Tag Archives: fans

Don’t Let the Likes Fool You

We live in an age where social media is prevalent. It’s not going away no more than the Internet it lives on is, and everyday it becomes larger than the previous day. Social media is truly embedded into our culture and how we communicate with each other. That can be both good and bad. It can be good because social media allows us to communicate with people that we may normally have not had access to because of distance and language barriers. There are also many other benefits to social media; such as the ability for businesses to reach a global consumer base and relatives to stay in contact from miles away.

Unfortunately, one of the down sides to social media is the impact it has on individuals and their self-esteem. A lot of people, adults included, use social media to validate their self-worth in society. Many people only have interaction with others by way of their social media accounts and the strive on a daily basis to make other people “like” them. What they fail to realize is that some of those people liking their content, whether it is photos, memes or statuses, don’t really know or like them as a person and would not ever support their endeavors in the real world where it matters.

For instance, being a radio show host I offer independent artists the opportunity to have their music played on my show. I did this because I was constantly receiving messages with links to YouTube videos from artists asking me to watch, like and share their videos. However, many of those artists weren’t generating revenue from their video content on YouTube. So what’s the point in me liking your art when my ‘like’ is not helping you to make money from your art? To me it was a waste of time. So I offered artists another, more traditional method, by which they could be heard, not just liked. A many of them have stated that they have seen an increase in the number of PAID downloads of their music as a result.

Artists and musicians aren’t the only people impacted. Aspiring models, actors and others are in the same boat. People love the way they look on Instagram and like their pictures on Facebook, but that doesn’t help if those same people aren’t going to see the actors in plays, movies or aren’t watching their television shows, and…. well…. everyone wants to be an Instagram model nowadays, so you can imagine how stiff that competition is. Getting a lot of likes on Instagram doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be booked for the next Dolce & Gabbana, or Macy’s campaign anymore than for the local county fair at this point.

Part of the issue is the façade that big brands portray to consumers as well. When big brands seek partnerships or endorsements, outside of professional athletes and well-known celebrities, they often seek individuals in large part due to the quantity of their social media following more than the quality of their followers, the person’s power to influence those that follow them or their own loyalty to the big brand as a consumer.  This makes everyday social media users and those with dreams of success and stardom believe that they only way to be successful is to have a huge following on social media.

What’s the use if your followers can’t be converted into consumers?

For instance, reality show stars are now being cast in movie roles that actors/actresses fight and train for, simply because they have a larger social media following, but they don’t actually do anything. The movie studios do this because they hope that the reality show star will give them free advertising for their movie. True enough, the advertising is free, but what movie studios fail to realize is that everyone that follows that reality show star on social media isn’t really a loyal fan who would buy a ticket to see them star in a movie.

Being in media has afforded me the opportunity to hear what everyday people honestly think about others. I don’t know what it is but me, but people love to talk to and confide in me. I hear it all the time “I just follow them because I think they are funny/I want to see what people are saying about them; but I’d never spend my money going to see them perform/sing/dance, etc.” And that’s the hard truth that a lot of people don’t know when they have dreams and goals of Instafame.

Consider the newest social media darlings, The Westbrooks. They are being called the black version of the Kardashians. I wouldn’t consider that a compliment personally, but maybe they do. They have millions of combined followers on Instagram and a reality show on a popular cable network. On the show, we get to witness the sisters attempt to do what their father (a successful businessman), suggests they do; monetize their social media following. We also get to see their friends either support their attempts (backyard pool parties) or try to use them for their own attempts at gaining clientele (club openings). Which is probably where the Kardashian comparison comes into play. It seems that the “power” their wield over their social media minions could be used more productively than to endorse hair extensions and pop bottles in nightclubs. They all seem to be intelligent young women, with guidance from their hardworking parents, who didn’t always have it easy, so they understand building success in a more traditional way to acquire longevity.

So why shouldn’t The Westbrooks be able to do something bigger and more impactful with their branding than what everyone else on Instagram is doing?

