On episode 33, I have a #CreativeConversation with my pal, Tom Boyd, a.k.a “Boyder” in a past life. These days, Tom is a content creator who is strictly dedicated to ensuring other content creators are thriving. He does this ...
On episode 33, I have a #CreativeConversation with my pal, Tom Boyd, a.k.a “Boyder” in a past life.
These days, Tom is a content creator who is strictly dedicated to ensuring other content creators are thriving.
He does this via his brand "Bonus Footage" where he posts short, eye-catching, insightful clips filled with how-to’s, anecdotes, tips, and other resources to help creators create content that actually makes an impact.
He also hosts a podcast called "Creators Are Brands" where he interviews creators who are publicly building brands based on themselves.
In this episode, Tom talks about:
In this episode, I have a creative conversation with my pal Tom Boyd a.k.a Boyder for the real ones. He is a content creator who is strictly dedicated to ensure other content creators are thriving. He does this via his brand, Bonus Footage, where he posts short and insightful clips that include tips, anecdotes and resources on how to make sure that your content is impact-driven. In addition to that, he also has a podcast called Creators Are Brands where he interviews creators that are brands.
Tom talks about his time in the music industry and what it was like to rap with Asher Roth, sit between P. Diddy and Busta Rhymes and market one-on-one with Scooter Braun. He also talks about how, at that time, he felt like he made it but he also felt like he was faking it. He goes in-depth on how that experience has helped him create the content to the point where he feels like he is targeting the person he used to be.
In addition to that, he gives us the behind-the-scenes on how he creates content, which includes starting his day at 5:00 AM every single morning. After you finish reading this interview, head over to the Pol and Pals Newsletter where I break down a key aspect from this episode in addition to providing a creative resource to help you create the life that you want to live. Without any further ado, let's get creative.
You were getting ready to interview Asprey. I was happy about that. When I saw that, I was like, “Shit.”
For some reason, Riverside dropped on that phone call. It has never done that before. I was happy because she was familiar with using tech and platforms not working out. I was happy it wasn't someone else on the phone but she was flexible. She was like, “Pick it back up over where we started.”
I've had some issues with Riverside but it's made me learn. I figured out like, “I should do it like this. I should hard-wire my network in my camera.” I started using a dummy battery so it doesn't get too hot. It's maybe had to be a better interviewer but now it's good.
I liked your organization when you sent everything over. I'm going to steal some of that flow.
I've been looking at your stuff too. I've heard you talk about how you were into vertical video. I like how you started doing all your videos in vertical because you can see on my profile I usually do the widescreen but put it in that 9:16 layout so you can see the title and the captions. It's funner to edit a vertical because you can change the scene. They don't know what to expect and it's different. You inspired me a little bit to start working on that.
I've been having fun with the vertical. For the longest time, I was like, “Why would I do a vertical video? It can't be used anywhere else.” I started realizing like, “Everything is going to be vertical anyways. Unless it's going on Netflix, I'm making this vertical.”
You can be the first vertical on Netflix. For me, I like to record with my camera wherever I go and I keep that at 9:16. Sometimes I'm like, “I got to keep it 9:16.” I remember posting a video on TikTok because they let you do 9:16. You got to turn the phone but I'm like, “I got to think about the user.” Even if it's a nice video, nobody wants to do that little effort of changing their phone.
You got to tee it up for people and make it easy as possible.
I don't know if you're familiar with Andrew Schultz. He was one of the people that did it successfully on Instagram, where he had this whole series where he will start a clip and it's 9:16. For the first 2 or 3 seconds, he is saying something and then he says, “Turn your phone for me.” It was a whole series where he got used to turning your phone. I usually start this show with how we met but I want to start with a little transparency. Can I be transparent with you, Tom?
I love transparency.
Usually, I don't fanboy because I want to treat everybody who they are or whatever. When I was getting ready for this interview, I was doing my research and I heard you say on a podcast you had referred to yourself like, “I used to go by Boyder.” I was like, “There's no way.” I even Googled or YouTubed it. I saw the first song, Cumbaya. I played it. I flipped out because I remember back when I used to live in Michigan and be in my basement on my PS3 playing Medal of Honor and bumping all these songs that I downloaded illegally off the internet. I was like, “This is Boyder?” It blew my mind. Now, I have to be honest about that.
It's funny because there has been very little overlap as the accounts gotten bigger. Most of the people on my account don't know my affiliation in the music industry and the artists that I work with and that whole experience. I know I come across as someone that has experience. I have the confidence of someone that has seen experience but I'm not namedropping or saying much about it like it pops up in some interviews.
My creative partner at that time, I was working with Asher Roth. It was a mixtape called Seared Foie Gras with Quince and Cranberry. We made that whole mixtape on the first tour that we went on with Kid Cudi. That verse was written at home and we were trying to get Asher to be on that verse so bad. This is how we used to work in our little team when we would want Asher to rap over because he is way more talented than us. We were having fun. It was more of a hobby for us. I had one-liners and I could say creative bars but he had the musical flow.
