Marketing Lessons from MySpace

Welcome, welcome, welcome, episode 443 of the podcast. I am your host, The Stacey Harris. Social Media Strategist and Trainer, here at The Stacey Harris. And, of course, CEO over at Uncommonly More. I’m stoked today ’cause we’re going to talk about marketing. I know, it’s shocking. But, I’m also excited ’cause I’m jumping back in after a little bit of a rest. I took the last few weeks off of the show, mostly because as I was heading into my retreat in Tulum, which I went on as part of my mastermind. I was feeling, I’m going to be honest, like full transparency as always with the show. Feeling a little burned out on the show.

This happens with content. This happens with social. I think this happens with everything in our life from time to time. We go through seasons where maybe we’re just a little less excited about it. It’s not that we don’t like it, it’s not that we want to give it up, it’s not that it’s not an important part of what feeds us, or how we serve. But, sometimes, at least for me, it’s a symptom of there needing to be some kind of larger shift. That’s exactly what I sort of came up with when I was in Mexico was, it’s time for this place to shift a little bit.

We’ve shifted here and there over the years, but for the most part this podcast has stayed pretty tried and true to what I created it to be. And so, it will stay somewhat like its always been, we’re going to be talking about the same-ish stuff. But, the tone may change a little. I want to get a little more high level with you guys. I want to elevate the conversation we’re having. I also really want to look at where I can be encouraging you to think about these things differently because honestly, I think about these things differently than most people who have my job title. I want to dig into that with you, instead of just having these conversations more privately with my clients, and with members of Backstage. I want to make sure I’m bringing that to you as well

The gray area of marketing…

You may see a few less Three Things episodes coming out, you may see more theory kind of stuff. We’re not going to be talking nearly as much about manipulating the algorithm, or reacting to blah, blah, blah. Really, the reason for that is the topic of today’s episode, which is the gray area of marketing that no one talks about. I don’t mean gray area in a bad way, I don’t mean gray area in like a shistery shady way. What I mean is, we tend to think of online marketing and offline marketing as two separate things. It’s very black and white. We market online, or we market offline. The way you do those are very different things. That’s not true, there’s actually an epic amount of gray that happens when you start thinking about marketing your business as a whole, instead of thinking about your online marketing and your offline marketing.

Now, there’s always going to be times when there are things that are better suited to online or offline. But, when you think about them with the same values, and when you apply honestly the same approach and the same value to each of them, and you start to use them together instead of in parallel. You’ll find that they both work better, and this is how I’ve grown my businesses. This is how I built and launched my VA business when it was around my very first business. It’s how I successfully closed and transitioned clients into Hit the Mic Marketing, which is now The Stacey Harris. It’s how I grew Hit the Mic Marketing, and now The Stacey Harris. It’s how we’ve launched and grown Uncommonly More so quickly in four months. It’s because, like very simply, I think about these things together. I don’t think about them separately, and I don’t apply more or less value to one over the other.

That’s going to be more of what you hear in this show moving forward, because big picture, marketing is marketing. I don’t care where you’re doing it. Now, my expertise, what I specialize in, is digital marketing. Specifically social. With that said, guess what guys? We’re applying all the same principles of generations of marketing, to social media. So the algorithms, the tools, the networks, they don’t matter. They’re simply a means to an end. they’re simply the communication mechanism we’re using right now. The principles, the lessons, how we’re expressing value, and connecting, and growing. That’s the same as its always been. And so, I want to talk more about this, and that’s really the change you’re going to see in this show.

But, very specifically I want to dig into this today because you’re going to … and you’re probably already, hearing a lot of stuff about Facebook changing, and Facebook potentially going away at some point. Even the social media marketing obsessed are starting to go, “Hmm, yeah, you know. Facebook, Facebook might go away.” I’ve shared news over the last several months around people leaving Facebook, and there being an evolution with what Facebook’s prioritizing as far as not just what we’re seeing in the newsfeed, but also from a development standpoint.

And, here’s the deal guys. I don’t care. It’s a means to an end. It is a tool I’m using now. It’s not a tool I’ll need to use later, ’cause guess what? There will be another tool. I want to really get through to you why I don’t want you paying attention to the fear-mongering that’s happening, because we’re seeing a lot of companies. In fact, we’re seeing some major, major, major social media education brands use these changes to scaring you into their membership, their mastermind, their coaching program. Because, it’s the … Once again, by the way, the Facebook apocalypse. And so, now you need to learn this, because this is the thing now.

What’s interesting to me is how many of them are saying things like, “Facebook was out, and Facebook went down, and now we need to remember that we’ve got to use other networks. So, make sure you’re paying attention to your Instagram.” Well here’s the deal guys, Facebook owns Instagram. When Facebook has had outages over the last several weeks, and yes it has happened more than once in the last several weeks, at least somewhere in the world. Instagram has gone down too, because again, they’re owned by the same company. They’re both Facebook.

