39: Masters Degrees in Media Management, Mentoring, and Masterful Social Media Marketing with Mike Metzler
Mike Metzler has long had a home on social media: beginning on Facebook in 2005 as a college student to interviewing celebrities octagon-side for UFC Instagram to becoming a social media consultant and strategist. In this episode, you’ll learn the many steps it took to get to this point and how his first boss/mentor and doodling his corgi as an astronaut helped him along his path. Get ready for a great cliff’s notes version of Social Media Marketing 101 with Mike Metzler.
Key Points + Topics
- [2:50] Mike Metzler got his undergrad and graduate degrees from St. Edwards University. After getting his bachelor’s in marketing, his father told him a master’s was the only way forward. Despite the standard plan being to obtain a bachelor’s degree, work for a few years, and then return for a master’s degree, Mike opted for the express route and went straight into grad school. The school offered an interesting digital media management program that aimed to train its students to be the bridge between the developers and the higher-up decision-makers. It also played right into Mike’s lifelong dream of working in the video game industry.
- [4:10] When it comes to the greatest lessons learned, Mike knows his failures have been his greatest teachers. While starting school, he thought he could succeed with no preparation. Then, he horrendously failed a presentation and learned very quickly that construction and composition BEFORE delivery were key.
- [6:00] To Mike, it feels like a lot of being a mentor is people asking you, “What should I do?” And it’s your job as a mentor, with more experience than them, to give the best advice you can and guide them on the right path forward. Mike’s first boss after grad school was an impactful mentor for him. He thinks it can be very helpful, if you have the privilege of choice, to choose a first boss you can really learn from. His boss taught him many job skills and gave him challenges that not only benefitted the company but also Mike as a person.
- [9:42] When it comes to those he mentors, Mike believes most of them would just call him ‘friend.’ In social media, there are many younger people who find themselves pushed into the spotlight as influencers, but they don’t necessarily know how to do business. He always tries to give them advice so they don’t get taken advantage of and to help them be successful.
- [11:00] Mike has long had a home in social media and found plenty of work there. He’s worked with UNICEF, Men’s Health, AT&T, UFC, and more. There’s this idea that once you have a lot of followers, the money and deals come to you. But that’s not really how it works. Every good brand deal he’s had came as a result of Mike’s social engineering and outreach. It’s a grind always to be pitching yourself and finding new deals. It really is a young person’s game because you have to be pushing 24/7 – 365.
- [13:05] Mike’s keys to mentoring success are fairly decided:
- First, and most importantly, be available, more available than just what’s convenient for you. It is a big commitment that you can’t make for everyone.
- Next, a mentor should encourage responsible risk-taking. It’s your job to push your mentee to help them grow but know the risk so they don’t gamble with their career.
- Finally, a mentor must hold their mentee accountable. If they say they’re going to tackle a particular challenge, you should follow up with them and make sure they actually took action.
- [14:15] The year: 2005. The platform: Facebook (early version). So Mike has been on social media for nearly twenty years now. It’s been exciting watching the landscape change over the years, and he’s started to realize some patterns in how new platforms are introduced and grow. One of his biggest pet peeves is people telling others in the social media world they don’t need to be on every platform. He takes the exact opposite approach. He believes the early adopters and first-movers definitely have an advantage in social media.
- [17:35] Mike believes in taking ‘responsible risks.’ He doesn’t want to tell people to break the rules, BUT one of the common denominators among those who succeed is that they use platforms to their maximum potential. They aren’t worried about violating the terms of service or scared to try something new.
- [25:00] Over his time working on social media, Mike has found himself chatting with some famous individuals. He admits that starstruck feeling will always be there for certain people. But those are the ones that can’t even pretend to just be “a normal person.” Others, once you get past your initial nervous stage, you realize MOST celebrities are just normal people. He recalls a particularly nerve-wracking octagon-side interview with Tom Brady and Justin Timberlake.
- [27:50] When it comes to balancing the business of his professional brand and his unique, fun-loving side that produces some of his most popular content, Mike is always careful to remember his father’s worries when he first got into the industry. His father was always anxious Mike would post something that might jeopardize a future career path. So, now he tries to create content he finds funny so at least he can enjoy it. And hopefully, if he enjoys it, others will, too.
