Branding Matters

Matt Skallerud - #ILoveGay Today

June 18, 2021 Branding Badass Season 1 Episode 29
Branding Matters
Matt Skallerud - #ILoveGay Today
Chapters
Branding Matters
Matt Skallerud - #ILoveGay Today
Jun 18, 2021 Season 1 Episode 29
Branding Badass

My guest today is Matt Skallerud, the President and Founder of Pink Media; a revolutionary company that specializes in LGBTQ+ online marketing.

Back in 1995 when the internet was just in its infancy, Matt launched GayWired.com, which quickly skyrocketed to become one of the top 3 LGBTQ websites worldwide.

I invited Matt to be a guest on my show to chat about Pink Media. I wanted to learn what they do differently to help brands reach the LGBTQ market. I also wanted to talk about stereotyping and what steps brands can do to avoid it. But most of all, I was curious to hear how Matt became known around the world as "The Accidental Social Media Star” thanks to his popular new online show #ILoveGay Today.

Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Matt Skallerud, the President and Founder of Pink Media; a revolutionary company that specializes in LGBTQ+ online marketing.

Back in 1995 when the internet was just in its infancy, Matt launched GayWired.com, which quickly skyrocketed to become one of the top 3 LGBTQ websites worldwide.

I invited Matt to be a guest on my show to chat about Pink Media. I wanted to learn what they do differently to help brands reach the LGBTQ market. I also wanted to talk about stereotyping and what steps brands can do to avoid it. But most of all, I was curious to hear how Matt became known around the world as "The Accidental Social Media Star” thanks to his popular new online show #ILoveGay Today.

Joelly Goodson :

Hi, I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass, and welcome to my new podcast. Branding Matters. My guest today is Matt Skallerud, the President and Founder of Pink Media, a revolutionary company that specializes in LGBTQ plus online marketing. Back in 1995, when the internet was just in its infancy Matt launched day wired.com, which quickly skyrocketed and became one of the top three LGBTQ websites worldwide. I invited Matt to be a guest on my show today to chat about pink media, and what they do differently that helps brands reach the LGBTQ market. I also want to talk about stereotyping and why brands really need to avoid it. But most of all, I was so curious to hear how Matt became known as the accidental social media star, thanks to his popular new online show called I love gay today, Matt, welcome to Branding Matters.

Matt Skallerud:

Well, thank you. It's great to be here with you. I love the fact that we are to strangers and the Internet, and more specifically, social media brought us together. This is great. And I'm really excited to have you here today. So let's get right into it. You're the president of pink media. So what inspired you to start this company? I mean, I'll try to give a short version of a longer story, which is, you know, once upon a time, I was an engineer. So I was always very kind of geeky, and oh, you're kidding. I didn't know that. Yeah, aerospace Metroplex, a totally different world. I was working in r&d got really bored, and wanted to sales and found that explaining technology to folks started became kind of rather easy to me, I had this whole research and development background, and I was able to bring it out in the field. And the internet came along. And I thought, well, what should I do, I should start. So I want to create something online. And I didn't want to do it in the world of manufacturing that I mean, that's, that's boring. So let's try something totally now that I know no one in. And so I created a website back in 95, called get wired.com. And we succeeded, I think just because I was comfortable with technology programmed and built it myself thinking everybody was going to build this because it was so easy to do. But we didn't. And then the other piece was I was able to kind of take mice those skills of learning how to take technology and talk to people about it. And so I was talking to folks about the internet and how they can build a website and promote and advertise themselves. We grew into one of the largest LGBT websites back 90s and early 2000s. That's amazing. So what was gay wired, what was the surprise was kind of it was those that those early days have a portal. So it was a it was a website with content. And we had writers and we had all this editorial. And then we built like a personal system, so that people were able to go on and post a message boards create profiles meet. So it was one of those types of sites back in the day before social media, you know, we'd be able to keep people on a site like that for over an hour just reading and messaging and meeting other people. And so we actually created we had gateway, and then we had one for the women call she wired.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, that's amazing. So that was sort of you would describe it, as I guess, like what Facebook groups are today, or social media groups are? Good. Yeah, it's a combination of the way a lot of because back then you had to do everything yourself. But it was a kind of combination of content and not just personals. But that whole sense of community, people belonging to something, but we sold it to here media and here media in 2006, they ended up buying all the rest gay.com planet out the magazines, advocate outs, they brought everything under one roof. And so then I left and continued on, left the websites behind, but continued on doing what I enjoy, which is just helping companies figure out how to target reach. They're the folks that trying to advertise to online. And so we've been doing that ever since. And that's how Pink Media was born. Okay, so it was sort of this natural progression. And so tell me about pink media. So you help brands reach their target audience, specifically in the LGBTQ community?

