Some may strive and work tirelessly to build their social platforms, while others have it much easier. J Webby is just a guy who likes to eat, but in a market that shames his passion for resembling an unhealthy lifestyle, it became his mission to alter people’s perceptions on what it means to be a competitive eater.
James made a socially frowned upon practice profitable by turning each bite into a statement of defiance against conventions. Read along as we interview James to learn more about his career and what it takes to become a competitive eater in Australia.
Who is James Webb outside of social media?
Australia’s number one competitive eater is exactly who he is on camera: energetic, humble, and passionate about his work. Built like Hercules, James is a testament to the balance he’s found in his extraordinary vocation of the best of both extreme lives.
James tells us, “I’ll never complain another day of my life because what I call work is really a
blessing; I get to do the two things I love most and make money doing them.”
Before food content shifted James’s professional career, he worked as a Marketing Manager for UFC Australia while devoting all of his leisure time to bodybuilding,
Once a strict dieted bodybuilder with corresponding workout regimens and planned cheat days took his life from one extreme to the other for a socially impactful career online.
Some videos you may recognize James from include:
The 5 kg Burger
Breaking the Australian Sushi Record on a Wedding Day
Breaking The Record For a Free Dinner
When Did You Start Creating Content, and Why Food?
“I was never a social media person. I’d casually post a workout photo or gym pump but never as invested as I am right now.”
It all started when a business owner took a video attempting their special challenge. They posted a quick video of me on one of my cheat days while downing burgers, and it blew up.
He adds that working as a marketing manager for the UFC of Australia, creating food content never crossed my mind, even though I’m very passionate about my cheat days.
The food content made me open up my mind to another way of making money and doing business. What started for the sake of laughs was life-changing and has had a socially positive impact, from changing the local perspective on professional eating to helping small businesses gain more customers.
What were some of the most challenging moments you had building your platform?
James reflects, “Beyond the lifestyle adjustments and ramped-up calorie intake, I encountered very minimal hurdles. I’d argue that my come-up was relatively fast compared to others in my field.”
He attributes his smoother journey to his social media and advertising network, a unique advantage that eased his path compared to fellow newcomers.
However, a particular platform posed an unexpected challenge as it persistently blocked some of my best videos while at the launch of my career.
A few were taken down. I was cutting food in the videos, which was deemed risky because I was using a sharp object. However, two more interesting reasons my content was taken down were binge eating and gluttony, as the platform claims.
That takes things back to breaking societal barriers with your creative efforts. It’s always tricky to introduce a new idea. Before I went viral, Australia used to frown upon the concept of professional eating; however, I started to see more creators pop up daily.
“Everyone will judge and want a say in how you’re doing what you’re doing until you start showing them that what you’re doing is profitable. The same platform that blocked my content and gave me a hard time at first reached out to me, asking to become an ambassador for them.
The Balance Of Being a Competitive Eater
It’s exciting to get invited everywhere and live a life where people invite you to partake in what you love doing most.
However, anything in excessive quantities can be harmful to the human body. Working out six days a week helps me balance things; this way, I can turn excessive calories into a never-ending bulk.”
“There are certainly days when I work to recover and reward my body with the healthy nutrition it needs, Though it may seem that I just devour gigantic burgers regularly, they’re never without a hectic workout, he clarifies.”
How do you come up with your content ideas?
“At first, it was just sharing what I eat and maybe getting messy with it, but now I get invited to restaurants worldwide, pull out my phone, and hit record.”
“Being yourself makes things much easier when coming up with Ideas. I think followers prefer an unedited raw version of any video to a cinematically perfected one.”
I film everything on the spot, with no scripts or plans ahead. James’ videos are simply a quick introduction before attempting the challenge or a quick voice-over that narrates the story. As straightforward as content creation gets.
Despite the raw approach to production, James acknowledges the importance of personal branding, as his merch of branded t-shirts started to roll out as soon as his content hit numbers.
What are The Advantages Of Being a Professional Eater?
The Love Received in Random Encounters.
“It’s a shock for me to learn about the level of impact I have within my community. For someone who stumbled across content creation and didn’t intend to end up this far, it took me a while to wrap my head around things,” he explains excitedly.
The Power to Help Local Businesses Gain More Customers
I have been to small restaurants and made videos years ago that still get them traffic. It’s truly a blessing to have the ability to influence the success of people who deserve better in life.
During the “Pandemic”, there was a local Kebab Shop I made a free video for, not as a charitable donation, but for the quality they’ve maintained through the years.
I grew up eating there, and seeing them struggle made up my first moment of giving back as an influencer. The business owner tells my dad to thank me every time he visits.
Advice for Aspiring Creators
Learn to become comfortable and be yourself on camera because it makes the process a lot easier. Pair that with consistency, and you’re set to succeed.
As a professional eater, my creative process and content are different from many who’ll read this piece, but being genuine with your followers will help you develop a trust element, making you better at what you do.