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Podcast Episode #06 – Growing As A Music Influencer | Versell Motley – VERSEatyle

podcast-episode-#06-–-growing-as-a-music-influencer-|-versell-motley-–-verseatyle
Podcast Episode #06 – Growing As A Music Influencer | Versell Motley – VERSEatyle

We’re thrilled to present the latest addition to Afluencer’s content lineup – our podcast series featuring insightful conversations with influential brand owners.

In this inaugural article, we have the privilege of introducing Versell Motley, the visionary founder of VERSEatyle, as our esteemed guest.

Meet Versell Motley: The Mind Behind VERSEatyle

Versell Motley, the innovative mind-driving VERSEatyle, takes center stage in the Afluencer podcast series. With a wealth of experience in the world of influencer marketing, Versell shares captivating insights, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped his brand’s journey.

Podcast Premiere: Delving into the VERSEatyle Universe

Join us in exploring the enchanting world of VERSEatyle through the eyes of Versell Motley himself. We’ve embedded the riveting YouTube podcast video below, offering an exclusive glimpse into the transformative power of influencer marketing.

Also, listen to the Afluencer Podcast on:

Transcription Insight: A Peek into the Conversation

Gain an insider’s perspective as we burrow into the transcription of our engaging conversation with Versell Motley. Discover the strategies, anecdotes, and wisdom that have fueled VERSEatyle’ success, all captured in this in-depth transcription.

In Conversation with Versell Motley, Founder of VERSEatyle:

Brett:

Welcome to our Influencer podcast, special edition and guest today. I’m excited to have an influencer creator we’ve been working with for a while. He’s worked with many of our brands and we’re excited to introduce you to Versatile. He has, as his name would hint, Renaissance man, verified artist, influencer dancer, callus athlete, brand marketer. So from content creation, brand promotion, we’re talking professional dancing, music production, workouts, fitness, performing on stage. We got versatile, covering all the aspects. So welcome, versatile, and with that introduction. Kay, you’re a man of many, not only interests, but should we say professions. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to this point in your career? Let’s

Versell:

See. Well, nice to meet everyone. My name’s Versatile. How’s it going, Brett? I pretty much started when I was a youngin, when I started dancing, and my parents taught me. My father had started, but then he embedded it in me over time. Long story short, I met a dance crew who are pretty much my longtime friends from the past, and one of them actually gave me my name. I didn’t create my own name, and it was because during the time I was brick dancing, pop locking and a little bit of choreography, but I was just tackling so many different types of dance styles that he was like, Hey, you should just be versatile because your name’s already versal and the word verse is in it. So I’m like, oh, perfect. And then I started later on doing music because my dad’s a producer, so music has always been around me since I was a kid.

There would be other artists coming in my house in and out when I was young, so I already had the culture embedded in me as I grew up. So it was only right that actually got into it myself. I’m a very creative dude. I like to say I’m fairly humble at times. So my art was just my way of expressing myself as an introverted person growing up. And one thing led to another when I started noticing my skill started growing in certain areas, but I wasn’t getting the recognition that I was supposed to get. And I was a firm believer that if you just try hard at something that you work at forever, that things will come to you. But I also learned that it’s how you market yourself, how you show yourself pretty much just show who you are. We all are pretty much our own TV channels nowadays.

So I just got hip to the program. I was actually coached to start working on Instagram specifically just to work on my profile as an artist. It was a consultant from an old label or from a record label, but he used to work for them, and then that’s what he told me. So I got onto Instagram more. I wasn’t really on my online presence. The more I got into it, I got reached out from this, I guess you could say, a brand marketing company that teaches people how to get involved with, I guess just branding yourself in general. And once I learned everything from myself, from them, I kind of just broke off and started working with brands instead of artists, because it was mainly to help other artists grow. But I was like, why don’t I just take that same aspect and just put it into brands and companies or people that are serious, whatever they’re doing.

Yeah, pretty much I led all the way up to the business aspect. I’ve noticed I’ve been working on more of production and more of reaching out through email versus just doing my arts and everything like that, and it worked out. So I have how many different brand partners now? Thanks to Influencer too. Half of them, A lot of them are from you, so I definitely appreciate you guys for that. A lot of the people I’ve already worked with, and I have over 50 partnerships. I lost count last year because I started maybe two years ago, so I lost count. To be honest. I’m not being cocky or anything. I literally lost count over 50, and a lot of them as came back, they understand the concept of how I market myself, the purpose of the way I do it, and just all that and all the above. Just to answer your question, how I got started with this. But here I am today.

