In case you missed it, Ashton Kutcher shared my travel video on Facebook with 17,600,000 people! Yes, the real Ashton Kutcher!
I still remember that very moment, 2 weeks ago, that I saw my face on Ashton Kutcher’s Facebook page like it was yesterday. My heart literally dropped and I was saying on repeat, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! WHATTTT?!?”. I still sometimes wonder if someone played a prank on me but I confirmed it and well, it’s 100% very real.
So First, if you haven’t seen my, “Travel Solo: Why Traveling Solo Is So IMPORTANT! (Inspirational Video)” – HERE IT IS!
How did this all happen? Funny story…
Why I Decided To Make That Video
For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make a meaningful and inspiring video for my YouTube channel. Why? Because I tend to be a pretty deep person (surprise!) and love inspiring stuff. I live for that. It’s the whole reason I started my blog, to begin with. Beyond loving travel, I also love self-help/self-improvement books, videos, documentaries, speakers, blogs and movies. I’ve gone to many different seminars throughout my life, always soul searching for the meaning of life and my purpose here on earth. When I was in high school I used to drive to the Barnes & Nobles (bookstore) and find a spot on the floor in the self-help section and go through books. I’d take notes, write quotes and just save them. I wasn’t a fan of school, but I was always a fan of learning about the mind, body and soul.
When creating my blog, I wanted it to be about traveling, art and spirituality. Somehow, my blog just became a travel blog and I wanted to shift it a little to what inspires me most, which is inspiring people and teaching things I learned from a pretty young age about life.
Making The Video
So I decided to create something I never did before. I created a video on why it’s so important to travel alone and how it changes you forever. How it helps you soul search and get to know the world and yourself on a deeper level. So I took a bunch of footage I collected from around the world and told my story on why traveling solo has changed my life.
I went to my room, turned off all the lights, lit candles because I’m romantic like that and just spoke from the heart. I never wrote notes or read off a speech, just freestyled it.
NEVER GIVE UP
When I first published it, I was a bit nervous, not sure what you guys would think of it, but then I started getting messages from all my friends and followers saying how inspiring it was. Some even said it made them teary eye and others said that I stole the words out their mouth. My good travel blogging friend, Erin Bender, told me that this video has to go viral. The question was how…
I tried a few things and they didn’t work out the way I thought they would. I submitted the video to a few websites and got nothing. Until one random day, I got an email back from the editor-in-chief of Matador Network, who LOVED my video. Matador Network, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the leading travel websites, if not THE leading travel websites for articles related to traveling.
I was so excited about the news because I have tried in the past to get my work on there and wasn’t successful. NEVER GIVE UP!
While I was traveling in Mexico, I got a message from one of my followers who congratulated me for getting my work on their site and their Facebook page with a million followers. I was so excited! There was a good boost of traffic to my video and I was so happy.
The Way Social Media Works
A few days later it died out, then it went back to getting 2,000 views in 24hrs. I realized someone most have shared it, but couldn’t figure out who. 2 days later, the same thing happened, only this time 4,000 views in a few short hours. I realized that someone clearly with a big following must have shared it, but who was it?
Being a blogger and now a social media expert, I know how Facebook and social media platforms work. Facebook, for example, only shows posts to probably 1% (maybe a little more) of the people you’re friends with or that follow your page. This all depends on your engagement with that person, group or page. Which completely drives me crazy sometimes. I sometimes post things and out of my 6,200 Facebook page followers, Facebook only shows it to 500-900 people, if I’m lucky 1500 people and this doesn’t mean clicks. They just want you to pay them for ads…annoying, but that’s how Facebook makes money.
Who Shared My Video?!?
Anyways, point being someone with a GOOD amount of followers had to have shared my video. My analytics on YouTube said it was coming from Matador Network, which was confusing because in reality it was coming from Facebook but the link was connected to Matador Network. I Facebook searched the title of my video and found nothing, just the people that shared my video from their site and put it on ‘public’. I started searching different things and still couldn’t find ANYTHING. I was literally searching for 2hrs! I’m not kidding!
At the time, I was talking to my mom on the phone who’s in Israel and I told her about the whole thing and how I couldn’t figure this out and how I’m annoyed and over it.
ASHTON KUTCHER! That’s Who!
I took a break from my search to walk my dog, on a lovely, sunny Friday afternoon. When I got back, I said “NO! I have to figure this out! Who shared my video!?”. I think I wrote in the Facebook search box, “traveling alone” and clicked entered. OUT OF NOWHERE, I saw my photo on Ashton Kutcher’s Facebook page! My first reaction, “WHATTTTTTTTTTTT!?! WTF!!! OH MY GOSHHH! OH MY GOSHHHH!”…this went on for about a good 15 minutes! lol
My reaction on Snapchat (username: theonlykimcohen)
I freaked out! NO WAYYYYY!!! This couldn’t be real. Oh but it was, it had that baby blue “verified” logo that celebrities normally have to let us know it’s really them. But still, I couldn’t believe it, it couldn’t be!
First thing I called my best friend and freaked out over the phone. I couldn’t even talk. I felt like I had just drank 20 cups of coffee. I tried calling my mom and sisters (my biggest supporters) and they weren’t picking up, they were sleeping! Damn it, it was really late at night in Israel. I honestly didn’t even know what to do with myself! But to totally freak out! As I shared the news across my social media channels, I started receiving a million and one messages everywhere. From my friends and people that watched the video. I even got a comment on the video, “Ashton Kutcher sent me here. I love your video”. This was crazy. I literally spend the rest of the day trying to reply back to everyone, everywhere.
I later found out that originally, when I got my second big hit of traffic, it was because of Brad Takei. Brad Takei is a Hollywood producer and an openly gay man who married the actor, George Takei, who played in all the Star Trek movies, he shared it. He also has over 1,200,000 followers.
I’m not sure if Ashton and Brad are friends, but I have a feeling that Ashton either saw it on his Facebook page or just got it from the Matador Network’s Facebook page.
As it later turns out, by the editor-in-chief of Matador Network, Ashton Kutcher does follow their page and shares things randomly that he really likes. The funnier part is that literally less than a week before Ashton shared my video, I shared a video of him fighting for human-trafficking and wrote what an amazing man he is and how much I respect him for it.
It’s weird how this world works. I grew up watching Ashton’s movie since I was a kid basically, I remember watching “Dude, where is my car” (remember that?) and since, watching so many of his movies. It’s so weird growing up and watching someone on the big screen, that’s so well respected in Hollywood and around the world for his movies, startups and fighting human-trafficking. To have someone like him watch my video and like it enough to share it with all his fans, is amazing! It’s funny how little we think we are sometimes and at times powerless and then someone like that notices your work and gets inspired by it after inspiring so many people across the world. I mean the man sat back and watched me talk for 7 minutes and 39 seconds. That’s mind blowing to me.
I feel so blessed and honored to have someone like him recognize my work. It’s amazing.
So yup! That was my story on how Ashton Kutcher shared my video with his 17,600,000 followers from around the world. I couldn’t have ask for a better gift for my blog’s 3 year anniversary this week (Vanilla Sky Dreaming Turns 3 Years – A Look Back At 3 Years In The Making)! My video didn’t get a million views and I really couldn’t care less, although that would be nice. I’m just happy that I got to where I got – that he watched and it inspired him.
In my wildest dream, I never thought that one day by being a travel blogger a famous actor would ever know who I am. It’s a whole other ball game I never even thought to be possible.
People keep dreaming, keep working hard, focus on that dream and eventually you’ll get exactly what you wanted or even better!