As a full-time social media strategist and SEO blogger, I spend the majority of the day immersed in virtual communities. I am the online “face” of eight companies from across the country in a variety of states and cities from Texas to Colorado, and along the central coast of California.

I believe in the power of social media and how this innovative platform can be used for more than building a following or increasing sales. The power of social media lies in the connection you can create with someone whether they are a block, a state, or several continents away. When working with any of my clients, I stress the difference between working with Silver Light Media as opposed to other public relations firms is my insistence on Creating Inspired Connections.

Many people don’t know that I started Silver Light while enrolled as a full-time college student at Boise State University. I had a limited budget and minimal amount of time to dedicate to the marketing of my business. After graduating from college in May of 2014, I had time to start thinking about my marketing efforts like I never had before while I was enrolled in college.

I relocated from Boise, Idaho to Denver, Colorado and wanted to connect with new people through social media as well as in-person. During this time having people submit photos to a hashtag on Instagram was a somewhat new practice that was taking off. I decided I wanted to have a hashtag for my business that would be inviting enough for others to submit photos to it as well.

Crafting A Hashtag

If you are using social media for your business and don’t already have one, I invite you to consider crafting a hashtag for linking and community-building purposes. In case you don’t know the purpose of a hashtag is to link related content together for search purposes. Being aware of its use you can see how having a hashtag specifically for your business can help with user-generated content creation. Whenever I start working with one of my clients on a social marketing campaign, I always add in user-generated content if it is applicable because it is highly efficient and easy to generate if you take strategic steps, first. I will save those steps for my next post, but I will share a little more from my brainstorming session.

Many businesses use their company name as a hashtag. I thought about and often do use #silverlightmedia as a hashtag on some of my social media posts. The only problem with this hashtag was for me; it didn’t give anyone a reason to use it. So I started to think of ways to tie my business name to some action or feeling that other people could associate with when posting their photos.

Since my company tagline is Creating Inspired Connections, I pulled from my rhetoric. I’ve always loved the word inspire and its derivatives. To me, the word reflects positive emotions that captivate us to feel something. I began to think of how I could combine “Silver Light” and “Inspire” since I knew all the words, together, would be too long, so I took the first letter from each word “S” and “L” with the plural “Inspires.” It wasn’t my first instinct to use a character but the look of the tag “#SL_Inspires” seemed more ecstatically pleasing than “#SLINSPIRES.” I typed the tag into Instagram and found out no one had used it. My new hashtag and one of my smartest branding moves I’ve ever made for my business finally manifested.

Building A Social Media Community

I will be the first to admit the first month starting any content strategy campaign is TOUGH. Mentally prepare yourself if you are ready to take the leap. Social media platforms are hindering organic reach more each day so be prepared to revise your strategies if needed and don’t give up be consistent in your posting, especially during the initial stages of starting a new platform.

When starting my hashtag, I had seen countless of other posts that I was using as an example. It seemed easy, “Use this hashtag on your post for a chance to be featured.” Seemed to be the general breakdown of what every photo sharing platform was emphasizing, the trouble is how do you know when people are going to start submitting to that hashtag? If you are persistent, probably sooner than you think, I started using it on my posts and including a call to action at the end. One day I checked my #SL_Inspires hashtag and was excited to see another user had used the tag.

My First Tagger – Jacque B from Pagosa Springs, Colorado

If you are looking to build a hashtag interacting with the first few people that engage is critical. I was ecstatic the day Jacque B – @jacquebblackie on Instagram used my #SL_Inspires tag. Jacque B was the first person to use it apart from myself. I immediately shared her photo to my following thanking her with credit. When you are in the beginning stages, make sure to give as much praise as possible.

You never know if you say something the person likes they could “Regram” the photo sharing it with their followers in turn, or at least you will get the person engaged enough to use the tag again. This stage is where community building starts. If you are looking to build not simply a following but a “virtual community” you MUST be willing to be as active in that community as possible. After, Jacque B’s feature more users started to use my #SL_Inspires hashtag. My community grew with photographers taking gorgeous landscape shots and sunset captures.

AEG Presents Deadmau5 with BlackGummy and Electrocado at Red Rocks Amphitheatre during an event taking place on Thursday, October, 19th at 7:30 pm MT. After the show on Friday, October 20th SOLD OUT a second show is taking place in Colorado with one of the electronic music scenes most celebrated DJs. Don’t miss your chance to see Deadmaus! We have ONE PAIR (2 Tickets) for one lucky follower who completes our giveaway 🙂

Complete the form to enter: 

 

Doors Open: 6:30 pm 

Show Starts: 7:30pm 

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Channel 93.3 Presents Ruckus on The Rocks featuring Galactic + Pepper with Tribal Seeds and Fortunate Youth at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sunday, September 24th during an event supported by AEG Presents.

