Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 120 · 6 months ago

120: Building Your Brand and Making the Leap with Joseph Robert, Fantasy Football Counselor


Joseph Robert, the Fantasy Football Counselor, shares how he's grown his brand into one of the top spots for fantasy football content — and spoiler alert, his tips apply for any type of business, not just sports. 

We're also talking about the "kind of terrifying" leap from a stable 9-to-5 to starting your own business. But guess what? That jump into entrepreneur life has been filled with success because Joseph has identified opportunities for growth and how to go against the grain in a crowded content world. 

And he's a fellow Joseph, so you know he's great!

Hello, my favorite listener. Before we get to the episode, I want to take a moment to address the June Supreme Court decision to overturn row versus Wade. This decision stripped away the legal right to have a safe and legal abortion. Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health and independence of all Americans. This decision could also lead to the loss of other rights. We've seen the Supreme Court kind of hint that that might be the case. So to learn more about what you can do to help, go to pod voices dot help. I'll drop links in the show notes as well, but I encourage you to speak up, take care and spread the word. When you're done listening to this podcast, check out mine. It's called beer in front. Every week I talk about a classic beer that maybe we've forgotten along the way. I'll also talk about new beers and have potential to be classics. As the Chicago Beer Guy, I also talk a lot about great craft beers in the city of Chicago. That's beer in front. Wherever you listen to podcasts, good people, cool things. As a condcast feature in conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. Get inspired by their stories to do your own cool thing. And here's your host, Joey Hell. Welcome to good people cool things. Today's guest is Joseph Robert, the fantasy football counselor, and you might you might not, be a fantasy football player herself. I used to be. I no longer play fantasy football, but I still kind of keep a pulse on things. It's still enough friends who are in league, so I'll get to hear their stories and all the shenanigans and it makes me think. Okay, I'm glad I'm not stressing over this, because sometimes it gets real stressful situations. Joseph left his nine to five to start the fantasy football counselor, but kind of kind of glided. Like you said, it was like a monkey hanging on from one branch reaching to another, a nice little linear progression. So if you're thinking of maybe I want to try something new, you don't have to go fully, if you don't have to cannonball in. You can make it kind of a graceful transition. We're also talking about some of the players on Joseph's do not draft list, some of the things he doesn't like so much about sports, how he's helped build his brand. And again, even if you are not a fantasy football player who don't like the sports super well, we're not getting too nitty gritty into things. There might be a little bit a little bit of that talk, but anyone that's trying to grow their brand or expand their business, there's lots of good stuff in it. And speaking of if you'd like to get other tips to grow your brand or expand your business or learn all about cool people who are doing the exact same thing that you want to be doing, head on over to good people, cool things dot com and subscribe to the newsletter. You'll get all kinds of great stuff delivered into your inbox. I know it's another newsletter, this one's great and you get a Corny joke all the time and that is good stuff, just like this conversation with Joseph. To kick things off, for people who maybe don't know who you are, can you give us your name and your elevator pitch, but can you also tell us the type of elevator we're writing on? Oh Man, it's it's a long story. I'll give you this short story here. But a fantasy football counsel. I turned fantasy and I made it a reality. So I just took my passion what I love doing, which played fantasy football, and over years of work I finally made it into a viable business that that keeps continuing to grow year after year as I continue to give fantasy football analysis and content around fantasy sports. So exciting stuff. When was the first year you got into fantasy football? Do you remember? Oh, I get probably what when I got into it, when I played it, it was probably around two thousand and ten eleven. You know, I was in a keeper league with friends, but I didn't get into actually giving content around until sixteen. So it took about four or five years of actually doing fantasy football before I realized maybe I can make a living off this. Yeah, for sure, it's. It's definitely a growing market. I remember I you might you might be disappointed to hear this, but I do not play...

