Brett Johnson from Circle270Media Podcast Consultants

Episode Transcription

00:00:01 – Glenn

Hi, this is Glenn Harper and Julie Smith, and we’re talking with Brett Johnson of Circle270Media today, a fellow entrepreneur. I’ve been working with him for a few months and we just love how he rolls. So we’re going to try to hear why he does what he does, what he does and how does he feel about that? Well, thanks for asking me.

00:00:20 – Brett

From across the room, anytime I can.

00:00:24 – Glenn

So what brings you here today? What’s what’s the story you got to tell? How did you get started?

00:00:27 – Brett

I got started. You know, amazingly enough, I was in radio for almost 30 years. I started when I was 17.

00:00:34 – Glenn

Are you a broadcasting behind the scenes?

00:00:36 – Brett

Yeah, radio is on air and then changed into sales. About halfway through, I realized that if you’re on air, you don’t make any money and sales sales, at least you can. If they change the locks on the door and change the format, you still have a job about that. So sales turned into that. And that was actually a big jump for me because on air, I was comfortable. Love doing it, but it’s a young person’s game, quite frankly. And but I realized, OK, if I’m going to make money and also be flexible, I need to do this. But I was not a salesperson. I right, I was that old WKRP kind of feel like of your sales organization. Oh, yeah, you know, that kind of stuff. And and my my fiance at the time and now my wife said, you know, do it your own way. Do sales your way. If it’s successful, that’s great. If not, OK, you tried. And that really helped. And it’s like, OK, I’m going to do it the way I want to do it, you know, so it breaks that mold in my head that I have not sleazy and you know, the used car salesman kind of feel to it. Still not the most comfortable thing in the world to do, but I’ve got the confidence and the thick skin to take nose.

00:01:40 – Glenn

Isn’t it funny that everybody thinks that you don’t have to be in sales to be an entrepreneur?

00:01:45 – Brett

I know like, Oh, you got it all in sales, you’ve got to be, you’re selling something, if nothing else yourself and your concept, right? So after that, I moved around different stations and ended up in Columbus with my wife, and she teaches at Wright State University.

00:02:01 – Brett

And we end up moving on

00:02:03 – Brett

To the west side of Columbus and still stuck around here with radio and the past the last five years. I guess it was when I was with the radio station just didn’t. I was bored. It just wasn’t the same. Radio changed over 30 years for

00:02:17 – Glenn

Me, was it? And that was in the sales capacity.

00:02:20 – Brett

Right? Yeah, just it just wasn’t as fun. Got more corporate. Even though I was out with a local, independently owned radio station, it just didn’t. It just wasn’t fun anymore. I still love radio itself, but I think it’s this what it was in the past for me.

00:02:37 – Glenn

So if you could have stayed in the broadcasting side and being on air, would you have continued to do that? Is that was your was that your calling or was It not, you know, with the way radio changed?


No, because radio is even more tight than it is on. Was it on air? Right? When I started on air back in the 80s and 90s, you can you weren’t scripted. You didn’t have the three by five cards that you had to read. Every time when you hear on air personalities, now they’re reading something, they have to say what they’re saying. There’s not a whole lot of ad libbing going on, and now it’s talk radio. Yes, but the music driven what they say needs to be said. So, you know, when that evolution came that even music driven radio stations, you couldn’t talk about what you wanted to talk about a little bit, you know, without going on and on and on and on that that doesn’t entice me at all. And that’s where this podcasting thing kind of came in.

00:03:30 – Glenn

So the man was kind of telling you what to say and said, you just sandwich you for sure.

00:03:34 – Speaker2

You had to promote stuff that’s coming up with the station and our clients, that sort of thing.

00:03:39 – Speaker1

They more had a narrative. And for all of our listeners out there who probably don’t even listen to the radio, I’ve never even been on the radio or ever have or even have a radio. You know, we’re talking. This is last the last century when we started doing this right. So it has changed a lot. It’s way different than Sirius XM or whatever, right? It’s just way different. They just play the same canned thing. It’s not

00:04:01 – Speaker2


00:04:01 – Speaker1

Tested or corporate owned, I’d say.


Very, very much so.Very much so. It’s driven that way. So those last few years that I was with the station, I started noticing and getting these questions from clients about podcasting that they I had a few that would do Sunday morning infomercials or long form programming. We used to call and you’d buy a 25 30 minute block of time. But they they also started to realize and ask me about it as well. It was like, Well, wait a minute, if it’s if I’m on a Sunday morning, 8:00 to 8:30. And that listener tunes in at eight thirty one, it’s done. It’s like, Yeah, you’re right. So that got me to thinking about podcasting and looking at it more and more and with a couple of other programming elements that I was working with with the radio station and gardening program and such. Taking a look at how can we use what we produce and use it more than once and do more with it and get those listeners still excited and buy in and listen at their leisure versus when we tell them to make? An appointment to listen to a program,

00:05:03 – Speaker1

How long ago was this that you made that

00:05:06 – Speaker2

About when it’s funny? I did all this when I turned 50.

