Johnny Peterson is Johnny Podcasts
Updated: May 31
I have launched a new podcast! With a little help from my Podcast Super Friends. In the past you have heard stories from for radio program director Jon Gay aka Jag in Detroit, and Catherine O'Brien from Branch Out Programs. Meet Johnny Peterson who is the same age as my twin boys.
Johnny went to Texas Christian University and studied marketing. When it came to audio... he learned the rest on his own. It's amazing what you can pick up from You Tube and by getting together with other podcast Super Friends. He has been working with companies to build outstanding branded podcasts like The Fort with Chris Powers. and Owner Occupied with Peter Lohmann. Both of those podcasts are in the real estate sector.
Also if you would love to listen to the 5 of us nerd out on podcasting every month, just follow anyone of our social accounts and hit subscribe or Follow and you'll get notifications when we go live. Here is the live recording of the podcast episode.
And for the love of podcasting, please connect with us on the Podcast Super Friends Podcast... or you can just watch the show on our socials.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:00:01
The Sound Off Podcast. The podcast about broadcast with Matt Cundill starts now.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:10
Johnny Peterson is Johnny podcasts. He started straight away up podcast a few years back and is largely self taught when it comes to the audio side. However, he is finally schooled when it comes to marketing. A graduate of Texas Christian University and executive producer of several successful podcasts, johnny is also one of the Podcast Super Friends, the composition of five podcast pros who get together monthly to talk podcast. And it's only fitting that we have a podcast, right? You can connect to that show wherever you get your favorite podcast and also in the show notes of this episode. This conversation aired live on both our YouTube channels, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a few other places. So be sure to subscribe to all those as well and be part of the live and interactive audience. Johnny Peterson joins me from his home studio in Fort Worth. I'm at Condo. I'm host of the Sound Off podcast. We're doing this one live. We are recording this for audio, but we're also streaming this to video. And originally I was going to do this only audio, but then I thought, wait a second, we've got all the equipment. We always profess to our clients that we should probably include a video strategy. So I figured, why not? Let's just put this on video as well and take it live and we'll see what happens. Hi, Johnny, how are you?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:01:29
Hey, Matt. Yeah, we got approved to the people that pay us money that we actually know what we're talking about, and so it would be helpful if we can prove it in some capacity.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:38
Practice what you preach, they say. This is exactly it's not our first time together this week, but we'll talk more about our adventures with the Podcast Super Friends shortly. But I do know you're a graduate of TCU. Why did you choose TCU and what did you study there?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:01:55
So I actually, in a previous life, was a college basketball player, and that was kind of my trajectory in life. It was focused all on that sport growing up. Obviously, I'm a six foot two white guy, so my chances of going to the NBA were slim to none. Ended up in a division three school in Los Angeles my freshman year. Had a terrible time there, went to community college, played another year, and my coach sat me down for kind of an end of year meeting, and I said, hey, I got accepted to TCU to go to the business school there. And there's a school in Idaho, a D three school in Idaho that wants me to come play there. And he just looks me in the eye and goes, you know what you should do? And so ended up at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, to just have the classic college experience, join the fraternity, studied business, did all the typical things that you normally would. I actually studied marketing, and that is sort of what led me into getting the network that I have now, which led me into podcasting. I didn't really have a path into podcasting. It sort of just happened overnight while I was in college.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:58
Does anybody really, truly have a path into podcasting that just didn't find you swimming upstream into a different direction?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:03:05
I think you and Jack do, actually. I think the radio industry is a pretty clear path into podcasting. Just with the way technology is going. We're all going online, everyone is becoming a brand. Everything is on demand. I want it when I want it, and I want to be able to play it, listen to it, watch it whenever I want it. And so radio to podcasting seems like a logical step forward.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:29
What podcast did you start listening to? Do you remember your first one?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:03:32
Yeah, I remember the very first podcast that made me fall in love with the medium was congratulations with Crystallia in 2017. He's a stand up comedian. People may know him as being a recently canceled comedian for stuff that I don't even know about, but one of my buddies just showed it to me and says, hey, have you ever heard of this comedian? Have you ever heard of a podcast? And I said, no. What are both of those? Listened to it and just found myself laughing my ass off. Ten minutes into it, I was like, I love this. This is so much better than music. This is way better than watching YouTube. I can listen to it whenever I want when I'm driving, and there's just so much variety. And I was hooked ever since in.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:12
That podcast and I haven't listened to it. Is it the kind of comedic podcast where he's trying out new material?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:04:19
Yeah, which is the type of comedy podcast I love. I love it when different comedy is my favorite type of podcast to listen to. That's really where I spend most of my listening time. And I think it's a great avenue for comedians. It's just kind of one small wrinkle within podcasting that makes it such a beautiful industry and such a beautiful medium, is that they can go on stage every single night, but you're limited to that audience that's physically with you. And rather than actually sitting down and writing material, how do you see how well it's going to play out until you go on stage that night? So a lot of these comics will start a podcast and just work out material that either does really well and they can see in the reflection of engagement they get on social media or the amount of downloads they get on a particular episode, or an audience that they can amass overall, which leads to sponsorships. That's another avenue of revenue that they can get. And as the listener, if I enjoy that person's comedy, I now get to develop what I feel is a deeper relationship with that person. I feel like I know them because I'm listening to them for hours on hours every single week.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:22
