Mar 18, 2024
43 min
Episode 1

Break The Internet: Kaiti Yoo: Crafting Virality, Fashion, and Humor

Ben Kaplan  00:01

This is the show about the people who create, amplify and influence our culture and how they do it. Want to capture lightning in the bottle? want your content to spread like wildfire?

Ben Kaplan  00:13

I'm Ben Kaplan and let's Break The Internet.

Ben Kaplan  00:22

Today's guest is Katie Yoo, Korean-American content creator who has mastered the art of virality.

Ben Kaplan  00:34

Through a unique blend of fashion, humor and memes ad has amassed a huge following across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Turning the pandemic into an opportunity for creative success.

Ben Kaplan  00:47

With these captivating content offers valuable insights into the world of viral sensations. Join us as we explore the secrets of virality and uncover the magic behind Katie Yoo's incredible journey. Rolling and action.

Ben Kaplan  01:00

Welcome to Break The Internet. I'm chatting with Katie Yoo, Katie, it's great to chat with you again. Say the line. Yes. Hey, you. It's Katie. Great to have you on the show. And what I love too is that before we were chatting here, I checked in your stats. And I remember like last time we chatted, whatever that was, I was like, oh, you know, half a million followers on YouTube. Now I check in Well, that went up a bunch. Okay. Now we're pushing close to 700,000 subscribers on there. So that's great. How did you get started in all this in content creation and creating viral content, and even just finding your voice or knowing how to start? 

Kaiti Yoo  01:38

Right? It It is crazy that I'm here. I never would have expected that. I'm here to go back to the very beginning. Fast forward to when I was a sophomore in college, your student? You're at Brown University. Yes. What are you studying at this point? By the way, I'm studying media and economics. Right? Which I mean, come to think of it now. It was a pretty nice setup for what I ended up doing. But I didn't know that at the time. And back then when I was at Brown. I mean, everyone is gunning for the top internships, everyone's talking about going into consulting and finance. And so is that super annoying? or No? Or do you feel like oh, man, I gotta figure out my niche because all these people seem to have it figured out. Yeah, I think there was just a lot of if everyone else is going down this path Am I crazy Am I like the one being left behind if I don't also follow this path. And so there was a lot of pressure to try to fit myself into a box that I deep in my soul knew that it was not going to fit so I was almost getting ready to ditch all my hopes and dreams and just start applying for you know, jobs on Wall Street or in consulting. Which nothing against those jobs. Like so many people are gifted for those but I literally was not I hate spreadsheets, I can't do math very well. So it was just like not aligned. But I was like gearing up to try to go into that industry because there's momentum everyone else is doing it. Exactly. 

Ben Kaplan  02:58

Were you already very active on social media. Did you have that in your background? Like I'm gonna do this as a profession? Or no, how did you turn it on? 

Kaiti Yoo  03:07

I did love photography from like a very young age. And I also loved making videos, but I never shared it with anyone I would just like, if I went on vacation, I would be naturally doing that. But then once the pandemic hit, all those internships that I was gunning for, they got canceled, I got 30 emails saying your internship is canceled, thank you for applying, but like LOL, you can't come. And so you would think that that would crush me but it did it it actually was such a relief that I didn't have to go down this path that I didn't want to. And so that kind of pause was such a blessing in disguise and when I first I tried to go viral on TikTok because that was what everyone in their mother was doing back then. And to get there so it's pandemic can't go a lot of places internship canceled. You're kind of like in your I don't know dorm room or apartment or whatever it is. And it was like I'm gonna make stuff I'm gonna create stuff and tic TOCs where it's at so I'm gonna go do this on tick tock like I'm gonna make short form content, right? Like it was when tick tock started really getting big like, it was the golden age of tick tock. Everybody was on it. Everybody was trying to go viral because people it was getting really easy to go viral on TikTok. So everybody thought that they could do it right. And I tried. I was like doing the renegade in my room. I was sweating. And I never blew up on Tik Tok. It was heartbreaking. I was crying. I was like, why can't I do this? Because everybody else seemed to be blowing up this point. Had you found a niche and kind of fashion? No, this is just you're just making content. Like there's mean type stuff. You're dancing around doing what other people were doing at this point? Yeah, I was doing everything that everyone else was doing. I was just trying to hop on the trend, and it didn't work. So then my mom walked in on me crying in my bedroom one day and she was like, why don't you try YouTube and I was like, that's even harder. Like everyone knows that.

