While many will recognize him for his distinctive voice and comedy skits, It wasn’t always comedy for Sam; in fact, Sam has been around long before TikTok and the boom of short-form content. Read along as we sit down with the man of many online characters to learn more about his creative journey through endless niches to find what resonates with his followers.
Who is Sam Alkhatib Off Camera?
A proud Staten Island local and comedic content creator, Sam Alkhatib, kickstarted his career on YouTube back in 2009 as a local figure, doing Staten Island-related vlogs for his channel. However, it wasn’t until he mastered his craft and the introduction of new video platforms that his content took off.
A humble gentleman behind the camera, Sam’s response to who he is off camera was the following:
“I’m just your regular 32-year-old from New Jersey. I’m a full-time teacher, along with my creative work, and I create videos simply for the joy of it. Content creation is something I’ve always wanted to pull off.”
What Niches Did You Attempt Before Settling on Comedy?
Testing waters to see what type of content people enjoy, Sam started his content creation journey with vlogs, dabbled into creating some street in interviews for his old channel, TheRealStatenisland, and then ended up making what he loves most.
He explains, “I’ve been doing YouTube for the longest time, and although it wasn’t comedy-related, it’s was still something I enjoy and take pride in. My shift to TikTok was inspired by one of my friends who suggested that I should try posting on the app, so I recycled my long-form content to make endless snippets, and it worked!”
Sam’s first viral video was one where he was touring his hometown’s railroad station and accidentally boarded the wrong train.
From the Staten Island Guy to a Street Interviewer and comedian, Sam describes his exploration process of different niches as a learning curb. Telling us, “It’s just the natural process anyone has to go through; I didn’t expect myself to take off upon my first attempt anyways.”
Your Content Comes Off As Very Genuine and Heartfelt, What’s The Secret?
“If I’m being honest, I think it’s because I never perceive content creation as a career and just do things for the sake of fun. My reliance on other sources of income allows me to do things at my own pace.”
Sam elaborates, “Other creators may need to focus on quantity rather than quality or find shortcuts of reaching more brand deals but being fortunate enough to have a career out of Social Media, that is none of my concerns.”
Wrapping up his answers, Sam makes it clear that he acknowledges the level of influence he enjoys, and despite the whole concept being started for fun, he may be on the verge of turning it into a full-time practice.
What Does The Creative Process Look Like For You?
“I guess it depends on the type of content we’re talking about, but generally, inspiration comes from relatable topics and the people around me.”
He explains, “Take my latest Niko skit, for example, a character I’ve recently played that is completely inspired by my best friend. I was thinking of content ideas, and the impulsive complements of Niko popped up in my mind, and just like that, a new TikTok character was born.”
Sam adds, “Other times, my content is inspired by relatable topics like food, drinks, and mannerisms. One of my most successful skits was about how pizza should be eaten.”
Would You Ever Consider Content As a Full-Time Career?
Yes, but not at this stage. I’m aiming for more quality brand deals, and I’d say with a following of at least 10 million, I’d be comfortable doing content creation as a full-time job.”
What Are The Highest of Highs From a Career Aspect?
Sam tells us there are no limits on how far things can go for his online career. He’s been witnessing exponential growth following his strategy of sheer originality, and he will continue to do so.”
However, unlike other comedians online, Sam isn’t interested in turning his video content into stand-up comedy; instead, it’s all about acting for him.
He tells us, “Stand-up comedy is a whole different beast. Those who go up on stage with thousands or hundreds waiting to hear a joke are legends. Personally, I prefer to have more control over the quality of content I plan to put out instead of just freestyling it on the spot.”
What Do Brand Deals Look Like For You?
I only hit a million followers in June, and it’s looking promising. I had some collaborations with DoorDash and Wendy’s, with more on the way.”
He adds, “I get to be choosey with who I work with because I have my primary sources of income supporting what I’m doing; I’ve declined some good deals for products or companies
that I know would not benefit my followers.”
If You were to start over again, what would you do differently?
“Absolutely nothing; I believe that any difficulty or lengthy process I went through got me to where I stand today, with still a long way to go. I’m happy with how things played out.
What Strategies or Practices Benefited You Most?
Sam explains that the most critical factor to his success is “having fun and letting the process flow naturally.”
He tells us, “When things started taking off for me, I began to view it all as a strategy, something like what you’re talking about, which almost led me to forget how I got here.”
“The reason I grew to over a million followers is that people love to see someone enjoying what they do. Followers can tell what’s, let’s say, being produced and what’s authentic.”
What Advice Do You Have For Aspiring Creators?
Help Viewers Set Expectations, And Try A Million Different Things
“People will only follow you if they know what to expect,” he answers shortly before elaborating with the following:
“You start to notice your following grow when you give people something to expect. If people wanted to watch food commentary, they’d probably look up a popular foodie, right?”
“You need to have a thing!”
“But finding something memorable and catchy to differentiate yourself is a process within itself, taking us to my second point. Try a million different things.”
“Once you’ve discovered your base audience and found a topic you are passionate about, it’s important to expand your talents and look for other things you may be good at. Sticking with the same content you’ve long been creating will only decrease your relevance over time.”
Wrapping up his answer, Sam also recommends creators start with a broad, relatable topic instead of limiting their potential to very niche markets, believing that branching out into sub-niches should be a process after developing a solid audience base.
In conclusion, Sam’s journey to success offers valuable lessons for passionate creatives pursuing fame and achievement in their chosen fields. Whether one’s passion lies in food, cooking, art, comedy, or any other endeavor, today’s short-form content platforms provide an opportunity for individuals to turn passion into profit while staying true to themselves.