Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where—in partnership with global creator company Jellysmack—we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
When ichvse‘s content started taking off in the heydays of Vine, he was hoping to hit that magic number.
One million followers.
Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories
And it might’ve been possible! But then, as well know, Vine met a sudden and sad end, and thousands of creators like ichvse–aka Chase–had to move on and establish themselves on other platforms. At the time, there wasn’t another major short-form option in the mix, so Chase found himself on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, keeping the comedy angle from his bite-size Vines and doing his best to stay in touch with fellow ex-Viners and Vine viewers.
Things didn’t go badly (he’s got a nothing-to-sneeze-at 102,000 followers on Instagram), but they weren’t like they’d been on Vine.
Until he found TikTok.
@ichvseYou gotta turn the music down immediately 😂♬ original sound – Chase
Chase started crossposting some of his Instagram videos to TikTok in early 2020. About a month in, he shared one called Ball don’t lie… that ended up catching the eye of TikTok’s algorithm–an aspect of the platform Chase praises, saying it’s the kind of system that gives any creator, no matter how small their following, the chance to go viral. He points to himself as evidence: When Ball don’t lie… blew up overnight, bringing more than 2 million views, he only had 110 followers. The next morning, he woke up to 30,000.
At the time, his attention was still split between multiple platforms. Once that growth proved to be regularly achievable (bringing in gobs of followers in big bursts after videos rode the For You page wave), Chase decided to commit to TikTok.
This past December, he started posting a video every single weekday, many of them made in partnership with his girlfriend and fellow creator Melonie, who has 523,000 followers of her own on TikTok. That strat took him from around 600,000 followers to, on March 31, more than one million. Between then and now, he’s gained another 100,000+.
So what’s next?
We’ll let him tell you all about it below.
@ichvse Talk dirty to me 🤤 @naturallymelonie ♬ original sound – Chase
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: You’ve been growing fast, and you recently hit a million followers on TikTok, which is a huge milestone. How did that feel, as someone who’s been in the digital video space for a long time?
Chase: It is a huge milestone. I didn’t realize how huge until I actually hit it and I actually felt it. I also felt like I was originally supposed to hit a million on Vine first, of course.
Tubefilter: Let’s go back there. How did you end up on Vine?
Chase: I feel like I’ve always been creating, ever since I’ve been on social media. I’ve been on social media since like 2012—early Instagram days, before memes were called memes. They were called comics. So I used to make little comics. And the term “influencer” wasn’t really a term back then. Like, you couldn’t make money with your personal brand as much. So I built a bunch of theme pages on Instagram and sold them and sold shoutouts and stuff. But I still had a creative side to me.
I came to Vine late, though. I came in 2015. Then once that ended, I still obviously had the taste for making videos, and switched to continue on Instagram and then Facebook. Then I expanded over to TikTok too.
Tubefilter: What appeals to you about TikTok more than other platforms that you tried between Vine and now?
Chase: TikTok is actually more creator-friendly. They actually help creators in terms of algorithm-wise. Like you don’t have to be big to be on the platform first, they give everybody a fair chance. My first video blew up when I had like 110 followers. So they give everybody a fair chance of making it, I guess. They give everybody a chance of being seen or heard, unlike other platforms where you have to already have your audience.
But if you want to get a million followers, you have to actually be consistent and make something of it. You have to put in work, and more than just them helping you out with the algorithm.
Tubefilter: What was that video you had that blew up?
Chase: It’s funny because I actually recorded this video in I think 2016 or 2017. It was an old Instagram skit that I just posted to TikTok. That one went and got a few million views overnight and I woke up to 30,000 followers.
Tubefilter: Is that what you find growth is like on TikTok? Like with YouTube, we tend to see really steady growth where people build month to month, but with TikTok, I feel like we see a lot of like really sudden jumps in followers. Is that something you’ve seen?
Chase: I’ll say that a couple years ago, you would gain more followers than you would now. Like I had a video get a million views a couple days ago, but I didn’t nearly gain the amount of followers from it that I gained a couple years ago, so I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s because I already have a lot of followers, or it’s just slowed down or something, but it’s not the same.
It’s definitely more jumpy on TikTok than on YouTube. It’s more of like a steady climb on YouTube. Like on YouTube, you need to promote from other platforms to grow it, and keep the content coming. It’s a different approach for sure.
Tubefilter: So you’re currency posting to both TikTok and YouTube?
Chase: Correct. But I’ve stopped posting longer content on YouTube. I’m gonna get back to posting longer content probably this month or next month. I stopped posting to focus on TikTok and because YouTube was just a lot of editing. And then when I doubled down on TikTok, I went from 600,000 followers in December and hit a million followers on March 31st.
But I’m gonna go back to YouTube.