- [31:10] The race against the ever-shortening attention span is one Mike believes you have to lean into. You can’t fight it. You have to post what the platforms like and are promoting in order to succeed. You still have to KEEP your followers and to do that, you have to keep them engaged with your content. But the fad of the moment on any given platform really is the only way to garner new followers for different platforms.
Guest + Episode Links
Danny Gavin 00:05
Hello everyone, I’m Danny Gavin, founder of Optidge Marketing Professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor. Today I’m super excited for a very special guest, Mike Metzler i’ve known Mike for years. He’s the Digital Media Manager of Content Labs and UFC Strike. Content Labs, formerly known as Concept Art House, has taken over operations of UFC Strike from Dapper Labs. They recently announced A multiyear partnership with UFC to continue publishing UFC Strike along with a mobile UFC game. Mike has been a force to be reckoned with on social media for many years now, and Snapchat came out he was one of the top. Definitely an influencer. He’s gotten into a Twitter spat with Reese’s that led to them shipping him 300 pounds of Reese’s thins i’m very jealous he’s been a subreddit moderator he’s taken a selfie with Shaq and posted plenty of viral moments featuring his Corey’s. How are you?
Mike Metzler 01:52
I’m doing well, happy to be here. Thanks for the invite.
Danny Gavin 01:56
Pleasure i think our relationship goes back to a company many years ago where i remember hiring you and I think you were doing BD work. I think one of my best SEO projects ever that I ran was actually sold from you, from you. And I think that that’s where it all started.
Mike Metzler 02:14
You know, it wasn’t, you know, working in BD and sales wasn’t something that I thought that I would ever be good at or even that would even do as a job i was coming now I don’t want but. Whenever you kind of view it through the lens of, you know, consulting and helping people out with different projects, you know that’s it became much easier.
Danny Gavin 02:31
So it wasn’t about sales, it was more about that human interaction and helping.
Mike Metzler 02:35
You got to be knowledgeable about your domain and so, you know, I think that I was good because I had a strong technology background i understand, you know, the digital media industry very well. And so when people would come and they’d say they’d want a website and be like it’s not, we’re not just going to take what?
Danny Gavin 02:49
You say it’s like, here’s what we think you need, so let’s roll back the clock. Let’s talk about where you went to school and what you studied.
Mike Metzler 02:55
Ok, so I went to school at St. Edwards University for my undergrad and my graduate i got my MBA there. Whenever I graduated with a marketing degree, my dad was basically like, well, you got to get it. You got to go to Grassville, you got to do like every that’s the only way forward. And so I was looking around and you know, most people don’t typically get an MB A right after they go to, you know, college they typically work for a few years. But they had this really unique program called the Digital Media Management MB a program where it kind of focused on three or 4 main tracks one was like music, one was film, one was kind of like technology, and one was video games. And the goal was to bridge the gap between. You know, the higher up people and you know the engineers and the people making it and so you could be a good middleman and understand all areas. And whenever I saw that I really wanted to work in the video game industry. That had been my dream since I was a little kid. And I was like, well, you know, this could be a good path to do it so I went there, did my MBA for two years, and then started working for a video game company.
Danny Gavin 04:02
That’s awesome. So with regards to the program or even your undergrad, were there any experiences that you had inside or outside the classroom that when you look back were impactful to where you are today?
Mike Metzler 04:13
Whenever I think about the things that were most impactful in college, it’s normally by my biggest failures. You know, like I remember you, I used to think that, you know, I could just wing everything and I could go in there and I could, you know, go in and give a presentation and then one day i failed, you know, horrendously giving a live presentation to one of my marketing classes. And I was like, wow, I mean, I guess. I better not ever do that again like and so then prepping and preparing became a big part of my routine for you know, presentations and species and things like that. You know, another thing was we had in our MB A class, we had to do a class where we had to create a business focused on the area that we wanted to do and then present it to a bunch of different B C’s. And so the teacher brought in different B C’s from Austin. And you know, we were hotshot grad students thinking that we knew everything and they just demolished us they get, you know, they gave us feedback like we were on, you know, Shark Tank, not for our fake business. And I remember walking on like that was the worst class ever. And now I look back on i was like, man, that was one of the best learning experiences of my life yeah and it’s cool that you are able to look back and appreciate that and do it do those memories of her pop up in your head like now when you’re giving a presentation?
