From successful TikToker to Forbes 30 under 30
It's time for this week's breakdown of the DTCX Exceptional Ecommerce podcast! Chris Meade sat down with Michael Uy, former TikToker and founder of Origin, to chat about his biggest lessons growing his personal brand as a content creator.
Have you ever wondered what it's like living in a hype house? Don't know what a hype house is? 🏠 Watch the full episode down to find out ⤵
At the height of his TikTok fame, Michael Uy was working in the music industry helping artists like 24KGoldn create and manage content on tour. After meeting fellow content creator Michael Le on a trip to Hawaii, they co-founded one of LA's first TikTok houses, Shluv House — a lavish 9000 sq. ft. living space that a diverse group of creators came together in to produce content and have fun.
With millions of followers between the co-founders of the Shluv House and brand deals coming in left and right, Michael knew that treating the house as a business would be key to their success. The creators in the house met every morning at 9am sharp to discuss brand deals, collabs, events, and paid and organic content.
Between content creation for his own channel, working in the music industry, and helping run the Shluv House, burnout was inevitable — Michael said goodbye to being a content creator, and hello to running his own marketing agency.
Michael took the experiences he had as a content creator, and brought them into his agency, Origin. Wondering what his biggest lessons were, and how they helped shape his career today? ⤵
1. Growing your (personal) brand
As a content creator, Michael quickly learned the importance of growing your personal brand online. One of his biggest regrets during his days on TikTok was that he didn't plan ahead — his focus at the time was "what's my next viral video?" instead of planning a few years ahead and building a personal brand he'd want to be remembered for. Planning ahead and focusing on building a fanbase are key lessons he took with him to Origin.
2. TikTok vs. Everybody
When it comes to growing your brand on social platforms, Michael's advice is this: "You should always have your go-to platform." Instead of dispersing your energy and content over multiple platforms, it's more efficient and beneficial to focus on one (right now TikTok is the best!) and grow your following there, as most of your traffic will come from that one platform.
3. Planning for the future
Content creators are far and wide, but only very few have the stamina to really make it and stay successful for a long time. During his time on TikTok, where he had built his following to 1.3 million through comedy videos, he came to a realization — he didn't want to be a comedian or a YouTuber after he peaked on TikTok, and didn't see where content creation would take him long term.
Recognizing he wanted to create long term career goals, he made the shift to Origin, taking his passion for content creation and helping artists create and develop their careers and build their brands through short-form content.
4. Don't bite off more than you can chew
Michael was 19 years old and fresh out of college when he co-founded the Shluv House, taking on an immense amount of responsibilities for the influencer house and his own content creation, while trying to continue working in the music industry. He quickly learned that although jumping into business and making deals with brands was very exciting, it's important to only take on what you can handle, otherwise the work overload can eventually have negative effects on your business and brand.
Want to learn more about ecommerce growth through the personal trials and obstacles of industry professionals? Subscribe to DTCX Exceptional Ecommerce Podcast on Spotify. Then, hop on over to the DTCX Facebook group and join in on the conversation.