00:05:10 – Speaker1

The midlife crisis. Midlife crisis. No better time to make a change.

00:05:13 – Speaker2

So with all these advertisers asking me about this, I started doing my, you know, it started going to what I call night school and just plowing through bunches of listen to podcasts, reading all about this stuff and became pretty good at understanding what to do with this. Pretty quickly, over about six or seven months of just, you know, every night reading about and listening. So all of a sudden I started working with clients doing this on the side outside of the station. And there came a point where doing this as a side hustle interfered with my regular work.

00:05:51 – Speaker1

We call that moonlighting in the business where you’re not really to go all in on being an entrepreneur, right, because you want to test it. And some people get the luxury of being able to do that to just feel what it looks like versus going cold turkey, which is a big deal, right?

00:06:05 – Speaker2

And we had a culture at the station that most other sales reps had other stuff going on.

00:06:09 – Speaker1

So I find that I find it fascinating that sales reps are doing something on the side, not just selling. I’m fascinated by that.

00:06:17 – Speaker2

It’s not non-competitive, but they have to watch their time, make sure they’re not doing it during the day. And mine was starting to creep in my 9:00 to 5:00 versus my five to nine, as I would call it. And that was when I made the choice. I, you know, gave my notice. I think I’ve got to do this and I felt comfortable enough that I could do it. And I also had a couple of people working with me that were really getting in my head, going, Brett, it’s time to move on. It’s time to move on. You can do a lot more than what you’re doing. You understand that you know more than what you really know.

00:06:47 – Speaker3

Do you think it was those relationships that really pushed you to take that jump?

00:06:51 – Speaker2

Big time, big time. I would I. I probably would have made the jump a little bit later than what I did, but I had that support system that truly believed and I believed that they believed in me that I could get it done.

00:07:04 – Speaker3

And do you think to this day, you do still surround yourself with those same people and they’re still in your circles?

00:07:09 – Speaker2

Still in my circle, still in my circle, I have to have them and I have them in there because they support me and they make me accountable. I read, I’m sure many people have written this and said this, but when you’re on this journey, tell people because they’re going to ask you about, Hey, we talked about this last time. How’s it going? Just in that they’re going to hold you accountable and OK, I’m going to do that. I’m going to tell people, I’m going to go into podcast, I’m going to be a podcast consultant, even though they had no clue what it meant and and they asked about it. And I knew they would, and I had to continue on and I was still energized. There was no way I was not going to. But knowing those little pieces out there were going to happen made me continue on it, probably even faster than I would have.

00:07:55 – Speaker3

And I think that accountability is scary to a lot of people. Like once you speak it, it becomes real. And you have to have action, right?

00:08:02 – Speaker2

Oh, you do. Right? You’re right. Exactly. I think that’s probably why a lot of people don’t, because they don’t want to have to answer that question because they’ve he has been three months since I’ve really done anything with it. It’s embarrassing.

00:08:16 – Speaker1

Here’s a here’s a thought to people probably listening to this are wondering, Well, who are those centers that the influencers who are those mentors? Who who would I talk to and who would I have in my life? That would be my support team? Who is that support team for you? Because I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people. You don’t need Warren Buffett to be on your support team. I mean, it would be cool, but it’s really not the case, is it?

00:08:39 – Speaker2

I tried to make it a variety of people. I went to my old sales manager who was there a couple of times at the radio station left, but we connected. He was the one that hired me initially to the radio station that 15, 20 years ago, and I’d always been in contact with him and I trusted his advice and I was very lucky to have him. I am very lucky to have him in my life, but I also tried to make that circle of people different as well, too. That would hold me accountable and somebody I could go to. So one gentleman, I’ll give a shout out to him. His nickname is Don the idea guy. And he really pushed me. He really gave me some tools to help me look at going it alone differently and tools meaning mindset, as well as just applications to buy that you don’t have to buy this. You could buy, you know, just those things it can. You can make your job easier and putting all those things together, it’s like, Wow, this, this is economically sound, and I’m getting things done fast because of it. Ok, so a lot of things came together because I I made that wide circle of friends part of my life,

00:09:53 – Speaker1

Kind of the one of the goals that we try to do with clients as we help them on their journey or as we get them later in the journey is it’s all about the shortcut, right? You can go through the school of hard knocks to figure it out. But when you’ve got great mentors and people that will provide that shortcut, whether you get it freely or you got to pay for it, that shortcut really, et cetera, it’s time time timetable to achieve whatever you’re trying to go like for you. Not only was it to make the jump quicker, but also to get more knowledge quicker, and you didn’t have to have that 20 years in industry to figure it out, you were able to do that. How long did it take you from the time you first started saying, I’m going to moonlight a little bit to saying, OK, I’m going on my own,

