Millionaires: Alex & Jon want to be your brand-savvy BFFs

By 07/20/2023
Millionaires: Alex & Jon want to be your brand-savvy BFFs

Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we–in partnership with content creator tool Gyre–profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.

Wife and husband team Alex and Jon had no idea they’d be good at making ads.

They had no idea they’d be good at making content at all.


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Well, sort of. They did know their way around behind the camera: they ran a wedding photography business together, with Alex as the full-time photographer and Jon also balancing his career as an occupational therapist. They probably would’ve kept at those jobs for a good long while had COVID not happened.

But COVID did happen, and as you can probably guess, their wedding business slowed way down. Since Jon was an essential worker, he was still going in every day, and Alex was stuck at home alone. She originally downloaded TikTok out of boredom, she says, but soon she realized it could be “a fun creative outlet.”

I love thinking of a project and thinking of a video and knowing exactly how I want it to look in my head, and then actually seeing it done,” she says. “My favorite part is just the whole journey of the creative process. I love hearing a song or something that is inspiring and then visually writing out the script in my head and then seeing it come to life. I love a finished product.”

Jon wasn’t so sure about the whole social media thing at first, but he came around eventually. “It was just a way for us to do something together because I was working all the time, so it was nice to shoot videos with Alex, even though I didn’t really want to do it in the beginning,” he says. 

The duo says their growth on TikTok has been slow but steady, and now they’re closing in on 2 million TikTok followers. They’ve also launched their own podcast, Give It To Me Straight, put together a teaser for their first film project #cringe, and have found a new career in making branded content with partners like McDonald‘sLowe‘sUniversal, Stitch Fix, and Adobe. Their most recent partnership (secured before the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike) is a promo for Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1.

Check out our chat with them below.

@alexandramadison_This was obviously the best time to ask him…♬ original sound – Alex and Jon

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tubefilter: Pretend somebody’s reading this, they don’t know who you are, they haven’t seen your content. Give me a little bit of introduction about you two, where you’re from, how you met, and your journey up to joining social media.

Alex: Great.

Jon: I could do how we met, sure.

Interviewer: Sure. Let’s do it.

Alex: We’ll start from the beginning.

Jon: I’ll start from the beginning. We met in Raleigh, North Carolina, actually on Tinder. Then it was touch and go there for a couple of months.

Tubefilter: That’s Tinder.

Alex: Exactly.

Jon: Basically it was me trying to pursue her and her giving me the cold shoulder. Then finally we connected and Alex was a filmmaker, so cinematography, she filmed weddings. One day she showed me some of her content and it was– or some of her wedding films. They’re beautiful. I’m fast-forwarding through a lot. Basically, we met in Raleigh and then we started a film company and moved to New York and we’re filming weddings. Then from there when COVID hit, that’s when we got into social media. By we, I mean Alex got into social media.

Alex: Yes, Jon, he was not on board immediately, but I think with a little bit of convincing, I tried to make the content as easy and seamless for him to join in as possible. I don’t think we ever anticipated going full-time in the content realm, but it was really the pandemic that pushed us into this career. All of our weddings that we had booked were postponed to the following year. Just out of sheer boredom, like most people, downloaded TikTok. I was like, “This is something different and entertaining. What would it look like if we jumped on here and started creating content?”

It took a little bit to find what we were meant to create on the app. I think that there’s a place for anyone and anything, depending on what your interests are. We love comedy and we love each other, but not all the time. That’s why we wanted to create.

Jon: We love each other.

Alex: That’s why we wanted to create couple content that was relatable to other people as well. It snowballed from there. Yes, so that’s when we started our podcast and just continued doing couple comedy content. That’s the space that I say that we’re in now.

Tubefilter: When did it go from, “We downloaded TikTok because it’s COVID and everybody’s bored” to “We’re going to continue uploading videos, this is going to be a real thing where we have videos and a podcast”? Was there a particular video that took off?

