Meet Matthew and Ryan content creators based in Southampton, who are famous for spreading love and laughter across social media. With 43k followers on Instagram, 25k subscribers on YouTube and a massive 1.4 MILLION followers on TikTok these boys are taking over the internet.
Matthew and Ryan have worked with Takumi over the past year on multiple campaigns where they have created incredible content and come up with innovative ideas, especially on their ever-growing TikTok account.
As the boys continue to make their mark online, we sat down with them to discuss their journey to becoming social media influencers, what their inspiration is and advice for any budding creators.
How did you become creators?
Ryan: I started 5 years ago on YouTube and then after me and Matthew met we decided to re-launch a YouTube channel together. We started off by doing a lot of vlogs and that’s when we realised there weren’t many LGBT creators online. We then joined Instagram and a year and a half later we joined TikTok — which was the icing on the cake for us!
Where did your inspiration come from for being a creator?
Ryan: I think we realised there was a lot of hardship in the LGBT community, so we first wanted to spread positive awareness of that and make it very normalised. We also just wanted to have fun, as life is about enjoying yourself!
Matthew: We’ll always stick to our content being fun, we never really want to be serious or change the genre of our channel because that’s not us and we want to portray ourselves authentically online.
As mental health online is so important, what are your top tips for social self-care?
Matthew: I think our top tips would be first not to compare yourself to other people. Everyone is living a filtered life on certain platforms, so just remember to be your authentic self and nothing is how it seems behind the camera. Someone could look like they are living the most amazing life, but offline they may not be living that at all, so always be true to yourself and the content you create. The bottom line is to enjoy it, because that’s all that matters!
Ryan: There is a lot of help and love out there online, with people who are going through a similar experience or who are battling with mental health, so whilst there is a dark side to social media, there is also a massive positive.
Do you have any advice you could give to any aspiring creators?
Ryan: Figure out what your message is and what you want to say and just do it! You don’t need a fancy camera or lighting, you just have to start somewhere and not compare yourself to anyone else.
Matthew: As long as you enjoy the content you create that is the main thing. Consistency is also important, if you don’t post regularly you’ll struggle to grow your community.
What has been your favourite Takumi campaign that you’ve worked on?
Matthew: My favourite has to be the Britney Spears campaign. I am a DIE-HARD Britney fan, so when I saw the opportunity come up I was like “WE HAVE TO DO THIS RYAN!!”
Ryan: I think my favourite was the Lucozade one. For the campaign we were trying to get cool photos by throwing the Lucozade bottles in the air and they were going everywhere! The photo on Instagram was nothing like the reality of how it was trying to create it! People were walking past and we were throwing bottles in the air and ducking, we must have looked bizarre!
What are your thoughts on ‘virtual influencers’?
Ryan: So we didn’t know virtual influencers existed until just now and we are SHOOK! I pride myself on emotions and authenticity online. The comment’s we get always mean a lot to us, because they are from real people, a virtual influencer isn’t reading or engaging with the comments/audience, so how do you build that authentic relationship?
Matthew: It’s interesting…and it’s scary! It kind of goes against everything we want and work for. How does a virtual influencer understand hurt/heartbreak and emotions when they aren’t real?
Why do you like creating videos on TikTok?
Matthew: It’s fun, you can be raw, funny and you don’t have to be someone else. You can simply upload instantly and it’s as
easy as that!
Ryan: Especially with video, it’s very hard to put a filter on, when you’re vlogging you can’t be fake or look like your best all the time. I think it’s really important for mental health, that you can see that side of a creator having a bad day or having pimples, spots etc, it’s so important to show the real you to your audience.
How do you engage with your audience on TikTok?
Matthew: We engage by replying to comments and also through our live streams.
Ryan: In a lot of our videos we also ask questions, for example — who is the best dancer Matthew or Ryan? Of course, I always win!!!
Matthew: *Eye rolls* It just creates so much conversation and engagement.
What are the positives and negatives that you see about TikTok?
Ryan: The positives are definitely the authenticity, the comments, the engagement.
Matthew: You can be so creative on there! It’s so hard to think of a negative because we have so much fun creating videos on the platform and it’s great to be a part of it!
What do you see as the future in influencer marketing and TikTok?
Ryan: I think we’ll see a lot of agencies and influencers join TikTok, as they realise it isn’t going anywhere and it’s only going to get bigger. You have the likes of Kendall Jenner and James Charles on the platform, they are big names! Even brands such as Rimmel London and River Island are on TikTok.
If you received your dream TikTok campaign what would it look like?
Matthew: This is a bit of a dream but hear me out… Imagine hiring a plane, pretending to Ryan like we’re going to somewhere really cool like Paris but actually we just land back in Southampton. I just think something that’s a prank and that is really over the top to make people laugh would be amazing.
Ryan: I also think on the flip side, we would love to work with a charity and bring awareness to a really good cause.
Unlike other platforms, Takumi is all about respecting the creative talent of the influencer. That means ensuring the campaign briefs are tight enough to achieve brand’s campaign objectives, but always broad enough to allow you to express your own creative style.
If you’re an influencer and interested in Takumi’s campaigns, please check us out on the app store or get in contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.