00:10:33 – Speaker2

I probably a couple of years. The big trigger that happened in my mind that solidified that I wanted to get into this podcasting industry was a podcasting conference. It’s called pot. Mass movement, it was in Chicago, and this was the big jump for me, it’s like, OK, let’s go to this conference road trip. Yeah, took a while for the kids. They had a great time. I was there, I we driving back. I was on cloud nine the whole time. I had never been around so many positive, uplifting, helpful people in my life because radio is so negative, so negative backbiting and fighting with radio station versus radio station versus radio station. And I go there and I’m hearing all these people just love this industry talking to each other, giving advice. It was the most energetic piece driving home. I told my wife, it’s like, This is it this? I know I need to do this because I love this culture. I love what’s going on in this industry, and it fulfilled that need of creativity that was lacking when I was in radio that that OK, one minute and done, or you’re talking to sales or you’re talking to your clients, I should say, and all you’re doing is selling air. I guess that’s I guess I felt like it was. I been there, done that. I’m good at it. I’ve got to go on to the next thing

00:11:55 – Speaker1

And there’s something else out there.

00:11:56 – Speaker2

Yeah, well, and my wife brought this up to me and I was talking about all the different clients I’m working with and all the different categories and all the different topics we’re talking about. And she says, you remember when we first started dating what your goal was, what you wanted to do? I said, yeah, on a radio station, she says, you own a radio station now you’re working with all these different clients that all these different categories and are doing stuff differently. You’ve actually subconsciously working with it, doing radio station kind of feel to it. Never thought of it that way.

00:12:28 – Speaker1

Talk about somebody. Hold you accountable. Bring it back a black back from the past, from the past.

00:12:32 – Speaker2

That’s pretty cool. Exactly. So I’d given up that goal a long time ago just because of the monetary thing was like, Oh my gosh, it’s crept back into my life that I’m actually helping all this audio content to in my mind, was a radio station almost.

00:12:45 – Speaker3

And to think way back then you knew you wanted to be an entrepreneur. You just didn’t understand that journey and exactly where you were going to end up in order

00:12:52 – Speaker2

To fulfill that. I didn’t have any entrepreneurs in my family, if you would have told me 10 years ago that this is what I’d be doing today. Crazy talk laughed at you. It’s like, there’s no way I don’t know how to even start doing this. And I I heard somebody give the analogy the other day of, you know, the jump you make into these different things that you think it’s going to be so big, but it’s only that little, you know, when you’re getting off the airplane, it’s that that little gap between the plane and the art and the stairway going down like really all it is. And but it’s big. It’s big, though still. But because I’m encountering that with other things, with my business now too, it’s like, OK, remember, it’s just a little gap. It’s just a little gap. You can always go back and forth, back and forth.

00:13:35 – Speaker1

And I think what you said, which is really amazing, is that. For some reason, a lot of people don’t want to see people succeed because they’re not happy with themselves, so they don’t want anybody to be happy. So there’s the naysayers all the time and it is an amazing thing when you find someone who believes in you. You find your support team that says, Hey, you can do this and then you get out of your own way and you go to a, you know, it makes fun of the self-help things and all those conventions. And I was one of those for a long time. And then you show up at one eight and you’re like, Oh my God, all these people think like me, where where has this been my whole life? And then all of a sudden, boom, you get that confidence and you get that burst and then now you can go to the finish

00:14:16 – Speaker2

Line, right? I read early hurt, early two, and it didn’t sink in until I started making this journey of just, you’ve got to get rid of those people. They can’t be around you because they’re not going to help you in the long run. They got to go and it’s going to be a hard break, but you can’t have them in your life. You have to find the people that are going to support you, honestly. From their heart that and genuinely that when you have a success there, you can see it in their eyes. One way to go, congratulations, that is so super.

00:14:45 – Speaker1

Oh, how hard was the breakup of all the people that weren’t?

00:14:48 – Speaker2

Not really, because I started having these other people enter my life and taking at my time. That’s a bad way of saying it, taking up my time, but I let them take, you know? You allowed them, allowed them in. And therefore I didn’t have time for the other people. And they they they kind of went on their own way, doing their own thing. And I and I don’t think it’s as hard as need be unless it’s somebody that’s living with you. That’s the negative naysayer. It’s like, Well, get out, right? You know, and I’m not advocating divorce or anything like that. I think that is something that, you know, if you’re married or have a significant other, this is something you’ve got to really have a heart to heart about. You know, this is the journey you want to do. And if they’re not on board, they got to give you time, you know, try to try to at least encourage them to like, give me time with this because this is going to make me happy and it’s going to make you happy too. If if I’m happy, you’re happy, you know, it should be symbiotic.