I remember we wanted him to be on that beat and how we used to get him to be on beats. I don't know if we did this as much consciously but whenever we would have fun, our friend group would make our own version of these remixes. He would see us and be like, “I got to come on there and ride with you, guys.” We would make them and not thinking that they would stay on the mixtape. It was more like a collaborative thing where we were like, “This we'd get it going.”
You’ll never know if something would have worked if you don’t try, if you don’t make the leap.
Even on The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1, almost every single one of those songs had verses with me and our other buddy at that time. His name was Brian. He was working in the crew together. We were on every single song almost by 80%. They took our verses off because they were like, “Get your lines out of that.” Every now and then, there were a couple of bars on there. I want to tell you a funny story about that. My buddy's homie is with Lupe Fiasco. He was like, “Lupe heard that verse. That boy had the coldest verse on that mixtape.” Here's the deal. My buddy likes to pump me up a lot. I didn't hear that from Lupe's mouth but it still made me happy.
It threw me back down memory lane. I'm like, “This is so crazy.”
I'm so happy it started off that way. You have that side of the world coming in for the conversation.
That's what's so interesting to me. Let's say I was podcasting at that time. I'll be like, “I got Boyder on.” At that time, it could be like, “You've made it.” When I look at you now, I feel like you're in your bag. Did you ever feel that when you were younger like, “This is it. This is that apex?”
Looking back, hindsight is 20/20, we were in situations where 99.9% of the world would look at that and be like, “It doesn't get any bigger or better than this.” I sat at dinner tables in between Puff Daddy and Busta Rhymes. I looked at Puff Daddy and asked him to say grace at his own dinner table. I hit on Taylor Swift. I recorded in the studio with Pharrell for two weeks straight. I was Asher's creative partner at that time.
There was no pressure on me. I'm just hanging out. I'm the fun and relationship guy. I throw in my creativity. There was not that much on my plate but at the same time, we were confused, insecure and didn't know much about the music industry. As a result, we got taken advantage of in many different ways. Not that it was anyone else's fault. It was our responsibility.
I look at that time as a great experiment of discovery of who I am, what my strengths are and what I can bring to the world. Even a couple of years later, I was a DJ in a local pub. I was still making mixtapes as long as I directed music videos for fun on my YouTube channel and I was having more fun then. I was starting to understand who I was more.
Now, with the content that I'm making, I've had enough experience where I'm like, “At least I know that all this stuff is mostly right.” I believe it's right and I have the confidence to say, “This could be helpful.” That's the whole point. Everything I'm making is using all of that old experience. It's talking to that person several years ago that wishes someone like me told this person, “It's about consistency, developing your voice and building a good creative culture within your collaborative team.” Those are all things that we didn't do.
Even though you have this experience, you make a good point about that confidence. I've heard you mentioned before about staying one step ahead. What I like about you because within a matter of 10 to 15 seconds, what you've done is you've heard, read or seen something. It's good information. You've been able to put it in a way that we can consume and then I'm like, “That was good information. Let me go check that out.”
I love that because that one step ahead is simpler than it is. I see it as the equivalent of whenever you follow a channel that's always posting motivational stuff and you share it on your story. I feel like you're doing that with your videos but you're able to grab something that it builds on because now, that person that saw you share their stuff share it. That connects a lot. You've been even knocking out that department.
I write every single morning. A lot of the concepts that I experienced, there's stuff that I'm like, “I would want to share this tweet with a friend. I would want to share this book with my wife. I have this creative idea that I want to tell someone else.” My wife is sick of hearing my ideas so I'm like, “I'm going to tell the internet this stuff.” I'm having so much fun doing it and putting a little bit of swag and flare on it so people remember it.
In the beginning, I was over-editing everything but then I was like, “What am I hiding behind? I'm always trying to doctor everything up too much.” Now, my videos are more raw, less texts, less editing and getting right to the point. I'm using other people's examples to highlight stuff that I've either experienced, learned or I'm trying to learn. A lot of it is like, “I learned this three months ago but it's still worth sharing.”
I've always enjoyed how-to videos. If you were to see my YouTube page, whenever you refresh and see a whole bunch of like, “You should watch this,” it's always usually, “How to edit this? How to speak like this? How to interview?” because I love to know how did somebody do that. For you, I want to learn about your creative process when you're making your videos. You mentioned that you used to be very editorial. What made you like, “Let me simplify?” How do you simplify it?
I'll tell you how this new account started. You knew I went under the name Boyder. I had a YouTube channel called Boyder Cam. I started with a flip cam that Scooter Braun gave me in 2008. I was filming the behind-the-scenes of us on tour, us in studios, a bunch of kids that shouldn't be in the industry that they were in. I was like, “This is what's going on.” It wasn't from the standpoint of being a creator.
