Radio, Podcasting and Sponsorships

Podcasting, Radio, And Sponsors (transcribed by Sonix)

Brett Johnson: From Studio C in the 511 Studios in the Brewery District, located in downtown Columbus, Ohio, this is Note to Future Me. I’m Brett Johnson, owner of Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. Note to Future Me is dedicated to interviewing businesses, and organizations who have implemented podcasting into their marketing strategy, but, in this episode, I’m taking a sidestep.

Brett Johnson: I got to interview Dino Tripodis, host of the podcast, Whiskey Business, and former longtime morning show co-host on WSNY Sunny 95 in Columbus, Ohio. Also in the studio with me was Steve Palmer, main host of the podcast, Lawyer Talk, and owner, and partner at the law firm of Yavitch & Palmer in Columbus, Ohio, as well as the owner of 511 Studios.

Brett Johnson: Okay, now you’re thinking what do we three have in common? Radio, and podcasting. Dino, of course, with his years on air, and his podcast; Steve is now entering year number two with the podcast, and has been a radio advertiser, and has been a part of a morning radio call-in show on 99.7 The Blitz for over 10 years. I’m a 35-year-plus radio broadcast veteran with experience from on-air to sales.

Brett Johnson: I have been itching to cover this topic for a long time, and I have two great guests to talk about it – how radio is either missing the boat about podcasting, or has seen the light about podcasting. We three have different viewpoints, coming from three different perspectives, and it really made a great recording session. Thanks for coming along for the bend in focus. I think you’re gonna enjoy this insider’s view. As always, thanks for taking notes with me.

Brett Johnson: As you’ve heard in my past episodes, I’ve gone the theme of businesses, and podcasting. This episode, I wanna kinda take a sidebar. With my background in radio, as you well know, as a listener of my podcast, I wanna occasionally address the radio, and podcasting theme – its weaknesses; its strengths; its existence at all, if nothing else.

Brett Johnson: I thought this episode would be great to do because I’ve got two radio experts; generals.

Dino Tripodis: You do?

Brett Johnson: I do [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: I was like, “Okay, we’re here. When are the other guys coming?”

Brett Johnson: We’ve got Dino Tripodis, who is, first off, the host of Whiskey Business podcast – I’m gonna give the podcast a vote of confidence, first – as well as a former morning show co-host for a local radio station in Columbus, Ohio, WSNY Sunny 95; as well as Steve Palmer, who is the owner of law firm Yavitch & Palmer, and … You kinda go, “Attorney? What’s the deal?” Well, anyway, he is the host of the Lawyer Talk: Off the Record podcast, as well as a longtime radio advertiser on a local station in Columbus. The Blitz, 99.7 FM.

Brett Johnson: I think we all three can bring three different perspectives to radio, and podcasting that I want to explore. I have my opinion. I know Dino has his. I know Steve has his.

Steve Palmer: Uh-huh.

Brett Johnson: I think it should be fun. Let’s, though, go this route, first. Give a little bit about your background, Dino, in regards to what you’ve done with your life up until this point, as well as how the Whiskey Business podcast came about.

Dino Tripodis: What have I done with my life? That’s a good question. You know what? I think my mother asked me that same question just a week ago. “What have you done with your life?” 24 years, that’s 1995 … It was the only radio job I had ever had.

Dino Tripodis: I came into it as a comedian doing stand-up. I was a guest on their show as a comedian, and then … I’ll skip a lot of the minutia, but there was an opening to work there as a co-host with another gentleman who, at the time, was hosting the show – Bob Simpson. I reluctantly took the job, thinking this is gonna be one of those ‘It’s nice when he visits. It’s not gonna be so nice when he’s there all the time’ situations. That show was good, but didn’t work.

Dino Tripodis: The following year, they let Mr. Simpson go, and I thought they were gonna let myself, and Stacy McKay go, as well, at the end of the year, because that happened in October. Come January, they sat us down and said, “We’d like you to be the new morning show.” Once again I thought, “Okay, they’ll come to their senses, and realize they made a horrible mistake.” 24 years later, I was still there, but I did leave in June of 2018 [cross talk] 24 great years. Great station. Just a great run.

Brett Johnson: The Whiskey Business podcast came about through that time period, then, too, right?

Dino Tripodis: Well, Sunny 95, or Saga Communications, Columbus Radio Group, whatever you wanna call them, started to see that podcasting was becoming a thing, and digital media was becoming a thing, as well. They started to hop on it, and wanted to take advantage of the opportunities that were in there, in respects to sales, and making money.

Dino Tripodis: They approached Stacy, first – she does a podcast called Momcast, which is very popular, and very good – and they asked me if I wanted to do a podcast. At first, I said, “Ehhh, I don’t know.” I thought, okay, if I did one, what would it be? What do I like? What do I know? We came up with Whiskey Business, which I did not want it to be a podcast about whiskey, so much as it … That’s our tagline, “Not so much a podcast about whiskey as it is one with whiskey.”.

Dino Tripodis: The only running theme in our podcast is we share a different bottle of whiskey every week, with a different guest. We don’t claim to be experts in whiskey. There are far more knowledgeable men, and women out there who know their whiskey than I do, but we do learn a little bit about the bottle. Then, what’s really fun is the conversations that we have. Our guests run from A to Z, as far as topics. We’ve had lawyers on the show. We’ve had a couple of attorneys.

Steve Palmer: All right.

Dino Tripodis: Three of ’em … I said two. Three. I think you probably know ’em all.

Steve Palmer: Yeah, I think I do. We talked a little bit off the air about that before we were recording, yeah.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and they’ve all had … One of ’em has a podcast, as well. Alex Hastie.

Steve Palmer: Yeah. Alex is a friend of mine, and he’s been on our podcast.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, Ohio v. the World.

Steve Palmer: Yeah. Great podcast, actually [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: He’s been on ours three times. Yeah, small world, smaller city, I always like to say.

Brett Johnson: Yeah. Correct.

Steve Palmer: Columbus is one of those cities where, if you just start poking around, sooner or later, you’re gonna find people that know people that know people that know you, and the chains get smaller, and smaller.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, there’s like three degrees of separation, as opposed to the classic six [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: Yeah. Exactly.

Brett Johnson: Steve, let’s talk a little bit about how you got into doing the podcast, but also your history with advertising with The Blitz, and how it all kinda transitioned into where you are today.

Steve Palmer: I’m really just a criminal defense lawyer [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Oh, “just” a criminal defense lawyer?

Steve Palmer: What’s interesting is in the back that you were talking about Blazer, and I started going on The Blitz with Blazer and Mo, years ago. This is about 2006 or ’07. My partner, who’s now deceased, Eric Yavitch, he was cruising home one day, or cruising into the office, one day, and there was … Actually in, because it was morning.

Steve Palmer: Here’s Mo griping about getting a speeding ticket in the city of Dublin. It was classic Mo shtick, where he was, “Black man in Dublin. Here I go. Now, they’re gonna get me. What I need is a good Jewish lawyer. I gotta get …” Yavitch, who was my partner at the time, calls him, and says, “I’ll represent you for free.”.

Steve Palmer: That spawned a couple phone calls. Next thing I know, we’re going into the station to talk about representing Mo in a speeding ticket, and we had a charity going on. We were gonna sell some raffle tickets for a charity. We walked in, and I remember … I think it was Blazer came up, and said, “You guys wanna do maybe a little phone-in question-and-answer legal advice?” I said, “Well, sure. Why not?”

Brett Johnson: Why not?

Steve Palmer: Next thing I know, here I am a decade later … I’ve been doing that same phone-in show weekly, now, for almost 10 years now. It went off the air while The Blitz took their hiatus. The morning show for-

Brett Johnson: The ‘old Coke/new Coke’ experiment, right?

Steve Palmer: Yeah, they changed brands a couple times, and then came back. Ultimately, after I bounced around to QFM, and then … I think I even … Yeah, I went over to CD101 for a while. That was a failure. Then I ended up back at The Blitz, and here we are.

Steve Palmer: Along those lines, what I thought …Here’s what I started doing about radio advertising. I never cared about it, to be perfectly blunt. I just … It didn’t make any sense to me. I never understood it. I never thought I would hire a lawyer who’s got a commercial on the radio. What happened is when I started doing that phone-in legal advice, people started calling me; “Hey, you’re the guy on a radio.”.

Dino Tripodis: Well, it becomes … You take it a step further, where you actually become now just … You’re more than just a radio commercial, you’ve, whether you realize it or not, become a personality.

Steve Palmer: Yeah, you bet.

Dino Tripodis: That’s far more identifiable than just a spot on the radio.

Steve Palmer: Yep, and you guys know that from your … I didn’t even … No experience with radio or doing anything … In fact, I used to be scared to death to walk in there-

Brett Johnson: Me either.

Steve Palmer: It was probably the same thing, like when you just [inaudible] “Hey, you wanna be on our show?” It was like, “Sure. How does this work?” Now, I get to the point where, every few weeks, I’ll be checking out at Kroger, or I had one time at Harbor Freight, and somebody says, “Do I know you?” Here I am, wearing a ball cap backwards. I’ve been working in my yard; I’m sweaty; I’m whatever, and I’m like, “I don’t think so. I don’t …” and she, “Are you on the radio?” I was like, ” Well, yeah, yeah, I happen …” “You’re that lawyer on the radio!”

Steve Palmer: That’s where the advertising component shakes hands with me being on, but whether … I always looked at the advertising as an opportunity for me to be on the air, and share my personality – who I am, how I do things. That is the best advertising I’ve got, as far as radio goes.

Dino Tripodis: There’s other attorneys who have radio spots, but don’t you think, because you do that phone-in, and that segment, that it elevates you a little bit?

Steve Palmer: Yeah-.

Dino Tripodis: Because that’s how I think it transfers, or translates into the mind of the consumer. “Well, yeah, I heard a lawyer spot for that guy, but this guy actually has a show.”

Steve Palmer: Yeah. “He’s on the radio.” I think it sort of reinforces the brand. The radio spots are usually my voice, so it reinforces my voice, and it works only because I’ve got both [cross talk] and it works well.

Brett Johnson: Right.

Dino Tripodis: With all due respect, you have a good voice. Over the 24 years that I’ve did radio, there’ll be clients that would wanna voice their own spots, and I’m like, “Okay … That’s not really a good idea.”

Brett Johnson: Right. Exactly.

Steve Palmer: Right, right, right …

Dino Tripodis: But you, you have a good voice.

Steve Palmer: Well, thank you, yeah …

Brett Johnson: With your gig on the air, you’re the first one that’ll defer: “I’ll get you in contact with somebody. I don’t know the answer to that,” or, “I’ll take a good stab here, but you need to call …” That is cred, beyond belief.

Steve Palmer: I learned this a long time ago is that … I learned at the dinner table, where, if you don’t know, you say you don’t know, and you become intelligent, or smart, when you realize you don’t know anything. What I do is really all about problem-solving, and I look at my job that way.

Steve Palmer: If somebody calls in, I don’t act like a know-it-all if I don’t know it. I just say, “Listen, here’s what I think is going on; let’s put you in touch with the right person. You need a roof, we’ll get you a roofer; you need some plumbing, we’ll get you a plumber; you need a lawyer that does probate, we’ll get that person.”

Steve Palmer: I think that does … If there’s young lawyers listening, you should follow this advice: understand what you don’t know, and it’s okay not to know. You don’t you don’t need to know everything. That’s the trick, and then, focus on solving the problem, however that is.

Brett Johnson: Let’s talk about how you got started with podcast, then, which … I love this story.