Alex: We were never an overnight success. I think some creators you see and there’s one video that they can pinpoint. For us, we always had these random ones that would go viral, and we slowly started to garner a following from that. Then with each video, we were able to learn and dissect and look into the back end of the analytics and see what worked here, what didn’t work. We really honed in on our comedic voices to figure out how we can create a consistent viewpoint and consistent content that our audience relates to on a general basis.

I don’t think it really changed. Once we got our first brand deal, we got, I think, gifted something, and I was like, “We made it.” This is it. It changed once we were getting too overwhelmed with work in our real jobs and we were like, “Something has to change here.” We couldn’t manage our inbox any longer when it came to negotiations on top of working our full-time jobs. Signing with management was a huge change for us.

Jon: That put in perspective for us to see what is out there that we can make a career out of social media. I feel like since I’ve met Alex, it’s just been this crazy ride that we’ve been on nonstop. At the time, we had our own company filming weddings and it was just the two of us. We’re constantly doing that. We’re constantly doing TikToks. Then we also had the podcast. We had three things going at the same time and something had to give. Then once we got on with management–

Alex: Currents management.

Jon: –Currents management, they really just helped us out.

Alex: I think because we never had a point of contact behind the scenes before in the industry telling us the possibilities and that this is a career. You only know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know. I think they opened that door for us to be like, “This can be a career for you, but you get in or you get out what you put in.” We knew if we want to make this a career, we have to take this just as seriously as we would any other business.

We continued to work weddings while taking this other side of our business seriously. Once we saw that this was becoming our main source of income, that’s when we slowly started to retire from our wedding film company. It really worked as a catalyst from the skills that we had from filming, editing, just storytelling overall. It was able to transfer over into our content, which I think is huge as a video-based creator to create something that is unique in our own voice, in our own way.

Tubefilter: Absolutely. Do you do weddings anymore?

Alex: No.

Jon: Retired.

Alex: Retired from weddings. 

Tubefilter: You mentioned brand partnerships. I just talked to somebody else last week who said that the most important thing a creator can have is a media kit, and so few people do it, and you guys have really worked on that. I noticed that brand partnerships are a really big part of your personal branding. I was just curious about the development of that and how it’s become so big for you.

Alex: I don’t think that we knew we were good at ads until we started reading the comments and people were giving us that feedback and telling us that they actually enjoy watching our ads. No one knows in the beginning really how to incorporate an ad seamlessly into their content because it just feels like you don’t want your audience to be mad or annoyed with you that you’re promoting something. I think for us, we knew that we only wanted to promote things that we truly believed in that we liked and actually use.

It makes it easier to incorporate that into your content seamlessly when it doesn’t feel forced, when it doesn’t feel like a lie. For us, because we’re husband-wife creators, I could look around the house and incorporate a plant over there into a part of our video if someone was like, sell this plant. I think that you just have to figure out what works for you as a creator and what feels natural. It does feel seamless.

Jon: Also for the brand, though, too, the more we’ve been doing this, the more brands trust us to deliver their message in a way that it’s going to be relatable and that they’re going to be okay with it. Us being able to put our own spin on it really helps a lot with how we create videos.

Alex: I think when brands give us the creative freedom and they trust us, that’s when we can do our best work for them. Sometimes I feel like almost creating an ad is easier because you have an endpoint, you know exactly what you need to promote. Once you look at a brief, you could see the keywords and it gives you a puzzle and you just have to put it together in your own way. To me, I actually think that creating ads are easier than sometimes creating original content because you have a roadmap.

Jon: They give you a starting point.

Tubefilter: That leads right into my next question, which is tell me a little bit about how you do your own videos then. What’s the planning process? Do you have a planning process?

Alex: Truly, day-to-day inspiration. I am hyper-aware of every interaction that is going around me. I write the scripts and then Jon, he is heavy on the podcast side, but he really is my muse. Jon is like, something funny or entertaining happens to him probably 24/7. I really just watch Jon and I’m like, “What is he doing?” Then I just have a notes app and I have a running list of notes and ideas. Then we sit down and we say, “Okay, what can we create? What are we feeling inspired by?” Because today we might feel inspired by something completely different than we will in a week from now.