Matt Skallerud:

Correct? Yeah, we wanted to be one of the best at something. So rather than just trying to apply these skills to anybody and everybody, we decided to stay very focused. And especially since we started, you know, the whole thing started in 95. LGBT community, we said, let's stick with this. But it's, but the rules are the same, which is just initially, we were just helping companies, banner ads, email campaigns, things like that just on other sites. But then social media started to come along and grow. And so we grew up with it. And in today's world, that's a big part of it, which is now it's it's grown up to a point where it's all about this data. And, and, you know, at the end of the day, Facebook knows a lot about us. And, and so that way, the upside is, is that we're able to actually get clients message out to specifically not just an LGBT audience, but maybe an LGBT traveler, who has shown an interest in traveling to New York or Palm Springs. So you can really drill down, it started with Facebook, but now it's kind of ubiquitous all throughout the internet and digital advertising with all this data and targeting and so we just sort of grew up with it all and learned along the way. And so we help clients navigate all that. Wow.

Joelly Goodson :

And just specifically the LGBTQ community?

Matt Skallerud:

with your project that are outside of that once in a while, but we try not to deviate. You know, we tried, we stay still, everything we do is still staying focused relationship wise and everything LGBT.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah. Awesome. That's amazing. So when it comes to branding, what would you say is the biggest difference in the way your clients target the LGBTQ community versus general population?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, I mean, it's once upon a time, it all started with imagery and so forth. So that's where it goes down this whole path, as far as you know, because some folks get tired of seeing LGBT advertising always showing bare chested man, or, you know, it's it's all it's all a stereotype. But I would say that even though this isn't, this is kind of some transition, and things are still kind of happening. But I would just say that it's more important nowadays, where you know, all that user generated content out there and brands that are able to start leveraging and figuring out how to not just advertise themselves and throw that try to pick the right imagery and put it out there, but to figure out who their fans and audience are, and stay engaged with them, and then figure out ways and there are ways to be able to leverage their content and their posts into kind of like this overall modern version of this, you know, marketing social media outreach plan. And that way, you don't have to worry about it, because everything is authentic. At that point, nobody has to think about is this authentic, not authentic? Because it's all from real people.

Joelly Goodson :

Right? So how do brands go to market without stereotyping? because like you said, you talked about like, the bare chest guy, or with the gold chain, or which, by the way, are back in fashion. My, my sons are wearing like their gold chains. It's pretty funny. So how do they How do they not stereotype?

Matt Skallerud:

Well, at first they one of the early things to understand, it's just that we're not all the same. So. So one big part is that, you know, it's anybody and everybody is part of the LGBTQ plus community.

Joelly Goodson :

And so we all little queer, really, I mean, come on, let's be honest.

Matt Skallerud:

