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Educator to Entertainer A Conversation with Jonquall Carrothers of GEN Agency


A Conversation with Jonquall Carrothers of GEN Agency: From Educator to Entertainer

Explore Jonquall Carrothers’ incredible transition from the classroom to TikTok stardom, with invaluable support from GEN Agency. Learn how he found success in the dynamic world of influencer marketing, driven by authenticity and passion. Follow his journey as he empowers others to pursue their dreams in the digital age.

About Jonquall Carrothers

Jonquall, could you briefly describe your journey into the world of influencer marketing and how you became part of the GEN Agency’s roster?

Jonquall Carrothers, a 26-year-old content creator from Memphis, transitioned from teaching to influencer marketing. He gained recognition for teacher-themed skits and revealed, “I got my first real check from social media, and it surpassed my teaching income.” One of his skits went viral, amassing nearly 30 million views overnight, prompting his full-time switch to content creation.

Jonquall’s connection with GEN Agency began in Los Angeles when he sought guidance from Rachel, the agency’s founder, on a manager contract. He said, “Rachel helped me rework the contract, and I chose not to sign with the previous company.” GEN Agency now represents him for various opportunities.

His early success in content creation, especially a viral teacher-themed skit, led to a significant income boost, motivating him to pursue it full-time, leaving his teaching career behind.

Personal Branding and Content Creation

You have a significant presence on various platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. How do you tailor your content for each platform, and how does that strategy impact your brand?

Jonquall tailors his content for different platforms, focusing primarily on YouTube for long-form videos, which he believes allows deeper audience connections. He stated, “I could really cut my fan base; they connect through a 30 to 50-minute video.” He repurposes these videos into shorter clips for platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Facebook Stories to cater to various attention spans.

While acknowledging TikTok’s effectiveness for growth, with tens of millions to nearly a hundred million monthly impressions, Jonquall pointed out, “They don’t really have a connection with me; it stimulates their brain for 15 seconds.” In contrast, YouTube and Instagram offer a better space for building a genuine sense of community, allowing people to feel like they know him.

What’s the core message you aim to deliver to your audience across these platforms, and how has it evolved over time?

Jonquall’s core message to his audience across platforms is about pushing one’s limits and pursuing their dreams. He encourages his followers to “take it as far as you can take it” in various aspects of life, be it education, sports, or personal aspirations.

He explained, “Always, always take it as far as you can take it,” emphasizing that this can mean different things to different individuals. Whether it’s excelling in high school, pursuing higher education, or reaching the professional level in sports, Jonquall motivates his audience to embrace their potential.

Additionally, Jonquall uses his platform to support young athletes in their journey to secure full-ride scholarships for college. He highlighted that it’s their abilities that lead to success and uses his platform to showcase their talents and stated, “I didn’t make you play well; I just recorded it and posted it for you.” His overarching message is to keep persevering and never give up on their goals, inspiring them to explore their potential fully.

Is there a piece of content you’re particularly proud of, and what makes it stand out for you?

Jonquall recalled a remarkable piece of content he’s particularly proud of, which made a significant impact. He reminisced about a talented high school freshman athlete who lacked recognition despite impressive achievements. This content showcased the young athlete’s outstanding performance in a championship game.

In his account, Jonquall described how the athlete, who was just 14 years old, stood out as the best player in the country among all grades. However, he had received no media coverage or college offers. Jonquall took the initiative to record the athlete’s game, where he scored six touchdowns and secured a resounding victory. This football content garnered 200,000 views and widespread reposting, leading to the athlete receiving numerous scholarship offers and recognition.

Reflecting on the impact of this video, Jonquall acknowledged that it ignited the athlete’s recruitment journey. He noted, “That kind of let me know that you can do something with this; this social media stuff is helpful.

In the age of short attention spans, what techniques do you employ to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more?

Jonquall shared his strategies for capturing and retaining the attention of audiences in an age characterized by short attention spans. He emphasized two key techniques he employs to achieve this. 

Firstly, he uses cliffhangers effectively in his videos, deliberately leaving viewers in suspense at the end. This tactic encourages them to seek out the continuation of the content on his page, thus increasing his page engagement. 

Secondly, Jonquall employs dynamic captions in his videos, rapidly displaying and removing text on the screen. By doing so, he not only complements the audio content but also actively engages viewers visually, making the content more stimulating, even when they might be multitasking. These techniques have allowed him to maintain a strong connection with his audience, ensuring that his short-form content consistently draws viewers back for more.

Audience and Community Building

Building a loyal community is crucial in the creator economy. How do you foster genuine connections with your audience?

Jonquall shared his approach to fostering genuine connections with his audience, emphasizing community involvement. He primarily focuses on high school football games during the football season. 

To engage his audience and make them feel part of the content creation process, Jonquall asks his community on platforms like YouTube and Instagram for their input. He allows them to vote on which games he should attend or what type of content he should create. This democratic approach empowers his audience and shows them that their opinions matter. Jonquall is influenced by their preferences and values their voice in shaping the content. He believes that his channel belongs to his audience, and he is the host facilitating their input and desires, making them an integral part of his content creation process.

Have you had a moment where your community particularly impacted you or vice versa?

Jonquall discussed his in-person encounters with his audience, which he sees as a unique opportunity for engagement and community building. As his channels grew in popularity, more kids started recognizing him at high school football games he attended based on audience recommendations. While the attention can be overwhelming on some days, he appreciates the love and support from his audience. These encounters often lead to viewers identifying themselves in his videos, strengthening the sense of community and connection.

With increasing competition in the influencer space, how do you make sure your content remains fresh and engaging?

