Before the era of influencers and content creators, a 17-year-old Stevie Johnson, with a stylish gelled quiff, shared his first-ever Facebook status update, marking the beginning of his digital journey: ‘Stevie’s hair is styled to perfection.’ 16 years later it will inspire a new content creator podcast series tailored for those fascinated by the ever-evolving world of digital content.
Status Update, by influencer marketing agency Disrupt, delves deep into the lives of accomplished content creators, shedding light on the paths they’ve taken to forge their careers. Hosted by former Made in Chelsea star and Disrupt’s Managing Director, Stevie Johnson, and the agency’s Marketing Manager and ‘voice of Gen Z,’ Jake Crabb, the podcast welcomes a diverse range of guests, from social creators to activists, authors, photographers, poets, and comedians.
‘We didn’t want it to be a podcast where we’re preaching to people,’ says Johnson during a Q&A session at the Status Update podcast launch last Friday. ‘I want this to be a relaxed environment whereby people can listen to a cool story and learn something.’
Each episode kicks off with the pair asking their guests to recall some of their most cringeworthy ‘status updates.’
The first episode features Rob Mayhew, a stand-up comedian, TikTok sensation, and Creative Director at digital innovations agency Gravity Road. Despite two decades in the industry, Mayhew’s TikTok stardom, which has garnered over 5.3 million likes for his witty agency life sketches, didn’t start until his forties.
‘It’s something that happened a bit later in my life,’ Mayhew tells MediaCat Magazine.
‘But I’m really proud of what I’ve done, and I’m really glad that I’ve managed to find what I love after 20 years working in this industry.‘
The podcast’s first five episodes, released weekly, feature conversations with not only Mayhew but also author, entrepreneur, and creative sociologist Amy Kean, photographer and activist Misan Harriman, speaker, writer, and activist Jamie Klingler, and entrepreneur, mental health advocate, and Social Chain co-founder and COO Dom McGregor.
Taking an audio-first approach
With the podcast in the pipeline for over a year, co-host Crabb, who joined the Disrupt Marketing team in March 2022, says the experience has been a ‘labour of love.’
‘It’s been through so many different trials and tribulations in terms of versions, formats and titles.’ Despite a lengthy iteration process, an essential aspect for the Disrupt team was to take an audio-first, not a video-first, approach.
‘There are a lot of agencies that are trying to release a podcast or a version of their own podcast, but it’s actually just video content that they want to show on LinkedIn,’ Johnson tells MediaCat Magazine.
‘Whereas for us, we were super keen to do it the right way — have an audio-first product and make it something that hopefully the industry wants to listen to and then build it out to a wider audience at some point.’
The key to success?
With a diverse array of guests from different corners of the industry, Johnson says the common thread in their success is consistency and commitment to show up without fearing failure.
‘One thing that really came to light is there is no quick way to become successful.‘
‘No, you need to put in the years of hard work. You need to hone that skill and hone that craft, and over time, it will come.’
Mayhew echoed this sentiment, offering his own Status Update to aspiring creators:
‘You’re not too old, you’re not too late. Just start, don’t tell anyone, don’t focus on the numbers, just buy yourself a £20 ring light from Argos and just start filming. The worst that will happen is no one will see it. The best thing that will happen is that everyone will see it.’Rob Mayhew
The first two episodes of Status Update are available here.
Featured image: Stevie Johnson and Jake Crabb