🪄 Josh Richards TikTok Growth Strategy

PLUS: Andrej Karpathy's Keynote on Getting Real-World Dopamine


The Spells Master is back!

Welcome to the 90th issue.

Today's topics:

  1. Josh Richards TikTok Growth Strategy

  2. A tool to Create Remarkable YouTube videos Effortlessly with AI

  3. One recommended video on Andrej Karpathy's Keynote on Getting Real-World Dopamine

Josh Richards TikTok Growth Strategy

Josh Richards has 25.7 million followers just on TikTok. He has 2.4 million on YouTube, 2.4 million on Twitter/X, and 7.3 million on Instagram. He has over 37 million total followers.

He was 16 or 17 years old when he made 15000 Canadian Dollars. He made over $5m at the age of 19. He's probably worth $20m-$30m in cash and in a decade, he will be worth atleast $100m if not a billionaire.

He is a Chief Strategy Officer at Triller, Part-owner of Ellen's Unhide Company, Co-owner of Dog for Dog (with Snoop Dogg), Investor in BREAKr and 18+ other companies, and Host of BFFs podcast with Barstool.

He was already an influencer at the age of 14. He made lip-syncing videos and humorous content to post on Musically and went viral there.

But we can all learn from his growth playbook as he dropped massive insights 3 years ago that were prescient.

1. First Experience with Social Media

Josh's sister posted a video of him on her Musically (now TikTok) account.

He felt motivated by the attention he got, especially from the girls.

So he set a goal to reach 10,000 followers in 2 months by the end of Summer.

He demonstrated an early understanding of the importance of measurable targets.

So he set a goal of 250 followers per day to reach 10,000 by summer's end.

He utilized follow/unfollow tactics with his sister's help. F4F (follow-for-follow) tactics still work.

"We were like going like it was like all math I was figuring out how many people I needed to follow a day, how many videos I needed to like a day to get these followers."

~ Josh Richards

2. Leverage Live Streaming

He committed to an intense daily live streaming schedule for 2.5 years, 4 hours straight from 10 PM to 2 AM.

"I was going live every day for four hours it was wow yeah straight four hours straight 10 p.m to 2 a.m every single night"

~ Josh Richards

He discovered a leaderboard of top gifters (donators) on Musically.

He had his sister target these top donors through follow/unfollow tactics.

His sister would follow/unfollow these top donors and Josh would go live when these users were active.

"I was an account getting like the top five donations and likes on a live stream with only 90,000 followers with other accounts having like tens of millions or millions of followers."

~ Josh Richards

He earned like $100-$200 per night.

At peak, he made upto $3,000 for a 5-minute stream ($1,000 per minute.)

This strategy showed Josh's ability to identify and exploit platform-specific features for growth.

Essentially, he performed Whale Baiting on Musically.

3. Adapt to Platform Changes

Later on, TikTok acquired Musically.

What worked on Musically didn't work one-on-one on TikTok even though both had short-form videos.

There are minute differences between every platform even if they both look similar on the surface.

So Josh shifted his strategy to adapt to TikTok.

"You either adapt or you perish. That is evolution."

~ Triple H

He studied the "For You Page" algorithm.

He discovered importance of comments and shares for visibility.

4. Tutorial Videos as Growth Hack

He identified tutorial content as a way to encourage sharing and commenting.

His first viral success was a camera transition technique tutorial.

He gained 300,000 followers in 1-2 days.

"It got something like 60 million views. It blew up... like absolutely just blew up I went up like 300,000 followers I think in like a day or two"

~ Josh Richards

This strategy demonstrates Josh's understanding of content that drives engagement and virality.

Reasons for Success:

  1. Video Saves:

    • Encouraged users to save videos for later viewing

    • Increased engagement metrics, likely boosting algorithmic favor

  2. Comment Generation:

    • Prompted viewers to comment for clarification

    • Created a dialogue, increasing overall engagement

  3. Content Series Potential:

    • Viewers requested follow-up content (e.g., "part two")

    • Established a content pipeline and sustained audience interest

This tutorial trick works even now on X. Natia Kurdadze does it best.

Even with the X algorithm change, Natia's reach is unaffected. Most big influencers with 10x her followers have less reach than her.

5. Monetization Hacks

He learned the importance of equity from Ashton Kutcher.

He balances short-term, mid-term, and long-term investments smartly.

"Everything we need to touch we need to own."

~ Josh Richards

Instead of asking for $50k for a post, he asks for $20k in cash and the rest in equity.

He knows that simply saving money in a bank account is not optimal as this is not 1980s anymore.

He recommends investing in accounts with percentage returns especially to young influencers.

6. Future Predictions

He observed the trend from long-form to extremely short-form content.

And he speculates on potential return to longer formats or further short form contents.

He believes live streaming and gaming will continue to grow.

Hat Tip to Justin Kan for bringing in Josh Richards on his podcast to share his insights along with CNBC.

A tool to Create Remarkable YouTube videos Effortlessly with AI

Gling AI creates remarkable YouTube videos effortlessly.

This is what AI enables. A content creation tool specifically made for YouTubers that removes the uhms and ahhs from the video while providing AI-generated titles, chapters, and descriptions.

These niche AI SaaS are phenomenal way to make money. They are targeted for one avatar (YouTubers) and solves all their problems. Perfect positioning.

This video starts with a very short but useful speech by Andrej Karpathy.

If you don't know who he is, he is the founding member of OpenAI, the company that brought ChatGPT to the world and director of Autopilot Vision at Tesla.

He essentially explains how you should get your dopamine from the real world. If you understand how AI or LLM actually works, you'll understand how your brain works so you can manipulate it into doing things that you want rather than being a slave of your brain.

Top Tweets of the day


Best ELI5 of AI Agents. If you learn how to use AI Agents to your advantage, you can essentially do a 10 person's job on your own. You can exploit it now before all companies expect you to work 10x for the same minimal salary.

No matter what field you are in, learn this.


Boring things work. Everyone wants new advice. Old advice works.

Rabbit Holes

  1. Mr Beast’s sneaky secret to writing winning emails… - Mr. Beast is a master at grabbing attention of 100m people per video. And I've recently learned it is very hard to get people to click on something consistently every single time. This post dives into his tactics to keep attention at scale.

  2. Best books to read for a beginner in copywriting? - Copywriters are going to rule the world in the future as content creation gets 10x easier with AI. Those who know how to sell with words will make 10x more than the average person. This discussion covers the overlapping books.

  3. Rolling Thunder of AI Opportunities - You won't know what is useful in AI until you get a scientific breakthrough from a research paper on Arxiv but once it happens, you have a 10x improvement that you are ready to capitalize on. It will happen slowly and then all at once. We recently learned how Musicfy made $1.5M as a Text-To-Music SaaS thanks to one research paper. Its the same story with every AI SaaS making millions. If you are a builder, don't sleep on the research published at Arxiv. If you are a marketer, don't forget to join a growing project with great team. If you win bigly, you can retire.

Until next time,

Your Spells Master!

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More Startup Spells 🪄

  1. Elon Musk's PR Masterclass (LINK)

  2. Whale Baiting (LINK)

  3. How Koreans win Pitch Competitions (LINK)


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