Thought Feeder cover photo for Episode 48. Guest Brianne Fleming’s headshot is featured in a square image. White text reads “Tapping into the Fandom with Brianne Fleming.”

Episode 48: Tapping into the Fandom with Brianne Fleming

Thought Feeder cover photo for Episode 48. Guest Brianne Fleming’s headshot is featured in a square image. White text reads “Tapping into the Fandom with Brianne Fleming.”
Thought Feeder
Episode 48: Tapping into the Fandom with Brianne Fleming

Brianne Fleming joins the podcast to talk about the intersection between Pop Culture and Marketing. Growing your personal brand, teaching the youth without being cringe, as Stefon would say, “this episode has EVERYTHING.”

Joel Goodman: From Bravery Media, this is Thought Feeder. My name is Joel Goodman. With me, as always is the vivacious Jon-Stephen Stansel, and we are super excited to have Brianne Fleming on the show today. Brianne, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Brianne Fleming: Yeah. Thank you for having me. I know I’ve interviewed Jon-Stephen on my podcast before, so I’m happy to return the favor and be a guest today. Thank you both for having me.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: We’re definitely excited to have you here and, and for our guests that aren’t familiar with you, which, is a mistake on their part, but nonetheless, would you mind just giving everybody a kind of brief introduction, who you are, what you do, , et cetera, cetera.

Brianne Fleming: I teach branding and social media at the University of Florida. I’ve been doing that for about five years, and I also do some freelancing on the side, but I think the people on Twitter know me kind of as the the pop culture girl, I guess you could say. I love to create content about the intersection between marketing and pop culture and to use moments in pop culture to share those marketing lessons and kind of package that education in a different way, which I also try to do occasionally in my courses. I have a new course that I just developed this semester for UF called Social Media and Pop Culture, and it’s all about being nimble and adapting to trends and memes and all those fun things, so, so yeah, that’s me in a nutshell.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Excellent. I’m so excited to have you here today to talk about just that because that’s kind of where, where my career is headed a little bit and working with fandoms and fan cultures and, and things like that. And also thinking of how that can translate back to higher ed, and how higher ed can learn so much.

From pop culture and fandoms and learn some lesson lessons there. So first, would you mind tell us when did you realize that you could translate like such a interesting position to be in? Like where you can translate your love of pop culture as an effective tool to explain marketing concepts and strategies?

Brianne Fleming: Yeah. You know, I say I got there by kind of reflecting on who I was and the things that I love versus trying to reinvent myself. That was a mistake I made when I left the corporate world and I doubled down on teaching and I was like, Okay, now I’m gonna freelance. I’m gonna try to build something for myself.

And I hadn’t done that yet. And I started off by just. Trying to be like this buttoned up marketing professional and kind of blending in and I was like, this, this isn’t who I am offline. I, I grew up reading my Teenybopper magazines and I always credit Tiger Beat and Teen Beat and all of those magazines for leading me down this creative path that I’ve been on.

Because I’d always kind of consume those a little bit differently than the other girls at the sleepovers. You know, we would hang the posters on the walls, but I would really pour over those and look out the layouts and the, the ads, the photography, the, the copy, and just think this is what. I wanna do. So I later went on and I studied advertising and pr and I’ve just, I always knew I wanted to do something creative, so it was really just getting back to who I have always been, instead of kind of putting this facade on, , which I did make that mistake when I first started freelancing, but I’m happy to be back to my true self.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Exactly. That’s a wonderful point too of like, I think also when I was first, like having the forays into what the personal branding, which I rolled my eyes at, but is still important, like, I just, I want a new name for it. I want a new name for it. But like you, you start out with this kind of buttoned up, like, Oh, I need to be professional.

I need to be all that. But like, or, or niche down, you see on TikTok, like, find your niche and just stick to it. But like, you’ve gotta show your personality and what you care about as well. And like, if you can incorporate that into your work, it’s, it’s so, so helpful. Um, so yeah, I applaud you for doing that.

I love, you know, if you’re not, I, I don’t get to pop into pop chat as often as I would like, but Fridays, Brianne hosts pop chat, which is absolutely amazing. I’m, I’m, I don’t have a question. I’m discussing about how awesome Brianne is. So, one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, um, with just in general, I is working with fandoms and how marketers can learn from fandoms and you being very much of the, the Backstreet Boy, Boy Band fandom, which is an area I know nothing about. What can marketers learn from, from those fandoms and, and a way of like turning audiences that are passive into engaged fans?

