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Interview: Tanner Swift With The Joe Budden Network

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Tanner Swift is the social media manager and digital content strategist for The Joe Budden Podcast & The Joe Budden Network. Tanner’s experiences with the podcast include aiding in the outlines of the “Pull-Up” series Budden has which featured the likes of Russ and Megan Thee Stallion on the JoeBuddenTV YouTube account and creating fan engagement through a series of videos clips, polls, and other methods of community engagement.

Prior to the JBP, Tanner worked with the Cisco company in social media engagement and support along with covering athletics for Carson-Newman University. In 2019, Tanner received an MBA with a focus on Marketing as a Graduate Assistant in the Athletic Communications department at Carson-Newman University​ in the spring of 2019.

To interview Tanner on this platform is an honor because labels and crews can always utilize someone who is profound within marketing and very strategic with how to push one's content online. He has created some of the famous graphics featured on the JBP social media accounts and with his alma mater which you can see throughout reading the interview.

From when the "JBP Boyz" left the Spotify business

The graphic was used to celebrate when the Joe Budden Instagram page @joebuddenpod reached one hundred thousand followers.

Jay: Within your experiences prior to the JBP, what were some lessons you learned about how to observe and formulate strategies for companies to create and improve fan engagement?

Tanner: Listening to your customers and fans is one of the most important aspects when formulating strategies as a company. You can find out pretty quickly what does and doesn’t work, and you have to observe those comments and responses on nearly every social media platform to get a sense of what the most common talking points are. This is especially important in circumstances where people may be spending money to support you or any product/service you are providing.

I think some companies get caught up in sounding like robots on social media. You need to build a relationship with your fans and have some sort of personality or they can feel like their voice isn’t being heard and it is just a dull overall feeling on social platforms.

Content is everything. Learn what sticks, break down the numbers and statistics that come from your social media pages, and be ready to reshape how you do things if it comes to it. Some companies get so caught up in a social plan that they refuse or lack the ability to shift and tweak things over time. Social Media is evolving day by day. Make sure you’re prepared to deal with it.

Jay: Tell me more about what led you to obtain your MBA. What led you to pursue that field?

Tanner: It’s humorous to me when I speak about completing my MBA in Marketing because that was never the intention. In 2015, I completed my undergraduate degree in Sport Management from Western Carolina. I told myself I was never going back to school. I wanted to work right away and get all the experience I could and continue to put money away to build my future. Two years later, I found myself working as a Graduate Assistant in the Athletic Communications department at a Division II school in Tennessee (Carson-Newman). It wasn’t ideal to balance 60+ hours a week in the office with school on top of it. I knew this would be the case from the start, but I also knew that if I wanted to put myself in a better position down the road with any job opportunities, I wanted to make myself as flexible as possible.

I wanted to have that opportunity where my wide range of skillsets can be plugged in at nearly any position because you never know what a company’s needs may be, which can make you just as valuable to the next person. For example, I worked with Cisco for 13 months in a Social Media Engagement & Support role. I had zero experience in IT, but they liked my resume and what I brought to the table.

All in all, I was proud to say that I became the first person in my family to get a Master's Degree. I remember being told numerous times that if ever find a company or school that is dumb enough to pay for your degree, it is something to consider.

Jay: What was the best no that you have received in your profession and why?

Tanner: I got laid off from my job with Cisco due to budgets/COVID in October of 2020. Ever since then I have been applying for other work while still managing my role with The Joe Budden Podcast which I started in March of 2018. I have applied for so many jobs since then that I lost count. Every day just grinding away and it is exhausting, it is frustrating, it is draining. I used every single email that told me I “wasn’t qualified” for the job I applied for as a chip on my shoulder because in reality, the work those companies offered was right in my lane and I was irritated by the responses.

I knew eventually that someone would appreciate what I could bring to the table on day one and I knew that I would follow through when given that opportunity. All those “no’s” in the job search process have allowed me to grow in the space I am now, which in turn, has given me the opportunity to learn and take on new responsibilities. Sometimes the no’s are both aggravating and a blessing at the same time. It makes things easier once you understand that they can coexist.

Jay: In the world of music culture, what are some flaws you see social media pages do with their marketing?

Tanner: In some marketing aspects, you need to think from the fans' perspective on what type of content would be appealing to them. It goes hand in hand with my earlier comment about finding ways not to ignore your fan base and to be honest, a good number of these companies aren’t doing enough to promote their artists. That goes for all artists, not just your big names.

For example, how many times have you seen your favorite artist's project promoted or lack thereof? How many times did you have zero clue someone was releasing a project? How many times do you go to a streaming service and find it difficult to find those records? It’s flawed and can be a disservice to those artists who are already being taken advantage of economically by labels or whoever it may be.

I applied for a marketing role with Roc Nation a couple of months back and made it through to the next round twice. Each application had you answer some questions on how you would go about marketing a DJ Khaled album or how you would do a rollout in seven days, so it is an area they are wanting to pay attention to, I just think the execution could be better.

Jay: On your website, you have a Redbull Wingfinder assessment. It is a personality assessment that focuses on your strengths, the things that you’re naturally inclined to be good at, and gives you the tools and coaching to be even better developed by the team of Redbull and several psychology professors. Who would you recommend this assessment for and what have you learned from that assessment about yourself? How does that assessment carry over to your profession?