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How KevOnStage is Building His Comedy Flywheel

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KevOnStage

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Kevin Fredericks is a comedian, producer, director, and entrepreneur behind KevOnStage studios. He is known for his works Major Deal (2016), No Good Men (2008), and The Family Exchange (2015). Despite his talent, Hollywood somehow couldn’t say yes to him. But that didn’t stop him from having his green light and making his trademark in the tv industry. In fact, he surprised people to build his own streaming service. 

Today’s episode talks about how he built an independent brand that really paid off his hard work. He established a solid fan base, had millions of followers on social media, and monetized these platforms by producing his hilarious viral content, a total blast in the mainstream.

Listen as we talk about what’s going on in his business and his independent success, turning rejection into a massive opportunity to be where he is now.

Episode Highlights:

[01:56] What KevOnStage is currently working on

[04:49] His take on more black content going in the mainstream

[06:53] KevOnStage’s motto, his marketing strategy, and business goals

[11:57] What it’s like to have autonomy in his brand

[19:08] His thoughts on artists knowing their audience and dealing with critics

[21:30] What’s the process from the stuff put out on socials versus onstage

[25:24] How does he approach his game using different social platforms

[32:38] What’s something beyond just the monetary gain that makes him want to continue to feel inspired to create content

[35:13] His opinion on creators who are a one-platform-dominant

[38:21] Where does his most lucrative income come from 

[41:57] How he diversify his content to own the media and make his brand stand out

[45:51] What would he like to be doing more of

[51:28] KevOnStage’s new content to watch out for

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS

Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co

Guest: Kevin Fredericks, Studios

 

Trapital is home for the business of hip-hop. Gain the latest insights from hip-hop’s biggest players by reading Trapital’s free weekly memo

Transcript

Kev: So, sometimes partnering is great, sometimes licensing is great, sometimes selling is great sometimes. A good business person takes the best deal for what they need to get done.

 

Introduction

 

Dan: Hey, welcome to the Trapital Podcast. I’m your host and the founder of Trapital, Dan Runcie. This podcast is your place to gain insights from the executives in music, media, entertainment, and more who are taking hip hop culture to the next level. 

 

Today’s guest is KevOnStage, the comedian, producer, director, and entrepreneur behind KevOnStage Studios. I’ve been following KevOnStage for years now. I think he’s one of the funniest people on the internet so it was so good to have this conversation. 

 

We talked about how he’s built his business and everything that he has done from how he creates content, how he thinks about what platforms he prioritizes, how that then provides insights for what he creates for his longer form content, what gets created from KevOnStage Studios, and, ultimately, the type of opportunities that he can offer for other creators and other entertainers that want to do, in many ways, largely the type of thing that he’s done. 

 

And we talked about where his streaming service sits in this ecosystem of the Netflixes and the Hulus and, in a lot of ways, even though those streaming services may have their black voices tabs, that’s not quite the type of content that is what Kev is making so he’s really finding his niche, doubling down there, and how he uses the insights from that to infer what gets made, that is how many creators have been very successful so so much of that is very relatable. 

 

This is also probably one of the interviews I’ve laughed in the most. He’s hilarious, like I said. This is a great conversation. I really hope you enjoy it. Here’s my chat with KevOnStage.

 

Interview

 

Dan: All right, we got my guy KevOnStage here. Kev, you are one of the busiest people that I’d seen from 2021. Now we’re next year, man. How you feeling? Fresh year, how is it?

 

Kev: I’m excited, man. We’ve got a lot of new things we’re working on. I’m really excited, man. It’s always fun to be at the beginning of a project, not knowing where it’s going or how far it may go and that’s kind of where I am now. All the things I’m like, “Oh, soon as I get back, soon as I get back, I’m gonna start working on that.” That time is here now so I’m really excited.

 

Dan: That what’s up. Because I feel like for you, you got a few things that are already in motion that have been working well. Your content’s good. You got that machine going. But the Studio, I feel like that’s the really exciting thing that’s been growing.

 

Kev: Listen, man, I’m working on my own flywheel, okay? Westbrook, they got their flywheel, fast IP, that was the best graphic I’ve ever seen that you made. 

 

Dan: Oh, thank you. 

 

Kev: I was like, “This is what I wanna do. I wanna do everything from Instagram videos to selling shows.” So, you know, and they all have their own value so that’s what’s exciting. I have the same amount of joy from making a funny reel like I posted of Angel falling in the challenge show, it was just — I spent 20 minutes on that, really just getting the fall right. 

 

And then I came here, you know, I went on location scout right before I came here to this new show we’re working on and then this podcast, like they’re all exciting for different reasons so I’m trying to enjoy it all. 

 

Dan: Yeah. I think the cool thing with that, you get to wear multiple hats and I know, with this, there’s a number of things that interest you about this, right? Like you enjoy comedy, you have that piece, but I also know that you like to put people on. You wanna use your platform to do that. 

 

So I feel like you being able to wear each of those hats and do those things gives you that opportunity to provide all of that.

 

Kev: Absolutely, man. I think there’s the old saying of the church, “We’re blessed to be a blessing,” and that’s kind of what I wanna do. People have given me opportunities, partnerships with, you know, people have helped lift me, and I just wanna pass along the same thing. 

 

For me, my platform isn’t about me shining alone, you know what I mean? I tell my friends all the time, I want us all in the gated community. One things I used to do at all deaths that I found a lot of joy in was give people their first great reel or first time directing or whatever and I found that I had as much joy doing that as making somebody laugh. 

 

And KevOnStage Studios is really just a more expensive version of that. So, we wanna give people their first time PA-ing or help you get into the wardrobe union or makeup union. It’s hard for black people to get into those places but we need black people in those spaces so that’s kind of what we’re working towards doing. 

 

And then even simple things like our editor, one of our editors likes improv so it’s like, “Hey, you wanna be in an episode?” Things like that are great too because I want people to be able to scratch their own creative itch and that’s kind of what my passion is. 

 

Dan: What I like about KevOnStage Studios is that, sure, I think there’s a lot of attention right now with, “Oh, there’s so much black content out there on your Netflix,” your this and this, but what you’re doing is like you’re saying, that’s true to an extent but it really isn’t true for a lot of the people that I think could have the opportunities to be put on in this era.

 

Kev: Yeah. I was just watching Abbott Elementary this morning where I was shaving and I was just like, man, this show is amazing, and to see somebody like Quinta Brunson who — my first time seeing her was on Instagram. Her “Girl who’s never been on a nice date, a large, he must got — he got money. He could —” like from that to a network sitcom. 

 

And even shows like South Side, which I don’t know their story as much, but the show is amazing, that’s great. But then there’s a lot of creators who have those similar ideas and absolutely no path to HBO, Comedy Central, ABC, Netflix. 

