Consistency is key: I grew to a high amount of followers by constantly putting up content. When you have a consistent schedule followers will always come back for more.

We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?

In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series I had the pleasure of interviewing Howieazy.

Howieazy is a content creator who started off making videos on Vine. Today his main platforms are YouTube and TikTok. He is also the YouTube shorts ambassador of North Carolina.

Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?

What started my career in social media was making 6-second videos on Vine. Vine helped me grow a following which I was able to bring to other platforms.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?

One of the most important things I learned on social media is never to put all your eggs in one basket. I had to diversify in all social media platforms. When Vine was shut down I had to rebuild my brand and use all the main media apps.

We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?

I get to make people laugh which is always a good feeling. I love seeing comments from people saying the video made their day and positively changed their mood.

Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?

I always tell inspiring influencers that building their brand takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. It took me six years before I went full-time. Consistently is a big part of being an influencer.

Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?

I define success as something that you are proud of. I am proud and honored of my following and happy I’m doing what I love.

What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?

My strategies and ideas come from real-life inspiration. Anytime something happens that’s funny or relatable I note it down for a possible video.

How do you reduce or mitigate stress?

Many times I remember to turn off my phone and take a break from social media. It can get stressful if you don’t remember to enjoy your time and not always worry about the internet.

I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Consistency is key: I grew to a high amount of followers by constantly putting up content. When you have a consistent schedule followers will always come back for more.
  2. Find a niche: When you niche down on the internet it will allow you to start building a community for it, which you can use to expand your influence.
  3. Relating to the audience. Some of my most successful videos have come from relatable comedy. When people relate, they are most likely going to share the video with friends.
  4. Hook people in: The beginning of the video is the most important so I usually lead with a hook. It will determine if someone stays.
  5. Diversify: It’s always important to expand and try new things so your audience doesn’t get bored. Never be scared to try new things.

What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?

I always try to be relatable and stay true to myself. Many of my skits are moments many people have been through but I exaggerate situations to make them funnier. That formula always worked out for me.

As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to bring together other influencers and host some sort of event to meet with supporters and connect with them beyond the phone screen. I feel it would be a great experience for me and my followers.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂

I would love to talk to Jimmy aka Mr.Beast. He is also a North Carolina native who inspired me a lot. He is always elevating his content and I look up to his tenacity.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

My most active profiles are YouTube and TikTok @Howieazy. I’m constantly putting out content normally on a daily basis.

Thank you for these thought-provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!