Mike Metzler 05:37
They’ve become habits, you know and so they’re things that I do, like before, you know, anytime like I’m talking to you, i’m going over notes and things that I want to say for about at least an hour beforehand so that I, you know, don’t feel stumped or that I can always talk about something. And so the, you know, those experience have just, you know, become habits. Try not to dwell on my most embarrassing memories too much.
Danny Gavin 05:58
Yeah, that. That’d be a bad thing. All right, so let’s jump right into mentorships so Mike, how would you define a mentor?
Mike Metzler 06:04
My first reaction when I think about mentorship is it feels a lot like people just asking you what should I do? And so whenever you know, think about that, it’s your job to be able to give the best advice you can from the experience you have. I think that it’s, you know, important to bring your own experiences and be able to apply it to their situations and to their life so that you can provide them with the best and clearest way forward because. If you’re mentoring some, you probably have a little bit more experience than them in certain situations, so you can guide them on the right.
Danny Gavin 06:38
Path so let’s talk about your or one of your most influential mentors which was your first boss right out of grad school let’s talk about her.
Mike Metzler 06:46
My first boss right out of grad school, she we was at this video game company but she was a you know, had been a music exec for a very long time and now she’s you know a VP I think at Def Jam or public Records now you’re so cocky when you’re a little kid and. A little kid, you know, right out of grad school.
Danny Gavin 07:03
A little kid.
Mike Metzler 07:04
Yeah, you know when you’re when you’re in your early twenties and you know you, really think that you know how to do a lot of things you know, i you know, I admit it all through grad school I can do this. I had, you know, worked a number of jobs, but this was probably my first real 40 hour week healthcare, you know, and so I think that people should really pay attention to. Who their first boss is going to be, because it can really make a world of difference whenever you’re trying to find your first job, you’re just trying to find your first job but if you have a choice between two jobs, try to look at the one where you know you’re going to have a good relationship and somebody you can learn from. I learned a ton and you know, it wasn’t just that, you know, here’s what you should do. It was also she gave me a lot of activities that weren’t even like beneficial to, you know, the company, but were beneficial to me as like learning experiences. And I really appreciate that.
Danny Gavin 07:56
And that kind of reminds me the concept of like when you’re going into an interview, yes, part of that interview is them interviewing you to see if you’re a good fit. But if you’re smart, you also want to interview them and make sure it’s a good fit for you. And it’s the type of people that you want to be around absolutely. And I think that’s hard when you’re when you’re younger, but as you gain more experience.
Mike Metzler 08:16
I presented a. Did a lot of work and put a lot of thought into this presentation and data and things like that. And I presented it to her and she’s like, oh, you can’t present that. And then I was like oh, OK like what do you mean she’s like, well, you know it’s ugly. You know nobody ever told me that about a, you know a deck before like now everybody’s you know once you’re decked but you know people aren’t going to pay attention to your data if it you know it doesn’t look, you know it’s not the black and white you know if it’s if it doesn’t look good. It’s little things like that I that I. Keep going back to like I can make this look better it’s if it’s worth making, then it’s probably worth doing well.
Danny Gavin 08:53
Would you say that was the start of your art career it.
Mike Metzler 08:56
Was started my Photoshop career.
Danny Gavin 08:58
What would be an example of something that she gave you to do that wasn’t necessarily for the business, but something to help?
Mike Metzler 09:03
You grow. We’re making different Facebook games at the time. We had different characters in these games. One of the things you know that nobody really cared about, nobody knew who they were. But she said, why don’t you take these characters and try to grow their social media accounts you know, and it could have been beneficial, but you know, these were obscure characters from an obscure game. But it really got me thinking about how what are the different growth hacks that I can do to grow these accounts that nobody’s ever heard of. Let me try out any method I wanted to grow these accounts. You know, learned a lot of what doesn’t work. Those are some of the most valuable experiences I’ve ever had.
Danny Gavin 09:39
So let’s switch to mentoring others I know you’re in sort of a new role, don’t have any people under you, but let’s talk about either people that you’ve, you know, had in the past or friends that you’ve mentored. We’d love to know, like how you approach mentorship from your angle.
