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Today we are joined by Bree Johnson, big sister, digital marketing strategist, web-designer, owner of TBJ Digital Consulting & Brands and a serial connector of women. She exists to motivate women to improve mindset, money and mental health in order to master one’s life.

Have you ever felt that the trappings of the life you thought you wanted were leaving you filled with unhappiness? Our guest knows exactly how you feel. Bree moved to Atlanta to help with the Abrams campaign. What a great opportunity and steppingstone to her corporate dreams of becoming the Chief Marketing Officer for a national corporation. She was grateful and was very unhappy at the same time. Bree decided it was time to make some changes. She threw away her corporate dreams and picked up the baton to entrepreneurship. She leaned into her own confidence, and she found a happiness that came from putting her mind to being exceptional in her field.  

Listen to this episode to:

  • Leave fear behind
  • Gain strength through transition
  • Lean on your support system
  • Pursue your dreams
  • Stop living in the confines of other’s expectations
  • Learn 3 Digital Marketing Tips to make your company stand out!

Find Bree Johnson: Website | Instagram

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Transcript Below:

00:00:10 April Grant
Hello. This is April, and welcome to another episode of the other side of 40 today I’m excited toe have on Bree Johnson.

00:00:20 April Grant
She is a big sister, digital marketing strategist, Web designer and owner of T. B J Digital Consulting in T, B J T V D J brands and a serial connector of women.

00:00:34 April Grant
And we That’s what we do here. We really want to connect with women and make sure that we are all, um, we’re stronger Together.

00:00:44 April Grant
She exists to motivate women to improve their mindset, money and mental health so they could master their lives. She started several small businesses and has seen herself becoming the CEO of a successful conglomerate.

00:00:59 April Grant
Playing business was her favorite game, and she always loved new school supplies.

00:01:06 April Grant
So here she is. Breathe now, typically, you know, I asked about the awakening moment and, um, breathe a little younger. So she had her is a little earlier. So can you tell us about it?

00:01:19 Bree Johnson
Um, yes. So actually, back in May, um,

00:01:25 Bree Johnson
after my 27th birthday, I realized that I was unhappy and suffocating.

00:01:33 Bree Johnson
I work full time. I worked full time. It’s a digital director for a national nonprofit and I had moved to Atlanta to be the digital director for, um to 2018 coordinated campaign to elect satiate rooms eso I

00:01:52 Bree Johnson
most of my like day or week. Um, I spent working. I worked, like, 60 70 hours a week. Andi, I still have my business. Um, And when I moved to L. A and I moved here without any of my family or any of my friends and I hated my job, but I was too, like,

00:02:13 Bree Johnson
I don’t know, I was too scared to say that I hated my job because I felt like I had such this privilege at, you know, a younger age to be in my role, that I should have been grateful for it. And I was grateful, but I was also unhappy.

00:02:27 Bree Johnson
Um, and as someone who formerly struggle with depression and invited me, I knew that I needed to take control of my life in my circumstances before it went sideways. So I

00:02:42 Bree Johnson
remember. I just remember after my birthday, I woke up and I was like, crying and I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t know I was crying. I just felt like someone was like standing on my chest and like in my life, and I didn’t know, like why. And I

00:02:56 Bree Johnson
thought about all the things I was unhappy about. And my first step was to go on by a dog. So I had this. I had this roommate who I hate it, Um, and so I would never stay in my apartment because I hated this roommate. Eso I felt like I was in limbo because I didn’t have anywhere. I had somewhere to stay. Like I was paying rent for this apartment that I wouldn’t stay in. Um, s o I had asked her if I could buy a dog, you know, out of, like, courtesy. And she told me no. And I went and bought the dog anyway, okay? And so that was like, this thing. And I was like,

00:03:30 Bree Johnson
I actually just don’t even want to be here. So I paid Thio cancel our lease, like, four months early, and I moved out of the apartment back into my own space and like, that was the beginning. And then once I got into my own space, I was like, Okay, so it’s not just the apartment, it’s also the job

00:03:50 Bree Johnson
and I can’t keep doing this s o in the middle of a global pandemic. I quit my job.

00:03:56 April Grant
Okay. Oh, so we’re talking about right now? Yes. Yes.