00:15:38 – Speaker1

The life is hard and it’s a lot harder by yourself, but it certainly is more rewarding when you finally figure out what it is that you want to be and what you want to do. It’s just like the shackles come off of you and you you like you said you want to own a radio station, but don’t even know what that meant, right? You’re like, I can’t happen. That’s too far. It was this dream. Then all of a sudden, literally you’re running an on demand radio station for I don’t know how many clients they can listen. All around the clock, all around the world. You’re the man in control that that’s got to be pretty exciting.

00:16:10 – Speaker2

It is. Yeah, it’s that it’s that opportunity that you can provide clients an opportunity to talk to their audience anytime, anywhere, any device. It’s a pretty amazing.

00:16:19 – Speaker1

So if I’m if I’m an an entrepreneur and I want to go do a podcast, it seems a little overwhelming. At least it was for me. And then all of a sudden you bring in the shortcut that might believe in you and you believe in them, and then they just coach you through it. And from my standpoint, Julie, I think you would agree. You’ve been awesome. I don’t have to do any, you know, like we just show up and you make it all happen behind the scenes. Is it as one of those things where I thought it was this huge chasm we had to jump over and reality was just make the step, make the call? Is it is it really that easy or is you just giving us TLC?

00:16:54 – Speaker2

There are a lot of things. There are a lot of details to it, and I think that’s what does stop a lot of podcasters from either doing it and or not doing it very well because it’s detail oriented. As with any content generating opportunity, it just takes time. It takes time to get there where it needs to be. Podcasting has a bit more intricacies to it than if you don’t do it right. All of a sudden you’re not in the right place, as I was talking with a podcast or last night wanting some advice, and they’ve been doing their podcast for a couple of years now, and she mentions that, yeah, we finally we just got on on to Apple, and that should have been the first place they were on. But they’re still two years in. I’m not going to tell her. What are you doing? You know, their journey is different than anybody else. It’s just those little things like should have been the first thing you did because you might have been happier with downloads and your exposure and such like that. But that was their journey, and they’re still doing it for two years. I can’t fault them for, you know, that sort of thing. But, you know, bring that bringing that up in regards to the pieces to this and jumping in, that was that was a big piece of where I started. People didn’t even understand, what are you talking about? Podcast consultant

00:18:05 – Speaker1

What is what

00:18:06 – Speaker2

Do you what do you what do you mean? Well, that initially you’re right. What is it, podcast number one and a podcast consultant? What does that mean? And I had to define that as well, too, and I refined and defined over time. I mean, I started off in one concept of this, and what I started off five years ago is much different than what I’m doing today. So you’re pivoting big, big time, big time. Yeah, it’s not

00:18:26 – Speaker1

All the same. Every time, every day. No. Well, that’s what everybody says. Once you do it, it’s so easy.

00:18:32 – Speaker2

And I mean, and I guess it would be a pivot point because initially it was looking at at working with independent podcasters and helping them generate money against their podcast because I was walking out of sales. Hey, I know sales. And it’s the same thing as selling his small radio station, a little podcast that have X amount of downloads. We’ll go find a very local sponsor should, you know, blah blah blah. And that about six months in, I figured, No, I can’t do that. Independent podcasters are like herding cats. They don’t want to be found, they can’t be found. And if you can’t find them, an advertiser is not going to find them. So it’s like, forget about that. And I started really looking at my quote unquote book of business, and it’s like, I’m working with businesses that are wanting to create podcasts and develop podcasts as a branding content in their overall strategy. It’s like, OK, that’s what I’m doing right now. It’s kind of obvious I should have realized what I was doing before. It’s this is what I’m doing, so run with it.

00:19:29 – Speaker1

This what he’s doing for us, right? Just making sure. Ok, yeah. Sounds awesome. Yeah, like that’s what we’re doing.

00:19:35 – Speaker2

And my goal is to make it. Fun, always and easy to do, because you’ve got a job to run. You’ve got a business to run, but this is, I understand, an important part of it and I want it to be an important part because it’s not just coming in recording an episode and you’re done. It’s OK. Let’s create that episode. But what else are you going to do with it? What else do you want to do with it? What else can we do with it that it’s not just one and done? That’s that’s been my big philosophy, and this is just a podcasting can be more than that. It can be a lot of things for your overall content generation, for your business or life coaching, whatever you want it to be, but make sure it does more than just that. Otherwise, it’s it’s a hamster wheel.

00:20:16 – Speaker3

And what I hear from you is you’re holding us accountable now for sure. Those of Switch, you’ve had all those people holding you accountable and now you’ve switched that role into holding everyone like Glenn and I accountable to make sure we’re successful in this.