I think that's what the world is learning is that all these boxes that we that we, you know, even the things that idea generation X and boomers, throw boxes. And so I think over over time, people are realizing, especially with social media, how widely varied and different, there's gay parents, there are gay men that will be single forever, because they love living this lifestyle that they run off to Puerto Vallarta and make new friends along the way, and they travel and then there's others that are more just as traditional and boring as their heterosexual counterparts. And so it's just understanding all that and knowing that when you get into it, anyone in everyone is kind of represented in the LGBT community. And so then it goes back to who do you really want to reach. And so then that way that a lot of the stereotypes kind of washed away, because then a lot of it is like, if they're reaching gay parents, it's not that different from their straight parents that they're trying to reach as well. A lot of the same things fall into place. It's just that the imagery, yeah, but the imagery wouldn't be bare chested men at that point, then it's just two dads, and the more real they look, the better.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, well, you see a lot more that now too. You see that on TV, you see that on social media and marketing, I think of like an Ikea ad when they show a montage of all different families. And I actually love that because they show all the different families and they see, you know, two men together two women together. I mean, it's just it's not it's, it's almost a non issue. Really, right. It's just part of it. So talk me about when a client comes to you, what are their challenges? And how do you help guide them to their target market?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, but you got to make somebody come to you, it all has been an evolution. You know, once upon a time, we used to work directly with ad agencies, because agencies, they would have to deal with website owners and so forth, one on one. So we kind of helped him navigate all that. But technology has grown up to a point where these companies use technology in order to be able, it's called programmatic advertising, or even just targeting on Facebook and other social media. So a lot of companies have figured out that they can bring through an agency, they can do a lot of this in house. So what that means is that what we need to do is be able to work more direct with the client as opposed to an agency. So if a client comes to us, they'll usually say, hey, I've got this story to tell, or I've got this message I want to get out. And but from a bigger picture point of view, a lot of times they'll start out very broad, because they don't really know the opportunities that are there. So let's just say I want to reach gay people. And we said, well, we can reach LGBT, there's a lot of variants. And a lot of times they don't even know that they can reach specifically travelers. So the more that they're educated, a big part of our job is just to educate them about the opportunities that are there for them so that they could, they could really reach folks that are interested in sports or people in LGBT audiences interested in museums and all the different all the different aspects of life. And then the more that they understand that and that they can target or they can reach those folks. That's where all of a sudden things become fun, because then it's just like now, what do we do we roll up our sleeves and figure out how to reach them. And is that where you would work with the ad agencies to come up with creative for usually at that point, hopefully bypassing an agency. So the only the only time it comes in is if an agency will sometimes have created the ad banner units or the graphics or the or the messaging, then we'll work with them. But in general, a lot of times the client already has that and then we're able to just to work direct and bypass an agency for that.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, so then you guys do the creative as well.

Matt Skallerud:

We'll work with partners that if they need the creative, it's very rare that we're actually ever asked to develop creative nine times out of 10. The clients already have that in place, whether they worked with a larger agency overall or just a creative agents, a lot of companies do so much in house now, including a lot of advice, all that stuff, dramatic where they can sit in front of a computer and place banner ads on a variety different websites and merge data into that, you know, that used to be the world of just agencies only would be able to handle something like that. But now you're finding that more and more companies that started with like the Procter and Gamble's of the world, but now more and more companies smaller or agile are able to easily have access to that. And it's very understandable. So then what they'll do is they'll place their their banner ads and their social media campaigns on Facebook. And they'll do all that through kind of a single interface, things have really evolved over the last few years. And so we just try to find our place and be able to help just the right client that does need assistance and in that in navigating some of that.

Joelly Goodson :

And I bet technology has a big role in that too,

Matt Skallerud:

right has really big difference in that technology really, really completely turned, I would say turned it a lot of it upside down. And it's not always talked about because at the end of the day, a lot of the folks that were in that industry are just simply they just have kind of moved on to the ad agency world is a much smaller as a much smaller footprint, because it's either done in house, and a lot of reasons they did it. And that's because they learned how to do it on Facebook with all this targeting. And they said hey, I can use those same skill sets. And now use this other software and place my banner ads or do email campaigns. And, and so it just continued to spiral.

Joelly Goodson :

Wow. So what would you say is the biggest challenge facing brands today, when it comes to penetrating the LGBTQ market? No pun intended

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, it's just, uh, at the end of the day is, it's, uh, the challenge is just simply being able to understand, you know, because sometimes, I have sat down with clients that have said, and, you know, I'm even leery about wanting to state this, but they'll say, like, I don't want to reach transgender people, because I want the campaign to just reach gay man or lesbian women, but no train, because I am afraid and, you know, there's because, you know, they just, they see these things in the media, maybe they're not part of the community. And they see things, they see things that they don't understand it as challenges they want to avoid. And so we often tell them, that's, that's really the wrong like, that's, that's the wrong approach, you're going to be putting a campaign out there, you got to be reaching all sorts of different people, and you can't be afraid of that. And if you get a little pushback, especially on social media, just be prepared for that. And don't fight with people and just try to take it in and be constructive and how you respond to things. But it is always interesting in today's day and age, when they when some marketers see things out there that that they're not quite as comfortable with they, they'd like to think they're more in control, and that they could kind of set up little walls and make it so that their campaign is only viewed by a certain type of person. And even though you can do all this targeting, at the end of the day, the idea of being able to differentiate between, you know, gay men and transgender on using technology is almost non existent.

Joelly Goodson :

And I would think especially today, with my son, I've been very educated on terminology and whatnot. And, you know, between gay, lesbian, pansexual, transgender, I mean, there's just so many that how would you be able to just compartmentalize and say, well, we just want, you know, the gay man, but not, you know, the trans or the pansexual.

