JD Scott discusses how to be authentic online while still maintaining a level of professionalism on this episode of Leading Las Vegas!
JD Scott – How to be Athentic Online [Video Transcript]
Danielle Ford: Hello there. Welcome. This is Leading Las Vegas. I am Danielle Ford of DanielleFord.com where visibility makes a difference. Today my guest here is JD Scott. He is amazing. He is the host of HGTV among many other things. Can you tell us a little bit more about your background, what you do, and what you do for HGTV?
JD Scott: Sure. I've been a host for HGTV now for a few years. I do a number of shows. I'm on Brother Vs. Brother, Property Brothers: at Home, All-American Amusement Parks, the list goes on and on and on. I do a lot of work online as well. I'm a social media influencer, which is how I met you originally.
Danielle Ford: Through Periscope. JD was so nice to be on a panel for an event we had, what was that, a year ago …
JD Scott: Yeah, it's been a year ago.
Danielle Ford: … PeriVegas when Periscope was just getting really hot and it was really popular. That was very, very nice of you. I have some questions. I always get asked from my clients and my audience about separating your personal life and your true self versus your work if your using social media for business and if you an influencer. I thought that would be a great thing to ask you because you also have the celebrity status. You're not just a business professional, but you probably have a lot of different people wanting a certain image from you. The thing I love about you … If you guys google JD, you're going to fall down a rabbit hole of information because he's so just charismatic and unique, and, you can tell, just very authentic to who he is.
JD Scott: I paid her to say all these things.
Danielle Ford: No. People don't even think that's a good quality. You can just tell you just don't give a f***. You're just being yourself.
JD Scott: Well, I mean I do. I give a … The thing is, you're right, you have define where's that line when you have a business or a brand or a persona. How much of your personal self can you put out there for that brand? Because I'm on a network that is fairly conservative, I can't put absolutely anything out there online that I want to, I blur the line a lot. I do like to still show myself through there. It's not like I'm pretending to be someone else, but I have dialed it down a little bit. While I might not dive into as extremely controversial subjects as I might talk about before I was on TV, but I do like to stir the pot a little bit. I like to get people thinking, but I also like to make people laugh, and I like to keep it light at times. It can't all be serious, and it can't all be funny. You got to have the broad spectrum of what you're going to talk about.
Danielle Ford: Do you think there is a balance, like a person maybe … if you're going to let your true colors show only this much or this much to be…
JD Scott: It really depends on what your business is because there are certain areas that it's important that you are very reserved and you don't show certain sides or have certain views. It depends on what you do for a living. Myself, I do like to show who I am. The network knows that. My fans also know that. I think they respect that I normally show a lot of the actual JD when I'm talking to them. I think you've seen that probably in videos and whatnot that I do. If I was to give an actual percentage, I'd say maybe I hold back like five percent.
Danielle Ford: That's not very much.
JD Scott: You don't want to see that five percent. That's a scary area.
Danielle Ford: That's got to be very crazy.
JD Scott: Yeah.
Danielle Ford: Very cool. I have a question. I try to be authentic in my Periscopes and livestreams, but then there's some things that you don't necessarily need to be authentic about. When people ask you personal questions you don't want to answer, do you ever feel like you're hiding from your audience, or maybe your audience deserves to know the true you but there's some things you just don't need to share, or how you handle that?
JD Scott: You know what? There isn't a lot of questions that I won't answer. I find that even if something is maybe a touchy subject matter, you can work around that to still answer it in a way that people will be satisfied, but maybe you're not giving 100% of the information that's out there.
Danielle Ford: Like teetering on the line a little bit.
JD Scott: Yeah. You're just messaging the answer that you're giving them because life is all about perspective and about respect, and you have to be respectful for your audience. There's lots of people out there. You've got conservative people. You've got people who are liberal. You've got children. I don't ever want to offend people. I don't ever want to say something that is inappropriate for kids to read or to see. I just try and I keep that all in mind when I'm posting, when I'm on TV. Anything that I'm doing, I just want to bear in mind who my audience is and what they're going to want to get out of that experience.