00:20:27 – Speaker2

Oh, yeah, I mean, the first thing that when I start working with any business that’s interested in podcasting is can you lay out a year’s worth of content? If you cannot lay out a year’s worth of content, forget it because you’re going to you’re going to quit in six six episodes. You’re done, you’re done because you’re run out of ideas and it’s like, now it’s become a job. This sitting around this table should never feel like a job. It can’t. Otherwise, you’re going to dread coming into the studio. You’re going to dread opening your mic. I want you to be energized like I can’t wait to go record. That’s what that’s where it is. If you can create that atmosphere, you win every time.

00:21:03 – Speaker1

That’s a bold statement. Cotton, you know, it’s funny listening. You talk about what you’re what you do and how you do it. But listening, you talk on the radio. I’m like, This guy is obviously must have been in radio because he’s a natural on the mic to talk like, do you ever want to get back into the broadcasting side? Do you like being behind the scenes and helping people do their thing?

00:21:24 – Speaker2

You know, I would love my dream would be to work with a group of people and my my and created a great audio drama. Ok, I am an old radio show geek. I love the radio shows from the 40s, 50s, even into the 60s. The audio dramas, the the the mysteries, the cop shows. I love that stuff and I love what podcasting is brought back to life. There are tons of great audio dramas now that are using, you know, up to date sound effects and great writing, and some of these audio dramas are turning into TV series. That’s how good this stuff is. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. But TV and movies are looking at podcasting as idea generators, and if it’s good content, you know to cut your teeth in writing and creating in podcasting, you can actually get some some contracts signed to move in to bigger and better things. And I love that. That’s what drew me to radio. Is that theater of the mind. I love that, you know, getting into somebody’s head and they’re listening to sound effects and they’re listening to people talking their inflections, and you’re right there with them,

00:22:38 – Speaker3

Just listening to you. I can hear that passion come out in your voice. And I mean, I’m here to watch it, and you can definitely tell that that’s exactly what you were. I would

00:22:45 – Speaker2

Be doing. I would love to be a part of that. I love doing this, though, because you can you can definitely bring that part of it to that’d be a dream job kind of just to be a part of that, that atmosphere of that energy, of building an audio drama.

00:22:58 – Speaker3

And now that, you know, now that you’ve spoken out loud, you know someone’s going to hold you accountable.

00:23:03 – Speaker2

Now we’re on the hook.

00:23:06 – Speaker1

Here’s a funny thing, too when you’re on your entrepreneurial dream and the journey and the the dream never ends, the journey doesn’t end, it just keeps going and change you. But what kind of place are we in a society where before a creative person has to go through whatever that training is right there, whatever those scripts are. Hopefully they’ll get through whoever those people are that gets it up the ladder to, Hey, we’re going to produce this now. Anybody can go out, tap in their creative, creative side to create one of these, you know, episodes or whatever, and it’s out there for everybody to see. It just helps everybody because they’re just more content now, and it’s not controlled by a group. It’s open access for everyone. How liberating is that for you in this field to believe that you left radio because it was all controlled? Now, all of a sudden it’s all wide open again,

00:24:02 – Speaker2

It’s all wide open and the the big lift is on. The producers are on the host, the host, the company to get the word out. And there are a lot of them out there to be, you know, your bullhorns got to be pretty big and continue to talk about your podcast. But there are so many easy ways to do it to make sure that you know who your your, your avatar, your your, your targeted audience is and make sure you’re in front of them all the time that you’re talking about what they want to hear.

00:24:34 – Speaker1

And you know, it’s weird because. There’s still people want to go. I don’t know how you are when you go, sit down and watch TV, but there’s a certain generational thing of sometimes I want to just peruse what’s on and select it. When I have unlimited to go pull up anything, it’s a bit overwhelming. It is right. Yeah. So there’s this balance of trying to figure out how that works, and that’s up to the individual people doing these podcasts to create something cool that somebody else can see and go, You know what? I think I got to put this in a medium that these this group of people will want to listen to. And I think that’s that’s kind of what you’re trying to do because it’s not about having the podcast, it’s about who gets to listen to it and who it impacts, right? Right.

00:25:17 – Speaker2

Making sure you’re, you know, in front of that right audience and then you’re impacting the right audience, the right audience, and you consistently do that that, you know, there is a a silent agreement that you’ve made with your listeners that they are willing to give to take 30 minutes of their time to listen to your podcast or 45 or whatever you know the length of it is. That’s a pretty heavy agreement if you think about it, because it’s a lot of weight on you going, OK, I’ve got listeners who are automatically downing downloading this episode every Monday morning and I have to deliver. Every time nailing it, I have to. Maybe it’s not a homerun every time, but I have to deliver something that they won’t unsubscribe and that I’m just done. I’ve got a podcast. I probably have 40 podcasts that I subscribe to, but I have to go through every once in a while going. It’s just not delivered anymore for me. I’m just just not there. Beyond this, some business podcast, some podcasts about podcasting and a lot of audio drama. But after a while, you make a choice. You just can’t listen to it every time. And that’s on us as podcasters make sure that content is on target and you’re continually understanding what they need is well, too, and that’s that give and take if you can get your listeners to participate and give you ideas. That’s that’s the main. That’s the that’s the goal. It’s hard, though it’s really hard because we all like to be anonymous. It just kind of listen and never really give any feedback. And I would encourage anybody that listens to a podcast. I’m guilty, too, but give Give your pod, give your favorite podcast a national, you know. Hey, listen, love the episodes. Keep up the good work. You wouldn’t believe how much that means to a podcaster.

