Get Together

The secret sauce behind Mariah Carey‚Äôs fan community ūüĆü Bree Nguyen

Episode Summary

An interview hosted by Bailey and Kevin with Bree Nguyen, a Mariah Carey superfan turned ‚ÄúLamb‚ÄĚ community cultivator. In this episode, we sit back, listen, and laugh, as Bree‚Äôs shares her bonkers story. Bree went from a 16-year-old Mariah Carey superfan to working for her idol overnight, rallying ‚ÄúLamb‚ÄĚ fans online who supercharged the superstar's career. Bree shares what she learned cultivating fan communities around Mariah and later Michelle Branch, Lincoln Park, and more as Head of Partnerships at Facebook.

Episode Notes

‚ÄúHi, Bree, it‚Äôs Mariah. Mariah Carey...Please tell the fans thank you.‚ÄĚ

In 1999, 16-year-old Bree Nguyen was hired by her idol, Mariah Carey, to do something urgent: get Mariah on Total Request Live (TRL). 

Why hire a 16-year-old fan? Bree figured out one thing that music executives were unclear how to venture into: internet fandom.

If you’ve read our book, you may have already heard a snippet of Bree’s story and we don’t want to give it all away. In this episode Bree tells us the extraordinary story of how she first met Mariah and joined her team. Then, how she created a framework based on immersion into fandom that she would later repeat for artists like Michelle Branch, Ashlee Tisdale, My Chemical Romance, and Lincoln Park. 

ūüĎčūüŹĽSay hi to Bree on Twitter.

ūüďĄSee the full transcript

This podcast was created by the team at People & Company. 

ūüĒ•Say hi! We would love to get to know you.

We published GET TOGETHERūüďô, a handbook on community-building.¬†

And we help organizations like Nike, Porsche, Substack and Surfrider make smart bets with their community-building investments.

Hit subscribeūüéô and head over to our website to learn about the work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations.

Episode Transcription

Note: This transcript is automatically generated, and there may be some errors.

00:04

Welcome to get together.

00:07

Speaker 2: Yeah. It's our show about the nuts and bolts, the meat and potatoes, the nitty, and the gritty of community building. I am your host Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at people and company and co author of get together how to build a community with your people, which is now available.

00:25

Speaker 3: Hey everybody, I'm Kevin Wynn also a partner at people in company. Also a coauthor of get together now available on Amazon. Also a friend of Bailey. Yeah.

00:34

Speaker 2: A friend of mine. You also have an author profile on Amazon, which if you didn't know that does it. Yeah.

00:40

Speaker 3: We've got these like complimentary photos too. It's like the same background.

00:44

Speaker 2: Moving on each episode, we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How do they grow to thousands, more members

00:55

Speaker 3: Today we're talking to bring when the original online fan community master for music stars, the King maker of music stars of the nineties, TRL whisperer.

01:06

Speaker 2: And if you've read our book, you know, the bonkers story of how Bree got hired by her idol, Mariah Carey as a 16 year old in 1999. But if you don't know that story, I'm not going to ruin it all for you right now. You'll just have to tune in, but you should know that this is like a one in a billion story. It's one of the best I've ever heard in my life. And you are in for a treat because this story is so great. A lot of this episode was just like story hour, where we sit quiet and listen and laugh while breeze shares her history with us. But we didn't just want to talk to Brie about her experience with Mariah Carey. We also talked to her in the episode about how she organized and invested in fan communities over and over and over again successfully because she had a clear strategy and clear insights about how to do that. No matter the group Kev, what stuck out to you about our conversation with Bree?

02:02

Speaker 3: No breeze story is an ode to the power of paying attention, to who keeps showing up both with, you know, how Mariah's team saw Bri super fan. And though they didn't understand what was happening on the internet. They did reach out and, you know, enable this internet kid to help Mariah, you know, get, get a video on TRL and beyond. And also, you know, Brie talks about paying attention to, you know, other Mariah fans. And then as she goes on to build out the fan communities around other artists, the power of, you know, noticing who keeps showing up, noticing the most engaged fans, personal outreach, if one stops voting for a single day and understanding kind of that hierarchy of hardcore fans versus lurkers versus the people who are rising up as leaders within the community, really just paying attention to who keeps showing up in the, you know, how those people can really be catalysts and change the direction of a whole group. Groovy, groovy, lovey,

03:00

Speaker 2: Lovey, love it.

03:03

Speaker 4: All right, let's get into it.

03:05

Speaker 2: I'm going to cuss. Holy shit. I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. I've been dreaming that you would let me do this interview for seriously, like two years now, like ever since I first heard this story. So thank you for giving us our time. We're so stoked to be talking to you.

03:19

Speaker 4: I'm so excited to be here. It's been a really fun journey with you guys, like with the get together book and everything going on with you guys. So I'm super excited.

03:27

Speaker 2: Yeah. So, Oh, go ahead. Breeze in our book, which y'all can read the story, like spoiler alert if you've already read it, but we're going to jump right into hearing more about your personal story. Bri. We, we like to say that if you're someone who's organizing a community, you can't fake the funk. Like you have to be passionate about the thing that the community is passionate about. So your story really begins with a personal passion. You were a fan of Mariah Carey. Can you take us back to like teenage Bree, like, and just what drew you to Mariah Carey in the first place? Like, tell me about falling in love with her and that passion.

04:03

Speaker 4: Okay. Well, and then everybody else needs to put themselves in their 12 or 13 year old self, you know, like when you're really searching your own identity and searching for things to express yourself before you knew, you know how to do your own expression. So you have to put yourself in that teenage mind, I'm a nineties kid. It was always be my baby. So I was a little late in the Mariah game, but I was like 12, you know? So it was like around that age for me, that song is amazing. A but then I'm biracial. She speaks very openly about biracial. Now it's pretty common to see biracial people, but growing up in the nineties, I think I was one of a handful of biracial kids and, you know, a 4,000 student high school. So that was something I really connected with her lyrics are personal, all of this stuff. So it just became all consuming for me. My six CD changer, you know, it was all Mariah. It really was expressing myself through her songs. Right. There's Mariah posters on my wall next to the JTT ones. Oh yeah. Patchy. Yeah. So pretty typical teenage, you know, idolization of your favorite music art.

05:19

Speaker 2: One of the interesting things too, is that in the nineties you were in that first wave. I mean, I was in it too. I think of people who had fandom like through the internet. So like, can you tell me about that and how that showed up for you? You're pretty internet savvy person.

05:33

Speaker 4: Yeah. I was lucky that my dad is a computer engineer is a software engineer. So we always had computers around and I had a computer growing up, playing games and stuff. Same with me. Yeah. So that's one of the reasons why I was on the internet early, but what really did it, and this is a true story is every day I remember he would come to dinner and he would just like randomly say something to connect with me. And he would say like, did you know, Mariah Carey was born in long Island, New York. And I was like, how do you know these things? Like every day I was like, where are you getting this information? And this is before the web. He was even on newsgroups. Right. And he's like in this Morag newsgroup Oh my gosh. And I was like, I need to be there.