Brett:

That’s awesome. So going back to your dad with the music production artists coming in and out, what type of music did your dad produce?

Versell:

Oh, it was mainly hip hop and rap, but he also did r and b and occasional rock would come in and stuff, and I would just hear different noises and stuff whenever came from their art. I’m like, oh, okay. What is this? I don’t know, but they just created it, so we’ll just run with it. So yeah, whatever came in pretty much. Yeah.

Brett:

That’s awesome. It’s probably on my dad wrapped playlist today.

Versell:

Brett:

Yeah. That’s great. And versatile. We’ve been fortunate to work with you, as you mentioned for a while. I think it’s been a couple years now, and we’ve collabed with it before. And I do remember you were early, you mentioned going into Instagram. It feels like you were early doing the videos, right, doing the reels versus just the static posts, which now is something that we tell our brands if they’re not going that route, that they need to really look at the reels and the videos, because this is where just the algorithms are favoring and there’s different reasons for it. TikTok success and Instagram, trying to copy TikTok and all this. But you were really early on the video side of things, is that right? When did you start getting into the reels and the video side of Instagram?

Versell:

I say once around 2020 or 2021, I’ll say the beginning of 2021, and that’s when Instagram started paying out for the reels and stuff, even though I should have started sooner. I’m glad that you caught that. I started making the videos, I should have done it a year before, but once that wave kicked in where Instagram was really in competition and started paying out people, the company I was with during the time, they’re kind of just telling us, Hey, the algorithm is king. They taught us all the secret workings behind pretty much social media, how people think you like a post, how the algorithm affects in the long run, just all the little techniques and stuff that you wouldn’t know about As the average person, I was able to learn. I utilized everything.

Brett:

That’s awesome. You were ahead of me. The first time I heard it, I think it was March, 2022 at a conference, and the keynote guy said, Hey, everything’s got to go towards reels from a broader standpoint. If you’re a brand, like stop spending your money on these ads, spend them with the creators instead. And then, oh, by the way, the real way to spend with, which was music to my years with influencer, but then especially, right, but the big thing, his point was all their tests are like the algorithms are favoring the reels, but you were doing this a year or two before,

Versell:

Which I think, yeah, and the formula actually changes too. There was one point, maybe a month or two ago, I followed this guy named Gary V, and he was saying that carousels were the way, because switching to, I guess the more you switch to or swipe to the left, that’s giving your posts more time for people. So the method goes back and forth, but then now it goes back to 15 seconds or less reels. It gets more replay value, it always switches up. I guess it really just comes down to what works for the user and their account.

Brett:

Right. Gotcha. Yeah, good point on Gary V. I’m old enough to remember when he was the wine library TV guy just yapping with the bottle of cabernet, just yelling in a gestures at the camera. So congrats. Again, reaching 50,000 followers on Instagram. How is that for you in terms of hitting that as a milestone?

Versell:

You still look at it as a big thing, but now that I know pretty much the backing of social media, I can easily make that more organically. I could do it and make it work organically. I could do everything with it. So it’s like I know the matrix, so it doesn’t matter to me anymore. I’ve desensitized from a lot of social media. I’ll see a lot of things that other people maybe get discouraged about the number count, or I guess I know how to advertise. I know already the amount that I would need. Even just the fact that I know about an algorithm in general, that already puts me ahead of a lot. So I just don’t really mind my followers now. I just like to know that it’s growing. My main thing is the engagement. Is my engagement growing? Am I getting more comments? Is it steady? Did it fall? Is there certain people that’s still liking my stuff? Are they gone now? Is my content bad? Is my quality low? So there’s a bunch of things that go into play, but yeah.

Brett:

Yes. Thank you for bringing that up. That’s a thing we always stress, which are with our brand users, especially our new brand users, is the followers is like you said, it’s just a number. It’s all about,

Versell:

It’s like a range. It helps,

Brett:

Right? Exactly. Exactly. It helps. It kind of shows you your starting point, but what we’re looking for is, like you said, that engagement is the important thing because we want the engaged users, brands who partner with you are looking to sell their product. How can they gauge whether or not they’re going to sell their product? Is that engagement rate, which for our new users is the number of likes and comments that you’re getting on a given post, is that right? That’s what I always say. I assume that’s mostly right. Repeat

Versell:

Brett:

The number of likes and comments on a post over your number of followers. That’s the engagement rate.

