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Have you ever thought about what it would take to have a radio show? Join Jules & Corinna as they connect with John “Jay” Wiley, host and producer of Law Enforcement Today and the Law Enforcement Today Podcast Network. You’ll learn how he moved from hosting a podcast that was coupled with a thriving Facebook group to terrestrial radio in his first 10 episodes. What is terrestrial radio, you might ask? You know, spaces you tune in “on the dial” on AM/FM — and these days some even lump “terrestrial” and “satellite” together in one pot (satellite = Sirius XM). You’ll discover how John “Jay” Wiley is even connected to Oprah, and hear his thoughts on what it takes to truly “make it” in broadcast media like podcasting, radio, YouTube and beyond.
You’ll also get a “tease” of a new podcast that Jules & Corinna are launching on 4/22/22!
About Our Guest:
Introducing John J. Wiley… His friends call him “Jay” (and that means you can too). While people like to use terms like radio personality, or broadcaster, he prefers the old school terminology of DJ. Prior to starting his career in radio he was a member of the Baltimore Police Department. As an officer he worked in the Northwest District of Baltimore in Patrol, Operations, and Plainclothes Drug Enforcement Unit. He was detailed to the DEA Task Force in the Baltimore Office for more than a year investigating drug distribution gangs in the Baltimore/Washington area. He was promoted to sergeant at which time he was assigned to the Central District and then the Northwest District. His career in the Baltimore Police Department was cut short by a disastrous line of duty hand injury. Sadly, after multiple surgeries, he was retired, and then successfully pivoted to the world of broadcast / terrestrial radio (and now podcasting). Jay is the host and producer of the Law Enforcement Today Podcast, with new episodes out each Monday.
00:00 Introductions & What to expect in today’s episode (including a surprise “tease” or two)
08:30 Meet John J. Wiley, host of Law Enforcement Today Podcast
13:00 Super niche podcast success with 2 examples: Motorcycles & Misfits and Supercar Blondie
15:15 How Jay grew his podcast, expanding his reach through terrestrial broadcasting radio (syndicated on AM/FM in 81 markets)
20:00 To bleep or not to bleep (on cuss words, brand names, and the FCC)
22:40 Monetizing Law Enforcement Today through sponsorships based on audience size / reach (radio reach of 24M in addition to podcast)
25:00 The importance of having BIG dreams and working HARD to reach them
27:30 On avoiding podfade and what it takes to make it in podcasting (including perspectives from Tracy Hazzard of Podetize, Liza Miller of Motorcycles & Misfits)
29:00 The importance of visualizing your audience — putting them FIRST
32:00 On meeting Oprah, working hard, and being authentically you
35:18 Paying it forward by building a network: Law Enforcement Today Podcast Network (it’s free to join)
38:30 Successful podcasts that have recently sold: Call Her Daddy hosted by Alex Cooper & LORE, hosted by Aaron Mahnke
42:20 Get a “tease” of an upcoming show Corinna & Jules are launching on 4/22/22 to help you discover your next favorite podcasts!
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Take Your Podcast To Traditional Radio For Greater Exposure & Success
Today we have an amazing show in store for you! We have the historian or the O. G., the original gangster of radio and podcasting. John J. Wiley — or as we like to call him, Jay, because only his family and closest friends call him.
Jay has a podcast called Law Enforcement Today. Amazing stories of trauma of first responders, of people that have experienced things that nobody really wants to experience… and he’s doing things a little differently, even as he’s had success now in this whole podcasting world and also in the broadcasting world through terrestrial radio and over 81 markets around the United States. He has actually decided to help others in the community of that first responder world, to help get their voices heard. He recently developed the Law Enforcement Today Podcast Network that anybody can join if they have a law enforcement – or first-responders – related podcast. So we’ll be talking about that with him a little bit as well. And I’m just so impressed with everything that I’ve learned from him thus far, from listening to his show.
I know that we’ll get into things. Cutting through the white noise, the kind of B S that we all hear. He is like the BS barometer, meaning. Everybody today is bombarded with being sold. Things like instant gratification that you can have a number one podcast that you can have a number one bestselling book that I can make you a million bucks in six months.
It’s all BS people. That’s not how business businesses are run, right? How they’re built.
But true business. True business is built on grit. It’s built on resilience, ingenuity, and thinking outside the box and putting in your time.
And leveraging your assets and leaning into discovering where opportunities exist and then working to amplify them.