 

Even me, like I’ve pitched to a lot of people and I had a lot of, “Uh-huh, we’ll circle back.” And, you know, that was 2018, ’19, you know, pandemic killed off anything I had going in Hollywood so I want to be that same network for people who can’t get all the way to Hollywood, you know, like here’s your chance to get to, you know, Hollywood adjacent — North Hollywood, if you will. 

 

You’re right over the hill, you just — you know, it’s cheaper in North Hollywood. You know, there’s more taco trucks, you know? And your number 15 minutes of real Hollywood, you know, that’s what KevOnStage Studios, it’s the North Hollywood of Hollywood. We’re right there. We’re right there. But it’s a one-bedroom washer and dryer stacked, you know?

 

Dan: Exactly. 

 

Kev: That’s a leg up from having to go to a laundry mat. 

 

Dan: Yes, that’s true. It’s true.

 

Kev: Stackable’s good, man. I’ll take a stackable.

 

Dan: Right, right. It’s one of those things, right? It’s like location and all that, you can’t pick everything with these things. You can pick two, and, Kev, you’re gonna give them two.

 

Kev: Laundry is a huge plus. Location and a stackable, I’m like, “Bet, let’s do it.” 

 

Dan: Well, I think the good thing with it is that — because I know in past interviews, you’ve talked about, hey, with this model, this is something you wanna provide the opportunity. But from a business perspective, I know that it’s not something that you necessarily need like a ton of subscribers to reach some point or you’re not trying to reach like Netflix scale necessarily, it’s something that can sit beside that. 

 

But with that, I’m sure you also have goals from the business side as well as the impact side with the service. So, what does that look like from a streaming service perspective?

 

Kev: Yeah, that’s a great, great question. It’s like — I heard this example somewhere. They’re like, you know, somebody’s saying you’re not gonna beat Walmart at selling everything at a low price, right? They’re gonna beat you if you’re starting out. What you can beat them at is selling a lot of one thing, right? 

 

Because they sell so many things for a low price, they can’t sell a lot of any one thing so they’re gonna have, you know, maybe one or two black shaving kits, maybe Bevel and maybe one other thing. If you have a black beauty supply store, people are gonna be like, “Well, Walmart doesn’t have what I’m looking, here I can go get some weave, you know, a do rag, I can get Bevel, I can get seven other, I get essential oils, I can get Dixons,” you know?

 

So that’s our motto, like we’re not — Netflix has an $8 billion content budget. They made Squid Game to Red Notice with the Rock — we can’t compete with that, right? But they don’t have black people learning how to play spades. They don’t have that video. They don’t have, you know, the Real Comedians Challenge Show, they don’t have things like that, right? 

 

So we wanna over serve a population that is being served by Hollywood but it’s not the primary focus, you know what I mean? Right now, we’re in an area of, we’re sorry, black people Hollywood, like, man, we really discriminate against you guys for a long time and you guys caught us out on it. 

 

So we’re reaping the benefits of all that, you know, time where we weren’t, you know, getting our just due. But even then, there’s still so many other shows that can’t be made to this audience and that’s kind of what we wanna fill. We wanna make stuff for black people who don’t see themselves on Netflix, you know? 

 

This church show that we’re working on, you know, is for black people who grew up in the church from a point of view of somebody who also grew up in the church and worked in the church, like if you grew up in the church like me, you know, there’s never really been a true church show from people who grew up in there. 

 

There’s people who attended but not people who like worked in ministry, and Netflix might not see the value in making a show like that and that’s where we come in, and we wanna serve that audience. All that content where they can’t get it on Netflix. 

 

And also I’m not even saying you don’t have to have Netflix, like I ain’t gonna lie to you, Dan, I watch my Netflix, I watch Hulu, HBO Max, like as a consumer, there’s stuff that I wanna watch too, like Game of Thrones one through four. 

 

Dan: Yeah, one through four. One through four.

 

Kev: One through four. Insecure, like all those shows. Of course we’re not even here to say “Don’t watch Netflix” and “Boycott Netflix” like I won’t even ask you to do that because I’m not gonna do that. But, you know, sometimes you want a nice steak dinner at a five-star restaurant, sometimes you just want a taco truck, you know, and you can’t get that experience. 

 

When you really want a street taco or the corn man selling elotes, you know, a big steak dinner is not gonna do it. So that’s all we wanna be, man. We just a little taco truck on the street, man, just pull up real quick, get you three little tacos, you know what I’m saying? Some Jarritos and a little elote and go on about your way. You’re not gonna bring your wife here to propose to her. But if you’re in between work, you know, this Kevin taco, that’s KevOnStage Studio, just a little street taco place on the side.

 

Dan: Right. And then with Netflix too, that’s the place that has all the good ratings of the people that know what’s up.

 

Kev: And that’s the thing. You know, somebody gotta tell you about this place. “Hey, man, you gotta go over there. Trust me.” And when you — and that’s kind of how we’re growing, right? We don’t have the marketing budget like Netflix, right? When Netflix came out, yet get three months free, a year free. They had billboards and buses in Times Square. We don’t have that.

 

Our thing is like, “Yo, there’s this funny show on this network called KevOnStage Studios, you gotta check it out.” Or you see a funny clip on TikTok and you wanna see the rest of the video, that’s our marketing right now. Word of mouth, your boy telling you, your girl telling you, or you seeing a clip and you wanna see more.

 

Dan: Right. I think I heard you made the analogy once of the Sally’s Beauty Supply as opposed to, you know, what you may see at the traditional place like a Walmart, right? And I think even with that, it’s like, you know, from a haircare perspective, you know what, yeah, Walmart may have that can of Sportin’ Waves but I may want something a little more serious if you wanna make sure the wave’s spinning, right? You gotta get something a little —

 

Kev: Absolutely. They might just have Sportin’ Waves but they’re not gonna have Murray’s, they’re not gonna have Sulfur8, Just For Me, they might just have one thing. And that’s kind of, yeah, that’s exactly what we wanna do here, man, and we’re having a good time doing it.

 

Dan: That’s great, man. That’s great. I think that, in a lot of ways, like we were saying before, that’s how you identify the elements of your flywheel and where everything sits and how you’re able to foster not just your platform but the other opportunities and what I think it does at the end of the day, it narrows in, okay, what is the KevOnStage brand? What does it stand for? And what type of opportunities you can create from that? 

 

Because I feel like with you specifically, you’ve now kind of hit this mode where I know you mentioned that, you know, you were knocking on the door of many folks in Hollywood or anywhere else and they weren’t necessarily letting you in, but now I feel like you’re kind of at this stage where you are doing well for yourself given everything you’ve built up independently.

 

You’re now able to leverage things. As you mentioned yourself, you got that Maserati, like you’re — like you’re showing from that perspective, right? But you got those things. 

