Cyran (2)

The Influence Room Podcast- Changing the dialogue: Cyran Field Bampton

In this week's podcast we have the very successful businesswoman, Cyran Field Bampton. She talks to us about how her career has progressed and how she turned to social media to give her the support she needed at a particular time in her life. 


Overview

After completing both university and law school, Cyran went straight into working in a law firm. She then decided to work in-house, where she worked a number of big brands. A big change in her career came when she had her daughter. With the struggle of juggling work and motherhood, she decided to move to a small owner-managed technology company that afforded her the flexibility that she needed.  

It was at this stage she decided to set up her blog as she felt quite isolated, and wanted to connect with other mothers. The blog gave her this online support network that she needed. After a year she decided to change the direction of her content. With an interest in fashion, she decided to focus her blog on workwear and create content around this. 

Cyran discusses that over the past couple years a main highlight for her was when she was nominated for blog awards, as she was just happy to just be recognised. Additionally, she has enjoyed working with brands and getting to a point where they value her work enough to pay her. As in general you do a lot of work without being paid, for the love it.

“You do it because you love it, and because it's a passion, because if you're doing it for that long without being paid,........ you're not going to do it for very long.”

When discussing the longevity of different platforms, Cyran proposes that blogs are the way forward and social media should be used to promote this. She highlights that, “everybody loves Instagram now, but it could be MySpace in 10 years”. Additionally, she discusses how she is moving towards video podcasts and is on the road to creating content on Youtube.

Five quick takeaways:

  1. If you have started out in the last 5 years on social media, you need to go niche with your content in order to be successful. 
  2. Having a blog is an important part to content, as Instagram is risky as people might eventually migrate to the next big platform.
  3. If people have invested their money in their work wardrobe, especially in an interview, it shows that they are serious about their career. 
  4. It is important to consistently create content, to ensure people know what to expect . 
  5. Important to work with people who understand what you’re doing and how you work with brands.

If you enjoyed this episode and don’t want to miss the rest of the series, you can follow The Influence Room Podcast on Spotify and Apple iTunes podcasts.


 

Full audio transcription

- Bronagh

Hello and welcome to The Influence Room Podcast. I'm actually by myself today; Alex, who usually co-hosts this with me, is on holiday, and he... I mean, he deserves it. He's been working very hard for the past year on the business. So yeah, I'm here solo, and I've got one of our wonderful members with me today. Cyran owns the... I would say it's a fashion media brand, it's called Corporate Style Story, and it is an award-nominated fashion and lifestyle website which is aimed at successful women in business. Cyran lives with her husband and their beautiful five-year-old daughter Poppy in London. She has over 10 years of experience in the legal industry working in-house for the likes of Vodafone, Disney, and Equifax, and she now runs her own legal consultancy, which specializes in tech, media, and telecoms. Smart and beautiful, very jealous.

- Bronagh

Cyran is a digital content creator both on her blog and social channels, and she also creates content for other brands. And today, I was just quite keen to talk about how Cyran's channels have evolved. I was quite keen to understand the position or the role that fashion plays in the legal industry. We also talk a little bit about the importance of having your own brand across multiple channels and not just being sort of one channel focused, which I think is really important, and also both of our... our mutual love of blogs. And then we talk a little bit more about Cyran's podcast, Not Wonder Woman, which she'll be relaunching very soon. So yeah, I'm really, really excited for today's interview, and I hope you enjoy it.

- Bronagh

Also, if you're not aware already, this podcast is produced by Entale, and you can head over there now to check out all of the behind-the-scenes content and links to any articles that we talk about in the interview.

- Bronagh

Hi, Cyran.

- Cyran

Hello.

- Bronagh

It's so lovely to meet you.

- Cyran

Thanks so much for having me.

- Bronagh

I love whenever I've been chatting to people on email and Instagram, and I sort of have a kind of perspective of what they're like, then you actually meet them in person.

- Cyran

And then you meet them in real life.

- Bronagh

You're like a celebrity to me. Yeah.

- Cyran

No. What do you mean?

- Bronagh

Well, because my role at the company is head of talent, and so I've kind of got this surface understanding of the people who are part of The Influence Room, but it's so nice then to actually get the chance to get them in a room, just hear a bit more about them.

- Cyran

Mm-hmm (affirmative), and chat.

Bronagh:          So I've done a bit of research on you.

- Cyran

Okay.

- Bronagh

No, I think it's really, really interesting. I think that as the sort of influencer industry evolves, my perspective is that everyone becomes an influencer in their own right, and everyone has their own skillset.