Tubefilter: You mostly just answered this, but I was going to ask how your approach to content differs between YouTube and TikTok. Are you posting the same content to both? Do you notice any difference in your audiences?
Chase: My TikTok audience is more engaged. I can post the same content on TikTok and YouTube through YouTube Shorts, but YouTube Shorts isn’t the same as TikTok. Of course it doesn’t get the same love like TikTok, you know what I mean? TikTok has its own sort of fanbase and style of audience responses. But if I post the same video on YouTube that I post on TikTok, it obviously doesn’t do the same numbers. Longer-form videos are what I actually really enjoy, but it’s just harder making those.
@ichvse What i thought being in a relationship was gonna be like… vs. what its actually like 😭 @naturallymelonie ♬ original sound – Chase
Tubefilter: How time goes into the average TikTok video versus the average video that you’d have to edit for YouTube?
Chase: YouTube—much longer. But the TikTok, it depends. Most TikToks are a couple hours depending on how long they are. That’s the most I’ve spent. But on average it takes me like 15 to 20 minutes. For YouTube videos, the average is hours. And that’s not including writing or editing or any pre- or post-production, that’s just the shoot.
Tubefilter: Do you try to hold to a specific creation, production, and posting schedule on TikTok?
Chase: Yeah, on TikTok I try to post five times a week. And a lot of people on TikTok, they consider that very low and not what you’re supposed to do. But when you’re coming up with ideas, and you know your style, and you know how much time things are going to take,a nd you know what your audience likes, posting three times a day is not really realistic. And it’s not necessary. So five times is average. That’s what I did for the whole of December through March—five times a week.
Tubefilter: We talked to another creator recently who tried a more rigorous uploading schedule and then cranked it back down because she actually felt like her audience didn’t have time to keep up with and watch all her content when she was posting that often. It was overwhelming for them and for her.
Chase: Yeah! It’s quality over quantity as well. Because if I was poting two or three times a day, I would get burned out ten times faster. And my content wouldn’t be as good and it wouldn’t hit as hard. And then I would like lose touch with what I’m trying to do. And I don’t think I’m in the niche where I can post that many times a day anyway, because for the ideation process, in terms of coming up with ideas and what’s actually achievable…I don’t just pull my phone out and start talking. People do a bunch of selfie videos and vlog-style content, and that’s something you can maybe post a few times a day.
Tubefilter: Where does your creation process start? How heavy is your scriptwriting? Do you have a list of ideas you want to film, or are you spontaneous?
Chase: It’s funny because I probably have like 60 or 70 ideas in my notes and then I’ll go and when I’m ready to shoot, I’ll look through them, and it’ll probably be like only one that I actually like at the time. I’ve never really sat down and, um, and thought about ideas. That’s not something that I’ve ever done and I don’t think it has ever been part of my process. I just like going through the motions of life and then getting inspiration and being like, “Oh, that’s funny.” I’ll sit down and then put my little twist on it and that’s it. Write it, shoot it.
In terms of scripting, honestly for YouTube and for TikTok, I haven’t scripted anything in a very, very long time. I’m very comfortable with the people that I shoot with, and we all know how to work each other and just good improv for the most part. I pretty much just have an idea and bring it to them and we bounce off each other, come up with an improv, and shoot it.
Tubefilter: That’s a good place to get into the fact that your girlfriend is very funny. And so are you! You’re funny together. How did you meet? Were you both already making videos or how did that work?
Chase: I’ve been making videos since 2014 or something like that. The I DM’d her to make videos with me in 2017. She actually created her first Instagram video with me, and then she started creating on her own.
We were just friends—she was in a relationship. And then after we shot all of 2017, we shot so many videos and made a short film that year, we kind of had two different paths. Then we came back together in 2020 and started shooting again, and there was just like a spark that brought us together, and formed our relationship.
@ichvse No more of this 🙅🏾♂️🍑 @naturallymelonie ♬ original sound – Chase
Tubefilter: If somebody asked what kind of content you make, how would you answer that?
Chase: When somebody says that to me, I honestly just say “creator” because I model as well, I know how to shoot, I like to immerse myself in the whole process, the behind-the-scenes and the camera. I’ve shot projects, I’ve shot events, I’ve shot films, and then I’ve obviously acted in my own stuff, and I wrote, and I know how to edit. I just like the whole process. I just literally call it creating. More than social media, I just describe myself as a “creator.”
Tubefilter: What does the average day look like for you? How much time do you spend making TikTok versus doing other things? Do you have any other kind of side gigs or jobs?
Chase: No. Well, I mean, I do NFTs, and I’ve done crypto for years. But it’s not a side job. Creating is 100% of my day pretty much.
