Community + Content Creation with Shira Lazar
In this episode of Freedom with NFT’s Shira Lazar shares with us about:
- What she does before her Web3 journey
- Steps in Web3 Content Creation
- Pivoting from Web2 to Web3
- Tips about Creating a Community
- Supporting a Community
About Shira Lazar:
Shira Lazar is an Emmy nominated host and a Web3 Consultant. An advisor who has over a million followers across social media platforms. She has been doing digital media for the past 2 decades and she loves doing it. A multi-talented talk show host, passionate about impacting equity and connecting web2 to web3 audiences.
[00:00:00] Lauren Turton: Welcome back Freedom with NFTs. I’m your host, Lauren Turton. And it’s an honor to show up in this format for you. Today we have an incredible woman in web three, on our episode Shira Lazar, an Emmy-nominated host and a web three consultant and advisor who has over a million followers across social media platforms.
You’re a visionary, and you know, all is possible in the web 3 space. I welcome you to Freedom with NFTs. I’m Lauren Turton, and in each episode of Freedom with NFTs, I interview NFT enthusiasts who share their tools, tips, and tricks so you can dive even deeper into creating your version of Freedom with NFTs and web three technology. New episodes drop every Tuesday and Thursday. So hit subscribe so you can stay dialed into Freedom with NFTs.
Hi Shira! How are you today?
[00:00:55] Shira Lazar: I’m good. It’s great to be here with you. I mean, because I love your energy and vibe. And now it’s finally on your podcast. It’s so cool.
[00:01:04] Lauren Turton: It’s incredible because we’ve been able to meet IRL in real life after interacting with each other on socials, which I always love when I have someone on the show who I’ve met in real life. Because we’ve hugged each other. We’ve made eye contact with each other. And I’m excited to dig into today’s episode, because I know you’re going to share so many Golden Nuggets with the Freedom with NFT’s audience. I’m curious to know, what did you do before your web three journey?
[00:01:32] Shira Lazar: Yeah, I was in web two. That’s the thing before web three. I started a company called what’s trending, like over a decade ago, which is crazy. And we were one of the first publishers to cover social media culture and digital culture. So I had had my foot in traditional media and digital media for a lot of my career. I mean, I’ve been doing digital for almost two decades. And I’d wanted to be a host right and broadcaster, but I wasn’t necessarily getting accepted by traditional media. And so that led me to doing my own content online, which a lot of us get that we do that now. At the time, it was very industrious of me, right? People didn’t get why I was doing it. They’re like, Wait, who’s paying you to do this? I’m like, Well, I’m doing it on my own platforms, right? I’m doing it because I love doing this. I’m not going to wait for someone to tell me that I can do it and give me permission to do the things that I love, which I think a lot of people get that and have that mentality now. But again, early on, it was so unique to do that, right. And so that led me to one being a digital vlogger at CBS News way back, I was hosting a lot of content for some of the top websites from you know, yahoo.com to oh my god, like hollywood.com to Verizon V cast, which was a thing way back, like literally, I worked for every major site doing entertainment news, but I wasn’t really passionate about that. And that led me down the digital culture route. But you know, what’s trending, we started a decade ago with CBS News, we went off on our own and built that over a decade, and not just into a live show that at the time, got nominated for an Emmy and won lots of awards. But we evolved more into a company. And so I led that, and that forced me to become an entrepreneur in many ways. At the time, I looked at myself just as talented as a host. But when we ended up separating from CBS, it threw me into an entrepreneurship journey. And so, you know, I was doing that. And then also I, the past few years, I got hired to host an afternoon drive show for an LGBTQ music and talk station. So you know, I think for me what I’m passionate about, and this kind of hits even into the web three stuff that I do, I’m passionate about ways to bridge the gap between early adopter movements and mainstream and pop culture audiences. And also, I’m really passionate about impacting equity, and bringing that into every space that I’m in. So that’s kind of like, has been part of my background. And then as I entered web three, it became like, oh, so I get digital culture. I really care about emerging tech. I love media, and then I care about making a difference. So you know, I found myself in all those worlds right here and web three.