 

I’m curious, though, because I know that — and as you know, definitely you have broken down a lot of the levels of what creators are and the creator economy and all those things, at this stage, you really do have the autonomy if you wanted to, okay, at this stage, would I wanna ever do some type of partnership or deal with one of these bigger distributors that are always trying to offer comedians or creators like yourselves the serious bag, 

 

but I’m curious from your stage right now, like is that something that would still entertain you? Like is that something that you would ever do?

 

Kev: I thought about it and it depends and I’ll tell you why. One of the best parts about being at KevOnStage Studios and not having to answer to a network is not having to answer to a network. If I wanna make a show, if I wanna cast whoever, no name or whatever, I don’t have to have anybody else say yes, you know, or no, right?

 

One thing is, you know, I learned when I shot my first pilot that a network paid for, when they pay for it, what they say goes, right? So in this instance, they were like, “Take this joke out and this joke out and this joke out,” during the notes process and then when we shot it, 

 

they’re like, “This isn’t funny. This is not landing. We don’t think black people are gonna get this” so we took all that stuff out, even though we were fighting for it, at the end of the day, they won because we were small and we didn’t have as much power in the room, 

 

and at the end of the day, they passed on it because they said it wasn’t funny enough. We were like, “Well, you took everything funny out. How could it be funny?” So, you know, when you’re first starting out, the network has all the power because I’m not Denzel or Shonda Rhimes. If I got an opportunity, they’re gonna tell me what it is, and fight as I may, it’s gonna be what they say. 

 

But here, we can make what we want to make and I think that autonomy is very freeing and it allows me to make what I know is good and funny. Like one of the things that I pride myself on is knowing my audience and what they will like and all that stuff. 

 

And, you know, even when I do like brand deals, you know, especially early on, I would have less power and I would have to basically say whatever the brand said and it would come out corny, and I’d be like my audience would hate it and they could smell the fakeness from a mile away. 

 

As I’ve grown. I’ve been like, “Hey, I’m gonna tell you right now that’s not gonna work. Trust me, let me do it this way and it always goes over better.” So, in that instance, I love the autonomy. 

 

However, if we were able to partner with someone, it allows us to make things at a greater scale and provide more opportunities for other people and do things a lot easier. You know, everything we do now, we gotta figure it out, you know, when your mom came home, the kitchen bare, the cupboard’s bare, she’s like, okay, we got two chicken thighs, some corn, you know, some breadcrumbs, make something work. That’s where we’re at, you know what I’m saying? 

 

At the end of the day, you’re like, “Hey, low key, that was kind of fire for what we had,” but you’d also love to just go to the grocery store and get everything you want. So, right now, I’m loving the freedom, but as we grow, I wouldn’t say no to an opportunity to do more and maybe employ more people for certain projects. 

 

I don’t think there’s ever a world where everything I do, I answer to somebody. I always want to be able to create something that I want to create without having to answer to anybody. But, you know, if Warner Brothers said, “Kev, we’re gonna offer 140 million to develop some stuff,” well, yes. Yes, I would — I’ll take a little 140 mil, yeah.

 

Dan: Right, right. And that’s the thing, right? It’s like you have the clear strategy and from an overall perspective, it sounds like, hey, I know that overall deals are the wave, that’s not necessarily what I’m looking for. However, if that number is right, I’m not gonna not have the conversation. We’re going to talk about it

 

Kev: Absolutely — like look what Tyler Perry did, right? And I’ve watched his career and tried to mimic it to the best of my ability, which I haven’t done that well yet. But, you know, still working. But, you know, he leveraged the early Lionsgate deals into his own pocket, like, you know, he partnered with them and they were able to finance those movies and he did X, Y, Z, boom, boom. And then the capital that he got from that, he was able to finance his own shows. 

 

So sometimes, partnering is great sometimes, licensing is great sometimes, selling is great sometimes. A good business person takes the best deal for what they need to get done, right? So I wouldn’t say that, you know, part of our business model is if I can make a show, you know, at our margins and I can license it to you in the first window, I can make a great margin there and now I’ve done two things, 

 

I’ve made the show and I made the show I want and I might, you know, right now, there’s a lot of, you know, places that have more distribution than we do 

 

so if you wanna take it off our hands, we made our money back and you wanna, you know, stream it, then you’ve just introduced a lot more people to KevOnStage Studios and they can come back to the app and watch the other stuff we’ve made. 

 

So that’s definitely part of our plan and that would help us make more shows. So even if we sold that one and they own the rights to it, I wouldn’t cry because we can make eight more shows with what we sold that one for. 

 

So it’s about making the right business, you know, choice at the right time and not being like, “I wanna own it all,” like, I mean, obviously, I wanna own it all but that also comes with its own risks, which means you have to finance it all. And if it sucks, you’ve lost everything, you know? Everything you spent. 

 

So that’s a risk that you don’t want to have to take every time, you know? Sometimes, you wanna take it when it’s near and dear to your heart, but not — every time? You wanna reach into your own pocket every time? You know? Not every time. So, yeah, we’re always keeping our options open to the right partnership whenever that may come.

 

Dan: Yeah, I think that’s the healthy and best way to look at it, because as both of us, people that spent a lot of time on Twitter, we know how big — everyone wants to own everything, right? But until you’re actually in it, you don’t realize how much nuance there is with all of that and I really look at these things as a spectrum, as you do, and I think the best people have a mix of both of these things. 

 

And like you said, I know that, you know, you mentioned Tyler Perry as a model, the same way that you know how to create this content and do it at a way it’s affordable, that’s essentially what he did with like Meet the Browns, right? Boom, let me go sell this to TBS and now we got cable distribution for however many years, you know, he’s been doing that.

 

Kev: Absolutely, and hardly anybody in Hollywood could shoot at the rate he shoots at. So his margins are much lower than a traditional network or even cable. So I mean, you know, Tyler, you see articles, they shot 20 episodes in six days —

 

Dan: Wild.

 

Kev: — nobody would even attempt that, you know? And BET was like, yeah, we’ll take more. We’ll take whatever you got. So, for him, he knows his audience, he knows his business model, he knows it works. Critics don’t stop what he’s doing. And the numbers reflect that he’s doing the right thing. People criticize, come what may, but when them numbers come out, people are watching. 

 

So that’s one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is like, especially if you’re on Twitter a lot, everything sucks, everybody hates everything, there’s nothing good, everybody’s wrong. But at the end of the day, somebody is watching that. 

 

So, you know, we’d be on Twitter trashing everything but somebody likes that show and they’re watching it weekly. So, Tyler’s learned to focus on those people who are enjoying it and tuning out people who don’t enjoy because they’re not — they don’t help his plan and that’s kind of what we’re doing here. 

 

Like we’re not trying to make everything for everybody. We’re trying to make a lot of stuff for the people who want to watch it. And then you grow, the same thing Tyler did, you have your base, you cater to that base, and you grow that base.

 

Dan: Yep. 

