What Salesforce Admins Can Learn From Old Town Road


Every year since I can’t even remember when, it seems we have a new meme song. You know, a song that gets played over and over and becomes the soundtrack for the year. Ever been Rickrolled? Remember doing the Macarena? What about Gangnam style? Well, 2019 has picked its song: “Old Town Road” by artist Lil Nas X. As of May of this year, it was the number one song in the world. The world—holy cow, that’s huge!

But what I’m guessing you didn’t hear is the story behind the song. To be clear, I was in a car in London when I first heard the song, then proceeded to listen to it a few thousand times after that. And it was only on the plane ride home when I stumbled across this New York Times video article about it. But I’m not here to go on about how the creation of music has changed or about the new mediums that allow artists like Lil Nas X to create songs like this. (All of which I think are simply amazing.) After watching the video, I immediately thought, “There is a lot an Admin can learn from the story and creation of this song.”

So let’s look at what a Salesforce Admin can learn from Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road.” And see how we can apply those concepts to continue to learn and elevate our position in our companies and communities.

Engage on your platform of choice

I’ll be honest. I think I’m too old for TikTok and, quite frankly, until I read about this song, I had no idea it existed. But like other social media platforms, it’s big with a group of people. Maybe you have heard of it? I’m sure by this time next year I’ll look back on this article and laugh. We can have a whole discussion of social platforms another time. One thing I’ve learned working in the Salesforce ecosystem is that you can’t be everywhere, so be where you are most comfortable. Most likely, there are other Salesforce Admins there who can help or point you to resources. Lil Nas X and producer YoungKio were all on their platforms of choice—buying, producing, and sharing—and the connection happened. And in the Salesforce ecosystem, it’s the same way. You don’t have to be on every platform, but rather the platform you are most comfortable with. From there, the ecosystem will find you.

Others can help you create your vision

I find it really inspiring that “Old Town Road” is made from music created by other artists. I’ve always marveled at someone’s creativity in knowing and understanding something so deeply that they can create something else with it. In the case of “Old Town Road,” YoungKio put a sample out there, and Lil Nas X purchased it and turned it, along with his lyrics, into his vision for a song.

In the Salesforce community, we have lots of people who can help you with your vision. For instance, we have the AppExchange so that you don’t have to start from scratch when creating an app. And, if you engage on your platform of choice, you can find others who can help answer your questions or give you ideas to solve your problems. And I’d like to think that using a few AppExchange apps to deliver a solution to my company is kind of like remixing other people’s songs. Right?

Help promote who helped you

Reading through this Billboard article, I learned there is a whole community of producers who create beats. When “Old Town Road” started to get a lot of attention, the producer of the main beat contacted the creator and asked for help being promoted.

I think the same applies to Salesforce Admins. If there is someone in the community who provided you with a solution, it’s worth taking a moment and thanking them publicly. Maybe it’s an app on the AppExchange? Give them a review or email them some ideas to make the app better. What’s important, as a Salesforce Admin, is that you take a moment to help promote someone who helped you the most.

Those are my three takeaways for Salesforce Admins and a bit of pop culture on the side. Is there something you think Admins can learn from “Old Town Road”? Be sure to share it with us in the comments, or on Twitter with the hashtag #AwesomeAdmin.

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