“How to Become the Center of Influence Through Honest Podcasting” with Jenna Parris of the MAMA SAID Podcast
The biggest mistake I once made was to not do research on a guest. I couldn’t engage in the conversation, and it left me feeling very lost throughout the entire episode. Needless to say… do your research!!!
As part of my series of interviews about “How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenna Parris. Jenna is a musician and mother of 2. Growing up in Los Angeles, Jenna began singing at a young age, ultimately pursuing a professional singing career until realizing the spotlight was not where she envisioned herself long-term. She continued singing to fulfill her lifelong passion, but also was engulfed in a successful career in the fashion and marketing world. It was only a matter of time before she would meet her husband, have two beautiful children and realize her greatest talent of all, motherhood.
Jenna left her career behind to be a stay-at-home mom, which turned out to be the most challenging, yet most rewarding job she would ever have. She struggled as a new mom, trying to find that perfect balance in her life, looking to books and articles for answers, but couldn’t find the help she needed to feel like she wasn’t alone. It wasn’t until the beginning of her second pregnancy when she met actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who was also pregnant with her second child that it all clicked for her. Together, they would talk for hours on end about the challenges and rewards of being an expecting mom, addressing all of their goals and fears.
After several months of being each other’s confidants, they realized that their open and honest dialogue with each other was exactly what other moms needed. From that, Mama Said Podcast was born; a safe-haven for fellow moms and parents to talk about the things that no one else is; hard subjects, embarrassing moments, sticky situations. Jenna is grateful for her new career as a podcast co-host, as it not only helps her navigate through motherhood, but for the mamas listening and sharing their stories as well.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about why or how you got started as a podcaster?
Well, thanks so much for asking ME to do this! The backstory goes like this: I knew Jamie-Lynn Sigler for a few years through my husband, but we were just “instagram buddies”…nothing more. We started DMing each other when we realized we were both pregnant with our second child, due 1 month apart! DMs lead to texts, texts lead to phone calls, and phone calls lead to lunch dates! Jamie and I were open, honest and vulnerable with each other about the pretty and shitty of pregnancy, birth and parenting. We depended on each other for advice, laughs and to not feel alone. We would often look back at our text messages and laugh, and eventually we realized our raw conversations could really help other mama’s out there. After about 9 months of brainstorming and planning, we gave birth to a happy, healthy podcast called MAMA SAID!
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
I talk a lot about having anxiety on the podcast. I am open and honest about it, because I know there are other moms out there that are suffering as well. Sharing details about my anxiety on the podcast has not only made me feel like I’m getting things off my chest, but it also motivates me to get the help I need to heal. I feel like I have a responsibility to myself and our listeners to put my money where my mouth is!
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
We’re still so new! But I think the biggest mistake I once made was to not do research on a guest. I couldn’t engage in the conversation, and it left me feeling very lost throughout the entire episode. Needless to say… do your research!!!
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
We aired our first episode in February, so it’s been 6 months! We are still newbies, with 28 episodes under our belt.
What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?
We want our listeners to know that they are NOT alone in this crazy thing called parenting. When I had both my children, I felt ALL the emotions… sad, excited, scared, happy, depressed. It’s not easy to admit that sometimes you want to flush your children down the toilet, run away from your husband and become a professional rosé drinker… so I guess the takeaway here is… maybe after people listen to our podcast, they won’t feel so bad about having the same exact thoughts ;)
Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast?
Podcaster Influencer, Jenna Parris of the MAMA SAID Podcast shares the best ways to:
Gee, thanks for the compliment!
Book Great Guests — I’d say about 95% of our guests are either a friend of mine or Jamie’s. I think having a connection to the guest makes it a very personal and intimate conversation that flows naturally. If we don’t know them, we do our research so it seems like we’ve been BFF for a long time.
Increase Listeners — Social media helps with increasing your listeners. Talk about your guest the day before the episode airs…get people excited for what’s to come! Also, creating a private FB group has really helped. The mamas (and some dadas) that are in the group are our super loyal fans, and they organically spread the word for us!
Produce it in a Professional Way — This was something Jamie and I cared a lot about. We didn’t want to have a podcast with bad sound quality. Make sure you do practice runs! And if you’re lucky like Jamie and I are, you’ll have an amazing producer who knows our voice, our vibe and keeps the episode sounding natural, even after all the edits!
Encourage Engagement — Giveaways on social media are an amazing way to encourage engagement!
Best Way to Monetize — We are incredibly lucky to have sponsors on our show…I know not everyone starting a new podcast can say the same.
From your vantage point what are some of the reasons why a person should consider creating a podcast series?
There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, and I’m glad there are! People want to share things with the world, and I think that’s beautiful. The reason Jamie and I started a podcast was to help other mamas navigate through the pretty and shitty of parenting. If you have a story to tell, get behind that mic and give it a try!
Nowadays it seems as if everyone is trying to jump on the podcast bandwagon. Are there people to whom you would advise to avoid podcasting and instead focus on another medium?
Well, yes, of course. You have to have the gift of gab if you want to host a podcast with guests. But like I said before, if you think you have something you want to share with the pod world, go for it!
How has your position as a podcast host and a person of high authority, impacted your business, sales, and/or increased your opportunities? Can you share a story with us?
This podcast has changed my life in so many ways. First of all, on a personal level, the fact that Jamie and I are able to help other mamas is the absolute best feeling in the world. The messages we get are so incredibly beautiful and meaningful, some saying that they got through their postpartum darkness because of us. But as far as business goes, we are getting different opportunities to speak on panels, host events for brands that are meaningful to us as parents, and most recently, we flew out to Nashville to work with a company called ABLE to collaborate on a live podcast next year. The opportunities with this podcast are endless for us, and we are really just getting started. We are new, and our audience grew organically, which is the ultimate dream. Not having to pay for marketing and still have your business grow has been wonderful, but I think we’re ready to take it to the next level. Stay tuned…
What makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or the content itself?
Our honesty makes it binge-able. Everything we talk about, our listeners are most likely feeling the same way. As we all know, misery loves company, and let’s be honest, us mamas are often feeling pretty sh*tty!!!! Our podcast is a quick escape for these mamas to tune out their craziness in the house, and tune into us: their safe space, mom community…their tribe. I think one of the most unique qualities of our podcast is that Jamie and I are very different people. We don’t parent exactly the same and we have different views on so many topics, which gives our listeners a chance to hear two sides. Our end goal in parenting is the same though: to make sure our children grow up to be kind, loving humans. You can love your children, and still feel dark scary thoughts, and that’s what this podcast is all about. We sugar coat nothing.
Where can our readers find you on Social Media?
Also, here’s the link to our private Facebook Group.
Is there a specific high-value guest (obviously still living) that you would love to interview on your show, and why? He or she might just see this when we tag them!
Oh god, yes. I have a huge list! But top three: Catherine Reitman. Have you seen her show Workin Mamas? It’s brilliant, she’s brilliant. I have major mom crush on her. Brené Brown. Her Netflix special blew me away. Lastly, Michelle Obama. Is that reaching too far? All of these women are strong, honest and have helped shape my life in some way or another.