- Cyran

Definitely.

- Bronagh

And your background as... Is it legal counsel?

- Cyran

Yes.

- Bronagh

Yes.

- Cyran

I'm in-house, that's what we call lawyers in-house, legal counsel, which is like legal advice.

- Bronagh

Okay. Yeah, yeah.

- Cyran

Or people like to call us deal prevention officers, because we just say no half the time.

- Bronagh

Okay, okay.

- Cyran

But yeah, so, legal counsel, but I would probably say now I'm more of a legal consultant.

- Bronagh

es, and so... I mean, your channel, Corporate Style Story, is beautiful, it's very editorial-

- Cyran

Thank you.

- Bronagh

... and I almost feel you must bring a lot of that into your consultancy now. I'm sure a lot of businesses now want to have more of a human element to them.

- Cyran

Yes, definitely.

- Bronagh

So can you tell me a little bit more about what your career background is and what you're doing now?

- Cyran

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So, I studied law at university, I went to law school. I went straight into working in a law firm when I finished all of that, and I very quickly decided that I wanted to work in-house. As much as working in a law firm is the traditional route, I knew I wanted to be around lots of different professionals and work with, you know, marketing, work with finance, work with people who were experts in their area, and kind of do... Give the legal advice from that perspective, inside the business.

- Cyran

So I very quickly did that. I went to Cancer Research UK, and after that, I went to Vodafone, and then Equifax and Disney, and I really tried to go to brands that my friends and family knew. And that was intentional, because I wanted them to know the brand, because they wouldn't necessarily understand my work. So, instead of going to a law firm that was like three surnames long, I would go to a brand that they knew, and they could relate to what I was doing, and also so that I could say, "Oh, I worked on that project," that they're maybe seeing on television or on pack. So I've always really enjoyed it. I really liked learning from my colleagues, and I think that that has really had quite an impact on my career. I see myself as a businessperson with legal skills, because like you say, business want the human element, they want to know that you understand what they're doing, and then your expertise layers on top of that.  I think the change in my career came when I had my daughter, and I was really thinking about how I could continue my career and be the mother I wanted to be. I think before you have children, you have this idea of what it will be like, and it's not like that at all. There's a lot of juggling. And I knew where I was at the time would not allow me to spend as much time as I wanted to with her, and it would have meant quite long days away. I know some people that do that, and it really works for them; however, I just knew that while she was young, I really wanted to be around as much as possible. So I moved to a very small, owner-managed technology company who afforded me the flexibility that I needed, which I am, to this day, entirely grateful for.

- Bronagh

Very grateful for, yeah.

- Cyran

It was just amazing. And even when I speak about it now, some people are just amazed, even though lots of people I know work very flexibly and remotely. I was there for nearly five years, and I started my first blog, which is not the blog we're talking about now, because I was quite isolated as a mother, and I wanted to connect with other mothers and other people, and I did that online. It was like I was online dating for mum friends. But I found this support network online, so through blogging, through social media. We used to have Twitter chats, I don't know if people still have those very often, but... It was a real kind of community online. And then I think I did that for about a year, and I wanted to go in a different direction with the content. I didn't want to continually talk about the parenting journey, because that is very much your life when you are a parent. I wanted something that was a departure from that, that was quite selfishly about me. And I did that when my daughter was around two or three, which is when I felt like I had a bit more time, and I thought, ‘What is the thing that I enjoy?’, that I've been told that I do well. And for me, that was workwear. I've always enjoyed fashion, and again, as you say, you need to go niche with your content now. Especially if you're just starting in the last, I'd say, five years, you need to go niche. So for me, it was workwear, and I started Instagram first, but the intention was always to have the blog, and I just created content around what to wear to work, because when I returned to work, there wasn't... I was looking, I was like, "Right, I need to get some new work clothes. What is the... What can I find out there?" There was nothing. And I thought, we spend a lot of our time, especially if you're in the corporate world, wearing these clothes for work. Why is nobody doing that? Because I'm getting bored just wearing the same thing over and over. So I thought I would start my own channels, and it's funny that, you know, like when you're looking for a car, and you buy the car or you decide you want the car, you see it everywhere. So, then when I created the channels, I saw... Like, there was this huge online community for women who are creating workwear content, which I'm entirely grateful for because they gave me… they give me so much inspiration now, and a real kind of community.  So, I think in terms of the content, it's kind of gone down a more lifestyle route. As you share more, people want more, and you feel comfortable sharing more. So I share my daughter, I share our days out, I share even down to what I'm cooking, what we're eating out, what she's wearing, books, wellness, because again, we're talking about working, and it's a lot of pressure nowadays, especially if you're juggling more than one thing. So, looking after ourselves, and yeah, then the fun stuff like the beauty, the skincare. So, yeah, it's become kind of a lifestyle platform for me, certainly Instagram, but it's been quite a-

- Bronagh

It's evolved quite a lot, yeah, the past few years.