Brianne Fleming: Yeah. Well, I always credit honestly the Backstreet Boys for teaching me about brand loyalty. They were my first loves, I guess you could say, and. At every sleepover. Growing up it was always Backstreet Boys are in sync and they created this, this competition, and a lot of people don’t know. Maybe you guys don’t know this either, but that was actually kind of a manmade rivalry.

So the man who helped put the Backstreet Boys together, his name is Lou Pearlman, he realized sooner or later there was gonna be competition. Coke was gonna have Pepsi. And he said to himself, Why don’t I create that competition myself? So he went around and actually created Iny and kind of stabbed Backstreet in the back a little bit, but it was kind of brilliant on his, on his part.

It turns out that he was a conman and he went to prison and he was cheating both man, both bands out of millions of dollars and he ended up dying in prison. Um, so I dunno, maybe something there. , something about brand loyalty?

Joel Goodman: I’m having flashbacks to the O-Town TV series where he was like, the producer?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I am a proponent of, like, nobody is a perfect role model. Like one of my, my favorite books is this giant series about Lydon Johnson, which LBJ was a wonderful president. Terrible man. There’s a lot of lessons we can learn from it from him. , both good and bad, like, You sometimes you need negative role models, right?

But how smart it is to own both sides of that rivalry, but also understand like you need your villain too. Like you, you, you need, you know, that competition. I think universities can learn a lot from that. Like, I’ve always wanted like more rivalry of the next school. Like even though it’s fun, like.

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, it keeps that conversation going, but I think for both bands, I mean, if, if you are a brand and you have your competition, you’re always thinking about what they’re doing and trying to outdo them. I think what has helped both bands, I mean, As a Backstreet girl, I’m a little biased. I mean, they’re, they’re still out touring nearly 30 years later, and they’ve always just tried to stay the course.

They never tried to really let the NSYNC thing get in their heads. And I think that’s a, a good lesson for people and brands is to not really compare yourself to the competition and just always stay true to who you are, your differentiators and double down on those, and that’s what’s gonna make you, um, shine and, and keep moving forward.

Joel Goodman: I mean that, and, and that predates, I mean, it predates the boy bands. I mean, you think back to like the Oasis and Blur rivalries it during the height of Brit Pop. It’s the exact same thing, and it was created. Not necessarily by the person that created those bands, cuz they actually came up a lot more organically.

But it was created by the music media, by the news media that was covering these things and turned into something that actually on the band side, like, they didn’t want that, they didn’t wanna deal with it, they just wanted to, to own their little corner. Um, and that’s, that’s, , yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s a good lesson to pull out as

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, the media loves to pit people against each other. I, I think back to like the Britney versus Christina days and just how, no pun intended, how toxic all of that was at the time. Kind of pinning all the blonde bombshells against each other and. Yeah, we’re always gonna have competition. But I think even with that group too, you know, thinking about the Jessica Simpsons, the Mandy Moores, Mandy Moore is an actress now, super successful, and it’s just like, you know, they let the media kind of get in their heads then.

But I think now all of them have kind of come into their own and it’s really nice to see.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: We could easily make this like an all music episode. Um, but

Brianne Fleming: you into

Joel Goodman: I in, Let’s do it.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I’m, I’m good with.

Joel Goodman: I will say that, , that our producer, Carl and I road tripped, , out to, out to Hyatt Web this year. , from. Austin to Little Rock and we, , we definitely had a, a stint where we were just listening to, to nineties pop hits, , for a good like three hours, , on the road. So I, I didn’t necessarily do that to prep for this show, but it’s coming in handy cuz it’s all, it’s all fresh in my

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Let’s dive into it a little bit more. , one thing I, I spend a lot of time doing in, in my profe my, my job now, which I. Talk most about, Cause I’m under like 50 NDAs to get into specifics, but like diving into fandoms and, and, and learning from them and then making data driven decisions based upon what they say.

So what, what, what can universities and other brands in general do like to, to better listen to those fans and those conversations and communities and then make actionable changes based upon that information?

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, I think that is all about incorporating them and involving those fans. I think a lot of mistakes that, um, you know, people may make or brands may make is, is just constantly talking. At your fans when you have these, these fervent audiences that are so vocal, they wanna share, they have their own stories, they have, um, ways to connect with each other and bond with other fans.

