Buster Scher is many, many things. Influencer. Podcaster. Businessman. Consultant. But first and foremost, Buster Scher is a basketball fan...a HUGE basketball fan.
Scher built a social media empire talking about and posting content around his biggest passion, the National Basketball Association. When Scher started Hoops Nation, he didn't pay attention to likes, followers, or comments. Instead, he focused on creating content about a sport he loved and did it on a platform that he and his friends used as a primary place of communication. He did it for free and he did it for the love of the game.
Eventually, his passion led to followers and followers attracted advertisers and paid public speaking and personal appearance opportunities. And before he turned 17 years old, a business was formed...all by following and talking about his passion.
Now, he has well over a million followers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and millions of downloads on his podcast (which is now daily).
Scher is the epitome of the millennial entrepreneur. It didn't happen overnight. It didn't happen by going viral. Scher's massive social media following and business is a result of identifying new trends, grinding on a daily basis, following his passion, and doing it until his dreams became a reality.
Bill Enright: You love basketball, and you turned your love of basketball, your passion into a business model. Why is that so important?
Buster Scher: Uh, I think, you know, whatever your greatest passion is, you should figure out a way to turn that into a business, because why wouldn't you want your biggest passion to be your business?
Bill Enright: How did you kind of capture that? Is it just something that you grew up with, and it was just a natural element to say, “Hey, I'm going to start posting on Facebook.” And then, when Instagram was born, “I'm going to start posting on Instagram.” What, what led to the social media aspect of it?
Buster Scher: That's a great question. I think I was just on Facebook, because that's where all the class groups were at the time, and that's how I kept in touch with friends, so it seemed like the only place to consume content. I didn't think about websites, I didn't think about, you know, TV, I didn't think about any of that, I really just thought about, “Oh, this is where me and my friends talks, and this is where me and my friends are.” Uh, so I started posting there, and then, eventually Snapchat came around, and Snapchat, I thought it was, “Oh, this is the biggest thing ever.” Because, that's, this is where me and my friends now communicate, so I have to be on Snapchat.
Buster Scher: So, I built up a Snapchat audience, and then, eventually, got to the point, I think I was a little late to it, but I joined it at the end of 2016, on Instagram, which now looking back was early, but at the time I thought it was late. I think they had just released, uh, the video feature.
Bill Enright: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Buster Scher: Um, so it was, uh, you know, it was still early, but at the time I felt like it was late, but I started an Instagram, and you know, this past summer, fast forward, kind of the new big platform TikTok, so jumping over there, um, and getting going there, but it really just came down to being easy, free, and where me and my friends communicate.
Bill Enright: So, let's talk about making money, and I don't expect you to get into dollars and cents, but how does Buster Scher make money off of his various social media platforms?
Buster Scher: Yeah, so I think the easy one is, uh, advertising, so obviously, on any platform, I could place an ad, whether that be music, or for a brand, whether that be me personally, or whether that be Hoops Nation, or other platforms. Um, you know, you can always do stuff like that. I also help artists, so like, especially, hip hop artists. I'll help them with their campaigns, both using my platform and helping, you know, distribute that to some of my friends platforms. Um, I do consulting, public speaking, and all that kind of stuff. Show hosting for the NBA, and, and other companies. Um, so I- it's a little bit of a combination of all that, and a couple other things, but, um, those, those that's the meat of it.
Bill Enright: Let's talk about dollars and cents now. Your first advertising for an Instagram post, how much has that gone up since when you first started to get someone interested in advertising on your account?
Buster Scher: To give context here, I moved from Brooklyn to Connecticut after my freshman year of high school, and I started doing radio broadcasting, and I started like getting comfortable on air doing talking, and I took that right over to Facebook live. I started doing Facebook live right when it dropped. I remember, um, they didn't allow you to do it in the U.S. so I had to make a fake account that said I was from a country that they were doing a... they were like beta testing in. Said I was from there, and started doing Facebook live, and then, shared that, and it was like me, and the big news channels that were live. No one else had the feature (laughs) so, uh, I was doing that, and all these big, big basketball pages were like, “Yo, this is dope.” 'Cause I was going on, and doing Q&As when nobody else could.
Buster Scher: Um, and they would have me do the Q&As on their pages, and they would offer to pay me whatever, $10, like whatever (laughs) whatever it was at the time I'm sh- that was a lot to me, because when you're not making anything $10 is in- is infinity. Um, but, uh, I always said, “No, thank you. I would just like to be able to promote my own accounts.” Um, so I, I would be on these streams, just promoting the hell out of Hoops Nation (laughs) you know, every five, every five seconds. Um, and I, in between questions and stuff like that, and that, that definitely spiked the growth, but, um, early on, I really didn't ask, I really didn't take money for ads. I don't think I really charged until it was like, it was a couple hundred thousand followers on Instagram, 500,000 on Facebook, and at that point, you know, I was charging like a hundred dollars plus, and, and, you know, for a post, you know, back then.
Bill Enright: Buster, incredible story. Absolutely great. A lot of, a lot of learning lessons in there too, so we appreciate your time.
Buster Scher: Thank you for having me.
Watch More Sport of Money Interviews on TheStreet.com:
- Sport of Money: How This CEO Turned His Passion for Gaming Into a Career in Esports
- Sport of Money: What Poker Taught Author Maria Konnikova About Life, Luck, Winning and Losing
- Sport of Money: How David Robinson's Business Found a Solution for America's Schooling Problem
- David Robinson Built His Business on Integrity and Compassion: Sport of Money
- Sport of Money: Baron Davis on Being an Entrepreneur and the Importance of Learning and Listening