Liz Drury Small Business Big Network Podcast

On top of having a degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Archaeological Sciences, Liz Drury, is a professionally trained voiceover artist, broadcaster and actor, based in North Lincolnshire, and just over the river from Hull in East Yorkshire. She’s been working as a voiceover artist since 2013, and has worked on projects for films, radio and TV commercials, documentaries, telephony, corporate narration, e-learning and audio tours. She also hosts the Small Business Big Network podcast, which has been rated in the top 5 marketing podcasts on Apple Podcasts.

Topics we covered:

  • Achieving Podcast success by going against what everybody else is doing
  • How to leverage software to simplify your publication process
  • Why you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to start a podcast

This episode is brought to you by “Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. I’ve been using podcasting as a powerful business growing tool for years. Nothing is more powerful than podcasting for help businesses grow. If you’re tired of playing roulette with your ad dollars and frustrated with algorithms constantly changing on social media platforms, the only thing that has changed about podcasting is the popularity of the platform.

If you’re a business owner and you want to grow your business but you’re not sure where to start, then join the FREE 5-Day Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. Within 5 days, you’ll go from no podcast to having a full realized podcast with built in strategies to help use this tool for your business.

Select Links from the Episode:

Show Notes:

  • What it’s like to be a freelance voiceover artist superstar (01:23)
  • How Prehistoric Chewing Gum inspired Liz’s career as a voiceover artist (02:19)
  • How the pandemic and a 5-day podcasting challenge started, “Small Business, Big Network” (05:59)
  • Why Liz stood out in the podcasting world by not choosing the obvious niche (08:06)
  • How Liz is using her podcast as a platform to give back to her clients, guests, and small businesses (8:30)
  • Why podcasting can do wonders for your business’s reach, growth, and your authority in your field (10:01)
  • The struggles even a professional voiceover artist had in launching her podcast and how she overcame them (10:55)
  • How Liz automated the publishing process to save hours of time (11:38)
  • Revealing the secrets to a stellar interview (12:59)
  • Why perfectionism is only holding you back from what matters most: the content (15:42)
  •  Why podcasting is the path to getting to know people’s amazing stories (18:39)
  • Why you don’t need to spend a fortune to start a podcast (21:47)


Cliff Duvernois: Hey there, world changers. And welcome back to another episode of the Entrepreneurs on Podcasting. Now today’s guest is a professionally trained voiceover artist, broadcaster actor. That’s based in north Lincoln Shire. So talk about somebody who would really like to use her voice, but she didn’t always start out that.

Her first career was actually in archeology of all things. And I was actually going to write up how she went from archeology to voiceover, but you know what, I’m going to let her share that story with us because quite frankly, I just liked the sound of her voice. So using her talents and started the small business, big network podcast, where she helps small businesses get better results through the power of networking.

Please, welcome to the show. Liz Drury, Liz, how are you?

Excellent. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your business.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Sure. So I’m a freelance voiceover artist. I work from a broadcast quality home studio for clients all over the world. And that’s the beauty of the way the internet is these days. It really doesn’t matter where you’re based and I can be working for a client in the UK. One minute and a client in the U S the next minute.

And I don’t even have to leave my house. And I work across a number of different voiceovers genres. So I record narration for people’s videos that are going to be used on their website or their social media to explain their products and services. I narrate a lot of e-learning courses for online training radio and TV commercials, audio tours for museums, announcements, revenge, all kinds of things that require a recorded.

Cliff Duvernois: I just, I love how polished it sounds. It’s really great. So what I would like to do is understanding your backstory a little bit. Why don’t you share with us? How did you make that journey from archeologists to voiceover?

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Well, it all revolves around prehistoric chewing gum, believe it or not. So, um, as a PhD student, I was researching things like tars and resins that were used as waterproofing agents and, and glues during the stone age period. And these lumps of tar with human tooth impressions have been found in.

Waterlogged sites in Scandinavia and people had half jokingly referred to them as prehistoric chewing gums. And nobody really knew what these were. And so part of my research involved, finding out what they were. Which was a tar that had been produced by heating Birch bark. And I wrote an article about pre-story chewing gum for a magazine called British archeology.

