The Business Gay
The Business Gay
The Changing Face of Marketing Online
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The Changing Face of Marketing Online with Matt Skallerud

In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with the president of Pink Media, Matt Skallerud.

Matt has been specializing in LGBTQ online marketing for over 25 years and it all began in 1995 with the launch of GayWired.com, which became one of the top 3 LGBTQ websites worldwide. Having worked with companies, large and small, he’s now focused on the most cutting-edge global innovations in programmatic ad buying, social networking, and Web 2.0 technologies.

Matt has supported the community in many ways throughout his career including being a former Board Chairman of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and he served on the boards for Travel Gay Canada and the LA LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. He is actively involved with key national LGBTQ organizations including the National LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, Out Professionals, and Lambda Legal, just to name a few.

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Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

  • [03:24] Pink Media focuses on storytelling and social media outreach, using various platforms for LGBTQ marketing.
  • [04:46] Pink Media’s niche strategy emphasizes personal relationships and engagement to stay true to the LGBTQ community.
  • [05:43] Engagement is underrated; it’s a crucial metric, and the focus should be on reaching the right audience and creating meaningful connections.
  • [07:33] The shift in advertising: From clients wanting to buy ads to a more organic approach of helping clients tell their story and reach the right audience.
  • [18:38] Engagement is more important than followers; having a large follower count doesn’t guarantee visibility or meaningful interaction.
  • [21:13] Consistency is key in social media growth. A long-term strategy can yield significant results, but patience is crucial.
  • [22:35] Long-form content on platforms like YouTube may have slower growth, but it can lead to substantial and consistent audience development over time.
  • [24:13] Building trust in the long term is essential for success in content creation and business. Consistency, authenticity, and niche focus contribute to trustworthiness.
  • [27:28] AI is transforming content creation, making it more accessible for solo entrepreneurs. Utilizing AI tools can streamline processes and enable efficient content production.
  • [34:49] Consistently sharing your story through various platforms fosters audience connection, keeps you relevant, and reinforces your brand over time.
Transcripts

[00:00:00] Calan Breckon: Today’s episode is sponsored by SparkLoop. SparkLoop is the number one newsletter growth platform. I’m in the SparkLoop partner program and within the first week I saw my email list grow by over twelve 0%. That’s insane. Their newsletter growth strategies and options are the most affordable rates I have ever seen on the market. I’m no longer paying between five and $10 per acquired email through online ads. Now I pay as little as $1 for warm emails that stay on my list and engaged for over 30 days. Everything is customizable in SparkLoop and they will set you up with a team member to help you through the process. Head on over to calanbreckon.com/Sparkloop for more details or just click the link in the show notes. Now let’s get into today’s episode.

Welcome to the Business Gay podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon, and on today’s episode, I have Matt Skallerud, the president of Pink Media. Matt has been specializing in LGBTQ online marketing for over 25 years, and it all began in 1995 with a launch of Gaywire.com, which became one of the top three LGBTQ websites worldwide. Having worked with companies large and small, he’s now focused on the most cutting edge global innovations in programmatic ad buying, social networking, and web 20 technologies. Matt has supported the community in many ways through his career, including being a former board chairman of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel association, and he served on the boards for Travel, Gay Canada and the LA LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. He is actively involved with key national LGBTQ organizations, including the National LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, out professionals, and Lambda Legal, just to name a few. I’m excited to jump in and talk about the new face of media and how times have changed since Matt launched his first website. So let’s jump in.

[00:02:08] Calan Breckon: All right, Matt, welcome to the show. How’s it going?

[00:02:10] Matt Skallerud: Fantastic.

What is this? Is this Tuesday?

[00:02:15] Calan Breckon: Today is Tuesday, but this episode is releasing, I think, around Christmas time. So you might be my Christmas holiday special.

[00:02:23] Matt Skallerud: I’m feeling it on this Tuesday. Usually on Tuesday, you’re like, oh, I got the whole week ahead of me that I got. But somehow I think it’s because there’s so much excitement because Christmas is around the corner and everybody tries to cram all their work into, like, this one week so that they can take off next week.

[00:02:38] Calan Breckon: This week is busy, busy, busy for me.

Well, all right, so I want to jump right into it. You’ve been in the marketing world for a while. A hot minute, definitely. For sure. So you’ve been around, you know, some things I want to know. What does pink media and I love gay network do in today’s market?