Mike Metzler 09:53
So a lot of the people that you know. And i don’t even typically call myself a mentor and I’m 30 so these people, most of these people would just call me friends but you know, being in the social media space, there’s a lot of young kids that are somehow like cast into stardom and really don’t have a good idea of how to do business or what are the things they should do to, you know, get a brand deal or you know, and this is specifically looking at it from, you know, an influencer and social media content creator point of view so anytime i got a chance to make a good, you know, friend or a relationship with somebody who might have been five ten years younger than me, you know, in their in their twenties or in my thirties, I try to make sure that i give them the right advice so that they don’t get taken advantage of. Because it’s very easy for people to do that in the social media space. But also you know, teaching them that you know your worth, know what your deliverables are going to be for you know different campaigns and trying to help them be as successful as they can be.
Danny Gavin 10:52
And just tell us a little bit about like these brand deals or just in general like making money off of being an influencer so have you had the chance like obviously it with your work, have you been able to make some money or having any brand deals?
Mike Metzler 11:04
I mean, yeah, yeah so i worked with dozens of brands, UNICEF, Men’s Health, 5 Hour Energy, UFC NASCAR, a t and t and a bunch of other just, you know, random ones. For the most part. There’s this image that. Once you have a lot of social media followers that the money just comes in and if you know for sometimes you get lucky and that happens. But most of the time you have to go out and make that happen you have to go engineer these deals you have to go find the right people, pitch yourself, make relationships. And not everybody knows how to do that. You know, some people like I have 200,000 thousand instagram followers, why isn’t anybody trying to pay me to post? It’s like, well, you know, every good brand deal that I ever secured. Came from some level of social engineering where, you know, I stalked the people I wanted to work for either on LinkedIn or Twitter, followed them, and then overtime built up a relationship with them and then whenever the opportunity was right, you know, pitched myself, you know, as somebody that they could work with in the future.
Danny Gavin 12:11
I think it’s really important because I think most people, they look at this shiny object and it’s like, oh, I’m going to get, you know, it’s going to be easy once.
Mike Metzler 12:19
I get all those followers. Once i get all those followers And.
Danny Gavin 12:20
I guess it is it is a real reality check that it’s not that simple and that’s honestly one of the reasons why I’m not didn’t pursue being a content creator is my full time job. And I guess it is, it is a real reality check that it’s not that.
Mike Metzler 12:28
Because just the grind of having to just find new jobs, reach out, pick yourself and then also you’re having to make content keep entertaining it is such a grind and it really is. You know, I say this to a lot Like, why don’t you why aren’t you? You know, still massive content creators like well. It’s really a young person’s game. You know, there’s some people that have like, you know, turn it into, you know, lot businesses, but like, you know, to make it big on social media you have to be doing that twenty four seven you know three hundred sixty five days a year.
Danny Gavin 13:00
It’s easier when you’re younger, for sure, totally especially if you have a family, right? It’s not yes.
Mike Metzler 13:04
That makes a big difference.
Danny Gavin 13:06
So let’s talk about your keys to mentoring success.
Mike Metzler 13:09
You know, I think I have 3 keys that i go back to when I think about mentoring success, one of which the 1st and I think the most important is to be available. You have to make yourself available, you know whenever, not just when it’s convenient for you to really help somebody, you know only 10 % of the time whenever they ask is not really what I would call a mentor. And so that’s a big commitment and that’s not something that you can do for everybody. But if there is somebody that you really are trying to mentor, you know you really do need to make yourself available. The second thing I would say is encourage. Responsible risktaking. And what I mean by that is there’s a lot, you know, like I said earlier, a lot of, you know, being a mentor is people just asking you what should I do? It’s your job to kind of push them to take risks that are going to, you know, improve them, but also knowing from your experience where the line is and you know where not to cross it. And last, hold them accountable. You know, if they say if you’re mentoring somebody that, hey, I’m going to do this. Make sure you follow up with them in a week from now and make sure like, did you do that? Like why didn’t you do that?
Danny Gavin 14:18
And I think that that’s really so let’s segue into your area of expertise which is social media, analytics, content marketing and so much more. So you finished getting your master’s degree in 2011 and basically immediately jumped into the social media marketing world. Social media has served as an ever present home for you in the years since. How has it been watching social media evolve over the years, the different platforms, marketing and more?
