10K80 by Raf Stitt August 12, 2019
We’re all just trying to go viral nowadays. It seems to be a natural symptom of the current cultural environment that we live in.
But when you take a second to think about it, going viral isn’t all that it’s made out to be. You get your 15 minutes of fame, and that’s it. Everyone forgets about in a matter of days.
St. Louis based filmmaker and marketing consultant, Riche Uncle, explores the ills of going viral in his documentary Failed Success.
In the documentary, Riche Uncle explores how going viral can really play out for aspiring creatives, through the lens of Joseph Leflore, A.K.A. Joe’l, A.K.A. Mr. Ooh My God.
Joe’l reflects on his moment of fame, how it affected his career, and what he wished he did better. In an exclusive interview with Kulture Hub, Riche Uncle further explores how viral moments are exploited and how up and coming creatives, musicians, in particular, should approach going viral.
Riche on the necessary work that needs to be done before one approaches the prospects of going viral.
Musicians should have their business side set up before the even dive into releasing anything.
On top of that, Riche explains the key necessity of having a team. He’s a firm believer that musicians shouldn’t feel the need to do everything on their own.
Don’t be so independent that you try to do everything on your own. I think people get the term independent confused with, I will do everything on my own. Social Media and the internet move too fast for that; you need a team.
Once the right team is set up, going viral becomes something that is way easier to manage. As seen in the Failed Success doc, going viral without the right team around you can lead to the inability to fully capitalize on it.
In Failed Success, Joe’l discusses not being surrounded by the right people. It’s clear that he believes with the right team, he wouldn’t have felt the same kind of exploitation that he was ultimately met with.
Even with some of the downfalls of going viral without a plan, Riche doesn’t believe that musicians should shy away from trying to go viral.
Definitely aim to go viral, especially with your musical content. It makes you recognizable for years to come, in return it will give some type of options to cash in on it. You can’t really go wrong with authentic and relatable viral content.
Going viral definitely has its advantages. Artists get to immediately connect with and reach crowds they wouldn’t have had access to before. Riche explained how these advantages can turn into tangible opportunities:
Going viral gives you high traffic and organic engagement. Companies and labels spend a lot of marketing dollars to go viral. Once you go viral, you can do more than obsess with the views and likes and social media posts. You can now get paid to do promotions, appearances and if you are a musician you can do shows.
Joe’l’s “ Ooh my God” viral moment was a brief one, but opened some doors for his voice and fun personality, this will always allow him some sort of opportunity in the industry.
The landscape is changing for creatives. We no longer live in a time where artists need to seek out existing gatekeepers to get their content out to the world. However, with this, comes an over-saturation of content and one of the few ways to make yourself visible is to go viral.
While going viral can be something that quickly gets you in and out of the public eye in a quick period of time, it can also be an opportunity to grab people’s attention and never let go.
So keep putting yourself out there, keep grinding, and make sure you’re ready to take full advantage when your viral moment finally comes.