Kaiti Yoo  05:00

The only reason why I'm trying to deter talk is because it's really easy to blow up right now. So why would you tell me to go into YouTube? very socially

Ben Kaplan  05:07

savvy Mom, I don't know if I would like suggest platforms and stuff like that. But your mom does she create content she on platforms and stuff like that. So she

Kaiti Yoo  05:14

tried to become a YouTuber before me. She was like a cooking YouTuber. She has a cooking channel. But like it never took off, because I think she gave up too fast. Like, she only did it for like three months. And she was like, and I was like, No, you have to do it for a year you have to for a year, she did it. But I still think there's potential there. But because she had all that equipment, I just started using that equipment. And I first started out doing like college vlogs like a day in my life as a Brown student during the pandemic. But what really ended up taking off for me was fashion, which was crazy, because the approach that I was having at that moment was throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. So I really wasn't being strategic. I was just like, Okay, let's try a vlog. Let's try like a funny video. Let's try like this. And then I tried fashion.

Ben Kaplan  06:04

Do you remember your first video? What was it on? And what told you this was somehow different than all the other stuff you had tried? Was it just sheer number of likes or wishes? Males? Yeah.

Kaiti Yoo  06:14

So the first video that blew up was this dark academia lookbook. And at that time, like aesthetics, were really coming into play like, oh, the dark academia aesthetic, the cottage court setting, I don't know if you know these words, but like fashion aesthetics. And so I specifically did a dark I did academia one. And that blew up. It was like, I had less than 100 subscribers, but it got around like 30,000 views. So that was pretty huge, at my size. And so I kept making those videos. And then there was like a really big blow up with the what the college majors would wear. If they were people like that was what took me from like, 200 subscribers to 100,000 subscribers. It was crazy. Like,

Ben Kaplan  06:59

is it just two pieces of content kind of responsible for that? And there was like lots of other stuff in between or was it like quality? Was it quantity? Was it just that to get to your first 100,000

Kaiti Yoo  07:08

I think the moment a person blows up on YouTube or any other platform, it's the fact that there has been quality all along. But one video manages to catch on to the algorithm. And then when people come in through that door, they realize like, oh my gosh, there's actually such hidden gems here. And so that's why they hit subscribe and so

Ben Kaplan  07:26

Oh, and that's why you get the subscribers if you're like a one hit wonder you have dad and like, Okay, I don't see anything here. That's cool video. I'm not gonna subscribe exactly this way. You have like the base, you lay and then one hits.

Kaiti Yoo  07:37

Yes, the base, you land one hits, that's a really good way of putting it. So like there were a lot of videos that weren't until about one video brought all these people in. But then once they came in, they were like, Oh, my gosh, this is great.

Ben Kaplan  07:49

And how much time elapsed to get to that. I know. You said you stick with it a year. How far along did you get?

Kaiti Yoo  07:55

It's a double edged sword because it took me exactly six months to go from zero to 100,000, which is like very, it's relatively fast. And that can be viewed as like, oh my gosh, that's crazy. Such a blessing. However, I do think that when one skyrockets to like fame that fast without like the foundation of like the toil of our time, when things start going haywire. Like, your foundation is a little shaky er, so while I'm very grateful that I grew that fast, I think later on in my career, when things like weren't going as fast or I was regressing or something like that, like, those losses kind of hit more hard, because I hadn't experienced that, like, within the six months, when I was first starting out the up

Ben Kaplan  08:41

and down the ebb and flow, you think like, oh, every six months is going to be this and this is just gonna, yes. And like, not true is not true. So at what point, then did you like, decide I'm going to do fashion full time? Was it at the six month point like I've, it's been driven by these videos, or I'm really going to focus on that. When did that become apparent?

Kaiti Yoo  08:59

I mean, this is something that I honestly feel like I would change if I were to go back. But I think when I started to see that my audience and the algorithm, the algorithms loved my fashion videos, I got kind of addicted to the, like, the gratification and the what is it the dynamic with the audience that happens when I upload a fashion video, and therefore I got married to only putting out well performing videos. And so it's almost like I didn't make the decision to go into fashion. It was just like, well, this is what the audience likes, and this is what I need to grow. So I'm gonna keep doing it. Okay,

Ben Kaplan  09:39

and you're observing it as you're saying, I want to do more of that. And then if you do something else, or differently, you're like, oh, then I'd sort of take a step back and hit and so you just kind of overtime got more focused, right,

Kaiti Yoo  09:50

but I but I wouldn't do that. If I had a chance to do it again. I wouldn't do that because I think that it kind of siloed me into a niche that I'm not sure if it's like my passion, like I do like fashion. But I don't think that that's something that I'll be doing forever. And my dream is to start like a brand with like a fashion line like so I think if I could go back, or if I could go, if I could be good advice to anybody it would be to make sure to diversify and also be genuine to yourself and not just addicted to putting out well performing videos,

Ben Kaplan  10:28

it's difficult because you have to put out things that people like otherwise, you might as well just make videos for yourself. Exactly. You have to like feed yourself, too, especially if you're in this for the long haul. Yeah, because there's gonna be ups and downs. And that's what's kind of keep you interested and keep you going. And if you were not making fashion type videos, what else would you make?