However you can. I mean, those are all things that we know through the hard work of creating and producing our own efforts and podcasting and blogging and things along those lines, writing books, whatever it is that you’re out there doing, it doesn’t happen overnight, overnight success stories. Those are the unicorns, but even those overnight success stories, guess what a lot of work with.
To that person’s success. It’s not something that happens. Solo. We lean into these ideas of these stories that, oh, it’s just magically happened. That Oprah became Oprah, or it magical happened that Joe Rogan became Joe Rogan. I mean, these are individuals who put in a lot of time, effort and energy into their stories and they put them out into the world.
Time and again, in an architected manner to build a path towards success. And so these are the sorts of things that we’re going to be talking about with join today.
Right? And we all have upper dreams’ fun fact. He was interviewed by Oprah back in the day, Oprah, if you’re listening right now… Rate review and subscribe, because it’s all about our mindset, but truly, I think he knows the path of hard work and he is. Uh, life or he has created a life and an income to support himself and his family simply on podcasting and radio. So what we’re going to listen to, what we are about to hear is his path.
And I’m going to be taking notes because. He’s done it and he hasn’t taken any shortcuts. Don’t you ever think like don’t you ever just want to wake up Karena and you look at an Instagram account or a blog or one of your podcasts and it goes viral. I dream of that, but it’s, I mean, how often does it happen?
And the reality is there is a secret sauce to helping a post go viral as well, and guess what it includes advertising dollars. And so the reality is even those things that you see go viral, they don’t go viral. Usually by purely organic means. I mean, you’ll see the ocean spray tick-tock example as a one in a trillion sample.
Now that was an example of a purely organic posts that went viral, but it’s newsworthy because it was really purely organic. Most of what we hear about today, it isn’t that way. It’s what they do. They look at what topics are trending.
They choose a specific hashtag. They create a video that they think could possibly go viral and then they put money behind it and they advertise the heck out of it, because if they do all of those things in concert, then they’re going to be able to be more likely to hit the millions of views, as opposed to just the few and reach beyond the paid advertising to that viral advertising.
And so are not even advertising just by we’ll expose.
And to get discovered is almost impossible. You know, just throwing something out there on your RSS feed and expecting to receive the accolades that you Drima, those upper dreams, almost impossible, almost impossible. It is about being. Discerning and where you share all your brand, everything that is your brand is about being discerning, where you upload your RSS feed is about being discerning with your marketing dollars.
And. People want that instant gratification. And we’re going to squash those dreams today. We’re squashing your Oprah dreams today.
It’s actually just approaching your work, your podcast or book or your media tour with a bit of realism and helping people understand that it takes work to get there.
It’s not something that you can expect to happen overnight. Like magic. You’re not going to wake up one morning, go look at your RSS feed performance and see that you have millions of downloads. It just happened to occur while you slept. It takes. And it takes effort and it takes consistency and it takes showing up and it takes having great compelling guests and interviews with people just like John J. Wiley contest.
He’s an amazing guest. And it is, there is this alphabet soup of everything that you’re doing, but listening to someone, a historian, if you will, John J. Wiley his experience, his path taking. Understand get inspired, but take inspired action and don’t rely on instant gratification.
Don’t rely on social media. I’m I’m saying it. Sorry. Instagram, Facebook, whatever. We are speaking our truth. Aren’t we? Because we’re the media casters. And for those of you who are listening to this.
Stick around towards the end, because we have a bit of a surprise for you. We’re inviting John J. Wiley to be a part of something that we haven’t even told you guys about yet. So please stick around towards the end and you’ll get that news. And if you’re watching this on YouTube, you might even spot a surprise or two on the video.
We’ve got, the O G, of everything, radio and podcasting, because he has been around forever. John. You’re very young by the way. So I don’t want to make it sound like you’ve been around for centuries, but you’ve seen that evolution of being a radio broadcaster to what the heck is podcasting to harnessing all these different mediums, which I loved immediately. And you are always giving such good advice.
And I think it’s because you have a retrospective and history in this profession.
What I’m trying to do is just go with what I’ve experienced. And what’s been taught to me. I’ve had very good teachers along the way. I’ve had program directors and radio that give me instructions. I’ve had instructors at broadcast in school to give me instructions and lessons.
I’ve learned along the way. Now, one of the things being older, I remember when am radio com. There was no such thing as FM and then FM came along and they couldn’t get advertisers, so they would play whole album sides. So what we now call classic rock back then was album oriented rock and it was done at an assessment.