Versell:

Instagram? Yeah. Yeah, the likes, comments, share. Anything that has to do with them just interacting with your posts. And there’s actually a system where it goes from is the least. Say you like a post. That post will get shot out to three people. If that same post is shared or someone saves, it’ll send it to five people. If it’s sent to 10 people and no one likes the post for anything or no traction, it’s less likely to give you more the hours as it comes by. Like Instagram’s like, oh, well, where’s my people? Where’s my traction at? You’re not serving me. Therefore, I’m going to give the traction to the other people who’s getting the high engagement and stuff quickly within that day. It’s a numbers game, but it’s not, how do I explain this? It’s not the number of the likes, it’s just the number of people who are actually interested, I guess.

Brett:

Makes sense. Yeah. It’s all about the speed and the interest, the interactivity, which if you’re, again, putting our feet in the shoes of a brand person and we’re trying to sell product, that’s what we want is the activity on the post, because activity is what they’re looking for in terms of selling products. So that’s kind of the key point today is it’s about the engagement rate and then the relevancy of those followers. So thank you for addressing that without me kind of walking you into it, that you’re already focused. This is very important to brand people, and they may not know it, but they kind of hear engagement rate and you did a great job walking.

Versell:

Brett:

Walking ’em through that. So in terms of getting to this point over the last few years, what was the biggest obstacle you had to figure out, overcome, get through? This is new to a lot of people, it’s confusing. What was that one hurdle, the biggest hurdle you had to scale?

Versell:

Brett:

Versell:

For me, the toughest part’s, always the beginning, because like you said, it’s new. I didn’t even know what I was really doing in the beginning. I know I watch videos of other influencers. I didn’t even consider myself an influencer. I was a hip hop enthusiast. I kept changing the word. This was before TikTok was a thing. I was like, I guess an influencer, hip hop influencer. But then years came and it was a thing now. So I’m like, oh, lemme get that turn back. Yeah, I’m an influencer now so I can start working with people. If I never called myself an influencer, I wouldn’t have all these deals that I’d have. Now they just look at me as a rapper or whatever, but I know it’s in how I showcase myself. So I had to put influencer and all these other things. I have to do that. So the niche sees it and they’re like, oh, okay, he’s what we’re looking for because influencers do this. But instead I just say, oh, I’m a rapper. Oh, they don’t do that. They just rap. So it’s like I kind of had to switch. I had to wear a bunch of hats so I can get the business. Sorry, where was I going? I could talk about that all day, but yeah, no,

Brett:

That’s a good point actually. I always think I wanted to jump in because we’ve gone through that as well with the verbiage. And a couple of years ago you started to hear, I mean, then you have the micro influencers, nano influencers and creators, and really, I mean, we’re kind of more creator. You’re creating content and we put a survey out to our influencer users, do you want to be called an influencer creator? We have to decide on one in our platform, but we’ll run with it how you identify. And it did come out in favor of the influencer. And I think the reason is for what you said that again, from the brand hiring standpoint, it’s influencer marketing. That’s just the industry term, and they’re looking for an influencer, like you said, not necessarily a rapper, maybe kind of a creator, but really the term is influencer, and that’s how they think of it. So if that’s how they’re hiring, I mean whatever, we can all run it.

Versell:

Yeah, because a big thing for me is also differentiating that I didn’t want to be an affiliate for brands, but an influencer. And then I guess for me, I made up my kind of differentiation with them with I feel like affiliates, they’re strictly only for that brand, and they’re also for the long run, and they’re pretty much under rule. They don’t have as much of an influence of an audience. So they’re pretty much strictly under pretty much an employee in my opinion. An influencer is just like, I’m talking to you, but let’s say I had this nice drink right here and we’re talking. It’s like, Ooh, what is that? I like him. What is that thing? He has? People really pay attention to the background nowadays. Like, oh, what is that thing you have in the back? Oh, I have one of those. So I feel like that’s the influence part. We’re able to be ourselves and work on our art and what we do, but the fact that your product is here or the fact that we even use this product, and I can even talk about it every now and then. I think that’s, I guess the main difference between that and affiliate affiliate’s more like you leave it on your bio, which is fine too. I feel like if you’re an affiliate, your skill sets are different for promoting versus someone who is an influencing or an influencer marketer.