And I explored what the uses of them could have been. Maybe people were chewing them to soften it before they use it as a glue. Maybe they were chewing it to clean their teeth. Maybe they were getting high on it. These reasons. And I can only imagine that it must’ve been a slow news week or when this article came out because the press got hold of this story and it ran for about fortnight.

And I was interviewed on lots of national radio stations. I was on the front cover of nearly all the major newspapers in the UK. It was ridiculous. And as part of that, I got to know the people in the university PR department quite well. They had a little recording studio that had, what’s called an ISD online which allowed us to link to the radio stations.

So it sounded like I was in the the station with the interviewer. And I remember sitting there in front of this microphone waiting for one of these sessions to start thinking I’m really enjoying this. And so I think that’s where the seed was planted, really to get into speaking into a microphone for a living.

But it was a while before I came back to it. I laugh left university got married. I got a job at a local cable TV station. And I did a bit of voiceover work there as part of my job, but I’d never had any training in it at this point left to have my kids. It’s about to turn 20. So that’s how long ago it was.

And I thought I was going to go back to my job, but the company got sold. And so there was no job to go back to. So I thought, well, that was the end of my career in voiceover or media or any of that kind of stuff. I ended up doing completely different job at at a call. And then at the end of 2011, my husband, he was in the chemical industry was asked to go and work in the states for a couple of years.

So we moved out to near Baltimore and he was going to work every day and the kids were going to school. So I was at a bit of a loose end. And that’s what gave me the opportunity to train because I wasn’t working while we’re in the states. So I trained in voiceover with a company called edge studio.

Based in New York, but had a satellite studio in Washington, DC, which is about 40 minutes from where we lived and they train voiceover artists and help them make their first show reels. And so I trained with them for about six months. May my show reels got my work permit, set up my business in the states.

And that’s where I really got started. And when we moved back here in 2014, I brought a whole new business back home. 

Cliff Duvernois: Nice, because like you said, it’s something that you can do from anywhere things to the things, to the advent of the internet.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah, exactly. So the clients, the first clients that I had when I was living in the states, some of them I still work for now. 

Cliff Duvernois: Oh my goodness. That’s absolutely awesome. So let’s dive in a little bit there and, cause I know that we’ve been talking a lot about voiceover so first off. Uh, the first question I got for you is why did you decide to get into podcasting and second off, why did you decide to make your podcasting about no.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah. So people have been saying to me for awhile, oh, you should start a podcast. Or you’re a voiceover artist. You’ve got all the equipment. You’ve got a nice voice. You should have a podcast, but I didn’t really know what my podcast should be about. And I sat on the idea for awhile. And then when the pandemic happened and the lockdown happened and I had a bit more time to think because my work had slowed down and I did like a five day challenge.

People run these things on Facebook, don’t they to get you started in your podcast. And this was following a lady called Anna Parker, Naples. Who’s quite well-known for podcasting in the UK. And I did Anna’s challenge. And by the end of that, I thought maybe something about networking. And the reason that I came up with that particular topic was that within the voiceover community, I’m quite well known as being a networker.

And I’ve often been asked to speak at voiceover conferences or for voiceover webinars about. Networking and how to do it successfully. And I thought since I’m already known in my own industry for that, why don’t I make my podcast about networking? It’s something I enjoy doing. I know a lot of other people that do networking, who could be my guests that seems like the perfect fit for me.

And so that’s why I decided to make my podcast about networking. So it’s not. A sales tool for my business as such, but it is another place where people can find me. And it’s another place where people can hear my voice. You know, and I think that’s helpful.

Cliff Duvernois: I really do want to go back here and take a step. Cause usually if you’re going to start podcast it’s normally around like your central core business, right? Just doing voiceover. We decided to take a slightly different tact in that, I’m going to do a podcast.

