How did Markian blow up? [Exclusive interview]

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Markian, aka The Smiling Redhead, is a social media influencer with over 750k followers, a young entrepreneur, and a college student at USC.

City where you’re from: Marbella, Spain



Hobbies: Soccer, Entrepreneurship, Dancing, Leaving comfort zone

Favorite quote: There’s nothing worth worrying about in life

Social accounts:


What’s good Markian, awesome having you at Future Sharks. What got you into making your influencer account? When did you start?

Markian Benhamou: 2 years ago, I started a monetization platform for Youtubers so it made sense for me to create my own channel in order to reach out to Youtubers and understand how they work. I saw the value in creating content and building a large following so I’ve been making videos ever since. My theme has always been making people smile so I make acts of kindness videos/fun challenge vlogs on Youtube – short, funny skits on Facebook.

Don’t get your hopes up ??

Posted by Markian on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What are some secrets to virality in your most successful platform (Fb, Twitter, IG, Snap, etc)?

Markian Benhamou: Viral content elicits emotion. Doesn’t matter which emotion, but all viral videos make you feel someway and want to share it with others. My video ‘What It’s Like To Have a Sister’ was the 55th most viewed Facebook video of 2016 with over 100M views. It was impactful, funny, and extremely relatable.

If you had to build your following all over, how would you do it much quicker?

Markian Benhamou: Definitely start on Facebook. It’s much easier to grow a Facebook page compared to a Youtube channel. Facebook has great shareability functions that allow videos to spread, such as sharing, tagging, commenting and liking.

Who are other influencers you look up to?

Markian Benhamou: I really like Jerome Jarre. He makes fun videos in a very positive, light-hearted way. An upcoming Youtube channel that I’ve enjoyed watching is Yes Theory, who do positive challenges to leave their comfort zone.

How did you promote your content in the early days?

Markian Benhamou: First step is to send your channel to ALL your Facebook friends. And I mean private message them (not public post on your wall). This got me my first 100 subscribers in a week. Next steps is to create unique, high-quality content and send it to blogs that could hopefully write articles about your videos. It’s all about experimenting, practice and persistence.

How long does it take you to produce your content? Which software do you use to make your video and track its engagement/promotion if any?

Markian Benhamou: Facebook videos are relatively quick to produce – 2 hours to film, 2 hours to edit. Youtube videos take longer – 3-6 hours to film, 4-6 hours to edit.

I use Final Cut Pro to edit and the stats can all be tracked from each platform.

Value-add questions

What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month (whether some new social media update or a new marketing technique)?

Markian Benhamou: The power of chatbots. Chatbots are the future for Facebook pages. Chatbots allow you to instantly message any of your followers who have either commented on a post or previously messaged your page. This is extremely valuable because when pages are doing promotions or running events, they can send that individualized DIRECT message to their followers.

Teach us something we don’t know (it’s vague and open-ended on purpose)

Markian Benhamou: I’ll teach you the best way to approach strangers. I have approached hundreds of people in my videos – giving flowers to people, asking strangers on dates, getting strangers to call their moms… Whether you’re giving out flyers, taking surveys, asking people to be in a video, or just want to meet people, here are my top 3 tips.

  1. First, confidence is everything. If you don’t appear confident, nobody will commit to talking to you. Fake it (being confident) until you become it.
  2. Second, don’t open with a Yes or No question. This just gives people the opportunity to say no and move on. Start by giving a compliment or making a statement ‘I need your help real quick’, ‘I love your outfit!’ The time you spend talking builds trust with the person and they’re more likely to follow through with your next requests.
  3. Third, always SMILE! Approaching people with a genuine smile is extremely powerful. People will reciprocate that positive energy and be willing to interact with you.

Final tip: practice, practice, practice. It all comes by just doing it, getting rejected, and doing it again. I used to be very shy and not-confident approaching strangers. Now I have no problem.

Youtube: Asking Stranger on Dates with Snapchats
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYwH11Ugbd0

What should an influencer focus on?

Markian Benhamou: An influencer should focus on building a relationship with their followers – that’s what influence means. Having a large following but very low engagement loses its value. It’s crucial to keep your fans connected and feeling like they want to talk to you. There are a number of ways influencers can do this through social media: replying to comments, replying to messages, referring to fans in videos, call-to-action, asking questions in posts, and implementing their feedback.

What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?

Find more books in the list we compiled at Future Sharks.

What’s your ultimate goal with your account?

Markian Benhamou: My end goal has always been to create my own companies. Having a large following is an extremely valuable business asset that will help me leverage my startups. The current goal is to grow my fanbase across all platforms and monetize through different revenue streams (merch, online video series, book). At the same time, be able to inspire young adults to leave their comfort zone and add positivity in people’s life one smile at a time.

What’s your dream?

Markian Benhamou: My dream is to be on my death bed and say ‘I lived every moment of life. I have no regrets.’ I wish to travel the world, have meaningful experiences, constantly learn, and help underprivileged societies.

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