by Melissa Mesku
There are a number of podcasts coming out of the coworking world, each with a different perspective and audience—from the freelancer, to the coworking space owner, to the coworking space member.
Melissa Geissinger is launching a podcast, The Naked Freelancer, on April 22. As the founder of WIMP (Web and Interactive Media Professionals) and WIMPSpace, a coworking space in Santa Rosa, CA, Geissinger became particularly interested in the work lives of independent creatives and solopreneurs.
The show is a place for freelancers “to tell their stories, have people listen, and elevate the reputation of an entire movement of fellow free-agents.” While guests on the show don’t actually have to strip down and get naked (though it’s an audio show, so who knows), Geissinger said she wants them “to be as open as possible about their businesses—good stuff and bad stuff alike. I want the audience to get to know our guests on an intimate level, not just share facts you could look up on the internet.”
Geissinger is keen to meet the growth of the freelancer economy with real-life stories that support freelancers on an individual level. “The highest quality inspiration, impact and camaraderie happens when we take the time to get to know everyday hard-working people like you and me,” she said.
The Coworking Weekly Show, hosted by Alex Hillman, is “a podcast for people who work on communities.” Hillman is the founder of Indy Hall, the beloved Philadelphia coworking space, and is widely recognized as a thought leader in the coworking movement. From Indy Hall, to his blog, email list and other projects, Hillman is hellbent on helping coworking space owners—and anyone, really—to build better communities.
He compared the podcast to his blog, explaining that despite the advent of the guest post, blogs aren’t a very personal way to introduce a guest to your audience. “The podcast has made it so natural to invite my teammates and other colleagues that I work with every day—truly some of the smartest people I know—to share their insights with more people,” Hillman told us.
The show sources a range of guests from learning designers to research scientists, all in the service of answering big questions for community builders, like “How to keep your team from burning out” and “What is a sense of community, anyway?” The conversations are lively, and the earnest tone allows for a fair mix of humor and insight.
What’s refreshing is that Hillman could very well have created a show that skimped on content and relied on the buzzworthiness of coworking. Instead, the show is a resource for community leaders and anyone interested in building healthy communities and teams. This makes the show valuable beyond the industry, as evidenced by its place in iTunes’ top 10 list in the business category.
“While there’s more and more noise about coworking every day, I’m working to boost the signal about what actually works. That was really the drive for launching the show,” Hillman said.
The “coworking” that features in Hillman’s title is from the perspective of space owners and operators. For a view of coworking on the ground as a member sees it, look no further than Chris Estrada.
The Coworking Success podcast is produced by Chris Estrada of coworking marketplace Operation Spot. The show is geared for entrepreneurial types and those looking to break into independent work. A recurring theme in the show is how members of coworking spaces can leverage their coworking experience to achieve business growth—a lesson that the host learned himself in 2013.
Estrada, a marketer, is a classic coworking success story himself. After an unsuccessful job search, Estrada started coworking in his hometown of Atlanta, and within a short time launched a successful marketing company by leveraging the connections he made. He applies this method in sourcing guests for the show—recent episodes feature Salt Lake City-area entrepreneurs he met while vacationing near Silicon Slopes and coworking from Holodeck SLC.
The show is currently on Episode 27—quite a bit considering how short-lived some podcasts can be. Estrada interviews a wide range of noteworthy people with business tips to impart, from Patrick Whaley who closed a deal on Shark Tank, to Felena Hanson, founder of Hera Hub coworking spaces. Estrada’s mission is to influence people to pursue their passions and find success through joining a local coworking community. The Coworking Success podcast has received 5000+ downloads in 10 countries.
Check out The Naked Freelancer when it debuts April 22.