9: T-shirt Wearer Jason Surfrapp on What Doesn’t Work in Social Media


Lately it seems as though a lot of my first meeting stories began at VidCon. I’m hanging out at my first one in the Expo hall between sessions and a fellow attendee approaches. I instantly recognized him as Jason Sadler, who built a million dollar company by wearing companies’ T-shirts and promoting them on social media. It was our first in-person meeting and we realized that in networking today you tend to know more people by Twitter handles than real names. I recently brought him in as a keynote speaker for the 2014 Ohio Growth Summit, and he totally killed. Today, I had a lively exchange with Jason, now with the last name of Surfrapp because he sells his name to advertisers. For nearly an hour, we discussed our social media pet peeves and his recent visit to my awesome hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

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About Jason:

Jason SurfrApp (formerly Jason Headsetsdotcom & Jason Sadler) is the Founder of IWearYourShirt. In 2008 he recognized the growing influence of social media and decided he could utilize these platforms in a new and unique way, by getting paid to wear sponsored t-shirts for a living. He then started auctioning off his last name to the highest bidders, hence why he’s known as “Jason Surfrapp” this year. He has also written a crowdfunded book titled, “Creativity for Sale.” Because I’ve talked to Jason in a previous podcast about his story, I wanted to go in a different direction today. This episode is two passionate video and social media marketers rapping about where our industry is headed, for better or worse.


The Chat:


A First Thing:

We talk all the time about being different and standing out. But few have the courage to do it. Not Jason. From his business model to his book-writing career, Jason is as unconventional as they come. He calls himself an experimenter. Sometimes those tests work out; sometimes they bomb. Jason uses every opportunity he can to make connections. For example, when he’s invited to speak at a conference, he hangs out for awhile instead of flying in and out. “Public speaking gives me the opportunity to visit the cities, meet cool people and build relationships.”


A Big Thing:

We spent the bulk of this episode analyzing the heck out of the current state of social media. As somebody who built his brand and empire through social media, he’s now irked by how it’s deteriorating through over-commercialization and misuse. One of his pet peeves is people who overvalue likes and followers to the point of directing their audience from one platform to another. He said his click-through rate on Twitter is 0.001%, while it’s 12-20% when he uses email. Furthermore, social media platforms will eventually become irrelevant as new things pop up, so there’s little value in people who only follow you through Vine or Twitter. Marketers need to push people to email lists where they can always maintain contact regardless of what happens in the social space.


Book Recommendations:


Find Jason:



More Episodes:

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