You say you play the entire one side of Leadville. Then the jock would talk for a minute and flip the album and then sort of background play back on because they couldn’t get advertised because no one knew what FM was go into. Now you go into
No what’s A.M. And what does it stand for? Right.
Hmm. Did not know that learned something today?
Yeah, so it was, here’s what I used to do when we were kids. We didn’t have televisions in our bedrooms. We had a radio. And quite often we had little kits where you make your own am radio. And what we do at night with the am stations is listened to faraway stations.
I was in Norfolk, Virginia. We listened to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, because the signal would carry tremendously at night and they played the same music as the stations here locally. But it was so fascinating to hear the personalities and what they’re talking about and need new vision in your mind.
Eight year old, what is it like to be in Boston? Uh, and you did this from, from your bedroom. So that’s where my love affair radio really started.
I love that idea of you just being an eight year old kid and just putting all your attention and to this like little transistor radio, if you will, and then taking your love and make it into something that has been your lifelong.
Yeah, I I’m. I was in police work for a long time, then got hurt, retired young, and began pursuing a career in broadcasting. And the way it started Julian Krishna is back in the early days of cool edit, not old Adobe edition. Cool. Edit I’d take an Ari 20 microphone. I had that I bought used I’d record a talk show.
It was called bike. Bros. And I load the MP3 file up on a website and put a download MP3 script, and people will listen from other places. And I was fascinated that we had people in Australia listening, and then I went to which a lot of people can do. I went to a brokered radio station in Palm beach county.
I bought my own time and there’s so many advertising. So I did a two hour show on Saturdays that was called biker talk radio, and it was all about the motorcycle lifestyle and events and travel, all kind of mixed in, uh, and I fell in love with radio. And then I went to night school for broadcasting, and I’ve been working full time as an FM music job for about 18 years, and then took what I learned from radio world formatics while it was delivery.
Being listener centric focused, um, one-on-one conversations, theater of the mind. Those are the things and combined with my law enforcement experience and created a podcast called law enforcement today. And the reason it’s called that is I partnered with someone that had a really big Facebook page. It’s talking about 630,000 people.
And I got from the, his audience much, much quicker than taking me to get my own. And that’s how other radio station heard an episode. And that’s where it all began.
So it’s like working at this intersection of your experience and two very different worlds than harnessing it altogether. So my friend Liza Miller, she has a garage in Santa Cruz that she opens up to people to allow them to come and work on their bikes in person every time.
Right. And so she also started a podcast with these people called motorcycles and misfits, and now it gets more than 5,000 downloads per episode, which is pretty big for such a super niche podcast. Right. And she’s had really famous people on as well, including, uh, Norman, I’m forgetting his last name. He’s a star on the walking dead TV show.
That’s really in the motorcycles. So she brought him on for her 400th episode. So to give you an idea, Many many episodes in, um, but she’s just got such a good warm heart and is all about building podcasts or community, and really doesn’t even seek advertisers isn’t or hasn’t taken the leap to take it to terrestrial radio when she absolutely could.
So I would love to talk about that. Talk about what it takes.
Well, first of all, I thought when you mentioned that there’s a video blogger. Because my name is supercar Blondie, and you need to check this lady out. And when she started, she started a show about exotic and high-performance cars. And from a novice’s standpoint of view, not an expert designed for people to view it.
People like me that can’t afford it for art. You can’t afford a Lamborghini or one of those. And look at the kind of numbers she’s generating and the kind of money that she and her husband. Created out of this show and what they did was they took a niche idea and made it accessible and attractive to a larger audience, but they never left their format.
So look up supercar, Blondie, and she is Meg making mega millions. I’ll put it that way. Uh, she is absolutely huge in YouTube world and also, uh, all kinds of video outlets.
That’s very cool. So I wanted to. Dig a little deeper into how your current podcast got started. I’ve listened to a couple of recent episodes and have really enjoyed the conversations you’re hosting there.
Um, the last two are the two latest were both with authors or cops who have become authors. People who work in. Tobacco, um, what do you call it? Oh yeah, the ATF agent. And then the, the cop from Brooklyn who was working a beat, um, basically a murder cases and homicide for many, many years. And you really get into their minds and their mindsets.
The things that they were going through, how they were thinking their lives and how they’ve changed since leaving the force. And ultimately it’s like this deep perspective, it’s almost psychological profiling in a way. And so I would love to just talk about first, how you got there. What made you decide to host a show that kind of is in this vein?
