Suitability – Create the Movement

Picture of Bradley Post - Create the Movement - An Agency Story Podcast with Russel Dubree - Episode 44 - Suitability - - Available on your favorite podcast app.
Starting from his days as a furniture mover, progressing to fatherhood, then delving into extensive sales work, walking down the path of a merger, and ultimately evolving into the recognizable figure of a business owner – is there anything that remains untouched by Brad?

Company: Create the Movement

Owners: Brad Post

Year Started: 2013

Employees: 11 – 25

In the latest captivating episode of “An Agency Story,” a podcast that explores the real-life adventures and struggles of marketing agency owners, we meet Brad Post, the entrepreneurial spirit behind Create the Movement. This episode, titled “Suitability,” seamlessly integrates into the series, offering listeners a firsthand look at the tumultuous yet exhilarating journey from corporate America to agency ownership.

Brad Post’s story is not just about business but a profound life journey marked by unexpected turns and significant personal growth. The episode delves deep into the themes of adaptation, perseverance, and the shift from traditional marketing strategies to the dynamic world of online advertising, including the nuances of platforms like TikTok and Google Ads. Brad’s narrative is rich with insights on the evolving landscape of digital marketing, particularly his strategic pivot from SEO to specializing in paid advertisements for e-commerce.

Listeners will be particularly intrigued by the humorous anecdotes and candid reflections Brad shares about his early career missteps and the bold decisions that propelled him forward. His transition from the high-pressure consumer finance industry to a purpose-driven role in the nonprofit sector, and eventually founding his own agency, is not only inspiring but filled with practical wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The episode is peppered with light-hearted moments and powerful quotes that capture the essence of Brad’s entrepreneurial spirit and the supportive community that helped him succeed, including a poignant nod to his late father-in-law’s crucial support during the nascent stages of his business.

“An Agency Story: Suitability” leaves you pondering the ongoing challenges of agency growth, operational management, and the personal dedication required to sustain and scale a business in the competitive digital arena. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the realities of starting and maintaining a thriving marketing agency, providing both inspiration and invaluable advice.

Tune in to this episode to witness the transformation of a man who once juggled multiple jobs into a visionary agency owner, and consider the possibilities that lie in your entrepreneurial journey. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, Brad’s story is a compelling reminder of the power of resilience and vision in the world of business.

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Show Transcript

0:02 Welcome to An Agency Story podcast where we share real stories of marketing agency owners from around the world. From the excitement of starting up the first big sale, passion, doubt, fear, freedom, and the emotional rollercoaster of growth, hear it all on An Agency Story podcast. An Agency Story podcast is hosted by Russel Dubree, successful agency owner with an eight figure exit turned business coach. Enjoy the next agency story

Russel: 0:41 Welcome to An Agency Story podcast. I’m your host Russel. This week’s episode features Brad Post founding partner at Create the Movement, an innovative online marketing company based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brad takes us on a journey from his corporate America days to his transition into the nonprofit sector and eventually the inception of his own agency. His diversity becomes evident as he shares the stories as he’s worn many hats throughout his life and career. Success, hardships, perseverance, and adaptation you’ll hear it all on this episode. Enjoy the story Welcome to the show today, everyone. I have Brad Post with Create the Movement. Thank you so much for joining us today, Brad.

Brad: 1:18 Hey Russel, thank you. Glad to be here.

Russel: 1:19 If you don’t mind, start us off with a quick overview. What does Create the Movement do and who do you do it for?

Brad: 1:24 Create the Movement is a online marketing company. We are celebrating 10 years, come June of this year. We first started out as an SEO website development company for small businesses. Over the past probably five years, we’ve pivoted quite a bit to where our main offering is Facebook ads for e-commerce businesses, or Facebook ads for lead based service business. Google Ads is the other area. Paid advertising. We do some TikTok advertising as well. Social media we do a lot, but our main offering is the paid ads area.

Russel: 1:54 Good old TikTok. Is that a pretty booming part of your business these days?

Brad: 1:57 We’re pretty particular on the clients that we’ll take on TikTok. TikTok is a different beast. It’s the younger crowd. You have to have a good product that these younger people are doing quite a bit of research too on the product as well. They’re not quite purchase right away. We’re pretty upfront to let somebody know whether their product is gonna work on TikTok or not.