[00:04:33] Lauren Turton: Thank you so much for sharing about your background. I’m so excited to get
[00:04:36] Shira Lazar: into law. Sorry, that was a bit of a rant but yeah, you get it.
[00:04:40] Lauren Turton: Now is wonderful. I’m excited to get into content creation later on with you. But before we go down that rabbit hole, tell me about when you first heard about NFT’s
[00:04:51] Shira Lazar: Oh my god. Yeah. So it was a year ago or so. So during the pandemic, I started a company called peace inside live We became basically a digital wellness studio during the pandemic, with mindfulness meditation movement classes over zoom. And we started doing classes for corporate as well peace inside the workplace. And so actually a friend of ours who had started NFT and NFT LA Josh Krieger had some people who knew who are starting an NFT, and they needed wellness experiences in their discord. And that was done amongst NFT. And that was the first time I heard about NFTs. I kind of heard about it through Gary Vaynerchuk. But that was the first time that I was really invited to work within a community. And I thought that was really cool. And also give a shout out to Kirti bots, on Twitter, also Kurt, who is an amazing, amazing Dev and engineer. And I’ve known like, since way back in the web two days, and I also saw what he was doing. But at the time, I didn’t really know what I could do or how I could get involved. So that was kind of the first time I heard about it. And then, you know, before the end of the year, like around Thanksgiving, 2021 a lot of my friends from clubhouse started hosting Twitter spaces. And because I had a following already on Twitter, they started asking me if I could host with them, you know, in exchange for an NFT. Or, you know, they were asking me also to consult with their projects. And I was like, Whoa, what is all this stuff, this is crazy. And then that’s like how it became a bit more real from even the pieces inside stuff we were doing.
[00:06:36] Lauren Turton: And since pivoting into the web three space, what’s been one of your favorite things about web three versus web two,
[00:06:45] Shira Lazar: oh, my God, I am so energized by creative communities, people that are really trying to go against the grain and build new models and paradigms for work in life. So right away, you give me that and I’m like I’m in, right. So I just love this blend of the tech community and the creative community and the entrepreneurial community all mixed into mixed together, which is really like what I love personally. So it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this. And then also the idea that, you know, we can use these technologies and communities to create real impact, whether it be for fundraising, or for putting a spotlight on voices that deserve to be heard, that weren’t necessarily welcomed into these spaces previously. That’s something that is so important to me. And I’m just like, I’m honored that I get to be part of spaces that really prioritize that.
[00:07:37] Lauren Turton: Shira, why are you so passionate about supporting and educating others? You’ve been doing it for so long? Now? Where does that drive come from?
[00:07:47] Shira Lazar: Oh, my God, just share gifts with the world. Like we’re all here. We each have a gift. And so why would we keep it to ourselves, right? If we know something cool, if we know something that could help others, why not share it with someone. And then part of sharing is figuring out ways to communicate that meeting people where they’re at. And so, you know, that excites me. And then also that moment where someone has that aha moment, and they get it. It’s just so energizing, I get an adrenaline rush from that. Because that means like you’re passing it on, right? Sharing is caring. And that becomes a domino effect. Because when you empower someone, they get to empower someone else.
[00:08:27] Lauren Turton: Absolutely. Absolutely Shira. I’m just so thrilled to have you on right now. And I know the freedom with NFTs audience is going to be vibe. And as they listen to all of your juicy golden nuggets. I’m curious to know what tips you’d like to give us for content creation.
