The biggest secret to becoming famous is to act like you are already, then people will start to believe you. No one understands this better than kids who are using social media and Vine to garner fans. Luke Hutch, a sixteen year old Viner/ YouTuber from Miami is one of many who is capitalizing on it.
In January of 2014 Luke began uploading Vines and quickly began gaining fans. Everything started to blow up pretty fast. In under five months, Luke has gained over 100,000 fans on Twitter. Scroll through Luke’s Twitter page and you will notice many of the Tweets are aimed at connecting with fans, and also giving away a chance to talk to him. Social media is the one place where Luke continually lives. Luke has a hand in just about every medium possible to ensure success. His most regularly updated account is his Vine, but Twitter is where he spends most of his time doing promo.
So what exactly is getting Luke Hutch 10 million loops on Vine, nearly 200k followers on Twitter and his own merchandise line from District Lines?
“I post more Vines and keep up to date on Snapchat,” he told me this week when I asked him. “I follow mostly everyone who asks me to follow them. I try to follow as much as I can!”
To give you a bit more insight into this, Luke studies his peers who are creating brands simply by being themselves and staying in their own lane. He understands that following someone on Twitter will more than likely guarantee a follow back. If a girl’s “fav” is following her, she is more than likely going to stick with them for a while. It’s loyalty. Luke’s Twitter account is a testament to his nonstop hustling for more fans. Do you want to be noticed? Like, follow, comment or retweet. Do you want a DM? Favorite this Tweet and turn your notifications on. Do you want a follow on Instagram? Tag your pictures with #LukeHutch. Most impressive, in my opinion, is how he has taken over the entire first page of Google when you search Luke Hutch.
But Luke also works hard for the fans through the broadcasting service YouNow. Nearly every week Luke will do a broadcast through the livestreaming website that enables him to promote himself (because Luke Hutch is the project) to get more dedicated fans. In these livestreams, Luke will call a select few fans if they Tweet him. It’s also worth noting how similar Luke’s trajectory is to Austin Mahone, who he bares a striking resemblance to. Austin’s start came from offering private Skype performances and phone calls with fans–for a price.
Teen girls are the driving force behind every teenage boy accumulating fame in 2015. Whether we want to admit it or not, they are the ones who are making or breaking this new breed of a celebrity’s career. If you are nice to them and make them feel special, you could be reaping the rewards. But if you ignore them or think you’ve moved past the fans, they will tear you down within months. (Does anyone remember who Carter Reynolds is?) And for the boys who are on the hunt for fame, the girls are like an awesome bonus.
In the grand scheme of things, Luke’s fame is not as powerful as someone like Jake Paul but he is learning fast. Luke’s popularity can’t be accredited to one medium. None of his accounts are overpowering the others in terms of popularity, yet he still has girls clamoring to be noticed by him.
An example would be this, from his Instagram:
Here’s a fun game that can be used as an analogy: put five equally attractive teenage boys in front of one hundred teenage girls. Tell the girls only one of the boys is famous. The one who is famous will automatically get mobbed–even if there is no proof–while the others will be left behind.
It’s the same idea with social media. If you are a boy who is cute, and you have a large number of followers you have power. You prove that you are worth a hashtag, a Tweet or a follow. And then you slowly become a brand.
So what exactly are Luke’s plans for the next year? “My goal is to travel and meet the people who are following me on social media,” he responded. “Maybe this summer. It would be amazing and something I’d like to do soon.” Luke is a representation of a much larger force of teenage boys who are using social media as a means to get their name out into the Internet simply for being themselves. Smartphones, selfies and emojis are the ways to a teen girl’s heart in 2015. But what Luke needs is a tour, which he understands very well. Luke needs a well-known brand or company to take him on the road for face to face contact with fans. Just like with boy bands, if one wants to succeed you have to take your talent on the road. For social media celebrities, this talent can be as simple as taking hundreds of selfies in every city. Those selfies translate into more follows, hashtags and eventually money because girls are paying for the pictures. If Magcon can pick up a boy who only has 7,000 followers on Twitter and expect girls to pay $150 to meet him, I’m pretty certain Luke can also be picked up for a tour.
Social media celebrities like Luke are little geniuses, and to try to flippantly push off their success is ignorant. What I think is most interesting about Luke is, his fame can’t be pinpointed but it is there. I’m not sure how far it will go, as most of this seems to be about luck, but I do think Viners and YouTubers like him are fascinating to watch expand their success because it is all so new. For what it’s worth, Luke Hutch (and many others) are doing something most of us over 20 can’t: they are becoming a celebrity through a smartphone. Luke should succeed, and he probably will, all because he’s an excellent self-marketer.
Special thanks to Luke for being so cool and participating in this story!
If you want to follow Luke you can on Twitter and Instagram. His merch can be purchased here. And he’ll be dropping a single titled “Working Hard” on iTunes soon. “No date yet, but it will be out soon”, he told me today.