Kaiti Yoo  10:47

That's what I'm trying to figure out right now. Because I, while I still will always have a space on my platform for fashion, I do think I'm kind of trying to expand and diversify at this moment. And what really just gets me going, is just talking about what makes us as humans tick, like intimate connection, just the inner soul and like mental health, and also my faith is a huge part of my identity as well. And so I really want to talk more about those things, while also still incorporating the beauty of cinematography and art and fashion and good shots and good editing. So, yeah, that is what I feel like I want to make content about to

Ben Kaplan  11:31

finish the story to get you the present day, you know, you're growing, you hit 100,000 subscribers, and then there was some big successes, but then you have videos that have 5 million views that you broke the internet, and I'm looking at this one now. And this one here, it's called, I look bad, and everything I wear, do you know, you're not dressing for your body type,

Kaiti Yoo  11:53

you don't actually look bad and everything you were you're just dressing wrong? Do

Ben Kaplan  11:56

you consider that your greatest hit? Or greatest viral moment? And what makes that a special video that's different? And is that one of your greatest hits?

Kaiti Yoo  12:04

Right? I do think numbers wise, that is definitely my greatest hit. And like the most viral video, I think in terms of if you were to look at my short form videos, there are videos that do get higher views, but I still think you know, long form videos to get that level of exposure. It's just so much more information and so much more of you. So yeah, I'm definitely very proud of that video, and

Ben Kaplan  12:27

a lot more of a building a relationship with you, right? Because if someone sits through that law, they're gonna really get to know you versus they see 15 seconds fast might like it, but they don't really get to know you as well.

Kaiti Yoo  12:36

Right? I think the bread and butter of what made that video so great is that it speaks to an internal saying that I feel like most people have had, at least once in their life, like they've looked in the mirror and be like, Why is this not vibing? Like, what am I doing wrong? Right? I think everyone has had that experience. And so to speak to some universal struggle and to offer like, this is exactly why like, the thing that you've been wondering about for so long, this is exactly why I think people desire for that itch to be scratched. And so when you package it up and present the why in such a palatable and entertaining manner, it just really allows for the algorithm and the audience to be very happy. So I think that was what it was. It's they always say, like, try to solve people's problems. And I think that solved or at least gave people an idea of oh, this is why I feel this way, when I get dressed.

Ben Kaplan  13:38

And you put it even like in the title like it's a long title. It has all of that. But you're like, Oh, I get that right away, even from just like looking at the thumbnail and the title, you kind of get the sort of emotion. Exactly, exactly my experience. I don't know if you know this much about me, but I've made a lot of cat content professionally. The reason being is I have a global marketing agency, and we've had 20 different pet brands as clients but what some of the stuff I learned actually about being relating as we brought back Morris the cat as a spokes cat for nine lives, and we were creating a lot of content for this. I use the term spokes cat. That's true, just that geeky. But one of the things we realized was we did some posts that were like a cat that like knocked over a plant and the plant was over and the cats looking at the plant over and when we had little taglines with it that said like, hey, you know, stuff happens, you know, don't worry about it. And people love that content, because it was actually a universal truth. Give yourself a break. You made a mistake. Something happened chill out about it. It happens to you. It's not your fault, relax. And that was the idea but it was delivered through cute cat plant over but it was something universal that people could associate with. Yeah,

Kaiti Yoo  14:45

I think that's that's a great example one point. And wow, I just have to give you praise for doing that because I think it's amazing when you can mix the mundane or the light with something that is universal. Then so true. So that is what like, that's how you Break The Internet folks. Ranch, why

Ben Kaplan  15:05

they call it that? So from sort of these Greatest Hits, at what point did this become like, you're still a college student at Brown, but like, Hey, I've got really something here I can popular phrase to use. I don't love the term, but people people use a monetize this. I can do partnerships with brands, I can turn this into a business, I can pay for my college tuition with this. At what point does it sort of, you know, change for you? Right?