In terms of what a day looks like for me normally it’s not too crazy. We create one or two or three videos a day, mainly on the weekdays and sometimes on Sunday, and then we’ll edit and post them. Now that I want to get back into more longer-form, I’m sure things will get way busier, trying to schedule that.
Tubefilter: That was my next question. I know you want to get back into long-form for YouTube, so how does that change things for you? You don’t have to give spoilers, but what kind of projects are you hoping to make?
Chase: I’ve said a lot of times that I don’t want to be boxed in as a creator, I don’t want to just be the funny guy or we’re the funny couple. We’re talented, we’re passionate. My first short film I shot that I wrote and edited and produced won awards at film festivals, and it was a drama. I like drama. My girlfriend and I have tried a couple horror things, and I like action as well. My dream role, I guess, would be like action comedy, like a Bad Boys or a Rush Hour.
Comedy is just, like I’m not trying to bring the ego into it or anything, but it’s easier. It’s easier with the TikTok algorithms. Comedy is just easier to do and to get people to follow you and subscribe to you. It’s easier to catch the fanbase and wave. But I have way bigger plans past comedy.
Tubefilter: Do you ever take video suggestions from followers? Do you ever pay attention to what they like and what’s trending, or do you do your own thing?
Chase: I’ve taken suggestions from people, I guess, but I’ll do it my own way. Or if I don’t like it, then I just won’t do it.
Tubefilter: What are your goals for the rest of the year as a creator?
Chase: I want to be able to post enough and make enough money to not have to worry about brand deals. I want brand to be a bonus more than a main thing. Right now it’s like a main thing, but I want them to more of just a bonus.
It’s harder when brand deals are the main thing, because you have to say no a lot. That’s the hard part, because a lot of people don’t see the vision or they don’t have the budget. You have to say no more than yes. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred you say no. But you want to say yes when brand deals are the main source [of revenue], but you can’t do that. That’s a struggle.
@ichvse Pssst… Fill my cup! @naturallymelonie ♬ original sound – Chase
Tubefilter: What are your criteria, if a brand approaches you? How do you decide whether or not to work with someone?
Chase: Well, the brand has to align with my values about this world, what I look at as a person, and I have to at least use the product and understand it. And that it makes sense on a general level—that it’s not a bad brand, it doesn’t have poor taste, the world doesn’t dislike them. And then the budget.
So it’s do they align with you, and are they willing to pay the budget you desire or want.
Tubefilter: Actually willing to pay creators what they’re worth.
Chase: Yeah. Some of these companies out here are very disrespectful. Crazy, absolutely insane.
Tubefilter: You don’t have to be specific here, but are you in the Shorts creator fund and TikTok’s creator fund?
Chase: Yeah, I’m in.
Tubefilter: What proportion of your income is coming from brand deals versus money from those funds?
Chase: Oh, those funds are not like wages. They’re not something I would count on. It’s very small, actually.
Tubefilter: What’s been the number one factor in helping you establish yourself as a creator?
Chase: Consistency. Long story short, in the past, when I lived in New York, I struggled with consistency for various reasons. But once I plugged in and actually started becoming more consistent, started putting the time in, that’s when everything blossomed.
I went back and I counted actually how many videos I’d posted to YouTube, to TikTok, to Insta before I took off, and it was 602 videos.
@ichvse Her sayings start creeping in your vocabulary 😂😂 part 5. w/ @jayychildishh ♬ original sound – Chase
Tubefilter: That’s interesting that your main thing has been consistency, but TikTok is so wild a platform that your views can vary dramatically between videos. Consistency from your side, but not necessarily both.
Chase: Yeah, but at the same time, it’s so much easier to grow on TikTok than it is on Instagram and YouTube. And Facebook is a whole nother different thing. It’s just much easier to grow on TikTok than these other platforms.
Tubefilter: Is that because of the amount of sharing or do you think there’s a difference in the algorithms?
Chase: It’s definitely algorithms. The algorithm is way tougher on YouTube than TikTok. TikTok lets people have a chance for their video to be seen. Like Instagram literally doesn’t let you reach more than like 5% to 7% of your audience that follows you, which is actually crazy when you think about it. Somebody wants to see your videos enough that they follow you, but Instagram’s not gonna let that happen.
But yeah, just because of that, it’s way easier.
Chase is represented by Zach Cole at Slash MGMT.
Jellysmack is the global creator company that powers multi-platform social media growth for video creators, media companies, brands, celebrities, and its own online communities (Beauty Studio, Oh My Goal, Gamology, House of Bounce and more). The company’s proprietary technology optimizes, distributes, and promotes video content, resulting in meaningful audience growth and increased revenue in record time. Jellysmack is currently partnered with hundreds of talented creators including MrBeast, PewDiePie, Like Nastya, and Bailey Sarian. Looking to Go Bigger on social? Visit jellysmack.com.