00:27:00 – Speaker1

We just looking back for any feedback. Give me something it. Was it OK? Was it bad? Was it good? Yeah. Yeah, it seems like the, you know, the medium of of marketing and getting your message out to people. You know, it was the traditional advertising and those types of things, and it was networking and, you know, sitting down with people personally and having a handshake, playing golf, cocktail coffee, whatever. I mean, that’s still important for those really deep relationships, perhaps. But to get them the message out to the masses at what stage in an entrepreneur’s career it is at the beginning middle, like before they start up, when should they start be thinking about that? The new way to get followers, the new way to do marketing is through probably a podcast or some kind of social media thing. When should they start doing that?

00:27:50 – Speaker2

I think at any stage, I think it does hearken back to the if you start, what is your message? Can you sustain that message or do you have a game plan that once this set of messages are done, you evolve into this and you’ve evolved into this? I have a podcast on my own that I’ve changed from just me talking into a microphone with my thoughts to the very heavy interview based because I found a bunch of people I wanted to talk to. And then I went back to a mixture of interview and just me soloing. I’d rather I love having someone else on the mic with me. I’m really not that great at being solo. I just love being around the roundtable or talking to somebody because it’s just it’s for me. It’s an easier podcast to do.

00:28:31 – Speaker1

Well, probably, too. It just stimulates the creative juices. Nobody likes to just read something. It’s fun to tap in and get that. That realness, I would think,

00:28:39 – Speaker2

Because I always look at it as if I got somebody around the table. I’m going to. I’m going to learn from them. That’s why I brought them on. It isn’t about when you interview someone, it’s not about you. It’s about them then. But you get to interject and you get to learn as you go along as well, too,

00:28:51 – Speaker1

Which isn’t that what it’s all about having fun and by, God forbid, learn something. Yeah, I

00:28:55 – Speaker2

Know who does that.

00:28:56 – Speaker1

Yeah, we know everything. Everyone knows everything.

00:28:59 – Speaker2

And that’s pretty much my intention when I do listen to at least a business podcast or anything has marketing or social media, whatever is, there’s got to be one little gem in there that you can take away that you would hope. And if you start to miss that and those episodes kind of go and go and go and you’re just not getting those little gems, that’s when you start to unsubscribe. It’s like, OK, there’s nothing there. That’s that’s the key is to make sure that there’s something there. And if you’re learning something, your listeners probably are too.

00:29:28 – Speaker1

I think that’s probably one of the goals of this podcast is to inspire somebody, an entrepreneur who hasn’t made that jump to be an entrepreneur, but they’ve got those tendencies right. Either got them where you don’t. You have them. You’re always probably suppressing them. But when you believe literally it could happen to make that jump, that’s the first step, right?

00:29:50 – Speaker2

You got to believe it. Yeah, it surprised me because I’m thinking I’m 50 years old. How many more years can do this? But I got to think, like, I can do this for as long as I want, honestly. And that’s that’s kind of the goal of those next steps. Well, it’s not even kind of it is how do I develop this out that I get to do more really what I want to do working on the business, then what I’m doing right today? What’s what’s what do I want it to look like in three years versus today? And that’s that’s what I have to look at in this next 12 months.

00:30:20 – Speaker1

A couple of things that I find a minority with with with clients and colleagues and whatnot when they make this change to do this. Generally, it happens like right now you’re giving hope for anybody over 50. Technology like anybody over 50, they don’t want to learn technology and here you are, just nailing it. And it’s not easy stuff. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on, but hey, it can happen. And it’s it’s hard to make that change. It’s hard to believe that you can go learn a whole new thing. You were in an industry, you know, for a while, so it wasn’t that bad, but it was. It’s a whole new medium to do what you’re doing and then not only to go do that, but then to believe that not only can I do this, I’m going to do it. And then you just nail it. I mean it. It’s got to be really an exciting time for you to believe that it happened and you could have easily said, No, I’m just going to do this. And but on a further note on that, I think it’s important to note somebody that is in your age demographic. When I say that there’s like this, you know, over under 50, over 50, when you’re over 50, generally, you end up with this thing. We call industry knowledge wisdom that is way beyond the task. It’s about just understanding how things work, and you’re really not good at doing the task anymore. You’re good at doing the why.