What was that moment when you went out to purchase a microphone because you thought you would be doing a podcast or heading in the direction of podcasting?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:05:29
I bought this beautiful Blue Yeti microphone on Amazon in 2018, and it's now an ancient relic. And I actually keep it on this desk here because when I do video calls with clients and they say, oh, I'm ready to start a podcast, I bought a microphone, actually, and I pull this one out, and I go, Is it this one? And they go, Yeah. And I go, Throw it away. It's time to buy something else. I'm glad you called me. So I bought that one. And the goal for my first podcast was to do a Basketball Focus podcast, and that was because I was doing an internship at a tech company in between my junior and senior year of college. I had really no direction. My life was miserable sitting at this desk working on Excel spreadsheets, and I said, I've been listening to podcasts for a year or two now. I'm a former basketball player, I don't get to play anymore. What if I did a Basketball Focus podcast? Just gave my thoughts on what was happening in the NBA player drama, things like that, really anything, and hooked that up into my MacBook, opened up GarageBand and just started recording. And from that first episode around 2018 to 2022, now I'm a full time podcast producer. I make my living doing this. I've never had another job since graduating college, and this is what I do.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:41
So let's roll it back to that very first episode that you did about basketball. And now that you're in the position that you're in, that you're in, and you understand how sound works, and you're very good at this, by the way.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:06:54
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:54
Go back and evaluate that very first show and roll it back in your head and critique it in terms of sound.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:07:02
If I had to give myself one positive note, I knew that I needed to not record in my kitchen or my living room. So I went into the closet of my apartment, I put all of the sweatshirts and jackets that I had and moved them as close to me as possible. And I remember sitting in the corner with my laptop on my lap and the microphone kind of really close to my face like this and speaking really quietly and critiquing myself. Now, I had no concept of how to remove Echo siblings plosives compression peaking. I was probably pushing like two or three DB above zero, which for non producers means that I was blowing out my listeners headphones. I had no concept of that running on GarageBand with just the stock plugins, and I really was just going through the plugins and going, this one looks fun, this one looks fun. What can I do to try and make this sound better? And that's really what my career has led to, is I didn't take any audio engineering classes. I really didn't look this stuff up on YouTube at all. It was really just trial and error with this podcast. So I haven't listened to that episode in a while. But I probably will go check it out after this one. And I'm sure it may be better than I remember, but it's the same with anyone who has a podcast. You get a certain number of episodes in and you compare it to your first episode and it's just a night and day difference, and that's how you know you're improving.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:21
Does that episode still exist? I'll assume you probably put it up on Lipson and it's still there.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:08:25
I actually put it up on and you'll kill me for this. It was actually up on SoundCloud was my first hosting site, so that shows you how little I knew about all of it. I think it's still up somewhere, though.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:37
Yeah, I know I'm a big detractor of SoundCloud, but the only way I know not to use it is because in 2017, I put this podcast up on SoundCloud and it took about maybe about 30, 35 episodes before I thought, I really got to get out of here.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:08:53
Yeah, I think I migrated it over to Anchor off of your recommendation, just as I had some downtime. And I remember you saying that when you have podcasts that aren't recording anymore, you don't want to keep charging them for the hosting cost, and they just keep getting a bill every single month just for a podcast that they're not continuing to live. And so I migrated it over to Anchor, and it is in the cemetery of tens of thousands of podcasts.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:18
Yeah, it's where the podcasts go to conveniently rest in purgatory, but they stay alive. So why not use it?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:09:25
You might as well. And if you're someone that's doing a limited series, and I don't think there's a problem with leaving it on Anchor if you're someone that has it. You did a show for ten episodes and it was constructed to only be ten episodes, and they're really well produced and they're really well done, and they play an active part in whatever it is you're doing now, whether it's your job, your business, something. I think it's totally fine to just have it live there because it's for free and you're saving some money.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:51
Yeah, I guess the only time I would not recommend that is if you had a I'll use True Crime, for instance, and you wanted to go back and put some dynamic audio into update the series were to maybe remind us it and have some, hey, I've got new offerings and whatnot. So if you play in that ballpark, anchor might not be your thing. But if you're done with the show, there's nothing wrong with moving it over to Anchor when you're done. So after your basketball podcast adventure, did you want to start another podcast, or is this when the ideas for the business started?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:10:25