When I started working with Asher, I started making my own music videos. Those music videos built a fun following where it's funny that a lot of people, as TikTok is continuing to grow, there's some overlap. People were like, “Boyder.” After seeing it, they were like, “Who is Tom?” I'm going by Tom now. I started making vlogs on that YouTube channel.
I was talking to my buddy Danny Gevirtz who is a cinematographer. He has got a huge YouTube channel and I was like, “I'm going to start doing more educational style content on this channel.” He was like, “It's time to start another channel. That is a whole different chapter and character.” I was rigid. I was like, “No, there are 10,000 subscribers. Let's get it.” I started posting stuff and they were flopping. I was like, “I'll experiment. What do I have to lose?”
I started taking that content and going over it. I started to get a little bit of traction. I had some people sharing it but still, it's hard to grow on YouTube. It takes longer to produce a video. It's like an eight-minute video that is supposedly the algorithm likes. You have to do a lot of research. You have to do the thumbnail. There was so much going on.
You can see through a person when they’re not being authentic.
They started coming out with YouTube Shorts. I was like, “I can approach YouTube Shorts. I can make a 30-second bang. I can work that into my day.” I started doing that. They were doing all right and then I was like, “I'll throw that on my random Instagram account that I had from a podcast that I used to host years ago.” Bonus Footage was my original podcast name. I was like, “I'm going to post it all up on there.”
My first video got 80,000 views on Reels or the second video. I posted them both the same day. A huge account of filmmakers picked it up and shared it. I was like, “I bet you, something is here.” I started focusing on there because that's where the traction was. I started to build an audience. Followers were coming in steadily. I was like, “Let's see what's going on with TikTok.” I got all this content and started posting on TikTok. That started getting more followers than Instagram.
I started studying Jack Butcher who is the guy that started Visualize Value. I took his course and he talked about going all-in on one platform like, “Optimize your content for one platform for 6 to 12 months and then migrate your content and audience over to something else.” I was like, “I have to focus on something.” The thing that I'm focusing on now, I decided because it's giving me the most reach now is TikTok. I don't care, whatever. I'm going to build TikTok. Now, everything that I do is geared to TikTok first. That lays the foundation of the creative process.
Now, I'm studying other TikTokers, what's working and what's not. I start with the script first because I want to be known for the message, less than the editing, design, flashiness and delivery style because those are things that no one else can duplicate. Even if I'm reading someone else's tweet, I want to do it in my style. Ideally, I would script every single video but that's hard to do on TikTok. I was trying to find creative ways to create different buckets of content.
One of them is tweet reaction videos where I've read someone else's tweet that inspired me and then I provide a little bit of feedback but the main type of content is I script it. I have this notepad and I have an ongoing idea list in here. I wake up in the morning. In some mornings, I can write ten. In other mornings, I don't have any. They're rough and then I migrate them into my Google Docs. I have all these rough ideas of Google Docs.
When the production process is going well, I'll be writing every single day, film five of them on one Saturday and then edit them on Sunday. Now, I've been super busy in my day-to-day. I'm playing catch up but for a while, I was about ten videos ahead with that format because I would write all week, film them on Saturday, edit them on or write in the morning. I wake up at around 5:00. I would write from 6:00 to 8:00. I love writing. It's a good way for any communicator to figure out how they believe about things in their world.
I love seeing you talk about it because I see the amount of joy it brings you. It's also interesting that you're figuring it out as you go, which is something that I want people to get from me doing this show. I started that in 2020. The amount of stuff that I've learned in a year and still realize how much I have to learn is amazing. Even when you are going through the struggles or figuring stuff out, you learn so much because you want it to be the best. One thing that stood out to me when you were talking about that is that you mentioned education. I knew that was your background when you were still in college. When you were initially going down that path, did you see yourself as a teacher? What made you pursue Education in the first place?
I pursued Education because my mom, dad, older brother, younger brother and both my sisters-in-law are teachers. When I went to school, I knew that I wasn't a terrible student. I did the bare minimum to get by. I was more interested in socializing and networking. That's how I met my first creative partner in Asher Roth. I was more interested in that project.
Early on, I was distracted. I wasn't like gung-ho, “I want to be a teacher.” I'm from a family of teachers and coaches. If you hung out with my pops now, he would break something down as if he was teaching you something. He would go, “You're going to start with it.” He breaks down everything into the fundamentals whether he is giving you directions or talking about the Sixers game. It's always been part of my family and we're all communicators.
I try to think back of like, “Did anything from the educational background affect what I'm doing now?” I don't think there's any crossover between my actual education besides the fact that I did enjoy the teaching aspect of it. In school, when I was in front of a class, I knew that I was good at getting a class excited and enthused about the subject but I hated all of the administrative stuff. The stuff where you had to do the lesson plans and all of the stuff around it like dealing with the parents, I'm like, “That's not for me.” There was one teacher that said. I remember we were doing a ropes course. A girl was timid to do it and he was like, “You never know if you don't try.”