[00:02:58] Matt Skallerud: Yeah.

In the context we did start almost 30 years ago when the Internet was first coming along. So what we used to do back then was working with clients to promote themselves online. And then along the way came banner ads and then email campaigns. But when I sold my company in 2006, I wanted to stay in the market and continue to do what I enjoyed best, which was really kind of coming up with a strategy helping companies figure out how do I reach my target demographic online. And so that’s what we just kind of grew up with and continued to do, which was, of course, even 2006, banner ads, email. But then all of a sudden, this Myspace started to come along.

If you fast forward to today, it’s all about social media outreach across all those different platforms and how different it all is, whether you’re using video and photos. And we still do some of the traditional banners and even video placements on tvs, and we do all these things, but our core is really storytelling and getting the message out to folks online, primarily through social media.

[00:04:02] Calan Breckon: Yeah. And you mostly work in the LGBTQ space. So I’m really curious, what are kind of the big differences between LGBTQ and marketing kind of to the masses?

[00:04:12] Matt Skallerud: Yeah. Well, in general, it’s a strategy, and almost all niche type of strategies nowadays kind of are very similar in that sense when you’re doing online marketing. But for us, it’s all about kind of the relationships, and especially with the way LinkedIn and other social media on that side, which really leans on personal relationships that we create online, which gives us a real distinct advantage, we believe, when it comes to really staying true and focused to the LGBT community, we could say we can do this across the board in various different markets, probably make more money, but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. But also, I don’t think we’d be able to be our best.

We wanted to be the best at something, and so we picked something very specific, and we’ve really focused on it for many, many years. And so if we were more general, I think we would just be more like a Walmart trying to be all things to all people.

[00:05:09] Calan Breckon: Yeah. And that doesn’t fit with the community because from my side, I’ve noticed that it can sometimes be a bit fickle navigating the LGBTQ community because you have to niche down within that community as to exactly who you’re marketing to and what you’re targeting. How have you kind of navigated that road of picking and choosing how to market in that regard?

[00:05:33] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, it’s happened very organically, and I would even segue in and say, when you’re doing social media marketing, I believe it’s all about being engaged, to look at it as a two way relationship back and forth. And so a lot of what you’re talking about kind of comes out naturally when you’re engaged with folks that you find interesting that you like. And that’s how we ended up working with influencers many years ago, too, because influencers are out there and they’ve got this strong, especially on Instagram, and they’re much bigger than we are. But especially when we’re on other social media, we start engaging with them. We start sharing their posts, and their first thought is, who are you? And next thing you know, over a period of time, we become kind of online friends. And then even in the real world, when we meet, we become friends.

And that’s just been kind of that one aspect of our business that’s been able to kind of be part of the overall mix that’s continued to grow, I think, based on what you’re saying.

[00:06:27] Calan Breckon: Okay, so when social media became a thing, there was obviously a pivot that happened in your business that you’re like, oh, I see this happening over here. Were you quick to jump on that, or did you kind of hold back and go, okay, let’s see where this is going.

[00:06:41] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, no, it’s pretty quick because it was really becoming something. It wasn’t something where we thought, well, let’s see where this goes. You could really feel it, that it was coming together. But for people that know me, they got tired of me saying, I called it the front door and back door. And you might think, like, that’s a little weird. Why would you say that? The front door for advertising is always kind of the same. It started even with print. I want to buy a quarter page ad. Then they come to you and say, I want to buy 100,000 banner ads or I want to buy an email campaign, but they come to that front door and they want to buy advertising. And so your job is to kind of work with them on that. But the back door was this whole thing that started to really grow where they were coming in saying, well, I don’t really know what I want, but I have a story to tell and I want the right people to see it. So we end up kind of taking them along the in my mind through the back door, and we kind of hold their hand and walk them through, and by the time we’re done, it all becomes the same thing. They’re in our sphere, and it’s all about getting their message out to the right targeted people. And we’re using, whether it’s social media or email or any of that. But we took them through a very different path. And so instead of saying, I want to buy advertising, they came to us and said, I have a message to get out. And so I would say that everything’s reversed now. And so now it’s that I have a message to get out is the front door. Now it’s the predominant way we’re seeing most of our new clients come in and the ones that want to buy ads, whether it’s mobile apps or banners or whatever, that’s becoming a smaller and smaller pool that we work with.