Matt Skallerud:

And right, you can further elaborate on that point, there is no targeting that's available, right? Whether in a lot of countries, it's just not even legal in Europe, and so forth. But even in the US, it's just it's not done. So you can't actually say, Oh, I want to reach a pansexual person I want to reach a you can't even really say, I want to reach a gay man or lesbian woman, you used to be able to at the very beginning, but that all went away really quickly. But what you can is you can infer, you can say you can't say I want to reach males. And then I want to reach males that have shown an interest in pride festivals, or Atlantis cruises are so fun. So you're basing it on interest. So you know, you're reaching gay men, but you're not specifically targeting a little checkbox that said, that's a gay man. So that's why reaching bisexual pansexual transgender is a challenge, because then you have to do a lot more in France to be able to figure out how am I going to reach them? It's doable, but you have to be much procreative.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, I bet. And is there an assumption that because you're gay follow a certain set of values?

Matt Skallerud:

Yes. I mean, we're all learning that, uh, you know, the LGBT community is learning that we're not all liberal. If they don't, right. I know. But we'd like to believe that we all do. And so it's, it's, it's kind of a slap in the face for someone, especially on Twitter, and they find out that there's, they're learning through surveys that, you know, upwards of maybe like, 30% of our community in the US are Trump supporters or at least, or at least it's, it's to some degree. And so it's shocking to a lot of these folks, but they have to realize it's because we are just, we're just a subset, or I was gonna say a microcosm, but we're a part of the greater community at large. And so we have to accept that there's a lot of LGBT folks who are very rural and don't live in the urban cities on under that other stereotype. They like country life, and there's a number of them out there, and they're much more visible.

Joelly Goodson :

Did you see Brokeback Mountain?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, Brokeback Mountain. I love that movie.

Joelly Goodson :

I mean, and that was pretty I'm on guard, because how many years ago was that? Like, over 10?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, probably about 15.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I just brought that up because you mentioned the rural and it made me think about

Matt Skallerud:

they bring the whole rodeo world into it. But there's a whole gay Rodeo Association. They have gay rodeos all over the country that are gay men on the backs of these horses, you know, and the rest of us are lucky. How do they do that?

Joelly Goodson :

It's great. I love it. Well, you know, I've mentioned it all the time being a mom of a child who's in the LGBTQ community, I love that he's growing up in the time that he is because he is very open, and all his peers are very open and accepting. I think it'd be a different world. 1020 I don't know, even five years ago, have you noticed there's been a big change? I mean, if I may ask you when you came out and what that was like, and what challenge you faced?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, I mean, I think it's really different. And I grew up in LA in the city. So people always assume, Oh, it's so much easier and big city versus small town. And I was 26 when I finally I mean, I was figuring things out somewhere on 21. But it wasn't until 26 years old that I finally realized, like, you know, I'm gay, and I have to, you know, accept that and not try to, you know, we go through our own journeys, you know, to be able to figure out like, well, maybe it'll kick in somewhere along the way, and is hoping not to be like, when you when you I've heard stories where people are, you know,

Joelly Goodson :

there's been that big popular thing with Colton from The Bachelor, right. And he talks about how he wanted to pray the gay out of him. And you know, he really struggled. And I mean, thought about suicide and all that stuff. So yeah. Did you ever wish you weren't?

Matt Skallerud:

Or? I don't? I would say probably yes. And no, I mean, I would say there was definitely anything, nothing conscious that was that strong. But I definitely think I think especially generationally, anyone who's who has kind of grown up in the 60s 70s, and 80s, since since things aren't as they are as accepting as they are today. And so you definitely knew you're different. And it was also not just different, but considered by society is wrong, and nobody wants to be wrong, and nobody really wants to be different. And so most of us don't. And so I remember kind of thinking like, now I don't, you know, I'm sure it's just something that, you know, there's like I said, very few role models or anything, any, it's very little the roadmaps to leg up from others. So I was just trying to figure this out on my own, as well as millions of others. But nowadays, I think that's the Not only is there is a greater understanding and acceptance in most of the world. But also, it's just that there are a lot of, I don't even want to say role models, but just people that we see that have come through this. And I think it really helps so that somebody who is 16 1718 years old, has an easier time to look at and say, Oh, yeah, I am comfortable that that's who I am.

Joelly Goodson :

Do you think most of the world though, or do you think mostly North America, I mean, that's it's sad when you think about other countries like Russia, and some of the, you know, countries where it's illegal still, right.