...up all anymore. I first got into it and I think there's two thousand four Um just in high school and was thrown in, had the first pick. So I'm like, this sings like a lot of pressure. It's great times all around, but you've turned this fully into a career. There's obviously a lot of fantasy football content out there. So how do you try to differentiate yourself? Well, it's outside of the box thinking. So, like anything, it's all the mainstream consensus, right. That kind of guides things. Everyone likes to play it safe. So what happens to guys? If you haven't played fantasy football, you gotta get into it's a lot of fun because not all of us, I don't know if you are, but not all of us are billionaires. But this is a way to actually own a virtual team. So if you guys don't know what fantasy football is, you basically draft a virtual team, you get points, you're in a league with friends and away you go. So how I differentiate is just again, outside of the box thinking. So what happens is these analysts, these mainstream people, what they do is they give last year's top finishers the way they finish and tell you to draft them again that order. Right. so I differentiate by saying, hey, things don't always work out like everybody thinks they do. Right, so I don't take last year's top finishes, the guy's top points getters, and tell you to draft him in that order again. I think outside the box and I anticipate things that may or may not happen, right. So it's at outside of the box thinking. I think that's a differentiator from me and my brand and it's been very effective. So I have to ask because I was, I'm a big college basketball fan and I was so upset that Tom Brady chose selection Sunday to announce that he was coming back to the NFL because he couldn't let he couldn't let one of the best nights in sports just be. He had that he had to take the spotlight. So did did you anticipate that? Did you think he was going to come back based off what you had been seeing? Well, I never thought he would leave. That's the thing. So I in my mind again, again, this is a whole other topic. I did this podcast on our sports fixed. You know, I think guys like Ray Lewis, Peyton, manning, they all I don't want to say they were given, but there was this thing where I just think that there's things happen a certain way for these goats, these greatest, to win championships. Right. So I think he still had more in him. So I didn't once he retired, thought maybe it was the end. I didn't think he'd come back, but I didn't think he would have retired in the first place. So I still think he had a couple more rings left in him and I still think that's going to happen, you know. Yeah, I think he still looks like he's capable. Yeah, that's that's inspiring for people like us that are getting I mean no offense or anything like that, but I'm getting up there in age. I'm not going to discuss by age, but it there's hope for for me myself, I don't know what you're probably younger, but there's hope for us. You know that. You know you can, you know, operate at a high level physically. Yeah, when I wake up and I'm like feeling a little Achy, I just think Tom Brady is more than a decade older than man. He's he's still doing great. So good times all. Right. Now you started the fantasy football counselor after leaving your nine to five job, which I think is something a lot of people have thoughts about doing or, you know, maybe even dream of doing. But what was the leap like for you? And, like with there a moment where you're like, I know I'm ready to do this, or was it just kind of let's do it? It was kind of terrifying because you grew up your whole life and you thought to yourself, Hey, listen, I gotta working nine of five, I gotta work for somebody, there's no other way around it. And I didn't grow up with an entrepreneur father, who was a blue collar steel workers, so I was just like, you know, I never knew anything else other than to work for somebody. But I started studying entrepreneurship online, started and I worked a nine to five hydraulic sales job paid well, you know, sixty, seventy grand a year, car allowance, all that stuff. And then what happened was I was starting these online entrepreneurs and then there was a course out on how you can manage people social media. So I'm like, okay, that's interesting, invested a thousand dollars in the course, started learning how to manage people social media's and I thought that it was actually, you know, kind of practical. I'm like okay, so I started going to restaurants and dealerships and and say hey, I can manage your facebook accounts and you pay me fived a month. Or whatever it is, and then when that happened, I started getting a couple of accounts. So it's like at the same time I was building the fantasy fball podcast, which we didn't make any money at the time. So I've kind of had this day job that I had the social media mark getting, I was building accounts...