- Cyran

It's evolved, it definitely has.

- Bronagh

And would you say that when... So, when you were working for companies like Disney and Vodafone, were you aware of this shift that was happening in terms of the way brands were interacting with digital content creators? Did you have oversight of those sort of campaigns or deals, or did you notice a shift?

- Cyran

Yes.

- Bronagh

Did you kind of... Was there a moment where you thought, "Do you know what, I could do something like this?”

- Cyran

Do you know what, I think I saw that a lot at Disney. It's very consumer-facing, and they were ahead of the curve in terms of, our consumers are creating content for us. So, for example, if they would say... Even if Disney had a competition, they were saying, "Create this picture," or "Create this content, and then send it to us." That is user-generated content, and I understood the terminology and how that content should be treated, and what Disney were then doing with that content, and so I learned a lot about the industry, I would say, then, and how they engaged agencies, and how they created those campaigns.

- Cyran

I think from Vodafone, I learned how the industry was going in terms of how people would work. So, they were creating a lot of the technology that would assist people with working remotely, and I think they were doing it first. They were calling it new ways of working; now they call it better ways of working. It's no longer new. So, it was good to see that perspective. Working there did not give me either the... I think it's the confidence, really, to say, "Oh, I can do this." It gave me the knowledge of what was happening.

- Bronagh

Mm-hmm (affirmative), the toolkit, almost.

- Cyran

The toolkit, yeah. That's exactly what it gave me. It was when I... My mum actually gave me an article from The Evening Standard, and there was a blogger in there who had created... She was a food blogger, and my mum said, "I think you could do this." And I read it, and I thought, "I think maybe I could do this."

- Bronagh

"Maybe I could."

- Cyran

And that was my first blog, and I think the thing you don't realise, and that still friends and family don't necessarily realise, is the work that goes in on the background. So, when I read that and thought yes, I could do this, yes, you can do it, but how do you get eyes on the content? So it definitely, I think working in the corporate world gave me the knowledge and the toolkit. I think trying it out and continuing gives you the confidence, because it's, and I say this to anybody to starts, it's a long game. You really do have to be in it for the long haul. One of my favorite quotes is, ‘If you look really quickly, every overnight success took a really long time’, because it does. It takes a long time.

- Bronagh

Yeah, they make... I think they make it look effortless, and I do... Like you said, a lot of people will assume that it just comes easy.

- Cyran

Yeah.

- Bronagh

But there is putting yourself out there, and there's creating a bit of a media brand, which you are doing, it's a fashion media brand, it's an editorial platform. And if you think of the work that goes into creating a magazine, you know, you've got your photographers, you've got your writers, you've got your editors, you've got your stylists, you've got your PR person, you've got your-

- Cyran

Yes.

- Bronagh

If you're a content creator, you have to be all those things in one.

- Cyran

You have to wear many hats.

- Bronagh

Yeah.

- Bronagh

Yes.

- Bronagh

And it's when people... I mean, me and Chelsey, our producer, we were just talking about this earlier. I always look at Instagram channels and I think, "Why can't I do that?" I think some people just have that. They've just got the eye for it. You have to have the eye, and you have to have a tone of voice.

- Cyran

Yes, and also, you also have to be prepared to learn and make mistakes in front of people. I look back at some of my old content, and I'm just like, "This is awful." But you're blogging and you're writing about things, and people are reading them, and they're all there for people to see content from years ago, so they can see what you were writing a while ago, and then they can see what you're writing now. They can see what your tone of voice was years ago, and they can see what it is now. And a lot of that is definitely from building your confidence, and deciding what your brand is and where you want to go with it. But I think putting yourself out there really does take some...

- Bronagh

Guts.

- Cyran

Guts. I remember posting my first photo of myself. Before that, I was kind of posting quotes and little things I'd found on other people's channel, and tagging them, and a follower said to me, "When are you going to post you?" And I was like, "Um, yeah, I'm kind of building up to it." And I remember posting my first photo, and just closing the app and just putting my phone down. I just said, "Right, I've done it."

- Bronagh

Don't look at it.