Matt Skallerud:

That's, it's really tricky. And that's also like, when I say the rest of the world, like Western Europe, Australia, but even like, when you go to places like Argentina, and Latin America, it varies around the world. And it also varies a lot based on age group demographics, because nowadays, young people all over the world are growing up communicating and collaborating with each other through these mediums. And this has been going on for a long time, they said in the 80s, there was an early 90s, it was that MTV generation where everybody around the world for the first time was kind of watching Graham, a lot of the same programming will never happen before. So that started the trend of young people growing up having more in common with each other around the world than they did with older people that were their neighbors. So I think that that trend has continued on where now it's gone, not just from internet, but it's gone all the way into social media, and not just communicating, but to collaborating, they share ideas and engage with each other. So I think it's such a different world that I'm when I'm on Twitter, I'm engaged with people in India, and a lot of places that you wouldn't immediately expect others. There's a thriving LGBT community there. And it's different. But yet, they still share a lot of the same hopes and dreams and values, and you're able to have discussions with them that are that feel like you're talking to somebody in North America.

Joelly Goodson :

Honestly, that's one of the best things about social media, as far as I'm concerned, is really bringing that sense of community for people who, you know, may not feel that they have anywhere where they can go to be themselves, but at least they can find their community on line and social media, particularly and join these groups and have these conversations. So that's a huge plus. Thank you for sharing that with us. By the way, I know sometimes I can get really personal. So I appreciate you being opening up and sharing that with me. So let's talk about the LGBTQ marketing symposium. What is that?

Matt Skallerud:

Well, we developed that almost 15 years ago, it was a it was one of those things that just happens organically. I've worked a lot with different partners in the industry that you know, that have different skill sets. And so one of them is community marketing. And they're based out of San Francisco. And he and I have spoken at conferences a lot together. But we've had a lot of conferences that they weren't really touching on the world of advertising marketing. And his focus was more on research and ours was more on strategy and social media and just internet in general. So we ended up collaborating to put something together that didn't exist conference in New York that was just dedicated to bring you different speakers in that could talk about event marketing and print and digital and all the things that were going on. And so it just continued to grow. We actually grew it from a day into a whole week's worth of programming, as long as we always have the right speakers and you know it mix it up in terms of having folks talk about influencer marketing nowadays, and what's going on with Tick Tock and podcasting and so forth. There's always there's always a strong interest from folks to be able to attend and learn and meet people that can help explain these things. So

Joelly Goodson :

Wow. Yeah, that's great. So you have been referred to as an accidental social media star. I found that out. And I thought that was so interesting. Can you tell me about that? How did that happen? And what's the story behind that?

Matt Skallerud:

Buddy? That's my friend, Nicholas snow. Yeah, he and he and I have known each other for probably like, the full time 25 years, at least, we met because he was doing a cable television show gay, called the notes from Hollywood. And before that, he had some other some other iterations. But so anyway, he's, he's quite a character.

Joelly Goodson :

By the way, I did see one of his videos, I think the one that you were on with him, and he's quite a character. He seems like it.