...and then I had the fantasy football and then I'm like okay, the leap was to do social media. So once I had eight or nine accounts, I took the leap that way and broke out of the nine to five and then once I had the social media, I leaped over to make this full time. So I'm building council the whole time, while you know, it's kind of like a monkey right, I had my hand on one branch and then I was just before I let go, I was able to, you know, transition nicely. So do you still manage any social accounts or have you let the branch that was? That was done about two years ago and again that's where it got really terrifying because again, even though I wasn't working for someone, particularly at a nine to five, necessarily I was still working for people. And now it's like total control where I managed my own sponsorships. I have control online over my online sales a little bit more and I'm fully like there's no safety that underneath me. And again it's still sometimes a little scary, right, but you know, you got to break that mindset and once you're out there's nothing more liberating and it just feels so good, Um, to not work for anybody. You know, that's just me now and hopefully that can you know, if someone's listen, even if one person is listening, I can inspire you. You don't have to just leap right away. You can find something to build on, a side Hustle and elevate yourself eventually to get to that point where you want to be. Now. You talked about how you're working with your own sponsors now, finding your own partnerships. Is that? Are you kind of on the hunt for that? Is that? Are People coming to you now because the show has grown so much, or how how does that look for you? Yeah, it's different, Um, you know, people reach out. They do, and it typically happens more during the season as prime time hands, because my numbers really peak in skyrocket uh in and around July to September with fantasy football people drafting their team. So people typically reach out now for the most part, but I still end up doing a little bit of reaching out as well. So it's a good balance of both, um. But you know, I've got sponsors secured pretty much for this this season. So yeah, it's a bit of a combination of both, because sometimes the sponsors you want may not reach out, so you got to kind of go find the ones that you want to right. And do you find your background in I mean, I know you're selling hydraulics, which is probably not the types of sponsors that you're working with. Do you find that that background has been helper for you? And and this kind of new era of selling a phenomenal question, because right now I've got a lot of big things in the works Um, and I won't get into too much detail on what I'm working out, but there's some Hollywood things going on right so I won't go into all the details because again, it's all premature right now. But reaching out to agents and production companies to try and, let's say, pitch a show, for example, you can't just do that like that. Takes hardcore sales skill. So some part of my life is kind of like you know, I kind of don't you know, I hated my job. You know, I hated selling industrial hydraulics and going to plant managers sing hey, kind of retro for your entire plant with these pipes and these hydraulic fittings and and all and these filters and but that helped me get to where I am and it gave me the ability to podcast and do the sales. So great question. I mean I think everything happens for a reason and that sales background was phenomenal because out it I wouldn't be able to sell my product, I wouldn't be able to sell myself, I wouldn't be able to talk in podcast. Without that, you know, all that rejection over the years in sales, you know. Yeah, I think that's that's something that is, like you said, it's hard for a lot of people to to hear know, and you're gonna hear that a lot in in sales and even just reaching out to people like that. But then the ones that do work and fit nicely are pretty good when they happen. Yeah, and you've kind of touched on this a little bit too, and I think you know, just looking at what you've been doing, I think you. You really preach the value of authenticity and, like you said, you're not just going to fall in line with everyone else with how they're just recommending. I don't even know who the top who was the top fantasy player last year, like Cooper Cup? Maybe it was he? All right, yeah, he was, and that's that's that's what bothers me. You. You just hit a bone there. So what happens? What happens is like last year's top finishers and tell the draft. But last year Cooper Cup was ranked below Robert Woods, who was on the same team. Now, all of...

