Buster Frierson is a man that you simply don’t forget. Whether it be his physical presence, big personality, or infectious laugh, he makes a lasting impression on everyone he comes across…even if it’s through a screen.
Buster boasts thousands and thousands of followers across all of his social platforms and it seems like everything he does turns to gold because of that special touch that only he has. How does a rough and tough cowboy that spends his days fixing fence and tending to cattle build such a wildly successful social media presence?
Buster has always been involved in ranch rodeos and has a string of top hand titles to prove it. He’s been blessed to have good horses and win some pretty big events in the ranch rodeo and double mugging world. His outgoing personality his bigger than he is if you can believe that. He lives his life trying to be kind to everyone that deserves it and uphold what many consider to be the last of a dying breed. He has somehow managed to capture all of that and portray it on social media in a way that makes people want to live vicariously through him.
It wasn’t until Buster’s future business partner, Bert Kuntz, came to work for Buster around 2015 that the social media wheel began to turn. Buster had a personal Facebook to keep up with friends and family like most people do, but Bert was actually the one that signed Buster up for Instagram. Bert has a pretty large following so people found Buster through him as well as through Dale Brisby when Buster eventually made friends with DB.
As Buster’s social media following continued to take off, he and Bert came up with the idea of Bison Union. Bert actually drew the logo in the dust on the flatbed of Buster’s truck, had the original design made up, and they sold 200 shirts on Facebook in just 33 minutes.
The demographic the pair had hit was a mixture of military and agriculture; a group of people that are fiercely loyal and protective of their values. Bison Union now has a line of apparel, caps, coffee, Americana dry goods, and much more that all started from one design that read, “Protect what you love.”
By this point, Buster had a pretty good handle on his personal brand and knew how to market but still relate his real life to people on the other side of a screen. He recalls that American Hat Company was the first big brand to reach out to him followed by Schaefer Outfitter, Kerry Kelley Bits & Spurs, and so many more including Vexil Brand. When asked about his relationship with Vexil, he says, “Vexil’s brand and beliefs coincide with mine. I like what they believe in and what they stand for. They blend rodeo, ranching, bull riding, and everything rough and tough and encourage people to live their life.”
Buster had learned how to capture a realness that can’t be recreated and to build his brand as more than an “influencer,” he’s the real deal. He said, “I just started paying attention to what other people on Instagram did in order to learn. I’ve always been a watch and learn type of guy. I wanted to see what was doing good and working for other people. I never want to copy them, but I tried my best to learn from their philosophies and adapt that to what worked for me. This is my everyday real life and a lot of people have no idea that guys like me even exist anymore. Showcasing pictures is great but what I do for work every day is real and raw and true and I wanted to learn the best way to show that.”
Buster has taken everything he’s learned and has quite a few irons in the fire. From ranching, a social media presence, Bison Union, and now a meat company, that watch and learn mentality is definitely doing him some good. A company reached out to him and asked the cowboy to try a beef jerky protein bar. Even though that specific product never came to fruition, Buster made some relationships out of the deal. He is now partners on a beef company called Range Hand Meat Co. that ships meat straight to your door. All of it has been raised in the USA, most of it actually in Texas.
From all of his ventures though, there is one thing in particular that seems to resonate the most with everyone that shakes Buster Frierson’s hand, even more so than his encapsulating cowboy lifestyle: that’s the kind of person that Buster is. He’s had brands reach out to him to work together and he will usually give them a try, but he always gives them his honest feedback. If they don’t like it, then that’s okay by him, it’s just not something he will share with his followers. He’s honest and he’s the kind of guy you want in your corner. Whether it’s going to war against an opposing side, or just a friendly guy that knows how to make you laugh when you need it, everyone needs a friend like Buster. He hasn’t figured out some master formula that broke all the social media algorithms, he’s just an everyday cowboy that rides for the brand, an all around genuine person, and he’s learned through trial and error along the way of how to share that with the rest of the world.
Instagram - @busterfrierson
Article by Katie Armstrong @thekatielynn