Russel: 2:14 It’s funny, a lot of folks I do talk to that have been in a similar type space they all say, gosh, I’ve gotta deal with this thing TikTok, but it is a finicky world a little bit. Let’s go back in time. What was young Bradley starting out in his career doing? What did that look like long before you started the agency?

Brad: 2:29 I got married at a very young age. We were 22 years old, my wife and I, and pretty soon after we were married, I think it was 10 months after we were married, we had my first child. At that time I was just kinda working here and there. I worked at a furniture delivery company and didn’t really have big goals. Once I realized I had kids and I needed to start supporting not only my wife, myself, and my new daughter, I grew up very quickly. Quit the rock band I was in ’cause that wasn’t making me any money at the time. Got into sales, started selling satellite programming and then I went into car sales. Car sales was not a good environment for me because you were working bell to bell, open to close seven days a week. Six days a week actually here in Oklahoma. Then I got into the finance business and the consumer finance business, which was a little bit better, but it was a pay cut from car sales. I did that for about 10 years. My whole goal was I wanted to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, one of the youngest CEOs. I was very driven. I got promoted, so I moved from Tulsa to Tampa, Florida. Then when I was in Tampa, I got promoted again to Atlanta. I was in Atlanta for about 10 years. When I was with the company, I was there for about six and I ended up getting called into the nonprofit sector. I worked in the nonprofit sector for, oh, about three or four years and ended up coming back to Tulsa. When I came back to Tulsa I was looking at launching my own nonprofit at the same time and knew I was gonna have to be bi-vocational. I got connected to a company where we were doing SEO for a specific niche in attorneys. When I first started with the company, I joke around and I was like, I didn’t even know how to spell SEO but I’m having to sell it to highly educated people across the United States. I quickly made a bunch of cold calls to attorneys nationwide at the same time in the evening. After putting the kids to sleep, I would study SEO and watch, SEO Moz videos and learn how to code or write website or handle WordPress and learn about all of that stuff. In that, helped grow that attorney company. Good group over there, but just kinda had a difference of vision of where the company was going and had an opportunity to start my own company.

Russel: 4:27 Not a bad run from someone going from furniture mover to doing a lot of sales and what we eventually know to business owner. Very similar story to you as well. I was not old enough to drink at my wedding. Secret between you and me, I may have had a spirit or two, but I certainly know what that’s like having to grow up fast at a young age. I can appreciate that about your story. You had the successful career. You were moving and as you mentioned, you made the transition from the corporate world to the nonprofit sector. Was there a particular life thing that made you wanna decide to do that? Was there a calling or what inspired that transition?

Brad: 4:58 At the time, I felt like it was a calling. I was in the consumer finance division. Consumer finance is, I feel bad saying it, but this was the business that I was in and we were doing second mortgages at 110% loan to value at 14% interest and it was just wearing on me, physically wearing on me. Pushing people into debt, trying to sell stuff, collections was high. God, we used to do field calling back in the day, going to people’s homes and knocking on the door and it was very weighing on me.

Russel: 5:27 I can imagine for sure.

Brad: 5:29 I would struggle sleeping at night, so it was somewhat of a calling. It was actually a 70% or 80% pay cut in order to go from corporate world into nonprofit. But we were definitely provided for and everything ended up working out. Luckily, I was in a good position.

Russel: 5:43 What was the nonprofit? What were you doing?

Brad: 5:44 It was a startup church. At the time I came in as a connections pastor, is what I think I called myself. Or assimilation pastor is what they called it. When I started with the church, there was about 50 people, and when I left there was about 4,000 people. I was writing my own job description as I was doing all of this.

Russel: 6:02 Wow, that’s quite the growth there. I assume, or I can’t remember exactly from our first conversation that you were probably having to, as you said, wear many hats. Were you doing marketing strategy or was that where you got some of your initial chops in the marketing world?

Brad: 6:14 I was coming from the business realm, coming from sales, coming from customer service. We had a creative team at the church. They did a lot of the website work. I was more boots on the ground, getting involved with small groups meeting one-on-one with a lot of people doing a lot of community outreach. Putting my name out there, putting our church name out there, my pastor’s name out there in order to get more people to come when I first started the smaller church. It was a little bit more boots on the ground type marketing rather than actual online marketing.