Kaiti Yoo  15:28

Honestly, it took a while for that to even be an option for me, I think because I am a pretty risk averse person. And so even though I started this kind of sophomore year, going into junior year, it wasn't until my senior year that I decided like, okay, fine, I'm going to do this full time. For up until then I was like, I don't know, maybe I should still get a traditional job and then do this as my side hustle. But then what made it kind of changed for me as senior year I was, that was the first year back from the pandemic. So we were like fully in person. And to juggle classes with this career. It was like, Oh, my gosh, I can't give 100% to either of these, I have to kind of commit to one, how

Ben Kaplan  16:13

much were you spending like daily to do this that you had to fit in to like, keep up with things at that

Kaiti Yoo  16:19

time, it was literally like 40 to 50 hours a week. So a full time job, in addition to college classes. And I was like, I just don't think that I can do a job that required like a traditional job that requires me to deliver 40 hours a week, and then also this. And once I kind of committed to Okay, fine, I'm gonna do content full time. It's almost like when you get rid of plan B, that's when Plan A starts finally working. And so that was I think my first brand trip was that senior year, and it was to Coachella. And I just saw the potential of what it could be. So I decided to after college, like not look for other jobs. So that's like kind of how I went there.

Ben Kaplan  17:02

And you graduated. I think about a year ago, you've been a year out. Now you live in New York City, you know, subscriber counts go up, you're making more content, leave college go out there kind of first year, but then this year, you know, you're making content the same time you're, I'm guessing working more on your own, though you have some team to support what's that been like? It's been

Kaiti Yoo  17:22

I'm not gonna lie. It's been hard, much harder than I expected. So but I'm grateful. I think it was a very necessary and humbling season for me. But right after college, I feel like I was on cloud nine. I was like, I can do anything I want to do like, look at everything I've accomplished. I was very, frankly cocky, I think. And so once the stability of the environment of college was stripped away, and I moved to this new city, I think some of the cracks in the foundation that I was talking about earlier were like that I couldn't see when I was first blowing up started to show in terms of I feel like I was really outsourcing a lot of my self worth into how much content can I produce? How much money can I make, how, how esteemed can I become and something kind of cracked, I think in the winter after I graduated, and I got to a point where I couldn't create content, even if I want to. And as somebody who always prided ourself on like, no matter how you feel, you got to get up and you got to commit to this and you got to get it done. To suddenly not be able to do it, I think because it was burnout was like so shocking. For me. I was like literally who am I and I ended up taking I think like a four month break from creating pretty much any long form content because I literally couldn't I it was because it did. Creativity is our currency. And I felt like I was scraping the bottom of the bucket and I didn't have anything left. And it was at this time where my counselors lash therapists also was like, this might be minor depression. And so I have also gotten help been getting professional help in terms of like medications and stuff like that. And I think that what I've learned through that season, right after graduating was that, you know, I am although I have these gifts, and these talents, I am not Queen of the universe, I am not this invincible, superhuman that can accomplish anything I want. I think there because for me again, my faith and so I feel like I really just was reminded of how much I rely on God and how much like everything that I have is a gift. So now coming out of that I think I view content and this whole industry and this platform very differently in terms of you know, who am I impacting? Who is watching these videos, and how can I make their day better with like my 10 minutes that I'm uploading onto the internet, and I never used to view it that way like it always used to before I would just be like how can I I get famous How can I, you know, get the most clicks? And how can I grow the fastest. But now I'm for the first time kind of peeling that back the curtain and being like, okay, but who are all these people that I'm trying to reach? And what do they need? And what do I wish I could receive from somebody on the other end of the screen. And so it's a new perspective, and I don't really know how to approach my work going forward with this new perspective, I think you're kind of talking to me at a stage where I don't really know like, where I'm gonna go from here. But that's where I am today. And, yeah, one of

Ben Kaplan  20:34

the things I think you get is a little bit of I felt this to know exactly what but your experience, but the highs and the lows in my own career. I mean, there's moments and I, you know, written some books and other things and sort of business has gone really well. And the issue is that when you're focused on all these external validation, external metrics, you get these highs from it, but inevitably doesn't last always not like every day you wake up and says, Katie Yoo You're amazing, great job, you know, you get some of that. And then it goes away. You're like, what am I no longer amazing, like, what the issue is, just from a mental health perspective, particularly social media, I think this is true, no matter what level you're at, you know, whether you're hundreds of 1000s or millions of followers or, you know, you just, it's for your friends, where to do well, you kind of have to be focused on external metrics, right? If you never looked at who liked stuff, then you probably would never crack the algorithm, you would never Break The Internet, you never find an audience. Yeah. But then if you go overboard on that, if you do that, and you kind of lose yourself in it, then you sort of outsourced your mental health or outsourcing to other people that you don't control that have no idea what you're going through. And it's really hard to balance that I've sort of felt very, very small level of the highs and lows for me, but like more compassion for like the child actor Exactly. struggles are like, exactly. Oh, man, Britney Spears going through a tough time. Wow. When you're at those kind of highs, what must that feel like flows? And how do you balance that no one gives you a course for like content creators and influencers are blowing up and like, I don't think how to manage your mental health. Exactly.