- Cyran

I’m not going to look, I'm just going to leave it there. And I think that photo got more likes than the content before, because people wanted to see you, they really wanted to see who was writing the captions. So, it's the connection as well, so as much as you say the confidence, I think when you connect with people, and they really... they want to know what you're doing. They want to know what you think about certain things, they want to know how you've found things and how you're coping with things, so you have to be prepared to maybe share some of those things as well. So, again, that comes with time and deciding how much you want to share, and how much you're going to keep for yourself. So, you can certainly do it if you're willing to share.

- Bronagh

I wanted to get back a little bit further. I'd love to know who your influences were growing up, whether you... Were you influenced by magazines, or were you influenced by people in your family, or your friends? Who were sort of your fashion influences growing up?

- Cyran

I would say... So, fashion-wise, I had a neighbour who was always impeccably dressed, and what's hilarious is that she now runs a children's online boutique and shop, and dresses her daughter exactly the same as she was-

- Bronagh

Impeccably.

- Cyran

Yes. I really, really loved her style. She influenced me so much, I probably... Thinking back, I think she thought, "She's just copying me," you know, as children do. But I was really influenced by her style. And in terms of other influence, it was definitely family. I come from a very big family. I have 10 aunts and uncles on one side, and then an aunt and uncle on the other side, so the family influence is huge, and also because it's generational. I think my mum has a huge influence on me, and now that I'm older, so do my siblings, and it's really nice to acknowledge where your influence comes from as an adult, certainly.

- Cyran

But I actually think that, yes, back then, family and friends were my biggest influence, and I still think that now, my biggest influence is probably still family and friends. I'll ask sometimes my followers a question, if they've got any recommendations for things, and then when I get their recommendations, I am looking at them, because I think if you followed me because maybe I post certain content, you're obviously interested in this content, so I'm also going to take your suggestions. But yeah, I think certainly back then, family and friends.

- Bronagh

And how big a place does fashion have in the legal industry? Do you think there is a separation between women who dress in a particular way to women that don't? I watched a documentary the other weekend about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and you can tell that fashion is very much a part of her persona.

- Cyran

Yeah, yeah.

- Bronagh

And it's frustrating, because I do love fashion, and I do think it makes you feel confident, and it's all about self-expression, but it just feels like in the legal industry particularly, men just have to wear a plain suit.

-  Cyran

Men have just got it easy.

- Bronagh

Yeah.

- Cyran

However, there are still some rules for them.

- Bronagh

Okay.

- Cyran

There are.

- Bronagh

Yeah.

- Cyran

I think that, firstly, shows like Suits have made people think, firstly, that that is what working in law is like. It's nothing like that. You will get a tan off of the photocopier when you first start. That's what I was doing, I was photocopying, I was working in an office. I say "office"; no windows, just paper everywhere. Totally the opposite of glamorous. But I've read some things from the wardrobe designer of that show, and they're all wearing Prada, Armani, like really high-end kind of pieces, and they look amazing. They're all tailored to them as well. So I think people have this image of what lawyers wear. That's not the case, it's not.

- Bronagh

Okay.

- Cyran

However, do I think that generally, in any industry, people that pay attention and take time in what they're wearing get ahead? In my opinion, yes. I say this to people because I think that if you've taken pride in what you're wearing, especially when it's something like a suit, or you have to wear business formal or that kind of thing, it's not something you will wear on the weekends. So certainly, when I've been in interviewing roles, if I can see that people have invested their money in their work wardrobe, I then think that they are serious about their career. And I think that is the general consensus; some people may not necessarily be interested, but I think in this day and age, I think it's quite important.

- Cyran

I also think that if you are mixing in, and I mean where appropriate, trends, to me you have your finger on the pulse, you are well... Like, you are up on current affairs, you are somebody who is... I don't want to say "down with the kids," because that would suggest I'm not. But, you know, just somebody who is keeping in touch with things that are going on currently.

- Bronagh

Popular culture.

- Cyran

Popular culture.

- Bronagh

Yeah, human interest.

-  Cyran

I want those people. You know, you need a good mix on your team; I want those people who are going to skill me.

- Bronagh

The more lawyers I meet, the more I'm like, "these are the coolest people in the industry." Honestly, I find that it's actually, if you work with record labels or model agents or acting agents, it's always the lawyers that spot talent.

- Cyran

Oh, really? That's really interesting.

- Bronagh

Yeah, I've just found so much that most of the lawyers that I've met in my career so far have been the ones that... Because they see the deals that are happening, essentially, they are the ones that are kind of nurturing people at the very early stages of their career, and they do have a real sense of what is happening in popular culture. They're like the ultimate multitaskers.

