We’re reaching out to some popular creators to get their best tips and tricks for success and better understand the ups and downs of life as a trailblazer on the internet.
This week, we spoke with Hunter Prosper via email. Hunter is known online for his Stories From a Stranger series on TikTok. Hunter asks people on the street questions like, “What was the name of your first love, and why did you fall in love with them?” or “What is one dream you’ve let go of?“
In a documentary-like style, he often edits emotional music and images of nearby scenery to accompany the interviews. Hunter’s storytelling videos have attracted an audience of over 3.6 million followers on TikTok.
The interview below has been condensed and edited.
What’s the first thing you do to start your day online?
The first thing I do is wake up and make breakfast without my phone. Just enjoy my first hour or so to gather my thoughts for the day. Being on social media can be harmful if that’s all you are on all day. So making sure I have time to myself is vital. As cliché as it sounds, it’s necessary.
What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out as a creator?
I wish I knew that in time success will come, so enjoy the little moments along the way. One subscriber a day was an amazing feeling when I first started. I try to remain mindful of the feeling of having a connection with my followers.
When did you realize you’d broken through and become a successful creator?
I realized my work was making a meaningful impact the first time I received a DM from someone telling me a video helped them reach out to get help and start going to therapy. For me, it’s never about the numbers. If one video gets one view, as long as that video helped someone in some way, the creator is doing something amazing.
If you hadn’t become a creator, what would you be doing right now?
I’m actually a full-time ICU nurse. I make content to help people outside of my work. I get so much satisfaction from my day job (although it’s hardly a “day” job since I work nights a lot) that I could never see myself leaving it. Seeing a sick patient get better is a feeling that is unmatched.
What’s one thing you do to manage your relationship with your fans?
I try to dedicate the first hour of posting a video to comment to fans and answer DMs. It’s important to let everyone know they’re heard. It can be time-consuming with my day job and videos reaching millions of views, but I make it a habit to interact with fans as much as possible.
What do you think of the idea of cancel culture?
There are some individuals who have done truly irreparable acts. Sometimes acts of violence, sometimes acts of inhumanity that may need to be properly handled in a court of law. I feel like a culture that can hold those specific individuals accountable is a powerful tool that when used properly can yield great results to making the world better. Allowing certain people the ability to commit heinous acts without being checked would be a disservice to the society as whole. However, we have a responsibility to one another to be careful, and recognize it can be a slippery slope at times.
How much of your true self do you show online?
I’m in a unique situation because my content places the world, not me, at the center of attention. I try to highlight that every person has a beautiful story. You don’t have to be famous to have a story appreciated by millions of people. We’re all unique in our own way and showing that is what makes me proud of my content. The stuff my followers get to see, me listening, that’s 100 percent my true self. I barely hold the camera up when I’m listening to someone speak. I’m fully engaged, almost forgetting I have the phone in my hand recording.
What’s one of the best interactions you’ve ever had with someone who follows you?
Just listening to my followers tell me about their lives is amazing and humbling. It’s an honor to me that they would go out of their way to message me. Any moment I get to learn about a follower is my favorite interaction.
What is your most treasured tool?
My empathy. I love listening to people and I love seeing the emotion they have when telling a story. It’s what drives me to keep making content, that and my followers interacting with me. To hear someone speak from the heart is a feeling that is hard to describe. One that I don’t take for granted.
What holds you accountable?
I know that everyone has a story. And I feel like it’s become part of my job to share those stories. To let others know they aren’t alone while also letting others know they’re important. Whoever is reading this interview right now has an amazing story waiting to be told and that story can help someone else in their life somehow. We’re a lot more connected than some may think, and that fact keeps me driven to make content.
Thank you, Hunter, for speaking with us!
We’ll be featuring a new Q&A with a creator every week, so shoot an email to [email protected] for a chance to be included.