What happens when two best friends get together and start drinking wine? One convinces the other to join her in starting a podcast, of course. This week, I interviewed Billi and Lyndsey, otherwise known as Bildo and Lindalin, from the appropriately named podcast ‘Wine Chats’. How did this venture come to fruition? How does working together affect their friendship? And how do these two continuously generate new content each week to share with us? Today, I will dive headfirst and share the inside scoop from the ladies themselves.
If you’re not already familiar with Wine Chats, you’ll undoubtedly be adding it to your list of favourite podcasts by the end of this article. I assure you, these two are not only hilariously fun and creative but also incredibly willing to share just about everything—well, almost everything!
Before 2019, Billi maintained a personal insights blog. With writing consuming a significant portion of her time, the decision was made to team up with Lyndsey and venture into the world of podcasting. Podcasting, one might assume, is straightforward, right? It must be far less demanding than writing. Well, while it might seem less time-consuming, neither Billi nor Lyndsey possessed any prior podcasting experience, thrusting them both into an entirely novel realm. As my mother would say, working and living together with your best friend isn’t always the wisest idea! Nonetheless, in this instance, Billi and Lyndsey each had their designated roles, a strong foundation of friendship, and a shared determination to capitalize on their respective strengths and navigate this unfamiliar terrain as a united front. Drawing upon Lyndsey’s keen eye for design and proficiency in scheduling and sponsor collaboration, coupled with Billi’s technical prowess in media and editing, Wine Chats sprung to life. Working seamlessly together, much like Yin and Yang, Lyndsey handled the administrative and design aspects, while Billi managed the technical backend.
In terms of their dynamic, the duo first crossed paths at a government department back in 2009 and instantly hit it off. Lunches were shared, and shopping trips were taken—Lyndsey even guided the fashion-challenged Billi through her shopping endeavours. Countless hours were spent engaged in enjoyable activities, fostering a profound understanding that any podcast they embarked upon must encapsulate the essence of fun and entertainment, allowing their delightfully humorous personalities to shine.
So, how do these two imaginative minds consistently conjure up fresh content week after week? “We brainstorm topic ideas collaboratively and convene on a weekly basis to record and strategise. Our episodes adhere to a monthly schedule, revolving around distinct umbrella themes. For instance, we will dedicate September to the theme ‘Life’s Pleasures’. Subsequently, we dissect this overarching theme into 4 to 5 distinct episodes. Of course, we always make sure to include an enticingly spicy topic each month to appease our audience’s desires! However, this can prove to be a challenge when the monthly theme revolves around something like ‘The Unknown Mysteries of the World’, which happens to be this month’s theme. As it turns out, the allure of space sex isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be!” When I inquired about Lyndsey and Billi’s favourite episodes to record, it came as no surprise that one preferred the juicy subjects while the other leaned towards more educational content. Billi relished in the delightfully random and playful episodes, such as ‘Tongue Twist This’ (E38, S2), where she could lovingly tease Lyndsey. Their most recent creation, ‘We Are Just Specks of Dust Floating in the Universe’ (E26, S4), held a special place for Billi due to her current space obsession, which, quite amusingly, didn’t resonate with Lindalin. The dichotomy added to the fun. On the other hand, Lindalin found herself drawn to the more tantalising topics, like ‘What Women Hate in the Bedroom’ (E18, S4). She also had an insatiable appetite for intricate details, happily immersing herself in birth stories, as showcased in the episode ‘Birth Stories & Nightmares’ (E13, S3).
Maintaining an engaging and lively podcast seems to come naturally to these two, and this very attribute underscores their resounding success. Chemistry, it seems, is an indispensable ingredient. And this chemistry extends beyond what’s heard on the airwaves—it’s equally vital behind the scenes. Launching and sustaining a podcast demands substantial organisation, a domain in which both Billi and Lyndsey assert their strong personalities and opinions. Thus, preserving the resilience of their friendship is of paramount importance, particularly when divergent viewpoints arise or decisions need to be made. Ultimately, the durability of their friendship is the linchpin that fuels their continued enthusiasm, and they have consistently affirmed that the moment podcasting ceases to be enjoyable or, if it strains their relationship, they will gracefully step away. So far, their journey has been a harmonious one.
The crux of their success lies in their authenticity. Their genuine connection and their ability to remain authentic both on and off the mic have endeared them to their audience. Lyndsey aptly noted, “We’ve encountered our fair share of ups and downs, and we’ve come to know each other well enough to distinguish when to push and when to yield. Admittedly, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but love and respect form the bedrock of a passion project like this. Alongside these values, showing up consistently and fulfilling our individual responsibilities contributes to the fluidity of our collaborative efforts.”
Securing sponsors is a crucial aspect of podcasting, and with a name as fitting as ‘Wine Chats’, it was serendipitous that they aligned with wine-related businesses like the Hidden Sea and Tread Softly. While sponsorship is a component, the ladies emphasise the significance of partnering with enterprises that actively contribute to environmental causes, such as plastic removal from oceans and tree planting upon purchasing their wines. “For us, it’s profoundly meaningful to convey these essential messages to our audience, especially given our shared affinity for wine. It’s a means of contributing positively to the Earth.”
When I inquired about their dream interviewees, the ladies concurred on the cast of ‘Schitt’s Creek’. “We share an immense fondness for this show due to its humour and warmth.” Furthermore, being a Canadian production, Lindalin’s Canadian roots add an extra layer of connection. “As for the subject matter, the pressure would be palpable, considering the presence of comedic greats like Catherine O’Hara. While Billi might possibly indulge in some fan-girling and delightful awkwardness, I would likely delve into questions about Canada and the production process. Of course, we would manage to weave in discussions about bacon and maple syrup, all the while striving to keep our composure. Does that sound enticing?” I believe it does!
For those contemplating the launch of their own podcast, the ladies offer a piece of life advice.
“Don’t venture into it blindly, harbouring the notion that you’ll attain fame and fortune within six months, much like Billi initially thought. Establishing a budding podcast demands unwavering dedication and time to cultivate an audience. Identifying a unique niche or carving out an original perspective is imperative. The podcasting landscape expands by the day, and carving out a distinctive identity is vital for standing out. This advice might sound familiar, but its relevance cannot be overstated! Furthermore, strive to foster a genuine connection with your target audience, truly comprehending their preferences and needs to tailor your content accordingly. Beyond these considerations, cease overthinking and simply take the plunge. Learning unfolds through experience. If we managed to navigate this journey, rest assured, you can too!”