Most 16-year-olds in today’s digital world spend their time browsing the internet, laughing at the newest creative memes. Others join these underground subculture online communities of like-minded people like coders, gamers, or streetwear collectors. Trent Gallagher somehow did both and made a career of it.
One day during his senior year of high school, his classmate showed him a meme saying, “isn’t this funny?!” Trent laughed hysterically, not at the meme, only at the irony of it being his page. He successfully mastered being Batman and Bruce Wayne.
He was the anonymous mastermind behind popular pages that spread viral memes like wildfire. Maintaining an anonymous figurehead aura, Trent is the Satoshi Nakamoto of memes.
Running one of the original meme pages of Twitter comes with its own perks. Trent managed to accrue millions of followers before many celebrity accounts reached millions, making him a pioneer social media manager.
In January of 2014, he reaped the financial benefits of owning a popular page. Gallagher sold his first Twitter account for nearly $40,000 at the age of 17. Most of us couldn’t even fathom having that type of cash as a teenager.
Perhaps the most gratifying part of this transaction was the buyer, Nikita, a business-savvy 15-year-old who decided to add @ComedyAndTruth to her own social media portfolio, an account that had over 2.6 million total followers at the time of its sale.
After selling the account, one year at Radford is all it took to realize that school wasn’t for him. It’s extremely difficult to build a page from scratch and monetize it to the point where it brings in career salary numbers.
Everything was going great until it wasn’t. In 2015, Twitter began cracking down on many of the popular accounts run by teens like Trent. Many accounts were suspended and even deleted because of “abuse of the platform.”
Instead of Twitter offering him a job, decision-makers at the social network destroyed everything he worked so diligently on. This ties in to a bigger conflict. Many other millennial digital creators relate to the frustration of dedicating time to a page, only to have it suspended or deleted.
Trent saw what was coming, so he took the first step to build an audience on another platform. Instagram was just starting out, and it was his platform of choice.
Transitioning from Twitter to Instagram wasn’t easy, but Trent makes the impossible seem simple. After leaving Twitter, he studied the explore page for roughly 2 months.
The types of things he was looking for were what type of accounts were popping up and the type of content that they were posting to get on the explore page. This helped him learn the ins and outs of the algorithm before most people that flocked from the Twitter purge even came over to the newer platform.
Trent started his first Instagram accounts, which revolved around DIY, or Do-It-Yourself content. This included posts about recipes, crafts, and life hacks. Growing his first 30,000 followers in just 30 days was more than enough confirmation that he was on the right track.
All the knowledge he gained from Twitter he applied to Instagram. His foresight led to seeing beyond the horizon and becoming a pioneer on Instagram as well.
After not missing a single day of consistent posting, he reached the 1-million-follower milestone in 188 days on the platform. In 18 months, his audience grew to 7 million.
The DIY account reigned supreme with 4.9 million followers. The runner-up, @healthtutorial, had 1.8 million followers.
Not long after, Instagram followed Twitter’s lead, shutting down accounts that perform abnormally well.
Currently, Trent is still in the process of getting access to these accounts back. Who knows how many more followers his accounts might have obtained, had they not been suspended.
In a world where many kids are choosing to drop out instead of going to college, Social Media Management skills are solid enough to secure jobs. Extremely educated individuals in social media search for advertisers and influencers.
Before the internet age, there were limited resources to market and grow your brand. Now, exponential growth is available through experts like Trent Gallagher.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Cofounder and CEO of Mindsethack. Member of the AlmightyGroup. Sales and Marketing Professional. Futurtist. In the process of becoming a Certified Mindfulness at Work Facilitator through Mindfulness Without Borders. Will be certified by 2018.