00:31:42 – Speaker2

Maybe or maybe you don’t want to do the

00:31:43 – Speaker1

Task, right? Because you’re bored. Have you been doing it for 50 years? Like, I can’t do this again if I have to do try one more case. If I got to do one more tax return, if I got to do, you know, interview one more, whatever that might be. Yeah, and and you can take that. And that’s that whole pivot thing we talk about, Julie is is like, you have this thing and you’re like, Well, I don’t want to do that thing. What’s that other thing I can do? And that’s where the fun is, because you can be the shortcut for people below. You can be their mentor, right? And how fun is that? Has that happened with you at all? Have you been able to mentor anybody below you?

00:32:13 – Speaker2

Not yet. And I do want to do that. And right now it’s almost a time thing because I am the, you know, the dishwasher all the way up to the maitre d with this business. And that’s where things have to change for me to understand and I know what I have to peel off. I know what I have to do, but it’s that little gap that I’m afraid to jump over. And but that piece of what I need to peel off is what makes me what I am though to and why I made the jump into podcasting. Because I I’ve got the full deal here. You work with me. I can pretty much take care of everything that you need, but I also know I can’t do that forever. I have to have other independent contractors working with me to to take this off my plate so I can build the business even more. And I knew there could be a tipping point, and I think in next year’s going to be the tipping point is like, OK, I have X amount of clients now. I don’t have the personal time anymore.

00:33:10 – Speaker1

I’ll give you a little secret, little little advice that’s going on when you when you say that you recognize that you need to leverage those relationships to get those things and you say it’s going to be a year from now. Do it now, right?

00:33:23 – Speaker2

Do it now. And what I’m saying is in the next 12 months, it’s got to happen because I’m looking at it on paper going, I have to. I have to.

00:33:29 – Speaker1

It takes a while to, you know, recognize it. And and again, it’s a lot of entrepreneurs feel like. Like, not I want to say a failure, but like I can do that, I can still do that well, you can, but does that mean you should? Yeah. And right? Believe me talking to so many clients over the years and doing it once they release that control, trust that process, empower other people, it just exponentially happens so quickly. And it is it is joyous. It’s the most fun you’re ever going to have when you give up that control. So as you do your journey, you’ll find the right time. But when you do, it’s a really, truly magical moment.

00:34:10 – Speaker2

Yeah, and I keep hearing that from everyone that I’ve talked about to this and they’re saying, Make the jump right, go ahead. Yeah, do your due diligence and finding the right people to work with you. We have to fire them. Ok, whatever. But at least you’re still a part of the process and eventually you just it’s done. It’s done. You’ve got the processes in place and you hit button boom, boom, boom. And you’ve got you just found time. You made more money per hour because you’re not doing those little things anymore.

00:34:36 – Speaker1

And it’s funny. It’s I don’t know, this is always a big thing for entrepreneurs, are you? If I were to say, Are you doing this for the money? Is that what gets you up in the morning? It’s a piece of it, because the main thing,

00:34:49 – Speaker2

The main thing. It’s not the main thing. It’s this. I love what we’re doing right now. At this moment, I have never had more fun in my life than these past five years doing this, other than very when I first got into radio and that joy of like, Wow, I I’ve got my broadcast license at that time. That was the thing, and I’m on air, even though it’s God squad seven, you know, six a.m. Doesn’t matter. 12:00 In the morning on Sundays, I’m on the air. I’m the dude. And that came back with this.

00:35:22 – Speaker1

So are you suggesting for a fellow entrepreneur that’s thinking about it that if you do what you love? You’re going to enjoy life, have fun, and the money will come. That sounds so

00:35:35 – Speaker2

Simplistic. It sounds simplistic, doesn’t it? It’s not true. I think the big picture, yes, a percent. Got to take care of the dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, for sure. You know, make sure that you’re paying yourself and make sure that you’re charging enough. And that was a big thing for me, too, is that I’m walking into this world that there are at that time, five years ago, maybe five people in the world that call themselves a podcast consultant. That’s crazy. Exactly that. That term mostly was called maybe podcast manager, but I didn’t like that term. The manager made it sound more of a managing the audio and doing this. The consultant has a different ringtone. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be that person that we’re sitting around and planning and big picture stuff because I love Big Picture stuff. And then putting the details together of how you get there, because if you don’t do it right at the beginning, you can never get there to where you might want it because you wasted, maybe not wasted you. You let some time go by is like, Oh, we hadn’t done that a year ago. Darn it. And there will always be things that you look back and wish you had done. But I thought that consultant piece and then looking at it that way too is like, What do I charge? I had no idea. It’s like, OK, let the market decide if I if it’s too much, they’re going to say I can’t right now, but it can do this. You take it. I mean, I guess you learn to ever say no.

00:36:55 – Speaker1

So you just do it. Are you suggesting that you.


No clue what I was doing. I had again, I had people around me, though, helping me figure this out in regards to and giving me the confidence to. It took me about two or three years to really know that, yeah, Brett, you know what you’re doing?