Jon: Alex is constantly thinking. She is a Rolodex of ideas. She’s always writing stuff down on her phone 24/7. This is what she thinks about.

Alex: I think you do have to act quickly on an idea because if you sit on something for too long, you’ll start to hate it.

Tubefilter: I feel that. What is your production schedule like? Are you aiming to post a certain number of videos per week? Do you film a certain number of hours per day? How does this work for you?

Alex: I think when you’re first starting off shooting and posting as much as you can is key because you’re getting a lot of data in the beginning. You want to know what your audience resonates with and what direction to go. When we were starting, we were shooting and posting at least one to two videos every day, seven days a week. The longer that we’ve been doing this, we know that quality over quantity is going to have a bigger reach and be more impactful. I think overall for our mental health, doing it every day like a hamster wheel is not going to be sustainable.

Jon: If you can batch, definitely batch content if you can. We are so bad at it, we try but we just for some reason can never do it.

Alex: It’s tough to be on a schedule in this career when your week changes–

Jon: All the time.

Alex: week to week, when your days change week to week. I think you have to have a set goal. For us, again, I think that we, it depends on how many partnerships we’re doing that week, but now we try to aim for getting at least four, anywhere from three to five original videos out per week. Now that we’re putting in more effort into them, we see the return the audience is more engaged with them as opposed to putting out a lot of videos with little effort. You’re not going to get the return on investment as well as if you’re just going to put the energy into one really good video.

Jon: I think our followers appreciate that too, because, like Alex said, we were a slow growth. It wasn’t like an overnight success for us. We do have this loyal following that does wait for when we post something, it’s going to be something very creative.

@alexandramadison_ I’m not the villain, I swear 😉 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1! Buy tickets online at @Walmart and watch it in theaters before it officially premieres! #walmartpartner @Mission: Impossible ♬ original sound – Alex and Jon

Tubefilter: Yes. Got you. I know you mentioned you work with Currents. Do you work with an editor or anybody else behind the scenes?

Alex: No.

Tubefilter: Oh really?

Alex: Yes, it’s just us right now, but we did bring on a friend, one of Jon’s best friends, to help us with the podcast. Then in regards to the social side of things, we are looking to hire someone this fall to help as a creative writer, because, as you know, writer’s block is a thing. If you’re having an off day, you sometimes get just inspiration from bantering with someone else or just getting their perspective on something. I just think having multiple people, sometimes you can have too many cooks in the kitchen, but I do think that having another creative brain to help write or just collaborate on something is also going to be a huge help. We want to expand into different projects while maintaining the current posting schedule that we have now. We know in order to do that, we do need to bring on help. Up until this point, we have been doing everything our own and we’re feeling it. Burnout is real.

Jon: We need help.

Tubefilter: I’m glad you’re getting it! I know a lot of people early on as creators don’t want to give up that control.

Alex: Yes, I think that’s a lesson that a lot of people in business have to learn, that there’s a lot that you could do yourself, but the more that you outsource and do and focus on what you’re good at and things nobody else can do, that’s when you’re going to grow exponentially. For your mental health, there’s so many benefits to having a team of people, but again, it’s not something that happens overnight, it’s a slow growth. How many years have we been doing this without any help? I think that you just take those steps once it’s necessary. Same with us signing with management, we got to the point where we’re like, we need help, and that was one of the best decisions that we could have made.

Jon: I get it though, why it would be hard to let go.

Tubefilter: Absolutely.

Jon: It’s your baby, and you’ve nurtured this thing forever, and now you’re like, “I don’t really want to relinquish any of the reins there.”

Tubefilter: Yes, it’s risky, and you have to teach people to be you, essentially. It’s very hard, but it is worth it. I know that you’re also on YouTube, is that right? Do you have a cross-platform approach or are you mostly on TikTok?