Mike Metzler 14:42
I think I first joined Facebook in 2005 you know and so almost 20 years you know into this, you know, watching it grow has been exciting but you know, you also start to identify patterns and you know in the way that you know platforms operate and how new platforms grow that are really exciting and so you know whenever. I see a new platform. I try to be one of the first people on a platform to test it out, try it. And my goal is whenever I see a new platform like Threads or, you know, whenever tik tok came out or whenever Snapchat came out, the first thing I’m trying to do is if there are influencers on there, looking at them and seeing what they’re doing. And if there really aren’t and like how do I become, you know, an influencer like whenever Be Real came out, you know, I was like, I’m going to be the be real influencer. And so I just, I was posting a lot of just because I just wanted to see i didn’t really think that it was. Platform that had staying power but you know you gained a lot of experience by experimenting on different platforms and learning. I think I became one of the most followed people on the app pretty quickly and then because I was just following everybody because that was the only way to get followers and I was like well let’s see what happens. And I had like you know a couple thousand be real followers and then that nothing ever happened with it but you know, it’s fun to just. Explore and experiment with the, you know, these new media platforms that’s one of the things that really gets me excited about working social media is that there’s always going to be something new or some new growth hack to experiment, to try out.
Danny Gavin 16:09
And I think that’s so cool because I think a lot of people sit back and wait, right it’s like, let’s see if this turns big. Yeah, yeah.
Mike Metzler 16:14
So one of my big pet peeves is a lot of people in the social media brand space like, you don’t need to be on every platform wait and let’s see, let’s plan. And I have the. Very opposite approach i think the second something comes out, you know you need to be on there because if you historically, if you look at the brands that have gotten really big on tik tok or really big on Snapchat or Instagram, they were the brands who were the first, you know, a lot of times are the first people to embrace it.
Danny Gavin 16:41
Now there’s obviously lots of people that come after that, but being, you know, the first mover advantage in social is very real. Were you ever on Clubhouse? Just randomly asking?
Mike Metzler 16:51
No, I you know, i was on it. But it was, you know, it was never really my thing. I like, I like creating visual content. Here I am, you know, on a podcast, but you know we’ve got a little video screen here. But yeah, no, I that was never really my thing. And Clubhouse to me felt very manufactured from the hype from, you know, the VCs that were investing in it from you know who they targeted for influencers. I never, you know, there was some people on there who were. Doing it the right way, but I felt a lot of it was just inauthentic, and so I never really vibed with that platform.
Danny Gavin 17:29
I feel like it’s a footnote during the COVID sphere and it’s kind of not really there anymore. A couple minutes ago you were talking about responsible risks so how have you done this in your own social media strategy?
Mike Metzler 17:39
I don’t want to say break the rules, but if you look at, you know, social media platforms and the first people who become really big. Let’s start back at Vine. So the first people who got big on Vine were posting a lot, but they were also, they used to make you film everything through the camera. But then some people created some hacks and then you could upload your own videos and the people who could upload their own videos and not have to shoot everything live, you know, we’re able to produce a lot more content. And then throughout the community, it’s like, oh man, those people, you know, they’re cheating it’s like, well, are you know, are they like they’re, you know, the platform could kick them off. And then when Snapchat came out for a long time. You know, you just, you had to press the button down and film everything right in the camera and then some people jailbroke some iPhones and then you could upload videos to Snapchat. And I was thinking at the time like, you know, the people who use the platforms to the, you know, absolute Max potential are the people who normally get ahead. So I approach things where i look at what are some growth hacks that I can do immediately whenever I see a new social platform that. And maybe others aren’t willing to try or, you know, might be like, oh, I don’t want to break the terms of service, the things you do right whenever you know, join a new platform, especially if it’s new like tik tok, snapchat, vine, you know there are ways to get ahead. And if you can figure those out early and, you know normally, just look at the influencers, you can give yourself a massive advantage.
Danny Gavin 19:13
I’d love for you to describe to the users i know you used to make artwork on. I believe it was Snapchat. Just tell people a little bit like, what was that? Why was it so big and you know why did you enjoy it?