When we were thinking about moving to Atlanta, I remembered that was around the same time when he said that. I was like, “I'll never know if this would have worked if we don't try this, make this leap and move down to Atlanta.” One more thing I wanted to bring up when I was talking about writing this, you mentioned my music background at the beginning. There's no real musical bone in my body but I did have an understanding of one-liners and how to frame memorable lyrics into an 8 or 16-bar verse.
I love the writing process of that like crafting the words in a song, helping and working with Asher on that and then the people around us. That's why I did the music afterward. I'm taking a lot of what I learned from that because you only have eight lines to do that, make a story and create a message. That's what I'm doing with these 30-second videos now.
I didn't understand how the arrangement of a song for the longest time but once I learned it, I was like, “It's just a puzzle. The hook is here. The catchy line is here. The punch line is here.” That's how I approach the Shorts that I'm doing now. Granted, they're all not bangers. Some of them are more because I'm realizing that TikTok likes simple down-the-middle stuff. The more clever and cute you try to be, the more they're like, “Get out of my face.”
I realized that, too. It's interesting to see the stats on what does well and what doesn't do well.
It will surprise you every time.
I know you've interviewed a couple of Gen Zs that are big on TikTok. You're speaking from somebody that has this type of experience. Some of them are new to the game but they've realized how to master it. What's one thing you've taken away from them that you see is very common?
When I was first on YouTube, the world that we came from seeing media was news anchors, sports center anchors or someone on TV. They're up in your face and animated. They're very much like a character. When YouTube started in the beginning, people would have these personas and characters. Everything is in your face but now, the younger audience can feel that. They feel like they're being sold by a used car salesman every single time you're on the screen if that's not true to you, you're not a natural extrovert or that's not your communication style. A lot of people would try to force that. They could see it through the person that they're not being authentic.
Look at the resources that are right in front of you and say, “What can I piece together with this? What's the most I can make?”
What I'm noticing is, if you talk monotone in your everyday life, talk monotone on TikTok. The best way to do it is to FaceTime your ten friends and pay attention to how you naturally talk to those ten friends. Pay attention to the natural delivery, your tone and where your area is in your diaphragm. You can see I'm getting all up here but you're probably like, “What's up? Do you see the Sixers? I can't wait.” You would talk more casually. I've noticed that a lot of younger creators are good at showing up as their genuine selves and probably because they've grown up with it. They've never experienced a world where they weren't on it.
What I love the most going back to being an authentic self is how sometimes when you're on TikTok, it will say suggestions, “You should follow this person,” because they're in their contacts. I saw this one person I know and I was like, “What? He is on TikTok?” The reason I said that was because, his personality when I knew him, he was a very chill dude. You would think nothing ever fazes him. You wouldn't ever see him stepping out of this comfort zone that he had but I go to his page and this man is singing duets. I was like, “Where did this come from?”
I love it because I truly enjoy it when somebody is being who they are and living that life that they want to be. I don't want to get too deep. I feel life should be when you're spending the most time doing what you enjoy the most. If there's something that you like the most and you're spending time doing it the least, that's when your life feels pointless. That's when you feel lost. I want everybody to feel inspired to create this life they want to live because that's when you were enjoying it the most. Going back to you, do you feel like there was a point where you went through this period where you weren't doing that, where you were like, “What am I doing here?”
The whole reason why the first experiment of working in the music industry didn't work is that we were quite wearing masks of some other persona. Asher was and I was. We all got this brand thrown on us that then we felt like we had to live up to. That created the most tension between all of us. We weren't intentional about what we wanted that to be. Eventually, that's why it flopped because, over time, that makes you burn out. You don't want to show up for it. You start to create a lot of unneeded issues and challenges between the people you're working with when you're working on stuff that you don't love.
The other thing that I'll add is especially when it comes to creating content, I believe the foundation is following your curiosity. You can tell in my videos and I said this in the other podcast. I don't think anyone is going to out-care me. Some people might be smarter and be more clever but I care about the individual creators. I know that that's where my intention is and I get excited about it. That's the foundation of my content and that makes me want to keep showing up. That also makes me less insecure about it because I believe in it. Someone can knock it or not.
I have this one video. I did an overview of a big artist that's out now. There are people that disagree with it but then there are other people who are like, “I needed this. This made my day.” Those are the people that I'm trying to talk to. I'm not even fazed by the people that are like, “What are you talking about? They've been doing this since the ‘70s.” I'm like, “That's not the point. The point is to highlight something that will help one individual that I'm one step ahead of. That's all.”
It’s interesting the more people that you start to bring in with your content, you get more people that don't agree with it. That's the natural flow of life. I interviewed somebody who grew up as a child star and was on Disney. He mentioned when he first started getting a big following and he was like, “What the hell?” People started saying mean things in his comments. This is weird to go and do that because you would never do that personally. It was weird for him to receive that.