Alex: It’s TikTok, Instagram is our next biggest one.

Alex: Then for our podcast that’s where we post on YouTube. I think because we were filmmakers previously before getting into content, we always used our mirrorless cameras, our really nice lenses, and did the long-form editing. I think from weddings we just got burnt out and having to do– just the idea of going on YouTube and vlogging to us did not sound fun. It’s a whole new beast, but we do upload our podcast to YouTube.

Jon: Slow growth.

Alex: Yes, slow growth there, but I think for us we just enjoy the short form a lot. We do upload reels, or not our reels, but shorts to YouTube as well.

Jon: The only long-form we have is the podcast. We’ll put that on there, the shorts from the podcast put on there, Instagram, TikTok.

Tubefilter: Yes, YouTube is putting a lot into supporting podcasts, but it’s not really working yet. So you post your TikTok videos across Reels and Shorts, or do you make separate content for separate platforms? How’s that working?

Alex: We post the same video, so we don’t edit in-app, which is really helpful for us so that we could have the highest quality video and upload the original to all the platforms. I don’t think that we’ve really ever, unless it was like a trending audio, we’ve never edited a video in-app. I think just for the cross-promoting purposes alone and just having it archived for our own purposes later on, that’s what’s worked for us also because we add a lot of sound design and effects that make it easier to do on a computer, on a desktop, like we use Adobe Premiere.

Jon: The only other thing we might re-edit a little bit are Shorts because sometimes the podcast like TikToks or teasers will do because Shorts are only 60 seconds. We might have to re-edit those before we put it on TikTok.

Alex: Otherwise, though we don’t create a specific video for a certain platform, which I think is such a new thing in the world that we are in because each platform used to be so different. I think because they’re just in competition with each other at this point it does make it easier for the creator to cross-promote across platforms.

Tubefilter: I know a lot of people who are really struggling with Reels. The fact that you guys have had success is really interesting to me.

Alex: I think we just have never second-guessed, at least from my perspective, people have an idea of the audience on Instagram being a little bit different than TikTok. I think that there is a place for your content in both worlds. Sometimes we will have a video that will kill it on Instagram and the same video might not garner the same engagement on TikTok. Again, it’s information, it’s analytics, it’s data that you’re going to gather from that. I just think why waste a video? Why not repurpose it somewhere else? Even if your audience might not engage with it as much on one platform as they do somewhere else, who cares?

Jon: You put all that effort into the video, you might as well share it to everything you possibly can.

@alexandramadison_Jon definitely had more fun than we did♬ original sound – Alex and Jon

Tubefilter: What’s been your favorite part overall of making content?

Jon: I feel like it’s changed. I think initially for me, why I got into it, was during COVID. So, I’m an occupational therapist, I was an essential worker. I was still working every day and all of our weddings got pushed, so Alex is home and that’s how she got into TikTok. It was just a way for us to do something together because I was working all the time, so it was nice to shoot videos with Alex, even though I didn’t really want to do it in the beginning.

Alex: A fun creative outlet. For me personally, I love thinking of a project and thinking of a video and knowing exactly how I want it to look in my head, and then actually seeing it done. My favorite part is just the whole journey of the creative process. I love hearing a song or something that is inspiring and then visually writing out the script in my head and then seeing it come to life. I love a finished product. For me, I hate looking at the comments. I’m like, not one for diving in there and getting the recognition or the feedback. I just like the finished art [laughs] for me. I’m like, I could just watch it over and over just because I’m like, “We created this.” I just love it.

Jon: It really works so well because we’re so opposite. I look at all the comments. I won’t show her any of the mean ones, but I’ll show her the good ones.

Tubefilter: That’s good, having the filter.

Alex: Exactly, it’s a balance, but I really just love seeing a finished product.

Tubefilter: Then with your audience, you said it’s been slow but steady growth. How’s that progression?

