Podcast Spotlight is on ” Our Lifestyle Podcast ” . We know it as OLP. As pioneers in the automotive podcast word Jason Ballard and Mike Murray take it to the next level. Going 5 years strong and not stopping anytime soon. We sit down and have a 1 on 1 with Jason “ODB” Ballard.
ST: Tell us about you and your co-host if you have someone on the mic with you?
JB: My name is Jason “Ol’ Dirty” Ballard aka ODB and I am the producer and co-host of Our Lifestyle Podcast (OLP). My co-host is Mike “The Mayor” Murray also known as Miggity Mike The Mayor. I began reading truck publications in the early 1990s and purchased my first truck in 1997. I’ve been a mini-trucker ever since! Prior to mini trucks I was into BMX/freestyle bikes, hip hop, street wear and sports.
ST: Do you and your co-host have custom vehicles? If so, give us an overview of what you own.
JB: Yes, I have a 1994 Chevy S-10 pickup known as Bada Bing (checkout hashtag #BadaBingST) which has a one-off chassis built by Jimmy Graham and Shane Schlack. Jimmy went on to do a TON of custom work to the S-10. My truck won Mini Truck of The Year back in 2013. I’ve owned a few other custom trucks/SUVs but I’m a huge 60s Lincoln Continental fan which includes the sedans and convertibles with the famed suicide doors. Although I love these cars I’m still a truck guy through and through. Miggity Mike owns a former cover turck which is a Mazda B2200 which we have named Project Banana Hammock since he had it painted yellow. He calls it Goin’ Postal but he doesn’t have a say here lol. The bottom line is we are both truck guys and love the custom truck scene.
ST: Give us an overview of the podcast.
JB: Our Lifestyle Podcast aka OLP started in Aug 2016 by Mike and I to discuss and cover the mini truck and full-size truck scene. Being a tech guy (I worked for Verizon Wireless for 20+ years) I was a fan of podcasts long before I started producing a show. Listening to the 9to5 Mac podcast back in the day I kept thinking hey I want to do something like this for the truck scene. After several months of planning and overthinking, Mike and I started the podcast and we have never looked back. Like most podcasters we started out slow only averaging 2 podcasts per month. The past 3-years we have dropped a brand new episode every Friday. Actually once we round out 2021 we will have dropped over 150 straight episodes which generally include a title guest. I have to thank our dear friend Greg Miller (RIP) from Custom Car Show Productions for believing in us. By sponsoring our show we have grown by leaps and bounds. All of our current and past sponsors have helped us tremendously! Thanks to Cory from Mini Truck Showdown for coming on board with us recently as well.
ST: What platforms can we find your podcast?
JB: Podbean hosts our podcast so you can download their app (Android or iPhone) to go all the way back to episode 1. Podcast distribution has grown and with that growth it makes it much easier to find a show via nearly any platform. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pandora, iHeartRadio, etc. are all ways to listen to OLP or most truck podcasts. You can visit our site here for direct links to listen.
ST: What is the frequency of your podcast?
JB: Lord willin’ we drop 1 new episode per week. You may not realize but it takes a LOT of time and dedication to make this happen. I keep a regimented schedule every single week which oftens means I work on the podcast easily 5-7 hours per week. This includes planning the show, scheduling guests, researching the guest and/or prior builds, recording, editing, creating cover art, uploading and publishing. I love doing it and will continue to produce and co-host the podcast for as long as I can. In fact we are working on dropping even more content under our On Da Rise media brand. This includes the Lincoln Addict Podcast which is currently available. This is the second podcast I produce and host. More to come from OLP and On Da Rise Media.
ST: What made you or your cohost start this podcast?
JB: With the rise of digital media I felt it helped fill a void where prior truck media outlets left off when they shuttered their publications. The podcast itself is audio; however we supplement the audio show with social media posts that tie into the vast history of the truck scene going back to the 70s, 80s and 90s. I also produce all the content on the Our Lifestyle Podcast (OLP) YouTube Channel. This includes many of our podcasts shows plus “flip throughs” of prior truck publications, ODB’s Corner, Behind The Builds and so much more! Please check it out and consider subscribing.
