Social Media influencer Shaun McBride was included on Forbes list 30 under 30 this year, and wants to show you how he did it. What started off as an assignment back in college, Shaun read the book, Crush it!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion , which motivated him to start a jewelry boutique. The book was written by the same guy who discovered him just years after watching his snapchat stories featuring the YouTuber doing various skateboard and snowboard stunts. Fellow YouTuber, serial entrepreneur, and Vayner Media Founder Gary Vaynerchuk immediately contacted Shaun and flew him out to New York to meet with him and his team. Gary became his real life mentor from then on, teaching the social media star how to monetize his videos. Now, Shaun wants to pass on this advice to his fans, who he wouldn’t be able to make money off his videos without.
Brand Deals were the first way that Shaun–or better known by his YouTube and Snapchat fans as Shonduras–was actually able to make money on social media. You can’t monetize with Snapchat, so the only way to earn revenue from the videos is by getting brand deals. Shonduras was actually the first Snapchat user to do a brand deal on the app. He approached it differently though. Traditionally, people will alternate their branded ads with cool posts making it quite obvious to their fans that they had sold-out. Or people just all out ignore the posts making the whole thing a waste of time and money for the sponsors. His goal to avoid this: make the content cool. He says he’ll never create branded content he doesn’t believe in. For example, he won’t advertise alcohol, which he doesn’t use. But he does believe in Doritos and Red Bull, apparently.
After Snapchat, Shonduras figured out how to make money off YouTube, which actually allows the content itself to be monetized. Every time he posts a YouTube video, an ad runs, and every time someone watched that ad, the company throws the creator of the video some money. Though annoying to some, employees’ paychecks and internet bills can’t be paid solely with Doritos.
Now that Shonduras has some status as a content creator, he’s been asked to do a lot of public speaking. Most of the opportunities aren’t paid, but the exposure he gets from him does pay off in the long run. It also helps him show people who he is and teach them how they too can land some sick brand work. He enjoys it too, which for a vlogger who is constantly speaking through a camera to thousands of people everyday, should be expected.
Consulting is a new way that Shonduras has started to make a profit. He’ll get together and have a meeting with a brand, give them the idea, and they execute it. Sounds easy enough, right? Long-term, this is also a good option for him to continue making money when he gets too old to be making crazy videos. He predicts that he’ll eventually move on to teaching people how to market their social media content. Many of the top marketers today don’t know how to get the message across to today’s youth. They’re still using billboards and newspapers to spread their ads, but that’s not where young people are looking. They’re looking at their phones. Even the bright ads in Time Square can’t compete with a millennial and their trusty smartphone.
Shonduras merch is one way that the vlogger makes money. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Shonduras explains that you have to pay the warehouse, the clothes need to be shipped to you, the shirts have to get Shondurafied, stickers need to be created, and you must pay people to take and fulfill the orders. All of this costs money, but in the end you make a profit if you have good branding and a fanbase who will buy your merch, regardless of what it looks like.
Now that you know the ways in which social media stars make money off their videos, you must put in the work, and most importantly, have patience. In the video, Shaun meets briefly with his mentor Gary, who advises anyone watching the video (especially “youngsters”) that they must have patience. Shaun didn’t become successful over night and neither will you. Shaun admits that although the videos are fun, they are hard work and he could only work that hard at something he enjoys. Fuck anyone that tells you that being a creative won’t make you money. If you’re passionate about what you do, work hard at it, and learn how to make money from it by listening to mentors in your field, then you will be successful.
Or in Gary’s own words: “All great things take time.”