May 30, 2017 therebelsociety

Q+A w/ TRS Founder :: Shod Harris

What do you really do?

I run a boutique digital media marketing agency called The Rebel Society (duh) where we produce digital content such as commercials, call to action videos, sales videos, etc. for small businesses but what makes us different from other agencies is that we also handle the marketing and distribution for the content that we produce. Photography and videography are components of our packages, this why people believe that’s all that we do.

What made you decide to do what you are doing now?

I’ve wanted to be my own boss since I was a kid, I just didn’t know in what capacity. I started doing music marketing for some local artists (which I was pretty good at), then I realized that no matter how good I was with music marketing, it was moreso based on getting the right “tastemakers” rocking with you and then everybody starts to notice you trending.  So it doesn’t really matter how good your art is or how good your marketing scheme is.  At the time I was using concepts and strategies that was used in the digital platforms such as email marketing or Myspace and Facebook when everybody else was still doing radio ads, TV commercials, etc. 

Influences growing up?

My main influences growing up that made me want to go this route would have to be the people that I saw that were entrepreneurs and living life on their own terms.  My father has always kept a hustle while I was growing up but I have seen him grow his car wash business into a major company.  Another influence is my Aunt Dot who wrote books and traveled all over the country as a public speaker.  Through her I was able to see a different lifestyle and people actually making money doing something that is completely different from what everybody else is doing, especially in the 90s.  Another influence who affected me on a small scale would be my Aunt Avery who ran a day care and still does but is able to really live on her own terms.

When did you know you wanted to quit your job?

I didn’t really want to start working for myself until my job at the time (Citi) laid off a lot of people when they just hired them (I wasn’t laid off unfortunately).  I thought that was supremely fucked up since they hired people who probably quit jobs they were at to just fire them.  So that got me thinking that when you are working for somebody else you’re never in charge of your future and I need to be in charge of every aspect of my journey.

Where did the TRS name come from and what was the motivation behind that name?

The TRS name came from the name of a hiphop blog site that I had created and then once I didn’t want to deal with writing anymore I just turned it into the name of my new company.  My motivation behind the name is where I have always found myself, publicly and privately, a misfit who was outspoken and creative.  Eventhough on the outside I present like the average Joe, but inside my mentality is completely different from a lot of people I come across and when I was younger it bothered me but now I embrace it. Another thing is I’ve felt like I’ve always challenged the status quo since I was a teenager so that made me feel like a rebel.

What is one of the biggest stresses about being an entrepreneur?

People that I know that are entrepreneurs told me before, that being an entrepreneur is very stressful but I knew that stress was better than the living hell I faced every morning when having to go to work.  But to be honest one of the biggest stresses is making sure you have enough money coming in to handle your bills.  One thing I have to deal with that a lot of people don’t realize is that not only do you have to work hard to handle all that you are doing in the moment but you have to also always plan for the future.  Another stress that I have found myself in is balancing my time because it is easy for me to go all in and just always work but I’ve also realized that I need downtime and just need to balance family time and more importantly time with my wife that doesn’t involve speaking about work.

What is your vision for TRS for the future?

What I see for the future of TRS is really just building it up into a major powerhouse in the marketing industry which means having 100+ employees and doing major campaigns for Nike, liquor brands and clothing brands.  But doing work for Nike is definitely on the top of my list of brands that I have to work with before I die.

What is something people don’t know about you or a misconception about you?

It is crazy that I had to think about this even though I’m interviewing myself (lol), but I would have to say that everything that I do has a positive intention.  From me joking on friends or telling people their work sucks I always have a positive intention on either helping that person or just saying what I would want somebody to say to me.  Mostly everything I do is because it is something that I would want done for me.  Sugar coating shit doesn’t make it better.

Who are companies and brands that you admire or look up to?

There are a couple of companies that I really admire such as VaynerMedia, Team Epiphany, and Madbury Club, but I really model my company or my company’s energy by Maybach Music Group when they first started making their push in 2010.  They were just very aggressive as far as putting out content and doing it in a way that was very specific to that timeframe which is what I do now.

Advantage above other people in your same industry?

I feel what makes me stand out is compared to other people, my understanding of people and their actions.  When I’m out I sit back and watch people.  I see what they are looking at, what they are paying attention to, and when people are talking in a group I always notice the one person in that group that doesn’t give a fuck about the conversation.  So just really paying attention to people and their actions.  In marketing you have to understand why people do certain things and really just overall understanding who your client/customers are.  If you don’t understand that then you have already lost.

Reason for doing this interview with yourself.

My reason for doing this interview with myself is for a couple of different reasons.  I feel like people don’t understand a lot about me, people really don’t know what I do, and when I get interviewed people usually ask me very boring and simple questions so this is my chance to really go in depth with things that are on my mind.  So just want to let some people into my world.

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