We are rewarding 3 of our followers with a PAIR (2) tickets to the show. Complete the details below to Enter to Win: 

 

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The event is All Ages | Doors: 5PM | Show: 5:30PM 

 

 

Electric Forest is a two-weekend art, music, and camping festival in Rothbury, Michigan.

This year, this festival makes an expansion to two weekends. Renowned as one of the most unique and intimate large-scale festival experiences in the world, this event pushes the boundaries of the imagination with jawdropping art at its heart in the legendary Sherwood Forest. The 2017 festival takes place June 22-25, and June 29 – July 3.

Tickets for the First Weekend are SOLD OUT, while GA Tickets, as well as many VIP experiences for the Second Weekend, are still on sale.

BUY TICKETS by CLICKING HERE!! 

View the FULL 2017 Lineup 

 EXPERIENCE THE SECOND WEEKEND OF ELECTRIC FOREST! 

The Second Weekend will be packed full of classic Forest goodness – from the only opportunity to view the legendary String Cheese Incident Saturday Night Shebang, to Group Camping with open availability for new groups, and a great selection of VIP experiences still available!

Explore Wristband & Lodging Options

Once Upon The Forest, you’ll find yourself immersed in music, open to discovery, and experiencing collaborations beyond your dreams~

WATCH VIDEOS FROM THE FOREST

AEG Presents Tatanka supported by Project 432, Pnuckle, Selecta Razja and Machet at The Bluebird Theater on Thursday, May 4th.

Formed in Denver, Colorado they are a collective featuring members Ian Gastl, Mike Caine, Nate Adams, and Andrew Maloney. Tatanka’s live show is the bridges between the band and their fans. The progressive tunes unify the crowd. The group instills a global vision of unity with their pounding, peaceful, and harmonious message.

Tatanka will be celebrating the release of their new EP “Conquering Survival” at their Bluebird Headliner. Until then check “Unified Highway – My Only (Feat. Busy Signal)” for a dope track that will have you grooving to reggae vibes with intoxicating dubstep drops.

Project 432 is reggae/rock band from Denver, Colorado who’s breaking the mold of American Reggae. The group is made of members Danny Petitti , Zach Goplen, Mark LeBlanc Jr. and Ryan Pontillas. Their influences include 311, The Dirty Heads, Sublime, and Stick Figure. Listen to “Don’t Stop” a brand new EP featured below.

From Denver, Colorado P-Nuckle is adding to the epic night with their chill vibes.Made of members Chris LaPlante, Dave Jackson, Donald Barthelemy, and Mark Franzen the group is bringing a spring state to the beautiful state of Colorado in late April through early June in Denver and Fort Collins.

Selecta Razja is a Denver-based electronic DJ spinning a style of dubwise reggae and dance music that I’m sure will make you feel good! His beats are smooth, chill and meld well with reggae. He just dropped “Reggae Aroma Vol.4 Nuh Fenke Fenke 2017 “ this week. Check the NEW EP for a preview of what to expect.

Machet featuring members, Justin Matthew Cooney, who is the Engineer, Drums, Vocals, Guitars, Synths, Bass, Piano, Organ, and assists with Percussion along with, Matt ‘Roots’ Craig, who is on Keyboards, Organ, Percussion, and Binghi Drum. They will be completing the lineup with reggae dub tunes that compliment the other musicians in the lineup. Check “Naturally” to preview what you be grooving to.

WIN a FREE pair of tickets to the event by completing this form:

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Join Silver Light Media for an epic night of live music. I will be at the show! Excited to see everyone at The Bluebird Theater 🙂 

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Bonobo’s global Migration Tour started in North America on Wednesday, April 12th, just a few days before Coachella, at The Fox Oakland. This was his first live performance since 2014 when he toured after producing his album, The North Borders. Since then the Bay Area has been a special place for producer and musician, Simon Green, with several DJ sets a year, and most recently, a NYE show at The Midway SF.

This show was to be my fourth time seeing Bonobo with each performance prior being a DJ set. Green’s sets are often long, elaborate constructions and deconstructions of beats and sounds. Both shows I attended in San Francisco were three hours of music. Green has a talent for leading the audience along a sonic pathway using heavy bass, musical notes, and a scattering of sounds, all while sampling music from across the globe.