 

Kev: And if you do that, I mean, that’s tried and true. Like we were talking about earlier, you don’t need a lot of followers, you don’t need a whole bunch of people. You need people who are really excited and who want to come to your live show and buy a t-shirt, to support your Patreon, and get your app, you know? 

 

There’s so many creators with millions of followers but not a lot of active fans so when they try to go on tour or sell a t-shirt, people are like, “No, man, we don’t — we’re not — you know, post the thing on Instagram I like.” 

 

Dan: Right.

 

Kev: But I wanna do this. No, no, no. So I learned a long time ago, it’s better to have 500 really active fans than 5 million people who kinda like your stuff.

 

Dan: Definitely. And I feel like, with you, you’ve been able to see that in real life, like you are going on tour, you’re seeing these people in person, you’re getting all those reactions too. 

 

And you mentioned earlier about just insights and you being able to see what works and what doesn’t and I wonder, how much of that is based on just the feeling of, “Okay, this piece or this post really took off and then I’m gonna try to incorporate that into something,” or how much of it is also, you know, data driven as well where you’re looking at things, you know, precisely and you’re like, “Okay, like if I’m spending this much time here,” what’s that process like, you know, from the stuff you put out on socials versus what you may do on stage?

 

Kev: That’s a great question. For socials, the one thing I’ve learned about the internet is I don’t know anything about the internet. What goes viral? What works? Man? My best TikTok is me holding my son’s dog and talking about how black people —

 

Dan: Oh, does your dog know if you’re black? 

 

Kev: Does your dog know you’re black? If you’re Mexican, does your dog know you’re Mexican? If you’re white, does your dog know you’re white? That didn’t take a lot of thought. I literally was at home and he was about to get into something, I was like, and then I was like, I wonder if he knows that means stop in black, you know what I mean?

 

And then I wondered if a Mexican family has their own version of that. I just threw that up and it had — it’s got like 2.6 million views on TikTok. That is not the funniest video, it’s not the most relatable, it didn’t even do that well on Instagram or Twitter or whatever. I just throw it up against the wall. I let the internet decide what’s funny or not and I know some things tend to do well more than others. 

 

Any culture messing with black food in a way that’s not traditional, you mess with macaroni and cheese, it’s gonna get a lot of views, right? But, you know, I was making a lot of those food videos and then people were just — like I was getting every food video so I was like, okay, as a creator, even if it does get a lot of views, I don’t wanna be the food guy and I don’t wanna keep making the same video. 

 

So, part of my strategy is I make something that is funny, make something that’s relatable, or make something that I just think is funny. Or if I got nothing of that, then I’ll share another creator who’s funny. There’s been some days where I’m like, “Man, I don’t feel funny today,” and I’ll see somebody else’s video, I’ll be like, well, let me just share their stuff because there’s nothing I can do that’s as funny as this. 

 

So, you know, and I share and tag them and then I’m like, even if I didn’t make something funny, I fulfilled my promise to introduce you to new creators. So that’s kind of my strategy. And I just also am very consistent. Even if I don’t think the video’s great, I still post it because what’s great to me and what’s great to somebody else is very different. 

 

I’ve had a lot of videos that I think they’re hilarious that did absolutely nothing. And a lot of them, like my dog video that I didn’t think nothing of and just threw up, that went viral. Like I made this waffle house video probably four or five years ago, I mean, I was on my way to work, I was like, you know, I saw this article, it said Waffle House is dirty. And I’m just like nobody who eats at Waffle House cares about that. 

 

Dan: Right.

 

Kev: We know. That video went stupid viral. I mean crazy. And I didn’t even — it took less than 5 minutes total. Shoot, edit, post. And I did it — I wouldn’t advise this but I shot the whole thing on the freeway. I was driving to work, I always had my phone in my rearview mirror thing, hit record, said what I had to say, turned it off. When I got out of my car, I edited it, put the article next while I was walking to work. That thing went crazy. 

 

Didn’t think nothing of it. Just threw it up and so many people, that’s how they got introduced to me. So, you know, what do I know? I’ve been doing this 10 years now pretty consistently. So many things went viral that I would have never done. And, you know, that’s the nature of the internet.

 

Dan: Right, it’s like you know that there’s generally a type of content you put out that’s going to work, you put it out there and you just know that something’s gonna hit. It may not always be what you think is gonna hit, but you put it out there, for sure.

 

Kev: Absolutely, man. Let the people decide what’s fun. I mean, I did one video where I was yelling at my son, I use the term loosely, ’cause he had gotten good grades. It did like 7 million views on Twitter, 6, 7 million views, and I was just like, kids, puppies, they’re gonna work every time. 

 

So, you know, I try to exploit my dog while he’s still small. I don’t exploit my children as much. But the dog, he don’t even know how many videos. He does well. He’s earning his keep in the Fredericks household. 

 

Dan: One of the things I also, you know, like about how you approach your game is that you look at each social platform differently and you also know how to move to things, right? Like you know that Twitter is quick. You’re gonna — that’s gonna be the one that’s most current about things. 

 

But I know you’ve also put a lot more time into TikTok and just given, I think we saw the recent stats that TikTok, people spending more time on that now than Google, you know, you gotta be early on a lot of these platforms to rise. 

 

But there’s also things like Clubhouse, for instance, where, you know, I think things rose and then, you know, it dipped and I’m curious, how do you approach that? Like do you know that there’s certain ones where you’re like, “Okay, there’s something here, let me double down here,” like what’s your method for that type of thing?

 

Kev: You have a lot of good questions, man. This is why you — you should do a podcast, maybe a newsletter as well about hip hop and entertainment. What I try to do, one of my, you know, things that I’ve noticed works well is using a platform how that platform was designed to be used. 

 

So Twitter, the best thing is tweeting, like writing, like writing out funny tweets, whether you’re trending, relatable, whatever. I post my videos — the only reason I post my videos on Twitter is because people would rip my videos and post — because videos didn’t do well on Twitter for me for a long time and the only reason I posted on there now is because people would rip my videos and post them and they’d do better on Twitter than I ever would have thought,

 

so I was like, well, nobody’s gonna be getting them if I’m not gonna get them. But as far as TikTok, I always try what’s new incoming. I’ve tried, I mean, Vine. You want to talk about the worst creator ever on Vine? Kevin — I mean, I couldn’t get Vine to work for nothing. 

 

I made a Vine one time, Dan, and I’m lucky you can’t find it. And I was like making toast and I put a piece of bread in the oven and then the Vine cut and I had like half a second left and I was like, “Burnt,” and it was just a piece of burnt bread. And I was like, I don’t — I’m gonna stop doing this. This is literally the worst Vine ever. 

 

I tried Socialcam, Periscope, Clubhouse, spaces, Fleets, Stories, Snapchat. I’ve tried everything. Part of it for me is like, let’s talk about TikTok, for example. TikTok was a new — there were so many fun ways to edit on there, editing was more seamless, they had all those backgrounds. So, as a creator, it was just fresh. 

