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Social Media And The Modern Startup

How Social Media allows early adopters to share an experience without the risk of being the entrepreneur creating it.

Social Media Allows Early Adopters to Share the Experience
w/out The Risk of being the Entrepreneur Creating It

I always tell my team “it
doesn’t cost money to execute, be creative and provide an amazing experience” and
this has always been the foundation of my existence as an entrepreneur. In 2007,
I started my company with no investors or Venture Capital funding, nor was I
going to wait for it. I did have a
rather grand vision, which was to restore the experience back to the music
space as the next generation of music companies and business executives.

How would I achieve
this? I would begin to develop a script
or as some corporate executives might say, “a forecast”. However, this forecast or in my case, script,
wouldn’t involve a bunch of numbers or projections but more so, executing a
series of ideas based on a dream or vision and seeing which one stuck
first. Basically, trial by fire. It would focus on creating an experience,
telling a story that most wouldn’t or can’t.
Because I didn’t have any money when I first launched MusicIsMyBusiness,
my thought process was simply to build the brand first and the money will
come. Money comes and goes but the
opportunity to sustain your brand and make it authentic in the eyes of
others … that opportunity only comes once when you’re new company.

Enter stage left…Social
Media, a character that would change how myself and other early adopters would
share our experiences with the world.
This Social Media character wouldn’t be as complex as some analyst and
experts would later report. Social
media, in its simplest form, would cater to some of our most basic needs:

1. Our need for mental stimulation, connectivity and instant gratification

Early adopters of these social media platforms (i.e., Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter)
took the power from originators of the 24-7 news cycle (i.e., CNN and ESPN) and
became the news cycle themselves. Places
like Facebook took the monotony of a chat room (think AOL back in 2001) and created
a global community. This satisfied our innate
need for control and satisfaction. The power was restored to the people
(sort-of)! No longer did you have to go
out and be around people … you could bring the party right to your laptop, thus
satisfying our need for human interaction. Not saying it replaced the thrill of
being at an awesome party with family and friends but it’s the next best
thing.

2. Our need for security and discretion

Early adopters could interact with people, places or things without the fear or pain
of being rejected. You could be
yourself, re-brand yourself and chose your level of exposure or discretion
while interacting with the hundreds of millions of people within these networks
and all from the safety of our homes, offices, favorite coffee shops or
wherever you chose to hangout that day.

So with all that being said
and my “naïve” (as a older music executive once called me) understanding of how
this world functions I begin to set forth a script or strategy that would allow
the world and a community of social connectors to grow and live as we do.

The (working) Social
Media Script for MusicIsMyBusiness :

Act 1 … Determine what your experience or story is

Someone said, “Entrepreneurship is living your life like most won’t, so that later on you can
live your life like most can’t”. It was
the fabric of that quote where I realized people will follow us (whether it be
via musicismybusiness.com, MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter) in order to experience
what we experience, learn what we learn (and share) without having to take the
risk of doing it themselves. It’s almost
like going to see your favorite play or movie … whether it’s fiction or
non-fiction, the viewer is always engaged because they are watching something
that they can experience from afar with no-risk at all. Well social media has become the interactive movie or stage play.

Our stage play would be
presented via video on our YouTube page in HD or via our Facebook page (s) and
via our 140 characters or less twitter updates. From there it would spread to other social
mediums like CNN (and cnn.com), vh1.com and various other sites and blogs like
Rnbexclusive.com, Next2shine, Genjuice.com, mbmclassic.com etc.

Act 2 … Understand The Importance and marketability of your
story; allow your followers to interact

I realized early on, that
Social Media would serve as a visceral way to allow early adopters to
experience what we do everyday: the inspiration, the struggle. Someone told me “it’s interesting
how people become friends on Facebook and start feeling like they truly know a
person… gives a sense of familiarity.” That would be my goal, for everyone to know us
a company, as people, as average kids with a vision that happen to be doing
above average things. Our followers don’t support us because we have a company
or product per say to push but because we showcase an experience that only our
story as young executives building a company can show. We allowed our followers and friends to truly
interact and grow with us, support us and live with us on this journey.

The key, however, was
packaging our story and presenting it to my community of friends and followers,
so that they could also benefit. We had to
be transparent and not put up any fronts about the path to building MusicIsMyBusiness. I had to let them know, yes I did leave my
corporate job to work as an unpaid assistant/intern for Sean “Diddy” Combs, one
of the most amazing Entrepreneurs of our time, but it came with a heavy sacrifice.

In understanding the
marketability of one’s story … it’s not bragging or boasting but knowing that
you’ve traveled a path matched only by few and people want to know how you did
it. Once we began to engage people with
our authentic content, our social media community could experience the
sacrifice and the successes … and in some respect they became the people who
helped us grow and achieve those successes.

So in the words of my
good friend and Global Philanthropist, Garret Gravsen, “So start sketching out
your story … the world is dying to hear from you.”

About the author

under 30," according to Inc Magazine. journalism and PR with a minor in marketing and theatre.

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