That’s gonna help my clients and potentially help other clients to be able to grow their business through the power of. Of networking. So the thing I want to unpack a little bit more is, what was your thinking really like behind the scenes going on with saying, you know what, this is the better approach, rather than just talking about.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Partly because. There are quite a few voiceover podcasts out there already. And I know some of the people that are behind them and they’re doing what they do so well. And I didn’t really think I had anything extra I could add that wasn’t already being talked about. So that’s why I decided to steer clear of it being a podcast about voiceover artists.

And as I say, I do do a lot of networking and. I felt that having this podcast was a way that I could give something back to not just my clients, but people that I meet through networking get gift, PayPal, a platform where they can talk about their own business. Cause I do allow people to do. But then talk about the networking and how they’re using networking to grow their business, which is helpful for other small businesses who are thinking, oh, I know we need to network, but I don’t even know how to do it or where to do it, or what’s the best way to do it. They can find all that information by listening to some of my guests on my podcasts.

So I just feel that it’s an, it’s a way for me to be helpful and to use the equipment that I have. The voice that I’ve got to give a voice to other small businesses. And people love to talk about their own businesses. Of course, they can use the recording that they’ve got from my podcast.

They can, yeah, they can link to that through their social media or through their website. And you, that, that piece of content has quite a long shelf life for them. they can point clients towards it and say, oh, well, listen to what I said on this podcast. And as I said before it’s just another place that people can find me and hear what I sound like. 

Cliff Duvernois: Oh, that’s absolutely great. And the sheer fact that you’re using it as a platform to be able to help. Small businesses get their message out to the world. Uh, I think is just absolutely brilliant. And one of the things that I would like to talk about is, cause I know we’re talking about podcasting in general and what it is that it’s that you’re using it for.

So how has w know what’s the impact that podcasting has had on your business?

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Well, I think more people have found me and what I tend to do is my Paco’s cast. New episodes go live every Monday. And so every Monday I will post on LinkedIn and or Facebook and say, this is who you can hear this week. And I will tag my guest in. And you’re usually the guests will go on there and make a comment, or they might share that.

And I’m just getting, my face, my brand is being shared more widely. And I don’t know that it’s led to more work for me. It takes a bit of work to, to get the podcast out as, as you know. um, but I think, I think it’s worth it. It’s, Brand-building it’s, building, people’s confidence in your abilities.

And just a way to showcase what you can do. And I think if you can help other people while you’re doing what you do with them so much, the better. 

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. Absolutely love it. What was one of the biggest struggles that you had when you got into podcasting?

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: I think just, oh, well, lots of things to start with. The, the equipment, wasn’t a problem for me and the editing. Wasn’t a problem for me. I do that all day, every day in my business, but knowing how to get the podcast out there. That seems just like really difficult to me to start with. And actually it isn’t.

But yeah, there seem to be a lot of decisions to make about where to host it. And how often does it should go out and how long it should be. And as I say, the, the person who I first followed Anna Park in April, she had a lot of really Sage advice and really sensible sense of advice for people starting out.

And I talk to other people who would, who were sort of slightly ahead of me in the podcasting journey, of found out what they were doing. And I actually use a platform called captivate, which I find really simple to use. I post to captivate. Captivate posts everywhere, and I don’t have to do anything else.

And I, that was me at the start thinking I’ve got to post it to Google. I’ve got to post it to Spotify. I’ve got to post it to X, Y, and Z. And you don’t have to do that. Someone else does that for you. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah. And I love that, the thing is you’re talking about, and this this was something that I really struggled with when I started my first podcast, like way back in the day is the fact that the a lot of the podcasts gurus that I was listening to. I start my first podcast roughly back in, in 2018 and a lot of the videos that were out there were six, seven years old. 

So I’m really watching this antiquated, technology, literally you know, to use, archeologists parlance was like sticks and stones, right? The pen of Habel hobble it together and, smoke signals to try to get the podcast out into the world.

But there is a lot of technology. Podcasting has come like a really long ways. And like you were talking about for captivate and then anchor us another really great platform for, um, making podcasting, super simple. It’s more, more along the lines of, making sure that you can produce the content rather than worry about the technology.