Time will only tell when it comes to how far things will go for The Westbrooks. They’ll either make change, make waves or be replaced by the next hot group of pretty sisters on the internet. In the meantime, I hope that they serve as a lesson on how fleeting and intrusive Instafame without strategic preparation can be. I also hope that at some point we move away from the façade of what makes people successful and show examples of more men and women using their influence on social media for more than monetization. Those people exist. They may not have millions of followers, but they have quality followers, who are positively impacted by them, myself included. Big brands aren’t paying attention to those types of social media influencers….yet. But that is something that I also hope will change so that being attractive isn’t the only talent left for people to have in order to become successful.
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Are We There Yet?

To answer my own question…not yet. This is an unknown journey that I’m on. Many of my mornings start as early as 4:30 am now. My alarm goes off an hour later. I’m tired a lot of days and fall asleep with my laptop or notes on my lap many nights. I awaken only to turn the television, that has been watching me while I sleep, off. Everything feels like it’s moving at the speed of light lately. My fan base is growing, which is noticeable in the amount of hits this website receives, as well as how many views I get on my YouTube Channel. I have more LinkedIn connections than I know what to do with and Twitter has introduced me to people who I didn’t even know knew I existed. I’m getting so much love and encouragement from already successful people, and even celebrities, telling me to continue pressing forward. People in the entertainment industry that I’ve been a fan of, are now apart of my support system. Just like you all are. I don’t consider you fans anymore. You’re my supporters. Fans are the people who only like my pictures, but have no idea what I do.

It’s almost the end of February 2012 and I’ve already seen my business begin to shift into a more positive, and potentially profitable, direction ∞. But I’m still not there yet. Creatively, ideas are flowing, but I lack time. There are only 24 hours in a day and eight of those I give to Corporate America daily. Unfortunately, I can’t leave Corporate America yet. Bills still need to be paid and like many other people, I require consistent income. Super Son is in college and tuition isn’t cheap. Plus, I feel God telling me it’s not the right time to leave Corporate America – yet. When He tells me differently, I’ll bolt for the door, and I won’t ever look back. That’s, after all, one of my many motivations – to develop financial security doing what I want, what I love and what I am talented in.

But I’m still not there yet. That’s the burden of an overachiever. I want, need and strive for more. Bigger, better, faster, harder, stronger, smarter…

I hired one employee this year. That’s quite an achievement for me. I hired a Personal Assistant. She’s valuable to me and I hope that I can teach her enough about business that she will have a foundation towards her future career. I don’t expect her to stay with me forever. I expect her to grow and evolve into her own dreams and career. And I’m going to try not to get on her nerves too much. I know that I can be difficult to work for because my standards are extremely high. When you’re a one woman show, there’s a lot at risk involved, therefore the standards should be high because it’s your shoulders that carry the weight.

But I’m still not there yet. I want to be in a better position to hire additional staff and provide additional opportunities, so that my business can eventually grow to become nationally recognized. Detroit is home base so I’m beginning here.   

Opportunities are coming. FAST. Some of which I have to continue to keep under wraps for a little while longer, but I promise it will be worth the wait. One opportunity I can share now is that I’ve been asked to become a permanent on air radio personality (aka Co-host) on the Kelly’s Kitchen Radio Show. If you’re not familiar with it, Kelly’s Kitchen is a internet-based radio show that I’ve been on a few times as a guest and as a host. It was started by Kelly White and Kalu Jones, here in Detroit on WHPR (Highland Park) a few years back. The show is Kelly’s dream child. I am now the First Lady on the team. If you haven’t listened to the show before now, I hope that you will become a regular. It airs every Saturday night at 9 pm EST on www.svmixradio.com. You can also listen to it on your smart phone.

But I’m still not there yet.

But this is a good start. Even though I lose a lot of sleep, I struggle with dating (which is going to make a great novel one day soon) as a result I come home to an empty house, I still have a great deal that I’m thankful for. And I appreciate all of you who take time out of your days to keep up with my crazy world.

The best part about getting there is still unknown to me now. But I’m really looking forward to finding out. I hope you will continue to lend me your support along the way.

Smooches!

