A latte with Brent Colmer

Episode first aired on April 11, 2024

Season 03 Episode 06

In this episode, Matisse chats with Brent Colmer, founder of Creator Services, about content creation, digital marketing, and influencer relations.

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About our guest

Brent Colmer is an entrepreneur who works as an online influencer and owns a digital marketing agency. He started as an online influencer/content creator in middle school and has built that into a personal brand today known as @boywhoblogs. Brent has experience working brand-side, at an agency, as an online influencer/content creator, and as an influencer talent manager.

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Episode Transcript

Matisse Hamel-Nelis  00:02

Hello and welcome back to PR and Lattes, the podcast where you can fill up your cup on everything PR and communications. I’m your host Matisse Hamel-Nelis. And I am so thrilled to have you join me today for a brand new episode. Before we get started, make sure you subscribe to this podcast wherever you’re listening to it to get notified each week during the season when a new episode drops. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our website PR and lattes.com. On the website, you’ll find our podcast episodes plus our amazing blogs, with new ones being uploaded every Monday morning. And of course, make sure you’re following us on social media on Instagram at @PRAndLattes and on LinkedIn PR & Lattes. On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Brent Colmer, an entrepreneur who works as an online influencer and owns a digital marketing agency. He started as an online influencer or content creator in middle school and has built that into a personal brand today known as Boy Who Blogs. Brent has experience working brand side at an agency as an online influencer or content creator and as an influencer talent manager. I’m thrilled today to chat with him about all things content creation and influencer relations. So grab your latte, sit back and enjoy. I am so excited for today’s episode. I have Brent Colmer here with me. We are chatting about all things content creation, marketing, and PR welcome, Brent. So happy to have you.


Brent Colmer  01:30

Thank you, Matisse, and thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to it.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  01:33

This is going to be really, really good chat. So before we get started, can you tell the listeners a little bit about your own marketing and content creation journey and how it’s kind of evolved into also a PR career for yourself?


Brent Colmer  01:44

Yeah, I’ll try to keep it clear and concise and relatively quick. But truth is it started super young. So I think it actually started with like an interest in pop culture and entertainment and dancing and music videos and all things sort of like performance, I guess. So I used to do like dancing and was an extra music videos and stuff like that. And I really wanted to go to school for something fun. So I was like, I want to take the music business management program at Durham College, I knew I wanted that program, I really like did what I could do to like, get accepted. I was waitlisted actually with a 93% average from high school. So I was like, Oh, I really want it. And so I had a few different angles to like, honestly try. So one was just, you know, reaching out cold to the admissions team, and just expressing my interest and letting them know like, this is who I am. This is what I’d love to do. My aunt was a teacher in the PR program as well. So I was like, can you just throw it out there like that your nephew really wants to get into this program. And then I also was dancing with an artist who was a manager knew the program coordinator at the time. So I was like, if you could again, just another angle to try to put it out there. So oddly enough, I do teach at the college, I guess we’ll get into that too a little bit. But who offered me the role and who was the head of for sort of my current contract as an instructor was actually working in admissions at the time and was the one who emailed me my acceptance. So really interesting, went to college got a lot of volunteer experience in the music industry ended up getting hired on my internship for a company that I had already been working with seasonally and on a volunteer basis. And that was a music concert promoter. They do a lot of festivals, so worked there for about six years, on and off largely like around like the big festivals, part time leading up to full time, definitely one of like the core members of that full time team. But I wanted to like get more experience. So between contracts, I did do a little gig as a brand manager at a subscription box. That was really cool. We had shipping to 25 countries, tons of subscribers. And we’re working with some of like the coolest brands including like Paramount Pictures and grumpy cat and Boo the world’s cutest dog. So that kind of you know, gives you a reference of the timelines we’re talking about. Did that went back to the festivals and then eventually went to the agency side and worked as an agency as an account manager. And before I left was leading all strategy and accounts. All while doing this though I had been being like putting out content since I was in grade eight. So there’s so much behind the scenes when it’s like starting with my entertainment and sort of like my pop culture Tumblr account that was really popular, and then sort of how that’s evolved today into my brand and where I do brand deals and sort of share my life as well Boy who blogs so I know that probably wasn’t clear and concise, but there’s so much to put into this little nutshell.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  04:38

I love it and you don’t need to be concise when you have so much to say and you’ve done so much in such a short period of time really right. You have done such incredible work. Like I said I’m so excited to have you on the show today because of everything you’ve accomplished and everything you continue to do. So this is exciting for me and I absolutely love the story that I I’m shocked, actually, that you weren’t accepted into the music business management program right off the start, but they learned they figured it out, they brought you in. And then, you know, as they say, the rest is history. So there you go. So can you tell me how you integrate those marketing strategies with public relations to create those cohesive campaigns, whether for yourself or for your clients?


