Influencer Spotlight: Shaun “Shonduras” McBride
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Spotlight Interview With Shonduras, Top Snapchatter & Social Media Star
Shaun McBride, better known as Shonduras, is a social media sensation on Snapchat and YouTube. Shaun is particularly known for creating illustrations to build his engaging adventures on his Snapchat channel. Within YouTube, Shaun has more than 1 million subscribers and focuses on creating content on his “BEST DAYS EVER” vlog with his family.
As one of the world's top Snapchat influencers, Shaun has been sponsored by widely recognized brands including Samsung, Starbucks, Google, Red Bull, and Best Fiends. We sit down with the top Snapchatter for an in-depth exclusive interview on his Snapchat creative process, Snapchat adventures, and much more:
Mediakix: Your handle name, Shonduras, seems to speak to your experience abroad. How has your time in Honduras shaped you as a person and a leading content creator?
Shonduras: The name Shonduras actually has a really important meaning behind it for me! My time in Honduras is what really started my drive for influencing others in a positive way!! When I came back I was a much different person. I guess you could say I had grown up or found some motivation in serving others in Honduras... So yeah, Shonduras was both a nickname given to me by friends and family (Shaun + Honduras), but also represented this new super motivated person I had become!!
Cereal acts as an amazing motif in all your work. What role does it play in building your brand? Which comes first, milk or cereal?
Ha ha ha ha, cereal is awesome!!
1) I actually love cereal and grew up eating it as much as my parents would let me!! Some people would sneak out or get into trouble when their parents were out of town. Me? I would just sneak upstairs and get cereal, ha ha.
2) I recognized it as a perfect branding opportunity as I began to grow. It is something that isn’t attached to a certain brand, but that all kids love! The fact that I’m an "adult" and can still eat cereal 3 times a day is really cool to my audience.
3) Cereal, duh.
How long does it take for you to create a single Snapchat video with illustration? What is your general process?
Honestly, I was never really an artist... I kinda taught myself? My snap art doesn’t seem perfect but it is fun and creative and I think that’s what most people enjoy about it.
I would say most of my best art pieces on Snapchat took 45 minutes. I’m sure I’ve had some Snaps that take me almost an hour!
How do you decide which brands to work with?
For me, I really like long-term relationships, brands that can support what I’m doing and fit naturally into my own brand. I like being able to back the brand and mention them constantly without being paid because I just enjoy them!! That way, when I do a paid campaign, it doesn’t feel out of place. It is like "Yeah, he always talks about X! That’s cool that they have a new flavor, product, or app." That being said, I am also loyal to those brands.
For example, I have a long-term relationship with Redbull. So, when Monster approached me about a cool opportunity that paid well, I told them I was already partnered with Redbull and declined the offer.
Obviously, some campaigns can’t be long-term: movie releases, events, or one time apps. But even then, I like to really make it a part of my brand and story.
An example of this is Best Fiends. I have been offered to promote TONS of apps and always declined, but Best Fiends was an app that I tried and actually enjoyed because I can play it without wifi/internet (I don’t have much time to spend playing apps, but they caught me at a time when I had 3 overseas flights in a 2 week period, LOL)
That being said, with my audience, I never discuss playing other mobile apps, and I have actually played Best Fiends organically in a couple of my videos without being part of a deal or promotion... Since my audience knows I genuinely like the app, and I can now push it harder and more frequently without getting a negative response from them.
How did you grow your following from just friends and family to your current audience?
Wow, long story. I mean Snapchat is just NOT built for growth or getting recognition: no links, no trending or popular page, all content disappears.
I decided on trying to use the app in a creative way. I also set a goal of using my account to tell a brand’s story and to generate an income similar to the way creators had done on YouTube and Vine.
From there, I ran the public facing content as fun, creative and positive! Then behind the scenes, I ran my account as a business, was reaching out to the media, getting featured in articles, covering relevant events and trends, and started hustling to make connections and collaborations.
After 2 years of hustle, and a good amount of luck with Snapchat becoming so popular, I had really reached my goal and created a fun business for myself.
From there I said... WHATS NEXT?! And that’s when I tackled YouTube! Using the same methods for Youtube, I started daily videos like 340 days ago (almost one year) and I am now close to reaching 1 million subs!
What is the most amazing adventure that your work on Snapchat has brought you to?
Oh wow, everything. Seriously the past 2 years have been incredible!! I once had my Snapchat fans choose anywhere in the world to send me. I partnered with Marriott hotels and ended up in Bangkok, Thailand for an amazing 3 days of Snapchat Stories!
What role has collaboration with other influencers on social media played in your career?
Huge, collaborations are a great way to gain exposure and grow! Obviously, you still need to produce creative content and have a unique personality to continue the success. But, the collaboration is what people use to find you and give you that chance to entertain!
What was your motivation behind your BEST DAYS EVER series?
Honestly… I wanted to do YouTube. Casey Neistat was telling me that daily uploads was the way to go.
But for me (especially in Utah), there were so many boring family vloggers, filming their daily To-Do list.
I didn’t want to be another "Vlogger" and wanted to take Casey’s advice of uploading daily instead. And thus, I created the Best Days Ever. Basically, I make a YouTube videos everyday showing why that day was the best day ever!
Always positive and always awesome!
What is your advice to anyone looking to be a professional Snapchatter?
1) Be REALLY unique and creative and do something that has never been seen or done before
2) Just get creative and grow on any other app that supports creators and growth. Then move that audience to Snapchat. LOL.
What should we look forward to, aside from Snapchat, from you in the future?
LOTS!! I am constantly hustling! I continue to create unique and fun Snapchat content. My daily Best Day Ever series will continue!! My side project Youtube Channel "Spacestation Stuff" will be a huge focus this next year for more fun, challenges, and unique branded content.
I’ll continue to focus on public speaking. I find it incredibly fun and it’s great exposure! I recently gave a TEDxTalk in Norway!! I have also started consulting several brands and agencies regarding digital strategy and social media psychology.
Then hopefully land TONS of sweet deals with Mediakix so I don’t have to work with annoying agencies that don’t understand creators and the correct format for placing branded content on their channels. Serious.
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November 18, 2016 By Mediakix Team