Mike Metzler 20:10
Whenever I was working at, you know, the company with you and we were working with those Viners, you know, Snapchat came out and I was like, well, these guys are making seventy five hundred dollars. Per buy, like surely you know, Snapchat’s getting big i’ve seen everybody talking about it surely there are some dollar bills to be made there as well. And so the first thing I did is like, okay, let me, let me like, look who the influencers are right now. You know, there wasn’t really any. But the few people that I could find, you know, maybe like on a single BuzzFeed article, like follow these ten people were all people who are drawing on Snapchat. And I’ve always been a little bit of a doodler. You know, I, you know, like to like to draw, but it was never really, you know, a serious hobby. So then I looked around, say, okay, well, how can I differentiate myself but also find a niche and expand upon it? And so, you know, the Internet loves corgis and I have a corgi. And so I was like, I’m just going to take a picture of my dog and then I would draw on it, make it a little, you know, spaceman or cowboy or Samurai and then I was like, well, now what do I do now i have to find a way to amplify that. And so I would go, I was looking where trying to identify where people were getting their most followers from and, you know, it seemed like the only way to grow on Snapchat is by somebody shouts you out or they see you somewhere else. So I would go and I would post all my things on Tumblr on my drawings, and then I would go to fiver and then I would buy a 5$ for somebody, some Tumblr influencer to re, you know, whatever it was to repost it. And I would do that a couple times until eventually one just clicked and kind of went viral it was like that was the spark, but it was all engineered like it was i don’t like that was my plan the entire time and then one day I woke up after that and I had like 10.000 thousand snapchat, followers you, know i, was like, okay well, this is great and I got laid off shortly after i was like, well, maybe I could, you know, okay, I’m never going to have a better time to try to make this a career i’m never going to have more time. But between, you know, that finally going viral and getting the moment, I drew on Snapchat every day for about a year and posted content consistently. And, you know, which is not something I have time for now with, you know, two kids and it’s easy to tell that story and make it seem like, Oh yeah, one day I woke up and I had 10.000 thousand bikes. I worked hard for an entire year. I planned out how I was going to distribute i looked at what other people were doing and you know, I made it happen.
Danny Gavin 22:37
Do you still spend time on Snapchat?
Mike Metzler 22:40
Honestly, I’ve gotten back into it in the last couple weeks, you know, and I was, I was doing a lot of it they had this Snapchat spotlight payments where they were paying a lot of influencers and you know, that was a really cool way to make a pretty decent amount of money about two years ago. And then the payments kind of dried up and then I focused on other platforms for me, I don’t have the luxury of having infinite free time. I like to look at, you know, social media platforms for me is where I think it’s either going to benefit my personal brand most or whether I can make money from it. I, you know, I followed the money essentially whenever Snapchat money, I went over to Instagram reels and then whenever I saw that Facebook reels was doing what, I went over to Facebook reels and then I burned myself out and I didn’t make anything for like 2 years, but that’s but that’s fine because that’s not my full job that was more of a hobby.
Danny Gavin 23:33
While you’re talking, I remember this one thing you did. I think it was on Facebook where I think you went on a vacation with your family and then you put like a filter on yourself it to make yourself look like this, like super hunk model and like in every single picture and I just, I was thinking about it. I like laughing people.
Mike Metzler 23:52
Lots of people really like that. And lots of people got really mad. They’re like, well, like you’re being fake like, what are you doing it’s like you know, that’s. They didn’t get it, you know, Outrage, marketing, I guess.
Danny Gavin 24:06
Yeah, your creativity is awesome it’s really cool.
Mike Metzler 24:10
I appreciate that. But whenever my creativity, I always just stem from trying new things and trying to be the first people to like, you know, how can I do something on this platform that nobody’s done before? How can I make content that is different than what somebody else has done? And so, you know, that’s why I’ve been having a lot of fun with a lot of a I tools right now. You know, Mid Journey is really fun. But there’s also some really cool video, ones where I’ve just been trying to figure out, like, you know, there’s absolutely no utility for me to, you know, turn this video of these baseball players fighting into a trippy, psychedelic video where there’s, you know, colors everywhere, but, you know, it’s fun. And so that’s what I enjoy about, you know, Social is figuring out that new stuff, trying new things that nobody else has.
Danny Gavin 24:59
So you’ve met a couple celebrities in your time. How do you handle the starstruck feeling whenever you’re dealing with famous people and our brands for social media content?
Mike Metzler 25:06
Whenever I started, you know doing content as an influencer and actually making money on, you know, Snapchat, I became one of the people who was running the UFC Snapchat. And part of my job was to go out to the crowds and who were sitting, you know, Octagon side and ask celebrities to give their fight predictions and so in that time I got to meet a lot of different celebrities and at the very beginning it’s really nerve wracking until you kind of realize that everybody’s just a regular person. Now some people are not regular people, like, you know, I.
Danny Gavin 25:41
Can you give an example?
Mike Metzler 25:43
Or you don’t want to be or you don’t want to be close. I mean, the.