06:20

Speaker 4: So that's actually what started my foray on the internet. And so this is like the mid nineties. So he got me set up and I literally that's all I did on the internet was like cruise these Mariah Carey news and everything I knew two years later are so AOL would come and all of that. So I got into the web and the web was relatively small still. So there wasn't a lot of fan sites yet. You know, I have a lot of time on my hands. I'm 14 years old, you know, not a whole lot going on except for soccer. So like, I was like my big to do, you know? So, so I spent a lot of time on the internet, just reverse engineering, things that I wanted to do. So reverse engineering, a fan site. And again, this is as a teenager was my form of expression, right? It's my version of putting posters on the wall. And people always ask me like, how did you learn how to build websites? I'm like, I don't, I literally just started doing it. I would just reverse engineer HTML from other websites and tinker around trial and error until I started to actually learn the language

07:23

Speaker 2: I want to get into the guts of what's going to happen next in your story, which I already know about. So I'm cheating. But one of the key points in our book is that community building is really about developing leaders. You find people who are genuine, you find people who are qualified to lead the community in a subgroup, and then you like empower those people. And this is what really happened to you. Like spoiler alert, Mariah Carey, pinpointed you out of a crowd of thousands, maybe millions of fans to like work with her, to build the fan community. And I'm just curious, like, can you tell us the story of how you're just one of all these other fans on the internet reading about her chatting about her? Like, how did Mariah find you out of that sea of people?

08:16

Speaker 4: It was a crazy chain of events. So it's the year I'm going to paint the picture it's year 1999. Right. So magical time back then. But just to remind everybody in 99, that was the year of Napster. So the music industry was completely on edge about the internet. They were like, this is this evil thing. I hate the internet. I mean, artists were literally saying, I don't go on it. You know? So it was kind of a tense time. It'd be another two years before Google even came, you know? So just to like set the,

08:49

Speaker 2: So you've got your internet history, like from

08:52

Speaker 4: . So it's still another two years before nine 11, and it's still another two years MRI, a history before glitter,

09:05

Speaker 5: Just the way that Victor. So she is still the biggest

09:07

Speaker 4: Artists in the world. I mean, one can argue she's come back quite a bit now, anyway. So at the time she was on Sony records and they didn't have a website for her. So she's, you're talking about the biggest artist in the world. They had a splash page up for the album rainbow, which is that's the one with the singles heartbreaker. And thank God I found you. So the fans self-organized. So there was this message board already. Cause that was the extent of our community technology at the time. And there was a big message board. I forget who owned it originally, but it was called the friends of Mariah message board. Old school fans will remember that. And it was pretty strong. It was a fan paid for it. I think they took donations, things like that. It was about 50 or 60,000 members strong, which is pretty big in 1999 for just Mariah. So now I'm 15 years old in the thick of high school. I am spending more time on this message

10:05

Speaker 5: More than anything else. I remember.

10:07

Speaker 4: We're like staying up till like four in the morning and then rushing

10:11

Speaker 5: If I heard my mom get up or something,

10:14

Speaker 4: Naturally I became quote unquote, a community leader on there just from being present, to be honest, sheer time spent. Yes, exactly. Sheer time spent. And to your point, the genuineness and authenticity, because I'm actually a huge Mariah fan and we didn't just talk about Mariah things, right. It was everything. It was just a bunch of teenagers coming together around a common interest, Mariah. And we just talked about everything else and we had different forums for everything little did I know at the time that I was one of the influencers just cause I was on there, I helped out everyone knew who I was. I was frequent visitor and I had, you know, a bunch of my online friends. They're just like friends. I knew through the message boards, which, which is now is really commonplace. But then people were like, what? Fast forward a little bit.

11:02

Speaker 4: I had moved to Los Angeles to go to college that year. So I was 16 years old, FYI, like kid genius, keep going. Yeah. So I graduated early, I moved to LA. So I was on my own and I'll lie, which was in hindsight, terrifying, but in the moment was amazing. And the moment I was like, we, I have no money. I didn't know any better. Honestly, my innocence and naivete actually propels this whole story. I think if I had been older or more experienced, it would, none of this would have happened. So luckily Mariah is a really good person and did not take advantage of me or anything like that. So what happened was a heartbreaker was out in this, the single was out and the album was about to come out the Ramo album. And I remember it was like a November release date. And again, they only have a splash page with literally just have the album cover and the release date and like dying for more information. Sixteen-year-old breeze just

11:56

Speaker 5: Shaking my head at the screen at this last page. And I'm like, it's still again, but

12:03

Speaker 4: So many records last minute announces, she's going to do a three city record store in store signing. So they announced three cities, LA, Chicago, and New York I'm in Los Angeles. So it was a really big deal because Mariah doesn't tour very much or didn't at the time. And she was coming to the West coast, everyone's freaking out. And she was going to go to tower records on sunset on a Friday in November and sign CDs. So the message board is blowing up. This was a high activity day. You know, people begging their parents, figuring it out, logistics, people driving in from a lot of places. So everybody starts posting on the board. Like, which one are you going to? Which one are you going to? So I write I'll be at the Los Angeles one and because I'm an influencer people latched on to that.

12:51

Speaker 4: So a lot of people were looking at me. They were like, Oh my God, Brie, let's meet up when we're there. So it became like a friend meetup to like, I'm going to finally meet a bunch of friends that I've been talking to for a long time and we're going to meet up before the signing. And so the thread became really big about Bri going to the LA one. And there was a woman that posted that I remember she lived in Brazil or something and she was begging me on the message board, please, Brie, can you give her my letter? I'm never going to meet her. This is my dream come true. This whole thing. And it was this really kind of heart tugging thing. And it was on a public message board. So what was I going to do? Say no to publicly in front of everybody? So I replied like in a 16 year old self, like, I don't know. I don't know if I'm going to meet her, but okay. Just send it to me. Cause I felt weird promising something like that when I didn't really even know it was gonna happen, but I posted my email address for her to send me an email. It was Carrie on three to7@aol.com.

13:48

Speaker 5: 

13:54

Speaker 4: I logged off of AOL, you know, and go on with my day in, in classes and whatnot, about eight hours later, I come back to my email and thought I had a virus or somebody hacked into me because I had something like five or 6,000 emails. Boom, which is great. I don't think I've ever had more than like 14 emails, like up to this point in my life. So I was freaking out at first. Cause I didn't understand what was going on. AOL like froze downloading it. And what I realized it was my very first lesson in viral marketing, which was when you take an influencer and an on demand, you know, a hot demand message that I was going to give a letter to Mariah. Remember it's 10 years still before Twitter gets invented, that spread like wildfire. So well I was at, you know, history class.

14:44

Speaker 4: This message basically flew around the internet. So all the fan sites were posting, Oh my God, where you said she would give this girl her letter. If you email her and ask her nicely, maybe she'll give Mariah your letter too. Wow. So I got all these emails that were begging me. They were like, please, I live in, you know, wherever France and Germany all over the world. And just like that, you have a Rolodex of emails of all of that as fans. Exactly. So I go on the message board, see everybody freaking out. And my 16 year old self, I thought if I said no, that literally 5,000 people would come to my house and beat me.

15:21

Speaker 5: Are there letters?

15:22

Speaker 4: So, so I post on the message board. I'm like, Whoa. And by the way, it's like three days before the in. So I go on the message board. I said, Whoa, okay. There's a lot of you. Okay. You know, no promises, I'll put this together. Let's do it. Let's actually, if we're going to do this, we're going to do this. Let's do it. Right. Yeah, let's do it. So I turned it quickly into a thing. I turned it around of like, okay, email it to me like this, we'll put it together. We'll say we're making up the rainbow of the world or something like that. I said something like that. And so I ended up getting about 10,000 letters emailed to me. I sat there and it was so many people and I sat there and copied and pasted them into word one by one. That must have taken a long time. Wow. Doc, that word doc was no joke. And I use the school computer to print them all out. Put your college into a small amount of debt.