And that’s the, one of the great things about platforms like captivate, right? You can just focus on creating the content. It takes care of all the distribution for you.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah. Yeah. It makes, it makes it super simple. And I think something else that I was wondering about to start with was what platform I was going to use to interview people. I mean, zoom is pretty easy to use, but the quality of the audio isn’t that great. Um, I mean, we’re speaking to each other through, through Zencaster and I use one called Clean Feed, which is very similar to this.

And since sometimes my guests are a bit nervous about. And say w w when, we’d be able to see each other, and I say, no, it will be absolutely fine, but like having a phone call, you know, you can’t normally see people on a phone call and watch once you’ve got that, that through to them, they kind of settled down a bit.

Okay. It will be all right. And, everybody says afterwards, oh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Cliff Duvernois: I think that when, for, for, cause I know what podcasts, when I talk to people about it and I always recommend, a blend of solo or interviews, you, you do have to keep that kind of thing in mind, for instance is your podcast. Cause a lot of people are like, oh, I want to do.

all of a sudden finding guests that are okay with video can be a little bit more of a challenge. Most people will actually turn it down. And like I said, when I first got into podcasting, people would show up and be scared that I was going to have a video camera and, stick the interview on YouTube.

And I’m like, no, it’s 

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah. 

Cliff Duvernois: know, it’s audio only. So. Keeping those little things in mind when you’re interviewing guests, is this going to be video or audio? And a lot of times you actually have to state it. This is going to be audio only, right? So you’re making it very clear for people, because like you said, you want your guests to feel relaxed when they’re on the show.

Cause you, you want them to focus more on sharing their wisdom and sharing their.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I say to my guests, look, I’m going to do minimal editing on this because quite frankly, I don’t have the time. So, I will say to them I’m just going to leave this very much as a natural conversation. And I like the listeners to think that they’re, they’re eavesdropping on our conversation.

And so I will literally just top and tail it with an intro and an outro. And it goes out like that. Unless some things happen, like the postman has come to the door or the dog started barking really loudly there quite often, I leave him in to be honest. You know, or my son has suddenly opened the studio door and made a big, yes, quite so.

You know, I, I will cut those bits and bits. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, just to let our listeners know that earlier in this recording, I had myself muted and I was talking to, I was talking to Liz and she couldn’t hear anything I was saying. Uh, just kinda had to just kind of have to throw that out. So let’s go back and unpack that a little bit, right? What you just shared there.

Cause I think that’s really, really powerful. And I talked to people who will literally spend hours upon hours editing a podcast episode. You just put it out there. And I know why people are editing because they’re on this quest for perfection. How did you overcome that?

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Do you know, I think just the fact that I really don’t have time to be editing anything more than I need to, as, as a voiceover artist you’re pretty much expected to edit your own work 99% of the time because clients won’t finish the audio. That’s ready to go. So I spend my life editing. I don’t wanna have to do anymore for the podcast.

And, I was talking to somebody around the time I was starting my podcast and he was thinking of starting one as well. And he is a perfectionist and you know, he doesn’t like the audio to go out unless it’s top quality. And do you know what, when you’re interviewing somebody who isn’t a voiceover artist, they haven’t got the quality microphone that I’ve got.

They haven’t got the same soundproof environment that I’ve got. It’s not going to sound as good as my audio. I’m quite happy to live with that. And I think, you know, I think the pandemic has helped with that a bit because we’re so used now to doing zoom calls online where somebody catwalks across this screen or their kid comes in or something like that.

And we’re just a bit more used to it now. And we will, we’re more accepting and more forgiving of people, working from a home environment. You know, there’s going to be some background noise, you know, it’s not going to be perfect. And people like Jenna. Well, that’s okay. As long as the contents.

Good. And what the person’s saying is interesting. I think people can live with a bit of background noise. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah. You bring up a really good point in the fact that. First off, just getting your message out there is the most important thing. And it doesn’t have to be perfect because people are understanding that, you are not, you’re not a professional interviewer. Like you are not like Larry King or Oprah Winfrey.

