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There’s been a lot of talk about the possible TikTok ban and what effect it could have on the content creators who have built a base using that platform. We did some digging and found some advice Gary gave on this subject in 2017. Seeing how relevant this topic still is, we sat down with him and asked him to elaborate on his past points.

Team Gary: Can you reiterate what you noticed about social media platforms three years ago? 

Gary: [Sure], you can’t be reliant on just one platform.

You know this is deja vu. [It’s] 2004, all my friends are hitting me up [and saying] “Yo, Google fucked me. They did an algorithm change…I used to be the first result for hats. Now I’m page 19 and my business collapsed”. I’m like, “Yeah.” 

[Content creators must] build [their] brand and build other funnels. You never want to be at the mercy of a platform’s singular impact on your business. Now, you can also run short businesses where you extract the most [revenue/attention] you can from them, but this is why you always want to build the biggest brand.  You want to build multiple things. 

I highly recommend you build out of different places. 

Team Gary: How do you think your advice resonates now, in 2020?

Gary: I mean, everybody’s been talking about the TikTok ban, I’ve been talking about this, I mean honestly forever…this is just…the same old thing. 

Whether it’s the market that changes a platform–Vine gets bought by Twitter–that’s a business market dynamic that changed Vine’s [and Viners] career and history, or whether it’s another platform making a change [like] Instagram creating  stories which changes the Snapchat game, or whether it’s market conditions or political conditions, you know China and India’s tension leads to it being banned there and America and China’s tension is leading to a lot of the scenarios that we’re looking at now, [platforms change].

Please understand this.  The people, like Charli D’Amelio and all the others that crushed on TikTok (I see a lot of Jokes on social media like Now What LOL–what do you mean now what) they’ve exploded on every other platform because they’ve taken that attention. Where do you think all that attention goes, if TikTok actually gets shut down?

It goes to all the other places. Those eyeballs, those minutes, those hours they go to TV, or they go to audio and podcasts, or they go to Instagram Reels or Dubsmash or Triller.  The attention always goes somewhere else.  

Team Gary: What is your opinion on the constant change of social media platforms and the relative instability of being a content creator?

Gary:  What’s my opinion on this? Like, this is the way it’s going to be my whole life. I can’t control what I can’t control,  nor can anybody else that builds, you build on the attention when it’s there and then you move on. 

I fucking crushed direct mail in 1997.  I was sending so many postcards about wine you wouldn’t even know what to do with all that fucking paper.  I crushed Google search, I crushed I blew up on Viddler and Ustream…that’s where I come from. I don’t give a fuck about the platforms. I give a fuck about where the attention is that second. 

That’s what I speak about: I have no emotion towards any platform–NEVER HAVE,  NEVER WILL– I care about where people’s attention is and how do I bring them the most value.

 So you build a relationship, a brand, a reputation, and that’s how you play.