So the idea for the business came very randomly and fortuitously. I think podcasters and CrossFitters are very similar in that you talk about it a lot and you basically tell everyone within the first five minutes of meeting them, oh, I have a podcast. Oh, I do CrossFit. Oh, I'm a vegan. It just comes up because you feel like it's something that makes you different from everybody else. So I remember sitting in my senior year of college, no job prospects, zero direction of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do podcasting something in that way, but I had no idea of how to make that into a business or make money doing that. And one of my professors called on me in class to talk about something. It came up that I had a podcast, and she said, Stick around after class. I want to talk to you. I was like, Okay, that sounds pretty cool. I stick around after class. And she says, Hey, there's an alumni that wants to start a podcast. You think that you could help them get set up? And me, all the experience I have up to this point is about eight episodes recording into a blue, yeti still trying to figure out how to not make my earbuds blow out of proportion because I had no idea how to stop it from peaking. And I just said, yes, of course. And I did have the smarts to actually do prepare for this meeting. So I set a meeting with this guy's. Name is Chris Powers, who is probably the flagship of my business today, and he's a mentor of mine, and I wouldn't be where I am without him today. I do a bunch of research on him. I put together a whole one page, and I say, here's all the equipment that we need. Here's where we're going to host the podcast Anchor. Because that was my frame of reference, was putting it on Anchor. I said, Here's 15 different names that you could call the podcast. I know that you work in real estate. Here's ten of the biggest people in Fort Worth that do real estate that you can interview, and here's ten different topics that you can talk about with them. So really went above and beyond what I really needed to do for that meeting. Put on a suit, go and meet the guy, show him this presentation. And without even looking at it, he just takes I guess he looked at it, but takes one look over the sheet and goes, you're hired. And to this day, he's told me that the preparation that I put into that meeting was what sold him on me. And so me and him really worked together to launch this podcast, which to him now has become just an incredible benefit to his business in terms of bringing in investors to his real estate company. I think we just crossed over 50,000 downloads last month, and it's our third month in a row of hitting that number. I think we're going to cross three quarters of a million downloads overall. The life of the podcast, it's done extremely well. But really, I use that podcast to learn what equipment do we need, what microphones do we need, and then all of the back end production. How do I make two guests that are sitting in the same room together? How do I avoid mic bleed, how do I make sure their levels are the same? If someone's deciding to talk this far back from the microphone, how do I increase the gain on that? And so it was really just a work in progress for both of us, and that's really where I got started. About six months into that, I was, quote unquote, interning for him. I was about to graduate college, and he looks at me and he goes, there are more people like me that want to start podcasts but don't know how to do it. You should start a business doing this. And I kick myself my former self, because at the time, I was splitting my time between going to class, working on his podcast, and I was actually making money on the side, working as a desk attendant at the rec center on campus. And I was so nervous about jumping into entrepreneurship and starting my own business without that lack of a safety net and a steady paycheck coming in. I really didn't know. I was like, I don't know if I should quit my job at the wreck to do this with you. And he was like, that's a stupid idea, but you need to make your own decision. And he was very gracious. He wrote me a small check to fund me for the first year, just to keep my lights on and help me find business so I didn't have to do stuff on the side. And that really just launched me forward and the network that he provided me of people that he knows that are very successful in business, that combined with Twitter led me to I probably now manage twelve to 15 podcasts right now, doing all back in production for them.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:24
So if I think back to that initial interaction with Chris, I think the takeaway I have from it is the fact that you went and told him there are ten potential guests out there for you to interview. And so I think that's really important when people start a podcast, if you want to start a successful one, I usually say, what are your first three episodes sound like? But then I also say, well, what does episode ten sound like? You went a step further and said, here are ten right off the top that you should do. Because then immediately you get this idea of what the brand is going to sound like, what the show is going to sound like, and you're just going to be inviting people into the tent. So I thought that was really smart. I assume you still stick to that when you are launching new podcasts.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:15:08
Yeah, I've cut it down now. It's my interactions with people since I'm more established, they'll come to me and give me a generic idea of what they're looking for and I'm not doing so much, necessarily so much prep beforehand, but I always encourage them, hey, if we're going to work together, we need to have at least four or five episodes produced in the can, ready to hit publish at any time. That way we give ourselves enough runway to where we're not looking at each other on Monday night going, we need to put something out tomorrow and we don't have anything recorded. So I try to build out that catalog of content with them beforehand so that they're not scrambling and rushing. And you're right, it does help them kind of actually materialize this podcast a little bit more in their mind because now that they have to sit down and write down, who am I going to talk to, it kind of gets you out of that sort of I don't even know the word. But you're in this phase where you're just so excited about launching a podcast, you're not even thinking about the content side of it, you're just excited about the pretty microphone and having cool cover art and music and things like that, that you're not really playing. Once you're actually sitting down and planning who you're going to talk to and what you're going to talk about, that makes it feel a lot more real and gets them a lot more committed to the concept.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:19