ST: What were some of the struggles you had in the beginning?
JB: In the beginning the biggest struggle for me was confidence and “putting yourself out there” so to speak. Sure you might have the knowledge and insight into the truck scene but it still can be intimidating getting yourself out there and many times in front of the camera/behind the mic. I watch many YouTubers and one of the guys I watch did an episode about growing your content. Bottom line is you have to produce content. You’re never going to grow if you don’t produce audio, visual or other forms of digital content. My feedback to you is get out there and live your dreams. If you have the passion for something you surely won’t fail.
ST: What were some of the wins you had that you knew it was going to work?
JB: Some of the wins we had as a team were month over month and year over year subscriber growth for the podcast. Let me be honest, the growth didn’t happen overnight. It is not as easy as you would think to convince people to listen or watch your FREE content. Surely it seems easy but give it a try. Damn algorithms lol. Sure some folks probably grow quickly but the vast majority have to grind daily to make it happen. We have been on a 6+ year quest and are still “on da rise” as we like to say (thanks Tony “Boss” Bolin for the On Da Rise concept – that is my brother from another mother).
ST: I know you love all your podcast, but do you have a few go-to podcasts you enjoy?
JB: I do love OLP however other podcasts that I enjoy include any Truck Talk Media shows, Back To The Future the Podcast (we have had BTTF Podcast host Brad Gilmore on our show before), What The Flux Podcast, Lowest Common Denominator (LCD), Mini Truck Cult are a few I enjoy.
ST: Do you sell merchandise and at what point did you decide to try and sell merchandise?
JB: We began our merchandise journey in June 2018. WOW, I cannot believe we have been in the merch game only 3-years. Merch is one of my favorite aspects of what we do in terms of OLP. I love working back with Graphic Disorder on our artwork (they are the BEST in the scene). We have spearheaded some of the coolest things and have literally kicked off trends within the truck scene. We started with t-shirts and hats. Our lineup quickly grew to include stickers, aluminum metal signs, and most recently skate decks. Just wait for what we have in store soon. We are not stopping and will keep the pedal stomped as I like to say.
ST: Where can we buy this merchandise?
JB: Checkout OurLifestylePodcast.com to see our amazing lineup. Thank you to everyone who has supported us via making a purchase including participating in our hugely successful pre-orders. If your show or business merchandise is lacking, make sure to hit up GraphicDisorder.com for some amazing artwork!
ST: What advice you would give to anyone wanting to start a podcast.
JB: Plan your shows in advance and be prepared to record audio in advance. I’m no sound engineer but I can tell you the most important thing is having great sounding content. I’m a huge hip hop fan and the legendary producer Dr. Dre said many years ago how important the sound is in music. It’s the same with podcasts. You want to avoid clipping sounds, background noise and any other distractions. I go back and edit and listen to every second of any podcast I produce. I edit out coughs, background noise, dead air, barking dogs, etc. The other thing is to bring high energy. Think about if you were sitting in a training class. Would you want that person to be a boring speaker who puts you to sleep? Hell no! You want high energy and great content.
ST: What do you think about the current and future state of the industry?
JB: I love the current state of the truck industry. Shows are plentiful, Street Trucks Magazine is producing killer content which includes StreetTrucksMag.com plus there are so many content providers to watch/listen to. From Grinder-TV’s YouTube Channel to OLP’s weekly podcasts, you are covered with killer content!
ST: Thank you for the interview and do you have any last parting words for our readers?
JB: Thank you for the opportunity. My advice is to keep a positive attitude. I’ve been around the truck scene for 25+ years and there is negativity in any scene, sport or hobby. It is your choice if you partake in that negativity. I keep a positive mindset and hang around positive people. If you’re a negative person you are probably gone from my circle. This is ODB and I approve this message!