 

But anytime children are using something, the user base is gonna grow. And I think TikTok used to be Musical.ly and I remember my niece was on Musical.ly a long time ago so my strategy is always dip my toes in the water, see what works, find out how that platform works specifically. 

 

I realized what I learned about TikTok is you gotta be even quicker than other places on TikTok. I’m talking about people are scrolling like almost like this. You got like maybe 6, 7 seconds on Instagram, you got like 2.3 on TikTok and you can buy 3 seconds if you put the caption. 

 

It took me a long time to realize you had to write the caption on the video because people are not looking down to, I believe it’s the left to see what you’re saying so you gotta figure out, stop their system for one second and say when this be like or baby like or whatever. That’s step one and now you might have their attention. 

 

Using whatever trend is popping or whatever music is popping, now that’s step two. Now, you got them for 7, 8 seconds, now you may have a chance. But almost all of these platforms are, “Is it funny? Is it entertaining? Is it educational? Or is it relatable?” If you’re doing one of those of the four, you’ll be better off, but like I was a long winded person so I was on Periscope early and I stayed for a long time and I have so many of the people who are now on the Stage Crew is what we call our group of fans are — 

 

I used to go on Periscope every day while I drove to work. I was stuck in traffic for an hour and a half, I’d be on Periscope for an hour. And I just chopped it up. I’ve seen video ideas. And so many people loved it and they stuck with me for a long time. And another thing I do, I know I’m just rambling, I test out concepts on platforms, right? 

 

So I’ll tweet something and if that tweet does numbers, then I’ll be like, “Bet, I’ll make a video of that.” Like, for example, Uberfacts tweeted, “What’s —” This is a trend maybe last week. Uberfacts tweeted, “What’s a company’s secret you can spill now that you don’t work there anymore?” and I was like, oh, I worked at the bank. 

 

I quote tweeted, “The bank does actually overdraw you on purpose,” like a lot of people used to accuse us of that and we would have to lie but they actually do it on purpose. It had like 26,000 retweets so I’m like, okay, that’s great, that means people are interested. Now let me screenshot that, go to TikTok, and make the talking version of that. 

 

And then I put that video on TikTok, did well. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, did well. And then a couple of days later, I put the video version of a tweet that went viral right back on Twitter with my own tweet and it also went well. 

 

And I’ll do that all the time. If I’m not sure video work, I’ll post it on my stories and I’ll check the engagement. If I get over 50 shares or 100 shares, I’m like, “Oh, I’ll take that off and put it on the main grid.” Sometimes I’ll make a full video. So I’m kinda like seeding out content and seeing what people respond to and then deciding if I wanna make a full video after that. 

 

I have to do that now because I’m doing other projects. I used to just scour the internet for videos all day but because we’re making stuff for the app and stuff, I don’t have as much time so I’m kinda like throwing stuff against the wall, seeing what works, and then making full versions of that. 

 

And that’s kinda how I continue making content consistently while I’m really spending more time creating long-form content, where I’m on set 10, 12 hours a day. I just don’t have the time to be on the internet like I usually was so I’ve gotta like be more strategic about doing it.

 

Dan: That’s your fastlane IP model right there. You just broke it down.

 

Kev: Yeah. Absolutely, man. I’m just always moving in there. And my hope, one day, I wanna be like — do you remember, DC Young Fly early? He used roasting to rise him to fame and then he leveraged that into other stuff. Now he can use social media just to remind you of what he’s doing. 

 

One day, I’ll be able to be like, “Oh, my social media is just to remind you of what’s coming and going.” Or like Kevin Hart, like he’ll still come on every once in a while and remind you he’s hilarious on social media but he doesn’t need it as a vehicle as much as he used to. 

 

That’s my goal, when I can go a week or a month without making something funny, and people still are checking in. But I’m probably a little ways away from that.

 

Dan: What do you think that would look like to get there? Like is there a particular number or do you feel like it’s like a feeling of where you are in your career?

 

Kev: I think — what it really will probably be is when I’m shooting so many things that take up my full day, when I’m shooting 10, 12 hours on set, it’s really hard to make a great internet video that day, because I’m not on the internet because I’m shooting. When I’m on break, I might be scanning but, you know, the lunch on set is 30 minutes, if that, feels like. 

 

By the time you sit down and eat and then you’re back on set for 6 hours. If I was doing that for three months, it’d be tough to make the same amount of content that I’m making. So if I was basically doing those kinds of projects back to back, then I know my social media will suffer in the sense of creating at the pace I usually did. 

 

My only hope is that the monetary benefit from my other projects will, you know, keep me afloat. I mean, obviously, I don’t make crazy money, well, relative, from the actual platform, it’s all about leveraging them to make money off the platform. But, you know, we still get paid from Tik— 

 

I mean, not TikTok, I mean, technically TikTok but I make no money off that. Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube so my hope is that I’ve got so many projects that I’m making, either from my own distribution service or for somebody else or a partner or something we’ve sold, that I’m like, “Man, I’m making too many things, I don’t have time to like see what the TikTok trend is.”

 

But, honestly, Dan, I like making videos so much. If I was on my lunch break, scanning through TikTok, I will make a video, because it doesn’t take me that long. My best skill isn’t funny, isn’t being hard working, it’s efficiency. When I’m inspired, I can download, shoot, and post in no time. 

 

And TikTok, God bless them, so happy you can just click download for most videos. Don’t make me go through screen recording and down— that’s too much. You want people to share these anyway, make it easy. So, I can do a whole thing in less than 5 minutes so as long as I got 5 minutes, I’ll probably make something.

 

Dan: Yeah. I feel like that’s what drives it at the end of the day, right? Like there has to be something beyond just the monetary gain to make you wanna continue to feel inspired to create and that’s great that you have that still with the videos. 

 

I mean, I definitely sense that from the joy and passion that you share out of it, but I think for a lot of people that do create content on the internet and then that is the awareness they build to sell elsewhere, they ideally would just love to sell the other thing but the internet feels like this thing that they have to do. 

 

So the fact that you don’t feel that, I mean, I’m sure it’s still exhausting, for sure. But the fact that you don’t feel that naturally, I think, is what helps that longevity.

 

Kev: Absolutely. I think, you know, we all deal with like burnout or not feeling funny or feeling like I’m never gonna come up with any other idea. But I see the value in using these platforms but also leveraging them to your own stuff, like being an early YouTube creator when adpocalypse happened and Logan Paul did that suicide forest thing and everybody’s monetization was punished, that’s the first time I was like, “Oh, snap. I didn’t even have nothing to do with this. I never been to Japan. I would never. Why am I getting punished?”

