As many companies are realising they must pay to gain marketing benefit from their social media efforts, some millennials are turning the tables by focusing on personal brand and monetising their web-presence. As Twitter and others are making plans to pay creators for original content, this seems like rather more than a passing trend. I spoke with Rob Lipsett, one man who has been quick to spot the potential of this burgeoning industry.
Witness the Fitness!!
When did you realise that you could make a living from your online persona? What were the first steps to make this happen?
Shortly after making my Facebook page I started receiving huge amounts of messages from people asking for advice on their training and nutrition. I gave out a few free plans to people and they got amazing results so I thought why not try give this a go. Shortly after I set up my own website where I offer a range of different plans and it all went from there.
Without giving too much away, what are your current revenue streams?
My current revenue streams are online coaching available on my website, product endorsements, YouTube, sponsorships and fitness modelling. My main growth over the coming year will hopefully be my YouTube channel.
When you say growth, is that in terms of revenue? What will you be doing different?
The overall growth of my channel, subscribers, views and my own personal growth along with it. As my channel grows, my brand will hopefully grow with it which will result in increased revenue. However, I hope that with the growth of my channel I can help people. My channel will always be based on my love for fitness and will always be a fitness YouTube channel but I want to incorporeal other elements into my videos in the future such as, travel, fashion, positive thinking and mindset, business and just general lifestyle.
— Rob Lipsett (@RobLipsett) April 2, 2016
Have you studied marketing or social media? How have you learned about the ins-and-outs of social media?
I studied business in college for over two years before I decided college was not for me and I dropped out. Within the first three months of starting and running my own business I can safely say I learnt so much more than I ever learnt in any lecture. I do not think college is a bad thing or a waste of time but for some people they are better off just getting out there and doing things and learning from their own experiences. I have learnt the ins and outs of social media by talking to others and listening to their stories and experiences. I recently was away in LA and spent two weeks living in a house with American YouTubers and I learnt so much from them. They helped me so much and gave me great advice. I made some great friends on that trip. I also follow a lot of the advice from marketing and social media experts such as, Gary Vaynerchuk.
The world-wide-web; how important is your international following versus your Irish following?
My Irish following makes up 33%, My UK following makes up 33% and the remaining percentages is the rest of the world so I highly value my international following.
There is a big fitness-focus in the US particularly these days.. what will you do to capitalize on your audience there?
I have recently signed a contract with an American clothing brand and will be working closely with them this year. I have many friends in the fitness industry over in the US also and love working and collaborating with them. I plan to travel to the US a good bit this year for both work and leisure, I love it out there!
Any interest in these ? If I made them they would be VERY limited and I'd be making hardly any profit, still tho ?? pic.twitter.com/gkZ771MSaA
— Rob Lipsett (@RobLipsett) April 13, 2016
Many people don’t understand how to make money from YouTube.. or even that it is even possible. Have you ever thought about coaching on the business side of social-media?
To be honest, I haven’t because I am still learning so much myself. I give tips on my channel about how to grow yourself online and my number one piece of advice is always to be yourself and be unique. There are so many people out there these days building themselves online so if you want to be successful in the industry you need to try stand out in some way or bring something new to the table.
What tips do you have for someone considering this career-path?
Be unique, be consistent and put out quality content that will get people talking about you. Above all hard work is what it comes down to. What has been the biggest challenge for you do date? Quitting my 9-6 and going full time with my business. This was a big decision to make and also a big risk that thankfully paid off.