Dive into the world of Gideon General, the rising culinary influencer represented by A3 Artists Agency and Collab Inc. In this article, we uncover Gideon’s recipe for online success and how he maintains a genuine connection with his followers. From delectable dishes to his aspirations for the future, join us as we explore the mouthwatering and creative universe of this talented content creator.
What led you to the world of influencer marketing and content creation?
Gideon General’s path to influencer marketing and content creation began with a culinary career lasting six years at a local restaurant in Ohio. The pandemic disrupted his routine, prompting him to explore TikTok, where he noticed a surge in cooking videos.
Inspired by the platform, Gideon General and his chef friend decided to create their own content, making a pact that if one started, the other would follow. Gideon admitted that after seeing his friend’s video, he had no choice but to jump in too.
Though his initial videos didn’t go viral, his second one did, kickstarting his TikTok journey. A duet with another user’s video brought millions of views, even though his original video peaked at 200,000. Nevertheless, the exposure led to a rapid influx of followers, with 10,000 new ones in just a day.
A Delectable Conversation With Gideon General
Can you recall the first piece of content you posted that received significant traction? What do you think resonated with the audience?
The first piece of content that gained significant traction for Gideon General was his fried chicken recipe video. What resonated with the audience was the relaxed vibe of the video, featuring chill music and a clear, straightforward explanation of how to make fried chicken. The video also had a satisfying crunch at the end, and a fellow TikTok user’s humorous reaction to that crunch added to its appeal.
Moreover, Gideon General attributed the video’s success to the timing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when restaurants were closed and people had more time at home, there was a surge in cooking and learning new skills. Many individuals who didn’t usually cook found themselves trying out new recipes, which contributed to the video’s virality. Gideon acknowledged that while he didn’t join TikTok early, he still joined at the right time when the platform was at its peak, and people were actively following creators who shared valuable content, like his cooking videos.
The Aha Moment
When did you realize that content creation could be more than just a hobby but a viable career path?
Gideon recognized content creation as a potential career path after more than six months of being a part-time creator alongside his restaurant job. The turning point came when he earned in one month what would have taken six at the restaurant.
With careful financial planning, he transitioned to full-time content creation after a year, ensuring he had savings to cover his expenses. Now, he has been a full-time creator for almost two years, finding the experience rewarding.
Choosing a Platform
Gideon General uses a strategy of repurposing content for different platforms but edits them differently to suit each platform’s style. TikTok requires quick and engaging content, while Instagram allows for a more relaxed and aesthetic approach. YouTube remains a bit of a mystery for him.
As for preferences, Gideon enjoys TikTok for late-night scrolling, finds Instagram great for staying connected with friends, and appreciates its strong community-building aspect. Instagram feels more connected to his audience, while TikTok focuses heavily on videos and can make it challenging for followers to see your content once they follow you.
Gideon General emphasizes the importance of having a niche when building a community as an influencer. He highlights that the niche should align with your true self and not be something you merely adopt because it’s popular. He also emphasizes the significance of attracting like-minded and like-hearted people to form a genuine and lasting community.
In his words: “Having a niche is important because it has to connect to you as well. It has to be you because if you’re just being someone else and you’re just hopping on the bandwagon of what’s popular right now, that’s not gonna last. It doesn’t work like that in the long term. It’s not sustainable.”
And when asked about evolving within your niche, he adds: “You can always evolve, so you can add things to your niche, but make sure the people are there along the way.”
Gideon General speaks highly of his partnership with A3 Artists Agency, highlighting the positive impact it has had on his career. He mentions that having dedicated and competent team members, including his manager Mason, Ian, and Mary, has been reassuring. They work diligently to secure good deals and connect him with potential clients and brands, providing valuable resources and opportunities.
In Gideon’s words: “They’ve been amazing. You know, Ian and Mary, and I have a manager as well over at Collab Inc., his name is Mason Frank, so we have an incredibly solid team now. It feels good knowing they have your back and they’re working their best to get you good deals or connect you with people who are potential clients in the future.”
He also appreciates that this partnership has allowed him to focus more on the creative process of content creation, as his management team and A3 handles the rest of the business aspects, such as deal negotiations, career guidance, merch, touring, and updates.
Gideon concludes by expressing his trust in his manager and A3 Artists Agency, noting that he doesn’t have to delve into fine details because he believes in their judgment and professionalism.
Brands and Collaboration
Gideon General emphasizes the importance of authenticity and personal connection when choosing brand partnerships. He insists on being a genuine fan of the brand he promotes, ensuring that it aligns with his personal preferences and values. He mentions that if it’s a brand he hasn’t heard of before, he’s open to testing their products before promoting them.
He tells us: “I have to know the brand, and I have to be a genuine fan of the brand. If I don’t feel good about it, I’m not gonna do it because, you know, you gotta keep your integrity.”
