Be yourself. No one wants to see another Mr. Beast or Zack King. Go somewhere no one has gone. Your chances of failure are bigger but your chances of success are unlimited.
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 Xavier Mortimer.
Born and raised in the South of France, award-winning international magician and social media star Xavier Mortimer began his career as a street performer and first achieved notoriety in France in 2006 with his show “L’Ombre Orchestre” (The Shadow Orchestra). In 2011, Xavier was one of the finalists of “France Got Talent,” where he met Alex Goude, a notorious French TV show host, and director who proposed the idea of producing a show for him in Las Vegas. After creating the iconic character of Sneaky for Cirque du Soleil’s show Michael Jackson ONE, Xavier started performing his residencies in Las Vegas. Today, his social media reach counts over 6 billion views and 12 million followers. Xavier’s current residency at The Strat, “The Dream Maker,” has been named the most awarded show in 2021 in Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
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?
Thank you for having me! I discovered magic when I was a kid and, at the time, I didn’t know this was something I could do for a living. I was doing it for fun, learning tricks and putting shows together. To my surprise, as a teenager, I started making some money performing in France, and, by the time I turned 20, I was able to make a living from my art. I told myself I would keep performing until I would find a “real job”… little did I know that being a magician was going to be my “real job!”
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?
“Always remember why you’re doing ‘it’.”
That’s what I tell myself every day. No matter what ‘it’ is, remember the reason you started in the first place. This mindset will help guide your career during tough times. It’s not always bright, but if you have enough reasons to keep doing what you do, nothing can stop you!
We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?
I want to put a smile on people’s faces, make them forget their daily problems.
When I was a kid, I was inspired by magic, circus shows and silent comedy. I remember watching Charlie Chaplin on the movie screen and being amazed by every movement. Today, I want to inspire my generation and the next one by bringing moments of joy into their daily lives and creating those same types of memories.
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?
Be yourself. Do not give up. Do not think people don’t appreciate your art. It’s really hard to find your own path and touch people at the same time, however, one day your content will resonate with the right audience and that will open your path to new opportunities. You never know when you can become someone’s Charlie Chaplin.
Be resilient. There are over 7 billion people in the world and you can’t please everybody. Not everything is going to work the first time, either. Work at what you believe in and make it happen for yourself and maybe someone on the other side of the world.
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?
Intentionality is what matters the most to me. Being able to stand up and share what I represent, my art, and my vision to the public is what I find most valuable as a performer. Although there is the technical aspect of having a big following and many views, I believe that building a community of people that relate to you and your vision is truly what makes you a successful creator
Finding a space where you belong and you are doing something you love, that’s success.
What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?
This is a tough question! Life can come at you before you even realize you have left things and people who matter behind. It can hurt, but we learn as we grow and, eventually, we allow space for the ones we love. It’s about perspective learning from the past.
How do you reduce or mitigate stress?
As someone who spends a lot of time on social media, taking a step back is incredibly important. I turn my phone off and put it out of my mind for a day. I enjoy life in the present. I also meditate every day — for 5 minutes every day, I take it all in and revive myself and my energy.
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.
- Listen to your audience. I had little success on social media for a long time. One day I had one video that blew up overnight. That video meant something to people and it was important to understand why. I spent so much time analyzing and listening to what everyone was saying that now I try to recreate that magic with every subsequent video. Keeping that video and trajectory, I was lucky enough to create many more successes along the way.
- Take risks. Stepping out of your comfort zone is terrifying. Once you have a thing it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone. At the early stages of my career I was performing my tricks and illusions in public in the South of France. It was all small illusions and slight of hand tricks that I needed to expand on to keep moving forward. The desire to expand and produce my own show was one of my goals, and I knew I had to travel somewhere else to achieve it. That meant leaving my comfort zone and taking risks and trying things that may not work right away. The sacrifices paid off, as I am now entering the sixth year of my residency in Las Vegas with my show “The Dream Maker.”
- Don’t be afraid to interact online. Build a connection with your audience by engaging and answering messages and comments. Fans will feel heard and create a unique connection that creates long term relationships. Fans will create a community that will always show up to support you and your content.
- Be yourself. No one wants to see another Mr. Beast or Zack King. Go somewhere no one has gone. Your chances of failure are bigger but your chances of success are unlimited.
- Work hard on your content and make it as good as you can. This will make the difference in the long term. I often republish fan-favorite videos, because, as my fan base grows, new people are able to discover my content.
- The algorithm and “best practices” aren’t the end all be all. If they were successful and had a magic formula that worked every time, people and brands would be keeping that information to themselves. Real success comes with patience and hard work, not from calculating how many views you can get by posting 30 minutes earlier. It’s about consistency. It’s hard to keep up, but, unfortunately, if you are gone for too long people forget about you.
What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?
There is a special charm around magic tricks and illusions. To build a long-lasting bond and connection with my audience, I try to convey my passion for the Art of Magic and make people smile. I answer comments and messages as much as I can, too.
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.
To be one as a population. We need to stop fighting amongst each other and make peace.
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. 🙂
Elon Musk haha!
What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?
Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!
Thank you for having me!