[00:08:45] Shira Lazar: First things first is to figure out something you’re really passionate about, like what’s that thing that you’re obsessed with? That even your friends are like, Okay, we get it, you get and understand this way too much. Like that’s the thing you probably should be creating content around. And so once you realize what that one thing is, it’s also about figuring out a strategy of like, where do we want to put that content and what works with that, finding other accounts and people who are doing similar things. But using that as inspiration, there’s no point in copying what someone else is doing, because they’re already doing that. It’s about saying, Okay, here’s the best practices, here’s what you might like, what you don’t like, and then using the things you like to build your own strategy around. And then it’s about being consistent, right, creating a workflow for you, that makes sense. So you can build something in a sustainable way and not get burnt out. And then, you know, say tweaking along the way, right. So not getting too stuck in your strategy and saying, Okay, I’m gonna learn along the way, as you see what works and what doesn’t. Oh, and one more thing I realized, co-creation and collaboration, right? Because none of us can create and build in a bubble alone. And so really thank you for connecting with people who are like minded and have similar values and possibly similar content and audiences, and figuring out ways to add value to what they’re doing instead of just taking is super important.
[00:10:16] Lauren Turton: Thank you. Shira. Thank you. What came up for me when you’re answering that question is, I’m curious to know, when you pivoted into the web three space and started creating web three content? What did you go through during that pivot?
[00:10:16] Shira Lazar: Well, for me, you know, I had already been creating a lot of content in web two, from what’s trending digital culture content, obviously, I host an LGBTQ news and taxation. So that’s the whole thing. And then on my personal platforms, I was creating a lot around wellness, because that’s something that I hear a lot about, it’s a never ending journey. So I’m always going to be sharing probably a bit of that. And so, you know, I’d already established all those workflows. So for me, it was saying, Okay, I’m interested in this one subject matter right now. And I’m, I believe in this, what does that mean, in terms of what I’m producing around it? And the content you see now isn’t necessarily the content that I started out with, right? It’s layered. So first, I looked at the low-hanging fruit. I said, Okay. Twitter spaces is poppin. So I’m going to, I’m going to start doubling down on Twitter spaces. And so what does that mean? I’m going to create a schedule. It’s like programming, right? You’re your own, like, programming production company network. So you got to have a sit down meeting with yourself, or who else is on your team? And have a bit of a meeting around it? Right? Like, what does this mean in terms of what we want to bring audiences? And what makes sense for you in terms of that, right? So for me, I said, Okay, I want to do Mondays and Wednesdays, Mondays, Alfa Mondays, because women web three Wednesdays kind of started hitting. And I love that. And that became my space for women and women identifying and non non binary individuals. But then I wanted to have another day where I could showcase other types of projects and leaders in the space. So those became my two days. Then I said, Okay, well, Twitter, I’m, I’m sharing, I’m creating content. I’m following people. What am I doing on Instagram right now? So Instagram became secondary, right? And I kept on having people ask me, you know, oh, it’d be cool to do like the stories of the week, blah, blah, blah. Do you have any examples of that, that you’ve done? And I’m like, this, this industry just started. We mean, I have examples like, what do you think I’ve been doing this for years. I’m like, listen to my twitter spaces, go check out my Twitter, talk to me in person, you’ll see I know what I’m talking about, you know, I’ve been doing on-air for almost two decades. And sometimes that’s not good enough for people, you need to spoon-feed people what you want them to see, right and who you are and what your brand is. So I decided I was like, Okay, I’m going to do this Friday show, or Friday video, top five stories, the week, one minute long. I need to shoot it on Thursday to edit it and upload it on Friday. Right? So that became that and like, so it’s like, it’s a step, right, you’re not going to always do everything at once. Once you accomplish one thing, then you, you know, you increase that and you add to that workflow. So that’s what works for me. And then what happens is you start getting comments and feedback from the community and questions. And you might add that to saying, Okay, now I’m gonna respond to people, or I’m going to tweak from there. So I don’t know if that answered your question. But that’s like how I started that segue. It wasn’t overnight. It happened over a few months, even though I think to some people who are watching, it felt like it happened overnight.