And so, when I talk about diversifying your social media tools, your networks rather, I want you to be looking at literally tools and networks not owned by Facebook. Not because Facebook is going away tomorrow. I’ve not stopped using Facebook. Facebook is as effective for me today as it was a year ago. Now, I’ll be honest, it’s not as effective for me as it was five years ago. Just being honest. But, it 100% is as effective as it was a year ago. I don’t know that it’ll be as effective as it is now a year from now.

I started with social media marketing in 2004… on MySpace.

I do know though if I apply the same tactics, and I apply the same intent with any network, I’ll get results. And so, that’s what I want to talk about today. In my vast experience, and I say vast because I’m about to tell you a story about the olden days of Myspace. It really only ever comes down to connecting with people. Here’s where the olden days Myspace story comes in. I started with social media marketing in 2004. I know what you’re thinking. If you’ve been listening to this show, or you know my story at all you’re like, “Well Stacey, you didn’t start your business till 2011.” You’d be right.

But, I started marketing using social media in 2004. In 2004 I was fresh out of school with my audio engineering degree under my belt, several certifications, and an ability to solder cables, which was a skill I did not think I would ever have, and have quite frankly yet to need because I did not go into audio engineering. With that said, I got a job working for a record label. ‘Cause, going through audio engineering school, I realized I really liked the business side. And so, there was a label in town where I lived at the time. I don’t live there now, but in Phoenix Arizona where I lived, that was launching a web radio station.

Now again, remember this is 04. There’s not Spotify, there’s not Pandora even. There’s certainly not an Apple Music, right? What this is, is an HTML player, music, like audio player. Think like, remember that old Window’s Media, I think it was called? It looked just like that, except it was embedded on a webpage, which of course was built in all HTML. It was going to be geared towards local music stations in Phoenix. The deal was, the guy who owns the label also owned a studio. And so, the theory was, is that I would find local bands and get them to submit music to the station. If they couldn’t submit quality music to the station, we would record their single for free in the studio. They could then use that as a demo to pitch our label. Not our, not mine. His label, and he would then be able to fully develop their records for a cut essentially. Basic label business structure.

And so, I would … At all of 19 years old, was fully 100% in. Because, I already went to shows six nights a week. It made total sense that this was my job, and so I started going to shows. Here’s the deal though, no matter how cute you are at 19, there’s only so many ways you can get backstage, or get the attention of a band to have a conversation with them. When you’re a 19 year old girl, very few of them think you’re there to try and help them land a record deal at some point, or get in front of new fans. They mostly think you’re there to get in front of them.

And so, I started approaching this a little differently. I would go see the band. I’d come by and say hi. Then, the next day I would follow them on Myspace, because that’s where all the bands were then. I would say, “Hey, I connected with you at the show last night. It was great to meet you. I’m working for such and such label. We’ve got this project coming up, I’d love to know if you’d be interested in submitting music. Here’s what it looks like,” and I would send them the details.

What I would do later that week, is I would go see them again because inevitably they were playing another show. ‘Cause, most of these bands were playing four or five nights a week somewhere in Phoenix. I would then go see them again at their next sort of show, and I would then go up to them and then I was able to have an actual conversation with them because I had already connected with them on Myspace. In a lot of these situations we’d have conversations back and forth. I was regularly creating content on my Myspace page that was featuring bands, featuring a label, featuring deals that we had signed, featuring music from people who were ready to record in the studio. Ready here social proof, right?

And so, they’re seeing on my page what’s happening. They’re seeing in the conversations what we’re talking about. They’re getting the details either in conversation online, or in conversation in person. But, what I’m doing is I’m building relationships, supported by both in person conversation, and online conversation and connection with a baseline of content, foundation of content if you will, that supports what I’m doing and offers social proof to what I’m pitching them.

I do the same thing now, guys. I just do it with different tools. I create conversations with you, both online and in person. I share what’s happening all the time, I share testimonials of people who have worked with me. I provide value, and so you can see there’s a proof of concept here, and it works. Everything I learned about marketing online now, I learned on Myspace. It doesn’t matter what the tool is, it doesn’t matter what the network is. It matters that I’m following those core principles of connecting with people, providing them value, supporting my value with social proof, and staying engaged in the conversation with people.

I don’t care if it’s Myspace, although I do really miss Myspace. It was legit. I don’t care if it’s Facebook. Honestly, I’m okay with Facebook going away. I do like their ads platform, but outside of that, it’s not my favorite place to hangout. I don’t care if it’s Instagram, do love me some Instagram. Don’t care if it’s Twitter, I do also love me some Twitter. I don’t care if it’s LinkedIn, or Pinterest, or whatever else, or YouTube, or whatever. Ello, anybody remember Ello? It had a moment. I actually got a message the other day from somebody who was like, “I love what you’re doing on Ello.” I’m like, “I haven’t posted anything on Ello in four years,” like since the second day I had access to it.

Anyways, that’s a tirade for another day, right? I don’t care what the tool is. I care that we’re following the principles. And so, I want you to look at where are you allowing yourself to get caught up in freaking out, mostly because someone has told you something is happening that hasn’t yet happened? It might happen. But also, where are you setting yourself up to be impacted by something like this? Because, here’s the other part of the story. Myspace at some point, stopped working, right? I think we all know that. Not even JT could save Myspace, although it does technically exist. No one really uses it.