Steve Palmer: Yeah, we would come … I said for years … Remember when reality TV hit? This is back in, what, the mid-late ’90s. All the sudden, all these reality TV shows … Eric Yavitch, and I were sitting in our office, and we said, “We oughta have a reality TV show,” because we get back from court, and we’re just spent. It’s that slap-happy time of the day, when you start just doing funny stuff. I thought, “Man, a reality show would love this.”.

Steve Palmer: Then, when I started doing the radio show, I thought, “Man, I’d love to have my own radio show,” and I said, sort of rhetorically, “Man, if I could just have … If I could just make a living doing radio, I would do that.” Jeff Linn, who now has been with me for a long time, is a of the next generation. He listens to Rogan, and all these podcasts. I said, “Podcast? What the hell is that?” I do the radio show …

Dino Tripodis: It’s the future …

Steve Palmer: It’s the future.

Brett Johnson: Right.

Steve Palmer: He said we oughta do a podcast, so I thought, “Well, all right. One of these days, we’ll do one.” Well, Brett, you’re sitting outside the studio one time after … On a Wednesday-

Brett Johnson: Like a vulture [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: He’s a vulture. He’s got of stack of these Circle-something cards. We started talking about podcasts, and I said, “Yeah, that’s funny, because I’ve been … Jeff Linn, my guy, we’ve been talking about doing this now for months …” That’s the thing is that I didn’t have the, I guess … I didn’t have the knowledge to actually push it over the goal line. I could talk about it; I could do it, but I was somewhere on the 50-yard line. The thought of actually figuring out how to record something [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Oh, I’m with you there. If not for an excellent producer, yeah, there’d be no Whiskey Business.

Steve Palmer: It’s a confusing, complicated mess, and then, getting it to podcast land? I didn’t even know what that was. Now, I’ve heard people trying to write apps for Apple, and I’m like, “That doesn’t … That’s impossible. You can’t do that.” It was your expertise, Brett, that sort of gave us that push to get it actually started, and going.

Brett Johnson: All right. Then, Dino was asking about “Okay, studio looks great, down here. How’d this start up?” Talk about the development of the 511 Studios, though.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, what is this little-

Steve Palmer: Yeah, this little oasis-

Dino Tripodis: -niche of audio nirvana doing down here in this legal building?

Steve Palmer: Yeah, you walked into my law office, and then, I’d bring you down to this little- this studio. We were doing the podcast at a conference table in my office upstairs. I bought the building a couple years ago from my mentor, a guy named Bill Meeks, who’s passed away, but …

Steve Palmer: As we did this podcast, I bought a microphone. I thought, “All right, I’ve spent what I need to spend.” I bought a microphone. I got this … Maybe I’ll do it on my phone, and record digitally. Then, I bought a better digital recorder. Then, I bought another microphone, and then I bought another microphone-.

Dino Tripodis: It’s crack.

Steve Palmer: It is.

Dino Tripodis: It’s audio crack.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, and all the time, he’s asking me, “What do you think about this?” It’s like, “Yeah, if you wanna go that direction, that’s really good stuff. If you wanna do that, that’s okay. You’ll love …” We get kicking around, and he wants to look at these AVs. I said, “I got one. I’ll bring it down. You can listen to A.B. … Do the A.B. test …” He plugs this bad boy in; he goes, “I’m sold” [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: At the radio, you go to … There’s a certain sound, and you guys know this better than I, but I had no idea that there was a sound associated, and by sound, I mean a mix, or whatever the hell it is, associated with on-air radio/broadcast radio.

Steve Palmer: I got addicted to that, and headphones over at the studio, over at 99.7, and I just … Anything short of that, in my own podcast, seemed inadequate.

Brett Johnson: Uh-huh. I guess so.

Steve Palmer: Brett comes down … He’s over, and Brett … We come down here in the basement, in this room. and there’s chairs stacked … Literally, chairs [cross talk] I bought the building furnished. I needed a place to store all the crap, so there’s chairs stacked to the ceiling, and we’re … I said, “Yeah, I’m thinking about maybe building a studio down here.”

Steve Palmer: One thing led to another. I put this … I put paneling up. I got the right kind of sound stuff. I started building acoustical panels. We bought monitors; bought a mixing board. I didn’t like that, so I bought another one. I got these amps, so I needed pre-amps to run- or these mics. I needed pre-amps to run the mics. Then, we thought, “Well, we might as well have the ability to put it on TV.”

Dino Tripodis: Sure! Why not? Yeah.

Steve Palmer: Now, we can do streaming. We’ve got five cameras mounted that are around our little roundtable here that everybody can be on a camera at all times; we can mix the video for people …

Dino Tripodis: We just started doing YouTube videos, as well. Not as sophisticated as these five mounted cameras; we have two GoPro cameras that are filming myself, and my guest. Then, I wanted to do a little shout out, if I can, please, to my Producer, Greg Hansberry, who I’d be lost without, and also the producer of our YouTube videos, Director John Whitney, who is a filmmaker-collaborator, and just wanted to join in on the fun. He edits down the YouTube videos, as well.

Dino Tripodis: We went from the studio at Sunny, when we had the podcast over there, and now we go … We’re at my house, and we have some of that equipment, that early equipment, that seems to suffice for us, right now. But this … This … I don’t … There’s also something to be said, and like I said, it comes down to a great producer. They mix it really well, and do a great job with it.

Dino Tripodis: There’s something about the ambiance of doing it from my home. It’s in my bar, and there’s just something very comfortable about the atmosphere of it. I think I think we would lose something now, if we left that particular place, now. Could I make it more sound-pleasing? Probably. I could probably do some things. We did one in the basement one time, too, which, Hansberry immediately said, “Ah, the acoustics down here are even better. We should do it down here all the time.” I’m like, “Whatever. I don’t know …” but, yeah-

Steve Palmer: I just- I’m the talent, right [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, I don’t know. Talk to him … Plus, as far as how it sounds, you probably have the benefit of a better ear … Brett, you’re probably hearing-deficient, on some level, in one of these ears, after all your years of radio.

Brett Johnson: A little bit; a little bit [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, I know I am for sure.

Steve Palmer: Really?

Dino Tripodis: Oh, yeah, for sure.

Steve Palmer: Wow, okay.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, sometimes, it’s conveniently so [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: You said what? Huh?

Dino Tripodis: Sometimes, it’s actual. Yeah, this is great. This is great.

Steve Palmer: Yeah, it’s a neat place, and you know what happens down here; it’s become a think tank for us. It’s become a place where not only do we record our show, but we … I talk about stuff down here, whether it’s being recorded or not. We solve problems down here. This is my little escape in the middle of the day to come down, and either record a show, hang out, or do whatever … Stuff like we’re doing right now. I love it down here. I don’t regret any of it. The only thing I can think is how can I make it better?

Brett Johnson: Right. Right.

Steve Palmer: I’m always thinking about that.

Brett Johnson: Right [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Talk to the two radio guys. We have ways [cross talk].

Brett Johnson: Exactly. There you go.

Steve Palmer: It sounds like I need your production team. I got all this fancy equipment; I don’t know how to use it.

Dino Tripodis: You got a lotta fancy equipment.

Brett Johnson: Right. What kind of support did you get – we talked a little bit before we recorded – from the radio station group. I know they approached you; they wanted you to do one. From that day forward, “Yep, I’m cool; I’m gonna do this …” What kinda support did you get from them? I mean, frustrations, and good, and bad. Talk about that.

Dino Tripodis: First of all, they gave me carte blanche, as far as content. There wasn’t any what I like to call ‘Sunny restrictions.’

Brett Johnson: Sure, yeah, right … You weren’t on air with it.

Dino Tripodis: I was not air. Yes, this is on the internet. We didn’t have to worry so much about content, language, et cetera, et cetera. Supportive in that they ran spots for the podcast on a regular basis, and, once again, part of that was, when we had sponsors, they kinda had to.

Dino Tripodis: I think where they dropped the ball was in sales. I don’t know … If there are salespeople in radio that might be listening to this, you need to embrace the future, which is digital media, and find a way to sell it. If it seems like it’s a small-potatoes package to sell to one person for X amount, it’s not.

Dino Tripodis: I’m sorry if it’s not Giant Eagle, or Kroger, or one of the big car dealerships, where you’re gonna make a lot of money, but you need to wrap your head around the fact that it’s not going anywhere. In fact, it’s growing as we speak. By not trying to sell it, you’re missing out on dollars. You are, personally; so is your radio station.

Dino Tripodis: There’s a lot of money to be made in digital media from an advertising perspective, and I think that’s where they … I won’t say they didn’t support it, but I don’t think they went at it as aggressively as they could have. I think the salespeople could not wrap their heads around this small little thing, where you just talk about whatever you want, and that’s it. It goes out on the internet, and it’s not on the radio. It’s not actually on the radio.

Steve Palmer: You’re not a big boy. You just got your little basement thing, but … Here, I think your words of wisdom are really, really true. That is they better jump on board, or somebody like me will, or somebody with a studio here will do it. Because having spent a lot of dollars on radio advertising, I see it both ways.

Steve Palmer: I can see that, all right, if you’re the big boy … I don’t know what the big boys would spend. I don’t know what a big car dealership would spend on the radio, as far as advertising, but it’s a monthly fee, I suspect, and it’s probably high. Then, you get to a point where what is the return on that?

Steve Palmer: If you could get the same return on a popular podcast, for half the money, eventually, the big boys are gonna start bailing. They’re gonna go over to the podcast land. I sort of see it like maybe, not only the radio advertiser, or the salespeople, but maybe even the radio stations, themselves, better start thinking how to … They should start cashing in on some of those dollars.

Dino Tripodis: I get it, too. It’s the blinders mentality. You don’t know how … You can; you can find out how many people are listening to your podcast, but, the fact that there are X amount of radio stations in Columbus, Ohio, compared to the literally thousands of podcasts, hundreds of thousands of podcasts that are out there, and available to consume …

Dino Tripodis: I can see where an advertiser might go, “Well, how are we gonna cut through … There’s 500,000 podcasts out there.” Yeah, well, there are, but really, there’s really only 200,000 of those who are actually active on a regular basis, and then, only 50 percent of those are actually good. The number starts to get down to a smaller amount.

Dino Tripodis: If you take that model, and you break it down to what’s available, here in Columbus, as far as a local advertiser, and the fact, if you can convince ’em it’s just not going out to Columbus, it’s going out everywhere.

Steve Palmer: Sure.

Dino Tripodis: Sure, you might have listeners in Columbus that are dedicated listeners that will … Good, but your name, your brand, is going everywhere.

Steve Palmer: Yeah, you bet, and what does that correspond with? Internet sales, right?

Brett Johnson: Right.

Dino Tripodis: Right.

Steve Palmer: It’s like the brick-and-mortar store is not so important anymore. Even car dealers. I was shopping for cars recently, and I realized quickly I wasn’t looking at a dealership in central Ohio at all. It was somewhere outta state. They were marketing all over, because … It didn’t seem weird to me to go travel somewhere to buy a car, and that’s not even mail order. If I got a mail-order product, or any product I can ship, a podcast is limitless, as far as who you can reach. It really is limitless, if you get a good one.

Steve Palmer: I’m curious. You were a professional deejay, and then you make a shift to podcast. Did you catch any flack in the business, that way? Do people think, “All right, now you’re just a podcaster; you’re not a professional …” How many people are making that transition?

Dino Tripodis: I don’t know. As far as what people think – is podcasting some sort of-

Steve Palmer: It’s a lesser-

Dino Tripodis: -lesser bastard child [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Retirement home for-

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, where you go-

Brett Johnson: -for on-air personalities …

Dino Tripodis: “Oh, when you’re done with radio, you go into a podcasting.”.

