The lineup for Rushion McDonald’s radio talk show “Money Making Conversations” continues this March with business leaders and celebs including Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder/CEO of The ACT-1 Group; Deion Sanders, Pro Football Hall of Fame and entrepreneur; Monique Nelson, CEO of Uniworld Group, Inc.; singer Michelle Williams and more.
Through his multimedia company 3815 Media, McDonald aims to empower millennial audiences, business owners, consumers, and influencers. When it launched, “Money Making Conversations” previously welcomed the voices and insights of guests like Patti LaBelle, Morris Chestnut, Hill Harper, Tracey Edmonds, Cedric the Entertainer, Kirk Franklin, Dr. Ian Smith, Jeff Friday, Jeff Clanagan, Attorney Ben Crump, Marcellus Wiley, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith.
Here, the branding expert and renowned business dealmaker offers his actionable business and branding tips.
Please provide tips for choosing the right talent manager and agency.
Let’s start with the agency. Know that you are one of many. If you are fortunate and blessed to be signed by an agency, know that you still have to keep working. A lot of people make that mistake: they think once they are signed by an agency, the deals are going to roll in. Actually, the reason an agency signs you is because you are a go-getter. Now, it’s time to work three times harder.
What makes a good manager for you? First, find out who they are representing. That’s important. If you are a singer and they are only representing actors, that may not be a good fit for you. If you are a writer and they have no writers on the roster, or they haven’t done any book releases, they may not be good for you. If they do not understand social media, do not sign a deal with that person, because they do not understand how to brand you or build your career. Also, if they say they are going to do something and twice they don’t do it, get out of your deal. They are you tying you up.
This business is tied to your ability to produce. It works both ways. When people come into your life and say, “I want to manage you,” make sure you sit down and put a plan together where you share what you’d like accomplished in a certain time frame.
Always have a lawyer read through your contract. It’s worth it. Never sign with anyone who says they are going to make you rich.
Tell us about “Money Making Conversations.”
“Money Making Conversations” is designed for individuals who need guidance on their paths to success. Join me and win in 2018. I am a movement for millennial audiences, ages 18 to 34. I have a social media following, a fan club base of over 500K. It’s working. It can work for you. The radio show is an iHeartRadio podcast. I am there for you. I am your mentor, and am there for anyone at any age. My followers are predominately women. We have honest conversations that will help you create your lane.
How has reality TV changed the game for individuals who wish to amplify their brands?
There were people who thought that it wouldn’t last. It has built a whole genre of successful stars and media juggernauts. Take the Kardashians. They are a media beast because of reality. There was a period when reality stars were disrespected by actors — “real actors.” When you make the cover of Fortune, you are a beast. From a business and marketing perspective, the game has changed so much.
What about social media?
If you are a talent, you have to have a clear understanding and put the work in to define your brand on social media. If you don’t do it, you don’t win. Your competition is doing it. You look at talents like Ellen Degeneres; her social media following will make you just shake your head. [At press time @theellenshow is 51.3M on Instagram and 77.1M on Twitter]. These people understand brand development and they know where the world is going with social media. Social media helps in establishing who you are. There has to be a relationship for people to follow you. For me it’s “Making Money Conversations.”
Your company 3815 Media has a host of platforms including “Money Making Conversations” on iHeartRadio and “Perfect Bake Time with Rushion McDonald” on Facebook, as well as new TV productions underway. You are essentially branding Rushion McDonald. What exactly does that look like?
When I started defining my presence, I used the same model that I created for Steve Harvey. I said that I wanted to have a voice that dictates traffic flow. Here’s how I did it. I used radio, his stand-up comedy, he did television and he built his social media. I am using that same format for myself. If you are singer, it’s easy to build your social media followers, because they like your song and they like you. If you are a comedian, they will like your jokes. If you are an actor, they like your movie. I am an individual, a business professional and it took me a minute to figure out why they like me. It’s my baking and my motivation. It’s important to understand that’s how I win. When you look in the mirror, you have to figure out who are you. What story are you trying to tell? Stop acting like you are not a brand. If you have a social media account, you are a brand.
Catch the next new episode of “Money Making Conversations,” which airs on Biz 1190 in Atlanta, 10 am – noon, EST, Mondays, and is also available via iHeartRadio podcast.