But, the people who had started using Myspace and Facebook were fine. As I transitioned in this job, I added Facebook. Fast forward a few years, before I started my business, I was a blogger. Almost no one knows this. I had a blog called Say Something Stacey, and I created content, and did reviews. I was a very stereotypical mom blogger in 09, 2010. I reviewed all sorts of fun things. Guess what? I built those relationships the same way I had on Myspace, except now I did it on Facebook and Twitter. Mostly Twitter, the same principles applied.

Fast forward two years later, I launched my first business.

Technically the blog could have been a business had it ever made actual money. Mostly I just got free stuff. A couple people paid me, but I think I made in the whole ordeal like, I don’t know, 1,500 bucks. In starting and growing On Demand Virtual Assistant, I did the same principles with Facebook and Twitter. Sort of being the backbone. Fast forward to Hit the Mic Marketing, now The Stacey Harris, I’ve built it with lots of networks, but all the same principles.

And so, look at where you are making sure that you’re diversifying enough, that should the Facebook apocalypse actually happen, you have some place else to be utilizing these same tools. Meaning, use Facebook and LinkedIn, or Facebook and YouTube, or Instagram and LinkedIn, or Instagram and YouTube, or Instagram and Twitter. I don’t care what the combination is, but one of them needs to not be owned by Facebook. And two, that’s all you need. Two. This is what we talk about all the time, this is what we talk about in Backstage Live, this is what we talked about on the show, this is what we’ve talked about anytime you’ve had a one on one call with me. Rule of two. Two primary, two secondary. Don’t start the secondary ones till you’ve really got a feel for the primary ones. That’s all I want you to do, two networks. So, if one goes away, you have another one. You pull in another primary network, and you’re still good to go.

Utilize this to start marketing in a way that doesn’t leave you subject to fear, that doesn’t leave you available to being told, “I’ve got the magic bullet for you and your marketing. If only you would use Instagram stories, you’d have it all figured out.” ‘Cause, guess what? There are 100% people building successful communities through Instagram stories. There’s also people who have an audience full of people who have zero interest in Instagram stories. There is not one magic bullet network that will work for everyone. There is however, one magic way to market that will work for everyone. Talk to people like they’re people, online, offline, on social, in email, and through your content. Treat people like people. That is the gray area of marketing that works no matter what you’re using, whether you’re online or offline. Treat people like people. That’s the lesson for today.

Now, this is the first in sort of an evolution of the show.

I hope you enjoyed it. I’m of course eager to hear your feedback, so Facebook, Instagram, email, smoke signals, whatever works. I accept all incoming messages, except from carrier pigeons. I don’t do birds. Not even like owls, Hogwarts style. I don’t do birds. Anyways, that felt like a weird place to put that, but there you go. I want to remind you, if you are looking ahead at the end of Q2 and into Q3, and you’re planning, and what you want to do this summer with your marketing. Make sure you have reserved your spot. June sixth is going to be our next Backstage Live Event. We’re hosting another one virtually. We just did our Virtual Backstage Live in April, a couple weeks ago actually. It was fantastic, and wonderful, and I loved it.

If you want to come see me here in California, you can do that too. We’re going to do our next in person, and actually our only other in person this year ’cause our December one’s also going to be virtual. But, on September 12th we will be meeting at the conference room in my offices here in Orange County California. And so, I’m really excited. I’d love to have you come see me in the office. It would be super fun. Join us, make sure you have yourself ready for an amazing day ’cause it’s going to be an amazing day, by first of course, reserving your seat over at TheStaceyHarris.com/BackstageLive.

With that, I’m going to bring this episode to a close. I would absolutely love your support in one other thing though. As this show evolves, and as this show is now on episode 443, we’ve got coming to a close. I would love you to take some time, and rate and review this podcast over on iTunes. Even more importantly than that, even more valuable than that, is if there’s somebody who you know who would be impacted or would like to hear this content, share it with them. Share it to your stories and tag me. Send it to a friend via email, or text message, or whatever.

But, I really want this show, in its next sort of chapter, to support the people who need it most. The best way for me to do that, is for me to ask you guys to share it with people who you know would appreciate it, and who you know would be impacted by it. So, the other big change you’re going to see coming up is next week, for the first time in a long time, we’re going to have a guest. I’m really, really excited. Rachel Cook’s going to be joining me. You guys are going to love the conversation I had with her. It’s fantastic. Next week, the first week of May. Instead of having a Three Things You Need to Know Episode, we will instead have a Rachel Cook episode. We’ll have a guest on, and we’re going to be talking about mental health, and we’re going to be talking about balancing your own perfectionism. It’s a fantastic conversation, and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Make sure you’re tuned in, subscribed wherever you listen. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcast, whatever the heck they’re calling that these days. Wherever you like podcasts, make sure you’re subscribed, and make sure you are tuned in and ready next Thursday for that episode, all right? Thank you, thank you. I will stop blabbering on now, and I will talk to you next week.

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