Danielle Ford: I like that. What would you say is the best way to create those relationships? If someone is just starting out and let's say they have a business or they're in an industry that is professional but not necessarily super conservative and they want to create an audience and develop really strong relationships with them, what kind of social media would you suggest for them?
JD Scott: That's a good question. First off, know who your audience should be. Depending on what your business is or what you're trying to accomplish, whether that's TV or a public figure or running a sandwich shop, know who the people are that you want to bring in. Also know that sometimes your personality with your friends and your family maybe isn't right for the public persona. If you drop the F-bomb a lot, you've got to be aware that it will not work in every situation. Now as far as what social media to use, there's just so much out there. It can be boggling to try to wrap your head around.Know who your audience should be. Know who the people are that you want to bring in. Click To Tweet
JD Scott: I use a lot of different stuff. Primarily at this point, my focus is Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Patreon. Those are the ones that I have found work best for me at this point. That's not to say that there isn't others ones that I should be using because new stuff is starting all the time. I was just talking to you earlier about this, musical.ly and live.ly are becoming huge. You just need to find out where your audience sits mostly. If a lot of young kids are your target audience, then you should be on Snapchat. You just got to look at the demographic.
Danielle Ford: I feel like you're right especially with the younger kids. As soon as their parents get there, they're not interested in that platform anymore.
JD Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Danielle Ford: There was a good article that said the olds are coming to Snapchat.
JD Scott: That's not what the kids want. They want that to be their area. I wasn't using Snapchat for a long time. I went to VidCon, a big conference in LA. They were telling us why we needed to be on there. It's because there's this whole other group of young people that we weren't accessing. They love it. They know how to use it. The older people weren't even trying to because they didn't understand it.
Danielle Ford: I was actually having a conversation with a friend who's a big Periscoper and Snapchatter. He's in Europe, and he has a chocolate shop. He was telling me last night that … He's 52, and he's been on Snapchat for four years. While he feels like he saw something other people didn't, he used to get people thinking he was a creeper. They'd be like, “What are you doing on Snapchat? Are you sending weird pictures? What's the point?” But to be on these kind of platforms as a business owner, especially like a brick and mortar or somebody like that, and to be able to see the value of that audience I think is really special. You've done a great job on social media …
JD Scott: Thank you.
Danielle Ford: … and balancing out … not just relying on your network to get you an audience but also going out and being proactive about that.
JD Scott: I think that's important, too. You can't rely just on one aspect. You have to venture out into every branch of it. I push myself and push the envelope for social media constantly. I think that that's why I've been fairly successful gaining the audience that I have.
Danielle Ford: Let me ask you a question especially now that we're in this crazy political area.
JD Scott: Uh-oh, here we go. Politics.
Danielle Ford: Where do you think that fits into your social media, your audience how much you share, your opinions? What would you suggest for that?
JD Scott: That is a very, very difficult subject because everyone is so vastly different in their views when it comes to politics, any subject like that, religion, but if something is very, very important to you, I feel like it is your duty to talk about it. Especially if you have concerns about the atmosphere of what's going on in the world and politics, then you can talk about that in a reasonable manner online without offending people and without downright telling others that they're wrong because we all have different opinions. You don't want to accuse someone of being wrong. They're different. They have a different opinion than you. But I do that. If something is important to me, I talk about it. I do this mostly on Facebook and I have live chats, and we have developed this really respectful community where people come in and they'll tell me their opinion. If it's different than mine, I want to know why. “Why do you feel this way?” Maybe I'll change some of my ideas, or maybe my ideas will change some of yours. There's a way to do it. I think that the key is just respect. Don't go out there with the idea of attacking or trolling somebody. See if you can understand why they think the way they do.
Danielle Ford: That's a really good point. Do you ever feel like …? Or are there any legalities with your network or even if somebody has sponsorships maybe that company didn't agree, would you just …?