Brent Colmer  05:20

Yeah. And again, I think it’s different to because like, a lot of your guests and like the people that have that traditional PR background, yeah, I always think like, there’s definitely some crossover and sort of seeing what works together and sort of understanding some of those differences. But for me, really focusing on comprehensive marketing plans, I always have some sort of dedicated section that’s going to list out like what publications we’d love to, like work with, but we’d love to, like set that goal. Like if we could get coverage here or there or wherever that would be ideal. But it’s generally looking at like finding value that those people would want to like, actually cover what we’re talking about. So it’s not just saying, like, I’m going to pick, you know, a food magazine when I have nothing to do with food. So it’s like doing the legwork in that planning to say, here’s some radio, here’s some TV, here’s some print, here’s some digital avenues that I might want to go again. So that’s definitely what we look at. And then for me, like, especially with the, like, example of entertainment, music industry, or subscription box, when we were working with some really niche communities, it’s like finding those niche blogs. And even if they’re not massive, like, for example, like a meme account that’s focused on people that work in PR, like they exist, or no many of them that I follow, and it’s like, those are really good for our specific opportunities. But laying those out for me, I think is how I would integrate those marketing strategies to create that cohesive campaign is like flushing it out. And really setting like, exactly what that looks like, very clearly, and not just putting, like, you know, open ended, like, we would like media coverage. And this is the impressions we would like to get, it’s actually like listing it out, and having that as something to check off and to strive for.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  07:00

Yeah, that’s a great point, you have to tailor you can’t just, you know, target everybody, because it’s like saying, who’s your target audience? Everybody? No, not? Yes, in theory, but no, in practicality, right? So it’s really tailoring that that information and where you’re going so it hits the right target audience, how does buyer persona or building out those personas really play into when you’re creating your marketing strategies?


Brent Colmer  07:28

I think it’s super important. Maybe I would look at like the example of like the music festivals, so Canada’s largest country festivals, when I was working there, I can’t say if it’s the same strategy, but we had three main like audiences, and they were very different. So a lot of times when I’m saying to like a client that’s working on their campaign, they’re specifically thinking on like, one really specific audience. So for us, for example, we targeted like that university crowd that love to sort of have that experience that we would replicate at a festival. So very different, how we’re marketing towards them, that could be campus tours, or country bar nights, versus the families who would see value from our big Ferris wheels. And the petting zoos, and the opportunities that we present those families is huge. So we would mark it that at different opportunities and aligning with other brands that make sense to our brand as a music festival. And then that third party audience that we really outlined was like that blue collar worker that might be a single dude who, you know lives that country, bro, like trucks, Boots kind of vibe. So that I think gives you a better idea, because then you can get really strategic with how the placement of it, but also the relevancy of that key messaging, and how we write the copy and how we even like the visuals, like are we showing, like more people that look and feel like you versus maybe not, it’s hard to like, advertise to an audience if they can’t see themselves in it. So being a little bit more strategic, a little bit more effective on that strategy, I think is like how I would really get those personas and make sure that we can align with them.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  08:57

Yeah, that’s excellent. So thinking of these personas, How crucial is storytelling to effective public relations, particularly to the various audiences? And how do you craft compelling narratives in your content?


Brent Colmer  09:11

Yeah, so that’s a good question. I think like, what I touched on there is like, it’s important, obviously, the story but even beyond that, I think it’s the relevancy because like, if it’s a great story, but it’s not relevant to me, I think you’re gonna lose me. So I always go back to that relevancy first. And then with that story, I think there’s like multiple, I guess, strategies or ways to do it. But I think creating a narrative in your content, or even like understanding the importance of a story arc is really good how to create one how to build that main character energy and like a character or even building tension for an audience. I think like these are more like, I think they work with PR but like even when it comes to creating short form video, you might want to like have a hook and then put that seed in there and then see, like that expectation and then that audience might watch the full video and increase that watch time. So there’s so many ways to kind of create that Like an effective story, but I don’t want to skim over like, you know, that’s got to be relevant to that audience because that’s to me like the most crucial part. But I think there’s many strategies like that you can.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  10:12

Yeah, for sure. I’m thinking of the likes of something like TikTok or Instagram store, Instagram rails, where you can just get sort of sucked into the rabbit hole of skipping videos as you’re going through like, okay, okay, okay. What do you find really works for you in grabbing that audience to say, oh, I want to watch this one. This is really interesting.


Brent Colmer  10:29

So I think like, without, you know, unpacking, you know, all the strategies that are out there is like looking at some sort of visual pattern interrupt. So that could be as simple as like me grabbing like a coffee or like stepping like being close and stepping away from the frame. It’s like, whatever is happening visually, that catches the attention. But then also something that’s going to be like Audible. So it could be like a noise. It could be like, Hey, girls, or like, whatever it might be like something that’s just kind of going to, like, throw off that like pattern interrupt. So yeah, my best things are like to do some sort of pattern, interrupt like visually and audibly. To get them. And then make sure that you have a strong hook and then get them invested a little bit. And then hopefully, they feel that reward based off of the, you know, the reward is that like, how much time they spent watching your content? And do they feel like it was worthwhile there three seconds or seven seconds, or however long they they stay alone?