Or somebody else like that, but also to keep in mind that having that same level of expectation for your guests, you know, first off it’s not going to be achieved because like you said, these people aren’t professional voiceover artists. They’re going to be, there could be potentially, your local mom and pop, business right down the street, or, their, their, business like yours.

And, the, the owner isn’t used to just talking too about, his, his particular business or her particular business. You know, with that being said, I keeping those things in mind. It’s more about getting the message out, getting the story out, and sharing it with your audience versus about the perfectionism.

Because really at the end of the day, the only person who’s really going to notice these little mistakes is going to be.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah. Yep. And also, people aren’t often listening in the best environment. I, that, you know, they might be sitting on a train while they’re commuting and there’s background noise around them. Um, even if you’ve got the best quality audio, the listener probably wouldn’t notice at the end of the day and talking about background noise, I’m hoping you can’t hear it.

My son is practicing is cheaper right now. 

Cliff Duvernois: I cannot hear it, so we’re good to go.

Excellent. And so why don’t you share with us, some, some of the successes that you’ve had with podcasting.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Well, I’ve only been doing it for a year, so I still feel that I’m quite new to it really, but I have had some really great conversations with people and you know, and found out surprising things about them. During the course of the interview, there was one guy that I interviewed couple of weeks ago, his episode hasn’t gone live yet.

You know, I’ve known him for a while, where we belong to the same networking group, which is I’ve not met him in person it’s it’s on zoom and he is a financial advisor and we were having a chat about how he first got into network. And he shared that he’d been living in the United Arab Emirates and have been sent along to his very first networking meeting by his employer.

It was at a seven star hotel and he said it was just incredible. There were vending machines there. Well, you could buy gold. And I thought, well, that’s like no networking experience I’ve ever had, but what a great story that was for the for the podcast. And, there’ve been a few things like that, thinks they’re a bit surprising.

I was talking to another guy a couple of months. And he is a, he’s a marketeer. And he was involved in the share a Coke campaign where certainly the UK, I don’t know if it happened in the U S as well. Coke bottles appeared with people’s names on. Yeah.

And so he was involved in personalizing, in Coke bottles and his latest venture is to do with the next.

Flight to the moon that is going to be, and he’s selling advertising space on the rocket or something. I called the app episodes and like marketing on the moon. And so you get to learn all sorts of things. That’s the best thing about it. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, it really is. And there’s something to be said about, and I’ve said this so many times. Podcasting in and of itself is just a very powerful relationship building tool, right. A networking tool. So, it’s great because like you were talking about there when you do start up a podcast and you start inviting people to be on that podcast to interview them, it really goes not only for your own educational edification, but also, building out your network and meeting really fascinating, interesting people and hearing their stories.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah.

And you know, what I find is that once people have been a guest on the podcast, they will suggest to the people that’s happened just today. In fact a lady that I interviewed yesterday, she said, oh, do you know such and such a person? And actually I do know this person, but I’ve not been in touch with them for awhile.

And I still, yeah. Please reach out to him and tell him that you enjoy being on the podcast. So now he’s going to be my one of my future podcast guests. And that, that, that happens. People spread. 

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, they definitely do. And one thing that I would like to do is cause you’ve, you’ve got experience with the voiceover and you did training with that. And like you said, you had all the equipment and everything else like that, and there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that I know out there that will invest a ton of money in equipment and everything else like that.

They go to create the podcast and they struggle. So what would be like, what would be like a piece of advice that you would give to the entrepreneur out there? Either starting a podcast or who maybe even is struggling with the podcast?

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah, I, I think you don’t have to go all out and spend lots of money on equipment to start with. You want to have something that, that records a reasonable sound, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money because you just want to dip your toe in the water to start with.

And if you find it’s something you really enjoy. Then, then by all means, think about upgrading your equipment, but it can be as simple as a know a USB microphone that plugs into your laptop. You can use audacity, which is free recording and editing software. That’s not going to cost you anything and just find a quiet place in your house to do it.

