Remember when we were on Myspace? Yes, me neither! Well, of course, I am that old. I was not on Myspace, but it was the most popular social network site pre-Facebook. Facebook made an entrance about an year later (2004), followed by Twitter in 2006. There are currently over a hundred of them, including platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Social media has evolved in the past two decades; from a simple tool used to communicate with friends and family to an open society that allows you to freely connect, share and express thoughts and ideas with a larger audience across the globe. Today, individuals and businesses are utilizing social media to connect and make a more tangible impact through their interactions.
As a millennial who grew up watching endless video content on Youtube, learning everything from how to bake a cake to how to start a WordPress site and customize CSS, I find the evolution of platforms like TikTok to be particularly fascinating. Although Gen Z dominated this well-known short-form video content app when it first launched with a focus on entertainment, my fyp suggests that it has become more inclusive of its audience and the type of content created within the platform.
To be honest, TikTok did not appeal to me at first, and like any other millennial, I swore I would never get on the app. But I was intrigued when I saw some creators going against the grain and creating valuable content that resonated with me. So, I naturally gravitated toward it. Although entertainment and trendsetting still make up most of the platform’s focus, the magnitude of this shift has been quite impactful.
While we can all agree that social media has its drawbacks, such as constantly pushing us to aspire to unrealistic trends and lifestyles, not to mention the hate and bullying on the platform, we must also acknowledge the benefits it can bring to our lives. I’ve had the privilege of meeting wonderful people driving meaningful change in this space.
Speaking of creators driving social change, today we have a special guest who caught my attention on TikTok with a recitation of an excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love.
Nick Luebke, songwriter, actor, model, and bookworm from Nashville!
It is an extensive list, but today we will focus on Nick Luebke, the content creator 🙂 Hello Luebke, thank you for taking the time to do this!
Let’s delve in!
When and why did you become a content creator?
Since I can remember, I have been exploring my creative side through songwriting and videography. In fact, I have been writing songs for over ten years and have been creating video content for businesses and entrepreneurs in Nashville for about four years.
So, I believe I have created something almost every day for the past decade…
But when TikTok came along, it opened a new avenue for me to test my crazy ideas the same day they came to me and made their way onto the platform. What I like best about TikTok is that the algorithm is based on one’s interests, which I thought was pretty cool. This made me want to try it out.
What sort of content do you create on these social media platforms?
I like to think that I will be creating music and videos until the day I die. Music comes and goes with my inspiration. Sometimes I am into it, sometimes I need to escape it for a while. So, most of my social media is for my music, especially Instagram.
TikTok is a whole different thing for me. Most of my posts are about books; what I am currently reading, personal insights and epiphanies about life and random philosophical/psychological concepts derived from observations and endless thinking (and so on).
What led you to create content with more depth and value?
I have always been a deep thinker, trying to figure out the purpose of our existence and various aspects of the world and life. Everything we know now (in my opinion), was discovered, or deduced by humans at some point in time and that makes nothing quite as concrete as it may seem.
None of these “rules” or things that society says we must believe in, are not complete truths to me. This causes me to continue my search for more in-depth answers and that has led me to the deeper thinkers in the spiritual world.
On that note I must add that spirituality and God have really ignited a fire in me because I feel like it helps us see the world from a 30,000-foot perspective as opposed to one buried in the day-to-day monotony of earning money to pay bills etc.
The idea of a Creator and a higher purpose has answered so many of my questions, hence the goal of my TikTok is to share those ideas in digestible little bits so people who see them might be able to expand their viewpoint further.
I reckon things that blow my mind trigger a similar response in my viewers as well. I think it is an amazing way of connecting with these audiences from across the world. I love how something I have read or a random thought I have at a particular moment has the power to resonate with and make an impact on someone else’s way of thinking. TikTok or social media in general has amplified this by thousand folds.
How did it all start?
One day I super randomly posted a video about how the dopamine system work. Just a little something I have learned about pain and pleasure balance, the response it got was just insane! It got over one million views! That was really the first time I posted anything like that, and it made me think, this could be something. Clearly, it resonates with many, or at the very least people are curious or interested enough to hear what I have to say. So, I kept going.
TikTok is often referred to as “a kids’ dancing app” and Instagram is a platform that is heavily focused on aesthetics. What made you decide to swim against the tide? Especially as a millennial yourself, weren’t you a little skeptical?
Honestly, I started posting random golf content like 1.5 years ago and the first video I ever posted was like 8 seconds long and it was a cool golf tip I had seen (golf was my whole life from age 2-18).
I had zero followers and it got 1.4M views in like a week and I was just like “WHAT IS THIS PLATFORM?!” So, I started looking into it and tried to understand how the algorithm worked, and it intrigued me.