And also, you know, using that Facebook group to grow an audience really quickly, enabling you to go to terrestrial radio also, like what does that journey look like? And do you think it’s possible for somebody who has a podcast without that kind of a deep following to follow the same sort of tune and take their podcast to a terrestrial space?
The AM/FM radio, right. And some people now include like a Sirius XM in that realm as well as a little bit different beast. But yes, anybody can do it. I’m not a special case. What if I go back to the, what I want to do and there’s, there’s practical reasons why, and then there’s a creative reasons of what I want to do.
So I’ll cover the protocol. First. I’ve worked at radio stations where I’ve been the only. Person at that station. Everybody else is in network jock. No, one’s there. They’re all doing their shows from home and one person’s in Kansas. One’s in Texas. One’s in San Francisco whatevers. They record their, their bits.
It gets merged in and they’re done. So most of them never see that station. And the last station was at, beside the one. And now in the keys, I was told you’re the face of station. It’s your baby. You make it, or you break it. So every concert whatever’s going on around town, it was made. Here’s the thing with that, no matter how hard you work for a station in Europe, And when you grow this thing and you take a lot of pride in this thing for a lot of reasons, the day you quit and are there been fired from a radio job?
I’m one of the exceptions, but the day you quit, you stop making money. You no longer getting paid by those people. It doesn’t matter if you put 17 years in building this station, I’m not saying it’s a negative it’s business. You are done. You create a podcast. People are still listening to podcasts. I did four years ago, five years ago, I still got downloads on the first episodes I did and they’re still generating revenue.
And once that work is done, I never have to lift a finger to create something ever again, that intrigued me. So that’s the business. Let’s talk about the creative part. What got me going was partly my own experience working in law enforcement without telling, because my show is not about me. It’s about my guests, but I went through a really tough time with trauma and how it impacted my marriage and time with my children and my mental and emotional health and wanting to create a podcast for law enforcement officers, specifically their family members that were struggling.
The minute or radio station. And I know which episode it was, they listened to. There was an episode with a young lady named Stacy west, who was a young officer in Auburndale, Florida. And we, she was shot like three times with SKS rifle on, um, a domestic disturbance call and almost killed. And the audio from the dispatcher was included in that, that episode, they heard it and said, we got to have this.
What makes my show different? Is I tell radio stations we do for radio, what investigations cover does for television. So when you have watched these shows, let’s just say homicide hunter with, uh, my wife loves that show with, uh, Joe Kenda and Joe Kenda is retired police Lieutenant, and he tells his stories and he’s the, I had him as a guest on the show, but he just talks like cops talk and she goes, I loved it.
I see he’s D he’s talked like everybody. I know. And I told him that in the interview I had on my show, I said, Joe, you talked like everybody know. And he goes, the funny thing is when I interviewed for him and said, I’m not going to do an interview or an audition, like you’re used to, I’m going to tell you a story.
You like it, or you don’t, as we do those show, we focus on law enforcement officers either. They’re going to talk about investigating. And an aspect you don’t get to hear about. That’s about 40% of our guests. The others are law enforcement officers, other first responders, firefighters, EMT, paramedics, corrections officers, uh, military victims of crime, their spouses or survivors talking about trauma.
They went through how it impacted them personally, their lives or relationships, things that were important and what they did to build their lives afterwards. I know I use the term. Or recreate because there’s before and there’s after for a lot of these people and I just let them tell their stories.
There’s really no magic to it. I’m not an expert. I don’t tend to be an expert. I don’t pretend I don’t want to answer Julia like this. I don’t give them a form to fill out. I don’t do any of that. I have an ID where to talk about, and that’s it. We have a conversation just like us three are having a conversation and wherever it goes.
Well, John, you made a couple of comments and I think this is two shows ago when you were talking to the ATF guy about his work undercover and how you had tried at one point to, you know, go undercover and. So I think what does make the show work extra well? And I’m just going to say extra well is that you do have enough experience having worked as a cop to really relate to these people and have real raw, honest conversations with them.
I did also note that you bleeped the cuss words and that’s something you have to do for the terrestrial radio. But I wondered if you left that in on another version or somewhere else that’s bonus content or something like that.
If Julie, or you approached me and said, you want to come on.
And when you want to talk about a horrible part of your life, uh, and a big part of this story is how we grow from that. And if you can take that and someone listens goes, man, if they’re going to do that and they can overcome that, then I can make it through this. Well, when people get emotional, sometimes they say things they wish he had.