Brett:

A good way of putting it. Affiliate, especially if you’re getting started, it’s a nice way to get started. But to your point earlier, I mean, you’re your own TV channel and the broadcast mediums are YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and then if you’re holding a drink, that is a placement on the Versatile TV network.

Versell:

That’s why I try to mix. I used to only just stick to certain niches like fashion and things like that, but some of my best partners aren’t even in my main niches. It’s like I have things with one of my best business partners, shout out to Deluxe Savers. We worked together four or five times already, and I’m big on Star Wars, but I’m more on the gaming side. But it’s just the fact that we’re able to work together and every time we work together, it’s always been a good outcome every time that we do good business. Also, with me just getting into the gaming, I guess the bracket or whatever, because I am into it, it’s just I’m into the old school gaming, but I get the program of how people get paid from it nowadays, from views and streaming and just the startup of it and everything.

So you guys also had another starting company that I helped them. They have a decent, small following, but they had zero to begin with, and now they’re at least in the triple digits going on for, so it made me learn sometimes it’s not always your niche that you may want to work with. Maybe you just want to work with a good business partner that you guys understand each other. That’s why for me, I always ask, what’s your budget? I don’t really set a price. I want to know what maybe they have a thousand dollars that they might want to give to someone who’s really pro. Instead of 5,000 for people have to pay for a commercial. No one wants to pay that much nowadays for a commercial that people don’t really watch, so they go for the cheaper route.

Brett:

Yeah, right. Yeah, it makes sense. On that note, and even with the classic influencers, I think the first influencers, and probably why you went away from that term is because the first influencers were celebrities. They were not creators. They were already famous. And then they get on social media and brands will try to work with them and they still do. And so you have a celebrity endorser product, but that’s still different. That’s very wide. That’s like doing a TV commercial, like you said, right?

Versell:

Which needs more money for the brands that want to use them.

Brett:

That’s right. Exactly. So you’re spending not only 5,000, 10,000, a hundred thousand dollars. And now I think brands are starting to get smart on that. Hey, I don’t necessarily need a celebrity give me and micro influencer being a buzzword, right? Give me the micro influencer, the person who’s long story short, affordable, but also has an audience that’s dedicated and real involved. And like you said, the comments and the shares and there’s back and forth going also with you on the comments, which I think is cool versus a, it’s just more authentic, a celebrity post, and then it might be their people or who knows, an AI bot responding or something is not. But it’s not that type of personal relationship where you can get on the versatile TV network and become a recurring guest if someone works with you.

Versell:

For example, I recently SS Snoop Dog. He recently did a Corona commercial, and I seen him on another podcast not too long after that, and they were asking him like, oh, so how’s that Corona stuff? He’s like, do you really think I really drink that? You know what I mean? No, that was just for the business. So I’m like, see a lot of the celebrity stuff, I think people are keen on that nowadays. I don’t even think he likes Corona. So it’s not always the celebrities you have to go to. You can just go to someone you like who’s more down to earth and more attainable,

Brett:

Right? I mean, that’s tough. If you’re the Corona person writing that check, you kind of want him talking to you, want to sipping the Corona every

Versell:

Brett:

Just check. So back to on the versatile side of things, what types of brands, and you mentioned gaming as good fits. Are there specific then interest brackets, niches, niches, whatever you want to call ’em, in terms of brands that you are looking to collaborate more with today?

Versell:

After working with so many, I really just like I’m at the point where I like it when it’s just as long as it’s a good personal relationship with the business. But if I were to pick, since I do a lot of visual stuff, I would more on the fashion side when with somebody, Nike or someone high end, I want to reach one of the big sharks I’ve dealt with. I like working with a lot of the up comers, an up comer myself, and I always love the underdog spirit of getting to that point. But to work with one big company or just, it doesn’t have to be Nike, just one of the big ones like Puma, Adidas, at least one poster or deal or something. That’d be nice. But as far as everyone else, I don’t mind the small person that just, they’re able to pay their part, they’re able to help pay a half upfront, so I’m able to get their ads ready and everything. I have my own personal stuff so I can get the equipment ready. People that just are like that and they’re just good with their business and their understanding and their patient and everything. I’m patient with the people I work with. I know things happen. So as long as they’re like that, then that’s the best thing to me.

Brett:

Excellent. And well, we’ll get everyone up the profile link, our influencer profile link versatile here, so you can invite him to your collab, whether you’re large up and coming type company. We’ll get you out of here on this one. Versatile. We noticed, actually our podcast director noticed this specifically that you’re doing a lot of giveaways today, and he wanted to know what viewers can do to join these giveaways.