- Cyran

Do you know, I think, certainly where I sit, because I'm in the technology space, so I've been to seminars and things, and I'm learning about technology that nobody is then able to show me. Like, it's a concept, and you're... Exactly, you're listening to lawyers discuss this thing that doesn't yet exist in tangible form, and they know all about it. They know what it should do, they know what the problems may be. I remember going to seminars speaking about the cloud. It was like this-

- Bronagh

The ominous cloud.

- Cyran

It was like this mythical creature. I remember turning to my colleague and saying, "What is this? What is this cloud?" I was so young, I didn't even really understand what was going on. But it's those things that they're... They are, they're at the inception of the idea. So, yeah, I think they're at the cutting edge.

- Bronagh

The forefront.

- Cyran

Yeah.

- Bronagh

So tell me a little bit more about what you're doing now. Do you work with brands? What is the balance between editorial and commercial stuff that you do on your channels?

- Cyran

I think that... I certainly do work with brands. I'm quite picky about which brands I work with, because ultimately, I think for me, it was more of an inspirational thing. I wanted to be... I wanted to help women put together outfits, initially, and take away some of that headache in the morning. Now, I think that I have a community online that really value what I have to say, and vice versa, and I don't want to just constantly sell them clothes, and I want to make sure I'm also doing that in a sustainable and ethical way. So, if I work with a high street retailer, for example, I have some of my favorites, I like high street retailers that make sure that their brand campaigns, firstly, are diverse. That's really important to me, and there are some that do it really well, and there are some that don't do it very well, and I get quite disappointed because I'm like, "Oh, I love your stuff, and I would really like to work with you, but your brand campaigns maybe aren't as diverse or as inclusive as I'd like," and that really, it kind of-

- Bronagh

It comes across dated, doesn't it?

- Cyran

It does. That's the word, it's dated.

- Bronagh

You think, "Who's the one leading this strategy?"

- Cyran

That's it, that's... I've had these conversations. I've had these conversations with brands, and I've had them with other content creators, and I'm almost... I think, "I'd like to work with you," and then I think, "and I'm not getting the invite to work with you," and I don't know, again, who's leading those conversations. But it is important that brands have a diverse, you know, who they work with. I've been really fortunate to work with some brands from day one that were very diverse, and not just in terms of race, but also age. That was really important to me, because I just think that I'm also speaking to a lot of mothers, and I know that the age of women having children is going up, and they also want to continue their careers, so that was just... It's just really important to me that I have a diverse mix of brands that really value that.

- Cyran

In terms of mix of ads to editorial, I would say I've got quite a healthy split. I probably do like one ad a week, and that, I'm happy with that.

- Bronagh

Okay. Sustainable, yeah.

- Cyran              

Yeah, sustainable. I like to have a conversation that I haven't had to run past a brand, "Do you like this messaging?" You know, sometimes I just want to throw a quote out there or say something silly, and have that conversation with people on the platform. So I quite like that mix. I probably do more ads in Stories because there's more content there, because it's daily vlogging, it's talking about reality television, it's my routine, it's Poppy. There is more opportunity. That grid is very curated, and I like it like that. I see that grid as more of a showreel and the business card, so I keep it like that.

- Bronagh

And so you are mainly on Instagram, and you have your website, which is... Do you still blog quite a lot? Because I know that quite a lot of people are saying, "Oh, blogs have become redundant."

- Cyran

I disagree.

- Bronagh

Okay, tell me why.

- Cyran

I disagree. So, I can write whatever I want there. I can write in whatever format I want, I can put other content there. And when I look at my stats, my blog certainly is not dead, and I speak to other content creators who have always had blogs, and they're returning to their blogs because of things like the algorithm, the likes potentially disappearing or disappearing, the worrying about when people are online, whereas your blog is always there. You can post that content when you want to, you can say... You can talk about things that maybe don't fit in with your content on Instagram. So, for me, I don't blog often. I've just set myself some targets of blogging at least once a week, and I now put in stories, like, "These are my goals, is to do one blog post and one IGTV," and then I'll report on that the next week. And if I don't do them, I tell people I didn't do it, and then I'll try and catch up.I think that blogs are, in my opinion, the way forward, because friends of mine that are solely on Instagram, I'm like, "What are you going to do when people eventually migrate to the next platform? Are you not trying to future-proof this by having your own platform, which is your blog?.” I would not build my house on somebody else's land, and that's what you do when you use a social media platform. And when I first started that first mummy blog, everybody was saying, "Have your blog, and then use social media to promote," whereas that has changed. People are building their platform, their voice on social media, and I… maybe I'm over-lawyering this, and I just think, what could happen down the line? Everybody loves Instagram now, but it could be MySpace in 10 years, so I just think, even if you keep your blog and just post the same content, but it's, I think... Build your house on your own land, and that is where the blog is.