[00:08:08] Calan Breckon: Yeah. And traditional media is also shrinking over time. There’s the whole Google Canada meta, we’re not going to pay you money thing that’s going on because they’re trying to figure out ways to keep traditional media alive. And I think there is definitely a need for traditional media because I think we need traditional media to keep politics in check, because without that, without that actual fact checking, and not just like, oh, I’m a reporter. No, the actual trained people who can go in and do that, it’s really important to have that in today’s world. But the money has shifted and the times have shifted. And how has your business shifted along that journey? Walk us through that a little bit about how you’ve grown and evolved into that role.

[00:08:57] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, well, it’s constantly moving.

What it used to be. Even in the mid 2000s when it was like, I want to buy a banner ad, we realized that we wanted to actually move on even before we sold the company because it became a commodity at that time, all of a sudden we were getting purchase orders over our fax machine, just saying, I’m going to buy 100,000 ads, and we know how much you sell them for. Here you go. And realized it’s not that fun anymore.

When banners became a commodity, I think things started to shift. And so along the way, a lot of other things have just kind of come along, whether we’re looking at social media and how companies approach that. And the development has really been that more and more companies are able to do. I say companies large and small, even individuals can do so much now at their fingertips. You personally can go on and you can do your own Facebook marketing you could promote on Instagram, you calan do so much. While before you would typically come to a company like ours, and then ad agencies want to reach the lgbt market, they would come to a company like ours, say, hey, help us. Help us figure out how to navigate this. They do it all themselves. So what we’re doing is trying to find the path to continue to grow while with all these forces of everybody, number one, being able to do things themselves. Agencies want to kind of control things and bring it more and more in house, and there are answers, but it’s been tricky along the way because you’re always trying to adapt and figure out, like, where is this going?

[00:10:20] Calan Breckon: Yeah. And I think right now we also feel like that because I know a lot of people left, what is it, Twitter X. Now there was a mass exodus, and now that, that has become a completely different beast than it was before. And it was a beast before. And now people are trying to navigate this new world of like, well, we always thought, at least me, I always kind of thought, oh, well, Facebook was the first one, is always going to be around now, Twitter was the first. It’s always going to be around these dominating powers, and that’s now shifting, and people are finding these other smaller networks. And I’m really intrigued as to how that is going to look in the next ten years. Is it going to be more separate or is there still going to be kind of one main area? What are your thoughts on that?

[00:11:04] Matt Skallerud: I think ten years is so far out that we would, because if it was ten years ago, we would have said, myspace is going to rule the world, and we would have been very wrong. But what it does, very wrong, but what it does is it sets a tone, it sets a trend. You could see the elements of what was friendster once upon a time and then what became Myspace and then how Facebook started. You could see that. And there’s a path, there’s a journey as far as how these have developed. And then when you really see how video has taken off and how TikTok has really taught meta and so many others, they’ve kind of taken a lead and said, hey, boys, sit down. This is how you do it. And that’s where Instagram reels came about. And nobody likes to say those things as much we all know it. It’s kind of like I’m segwaying and saying, it’s the same reason Tinder sounds an awful lot like Grindr and nobody wants to tip their hat and say, hey, Grindr came up with some amazing thing. Nobody does that. They just simply kind of riff off of it and move on and say, hey, look at this great thing we created without ever acknowledging where they got the idea.

[00:12:03] Calan Breckon: Oh, 100%. Everybody’s always stealing everybody else’s idea. There is no original ideas anymore. There’s just new spins on those original ideas, I guess.

[00:12:13] Matt Skallerud: But just in general, I think what we’re going to see is video is going to become more predominant in some way, shape or form. Is it going to be TikTok video or something else? We don’t know? And also, I think whatever allows us to be engaged.

When you see LinkedIn and the success of LinkedIn, it’s because of two things, I would say it’s because you’re able to have a two way relationship or conversation. And in addition, you’re able to reach second degree contacts, not just first, which is huge, which means you’re reaching friends of friends, or you’re reaching people that you don’t know, but they’re kind of like minded. And that allows your messaging to get out there to a far greater audience that you can on Facebook and Instagram, which are not, they’re really limited to first degree, your friends and followers. So when you start looking at the general trends as far as what works really well, now you’ll start to SEO, where things are probably going to continue to morph and grow.