And I think just fueling, , off that. That conversation and that passion, I mean, what more could you want? Um, you know, compared to, you know, product based or service based businesses where it’s hard to get them to, to a true fandom level. But universities, I mean, you have this amazing audience of ambassadors, people who automatically love you the moment they step on campus.

So double down on that love and involve those audiences would be my advice.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: For sure. I, I think that’s an opportunity. Universities are really missing on, like we, they, you get it on the athletic side cause it feels more organic and natural like, Sports fans, but like, I think academic departments can have fans and have a fandom if you just listen and give them what they want. Um, and, and we talk about brands in general too.

There’s a whole section of fandom for like scented candles. They’re called sandals. Are you familiar with that? Like you’re not, I was like, Yeah, are you a fan? Like they have their own. So if there can be a community centered around scented candles, I love all day long. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but like,

Joel Goodman: How many you got in your office right now?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: um, I, I, I keep one out and then I’ve got a few.

Brianne Fleming: What are the scents? Are they like, are they like sports centered candles, or are they supposed to smell like your stadium or like

Jon-Stephen Stansel: No, they are like fans of like Yankee Candles or Colonial Home or whatever, like they’re like really big on it. But if, if, if they can build a community around candles, you can do it for your university’s comparative literature department. It can be done.

Brianne Fleming: I mean, when you put it that way, I mean, it’s so true. Like every university genuinely has fans. Already. Like not every company can say, Yeah, we have a fan base, but it’s true for universities. So that’s a really special, um, something really special that they could tap into for sure.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Exactly. It’s like with the university, it’s not, well, for, for the most part it’s not an impulse buy, right? It’s people aren’t just like, Okay, I guess I’ll go there tomorrow and, and roll and spend the next four years they have active and they may not, It may not be your first choice, may not be your second or third choice, but you took the time to apply, do all the work to get on campus.

So you’re gonna be a, you know, you, you’re kind of primed to want to be it so you don’t get buyers remorse, right.

Joel Goodman: with fandom though, like on a higher ed level, Right. I think, you know, when we’re not talking about athletics, the difficulty, at least in my mind, is these roadblocks in how institutions tend to want to communicate with like as themselves, right? It’s like it’s, I think it goes back to the, you know, the authenticity and kind of the.

You know, being really genuine with the, the fit that you have in, in your work, like you said earlier, Brianne, and so I, I’m wondering like how to balance that. So, and Andre, you’re in a unique position because you actually teach, and so you’re kind of, , you’re kind of in a position that I think historically, , would be considered like one of those roadblocks to having like really good authentic communication.

And I’m wondering like, Like if you have tips for, , I mean one, I guess like other, other instructors, you know, at, at the university level, but maybe even the, the folks in the marketing departments and, , you know, the, especially like the social media folks that are, that are trying to like amplify this stuff.

How to kind of work to make sure that. The, the instructors, the, the professors, the department heads, whoever like wants to, you know, put their voice on it isn’t coming across as like super cringe. Um, and, and can be authentic and in a way that actually does generate that fandom. Because I think there’s, it’s hard if your niche is just like, you know, like Js having, having his masters in, , in creative writing and everything else is like, that’s a, that’s pretty niche.

Like, I mean, you’re not necessarily. It’s not people that are, you know, that are screaming and going to, to book signings and, and acting like you would for like, you know, a, a boy band or, or you know, a, a movie star or something like that. I don’t know. What do you, what do you think about how to, how to pull that humanity out of, out of, , a traditionally non , non-human sounding?

, a little, a little sector of the industry?

Brianne Fleming: I gotcha. I mean, I think back to five years ago when I first started teaching, and I would probably cringe at the way I lectured and the way I delivered these, these concepts, and I think over the years I’ve started to see it more as an opportunity to entertain. And I think that’s, that’s a good reminder is you’re not just.

You’re not just sharing concepts, you have to make them feel passionate about it, and you have to also make them interested. So your passion needs to be contagious. So I’ve started injecting more just speaking from the heart a little bit more, and incorporating humor more and real life experiences, good and bad.

Um, just to bring that authenticity instead of being, you know, this like, Professor type. And I think it’s not only something the students appreciate, but even me as a professor, like it breaks the ice. And I think if more, more educators, more higher ed professionals just stopped, you know, building it up in their heads that talking to students is, is so hard.