Brett Johnson: Exactly.

Dino Tripodis: There’s some truth to that, because, as I mentioned before, it seems like everybody’s got a podcast.

Steve Palmer: Yeah.

Dino Tripodis: I make a joke that the sixth-grader that lives down the street from me has a podcast about boy bands, and bracelets, and has more listeners than I do. I mean, it seems like everybody’s got a podcast. By the same token, no, I don’t think … I haven’t gotten any flack about it being lesser than, mainly because I think I was doing it while I was on the air.

Steve Palmer: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: Sure.

Dino Tripodis: When I first started, the first solid year and a half, they were married hand-in-hand. It was my choice to take the podcast with me, when I left. That was one of the arrangements that I made, for lack of a better word, that I wanted to take the podcast, and all the proprietary rights, and all the intellectual property that’s associated with Whiskey Business with me, because I wanted to possibly take it a step further. Since they weren’t really doing anything with it, sales-wise, it seemed like, “Eh, let him have it.”

Brett Johnson: Right. Yep.

Steve Palmer: I think eventually that … Well, I heard this, Brett, that Howard Stern was sort of jesting a little bit about Rogan’s podcast, like, “Aw, he’s just … He’s a podcaster.”

Brett Johnson: Really?

Steve Palmer: Howard Stern’s been the radio guru forever. He’s made tons of money doing it. Then, he shifted to satellite radio, or digital, whatever that’s called now. Then, he was he was sort of poking at Rogan, like, “Aw, what’s he do? He’s not making any money. He’s not doing anything.” It’s like, but he is, right? [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: You bet he is.

Steve Palmer: Like the hare and the tortoise; you better watch out.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, yeah, Rogan’s doing very well. There’s some good podcasts out there-

Brett Johnson: Guess who’s in the press right now? Rogan is. Stern ain’t.

Steve Palmer: No, that’s exactly-

Brett Johnson: Stern gets talked about very, very little anymore.

Steve Palmer: He doesn’t care. He’s made his money [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Oh, yeah. He’s not in that stage of the game.

Steve Palmer: What’s happening is that you’ve got, like, Ben Shapiro. He’s making tons of money on his little podcast; you’ve got Rogan making lots of money. There’s dozens of guys that are taking this format, and making it work financially. I think sooner or later, the sponsorship money will, or the advertising money will have to follow.

Brett Johnson: Coming from my background, just recently exiting a local radio station group after … Well, I’ve been in radio for over 35 years, but 20 years there, in sales, but I also did some on-air promotions, and such. I’ve been on both sides of the building, let’s put it that way …

Brett Johnson: Leaving there, I can tell you, at least from an industry standpoint, it has to come from top down. If owners don’t get it, the rest of the building won’t get it either. I know a lot of it’s coming from the programming, and it sounds as though, in your situation, Dino, it was welcomed. That’s great, but a lot of program directors take a look at this as, “If they’re listening to a podcast, they’re not listening to my radio station.” Bottom line.

Brett Johnson: It’s an economy of time; that you only have X amount of hours per day, so if you’re gonna spend it with a podcast, I don’t get you as a PPM, as a portable-people-meter person, and you’re not a listener-

Dino Tripodis: God, don’t get me started on PPM.

Brett Johnson: Right. They’re not seeing it as an extension, a brand extension for the radio station. That’s exactly what I walked out of; exactly what I walked out of, because I was the only one with the instigating, and pushing forward any podcasting there. I leave, and it’s dying on the vine. It’s amazing, and they’re not grabbing a hold of this, and understanding what’s going on with it. That’s partly why I left.

Steve Palmer: It’s almost like Big Tobacco saying, “We’re not gonna vape.”

Brett Johnson: I get calls from businesses who wanna podcast, and I hook up studios. I don’t use radio stations. Why would you not think a business would call the radio station? They have the equipment.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, it’s all right there.

Brett Johnson: It’s all right there, but they don’t get the calls, Dino. They don’t get the calls. I get the calls.

Dino Tripodis: Good.

Brett Johnson: It doesn’t make any sense. If you think you’re gonna make a video, you call TV, right?

Dino Tripodis: Yeah..

Brett Johnson: They got the equipment. Radio may have missed the boat. They may have missed the boat.

Dino Tripodis: They’re missing the boat. I think there’s still time for them to get another boat, and swim out to that boat-

Brett Johnson: [inaudible] yeah.

Dino Tripodis: -and get on it, but they are missing the boat, as we speak. Have they missed it completely? I don’t know, because what I … I do see some stations across the country that do embrace it [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Yes, they are. You’re right.

Dino Tripodis: There are some that are embracing the podcasts, and encouraging their personalities, their morning-show personalities, their afternoon, to do them, in addition to whatever they’re doing on the show, to add more layers to who they are, and what they’re all about. I think that’s great.

Brett Johnson: Yeah. In your situation, Steve, as well, I think stations are missing the boat that they’re not training their sales reps to take a look at, “Okay, who on your list of advertisers could be prime for a podcast, outside of what they do?” Just exactly what you do with yours.

Steve Palmer: Sure, yeah.

Brett Johnson: Exactly what you do. That’s where a sales rep can make money.

Steve Palmer: You would think a radio station could bring a lot of value, and force to that equation, right?

Brett Johnson: Right.

Steve Palmer: It’s like, “We’re gonna help you get your podcast … Come to our studio. Just come to this one that’s empty over here. We’ve got the voice processors. It’ll be everything … You don’t have to worry … You can do … ” What held me back, they can supply for people, which is I had trouble getting my head around actually making it happen with the equipment. How do I record? How do I get it up to a podcast? How do I do all these things?

Steve Palmer: In practicality, once you’ve figure it out, it’s doable, but it’s the kind of hurdle that prevents people from doing it. Somebody like you, now, is gonna do it, and help people do it. Radio stations could do that, and then use their station to help you promote it. I think that could generate dollars for a radio station, but what do I know?

Dino Tripodis: How different do you think it is … Let me ask you this. There are people that the radio station will sell time for these shows, where clients come in, and do a half-hour show; basically, they’re just pushing their product.

Brett Johnson: Long-form programming, basically.

Dino Tripodis: They’re usually on a Sunday morning, or a Sunday afternoon. How is that any different?

Brett Johnson: It’s not, other than they’re on 8:00 on Sunday morning, and, at 8:29, the show is gone forever [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: -it’s done, and this one … With the podcast, you’re doing it, and then-.

Brett Johnson: Even if it’s repurposing that long-form program, that’s okay, but in real-time radio, it’s gone forever. It’s out in the ether space.

Steve Palmer: That’s a good point … I had to face this in another media, which is the internet. I’m almost 50, now; 48. I’ll be 49 in May-

Dino Tripodis: I got psychological issues I wanna [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: -but I built my law practice the old-fashioned way. I was over … I would go to happy hours, or I would go meet people on a golf course, or doing stuff like this, or just shaking hands, or actually … Frankly, just being good at what we did, at that time, was a huge … That’s what drove business into my doors.

Steve Palmer: Then, there came a time after 2008, particularly, when the market sorta crashed, that everybody in their mother was gonna be a criminal-defense lawyer. What they were good at was internet marketing; they could go grab DUI cases; they could grab the misdemeanor stuff, or even some bigger felony stuff, and get paid some money. People out there didn’t know any better. They would just click, and say, “Oh, this is a good website. I’ll go talk to this guy, and if he or she …” This gal, they got this right sales pitch, they’ll hire ’em. That became a whole different competitive market for me.

Brett Johnson: Wow.

Steve Palmer: I either get along, or go along. You gotta jump on, and start doing it. We had to build a web page; we had to start doing some search-engine stuff just to keep up. It sounds like radio is sort of in that same mode, where the old, and the new are sort of spreading apart here, faster than maybe is healthy.

Steve Palmer: I think, ultimately, that if the target audience, or the target dollars, are people who have them to spend on advertising … Just look at the generation coming up behind us, guys. They’re doing everything online; they’re doing everything digitally; they’re doing everything … They don’t wanna waste time finding a radio show that’s on Sunday morning. They’re gonna just google it, and if it doesn’t show up, it’s gone. Like you said, it’s done. It’s interesting [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: I think there’s still value in terrestrial radio, as far as advertising [cross talk] I’ve heard that death bell so many times, over the last 24 years, and it’s just not true. Terrestrial radio has its place in this communication world, but you’ve got to be aware of what’s coming, and … Not what’s coming, what’s here.

Brett Johnson: I think this was an opportunity … I agree, it’s not gone yet. I get sarcastic with it, but I think Radio has, and had such an opportunity to be in front of the curve for once, with podcasts, and embrace it.

Brett Johnson: Just recently, there was a large conference of podcasters, called Podcast Movement, and it’s been going on … It’s grown by thousands every year, and it’s only about four years old. This year, they invited radio to be a track of, as well, too. Radio was on one side; podcasters on another; the two did not mix. They did not mix, and you heard comments, after the conference that radio people did not wanna talk to podcast people. They had different meet-ups and there was … Again, it’s that red-headed stepchild attitude, overall [cross talk] Like what you said, though, there are some groups that get it, and are moving forward with it, but it’s still that stigma that it’s-.

Dino Tripodis: It’s too bad, because I gotta be honest with you, when I started podcasting, while I was still at the radio station, it actually made me a better broadcaster.

Brett Johnson: Yeah.

Steve Palmer: Yeah.

Dino Tripodis: Because, with podcasting, you don’t have the restrictions of time. You can talk at length. You’re not worried about getting to the next stop set of commercials, or the latest Maroon 5 song, whatever the case may be-.

Steve Palmer: Five songs an hour [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, whatever was going on, It made me, when I started doing the podcast when I’m still at station, made me a better interviewer, and consequently, a better broadcaster; also made me think out of the box a little bit more. Yeah, the two definitely … If you’re in radio, and you’re podcasting, you should definitely marry those two together, and become a force, because it only benefits you in the long run.

Brett Johnson: You’ve done the same thing with Lawyer Talk. You’ve had strategy … Even if it’s not really called a strategy meeting, you guys are planning out episodes way in advance … Where do you wanna go? Let’s add an extra one on Friday. Let’s do this. Let’s focus on this … All back toward branding Yavitch & Palmer, bottom line.

Steve Palmer: Yeah. You know what I found? Here’s what’s fascinating to me. Here’s how it works for me. Somebody calls me, I say, “How’d you find me to help you with your drunk-driving case, or your federal drug case, or whatever crime it is?” More, and more, and more, I was hearing, “Well, you know, I heard you on the radio, and I just always thought you’re very honest. You just tell people like it is …”

Dino Tripodis: You cut through.

Steve Palmer: “You just cut through all [cross talk] I looked you up on the internet, and then so-and-so, my buddy, recommended you …” or some other referral source. All of that almost always originated at that radio show. It gave me an opportunity to share who I am, and give people a glimpse of what the experience would be. Not that I’m great, but just everybody’s individual, and you got to see that, as opposed to some web page, or some video, or something that is not so free-flowing.

Steve Palmer: Now, I just thought, I got a podcast. I can do this anytime I want. I can go, “Look, a big issue, there’s a new drunk-driving law. Let’s just go talk about it.” People can hear us talking about it, and if that generates business for me, great; if it doesn’t, great; but, I can do that without, like you said, without restriction. I don’t have to-

Dino Tripodis: I think the other thing you have going for you is something that I always stress to people who are thinking about starting to do podcasts. You have consistency, correct?

Steve Palmer: Yes.