The live portion of Bonobo’s music includes a band of seven with guitar, keys, brass section, drums, and Green on bass. Vocalist Szjerdene performed alongside singing for tracks such as Break Apart, No Reason, Surface, and Transits. The presentation of the band was subdued with each member placed in line with one another across the stage. Szjerdene stood in front looking elegant in a blue dress. Green stood on a slightly raised platform as he directed the night’s performance.

The show opened with the title track Migration, a slow melodic entry for the night, and shifted upbeat to 7th Sevens. The guitar playing over this track tantalized the audience, hinting at what was to come for the live show. Over the course of the song Szjerdene walked on stage and performed Break Apart, her vocals laying softly over the band’s music. The atmosphere immediately opened up as the beginning notes to The North Borders Kierra sent the audience into a frenzy.

Visuals for Bonobo’s tour were designed by Strangeloop, graphic designer David Wexler. Mr. Wexler has worked on various set designs for artists such as Flying Lotus and Skrillex. Bonobo’s visuals had a deeply mysterious feel as the perspective flew the audience over otherworldly landscapes. Floating pillars of light interlaced the landscapes transforming into psychedelic patterns and movements.

Bonobo’s performance lasted just under two hours. The night stretched on as Green led us in with tracks from Migration, The North Borders, and a few I’ll leave as a surprise for those waiting to see him live. The show itself was well thought out and nicely produced. There wasn’t a point where the energy dropped or lingered. The audience was closely attentive responding to the band’s energy and returning in kind. After the band walked off the stage the crowd cheered for a solid 5 minutes before Green and company returned for a three song encore.

The Migration tour is still in full swing. With Coachella completed Bonobo is about to embark across the US and Canada. On Friday, May 12th, Bonobo will perform at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater along with special guest Nick Murphy, aka Chet Faker during an event presented by AEG Live Presents Colorado readers are heavily encouraged to attend this incredible production. Bonobo is playing at the top of his game.  

BUY TICKETS by Clicking Here! 

It was Saint Patrick’s Day. Everywhere you looked people were wearing shades of green.

The evening sunlight was beginning to fade and the sky darken to a blue-purple. I too was wearing green, however it wasn’t just for the holiday. My reasons were far more musically inclined. Tonight I was ready to get funky with the band Lettuce

Lettuce is a band of many talented musicians. The eight member band is comprised of drummer Adam Deitch (Break Science), guitarists Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno (Soulive), bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpet players Eric Bloom (Sonic Bloom, and performed with Pretty Lights Analog Future Band) and Rashawn Ross. What happens up on stage when these musicians start performing is a sight to witness.

Lettuce embarked on their Mt. Crushmore Tour with a 2 night run at Brooklyn Bowl in NYC on January 3rd & 4th.

They worked their way west through February and landed on the west coast in early March. The Floozies and Russ Liquid Test joined Lettuce on stage at the Fox Theater – Oakland, a special celebration of funk and experimental electronic bands.

The night opened with Russ Liquid Test blasting basslines interlaced with production and brass from Russell Scott, guitarist Andrew Block, and drummer Deven Trusclair. An extended set break led to The Floozies sending us into a frenzy with guitarist Matt Hill and drummer Mark Hill grooving along building the night’s energy. Before I knew it the Fox was lit with lasers arcing across the ceiling and mezzanine. Cheers broke out and the party was only beginning.

I’d like to give a set list, or even talk about a few of the songs that Lettuce played during their set, however the energy of the night carried me away and led to an outpouring of dance moves and connecting with strangers. Fans of Lettuce know the experience: Deitch starts laying out a beat and Coomes strums along. Bloom and Zoidis blast away with their brass and the energy builds as a sonic explosion of guitars and keyboard zip in static focus. It’s magic what these guys do up on stage. Their energy is infectious.

The set went on well into the night, lasting over 80 minutes as build up onto build up moved the crowd along. Occasionally I’d look around and see nothing but smiling faces and hands up in the air. I relocated a few times as the crowd seemed to only push towards the front, eager to catch more of the funk. The dance floor was packed and felt like any sold out show I’ve been to at the Fox.

Lettuce will be returning to the Red Rocks Amphitheater with their 2nd annual Rage Rocks show on May 13, 2017.

Supporting acts include Ghostface Killah, George Porter Jr, Cyril Neville, Turkuaz, The Russ Liquid Test, J Rocc, and more.

BUY TICKETS for this event presented by LIVE NATION. Click Here to Purchase! 

Pretty Lights (Derek Vincent Smith) is upping the LIVE experience with his latest announcement.

