Don’t call it a Mid-life Crisis
Have you ever been on the other side of that interview question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” If you had asked me this question at age 36, I would’ve gotten the answer wrong. Dead wrong.
I spent 16 years of my life designing websites and leading teams of developers, copywriters, and designers. That all changed in 2014–coincidentally the same year I turned 40–after starting my own marketing consulting business.
I wanted to share my knowledge with other eCommerce marketers, so I tried my hand at this emerging medium, podcasting. The Marketing Group Therapy podcast was the beginning of a new obsession … a new creative outlet … and a new way to meet and interact with people.
I must have done something right …
… Because, I was quickly recognized for my easygoing, conversational interview style which in turn lead to deals with companies including iHeartMedia, TechMedia, and Advertising Week. Podcasting has taken me from the Triangle of North Carolina to Times Square in New York City and allowed me to interview platinum recording artists, Emmy winners, and C-suite executives from top marketing and advertising companies.
I have a strong desire to always take my shows to a higher level. That attention to detail that was with me throughout my career as a web designer has carried through into podcasting. Inspiration from shows like Radiolab, TED Radio Hour, and This American Life have me constantly pushing my limits.
I also have a bit of a secret (not-so-secret) man crush on Ira Glass and am desperate for him to notice me … in a positive way. He did awkwardly wave back at me once in New York. Oh, and the time he was speaking on a panel at B.B. King’s and the security dude didn’t want to let him in because he wasn’t wearing a name badge since his handler had it. I came to his defense and was like, “that’s Ira Glass. He’s the reason we’re here.” So there’s that.
Podcasting has helped me build an amazing network …
… of other business leaders, podcasters and influencers of all kinds. I’ve even grown a Twitter following of over 50,000 people. And then it became time to put it to work for me.
In late 2015, that network produced a connection that would soon lead to an exciting new business. My Co-founder, Marc Raco, and I launched PodAbility™ Podcast Workshops to teach would-be and novice podcast producers the skills they need to create shows of substance. Podcasts that, not only attract an audience, but continue to engage them with quality content and sound with every episode they produce.
You see, it’s not enough for me to give people the basics and send them off to produce another piece of crap show that gets lost in the 150,000 active podcasts out there … only to add to the noise and fall apart after seven episodes. We want more diversity, more creativity, and more beautifully crafted shows to draw in more ears to this wonderful world of podcasting.
We launched our first PodAbility™ event in New York City to raving reviews by the attendees, speakers and hosts at the different venues.
That brings us to today. I no longer introduce myself as a digital marketer. I am BJ Smith and I … am a Podcast Producer. Honestly, I think it’s just a coincidence that this career change started at 40 … probably.
Want to work with me?
Full-time, part-time, or contract?
If I did my job properly so far, you’re at least a little curious to learn more. So … Let’s talk!
- Script Writing
- Equipment Nerd
- Adobe Audition
- Team Management
- Project Management
- Website Design and User Experience (UX)
- Email Marketing and List Building
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing/Ads
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Team Management
- Project Management
- Teaching (collegiate level)
- Can run 26.2 miles without dying (once)
- Organize office Olympic-style games
- Stand up for people unfairly targeted by security dudes
More about the Marketing Stuff
I joined the Digital Marketing industry in 1998 where I have several accomplishments including the invention of Facebook …
Ok, it wasn’t really Facebook, but it was an original idea that I launched with my co-worker, Robert, back in 2001 … Three years before the social media giant. I love to tell the story, so be sure to ask me about it. I’ve learned many lessons about marketing since then.
I’ve been asked to write articles and speak at industry conferences, but my favorite honor was being asked to join the Product Advisory Board at Bronto Software. I had the ability to affect the direction of the number one email marketing service of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 companies.
I’m passionate about teaching and I love to talk. After years of working roles in various size organizations, including design and strategies for multi-million dollar eCommerce businesses, I turned to teaching these skills to college students as an adjunct web design instructor.