Kaiti Yoo  22:05

We're because this industry is so young, I think we're definitely figuring it out as we go. But I'm really happy with how many more people in you know, the virtuality industry are talking about, you know, the burnout that comes from those highs and lows. So it definitely is an issue that people are much more aware of now. And I that's all I can be grateful for. At the end of the day, you made

Ben Kaplan  22:29

the decision to document this and actually post about it, and you have a video called three months of depression documented, what went into that mean, you sort of scrap it, like you can't create content for four months and ultimately created content about it. Was that difficult? How did you come to that decision? Where does that come from? That you're going to actually post a video about this,

Kaiti Yoo  22:48

right? It was so crazy, because the outcome of the video was so different than what I expected, I kind of film that, and uploaded that as kind of an explanation for this is why I haven't been uploading for like the last three, four months. This is why that was kind of the way that I was using that. But then the reception of that video, was the very teaching lesson that I was talking to you about of like, oh, I have to like be conscious of the souls who are watching this, because it just resonated so deeply with so many people in a way that I literally was just like, I'm suffering, this is what I've been doing for the last three months. And they were like,

Ben Kaplan  23:31

because you didn't have you were just talking a second about the insight about like, hey, I want to make a difference. Because like, even if I don't have a million views of this, if I have like one view of someone, it makes a tremendous difference. And maybe it's worthwhile is a shift in perspective, were you at that insight at this point yet? Or was this kind of on the journey to I think

Kaiti Yoo  23:47

this was still on the journey because I was like, I have no idea who's gonna watch this, like I haven't uploaded in like three months. So like, the algorithm definitely does not like me either. So I was like this video my very much do really badly, you know, and so I was just uploading it to upload it because at this time, it was so hard for me to film or edit. And so the only way that I could do those things if I was just able to talk and talk about what I was going through. And so it was a very low lift in terms of there was no like creative direction or strategic planning that went into it. It was just

Ben Kaplan  24:22

those of you who haven't seen some of these views. The hallmark is they're very well produced quite a good video editor, you have some skills and I know we've talked in the past about how that was one of the things that made your stuff stand out was that high quality this one that you're like, you know, I'm not You're not gonna do the depression documented video with like, you know, CGI effects, right? Yes. Yeah, you know, you're gonna you're gonna tell what you need to tell. Exactly.

Kaiti Yoo  24:42

It was very raw. And when I saw the how many people just like needed to hear or see that video, even though it didn't tie anything up in a loose that like there's not a happy ending to that video. It's just like, this is how I'm feeling. That was the point where I kind of realized, you know, on what I say matters, and there are people that are hearing it. So let's give them substance. But yeah, I that video was like what? pretty recent. And so I think I'm still trying to figure out you know how to navigate creating content more regularly going forward to make sure that I don't hit burnout again, to make sure that I don't run out of creative juices again, like, I don't have the answers, I am still very lost.

Ben Kaplan  25:27

Here's one thing from my experience, and I don't know if maybe you can tell me if in like the creator community, you feel like you have this at all. But I've learned over time that you don't have to solve things on your own. You know, you don't have to be like, Katie Yoo Superwoman. You're just gonna, like conquer this. And it sounds it sounds like I mean, you have other things he talks about, you know, getting some therapy, smarter, things like that. But yeah, it's also like peers and other things. And people have gone through it before and people who've, you know, being able to talk to someone else who had like, the 5 million below video, and then they had some maybe downtimes, and all of that. And that's like, the hardest thing, I think, because sometimes when you're going through all of us, we're going through struggles, it feels like you're alone. Right? It feels like that. So do you feel like you have others to to kind of share the burden with or is that difficult? Because you kind of did something that was separate from your peer group at Brown, and maybe other people were doing that, but I don't think that many do you have that like support network? I

Kaiti Yoo  26:20

think I'm very grateful for the support that I do have in my life in terms of close friends. I think that an area that I do need to get better at though is, you know, talking to people who have gone before me in this industry, like, be it entertainment or content creation. And talk to them. I think that's something that I haven't done as much of of yeah, just being like, Have you ever gone through this struggle before? Like, please help me. So this is definitely a good reminder to reach out and try to have those conversations because yeah, you're right. It does feel like you're alone. But that's literally a lie. That's a lie. Fair