00:04:02 Bree Johnson
I woke up on a Monday morning and was like, I am quitting and sent in my resignation letter.

00:04:11 Bree Johnson
Um, and I was out of a job a week later, and it was the best decision I ever made. The dog, the apartment, the job. It was all the best decision I could have ever made for myself.

00:04:25 April Grant
Well, so tell us. I’m assuming you started T B J Enterprises and your brand after that. So what made you go into this line of work? It sounds like you worked in digital before, But tell us a little bit more about the transition from employees to, uh,

00:04:43 April Grant
business owner.

00:04:45 Bree Johnson
Yes. So I’ve had my business for 60 years. Um,

00:04:49 Bree Johnson
and I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. I thought that I was gonna work my way up in corporate America and be like the chief marketing officer for Target. Um, I thought I was going to stay in corporate America, and, you know, just do that. And

00:05:04 Bree Johnson
as the years went on, like my business just started taking more of a priority, and I enjoyed it more. And, um, when it came time to quit my job, I was making Maurin my business. Then I waas

00:05:18 Bree Johnson
as a digital director.

00:05:20 Bree Johnson
Um and so the conversation I have it myself was Do I really not want to do this because I’m scared of, like, health insurance? Or do I want to go ahead and take control of my life and, like, stop making excuses to, like,

00:05:36 Bree Johnson
evade my unhappiness? Um, and I had my business for six years, so it was proven that I could do it, and it was proven, um, that I had a client base and that I knew what I was doing. Um, I was just scared, and so I stopped being scared.

00:05:54 April Grant
So what did you What did you do to stop being scared? I mean, is there a process you took, or did you just kind of jump off a cliff or

00:06:02 April Grant
I mean, you quit your job, So I guess technically, that is jumping off the cliff. But what did anything else give you, like the confidence toe lean into your business versus saying, you know seeking that comfort of your position.

00:06:16 Bree Johnson
Yeah, so pretty much everyone. I’m fortunate enough to have a very supportive village of people. Um and so they were all, you know, witnessing my spiral of unhappiness, and they were encouraging me to figure it out. And maybe for like, the three months before I quit my job. I started this morning routine where I will wake up and I would burn like Palo Santo. And I would say my information’s and I would write in my journal and I read the Bible. Um, and I would work out and I would meditate. I would do these things, like every morning because I was trying Thio when I started it, I was trying to brace myself for the day, like I was trying to feel myself with so many good things that I could make it through the day. And what it turned into is I was feeling myself with, like, the confidence to not just make it through the day, but to take control of my day and to honor myself and my feelings and to be true to how I was feeling. And I think that from that stemmed my like

00:07:20 Bree Johnson
I’m not going to keep doing this. So it’s okay. Like I’m just I’m not going to keep doing this. I’m gonna go and do something else. Andi, I think that that started with me really? Clearing out 90 minutes in the morning to focus on how I was feeling and figure that out. Right?

00:07:39 April Grant
Right.

00:07:40 April Grant
So, um,

00:07:42 April Grant
what, what was super uncomfortable about changing the position? So I know we were You’re kind of part of the form. You said, um, that getting out of your comfort zone. So what part of it was really getting out of your comfort zone? I mean, for me getting up 90 minutes early, Um, and with the kids in the house beads 90 minutes earlier than them getting up. That’s completely out of my comfort zone right now. So, um, what else did you do to get out of your comfort zone?

00:08:12 Bree Johnson
Yes. So for me, getting up 90 minutes earlier

00:08:16 Bree Johnson
as a person who is not a morning person at all, um was definitely out of my comfort zone. But I think also the major thing that was out of my comfort zone was my reluctance to not quit because I wanted a paycheck like I was. I was very comfortable with receiving a paycheck and showing up unhappy and halfway to a job like I was because I knew, like, my bills would be paid. And,

00:08:45 Bree Johnson
you know, I could I could work on my business as a hobby. I didn’t have Thio, um, push myself to figure that out because it wasn’t my only source of income. And I really thought that, like corporate America was like this cushiony pillow of security, right? Like

00:09:03 April Grant
I would say, that’s what they tell you exactly.