- Bronagh

Now, I wanted to play devil's advocate there, because I totally agree, and I think that there is a real vulnerability to place all of your business on one channel, one platform that you have... You really have no oversight. I know that Instagram do tend, they do tend to try and share things in advance, and obviously they are moving in a direction where they want to support creators and go back to what it was originally for.

- Cyran

Yes.

- Bronagh

But there is the kind of counterargument where people are saying, "You're going to damage businesses." But I think you cannot exist as a business in one medium.

- Cyran

No. No.

- Bronagh

You can't, because that is why businesses fail. In this age, you have to be-

- Cyran

It's like Blockbusters.

- Bronagh

Yeah. Yeah.

- Cyran

You must move with the time.

- Bronagh

Yeah.

- Cyran

So, I create on Instagram and Instagram stories probably the most, closely followed by Pinterest, which is one of my favorites. I don't need to comment, I don't need to do any of that, it's purely aesthetics, and some of the images there are amazing. They probably appear on Instagram as well, but it's just a nice... I really enjoy that platform.

- Bronagh

Do you monetise Pinterest?

- Cyran

I don't.

- Bronagh

Okay.

- Cyran

However, I am speaking to brands about doing it, because if I post a link to a blog post in Pinterest, and do it properly with links back to a blog post, it drives more traffic than a blog post in Instagram, because of that audience is actively looking for content. They're not looking just at that one person that they follow; they are actively looking for that content, so if you create a pin and put it in Pinterest and do it properly, I also use Tailwind, if you... It's the biggest driver of traffic to my blog when done properly, and lots of bloggers say that. Lots of bloggers with blogs say that. And I think Instagrammers, I think they are then going to Pinterest, because you can theoretically monetise that same content quite easily, so it's one that I really like.

- Bronagh

What about YouTube? You never...

- Cyran

I'm scared of YouTube.

- Bronagh

Why?

- Cyran

I'm scared of YouTube. That audience, they look brutal. They look brutal. I read some of the comments, I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I don't have a thick enough skin for this." However, do I have all of the equipment to create on YouTube? Yes. Do I want to be on YouTube? Yes. I'm just building up the courage to get on YouTube. I've started IGTV, and I really like video content. Ask me two years ago if I would have created video content, and they answer would have been, "I'm scared to create video content," so I'm in baby steps. I will be there too. I have a channel.

- Bronagh

Yes.

- Cyran

You can follow me there if you want to, but there's no content currently.

- Bronagh

Okay.

- Cyran

Yes.

- Bronagh

Yeah, I was thinking that that could be a great platform for your podcasts, because a lot of podcasts are moving towards video podcasts.

- Cyran

Yes, they are, video podcasts. My cohost is in the US, and actually, I think that would be really nice. I'm always podcasting in my pajamas with a glass of red wine, and she's like middle of the day, like, "Hi, just woke up." So yeah, I think it would be good to move to video on YouTube. I'd just ask people to be nice, please.

- Bronagh

Can you tell us a bit more about your podcast?

- Cyran

My podcast is called Not Wonder Woman, and it's called that deliberately. I think Instagram is great at showing the highlight reel, and it looks really pretty, and we've got these really positive comments, and what I'm really keen to start doing is showing the other side, which is the hard work, the not-so-great days. We do not have superpowers, you know? Whilst I really like that Wonder Woman thing, nobody says Superman, that it's... Women are expected to do, or seen as having superpowers if they're doing all of the things, and realistically, it's just bloody hard work.

- Bronagh

Yeah.

- Cyran

You know, it's just juggling, and sometimes dropping things, and stressing out. And we just wanted to create some content where we were saying, look, we don't have all the answers, but we're going to try and, between us, come up with things that have worked for us, talk about things that haven't worked and have failed, and just have a bit more of a candid discussion about things. And that's where we do that, because I think when you're on the commute, which is when I tend to listen to podcasts, you want something that's quite light. Sometimes you want something that's informative if you're in that mood, and you can go to those guys, but for us, it was just, you know, we intentionally made the podcast the length of a commute, which we think is around half an hour, 45 minutes, and we're discussing those things that are topical to working women, and that's where we create that content.