Dino Tripodis: You’re consistent. You put out a product on a regular basis … When I mentioned those 500,000 podcasts that are out there, and only … How many of them are actually active, and regular, and consistent? Not that many, in the big picture. I think consistency is a key to the success of it all, too. You’ve gotta keep putting something out there.

Dino Tripodis: We’ve had more than 75 podcasts, because we’re on our 75th bottle of whiskey.

Steve Palmer: At some point, you’re gonna run out of [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: No, no, no … Are you kidding me? No, Whiskey Business will fall by the wayside before I ever get to every whiskey that is out there.

Steve Palmer: It is a good goal, though.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, it’s a good goal. It’s a good goal. We’ve had a lot of two-parters, and we’ve had what we call Whiskey Shots, when you talk about the consistency. If we can’t get a whole podcast out on any given week, we do something called Whiskey Shots, which are just short little tidbits that are fun to kind of just keep the flow going.

Dino Tripodis: Trust me. We’d finished up our holiday show holiday, a holiday two-parter, in the middle of December, and let that two-parter run through the end of the year. I’m going crazy, because I’ve not done a podcast in … It woulda been three weeks. I’m jonesing to get back on the mic, and do a podcast, cause I feel we’ve been down too long. You know what I mean?

Steve Palmer: Yeah, and you do feel like … If you’re not doing something, somebody else is. It’s getting stale, or something else. It’s like a vacuum, man. Something’s filling it up. What surprised me is that it is not easy. You’ve gotta constantly, or I have to, anyway, constantly contemplate what is next; what is going to be the next topic? What’s another thing we can talk about? Because, as much as when I first sat down with Brett, and thought, “I could do a podcast. I could do one every day, if I wanted to.” All right, well, that … You can do your first little run. That’s about two weeks [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: A lot of people forget.

Brett Johnson: That’s exactly how … The end point is about three or four episodes; two weeks.

Steve Palmer: Yeah.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: It’s done, and they kinda go-

Dino Tripodis: “Whaddya do? You’re in radio, where you talk for like two-three minutes, and then you … That’s all you have to do? Only work like four hours a day?” Like, “Yeah, no …”

Brett Johnson: Right, yeah. Exactly.

Dino Tripodis: I do that. I do talk for two, and three minutes at a time, for four hours a day-

Brett Johnson: But my butt’s here at 4:00 in the morning, prepping for this show-

Dino Tripodis: Yeah, 4:00 in the morning, and I’ve been doing it consistently, and well, for 24 years. You’re right, it’s not easy.

Steve Palmer: It’s not easy, and I-

Dino Tripodis: It’s not easy.

Steve Palmer: I have more respect for you guys now than ever, and as I go in every Wednesday, still, and look at Loper, and Randy, and everybody else on that show – what they do … He’s great at it. They’re great at it, but it is not without hard work. They put in their time, and they’ve got their clipboards, and they’ve got … They actually ponder what is gonna happen next. As much as they make it sound like it’s just all easy, and free-flowing, it is not. A lot of work, and effort goes into that from both the right side of the brain, and the left side of the brain. [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Sure. A lot of hard work goes into making something sound, and look easy. People forget that.

Steve Palmer: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: Right, exactly. What’s your answer to radio, Dino? You get a radio exec saying, “Okay, we wanna make this podcast thing work.” From your perspective – you’ve been on the air for over 24- 20 years-

Dino Tripodis: How do they wanna make it work it? They wanna sell it?

Brett Johnson: Yeah-

Dino Tripodis: They wanna sell it?

Brett Johnson: Because it always comes down to the dollar. It always does. You know, a radio station group … Whether it’s a standalone station, or a group, they will not do it unless there’s a bottom line to it. How do they do it, from your perspective?

Dino Tripodis: If it goes down to the sales department, you have got to sit down with the salespeople, and drill it in their head somehow that this is a viable product that needs to be sold, just like anything else you sell. I think where some of the salespeople probably …

Dino Tripodis: This is just my opinion, and just my perspective on how it looked like. It looked like, “Oh, I can only sell this for this,” as opposed to spending my time, and selling something bigger for this. They can’t escape what they should do … What they should do, when they’re going after the bigger clients is to also include this podcasting thing with it.

Dino Tripodis: If you wanna to go after your bigger clients, and say that’s where you’re gonna make your nut, as a salary, as a salesperson. Fine. Take this, and be proud of this other little extra thing that we have, in addition to what we’re selling you, to add to the package. Make it an add-on, and explain to them, this is also … “It’s great. I love the fact that you’re advertising on our radio station, but this is actually up and coming, as well, too. Why don’t you be the first to get on this?” Sell it-

Brett Johnson: Right.

Dino Tripodis: You’re not selling them a bill of goods. It’s legit, but you have to believe in what you’re selling. You have to believe in what you’re doing, in order to persuade people.

Brett Johnson: I think that we have a generation of sales reps who have not been … You’ve been in radio long enough to know, and I’ve been in it long enough to know, and you have actually enough, too, that host-read commercials are extremely effective.

Dino Tripodis: Right.

Brett Johnson: That’s what podcasting is kicking butt with. That piece is gone now, because radio has changed itself so much that … Like you said, play your music, three minutes in, get out. Don’t say any more than you have to. There’s no personality to it. I think reps don’t understand that you can sell the product.

Dino Tripodis: Right.

Brett Johnson: You can sell the product, and they’re not allowing you to do that.

Steve Palmer: Well, you’ve hit on it, when you said believe in what you’re selling.

Dino Tripodis: Right.

Steve Palmer: You get a podcast host like you … I hear people do it … You hear different people sell … Like a podcast, I’ve heard podcasts say, “Oh, try this toothbrush. Let me tell you about this toothbrush.” Then, they’re gonna spend whatever time they are talking about it, not in a “20 doctors recommend this, this, and this.” This is an organic, me talking about your product, or better yet, come in, and talk about it with me, and give me the highlights, and let us really go.

Steve Palmer: I think you’re right. If you turn that into a value-added service on the radio, or a salesperson come to a guy like me, and say, “Hey, look, Randy and Loper have a podcast, too.” It’s sort of akin to the 15-second spot at midnight. They’re gonna sell somebody that. “We’re gonna throw in five of these at midnight.” Not many people are listening, but you get it. You can even start it that way, but really, it gives somebody like the radio host a lot more freedom to sell your product.

Dino Tripodis: Right. It does. Yeah, because they could actually talk about it for more than 30 seconds.

Brett Johnson: Right. We’ve lost a generation of sales reps that have experienced radio, when it was doing that on air. I think that’s the missed connection, because sales reps don’t even know that it could happen.

Dino Tripodis: Right. When I left the station, I had a ton of personal endorsements, which were great. Probably, if I would’ve stayed, there’d be more, because people were starting to … They wanted me talking about going out to the Player’s Grill for 60 seconds, or whatever the case might be, as opposed to just running a commercial. Yeah, it is … It’s right there. They should add it on.

Dino Tripodis: At least start that way. Then, when it becomes a bigger thing, which it will, then you can branch off, and say, “You can either do it here on the radio station, or you could do it on our very successful podcast.” They both feed off of each other, and I think that’s what they need to realize.

Steve Palmer: How did it work for deejays? I imagine this, as a lawyer. I’m thinking contracts. If I’m a deejay, and I’m brought in from wherever to come in and host of The Morning Drive, or The Afternoon Drive, and I just start … I have my own podcast already going, or I’m gonna start my own podcast. I just see, eventually, conflict there, where a guy like you is gonna be, “All right. Hey, I already got my podcast. How much of a piece of the radio- or is a radio station gonna try to take of that in the contract negotiations, and where does that all fall out?”.

Dino Tripodis: I think that’s an interesting … That’s a very interesting point, because that’s where I will be if … My non-compete was up, late November of 2018. If I decide to pursue other radio options, I have this podcast that goes with me. Now, there are certain radio companies who are embracing the podcast world a little bit more; are into streaming a great bit, in a huge way, and stream their stations all across the country.

Dino Tripodis: I’m aware of the fact that some of those companies would take Whiskey Business, and do something with it. How do I negotiate the monies? That’s another conversation for another time. Yeah, there is something in there. Now, I also consider it to be kind of an extra thing that I’m bringing with me.

Steve Palmer: You bet … If I’m representing you, and negotiating for you, I’m thinking to myself, “All right, this guy’s been in radio for 25 years; done his podcast for five years. He’s got this business, this business, and this business who are paying him regularly to just be on, and talk about their products, or do whatever.” Now, when you bring that to the table, you’re … I don’t know sales in radio, but I do know this – it’s all about finding the business, right? [cross talk] The lead is everything.

Dino Tripodis: Radio sales have local clients, and they also have national clients – national dollars – that they go after, as well. Yeah-.

Steve Palmer: You’re bringing leads to the table. You oughta get paid out on that.

Dino Tripodis: You can. It can be very profitable. I was always envious of the really successful salespeople at the radio station, because they were making twice as much as I was making-

Steve Palmer: Sure, sure.

Dino Tripodis: -in sales. They were making it … When they would bring me personal endorsements, I knew that they were making twice as much as I was making, but that’s fine. You’re good at what you do. Just take it to the next level, or add this on to it, and you’ll make more money.

Steve Palmer: Right.

Brett Johnson: … I walk into agreements with the new podcasters. In my contract with them is I don’t want that audio content when our contract ends. What am I gonna do with it? It’s done. When we part ways, it’s all yours. I’ll give it to you. It’s in a Dropbox; boom, go with it. Work with the next person, or maybe the podcast dies; whatever it might be. I don’t want any of it. Radio stations may be a little quirky about that, that it’s … I think a deejay/on-air personality has to really walk into it really, really smart.

Steve Palmer: If I’m negotiating from [cross talk] from a perspective of a talent guy going into a radio, I would be very cautious, because you walk in – you start using their mics, start using their recording devices, their processors, their bricks and mortar, and you’re gonna record your own podcast, you gotta be careful who owns it. At some juncture, if it takes off, and I think they will, there’s gonna be a lot of lawsuits on where the money goes [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: -interesting. I’ll be aware of that, when I get myself in that situation, if I get in that situation, but I don’t … Once again, I will stress this: radio stations, you’re listening. You want your jocks to be engaged in social media. You want them on Facebook. You want them on Instagram. You want them on Twitter. This is … Right there, it’s in that same wheelhouse of exposure. Embrace the podcast, as well as all those other things, as well.

Brett Johnson: All right. You look at it as a business, Steve. How do you approach it, if you’re [inaudible] radio advertiser, are looking at possibly starting a podcast, but also use radio. What advice would you give?

Steve Palmer: In other words. if I am looking to do my own podcast, and get my brand out there in one form or another, right?

Brett Johnson: Right.

Steve Palmer: I was lucky in a lot of ways, in that I got to hone my skill, so to speak, on air, in dealing with stuff coming at me on the fly. My profession being a trial lawyer sort of gives me somewhat of a skill set that I practice regularly on that, but it was very helpful to see the inside of the radio station, understand what a microphone is, and then, how to talk on the microphone, and get comfortable with that.

Steve Palmer: To do your own podcast is not necessarily easy. Even I was worried … Not even I, but I was worried when I started. I was like, “I think I can keep it going …” I guess my first bit of advice is don’t think it’s easy to go do your own podcast, but if you’re gonna go advertise on the radio, what has worked for me was being on the radio. It’s not just saying … Not having somebody read my spots; not have somebody record, and hit play 10 times a day, alone. It was me having my personality on radio.

Steve Palmer: Now, if you can’t do that, a podcast is a great way to do it. I would say start with other podcasters; start by doing what we’re doing around this table, in the sense that you can get comfortable on a microphone; comfortable having people talk to you; comfortable talking to people. Then, use that for training wheels for your own podcast. Then, have a niche, and enjoy it.