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  11:26

Yeah, for sure. How has, you know, talking about tick tock and reels, and so on and so forth. How has the digital landscape really transformed your approach to marketing PR, and, you know, creating your own content?


Brent Colmer  11:40

It’s interesting, because like, so for transparency, I’m 30. But I am what I would consider like a self proclaimed internet kid. So I think there’s like the iPad kids. But for me, it’s that internet kid, like I grew up always being super connected. So I’ve always taken a digital approach. And I think like, obviously, I understand traditional marketing. And I love like, for me, especially with my clients, what I love working on, it’s like an integrated campaign. But I like to actually work back from social media. And I think that’s what makes my agency a little bit differently as like, if we’re throwing an event, like, I don’t know, if this makes me sound vain, but it’s part of the strategy is, I’m looking for brands to align with, and that could often be based off of their social footprint. So if it’s like bringing somebody that’s gonna be the bar staff, or somebody that’s going to be doing the balloons, or whoever it is, like, if they’ve got a good social media presence, and they’re going to be doing some stories while they’re there. Like, to me that’s beneficial and something that I’ll look for. So I think that like, yeah, it’s, it has always sort of been my approach to it, and it is looking back. Yeah, it’s like as little as like, making sure there’s like cute little opportunities to have like something like a photo wall, or like gift bags that are super Instagrammable. Or making sure the cocktails or the hot chocolate is like cute and branded. So it’s encouraging and creating an atmosphere that like encourages people to create content, and that people want to attend to and then making it so that it’s easier to create content. So that say next year, if it’s like a festival, or if it’s like a conference that we are prioritizing, capturing content, you know, for the days that we have that opportunity to. So I think it’s definitely working backwards, but also prioritizing, like content.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  13:21

And you mentioned something interesting in terms of, you know, you look at other brands, for potential partnerships that have a good social media footprint. Are there any brands that you see are doing a really good job of it right now versus ones that aren’t? Would you name them?


Brent Colmer  13:37

I don’t want to say who’s not. But I would say like industry wise, it tends to be like some of the drier topics, maybe like insurance. But then again, there’s some insurance companies that have positioned themselves really cool. And like they’re optimizing and targeting maybe me and that’s why it’s bias where they’re doing like online quotes and really just up with the current technology. But I would say like some brands that are doing great on social media, a lot of people talk about crumble cookies, which is a US brand that just expanded into Canada. So that’s really cool. I think what you consider good social media is also different. Like I love certain accounts, because like the videos and the photos that they take are like stunning, say like Ford like the car. I love that content. It’s like seeing Broncos rip through off terrain, I have a bronco. So that’s why like I like it, but to me, that’s good social media content, but then you could also be good social media content that’s just like content creators that make me giggle or that are constantly whether it’s agitate, like educating me and just teaching me stuff or like things that I have no clue about. That’s not my industry. Love to learn that. So I don’t know, I’m definitely not gonna like throw anybody and good, but I would say a lot of people tend to do like a lot of people actually aren’t doing good if I’m being blind. And that’s just the lens of somebody who really sees all sides from consuming or to content creator to influencer to agency and brand side, they offering that perspective. I think there’s usually a lot of opportunity for brands.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  15:08

Yeah, for sure. Do you think that some of the drier industries, let’s say, get sort of stuck in the thought that well, we’re not a sexy type of industry. So our social media has to be sorted dry in what we present, because we’re not sexy, I think of Duolingo. For example, when you think of learning a language, not really the sexiest thing, but Duolingo have made it this fun engaging, you know, everybody’s following their accounts on social, at least to kind of get that content. Do you think that in some cases, industries get sort of stuck in that rut or that mindset of, we’re not texting you, nobody’s gonna care, let’s just keep our content boring and dry.


Brent Colmer  15:50

Yes, 100%. And I wouldn’t even say it’s necessarily just like those dry industries. Sometimes there’s some really cool industries like or things that I think have a ton of potential to do really great on social media think like visual brands, like a juicery, for example, or like a cookie company, like there’s so visual, and the opportunities are there. I would say, especially social media and communications, in general, when it’s like small businesses, like a lot of people just lack maybe some confidence, or they have that scarcity mindset. So it’s like, no, like, also just remembering, you don’t have to sell as much. And we’re all human. At the end of the day, like a lot of people will be like, Well, how do you market to a b2b business. And, of course, there’s some difference there and the distribution and how we do it’s gonna look different. But at the end of the day, if I see something when I’m not online, and I think about like, when I was an assistant, if I saw something, I would go to my boss and be like, Oh, my gosh, like, this is so cool. And tell them about it. So it’s like, we’re still human at the end of the day, and kind of fostering that.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  16:49

Yeah. Are there any techniques that you use to ensure that your content and resonates and engages with your target audience? And you sort of touched on this a little bit already? But could you expand on it?