Did you know you were going in and creating branded podcasts? Like, did you understand that term or.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:16:23
Did you just say, I just kind of figuring it out as you go.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:29
And so when you're figuring it out as you go, how do you tell clients not to be too salesy when talking about their brand or their products? Did you have to do that with any clients?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:16:41
Define like, are they selling it to potential guests or selling their podcast where.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:46
The podcast sounds like just self promotion, like an infomercial that you would hear, right?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:16:50
Yeah. The way that you go around that is I say that you need to have a certain goal when you start out. You need to have a concrete reason for why you're doing this. And the majority of the people that I work with, they're using it as a sort of way to elevate themselves or their brand. And we have to make a delineation between me as the host of this branded podcast, I can't be plugging what I'm doing all the time. We need to focus on the guest and create value for who's listening. And then the goal of the podcast is to either bring this guest needs to become a client and this is sort of my foot in the door with that person, or we need to maneuver the audience, leverage the audience to trust us and then use advertisements either at the pre role, the mid roll, the post roll, or in the show description of hey, we're doing the podcast because of X. If you want to invest in my real estate fund, you can do it here.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:38
So here's a question that pops up every 2 seconds in the Facebook groups for people like that.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:17:46
I got off of those groups so long ago, we can talk about that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:51
Well, I guess the question that comes up all the time is how do I get more downloads? And you're dealing with some podcasts that have a lot of downloads.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:17:59
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:59
So I think we're going to have.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:18:01
To ask you how, how do you get more downloads? Yeah, by not focusing on the downloads. And I think that you and I share that sentiment. So I'm a big believer in the quality of the listener over the quantity of the listener. And then I get that question every single time too, is how do I get a bigger audience? It's not so much how you get a bigger audience, it's how do you get the most leverage out of the people who are listening. And if your goal is to get a lot more listeners, then you need to refine what your podcast is about. If your podcast is just about how to buy a home for a single unmarried person in northern Texas, your audience isn't that big. But if you change what your podcast is going to be about to reach more people, now you have a chance. And then it all comes down to who's the guest that you're bringing on. Can you get that guest on cross collaborations, promotions? Maybe you got to sink a little bit maybe you have to sink a little bit of money into promoting your podcast all over the internet. The downloads don't come out of the gate. I'm also probably the biggest way that you get more downloads is you have to be big online somewhere other than your podcast. You need to create a following on either Twitter, you need to be big on LinkedIn. People need to know you for something once they know you for something. By the way, I have a podcast.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:20
Yeah, it doesn't start the other way with I have a podcast. You should listen to us.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:19:23
Exactly. If people trust you for something that you've already accomplished, whether it's an online following, whether it's for being really big in an industry, if you're good at something and you build a podcast based on what you're good at, that is the best way that you grow your audience.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:37
I find it a little frustrating sometimes, but I know a lot of people are eager to have their podcast heard. My answer is generally, I say to people, you go up to somebody on the street, you ask if they have heard of your podcast. If they say no, you should push their head into a toilet. I mean, a lot of people like that answer, but sometimes I'm like, I don't know how you can't really make somebody listen to your show. You actually have to put something out there in order for them to want to engage them and bring them in.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:20:07
And word of mouth is still the best, most effective way to grow your podcast. People aren't going to trust Matt telling them some guy Matt they've never heard of to listen to the The Sound Off podcast. They're going to listen to Jeff, who's a huge fan of the Sound Off podcast. That's my friend from college who says, hey, I think you'd really like this podcast. You should check it out. And the only way that you can get Jeff to do that is by asking for it one and putting out a product that Jeff now feels comfortable and this sounds more extreme than it is, but putting his reputation on the line by recommending this to somebody else. So it's a collaboration of you putting in a ton of work on your podcast to make a great product so that people feel good enough about it to put their name on it and say, I recommend this to you.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:20:53
In that time, I'm going to be writing Jeff here a check or recommending podcast to people.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:20:59
And that's something that you can do, too. You can say, look, you would have to put a lot of work into it, but you can do some kind of giveaway of saying, like, whoever gets me the most emails to my podcast subscription newsletter list, you get put into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. There is a lot of you just.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:16
Got to get creative with it in just a second. More with Johnny as he tells us why his newsletter is so successful. The problem with celebrity podcasts and how do you get more downloads? Yeah, we kicked that age old question around just one more time, only to get a different answer again. There's more. There's always more. Such as links to the new podcast we just started, the podcast Super Friends. And you know what else? A transcription of this episode. Head on over to Soundoffpodcast.com now to get one transcription.
