What do Britney Spears, Steven Tyler, and Miley Cyrus have in common? They’ve each partnered with Crowd Surf to build authentic and meaningful relationships with their fans.
Based in Nashville and Los Angeles, Crowd Surf is a digital marketing company that empowers artists and entertainers to connect with their followers.
Despite being deemed a ‘celebrity social media czar’ and helping Crowd Surf clients amass a combined 800 million followers, what I’ll remember most about my time with Co-Founder Cassie Petrey is the immeasurable value of being yourself.
The seed for Crowd Surf was planted far before Cassie and her longtime friend Jade Driver started the company in 2007.
At 12 years old, Cassie created an AOL newsletter for Backstreet Boys fans that garnered over 10,000 subscribers. She then worked at Warner Music Group through college where she was among the first representatives to leverage Myspace for artists like Faith Hill and Blake Shelton.
Fast forward to life as a founder and one of Cassie’s greatest awakenings was returning to her inner fan girl; As opposed to silencing her passion to subscribe to ‘traditional professionalism.’
“Once we realized that the core reason why we do this is because we’re really big fans – We get what it’s like – It made us stronger,” she said.
It made people want to work with us. People know it’s the truth. They can feel it when you tell them.
Cultivating their passion has enabled Cassie and Jade to grow Crowd Surf into a team of 35 individuals across four offices. Today, they work with artists like Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea, and One Republic.
Cassie’s ultimate goal as CEO is that each of her team members will feel equally empowered to own their convictions and share their ideas.
You have to tell your brain to quit yelling at you and suggest your idea.
Fear of rejection often keeps us silent, only sharing ideas when we believe they’ll be the next groundbreaking feature.
The reality is that most ideas won’t lead to the next big release, but they’ll play a role influencing the team’s overall goal which is equally important.
The guiding principle is that sharing ideas is less daunting than we think. Often, you’re the only person who thinks that suggesting a new perspective could negatively impact the group.
Cassie’s work instilling this confidence in the Crowd Surf team is essential for the role they play with entertainers.
Whether team members are backstage at an awards show or on the red carpet, they’re constantly determining what’s trending and how they can best position their clients to succeed.
In order to be quick on their feet, they have to be confident first.
“I want people to feel okay to make decisions, whether or not it’s the right decision,” Cassie said.
Making a wrong decision is better than making no decision.
To gain deeper insight into how Cassie leads a team of decision makers tune into her episode of 33founders and follow her on Twitter here.
Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss:
- The genesis of Crowd Surf
- How artists can utilize Snapchat and Instagram
- The invaluable impact of owning who you are
- How to evaluate incoming projects
- Leadership strategies that empower your team to share new ideas