[00:13:43] Lauren Turton: I appreciate your answer. And the reason why I asked that is because so many of the Freedom with NFTs audience members are newer to the web three and NFTs. And they’re getting into content creation, because they are either a part of a project or they’ve started a project. And I think it’s really important to hear from someone like you who has over a million followers across the various platforms, your step by step and that breakdown. So thank you for sharing what you went through during that process.
[00:14:12] Shira Lazar: And one more thing that’s really important that really helped establish what I’m doing in this space, and that led to more consulting deals and advising was creating content and sharing content of what I was doing at different events, right? You might think that, oh, it’s narcissistic, or Oh, I feel like I’m like over promoting myself. But the only way people get to understand who you are, is by seeing you in action doing it. Right. Like, you can’t assume that people understand what you’re trying to do in your brand unless you put it out there in a very, very clear way. And so that’s what I started doing. Right? And it’s actually not that new Gary Vaynerchuk does pretty much as a brand right now But we might see that and not get how we could do the same thing. So how I did that was one, you know, taking content at the events, I was at the panels, I was on the conferences, and a little hack, if you’re not going to get the audio from those even doing a montage, like putting clips together of you doing that do an action with some pop ups even shows that you’re there and doing it right. And that is really beneficial. So the minute I started doing that, and being consistent about it, one it showed people Oh, I could hire you for events, oh, you MC you speak. And then it also established me as a thought leader in this space. And so then people say, okay, oh, I could hire you now for this because that is what you’re showing me, you’re doubling down on it, I see that you care, I see that you love it, I see that you’re good at it. Come do it. For me.
[00:15:58] Lauren Turton: This episode of Freedom with NFT’s was funded through a grant from the NEAR foundation. To learn more about how the near foundation is building the future of the Creator economy, visit near.org N E A R dot O R G.
Wonderful, so much value in what you just shared Shira. Thank you so much. I want to go into the second part of content creation. And what happens when you start creating content is you start creating community. So talk to us about creating community, any tips or advice that you’d give for that?
[00:16:38] Shira Lazar: Yeah, community can be challenging, because you can put up a lot of content and do a lot of things and have a lot of followers doesn’t equate to community. And this is the very tricky part. You know, community involves real really connecting. It’s not just posting, but it’s really interacting with people day to day, following people interacting with their content, and in an authentic way, right. And then I would also say, really, where a community get strengthened to the next level is also offline. I’ve always been a big proponent of being in person and being at events and meeting people in person. Because whether someone maybe knew who you were, or follow you, it gets strengthened when they meet you in person, they see the person behind all this stuff. So that’s really important, too. But yeah, that that really is about connection, interactivity and consistency as well. And you continue to be in the places that other people are at
[00:17:43] Lauren Turton: what communities support you. So you get support. And
[00:17:49] Shira Lazar: oh, yeah, and then I would say it’s like an adding value. Right? It’s it goes back to not just taking but giving to it’s like that give and receive mode, right? Because if you’re always asking people to help you and it’s all about you, or you’re just in promotion and shell mode of you and your project that does not build community, you’re basically like, poster, like your promo image, right? Like no one really wants to connect with that when you’re building community even if you have a project you are definitely sharing what you’re up to. But you’re also doing more than that and you’re also promoting others so I want to say that but what community support me oh my god, I feel like supported by you Lauren like I mean doc piece like I feel supported by you know, minutiae single serving by apt I social fans, I get I feel supported by everyone who one pitches me people to include in my spaces, who shares my content, who comments on my content, I also feel very supported. I’ll give a shout out to the BFF community. I’m a founding member of BFF. I’ve also worked with the house of first community. I’m trying to think so many, like, I can’t even like anyone who has hired me or worked with me or just like, been there to support the work that I do. Really, they’re part of my community. And that means a lot. I’m super grateful for that. Even you know, Gary Vee and his team, right? Like that means a lot for them to bring me out to Minneapolis for VeeCon put me on a bunch of panels. Like I would say, there’s so much that goes into building community that you don’t even see even behind the scenes, the calls and connections like, you know, not just connecting digitally and virtually but actually, as I said, getting to know people like setting up a call to say hey, we follow each other but like I would like to get to know you more. I’ll give a shout out to like salon step for that too. Like we’re two women that had been in the space and yet can I would say connection and friendship and camaraderie is built when you share vulnerably with each other right when you’re hitting each other up like asking each other for advice. about what’s happening. That’s where like more of that long term connection is built that is very meaningful.