Ben Kaplan  26:57

thing. You know, I'm no expert in this at all. But the other thing I've learned over time, I'm a bit older than you. So for what it's worth, I get a few more. No, not so much was just like more years of mistakes and lessons. That's all but you know, things are temporary, no matter how good they are, no matter how bad they seem. Yes, time changes things. So you just got to kind of hang in there, right? Like, it's never as bad as you think it isn't, actually, it's never as good as you think it is either. I agree. And you just got to hang in there. It's not like you're stuck. And you'll never get out of it. Just like hang on, it will be okay, if you can have some more support members and friends, it will be okay. Just hang on.

Kaiti Yoo  27:37

Exactly. Thank you so much for saying that. And I very much agree like that is that's so crazy that you said that because I feel like I've been realizing that of like, every negative feeling is temporary, like every great, amazing experience is temporary. And that just makes every moment of life. I want to hold on to it more. And so I know that one day, I'll look back on this season in my life and be like, yes, I've learned so much. But like it's gone, it's passed now. So I really appreciate you saying that. It means a

Ben Kaplan  28:07

lot to finish up with pay it forward a little bit in terms of other people listening this, there's people listening to the show who you know, are content creators. Now they haven't reached the end, they're trying to get to the 100,000 subscribers are trying to get to like the million plus video, there might be people listening who are really early on just listening and thinking like, Hey, I think I could do this, whatever it is, what would you from like hindsight and kind of this journey, you've on everything you've learned now? How would you approach it differently for like, the new KDU? Who's in their apartment or dorm room thinking about doing this? What advice would you do to kind of set up maybe the foundation given everything you've learned?

Kaiti Yoo  28:41

Great question. I Oh, one thing that I like really, somebody like one of my favorite content creators who's like now a colleague, your mom, Ashley, she, her and I were giving like a talk at Harvard together. And she said this as like advice. And I was like, That is so good and so good. And what she says she was like, if you want to be a content creator, and you want to go viral or like Break The Internet, you have to be okay with being cringe. Like accept that you will be cringe.

Ben Kaplan  29:10

And by that you mean from other people or yourself? What do you mean something that your cringe? I think

Kaiti Yoo  29:15

everyone because because like when you're first trying to Break The Internet or get out there or go viral, you are going to stick out and you are going to be doing stuff that people around you are not doing and so there might be judgment from the people who are watching you there might be judgment from yourself of like, Oh, why am I doing this? Like what if I fail this gonna be so embarrassing, except that that is normal. And that is what every single big person or accomplish or viral or famous person has gone through to get to where they are like that's just an inevitable step of the process. And the more that you can just be like owning it and stepping into Yeah, this is what I'm doing and I'm going to do it even though you think that I'm cringe it's just going to save you a lot of resistance and hardship, in terms of going down that path, so just accept that it's gonna be a little cringy and might be a little awkward. But like, again, it's like you're not alone. Every single person that has gone before you has gone through this. Yeah, I think that's like my biggest advice. Like, biggest motif.

Ben Kaplan  30:19

Have you ever had to learn like partner dancing like a salsa class or like a ballroom dancer? I have I have. But here's the and I don't know if you can associate with it. I think it's a little bit slightly more pressure on just like the lead. Usually, that's the dude. Just because like you have to call these moves. And I remember learning salsa dancing. Yes. And, you know, you got to the class and the class arrows learn the moves together. So it's like, if I like hold up my hand and you're following me, you're gonna spin because the teacher taught it. And then I remember we went to the club for the first time was learning salsa dancing went to the club for the first time where no one was in the class. No little stuff, like I remember dancing was so for the first time, I held my head, like, she didn't turn. And she didn't move. And I stepped on her feet. And I'm just like, I'm like, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm like apologizing. I like later learned this, like not really a good quality lead. Definitely is like the to say you're sorry, like constantly. Like it's not like attractive quality or something like that. But like, I'm apologizing. Nothing is going right. And I'm like, Oh, my God, but in the class you're supposed to spend, why did this happen? And I was literally it was like, well, the salsa song never end. Oh, my God. It's like, this cannot be good for it. You know, I'm just like, waiting. And it was so it was so horrible. It was cringe worthy. And I went back, I saw people in my classroom, we were like, kind of laughing a little bit. I could tell like, we weren't doing well. And I went back. And I remember this, I went back to my instructor and she was like, how to go. I was like, I don't know. It was a little rough. It was rough. And I asked her, How long is it gonna take me to be good? And she's like, Oh, for a lead. Usually it takes a minimum of six months, right? And I was my first time. I was like, Okay, six months and gets back to what you're saying about cringe like, God, can I do this for six months? That was so awful. Can I do this? And I was how many times have to dance a week, three times a week for six months, okay. And I said, How many times should I be dancing each time I go, she's like, Yeah, do five dances. So in my mind, I'm like, Okay, three times a week times five, that's 15, six months, that's 90 dances that I need to do 90 cringe worthy moments to be like, decent. It's not and I'm kind of like a mathematical person. So that's why I'm like doing the numbers here. Right? Like other people aren't doing like, you know, math and mental math in the salsa club. I'm doing it. And I remember as like, okay, either. I'm not coming back to salsa class, or I've got to get through 90 dances. Yeah. And at that moment, like I was like, Okay, who's number two? Yeah, well, now someone else it was bad. And I was able to compress those 90 dances in about like three months. And that's where I got a little bit more calmer. So that's like accepting the cringe. Yeah, getting through it. And just knowing there's something else on the other end. And that's constantly everything's temporary. You just gotta get through.