- Cyran

My cohost doesn't have children, she is a woman in her 40s who has just really put all of her effort into her career, her marriage, and it's nice to have the two perspectives. We've had some guests on the podcast, which logistically has been very tough because of the time difference; we really haven't made it work with both of us. We're about to relaunch the podcast with both of us together, just catching up, and-

- Bronagh

How did you meet?

- Cyran

We meet on Instagram.

- Bronagh

Oh, cool.

- Cyran

We met on Instagram, and again, we create the same kind of content. She has, I think she has like 160,000 followers. And I really do love her energy, she is... she's actually an etiquette coach as well, which is always handy to have a friend who has those kind of skills. But yeah, I'm constantly in awe of her. She's just amazing. She has really helped me professionally, in a personal capacity, and certainly even from content creation. She's incredibly consistent, which is what I've been working on this year. But it's a really... I really enjoy podcasts. Do you listen to any in particular?

- Bronagh

Yes, I listen to a lot.

- Cyran

Do you?

- Bronagh

Yeah, me and Chelsey, before you arrived, we were talking about what we're listening to at the minute. I go between sort of news, very heavy news podcasts to try and inform myself a little bit more.

- Cyran

Right, right, okay. Yes, being well-read or well-listened.

- Bronagh

Yes. You know, your desert island discs that you listen to on a Sunday to sort of... the Man in the Window at the minute. Have you heard about this?

- Cyran

I’ve heard of this. What is this?

- Bronagh

Oh, it's just like scary, dark stories from the middle of nowhere in America, where they-

- Cyran

Oh, right. Are they true? Are they based on true-

- Bronagh

Yeah, yeah.

- Cyran

Oh gosh, no, nope, can't do it. I went to watch a scary film for the first time in five years last week. My daughter is five. Since having a child, I can't watch scary films. They were my favorite kind of film, but babies kind of do this thing where they just stare into the distance like that, and you're, "What are you..."

- Bronagh

Oh God, that's the creepiest thing.

- Cyran

So I just can't, I just can't. But yeah, I don't know about listening. Are they still quite scary?

- Bronagh

Yeah.

- Cyran

Yeah.

- Bronagh

Give me a bit of nightmares. I actually don't know, why am I listening to them?

- Cyran

Why? Because if you hear a noise at home.

- Bronagh

t's because of the charts. It's good marketing.

- Cyran

That's it, it's great marketing.

- Bronagh

So, I also want to talk a little bit more about what your career highlights have been over the past couple of years since you started your channel.

- Cyran

Yes. I think career highlight, I've been nominated for blog awards every year, and I'm going to take that, because even to be recognised when I don't... Well, over the last three years, I don't think I've created content very consistently because I've been working full-time, and trying to be a mum as best I can. And there are many full-time working women represented on Instagram that are creating content, so for me, I think that I was really happy that I had been recognised for my contribution, shall we say.

- Cyran

I think also, working with brands and getting to the point where they value your work enough to pay you. That is quite a feeling, because you do a lot of it without being paid, for the love of it, and you don't necessarily think, "Right, I'm going to do this, and then this is when I'm going to start being paid for this." You do it because you love it, and because it's a passion, because if you're doing it for that long without being paid, and it's your own money and your own time, I mean, you're not going to do it for very long.

- Bronagh

No.

- Cyran

You're not going to do it for very long at all. But that doesn't mean that you can't start out with the intention of it being a business; you certainly can. I just think you need to, it needs to have... It's a long road, as they say.

- Bronagh

Do you find that your consultancy skills come into it quite a lot? Because I guess you have a lot more to give than just, "I'm going to create some assets for you."

- Cyran

Yes.

- Bronagh

I imagine you've got a very good, sort of broad oversight of a number of things that maybe that brand could be doing.

- Cyran

Yes. Sorry, just to be clear, the consultancy stuff is just legal kind of consultancy.

- Bronagh

Okay, yeah.

- Cyran

I'm not yet at a point where I'm saying to brands, "This is what you should do." However, I think everybody who creates content, when they speak to brands, even in that offline way, does say, "This is what you can do, this is what works." But in terms of my legal skills, when I'm working with brands, that contract that you're sending to me is going to be negotiated.

- Bronagh

But it's so important.

- Cyran

It's really important.

- Bronagh

It's so important. I do think there's a lot of people who maybe aren't with management companies or have an agent representing them, and you have no idea what you're signing.

- Cyran

No idea.