Brent Colmer  16:59

Yeah, so I think in a social space, at least, in my opinion, it is a little bit easier, because, like, it also depends, and I feel like everything I say is going to be it depends. For me, like my audience, I can see in the comments or in the response to the stories like that engagement, and I’ll use that as a judge, like, people will be like, I needed this or like, This is so funny, or like, just like comments, validation. And then if there’s something they don’t like, or something that they don’t agree with, or something that they feel like they want to like, educate because they know better. That’s totally okay. And I’ll get that feedback in real time. So I don’t know, I would definitely say that I consider my own consumption habits. And what I consider is like good content, whether that’s like shareable, or relatable, or informative, something that’s funny or sad, but I think what we need to look at like a like professional brand answer would be like to look at those analytics, those more back end analytics, like saves and shares, and reflect again, on those responses that you’re getting in the comments in the DMS, or whatever channels you have available, but lean into trends, lean into what your strengths like, don’t feel like you need to create reels if that’s like if you’re an awkward claim on reels, there’s other surfaces you can show up on. And then my last one, which is like super obvious, I think, but again, I’m looking at through a lens of someone who’s constantly online is you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, like a lot of these trends or a lot of what’s working, you can just replicate that yourself. And if you’re really replicating it like word for word, of course, credit and we do IB online is inspired by a very Tiktok thing. So you can credit the Creator there. But a lot of it is like you know, there’s a trend and you can put that into sort of like the layer of your brand, whether it’s a personal brand as yourself or through like a corporate brand. Yeah.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  18:44

There’s been a big push or over the last few years around authenticity, right? How do you help brands ensure they’re being truly authentic versus a forced authenticity where they’re like, Well, other brands similar to us do this? So we will just jump on that bandwagon? And I’ll make it seem like we’re authentic? How do you help a brand find that authenticity and have their own voice? If you will?


Brent Colmer  19:06

Yeah. So honestly, I think it’s looking and taking a step back, because I feel like a lot of again, like I feel like I have like a fresh breath. And like I always am, like, up to debate it. Like I think and again, this is just my opinion, that a lot of the times we’re sort of like creating or like manufacturing some sort of brand and I don’t think we need to be doing I think what we need to be doing is peeling the layers back and saying like, this is what we value or our CEO does do this on weekends, like whether that’s something that we align with or not, it’s gonna come to fruition and we see brands getting cancelled and we see these you know, it’s nothing new. It’s been happening for years, but social media that distribution of these news, good or bad, is really real and we always say like show me receipts or give me a receipt. So it’s like understanding that like, you just got to unlearn it, and I really like literal way that that translates, especially when I’m doing coach Being consulting with influencers, say building a personal brand or entrepreneurs is like document your life, you’re already doing things that your audience wants to see. But to you, it feels mundane, it feels Same old, same old. And that even ties back to those quote unquote, drier industries. It’s like, well, you know, like, of course, do you, it’s kind of like a, like, you know, nonchalant, but to people that are five years behind you, or people that find inspiration in this or are relatable, and whatever, like, they gravitate towards you, we want to hear that, we want to see that.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  20:31

I love that peeling back the layers that is so true, I find that in some cases, with some brands they are trying it feels or comes across as though they’re trying too hard to connect or to, you know, build that relationship with their audience. And for some, it works great that that’s sort of your your gimmick, okay. But another case is, like you said, it’s all personal preference, it’s at the end of the day, where it for me, I disconnect, and I’m like, okay, you know, we’re moving along, we’re just continuing to scrolling, if you will be like,


Brent Colmer  21:05

brand that I would like definitely shout out and I think does a great job you asked earlier, about like brands on social who do a good job, McDonald’s Canada, specifically, they are a great example I use it when I’m speaking to my students I use it quite a bit is it’s obvious how confident they are to use Instagram specifically to speak to an audience that, again, I’m not on their marketing team, but would be looking younger, like that Gen Z sort of audience. And to me that’s using like very nostalgic, pieces of content, the way they create it, or the way that they spell things like what being like Wu T, or you just being a straight up you like It’s like incorrect, quote unquote. And it’s funny because like, it’s like, I tried to preach this to a lot of people and they’re like, it needs to be capitalized on like, will not fit to your brand. And it’s with intention. So I love that McDonald’s, like they’re clearly not trying to target like my mom on social media, although she’s on Instagram, and she could maybe follow them. It’s, it’s clear to me they’re confident with the market that they’re trying to reach do that.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  22:08

Yeah. Excellent. Excellent example. Are there any significant challenges that you faced when aligning marketing efforts with PR objectives? And how have you overcome it? Because usually, we hear that there is a bit of a, you know, marketing is saying this PR saying this, we need to find a happy middle, because they do work hand in hand. Have there been any challenges that you found, then that you’ve been able to overcome and making those two sort of work together? If you will?