Russel: 6:41 Okay. Marketing’s marketing, I’m sure that’s written somewhere.

Brad: 6:43 That’s right.

Russel: 6:44 You moved back to Tulsa and got started in an agency world for lawyers, as I understand it. Tell us about the evolution to actually start your own business.

Brad: 6:51 I had my father-in-law who has passed away over the past year. He believed in me. He was helping us at the time when we had first moved back and he approached me and said, would you be interested in doing your own business? I was like yeah, but I’d like to do it differently than this company that I’m with. He was like why don’t you write up a business plan and then we’ll talk about it. At the time, I was still doing bi-vocationally. I was starting my own church. I was also working at this attorney marketing company. Usually between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM in the morning, I’m writing my business plan. At the same time having three kids that I’m raising and doing my best to be a husband.

Russel: 7:22 I’m trying to figure out where sleep happened. It sounds like that one took the fall.

Brad: 7:25 Yeah, there was not much sleep happening. It came to a passing of where the company I was working with and myself just felt like it wasn’t a good fit. We ended up going separate ways, but that time I had the business plan written. My father-in-law, I was like, okay. He didn’t just give me a check. It was like a series of, payments over a period of time. Actually I think it was about 10 months. He helped support us financially after that 10 months, and during that 10 months we did end up shutting down our ministry so I could solely focus on the launch of this business. After that 10 months, we got to where we were flatlined. We didn’t have take any more investment income from him. I think a year after that, we were able to start making payments back to him. Luckily I think it was a seven year loan payment and we got him paid off. Then three or four months after that he passed away. I was like, okay. But it was just neat to see him and then also my mother-in-law believe in us and be able to have the opportunity to invest in us at the time.

Russel: 8:16 Can imagine where that kind of support is nice. And you didn’t have to put his daughter or your wife up for collateral. You built up all this experience to get to this point. Now in starting your own business, what came easy to you? And then what was like, oh my gosh, what am I doing? What was your school of hard knocks?

Brad: 8:30 What came easy to me was connecting with people, selling. What didn’t come easy to me was the operations side. I joke around and say, I had a creative marketing company and I couldn’t even open up Photoshop for the first year or two of me owning my own creative company. I always had to have a team of people or a co-founder basically at the time to help me run the business, just ’cause I didn’t feel confident in myself. I didn’t know a lot about outsourcing or Upwork or anything like that back in the day. I would say, sales came easy. What didn’t come easy was the actual work that I was selling. That’s where I needed a little help getting started.

Russel: 9:04 I feel your pain as well. I had no clue about how to build websites when I started my agency and people always made fun of me for editing code in Microsoft Word. Got a lot of grief for that. Hey, you use the tools you know. It sounds like you were able to do all right. You mentioned a little bit there, at some point it sounds like you came across what would eventually be a business partner of sorts. How’d you meet and how did that relationship evolve?

Brad: 9:22 I hate to say this, but just in full transparency, this is my third business partner. The first two we had a difference in vision. When you have a creative person sometimes deadlines are not that important to them. I’m a sales operations guy. Deadlines are very important to me, especially what I’m selling to my clients. I met this new partner, his name is Adam Colbert. Rocket 31 is his business. He’s been a great friend. The interesting thing, Russel, Adam and I have been working together, I think for six years. A little bit over six years, and we’ve never met in person. He lives up in Denver. I live here in Tulsa. And of course we’ve seen each other on Zoom videos and we talk to each other every day and even on weekends, we’re checking in to see how the family is, sharing pictures of ourselves and family and stuff like that. I hate to say we’ve never met, we went through Covid, so it was kinda like travel was weird. He’s got young children at the same time. We just unfortunately haven’t made time to connect together., I think we were planning on a trip to meet and then Covid hit. But it’s been exciting working with him.

Russel: 10:14 I’m curious ’cause as I understand it, a lot of folks talk about that have partners, thinking of it like a marriage. How do you even form a marriage to begin with? You kinda have the courtship process and all that. It sounds like you have gone through that as well. What’s been some of the good and bad and ugly of figuring that out? Sounds like it’s all netted out well. But just in blending your companies and going down the path of a merger. Tell us some pro tips from that journey.