16:21

Speaker 5: Exactly.

16:24

Speaker 4: I know this is, I feel like the statute of limitations has passed LA city college know that I did this, but I printed it out. I remember it was the middle of the night, the night before the in store. And I was there with my friend and I print out this stack and it literally was about two inches, the act of papers. Oh. And I three hole punch 10 pages at a time. And I'm looking at this and I'm telling me my friend, I cannot bring this. Like now it seems commonplace. But at that time I was like, can I bring this? They're going to think I'm crazy. I cannot show up with this many letters nobody's ever done this before. Right. It's my chance to meet Brian. I'm gonna look like a Cray Cray.

17:01

Speaker 5: Hi. My name is Brie. I wrote these .

17:08

Speaker 4: That's how my friend was like, calm down, calm down. Just you write a letter on top and just explain what happened. Wow. Crucial decision, crucial decisions. So I was like, okay. So I wrote a two page letter since it was my book. I figured I could write more than a page, but did everybody else? Cause you had 30 paper cuts on your fingers. And I wrote a letter that basically explained this whole thing. What? I just sat there as the message board, et cetera, et cetera, and signed Bree, by the way. I'm your biggest fan. I love you so much. You know, here's my social security at home. I here's my contact information.

17:42

Speaker 5: My school schedule though.

17:45

Speaker 4: And that's it. And then I go to the in store with this binder, a three inch three ring binder. And if you look it up, I think there's videos of it on YouTube of the 1999 tower records, sunset in store. They had to shut down sunset Boulevard. Wow. 10,000 people like flooding into the streets. And there must be a handful of times if that, that they've ever had to shut down sunset Boulevard for at time periods in store. So it was a really big deal. I was there all day waiting in line and meeting my friends and having a good time. I just didn't think about anything at all. Finally got to meet her later that night for about 30 seconds. If that, and then I always say, I'm so glad Mariah doesn't actually remember me from that day because this is my star struck moment. And for those that know my career, you know, I've gone on to manage a lot of celebrities and big people. I used to lead public figures at Facebook and still to this day only Mariah Carey can get me star struck and full on cry,

18:47

Speaker 5: 15 year olds

18:51

Speaker 4: Platform. And I give her my eight by 10. Then you puke all over that. I wanted her to sign while she's signing my picture. I'm flipping the pages in the binder. And I'm like, I remember speaking very quickly, like all the fans got together and then we all put these letters together. I was talking like that, like flipping and Mariah's just, you know, very professional looking, very nice. And she signs my thing and then she just holds my hand. So I'll stop

19:20

Speaker 5: 

19:23

Speaker 4: And she just says to me, tell all the fans, I said, thank you. Okay. I said, okay, I'm going. I took my eight by 10 and I laughed and could have died right there.

19:34

Speaker 5: Like everything's downhill from there.

19:37

Speaker 4: So that really was it. I thought that was the end of the journey that I delivered the letters, 10,000 people. Weren't going to come beat me up. I'm like good. You know? And I was innocent, but I knew enough that I didn't think she was going to look at every single gift that was given to her. Right. There's 10,000 people outside. So I just thought, okay, did my part moved on a couple of days later, it started with a phone message. So I didn't have a cell phone. You needed a credit check back then to have a cell phone, you know, side note. When I used to tell this story, this story used to make me sound so cool. Now when I retell the story, it just makes me sound like so old, like

20:18

Speaker 5: Back in the day, we didn't have cell phone whenever we're on your wavelength and can't listen to his podcast.

20:28

Speaker 4: But so I came home one day and there's a message on my machine. And I, I just think it's my mom or something. So I press play and thinking no big deal. Lo and behold, it's Mariah freaking Carrie, because I did leave my phone number in there. Of course I freaked out. I think I hit my head on the ceiling. I jumped so high. And I mean, remember this, this is my idol. I've idolized since ever. It's like the person that has given me my identity expression, like my first form of self identity. And she's the biggest star in the biggest star hold at this time. Yeah. She's the most popular bike singer and still remains like one of the most popular singers of all time at a time when people were not connecting with celebrities on this way. So I freaked out at the same time I go on the message board and everybody's the message board is lit on fire.

21:17

Speaker 4: You know, like there's a lot of posts going on. And what we realized was that that website that was just a splash page, two links showed up below the album cover and they didn't even name it. Right. I remember it just said, wave one, wave two or something like that. I didn't even like name the hyperlinks untitled underscores. Exactly. As they were waves are real audio files, like really like weird audio files. And so you downloaded them and it was Mariah. There was a voice recording of hers. What I think is like she called a voicemail box and you remember used to email you like the wave file, like an old corporate, then that's what I think happened. So she left two voicemails on her website. Yeah. The first way file was addressed to me.

22:02

Speaker 6: Hey, it's Mariah. I'm sitting here exhausted after traveling all around the country and I'm getting ready to go to the MTV Europe awards. I just wanted to say that I got a book from someone named Bree and I don't want to mispronounce his last name, but he gave it to me at the end store in LA the other day. And it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever gotten in my life. And I just want to thank everyone so much. He wrote me this letters because I don't really deal with the competitors of you may no, I'm not really into the internet cause there's some of the negative stuff on there. But the amount of beautiful, positive energy that I'm feeling from these letters is so inspiring and it really is encouraging. And I really worked hard on out when I worked really hard for my stance. And I just want you all to know, especially the one who wrote me and my letters that I am reading them. And then I do appreciate you so much and I'm sitting up here yet. I got a cold. I'm not doing too well. This is making me feel much better. And I'm really, I can't tell you how much I love you and I appreciate you and your pizza, me going. So thank you.

23:17

Speaker 4: That is a big shout out amongst your peers. Well, if you thought I was an influencer before that was literally just to me to thank me.

23:31

Speaker 6: One last thing. I just really wanted to thank Brett specially for coming up with this idea. Thank you for doing this. This is so great. And it's really lifted my spirits. I might just want to say that I appreciate you guys so much and I'm repeating myself, but I'm tired. Yeah. I haven't had much sleep in fact in month, but just want to keep going. And, and I just, I want you to know that I'm really, really grateful for the support. Thank you so much. You make everything up and from everything I have is because I have the best fans in the whole world. Okay.

24:07

Speaker 4: Wow. So that was ridiculous. And so all the fans are freaking out. They're like, Oh my God, she's reading my letter. And she's been in the business long enough that, you know, she's very connected to her community authentically. And so it was true back then too. So she was talking about specific letters and she was reading them and that wow, amazing. Mariah said she would call me back. So I didn't go to school or work for the last five days with my phone. And I begged my uncle and I begged my uncle to get me a cell phone, but she never called back, but that's okay. She kept leaving voicemails on her website and those who know Mariah Carey history. She proceeded to do that for like the next 12 years or something. I feel like, yeah, keep doing that. It's genius. Yeah. Like pre-Twitter that was like the thing she was doing it all through the two thousands way before anybody else was.