Steve Palmer: I would be careful now with my dollars. If I’m going to a radio station to say, “I wanna advertise with you,” and they give me a price tag, I’d be very careful with my dollars on that, right now. I never saw it as that being the product that I wanted. I wanted my personality to be reflected somehow on the air. I guess that’s my advice. I would be cautious with going to radio, and doing traditional advertising, at least as a small business.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, and I’d have to agree. It pains me. I got into radio because I love the audio medium, and the influence it has on us. Radio has changed in my 30 years. When I first started [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: -mine, as well.

Brett Johnson: -basically same era. It’s a totally different beast, right now, than it was, and it’s kinda what drove me out of it, because it just, it’s not the same. If I wanna listen to music, I’ll go to Spotify. I don’t have to listen to a radio station to really listen to it. I hate saying that, but that’s just … It’s come to the realization … If I wanna be entertained, I’ll listen to a podcast. I’ll find a podcast that’ll entertain me, and inform me. I think you’re right. Be careful what you do. You gotta be really careful with the dollars, and such. Do some homework. Do some homework.

Dino Tripodis: Again, I’m not defending radio, but radio is still a great avenue to advertise on.

Brett Johnson: It is.

Dino Tripodis: It’s effective. It’s effective, but, yeah, sure, be cautious, and see where exactly … How can I maximize these dollars?

Steve Palmer: Yeah, and I don’t mean to be too critical of radio, either. I love it.

Brett Johnson: I do, too.

Steve Palmer: I loved going on that show. Here’s what I have learned, though. The other side of my coin is this – a lot of people listened to me on Wednesdays, on that radio show, and there’s a lot of listeners out there not listening to podcasts, between those hours that I’m on, listening to that show …

Steve Palmer: The other bit of wisdom I have is don’t sell that short, either. There’s still a lot of value there. I guess I came into it from that end, not the spend money on advertising end. I got here first, then I spent money on advertising, and they worked together. This is sorta where we started.

Steve Palmer: Going the opposite, I don’t know that I ever would have done it. I don’t know that I ever would have been sold by a radio salesperson saying, “You, as this lawyer, can make a lotta money in return for advertising your spots on the radio.” Now, I’m not saying that’s not true. I might have been able to do it, but I don’t think I necessarily would have been sold on that. I would not have gotten my head around that, particularly in the internet age, and everything else.

Steve Palmer: I think being mindful of what’s coming up behind us … This generation of consumers is different than what I have ever seen, and what I think most of people older have ever seen. We’ve never seen anything like it. Everything’s done online. Everything is done quick, quickly. Everything is … You’re going to Spotify. They’re not gonna listen; they’re not gonna find their music necessarily on the air. It’s gonna be found where they want it [cross talk] and where it saved, or wherever it is. I don’t know what it all … I don’t know what it’s all about, but I would encourage anybody to podcast. It’s a blast.

Brett Johnson: Exactly, exactly.

Dino Tripodis: It is a lot of fun. I enjoy it. Like I said, I think it’s made me a better broadcaster. It’s made me a far better interviewer. That skill has increased tenfold just from doing the podcast.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, there’s a lot to learn from it, that’s for sure. I think we’ve answered the world problems.

Dino Tripodis: Have we?

Brett Johnson: I think so. I think so. This is where I wanted to go with it, though. Thank you for the discussion. Finally nice to really meet you [cross talk]

Dino Tripodis: Likewise.

Brett Johnson: I meant to ask you, too, you’re doing some live stuff, too. I know Steve and I have kicked around, trying to get Lawyer Talk live on stage. You were at the Podcast Festival.

Dino Tripodis: I was at the Podcast Festival, and we had a blast doing that. If you can get on-board with that this year when it rolls around, do.

Steve Palmer: Absolutely, yeah.

Dino Tripodis: Since I also come from a comedic background, comic background, I’ll be talking with The Funny Bone, here in Columbus. We’re going to do a Whiskey Business podcast comedy show.

Brett Johnson: Oh, sweet.

Dino Tripodis: Basically, it will be I’ll introduce the podcast; I’ll have a comedian come up, and do 15 minutes; then he’ll do 15 minutes with me. Almost like a talk show, like a variety show, but it’ll be the podcast. He’ll podcast with me for 15 minutes. We’ll do that with three comedians. They’ll go up, do 15, and then, sit down at me for 15, and then, so forth, and so on.

Dino Tripodis: Once again, from the technical arena, do we stream that live? Is it just recorded for later? Don’t know, but … Do we bring in video cameras? I have the capability, because we’re also filmmakers. I mentioned John Whitney, and myself … We’re filmmakers, as well, so we were in that world, too. We have the lights, and the equipment to do all that stuff, if we need to do it. How do we structure it? I don’t know. I just wanna get butts in the seats, and make that happen, so that it’s successful.

Brett Johnson: Yeah.

Dino Tripodis: Doing the live stuff is-

Steve Palmer: It’s a whole new world.

Dino Tripodis: It’s a shot of adrenaline. Now, I come from a live-performance background, doing stand up, so that was my first big thing in radio was, “I can’t hear the laughter. I don’t know if they’re laughing. I can’t hear the laughter.” I dig that. I dig that live, spontaneous-.

Steve Palmer: Well, there’s an adrenaline … That’s like trying cases. You would be good at it, probably.

Dino Tripodis: My mother always wanted me to be a lawyer.

Steve Palmer: Yeah, you did the right thing.

Dino Tripodis: Yes, she wanted to be a lawyer. She always said, when I got outta trouble, “You’d be a good defense lawyer.”

Steve Palmer: There you go. There you go. No, there is adrenaline rush, being live without a net. It’s what you’re doing, right? I couldn’t imagine. Stand up would scare the bejesus outta me, man. I would be like … I don’t think I could do it.

Brett Johnson: It’s like going out there naked.

Dino Tripodis: I’ve always made this joke to my attorney friends; I’ve always said, obviously, it’s too late for me to go to law school, but if I had … What’s one thing you wanna do before you die? I said, “I would like to do the closing argument. I would like to be the closer. I would like to come up … I would like to, after everything’s going on, do the closing argument. Talk to the jury – that that speech to the jury. I wanna do a closing argument. I wanna say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m not really a lawyer, but, is this case really about the law?'”

Steve Palmer: Not at that point, it isn’t.

Brett Johnson: He could give you insight on that [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: It’s never about the law.

Dino Tripodis: -I wanna close. I wanna close.

Brett Johnson: Oh, man … Steve, thank you for jumping on at the last minute. Once I knew [cross talk] I knew we could bring three different perspectives on radio, and podcasting, and obviously we just, we scratched the surface, but it’s just our-.

Dino Tripodis: Do you drink whiskey?

Steve Palmer: Not anymore. I am now three years without alcohol.

Dino Tripodis: Wow.

Steve Palmer: I just liked it a lot. I never got in trouble, or I never had any issues, but, one day, I just woke up, and thought, “I don’t think I’m gonna drink alcohol anymore,” and I’ve never looked back; but I did love whiskey.

Dino Tripodis: Well, we’ve had guests that do not imbibe on Whiskey Business, so, I’d be very … We should cross-pollinate here on the podcast-

Steve Palmer: Let’s do it, for sure.

Dino Tripodis: -and get you on Whiskey. You do not have to drink. In fact, that just means more for us.

Brett Johnson: It’d mess with your keto diet, anyway, right? [cross talk] Yeah exactly.

Dino Tripodis: -does that work?

Steve Palmer: Oh, yeah.

Dino Tripodis: Does it work?

Steve Palmer: I feel great, yeah.

Dino Tripodis: How long you been on it?

Steve Palmer: Almost a month now.

Dino Tripodis: Yeah?

Steve Palmer: Let me tell you, I feel awesome; almost euphorically awesome … There’s a point of euphoria, where you just feel like you can conquer the world early on. Then, you just sort of realize the little things. I was hunting over the weekend – it’s muzzle-loader season – I was out hunting, and I was hiking up this huge hill; had my 12-year-old, or soon to be 12-year-old son with me. I said, “We gotta climb up that hill.” He’s huffing air, and doing a … I walked up there. I felt great. It’s not that I’m exercising a lot, or doing anything like that; just my joints feel better; I rest better; my sleep is better; my awake time is better; everything is just working better without really …. If you could just say … Everybody would agree with this – don’t eat a lot of sugar.

Dino Tripodis: Right. I agree with that.

Steve Palmer: Don’t eat a lot of processed carbohydrates-

Dino Tripodis: Processed foods, yeah.

Steve Palmer: That’s great. If you cut those things outta your life, you’ll feel a lot better.

Brett Johnson: Except …

Dino Tripodis: You gotta cut whiskey, too, right?

Steve Palmer: No, you could work that in.

Dino Tripodis: You could work that in? [cross talk] Maybe I’ll give it a shot.

Steve Palmer: Yeah …

Dino Tripodis: I can deal without the excessive sugars, the processed sugars, and some of the carbohydrates, but, I’m a man who cannot live without his bread [cross talk]

Steve Palmer: I get you. I get you.

Dino Tripodis: Anyway, we’re going down rabbit holes, since you talked about [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: That’s okay. It’s not a problem at all. Thank you both for being part of Note to Future Me.

Steve Palmer: All right, thank you.

Dino Tripodis: Our pleasure, thank you.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2019.

The above audio transcript of “Podcasting, Radio, And Sponsors” was transcribed by the best audio transcription service called Sonix. If you have to convert audio to text in 2019, then you should try Sonix. Transcribing audio files is painful. Sonix makes it fast, easy, and affordable. I love using Sonix to transcribe my audio files.

In this episode, I’m taking a sidestep. I got to interview Dino Tripodis, host of the podcast Whiskey Business and former long time morning show co-host on WSNY Sunny 95 in Columbus, Ohio. Also in the studio with me was Steve Palmer, main host of the podcast Lawyer Talk: Off The Record, and owner and partner at the law firm of Yavitch and Palmer in Columbus, Ohio, as well as the owner of 511 Studios.

Okay, now you’re thinking what do we three have in common…

Radio and podcasting.

Dino, of course, with his years on-air and his podcast. Steve is now entering year number two with the podcast and has been a radio advertiser and a part of a morning radio call-in show on WRKZ 99.7 The Blitz for over 10 years. And I’m a 35 year plus radio broadcast veteran with experience from on-air to sales.

I have been itching to cover this topic for a long time. And I have two great guests to talk about how radio is either missing the boat about podcasting, or has seen the light.

We three have different viewpoints coming from three different perspectives and it really made a great recording session. Thanks for coming along for the bend in focus.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.

Subscribe to my free daily Open The Mic Newsletter at It’s chock full of podcast news you may have missed, as well as social media, sales, and audio production tips, and insights on how to grow your business podcast.

If your business is using podcasting as a marketing or branding tool, I would love to showcase your podcast. Go to and scroll down to my booking calendar. Email us at to set up time to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

Business Inspires Podcast

Stephanie Evans and Michelle Wilson are my guest on this episode. After Michelle left the her executive director position at the TriVillage Chamber Partnership and hosting duties of their podcast, Business Inspires, Stephanie has stepped in as the new executive director and host of the podcast. We talk about that transition, and what the effects will be.

Business Inspires (transcribed by Sonix)

Brett Johnson: Well, before we get into the heavy of the podcast, talking about Business Inspires’ podcast, I want to ask each of you, Michelle, and Stephanie, about nonprofits that you support, that you give time, talent, or treasure to. I’ll start with Michele.