 

Google, We Have A Problem

There seems to be a tragic misunderstanding of what makes a person or entity relevant on the internet. If you are an artist, a business owner, a musician or a magazine publisher there’s the expectation that you should be found one specific place on the internet so that you can be booked, called or contacted. That place is not Twitter or Facebook. It’s so simple, even a two-year old could do it. It’s called Google. Yes, Google. Twitter and Facebook require that a person sign up and create an account to obtain your information. Everyone doesn’t want to become a follower or a friend in order for them to locate your store, buy your album, magazine or services. Do you realize how much you are limiting yourself, simply by NOT having a website? If you aren’t sure, think about the last time you got a call from someone who said “I saw you on Twitter today, and I wanted to know if I can buy ___.” If that’s happening to you regularly just from your tweets, then by all means, carry on. But if you’re not getting that call, you’re not as relevant as you think you are, even if you’ve hit record numbers of followers.

It doesn’t matter how many fans you have. Some of your fans aren’t as active on Twitter or Facebook as you think they are. They may actually only view your timeline or news feed once a month because that’s how often they sign on to look at their own Twitter and Facebook accounts {Side note: some of your fans are also stalkers or looky-lous and they won’t result in any profits}. Even with the increased use in smart phones, social networking is still limiting the way in which people can locate you. A fan is one thing, a consumer is something completely different. When you’re in business, which one is more important to you? A fan who becomes a consumer will buy more than your mp3 from iTunes. 

I recently pulled out some business cards people gave me and Googled all of the companies. I was utterly amazed at how many business entities, artists, singers and creatives I couldn’t find on the internet outside of Facebook and Twitter. Do all these companies and individuals want to be a secret? Do they want to make money? Do they want people to know their tour dates, office hours, and any other important information that consumers look for? You can’t even find a phone number for them to call and ask them “What is your website?” I’m going to share a business secret with you now. Smart consumers like to do a little research before they get into their cars and drive somewhere. If you operate a business, consumers may actually look for your business address online before venturing out to buy your products. However, if you don’t have a website, you prevent that from happening. And every business doesn’t have a store or static business location. Therefore, if your business is done in a nontraditional office or storefront location, being accessible online becomes even more crucial to your success.

Recently someone on Twitter sent me a link saying “how to become #1 on Google“. I replied and told them (not bragging) that I’m already #1 on Google. How do I know? I learned how to accomplish that a couple of years ago at a technology conference I attended. Unfortunately, I was one of five people of color in attendance at the conference and we were all women. I periodically Google myself [typing s u p e r w o m a n p r o d u c t i o n s]. I type it different ways and even misspell it intentionally sometimes, just to see what others might find if they do the same. My website is the first result, is listed on the first seven pages of Google results consistently and then I remain in the results up until around page thirteen. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to prove me wrong. I’ve even been re-blogged and reposted in other languages. I’m in business directories that I didn’t even know I was in. I had to tell the editor of one business directory to change their listing because they incorrectly listed my business at an address in Troy, Michigan instead of Detroit.  

I don’t know how people do it. By it I mean not exist on the internet outside of social networking sites. It’s a lot easier to co-exist within the confines of social networking than it is to be completely reliant upon it. Does anyone remember MySpace? One minute it was the hottest thing in existence. Now anyone who’s still using it exclusively needs to be put into a time machine and brought into 2012 at the speed of light. The changes that Facebook is constantly making are an attempt to remain on top of the social networking pyramid because it’s hard to be king. They are not making the changes for you. Twitter is… well, #trending, for lack of a better word. It’s fun, but you’re still limited to providing information in 140 or less characters. It can be argued that smart people can say a lot in 140 characters, but it can also be said that not being able to spell out words makes even the smartest person look stupid on Twitter.

So as an entrepreneur, I encourage anyone who calls themselves the same or sells a product or service to increase your audience outside of the constraints of social networking sites and establish a website for yourself, your products and business. If you feel like the financial investment isn’t truly worth the costs associated with establishing a real web presence, you are not serious about being in business. All serious business owners know that it takes money (time, energy and committment) to make money. And if you need help, I have a great website designer that I can refer you to. He helps keep me #1 on Google.