Sarah Burke (Voiceover) 00:21:51
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Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:21:51
The Sound Off Podcast! With Mstt Cundill
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:07
There's two things that I can be really succinct about. When I talk to somebody who says, why can't I have more downloads? Or why don't I have more. It feels like it's mean, but it's not. Are you boring? Is this show boring or potentially is the subject matter just not relevant to enough people? Maybe you find it important that you think you're going to get thousands, but maybe it's only valuable for hundreds.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:22:31
And that's something that you really have to think about, because ideally, if you're starting a podcast, you're doing it in a niche that you're the expert in, you are the guy. And if it's something that you are an expert in, you likely care a lot about it. You have to combine that with understanding, who is my market? Is my market 50 people, or is my market 50,000 people? And once you kind of square that away in your soul and understand that the podcast that I'm putting out there just doesn't have the reach or the you know, it just doesn't have the running power to get Joe Rogan level numbers, you have to be okay with that. And once people are okay with that, that's kind of where I spend a lot of my time steering clients in that direction of, look, this is what your audience likely looks like. You have to be okay with that. Now, how can we maximize these 50 people? Obviously, it's more than 50, but and then with the boring part of it, I think it's so true. Something that I harp on all the time is you have to have high energy when you're doing a podcast. You have to be you have to sound like you give a shit about what you're talking about. And if you don't, you think you can just turn on the microphone and just sort of read off of a script and go, welcome back to the Huland Overton Ridge podcast. This is John Peterson. We're going to be talking about Johnny renting this tuxedo for his wedding. If you sound like who cares about that? If you don't sound like you care enough about what you're talking about, why should somebody else care enough to give you the time of day to listen and then a step beyond that, recommend it to other people?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:55
So I want to use a sports analogy when it comes to choosing your niche and being I know we want to be number one in the zone. So whether it's about broadcast or real estate, I don't need to be the best. I do want to be top three.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:24:10
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:11
And so if I were to use a basketball analogy, if it's your ball and you're down by two points and there's 10 seconds on the clock, I think you're in a great shot, in a great position to make that final shot in order to win the game. Same thing with hockey. I don't care if we're down four or three and there's two minutes to go. I know we can tie the game up or go win it. So I think a lot of people think, Oh, I've got to have a niche and be at the top. But it takes three years to build your podcast. I think we've kind of established that in a radio station and any brand for that matter. But just to be close and towards the top is going to be good enough, especially for year one.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:24:47
Yeah, you just need to make yourself competitive and build a product that's going to have legs. If you are one year into it and you're really starting to burn out, you either need to change up what you're doing or just throw in the towel. But, yeah, I agree. You need to not worry about winning the game right out of the bat. You need to worry about putting yourself in a position to win the game.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:09
So what happens when you do get 50,000 downloads a month, for example, with Chris's podcast? That, by the way, is in the show notes of this episode. If you'd like to go dig into some real estate and get involved with that. But when you get to 50,000, you feel like you're at the top of the mountain, but you got to keep climbing. Now what?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:25:25
Now what? Now we revisit our goal. Are we accomplishing the goal that we've set out for? And it comes with a nice little set of perks on the side of it. Chris did not care if this podcast made any money, but his brand, he has 60,000 followers on Twitter. He leveraged that into more listeners for the podcast. Now we can make a little bit of cheddar on the side, a little bit of scratch. We can sell ads we can approach. And that's sort of where I'm sure this question is coming, is how do I get advertisers? How do I get Dollar Shave Club to advertise on my podcast? I steer people away from that. If we want to get into the ad part of it, we can. But again, it's reevaluating your goal and then understanding that you've now unlocked a little bit of prize stuff on the side. And that's going to be you can now advertise reasonably.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:26:13
How did you become a podcast super friend?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:26:18
Actually, it was whatever poor SAP was doing or set off the fire alarm in the Orlando podcast movement. And we get stuck outside in the 90 degree heat and I hear someone talking about something industry interesting, and I turn over and who's standing right in front of me but John Gay. From Jack and Detroit podcast. We get to chatting, we exchange information, and then I also run into a woman named Catherine O'Brien at another session. And then, honestly, I don't even remember how the group came together, but I remember bringing Jack in. I think Catherine wanted to start it and she knew us separately and brought us all together. And I thought of Jack. I was like, he'd be a great addition to this group. And then we brought in David as well, we give this pitch all the time, but we are solopreneurs. We don't have bosses except for our clients. We don't necessarily have coworkers. A lot of them are sort of remote contract workers, but we're not going to an office every day with people experiencing the same shit show as us and the same problems. And we said this would be a great opportunity for us to all come together and sort of bounce ideas off of each other. Tech issues, business issues, how do you do bookkeeping, how do you do accounting? How do you bill your clients? What are you charging? How do we adjust our prices? How do you pitch a new client, how do you find new clients? And having four other people that are doing what you're doing in the same sphere has been so helpful. And then we've obviously grown that into becoming the Super Friends, where we say we need to share what we're talking about with every other person that doesn't have access to the information that we do.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:55
And I met Catherine, I think it was 2016 or 2017 at Podcast Movement once again, which is going to be in your backyard down in Dallas Fort Worth area, and it's going to be coming up in August. You'll be there. I'll get to meet you finally.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:28:12
Have we not met in person? Oh, my God.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:15
You know, I haven't even met Jon Gay in person.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:28:19
How tall are you?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:21
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:28:22
