How this teen turned his sugar daddy memes into an actual business
Do you ever find yourself stuck in a trance, endlessly scrolling through your feed for hours LOLing at memes? This seems to be a serious problem I canâ€™t control, thanks to the many meme pages I follow on Facebook.
One of my favorites is a page called Superficial, ran by 19-year-old Will McGuinness from London. Will was expelled from two high schools and never wanted to work a 9 to 5 job, but luckily he found his passion for social media through his page Superficial. Superficial is a collection of the sassiest, bitchiest, and most taggable memes that will have you asking yourself, â€œDid someone make this meme about me?!â€
We got to chat with Will about how he got started with Superficial and how he has made the page into a business.
Was Superficial a meme page from the start or did you intend for it to be something else?
Superficial was a meme page from the start, full of sarcasm and joking about semi serious topics. I started Superficial for a laugh, pop memes and memes in general that surrounded money, sugar daddies, a nice lifestyle â€” all of the kinds of stuff that were huge at the time, and still are. I knew it was going to be popular, but definitely didnâ€™t expect it to be as popular as it now.
Why did you choose Facebook over Instagram?
I chose Facebook over Instagram because I was familiar with Facebook, itâ€™s also a lot of easier to gain a following on Facebook than on Instagram. With Facebook it could literally take one share to make a video viral. Even a share by someone with 10 friends and no followers, itâ€™ll appear on their 10 friendsâ€™ News Feeds, then those 10 friends could like and share it, then it just goes from there, itâ€™s like a butterfly effect type of thing!
How have you made Superficial into a business since gaining so many followers?
I started making money at first via promotions, now most months Iâ€™m making 5 digits from promotions via companies and businesses. At the start Iâ€™d email companies asking them if they wanted promotions, I was charging maybe Â£300 for 1 share on my page when I had around 100,000 followers, and Iâ€™d get maybe four or five promotions a month and thought that was amazing!
One day, it crossed my mind that I was promoting a product that was Â£15, and it would only take 20 people out of my 100,000 followers that I had at the time to buy that product for the company to make back the money they paid me to promote that product. I emailed the company shortly after that and asked roughly how many sales I had got them, they came back and said around 300.
I did the math, 300 times Â£15 equals Â£4,500, so when I realized that I knew I could start charging them and other companies the same. Now with 700,000 plus followers on Superficial, I could charge companies upwards of Â£6,000 and theyâ€™d happily pay that, which is so crazy. People donâ€™t realize how much money can be made via social media.
I saw you recently showed your followers that you run Superficial, why did you keep your identity private for so long?
I watched Gossip Girl and was obsessed with it and wanted to do something similar to that so badly. I stayed anonymous on Superficial for so long because I felt that it didnâ€™t need to be known and it was irrelevant who the admin was, it was a Gossip Girl-style blog so I had to be anonymous.
Making people guess who ran that blog made it even more fun, everyone was so shocked when they found out I was a boy. Most of the comments on my reveal post said they expected it to be a girl.
I never hid it from friends, all my friends knew. On nights out when I would meet new people, the conversation would always get to what my job was. Iâ€™d get them to pull out their phone to go on my page, and half the time 10 or more of their friends followed my page, or a couple of times it turned out that them themselves already followed my page.
How has Superficial changed you as a person?
Itâ€™s made me more superficial and materialistic, but I can admit that! Realizing that I could buy the things I always wanted was crazy to me. My spending habits are stupid because Iâ€™m earning stupid money. Obviously I put money aside for savings and so on, but I could easily spend Â£5,000 a month on clothes, shoes, hotels, and not think twice.
My life pretty much revolves around this blog now, and itâ€™s a routine that I enjoy! Iâ€™m constantly checking to make sure scheduled posts go out on time. During the week Iâ€™ll work for hours creating and finding memes. Then on the weekends Iâ€™ll relax, party, or whatever, but it could be 2 a.m in the middle of a dance floor at a club and Iâ€™ll still be checking my phone making sure posts are going out on time, I never stop!