Josh Richards started his journey on social media at the age of 14 on musical.ly. Since then, he has accumulated 24 million followers on TikTok, 7.4 million followers on Instagram, and 2.45 million followers on YouTube with content centered around dance and acting.
Today, the social media star has set his sights even higher as he looks to be a top investor, influencer, and philanthropist. Read about Josh’s insights into the social media game and his plans to move forward.
When Musical.ly evolved into TikTok, you challenged yourself to hit 10K followers by the end of the summer. You managed more than double. What gave you the confidence to set such lofty goals?
The beauty of social media is that it offers a platform to anyone who puts in the work and creates fun and engaging content.
I knew it was possible and through TikTok’s unique algorithm, authenticity is rewarded at an exponential rate.
As the CSO of Triller, how would you differentiate monetization on Triller from monetization on TikTok?
As a whole, Triller puts artists and creators first through the platform’s partnerships and commitment to user experience and product.
You started your own business selling hockey merch when you were just a kid. You’ve been making money with your ideas ever since. What skills enabled you to take your passions to the next level?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit however my social reach has allowed me the opportunity to follow my passions by supporting companies I believe in and creating brands that I believe in.
Describe your Triller persona in three words:
Authentic, creative, musically-inclined
As a former OG Sway House member, what is the biggest misconception of creator houses?
The biggest misconception is that all creator houses are just party houses.
The rest of the guys and I are up at 8am and on calls every day to discuss our ongoing investments and work on our companies. We’re always connecting with new people to grow our brands and business is our priority.
As an influencer, how do you decide which brands to partner with? What values are most important to you in a brand partnership?
I am really interested in partnering with brands that have a charitable component and are socially conscious, which is why I became a co-founder in Dog for Dog, a dog treat company that donates dog food to shelters for every purchase made.
I have also partnered with Ellen Degeneres’ company, UnHide. Every purchase of UnHide’s faux fur blankets benefits the Humane Society.
You’ve mentioned before that you view giving back to your community as an ethical responsibility. What have you done to contribute so far, and how do you hope to contribute in the future?
During this past holiday season, I teamed up with Chipotle and my company, Unhide, to hand out meals and blankets to some of LA’s homeless community.
I am looking forward to growing my platform in order to continue being able to give back in bigger ways.
How free-flowing do you try to make your content? Is it as simple as you think of an idea and give it a go or is there more planning involved?
Definitely a mix of both.
I make sure to always be active and to continuously be posting content, but I also love being creative and brainstorming ideas and skits. It’s all about balance!
How has your short form video content changed over the last three years? Are the things that worked three years ago still work today or are you constantly adapting?
As my platform has grown, I’ve been able to start creating and sharing the content I really want my fans to see.
When I was getting started, I felt like I was put in a box sometimes and was forced to create content that didn’t feel authentic to me. Now I’m able to be myself.