Social media has changed the way we consume news and entertainment. Massive platforms like The Shade Room, Baller Alert and Hollywood Unlocked have tapped into the ever-growing market and established their digital presence by creating engaging content driven largely by user submissions. Their 24/7 approach to news coverage and straight to social media tactics have made them heavy hitters in the space and often positioned them at the forefront of the news.
Hollywood Unlocked, founded by Jason Lee (Love & Hip Hop Hollywood), has 698,000 followers on Instagram and climbing. According to their bio, they garner an impressive 275 million monthly impressions. Under the direction of Lee, Hollywood Unlocked is steadily rising, but behind every overnight success story is years of hard work. Keep reading for Jason’s rise to social media fame.
HelloBeautiful: How did the Hollywood Unlocked brand start?
Jason Lee: I’ve been a fan of pop culture ever since I can remember. I always wanted to be in the business, but never knew what or where I wanted to end up. My job moved me to Los Angeles about 11 years ago and I had built so many relationships over the years that I naturally fell into the Hollywood scene. I saw the boom of the blogs happening and the development of social media and tech I knew I had to be apart of it.
HB: What kept you motivated while building your brand?
Jason Lee: I get a lot of criticism for talking about Floyd Mayweather so much, but he’s who inspired me to go all the way. When I met Floyd I was in a relationship and literally that day going to walk away from the industry. He told me something I’ll never forgot. He said, “Being number 1 is a mentality not a fact” and that instantly motivated me to restructure everything in my business and my personal life. From there it’s been an amazing journey.
HB: What are the keys to building a success brand?
Jason Lee: It’s about 30% talent and 70% who you know these days. Networking has been an amazing skill that has returned my investment ten fold. Building strong long lasting productive and profitable relationships is important to the success of any business. I think the 30% of it is nailing your niche, identifying and developing your audience, and staying true to your vision.
HB: What are some tips you’d give to someone for building their social media following?
Jason Lee: I spent a lot of time with the owner of The Shade Room and I remember when Angie had like 400,000 or 500,000 followers and she used to tell me “just post good content and keep posting.” I started creating engaging posts. You may see on our social media “Hot Or Not” “Smash Or Pass” and then real creative social cards. That was a turning point. We started paying close attention to what people were engaging with. Then we launched my radio show HOLLYWOOD UNLOCKED UNCENSORED and that really took off. We got major pickup from a lot of mainstream media outlets like the BBC, ABC News, NY Post, and eventually Wendy Williams and The Real started talking about us.
HB: What’s next for Jason Lee and Hollywood Unlocked?
Jason Lee: I’m so excited that we are working on a few major apparel partnerships and dropping our own merch so we can see our fans wearing our stuff all over the world. I know a lot of fans were upset that I left Love & Hip Hop but I had to. Now I’m working on a few show options for me and Hollywood Unlocked and I’m hopefully returning to TV soon. It just has to be the right situation.