- Bronagh

Your picture could be on a billboard somewhere in Switzerland.

- Cyran

Hundred percent, and that's... Exactly. So that is one of the very standard clauses, that they can use your image, because they've paid for it, anywhere. My advice would be to either remove it entirely or keep it just to digital, because I think digital is then fair. You are getting exposure, people know who you are if it's in the UK, but if they take your image, quite rightly, and put it in one of their stores in, you know, the Netherlands, you may not have an audience there, they've just used it as, you know, as if you were a model. So I think it's really important to just keep a handle on your content.

- Bronagh

The word "perpetuity" gives me nightmares.

- Cyran

Perpetuity, forever and ever, amen.

- Bronagh

Into the ether of the internet and the world.

- Cyran

Yes. Yeah, try and limit that if you can, because we don't know what's happening, we don't know.

- Bronagh

No.

- Cyran

I would always try and limit it for a period of time. And also, one of the things to be aware of is that if you shoot with a photographer, you need to get their buy-in. I'm trying to upskill the husband so that he can do more of this, but, you know-

- Bronagh

Oh, great.

- Cyran

Yeah. But-

- Bronagh

Is he working full-time as well?

- Cyran

He does.

- Bronagh      

Yeah.

- Cyran

He works, he also works for himself, which, when you have two people in one household working for themselves, it's a very different dynamic. It's like, whose time takes precedence? You know, I'm not tied to an employer and must be here from X to Y, so it gives you some flexibility when it comes to our daughter, but then, actually, I still need to do some work. So it's quite a transition, it is quite a transition.

- Cyran

But just coming back to the photographer point, building your team, even though it's a virtual team, these are not people you necessarily employ, although I know content creators who employ people, every day they have people working for them, it's really important to work with people who understand what you're doing and who understand how you work with brands. You know, because some people have photographers who want certain terms put in the contract to protect their work, so just make sure you have a team that you can all work on the same kind of level there. Like you say, it's like a magazine, but just on a much smaller budget and-

- Bronagh

Yeah. And just to finish off, I would love to hear about what you've got coming up, what are your goals for this year, and also where, if people haven't seen your channel before, where we can find you.

- Cyran

Yes. So, I think goals for the year, I did a blog post on this, was for consistency. I really wanted people to be consistent... Sorry, really wanted my content to be consistent so that people knew what to expect from me. I had my sister say that when I'm not on stories, it's like going to watch your soap and finding out that it's not on. And when I'm not on stories, I get messages from people saying, "Hope you're okay. Is everything alright? Haven't seen you." And if you enjoy creating the content, to me, prioritise the regularity of the content. So it was that, to be consistent, I need to nail that this year. So it's storying every day, Instagram at least three times a week, pinning all the time, once a week blog post, IGTV at least twice a month, and relaunching the podcast, which is once a week.

- Cyran

So, there, in terms of content creation, that's what I'm after. In terms of goals, I would actually really like to win a blog award. I feel like it's three times a nominee, never a winner. But I would really, really like to just... This is for the working women who are also trying to do something on the side. I know that the trajectory when you put your all into something and you do something full time is much greater. It certainly is, because you've got all of that time to dedicate to it. But not all of us have that luxury, or even want to, so for the people that are spinning lots of plates, I would like to have that kind of recognition for those of us doing that. And I think I would really like to get on YouTube, so I'm going to build up the confidence and just say, you know, just do it, just-

- Bronagh

Give yourself a deadline.

- Cyran

I'm going to give myself a deadline and just get on with it, because I do quite like YouTube, and I would like to create content there. So, yes, those are my goals. I think if people are looking for me, it's Corporate Style Story everywhere except for Twitter, where it's @_Cyran, C-Y-R-A-N. And for those of you that didn't know, that's how you pronounce my name if you see it spelled. Thanks, Mum and Dad. But yes, yeah, do send me a message. I like chatting with everybody, so my content is intended for people to respond and engage. So, please do, so I'm not talking to myself.

- Bronagh

Well, Cyran, it's been a delight meeting you, and thank you so much for being a member of The Influence Room.

- Cyran

Thank you for having me.

- Bronagh

Thank you for being our guest today.

- Cyran

Thank you so much. It's been really fun. Thank you.

- Bronagh

Thank you so much for listening to The Influence Room Podcast. If you want to learn more about the site, you can follow us on Instagram @theinfluenceroom, and check out our website and become a member, if you're not already. We are really excited to hear about what you're doing, what you're passionate about, the stories you want to tell, and become part of the contra economy.