Brent Colmer  22:33

Yeah. And I think there’s a lot of crossover and a lot of like, you need to be sort of on that same level. So I think in an ideal situation, every part of the campaign, or whatever it is, that’s going out, is going to run smoothly in harmony. I think like my best tip here is to just make sure that everyone’s like, expectations are discussed upfront, and that there’s some sort of metric or indicator of success, but also like delegating, like I find, especially as someone who comes into companies and like does remarketing, it’s like okay, but who’s accountable for this, and I’ve literally said that to clients. And they’re like, I don’t love that word accountable. And I’m like, it is a harsh word. But at the end of the day, like, I need to know that if like, the email blast wasn’t sent out, who’s responsible for making sure it sent out, and it might not be the individual who creates the newsletter, maybe they send it to their boss for approval, and the boss is the last one. So like, understanding sort of how it all works. But I think like from my experience you asked and like aligning those, I think it’s making sure and that messaging isn’t inconsistent across different platforms. My example would be like, if I’m doing customer service emails for a music festival, and people are asking us, can we have a fire, and then somebody on social media is responding and they’re using outdated messaging, or whatever it is, something fell there, or they’re referencing something they shouldn’t be, whatever, whatever it was, it’s getting these two people on this same sort of like playing field and making sure that it’s there that could be like the weather, for example, at an event, like how do we get that across really quickly? Yeah, I’ve seen so many situations where there’s just like, so many channels that we’re using, and how do we make sure that they’re all going out with their same message at the same time.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  24:16

Yeah, I’m just imagining the the Can we have a fire? And I’m like, Yeah, sure, no problem. Because like, 12 years ago, we said, Sure.


Brent Colmer  24:26

One that doesn’t tend to change. But it could be little things like, I don’t know, I think like back to the music festival, specifically as one where like, things do change or like, Yeah, as long as they’re from the first year up until when they bought a venue. Things did change. And yeah, just needs to be communicated.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  24:43

Ya, no, for sure. So a big thing, whether in marketing, whether in PR, whether an advertising, in our genre in our sector, really metrics and KPIs. How do you measure or what do you use to measure the success of your marketing and PR efforts and what metrics acts most indicate the effectiveness of what you’re putting forward.


Brent Colmer  25:04

Yeah, I love that. And again, like, I’m so blind, that I think sometimes when like, somebody reaches out to me, they’re like, Whoa, he’s really pushing back. And it’s like, I’m not doing that like a negative way. And I think we’ll make that decision like they love me or hate me. But I want to understand what my client considers success. Because a long time, like a lot of the time, that is not what I would consider success. So even just hearing them out, giving a chance to sort of educate that. But being able to drive home a strategy will hit that metric is what I need to do. I put this back on the client. So with my guidance, I will help them like develop that strategy come up with that strategy. For example, in the social space, a lot of people might be looking at follower count. And they’re disregarding metrics, like link clicks, like how many people did we actually drive over to your website? And if we’ve done things, right, that we can now retarget? If and when we’re ready for paid social, even direct messages, and like people like asking, like questions like, does this come in this size? Or is this available at this place? Like, all of those specific metrics, I think often get overlooked in this social media landscape. So it’s understanding like, for example, I think reach is a huge one that I look at, although I might be getting like massive followers, I’m still reaching a large audience. But maybe the audience I’m reaching isn’t necessarily converting to followers because it wasn’t relevant. So What strategies can I implement there? Of course, on like the PR side, it tends to be more of like the reach and impressions and understanding those, like, what is considered valuable? I think that’s like huge for specific clients. Like, it’s just all over the place. And as long as I know what they think is like, going to make any good. And I will bluntly, ask that question. I think if you ask any of my clients, I’ll ask them, like, what will make you think that I’m good at my job? That’s a great thing, like I need to know because it could be like, they want to see a lot new messages coming through. They want like direct sales, but then it’s understanding that, especially in social media, if I’m doing your social media management, or I’m doing content for you, and what you’re selling is a custom built home, for example. Like, if I get you one lead, you’re making more than what you paid me a year, I’m sure. So it’s very, like different and understanding. And I think that’s why I’ve been successful throughout my career as well. I know it is. It’s just how honest I am. And you went back to like authenticity, it’s like, yeah, like, it comes hard to not be authentic for me. So sometimes I just have to be careful, but at the same time, like, I put it out there so that people can make that judgement, if I’m for them, or if I’m not for them to do my personal brand. Yeah.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  27:35

And I also think it level sets, you know, what you expect from them, and what they should expect from you in that you’re going to be blunt? And you’re going to be honest. And I would think as a business owner, that’s what you want to hear. You don’t want someone saying, oh, yeah, sure. You know, you want to new followers, that is great. We can totally, that’s a great, you know, endeavor, we can do that. You want it to be no like, what do you really want? Like, what does true success look like? I need to know this to do my job properly, you need to know this. So you know, if I’m doing my job properly, you know, in some cases, it’s a it’s a matter of the businesses or organizations just haven’t really thought it through that much and are kind of like, oh, you tell us what success looks like. We just know we need to do this sort of thing over here on social and we’re not sure. So I love that you also provide that guidance and help them figure out what is a good success story out of this.