[00:20:07] Lauren Turton: Absolutely, I know what I did with you, after meeting you in person, I was like, ask for her phone number, and ask for your phone number. And then I sent you, I think five voice notes with everything that I had going on. I was like, I’m just, I’m just gonna do it. And I was nervous, because I was like, you know, this is someone that I’ve connected with online, I’d like to take this relationship further. And I know I need to put in the effort. And those steps, and I sent you these five long voice notes. And then I didn’t hear from you for for a couple of weeks. And I was like, she’s busy. But don’t, don’t be sorry. Because that’s also part of what happens in web three. We’re all so busy, we have so much going on. And it’s a lesson in that, you know, I could have gotten upset or offended that you didn’t get back to me, but I just thought no, she’s doing her thing. And she’ll circle back when she’s ready. And then when you did, you’re like, Lauren, thank you so much for sending me that information. Now I know more about you now. And from there, we were able to connect further. And I’m sharing this because I want the Freedom with NFT’s audience to know what you just talked about with Swan sit like YouTube connecting with each other authentically being vulnerable, me reaching out to you saying, Hey, can I get your phone number, I’m gonna send you these voice messages and then waiting patiently for you to respond to me, that was all part of the process of us strengthening our relationship from online to IRL to following up after to here we are on the podcast,
[00:21:31] Shira Lazar: you mentioned something really important. And that’s in the Four Agreements, this book, which I recommend everyone read, but it’s one to not take things personally and not to make assumptions. Like, you don’t know what I could have been going through when you messaged me, right? And so it’s like, give people the benefit of the doubt, even if you’ve been hurt before. And that’s really difficult, because we all have our stories, and we all have our own insecurities and like what we’ve been through in the past, but try to allow people to, you know, show up in the way that makes sense for them. And also don’t create assumptions on this story of what you think is happening. Because a lot of times you won’t have an instinct around things. But a lot of times, there’s more going on, you don’t know. Right? And so I think that it doesn’t hurt one to lean in. And like yeah, like reach out to someone, text them, you can DM them, and then give them some time. And it’s okay to ping them. A lot of times someone will message me, I’ll be in the middle of something. And in my head, I say, oh, message them back. And I completely forget, forget, and then I move on with my day. So it doesn’t hurt to remind someone, hey, just checking if you saw this, if this is aligned, all good. If not, it’s fine. Right? Like, that’s okay. And then what I’ve noticed, including in this space, or any space that is really growing very rapidly, a lot of people are busy, there’s a bit of a new star structure that’s starting to emerge, realize is that a lot of people are very overwhelmed. And there’s a lot going on. And a lot of times, you know, building a relationship means you showing up and someone seeing you consistently in the spaces that they’re in to build that trust. So you might meet someone, and guess what they might not care to connect with you, they might kind of give you the cultural shoulder. And, you know, I would encourage you not to judge that. There’s a lot of people that that person is seeing that they’re meeting with. But guess what, the more you show up in spaces that they’re in, the more you say, Hi, oh, I was in that space. And the more it’s in a time period, that’s like a shorter time period, I bet you that, you know, then that person understands that you’re in a certain context for them. And you’re connecting and connected in spaces that they are in, and they’re more likely to end up connecting with you. And that’s just like human behavior, right? Like, we connect with people that we feel are safe, that we feel are in our quote unquote, tribe, and community. And if you show that you are in that in a consistent way, they are more likely to want to connect with you and like move that relationship forward. And so whenever I meet someone now, the first time I know that I’m not going to necessarily like be their best friend, that would be if anything weird, right? And I know that I’m not going to necessarily unless I have a very clear thing I’m working on now that I I think that they would be great for I’m not going to maybe necessarily even pitch them. I’m gonna wait to that second or third time or even a DM where I’m like, Great meeting you. And by the way, I didn’t want to bring this up in person but like, we’d love to talk to you about this at a certain point. Like not everything needs to be this hard pitch. You’ve got to read the room. Like this is where emotional and social intelligence comes in. Because if you hard pitch or you’re just thinking about your own stuff, and it’s like you get obsessed, that is a turn off. It’s like an attachment theory. And you are the anxious Attach in that person, and ultimately that person is probably going to step back. So those are also some things to take into account.