Okay. It's nice to have I just want to picture that because I've met remote clients before in person. I go, wow, you're way taller than I thought you were going to be, or you're way shorter than I thought you were going to be. And so it's good to have that height in perspective.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:34
5' 10" and a half.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:28:35
5' 10" and a half, okay.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:42
Well, how tall are you?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:28:43
I'm six two. All right, six three on a good day. Okay.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:47
Because we're not going to do any one on one, right?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:28:49
No, but I'll bring a ball if we want to find a hoop somewhere and do something. But I think the majority of our time will be spent at the bar.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:56
Yeah. What's your drink of choice?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:29:00
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:29:03
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:29:04
What about you?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:29:05
I'll order a Manhattan and then I'll order a second Manhattan, and then I'll just start reaching for wine.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:29:11
If I have the choice between a Manhattan and shit, I'm forgetting my favorite drink. What's the other one? Old Fashioned.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:29:20
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:29:20
Old Fashioned. If I'm between Manhattan and Old Fashioned, I'm taking an Old Fashioned, but I haven't found a great it's so different. Every bar you go to, it depends on the bartender who's making it. And I just have had such bad luck with Old Fashioned that I just do makers. Neat or Buffalo Trace? Neat.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:29:39
It's funny how we've become friends, especially over the course of the pandemic. And I guess the way the podcast SuperFriend started, we started meeting one friday a month to discuss the things that you were talking about, whether it was bookkeeping or best practices for podcasting, and finding the right people and editing tactics. And now I think one of the things that you always bring to the table is definitely audio, but I'm really liking your setup that you have now. So tell me about the microphone that you're using. We've talked about what not to use, and that's the Blue Yeti. And five out of five podcast producers of the Super Friends agree that the yeti is not something you want to use, but what are you using now?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:30:17
Right now I'm running with the Sure MV Seven XLR model only. So the MV Seven is an offshoot of the SM Seven. B tried to make it a little bit more affordable as more people were getting into podcasts. And then from there, they split up into two models. I have the XLR only. And then they made the MV Seven with a USB attachment for people who don't want to take that extra text step. So how am I running into the computer, you might ask, because it's an XLR cable. I am not using an XLR to USB, which I had to tell somebody on a consulting call. That's why your sound sucks, because it is sort of this, like, Frankenstein cable that was made together that shouldn't exist. So I'm running it through the Elgato Wave XLR, which allows me to run the XLR cable into this beautiful piece of tech. A USB C is coming out of it, and I'm running that into my Mac mini. And that is how we are hearing myself today.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:31:10
So is that device like a Focus right?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:31:12
It's similar to a Focus, right? Yeah, but it's only got one XLR input, and it's got three modes here, so I can change. They've made it a lot easier. The Focus has a lot of dials and buttons and lights, and they made this very simple. A lot of people use it for streaming, like, we're live on Twitch right now. A lot of Twitch streamers use this so I can click between it's currently at my headphone level, so if you're really loud, I can turn down how much I'm able to hear you, or I can turn it back up. I can click here, which is the mixed style, where if I want to hear how I'm coming back to myself, I can turn that up or all the way down. And if I just click it again, it goes to my microphone level. So if I feel like I'm coming off a little quiet, I can turn myself up a little bit or down. And then on the top is a beautiful mute button where you just touch it, it turns red and I'm muted. So it's very intuitive and I'm very impressed with it. I think that only runs about 160.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:04
It's a cough switch.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:32:06
It's a cough switch, basically, yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:08
It says mute, but what are you really doing while you're muted?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:32:11
I'm clearing my throat. I'm hawking a loogie or spraying covet all over the room.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:18
So what do you recommend for your clients for recording?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:32:22
So a lot of people are people think, and I used to be in this line of thinking too, is that you need to pimp out your room with a bunch of sound tiles. You need to have people in person. It's not as feasible to do in person podcasts anymore. The advent of the Internet and technology and social media has allowed you and I, we would never have met 20 years ago. We would have no idea who each other are. We would walk past each other on the street and have no clue that we're in the same industry unless we met at some conference. So what I recommend to people is Riverside, to be able to reach the most talented and the most expert people in their field. That fits within your niche. I recommend the MB Seven USB. It's a little bit of extra money, but it saves you that extra step of getting the Scarlet Focus right or getting this Wave XLR plugs directly into your computer. Let's record everything into Riverside and a set of headphones.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:33:14
So you mentioned the Shore MV Seven. How does that compare to the ATR 2100 or the Samsung Q two U, which are highly recommended by a lot of podcasting pros.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:33:26
It really depends. The MV Seven costs $250, and I'm a genuine believer that you get what you pay for. However, that doesn't necessarily apply to the Samsung Q to you. I think that this one just gives a little bit more of that podcasting aesthetic versus the Q to you. I have a broken Q to you in my closet, so it is prone to breaking because you're only paying $70 for it. I think that if you're wanting to start a podcast, you kind of want the look of a podcaster as well to go with it. So it really depends on what you're willing to spend on your money. You can get a good sound from the Samsung Q to you, but I just recommend this because it gives people that feeling of, okay, I'm a podcaster.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:08
Now, so sometimes I'll have clients and they'll come to me and they want to edit their own show and I'll teach them. But one of the problems I've had is recommending a digital audio workstation. You mentioned GarageBand when you first started. What would you recommend to somebody who's thinking about editing their own audio?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:34:28