25:00

Speaker 4: So then her manager ended up calling me. So it was a woman named Louise McNally at the time. And Louise called me and, you know, thank you so much, all these things. And I was just excited to have any kind of connections still. Right. I'm just like some kid living in long beach. Let's remind everyone. You're like 16 years old. Yeah. I'm 16 in long beach. Pretty poor putting myself through school, you know, supporting myself and kind of on my own. And I don't know, just trying to go to school. I didn't know. These were employed double skills at the time. So she started to ask me, after she thanked me, she started to ask me what I thought were questions that were second nature to me. But what I realized they were very important to them and they were questions like, how do you know, 10,000 people?

25:49

Speaker 4: What's a message board. How do you connect with these people? You know, there were these basic questions to me. So I was just explaining my interaction on the message board. I thought she was crazy. I thought like, what do you mean? How do you connect with 10,000? Right? Cause I'm just this kid who's this is my reality. And what started to come out of this was that there was this show on MTV called total request, live Tiara daily. Yes. Carson daily years. And this is 1999. So it was the height of TRL. And at the time, if you got your music video on TRL, you drove record sales. So it still drove sales. I had a couple hundred thousand records what gets old. So it was a big deal to get on the countdown. And they were telling me that they could not get Mariah on the countdown with heartbreaker.

26:34

Speaker 4: And I remember, you know, I'm embellishing the story a little bit. They like Mariah is a legend and we can't get, get her on the counter because it's with these no names, Britney Spears, Backstreet boys, and seeing Christina Aguilera. That was the year. All those bands came out, who, by the way, all did have websites and message boards. They started to ask and they passed me around. I T I remember I talked to a guy at Sony records. His name was Gary Fisher. I only remember that because spoiler alert much later in my career when I did actually become a record executive. I remember calling Gary and say like, Hey, remember me, I guess what, I'm a director at Warner brothers. Now. I was like, Oh my God. So Gary was the head of video promotion, which is a role that does not even exist anymore because they did not have internet marketing departments yet. And he really nice guy, but he was like, can you get this video on tear out? Can you get 10,000 people to do something, a vote for this video on TRL, me being like, not knowing any better than to be confident in myself just said like, yeah, why not

27:41

Speaker 2: At your maximum influencer appeal moment? Everyone wants to talk to.

27:47

Speaker 4: Yeah, exactly. And to me, I really thought it would be easy. I'm like, yeah, let's do this. Every, we all want her on TRL. The fans want her on, let's just do it. They just didn't have a coordinated message or coordinated place at that time. So,

27:59

Speaker 2: Or a presence like you have a presence on the platform. You have like an authentic relationships with all these people too, right? Yeah, exactly. These are my friends. Yeah. You know, the, the network, you know, like who's a part of it. Like you had all that knowledge.

28:13

Speaker 4: Yeah. And at the time, I didn't know it was marketing or anything, you know, in hindsight later I would extract those lessons. But at the time I was just following my passion, doing what I thought was supporting a person. I loved, you know, Mariah only wanted good things for her and it was fun and exciting. And I get to do it with my quote unquote friends, you know, so I said, let's do this. And I still got to keep that connection, you know, with the team, with Mariah's team. So they literally handed over the keys to the website and just, it was like, do what you need to do. We don't know like go, wow. I remember like explaining something, login just into things. And they're like, Oh, I don't know, go,

28:56

Speaker 2: It's an act of trust though. Right? Like, it's pretty amazing. Like, when you think about how protected these public figures are now, as far as I can tell, you know, like she's basically the onset and Beyonce, there's like 300 layers between you and Beyonce. And like, to be able to do anything that touches her image or like anything is like, so you can just bomb in and do that. So I think it's pretty remarkable that they were like, yo 16 year old do this, like go for it.

29:23

Speaker 4: It also, and it was a double edged sword because he had also showed you how little they valued, you know, the reach of the internet.

29:31

Speaker 2: They didn't understand the power. Yeah,

29:33

Speaker 4: It did. And I remember they were like, tell us what you need. And I remember stressing and sweating for a week over asking for 100 autographs. So I was 100 autograph and I was having panic attacks about asking about it. And then I, and then I asked them like, literally 12 hours later, there was a FedEx overnight of like freshly signed. I could tell because being the hardcore fan, I was, I saw that the marker bleed was on the other side. So she would say her friend, sorry, I remember this very color.

30:04

Speaker 2: Went through the, went through the photo or whatever.

30:06

Speaker 4: Yeah, exactly. Anyway, so, you know, in summary they gave me basically two goals, like one, get the video on TRL and then two, how many people does it take to get the video on TRL? They have no idea. They're like, is it a thousand? Is it 50,000? Do you have an idea? So I started with those two questions, those two goals. So I said, okay, I got to get people to vote and I have to count them. So I built a log in area where you logged in. So I could count you

30:37

Speaker 2: Like a pathway that people had to go through.

30:39

Speaker 4: Yeah. Like a Mariah Carey portal. And then there was also a phone number. And so I had a place where you could log phone calls too, which just honor system at the time. But then I thought, okay, well, why would you log into the portal before, instead of just going to MTV? So that's where the autographs came into play. And I built like a pyramid system, basically a one through 10 prize system. That was like, if you vote the most, you get 10 autographs. If you second, most you get a tee shirt, third, most, and so on, so forth. And I just bring that up because that became the bread and butter of my TRL King making for like the next 10 years. Yeah. I basically became spoiler alert. I became the person you called to get on TRL. I'm in the music industry that, that made my career in the industry.

31:25

Speaker 2: Yeah. But just to go a little deeper into that, you know, the first time we talked about this, again, just we keep setting the stage about the time and the Euro, like today, everyone has such incredible access to celebrities. Like you log into your phone, you open Twitter, you open Instagram, you can know what Mariah carried in the last, like three hours, right at the time access was so difficult. And you're able to understand as a 16 year old fan, what people want, like what motivates people. And you're able to kind of be that bridge between Mariah and her team and metering out access in some ways, like, I know that there were signatures, but there are other forms of acknowledgement. Right. Of, of giving people who like did something for Mariah kind of acknowledgement and returned to feel seen, to feel appreciated.

32:17

Speaker 4: Absolutely. And it's still the framework of how I would approach community building today. It just different things excite the fans now because to your point, access is everywhere now. So access may not be the thing anymore. It, but that doesn't mean there's not something that drives the fandom. It just means that something, maybe it's personal, maybe it's a personalized thing. Maybe I don't know, you know, but the framework has stayed the same and that, and that's why, even when I said that this became the cornerstone of my career for the next 10 years, I adjusted for each artist. You know, other, other artists I worked for were like Michelle Branch and Ashley Tisdale and my chemical romance, Lincoln park, people like that. So obviously like the plan I did for Lincoln park was not the same as Mariah, but it was the same actually the framework was actually exactly the same.

33:09

Speaker 4: The answers were just different. The answers to the questions about what drove the fans. But I used the message boards and this exact framework for 10 years, the exact framework, meaning there's a space where the fans spend their time. Correct. And you build sort of like a bridge between the people who are spending their time on a fan board and a way for them to help push the career forward of the artists that they loved. And you kind of created that loop of like holistic reciprocal acknowledgement. So like if someone did a lot of work to help the artists, the artists acknowledged the fan, is that kind of the framework or is there a better way to break it down? No, that's exactly the framework, except there's another piece to it that we missed. And the, the next piece of it is actually the hierarchy of the fandom, which actually still exists today.