You know, it’s, it’s, you know, a different generation or whatever it is. Like just have fun with it and try to entertain it and be, be human. Share, Like I said, share the, the good and bad, break the ice. And it’s, it’s always appreciated if you’re just yourself, unless you’re boring, then you gotta then you gotta step it up, tell a joke, learn some, , take a improv class or something.

But yeah, I see it more as, as entertaining, um, these days. And it really helps.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. Well, I think it comes down to like, for, for faculty, like sharing your passions. Like nobody, nobody gets a PhD in, you know, I, I, I’m always, always, I never wanna pick on anybody. I’m trying to think of like the most boring thing to a PhD in, but no, nobody does that unless they actually enjoy it and care about it and then go on to teach it to others.

So, , you might go, Okay, nobody cares about what I, but you care about it. So share it in a way that shows

Brianne Fleming: And that’s something I take to heart because when I get my, um, instructor evaluations back every semester, I’m always holding my breath for like something bad. But what consistently, um, a consistent theme that I take a lot of pride in is that, They do like a little word cloud of like the most common words that students say.

And, and every semester for, for my reviews, enthusiastic is the biggest word. And I, I take that with me cuz I hope that my enthusiasm is contagious and that it, it inspires them to be enthusiastic about this field and to share that with their teams and with other people. So if you are enthusiastic about it, I think it’s going to come more naturally and your, your students will feel.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well, it definitely comes across on your Twitter account, so I can only imagine it being like amplified times 10 in the classroom. I kinda want to take a. Turn here, but cause I want to address this a little bit on, on, on the Reinventing with Mindy podcast. You mentioned that you struggled early in your solo curve imposter syndrome.

Now I wanna address this because like, I, I, I want our listeners to understand that even those people that they, that they, they see online who are doing cool things, putting themselves out there, also get imposter syndrome and have to deal with it. So would you address it a little bit about that and, and what, what you’ve done to, to address your imposter imposter syndrome in

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, I mean, I think I’ve just stopped comparing. Um, You know, even, even to this day, I think I, I’ve gotten better with my imposter syndrome and I’ve just kind of let things fly and, you know, been okay with, okay, this flo’s fine, whatever. But I think no matter what stage you’re at, we’re always going to compare.

So I try to just kinda, like I said earlier, just stay the course, be myself. That’s the best I can do. Um, the other thing that I always advise, or something that I’ve struggled with a lot is I thought, When building your personal brand, that opportunities are, you’re just gonna be like a magnet and opportunities are gonna flood your inbox.

And I see people like this all the time. Like, Oh my gosh, you know, I’m, I’m double booked, I’m booked and busy, or, you know, I’m, I’m doing this, I’m doing that, I’m speaking at this. I have this opportunity and. I think for me, I, I, I expected that and I thought that’s, you know, if I just tweet a couple times a day, my inbox is gonna be flooded, and that hasn’t been the case.

So I’ve stopped kind of waiting for people to, to ring my doorbell and, and call me up and, and invite me to things and I’ve been. More accepting of just pitching myself and going after things that I want instead of waiting for people to approach me. I’m gonna just take matters into my own hands and be proactive and use my personal brand as evidence of what I can do when I.

When I do that pitch, so I’ve stopped kind of resting on my laurels, and I think that’s something that, that fed my imposter syndrome. And I’m, I’m okay with, with being proactive and pitching myself if that’s gonna help me get to, to where I wanna go. So I’ve been doing that more recently.

Joel Goodman: I think that’s a great point. A lot of people miss the, I think in, in the age of like influence and, and celebrity and you know, having, Just like closer access than we’ve ever had to these things, you know, in the, in the last like 50 years. That’s one of those things most people don’t realize that it actually is really hard work to build your own brand, your own, , your own following, your own momentum.

And it’s not, for most people, it’s not. It’s not this magic thing that like, yeah, you just start talking and people come and say you gotta be a, I don’t know. You gotta, some people can do that, but it’s, it is really not that many and it is a grind. And so I think it’s a super good reminder brand that. When things don’t just happen, it’s actually probably not you , like in most cases it’s not you.

Um, or, or what it is, is that it’s not you personally. It’s just it needs a little bit more work, um, because it’s, I mean, there’s the noise. There’s like, you know, there’s everything else that, that we have to deal with today. It’s really hard to find those, those opportunities.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: But also with like personal branding, it’s, it’s a constant learning process, right? Like, you know, finding what works and finding your audience and, and, and tweeting and writing in a way that, or finding the platform that works for you and, and you know, it’s a continuous thing. And then on top of that, like once you get to a point, we talked about this in a previous episode, like when I hit 10,000 followers on Twitter, like I.