...a sudden, because Cooper coup had this panical year, everyone's riding them right now. You know what I'm saying. So it's just like, Oh, you know, it makes me cringing. It is very unlikely and very rare. It is going to duplicate those numbers. So a regression is definitely happening predicated on that factor, loan, based on history showing US players have finish on top. It's very rare they finished on top again, you gotta just discount them a little bit and anticipate someone else stepping up and then again. That's the differentiator with me and I anticipate and I'm not right all the time, but I'm right more than the mainstream consensus. I like it. You also just hit on something that I this was like my one hard line and the years I was playing fantasy football. Do you take a kicker before the last round? Oh Man, let me think about this. Uh, I wait to the last round for kicker and at the end of the day, like I end up streaming. And now I find that most leagues are omitting the kicker position because because it's so volatile and so weird. It's just that in defensive special teams, I find a lot of leagues are kicking those, kicking the kickers out, you know. In the defense it's just because it's just it's so random. Like you have like let's say you start their rams defense. They come out and they you know, they get five interceptions that one game and they you know, there's no real thought process and skill as a player. You kind of have an idea he gets x amount of carries and receptions and there's a little more to it. With defense. It's just so volatile and just so sporadic. You know. Yeah, I like to hear it like and so I think I almost kind of cut myself off before because we got we got on the Cooper Cup train. But that authenticity, I think that's something a lot of you know, a lot of brands, a lot of people preach, but they can't always pull it off. So what does authenticity mean to you and how do you make sure that you're you're staying authentic even as you're growing and having these new opportunities? For me, authentic is just not being a B s R. Right, like I don't like to play it safe. If I think there's something wrong, I state it. So let's use fantasy, for example. If a player had a bad game, he sucked. Let's be honest, like he did not play well. You know, I'm not into giving, you know, fifth ribbons to fifth place players. I grew up you know, if you lose, you lose, right. So just keep it real with people, you know, and I think just being real with people and telling them how it is is good. You know, I'm not saying go hurt someone's feelings, but if someone's underperforming, say, listen, this is what you need to fix. You know, and and I want to I want people to improve and I think so many people try to sugarcoat and baby people these days. Just be real. If something's not working, say it. Like for you, I got on the podcast before the show. If we recorded, I thought, I thought you genuinely had a good radio voice. If you did it, I might have said, Hey, man, you know, I appreciate it. Maybe just talk a little bit deeper something, you know, I don't know, whatever, whatever, you know, I would have just been critical, but I'm I just call it how it is. You know what I'm saying. Yeah, that's I think that's being real. Yeah, like this might segue nicely into I do appreciate you saying I have the Nice Radio and podcast. Who It's like? You know, it's good. Well, I just started a second podcast with a friend of mine called sports are dumb, which is we're both huge sports fans, but we have of we have some grievances throughout sports. So it's a good, you know, good platform to to call out something like how in College Sports, or college basketball in particular, you can't use six, seven, eight or nine on your Jersey. I don't know why. This is an old archaic rule, but someone can't be number six, they can't be number seventy eight. It's it's a real weird rule, but like that's a that's a fun thing. He personally hates, uh, intentional fouls at the end of Basketball Games. So there's a whole, you know, a whole bunch of Shenanigans that you can talk and so you're keeping it real. What's something dumb in sports but you don't like? Man, that's that's A. that's a crazy question here. Um, I just that's that's a. that's putting me on the spot. I'm trying to think about this, but I mean done with players or anything right, however you want to do it, I don't know. Sometimes some rules I don't like. They think they just changed the overtime rules with football. Um, you know that. I never thought of that because I always focusing kind of on the part. Okay, you know what it is. Here's when I hate flopping. I just I can't deal with it. It gives me anxiety. I know you're trying to draw the penalty, but now you... me thinking because I don't like Lebron like. I get it. You're drawing a penalty, but sometimes you're a little too dramatic for me. Okay, like over the top. And again I find it. At this point I'm so irritated with it that I actually find it comical. But you got a guy like Lebron, I think Luca does it a lot where they go down and they're hurt, like they like they look like you want to call it in, like somebody call nine one and help this poor person, because they're absolutely hurt and it's looks catastrophic. And the next play they're running full sprint. I'm like how you look like you're dying. How are you running? And that that kills me. That bothers me. I don't know what it is, it just gets under my skin. That's that you're neglected. To mention my favorite and culprit of this, of Chris Paul. Yeah, he cracks me up because he's he's legitimately like smiling or laughing, like patting the official on the back of being like yeah, you fell for that, and he just I think he just embraces it. He's just gone full troll at this point. Soccer players, soccer players are the worst because it's like they're in sheer agony, like screaming at the top of their lugs, whole uh, you know, holding their knee, rolling around and then all of a sudden they pop right up and they're smiling. I'm like, wow, they're amazing. They should get awards. There should be actually an awards system. I'm not joking. This is actually I think we should. I think you and I should actually invent this right now. It's it's happening. There should be an award, a legit, not even I'm not joking, a legit reward system for best actor in sports. Yeah, I love when the announcers call them out of like, Oh, they should get an Oscar for that. It's like, yeah, let's have a good the flop skirts or whatever that's probably and then they play it in slow motion, or like Lebron is like jumping back and then you see that he was grazed or like it never touched him. And I come on, man, like you're a big boy, like you're a big, strong, capable man who spends over a million plus dollars on your health alone. You're a tough dude. I know maybe he's a soft teddy in life. I've never met him, but you know, I don't get it. I still don't get this stuff. It's wild. It's sort of on a similar vein. I always like to talk about people, maybe some of the worst moments, because I think it can be a nice way. You know it's bad in the time, but then you look back on it and you're like, okay, I could take something from that. So you used to fight competitively in MM A. Yeah, what was your worst fight? Well, I didn't. I only had two amateur M M A fights. I didn't totally it gave me anxiety. It is something. I was just one of those guys. I was paranoid. You know, I'm not the prettiest phase, but I was paroly getting damaged right now. I had a lot of injuries and stuff like that. Um, but in regards to fights, Um, what do you say? The most memorable one or, though, your worst one? What do you mean by worst? Like just Oh, I got knocked out. That was probably my worst. Pretty bad. Yeah, that was my second. It was actually this amateur m m a tournament. It was to fight. You just if you win, you keep going get up to three fights. Tonight it was like UFC one. It was so stupid. I was up in Vancouver back in two thousand and ten, I think. So I was in great shape. Cardios phenomenal beat the crap out of the first guy. Second Guy was a tough guy. We were going and then all of a sudden, I don't know what happened. We were fighting and then it was I had him on the ground and I would have pounded him on the ground, but there was this three second rules I wanted. So you hit the ground, they made you stand back up. It's like extreme m m a. and then, uh, I clipped me at the back of my neck here and I just dropped. I don't know what happened. I guess it just lights were out and I was on the floor and I just I lost and I didn't anticipate when I looked back at him like that was just weird. It looked really weird. I just felt but I think he had clipped me in the back of my neck. It was weird. That not fun. Yeah, I would not recommend. Yeah, yeah, it's just that. And it was fun. I mean it just it got me to the best shape of my life. It was it was an experience and it it took your body to a level that it's never been and I don't think I'd regret ever doing it. But you know, I had the DEV it accept them a little bit and I had, you know, my ribs cracked a few times. I had a quadratic contusion, where the one builds up in your quad...

