4 Important Tips Entrepreneurs Can Learn from TikToker Khaby Lame -by Alice Ngatia
According to recent reviews, Khaby Lame is the most followed person on TikTok with nearly 152+ million followers. This 22-year-old comedian has surpassed the previously top-rated, Charli D’Amelio, TikTok’s reigning Champion since March 2020. Khaby Lame’s story traces back to March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when he lost his job. The young factory worker from the Chivasso then started spending his time posting videos on the video-steaming app, TikTok, to the point where he is now considered an internet sensation.
About Khabane Lame’s Success Journey
Known for his simplicity, Lame reacts to complicated hack videos with understanding reaction gestures and clips. It is his shaking of the head while offering an expensive eye roll and extending his arms as if to say voila that flawlessly punctuates his gags making the videos funny.
If you’ve been religiously following him, you’d realized Lame initially used to post with subtitles, spoke in his native, and sometimes in Italian. But it’s the wordless unique reaction clips that have made Lame rise above the fold. Recent figures place his number of followers at 152M+ with a report of earning up to $750K per TikTok post.
It is because of speaking a universally accepted language that he enjoys this meteoric rise to fame surpassing other known stars who have been on TikTok for much longer. But Lame did not start on a famous high. In his early days, Lame would get about 5-10 views in his videos and two subscribers in a month; a pale comparison to the number of views and followers he garners today. Still, he continued to create more content to entertain his fans.
Khaby Lame has beaten many odds to be where he is. A former factory worker, a black national in a foreign country who speaks languages that are not as universally used (Senegalese & Italian), his journey to success is dotted with many lessons for entrepreneurs.
Simplicity is an important tool for success
His unique content is premised on simplifying complicated and sometimes ridiculously presented hacks with simple, everyday-use solutions. The temptation to make everything grandeur sometimes leads business leaders to complicate their solutions/products and or processes. But great businesses thrive when unique ideas are presented in a simplified manner or to simplify life.
Never mind the odds
Going by the world-defined standards, Lame could easily have been labeled a failure. Before his rise, a lot of the global online creators were white, English-speaking creators. But it is his resolve to push through despite all odds stacked against him that saw him quickly shed off titles like a black immigrant, factory worker, etc.
Similarly, as a business leader, trust your struggles and believe in your abilities to make your dream a reality. Have a clearly defined vision and own it with confidence as it is the one thing that will push you forward when faced with business hurdles.
Starting small is still a start.
Khaby Lame had just a phone when began creating short clips and videos on TikTok. As a laid-off factory worker, he did not have the luxury of creating quality-produced videos or artificial tactics like buying followers. He started with what he had and trusted the process. He simply relied on his talent and creativity to fuel his success. So is the case of entrepreneurs. Many times, we want to perfect our beginnings, but the lesson here is to just start, no matter how small. Do not look at the size of their business premises or how established your competitors are; rather, identify what works for your target audience and stay focused on your goals and mission.
Have a support system.
Riggio Alessandro is the outstanding social manager behind Lame’s success. He recognized Khaby’s potential when he had only 1,000 Instagram followers and 100,000 TikTok followers.
Similarly, it is important to have a solid support system to help challenge your perspectives or offer advice and feedback. And if you do not have a set of friends and family you can call on, just focus on building your empire, someone may be watching from a distance.
Today, Lame’s followers’ work pages are in Portuguese, German, Arabic, Spanish, and English. Reputable YouTubers like King Bach and Big brands like Nike are striking business deals with him. To many, Lame is an inspiration, and we can all pick great insights from his life.
Whether you are an upcoming business leader or have an established business, Khaby Lame is proof that no matter where you are in life, believing in yourself is the key to unlocking growth.
Alice Ngatia, Marketing & Communications Business Partner for Schneider Electric East Africa. Alice is a marketing enthusiast passionate about building brands.
Follow me on LinkedIn @alicengatia