00:37:13 – Speaker1

So you mean it didn’t happen overnight, either didn’t happen overnight? Man, there’s just a lot of negative connotations, I suppose. So you’re saying that you can start before you know, you can do before you know it to charge and you’re going to do it without knowing how much money you’re going to make? Yeah, but you’re and you’re having fun the whole time. Yeah, you should. Nobody should ever be an entrepreneur. That sounds crazy. Who would do that

00:37:35 – Speaker2

And learn along the way? And, you know, learn from those mistakes. And hopefully those mistakes don’t really kill you, but change. Keep changing. Keep changing new ways like, Oh, I should have done that with them. And oh, never thought about that when I put the contract together, you know it’s OK. The world’s not going to end. Don’t do it again.

00:37:52 – Speaker1

Is it a fair statement? Because you know what we get to see a lot is it’s it’s always bigger than you, the entrepreneur. It’s really never really about you anymore. It’s about the people you impact. It’s about the people you empower. And it’s also about, you know, as you mentor other people to try. I don’t want to say emulate you, but they can kind of say, Hey, I can you inspire them? And you can maybe help the next person achieve their dream because it’s not. It’s not. We’re going to go to work and go to a job. We’re going to go live your absolute perfect life, and it’s going to be anarchy the whole time. Do you feel like that’s kind of a thing?

00:38:30 – Speaker2

Yeah. Trying to control the uncontrollable, I guess. Possibly it’s impossible, but just control what you can about it because there’s a lot of moving parts to this. And and I’m still learning as well, too, and I constantly want to learn. But it’s it’s that I think realize what you can do and do it and realize what you can’t do and find somebody else to do it for you, because that’s the frustrating point. That’s where you’ll go down a rabbit hole and go, Why am I doing this? Find somebody to take care of the website. If you can’t do a website, get it off your plate.

00:39:05 – Speaker1

Well, I feel like in your journey, that’s where you’re at. You’re ready to make those changes so as you’re helping other people do it. We recognize when I say we mean you recognize it and those are great things to happen. Well, I appreciate you coming on the show today, Bret is a pleasure talking with you again. It’s Bret Johnson Circle 270 media. Bret, if you want to give a little plug to email and all those things.

00:39:28 – Speaker2

Website Yeah. My email address podcasts at That’s my website to Hopefully, by the time you go there, when you hear this episode, it’ll be a brand new website. Obviously, that’s why I brought it up, and my podcast that I produce about podcasting is Note To Future Me. You can find that there, and it’s on all podcast players.

00:39:52 – Speaker1

Fantastic. Appreciate you having here, and I hope the audience takes at least one nugget and come home and think about it and do an action item and join the. I don’t want to say exclusive, but a very special club of being an entrepreneur. This is Glenn Harper and

00:40:07 – Speaker3

Julie Smith,

00:40:08 – Speaker1

And we’ll get you the next show.

Episode Show Notes

Brett Johnson is the founder and owner of Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. He consults with businesses on developing, launching, and optimizing podcasts into their marketing strategy.

Realizing that radio was on the downturn and that podcasts were always being included in marketing strategy meetings, he pivoted careers.

As a 35-year radio veteran, he leverages his years of content creation, marketing skills, and sales to provide customized consulting. As a result, his clients now focus on the ‘why’ they are podcasting, not on the ‘how’ to create a podcast.

Brett talks about how his career transition happened from radio to podcast consultant…

All these advertisers were asking me about podcasting. I started doing homework. I started going to what I called “night school” and just plowing through bunches of podcasts, reading all about this stuff. And became pretty good at understanding what to do with podcasting pretty quickly. Over about six or seven months of every night reading about and listening to podcasts. So I started working with clients doing this on the side outside of the station. And then there came a point, very quickly, where doing this as a side hustle interfered with my regular work.

Accountability is scary to a lot of people. Once you speak it, it becomes real. And you have to have action. Who are those centers that are your influencers? Who are those mentors?

I try to make it a variety of people. I went to my old sales manager. He was the one that hired me initially at the radio station. I trust his advice and I am very lucky to have him there for me. I also try to make that circle of people different as well, too. That (circle) would hold me accountable and people I could go to.

Making podcasting easier for the client is the key, right?

There are a lot of details to it. And I think that’s what does stop a lot of podcasters from either doing it and or not doing it very well. Because it’s detail-oriented. As with any content-generating opportunity, it just takes time. My goal is to make it fun. Let’s create that episode. But what else are you going to do with it? What else do you want to do with it?

Did you have it all figured out when you started?

I had no clue what I was doing. I had people around me, though, helping me figure this and giving me the confidence to do it. It took me about two or three years to really know that, “Yeah, Brett, you know what you’re doing.”

Find out more about what Brett does by scheduling a time with him, or more on his website. And don’t miss his podcast Note To Future Me.

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