Creative people tend to sway towards the side of being insecure. A lot of why we want to create is because we want to be seen and accepted. I don't know deep down in. When we have that feedback, you pay attention to it, at least at the beginning. I remember thinking, I was like, “If I have a big audience, that means there are more opportunities for people to say what they feel about me and that they don't like me.” Now that I'm seeing it, the audience is getting bigger. I'm getting comments. It's not a lot but enough to my younger self would have been shaken by it. My younger self would have been like, “No, I'm deleting it.” It's because what you realize it's a pattern. It's all the same type of person.
Their outlook is spewing that in every direction. I just happened to be called in that direction at that moment of the day. It's the same type of comment. I don't even know what the type of person is because they usually don't have a profile picture. I'm like, “If you're going to make fun of my content, at least have content of yourself.” For anyone that's thinking about it, once you get to that point where you're confident about it, you're desensitized to it. It's all like one comment at this point. Unless Will Smith or Pharrell says something negative, it's not going to faze me now.
You mentioned that you care. The way that I found your account is I followed the hashtag CreatorEconomy on Instagram. You used that sometimes. While I was scrolling, you came up on my feed and I was like, “I fuck with that.” Sometimes I don't know what's showing on my feed but it came up. I went to listen to that podcast. I followed you after that. I don't know if it's one of your biggest Reels but I saw it and I shared it.
What's so funny about that is I shared it and I was like, “This dude would be a dope dude to interview. Let me make sure I try to reach out later that day.” I went out to do something. I came back on my phone. I got a DM and it was from you. You were like, “Thanks for sharing my stuff.” I was like, “This is crazy. I was about to invite you.” I'm glad that became a thing.
I'm glad you did, too. Honestly, I appreciate that share.
Going back to that, I've had this conversation with one of my friends who is an artist, up and coming. We were having this conversation of, when you're making the content, stay consistent and keep doing it. Do you feel that most people that get to this certain level of fame, virality or whatever that it's based on a lucky encounter? Do you think it's pure consistency, hard work and good content? Do you think there has to be that moment of, “There was an interest to share that?”
Years ago, yes. A lot played a much bigger factor in it but now, the luck factor is being pushed down more. Big shares don't make that big of a deal anymore because the internet is so massive. Even when filmmakers shared it, they had 1.4 million followers. I thought I was going to wake up with 10,000. There were 100 more people, which was awesome.
I truly believe that if you have that foundation of knowing that you're going to build a body of work, you're building a brick house. Each brick is a piece of content that you placed perfectly as best you can. You place another one on top of that and then another one on top of that instead of trying to hit home runs every single time. You build this whole foundation and look at all of your work. It's a full house. It's not just one of these bricks that you're throwing and trying to get lucky on.
The law of averages is going to work in your favor. One of them is going to pop off. People are going to come back and check out your content and then more and more. Jack Butcher talks about this. It's so wild like 0 to 10,000 is hard. That's what I noticed because you're at a stage where people might like your content but there's no social proof. People aren't 100% sure to attach their co-sign to you yet. I was like, “He only has 350 followers. What's wrong with him?” It's hard to push through that. You have to have that determination to get through that but once that social proof is there then people are more excited to share because then it's like, “I have good tastes because all these other people agree with me.” They're more willing to share your content.
Luck played a bigger factor. Meeting Scooter Braun is the luckiest thing in the freaking world. Scooter Braun called me. It doesn't get any luckier than that. I hung up on and he called me back. That's double luck. That was extremely lucky. That was in 2007 and 2008. Nowadays, you don't need the gatekeeper, Scooter Braun and the radio. You can create your own label in your basement now. You can create a video.
Create a fun goal that you can go to that keeps you energized about the project.
That's the craziest thing. That video that I got over 1 million views on, I was sitting here journaling. I had the idea. I shot the video. I said what I had to say and edited it. It's probably one of the shortest edits I've ever put up and it has 1.1 million views. I was like, “I literally didn't have to go.” I could reach that many people sitting right here.
People have more resources to start out than other people. Everyone's starting point is going to be a little different but the biggest thing is to look at the resources that are right in front of you and say, “What can I piece together with this? What's the most I can make with this piece of clay that's right in front of me? It might be different than there is over there but what can I sculpt with this one?” As I'm building, more people are going to pay attention and then you're going to get more like-minded individuals sharing your stuff. How many followers did I have when you came into the picture?
It had to be probably 3,000 on Instagram. I don't know what your TikTok was. What are you on Instagram?
It's like 3,500, which is in terms of the internet age, it's extremely low but it's an engaged following. There's a lot of engagement on the video but still, that's a small following. It's proof that it doesn't need to be that big to be able to connect with like-minded people.