[00:25:09] Lauren Turton: Thank you, Shira. I’m so happy with everything we’ve been talking about so far on the episode. Now I want to get into what are you working on? What are you doing in the web three space?
[00:25:20] Shira Lazar: Well, so much as I mentioned, base or I was like checking my oh my god, I was making sure that I knew how to tell PM. Let me let me start. Like, make sure I’m not missing much well, okay. Lots going on in the space. As I mentioned throughout the podcast, I have my Twitter spaces Alpha Mondays, 6pm Pacific 9pm Eastern women went through weekly on Wednesday, 6pm, Pacific 9pm. Eastern, also do on Fridays, my top five NFT stories of the week on my social media at Shira Lazar on Instagram. And I’m just launching a new weekly show called the inside web three, where we look at the top headlines in web three that week also. But we interview newsmakers and leaders in this space too. So that is a an actual show on the radio terrestrial old school radio that’s airing on FM stations in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. So Lauren, when you’re in San Diego, San Diego, you’ll be able to hear it on Sunday mornings. And then that show will be available as a podcast as well. So that is called inside web three. And hopefully that becomes the place that you can just like listen to that it’s 27 minutes long, and get a sense of everything that happened in the worlds of web three. That’s NFTs crypto the metaverse that week.
And finally, if anyone’s working on projects or anything in the space or have teams who want to integrate wellness into what you’re doing the definitely hit me up because we’re doing a lot at peace inside live to integrate wellness into the web three space.
[00:26:54] Lauren Turton: Amazing. You’re doing so much in the space. You’re truly an innovator you have been for so long, it’s such an honor to have you on Freedom with NFsS before we wrap this episode up any final thoughts you’d like to leave the audience with?
[00:27:09] Shira Lazar: Oh, my God, I would just say just stay curious. Right? Stay curious. And also believe in yourself. Remember, your mind is a very powerful thing. So don’t let your mind bring you to a dark place. Because it will and make sure you have a routine and tools to help you when you are in that space. So you can best take advantage of this present moment and the life that we’re in in this moment that we’re in to take care of yourself as we all continue to grow in this space.
[00:27:39] Lauren Turton: Thank you, Shira and how can we find you on social media you mentioned earlier? You spell that for us?
[00:27:46] Shira Lazar: Yeah, S H I R A L A Z (as in Zebra) A R.
[00:27:51] Lauren Turton: Thank you, Shira. It’s been such a blast to have you on Freedom with NFTs. Freedom with NFT’s audience you know the drill, share this episode with your community so that we can educate in on more and more people into the space. And as always get informed and get involved. That’s all for now. We’ll see you on the next episode. I’m your host, Lauren Turton. And it’s been an honor to show up for you in this format, and support you on your journey and creating your version of Freedom with NFTs and web three technology. Please share this episode with your community so we can onboard and educate more people so that the masses could leverage and implement this technology. And don’t forget, get informed and get involved.
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