A panic attack, like, because it wasn’t going the way like I would treat things and not everybody loved me all the time, all of a sudden. And there were people that were like, you know, and, and it’s like, okay, learning to deal with that and moving on and, and, you know, so it’s a continuous learning process.

And then sometimes the imposter syndrome’s a little healthy. Like from time to time I have to pause and go, you know, why does anybody care? What a, you know, It, it’s tough, but like you, you kind of need to do it from time to time too.

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, I mean, you say that, it reminds me, um, there’s something weird, like when you hit a certain follower count or when you get to a certain level of success, it. People suddenly think that’s permission to, to treat them poorly. And like you suddenly get to become a, a punching bag. Last night I was watching Dancing With the Stars, cuz I’m, I love that show.

Um, but Charlie d Emilio is on it and she did this incredibly moving dance that, um, kind of symbolized her, , her journey with anxiety and how all of a sudden she was under this microscope, this microscope with millions and millions of followers and. You know, she’s experienced anxiety because of it. And you know how her comments section can be such a dark place and it’s like, you know, some people are like, Yeah, but she signed up for that.

You know, by, you know, making all these videos and building this audience and like, that’s not an excuse to, to be a bad human. to treat doesn’t deserve that, you know? So, I don’t know. It’s a double edged sword sometimes.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I think about this a lot, like just talking about what brands do on social and like sometimes we see things that we’re like, Oh man, that’s really off. But like there’s a, we know there’s a person behind that and there it’s a small community, but also you sometimes, like, I really want to comment on and there’s part of my brain that wants to pick it apart.

So it’s, um, yeah, we have to remember that there are real people behind all of these things. Not just personal brands, but brands themselves.

Brianne Fleming: Right.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: And, and, and approach it in a way that we can, we can make criticism, but in a way that is constructive. I don’t know.

Brianne Fleming: Right and kind. Yeah. It is hard.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Okay. Brianne, you, you do so many things.

You, you teach at uf you can solve for brands. You, you host a podcast, a successful Twitter chat like every Friday. I, I see that and like I’m in the middle of like 50 million things. I’m like, How, how is Brianne having?

Brianne Fleming: Oh my gosh.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: cuz I would love to pop in and like answer a few questions, but like, I, I gotta do this.


Brianne Fleming: one of the rules. Pop in at any time. That’s why it’s called Pop chat

Jon-Stephen Stansel: So what advice do you give to others who want to create more things but feel like they are limited in their time and scope?

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, I mean, I will start by just saying personally, that’s what teaching has afforded me. I started teaching just one class while I was still working part-time, and then I got to a point where I wanted to go outta my own, try to create my own things, and I was like, Oh my gosh. But I, I’m. Unemployed, I guess you can say.

Like, I’m just teaching this one class. I don’t have a corporate job. So I did kind of get into this panic mode and I contacted uf. I was like, I need more classes. Help me. Cause it was that, that imposter syndrome started sinking in. I didn’t know if I could do this, if I could freelance. I had no audience.

Nothing built. Um, but for me that’s what the teaching has done is because I do teach online, it kind of, , gives me that flexibility to teach in the evenings, teach on my specific days, and, and keep that going. But it gives me the time to kind of create and have these side projects and build the podcast and, you know, a lot of.

Projects aren’t to where I want them to be yet, but I’ve been able to kind of balance those two. So I think as far as for other people trying to find the time, I, I think about this a lot within the context of social media professionals and how the last thing they wanna do is do social for themselves and, and build their personal brands.

And what I always tell them is to frame your online presence. Your outlet, not necessarily as a chore, as something else you have to do. Use it as a place to connect with other people. Maybe even vent about your frustrations occasionally in, in a safe way that doesn’t, you know, um, come back to your employer.

Nothing too negative, but use it to, to connect with other people and help. And, um, you know, we could help each other through it. So I think if you start seeing it as your outlet versus just one more thing that you have to do, you’ll look forward to building your personal brand and it won’t feel so time consuming and like a to do

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Exactly like it. I, not every day, most days, , I look forward to like, showing up on Twitter and like, and, and talking about what I do. Like it’s not a chore. It’s something that like, oh, I, I want to do. And it kind of develops into a habit where it’s like, Oh, you know, I, I haven’t put something out there today.