Engagement is the key. I don't know if you've ever seen somebody's account. I remember there was me and my creative director. We were talking about somebody that we might want to interview. I remember I was telling him like, “They're valid.” We thought so we chatted a little bit. At that time, I was still trying to figure out my niche but I thought they were interesting and they were willing to. They talked to me, “That would be a cool interview.” He was like, “I was checking their Instagram. It feels weird.” I was like, “Why?” I want to say it had maybe 10,000 plus. It still caught your eye but he was like, “I'm going to the post, two comments, one comment.” I was like, “That is weird. They did the bots or something.”
Engagement is key. Reels can be a little suspect only because it pushes it to the Instagram For You page so people don't have access to comment there. I haven't had noticed where I'll get jumps in videos. I'll get 10,000 views and likes because it's easy right there to give likes but people don't comment on it. Those bot accounts, fewer and fewer people are doing them because it's harder. Unless you're going for social clout, you're not getting buyers and people to like. What's that leading to besides people calling you out?
I don't think it's worth it. I hate when bots follow me. They'll DM like, “We can teach you how to make it with crypto.” I'm like, “Get the fuck out of here.” Another thing that stood out to me was when you were talking about social proof. I saw my first evidence of that because I interviewed my friend Kayla Simone. She is a DIY home builder, Kayla Simone Home. When I interviewed her in November 2020, she had less than 5,000. She posted a Reel reaching 15,000 and she was thankful. She wanted to give a shout-out to everybody.
What I love about her is that time when I interviewed her with less than 5,000, she had said the same exact thing. She was like, “I'm so thankful to have this 3,000 and people are commenting and DM'ing me.” It has to come from that genuine love for what you want to do. I know you're doing your thing now and you're making the videos but you also have your podcast. When you got into that space, what was your main goal with that?
This is my third attempt to have a podcast. I had one called The Boyder Show. That was on my other channel and I had so much fun doing it. Two years later, I did another one.
What was The Boyder Show about?
It was the same thing but there was no niche. I was just asking people and trying to be Tim Ferriss at that time but I realized it's a lot of fun to sit down and have an hour-long conversation. I was like, “This is such a great excuse to talk to someone and then sell it as content.” In this format right here, people are making good livings out of this and have built audiences around it. This is the core and foundation of their brand. That's wild to me. We're just talking. You seem fairly extroverted. You're very articulate and you ask great questions. I can tell you're built to be hosting a show like this.
I went on and started another one called Bonus Footage. I realized in the process that it was such a great way to connect with people across the world. I live in West Chester, PA, outside of Philadelphia. It's a suburb but I'm trying to connect with creators all across the world and it's hard to do that. I was like, “All right.” I developed this friendship with a guy named Zack Honarvar, who is Yes Theory’s manager. I developed that relationship because I asked him to be on my podcast. I was like, “It's content. I'm getting better at communicating and developing my network at the same time. What is not to like about this format?”
I posted on Instagram from that Instagram that I started. I want to restart a podcast. The thing that slowed me down was the production side of it, keeping up with the YouTube video, all the edits to all the platforms, the branding, all the stuff. I had enough momentum with Instagram at that point that I knew that I wanted to do it but I wanted to continue to build the network. Someone responded. A guy on Instagram was like, “I would love to help you edit the show.” I was like, “That would be incredible.” Now, he helps me edit the show. I record the episodes, get all the guests and do all of that. I do the questions and intros and send it to him. He edits it and sends it back to me.
That is what has allowed me to be able to sustain it. He believes in the show and in me as a host. I'm super grateful for him. It started from building in public. We talked about building that house. Build in public. Declare what you want to do and like-minded people might come and say, “I know you don't like editing. I love editing.” There are people out there that like the stuff that you don't like to do. Ask the world and sometimes it responds. Sometimes it doesn't.
I'm loving the process of doing it now. It's so much fun. I got banger episodes lined up. My goal was just Will Smith. I changed it to Will Smith, Taylor Swift and Pharrell. That's who I'm going to get on my show. I realized I was like, “That would be dope.” I have specific questions for all of them about specific moments in their career and songs that they've written. I know that it would be an engaged conversation. I call that my fun goal. I like to create a fun goal that you can go to that keeps you energized about the project. I'm like, “How can I tweak the brand so that if Pharrell sees it, he is like, ‘Let's do this.’” I don't want him to think he is doing me any favors. I want him to be like, “This is dope. I want to be part of it.”
It's so funny that you're talking about all the stuff that I relate to so much. I want to keep working on and getting better at it, even the editing. Now, I do all my edits and all my video and audio. I love that because I'm so particular about things but that's not the best. I enjoy the conversation so much. I'm like, “I'm about to tell it to Tom.”