Alex: I feel like all of our audience, at least the people that I’ve communicated with, people that we’ve met or just that we’ve messaged online, I feel like we would be friends with all of them. I think that that’s my problem because I want to be friends with all of them, but we can’t get back to all the DMs and the messages. Everything one who follows us, I just feel like we would actually be friends with.

Jon: Are you saying as far as how they react to us and how they respond to videos? They’re predominantly positive, which is nice. I don’t think we’ve had anything really too terrible.

Alex: I think the comment that we get the most is, “Are you–“

Jon: [simultaneously] “Are you siblings?”

Tubefilter: “Are you siblings?”

Jon: We get that all the time.

Alex: The other comment that we get the most, though is, “Are you watching our marriage?”

Jon: Or that.

Alex: This is exactly how we interact as well. Many people are like, “Are you watching me?”

Jon: “Do you have a camera in our house?”

Tubefilter: That relatability.

Alex: Yes, exactly.

Tubefilter: Well, that’s definitely better than “You guys look like siblings.”

Alex: I think that that’s what’s been the most eye-opening thing, too, through all of this, is when Jon does give me the feedback that we’re getting in the comment section is that we’re really all the same. We’re not unique beings. Yes, we are our own unique people and persons–

Jon: Too many similarities.

Alex: Everyone experiences the same thing in different ways, but ultimately, we’re all just here living the same life.

Tubefilter: Do you have any plans or goals you’re working on for the rest of this year? Any projects, any cool stuff?

Alex: Yes, because we started off in the filmmaking space professionally, we’ve always had dreams of pitching a show and writing a show, whether that means we’re in it as the leads or the funny best friend characters. I think because we’re gathering inspiration from just our everyday lives, we have hopes of creating a show one day. Whatever platform that ends up on, but just a highly curated, white Lotus entourage-esque style show. That’s our dream is to pursue that and pitch that.

Jon: We shot a little teaser of our concept. Alex has it on her page.

Alex: It’s documentary style based. It’s a dark comedy about, it’s loosely based off of our lives. A regular couple goes viral overnight and they pursue their dreams in Hollywood and can love conquer all, basically. Can their marriage–

Jon: Can it, will it?

Alex: Will it? They face all these obstacles that you would with fame and success, like cheating scandals or just money getting involved and just all these different outside factors that could break apart a relationship, but ultimately, their eye is on the prize, and can their relationship withstand all these new changes? We’re in the works of pitching and promoting that and just continuing to write that and learn more because it’s not something we’ve ever done before. We like to just challenge ourselves. We’re like, we know we’re good at creating and we’re good at writing. Let’s create a teaser and see if we could get any feedback for it.

We got some good feedback from our audience. We’re, again, in the beginning stages, but we’re hopeful that we could make something of it.

Jon: It’s called “#cringe.” It’s Alex’s pinned video on her page.

Tubefilter: Very cool title.

Alex: It’s because we, as content creators in this space, you can feel how content creators are interrupting the entertainment space in a weird way but at the end of the day, no one wants to be cringe. That’s where we’re like, what if we are cringe? Our show is just #cringe.

Tubefilter: Anything else you want readers to know?

Alex: Did we say the name of our podcast, I guess. Give It To Me Straight.

Tubefilter: Tell me a little bit about your podcast and how that differentiates from your content.

Jon: Well, the reason we started the podcast is because we’re script-based. I feel like no one really knew who we were. I think the podcast was a way for our followers to get to learn about us a little bit.

Alex: Connect with us behind the scenes to see our personality, our banter. I think that’s because we don’t do vlog-style content as script-based creators. We just wanted another outlet for them to connect with us, and so we decided to do an advice segment because people were always asking us marriage questions or just relationship questions, and we’re like, why not create a platform where people could write in? We could just respond.

Jon: With our honest opinions.

Alex: Yes, with our honest, mediocre advice. That’s what we say. We’re like, listen, we’re not certified, we’re not experts, but we’re here to give you our mediocre advice.


Alex & Jon are repped by Currents Management.

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