33:59

Speaker 4: And again, this is not just entertainment related. This is really everyone. And the hierarchy is the subject that everyone is communing around. So in this case, Mariah Carey, but it could be whatever it could be art or whatever the community is about the God in human form. Yeah, exactly. And then, and then there's like a second layer, which typically are like the moderators or the people everyone knows in there. And there's a third layer, like the hardcore fans and so on, so forth. And that actually was the key. I thought about communities in that way, even then, because I was so aware, I was, you know, at a certain point in the hierarchy, but later on, I would use the framework of, am I serving each of these levels of fandoms, not everybody, you know, is living and breathing Mariah like I am, but they still consider themselves a fan don't discount that they have different. Like we just said, you know, what does the community want? I even each of these layers is a little bit different. And what I saw is when you feed each of those layers, the right way, your message, quote unquote, your marketing message or whatever it is, doesn't get lost in a vacuum. So really feeding that hierarchy was really important. And still is again, that is the bread and butter of how I've built communities even today.

35:15

Speaker 3: So you're saying it's, it's understanding those segments or those sub communities within the community are those, there are going to be leaders are going to be presenting more hardcore fans then maybe more like in and out fans. And if you come with one message around like, Hey, this is what we would love you to do or what we need or what's happening right now. It's not specific enough. It doesn't like feed these different parts of the ecosystem, but you were more specific.

35:38

Speaker 4: You can accomplish more together. Exactly. And when I say the message gets lost in a vacuum, it means it just goes away. It just falls with a thud to the bottom. And it doesn't really resonate with any of those layers. So when you're talking about regular marketing, maybe you could do that, you know, a big branded marketing, but when you're talking about community building and community marketing, understanding that hierarchy or the different segments is crucial and it's the same in every community. It's just, it there's always the everyday chatters, there's the lurkers, but that they're really hardcore. You know, there's different segments. What's different is that their needs may be different in every community, right? If it's an art community or a music community, whatever it is, it's, you know, they might want tickets to a museum or whatever it is. And that's up to you, the market are to decide what are the needs of each of these segments. So that my message doesn't

36:31

Speaker 2: Flat. How did you realize that first? Was there a moment when you delivered the wrong kind of message or the wrong connective tissue thread? Like when was like the moment when you realized these groups are so different and I really have to think about them as an organizer in a different way.

36:50

Speaker 4: Not till later when I was working professionally after Mariah with Mariah, it was second nature because I was such a big fan, right. So I stayed true to those two goals, get the video on TRL, count the people. And I stress that because still to this day, when I meet with people about like, what are your goals? They still can't even clearly state that. And then you get lost and then you're doomed to fail. Even from the get go, you need to have clear goals, even if it's phased, even if phase one is just build the community, you know, fine, you know, but you have to have a goal. So I stayed true to that because that was my only true North by myself in long beach, you know? And then too, it's really simple. I was like, I'm the hugest Mariah fan. What do I want to see? So that made it quote unquote, easy for me in the Mariah

37:40

Speaker 2: To imagine the motivations, because you innately had them correct

37:45

Speaker 4: The leader when I did this, you know, for real professionally. And even now I immerse myself in whatever it is I'm working on. People always argue with me too, like, well, that's more, I carry the biggest artists in the world. Well, I'll tell you, like, I'm a consultant now. Right. And I'm working on a big project for an insurance company. So I'm like deep in insurance land right now. I don't know how to, that's just my process. I'm like, I don't know how to deliver the right message to the community unless I understand the community. So I'm like, what do I want to see? What's missing. What's not, you know, so again, it's the same template. It's just different needs, right. For the community. So with Mariah, that's what I say to my true North of the goals. And then I used myself. I was like, okay, what would I want to see? And that typically resonated pretty well. Later. I naturally focused on the people who were the most active voters. And that naturally led to me focusing on the upper end of the hierarchy, meaning the most active people, the people that are logging in every day,

38:48

Speaker 2: This is it's so funny because in our book, we have a section of a few stories that talks about how people who really care are more powerful than people who don't. And sometimes one person can, who really cares. He was just a member of the community can change the course of an entire group. And you're an example in that that's like the point we're making is that like one person who is a 10 out of 10 or a, you know, 15 out of 10 passion can do so much to contribute to the directionality of the group. But if you have a bunch of people who are like two out of 10, right? Like they count as the same number of people as you Bree as like total number of fans. Right. What you're doing in terms of adding value is so much more like those folks are so valid.

39:39

Speaker 4: Absolutely. And like I said, I'm immersing myself in the community even today, you know, is the key. Because if I don't believe the message that I'm sending out there, how the hell is anybody else supposed to? All right. So I really it's, everybody has, every marketer has their own process, but that's really my process. I like to like really immerse myself in whatever it is. So what close out the tier. Oh yeah. So you built a portal. We built the portal. So we launched. Right. And so made a big deal. So I had to, you know, let people know this was happening. Like guys, we have to do this. This is coming. So every day, you know, cause I didn't build the website overnight. I just started being really open with everybody on the message where, what I was doing. Like I'm building the site, okay, I'm doing this. I need help with this. And I had a team of like 10 fans that just reach out to me and said I could help. Like they were posting news stories. Cause I said, all these fans I saw cause they never get updated. You know, we gotta keep it updated. So I had this like team of 10 fans that were like constantly updating the website with random,

40:42

Speaker 2: Create new leaders, creating leaders. Yeah.

40:45

Speaker 4: Yeah. And so we had the whole team and it was 24 seven being updated at all around the world. So that was really cool. And everybody was just excited to be part of the project or the people we picked to, you know, we're usually hand raisers that wanted to be part of it. We focused on a Friday because that gave us two extra days to vote on a TRL. So we called it a tap TRL. And I just bring that up because again, I used that for the next 10 years, it worked for 10 years and then

41:15

Speaker 2: You could accumulate more votes over the weekend. So then by Monday she'd then get on TRL.

41:20

Speaker 4: You had more time to vote instead of 24 hours.

41:24

Speaker 2: So you would kind of focus on like, okay. Friday is our day for voting. Our shared activity is attack Friday. This is the day we're doing every and it made it more

41:34

Speaker 4: Of an event, you know, and like a buildup instead of just like vote randomly every day. So we made this big deal. We made all these attack, TRL banners. I remember. And they were like attack TRL Friday. And then like all weekend people were like, Oh Dak. And then I had that counter going and it was just like, blah, like crazy. So lo and behold, Monday morning, it debuted on TRL and everybody freaked out. And I got messages on my cell phone that I, well, while I was in class, cause remember I'm still in a freshman in college, a 16 year old freshmen. And I remember getting out of class, it aired, you know, in New York first. So I got out of my 9:00 AM class and there was five messages on there from rise manager and the label. And everybody's saying, Oh my God, a debuted. So they freaked out. And after that they were like, whatever Breeny

42:26

Speaker 1: Wow, because there's this whole

42:27

Speaker 4: Cool team of record executives at Sony music that could not do this. So we just kept focusing on TRL and kept doing it. Now this was like about a month has passed. And I haven't talked to Mariah again at all just through her manager and messages were going up on the website. So every once in a while she would say like, you know, mention my name or any or something. But that was it. So just to close this story out, cause then you got to end with the big Mariah tonight is that then her manager called me and said the billboard music awards are coming up. They used to be in December. Then in Vegas. Mariah's getting artists of the decade with Michael Jackson. So male and female artists with decade, Mariah wants you to come to Vegas and be her to the billboard. Don't worry. It's okay.