It's probably not the best use of your time. You sit behind the computer for a couple of hours. Could that time be spent more getting new guests or finding sponsors? It might be. Who knows? I realized I had to let go. The first couple I edited myself. I was like, “I still don't want to let go of it.” He doesn't know how I wanted to show up but then I was like, “In order for me to sustain this and do it long-term, I have to say, run it.” There have been times where there are awkward moments of me left in it and then I'm like, “Whatever.” Maybe it makes me more irritable.
The only way you understand what you want to do is by doing.
I remember even when I submitted my first episode, they had emailed me. They were like, “We noticed you haven't uploaded anything yet.” I was like, “Yeah.” It is part of that growth and value.
You haven't published anything yet?
I started doing the edited one. I initially got five packages to start and see how it is. That would be the first edited not by me episodes. I'm excited to see what that looks like. Even to get to that point, I still felt that I had to establish what my brand was. I feel like it's sometimes hard to pass something off to somebody if they don't even know what you're working with.
Luckily for you, even though that person wanted to edit it, maybe at the beginning you had already established yourself. They knew what you were about. They believe in you. You do get some of that headwork at the beginning and establish yourself. Another thing that I always like to ask on the show is, if somebody came up to you, what words of advice would you give to somebody on how to best create the life that they want to live? What would you say?
I can only tell you from my experience the little things that have worked for me because I'm still figuring this out. There are areas that I'm better and there are areas where I lack. One thing is to acknowledge the fact that you do have natural strengths and gifts. It's a disservice to the world if you are not giving them. Your job is to put yourself in a position as quickly as possible to give them to the world.
What I realized was I was going down a lane with my education that I wasn't going to be able to fully facilitate and live from those gifts the way that I wanted to. The way that I started to get out of that and try to figure it out is in hindsight 20/20 but little experiments along the way. The only way you understand what you want to do is by doing.
If you can't read a book or watch a course, find little experiments along the way. If you have a friend that wants to do a music project with you, say, “We don't need to think of this as a whole career. Let's do a three-month project. Let's make a seven-song EP over three months. We'll shoot two music videos. We'll do it and put it out. It doesn't have to be like everything our self-worth is measured on.”
Pick one little creative project. It could be, “I'm going to start a snapback line.” Any little project where you can go all-in on that you are the boss of and you get to say yes or no of whether you were a partner because that creates accountability. That type of accountability is different than you get at a job where someone else is calling the shots. That accountability is on the line for you in order for it to succeed. When you're the shot caller and it comes back to you, the responsibility on whether or not it succeeds, that's when you learn.
When you post a video and it flops, you learn. You're not going to make a video like that again. There's real accountability out there. Find these mini-experiments whether it's 1 or 6 months. Something where you can do a sprint into a project, look at it and say, “What did I like about that? What was I good in the process of doing that? What are people telling me and giving me positive feedback for? What are people genuinely praising me for? What would I never want to do again? There are certain things where I'm good at editing but I hate editing.”
That is something that I'm trying to maneuver my way out of because I want to spend more time in the creating mode of writing, being on camera and doing the interviews. I've learned that by experiments of doing it. That's a long way of saying, “You got to do it. You got to do experiments and look at them as experiments.” That was one thing that Asher taught me. In one of the projects, he was like, “Let's treat this like it's an eighth-grade project.”
Who remembers eighth-grade projects? You just have fun doing it with your buddy. There's no real pressure on it. That was a gift that Asher has. He is able to make people feel comfortable and take the pressure off. Treat it like it's an eighth-grade project and then look at it and say, “What do I love? What do I want to do more of?” Do another project. That's a great place to start, in my opinion.
It's funny because I'm particular about things. Let's say I put something out. I might not be the happiest with it because I'm like, “Oh man.” I think about an interview or maybe something that I edited and I'm like, “I should have put this in there. I should have asked this question.” I realize that I can't change that. It's out and published. If I was to stop what I was doing now, I'm going to be known for that. That's my last impression. I've had to put myself into this mindset like, “That messed up. What did I learn from that? How do I implement that into the next interview or the next video edit?”
I've tried to use that to motivate myself because it's so easy to let ourselves get down when we fuck up at something that we like because we're like, “People are going to think I'm trash.” If you let yourself remain there, now when you look at your timeline, you're known for that last edit. Nobody ever thinks about who is ever the biggest now. Nobody ever goes to their first episode and be like, “That was trash,” because you don't remember them like that. That's great advice. I love that.
Each one is an experiment. Have fun with it. It's not that serious and no one cares that much. Even though my video got 1.1 million and there are going to be hundreds more that do, no one cares. There are going to be certain people and I'm fun building around it but people are scrolling the internet. They're seeing thousands of other contents. My mission is to be a positive spark within that scroll throughout the day that someone sees a digital billboard of positive message that someone might see the world and make a positive effect on them and the people around them.
You said care a lot in this interview. That's your biggest strength. I want to know what's your biggest weakness.