To ensure his content remains fresh and engaging in a competitive influencer space, Jonquall Carrothers emphasized collaboration over competition with fellow creators in the American football niche. They communicate and avoid duplicating content ideas to maintain a harmonious environment and respect one another’s work. 

Additionally, Jonquall constantly seeks unique and innovative ideas that set him apart from the rest of the creators. He aims to do things no one else is doing, even if it involves going out of his way or facing challenges, as he believes that the best creative ideas often come naturally when least expected.

Monetization and Brand Collaborations

Can you share some of the creative ways you’ve monetized your influence, beyond the traditional sponsored posts and brand partnerships?

When asked about creative monetization strategies beyond the usual sponsored posts and brand collaborations, Jonquall revealed his multifaceted approach. He discussed his ownership of a resale company specializing in shoes and other items. He described how he integrates this business into his content creation: “What I’ll do is I’ll wear my own stuff that I got through my company and I’ll promote myself.”

In essence, Jonquall leverages his influence to promote and sell products from his own brand, thus directly monetizing his audience’s engagement with his content. He emphasized the importance of creating products that resonate with his audience, stating, “I’ll make stuff that I know my audience will love. I’ll make it myself and then I can sell it back to them.”

How do you maintain the balance between sponsored content and authentic storytelling so that neither feels compromised?

Jonquall explained how he maintains a balance between sponsored content and authentic storytelling by aligning brand partnerships with the content season. He emphasized not accepting partnerships that conflict with the current content theme to maintain consistency and improve engagement.

He also discussed the importance of creators having a say in the creative process, especially for lifestyle influencers. Jonquall felt that sports brands were more open to letting creators shape content to fit their audience, whereas lifestyle creators sometimes faced limitations. He expressed the need for a change in the industry to empower lifestyle creators to showcase their creativity effectively.

Challenges and Learning Curves

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in your journey, and how did you overcome them?

Jonquall discussed the significant learning curve involved in content creation, especially the evolving tools and techniques. Initially, he had limited knowledge and resources, which put him at a disadvantage compared to competitors who had more experience and resources.

To overcome these challenges, Jonquall dedicated himself to learning new skills, including green screens, effects, voiceovers, and captioning. He recognized the importance of staying updated with new technologies and trends. He emphasized that even to this day, he continues to learn, particularly in areas like creating effective YouTube thumbnails.

If you could give advice to someone who’s just starting out in this industry, what would it be?

Jonquall’s advice for newcomers to the influencer industry is to carry themselves as if they have already achieved their goals. He emphasized the importance of confidence and self-assuredness in content creation, whether it’s in real life or online. Jonquall suggested that projecting confidence and not being overly concerned about the opinions of others can significantly contribute to personal growth and the growth of one’s brand.

He encouraged new influencers to be bold, unapologetic, and fearless in their approach, as these qualities tend to attract an audience. By exuding confidence and staying focused on their goals, newcomers can see their growth accelerate beyond their expectations.

Future Trends and Sustainability

What trends do you foresee in the influencer marketing and creator economy space that could reshape how influencers operate?

In the ever-evolving influencer marketing and creator economy space, Jonquall envisioned a surge in Real-Life (RL) content creators, anticipating more creators venturing outside their homes to produce unique and engaging content. He also predicted the resurgence of viral challenges, stating, “I felt like the challenge wave was gonna come back soon.”

Regarding artificial intelligence (AI), Jonquall initially had reservations but then acknowledged its value, sharing, “I used AI to write all my captions… It was perfect. Find AI indexed everything.” He highlighted the efficiency of AI in crafting captions, descriptions, and hashtags for his content, optimizing it for search engines and social platforms.

As someone deeply involved in the creator economy, how do you think about sustainability, both for your own brand and the industry at large?

From a personal standpoint, Jonquall believes that sustainability isn’t a concern as long as he sticks to creating content around high school football, stating, “High school football is never gonna go anywhere.” Even if circumstances change, he’s confident he can pivot to college football seamlessly.

However, he acknowledged that many creators face sustainability challenges. For instance, creators who rely heavily on trends or repetitive concepts may experience a decline in engagement and income as audiences grow weary. He advises against creators banking solely on content dependent on their continuous involvement.

What advice do you have for aspiring influencers who want to monetize their journey?

Jonquall shared insightful advice for aspiring influencers. He cautioned against pursuing content creation solely for money, emphasizing the need for genuine passion. “Don’t get into it for the money,” he said.

For those with established platforms, he recommended reaching out to brands. “Reach out to as many brands as you can,” Jonquall advised. He stressed the importance of having a clear plan and being honest during negotiations. “Just be honest and true to yourself,” he added.

The Agency Relationship

Finally, how has being a part of GEN Agency helped you navigate the complex influencer ecosystem, and what unique value do they bring to your journey?

GEN Agency played a pivotal role in Jonquall Carrothers’ journey through the influencer ecosystem. He described their impact as transformative, stating, “I think they were like the godsend Mecca of creatorship for me.”

Jonquall highlighted several key aspects of their support, emphasizing their role in contract negotiation and simplifying complexities. “They read it and highlighted any clauses that needed to be highlighted,” he explained, emphasizing how they ensured his comfort and understanding.

Moreover, Jonquall expressed his deep connection with the agency, going beyond a business partnership. “Like more than just business partners, like real partners. Those were my people,” he said, underscoring the personal support they provided.

Throughout his time in Los Angeles, GEN Agency remained a consistent and solid support system, contrasting with his experiences with other individuals. Jonquall concluded by expressing his gratitude, saying, “I’m so grateful.”

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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