Brad: 10:35 The way him and I started out is we started working one project together. We were gonna split the profits on it. That one project turned into five projects which turned into 10 projects. And we just enjoyed working together. He’s very similar to me, I would say, so there are some times where we do butt heads, but in a good way. It’s like a brother that you fight with but you still love. He’s very driven. He is very good in sales, but he’s also good at the operations side and Facebook ad side and content creation and working with our team on that.

Russel: 11:02 If you net it out, I’ve heard of some partnerships where they’re yin and yang, where they’re opposites. Sounds like maybe you guys are more on a kindred spirit more so than yin and yang. Is that a fair assessment?

Brad: 11:12 I would say so. The main difference in him and I are, he’s got younger kids. I’ve got older kids. He’s a little bit, he’s a little bit younger than me. But I feel like him and I just have great conversations. We laugh about the same things. We enjoy the same things. It’s good to have a good friend that you enjoy working together and having a business together.

Russel: 11:29 That you’d never met in person. Very cool. You started an interesting side hustle during the pandemic. How did that come to be and where’s it at today?

Brad: 11:36 We started out. Pandemic hit pretty quickly. We were working with a lot of dentists at the time. Our contracts were 90 day commitments and then month to month after that, and a lot of these dentists were in their month to month agreement. During the pandemic, dentists couldn’t open their businesses for several months. And so we had, oh gosh, it was probably 10 cancellations, probably totaling 15 to$20,000 in business month.

Russel: 11:57 I bet that made a lot of kids happy now that I think about it. That the dentist were closed for a few months.

Brad: 12:01 Yeah, exactly. The kids were like, what do you mean? I don’t have to go to the dentist. That’s wonderful. But yeah, we had a big large drop in business and in turn, the sales end, we kinda shut off our ads and I’m not gonna call dentists or attorneys or any type of business during the covid and talk to them about marketing. They didn’t have the budget for it sometimes. We actually started a drop shipping business. The model is not the best model. We were purchasing, they were actually called UV sanitizing lights at the time. Purchasing ’em from China, sending them over here, and that business exploded. We did probably a million in sales the first year. Then we’re on track to do the same the second year. When I say a million sales, that’s gross sales. That doesn’t consider the$600,000 we spent in advertising and ads or more. I think our gross, our margins were not huge on that. But it exploded at the time. Since then we have turned, not to ordering products from China and selling them, but more affiliate marketing. We’ve taken on some national clients recently through some affiliate marketing stuff. Now we’re actually in the process, and this is still a side hustle. We still have our Create the Movement business. CP Online Ventures is what it was called. C stands for Adam’s last name is Culbert. P my last name is Post. Yeah, we’re very creative.

Russel: 13:11 A lot of originality went into that naming process.

Brad: 13:16 Right, exactly. Adam started a website and he was like, hey let’s see if we can do this drop shipping thing and three days later I realized we had$3,000 in sales and I’m like, Adam, we’re gonna have to LLC this, we’re gonna turn this into a business. We’ve gotten into the affiliate side of things. Got started working with some national clients and are now in the process of building our own kind of affiliate group where we have other people doing affiliate offers under our offers, which is exciting.

Russel: 13:38 Awesome. Love a good pandemic pivot story or pandemic side hustle story, whatever you wanna call that. It takes a whole life of its own. What does the future look like for Create the Movement? If we’re having you on for round two of the podcast in 10 years, what are we talking about?

Brad: 13:52 Right now we’re in growth mode. We’ve hired a sales team. I’ve got two sales team working under us. We’ve hired some new ad buyers. We’re taking on quite a few new clients on that side. We’re in growth mode for the agency. That’s exciting to me. Adam and I are both having to raise our skills and leadership to, going from being the point person that every client would call. There was a Brad and Adam show at the time to okay, here, you need to talk to your account manager. That account manager will communicate with the ad buyers or the web developers, or SEO teams. We’re in a big growth mode. I’d assume in 10 years, my hope is to be at a higher level and overseeing a large business rather than operating in the every single day to day. Or maybe even doing a podcast like you.

Russel: 14:31 There you go.

Brad: 14:32 In 10 years, Russel.

Russel: 14:33 Send me a note. I’ll be one of your first guests. How about that?

Brad: 14:35 That sounds great.