Kaiti Yoo  32:58

Wow, like that is that you have such a gift for like, taking your own anecdotes and just tying it into the conversation. Like that was such a wonderful story. And I love dance. So I love this metaphor even more. I so agree. I so agree, you have to get your reps in. Like that's just the nature of how anything on this earth works. And so yeah, that's hilarious. Do you still Salsa dance from

Ben Kaplan  33:24

time to time I do. I need to now I have a one year old and a two year old. So it's more like let's get them to walk around. So I'm often salsa dancing with kids or my wife and our kids. We're all trying to do it together. But it's a good, it's a good lesson for a lot of things. So you gotta gotta be in the moment and you learn how to, you know, be cognizant of other people and all that. So I hope my daughter's learn how to dance as well, to wrap up, is there anything else that you would say sort of like where the state of the industry is now and kind of where it's headed and what you see? What do you think is the golden age of this we talk about the golden age of tick tock hasn't happened? Is it in the future? There's AI content coming? What do you think just maybe to wrap up overall, for just your perspective on this industry and where it's headed?

Kaiti Yoo  34:06

Yeah, that's an amazing question. I obviously no one can predict the future. But the one observation I've been seeing is that for a really long time, this era of relatability has been huge, like the raw content like no, we don't want to see your like posed photos. We don't want to see like this idealistic life like I want to see the raw,

Ben Kaplan  34:26

like authentic like authenticity.

Kaiti Yoo  34:29

Yes, that has been huge for like a very long time, I see that the audience's needs and wants are kind of going back to like the curated and the cinematic and specifically an example of that is the person who kind of kick started the era of authenticity and rawness on YouTube, at least was Emma Chamberlain with her like Vic, she would just burp on camera for on camera. She it was just like no filter. Yeah. And so that ushered in like this new era of relatability which is what I was still you too, and I was coming to fame. And now I see that, you know, people who are more cinematic or create more of a story arc in an intentional way in terms of their YouTube videos are now blowing up. And just noticing that, you know, it goes back to your saying of everything is temporary. And so I do see a trend to being back to like the curated and the beautiful right now. And I'm excited to see how we reinvent that, especially because TikTok is here now. So like, we're used to shorter, faster content, and how are we going to mix that with cinematography, and like film, like settings and stuff like that. And so I'm just noticing that that is coming back and something to be paid attention to. And even for me, I'm starting to do more research into how I can tap more into that, well,

Ben Kaplan  35:49

I'm just gonna, before you get to AI, I was just gonna comment. I mean, I think it's this challenge of you kind of have to do what other people were doing. But if you're doing what everyone else is doing, then you're not going to get left behind, too. So you've got to be constantly. That's why the reinvention and this is like a dated reference. I don't know if people maybe people these days don't know. But like Madonna was famous for that, right? She had like, a new sound a new look a new thing. And that's why she was like, you know, irrelevant for like, 50 years or something like that. So you kind of Yeah, have to do that. But you have to be a leader and a follower at the same time, you know, and it's weird, and it's hard. But the other thing is, I mean, just to your point, and then I'll let you comment on AI is that that kind of becomes your north star too, because things will ebb and flow techniques will change platforms will change. All those people were optimizing for Vine. They're not doing that now, right? So all of that will change. But like yourself, can be the through current, but it has to evolve, and you have to be true to yourself. Otherwise very hard to sustain. But he was gonna say AI? Do we even need content creators anymore? Because it's like, I don't know, Mr. AI is going to do it for us.