The electronic music producer from Fort Collins, Colorado is returning to the Gorge Amphitheater for what is expected to be two nights of legendary performances.

Last year, Smith premiered the “Episodic Festival Tour” where I hit his festival in Telluride, Colorado. Read about the experience by clicking here. The sick photos below are from the event. Shot by Chris Kocher of CMK Photography who I teamed up to cover the performance.

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Pretty Lights Live. Season 2 premiere, Episode 6. will take place August 4th-5th at the Gorge Amphitheater (located in George, WA).

The two-night event is a continuation of 2016’s Episodic Tour where Derek Vincent Smith, Borahm Lee, Alvin Ford Jr., Chris Karns and Brandon Butler will perform both nights. Supporting the performers will be STS9, Tipper, Atmosphere, Lettuce, Cherub, Manic Focus, Chali 2na & Krafty Kuts, Kasbo, Marvel Years and Maddy O’Neal.

From Santa Cruz, California STS9 is a 5-piece electronic collective. Last September, “The Universe Inside” was dropped leading up to their two-day headliner at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. Experiencing the group live is hypnotic the lights enhance their futuristic sound.

Tipper, a composer known for bass-heavy, glitch-filled, downtempo beats and mind-altering visuals doesn’t have another tour date in Washington. I attended his three-night run at The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver. The final night was a “Cuddle Puddle.” It’s a performance I will never forget; blankets and pillows were scattered across the floor and everyone was laying down entranced by the stimulation happening on stage.

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One of my favorite groups Lettuce is bringing the FUNK! Silver Light Media – Contributor, Chris Kocher, recently reviewed their performance at The Fox Theater – Oakland, click here, to read. Originating in 1992 there are few bands I enjoy seeing more than this one. The eight musicians are beyond talented and headline festivals across the country.

Last spring, I had the privilege to interview Manic Focus via The Mile High Sound Movement, click here, to read. Bringing those electronic drops with a soulful twist John “JmaC” McCarten is embarking on a national tour with stops from Boulder, Colorado to Detroit, Michigan leading up to his stop at The Gorge. Check the dope new release, “Putting All Of My People On” featuring ProbCause below for one my favorite tracks from the artist at the moment.

March 2017 marks my fifth year in business, and I’m celebrating by sharing my five biggest takeaways.

You don’t have to take a job that’s “out there” you can create your experience. The process can be intimating but having someone who’s “been there” can help. If you are looking for guidance, contact me personally for a complimentary consultation, by clicking here.

Saying I’ve developed a business for over five years is a sentence that shocks me a little as a write it. If I can do it, anyone can carve out a path for themselves. All you need is enough courage and a goal you are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve. I wouldn’t say I’ve figured it all out, but I’ve learned a few things from my mistakes. Avoid a few of my notable bumps in the road by reading my biggest takeaways.

Create What You Seek

Creation is crucial if you want business success no matter what age you may be. My background is in the online content management industry which requires an endless supply of creativity. I create graphics, infographics, blog posts, and the overall content strategy for businesses.

What I also create are business relationships, referral relationships, designer relationships, and industry relationships. The amount of things you must create as a business owner can seem endless. The trick is nurturing experiences that will take you to the n. If you aren’t willing to do something it isn’t going to happen this can be a tough takeaway but one you must learn early on in your career.

Character Counts More Than Hype

We all know people that ooze charisma. Charm can help get your foot in the door but when it comes to long-term success people will start to see right through those alluring dimples. You have to do more than just look the part; you have to possess the kind of character that builds trust. Doesn’t the old saying go, “People do business with who they like, know, and trust.” To me, the third adjective is the most important. From my experience, nothing kills a business relationship faster than lack of faith.

Whether it is a product or a service in today’s economy you can not hide, cover up, or hope no one notices. This is why good character is crucial when your clients or customers feel like you genuinely care about them the decision to leave or discontinue is more thoroughly thought through than if they have no personal connection with them.

I have lost clients when the person “felt” like I was not, personally, focused on them enough. I’ve also nurtured relationships for years to the point that many of my clients feel they couldn’t trust anyone else. The relationship we have is worth more than any numerical value. If you create one successful business relationship, you can build more. Whether you are emailing, texting, in a one-on-one meeting or connecting for a Skype call, prepare early, no one wants to wait on you, show a genuine interest in everything he/she says and offer ways you can help. You don’t have to have a power point, spend thousands of dollars on a website, or have a pitch memorized to impress someone. People will be impressed by your focus. Let actions do all the talking.