[00:13:03] Calan Breckon: Yeah. If you were giving advice to anybody on what platform you really enjoy right now, or what you think you would invest more time in, which platforms and why?

[00:13:14] Matt Skallerud: Well, that’s a tricky question and I’m going to get myself in a little trouble when I answer. I mean, LinkedIn is a good one, but it’s very business to business oriented, but it’s very strong. But the strength is those two areas. The fact that, number one, you could be connected to 30,000 people, not just 5000 like on Facebook, so your reach is far greater. And then their algorithm has gotten very good. So that, number one, you don’t have to see a lot of negativity and crap, and then at the same time, you’re reaching those secondary connection. You’re really reaching out to folks that you’re not connected to. So you can reach a large volume, you can reach people you’re not connected to. And the one that works really well for us, regardless of everything you said so far, is at Twitterx, we don’t engage with hard politics, we don’t engage with hard religion, and on a professional level, we don’t engage on the hard porn. And what ends up happening is that you end up with an algorithm of feed that’s far more aligned. Like, let’s say we have something on Twitter called I love gay theater. All we see are all the theatrical production companies all around the world promoting themselves, and they spend a lot of time and money doing so, and we’re able to be a part of that and help them get the word out to the lgbt community. So we have value there. And you see the same for film. You see the same in books, sports. You see that. But a lot of folks are talking in the media and know Twitter is this toxic success pool. And I’m not going to try to debate or tell people what they’re seeing. If that’s what they’re seeing, that’s their world. But what we’re seeing is very different than what we’re being told a lot. And the numbers of people that see our posts and so forth.

Everything we post usually gets about 750 impressions per post, which is small in some ways, but it’s not bad considering that we’re not paying anything. We’re just kind of following the strategy and everything gets that. And that means it’s the average. So some things get 10,000, 20,000 impressions because they do that reaching friends of friends thing that we were talking about earlier.

[00:15:15] Calan Breckon: Well, I’m glad you’re having that experience on x.

Want to call it that? I’m glad you’re having that experience because I know I left the platform because it felt like I was getting the worst ads and the experience was just not enjoyable. And I was just getting all these people and things that I didn’t want to be involved with. And I was like, you know what? I think it’s time to step away. But where I did find a lot of where I didn’t think I was going to find it was on LinkedIn. And it started off as very businessy. But I think my default is now becoming LinkedIn because it has a lot cleaner of an algorithm. It is a lot more, I don’t want to say inspirational, aspirational kind of porn, but I can celebrate friends or people I know who are doing good things in business and in their life. That makes me really happy. And that’s kind of a little bit more of what I want. And I think a lot of people just don’t use Facebook anymore for that. I think Facebook was too much of a here’s my whole life, whereas I like to keep it a little bit more kind of clean and concise. So LinkedIn has definitely become one of my favorite platforms, for sure.

[00:16:20] Matt Skallerud: What’s funny is that if you ask all the influencers, and if you ask most people, they still go to Instagram. And what’s fascinating also to me about Instagram is that, let’s just say every three or four posts that I see on my feed is a sponsored post. But it’s just sponsored, but it’s not a big brand, it’s individuals. A lot of times it’s individuals and they’re throwing money at their own posts to get more likes or to get more followers. And there’s this whole mentality, know first. I know it’s a happy place for a lot of people. They really like being on Instagram above, maybe TikTok, but Instagram above all else. And the fact that you can just throw 20 or $30 and boost your post, and if you have an event, you could do the same.

That I think is taking a huge percentage of the marketing dollars that we used to see going elsewhere. And I think a lot of money is going into those little individual Instagram boosts.

[00:17:10] Calan Breckon: So I’m really curious because I’ve heard many things from across the board of people saying that it’s not worth it to do that. That’s not really gaining you anything in the long term. And what’s the long term strategy? And other people who are like, oh, well, no, it works really well. I’m curious, what do you think is more important? Is it follower count or is it engagement? And wrapped up into this boosting post, what are the important parts for you?

[00:17:36] Matt Skallerud: I think engagement is underrated.