So a lot of times I edit things out, but I always leave out the curse words. Number one, for FCC and radio, cause I’ll get dropped in a heartbeat or fired or fined or by the FCC, whoever might be the other ones I believe about. And this is something that people would think is weird. I believe about brand names.
So if someone says I was at the home Depot, having a Coca-Cola, you’re going to hear I was in the bleep having a bleep cause they’re not paying me to be on my show. It’s about the person’s story. It’s not about these brand names. So believe me, and this is where the business part comes into it. You watch Yellowstone or something.
Television, you see a Dodge emblem on a truck by guaranteed is paying. They don’t get there for free. You watch these other shows and see a piece of black tape overload on a shirt. That’s because they’re not paying dumb thing. I was going to say is that it’s about the story. It’s not about brands. It’s not about details.
And I tell all my guests, this isn’t a 60 minutes interview. There’s no gotcha questions. If there’s something you don’t want to talk about. Just say, Hey, I can’t talk about that. Um, and we’ll, we’ll move on. We’ll we’ll do something else because it’s not live it’s recorded, which makes it takes a lot of pressure off the people and me as well.
Yeah. I love that John. And the things you’ve been mentioning, I’m hearing the word monetization a lot, and you’ve been doing this for such a long time. You were on a police force for tired, and then you honestly are doing what you love to do. Are you fully. Gaining an income from podcasting. And being on the radio.
Tell us, how do you do that?
The vast majority, it comes from radio. I’ll be honest with you. So you’ve heard me talk in clubhouse and social audio rooms. I have a media kit and I, I tell people a media kit is a moneymaker. And by the way, if you don’t have one of your podcasts or you don’t have a media kit, you can borrow mine and use it as a guide for building yours.What I do is I show a potential sponsor and that’s a term I like to use. I don’t like to use advertisers, uh, but I used the term sponsor. I show them, they’re going to get in front of X amount of people on social media. They’re going to get X amount of people in radio with reaches on radio and X amount of people in podcasts.
And the reason I do that is because we are. Affected in approached by the CPM world for rig for podcasts, advertising CPM is not a bad deal. I’ll say it all the time. CPM stands for coughing pod-casters money, but it’s not a bad deal. It’s a great way to get started. So your pre-roll ads on your like mine is Omni studio.
That’s CPM that helps pay the bills. However, when I talk to sponsor, I just got a new premier sponsor and I’m working on getting them done. The main thing is, and I say, you’re on 81 radio stations broadcast at 24 million combined population. Then you’re gonna go on social media and our total social media network, including group.
Twitter Instagram it’s about 1.6 million. So you’re going to get exposure on the night as well, and you’ll be on a podcast. And here’s the magical part about podcasting. This is one of the reasons I tell people to stay away from CPM conversation and stay away from numbers is when you pay for that ad, it’s just say you do a month at a time or three weeks.
Six months, two years later down the road, you’re still getting listens because your ad is baked in, in the show notes out or in the audio you’re still being listened to and you’re not paying for it. That’s a huge plus for all advertisers, you can still continue to get reach, even though you haven’t paid any money.
And at that post goes viral. Guess what you get in front of tens of thousands more.
Well, I think everybody’s all, you know, when they’re entering into podcasting or radio or writing a book or getting on stages or becoming an entrepreneur, everyone’s looking for the pot at the end of the rainbow, and I’m sure it’s taken you a while to get there.
Lots and lots of, I posted a post earlier and it’s a line from the John Lennon song and I think it goes something like you’re on a paraphrase, the John Lennon song. Imagine some say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. So when it comes to radio and podcasts, I have big dreams. And I’ll be honest with you, ladies.
I’m shocked that I’m where I’m at. I’m shocked. I’m on 81 radio stations. However, I still dream big. I want more, I want to be in front of a bigger audience because being a radio, I can drive traffic to my podcast. I’m drug traffic to social media. I can drive traffic, email newsletter. I can draw traffic to websites.
Those are all things. And there’s things like data and other things you can do when you listen to the top syndicated tacos on radio, they’re all doing. Every one of them. Uh, so some of them are making millions of dollars a year on their podcasts alone, making far more than a podcast that you do on the radio.