Danny Gavin 25:47
Most starstruck I ever was that I had to approach Tom Brady and Justin Timberlake sitting next to each other. The most starstruck i ever was that i had to approach tom brady and justin timberlake sitting next to each other and.
Mike Metzler 25:52
That’s pretty Those are heavy headers. And that’s. Another thing is like with UFC like there’s a couple people at the top fighters that everybody knows and then there’s hundreds and hundreds of UFC fighters that are all trying to make a name for themselves. And So what, you know when you realize like everybody else is, you know, essentially trying to do like on the UFC side the same thing you’re doing, which is grow your brand and get engagement on social media. You know, you can approach it from a collaborative relationship and those are the ones that are most successful whenever it’s beneficial for both parties. But yeah, Starstruck, it’s something that you just, you learn how to deal with the more times you do it. You just have to get up there and, you know, take a deep breath and, you know, go and do it so this last UFC event, you know, for UFC Strike, I got the opportunity to interview a lot of my, you know, some of my favorite fighters, a couple world champions. And you know, I hadn’t done that in about since, you know, three or four years or, you know, probably five years since I was working there. And so at first, the first one, I was like, OK, you know, kind of stuttering over my words a little bit but then you got to realize, OK, like this is your job. This is what you’re here for, this is what you’re getting paid for. You know it’s time to, you know, perform.
Danny Gavin 27:02
So with your history at UFC and now working with them again, did they remember you? Was that part of the reason that you got this job?
Mike Metzler 27:09
Concept Labs reached out to me because I had worked for UFC in the past and so that was, you know, a recruiter reached out to me and that kind of laid the groundwork. So you know, I probably wouldn’t have gotten this if I hadn’t done that before. I stopped working there in 20 seventeenish whenever Endeavor bought them and they kind of laid off all the contractors and you know, there were a few people there that I know, but a lot of people have gone on, you know, people in the social media space, they bounce around different companies. It’s kind of rare to see somebody stay at, you know, in a social media role at one company for more than, you know, three or four years these days, I feel like.
Danny Gavin 27:46
So Mike, how do you balance the fun and playful elements of your personality with the professional business? You know sort of features when it comes to your personal brand and presentation.
Mike Metzler 27:56
My dad from a very, the second I jumped on you know the Internet was always paranoid that I was going to do something that was going to make it so I could never got a job again. It was always in the back of my mind that I never want to do something on social that could jeopardize, you know, my career. But at the same time, i realized that, you know, if you’re if you’re boring and you’re not doing, you know, anything unique or different or you don’t have a personality, you know you’re not going to the social doesn’t work. So a lot of what I do is I try to make things that I think are funny that way I can enjoy it. And normally, you know, there they’ll be a, you know, hopefully other people do it as well but I try to approach creating content as you know, do I like this, Do I think it’s funny? And then if the answer is, you know, yes, both those that I’m probably going to post it.
Danny Gavin 28:52
So when was that moment when your dad was like, Oh my gosh, like you’ve actually Mike, this is amazing do more of it or is he still like, is he still wary?
Mike Metzler 29:04
You know, he’s not really on the Internet, not really on social media so you know, they thought it was cool that I was traveling all over, you know, the US and working with celebrities and stuff like that. You know, he’s always just encouraged me to do, you know, the kind of things that make me happy and I really.
Danny Gavin 29:22
Appreciate that. So you’ve done a lot of content creation at various events, you know, outside of UFC, wrestling, basketball, Austin City Limits. How do you work storytelling into that type of content?
Mike Metzler 29:33
You know that whenever I think about, OK, I’m going to go approach this day because a lot of the storytelling that I would do would be in a vertical format over the course of the day or over the course of an event working through different sports things I try to think about, I know how this is going to end, the it’s going to end with the event being over now, what’s going to happen, you know, in between. So everything’s got to start a middle point and an end. And I try to think about what are the most creative things that I can introduce in this day that’ll make it a good story. And you know, a good story has a, you know, a beginning, middle and an end so I approach it, you know, how, you know what, what’s going to happen during the day that’s going to be interesting. What are the possible scenarios that could happen and trying to identify those so that I can play into those later on. And a lot of that comes from experience. You know, you work 5 UFC events, you have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen and so you can then position yourself to go and take advantage of those, you know, different scenarios.
Danny Gavin 30:34
You know, left field, it reminds you of, like wedding photographers or wedding videographers like if they’ve never been to a wedding, you don’t know. You know, they don’t know when to capture those special moments but you know once you’ve been to a couple, you know what to do. I don’t know.