...and you couldn't walk it. There's a bunch of nagging injuries. You know, it was it was irritating. You know. Do they do you still have lingering pain from those or have them not? Well, I hadn't surgery on my nose, so the Dev e scept. I couldn't breathe out of my nose for the longest time. It was just plugged and sometimes it open. I have to wear those strips to open it up. I had the surgery there. Other than that it's it's been fine. No, no serious long term injuries, very fortunate. No ct no brain trauma, which is good. You know that's good. Yeah, it's good to get to avoid that kind of bringing there. Some people, I mean my fans, might think I'm a little crazy, but that's that's a different story. Yeah, but it's a it's what keeps them coming back. Right, exactly. One. One other thing that I think is interesting about fantasy football. I know there's people that have kind of their own sort of like do not draft lists because they just get burned too many times by the same type of player. I'll my my favorite example from when I was playing with Jared Cook. Every year this was the year jared cook was going to have his best, best year yet. First game you'd have like eight catches a hundred yards. I'm like, Jared Cook, you're you've arrived, you're here and several games in a row didn't catch a pass. It's very much like if I were to try playing in enough L game. Um, we probably could have swapped places had the same result. And so are there players that you have like that that you've just been burned too many times and you're just like, I can't do it anymore. Um, yeah, and Um, this is a saying I have and my fans all all know what it's called. Years to wow me, and I'm not wow now. I typically I'm really good at avoiding players and I don't mess around. There's this guy been messing around with a lot of fantasies, Davis Sta kwam Barkley, breaks my heart every year. Um, I'm just waiting for him to bounce back from that eighteen year. I'm gonna roll the dice on him one more time because he had that injury two years ago and they preserved him last year because the giants were gonna make the playoffs. So that's kind of the guy now that I'm kind of having this love hate kind of thing, but I always have enough depth to cover myself. Someone craps the bed, and that's why my sixteen round draft solution really helps people because it's it's a way where you kind of create there's no guarantees in fantasy, but it's the closest to creating a bulletproof froster as possible. Can we get a sneak peak of that? So can people find it at least? Just just Google Sixteen rounds, one six sixteen round draft solution, or go to the fantasy football counsel dot com. There's a landing pager. You can tell us you all about it. Fan Fantastic, fantastic. Not to to kind of just go back to your brand and your business as a whole, like we've been talking about, there's a lot of content out there. You try to find ways to stand out. What else have you found has worked well for your audience? Just yelling, yelling, yelling at people. I do, uh, no one does this, but I'm actually in the shower yelling at people like so I do something called a shower rant and, uh, I just yell and I don't know what I just people like to watch it. It's kind of like a bad car accident or something like that. You just turn and you can't turn away. I'm just yelling naked in a shower and I'm screaming and the steamy and and I just do stuff. That's just whatever I feel. So and a lot of that is actually emotions. So when a player does something to Piss from me up, maybe it's flopping, maybe it's I don't know what they're you know, maybe they don't put up fantasy points that week. I legit. Get angry. So I yell and it works. People Watch. Do you have good acoustics in the shower? I would think that'd be so kind of it's kind of trebly. Actually it's not. It's not like a deep it's not it's not a good voice, but it's it gets the job done. People get it. And they asked you what I couldn't just have waited till you got out of this show? I'm like no, it couldn't have needed to happen now. Yeah, you get everyone gets their best ideas of the shower. I get it. Do you do? Yeah, all right. Well, you're almost off the hook here, but we always like to wrap up with a top three and we talked about Tom Brady in the in the past. I don't know, is he gonna make your list of the top three quarterbacks of all time? Yeah, that's a tough list to do because I gotta put Brady one simply because of the super bowls's one. Number two it's gotta be...

