Bree Tomasel on why content creators should still chase careers in audio
Bree Tomasel may be celebrating her 10th year in radio. She may be a self-described radio nerd. She may have hosted #1 radio shows across both Australia and New Zealand, and landed her first solo TV hosting gig this year – but the prospect of COVID making 2020 even more of a shitshow and taking away her job still frequently crosses her mind.
So even with ongoing success in this industry, she is acutely aware it could potentially end at any moment.
Perhaps that’s why she’s also built her own personal brand, amassing over 1 million followers on her social media platforms and creating her own content for fans and followers.
Does this insecurity, and seemingly never-ending hustle, mean she’d advise young would-be creators to try their hand at something else? Stay away from rambunctious radio and audacious audio, and give something else a go?
Ahead of this week’s Australian Audio Summit where Tomasel is speaking alongside other content creators including Christian Hull and Christian O’Connell, she says she would absolutely recommend those considering audio and radio dive right in and give it everything.
“Radio has given me everything,” she tells Radio Today. “It’s given me my identity. It’s given me some of the best memories of my whole adult life. It’s the best ride of your life. You just need to be willing to know that there’s going to be a lot of hard times, probably at the start, where you’re going to have to really hustle and do all the shit jobs and work your arse off. But if you are willing to do that, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s a pretty amazing place to be once you’re there.”
She does, however, joke that she still has lots to learn, including how to create a viral video – “If someone has the answer, can you tell me, because I don’t bloody know?”
Perhaps that’s something she could learn from Hull, a comedian, podcaster, content creator and former SCA producer who frequently goes viral on TikTok or Instagram for everything from footage of him attempting to guess paint colours to him playing the Siblings or Dating? Game.
“These guys are the best of the best, and I say that with so much behind it,” Tomasel says of her fellow Australian Audio Summit speakers. “I’ve looked up to these guys for a long, long time.
“Christian Hull, the stuff he has done in the space [is amazing]. He is such a workhorse, but he’s also so much fun, and innovative, and just forward-thinking.
@christianmhull##duet with @5.minute.crafts ##ShowUpShowOff WHAT IS THIS. HAHA♬ Piece Of Your Heart – Meduza & Goodboys
“And I think every one of those guys has so much stuff you can learn from and so much stuff to give.”
She says people entering the industry now have the benefit of being able to observe successful personalities and their careers across multiple platforms as they evolve, grow and find their way into new content avenues.
“I think there’s so much still yet to do,” she says of the future of audio and radio. “Like I know people say in radio a lot ‘Oh, everything’s been done. All the ideas have been done’. I totally disagree.
“I think the radio space and the audio world is changing and evolving so much, and I think there is so much more yet to come. And I think I’m most excited about all the stuff you can do to enhance your radio show or enhance a podcast. You can pretty much do all your own marketing, all your own advertising, and you can tailor it to exactly how you want it. And I think that’s the most exciting part. And I love being able to do that, and create and have that creative control over things.”
The key to surviving – and, dare I say it, thriving (no, you’re right, I shouldn’t have said it. I agree, and I regret it) – in radio and audio, it seems, is forever creating content, constantly upskilling and building your own personal brand.
Tomasel, like this author who just wrote “surviving and thriving”, knows it’s cliche – but she also knows it works.
“[The most you can do] is make yourself very adaptable and learn everything you can,” she says. “Try everything you can. I think that’s just something that I’ve done quite naturally my whole career because I’ve had to. Like I’ve had to hustle and I’ve learned how to video edit and I’ve learned how to edit audio, and I did solo announcing, did a show, created video content, all that stuff.
“And if you can learn as much as you can, and make yourself as versatile as you can, I think that’s all you can do, really.”
That, and be authentic – that old chestnut.
“I know it sounds so bloody cliche, but I was just myself. I literally didn’t try and be anyone else, because I can’t be as good as them, because that’s them being themselves. Like I just tried to be the best version of myself and put stuff out there that is funny, and that just came naturally to me,. And I think that’s why people connect with my content, is because it’s the genuine version of myself.”