Category Archives: Marketing

Secrets from Tyler Oakley to Increase Your Subscribers and Followers

With almost 200,000 YouTube subscribers and over 100,000 followers on Twitter, Tyler Oakley must be doing something right with social media.
Tyler Oakley Headshot

Recent alumni of Michigan State University, Oakley now lives in San Fransico, California fully supporting himself on the money he brings in from being a YouTube star.

So how does he do it? I skyped him to gain some insight about his path to social media fame.

The Start

Oakley started his YouTube channel his freshmen year of college to stay connected with his friends who went to other colleges. “I wanted a way to keep in touch with friends and show them things and stories,” Oakley said. His very first video was showing his friends around his dorm room.

The Switch

“The first time I noticed that maybe people were watching that I didn’t know, I noticed one of my videos had 100 views and I was like, okay I don’t have 100 friends so someone else must be watching.” Oakley discovered that there were communities of people out there on YouTube and started communicating with them and doing collaborations with other YouTubers.

The Rise

It was a slow progression to gain the amount of subscribers that he has now. Several of his videos went viral which did cause rapid rises in his numbers, but they were never the videos he expected to be most popular. There is no master plan to making a viral video, but knowing how to build a stable following on those videos is important.

Oakley started building relationships with people who kept coming back to his videos and commenting. He says that it is very important to have all social networks intertwined. “Go to my YouTube channel, first thing you see are all my links to other channels. I never want there to be a question that I’m not everywhere. If they want to find me on twitter, it needs to be so simple and obvious.”

Oakley's YouTube Channel

His Advice

Remind people about subscribing and sharing.

“As much as I hate saying, ‘Hey can you retweet or reblog this?’, I feel so tacky saying it, but people just need the reminder. A lot of people aren’t internet people, so as stupid as it sounds when you spell it out, you have to be like, if you click this subscribe button you will get a reminder.”

Use Tumblr.

“It is my fastest growing network and fan base. The best thing about it is the whole thing of Tumblr is to share, so as a content creator, no matter what you are making, it has to be where you put your stuff. If I ever have something go viral, that’s where it goes viral.”


“Try not to take any days off.”


“Every week I ask I question. Before I ask them to comment, I usually tweet and tumble the questions. So I have good examples, and show that these are some of my favorite responses. I ask them to comment below with your response. It’s a shameless plug and gets them to interact with Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.”

The Takeaway

So what have we learned from Tyler? It is important to persevere in your social media networking and intertwine all of the major sites. Keep in tune with new sites that pop us as well, since the social media environment is constantly shifting. It can start out a slow process, but if you put in the work, post with consistency, and interact with your followers, it will pay off.

What are some ways in which you work to gain followers? Comment below!

Oh, and subscribe to this blog! (See, I’m using his advice already!)


Tips for Marketing your Movie and Building an Audience

“If you build it, they will come!”

No they won’t. 

And if that’s your marketing strategy, no one will ever see your movie.

Getting people other than your family to watch your movie is hard work. It takes a lot of time and creativity. In no way do I intend to cover movie marketing in a single post. This is just the beginning of a series of posts on the topic, so check back for more! Today I am going to give you a few overarching tips to help get you started:

Have good content

Duh. Moving on.

Nurture your audience

Your first fans are the most important. Don’t be frustrated that only two people are commenting on your videos. Talk back with those people. Let them know they are appreciated. Make them feel like part of the family. Then those fans will start to tell other people who will tell other people and pretty soon your audience will be multiplying like bunnies on ecstasy.

Watch this insightful (and humorous) video about congregating followers. The video talks about leaders gaining followers, but the same principals can be applied to building an audience.

Local marketing

Start local. No one in LA or at the Sundance Film Festival cares about you. But your neighbors do. Your local mom and pop cafe would be thrilled to screen your movie. The high school you went to would love to advertise (free of charge) the great things its alumni are doing. Your neighbor with an awesome sound system will gladly lend you speakers for a concert fundraiser.

Again, build a loyal audience first. And the best place to do that is locally.


Another way to get people to advertise for you for free is finding an organization that supports a cause related to your movie. For example, if you are doing a documentary about the benefits of eating organic, talk to health food stores about it and see if they will promote your doc. And why wouldn’t they? Your movie will bring them business! If you make a fiction film that has a bullied gay character, get ahold of organizations that support LGBT causes or that work against bullying. They can send the link of your movie to their mailing lists!

Great book on building an audience in the digital age written by Scott Kirsner

Get other people talking about you

According to the blog post “100 more social media statistics for 2012” written by Cara Pring, there are over 1 billion Facebook posts per day, around 175 million Tweets per day, and 70 million WordPress blogs worldwide. Find blogs, twitters, and facebook pages that would be interested in your movie. Submit info about it to a blog. @ a twitter user that might retweet you. Post on a facebook page. You can get people to share information about your movie FOR FREE! And it will be better than any paid advertisements.

While these suggestions just scratch the surface, they are good things to keep in mind when trying to build your fan base. The best thing for an independent filmmaker is to gain and keep fans. And if you start now while you are young, that will give you all the more time to nurture your first loyal followers and you will be bursting with fans several years down the road.

What are some creative and interesting ways you have built your audience? Comment below!