 

That’s the first time I was like, “I can’t rely on these platforms,” and then when Vine came and went, even though I sucked at Vine, there was a lot of people where they depended on Vine and, luckily, most of the creators who were big leveraged that to Snapchat or Instagram or YouTube but some of them never even got close to the heights that they had on Vine. 

 

And the same thing happened on Instagram or TikTok or whatever. You know, a lot of people are one platform dominant, killing it on TikTok but nowhere else big. I would rather be five platforms doing okay than one platform dominant because now I can go from TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, into my own platform, Patreon, which is fantastic. It’s very important to what we do here. If I only had Patreon, I’d be okay. 

 

So, you know, I’ve kind of like made my exit strategy because the Internet changes too quick, you know? One day it’s popping — Clubhouse, man, people were — it was the thing for like 5 months and then everybody — it felt like everybody was just like, “Nah,” like one day, and it’s still there, it still have great stuff going on there, but during the pandemic, man, it launched — or not launched but it popped at a perfect time when everybody was at home. 

 

Dan: Right. 

 

Kev: But then people just got sick of people talking and Facebook came up with their own one and Twitter came up with their own one and then Clubhouse didn’t have, you know, that exclusive thing anymore. I mean, that’s — you talk about a quick pivot. 

 

Dan: Yeah.

 

Kev: You know, Clubhouse, how quickly Twitter jumped on that, that was fast. It took Instagram a long time to copy Snapchat. 

 

Dan: Yeah, and —

 

Kev: It took Twitter, it felt like 2 months before they had —

 

Dan: Yeah, Spaces was quick.

 

Kev: I was like, Jesus, and the thing that Facebook did really well is kind of what Twitter did too. They said, “We’re not gonna beat Snapchat’s market share, and we don’t have to. All we need to do is slow their growth and get somebody who was never gonna go to Snapchat to do what they would have done on Instagram.”

 

My wife is that person. She never went on Snapchat ever. But they took that idea and that, you know, Stories, put it in Instagram, and she was like, “Oh, I’ll do this.” And I was like, “Girl, I’ve been telling you about Snapchat.” She was like, “I’m not downloading no more apps.”

 

And that’s the same thing. So you — that’s why I never wanna be one platform dominant because the winds, they blow and change too quickly and you could be caught in the cold, you know? Like YouTube, man, YouTube decided on a whim, it felt like, family content, if it looks like it’s geared towards kids, you’re not gonna be able to monetize that. 

 

People went from making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to zero. When they decided they didn’t want pranks anymore, people went from making 50 grand, 150 grand a month to like literally zero, I’m not even exag— I know people who had to give up their house in the Hollywood Hills when YouTube was like, “We’re not doing that no more.”

 

And that’s when I was like, “Oh, this is too dangerous to be only on one platform.” You gotta use them all but you also have to have an exit strategy. To me, you know? Everybody doesn’t have to do that but, to me, you gotta have an exit strategy.

 

Dan: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes a lot of sense. And I think the way you structured it makes sense too. I mean, yeah, you mentioned you’re still getting some income from those platforms but the majority is outside of it. 

 

And I’m curious, what do your splits and breakdowns look like from a percentage perspective of, you know, like how much does come from those platforms versus how much comes from your other content or your stand-up or any of the other ticketed type of things?

 

Kev: So, the most lucrative by a mile is live events. Touring, live events is the most lucrative. That’s why when the pandemic happened, I was like, “Oh my God,” because that — before the pandemic, that was foolproof. As long as people wanted to come see you, you will be able to eat forever, and then all of a sudden, no. 

 

So, for me, the most important thing is touring. The second most important thing probably is my Patreon, because that’s a group of people who really believe in what we’re doing here and support me and if I lost my other platforms, they would still be there. 

 

Outside of that, YouTube and Facebook, YouTube was really consistent monetarily. Facebook can be a blow up, for me at least, a blow up and then nothing. You have some months where it’s, you know, 2 grand and some months it could be 10 grand, you know what I mean? 

 

So it’s like, you really can’t build a business off of that, you know, wave of, you know, unpredictability. But for me, I probably say 60 percent is live, 40 percent is — or I’m sorry, 20 percent is Patreon, and the other is like podcasting. Podcasting can be really lucrative with the ad revenue. It’s also platform agnostic. Like I don’t need to be monetized on YouTube because I’m monetized through the ads that are baked into the podcast, you know? 

 

So, for me, those are what I focus on and everything else is gravy. Whatever Instagram pays me, gravy. Whatever Facebook pays me, gravy. Whatever YouTube pays me, gravy. And those are the things I have the least amount of control over anyway so, yeah.

 

Dan: That makes sense, yeah, and I think like that split too, honestly sounds like what it’s like for a lot of artists as well. I mean, so much comes from live performances, more than half for most of them, but that other chunk, you know, whether it’s through their branded partnership or any of their influencer revenue that they may have but also what they get actually selling their music through streaming or the publishing revenue that comes in. 

 

So there’s definitely a ton of similarities there, which is why I like the model of what you all, and what you specifically have done to build it up. But I think the difference though is that I probably see a little bit more creativity on average from some of the more successful independent comedians than maybe some of the more, you know, successful artists.

 

I feel like there’s been more of like a standard path but whether it’s you or some of the others that have, you know, risen up, especially in the past 5 to 7 years, there’s definitely, you know, I think a bit more variety and, you know, especially whether they’re building their own studios or they’re trying to do a few more creative brand partnerships and deals, I’ve always been fascinated with that piece about how comedians and stand-ups are able to monetize and use the internet.

 

Kev: Absolutely, and I think like look at any 85 South, man, like they have — their live event is huge. And then they can just put that exact video on YouTube or their app and they sell merch and even if they did nothing else but live shows and merch, they’d probably be okay, but now, they’re building their own app out. It’s already out there, the Channel 8, and they’re expanding that.

 

So, you know, another smart thing, like let me diversify what we’re doing and own the media aspect of it. But, for me, that’s merch and brand deals like, to me, it’s hard to be good at everything, you know what I mean? So I don’t try to be. 

 

I’m like merch, I’ll focus on the road, if I have a great idea, but it’s not my strong suit, because fashion and design aren’t my strong suits so I’ll just really make stuff for the Stage Crew who loves it. And I’ll focus on live events, video content, and podcasting and I’ll be strong there. 

 

I mean, you got people like Kountry Wayne who like master of Facebook and Instagram, like he knows the amount, you gotta be at least 3 minutes to get really paid. His sketches are 3:01. They’re gonna be over 3. On Instagram, they start really quick so he’s mastered that and he’s also on the road. 

 

So everybody has their skill set and it’s kinda like, to me, basketball players, like LeBron’s the greatest player to me, ever, and he’s good at a lot of different things. Steph is the best shooter ever so he doesn’t have to be a rebounder like LeBron because he’s gonna shoot threes from the logo so you won’t be able to guard him. 

