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Meet Goldie Chan, the Stanford grad and underground community builder who ditched her published geneticist life to grow and develop brands within Legendary Entertainment and the startup world. She is currently the Head of Content & Creative at confirm/deny where she helps big brands find their fandoms/communities through social media & PR, and serves on the Producer’s Guild of America’s New Media Council.
Her clients have spanned everything from youth brands to established tech giants and CEOs and have covered hundreds of millions of community members and over $7+ billion in revenue (from one startup alone!).
What are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Goldie Chan: I’m currently working on a series of Pop Culture Branding videos as one of the first people in the LinkedIn Video beta. I really love hearing why people have the fandoms and also share my own knowledge of historical context. Subjects so far include: Harry Potter, the Great American Road Trip, Anime in the US, History of Suburbs and more! I’ve committed to doing at least 30 days worth of these videos, so follow along on my LinkedIn to watch them!
How is your company different?
Goldie Chan: Well, I’m doing these videos as a fun way to “be a fan of your fandom.” A lot of my friends are making amazing explainer videos on LinkedIn on more technical subjects, so I thought I’d “break open” the beta with a “#walkntalk” series going around exploring interesting branding of pop culture/fandom goodness and make a much more casual and engaging kind of video.
I’m also doing these as a test run for my amazing creative agency – confirm/deny – an entertainment/lifestyle branding and PR agency that I run with my colleague, Christine Dinh.
What’s your dream with your company?
Goldie Chan: I would LOVE to figure out a way to make LinkedIn videos a more highly-produced Pop Culture Branding/Lore series and share people’s fandoms around the world. I was lucky enough to make it onto a great LinkedIn list as #2 voice to watch and also get quite a few shout-outs and requests for expertise.
And as always, would like to work with forward-thinking, fun clients with my agency (we’re already talking to a few and excited to announce some of that soon).
How do you creatively advertise?
Goldie Chan: I have been lucky enough to actually chat with the LinkedIn team but have been rounding up my friends and liking/commenting on their posts while they are generous enough to do the same on mine.
What are you known for?
Goldie Chan: I’m known for building community and connecting folks! I am strongest when I come from a place of being really excited about learning about someone’s interests and wants and then helping them get to where they want to go.
My video/content series has been doing great (over 15k views and counting) because I am asking people and sharing subjects that they have a personal fandom for. I’m also running a fun Patreon to help fund some of my video projects.
What were your biggest failure and biggest success? What did you learn from them?
Goldie Chan: Biggest failure is easy [laughs]. I was running my own fashion brand right out of college and about year 2, I got interest from a big box store. I panicked – looked for a business partner and couldn’t find one. I ended up having my first big nervous breakdown and ate peanut butter sandwiches and ramen while watching HGTV and playing SIMs. My friends pulled me out of it and I landed my first marketing job – completely unrelated to my Stanford Biology degree.
Learnings: That when you fall down, it’s okay to take a break BUT you need to get back up and be ready to tackle other big problems.
Biggest success? Can I be corny and say that it hasn’t happened yet?
One really amazing success was at one company where I was handling the US side of a 19 million dollar global customer base and I built a mentor program that increased initial site interaction by 30% so instead of seeing drop-off, I was personally getting really adorable happy notes from new users.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Goldie Chan: Stick with it. All of the startups that I’ve worked at – for the teams that were willing to be flexible and stick with it were the most successful.
Teach us something about having a healthy balance.
Goldie Chan: I’d like you to do this powerful meditation that I’ve been having other entrepreneurs and hard-working creatives do. Ready? [smiles]
Let’s do this together. [eyes closed]
One deep breath in, one deep breath out – repeat three times.
Imagine you are climbing up a high mountain, each step bringing you closer to the peak.
Keep. Breathing. Three breaths – in and out, evenly.
As you are halfway up, smile. You’re doing it. Keep your eye on the top of this mountain.
Keep. Breathing. Three breaths – in and out, evenly.
Imagine reaching the summit, one foot in front of the other. Stretch and stand tall, both hands on your hips.
You are amazing, wonderful and you can handle the rest of this week!
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Goldie Chan: I have actually been learning two things – one is video editing and better livestreaming (both on my nifty Mevo and also on my iPhone) and the second is even more balance. I’ve been trying to find a better balance between working crazy long hours and making more time for people that I really care for.
What do you think you do better than most people?
Goldie Chan: Listen carefully, read body language and develop a feeling of understanding. It definitely helps when I host meetups and people are introverted and honestly, a bit scared.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Goldie Chan: Building community. Speak to your community the way they want to be spoken to. Create personas that help you speak their language better. Share that language. Make them feel at home with your product and brand.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
Goldie Chan: Love this question! I don’t think we read enough books AT ALL. I also still love to read real paperback so that makes me pretty old-school.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo (this is the book I give to all of my interns and new employees)
SnotGirl – Brian Lee O’Malley (a hilarious take on the Instagram fashion influencer)
Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazi (the tile itself is worth it)
The Missing Piece – Shel Silverstein (for anyone that wants to be more okay running a business/life solo)
Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon (a good series of exercises to job creativity)
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
Goldie Chan: I will be creating even larger, more engaged communities and focusing on video content on social. I would really love to translate this current LinkedIn video idea to a wider audience format and also help other brands build their own fandoms.
I just completed a tour of the Bay Area (Silicon Valley/SF) and I’d certainly like to help some of the businesses that I visited (like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, AirBnb, etc) figure out new ways to grow their business and communities.