Mike Metzler 30:45
I’m thinking about weddings, but no, I mean it’s a good exam i mean from my point of view, like other people are going to make different videos than I do. But you know, but my experience has been, you know, documenting you know, events or day or, you know, doing something and so i always kind of try to think about all the possible things that could happen, then try to set myself up for success to make sure that I can lean into that or capture that later on in the day.
Danny Gavin 31:10
So people’s behavior in social media seems to be indicative of an ever shortening attention span, and I’m sure we both see that with our kids as well. How do you factor that into your content planning and storytelling without seeming to click Beatty as a lot of these short reels and things you know? Are becoming.
Mike Metzler 31:28
You just got to lean into it. You know, it’s everybody’s kind of been, you know, asking me like how do I grow on social media and it’s like, well, right now the only way to grow is to make short vertical videos either on YouTube shorts or Instagram reels or tik tok. And so that used to not be the case beforehand you know, there used to be other better ways but right now, so you have to just look at, you know what these platforms are promoting, who’s growing fastest and you really have to lean into that and embrace it so right now if you’re on social, the best way to grow on Instagram is Instagram reels. And then I would say, but there’s other tools there to keep your audience engaged. You know, you have to keep your audience. You can’t just, you know, give them one thing. Figuring out what are the factors of the social media platform that are, you know, leading to growth. And then from there you can figure out how to keep your audience, keep them engaged, use some of those other platform features to make sure that you are doing everything you need to do so.
Danny Gavin 32:30
If anyone knows Mike Batzler, he’s also a card collector. He has pokemon. Cards so in the theme of cartoons or anime, it’s time for our lightning round Mike, please tell us, what are your top three anime?
Mike Metzler 32:44
Shows you, know i oscillate back and forth between playing a lot of video games and there and watching a lot of, you know, different anime and things like that and whenever I get tired when I go back and I’ll play, you know, Zelda for a while but right now, I mean, I just finished the new season of Demon Slayer. Demon Slayer is awesome. You know, it’s on Netflix and Crunchyroll. Another one that’s really good that I’ve been watching with my kids is Spy Exfamily. That one’s really good. And then I just started this other one, Jujitsu Kybin or something like that, about 10 episodes in but it’s great, you know, it’s, you know, my attention span is very short these days and so i tend to just bounce around a different thing so right now I’m, you know, watching tons of anime. Oh, and Attack on Titan.
Danny Gavin 33:32
It’s funny because as a kid I remember certain anime shows on network TV like, I don’t know if it’s like Sunday morning cartoons i don’t remember, but they were really awesome and even today I try to find them because I don’t know what they were. Yeah, anime is pretty cool. What are you currently working on or what is your next big project?
Mike Metzler 33:49
I mean I’m trying to build out UFC Strike and in the social there so that’s, you know, from a professional level, that’s what I’ve been spending a lot of my time on is thinking about what are the kinds of things that people want from a, you know, digital collectible standpoint and how, you know, we can implement that now. And a lot of what we see nowadays is that people are looking for real world utility for their digital collectibles. And so trying to figure out a way to pair that, you know, with some of these, you know, terms like NFT or you know how however it works. But what kind of value can they get from buying this in the real world and trying to really amplify that, you know, my other hobbies, you know, I’m really into sports cards right now i just went to the National, which is the national card convention in Chicago last week. Got to meet a lot of other collectors. And so if I’m not playing with my kids, I’m not working. I’m probably listing things on eBay and you know, just having.
Danny Gavin 34:48
Fun with that. Love it. And I love how you balance your work and your family life. So where can listeners learn more about you and your business?
Mike Metzler 34:56
You can follow me on social media at Metzler mtz ler on Instagram and Twitter, Facebook, and on tik. Tok it’s korgalord, and on Snapchat it’s, you know, you can just search for Mike.
Danny Gavin 35:12
Metzler, So Mike is really been wonderful catching up with you and learning what you’re doing and such awesome insights for our audience. So thank you for being a guest on the Digital Marketing Mentor and thank you listeners for tuning into the Digital Marketing Mentor. We’ll talk to you next time. Thank you for listening to the Digital Marketing Mentor podcast. Be sure to check us out online at the DM mentor.com and at the DM Mentor on Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts for more marketing mentor magic. See you next time.
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