However, radio is a great way to drive a lot of people to certain destinations. Um, so what I say that I’m a dreamer yet big dreams, but what a lot of people don’t. It is the amount of work it’s taken. Um, and I’ll just say Facebook, for example, I post on all social media platforms on main focus is Facebook and has been for five years since I’ve been doing this, I post 6:00 AM till midnight, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
I schedule most stuff at a time. And on average it’s once every hour and 10 minutes, some wife says you’re always on that. I’m always working. People don’t see is the amount of work it takes to get to where you’re at and to maintain where you’re at. The other thing is that Facebook platform becomes a revenue stream in and of itself, but it takes a lot of work.
People that have big dreams are phenomenal. People don’t want to work for those dreams. What’s the old saying about dreaming one hand and you know what, and the other ones which fills up faster. Well, if you don’t work. I hate to tell you, most people are not overnight successes. You’re going to be disappointed.
Well, and that’s why I think Tracy Hazzard who’s the CEO of says that she considers any show that doesn’t make it to a hundred episodes. As if it is pod faded. And I know that most pod fade by episode seven. And so that’s just telling you something because it takes a while to establish that credibility and to establish that audience, it doesn’t happen overnight.
And so people need to kind of be in it with a vision for the long haul in order, if they really do hope to turn it into something that can generate a revenue and build and build and build Liza Miller, who I mentioned earlier said to me, when I got ready to launch my first podcast, You won’t even know what you have until you reach your hundredth episode.
And so I find that really interesting from very experienced podcasters or those that work in broadcast media that they reflect on that 100 episode piece as a bit of a milestone is something that you really need to kind of get past before you can even really ascertain what your success has been and what might need to change if anything, or what you should lean into.
So I wonder what your perspective is on that. Does it take a hundred episodes?
Well, it depends. I think if you’ve been in radio for a while and you’ve had a lot of great teachers, like I’ve had, you’ve got a headstart, uh, there’s basic rules that you don’t do. For example, you don’t start off, you have a one-to-one conversation.
Um, and I remember being in my first radio job, I felt like I was alluded to talking in the closet by myself. Cause everybody left the radio station and by three o’clock it was just me. Yeah. So it’s kind of weird, but I put a picture up of. And a station wagon with a little kid in the backseat behind her.
And that’s who I talked to. And the reason I did that was two fold. So I didn’t feel like I was talking to myself what you really are, but also I never want to put her in a position where she had explained it as little kid, what I said. So I didn’t want to put her in an awkward position. What I’d rather do is make her smile, make her laugh.
If I can make someone forget about their troubles for two, for two minutes. And laugh and I’ve done something great, or I can help you avoid a traffic jam. Now that’s the radio world. So the podcasting, the reason I say that is you’re going to have to. It’s a learning curve about the microphone, how to talk, how to have a conversation, how to have the one-on-one conversation, little tips and tricks you can do to be more efficient with your time on your listeners time, uh, how to engage theater of the mind, how to do things like that, so that you are more productive.
It’s going to take a while. So people after about six or seven episodes, if it’s their first time behind the microphone, chances are, I hate to break it to you. You’re doing a sock. It’s just going to be bad, but about a hundred episodes down the road, you’ll be amazed at how much better you sound, how much more comfortable you are, how much more proficient you are behind the microphone.
How much better you are having a conversation to a listener than you weren’t in the beginning. And the only way you can tell that is by doing.
I think that speaks to everybody wanting instant gratification these days. Have you seen a change or in the different decades that you’ve been doing this, how people are performing.
Well, I’m not going to ask you ladies, your age or your first time. I’m old.
I’m the oldest here. Corinna. The second oldest
I am the oldest. My very first job was, was delivering groceries at a grocery store, a mom and pop grocery store in Norfolk, Virginia at 14. And it was on a bicycle and I was doing things that you’re not allowed to do was making sausage.
Uh, so it was a Greek owned family that had this. And I was thrilled to have that job because. We grew up in a, in a military family and no one had money. No one I knew had money. So if you wanted Levis, which I wanted desperately and converse sneakers, which were the thing to have back then, or Birdwell beach bridges, you had to get a job.
You had to get a job. You got to earn it because. It wasn’t coming under the tree. It just wasn’t an option. So what I see nowadays, and I hate stereotypes and generalizations, but where I see nowadays, what I hear nowadays is that I want to be an overnight success. And what they don’t see is the years of the people put in work.
