Social media was the founder of my career.
My career was born and raised through Instagram. It began spontaneously four and a half years ago, when I picked up a paintbrush for the first time and posted an image on Instagram. Someone reached out, bought the painting of mine and the story unraveled from there.
It may sound like a miracle, but that’s the power social media has today.
As a successful entrepreneur in the 21st century, my job is to always be up-to-date on the latest communication channels available. Every brand needs to communicate a message to their consumers somehow. The ability to keep on top of the constant shift in communication, especially during a crises such as Covid-19, is what keeps brands and businesses from failing. The continuous strategy adjustment, the ability to quickly reshuffle is what keeps the money flowing.
Social media is very time consuming, all digital channels are. I use my social media platform kind of as a science. What people don’t realize is that their followers are actually their target niche. I use the Instagram Business Tools to study what my target group likes, to gather information about their behaviour, I put up polls and use various mechanisms which help my brand strengthen.
Brands pay thousands of dollars to conduct focus groups and if you are able to develop a genuine and engaged audience on social media, then you can get this data for free. I am active on Linked In, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and my new endeavour will definitely be TikTok. I am completely transparent with my followers and I think that is something that makes me unique.
To further discuss the potential digital channels have on business growth and success as well as the ongoing shift in communication, I invited Mike Heller, owner of Talent Resources, the go to influencer marketing agency that connects brands with celebrity influencers to the Elizabeth Sutton podcast, Success by Design. Mike is super accomplished, an ultimate hustler and really well connected in this industry.
Listen to Mike and learn from his experiences and perception.
How did you transfer into the talent field from being a lawyer? Who are some of your most famous clients?
I started out as an entertainment lawyer that specifically focused on endorsement and commercial deals for talent. The pop culture was blooming and I was lucky enough to learn from and work with Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey, Avril Lavigne, Misha Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and finding the real endorsement deal for them is what I became really passionate about. At one point I found myself spending more time on those types of deals rather than handling law. What really changed my career path was when Lindsay Lohan called me up one day and said that she wanted me to be her full time commercial endorsement manager. At the time she was at the peak of her career and this was obviously a venture I gladly accepted. Working with her for several years is what evolved the company Talent Resources.
What strategy do you use to choose which clients to align with which endorsement deals? Do you feel there has been a shift in your approach given the current situation?
Social media platforms really give us the ability to do a deeper dive into who the celebrity audience is. Previously we had to go through Q cards, age groups, consider which moves people like, which demos. Now we have all this information available at our fingertips. We don’t need permission of the talent to scan their followers. We have technology which is proprietary to us. Unless a celebrity or influencer has a private profile, they are allowing all of their content to be open to the world in order to gain the largest audience possible. It gives us the authority to go through all their communities, aggregate them and figure out different information, engagement and be informative to the brand.
Some videos that go viral are actually false. What’s your take on that?
It bothers me, but I think it is important to always double check and never rely on just one source. We try to get as many facts as possible so that influencers could post facts instead of fake news.
What do you think of TikTok?
My advice is to take advantage of all the platforms out there. Each platform serves a different message, a different purpose. It is important to adjust the content you are delivering via the platform you are delivering it. Just because you might think your brand is too mature, each new channel opens your brand to a whole new audience you didn’t have before, which in turn brings on a new consumer group. I feel that TikTok has been the trend during this pandemic. Even dads and Moms have been participating, and sharing their TikToks to relatives and friends. It’s interesting and fun. Brands are receiving real commerce and exposure from TikTok and we have TikTok influencers which are really taking over as well.
Is there a way for smaller brands which don’t have big budgets to take advantage of all of the digital resources available?
The beauty of all of these platforms is that you don’t need to have a big budget. This is the real time you have to get your brand out there. My suggestion would be to put a little spend on your brand and target your ad to see what reaction your brand receives. Each time you promote, you will get more tactical and smarter.
Keep listening to the second episode of the Elizabeth Sutton podcast, Success by Design, to find out more about influencer marketing, messages which are being communicated through Covid-19 and Mike’s response on the constant shift in communication strategies.
Keep in tune for episode three Adapting to Change on Success by Design, podcast by Elizabeth Sutton.
Connect with Mike Heller