Experiment. Once you’ve done these three things, you can begin to try new things and expand the scope of your brand. Little by little, you can add things to your wheelhouse and over time, you will have more to consistently offer your audience.

We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?

In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series I had the pleasure of interviewing Ross Pomerantz.

Widely known as “Corp,” Ross Pomerantz is a Stanford-educated entrepreneur, content creator, comedian and an OG social media influencer and personality. His inimitable brand of unapologetic humor coupled with strategic business acumen has given Ross a unique platform with impressive staying power in an industry with a constantly changing landscape. His growing list of successful pursuits include entertainment, advising tech startups, venture capital, and spokesperson for Bravado.

Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?

I’ve always had an interest in comedy, and I started creating content early on. I was the OG corporate social media content creator — long before TikTok or “influencers” existed. Sales was my thing and so I made videos about it. It was catharsis. I never had the intention of becoming a big creator. It just sort of happened. I had the fortunate choice to attend Second City Film School or the Graduate School of Business at Stanford. Ultimately, I chose Stanford. My career is not a result of one viral moment where you wake up the next morning with hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s been a long road and a constant grind. My followers didn’t come overnight. Any success I have has been a result of the very intentional choices I’ve made combined with sheer persistence. It would be pretty sweet to go viral one day though.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?

Content creation is such a grind. It’s strange because there’s no finish line. It really never ends, and you just have to keep making it. So eventually, I had to learn to block out the noise and just make what I want to make. Don’t do it for the approval of others or you’ll burn out quickly.

We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?

Let’s be clear, I’m not curing cancer or solving world hunger here. But I am bringing some level of transparency to the corporate world. With my candid conversations about severance, workers’ rights and other issues that pervade corporate America, I think in my own way, I am helping to change the narrative. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

The other part of what I do is make light of a profession that is extremely mentally taxing. Being able to laugh at it and bring catharsis to other people who are going through the same thing as me helps people feel less alone in their experience — especially in this remote world we are living in.

Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?

Just keep creating. I make it my goal to do one new video a week. It’s about being consistent. Make stuff and you’ll get better. I would recommend starting by posting a new video once a week — or pick any schedule. After 6 months of doing that consistently, reassess. The other advice I have is: don’t overthink! The diminishing return of perfection is a waste of time. Some posts will do better than others, and there’s no point spending time and energy overthinking and perfecting every piece of content you put out there.

Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?

I don’t think I’ll ever see myself as successful. You could call it ambition or the plight of any creative. Like most other artists, I don’t like anything I’ve ever done. But that aside, I am making a living doing what I love, so that in and of itself is success to me. I’m inspired by what I do.

What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?

I have other things that I enjoy besides my job. I intentionally put time on my calendar to do things that are not related to my job or content creation. I love to play golf and baseball and spend time with friends. I’m trying to remember that I’m not defined by my most recent post. Nobody is thinking about you more than you so it’s important to step away and go do stuff!

How do you reduce or mitigate stress?

Therapy. I go to therapy every week. I have to do it. Sometimes it’s me ranting about nothing. But social media is poisonous. There’s a real correlation between social media and depression so it’s very important to pull yourself out of the cyber world. The world is uglier than what you see displayed on people’s Instagram feeds — and that’s okay. Real life is more important than the one you see on social media. It’s important to not get hung up on comments or content that is poorly received.

I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.

Intentionality. First, it’s important to be deliberate when deciding what your brand is. You can’t be all things to all people, so set some guardrails for yourself so you know which things you do and which things you don’t do. Are you funny? Educational? Who are you? Be intentional about it.

Consistency. Especially early on, it’s important to establish what your audience can expect from you. What kind of content they can expect and when they can expect it. Consistency is crucial, and I would say it’s how I built my first 85,000 followers.

Authenticity. Be yourself. In my case, people know I’m dry and sarcastic. I have a specific point of view on certain topics. If I were to veer away from those topics or that tone, people would see through it and realize it was inauthentic. To be successful with content, it really must come from your soul in some way. Otherwise, it will come across as uninspired and you will lose your audience.

Experiment. Once you’ve done these three things, you can begin to try new things and expand the scope of your brand. Little by little, you can add things to your wheelhouse and over time, you will have more to consistently offer your audience.

Engage. Lastly, be human, and treat your audience as humans. Don’t just post and walk away; interact with them. Answer questions when they ask. Reply to comments. It’s not always possible to answer every comment or direct message but do what you can. The key to cultivating a large and active social media community is building relationships. It’s not difficult, but it takes time and effort.

What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?

Engagement is a huge part of this. But I also try to provide things to my audience that they don’t have to pay for. I’ve provided hiring trackers, email templates for salespeople, resources for finding jobs. Whatever industry you’re in, there are easy, tangible things you can provide your followers that will keep them coming back for more. I also take every opportunity to interact with people in person. If someone recognizes me and wants to take a photo, I will take the picture every single time. It’s a good chance to build that connection, be human and get inspiration from them! Many of them have gone through similar things with a different perspective and that can spark new ideas for me too.

As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

A corporate accountability movement. There’s very little accountability for these corporations that are often shady and corrupt. I’ve seen so many people’s lives get upended by layoffs due to poor decision-making. I’d love to see more accountability in the corporate world.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂

Elon Musk. I don’t agree with him in so many areas. But, I’d just love to know what he’s thinking. Is there intent behind what he’s doing? He’s obviously very smart, but I’d love to understand some of his decisions better. I’d also love to sit down with Will Ferrell. He went from an office job to being one of the kings of comedy in just a few years.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

All the socials: Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter

Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!