Don’t, don’t do in the kitchen or the bathroom where there’s lots of hard surfaces because you’ve got lots of nasty echoes, it had been a bedroom. Or we’re living room where there’s lots of carpets and curtains or drapes is using you guys say and just try. And what you can do is build, what’s known in the industry as a pillow Fort.

So you, you build pillows and cushions around your microphone and then kind of speak into your, that little cave that you’ve created. And that’s gonna stop all those nasty echoes. So that’s not really going to cost you very much money as hell, just while you’re trying to. 

Cliff Duvernois: And I’m glad that you say that because one of the things with belonging to the different podcasting groups and, I see people that will go out and they will spend two to $3,000. On all this, they don’t even have a podcast yet, but they will go out and spend two to $3,000 on this high end microphone and a mixer board and all this other stuff.

And so then when I asked them, why are you buying all this equipment? They’re like, oh, well, there’s somebody on YouTube who said that, uh, for me to be a professional podcaster, that I should have all this equipment. The first thing is, I got to delineate the difference, right?

There is a difference between an entrepreneur, with a podcast versus a pod. Right. There’s a big difference between the two. The, the second thing is, is that these people that you see on YouTube, that are saying, Hey, you need to buy this $3,000 worth of equipment, 99.9% of the time. There’s affiliate links, where these guys are actually making money.

When you buy this expensive equipment. And the third thing is, and and I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about this too, is the person sits down. They produce, 10, 15 episodes, and then they go into pod fade and then a couple of months. Probably their spouse got angry with them for spending three grand on a bunch of equipment they’re not even using.

And so now they’re selling it for like a third of the price, right? Because you can’t sell it brand new because you’ve opened the box, you have used it. So I’m loving the simple approach to just getting into podcasting that you outlined.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Yeah. Yeah. Like I say It point pointless to spend thousands of dollars until, you know, it’s something that you, that you really enjoy doing. You mean you might start the podcast and think, oh my goodness, this is. taking so much of my time And I really don’t have time for it. And then stop. And like you say, you’re then left with this equipment that you’ve spent a lot of money on that you’ve just got to sell.

Cliff Duvernois: It is. And when you’re talking about making the pillow for, I, I, I had to crack up because just a couple of weeks ago, um, I was, I was consulting with a lady who wants to do an audio book. I told her, I said, one of the best things you can do is record it in your closet. Leave some clothes hanging in there cause that’s going to help dampen the sound.

And I asked her, I said, do you have a USB mic? She said, yep. And I say, cool, just use garage band and start recording. And of course, then she came down with COVID so she’s not recording now. Um, but it’s, it’s amazing how you can turn. You know, any space that you need to into someplace quiet I’ve even recommended for people.

Like I I’ve had, a mother with kids, right? She’s like Cliff, there’s nowhere quiet in my house. And I told her, I said, then go off for a drive. Go find a nice park somewhere. Cause your, your car is going to be soundproof. And then just record to your phone, you know, use, you know, use some air pods or whatever it is to, give yourself a decent mic and, just record.

But with just a little bit of imagination, you can, you could produce a really decent sounding podcast without spending thousands of dollars.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, when, when we lived in the states, so when I was starting my voiceover career, I use the closet. That was my first recording space. We don’t tend to have walk-in closets here as much as you do in the states. So I had to invest in a proper studio when I came home. But yeah, as starting off work perfectly. 

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. Absolutely love it. Uh, Liz. So if somebody is listening to this and they want to follow you online, they want to listen to your podcast and getting better with, , networking, or maybe even want to talk to you about some voiceover service, what would be the best way for them to find you.

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Okay. So my podcast is called Small Business, Big Network, and you can find that on all the podcast platforms. For voiceover, the best place to go is my website, which is Liz And I’m pretty active on LinkedIn. So people are welcome to connect with me on there. 

Cliff Duvernois: Excellent. And for our audience, we will have all those links in the show notes down below. Liz, it’s been awesome having you on the podcast today. 

Liz Drury, Small Business Big Network: Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.