Brent Colmer  28:27

Yeah, I think like across the board in every industry, it always comes down to there is going to be education. And I’m totally like happy I love that I love like allowing people to see the opportunities through just like a better understanding of like what I do every day, just like I love learning about other industries. But I am definitely the type that doesn’t sugarcoat things, but always stays respectful. And super blunt. Like I literally have a tattoo on my arm of a meat cleaver because I am so straightforward. And that’s where my black and white brand visuals come through because it’s very you know this or that but at the end of the day, like always respectful and just know I’m I’m going to be treating you like you’re my my sister or my best friend and I it’s with Love always.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  29:09

Yeah, I love that. emerging trends we saw earlier late last year threads got released from meta. Do you see? How do you manage I should say, when new platforms emerge? Everyone sort of jumps on the bandwagon and then they sort of get deserted? How do you manage with the organizations and clients that you work with to say, Does this really fit our strategy? Do we need to be there? Or is it a matter of it’s here? Let’s see what happens. We’ll touch base on it later on.


Brent Colmer  29:41

Yeah, so big thing for me is always like, especially as like a content creator and just like an internet kid, like huge early adopter was on musically before it was Tik Tok. That’s why I have a following on tick tock because I started doing topless lip synching videos when I was young on musically. So remember what you put out there? You can just But I, I’ll be straight up. For me a big factor when we’re pricing out our clients is things like number of posts and hours of engagement, but number of platforms too. And for me, I really don’t believe in just putting the same content on each platform, there’s really no value for me to follow you across different platforms. But often when it comes down to budget, that’s what we’re doing. And for a lot of my clients, if they’re, you know, super excited, or they’re just starting, they might be doing multiple platforms. But it’s, it’s rare that a client is like, let’s adopt a new platform and be super gung ho, because they know that Brent is gonna come at them with an invoice. But I encourage it. And I will also say to clients, because a lot of what I want to do, especially as someone who leads social media is like, for those building personal brands, there’s only so much that like I can do for you, or fake or schedule or prepare in advance, do content, video shoots, photoshoots, whatever, especially on stories and talking and being authentic, like, I need you to do that stuff. So I will, I’ll try to get them to understand the strategies that we’re doing on Facebook, on Instagram on tick tock and see how they can replicate that on other platforms, or even use the content that we’ve created, and just do the posting themselves if they don’t have budget. So not to say they don’t have to look at it, but chances are, if they’re hiring me, they’re already tapped out. And they don’t want to take on too much more.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  31:18

Yeah, excellent. So, you know, like I said, threads was sort of this Hot Topic thing when it first came out. And it was like, oh, it’s gonna be amazing and people signed on, and whether or not they’re using it as yet to be seen fully. What other emerging trends in marketing and PR, do you think will help shape the future of content creation and even consumption?


Brent Colmer  31:40

Yeah, so I think back to threads, like science is interesting, because I am part of it’s called meta Creators community. And today, we just launched a budget challenge. So we have a partner manager over Mehta, and they got a bunch of us from Canada ramped up, ready to use threads. So I do love it, because I think like those organic things are still there. But back when it comes to like trends, and sort of like what I am seeing, I won’t be surprised if we see an increase of more people consuming long form content, I look at like, my husband, for example. There’s some YouTubers that we love, like Johnny Harris is one of them, who does a really great like, more journalism style stuff of like some really just good content. And I will sit down and stream that and cast that over to my TV and watch it like it’s like regular TV. So I think definitely more of that long form content, I would love to and I won’t be surprised if we see more of that shift towards live streaming and live shopping. I know that something that tends to be in like other markets like Asia, which are usually a step ahead of us. And it’s came with like, tick tock shop in the US, it’s different because we’re in Canada. So the landscape is a little bit different, a little bit behind, in my opinion. But I think live streaming, even when I’m seeing on Instagram, with discoverability, because tick tock, if I go live on there, people will join because the discoverability around their live is pretty good. Whereas on Instagram, it doesn’t really go out to a different audience, like you’re not scrolling through reels and seeing rocks, or on Tiktok, you’ll be shown lives between picked off videos. So I would love to and I do honestly think that live streaming is going to pick up a bit, especially as people want to find a new way to engage their audience in a more genuine way. And that word authenticity, how hard is it not to be authentic when you’re live. And you can really build those relationships and feel that content greater feel that other person’s like demeanor, their energy through live content. So I hope and I do think that’s going to be a bigger trend that we start to see.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  33:39

How do you think and this wasn’t on the questions list? Because the news came down very recently, the proposed tic toc ban in the states will impact content creation here in Canada from particularly on that platform.