00:09:06 Bree Johnson
And I bought into it, which is crazy because my dad is an entrepreneur. Like I grew up in the people who were around me and who raised me. They were all entrepreneurs. Um And so then here I go and I try and chart my own path and corporate America, and I hate it and the suffocating. But for me, it felt like this safe place where I knew I would get a check and I could pay my rent. Um, and stepping out of that was challenging.

00:09:35 Bree Johnson
I

00:09:35 April Grant
mean, that is something that I know a lot of us have dealt with. Is making the choice of that steady paycheck every week or two weeks versus

00:09:46 April Grant
you’re going to do the same hustle. But especially in the beginning, that paycheck may not be consistent until you get into a good rhythm. So, you know, trying to understand that kind of dynamic in becoming a full time entrepreneur. So what have you learned so far? And you’re I mean, you just started. So what are the even in the few months, have you learned

00:10:12 April Grant
really about growing your business or making it more consistent or whatever there would would be,

00:10:19 Bree Johnson
Yeah. So basically, I learned that I could do anything I put my mind to like, there really isn’t a stealing

00:10:27 Bree Johnson
for me unless I create one. So if I want to make sure that my rent is paid, then how many clients do I need to make sure that my Rennes state, you know, I’ve learned that I can do hard things, you know, like I can’t advocate for myself. I can show up when I don’t feel like it or when I’m tired. Um, and I’ve I’ve also learned that I’m

00:10:50 Bree Johnson
exceptional at what I do when I’m not being forced to do it under like the conditions of corporate America. You know, like it’s easy. It’s easy to talk to my audience because I know who they are. And I can talk to them without it being whitewashed or water down or, you know, anything like that, because I’m literally just doing

00:11:13 Bree Johnson
what I’m good at and the gift that God gave me. Um, and I think that sometimes we have these gifts and we take them into corporate America. And then when we feel like maybe we aren’t that good at it or we’re not exceptional at it because we’re trying to do it within the confines of someone who doesn’t really understand our gift. But when we have complete control and autonomy over how we cultivate our gift and use our gift, then you realize that it’s not really up to anyone else to tell you how you use it. You gotta figure that out because the only person who can’t figure it out is you.

00:11:47 Bree Johnson
And because I didn’t have any choice but to figure it out right Like I’m seeing myself, I’m seeing my business. I’m seeing even just like my happiness, shine in a way that like I didn’t even know it could.

00:12:01 April Grant
Okay,

00:12:02 April Grant
so tell us a little bit more about your actual business,

00:12:05 Bree Johnson
so I own a number of businesses, but the one that, like

00:12:11 Bree Johnson
I do full time is called T P J digital consultant. And really, what we do is we help women entrepreneurs create profitable marketing campaigns so they can get more sales and clients online. So a lot of times, right, like we’re downloading freebies and we’re doing Google searches, and we’re trying to piece together all of these strategies to market ourselves in front of our deal audiences. But and we do it under the premise that, like marketing, is this one size fits all thing. And if I just do this step this way, that this person told me, I’ll get the same results is them and that’s not true. Marketing is more of an experiment. It’s more of like a test or retest. So what I do is I help my audience learn how to test and retest with their audience. I teach them how to create goals and achieve those goals and how to build out signature services that their audience actually wants and that they’re excited and ready to purchase. Um, and not through a one size fits all strategy, but through more of, like, an experiment and listening and test things are retesting and really figuring out what your gift is and how it aligns with what your audience wants. Um, because I feel like that’s my zone. Ingenious. So that’s what I dio, um, most of the time. But I also have a podcast on my dad called Candid Conversations with my Dad. I have a thank you have a virtual book club with my business. Pesty called the Business Specially Book club is for high achieving women on. We meet twice a month, and we talk about books that are, like personal development, spiritually development, financial development, all of the things. Next month, we’re gonna be reading Untamed by Glenn and oil. I’m super excited about that. Um, and then I have the Bree Johnson, which is like, where I blogged. And it’s kind of like where I house like my speaking and things like that, eh? So those were my businesses.

00:14:08 April Grant
Wow. That’s a lot. You got a lot going on already? 27. Um, that is, uh, a lot.

00:14:19 April Grant
What I was gonna ask. So for your digital marketing company, can you give the audience like, three tips

00:14:27 April Grant
that they should have in their mind when they’re preparing a digital marketing campaign?