And here’s a great idea. Oprah Winfrey. Uh, they don’t come much bigger in the entertainment, broadcasting space and Oprah Winfrey. A lot of people don’t realize this and unsure. She forgot, but she interviewed me when I was a cop in Baltimore. When she worked at what was the news anchor, one of the news anchors, the WJC 13 in Baltimore, and she interviewed me about a news.
She remembers you, I’m sure.
Thank you. So a few years later back then she was doing her job with maybe one producer, two producers. That was it. When they went on site to, uh, Uh, a call for what? For lack of better words, like my interview, they had the video operator, the video camera operator and her, that was it.
And a little earpiece. When we called into the live broadcast where they’re doing a recorded bit, whatever might be. Then when she started her syndicated show, you look what you did in the early days. Didn’t have the staff. She does. It has, it has grown tremendously. Now she’s got her own network. She’s a lot of other things.
She’s got a huge staff. She does things that I’m sure back in the 1980s, when she interviewed me, she didn’t realize she was going to be doing, but she dreamed, and she worked her tail feathers off to get there. And that’s what it requires working hard to get there. Right.
That’s exactly right. And the layer of vulnerability that I so admire of upper window.
Sharing her story and not being bound to the facade of being someone that she wasn’t. She was always authentically herself.
Yeah. She’s always been her. That’s the thing. And I think Corinna kind of hit on it when she said the interviews are people I have when I’ve had guests on my show that I don’t have a point of reference to.
And. Um, here’s an example. I had a woman on who’s college age son died by suicide, and I told people the very beginning, a lot of our conversations are really tough. This one doesn’t get any tougher. This one’s tough as nails and I had to tell her I don’t understand, but I know from being on scenes as a cop, what I had to do, I know the emotional effects.
I know what it’s like to be 22 knocking on the door of someone’s house and telling her 23 year old son was killed in the car. And you think at 22, you’ve got to going on. Trust me. I had no idea what’s going on at that point in my life. Um, so I don’t have a point of comparison, but I do have my unique experience and that is, look, this is who I am.
This is what I am. And you can take it or leave it. It’s I’m not trying to impress anybody.
Corinna Bellizzi: Right. Well, you bring that authenticity through and I mean, I, I’m just going to keep listening to your show, even though, you know, I’m not a beat cop, I’ve never been a cop. I thought about it for a little bit, for a hot minute… I noticed that you’re doing something different because I listened to a few of the ads that are running on your show.
One of those is that you’re essentially building what seems to be a network of shows that are. Hosted around the subject of law enforcement. And so I wanted to open the door to talking about that and really see how you’re bringing it together. What shows you’re excited about and you know, why you decided to do.
Well, I didn’t get to where I’m at by myself. I had people help me. So what was it’s called the let or law enforce a podcast network. And I’d say 95% of the shows are first responder based. Then you have a few that are, uh, want to say first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, you name it. Uh, then there’s other ones that are military and other ones that have nothing to do with law enforcement.
And so we’ve started adding those. And what I try to do is give them a heads up and say, here’s what to do. There’s no charge, it’s free. You don’t have to do ad swaps. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t change your hosting plan. You don’t do anything. We’re going to give you a space on it on a web.
We’re going to promote it on our podcasts and our radio show. And that way you can help get more traffic and discoverability for your show that rest of it is up to you. And the reality in the podcasting space, the hardest thing is discoverability. The hardest thing creating shows, interviewing people takes a little bit of time editing.
It takes a little bit of time. The marketing promotion is a non-stop thing. So if people, if you don’t create the content we talked about earlier, you’ve got nothing to give people, so create the content, but then work on discoverability. So with the let podcast network, that’s what we do. Um, and if they take advantage of that, great.
If they don’t well, we did, I sleep well.
And they retain the rights of their shows, correct?
Absolutely. Yeah. It’s their show, just like our syndicated show. It’s my show. I don’t work for someone else I do with the word warrant. So on the LT podcast, network dishes say you two wanted to come on and have you show posted, just send me an email and I’ll send you the information and I’ll put it up there.
It takes me about 20 minutes to build the page. And if you benefit from the increased traffic, phenomenal, if you don’t. Maybe you need to look at it, creating content that appeals to a listener more, and that doesn’t have to mean it has been a law enforcement space. It could be outside of it as well. Very
Well, I love that, you know, this is something that we’ve been looking at too. Like how do we help others and the podcasting community reach more people because it’s very hard to be discovered, especially if you’re an independent podcaster and you’re not backed by major. Like iHeart media or Spotify or any of the others and new and noteworthy.