Brent Colmer  33:52

Yeah, so I think from like us again, it is a little bit different. But I would say historically, and not to get political, we tend to follow suit with what North like with what the US does as Canada being in North America. So I’m curious to see because I think that what we’ve done in Canada, especially, you know, this is PR but like what we’ve done with like news publications and like distribution and just not showing that content, things are shifting in this landscape. I’m not sure. Like I know, influencers and more of these niche sort of like publications are popping up. But I mean, back to your question. What was your question?


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  34:30

Just how do you think this TikTok ban that’s happening in the states where I believe we have six months to put everything stateside versus it being going back to China? You know, if they don’t do it tick tock is banned on government devices, but personal devices. How do you think that’s going to impact Canadian content creators?


Brent Colmer  34:50

I think viewership is going to drop if people aren’t able to create content and people aren’t able to get the content from the people that they were actually following then are they going on that platform, as somebody who prioritizes Instagram and is definitely like a little meta baby, I look forward to the opportunities because I’ve stayed super consistent, very loyal to Instagram, but still use Tiktok still use YouTube shorts. So it’s hard for me because, you know, like, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do sell to an American company and nothing changes. And you know, there’s so many, I think I saw a statistic from the CEO of Tiktok, who made a video and I love his videos, because he’s so genuine and humble and how he comes on and speaks to us. A lot of CEOs could learn from that. But he talks about like the number of businesses and the number of people that have full time incomes from Tiktok, just in America alone. And I don’t know if my heart’s just too soft. But for me, that’s something that I do consider. And just as like an economy and you know, people’s, like, I earned a lot of my income because of my presence online. So I think when those opportunities do fall through, there’s always something that’s emerging. And we have these platforms, if these content creators have been smart, these brands have been smart, they’ve been playing sort of the field will say, and we can connect with them through email marketing, or through other platforms. But it’s hard because part of me doesn’t think it’s gonna get banned. I think they’ll be smart to sell it off. Yeah, interesting. Interesting.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  36:13

Interesting. Like I said, sorry to throw that out. You I just had it in my mind. I was like, Oh, I wonder what he thinks about this. Yeah. What advice would you give to someone looking to build a career? That’s a mix of marketing and PR, but also within the content creator influencer space?


Brent Colmer  36:30

That’s a great question. I like in short, would just say just go for it. It’s easier said than done, though, obviously, I do think a lot of it comes down to like mindset, especially if you’re going for like more of like the implementer, or content creator, if you’re in your head and you worry too much, or a classic line that I say is it’s cringe till it’s not. I’m like very confident to put out cringy content. But like, I also like love one, the crunchy continent, but the opportunities that come from it, and the relationships and the brands that want to align with me because I am able to be a little different and not like this little cookie cutter box. So I would say just go for it. But as far as like, whether it is because obviously I have a post secondary school and I teach, you know, I love that education side of it, I would say go to school, if you can. I know that’s a privilege for a lot of people. It doesn’t have to be something super specific. But I do think something super specific. So what I would say is like videography, for example, or graphic design, I think those are great. But I also think something that I’m super kind of happy reflecting back on is I went for a business management program. It was specific to music and entertainment, but it was business management. So it was very applicable. And my friends that work in other businesses. I’m like, You don’t know this stuff like you don’t know copyright like things like that. I do think it really helps. So go to school, get practical experience, I volunteered so much I networked so much, I’m definitely a little keener. But also be nice and be kind to people. Nobody likes somebody who isn’t nice or isn’t kind. And yeah, we can all have off days, tell people if you’re having a tough day, but really just like, get out there, do it and create publish content. Don’t be too hard on yourself. And remember that like social media is heavy play. So it’s not for everybody, but think it through. And if it’s something that you’re down for, then just get going. And there’s no time to start. Like yesterday, I started as a greedy little content creator. And I would have never thought today that I would still be doing it. Well, I didn’t know. But I don’t know what it would look like yeah, no, I absolutely love that.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  38:34

Absolutely love what you just said, amazing. Are there any projects or initiatives that you’re working on right now that you’d like to share with the PR listeners that they can kind of help support? Listen to watch, like, share? Do all that good stuff.