If a brand or any business is going to work with an influencer, their first thought is always, how many followers do you have? And that’s unfortunate because that’s also created an environment where there was even an HBO documentary about it that was fascinating, that really showed how huge the market is to just buy and build up followers at all costs. That’s the only metric you’re being measured by, and that’s not right. The real metric is, are your posts being seen and by the right people? So are your posts being seen by the right audience? And do people like these posts and are they engaged with them? That always goes towards Instagram, because on Instagram, there’s not a whole lot you can do. You can like it and you Calan comment, but what else do you do? And so, like, at least on LinkedIn X and others, at least you can do something more with it. You can click through, learn more, you can share it to your audience. There’s so much more you can do. And that’s where I really go towards.

That’s why I gravitate towards those by themselves. But that’s kind of the way we see it over here.

[00:18:40] Calan Breckon: Yeah. So I’d say engagement is more of an important factor than followers. And I’d have to agree, because I’ve seen some accounts that have sometimes hundreds of thousands of followers, but then they only have like, ten likes or 20 likes on a photo. And I’m like, something’s not right here. Something is disconnecting and not working here. And then I just go, okay, well, they obviously bought followers that do nothing now, and they just have this number so that they can approach advertiser, approach people and say, oh, I have this giant number. Okay, well, what’s that return on investment that you’re actually getting from that quote unquote big number?

[00:19:13] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, well, the reality is that you can also have, like, 100,000 followers on X and Facebook, and maybe you didn’t even buy them. Maybe you legitimately got all those followers. But the algorithm, especially on Facebook, you post, nobody’s really going to see that post unless there are ways you can actually go into your Facebook page and make it more engaged. But it’s very labor intensive, and so they really want you to spend the money to boost your post to the audience. Do that on Facebook and Instagram. They love that part. So otherwise your post doesn’t really get seen with 100,000 fan page or business page followers. And the same is on X. People will post there, but if they’re not engaged at all and they only look at it as a one way street, and you see a lot of those, those 100,000 followers could be very legitimate, but still no one is seeing their posts, and yet they’re still continuing. Just to automate this whole, let me throw all my headlines out there and do all this stuff, and it’s just a lot of noise on a lot of.

[00:20:05] Calan Breckon: Definitely, I definitely hear that.

It really bothers me that, especially once you have a business account, that it’s just like all of a sudden, I remember when I switched over on Instagram to a business account and I used to get a really good engagement that we’re talking a number of years ago back in the day, and then all of a sudden, it just dropped overnight. And I was like, it pissed me off because I knew the only reason they were doing that is because they wanted me to be addicted to how many I was getting before, and they wanted me to pay them now to reach those same numbers. And it pissed me off. So, of course, I never spent anything on ads. And also, I hear the same thing on TikTok.

Many influencers are like, never pay for the TikTok ads, because once you do, they have you hooked because they know you’ll do it again. And so it’s like, if you build organically, that’ll do you a lot better. But it’s just like, well, what came first? Chicken or egg situation? What are your thoughts on that?

[00:21:06] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, but it’s also the turtle and the hair situation, too. I mean, if you stay true on a strategy and continually build that up, you grow at a certain percentage every month or every year. So that percentage means that if 10% of 100 is only ten new followers the next month, but 10% of 1000 is 100 new followers the next month. So if you stick with it, you can really kind of get there. It does take time to do it, I would say, the right way. And I would tell you that well over 50% of the folks I would ever talk to do not have that patience to wait.

Of course, that’s okay. You can buy your way into some success, or you can find all these other crafty little ways to be able to get there. But all of them, everybody’s just playing a game if you’re looking at it that way. And that’s why you see so many opinions on all this stuff, is because everyone’s got a different take on exactly what we’re talking about. Do you play the game? Do you get it quickly? Do you play a long game and build yourself up? But here we are entering 2024. You can look and you can see individuals and businesses that have played the long game that are in an extremely powerful position now.

And when you see that, you realize that it does work, but you just have to have faith, and also you stick with it, and you just hope that things are going to continue along the path that you’ve started.

