Michael Weist is proof that you don't necessarily need to be on camera or behind a keyboard to have a global influence. And while the mogul's Vine account boasts nearly 300,000 followers and 12.3 million loops, proving that he's no stranger to personal social media success, his greatest claim to fame at this moment is Good Times Entertainment, LLC. As a CEO of the lucrative management company, Weist has transferred his social media prowess to a more business-oriented, behind-the-scenes role.
And while this proves his across-the-board savvy for all things social media, it also highlights how personally he deals with all of his clients. The fact that he's well-versed with what does and doesn't work, as well as the kind of work that goes into content creation, makes him a top notch boss in his field.
Weist sat down with #KanvasLive at Playlist Live to discuss how he bridges the gap between creativity and business, wacky fan encounters, and some super exciting surprises we have to expect from Good Times Entertainment.
The lines at Playlist Live were no joke:
What brings you specifically to Playlist Live, and what are you most excited about for the upcoming year?
Well, we have a lot of clients here so I'm of course here for that. This place is a great opportunity for managers to network as well as connect with new talent. We're talking with a lot of new clients about signing them on with our management, so we've been doing a lot of business here across the board.
As far as looking forward to the next year, there's one huge thing in particular that I'm very, very excited about. We can't share the news just yet, but we're extremely excited about it. We have a lot of new events coming up and that's going to be really exciting. We're launching a summer tour, which will be really fun. And that's an exclusive, so no one knows that except you guys!
So exciting! Can you give us a sneak peak as far as the cities or anything?
We're definitely going to have our first show in Nashville. We'll probably be in Orlando, Kentucky, where we've been before. We're going to throw in a lot of new cities as well -- more than likely Atlanta, we're thinking of doing something in Boston. We're in a lot of planning stages currently, but we have totally revolutionized the social media events and we're connecting with a lot of really new, exciting things. I think that this is going to be the first time that anything like what we're doing has been done. We're pumped for it.
Does your experience with the business side of things give you a different lens as per how you look at the creators?
Yeah, absolutely. I myself have over 300,000 followers, so being a creator allows me to manage my clients in a way that is beneficial for them. We own a record label as well and I'm an executive producer so it gives me an idea of what our creators are looking for and being a creator I'm able to relate to them rather than being some adult who's on the outside looking in. It's a lot more hands-on and one-on-one with the client.
What is your favorite thing about working with these types of social creators rather than the traditional 'star'?
Social media is an interesting thing. It has been taken into the mainstream very quickly and very aggressively. Anyone can become famous overnight. One of my bigger clients, DemWhiteBoyz on Vine, got their rise to 7 million followers nearly overnight. I think it's really interesting to see how someone can go from literally nothing to 7 million followers and have an influence over such a large fan base. I like working with social media stars because it's not so much about putting up an image or putting on something that you're not. It's a lot more, like, these people follow you because of who you are. You can be true to yourself and your brand rather than what you want people to see. It's a unique, personable experience for the fan and the creator.
Awesome. Do you have a favorite fan moment -- either of yours or one of your clients?
For me personally, my craziest fan moment was when I was at a show in Orlando and someone came up to me and was like, "Oh my gosh, you're Michael!" And I said hey, but then she asked me to sign her forehead. I was like, "What!?" So, I signed her forehead! That was interesting.
Was it with a Sharpie?
Definitely weird. Another weird moment with a client, since DemWhiteBoyz are all about dancing on Vine, was when a woman came up to me and said, "Can you twerk on my daughter? I'll give you $50." And we were like, "No. We're not doing that."
That's so funny. So, I know you teased it a little bit with the tour and the rest of the events for the summer, but what are you most excited for for the rest of 2016?
Yes, definitely the tour for the summer. We're also doing a really exciting thing coming up that I really want to tell everyone, but I can't. Once that comes up, it's going to change the entire industry. It's national exposure, it's going to be very, very big.
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Awesome. When can we expect that?
June or September. It could be early 2017 by the time by the time it officially goes live, but the announcement will probably be 2016.
And then the tour is something we're definitely looking forward to, especially with these new events. We're working with a bunch of great companies to do casting, so we're working on some really great movie deals with social media stars. Our company's about to take on a huge role that we've never seen before with movies and acting and these personable experiences, so we're definitely excited about that.
So cool! And finally, what's your favorite emoji right now?
My go-to is always the laughing face. The crying laughing. That's probably the one I use the most.
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