It suddenly was the answer to all these issues I had in the past with platforms like Instagram. I struggled a bit to reach new people with my music and TikTok was completely different. As each posting was treated as a standalone piece, it was shown to anyone who seemed interested in that type of content. This meant my videos (with or without followers) showed up on the fyp of anyone who searched for similar content. And it continued to reach more people based on the response of those who had already seen it. This was just incredible.
So, I leaned in with the golf stuff on @Nixgolf and from there was hired by brands to run their TikTok’s and saw I was good at creating engaging content that achieved a good reach for even products and services. I had never really focused on my own TikTok until about six months ago though.
I’ve kind of always wondered what my greater purpose on this planet is, and to me ideally, that question should answer this– “how and where can I make the most impact and help others?” When I was able to reach out to hundreds or thousands of people, especially the younger generations with valuable educational and spiritual content like this, it was like an ah-ha moment for me. Because it checked all my boxes for my “greater purpose.”
Did you at times, especially at the beginning, feel like you will have to hop on trends to get the attention of the audience, or did it just pick up smoothly from the time you started?
No way! I honestly saw a lot of those YouTube videos of people attempting to follow trends. But, if I am asking myself, “How can I help the most people?” “This does not imply chasing trends for likes or whatever.”
I will not deny that I do things on purpose to keep a viewer’s attention, such as explaining the most interesting part quickly or cutting out most of the dead spaces in my reading so that the viewer does not lose interest or become bored.
I am not doing it to manipulate the viewer; I am just being smart in recognizing that I do not have much time to get my point across.
What is the reception and engagement like now for what you share?
It is amazing. I enjoy reading the comments and seeing how they influence people’s perspectives of the world. It seems insane to me that a video I made in my apartment based solely on an idea, articulating it as per my understanding could influence the way of thinking of someone on another continent.
TikTok, as previously stated, does not care how many followers you have, which I appreciate.
Every video is treated as a new piece of content; if it engages the viewers, it will be successful; if it does not, it may have a lower reach. So, while engagement may vary, if you understand the audience, it will really get across fantastically.
What type of content seems to resonate the most with your audience?
A lot of the relationship stuff appears to be significant. I believe it has broadened the minds of those who have come across it. That is remarkable because I know it has the potential to improve their relationships (romantic or otherwise). Even if it is just them having a good night, smiling, tipping their waiter a little extra, and spreading more kindness and love, the ripple effect magnifies my small efforts. When I think about it, it makes me happy.
It is as if I am getting a taste of what it is like to be the author of a significant book without actually writing it. At least for the time being. I would like to write a book someday because I feel like I have so much more to say.
What are your intentions for TikTok? What is it that you try to achieve with all this content that you create?
I would like to be a reliable source of spiritual growth for others. I want to help people along their journey and make as much of an impact as possible. I do not want to shape people’s beliefs; I just want to present them with various points of view so they can make their own decisions.
I never want to appear to know the truth or to be living the perfect life because that is not the case, and such pressure would break anyone.
Pretending to live this mighty spiritual life is not what I want to convey; instead, I want to be the guy who is incredibly interested in what amazing thinkers before me have discovered and lead with ZERO judgment towards whatever anyone chooses to believe.
Let’s talk about your other creative avenues — singing, acting, modeling… What is it like and how do you manage to stay consistent and inspired?
I believe I can stay inspired because I switch between lanes. I get obsessed with one of my creative outlets for about 2 months and then rotate them; I will write songs and work on music for a while I am excited about it, then move on to creating a video, etc.
I do sometimes wonder if that is slowing me down and if I should be pursuing just one thing…but I will figure that out as I go.
Your TT bio reads – book worm 🙂 what other genres do you read, apart from what you review?
Hahaha honestly, I do not really read anything other than self-help and spirituality stuff. I have a tough time reading fiction because I feel like I am wasting time even though I know that is probably not the right way to look at it.
What are five books that have changed your thought process… and how?
The Bible – taught me how to love, and have morals and standards for my choices and way of life.
Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now/A New Earth rocked my world and taught me what it means to be “present” and how I had gotten so far away from living that way. This is why I have such fond memories of my childhood. I was completely present at the time, with no concerns about the future or ruminating on the past. As I grew older, I became “addicted to thinking,” as he puts it. This book taught me to recognize those moments and to “return to the moment.”
You are a badass – I read this at the beginning of my spiritual self-help journey, and it does an excellent job of summarizing all of the most useful concepts in the self-help world. It’s very well done and hilarious, so it’s very easy to read.
Meaning of Marriage – This book completely changed my perspective on relationships. It really opened my eyes to how selfish I could be in relationships and how I had made it all about what I got rather than what I gave to the other person. It showed me how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and marriage and selflessness are the only ways we can learn what that sacrifice was like and how to sacrifice ourselves. I highly recommend it.