[00:22:27] Calan Breckon: Oh, big time. I’m definitely a play the long game kind of a person. I’m very patient, but I’ve seen it pay off. Mean with YouTube specifically. Let’s take that one. They want you people to know watching, and they have all their own algorithms and stuff. But I have long form content. This podcast on there is a long form content, and that is a lot harder to rank for. And so I know my followers have been growing, or subscribers have been growing very slowly over there. But I saw the strategy over at the gaming going deeper podcast. When we built that, that was long form content, and it took a long time to build. But now they’re upwards of over 10,000 viewers or subscribers, and things continue to grow very consistently for them over there. And I think that it’s like if you’re willing to put in the time and to just not give up and to be patient, doing the long form strategy and the long term strategy will pay off in insane dividends in the future. But the short term is what people want because they want to see the results in order to keep going.

[00:23:35] Matt Skallerud: It’s really tricky. But you personally, the long game is built for you because then, especially when you’re posting on LinkedIn and any other social media, I see some of your things that you’ll post position you as a thought leader as well in the SEO space. And when you stay true to that and you continually spoon feed is probably the best word. But when you see content, which means that then you don’t ever ask the question, how often should I post? Post when you have something to say. If you don’t have something to say, don’t post. Which makes me sound like a cranky old man. But when you see something that’s true to your niche, you post it, you share it on your channels, you’re posting your own content, you’re engaged with other people. When you do that, over time, people start to trust you, but they don’t trust you in the short term. And the trust is. I’m using this very loosely, but they trust you in that. Yeah, you’re out there, you’re doing SEO. You seem like a really nice in, you’re in Toronto, you’re in this market, but are you really in it for. Because what’s in it for me is that I want to be able to give you my trust and my time. And when I am at that point where I want to hire somebody, I want to know that you’re going to be there for me. And that’s human. That’s the human aspect and the human element that I don’t think everybody always thinks about. It’s the psychology of this. And so short term means nothing when it comes to listing, except a lot of quick wins. But the long term means that after five years, six years of you doing that, people are going to think SEO, Toronto LGBT business, they’re going to come to you as one of their very first people that they come to.

[00:25:02] Calan Breckon: But that’s playing that long game. And even SEO is a long game. Don’t work with somebody less than six to twelve months, because it takes that much time for Google to register and for all things to come together. And maybe that’s what kind of played into my patients is that it’s like, I know because I’ve seen results come in long term, but to try, and I don’t want to say convince, but to help people understand that it’s just so much better if you do play that long game, because even putting out all this content, this short form that goes out there, you don’t get all the views on TikTok. Things don’t always blast off, and it can be really hard for people to stick with it because they’re like, oh, I’m not getting anything. I’m not getting anything. You have to think about it as building a body of work. You’re building a library and a body of work, just like this podcast. I’m building this content library so that a year from now, two years from now, when somebody comes, they can see all of this content, and that will help build that no, like, trust factor that you were speaking about, because they can see, oh, this person does something and sticks with it for a long period of time. I can count on them to show up because I’m seeing them show up right now. Whereas if you just do quick ads and we’ve all seen those ads on Facebook or Instagram or wherever, where they’re like, buy this thing right now, do this thing. I’ll help you get this. It’s like, I don’t know who you are. And you go to their pages and they kind of have some stuff, but you’re like, I don’t really like, where’s the trust factor there? That I think is what comes more built in with a long term strategy is the trust factor.

[00:26:37] Matt Skallerud: How many people have you seen that were posting like crazy, just flooding any channel you’re looking at, just always on? And then like a year, six months, or a year later, you’re like, all of a sudden you realize, where’d they go? I haven’t seen anything from them. And it’s funny because they’ve moved on and you kind of dig around and sometimes they’re not even online anymore, but they come on very strong, and that’s all you see, and they make a strong impression on you. But then when they go away, when people go away, especially in this medium, you don’t always notice. They just have faded away. And that, and over time, you’re like, oh, wait, you have a memory of something. Something triggers a memory of what things that they used to do. And it happens to me all the time now where so many influencers or just anybody that’s kind of noisy and pushing out there. So many of them, it was a short term play and then they faded away. It just didn’t work for them. And I’m always amazed by that.

[00:27:23] Calan Breckon: Yeah. The flash in the pan.

[00:27:25] Matt Skallerud: Yeah.

[00:27:27] Calan Breckon: I’m really curious because AI is becoming a big, huge thing. So what are some tips that you have when we move into this new era of AI and tech in regards to marketing?