Let’s, you know good or bad, let’s just, let’s just do it. You know? And it becomes something that you look forward to rather than like feel, oh, I gotta get on there today. There are those days on Twitter though, but it’s just, cuz it’s Twitter.

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, I think that’s the only way to keep going. Cause if it just feels more like work. Then also it probably means you’re not being authentic. Cuz when I was like, Okay, today I wanna write about the Spice Girls and what they could teach us about brand purpose. Because , I’m a geek and a fan girl and I can, and that’s what I wanna talk about today.

Versus, you know, building it up into something that doesn’t need to be and isn’t true to you. You have to stay true to you and that’s going to keep you.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Right. And I, I think, I think for me, like, I think one of the main reasons I started was I, you know, I, I didn’t feel like I was in a position at work where I could do the things I felt. You could do on social. There’s so many approval layers, so many things you could do. And it’s like, well, I’ve got my own account and I can just run that how I see fit and like, try all of these things, see what happens and, um, you know, and, and, and do it that way.

And that was an exciting outlet for me of like, okay, you know, I can actually do these things that I wanna do and I control it. Nobody I don’t have, I’m the end of the approval process. , like, that’s great, you know. If, if I say something stupid, it’s totally my fault and no one else is. So it, you know, it’s not like I’m putting out a, a statement from the president that’s gonna get beaten up.

Brianne Fleming: I’ve been feeling that even just on LinkedIn lately too. I’m just like, you know what? We could talk about the Backstreet Boys on LinkedIn. It’s fine. I, if anyone could do it, it would be me. I’m gonna, I’m gonna go there. So, you know, it makes it more fun. Yeah.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I started posting on LinkedIn more. Um, mostly, mostly cuz I got tired of other people copy and pasting mine and like, not giving me credit for it or like getting plagiarized so many times there I’m just like, okay, I’m just gonna duplicate my Twitter on LinkedIn, whatever fits, you know. But I, I think there’s like kind of a bit of a, a LinkedIn renaissance happening right now, at least for marketers who are getting, getting on there and, and finding community there.

And also breaking the LinkedIn mold.

Joel Goodman: Here’s my theory, here’s my theory. Js I think, , I think we all got so tired of just seeing the, Oh, I’m very excited to report this amazing life change that I’m going to ha, you know, or like the, the really. Canned, , marketing, self-help stuff where it’s a fake story that obviously didn’t happen to the person.

And so like those of us that actually care or like grew up like in social media from the beginning when it was actually about authenticity and being social and like having community are just like, Nah, screw that. And we jump in and, and are trying to be like actual humans on that platform. It feels like everyone there is just posturing all the time.

Um, so that’s my theory and we need more of it. Like we need more, we need more just personal interests. We need more, you know, like geekdom that’s not, you know, typical like web geek type stuff. Like, you know, like, like your pop culture, geekdom Brianne. Like we need that stuff on LinkedIn because it brings, it brings a lot more humanity to a platform that has felt for the last 10 years to be not, , human at.

but that’s, that’s my theory.

Brianne Fleming: Yeah. You know, I always try to bring it back and tell you why it’s relevant and why it belongs there. It’s not just like celebrity gossip and stuff, but that’s a good theory and, and I think my theory is that the pandemic had a little something to do with it. Us being a lot more casual, letting our hair down, Everyone’s working from home, everyone’s going through this together.

And I think we saw that reflected on, on LinkedIn a little bit. It felt a little homeier and, and less, um, less corporate, I guess you could say. I’m having fun over there.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well, and too, I think there’s been a lot of backlash against like those corporate posts too, where like, Okay, well if we’re not doing that, what are we. You know, and I’m still kind of at a loss, like I’m trying to figure it out. Like I don’t want it to just be copy and paste from Twitter, but like, I also don’t want to be that like hard return guy that like, but that’s what works there.

So I’m, I’m like, if you see something CR that’s cringe from me on, on, on LinkedIn, I’m just experimenting, like to see what works. You know, like, okay, here’s a, you know, Okay. Yeah. Um, but that, that’s another thing of. Where if you’re just starting out with your personal brand, you have so much freedom cause there aren’t as many people looking at you and you have a freedom to make those mistakes.