43:14

Speaker 1: Oh my God. I didn't know that. Oh, you didn't know this part of the story? No, I didn't know. You were a date. Yeah. Yeah. So I was fine

43:22

Speaker 4:  it was a couple of days before and it was like on a Wednesday and I'm like, I guess I'm not going to school. So I didn't tell my mom at the time. Oh my God. I can't believe you're not lying.

43:35

Speaker 1: It's a Disney movie basically.

43:37

Speaker 4: I think, well now I think the time has passed and I should have made it a Disney movie too.

43:42

Speaker 1: Now like the land before cell phones.

43:48

Speaker 4: So I went to the billboard awards and then actually crazier. Part of the story is they called me the day before the billboard awards. And they said they had a hundred tickets to the billboard awards because they wanted wow there when she got her award and they want to do this whole thing, you can watch it on YouTube and see you when she gets our war. So they were like, we don't know what to do with these. So Mariah said to give them to you,

44:13

Speaker 1: Oh my God, that's you know, a hundred fans. Wow.

44:18

Speaker 4: All of a sudden my ad a hundred tickets to, so my influencer status continues to fry.

44:23

Speaker 1: Major jealousy starts to rise in their God.

44:27

Speaker 4: So I just went to the message board and was like, who wants to go to Vegas on Wednesday? Wow. We go to Vegas on one. So they had a big party bus waiting for us. They handled the limo with her. We go watch her get our award. And then that finally was the next time I got to meet her in her mind was the first time which, which I don't take personally. She met 10,000 people that I was glad, cause I was much chiller and cooler. Like I was, the crying was out of my system by then. We were waiting all night in the backstage area. Cause she had to do press, you know, all these things. And so it was two or three in the morning and we're tired. Everybody's sitting down and I remember, but again, this might just be my memory warping, the double doors, like flying open and her coming in.

45:13

Speaker 4: But I don't know if you've ever been in a room with a big celebrity. You know, the energy just comes really up when they have that aura around them. So the energy in the room just like came up and she comes in and it's buzzing and I'm somewhere in the back and she's just like, okay, where's Bri. Oh my I'm like 16 years old rice. I'm like, hello, I'm over here. When she comes over and gives me a hug, she's like, thank you so much for everything. And then we had a little exchange. I was made a joke or something and then we just kinda clicked by them because I think it was the moment when she realized this is just a genuine, excited young kid, you know,

45:49

Speaker 1: Super capable too, not somebody

45:52

Speaker 4: That she has to quote unquote worry about, you know? And typically Mariah's very close with her fans. Those fans who are in her community know that like she has a very special relationship with her community obviously. And so we just kind of clicked then and had a normal conversation. And then she went around and signed autographs for everybody and signed autographs for me and took picture. She spent a lot of time with us. So it was really cool and the rest was kinda history. So I kept doing that for a little while and getting her videos on TRL until Mariah Carey history land is then glitter came out in nine 11 and some other things. But by then I had made enough noise in the music industry because it was out of place that Mariah was on the countdown. It was in the middle of in sync. I'm actually boys that a rep for Insync called me and was like, are you the one doing this Mariah stuff? I'm like, yeah. And they had a digital marketing company maker. Yeah. They, they, they were big, but by, by, by wasn't out yet. So they weren't like huge yet. They were in the studio recording by, by by. And so that was the next step in my career. As I went to work for insane, 17 years old, the biggest year in their history, I think I've seen them live 32 times and tickets. It was awesome.

47:09

Speaker 1: I was totally on the receiving end of all this, like I was just like, you were the puppet master and I've got all my marketing messages, like the secondary wave, which video is a heartbreaker view. Is that the fight in the movie? Is that the one with JC? I thought I remember seeing that. You're like watching that tear. Yeah. We're in it. Everyone's

47:30

Speaker 4: Like who's listening to this right now. It's like all probably exactly our age. Just being like, Oh, I know. remember. Remember when you needed a credit check for cell phones.

47:41

Speaker 3: So you went on to work with a number of artists around developing these fan communities and helping things happen such as like get on TRL. How did you approach that strategically and what, you know, what really held true and didn't hold true. Cause I think it's one thing to, as you said, like do stuff from reflex as a fan and then have to transport it to perhaps other fan communities that you're not immediately a part of.

48:04

Speaker 4: Right. Well, I'll talk a little bit about Michelle Branch because Michelle Branch was the first artist I worked with that we started from scratch. So she was still in the studio. Nobody knew who she was. She's my age. She's I think she's a year younger than me. So we're the same age by then. I was working at Maverick records. So which doesn't exist anymore, but it was Madonna's label at the time. Now it's folded into Warner brothers records and I got lucky. I had an amazing mentor and boss, his name is Jeremy welt. I still know him very well. He's gone on to do amazing things. And so it was just me and him. He was the first head of new media quote unquote was what they called it in the music industry, new media. So he's the first head of new media, new media. Now I know that's what it was.

48:53

Speaker 4: It was like the catch all miscellaneous bucket of things. The exact didn't understand. So it was an immediate and a meeting once and someone said rich media. And I was like, the fuck is that it's like anything with like videos is like Richard. And I was like, okay. I know. Cause later when I went to Warner brothers, new media also, we were doing like merge to I'm what we're doing every other love March, March. So it was just Jeremy and I. So I was really lucky to kind of have this seasoned guy look. He was pretty young at the time too. I thought he was like this big grown up. I think it was in his late twenties at the time. And I was 18 years old when I got hired at Maverick. I mean, Jeremy hired me and Michelle was our first artists. So met her when she was in the studio, recording the label, told us like, we think she's awesome. She has something, you know, you should meet her and figure it out. So just met her in the studio while she's recording her first hits, which were like everywhere. And all you wanted makes me want to sing every time you say one of these songs, I don't know.

49:53

Speaker 3: Well, we'll go listen to game of love. Is that the one?

49:55

Speaker 4: Oh yeah, it was Santana. Yeah, that was later became famous. But so we started literally while she was in the studio and Jeremy and I talked a lot about that. We were like, we have to start early because typically a music marketing timeline started six weeks before the CD came out and we were like, no way. That's not enough time to build a community. We were eight months, 10 months before the record came out. It sounds straightforward now. But our bosses were like, what, why, why do you need to do this? I'm like, no, we need to start. Now we can take pictures of her in the studio, all this stuff. So it was a big fight. I remember to like start that early. And then the other part of it was getting Michelle on board. So this is also a key to my success is just being able to explain what I'm going to do with the creative, with the quote, unquote God, as you say, right, God in human form.

50:47

Speaker 4: Yes God in human form and get them to trust me or trust the process and trust also open and share and like all these things. And also for me to learn about them, like I said, I have to immerse myself so I can authentically be a fan. And I definitely was a fan of Michelle's as I got to know her and her music. So that's what we started. We started a message board and then she actually pitched us an idea. She called it, play it forward, a twist, pay it forward. And she was talking about, you know, what, if that was our message to these fans. And again, I'm going to paint a picture and date myself again, but there were no girls with guitars. Yeah. At the time in the music industry, not in pop at least. And so it was a big deal that she played guitar.