[00:27:38] Matt Skallerud: I think we’re so at the very beginning of it and I actually love listening. There’s only one podcast I actually listen to. It’s called hard fork and it’s all tech, but it’s really good because they loved the whole AI thing with OpenAI and all the drama that went on there. But. So I stay on top of, I believe that I stay on top of a lot of those things, but there’s so many aspects of how it’s going to influence our life, but it’s going to be over the next ten or 20 years.

And it’s hard to know that right now. The one area that everybody’s, not everybody, but a lot of people have jumped on is content creation. So AI has become a huge tool for creating articles and email campaigns and all that stuff. And it actually does a pretty good job of creating content that resonates, that people will not even, as long as it’s edited afterwards, you won’t even know it was written by an AI. And you’re seeing the same, I think, in imagery and in video, and how you’re able to utilize video in order to be able to create, like you were even telling me before, clips of a show, there’s so many different things you can do, but we’re at the very beginning .1% of what we’re going to see, and I actually can’t quite even see myself where this is ultimately going to go. But it’s all designed to make our lives far, far easier. It’s like robots building cars. It’s going to make our lives so easy that we won’t have anything to do. Just sit back and wait for those government basic income checks to roll in.

[00:29:03] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I’m very interested because it’s like the speed at which things are happening. There’s this new tool I keep seeing ads for where it’s like a basic sketch, and then it can turn it into this whole room perfectly. And I’m like, oh my goodness, if we can already do that. And it’s been less than a year that AI, this type of AI, has really been worked on and like you said, I use AI for this podcast because even though we’ve talked a lot about social media, I don’t love social media.

And so I never did short clips until I found this AI program that I insert the video and it does all the cropping, all the text, all the everything for me, picks what it thinks will do really well in regards to what’s been said. And I just do a couple of really simple edits on it and there, boom, I have like 24 short clips for each episode I record. And it took me like maybe a maximum of a half an hour to put it through the program and then edit each and every one, a half hour max. And it is so magical because I wanted those things. But I’m not going to sit there for hours and hours and hours editing one short video. I’m like, I got way too many other things to do. I think it’s really enabling a lot of solo entrepreneurs to be able to do a lot more of this stuff for themselves. Like we were talking about earlier, a lot more people have the power to do these things for themselves now.

[00:30:30] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, I think it’s amazing. And just one of my isms is just that the short form really should be designed to get people excited in a short little clip so that they do want to pursue the long form, whether that’s just learning more about you from your website or watching a longer video. But I think sometimes people lose sight of that as well and they just throw long form video out there and hope that somebody’s going to watch 45 minutes or an hour. But there’s not a lot of people out in our world that have 45 minutes or an hour, just free time to sit there and say, oh, let’s see if this video is going to be interesting or not.

[00:30:59] Calan Breckon: Yeah, that comes from the know, like trust. It’s like you have to build that with your audience so that they know when they listen to that long episode, they can trust they’re going to get something from it. But that’s really hard to give it to them in that first, like, oh, listen to the hour and find out. But if you give those short videos, and this is what I’m learning in my business, those short videos give the taster of what’s in the episodes. They go, oh, that’s actually really interesting. I actually want to hear more about that conversation. That’s what’s converting people over into that long form content. And I think a lot of people are nervous that this younger generation is so addicted to short form and they can’t handle long form, and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think that people will pay attention to the things that truly interest them. Like, I know people who will sit and watch something for hours if they’re truly interested in it. And so if you can catch them with the short form and convert them over to the long form, that’s how I think the magic sweet spot is to do that.

[00:32:03] Matt Skallerud: But there’s something in there which is that how many people or companies create long form video, and you see them on YouTube and they have like a 32nd to 1 minute beginning that’s there. It’s a little fluffy, just like they have on tv.

But that goes against the direction. Like, if you learn on TikTok, you have got to catch people’s attention on a TikTok video within the first, 2nd or two, or they just, or even a fraction of a second, or they swipe. So the whole idea about not catching people and making it clear what this video is going to be about at the very beginning goes completely against what so many traditionalists are doing with their long form videos, with their cute little entry into it. And you watch those and you’re just like, I get it. It makes them happy to create it. But that’s a throwback to, that’s a throwback to the just pure broadcast tv.

[00:32:52] Calan Breckon: I literally skipped away from a video on YouTube the other day because the intro was too long. I was like, I don’t have time.