But once you hit a certain threshold of followers, that’s like, okay. ,

Brianne Fleming: And I think what we need over there, I mean as far as incorporating the humanity, is just more of sharing the story of how you got to where you are. More, more personal things, because those reflect in your career as well. Because I, I remember one of my favorite, maybe just most memor memorable posts when I think about LinkedIn is this, um, former colleague of mine, I hadn’t spoken to her in maybe two years, but I saw she showed up on LinkedIn and she shared.

Her weight loss story, she had lost like 150 pounds and everyone was, was rooting for her. It was like as if she got, you know, the promoted to the C-suite. It was that same kind of, um, you know, congratulations and just bonding. But it was a personal story that wasn’t directly tied to work, but it was her wellbeing and you know, her overall health.

And it was really great to see. And I just remember it was so refreshing to see that on LinkedIn and I’d love to know more. Kind of those personal journeys that people are going through, um, on LinkedIn that speak volumes for who you are at work and what you’re able to achieve. I think it’d be really great.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Exactly. So I think your personal things, those things like that, it translates like are it, it, the, those, those lines between work and and work life balance and your personal life are just get so blurred. We’re working from home now and you know, our, you know, my, my Twitter account I, I think is both per personal and professional.

And I think showing that on, on LinkedIn is, is helpful too. Like your interests help you with your work many

Brianne Fleming: Yeah.

Joel Goodman: You wanna play a game?

Brianne Fleming: Oh boy. I’m usually bad at games,

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Okay, well this, this one is tailor made for you.

Joel Goodman: super low stakes. Okay? , we’re, we’re calling this game, Finish the Lyric. Um, all, all these lyrics are going to be from Backstreet Boys songs.

Brianne Fleming: Okay.

Joel Goodman: Um, and they’ll range in difficulty from basic to mega fan. But like I said, it was low stakes, right? So that means like no matter what happens, we’re gonna send you a thought feeder coffee mug, um, and JS is gonna hand write you a

Brianne Fleming: My imposter syndrome is at an all time high right now. Cause if I don’t know this, I am definitely an imposter. Cause this is like my

Joel Goodman: Well, we can, we can always edit it out and like I said, you still get the coffee mug

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Will blame it on, we’ll blame it on me because like I, I will, I will, , soly admit that the Backstreet Boys hit their heyday when I was in the prime of my music snob days, which I’m not proud of. I’m very ashamed. So I never really listened to Backstreet Boys cause I was too, like high Fidelity John Cusack character.

But that, that, Well, no, no, no. That was, that was bs That shouldn’t have happened, right? Let PE enjoy different things. So anyhow, that’s, if I could go back to my, my, my 20 year old self, I would be like, Dude, just lighten up and, and get that Justin Timberlake album. It’s good. All right. So, but I’ve, I haven’t heard many of these songs, so my, my reading will be very flat.

Joel Goodman: so bonus point, if you can, if you can name the album it comes off of, or if you can’t name the song, you know, , you could just name the song too, like if, if you can’t. Yeah. So,

Brianne Fleming: I’m gonna have

Joel Goodman: All right, Go Jazz.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Now, now I can see that we’re falling apart.

Brianne Fleming: want it that way from the way that it used to be. I mean, everyone knows that, but yeah, I

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I, I wouldn’t know that

Brianne Fleming: I want it that way.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I know the chorus. That’s.

Brianne Fleming: I can tell you that’s Kevin’s part that’s on. I want it that way. Off the Millennium album, this is the song that they always show people like singing on the subway. or recently the Yankee game got rained out and everyone was just singing this to wait for the rain delay to be, to be over it.

It’s a very healing, unifying song.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: All right. Number two. I may run and hide when you’re screaming my name. All right.

Brianne Fleming: Mm-hmm. That’s larger than life. That’s Brian’s verse. That’s the opening verse. . It’s off Millennium. , that is, , one of the most expensive music videos of all. If you’re interested in that factoid. Yeah.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: How did it compare to screen by Michael Jackson?

Brianne Fleming: , good question. We’ll have to, we’ll have to get a fact check on

Jon-Stephen Stansel: remember that one being the I. Yeah. That one being so

Brianne Fleming: It’s on the list.


Jon-Stephen Stansel: I’m curious now. Now like, and I have to put you on the spot, but like now I’m like wondering like that was a cool video. All right, last one. These are, Carl, Do NOT use these for sound bites.

Brianne Fleming: Oh!

