Influencers Love Tom Ward, a ‘Sales Guy’ Turned YouTube-Interviewer

Tom Ward’s spectacular roster of interviews has turned him into an influencer whisperer.
“Normal gross sales man” by day, Ward spoke to Insider about his distinctive path to celeb interviewing.
By taking creators significantly as entrepreneurs, Ward mentioned he was accepted into their ranks. 

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Apart from paparazzi ambushes and the occasional purple carpet interview, it may be robust to safe greater than a jiffy with an A-List influencer like Emma Chamberlain or Bryce Hall — until you are Tom Ward, during which case, the influencer might be attempting to speak to you. Ward does not anchor a primetime information present or host a nationwide radio slot. He has his personal YouTube channel, “The Tom Ward Show,” the place Ward has hours of interviews with high creators like David Dobrik, Addison Rae, Logan Paul, Valkyrae, and Bella Thorne.In early November 2021, Ward advised Insider that a publicist for a TikTook star with greater than 10 million followers reached out to him for a YouTube interview. The similar week, “Catfish” host Nev Schulman sat down with Ward for a chat. And interviewing is not even Ward’s full-time job. “The complete factor is so weird,” Ward mentioned. “This child reached out on TikTook asking me to interview him and he was like ‘I’ve been watching your interviews since I used to be in grade faculty.'”

Ward’s distinctive place within the celeb influencer sphere — in addition to his path getting there — show how the hole in influencer protection from mainstream information shops within the 2010s gave outsiders who took the sphere significantly a probability to determine a foothold within the now $14 billion trade.Ward took benefit of Forbes’ freelance writing gigs By day, Ward nonetheless works in gross sales, as an account supervisor for the economic tools firm Illinois Tool Works. But in 2015, decided to take his profession in a new path, Ward began running a blog on his private web site. He wrote about advertising and marketing, enterprise, and success — his first submit to go viral was a listing of legendary music producer Rick Rubin’s life classes. Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba shared Ward’s submit on LinkedIn.Afterward, Ward mentioned he bought linked with an editor at Forbes, who recruited him as a freelance contributor for the web site. Ward advised Insider that he had no different writing expertise on the time, however took the chance.”I used to be like ‘Can I do that?’ But then I assumed ‘Anyone can write an 800-word article with bullet factors,'” he mentioned. “It all got here from Forbes, as a result of that allowed me to get in a room with anyone.”

By early 2017, Ward began running a blog about

influencer advertising and marketing

for Forbes, though he did not observe YouTubers or YouTube tradition on the time. His e mail began overflowing with PR pitches, and one caught his eye.”A man reached out and mentioned ‘I’ve bought this consumer named Jake Paul,'” Ward mentioned. “I appeared him up and thought ‘Who is that this child with 20 million followers who I’ve by no means even heard of?'”Ward drove to the now-infamous YouTuber’s $7 million “Team 10″ mansion and seen a horde of youngsters exterior, sitting on the entrance garden. When he requested what they had been doing, they advised him they had been ready for a probability to see Paul. More intrigued than ever, Ward mentioned he interviewed Paul about enterprise in Paul’s storage for greater than an hour.”The factor that was very totally different than interviewing a conventional celeb was Jake gave me his cellphone quantity,” Ward mentioned. “And he mentioned ‘Hey, if you submit the article, textual content me the hyperlink and I’ll share it.'”

When Paul tweeted Ward’s article and Ward’s Twitter deal with, Ward mentioned his cellphone began “blowing up.” Within ten minutes, his interview had extra clicks than every other article Ward had written earlier than. When his article surpassed 100,000 clicks, Ward knew he needed to pay shut consideration to the YouTube world. To set up his private model, Ward began filming interviewsWard nonetheless writes for Forbes, and his most up-to-date article is an interview with the top of TV at TikTook star Josh Richards’ firm CrossCheck Studios. But having a Forbes byline wasn’t the tip aim of Ward’s new profession. “It drives me loopy if you’re watching a film trailer and it says ‘Forbes mentioned this was the very best film of the 12 months.’ Forbes did not say that, some author did! If I’m that man, I’m not even on the display screen,” Ward mentioned. “I did not wish to be an nameless author, that is not enjoyable. I wished to make a title for myself.”After he revealed his interview with Paul, Ward began interviewing even greater YouTubers and influencers, like Shane Dawson and Lele Pons. Then, he began filming himself interviewing them.

“At the time I used to be doing it, nobody was. Everyone checked out these children like a joke,” Ward advised Insider. “I’ve coworkers who make enjoyable of me behind my again, like ‘What is that this man doing? Does he suppose he is some type of Instagram star?’ They do not get it, and on the time nobody bought it.”Now, Ward’s YouTube channel has greater than 5.3 million views, and his straightforward rapport with influencers has led to even greater alternatives, like co-hosting a branding-focused podcast with TikToker Griffin Johnson. Views nonetheless aren’t Ward’s endgame. In 2019, when he began posting clips from his interviews on TikTook, he seen that Q&A clips concerning the teen stars’ courting lives bought probably the most views. But, being their dads’ age, Ward mentioned he lets tea channels cowl drama. His area of interest is the enterprise of influencing.”They’re a lot extra savvy than folks give them credit score for,” Ward advised Insider. “For me, it wasn’t about clout-chasing, or something like that. I used to be simply fascinated and wished to determine the way it labored. I took them significantly, and that is why I feel they accepted me.”

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About the Author: Amanda