Most people that I interact with have MacBooks. If you really wanted to edit your own podcast, GarageBand is free. I wouldn't recommend Audacity. I know Steve Stewart makes a beautiful living using Audacity. I just think the user interface is not compatible with the next generation of podcasters. We're used to sleek looking technology, and Audacity just is really hard to navigate. It looks like it was built in 1980 and it still looks like it was built in 1980. Garage Band is a really friendly solution. If you are already using Photoshop or Illustrator or any of the Adobe Suite products. You can kind of add on, I think whatever the Adobe Audio, I think it's not Premiere. Premiere the video Audition. You can use that. But I upgraded once I realized that this was going to be my full time business. I make all of my audio off of Logic Pro X, which is sort of just the paid version of GarageBand as an upgrade. If you want to upgrade to Logic Pro X, it's $200.01 time payment. Or you can do Adobe Audition, which is a monthly recurring subscription, which I don't care for. So that's why I've moved away from there, or I stay away from audition.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:35:36
And you talked a little bit about marketing your company straight up podcast and the newsletter, and you speak to the power of the newsletter. I'm very lazy with mine. What am I missing out? Convince me I need to do it on a more regular basis. Yours shows up every Monday at 06:00, a.m. Central time. Tell me why I need to get more involved with this.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:36:01
I don't think you need to. You have your podcast. That's how you're marketing yourself. I don't currently have a podcast, so I think a newsletter the newsletter really isn't so much to market my business, but actually it's to promote myself as an expert in what I do. And it also keeps me accountable to something that's hard. It's hard to sit down on Sunday and go, all right, I need to think about a topic to write about that people who are interested in podcasting are going to care about, and maybe it's something that I'm going to learn along the way too. I also have a section that says I basically break down the newsletter into three sections. It's something to think about, something to read, and something to watch. So I try to make it as simple as possible. The something to think about section is something that has to come from my own brain. What am I seeing in the world of podcasting right now that I think is interesting, and what kind of take do I have on it? That day, like this past Monday, was about an NBA player for the Golden State Warriors who is actually producing a podcast after each Finals game. So he's playing in the NBA Finals. He'll go to his hotel room and he's recording a 30 minutes podcast, breaking down his thoughts on what just happened, which is not something we're seeing. This is not something we've seen before. And so I wanted to talk about.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:37:09
That, actually, that's doing so well. I know about that. Yeah, because I'll screw the name up. Is it Draymond. Green who is got his podcast with the Volume Network, which is Colin Cow herds Network, and I believe he's getting some pushback because he's not playing very well. But he's got time to podcast.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:37:31
Exactly. And I just watched The Last Dance a couple of weekends ago. People have done worse. Dennis Robin was going to host WWE during the NBA Finals. They say that Michael Jordan was up gambling until four in the morning during finals games. I think that going to my hotel room and recording my thoughts on the job that I just did for 30 minutes. I think there could be worse things. And I got an email response about it saying, like, why is he doing this? Why do you think he's doing this? Well, if you've heard that, you've heard of the NBA TNT show. You've got Shaq Charles Barkley. It's like one of the biggest broadcasts, one of the best performing broadcast shows of the last 20 years. Green already has his spot on that show lined up. Those guys are aging out. He's already stepped in and filled in when his team wasn't in the playoffs a couple of years back, so he's set for that. He's just getting reps behind the microphone and he's building up an audience that he's going to have on the side because he's not going to be paid to be in the NBA forever, but he can be paid to do this podcast forever.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:38:29
Wait a second. You're telling me you just watched The Last Dance a few weeks ago?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:38:35
I re watched it. I watched it during The Lockdowns when it came out, but it's just one of the best I think it's the best documentary I've ever watched, and so I spent 10 hours over the weekend watching it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:38:46
I think the best part about that is you don't have to be a basketball fan in order to really appreciate it and love it. No, I still see more Michael Jordan shirts around the world than I do LeBron James.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:39:00
Exactly. They did such a fantastic job of turning it into a story. And that's why you're right, you don't have to be a basketball fan, but you see all of these characters, all of these players within this drama of trying to get all these personalities to come together and win. And that's, I think, ties back to the The Sound Off podcast don't necessarily have to be a fan of whatever podcast you're listening to, but if you can tell the story in the right way, you can attract so many people to listen to it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:39:27
What's something that keeps you up at night with regards to podcasting in the future?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:39:35
I'll open up the veil a little bit. Something that keeps me up at night is the economy is not doing great. We all know that. What's the easiest thing for someone to cut out of their budget?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:39:46
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:39:47
Always they are advertising their podcast, their podcast editor, their podcast producer. And so I am constantly worried about what ways can I further add value to my clients in order to show them what they're doing matters. But in terms of the podcasting industry, something that bothers me, I think, is the people that get into it because celebrities, specifically, they get into it because it's the hot thing. It annoyed me when Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen started a podcast and just put literally zero effort into it. But they knew that you got Obama and Springsteen's name tied to it. We're going to make a bag doing that. Whatever. It's a podcast. So it bothers me when people don't have a passion for the craft, which is people can look at me and say, well, that seems like a silly thing to care about, but I love this medium so much. It's what I was born to do, and I was lucky to figure out when I was 22. But it bothers me when people start podcasting for the wrong reasons.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:40:47
Don't you think that celebrities are going to get their come up and when it comes to that, like, people will listen to it for about three or four episodes and they go, that's nice, Bruce Springsteen. I really like you on the other end of Spotify when I'm listening to the songs and Barack Obama, that's nice and interesting. We've heard you before talking, and people flame out, because I do see that with celebrity podcast, the first four episodes are great, and then it drops down, and unless they really keep at it, then it might off.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:41:15