Kaiti Yoo  36:53

I mean, okay, so before I get to AI, I want to say one last thing that was sparked by like what you just said about there was I was watching an interview with Hasan Minaj, who's like a comedian. He's huge. And he got big on YouTube. But now he's like, just like a comedian. And he has like Netflix shows and whatever. And he was like, there's a difference between creating for an algorithm and creating for art. And creating for art is when you have something to say, and it doesn't matter what medium you're going to use, you're going to say, it doesn't matter if nobody's going to watch it, you need to get it out, versus creating for the algorithm as you see a demand, and you will yourself to say something to meet that demand. And that was just such a revolutionary thing for me, because I think for a long time, I was just creating for the algorithm. And now I'm kind of pivoting to creating for art, in addition to the algorithm. And so that is another huge thing that you're right, like it needs to be a Northstar for anyone trying to break into the industry. And I'm in the process of figuring out what that is for me. But yeah, that is the distinction I wanted to definitely make. And then in terms of AI, I don't know if I have anything significant to say honestly, it's just, I don't really ever see it, replacing humans. But I'm interested to see how it can aid humans because I already I already see like aI people like making AI come up with the best titles and stuff,

Ben Kaplan  38:16

like write the video script as a first draft. And then you edit it and put KT units on it. Exactly. It's not in the original version, but maybe it could speed it up.

Kaiti Yoo  38:26

Yeah, I'm hesitant, scared, excited about those developments. But I'm not worried, if that makes sense.

Ben Kaplan  38:33

One more little mini story. And back to your point about trying to be sustained and fulfilled by something you want to say, which is I have a lot of spirits talking to entrepreneurs and people start businesses and there's a certain person who's an entrepreneur that comes in and is like, where's their market opportunity. There's a industry that's not being serviced. It's a problem. I can see it, I'm starting a business. And it actually is a good opportunity, because they did all their research. But it's like, honestly, they don't care about this business. They have no connection to this business. It's pure, like I see a business, I wonder and some people can be successful with that. But the issue is when times get tough when things aren't going so well. Usually those are the first people that like drop out why? Because they're not passionate about it's not something else. It's like it was a business opportunity, versus some other folks may take something that is actually not as clear a business opportunity. But they are passionate about it. They believe in about it. Maybe it doesn't quite get the rocket fuel they get initially, but downtimes they sustain they push through, because it's something they care about. So final comment is like, I think this is true. And I think I mean you're going to brown your fall in the achiever category, Katie, that's how it is. But a lot of achiever types too. It's like you want to climb the ladder. You want to climb the ladder, you want to climb the ladder, but like is the ladder up against the right wall? And if it's not, that's okay. Don't beat yourself up. Lots of us. We think it's the right wall. We have to change wall so if you're listening and you don't have the right wall figured out, it's okay not supposed To have it all figured out and disposed to change in your life. But sometimes we just got to do that. Because that also is what sustains us when you trip on a step and you do this, but you know, you're climbing the right wall, you're gonna get there. And if you don't have that, then it makes things a lot harder, even if it's a great business opportunity, even if there's a great content niche that you can fill. Right, you know, that's important. Oh,

Kaiti Yoo  40:22

I really need to hear that the ladder against the right wall. That is such a good metaphor. And that

Ben Kaplan  40:28

was, that was sort of me, but that was also sort of Stephen Covey, as well. So I'll credit Stephen Covey for the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the things is related to that. So thank you, Steven Covey, key to you. One, thank you so much for joining us on Break The Internet, too. You have so many amazing gifts. And I totally appreciate you being honest and transparent with like, where you are now, you know, trials and tribulations, successes, all of that. And I truly think that what you've done so far has been remarkable. And there's a way to tie this all together and connect it with your purpose and your faith and what you want to do. And maybe it's your full time job, maybe it's not your full time job, everything else. But all of this, I truly believe was like for a purpose for a reason. And I'm so excited to see what's next for you. And you don't have to figure it all now and you don't have to do it on your own. And I appreciate you being honest about that. Because I think that's inspiring for other people to know that hey, so most people look perfect on YouTube. Probably not the case. And we're all just humans trying to get better and trying to hang on.

Kaiti Yoo  41:28

Yes, thank you so much. That means the world I mean, I have been so poured into with wisdom from you. You're somebody that I admire so much. I mean, your heart and your ability to just bounce off of another person's story. It's, it's amazing and is a testament to why you are in the place that you are. So thank you so much.

Ben Kaplan  41:50

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