Michelle Wilson: Sure. I think that the one nearest and dearest to my heart, right now, is the new Nationwide Children’s Hospital On Our Sleeves. It’s a mental health awareness program. I just think that it’s something that’s so important, and needed. The conversation, while it seems like it’s out there a lot, I think it’s really just beginning. I think it’s an amazing program, I definitely … I’m trying to become more involved with it. I’ve supported it financially, and I’m just figuring out ways that I can support it otherwise.

Brett Johnson: And Stephanie?

Stephanie Evans: I would say the one that I probably spend the most of my time with is Best Buddies, Best Buddies Ohio. It’s part of a national organization to assist folks with developmental disabilities, to engage them in one-on-one friendships, and then to help find them work in the workplace. My husband’s on the board there for Best Buddies Ohio, and I help out when I can. Really, my whole family’s involved, because there are high school, and college-age groups, as well, to help the students make lifelong friendships. It’s a really great organization. That’s where we spend our time.

Brett Johnson: Great, thanks. Let’s talk a little bit about each of your professional backgrounds, and, as the podcast develops, we’ll figure out, and the listener will figure out, “Oh, this is where the two come together, and why this is a podcast about the Tri-Village Chamber Partnership’s Business Inspires podcast. Let’s start with Michelle, because your history with the Tri-Village Chamber Partnership is longer. Let’s talk a little bit about your background, and how you became a part of the TVCP.

Michelle Wilson: I have always been in the nonprofit or not-for-profit world. I started out at Experience Columbus, when it was the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, way back when. Moved around a little bit from there in membership departments at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association. Always found that that was where I landed.

Michelle Wilson: Was able to land a amazing position with the Grandview Area Chamber, back in ’09, when they were looking for their first full-time director. I landed there; got that job. Grandview was where I grew up, and had my kids, so it was a nice fit. I knew the community; I knew a lot of people there.

Michelle Wilson: We were able to then grow and expand that into a merger between the Upper Arlington Chamber, and the Grandview, and Marble Cliff Chambers. We, in 2016, became the Tri-Village Chamber Partnership. That’s my background, and, of course, I have recently left that position after almost 10 years, and landed back at Experience Columbus, so a little bit of a full circle there.

Brett Johnson: Exactly. Stephanie?

Stephanie Evans: For me, I started at the National Kidney Foundation of Ohio in the communications department there, and then moved my way up, ultimately, to executive director position there, and was there for a while. Then left that position, really, to stay home to start a family. Then, in that time, two, what turned out to be three businesses of my own … So, a small-business owner-

Brett Johnson: One just wasn’t enough. I’ve gotta do three.

Stephanie Evans: They weren’t all simultaneous. They were kind of-

Michelle Wilson: Not one; not two, but three …

Stephanie Evans: A couple of ’em overlapped. Yeah, a couple of ’em overlapped. Anyway, so I spent that time having my own business, and raising my kids at home. Then, a couple of years ago, just had some changes take place in my personal life, and decided to let my photography business go. That’s what my more recent one was.

Stephanie Evans: Really, through a friend of mine, who happened to be related to Michelle, let me know that there was an opening there, and connected with Michelle. That’s how I landed at the Chamber. Came in as the membership manager, part-time, and have been there almost two years. It’ll be two years in March. Then, when Michelle made her next step, I switched seats, and I went from membership manager to executive director.

Brett Johnson: From the baby pool to the deep end.

Stephanie Evans: That’s right.

Michelle Wilson: Quite literally. Yeah.

Brett Johnson: I have you both on because … We were talking about this before recording. I’ve jumped on this theme, by accident, of the host transitions. The Business Inspires podcast is now going through a host transition. Michelle had hosted the podcast from its inception, up through her leaving recently, and Stephanie’s now taking the roam and doing the interviews, and setting up scheduling for guests, and such, for Business Inspires.

Brett Johnson: I wanted to bring both of you together to talk about that. I know Michelle’ll have a little bit more knowledge on the beginnings, as I will, too, but I think it’s worth the discussion, because this is a Chamber-focused podcast, Business Inspires. Why a podcast for Tri-Village Chamber Partnership, Michelle?

Michelle Wilson: For me, it was having discussions with you, and I hadn’t even really considered it, but when you approached me, it seemed like an edgy new different thing to do. I think that’s one of the things I like to pride myself, or the Chamber on. At the time, we were going through a merger. That was something that was pretty rare. We had taken a couple of leaps of faith along the way, with the Grandview Area Chamber, and done some really cool projects that others had not yet tried.

Michelle Wilson: I thought this was a really great new edgy way to perhaps reach a new demographic. Chambers, and membership organizations, in general, we’re going through a bit of an identity crisis, and I thought this might be a really cool way to reach the younger demographic that didn’t necessarily understand why they should be a member of a Chamber of Commerce.

Brett Johnson: I know when we first started, too, I was looking at it as a potential engagement tool. I know Chambers have a difficulty. Yeah, they have … The email database is great, but the open rate, no, and the feedback from members, and getting them involved, and such … I was envisioning the podcast, possibly, as an engagement tool, as well, too.

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: If nothing else, reaching out to members, being part of the podcast, and getting ’em involved in a different way that they hadn’t even thought about, it’s like, “Oh, wow …” [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: Right, and they didn’t understand it.

Brett Johnson: They didn’t-.

Michelle Wilson: Any more than I did.

Brett Johnson: Correct. Correct, yes. Trying to go in the back my mind, how the process began, I think we just had coffee to talk about this idea. Luckily, you were very welcoming to the idea, too, because I think I laid it out as you have a lot of content, great content. You refined it even more, talking about, “Okay, let’s talk to businesses about how they started, and how they’re growing.”

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: I kinda wanna go a little bit more on that, why that popped in your mind.

Michelle Wilson: I think we’re really lucky in the Tri-Village area that we just had this … We have a really great group of members. One of the things that we never really have to preach is to support one another, and make sure you’re using member businesses, and make sure you’re looking there first. People just naturally do it.

Michelle Wilson: You may use a vendor, here and there, that you’ve gotten great service from, but you don’t really know why they do what they do, or why they got started. I thought it would be a neat premise to figure out if this was something they really- was their lifelong aspiration, or if they just landed there. I think finding their personal connection to what they do was just a different way to approach it. There are lots of business podcasts out there, and I thought maybe putting a spin on it might be more engaging.

Brett Johnson: I think the guests have done a great job, as well, and they get it, when they’re on the podcast.

Michelle Wilson: Yes.

Brett Johnson: They bring it back into why the Chamber is so important to them.

Michelle Wilson: Right, sure.

Brett Johnson: Not a guest that we’ve talked to that we’ve had to tell them, “Hey, be sure to incorporate why the Chamber’s so important to you.”

Michelle Wilson: We’ve never asked that question.

Brett Johnson: Never have asked it. It’s come up organically in every interview. Stephanie, even the couple that we’ve done, have come up … With your transition, we’ve never told them to say anything about it.

Stephanie Evans: Right. It did just come up naturally.

Brett Johnson: It’s amazing. Again, you can have the leading questions, as we had one … Not leading questions, but to incorporate that maybe one member has done a lot to help with some events, and such. That’s gonna come up in conversation, obviously, too. I know we talked initially, too, Michelle, when I brought up the idea … I knew that I had to come up with a way that might be comfortable for you. I knew the question may come up about, “What kind of podcast? Are you talking about me just being the podcast?”

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: That’s why I introduced let’s do the interview. Makes it a whole lot easier. You still had the nervousness, in regards to, “I’m not an interviewer. I haven’t done “radio.” How do I do this?”

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: How did you prepare yourself to be, I think, a great interviewer?

Michelle Wilson: Oh, thank you.

Brett Johnson: I think you agree, now, too. I think you’ve done a great job with it. You actually started have a lot of fun after the first couple-

Michelle Wilson: I did, yeah, right.

Brett Johnson: You did. How did you jump into that, in regards to getting yourself prepared, and getting more comfortable to being an interviewer?

Michelle Wilson: Again, going back to just who we are as … Who our personality is at the Chamber is we’re very relationship-driven. While everybody says that, I believe it to be true. I believe that so much of the success of the Tri-Village Chamber has been because Stephanie and I have gotten to know people. We know them on a personal level, generally – not every single person – but I think that’s been a big part of the success.

Michelle Wilson: Preparing for the podcast was just figuring out how do I ask somewhat personal questions without getting too personal? Finding out what it is they wanted to be, when they were young, and having them take a step back, and look at why they are where they are. I did basically the same research, every single time.

Michelle Wilson: We did identify … At least initially, we identified members that perhaps I knew a little more on a personal level, so that I could … They were kinda my guinea pigs. I could ask them questions that- and I would be more comfortable asking them questions, because I kinda knew what their answers would be. Although, I think, each time, they surprised me, and that was also fun. It was always a discovery, no matter how much I thought I knew going into the interview. I think that led, each time, to a really great end product.

Brett Johnson: It did, I agree. I was thinking about the time process, when our first discussion, and when we kicked it off … I don’t remember actually how many weeks/months it took. I think it went fairly quickly, honestly.

Michelle Wilson: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: I think a lot of the time that it took, and this is part of the interview process, is booking people; getting those businesses in. At that time, we were very lucky to have a great relationship with a local radio station group to utilize their studios. I know the owner was extremely happy to have business owners coming in to the radio station, just to see the Hollywood of it, to be a part of this podcast, but also just a monthly process of seeing new businesses coming in, because of this podcast.

Brett Johnson: That was a nice relationship, at that point in time, to get things going, to legitimize the podcast, as well, working with the radio station group. The sound of the podcast versus just being in front of a computer laptop, and, “Okay, talk as close as you can to the screen …”

Michelle Wilson: Oh, it made a difference. It definitely … Absolutely, it made a difference being in a professional setting.

Brett Johnson: I think it made a little bit easier for you, too, I’m assuming, because you were at a radio station. This is what happens here.

Michelle Wilson: It did. Right.

Brett Johnson: Interviews, and content, that sorta thing, yeah.

Michelle Wilson: I was lucky enough to be a part of a couple of other podcasts, and they were fine. I would never say anything negative about them, other than the sound quality … The difference in sound quality, I felt really lucky that we had what we had with that radio station.

Brett Johnson: Yes, and I think the process of us moving as fast as we did – I’m gonna say probably a couple of months, quite frankly [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: Oh, I think it was, yeah.

Brett Johnson: -it probably was. We didn’t really have a lot of people involved.

Michelle Wilson: Right. That’s true.

Brett Johnson: We went rogue for the most part [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: If you asked my past board members, they would say that ,”Michelle asks forgiveness, not permission,” and that’s just how it worked.

Brett Johnson: I don’t know if that’s the proper way for any Chamber to think about doing something like this, but what is the harm, as long as you have the game plan, and this is the direction you’re going with it?

Michelle Wilson: Sure.

Brett Johnson: You focused a couple of the board members as guests, as well, so that made a big difference.

Michelle Wilson: I did. Right. Some of that was strategic, but they also are really good interviews … Perhaps it was for a double reason, but there was good content there.

Brett Johnson: Yeah. How has the podcast been able to showcase the Chamber’s expertise? How did you incorporate that, as well as with Stephanie coming in, as well, too, what the Chamber is? I know there’s, like you said, an atmosphere; a culture that the Tri-Village Chamber Partnership has, compared to any other chamber – good, bad, whatever. Every Chamber has its culture; its feel. How do you think you incorporated that, in regards to what you were doing with the podcast, as well as what Stephanie will be doing in the future, too?

Michelle Wilson: Steph, do you wanna take that? I can take that. I think I can take that. There’s a saying, and I probably said this on past podcasts, that you’ve seen one Chamber, you’ve seen one Chamber. We all operate very differently; every community is so different. Partnerships vary.

