From Paris Hilton to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Something that all millennials seem to want to be these days is a social media influencer. Having millions of followers and building that coveted community and becoming an online star.
To get a better idea of what it’s like to be someone who has millions of followers on social media and find out some ways that all of us can get there, I decided to sit down and share the story of Marquis Trill.
Some of you may know Trill for orchestrating a worldwide movement around doing “The Dab”. Trill is the artist behind popular song “Hit the Dab” that has garnered over 6 million views on Youtube in over a year. People like superstar NFL quarterback Cam Newton have done “The Dab” a touchdown dance on numerous occasions on national TV.
Now there is way more to Trill than being a Youtube sensation and I didn’t want to stop there. My intentions with our chat were to peel back the curtains and share a glimpse into the life of someone that has truly overcome adversity to hit the highest heights of social media stardom.
Trill grew up in the rough neighborhoods of LA, bouncing around from house to house without having a proper father figure in his life. He was never the best learner in school and instead enjoyed the social aspect of school. I can definitely relate to this as I was known to be very social in school.
The entrepreneurial blood inside him started at a young age. He used to sell candy to his classmates in middle school which ended up getting him expelled. Crazy right?
Moving onto high school, Trill still found himself mixing in with the wrong crowds which later resulted in his mom kicking him out. He moved in with his grandma for a short stint until his mom took him out of school and moved to Texas.
This is where Trill started to excel and find one of his callings in life; basketball. He was spotted by an agent at a local high school game, which prompted the agent to take Trill under his wing and transfer him to a prep school better known for basketball where he could develop into a superior player.
In his senior year, Trill found out he didn’t have NCAA eligibility since some high school credits didn’t transfer. He then moved onto a small college in Ranger, Texas for a year and came out getting NCAA offers to play at Baylor and Texas A&M. He didn’t accept the offers and instead went to Prairie View A&M University and started to explore other opportunities available to him other than just basketball.
Getting His Big Break
During our talk and evident through the work that Trill is currently doing, you can see that he is a marketing genius. But he also has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
One of the first gigs Trill got was getting hired by a Houston club promoter to help market the club. He would take photos, bring people to the club, and make sure he could use these photos later to promote himself but also the club. This opened up opportunities for Trill to connect with celebrities and top athletes from multiple sports.
Trill met and has worked with people like Drake and the Kardashians, just to name a few.
The differentiating factor of what set Trill apart from other photographers and marketers at the time was the fact that he would never post anything on social media without the consent from whomever he was with. He focused on building genuine connections with everyone and asking before he posted.
Think of how many times someone like Drake or Kim Kardashian gets photographed every day. If you take a photo and show these people some respect by asking for their consent, it sets you apart from everyone else right from the beginning already. This is a great tip you can take away when trying to connect with someone like Trill or Drake.
Be genuine, show value, and don’t be a fan. Instead, work to be an acquaintance.
Business Tips from Trill to Take Away With You
Trill currently has over 4 million followers on Twitter, 3 million on Instagram and his song “Hit the Dab” has over 6 million views so far on Youtube so its safe to say he knows a few things about social media.
Here are three insights that Trill gave me that will help you build your social profiles.
1. Believe in yourself
Having that belief inside that you can accomplish something is number 1. You need to have that confidence to achieve greatness and let others follow you.
Be known within your community. Get out there and be involved and keep your community close rather than being a hater. Put yourself out there and influence others.
3. Invest in Yourself
If you make $10,000 spend $5,000 – $7,500 on yourself as an investment into getting better. Then keep the $3,000 profit.
I hope Trill’s story of struggles early on shows you that anything really is attainable. If you truly believe in yourself and don’t take no for an answer, you can make magic happen.
Stop settling for the cards you are dealt in life and instead use the cards you were dealt with to your advantage no matter what they are. Take those cards and play them the best way you can. Work at it and keep striving for the top. If Trill can do it we all can.
Clinton Senkow is the Co-founder & COO of Influencive where he manages and oversee’s all business development and partnership activities for Influencive. He’s also the CEO of Senkow Ventures which is a digital consultancy for high-growth startups and SMB’s, a member of the invite-only Forbes Business Development Council, and was named a “Top 20 Speaker by Forbes”. He’s also a three-time Top G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada.