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Tandem Collective and the Tandem Collective Talks Podcast

By Chelsea Graham


Tandem Collective describe themselves as “a family of freelancers spearheading creative, community-centred marketing, connecting people from all backgrounds through a shared passion for culture and media.” They work with publishers on campaigns and creative partnerships, with content creators across various social media channels and with brands on content marketing among lots of other exciting projects.


Tandem Collective is known for creating the original Instagram readalong format. Tandem define a “readalong” as “a week-long activity on Instagram that gathers bookstagrammers to celebrate a book, a series, or a selection of titles from a publisher.” These campaigns help to nurture a community of content creators who shout about and celebrate the launch of the book – it is a very effective marketing tool to get a book reaching as wide an audience as possible.


When I chatted with the Tandem team about why they decided, in January, that a podcast was their next venture, Campaign Manager and co-host of the podcast, Jen Smith-Furmage said, "Stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new things is a really big part of who we are at Tandem Collective. We’re a team of creative risk takers who are constantly looking for new ways to engage with our community. So when it became clear that the four of us (who have now become the Tandem Collective Talks team) had all been mentioning wanting to start a podcast, the overwhelming message from the whole team was ‘Yes! Do it!’


Lucy Jones, Campaign Manager at Tandem and co-host of the podcast, notes that, "part of the reason we felt a Tandem podcast would be well-received by our community is because we already have an arm of the business that is completely dedicated to audio content. We regularly run listenalong campaigns to give audiobooks the same promotion and recognition as hard copy titles and our audiobook club newsletter is the fastest growing in terms of subscribers as well as being the most engaged audience. There's such strong crossover between audiobook listeners and podcast fans that we felt this was a perfect opportunity to engage with more of our existing audio community members to help bring our booklovers' podcast to life."


Season one of the Tandem Collective Talks Podcast, which you can listen to on either Spotify, Acast, or by reading the transcripts on their blog, saw the team chat with a whole host of wonderful guests. From chatting to Clare Mackintosh about how authors can best utilize their social media to market their books and build their brands, to hearing ex-Costa Awards judge Emma Milne-White’s thoughts on the impact of book awards on sales, the team covered a wide variety of spaces, communities and initiatives. Lex, Lucy, Jen and Jaide, hosts of the podcast, also shared their thoughts on some 2022 book releases, asked authors Allie Reynolds, Karen Swan and Lucy Foley their opinions on setting out a great location and debated the topic of content warnings with Mattie Whitehead from Little Tiger.


The team say that, “for us, season one was about test-bedding the content. We'd done our research about what we loved from other podcasts, and we were trialing formats, guest-friends and themes. In season two, we're stepping up our game with more guests, monetisation and sponsorship, more collaborations, and completely cohesive social strategies surrounding each episode. For this season, we're testing uploading weekly, now that we've got a back catalogue to explore, and we've got a group of engaged audiobook fans to help us celebrate each episode, upon release, every Sunday.” With episodes out in the world already, the new season is shaping up to be a fabulous mix of topical discussion, recommendations and insightful conversations!


Lex Brookman who is a Project Manager at Tandem Collective and a co-host of the podcast says, “with our feet firmly at the podcasting table, we're stoked to be able to help other people create their best audio content, whilst continuing to celebrate our Tandem Collective Talks podcast, bringing together a unique trifecta of input and insight from community, collective and clients! (That's our culture-hungry ambassadors around the world, our Tandem Collective team, and the behind the scenes insight from our friends throughout the publishing, and media industries.)”


You can listen to season two of the podcast on Spotify, ACast or Apple Podcasts and can get get involved in the conversation on social media using the hashtags #TandemCollectiveTalks

and #TandemCollectiveTalksPodcast, tagging them @tandemcollectiveUK and @tandemcollectiveglobal, or get in touch with the team at podcast@thetandemcollective.com. To conclude season two of the podcast, there will be a roundtable panel on working within the publishing industry, featuring various guests on 23 October, which will be one for the calendar!

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