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, you know, I was always more of the internet guy and building the website stuff. And he was always doing these shows. So next thing, you know, 2020 comes along and pandemic had shut down. And I just sort of kept myself the thought, Well, I'm going to try something. So I started creating these interviews online with video just to kind of see what would happen. And next thing, you know, they sort of took off. And so that was how he referenced and said, because I didn't do it with any intention of becoming a social media star, or having having these videos I take off the way they had was that that I love gay today show or was that before that? No, I love gay today, we just, let's talk about that. I love the name. Thanks. And it all, it made sense for us. Because we have this very strong network. It's almost a half million users or followers on Twitter. And it's the I love game network. So we have like, I love gay NYC, we have one for Calgary and Edmonton. We have these different Twitter profiles that are I love gaming brand, that are dedicated to regions around the world, and also themes like theater and sports. And so they're all designed to stay very true to their niche. We only follow people that are in those regions, we post some content, but mostly we engage with others and share their stuff. And so this whole thing has grown, but it's only on Twitter. So when the pandemic had shut down and everything just sort of grind to a halt workwise we thought, well, we'll just kind of keep ourselves busy. So I created this video podcast show to just sort of talk to folks that I know, and just see how they're doing during the pandemic, and are they adapting and we branded it, I love gay. And we distributed the shows through this Twitter network, it just created, it has a life of its own. So now we're doing one or two shows a day, five days a week. We got like we just put went up this morning. And it was a publicist that we're working on a Wells Fargo project, they there's this whole Wells Fargo thing with these LGBT artists. And they wanted to launch today with us for Pride Month. And so we really grown up. But now we've got more and more corporate, not just sponsorship, but organizations that are really eager to be able to have me interview them in order to be able to kind of help share their story with our audience on Twitter. And we also share on Facebook and LinkedIn and does quite well. That's amazing. So what's the premise behind it? Is there a certain theme other than the LGBTQ community or is what's the thing we're like a variety show because because i'll i'll interview people that are in the travel world music world and and the crazy thing is, I'm just responding because a lot of them just come to me and say, you know, I want to be on your show. So they want to be on the show. And but it makes sense from our perspective, because we do have this whole I love game network that does speak to so many different parts of the world and all the different themes out there. So first of all fits I think that's making that's making more and more sense to folks that when they see this, the overall underlying theme is that number one, everybody is part of the LGBT community. But also, we always add a little bit of a layer of business to it. So there's always kind of, there's always a business angle in some way, shape or form, because we're trying to help folks either with their business and marketing and advertising. But also, there's a lot of things that they could share that others will learn from, we interviewed somebody just right before this show, and their whole world is about pride in and working with companies to be able to develop out pride. So a whole strategy just based around pride, but when the way that we did the interview is such that others could learn from that and figure out how they would want to navigate the business world of pride as well. And it's a little vague, but if people are watching the videos, I think they would start to see that would be a kind of common thread.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I think that's great, because it's entertaining, but you're also adding value and you're helping people that that's sort of been my goal with this podcast as well as because I want it to be fun at the end the day and have people like yourself on who are interesting, but also if people can learn a little bit so I think that's great. And it's video, right video. And where can people find that?

Matt Skallerud:

actually it's easy. It's #ILoveGay Today. We registered that URL. So www dot i love gay dot today and then it'll take them to a website that has kind of a summary of the most recent videos and then links to the rest of them on YouTube.

Joelly Goodson :

That's great. I don't know if you know the story about Joe Rogan. I actually heard this story the other day, which I found was a shame and it just reminded me of when you were talking about you just would get together with your friends and start talking. And that's how we just started right he just started for funding just started and he did it like yourself, got on went live and started talking to friends and having a good time and it grew and it grew.And then he sort of went to Spotify and made a proposition. And now here he is, right. But that's how we started to same thing. He's like, I just want to hang out with my friends and talk about shit.

Matt Skallerud:

Right? Because everybody's got a story to tell in that sense. And it's kind of fun to bring that story to light. And that's kind of what that's sort of what I you know, I'm tasked with in that sense, but I've learned that other people have enjoyed meeting and learning about these folks that I'm interviewing through my eyes. So that's kind of what I bring to the tables, I'm able to kind of just be that conduit so that they can have a chance to learn more about somebody else that they often find fascinating. And so yeah, there's a whole there's a whole new world there.

Joelly Goodson :

That's great. So what's your favorite part about it? Yeah. For how long? Sorry, how long you been doing it for now? over a year now?

Matt Skallerud:

It's like a year and a month. So when COVID started? Yeah, yeah. Right. When? Yeah, right around mid April, I think, early to mid April, when I'm 20. And so but now my favorite part is, is that that's actually become the most exciting part of my day. I really look forward to my next interview. There are times when a publicist wants to bring somebody on and I don't really know them. And I don't do a lot of prep, they ask for questions. I said, no questions. I give them an idea of the direction we'll go. But it's going to be purely conversational. It's gonna be short, and we edit. It's not live. So it's my favorite part of the day is just, it's just right before doing one of those shows. It's exciting and exhilarating. For me it is meeting somebody new or reconnecting with someone I've known for quite a while and just having that chat and then being able to kind of bring that to life online.

Joelly Goodson :

I agree. You know, I say this all the time. I would do this if nobody was listening. Because how, what what other opportunity? Can I sit down with someone like you and where are you? So you're in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I'm in Calgary, Canada. We're sitting here having this really great conversation about something that we're both passionate about, you know, how much better is that doesn't get any better that so i, i Yeah, I agree with you. So you said you have people reach out your time? Do you say yes to everybody?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah.I would say but if you have somebody else, they would say Yes, I do. Say yes to everyone. Oh, you say yes. Or was someone said that about you? My business partner, which okay. And my husband? He would also say like, they both Tell me, I don't know how to say now. But that but there are times when things are just too far out there, and, and so forth. And I'm just kind of like I try to make an excuse. I don't just tell them no, I hope they don't watch this and find that.

