Recently, I sat down with Sam Young– an 18 year old social media influencer, to uncover his story, and find out more about how he got into the marketing industry.
How did you get into the realm of social media?
I started Instagram with my best friend around 5 years ago where we would make edits of NFL players. Eventually we got bored, so I switched the account to a fan page of my favorite YouTuber, Danny Duncan. He was always an inspiration to me, and I would post about him daily. After around 3 months of posting, Danny began to notice me and we started messaging. We found a time to meet up at one of his shows, and it was a great experience. He then posted a shoutout for my page, which boosted me from 10,000 followers to 24,000 in one day.
Are there any entrepreneurs that you look up to, if so, who, and how have they impacted what you do?
There are many entrepreneurs I look up to, but my biggest inspiration has to be Carter Jamison. After around a year of owning the Danny Duncan fan page, Carter messaged me and said he wanted to buy my account. He offered me $400. At the time, I didn’t understand that social media could make money and I was very confused as to why he would want my account. I turned him down because the account meant so much to me, but we stayed in touch. We talked for around 3 months, until my page was deleted by Instagram for a violation of their terms of service. I was heartbroken that my account was gone, but even more broken from all of the friends like Carter that I lost. Eventually I got the page back, and Carter helped me. He showed me how to grow my first page from 40,000 followers to over 100,000 in a short few months. We’ve been friends ever since, and he has been a great mentor.
Were there any moments in your journey that you’d consider the ‘turning points’ and if so could you outline them?
My biggest turning point was having my account deleted at 40,000 followers. I would spend 10+ hours every day on Instagram, so to have it all taken away from me was a huge setback for me. I quit Instagram for almost a full year, until I found someone who could help bring it back. This opened a whole new world of connections and possibilities, and has changed the way I view social media drastically.
How would you define success?
I would define success as happiness. In order to be successful as a person, you need to be happy. Money is just a concept, happiness is something that you can’t buy.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a couple years? What’s your dream?
In a couple of years, I hope that I am still on Instagram, with a much larger network of followers. As of now, I have around 1.5 million followers across all of my accounts. In December of 2019, I had 40,000. I want to keep growing my clients’ tens of thousands of followers every day.
Most of all, I want to continue making friendships through Instagram. It’s hard to understand the connection you can build with someone over the computer, but these friendships are real. I consider some of my “Instagram friends” to be some of my best friends.