51:32

Speaker 4: She was kind of the rocker pop chick, which was a totally new look. It'd be another two years before Avril Levine came out. So Michelle really paved the way. And I don't think she gets enough credit for that in music industry history. Cause it was a grind for her. She was not an overnight success. It took us about a year of grinding before she quote unquote broke, which was like before we were really were like, she made it. And so we, we started with a message board. She wrote us a first paragraph. So it was, was cool that she was in it. She remembers she's about my age. So we were kind of on the same way wavelength, as she wrote a paragraph, I wish I could probably find on the internet somewhere about play it forward about what it meant to her about sharing music, things like that.

52:13

Speaker 4: And that gave me enough as a marketer to then build upon her message. Because again, I want to be authentic, right. And be an authentic carrier of the God and human forms message. That's what we started building around girls with guitars and this idea of playing music forward. And that was kind of her vibe too, which was like, she was very supportive of other artists. She met, she always wanted to recommend other artists, things like that. So we just took that and threw fire on that and like made that our themes of our community. And that's how we attracted our first quote, unquote fans was typically fans of these other artists that she liked and she talk about, and then me and Jeremy would be on the message boards. And we actually made our sale part of the quote unquote hierarchy. Yeah. So like we were the day to day moderators though, like channels to Michelle's if you will.

53:07

Speaker 4: So that we could be on every day. Cause Michelle would only drop in once a month. Cause she's busy recording an album and doing all the other things she has to do. And that's how we built the first fans as we ramped up to TRL, everything was still around TRL. As we ramped up to it, we made a portal, we did all the same things and called it, play it forward, which was the time we were able to name a community like that. Like Mariah has our lamb Molly. Right. But like Michelle's was play it forward. And it was the same thing. I could count you when you logged in doing different activities. I was at Maverick now. So we had a little bit of money to actually hire an engineer. So you got points for doing other things. So you got these points basically. And there was a time where we literally printed out like a list of all the community members with their points every day. So there were these taped all the papers together. So it'd be like a big line of 10 papers, like a chart and tape it to the wall every day. And then I would chart lit with a marker in Jeremy's wall, like, okay, Nicole logged in three days in a week and then she didn't log in this day and she's not voting what's going on. Is she okay? Shit.

54:15

Speaker 7: Where'd she go? Yeah, exactly.

54:18

Speaker 4: Or I could see somebody climbing or you know, now I have Excel and can actually do this, but we were doing it with markers then it's Oh wow. I got to know the community that way. And I personally reached out to everybody, the top 200 people and got to know them. And actually I use the name of Nicole because Nicole is actually one of my best friends to this day. She actually went to the world cup with me. We went to France and all my friends. So that's how genuine, like even my job was, you know, in the community. That's how we did it. So the hierarchy was really important to that too. And, and understanding what people needed the difference was the time period. So with Mariah, you know, it happened really fast within a month or two because she already had all this

55:02

Speaker 2: Kim momentum, hand raisers. Yeah,

55:05

Speaker 4: Exactly. So it just happened fast. It's the same with Michelle Branch. It's just on a longer timeline. So it took like six to eight months. And again, if you gave me like toilet paper to market tomorrow, I would follow the same framework. It just might, the time might be different. And, and the skill in your experience comes from identifying, am I on the right timeline? Is this right? Is this the appropriate time? It's okay if it's taking this long, it's supposed to, whatever it is. And I think sometimes people might freak out if they're like, it's not happening as fast as Mariah Carey, you know, I was never going to have it. I'm like, no, it will. You just kinda have to look for the signs are things sparking and you guys use that metaphor a lot and we had enough sparks happening. It was just kind of slow and steady, consistent, you know?

55:52

Speaker 2: Is there any time when you feel like you've tried to cultivate this kind of enthusiasm and it hasn't worked and why do you think it didn't work? Are there any factors that would keep you from like taking a job or like signing up for a kind of doing this work for a type of celebrity or a type of product? Like what does it need to have in order for this strategy to work?

56:15

Speaker 4: Yeah, absolutely. First and foremost, it's the product has to be good. So in this case, the music or whatever it is, and I think some times people are like, if you just do a lot of marketing on it, it'll be good. But sometimes the product itself is not great. And you just want to take the sign. So I won't mention the name, but there was an artist I worked on at Warner brothers as well. We thought it was good, but, and we were doing all the stuff and we just could not get the momentum. But in old school entertainment industry days, I was getting yelled at a lot of meetings about like, well, why aren't you getting traction? You know? And I remember being really frustrated and telling my boss, Jeremy, Jeremy, I like, I just don't think the music is there. Like people are just not responding to the song.

56:58

Speaker 4: And we're, that's the signal we're getting, no matter how many funny videos we do, whatever we were doing, that's the response we're getting is that the song's not that exciting at a record label that that's not, they wouldn't accept that answer. But if I was running my own record label, I would w w which I think they do better at now is try to get an initial feeling, you know, of like, does this even get response before we go after it? But yeah. So at the end of the day, I wouldn't take a job if like, I just didn't believe in the product and I'm not taking jobs where I've believed in the product and it just didn't hit, you know? And it sucks, but at least I gave it my all and we tried, you know, was something I believed in. Cause it was really hard to market something that you don't actually believe in. You know, I definitely had a lot of experiences like that. My other business partner says you can't grow a shitty product. Yeah, exactly. I was like, no matter how much marketing I do for it,

57:54

Speaker 3: You know, w what advice do you have? And I understand that we were joking about how times have changed, but, you know, based on your experience, seeing communities form helping communities form around creators and also products, like what is your advice to someone perhaps a creator who's like eager to develop a community and not just like an audience or a general fan base, but truly, you know, a community around the, you know, they're working, what they care about.

58:22

Speaker 4: Yeah. That's a great question. I would say two things. One, I think you have to be really clear on your goal for the community. Like the goal. Can't just be, I want to build a community to build a community, you know, for community's sake, because you'll get lost in your direction. The community members will get lost. They were like, why am I here? What is this for? So it's important to really say, why do you want this? Even if it's a business goal, even if it's so I can promote my book or whatever is, you don't have to share it. You just have to know it. You need a true North for it. And by the way, the goal might not be a business goal. The goal might just be, I want a place where I can share these deeper thoughts or whatever it is, but it needs to be articulated well enough that you can say it to somebody else, but that more importantly, you can repeat it to yourself over and over and over, because you will get lost in the noise and you need that true North.

59:17

Speaker 4: That's how every marketing campaign, including community building campaign falls off the tracks is when you lose sight of a goal, the goal can change. But, you know, I like to phase things out like phase one, goal, phase two goal. And then the second thing is know your messages. Because again, if you're not clear to yourself, how the hell is anybody else going to understand? So again, it can change and adjust, but start with something like your message might be, I love animal rescue and I love whatever it is, but be clear to yourself so that it forms a thread in the message of every day community interaction. Like, does this fit into that threat or not? If it doesn't, should it belong here or do I need to add a new thread? You know, you can ask these questions again. These are fundamental building blocks of community building marketing. And I that's where I see most marketers fail is when they don't do these, like building blocks and stick to kind of these pieces.

60:15

Speaker 2: Yeah. It sounds like it's in kind of like our terminology. We always make people write out a who and why it's like, who is in this community and why is the community coming together? And that helps you design all of the logistical things like how or what, or when, or, but if you don't have that guiding light, you know, we talk to community organizers all the time that feel like they could do tons of different things like, right. But the guiding light helps you say no, in some senses,

60:45

Speaker 4: Sometimes it's uncomfortable for people to go through that process. Or they're like, why am I doing this? Or this is hard or whatever, but that's why, cause it's your true North. It's like, you have to go through it. Even if it feels like a silly exercise to you, it has to, I've just seen a community communities, a marketing fail so many times from people not doing that.

