Brandon Mendelson is a social media success story and guru. Not what anyone expected from him…not at all. As Brandon puts it, “I was functionally retarded until college.” What Brandon did have was a lot of energy, great ideas and passion. Plus, he saw something that others didn’t.
What he saw was a new way to communicate. While he was a student at SUNY Potsdam, he started with what he calls “socail publishing”. During his time there he created TV, radio and other online media. He is also the architect of the High Five Tour. While piloting the High Five Tour concept, Brandon and his wife traveled America to promote the early detection and prevention of cancer, using social media to communicate and gather a following to promote their cause. The result got Brandon listed as on Twitter’s Suggested User List (February 2009 to August 2009). He was the first non-celebrity to gain over 1/2 million followers.
This is the point when Brandon realized his brand was worth something and that he could use it to do good. “When we crossed 500,000 people following me on Twitter, I realized at that point that there was no going back and that, while I’m sure there’s a lot of spam and junk accounts in there, people were following us because we were helpful and trustworthy.”
Wow – being helpful and trustworthy? What a terrific concept – novel, clever and so…unexpected.
“For our company, Earth’s Temporary Solution, it’s trust and usefulness. Our goal is to empower others to help those in need. In the not-for-profit world there’s a lot of mistrust and people looking to make a quick buck on willing, happy people, so as a for-profit, we want people to trust us and know we are providing them with the right tools to do the greatest good.”
With the success of A Million High Fives, Brandon expanded his focus and is now a columnist for The Huffington Post, the Albany Times Union, and CNN.com. Not exactly what I call mediocre.