They really can ride on the coattails of their celebrity for really three to four episodes, and then people keep listening and they go, you are not as talented at this as I thought you would be. And it's hard to kind of you can't just ride on the name of your celebrity forever. So the folks that do stand out that are really good at this, like DAX Shepard, fantastic podcaster, great actor. At one point, a stand up comedian. But he's really coming to his own in podcasting. So that excites me, too, is that it's going to give people like DAX Shepherd dream on Green, people that excel in other aspects of life that can also excel in podcasting. So that, I guess, is the bright side of all this.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:41:51
What's your podcast app of choice?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:41:54
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:41:55
What's your next favorite?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:41:56
I like that my music and my podcasts are together, and I like that Spotify has the interactive time codes where I can just jump to different parts of an episode. And I also like that there's the video integration. If I'm going to watch Joe Rogan, I can actually watch it on my phone, which is nice.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:42:13
Okay, that's interesting that you mentioned about the time codes because I've seen it show up, but not everybody knows this. It's a bit of a hack, almost. I'm surprised more people don't know it. So why don't you explain to everybody who has a podcast about how you use those time codes and they kind of act like chapter markers, but they're not really.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:42:31
Yeah, they absolutely act like chapter markers. And this is one of my biggest upsells with all of my clients. I say you should have time codes in your podcast. And my sort of offering to that is as I'm going through and editing, I will mark down the time code. So if you're adding your own podcast, you're going through and you hit the point and you hit pause and it says nine minutes and 2 seconds. That's when I start to ask him the question about why he started his first business. I now put that into my show notes. I put Parenthetical 902 and Parenthetical and on Spotify that will coat it in the show notes to where I can just tap it and it will jump to that section in the podcast so I don't have to listen through and not necessarily know where the conversation is going to go. I can jump around and only listen to the parts that I want to listen to. Like, I have had one podcast where at the end of every episode, he asks his guest, what is the purpose of business, and he always gets really cool answers about it. And he's had guests come on and say, I love that you asked that question, and it's really my favorite part to listen to. I'll even skip to the end of the podcast and listen to that part first and then listen to the rest of the episode. So it allows people that have a favorite segment of your podcast to jump to that directly. Or if I'm a brand new listener, I'm not entirely sure that I want to dedicate an hour to your podcast. I can scroll through the shutdown. Oh, that seems like an interesting topic. Tap that. Listen to that ten minute segment. I've still given you a download. I still might give you a subscribe. I don't have to necessarily consume the entire episode, but I'm now a listener of your podcast.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:44:03
Is Spotify the only one that that works with?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:44:05
As far as I know, yes. Don't quote me on that. I'm sure the other ones do. I know that Apple does not, which is infuriating.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:44:14
Yeah. So more people will listen to my podcast on Apple than on Spotify.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:44:19
As with most podcasts, I would love.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:44:23
To do that and take the time to put those chapter markers in. It might be effective. But I've gone another route and started to do transcription instead.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:44:32
Transcripts are great. I think those are fantastic options.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:44:35
I just don't know. I guess it comes down to how much time we have to put into every episode, because I could do one episode and then spend the next six days polishing it up and having every bell and whistle into the show. But it really does come out to time and choice. I mean, even artwork, for instance.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:44:53
Oh, absolutely. And that's why I think it's best fit for someone who has the time to do that, or they're paying someone like us to put their podcast together on the back end. So it's really a value add kind of deal. And the way that I sell people on it is you want to make this. Your podcast is now in a sea of other shows that people have so much to choose from. And even outside of podcasting, I could go to YouTube, Instagram, Reels, Ticktok, even. There's so much there to choose from. How do you stand out? And if your podcast is just I click on the episode description and it's just two paragraphs of my name is Bill Joe, and I spent time with Bill Smith today, and he's the CEO of this manufacturing company. Enjoy. I don't really have a lot to go off of, but if I have all of the links to all of my social media, all of the links to build social media, every single topic that we talk about, and you can just scroll and you go, wow, someone put a lot of time into this. This is a much more professional product than the other podcast I was going to listen to where I only got two sentences out of it. You're now taking something that is essentially the same product, but now mine has much more perceived value.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:02
What's the biggest marketing mistake people make with their podcasts?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:46:07
You got me on that one.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:08
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:46:09
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:17
I was just wondering if that one would come out, but I'm thinking, yeah, there's that one and it really is just no website. I think you need to have one.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:46:25
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:26
Yeah. Johnny, what's the future of straight up podcasts look like for the rest of the year? More clients, more podcasts, more numbers and more downloads?
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:46:35
I think so. I really just want to become better at what I do. I want to make audio sound better so I can continue to pursue my passion of making podcasts. I think I'm going to move away from the straight up podcast name, though. I really started adopted this Johnny podcast persona, and I think tying that as the official business name, I think is probably the way to go.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:55
Well, I hope you have secured the domain. Okay, good, because I wasn't going to.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:47:00
Release the episode until you no, I bought Johnnypodcast.com. I own that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:47:04
All right, Johnny, thanks so much for doing this and being on the show.
Johnny Peterson (Guest) 00:47:08
Thank you, Matt.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:47:09
The Sound Off Podcast, written and hosted by Matt Cundill, produced by Evan Surminski. Social media by Courtney Krebsbach. Another great creation from the the Soundoff media company. There's always more at soundoffpocket.com.