Brent Colmer  38:50

Okay, cool. Are there any exciting projects, so I would say for sure, nothing like that I can really put out there that’s like public facing because a lot of what I do is not like that. But something I’m really loving that I’ve been doing. I think this is my third month is coaching and consulting for influencers on their brand and their content strategy. So I love teaching. I love consulting. I love meeting people across the globe, whether they’re small creators or creators that are like massive in the millions, they all have some sort of like impostor syndrome, so it really doesn’t matter to them. But I love just like educating these people on like, their value is more than just the follower count. Usually that’s what it comes down to. And that’s sort of where we stem back to, but that’s something that I’ve been doing my friend Naomi, shout out to Naomi, she is a talent manager, and she is in the United States, but she works for a Canadian actually and manages talent but she’s got quite a large personal brand where she is a content creator and specifically doing more influencer tips and strategy. So she’s built up like a course that’s application only and on essentially a guest coach in her course. So it’s like exactly what I wanted completely what I manifested for this year and just more teaching opportunities in coaching and consulting is definitely what I’m leaning towards and sort of admiring right now.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  40:07

Amazing. My final question for you is how has developing a personal brand influenced your approach to PR and content creation?


Brent Colmer  40:17

So I really think that it has had an like an influence because it’s given me a well rounded perspective, which I’ve learned today is like, just something that not everybody has. So what I mean by that is, like, content creator slash influence, or whatever term you want to use, working on the talent side, as well as like a talent manager in the past working agency side for the brands, and then also working. Sorry, agency side, but also brand side where we have no agency. So that’s a very well rounded sort of perspective to have. But, like, for me, it’s just like, always been that identity. So I guess it’s like, it’s hard for me to answer that. Because it’s like, it’s had an influence, because it’s given me that well rounded perspective, but it’s always been like a thing. So I think that’s just one of those things that like, yes, you can go experiences, like at an agency or go get experience brand side, but like, you can’t just wake up one day and be like, Oh, I’m gonna be doing influencer partnerships and brand deals. So I think it’s, it’s lucky that I had that under my belt, because it’s really given me a different edge. And I can go to a table and like, really pack it fairly and be like, okay, yes, we want to come down and do like things the cheapest we can, but we also need to be paying these people. Yes, there’s influencers that are going to do things for cheaper, but going back to our brand standards, should we be allowing them to do that, because they don’t know their worth? Like, it’s really being like, let’s just rip the band aid off, throw it out there and make those conscious decisions and know that we’re always gonna go back to what our brand morals are, and our vision and our values, our missions, all that deep rooted brand stuff.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  41:45

Amazing. I am going to throw actually, one more question out there. For anybody who is looking for resources or courses, like you mentioned, in terms of I want to be a influencer or a content creator. And that’s sort of my area that I want to go into. What would you recommend that they start looking at, like LinkedIn learning YouTube videos, what would you recommend?


Brent Colmer  42:05

Yeah, that’s a great question. So I would say for sure, there’s like traditional education, PR being like very relatable to what we’re doing marketing being very relatable. A lot of those courses, especially now the colleges, and the universities are updating those curriculums. But for sure, YouTube is just like a wealth of knowledge. There’s some really great creators that speak to their experience. We’ll talk about how you can earn money, creating personal branding, all that sort of fun stuff. But I do love LinkedIn. And I love the articles that they pump out. And then of course, LinkedIn learning. So I think you have to reflect on how you like to learn and how you absorb that content. Like it might even be better just to go to an in person conference, versus trying to hunker down and watch a YouTube video. Of course, there’s tons of podcasts, I think, find how you consume that media, and then look for those resources and look for a teacher personality influence or whatever it is that you want to listen to, because you know, you might not like my voice and that’s okay. But there’s somebody out there that you’re gonna love.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  43:02

I’m just thinking of you saying you know, maybe attended in person. Conference. That’s content. Bring your camera do. Right, easy content. Well, thank you so much, Brent, for being on today’s episode. Before I let you go. I have to ask what is your favorite go to caffeinated beverage?


Brent Colmer  43:19

so I love a good sugar free vanilla latte. That’s definitely my go to. But if I’m going to Tim Hortons, then this is where it comes a little bit quirky. is I love a good steep tea because I can’t get that anywhere else. And make like a good steep tea at home. I use bagged tea. So that’s my differentiating factor.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  43:38

Oh, interesting. Interesting. I like making a list of what people say on these on these episodes to be like, I have to try this. I have to try that. So the sugar free latte we’re gonna have to try. So thank you again so much for being on today’s episode. If people want to get in touch with you or follow you on social where can they find you?


Brent Colmer  43:55

So you can find me online at @boywhoblogs and boywhoblogs.com And then my digital marketing agency is Creator Services and we’re creator services across the internet.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  44:04

Amazing and I’ll make sure to put those links in the episode description so everyone has easy access to them again, Brian, thank you so much for being on today’s episode. This was fantastic.


Brent Colmer  44:12

It’s my pleasure and thank you for putting up with me.


Matisse Hamel-Nelis  44:16

You’ve been listening to the PR & Lattes podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you can get notified each week when a new episode drops. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter by visiting our website prandlattes.com. On the website you’ll find our podcast episodes as well as amazing blogs with new ones being posted every Monday morning. And of course make sure to follow us on social on Instagram at @PRAndLattes and on LinkedIn. I’ve been your host Matisse Hamel-Nelis. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you next week with a new latte and guest. Bye for now.

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