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Listen baby. I’m sorry. I just want to tell you, don’t worry.

Brianne Fleming: Yeah, that’s the call. That’s off the black and blue album,

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Three outta three for the win.

Brianne Fleming: but js, you do know that Justin Timberlake is in sync, right? That was.

Joel Goodman: He, he, I don’t think he didn’t, He didn’t know

Brianne Fleming: my gosh.

Joel Goodman: didn’t know that.

Brianne Fleming: I had to correct you on that. So much to teach you. So much to

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah, I totally missed out on that fandom. That

Brianne Fleming: fine, it’s fine. It’s fine.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I can name all the original members of Wilco if you’re down with that , but like,

Brianne Fleming: Okay, we’ll we’ll come back for that trivia. It’s fine. It’s

Joel Goodman: What about Uncle Tupelo js? What about Uncle

Jon-Stephen Stansel: dude, I had a beer with Jeff Sweetie, so

Joel Goodman: I heard this story.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: yeah. 

Joel Goodman: Very jealous.

Brianne Fleming: I have homework for you. Thank you.

Joel Goodman: Oh, good homework.

Brianne Fleming: was gonna give you some homework because, so this is just what I do. I guess I give everyone homework, but, um, Lance Bass from nsync, one of the members of NSYNC actually did an entire documentary about the, um, you know, the rivalry and the Ponzi scheme and Lou Pearlman and how he pitted them against each other and how he went to jail.

There’s a whole documentary about that. It’s called The Boy Band. I think it’s good family TV if you are interested. It’s just, it’s just a good kind of juicy docu documentary to begin with, even if you’re not into boy bands and maybe you like kind of the drama of that. So highly recommend

Jon-Stephen Stansel: That sounds right up my alley cuz a a as somebody who, who’s, who’s only played d and D a couple times. I have read three different biographies of Gary Gagas, the creator of d d I. Like, I don’t do the thing, but I love ev all the research around the thing, so

Brianne Fleming: Get into it.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I’m all for that.

Brianne Fleming: I made my parents watch it and they liked it. I made my husband watch it and he liked it. So I think it has that, you know, that drama and juicy stuff that could appeal to anyone.

Joel Goodman: Well, congratulations, Brianne three Outta three. We are sending you a mug and, , a handwritten note from JS that, um, you probably won’t be able to read cuz apparently his handwriting’s awful so

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Brianne, so great to have you on the show. It’s good to talk to you again. , we, we interact on Twitter quite often, but it’s nice to actually be sort of face to face. So, , but, but for, for those of us, , listening who aren’t familiar with your work work and they, they find you, you’re, you’re, you’re all over the place.

So, so let people know where they can find you.

Brianne Fleming: Oh, thank you. I’m, I’m trying, I’m trying to keep up with the consistency. That’s, that’s a drawback of trying to be in so many places. But, um, yeah, I’m on Twitter @brianne2K, like y2k cuz I love that era. Pop Chat is a Twitter chat that discusses marketing lessons from pop culture trends. That’s every Friday at 1:00 PM Eastern.

Um, I also have my own podcast called Making the Brand, um, which you could check out as well. But this was so fun. I have an episode with J.S. about superheroes and comics and all those geeky things. So that was a world that I didn’t know too much about. So, you know, it’s, it’s educational all around, right?

We’re bringing each other into different fandoms and, um, learning. So much. So thank you all so much for having.

Joel Goodman: You for listening to The Thought Feeder Podcast and a very special thanks Torene Fleming for being with us today. Again, thank you Brianne.

Brianne Fleming: Thank you. I had a blast.

Joel Goodman: Again, you can find Brianne on Twitter @Brianne2K and check our website thought feeder for the transcript. That will have also all of the links that she mentioned and probably some more.

You can also find us on Twitter @ThoughtFeedPd. And we’ve got, , oh, and I already said we have transcripts for everything on, on our website as well, Thought feeders, produced and edited by Carl Gratiot and hosted by Jon-Stephen Stansel and me, Joel Goodman. If you’re a fan of the show and feeling generous, we’d really appreciate a review or a subscription to the show on your preferred podcast listening platform, , especially Apple Music, cuz I’m pretty sure like Apple Podcast is one, you can actually leave a review.

, but it does really help people find us or, you know, share this episode with a friend who, who you think really needs to, to know about Brianne and what she’s doing. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll be back in a couple of weeks.