Michelle Wilson: The Grandview area, Upper Arlington area, and now, of course, Tri-Village, I think have been very lucky to have good relationships with their city governments, with their key players in the area. I think that really played beautifully into the podcast just being an extension of what it was we were already doing. That was finding new ways to engage our members; finding new ways to keep them interested, and on board.

Michelle Wilson: When we started receiving feedback, pretty quickly … It takes a while to build your listenership, of course, but when we started receiving feedback, pretty quickly, from members who were intrigued by the fact that we were doing a podcast, and they were learning about these small businesses on a different level, that was exciting.

Michelle Wilson: Again, I think, going back to some other chances we took as a Chamber: the Chamber Challenge, when we did a business makeover in three days; that was that was a huge undertaking, and a great success story. The podcast was just the next thing we were trying. I joked about asking forgiveness, not permission, but kinda true. We just said, “Sure, that sounds like a good idea. Let’s give it a shot.” We didn’t have a lot to lose. It’s turned out to be a really great benefit, I think, to our members. People are asking to be a part of it now. I think it was just natural, that it was something we did that was different, and edgy.

Brett Johnson: I think one great story that came out of … I think we maybe had three or four published at the time, but the first episode that we published, she got an inquiry about her business for new business-.

Michelle Wilson: Yeah, and got the business-.

Brett Johnson: And got the business. When you told me that, I’m going, “Wow, okay, this stuff kinda works, doesn’t it?”

Michelle Wilson: Yeah. We thought, “Gosh, if that happens every single time, we’ve got something …” which, of course, jokingly. We knew that wasn’t gonna happen every single time, but-

Brett Johnson: Sure … Being the first episode of the whole podcast-

Michelle Wilson: -but the very first episode did produce business, yeah.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, amazing. That was a difficult episode, because that was your first. That was her first, but it came out great-

Michelle Wilson: We were both so nervous-

Brett Johnson: -and she got to showcase exactly what she wanted to for her business, and it obviously worked.

Michelle Wilson: Yeah, she came off beautifully. She really did.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, she did. Have you seen adding the podcast content to the website improve the site’s search component?

Michelle Wilson: That’s a great question that I would have to … I don’t know that we have done a ton of analytics on it. It’s certainly something we can do. You’ve provided us with numbers that have increased over time. I’m certain that it probably has, I just wish I could give you exact numbers, but I can’t-.

Brett Johnson: No, and that’s fine, because I can answer a little bit to that, because I know the user agent piece to the back end that I do see. This is not atypical of a business-oriented podcast; it is a lot more desktop listenership than through phone. Therefore, they are listening via your website, or a link through the email.

Michelle Wilson: Yeah, sure.

Stephanie Evans: One of the things we did on the website, too, was we added a tab; specifically, it says Podcast, so you don’t have to look for the podcast in the other drop-down menus. It used to be part of the news, or something like that-

Michelle Wilson: It did, yes.

Stephanie Evans: We changed it to add it, so you see it right when you log onto the website.

Michelle Wilson: Right-

Brett Johnson: Which will make a difference over time, of course, too [cross talk].

Michelle Wilson: -much easier to find.

Brett Johnson: Right. I know a lot of businesses, they wanna add content to their website, but it’s like, “Okay, where do we put it without junking up the site?” Or maybe the original design of the site was not really set up to incorporate any video, any audio.

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: It’s kinda difficult to measure, because it’s not in the right place. A tab, obviously, will help tremendously, and such, too. Another unexpected thing that happened, but we were focusing on this, we had a sponsorship for the podcast.

Michelle Wilson: We did.

Brett Johnson: We’d always talked about this, but we just … Had come up with a list of potential sponsors, but knowing that any sponsorship could limit who might even wanna be on the podcast, or it might sound as though, “Okay, they’re sponsoring, but what are you giving ’em?” You’re a Chamber sort of thing.

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: I think our focus of who did sponsor the podcast made a lot of sense. I’ll let you talk a little bit about the story-.

Michelle Wilson: It did-

Brett Johnson: -because you carried the water on this one.

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, well, I approached … Of course, the Tri-Village Chamber Partnership is made up of Grandview Heights, Marble Cliff, and Upper Arlington. We approached the three of them, and said, “These are the businesses that are representative of each of your areas, so, let’s get you on board.”.

Michelle Wilson: What I really love is that the smallest of those three municipalities stepped up. The Village of Marble Cliff got it really quickly. They went through a few readings, and they listened to some podcasts, and they stepped up with some dollars. One of the things we said was we’ll be sure to make sure that we are including businesses in the Village of Marble Cliff. There aren’t a ton. It’s a very small village. Not a huge ask on their part, but some great businesses there.

Michelle Wilson: The businesses that we already had focused on in Marble Cliff helped sell it. Then, we made a commitment to feature some more, and we did that, and we’re still doing that. I was really happy that they stepped up, not just from a dollar perspective, but because it was a great way for a small village to get some awesome exposure. Their logo went on there, and then they got to think of a fun slogan, and tagline. I think it helped them, and is helping them in a different way, as well.

Brett Johnson: It’s little bit of moral support, too.

Michelle Wilson: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: I felt really good after you … I know you called me. It wasn’t an email. “Hey, we got a sponsor!” and you said who it was. It was a struggle. It was … It will be, working with municipalities, and cities, of course. The process is a bit slower; a lot more people have to sign off on these ideas of money being spent. I totally understand that versus going to a business as a sponsorship.

Michelle Wilson: Yeah.

Brett Johnson: Hearing that feedback, and knowing that they’re going to do that meant monumental pushing a big rock-

Michelle Wilson: Right, right …

Brett Johnson: -knowing that it doesn’t matter what size of government there is, there had to be a lot of eyeballs seeing this, “Yeah we’re gonna do this; we’re gonna do this; we’re gonna do this,” because this money is being spent here, versus here. It was good feedback.

Stephanie Evans: One of the things that their Mayor, Kent, had said about it was that they view it as a professional education opportunity for the businesses in the Marble Cliff area, and felt that, by supporting the podcast, it was encouraging their businesses to listen in, because they can’t always make it to a luncheon, or a breakfast, or a coffee, or an event, where we might have a speaker, or some kind of educational program.

Stephanie Evans: It really is educational, when you listen to how someone got their business started, or how they made the next steps to grow, and that kinda stuff. They felt like it was a good option to treat it as professional education, in a way, to give to the business community, and support us, as well.

Brett Johnson: One of your last interviews was with Kent, and-

Michelle Wilson: It was.

Brett Johnson: -probably one of the better podcasts, in regards to understanding the Village of Marble Cliff.

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: He’s such a great speaker [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: He is.

Brett Johnson: -understanding this very … What is it? Two square mile, if that? I forget how many square mile it is, but government is government, and it’s just a smaller version of it, but it’s the same mechanisms, the same “politics” going on, but just on a smaller scale; a microcosm, comparatively, but still important to those that are living in that little community.

Michelle Wilson: Right, and they’re very lucky they have somebody who’s forward-thinking, and is … Again, I think like the Chamber taking a chance on some doing something a little differently … We’re very lucky that he sits on the board, and has a great voice to lend, on behalf of the village.

Brett Johnson: We tried to come up with the most convenient publishing schedule, and we varied that. I know, initially, we went with … Because of scheduling issues, and problems, and fitting in your schedule, obviously, to sit down. and talk with folks, and give yourself some time for research, we are on a once-a-month publishing schedule. It worked really well, I think.

Brett Johnson: Then we started to crank it up to every three weeks, and I think we saw some momentum come from that, as well, too, that it started to take off a little bit more, as well. We could get more people in over a year’s time, as well, too. How did that change, in regards to how you set yourself up, and your scheduling, too, that one extra week, or one fewer week to prepare? Did that take some mental strain? How did that change your life?

Michelle Wilson: Not tremendously, because I think it was something that I so enjoyed. It was just one of my favorite parts; truly getting to take a deep dive into one business was so enjoyable for me. Doing the research … I had basically the same list of questions every single time. That would always be my fall backs. Then, depending on who we were talking to, and how well I knew them, or if there had been something in the news recently that I wanted to make sure I touched on, I customized that each time. It was more exciting, quite honestly, to increase it, and get to talk to more people, and beef that up a little bit.

Brett Johnson: I know Stephanie, you can answer this, as well, too, because of being on board as long as you were, installing the social media strategy, and the email strategy. Let’s talk a little bit about that, how that’s evolved, as well, too, from your standpoint, and moving forward. This podcast is included in every newsletter that goes out for the Chamber, which is a weekly … What other pieces are being implemented that are being done/were being don, as well as looking to the future?

Stephanie Evans: It goes into our weekly newsletter with a link, so it’s on our website. It always sits there, and the link sends you to the website. Then, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram … Trying to think of all the social media. Admittedly, we are in a transition there with the social media.

Stephanie Evans: We had contracted out some work; the person that was doing that work for us recently moved to Seattle. In theory, he could do it from there, but it’s more practical to have it here, closer to home. We’re in transition, getting our head around how to do that social media, and how best to approach that. The podcast link is included in all of that, and we’re trying to stay active on that, and keep up to date, and find a new rhythm with our social media.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, it’s kind of a double-whammy, with the transition of hosts, also losing the social media person, or [cross talk] choice to keep the social media in-house; let’s put it that way.

Stephanie Evans: Right. That’s the goal at this point is to keep it in-house, and just, I guess, have a more intimate knowledge of it. I don’t know if that’s really the right way to phrase that, but we could do things a little more quickly [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: Well, it’s certainly more immediate.

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, it’s more immediate-

Brett Johnson: That person’s desk is five feet away [cross talk]

Stephanie Evans: Right, instead of sending a picture to somebody … It does make it more immediate. We just have to get up to speed with it.

Brett Johnson: Sure, sure. Well, and you can look at it as good timing, or bad timing. It’s probably very good timing, because you get to own it – the change of it – and evolve with it, as well. I know, with the transition, we’re looking at probably backing up publishing dates, back to a month, probably, just because, again, new role for you [cross talk]

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, just a little … This big microphone looking at.

Brett Johnson: -of looking at, “Okay, I still wanna continue …” Well, “I still wanna continue on with the podcast,” but how to incorporate it into my day, as the newly appointed executive director for the Chamber. It’s just a week, so not big, but I think that the implementation of a new person with social media, keeping it in-house, may be an easier transition, as well, too.

Stephanie Evans: I think we’re still very much in a transition phase. I just officially took this role as executive director in October, so I was still in my learning curve. Then, add to that the change in the social media contractor that we were using, and bringing someone in-house, and me changing roles altogether. There’s a lot to learn.

Michelle Wilson: You’re welcome [cross talk]

Stephanie Evans: I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew. I sat next to Michelle in the office, and I [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: -osmosis works pretty well, too.

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, and I knew a lot about the Chamber activities, but not so much the things that she did. Now, I have literally switched chairs. I took your chair.

Michelle Wilson: That’s a great, great chair.

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, it’s a great chair. There’s a lot to learn, and it’s a busy day. I make my to-do list at the end of the day, for my next day, and inevitably, I get to work … Sometimes, I check my email before I get in, and my whole day changes.

Michelle Wilson: That’s right.

Brett Johnson: Welcome to life. Yeah, right, exactly.

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, exactly. It’s never quite like I planned. Just kinda keeping up with things still has me in a transition.

Brett Johnson: That’s a great segue into talking about the transition of hosts. Obviously, you knew you were going to leave, and whether that was being discussed or not … One way or the other, in the mind, you knew, “Okay, I’m moving on, but there are things I have to take care of.”.