He also discusses the challenge of creating promotional content that doesn’t feel like a traditional ad, as people generally dislike ads. His goal is to make the content entertaining and engaging, aligning with the platform’s nature, such as TikTok, where users come for entertainment.
Furthermore, Gideon notes that brands are increasingly realizing the importance of maintaining the creator’s style and authenticity in brand partnerships. They understand that a successful partnership should be a balance between the creator’s organic content and effectively conveying the brand’s message.
Gideon General highlights several challenges he has faced as an influencer and content creator:
Staying Creative: He mentions the challenge of consistently coming up with fresh and creative content ideas. This is a common issue for creators, as maintaining audience engagement requires producing new and exciting content regularly.
Burning Out: Gideon acknowledges that burnout can be a real challenge in this line of work. The pressure to create content, meet audience expectations, and stay relevant can lead to burnout if not managed effectively.
Adapting to Platform Changes: Gideon discusses the need to adapt to evolving trends and changes in how content performs on platforms like TikTok. Keeping up with these changes is essential for maintaining visibility and engagement.
Balancing Work and Life: While not necessarily a significant challenge for him personally, Gideon acknowledges that many content creators struggle with work-life balance. The constant demand to produce content and monitor metrics can impact mental health and personal life.
In terms of overcoming these challenges, Gideon emphasizes the importance of listening to one’s body and mind. He prioritizes mental health and takes breaks when needed. Additionally, he encourages aspiring creators to give it a try, as his journey from being a chef with no prior knowledge of filming and editing shows that anyone can become a successful content creator with dedication and effort.
Gideon General offers insightful strategies for maintaining a robust connection with his followers as an influencer.
Firstly, he highlights the significance of responding to comments and messages. By actively engaging with his audience through comments on his posts and direct messages, he not only fosters a sense of community but also demonstrates his genuine interest in his followers’ thoughts and feedback.
Secondly, he emphasizes the importance of interacting with followers on Instagram Stories. Acknowledging reactions and comments on his Stories further strengthens the connection, as it demonstrates his willingness to engage with his audience across different content formats. Moreover, Gideon listens to feedback and requests from his followers, making an effort to create content that aligns with their interests and preferences.
Lastly, he acknowledges the potential of live sessions as a means of interacting with his followers, even considering a podcast-style format for future live content. These strategies collectively reflect Gideon’s dedication to maintaining an authentic and engaging connection with his audience, which is vital for success in the influencer space.
Gideon’s online persona is a genuine reflection of his true self. He asserts that a hundred percent of what we see online is authentically him, and he takes pride in maintaining this authenticity. He emphasizes the importance of staying true to himself and not changing due to his online presence.
Additionally, Gideon General actively seeks feedback from friends and encourages them to let him know if they ever perceive him changing in a way that doesn’t align with his authentic self. He firmly believes that what you see is what you get, and he won’t compromise his true identity for the sake of creating an online persona.
Gideon’s commitment to authenticity and staying grounded in who he is forms a core principle of his online presence and brand. He finds it easier to be real rather than attempting to sustain a manufactured persona, as authenticity allows him to be himself without the need for pretense.
Apart from brand partnerships, Gideon is exploring other revenue streams. He’s working on launching a clothing brand, collaborating with an artist to design high-quality, fashion-forward clothing. He’s also considering pop-up restaurants, providing unique dining experiences.
While he doesn’t plan to open a permanent restaurant soon, Gideon is excited about these ventures, saying, “When we release it, we want it to be amazing.” This diversification allows him to combine his love for food and fashion, creating a unique brand identity.
Future of the Industry
Gideon General acknowledges that the influencer landscape is diverse, with some creators experiencing challenges in securing brand deals. He attributes his success partly to his team and manager but recognizes that not everyone enjoys the same opportunities. He hopes for improvements in the industry, where creators can comfortably sustain themselves without relying solely on brand deals. He suggests that platforms could explore new ways to compensate creators, akin to YouTube’s ad revenue model but adapted to short-form content. This would enable more creators to pursue their passion full-time without being solely dependent on brand partnerships.
Advice for Aspiring Content Creators
Gideon’s advice to aspiring content creators is straightforward: “First thing first, just give it a shot for sure. Start doing it. Don’t think like, “oh, maybe. Maybe next time,” you know, just do it, just start right now, you know. Put yourself out there.” He emphasizes the importance of showing your personality in your content because it’s what makes people stick around. He notes that while recipes are essential, having a relatable and engaging personality behind them is what builds a loyal audience.
Gideon General also encourages persistence, reminding creators that one video can potentially change their lives, and they never know when that moment might come. He concludes with a touch of humor, suggesting that their journey might lead to an interview like the one he’s having. Ultimately, his advice revolves around taking action, staying true to yourself, and persevering in the world of content creation.