 

And that’s kinda how I think of creators, like very few people are as well rounded as LeBron but you can have a long career being really good at one or two things and that’s fine too.

 

Dan: Yeah. And as long as the platforms that are there are still aligned to like where your skill set is the better.

 

Kev: Yeah.

 

Dan: Because it’s one of those things where Steph also was really good at something that he was able to set a trend with and, you know, just gotten more and more favorite too as the game went on. But it’s like if you’re really good at, you know, like that Charles Oakley, you know, old school right? This next game, you might not have as long of a career is you may have had in ’93.

 

Kev: That’s a fantastic point. Charles Oakley wouldn’t know what to do in this game, like he’s still gonna be big and strong but he’s gonna be guarding Luka or Kevin Durant and they shooting from three, they’re driving around, the game has changed so that’s a good point as well like the game changes so you have to be able to, you know, change with the game. The internet changes. 

 

The same thing with comedy, like what was funny and tweetable 10 years ago isn’t funny or tweetable this year, and I’m not one of those who complains about cancel culture. As a comedian, our job is to know where the line is. Know what society thinks is funny and stay there and not to be like, “Well, this was funny 12 years ago.” 

 

Yeah, The Nutty Professor was hilarious before but it wouldn’t be as funny if it was made now. People would call it fat phobic or whatever. But if you watched it then, it was great, you know what I’m saying? Pepé Le Pew, hilarious as a kid. Now you’re like, “Yo, what’s was he on, man? Where’s the consent? Leave her alone, man. Let her go,” you know?

 

So I think comedy and everything is similar. Everything is changing. Fashion, language, music, all of that stuff. So, you know, as a creator, you have to be aware of that change or you get left behind.

 

Dan: Yeah. And to bring it full circle, what you brought up with Vine is a great example of this. You yourself may not have been the most successful on that platform, like you said, but there are many people who had some of the most popular Vines that were like winning and spread everywhere. And, unfortunately, I just haven’t seen them as much because there’s something about that 6-second storytelling that they did so well with that just didn’t translate as well to where things are right now.

 

Kev: Absolutely. 100 percent. That’s what I was saying, like some people translated but for some people, that was it. They never reached the heights they had on Vine ever again, you know? And some of the same trends on Vine probably would work on TikTok but not exactly. 

 

So, you know, you gotta get in where you fit in and fit for as long as you can. And then, as the world changes, you gotta fit there too. And that’s, to me, the only way to survive.

 

Dan: Definitely. So, for you, just because you are wearing, as we talked about, all these different hats, all these different roles, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, of course, we don’t know where things are going, but in the ideal scenario, what would you like to be doing more of or what would you like to be doing less of?

 

Kev: More of helping other creators create their content. That’s actually one of the things we wanna do at KevOnStage Studios. It’s the hardest part though. Much harder than I realized, you know, to even maybe make somebody else’s show, to even go through the legal process of trying to make it is already expensive. 

 

So I found that that part was a lot harder than I realized. If somebody comes in and is like, “Yeah, whatever deal is fine,” it’s very easy. If somebody is like, “I’ve got these ideas and stuff,” talking to their lawyer, our lawyer, it’s tough. And to do development, you need somebody who can focus on that, you need the resources for legal, you need the production staff to be able to go and make that. 

 

So I would hope that we could grow enough to be making more of stuff for other creators and creating those opportunities. Right now, we’re kind of focusing on building the foundation with the team we have. But in order to do that, we’d have to scale out a little bit so that would be our goal.

 

I would also love to be making independent movies. That’s always been a dream of mine. I just love the experience of movie, either in theaters or at home, I don’t care. I’m not like one of those creators, like, “It’s got to be in a movie or it ain’t real,” like I was poor so we couldn’t go to the actual movies that much so all my dreams and memories are watching them at home. 

 

So I don’t care if you’re watching it on your phone or TV or whatever, but I’d love to be doing those two things, if nothing else. Creating content with others and then creating movies and creating stuff that I would love to create and hopefully distributing it to a lot of people. 

 

The one thing about the KevOnStage Studios app right now, it’s still very small so, you know, to the viewer, that’s fantastic, but the other streamers and distribution sites, they have a lot more access. If I tell you to go watch a show on Netflix, the chances of you having Netflix are very high. Or HBO Max, something like that. 

 

If somebody tells you to go watch something on KevOnStage Studios, the chances of you already having that app are not as high as you having Netflix. So our goal, our hope would be that, “Oh, yeah, man, I’m gonna check that out. I didn’t even know we had that.” But you gotta have the show that breaks through. 

 

Like if you think about Apple TV, as much money as they have, people didn’t really click in by and large until Ted Lasso. Like I watched See, they had a lot of stuff. Nobody cared, by and large, until Ted Lasso

 

So even — and they have trillion dollars in cash. People were like, meh, you know what I’m saying? So it’s not just unique to what we’re doing, it’s a lot of places that struggle. Peacock and Quibi. Quibi had all the money in the world, access to every A-list star in the world, people were like meh, so it’s not easy, man. It is not easy. 

 

It’s not even unique to being small. It’s just not an easy business to be in. So I would just hope to still be here, in fact. Low key, to still be able to do this for a living in 5 years, I will be happy with just that.

 

Dan: No, man, I think you will. And I mean, I’m not just saying that as someone that’s been a fan of your content following you for a while. I mean —

 

Kev: Thank you, thank you. 

 

Dan: I really do look at you as one of the success stories when we think about this era of the Internet and what creators were able to do in this phase. I feel like we’ve seen folks in, you know, past eras and eras before that and the Internet has always been so nascent but I think your focus and consistency. Wait, which one?

 

Kev: I really don’t know. Nascent, what’s that?

 

Dan: Oh, in terms of like just being early on a trend and just being, you know, like quick with it. Like I think that, you know, for you, oh, man, lost my train of thought —

 

Kev: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

 

Dan: No, no.

 

Kev: When people use a word that I don’t know, I always ask because then I’ll be like, you know, “That was nascent,” and then people would be like, “What did that mean?” Oh, you know, what it means is early on to the trends and whatnot, you know what I’m saying? So I didn’t mean to get you off track but I was — that’s a good word that I don’t know so I had to ask you real quick. I could have Googled it later but —

 

Dan: Oh, no, no. I appreciate that. I know, people appreciate this too, just from like, you know, the conversation, for sure. No. So, normally, some of these things, editors, I’m like, “No, can you all take that out?” They’re like, “No, we’re leaving this in here,” because —

 

Kev: Leave it in, editor. 

 

Dan: They’ll learn too. But, yeah, man, I mean, like I said, you, the focus that you had with so much of the content that you put out and also just how you continue to enjoy it, I feel like that is the model. And I’m really excited for you and where you continue to grow and the fact that you’re leveraging your platform the way you have to put people on, I mean, that’s the dream. 

