stood the test of time and I hope it will continue for many years to come.
- This American Life. OK, so this isn’t a business podcast but it is a fascinating weekly podcast of the award-winning show on public radio presented by Ira Glass. From a business point of view it reveals the powerful effect great storytelling can have.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of my favorite business podcasts. If you’d asked me last year the list would have been completely different as 3 of the podcasts didn’t even exist, so it will be interesting to see which will still be broadcasting by this time next year.
There are a number of other podcasts that I would have loved to add but which I find I can’t listen to in the car due to the sound quality. Listening to a podcast through headphones is very different to listening in a car (I have a device that transmits the podcast from my ipod or a usb stick through the radio), as there is always more background noise. I find many podcasts upload their audio at too quiet a level or with one person loud and the other soft, or with too much static or hiss on the recording. It’s important to remember that not all people listen to podcasts in what you would consider optimal conditions, so if you’re creating a podcast try to make it sound as clear as possible.
Finally, I’d like to add another podcast which I didn’t listen to during my drives as that would be totally self-indulgent, but which I hope is a valuable business podcast to you. Trouble with Freedom is the podcast I host with Allison Reynolds and is aimed at people thinking of making the leap from their corporate (or other) job into self-employment and starting their own business, although it is helpful for anyone that is running a business. We try to take a realistic view of business life and cover both the good and the bad issues surrounding working for yourself.
All of the above podcasts are available on iTunes as well as their respective websites (follow the links).
What are your favorite business podcasts? Please share them below as I need to stock up for my next big road trip
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