[00:32:59] Matt Skallerud: Maybe you can move around and try to find an entertaining spot, but that’s up to them to be able to give you the entertaining spots to start with. SEO. Yeah, there’s a lot of disconnects. People don’t just change on a dime. All this stuff, even though all the technologies continue to improve and the answers are sitting right in front of us, you could see the answers to where to go, what to do if you just pay a little bit of attention. But a lot of folks, they’re more focused on what they want to do. Or like, maybe they’re saying, I’m promoting my business and I want to do it my way, and I don’t have time for all this stuff, so I’m just going to do it based on, and almost all of those people that think that way go on Facebook first and waste a lot of time.

[00:33:35] Calan Breckon: All right, I want to ask you, if you were to tell people to pick one thing to do right now, like, maybe they’re a solo entrepreneur and they want to do something and they’re just like, oh, I don’t know where to start. What is one place that you would suggest for them to start?

[00:33:52] Matt Skallerud: I would just say, get your story.

Even if the story is just a nice little short form. Like this is what I’m up to this month, or this is something that, what happens is that let’s just say I’m working with a client and not to give you a longer answer for what should be a short one on a longer one. You’re working with somebody, so you’re kind of working with, okay, let’s introduce folks to you. And then you kind of work through a thing, but over time, the content and the story that everybody should be doing just right away is you get a flow so that you think of some things that are important or relevant to your client base, to your business, and you write that out. You make a nice little 1 minute, two minute blog post, video, whatever format you’re most comfortable with, and then you get that out there through your distribution channels, your email, your LinkedIn and so forth. So coming up with a nice little paragraph or two and keeping that out there on a regular flow even once a month, I think that’s the very most important thing, because that way people get to know who you are. You’re selling your business, you’re keeping yourself relevant, you’re multiplatform, you’re out there on all the different platforms, and it’s probably the easiest general thing to do that people are doing it, but not everyone.

[00:34:58] Calan Breckon: So it’s sounding like consistency. That’s part of it on your story is important because then that way people get to know you again and again and again. And every time it comes up, they’re like, okay. It reinforces who you are and what you do.

[00:35:12] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, you’re driving along and all of a sudden, after you’ve done a few of those, you’re driving along or you’re in the shower and all of a sudden you just have this thing like, oh, yeah, you start kind of thinking of something and then all of a sudden that can have life because it’s a new idea that you’ve taken from things that maybe you’ve been reading and so forth. And then you distill that into something for that month, for your audience, for your client base. And if you do that on a regular basis, they actually start to pay attention a lot to those and they know what you do for a living. You go to see them at a conference and they’re like, you don’t have to sit there and catch them up to what you’ve been up to for the last year. They know because they’ve been watching your videos. And I’m telling you, this is fact. I didn’t think people watch those videos in the same way, but I went to a conference recently, and they’re like, they’re ready.

Know. They’re like, closing the sale. They’re like, we know what you do. We want to buy this. I’m like, oh, fascinating. That’s never happened to me before.

[00:36:00] Calan Breckon: All right, so keep it consistent and keep it out there for everybody to hear your story. This has been magical. Matt, where can people find out more about you or the work you do and if they want to work with you?

[00:36:12] Matt Skallerud: Yeah, I think the easiest is just Pinkmedia LGBT. It’s about the website, and then we bring Pink Media LGBT together for all of our social media profiles. So at Pink Media LGBT, but from any place they want to find us, they should be able to navigate, learn, and of course, from there, even reach us directly if they have any questions.

[00:36:32] Calan Breckon: Awesome. Well, I’ll also make sure that all those links are in the show notes for anybody who wants to check it out. Well, thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast today, Matt. This has been absolutely.

[00:36:43] Matt Skallerud: Thanks. Thanks again. I’m enjoying my time with you. I can’t wait till we connect in the real world soon.

[00:36:48] Calan Breckon: Me too.

[00:36:49] Calan Breckon: Thanks again for tuning in today. Don’t forget to hit that like and subscribe button wherever you’re enjoying today’s episode. And if you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify, please give it a star rating. I’d really appreciate it. The Business Gay podcast is written, produced and edited by me, Calan Breckon. And if you’re looking to get a free SEO website audit, you can head on over to calanbreckon.com/audit and set one up with me or click the link in the show notes. That’s it for today. Peace, love, rainbows.

Calan Breckon
Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and host of "The Business Gay" podcast. He has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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