Versell:

Oh yeah. It’s easy. Some people just join some of the giveaways just in hopes that they win. Sometimes they don’t even know what it is. I’ll have to message ’em like, oh, you won this. Oh really? I’m like, yeah, you didn’t look at the post. So it’s like, oh, okay. Some people, yeah, but to answer your question, anyone could join. It’s usually there’s only a few rules. You only have to maybe tag two people on the comments or three depending on the prizes and all that. Comment something on the say if it’s games, like what’s your favorite game is? And for an extra point, share it in their profile. And then that enters them in a random selection app that I use to let them get a chance to win a prize. And another thing I want to point out, a big reason why I started doing my own set of giveaways. I do some with other companies, but there are certain giveaways I entered and they already have select winners. And I think that’s kind of foul because that’s kind of giving false hope. And I’ve had false hope from some of these. Some of ’em I know it was fake. They’ll drive to the person’s house and give them their prize. I’m like, well, if the winner was in Washington, you weren’t going to drive all the way there. So I’m like, oh, some of you guys are lying. So with that seen

Brett:

Outside already. Yeah. Yeah.

Versell:

So with that, just like, you know what? Let me make my own and give people actually a real chance to win at stuff. And it helps with the following. It helps if I’m working with another brand, it just, everyone’s happy at the end.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s great. So on the brand side then, are you working with the brand to do the fulfillment of the giveaway where they’re going to ship the product to the winner and then you’re figuring that out in terms of getting the distribution on the giveaway and then the selection?

Versell:

It depends. One brand or two brands, actually, they were able just to be like, okay, here, we’ll take care of the shipping. And actually, yeah, all of ’em were different. One of ’em, they did the shipping and help me in the comments. One of them, I just did everything for them, but it was a part of the budget that I was able to do it for them. Yeah, pretty much it’s up to the company if they want to get involved or not. But as far as their shipping, it’s within the budget that they me.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s great. That’s great to have the flexibility because we know people are in different spots. Some of the up and comers, a lot of times you have an entrepreneur, Shopify store owner, they’re doing everything themselves and they appreciate that outside.

Versell:

The biggest part of the giveaway is you must follow us, me and the person, of course our, that’s the main part that helps up the people doing it. Then you’re getting an engagement rate higher, you’re getting new followers. The rate that you want to get as if when you really just post something organically without an ad, when you do a giveaway, that’s the rate you are expecting to get as far as a following in engagement. So I don’t know, it’s really a big win. I love giveaways.

Brett:

That’s great. So that was your secret then on how you got the brand from zero to three to four figures in terms

Versell:

Of followers, the giveaway. Oh yeah. Everyone wants free stuff. Everyone wants free stuff.

Brett:

See, that’s great. That’s great. So that’s our brands today who are doing these ads to get more followers. Don’t do that work with versatile

Versell:

With these giveaways. And also if other people, like other influencers are trying to do the giveaways, just know it’s a lot of work. You have to be on the comments. You have to actually put in your work to go to the shipping. There’s stuff you have to do, but it’s pretty easy and it’s pretty efficient to get to where you want to be as far as social media wise and just getting your brand bigger in general, and the other brand too.

Brett:

That’s a great tip. Cool. Well, thank you, Al, for joining us. I’m going to have you back on soon so you can tell us what the trends in two years are going to be. Since you’re so far ahead of all this stuff.

Versell:

I try to be ahead. I try to be.

Brett:

Yeah, well, if you were on the reels back in 20 20, 20 21, we want to know what’s coming ahead. Well, appreciate all the heads up on that and the giveaways and all the tips. And I will put the link, link into your profile so brands can invite you to collab. As I get you out of here, is there anything else we can plug for you in terms of where people can find you, where people can follow you?

Versell:

My main thing has been Instagram, everybody, so Instagram slash versatile, V E R S E A T Y L E. Versatile. And yeah, thank you influencer. And make sure everybody go to their website at least once just to check it out, even if you’re non influencer. And yeah. Thank you.

Brett:

Versell:

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Reflecting on a Journey of Innovation and Influence

As we wrap up this enlightening podcast experience with Versell Motley, we invite you to consider the valuable takeaways and inspiration has has shared. Looking to harness the power of influencer marketing? Afluencer is here to guide you on that transformative path.

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