Joelly Goodson :

You know what, it's hard. I never expected people would reach out to me and ask me to be guest same thing. And I didn't know what to do. And I had to get some advice. Because you also, you know, you might Oh, especially being about branding and making sure that you're true to the brand. And if you said yes to everyone that's always curious, when you said people reached out to you, I thought if he says yes to everybody, that would be challenging.

Matt Skallerud:

There's something to be said about, especially on on Twitter with this, well, I love gay network, we're very engaged with a lot of people there. And that's the number one source for folks seeing the show, and then wanting to be on the show. So the upside is, is that in that case, we're already well aligned, meaning that we're speaking the same language, we're engaged with each other. That's how we work with influencers so much too. And so sometimes some of those influencers we have had on the show. So these influencers, they're not just on Instagram, some of them are on Twitter. And they're, they're not just posting and throwing it out there. They're actually posting in ways that are engaged with their fanbase, and also with us, so they'll tag us, and they'll include us and things. And so there's this little two way street relationship going on. So then it becomes a very natural progression for them to say, Oh, you know, I'm going to do such and such in, would you like, you know, can I be on your show? Right? It's a lot easier. Everything is aligned at that point. So we're very fortunate that we're able to have so many now that we're engaged with that way that that makes our life a lot easier.

Joelly Goodson :

That's wonderful. And you're on Instagram as well, too. You said, right?

Matt Skallerud:

I am. But we're not, I'm not. We're not big fans of Instagram, we spend money on it. But Instagram, is like well spend money on we'll do ad campaigns targeting Facebook, porting that over into Instagram. So then on the Instagram feed, our clients will be able to have that book now or, you know, learn more, and they'll have a link because it's a paid sponsorship thing. But otherwise, we've just we find that Instagram, it's tricky, because if you just try to do things organically, and you're just posting photos of stuff, everyone, there's really no link, so you can cheat and try to put the link in your profile. And you know, and you see a lot of media companies will actually put a lot of text into there, because they're trying to cram like a round, round hole square peg, they're trying to force things in. But at the end of the day, the biggest problem we believe is that Facebook is very successful Facebook on a personal page, because it's a two way street, you can, but you cannot be connected to 5000 people, but there are people that you have accepted in. So it's friends, family, professional colleagues. So it's kind of a, you're engaged by default. And the same thing actually happens pretty well with LinkedIn, though not everybody realizes that and that you can grow up to 30,000. So you can have a really serious two way relationship. But on Instagram, you can only follow 7500 so 7500 cap, which seems fine, except that if you're going to be successful, you need 100,000 followers. So you have to ask yourself, How do I get 100,000 followers if I can only follow 7500 because usually people your friends or whatever and you post them they follow you back. So you have to be a celebrity, you have to be more interesting than they are in order to be able to have people follow you. So we have to be a mini Kardashian. And that by default defines it as a limitation. There's a limitation to that. And that's why everyone's decided they want to be a Instagram millionaire, they want to, they want to get a million followers. And they want to have brands chasing all over them to be able to share with those followers. So there's just this whole industry that everyone's been jumping over themselves to try to get into. So there's a lot of noise, hard to stand out. And so we have actually found that the other social media platforms, and especially Twitter, are much better at building, building an audience and being engaged with your audience and building a brand and a business and so forth.

Joelly Goodson :

And what about LinkedIn?

Matt Skallerud:

LinkedIn is great, but it's always, it's always more of a business conversation. And so that goes to the similar to Facebook. So we will post most of our things on our LinkedIn personal profile, the business profiles, or like Facebook ones, where they just don't perform as well, because those are not an engaged to a relationship. It's a one way street. It means that you're following that page, you're following that company page. Anything that's a one way street, one, just one direction, by default, is never going to be as engaging as a two way street, which is the Facebook, personal Twitter, Twitter can be both. So a lot of people fail on Twitter, because they haven't figured out that they need to turn it from a one way into a two way.

Joelly Goodson :

Mm hmm. Well, I'm still trying to figure out Twitter myself, to be honest with you. I mean, I'm on there. And I I follow a lot of people and I'm just I'm still trying to figure it out. Personally, I like LinkedIn, I think it's great just for business is grown like crazy to right. There's more people on now in the last two years or 18 months. It's COVID. It's incredible. So I'll have to check out your Twitter account. So if people want to learn more about pink media, what's the best way for them to find it?