Organization and following up. I'm working with a friend now who, as the brand gets bigger, is going to help out on the business side. That's important to me. I'd rather cut someone else in as this thing starts to make money so I can focus on more of what I love to do. I'd rather do that than try to get burned out, spread myself too thin and cover all different areas.
I love that you name-dropped the people you've been working with because it's good to always show love. I said the whole fanboy thing. What I wanted to mean by that is I appreciate it when people are doing what they want to be doing. If I had to ask for a referral, you had to think off the top. Who is the most creative pal you have in your life?
It would be my wife. She is the most creative person I know by far. She is a designer and wedding calligrapher. She does these projects every single day.
What is a wedding calligrapher?
Creativity can show up in many different ways. Everyone has the potential to be creative.
She makes stationery for weddings but she also does graphic design. It's like lettering but in the process, she is building signs, writing names on leaves, building these canvases and making these brides' days. She is a visual creator. I'm more of a communicating creator. Outside of her, there are so many. My friend, Luke O'Brien, who is a singer-songwriter. Asher, if he wanted to be a star, he could be a star. He just didn't want to go that route. He is one of the most creative people that I've ever met. He is the reason I started down this path. By working with him, I was able to see that I had a creative muscle. Danny Gevirtz is a YouTuber. Look up his YouTube channel.
Talking about creativity, it doesn't mean art or visual expression. Zack Honarvar is a creative businessman and a creative marketing mind. My pops is a creative football coach. The way he is able to draw up plays, it doesn't have to be Picasso with like paint in your hand and all artists. Creativity can show up in many different ways and the readers reading this blog. I believe that everyone has the potential to be creative.
If you want to get started and figure out what your creative calling is, there's a guy named Chase Jarvis that wrote a book called Creative Calling. The book is all about building your creative muscle and uncovering. It's there. When we were at a young age, when we were in first grade, someone started to tell us that the way we drew a zebra wasn't the right way. We were like, “I shouldn't draw zebras.”
They didn't realize their creativity might have shown up somewhere else. By fifth grade, all those kids stopped raising their hands to go draw zebras on the board. The older you get, the more peers that chime in on who you're supposed to be in the world. People talk that creative impulse lower. People got to uncover that. That book is a great way to get started, the Creative Calling.
You described my whole reason for starting this show because I mentioned that I wanted to find a niche. One of the reasons that I mostly now target content creators is because I want to have a consistent and you know what to expect from the guests. My tagline now, shout out to my girlfriend. She helped me figured that out. It's always women that are more creative. They don't show on the camera as much. She was talking about like, “People should try to create the life they want to live.” It hit me.
The reason that I had to niche down to content creators is that you can actively see what they're creating. They're putting their stuff out. I want the world to be a place where people are living the life they want to live. They have to create that because nobody is going to do that for you. I agree with you that content creator puts people in a box but you might like to organize stuff or make a home look like a home and that's your thing. I want people to live that life because why not?
You're smart by going with the niche approach because you're trying to build an audience of people that are coming for a specific thing and it's hard to cover everything. If we're talking about creativity, one of the best ways to give it to the world is by creating content. Do you know how public speaking was always taught in high school? Content creation should be taught in high school first now because it's another form of communication. With that type of communication, you're an immediate asset to any company.
If you learn like me, you are learning how to podcast. You are an asset to so many companies now. If they want your services from the interviewing to getting the guests, recording it, editing, to publishing, every part of that, a full media team used to do that years ago. There are many skills along that journey that you can go into as a host. It's a great concept. What you're doing is great and it's going to inspire a lot of people.
I appreciate you for being in the show. What I always love is when I reach out to somebody or have a mutual friend and we talk to somebody like, “My friend is doing this.” They might either check out my stuff or they might not talk to me for a little bit and they're like, “Let's do it.” That makes me feel good because I don't have that social proof that most people might have but I believe in something. I'm like, “If you work with me, we can make something great.” I'm grateful that you were willing to take that chance. You're somebody that I want to keep in touch with because I'm excited.
That's the beauty of this show. If you asked someone questions for an hour and a half, it's hard to not be friends afterward. If this is one cue for whoever is reading to start a podcast, let it be this and you don't need all the equipment either. You could use your cell phone and start doing interviews on IG Live.
That's exactly my first ten episodes, IG Live. I didn't do any research. I started it and we talked for an hour. It was only an hour because IG would cut me off after an hour.
That's how you get started. We'll use the users right in front of me.
I want to let you get the rest of your day back to you. I appreciate you once again. Before I let you go, I do want you to let us know how can we support you, where can we find you at and what's coming up next?
Go to Will Smith's Instagram and say Bonus Footage is going to interview you on his show and respond to his DM. Tell Will Smith that he needs to be a guest on the Creators Are Brands Podcast hosted by Tom Boyd and @BonusFootage on Instagram. Follow @BonusFootage on TikTok. The content is booming over there.
I'm glad and I appreciate you. To anybody reading, always remember to stay creative. Peace.