- Share your background with me and tell me how you became an internet star.
Back in 2018, I was attending college. My life was totally different back then. I was actually at university studying to become a doctor, but it didn’t take long for me to admit that my heart wasn’t in it. Once I began my classes, it didn’t feel right to me. So, to not waste more time and money, I dropped out. I knew in my heart that what I really wanted to do was make people laugh. So, despite having hardly any followers, I made a promise to myself that I would do anything to get attention and views to kickstart my career. That’s when I began doing “public challenges” online.
- What got you started with the public challenges trend?
It began with me asking random strangers on the street to “touch my body” and that later turned into other silly concepts, like “touch my potato.” People loved the interactive style and it took off quickly. My first videos earned 1-2 million views each, so I jumped on the trend. I added new twists over time and, before I knew it, my videos were getting over a 100 million views. Suddenly, everyone was getting in on the trend and I saw similar videos getting posted on WorldStar and 9GAG.
- If someone wants to be a content creator, what are three tips you’d give them?
First, just start. I didn’t start with many followers but no one does. You have to put yourself out there and do your best with whatever you’ve got. Second, go wild. The internet loves wild and crazy, so be unique and come up with a good idea. They might not all work, but the secret is to keep trying until one does. Third, learn from your audience. Figure out what people like and then do more of it.
- What would you say to someone who wants to take a leap of faith and do what you do?
Don’t hesitate. Plenty of people are thinking about being a comedian or making videos or doing something they’re passionate about, but very few actually pursue those ideas. The internet has opened so many doors for so many people, and I think you should jump on the chance to potentially be one of the success stories. You’ll never know unless you try. Of course, I wouldn’t suggest they make a major, risky change like I did–it’s always good to have a backup plan!
- A lot of people want to be creators these days, how can someone decide if it’s for them?
Honestly, I’d say just give it a try. You’re never going to know unless you give it a shot. Decide what type of content resonates with you online and then come up with some ideas that you can put your heart into. I think it’s all about doing what you want to do. At the end of the day, if you’re happy with what you’re creating, you’ll be having fun regardless of view count–and when you’re truly having fun, people will be able to tell and that will lead to even more views.
- The internet is cluttered these days. How do you stand out?
One thing that sets me apart is the trend I have created of doing public challenges. Now a bunch of people do them, but I was the original. Doing something unique will definitely help you gain an edge and get the attention you deserve. Of course, your personality and style will also set you apart so I think it’s important to showcase those things. In the past six months, I have gained over 2.4 million followers on Instagram alone. I contribute that to who I am and how I deliver my comedy.
- A lot of things have surely impacted your life, but what would you say has been the single most influential factor in your success?
Easy: being fully dedicated. I kind of had no choice the way that I did things, but that’s what really allowed me to commit myself fully to becoming successful. I dropped out of college and devoted all of my time to doing this and making it work. I was couch surfing at strangers’ houses and spending all of my time making videos, so I had no choice but to create something good.
- Where are you off to now? What do you have planned for the future?
A lot of people say that I’m successful because I have a lot of followers, but I don’t think that’s a good measure of success. I have bigger goals. I like connecting with people and I actually want to be the first person to connect the social networks of China and the rest of the world. I’m multilingual, so I’m going to try!
- Can you share some more details about that big goal?
I know it’s a big goal, but I’ve already taken the internet by storm in the western world. I want to do the same thing in China and be the person that finally taps into their social platforms. They block Facebook and Instagram over there, but they have their own platforms that are even bigger. I want to bring them all together.
- If someone wants to collaborate with you, how can they get in touch?
They can reach out to Syft, which is the influencer agency in Los Angeles that manages me. Email me through firstname.lastname@example.org.