Russel: 14:36 What do you feel like’s the next big challenge you need to solve in terms of where your growth is at? What keeps you up at night? What are you focused on right now?

Brad: 14:42 Making sure our operations procedures are in place, we’re working on our SOPs and that’s a grueling process for Adam and I. I think it’s almost a curse word around here.

Russel: 14:51 As is in most agencies, I think that’s a cursed phrase.

Brad: 14:53 Yes, we do not like the SOP, but I’ve got a friend, he’s grown his business tremendously in the same area. He’s coaching me a little bit on what to do. And he’s, you’re building a machine and so that’s what we’re in the process of doing. Of course there’s still the people element. But we’re in the process of building that machine so that if something happens with any of our employees or whatnot, we can easily fill them right into the process and have them up and going pretty quickly, and that the growth doesn’t stop. So that’s the mode we’re in right now.

Russel: 15:22 Good luck with that.

Brad: 15:23 Thank you, sir.

Russel: 15:24 Good luck with that dirty word. Last big question for you, are entrepreneurs born or made?

Brad: 15:28 I saw that question and you’re probably gonna make fun of me, but I feel that entrepreneurs can be made meaning that sometimes, I’m skirting the question. I think that some people have it within them, that can build a business. But also there’s people that don’t have it within them, but they can be made and coached and whatnot. I would say I’m 50/50 on that, if that makes sense.

Russel: 15:47 Don’t worry. You don’t need to feel bad. Most people are in the 50/50.

Brad: 15:50 Okay, good.

Russel: 15:51 I told, it was a recent podcast and I said I need to start keeping track of this and keep a scoreboard of, are people born, are they made, are they 50/50? That way I would do some cool blog posts or I can do a whole podcast on entrepreneurs, born or made or not. If people wanna know more about Create the Movement, where can they go?

Brad: 16:06 We’re on, of course, all social media channels, but our main website is You can go connect with me on there, you can schedule an appointment for anything. I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram those are my main areas that I’m on. LinkedIn’s probably one of the best. I think that’s how you and I connected, Russel. would be the best place to find us.

Russel: 16:24 There you go. I do love your LinkedIn content, by the way. You’re doing a good job on LinkedIn. Very fascinating. What a journey you’ve been on, so many different parts of your career. Congrats on the success you’ve achieved, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your story today, Brad.

Brad: 16:37 Thank you, Russel. I appreciate it.

16:42 We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of An Agency Story podcast where we share real stories of marketing agency owners from around the world. Are you interested in being a guest on the show? Send an email to An Agency Story is brought to you by Performance Faction. Performance Faction offers services to help agency owners grow their business to 5 million dollars and more in revenue. To learn more, visit

Brad: 17:16 My wife works with me. She handles a lot of the finances. She’s our CFO. For the first three years in the business, she wasn’t paid at all. Of course I was paid, but she was basically working for free. At that time, we had the marketing business. I was running the church, so we had the church finances, and then I actually had a lawn business on the side as well.

Russel: 17:36 My gosh, man.

Brad: 17:37 I had a friend that needed work and I had lawn equipment and I was like, I don’t wanna be out there mowing yards, but I can start, I know how to start the marketing for you and launch a website and do all the social media for you. She was handling the finances on three different businesses, not getting paid at all. We were able to, after about three years, bring her in and bring her on payroll, luckily and she’s been an integral part of handling finances for our business over the past 10 years.

Russel: 18:00 I have to ask, did that cause some angst? Was there some cold shoulders on occasion in that process?

Brad: 18:05 Yeah, it was tough, but we have a good relationship. We’ve been married, we’re gonna celebrate our 26 years we’ve been married.

Russel: 18:12 Oh, congratulations.

Brad: 18:12 Thank you, sir. Been together for 28 years, so we’ve got a very good relationship. But there was some times where she felt she was working a lot for three years not getting paid anything. She understood and she saw the vision. There was some times that she was not very happy.

Russel: 18:25 Congrats to her for your guys’ success as well. On a similar story, I worked with my wife in the business a little bit. We got along okay. We certainly had our moments, but the actual worst part was my business partner was also my brother-in-law, her brother. That was the dynamic that was very rough. At the end of the day I’d hear it in both ears, and I was like, okay, this has gotta end because I’m gonna go crazy if this doesn’t stop sooner than later.