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: What was the discussion like with Stephanie, when you said, “Hey, I’m outta here. Totally up to you if you wanna keep the podcast going, but let’s talk about the podcast …”? What was that conversation like?

Michelle Wilson: Well, I told Steph that it was one of my favorite parts of the job. It had grown into that, and that I would … I just told her the truth. I think that I was very nervous, and that if we kept it going, which I thought we should, that we approach it the same way. Don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself, because the conversation really does take over.

Michelle Wilson: We scheduled a couple of podcasts, my last two, and and did those in the office, in a more comfortable setting, and Stephanie sat in on those, and got to see that I wasn’t exaggerating. It really is very laid back, and conversational, and the flow should be fairly natural. You have these questions that you can fall back on, if conversation halts for some reason, but that never really happened, thankfully, but they were good conversation starters.

Michelle Wilson: The Chamber is very lucky that Stephanie knocked on our door a couple of years ago, and said, “Hey, I’m interested in coming here.” Her background, and personality just lent itself beautifully for the transition. I knew she’d be great, and, of course, she is.

Stephanie Evans: Thanks, Michelle.

Brett Johnson: She said that in the conversation. What did you hear? [cross talk]

Stephanie Evans: -I’m like, “What? Who can I get to do that?”

Michelle Wilson: How do you portray deer in the headlights over a microphone?

Stephanie Evans: I think, from the start, I totally agreed that it needed to continue. I think it’s a really great thing for the Chamber, for our members, and for the folks who are listening. There was no doubt that we wanted to keep it going. The struggle for me is overcoming the anxiety of having this big microphone in front of me, and feeling like I don’t know how to do this.

Stephanie Evans: My first thoughts were, “Okay, well, we have to keep it going. We have to keep it going. Who can I ask to do it? Who can be the voice?” I went through all kinds of different ideas in my head, and I’m like, “Okay, the fact is it’s most natural, probably, for me to do it. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths, and just do it.” Your encouragement, Brett, and your encouragement, Michelle-

Brett Johnson: Thank you.

Stephanie Evans: I know-

Brett Johnson: Did you end up going back, and listening to some older episodes to really listen to ’em differently, and how it was done?

Stephanie Evans: That’s a good question. I guess I didn’t go back very far. I generally listen to them as they come, but I did go [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Right, right, right … But you can hear it with a different ear, when you have to host it.

Stephanie Evans: Yes, and I did. I did go back and listen to probably three or four … Not the entire podcasts, but parts of the three or four of ’em. You’re right. I didn’t even remember that I did that, but I did, right before we recorded my first one; to go back and just listen to the flow, and how the conversation went.

Stephanie Evans: That helped, and I had Michelle’s list of questions that I just had in front of me. I did use them probably more than Michelle does, or did at the time. It does help provide the backup, like when you are afraid of stalling out; you know you won’t, if you have that.

Stephanie Evans: The other thing that you had said, Brett, is that it doesn’t really matter how long it is, It can be 10 minutes; it can be half an hour. It’s just wherever the conversation just naturally stops. Relieving that pressure of having to fill 20 minutes was helpful, too. I think probably mostly it was in my head, because, you’re right, it’s pretty natural, but heart races, at first, and your mouth gets dry [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: Even though you know it’s not live, you do have this big microphone in front of you, and there’s a sense of pressure, when that’s not something you do every day, but-

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, even today.

Michelle Wilson: Right, but it’s also a sense of relief, when … If you can get out of your head long enough to think, “Okay, we can fix this,” because it’s not live, and it can come off sounding pretty smooth, if we stumble a little bit along the way.

Stephanie Evans: I think that the biggest thing for me was just the commitment to knowing that it has to go forward; not going to stop doing this. I’ve gotta figure it out.

Brett Johnson: Mm hmm, yeah. I hadn’t thought about the transition you talked about, in regards to bringing it back in the office; getting away from the professional studio. That probably maybe helped you with the transition, as well, too. It’s in your office, now-

Stephanie Evans: Probably, yeah.

Brett Johnson: Bring a couple microphones in; it’s not the intimidation factor of a studio that you’re not comfortable in. You had never been in that studio that we were recording in, and we were taking the podcast on the road for a few episodes, as well, too, for convenience sake, as well … Moving what we thought was gonna be a different direction, but didn’t happen. It was an experiment; just didn’t happen. Back in your office makes a whole lot of sense, and it may be just as comfortable for your guests, as well, too, because [cross talk]

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, a lot of ’em had been there before, and they’re nervous, too, the people that we’ve interviewed. They were nervous, definitely, so having that comfort level of knowing where they’re going, knowing how to get there, and that kinda thing, I do think helps.

Michelle Wilson: For me, I had the benefit of recording promo spots for some of our past events at the studio, so I at least had a little bit of a level of familiarity with going into the studio, and talking into a microphone. That’s not the case for everybody, so I do think it’s a nice familiar setting to do it in the Chamber offices [cross talk]

Brett Johnson: Moving forward, any new thoughts? Any new ideas that you wanna implement over the next few months? Have you put thought to that, or the different type of people we wanna talk to?

Stephanie Evans: With regard to the podcast?

Brett Johnson: Yeah.

Stephanie Evans: I think one of the things that we had tossed out … I really do love the up close, and personal, and finding out how a business came along. I am a small business owner, myself, still-

Brett Johnson: You’ve been there.

Stephanie Evans: Yeah, I have. I’ve owned two businesses by myself, and then my husband, and I currently own a business together. I’m a small business owner, too, and so I do appreciate hearing other people’s stories. I think that I learned from it. I think our listeners can learn from it. Everybody’s tackled it a little differently.

Stephanie Evans: One of the things that I think has been great about the ones that we’ve had so far is the variety of businesses that we’ve invited in for it. I think, for the listeners, if you look at the list, it’s this huge variety. I think that shows the breadth of our membership. For folks who aren’t members, or just out there listening, they can see the kind of businesses that we have, and that it really covers a whole range of businesses.

Stephanie Evans: I think that the up close, and personal, “How did you get here?” way is great. We’ve also tossed around, do we start doing more like … I don’t know, a specific topic in business, and how do we address that, and kinda come at that from different angles. For right now, I feel like if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If this is our niche, and this is what we’re known for, then that’s the track we should stay on. If we start to feel like we wanna mix it up a little bit, I do think that there are some other avenues we could venture down.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, we talked about other opportunities, as well, too, just expanding the role of the podcast. It gives you the opportunity as a new host to do that, as well as Michelle was always kicking around that idea. We were always kicking around those ideas, so it’s always on the table.

Michelle Wilson: Sure, yeah. I think it’s really key to mention, too, from the member perspective, besides learning about other members, is that it’s a great marketing tool for them. They walk away with this podcast. We walk away learning something; a little bit more about, perhaps, that member, or that industry, but the member walks away with a marketing piece that they can put on their website; that they can pull snippets of. You’re great about helping them with pulling out key pieces that would be great for marketing. There’s no charge to them for being a guest on our podcast. It’s really a benefit to everybody involved.

Brett Johnson: There’s not an episode that I didn’t learn something-

Michelle Wilson: Oh, my gosh, yes. Me, too.

Brett Johnson: -or heard something said, going, “That makes sense,” especially when you start to change what you’re doing in your world-

Michelle Wilson: Right.

Brett Johnson: -and things hit you differently, when you start to think about things differently, whether it’s a new business venture, or you’re venturing with a new career, whatever; you just hear it differently. I think every episode, all the guests have done a fantastic job of bringing just little nuggets, yeah-

Michelle Wilson: A nugget, right. There have been times that I’ve walked away thinking, or not thinking, but just having learned something that I just didn’t expect. There was a couple of times when I was kind of gobsmacked, for lack of a better word.

Michelle Wilson: In one of those, a piece of advice came out of it. One of my favorite things was to ask, “What advice were you given, or what advice would you now give?” One of the podcasts, there was a piece of advice given to one of our interviewees that I loved, and I have now used in a practical way with my kids, and in my life. I definitely learned a life lesson out of doing an interview that … Gosh, that’s not what I expected to get out of it, but it was great.

Brett Johnson: All right. Advice to a business owner, or another Chamber outside of the Columbus area … They would like to start a podcast … Wouldn’t want any more competition here, but since the podcast is worldwide-

Michelle Wilson: We’ve got it covered.

Brett Johnson: We’ve got it covered, here, but I’ll ask both of you, what advice would you give a business owner, or another Chamber that may be considering podcasting as a marketing tool? What would you tell them to keep in mind?

Michelle Wilson: Steph, jump in anytime. I think I would tell them to try to come up with what’s unique about them, and capitalize on it, with their podcast, with whatever the theme is, or what it is that they want to accomplish. Find out what’s- identify what’s unique, and use it.

Michelle Wilson: Also, try to get the supporters on board first, and not necessarily ask permission, but now that there’s somebody that’s doing this, and it’s working, don’t recreate the wheel, and definitely get people on board first. Realize that there are resources out there to help you get started, and that it’s really a phenomenal tool to engage your members.

Stephanie Evans: They might be able to get sponsorship upfront [cross talk]

Michelle Wilson: Upfront, yes.

Stephanie Evans: -say, “Here’s what we wanna do,” and model it after this or that, and be able to get some sponsorship upfront. I would say definitely think about that. One of the things that I think our podcast does is, alongside of the information that’s shared from the interviewees, is it showcases the personality of the Chamber, just in the conversations that take place.

Stephanie Evans: I do think that the conversations … Michelle’s done a really great job of being very natural, and being able to bring out the personality, not only of the person being interviewed, but her personality shows, too. I think that that …

Stephanie Evans: I always tell people who are thinking about joining our Chamber that the personality of our Chamber, I really do feel like, represents the communities that we represent. It’s a really warm, sincere group of people who wanna see each other support- sorry, wanna support each other, and see each other be successful. I feel like that comes through in the interviews, just the personalities. I think that’s a real nice benefit for our members, and for the Chamber, as a whole.

Brett Johnson: Yeah, I would think, and I agree … I always think this medium is not a fake-it medium. It’s raw. It’s raw. The emotions are there. You just can’t fake it, versus writing a blog, or having a professional blogger write it for you that represents your company. This is it. I think the podcast brings that out of the Chamber, as well as the guests I’ve seen, overall.

Brett Johnson: Congratulations on your move, Michelle.

Michelle Wilson: Thank you very much.

Brett Johnson: That was a kick in the gut, when you told me you were leaving. a little bit-

Stephanie Evans: I second that-.

Brett Johnson: -because I knew I was going to miss working with you. I knew the podcast would live on, because it had legs, and I knew Stephanie was more than capable of getting this done, but working with you, I knew I was gonna miss [cross talk] because it was a lot of fun.

Brett Johnson: I am looking forward to what Stephanie is gonna do, as well, too, because the focus of this podcast, I think, is extremely important to me, as well as getting it done for the Chamber, as well, too. Congratulations on your move to Experience Columbus-

Michelle Wilson: Thank you.

Brett Johnson: -and congratulations on your new chair, and new role.

Stephanie Evans: Thanks, Brett … Literally a new chair.

Brett Johnson: Exactly.

Stephanie Evans: Literally a new chair. It moves.

Brett Johnson: I do look forward to working, as we continue on with Business Inspires.

Michelle Wilson: Thank you [cross talk].

Stephanie Evans: Thank you, Brett. I look forward to working with you, too.

Michelle Wilson: Thank you for all your support. This is because of you, and your great idea, and that our members are benefiting. Thank you for doing that.

Brett Johnson: Thank you. Thank you.

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Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 30+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

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Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.

Email us at podcasts to set up time to talk more about your new or established business podcast.