We’re all familiar with reaction videos! But have you heard of trying not to react videos? Today, we’re bringing a conversation with Shane Fan, popularly known as the Try Not to Laugh guy!
From how he picks brand deals to having a winner’s mindset — this conversation covers diverse aspects of this 20-year-old influencer.
Who’s Shane Fan?
Now, let’s jump into the conversation!
Thousand Faces Club: Shane, how do you define your personality?
Shane: I have a risk-taking personality with a profound interest in trying new things. And I think that's one of the reasons why I do pretty well on social media. In college, I did a few side projects that did great and took up scuba diving, dragon boating, and all sorts of random things, which translated to TikTok because I was willing to try all the different concepts to see what worked.
Thousand Faces Club: You started your social media journey with Reddit. What did you do there?
Shane: It was 2019, but I didn't create content on Reddit. I only reposted successful conten, which helped me understand the algorithm. I kept reposting already viral posts and earned thousands of followers and a few hundred thousand karmas. But I realized it amounted to very little and that you cannot monetize your following. You're also not creating a positive influence or benefiting society — even with 10 million comments, you're not an influencer on Reddit. You just gather engagement. That's when I moved on to other platforms.
Thousand Faces Club: What made you get on TikTok?
Shane: The pandemic! My plan was to use TikTok only for two weeks, but I found TikTok unlike any other social media platform. While experimenting with short-form video content, I posted comedy skits and POV videos but eventually made reaction videos, as they worked wonders for me. Unlike others, TikTok's algorithm is complex, and it's tricky to reverse engineer it. So, I decided to mimic viral posts, but I personalized them. My approach to crafting viral videos was straightforward — reacting to already viral videos because they generate more views. If the video I'm reacting to has 20 million views, there is a higher chance for my video to fetch 20 million views or more.
Thousand Faces Club: You seem to get a lot of fan art and have a thriving Discord community too! Have you ever met your fans IRL?
Shane: Yes, and it's quite exciting! One incident transpired on a freeway in California. I was driving on a highway corner when a car tried to cross me. It went on for five minutes, and the it kept following me, which alarmed me. As I began to wonder, a girl rolled her window down and screamed, "hey, you're from TikTok, right? I love your content." It took me by surprise because the cars were at 70mph speed, yet she recognized me. That was the first time someone recognized me outside the virtual world.
Thousand Faces Club: How important is picking the right brand deal for you?
Shane: I'm very particular about the product I endorse and promote when I believe in the products or projects. I steer clear of brands that may provoke my audience as I intend to create a positive impact and experiences. The product matters! If a cigarette brand reaches out for promotion, I deny it, as I don't want my followers to smoke. But, if it's an educational app — for instance, something like Duolingo, I know my followers can learn new languages, so I take it up.
Found this conversation useful? Check out the creator journey we’ve written on Shane here.
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