61:04

Speaker 2: Yeah. The last thing I want to talk about is just that I mentioned this to you Bree, but about like two months ago, I was walking down the street in Tribeca here in New York and all these flashbulbs like start firing off in front of me. And I'm like, what the, what what's going on? Like is Barack Obama here? And I turned to my left, look through the hallway and Mariah Carey just like, happens to walk, right? Like inches away from me.

61:32

Speaker 4: And what's it like a day after get together released or something, or the book

61:38

Speaker 2: Filming the trailer. I think actually for the book. And you're like, to me, a very significant story in the book, Mariah carries a significant story in the book and I looked to my left and she's standing within feet of me glasses on like trying to get into the limo. And I'm just feeling really like chuffed and just turned to her. And I'm like,

61:56

Speaker 4: What's up. I was like,

61:57

Speaker 2: Just released the book and Brina new wind stories in it. And she's like at first, not really paying me any mind and she walks past me. And when I say your name, she turns over her shoulder. It's like, the world stops for a second. She looks me in the eyes and says, I love Brie and then gets in the car. And, and I just want to ask

62:20

Speaker 4: You, like, I mean, what a crazy story, like what a crazy experience, like when you look back on it now, when you look back on this trajectory and, and everything that happened, like, what does it mean to you? What does it feel like for you? Like, yeah, yeah. A few things. One definitely being genuine and these are now my personal life philosophies. But when I look back on that time, I really was just this genuine overexcited little kid. I didn't know any better to be anything else. So I try to be true to that. And I think, you know, you guys know me pretty well, too. I'm a pretty genuine open person. And over time, you know, I've noticed that's usually what people connect with anyway. And you know, I work with celebrities now and I work in partnerships. Typically all those relationships are pretty genuine.

63:10

Speaker 4: I just don't know how to be anything else. So I carry that on in my philosophy too. I'm so freaking lucky that I met my hero and she exceeded my expectations. She's a great person, you know, no matter what anybody wants to say about her, she's a really good person. And she definitely loves her fans that is genuine and that connection. And I mean, her whole life is our career. And so she genuinely has that connection with our fans. You know, you're talking about a 30 year career now. Not that many people can say that. We'll see if Taylor Swift is still around in 20 years, you know? Oh, sorry,

63:49

Speaker 5: Sorry.

63:55

Speaker 4: But Mariah helped me quite a bit. Then when I went years later, I went to go work at Facebook and she helped me at Facebook quite a bit, doing a lot with Instagram and Facebook live. And so it's just funny when things come full circle, you know, I mentioned some of those names where like later, when I became an executive at Warner brothers, I called some of those pupil that I worked with when I was a teenager who I remember being very nice to me. Cause I remember getting made fun of a lot when I was a teenager, you know, crazy Morag girl, or like you're the internet girl or whatever, crazy to think, like what happens in 10 years? Like where are the people you're going to run into? You know, everything comes full circle. I think that's how Mariah lives. Her life. She's genuinely a pretty good person, but that's how I like to live my life too.

64:39

Speaker 4: You know, you just never know with people be kind and especially in CA in your career, you know, that intern is going to be your boss one day. Jeremy used to say that to me, all that he was the vice president at the time. He used to always say like, I'm going to be working for you one day. And now we're really good friends and you know, all this stuff. So that's a big lesson too. You just never know what's going to come around or who's going to come around. And I think in serving a community, like, you know, there's a lot of times when, because I've been like an orchestrator of the community, you might start to think like, who's this really passionate person out there in the crowd, right? Those people, you have no idea who they are or like what their life's going to be like or what they're

65:18

Speaker 2: Like got behind their curtain. You know? And it's one of the fun things is like to bump into people who are just so many different lives and can bring you and vice versa so much. I feel like sometimes people get scared of meeting really passionate people. They're always, you know, they're kind of judgy or like, what is it? I know I was judged, you know, for just being a Mariah Carey, teenager or Mariah Carey fan. Right. Which I think is pretty normal. Cause like, think about, you know, every teenager that I had a favorite band, as I get older, I see it more and more with, you know, older people. Like we forget what it was like to be a teenager. And it's something I really don't want to forget to understand, not just kids, but every walk of life. Like this is a normal, it's a form of expression.

66:03

Speaker 2: These are stages you go through in life. Everybody goes through and to like really empathize and like put yourself in that shoes. Like everybody just has different outlets and different forms of expression and trying to understand that. So you can work with that and foster as positive things. More than that, honestly, I feel like we get to meet a lot of people who are these people who are super into something they're so happy. Like they're such happy people, you know, they wake up in the morning, like excited to go somewhere to learn something or to do something. And there's like this self initiated energy that like, isn't about money. Isn't about fame. It's just like, they have a passion point. And like the, my favorite thing about doing this work is to be near people like that. Like totally. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I agree. And like, God, I would love to love things that much, as much as I love Mariah, all the things. Yeah. That to me is incredible. And if you're going to be a good community builder or even community marketer, you have to immerse yourself and like understand that. Awesome. It's a great spot to end. Sweet Bree. Thank you so much. I know we appreciate you. All right. We'll talk to you soon. Do you want to connect with Brie? You can find her on Twitter at B R E E N G U Y E N.

67:29

Speaker 3: What up at bring win. Hey Bailey. Who is your Mar Mariah Carey, either grown up or now, you know? Yeah.

67:37

Speaker 2: I, well, I don't know if I just had one. I did really like and sink, but I specifically remember being in the back of my parents' hoop de van driving up to Tahoe and a long drive and cutting out photos of Leonardo DiCaprio from Tina,

67:51

Speaker 3: The magazine, the cutting up the cutting out photos.

67:54

Speaker 2: Yeah. That's the next level. Like I made a collage on like poster board of his face. What about you? I don't think I

68:02

Speaker 3: Had someone or something that I was such an extensive fan of. I don't think so. I mean, I listen to a lot of Jamiroquai so maybe that would be, that would be pretty special. Yeah. My brother had this way of introducing me to music of many types. It was like, I just remember seeing his albums. It was like, you know, crazy, sexy, cool. Jamiroquai daft punk spice world. It was this wonderful mix that I think showed me that. Yeah. You can like any music you want Kev. Yeah. That'd be pretty psyched to like see Jamiroquai or Joseph Gordon Levitt. And he just, you know, 500 days of summer just has a special, did you know, did some things for me at a certain point in life?

68:43

Speaker 1: Yeah. I also just to throw in the pot of friggin TLC, TLC was a big deal for me. No doubt was a big deal for me too. Okay. God let's get going

68:52

Speaker 3: Chili. Anyways, you can find out more about us@ourwebsitepeopleand.company, our company and our.com. Also our book gets together as on Amazon, check it out, how to build a community with your people. You can also find the link at, get together book.com. It's full of stories and learnings. Just like this one, including breeze story, check it out. We would love you to let us know.

69:17

Speaker 1: And last thing you like this podcast, if you enjoyed it, please review it or click subscribe. It helps us show up in the podcast store for more people. And we notice it.

69:27

Speaker 3: Yes. Attack podcast from gear attack, Apple dab, Apple podcasts. Okay.

69:35

Speaker 1: Alright. See you next time. Bye.