Jerry Rice. I grew up watching them. I'm not Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and Jerry Riceee. I'm not even thinking right now Joe Montana because he had jerry rice. I love that connection. So Brady and then, uh, probably gonna go Joe Montana. And the third one, I don't really have one. I'd probably say someone that's in the NFL now, Mariganna put maybe potentially Pat Mahomes could make that list eventually, you could say. For now I'm gonna say Dan Marino in that three spot. Never won a super bowl, but I I gonna go with those three. Brady, uh, Montana and Marino. But uh, I'm sorry. You know what, let's take Marino out. Let's go with Peyton manning at three and then Marino four and then probably Pat Mahomes Russell. Well, so maybe one of these guys slides in eventually. I like it. Do you have a favorite receiver that Brady has had over the Montana to Rice that Brady Dion branch maybe? I mean in my fantasy days, I think it was like Edelman and stuff like that. You know, I I stayed away from receivers on the Patriots. They just spread the ball around. Brady spreads the ball around. Um, yeah, you know, I just you know, Edelman is kind of my area when I, you know, I was really in fantasy and that's probably the guy for for Brady that I liked. Fantastic. Well, Joseph, you are officially off the hook here. If people want to learn more about you, if they maybe have never played fantasy football before and they want to get that kind of their toes to dip it in there, where can they find you? Oh, I'll just go to the fantasy football counts dot com. We're just Google fantasy football council. That's one L C O U N S C l o R. Just Google me and I'm number one instagram at fantasy football councilor and you can see some shower rants. You know, give me in my I'm not shy, let's put it that way. fantastics and we'll go. We'll go check those out. Thank you again for taking the time to chat and maybe you should do your podcast in the shower if you thought of that. I haven't, but I'm my I'll go test out the acoustics tonight. Well, it's good for reviews. It's good for reviews, for rating. Get some extra five stars, extra five stars or a lot of one stars? One of both? All right. Well, thank you for having absolutely we gotta end with a Corny joke, as we always do. What is a football center's favorite shoe? Football Center's favorite shoe? I don't know, no clue. Hiking boots. Wow. Wow. Good people cool things it's produced in Austin, Texas. If you were a fan of this episode, go ahead and hit that follow button. That helps more people here the show. You can send me a message, Joey, at good people, cool things dot com. Thank you to all of the guests who have been on good people cool things. Can check out all the old episodes via good people, cool things dot com. As always thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.

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