On December 21, 2016, John Legend joined an elite club on YouTube, becoming one of the few artists to ever have a video reach over one billion views. With fewer than 50 videos on the billion+ views list, the video’s success has prompted the question: how did “All of Me” attract so much attention?
Here are a few things John Legend did to reach this milestone.
1. He let fans in on an intimate piece of his life.
It’s not possible to discuss “All of Me” without bringing up the star of the video, John Legend’s real-life wife and model Chrissy Teigen. Not only has Legend admitted to writing “All of Me” about Teigen, but the timing of the video was crucial, as it was released less than a month after their wedding and even included actual footage from the ceremony.
By allowing fans to have an, albeit pretty glamorous, glimpse into his personal life, Legend easily drew his curious audience in like a moth to a flame. If you’re not comfortable letting fans have a visual look into your personal relationships, consider allowing them into your personal life on a more general and controlled level through platforms such as Q&As on YouTube or Twitter.
2. He’s kept up on social media.
Despite being a massive “legend,” so to speak, the artist has been very active on social media over the past few years. He continues to promote his new music and videos through both his Facebook and Twitter. While it may appear that this has little to do with breaking a billion views on a video released over three years ago, his active participation on these platforms has only helped attract more and more views.
Think about it: Legends makes a new tweet, that tweet links to a new video on YouTube, and that new video on YouTube recommends the viewer watch “All of Me.” Follow in his footsteps and promote your next release on social media to draw even more attention to both past and present videos.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) December 21, 2016
3. He’s been patient while pursuing other projects.
Hitting one billion views on his video didn’t happen right away. In fact, it didn’t even happen terribly quickly. It took a long three years, two months, and 19 days, but Legend finally saw his hard work pay off in a big way when the view count tipped into the billions.
Rather than waiting and focusing solely on “All of Me,” Legend took advantage of the time to pursue other material. Check out his latest video “Love Me Now” below.
Reaching a new milestone is rarely an easy feat, regardless of the status of your fame. Pull some inspiration from Legend, and remember that making monumental progress in your music career is not going to happen overnight, or even over the course of a few months. Take advantage of the little steps in your career, and eventually, you’ll be hitting milestones you never even dreamed of.
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Kelsey Leaman is a senior at American University in Washington D.C. studying Economics and International Studies. She is passionate about writing, Lemonade, and Michelle Obama.