 

I mean, I know that, you know, I’m definitely, you know, in the days of it, it could likely feel like a lot of work but, hey, man, you’re doing the work, man. And it’s much appreciated.

 

Kev: Thank you, man. That truly means a lot, Dan. I appreciate you even saying that. And I’m glad that you think, you know, I’ll still be here in 5, 10 years because I hope too, you know? But if not, you know, I own a house in this small town. If you see me living in South Carolina, just figure out that it didn’t work.

 

Dan: Hey, man.

 

Kev: But I’ll still be happy. I’ll still be making videos or doing podcasts or something.

 

Dan: And joy will be there. The joy will be there. For sure. Regardless. But, hey, man, Kev, this was great. I really appreciate you for making the time. 

 

Kev: Thank you, man. 

 

Dan: But before we let you go, anything you wanna plug the audience, let them know some of the content you got coming out with the streaming service?

 

Kev: KevOnStage Studios. man, go to your app store, whether you’re on Apple, Android, Roku, Amazon, go to KevOnStage Studios, download that. Go ahead and subscribe for the year. Don’t worry about what’s on there. Just subscribe for the year. Trust me, it’ll be worth it. 

 

We’ve got a lot of amazing things on there. We got the Real Comedians Challenge Show, which is just knockdown drag out funny. We’ve got What’s Good?! which is a food show with comedians and comedians are more like regular people than chefs so you’re gonna feel like it’s you and your friends going out to eat in a different city. 

 

We got Love On Stage, which is a dating show my wife created and produced. That’s fantastic. You can stream that whole season in there. Just fun stuff like Get Your Black Card Off Layaway shows, Keon’s All Stars, Crafts and Cocktails, just fun stuff, man. Just go on there, check it out. Destination Evrywhr is an amazing travel show that, you know, has a musician who went all the way to Cambodia to make music with Cambodians. We have stuff like that. 

 

I mean, just go over there and check it out, man. Just don’t worry about the monthly fee. Don’t pay monthly. Pay by the year. You get two months free when you pay by the year. Just go ahead, go from here, wherever you’re listening, right to KevOnStage Studios and pay for the year. You won’t regret it. And even if you do, we already have your money.

 

Dan: We’ll make it easy for people too. We’ll put the link in the show notes.

 

Kev: Perfect. Thank you so much, Dan. I really appreciate it. I’m a big fan of yours. I’ve been watching your podcast and be like, “How does Dan get these guests?” And then you tweeted like I just be asking, I was like That ain’t no secret. That’s just —

 

He’s like you just know somebody or just shoot your shot. I’m like, you had Rick Ross though, man. You had Issa Rae. And you’re like, “Yeah, just ask.” I’m like, “Okay, we’ll see how that works, Dan. I’m gonna just ask too, see what I can get on my podcast.”

 

Dan: I will say, I mean, there’s something a bit more nuanced to that and I was like, you know what, I could have added more because I made it seem like, “Oh, y’all could do it. Why don’t you just DM Rick Ross?”

 

Kev: Yeah. I was like, “Dan, it is not that easy.” It is not that easy and you know that. I just believe all we got to do is DM him and he’ll be like, “Yeah, I’m gonna be on there.” You know it took more than that, Dan.

 

Dan: Oh, man. Well, no. So ’cause I think people probably appreciate this for the folks that do listen. So the Rick Ross one, real quick, so the Rick Ross one, I had had his attorney, Leron Rogers, on the pod. Him and I had had a good conversation and, you know, stayed connected afterward and I saw that Ross was putting out a book and I was like, “Alright, if someone’s put out a book, they’re gonna be on the tour,” and then I was like, “Okay, hey, you know, I know that Rozay is gonna be on the tour, would love to have him, he’s writing about business. This literally is the avenue to do that.” And he was like, “Alright, send me some details, let me see what I can make work,” and then we made it work after that. 

 

Kev: See?

 

Dan: Yeah.

 

Kev: It is more than just DM-ing. It’s timing, it’s relationship, it’s an audience people care about and a podcast that people actually watch and download. So, sorry, guys, it’s not as easy as Dan made it seem.

 

Dan: No, you’re right. If someone has to be, “Oh, hey, how did you get KevOnStage on your pod?” I’d be like, “Oh, I just DM-ed him. Y’all could do it too.” You gotta get all these people flooded. They will be like, “Oh, KevOnStage, can you come to do my thing? Oh, KevOnStage —

 

Kev: Guarantee you it’s not gonna be that easy. ’cause if I don’t follow you, I don’t even really see your DMs. I’m a fan of Dan so I saw his and I already wanted to be on this show so when he asked, I was like, “Finally, my time is now.”

 

Dan: It’s funny, man, because I so remember, it’s like one day on Twitter and, I mean, like I said, I’ve been following you on, you know, all the other platforms. And then, one day, you just quote tweeted something I said and you were like, “Y’all should follow this guy.” And I was just like —

 

Kev: Yes.

 

Dan: Yo, KevOnStage — I was just like, okay, all right, we hear this.

 

Kev: ’Cause you’re really smart, man, and you take stuff that is like out there and you make it so digestible. Like what Westbrook is doing, I’ve been following them but when you made that graphic about the flywheel, it’s like, “This is exactly what they do,” but it makes so much — I sent that to so many of my friends. 

 

I was like, this is what KevOnStage Studios has to become and the way they did The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, all of the stuff they did with that and then they ran that same thing back for King Richard, genius. And then with Will’s Best Shape of My Life, I watched that, get YouTube to pay for it, boom, use it to actually lose weight and promote your book.

 

Dan: Brilliant.

 

Kev: I said what the heck? I wanted to get the book because of that. Genius level marketing and even somebody as big as Will Smith, everything they do is not behind the paywall. They gotta use YouTube and Instagram just like regular people. So I know I’m on the right track. 

 

And I also met Will Smith, I don’t know if you know that. I don’t like to talk about it. 

 

Dan: Oh, no, you only post a photo, what? Every month or so.

 

Kev: I haven’t posted in a while. I should bring it up again today.

 

Dan: If he wins this Oscar for Best Actor, you gotta be part of that campaign.

 

Kev: He might thank me from the podium. He might be like, “This wouldn’t have worked without KevOnStage’s dad joke to help promote the film. I’m so glad that he did that and that’s why you heard about King Richard,” and I’m gonna be like, “Thanks. You’re welcome, Will. And you’re welcome, world.”

 

Dan: Oh, man. I’m kind of waiting for that moment, that will be dope.

 

Kev: Oh, man, I’ll be so happy for him. I’ll be so happy. And he was great in that, like it was an Oscar-worthy performance so I really do hope he wins.

 

Dan: Yeah, no, definitely. No, he does too. But, hey, man, this was great. I really appreciate you coming on.

 

Kev: Thank you so much for having me, Dan. I appreciate it, man. 

 

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

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