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 can’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, “Did someone make this meme about me?!”
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 — 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 didn’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, it’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, it’ll appear on their 10 friends’ News Feeds, then those 10 friends could like and share it, then it just goes from there, it’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 I’m making 5 digits from promotions via companies and businesses. At the start I’d email companies asking them if they wanted promotions, I was charging maybe £300 for 1 share on my page when I had around 100,000 followers, and I’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 £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 £15 equals £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 £6,000 and they’d happily pay that, which is so crazy. People don’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 didn’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. I’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?
It’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 I’m earning stupid money. Obviously I put money aside for savings and so on, but I could easily spend £5,000 a month on clothes, shoes, hotels, and not think twice.
My life pretty much revolves around this blog now, and it’s a routine that I enjoy! I’m constantly checking to make sure scheduled posts go out on time. During the week I’ll work for hours creating and finding memes. Then on the weekends I’ll relax, party, or whatever, but it could be 2 a.m in the middle of a dance floor at a club and I’ll still be checking my phone making sure posts are going out on time, I never stop!