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, on on other platforms. It's it's a the @ symbol, and then just Pink Media LGBT. So that's the profile across the board and the websites Pink Media dot LGBT.

Joelly Goodson :

So how come no q?

Matt Skallerud:

because with the.it, started all with the dot LGBT, so dot LGBT, there is no dot LGBTQ, and so and all it's all been in evolution. There's a dot gate and a dot LGBT. So we decided to kind of for uniformity. We wanted everything to match the website URL. Okay, and now it's even LG bt q plus. So if we keep going, right? was that a domain name? So hey, there are limitations to all this stuff. So we just try to we try to go middle of the road in terms of what technology allows us to do.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, thank you so much, Matt, for taking the time to talk with me. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I've learned so much. And so do you have any big plans for gay pride? I mean, you guys are all opened up now pretty much Aren't you surprised some regions there. There's keeping pride virtual again this year, but others are going for it. So we're actually going to go down to Fort Lauderdale in a couple of weeks. They're going to have a pride festival Stonewall pride, and it's called and so we're going to go down for that because we have some clients down there and so forth. So and we're going to actually capture some footage for I love gay today and create kind of a pride pride themed video as well, based on some of the stuff we captured down there. So that'd be fun. Wonderful. Well, I look forward to following you. You know, what's interesting is that and I don't know why this is. But gay pride in all over the world is June and in Canada, and I think I don't know if it's maybe just Calgary. It's September.

Matt Skallerud:

Yeah, I think. I think part of that is TD Bank.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, you do? Are you joking? You're joking.

Matt Skallerud:

Half joking. You know, because of the weather. Yeah, it's probably a combination of things. But you know, number one, there are a lot of prides like you'll have Phoenix pride. In April, then you have Palm Springs pride in November. So you have, you have a lot of pride festivals, San Diego prides in July, June is the core of what a lot of them are in. But yeah, the reason I said TD Bank is because what's interesting is that TD Bank sponsors almost all of pride all throughout Canada, and the folks, the team, the LGBT team at TD Bank, they are really good at going from one prior to the next to the next to the next they, they follow along and there, they have events themselves themselves. They're physically there. And so they need the pride festivals to be spread out or otherwise that that whole formula won't work. So I've often joked with them that, I think and they've kind of winked at me and said, You know, there is some truth to that, that pride is kind of spaced out for the sponsors like TD in order to be able to be more a part of all that. And present.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, I did not know that. That's excellent. Okay, one more thing. Before we go. I have one more question for you. So speaking of pride, I just thought of this. So can you share why Pride started? Because I think it's an interesting story.

Matt Skallerud:

It started as a protest. And you're seeing that more and more that theme that that concept is being thrown out there much more on social media where people are saying they want to they want us all to be reminded that it's not a it wasn't a festival and a big party. It was a protest, starting with Stonewall and from Stonewall in 69. Starting really in New York with these, these protests that turned into a parade and so it's been an evolution over the years and so you know, I think it's great that there's so much positivity and pride and that so many organizations want to be a part of that. But especially in today's world, there was an SNL sketch that just came out last week, I think. And they kind of poke fun at pride. And it was well received, and it was smart. And part of what they did is that they all had their t shirts, and they were all celebrating a rainbow pride until they turned around and it was all sponsored by Deutsche Bank. And then Oh, yeah. And, but it really got a lot of play online. People talked about it a lot, because it's the reality is SNL reminding us through parody that it has kind of grown into this big corporate thing. And some folks want us to remember that it it, maybe we should go back to some pride, pride events being a protest again, well, the meaning where it came from.

Joelly Goodson :

That's why thank you for sharing that. Because I learned that today. And I thought that was really, so yeah, I didn't know that. Anyway, thank you for sharing that. Thank you for your time and everything. And I Love Gay Today Show. I'm going to start watching it and follow you.

Matt Skallerud:

So great to be here with you. Oh, it's been great. Well Enjoy the rest of your week, Chris, your month. And I will we'll be in touch. I'm looking forward to staying connected with you on social media. Same here. All right, bye.

Joelly Goodson :

And there you have it. I really hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. But most of all, I really hope you had some fun. This show is a work in progress. So please make sure to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to. And if you want to learn more about the branding badass, that's me. You can find me on social media under you know it, branding badass. Thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.