And I don’t think there is such a thing as a discoverability for podcasters, you are your brand and you have to be putting your own sweat and tears into getting yourself discovered
It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot, you know, these, these networks like Wondery and his other ones. You’ve got to have a big show already with a big audience for the approach.
You listen, people, the Spotify didn’t pace. I think it’s $16 million for Joe Rutland show because no one knew of him. He already was a big show and it was a big show cause he has a lot of years of work behind it. Uh, there’s another one that was sold for a ton of money was, um, Alice Cooper show Paul, call me daddy or call her daddy that was sold for a lot.
That woman. Hard on our show, really hard. There’s other ones, life lore, L O R E, which is a huge podcast. And if you ever get a chance to hear Aaron, Mankey talk, he’s a great person to listen to. He calls himself an accidental podcast or success. Yeah.
Why do I know that name? I always heard it
He shows up in clubhouse periodically, but he’s oftentimes doesn’t talk.
So one of the things. Is when you’re in these rooms currently you’re in a room or something. And looking at the people in the audience that are not talking and click on our bios and some of them literally can change your world, but most people don’t take the time to look for the.
Yeah, true. I completely agree.
I mean, we met on clubhouse. Yay. And we’re changing each other’s lives
and it is about every person we meet, whether we’re on clubhouse or in real life. Every single person changes your life in some manner, every relationship changes your life and
What to do and a lot of what not to do.
Oh, I want to hear what not to do sometimes.
What not to do is the most important in life, especially. Well, what I hear people say all the time and podcasting rooms in clubhouse is build your authority or niche. And while those things sound great, most of the time they heard someone else say, and then they go, man, that sounds really deep and really profound.
And they’re repeated like a parrot and they have no idea what they’re talking about. So for example, my show, it started off with a very specific niche or niche. However you want to pronounce it. The minute one to radio, I’d expanded. And here’s the analogy I use. You probably heard me say this. I live in south Florida.
We have interstate 95 real close to us. It has north and south. It’s slight variations, depending on where you’re at, but in parts of Miami, it’s six lanes in each direction. Heading north and south, you go a couple hours. North it’s two lanes in each direction. When I started my show, it was two lanes in each direction.
I need to expand it to six lanes in each direction. It’s still stayed in the same general area. So that niche concept, and here’s a person that I’m not going to get real specific. There was a person that used to be in the early days of clubhouse would say, I don’t understand why he can’t get less. And say, what’s your show about it’s about electric bicycles.
Okay. But then I kind of get that stuff. Then he goes, oh no, no. It’s about electric bicycles and motors and not motorcycle motocross or bicycle, cross mountain electric, motorcycle bikes. That’s the whole show. I said, do you think you might want to put in some travel aspects that maybe increase the size of your audience?
No, no, no. It’s gotta be about. Bicycles. It’s gotta be about electric, this type of bicycle in specific, well, guess what, how many people are wordless? Five three.
Yeah, my mom and dad and John J. Wiley, that’s it? No, that’s amazing. And I love the idea of clubhouse, which is social audio, and that’s where I not only met my business.
Bestie Corinna Bellizzi – and now our newest Bestie – John J. Wiley, but, uh, you know, there are some really great things. It’s filtering out the white noise, especially on the social audio platforms, because there’s a lot of people just trying to sell you things. There’s nothing more maddening about those predators on social audio and social media.
But John J. Wiley is not that person a thousand.
Now you also have me thinking about one more thing. Yes. Julie mentioned white noise and teasing through the white noise in the world of podcasting. We have chosen to launch a show this next Friday, which will be Friday, April 22nd. We’re going to launch a trailer for pod teas.
And this is a show where we introduce people to. Other podcasts that they might not have heard of before or other radio shows that they might not have heard before. So our hope is that we can also procure an episode of yours to feature on the show.
Absolutely. But there’s so many great ones that you tell me which one you want and I’ll send it.
Alright, that sounds perfect. We might have to pick two Corrina. We might have to pick two. We can parse them out. And thank you so much for taking this time with us today, John, and you’re celebrating everyday heroes and in our minds, you’re an everyday hero. Maybe not an everyday, but an amazing hero, doing it, serving, serving your community, and then serving a community at large with these.
Prolific stories. We are honored that you’re, that you agreed to be a guest here on the media castor. So thank you, John.
Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
We’re going to have to ask you to do two things for us. Two words, two words, kick it, kick it, kick it.
Let’s kick it.