00:14:32 Bree Johnson
Of course. So the first one is you really want to identify what your goal is, and a goal is not. I want to launch this program and get 20 new clients. Um, you want to get, like, really into the weeds about the goal? So if you have a new service called the Organize Your Life, of course there isn’t that I don’t know. Then your your goal would be something like I would like to enroll um, six women over the next 14 days into my organize your life course by implementing these three strategies on these platforms Um and then you wanna block off time in your calendar. Thio, implement those strategies and you wanna measure the success of those strategies as an example of one of your strategies is to post every day on instagram and you go into your instagram insights and you realize that you really only get the most engagement on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then you can save yourself five hours of time, the other five days a week when you’re posting by not posting on those days and using that time to do something else that will increase your revenue or get in front of your audience. Maybe that’s pitching yourself to bit to be on podcast or TV shows or anything where your target audience lives, Um, or writing blog’s or newsletters, where your audience can consume content related toe to the program that you’re pitching.

00:16:05 Bree Johnson
So that’s one tip. Another tip is to look for a complimentary audiences. So who do you follow on Instagram, who sales a service or course or program where you can be a compliment, toe what they are doing? Because then you can penetrate their audience in a way that is in competitor Ori. Um, so that’s another tip, Um, and then the third tip is Thio really like test your message and so get your audience involved in the message and that you use on your website so and you can do that through, like polls or questions on Instagram, think about like what you want your brand tag line to be, and maybe you do a poll with your audience and say, like, do you like this one or this one? Um, maybe when it’s time to launch programs and you’re thinking about, like, the pain points that you want to solve or the desires that you want to help them achieve. Maybe you ask your audience what it is that they’re struggling with and use the language that they give you to position your courts or your program, because then it’ll resonate with them emotionally.

00:17:06 April Grant
Oh, wow. Okay. Those air, Really? I mean, useful and specific tips, which are good, because you can use them, because what ends up happening is ah, lot of times you get these tips and you’re like, That’s nice, but

00:17:19 Bree Johnson
I don’t

00:17:19 April Grant
know what to do with any of that. Um, look at the insights. Okay? What am I looking for? You know s Oh, that’s good. I didn’t even think about going into the insights. I really need to for my my instagram page on all my pages and really figure it out.

00:17:36 Bree Johnson
All of the good stuff lives in the data. So even if you don’t go into the insights right when you’re posting things, let’s say you post four times a week and you realize that two of the post really skyrocket. Maybe one of them gets 150 likes and 40 comments, and another one gets 300 likes and 20 comments. But then you realize that the other two post got, like nine likes. Well, what was the difference? Right type of content. What did you say in the caption? Did you asked for a call to action? Did you ask them to tag a friend like, what did you do differently that made this content take off and the other two didn’t. And then how do you duplicate that? How do you keep doing that over and over and over again? Which is what marketing is, right? It’s like it’s figuring out what works and then refining it. So that way, you’re just doing it over and over and over again. And it’s something that I teach, um, in my programs, because I feel like we don’t really teach, like we’re getting all of these freebies and these

00:18:32 Bree Johnson
workshops and all this stuff. But we aren’t teaching like how to actually market,

00:18:37 April Grant
right? Yeah. I mean, marketing is a term that a lot of people don’t understand and especially when you think about,

00:18:46 April Grant
uh,

00:18:47 April Grant
even the term marketing because it’s so broad and people don’t don’t understand it, they don’t realize that it means part of it is being front of mind. So that means always being there, always being around always, you know, shouting out your message and and then in positive ways, like not always marketing a product, not always trying to sell something to them, but giving them information and including value. Because that’s what people want. They want to feel like they’re getting value from you before they want to spend money with you. So

00:19:22 April Grant
All right, well, thank you so much for joining us. Do you have any social media handles that we can use?

00:19:28 Bree Johnson
Yes. So if you are looking to follow me, you can connect with me pretty much on every platform at the Bree Johnson. So that’s the and then B r E Johnson. Um, you can connect with me there.

00:19:42 April Grant
Awesome. All right. Um, it was a pleasure having you.

00:19:46 Bree Johnson
Thank you so much.

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