JD Scott: That plays into a lot of areas of what I do in general is I can't burn bridges. Every once in a while I will pop onto Twitter and I will call out a company if I've gotten bad service or a product breaks. But I'm not doing it really in a aggressive way. I'm just letting them know, “This is what happened.” I don't ever want to ostracize a company because there could be a point where down the road maybe I do need to work with them. Maybe there's a sponsorship option down the road. You always have to keep that in mind is you don't want to burn your bridges and things possible down the road. Unless you severely offend them, then that's not going to happen.
Danielle Ford: You just never know who knows who.
JD Scott: Yeah, exactly. The role of entertainment or business is a small world. Everyone does seem to know each other, so you've got to be careful what you say and who you say it to.
Danielle Ford: I know. I struggled with that because I'm super opinionated. I want to say what I feel and not hold back. But I feel like sometimes your audience will trust you more if they know you're going to tell the truth even if it's bad. But at the same time you're … like you said, got to be careful of who you're pissing off also.
JD Scott: It's a balancing act. I think the more we do this stuff, the more we realize that. You can be opinionated and you can have ideas about something, but you can also put those out there in a way that you haven't done damage that can't be undone.
JD Scott: You can still talk to that company or that person and maybe sort things out eventually. Like you said before, my network has a lot of brand deals. If they have a deal with this company and I go out and I blast that company online and just call them for everything, then the network's not going to be happy with me. I keep that in mind when I'm doing things. That's not to say that we don't all fail once in a while and misstep. You have to be able to accept responsibility, and if you make a mistake, just own up to it. You can apologize. Apologies are a thing. People don't tend to …
Danielle Ford: That exists.
JD Scott: They don't do it enough.
Danielle Ford: True.
JD Scott: I have apologized once in a while if I've offending somebody and I hadn't meant to.
Danielle Ford: I love that. Thank you. Can you tell us what you're working on? Any cool projects in the works?
JD Scott: Currently I fly out in two days to Texas, and I'm filming the fifth season of Brother Vs. Brother …
Danielle Ford: Very cool.
JD Scott: … for HGTV. Let's see. We just finished up a show called Brothers Take New Orleans. Next up after that I believe is Property Brothers: at Home. So we're busy, busy, busy. Always on the road. My girlfriend, Annalee Belle, who you know, is doing makeup for us now …
Danielle Ford: Awesome.
JD Scott: … so we get to travel together and work together, so that's nice.
Danielle Ford: A lot of people really know your brothers. They think there's only two, which was brought to light by the SNL skit.
JD Scott: Yes, yeah, yeah. There's is a number of people out there that aren't aware there's three of us. I'm changing that. One person at a time, I'm changing that. Like you said, there was a NSL skit or SNL where they made a joke about me. They called me Proppy. It kind of …
Danielle Ford: You loved it.
JD Scott: Yeah, it stuck. My fans started calling me Proppy, and I went with it. That's my new nickname. It's my license plate on my truck.
Danielle Ford: That's great. A lot of people don't realize that you have a really huge role in their success and in your company.
JD Scott: We've been going for a long time. We started doing what we do as teenagers in entertainment. In our early 20s, I think I was 20 when we got our first house and we started renovating and flipping houses. That was just to pay for our acting and production projects. Eventually the two meshed together, and here we are today. We have a very successful brand and franchise and very happy.
Danielle Ford: Thank you for sharing that. Where can people find you if they want to connect with you online?
Danielle Ford: Musical.ly?
JD Scott: Well, I have one, yes. There is a MrJDScott. I haven't posted on it yet, but I got to start. I got to start.
Danielle Ford: You're getting on it, okay. Thank you so much for your time and for coming in, helping my audience with these questions. I really, really appreciate it.
JD Scott: It was my pleasure.
Danielle Ford: You were a wonderful guest.
JD Scott: Thanks for having me.
Danielle Ford: Thanks guys so much for watching, and we will see you in the next episode of Leading Las Vegas.