From Hairstylist To Entrepreneur: YouTube Sensation Brad Mondo “Reacts” To Stardom!
(Z-61092V) CM1028 ALWAYS EVOLVING WITH COACH MIKE BAYER: BRAD MONDO
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COACH MIKE BAYER: Welcome back to “Always Evolving with Coach Mike Bayer”. What I love most about doing this podcast is we learn, we share and we have fun. Today my special guest, Brad Mondo checks all those boxes, especially the fun one. Brad is one of the most popular Youtubers today. Best known for uploading hair styling tips and tricks videos in his channel. He has millions of subscribers totaling more than eight hundred million views. So excited to meet him, welcome Brad.
BRAD MONDO: Hi how are you?
MIKE: So Brad-- how old are you Brad?
BRAD: I’m 25.
MIKE: And how long have you been in the space of Youtube?
BRAD: Well I started l uploading when I was like 13, so it’s been a very long time, but full-time for three years. Oh yeah.
MIKE: So give everyone a context of-- you essentially make videos doing hair, critiquing hair, talking about hair. I mean you must know everything about hair.
BRAD: (LAUGHS) Yeah. My dad actually owned a salon when I was younger, so I’ve been in the hair industry for forever. Um and so I’ve been in all different scenarios with hair. I, I’ve taught hair. I’ve done hair. I’ve, you know, been a public figure talking about hair. I’ve done all kinds of-- I create my own products. So everything in the hair world I’ve pretty much done at this point.
MIKE: Well in terms of Youtube-- because a lot of people don’t know about it, it’s like a certain niche or space.
MIKE: How much can Youtubers make in that space?
BRAD: A lot. (LAUGHS)
MIKE: Like ballpark, what can they make?
BRAD: Well I mean it’s very different for each person. Some people get a very high CPM which is like how much money you make per thousand views, um depending on what niche you’re in. So beauty I think it’s a little bit more than a lot of niches. Um I know like kids channels make a lot of money, so if you’re in like uh, a good niche um…
MIKE: And people--and the other thing is people think it’s easier than what it is, right? Like people...
MIKE: ...very competitive, right?
BRAD: It is very competitive. The thing people don’t know is that we put so much work into our videos. I mean like one-- even a react video from me where I react to people messing up their hair, I mean that can take me at least an entire day. So like maybe seven hour just to like complete the video, filming it and then there’s another six hours of editing, then there’s uploading, then there’s thumbnails. So like, we’re like, talking like 20/30 hours per video and like on the easiest of my videos. And even just, just the planning process is so much work, but then you have to get people to watch it which is a whole nother story, um and be interesting enough and have a good personality and make sure you’re always ready for the camera which can be a little bit psychologically, um, difficult. I’m sure you know as a host, like sometimes you’re not feeling it and you have to like, go on camera and just pretend that you’re totally in it when you’re not, but it comes with the territory and I’m okay with that. Like (LAUGHS) listen it’s a great job. I love what I do, but there is definitely a lot more to it than people think there is.
MIKE: So what was the biggest lesson you learned in terms of making a Youtube video?
BRAD: Yeah I think learning what my subscribers wanted was a very hard task. You would think that’s the easiest thing, but I find myself-- I thought in the beginning that I couldn’t make this into a full on, like career. Like I wanted Youtube as a career, but I didn’t think I could be a hairdresser on Youtube and I spent a while convincing myself, like this isn’t gonna work. Like, nobody does this. Nobody does hair and is successful on Youtube, like it doesn’t make sense to me. And so I’m thinking like, I have to branch out and do like makeup or do like weird creative videos where I spray myself with, like glitter paint. I-- I did the weirdest stuff on Youtube, um and none of it worked out and it would always make my “least viewed” videos. Um and then I didn’t-- I did something with hair and everybody would watch it and I’m like, wow people actually have an interest in watching me just talk about hair, which is so crazy to me because I didn’t think other people who aren’t in the industry would have an interest in that, but also we all have hair. So back to your question, I-- the biggest quote “period” for me was just finding out what people liked and learning, um, how to make content for my subscribers which was not easy.
MIKE: I can see why people watch it. I spent several hours last night watching you talk about someone going from brunette to silver…
MIKE: ...and all oranges. You do it in such a funny way, um and you’re a star. Like you can just tell watching you. You’re like, this guy’s a star. He’s entertaining. He could literally be talking about a leaf being dried out in the backyard and suddenly I would say to myself, “Well I wanna go look at leaves in the backyard.”
MIKE: Have a knack for really being clever and funny and having a sense of humor. And how do you-- what do you do to motivate-- like on days when you’re like, “Oh my God I gotta go talk about this girl’s wig”? Like how do you get yourself motivated?
BRAD: Um, a lot of matcha. I love matcha tea. (LAUGHS) I’ve always had my matcha latte, so that really helps me. But honestly I-- when I don’t feel like filming, I just think about the people watching me and the people that are in the camera kind of and how much they’re gonna get from this video and how happy they’re gonna become after they watch my videos. That’s a huge motivating factor for me and I’m like, “Wow this…” you know, “...15-year-old girl or guy who may not be exposed to people like or may not know anything about hair, um I can help them and I can-- I can be a voice for them.” I think that’s just so motivating in and of itself and then of course there’s the money aspect. Like it’s my job. I have to do it and that’s a big motivating factor for sure.
MIKE: And where do you want to go with your career?
MIKE: Oh my God. So there’s so many things I want to do. Um I-- the main thing is building my brand, uh “XMONDO” and becoming, you know, the biggest player in the haircare industry, um and being that brand that everybody knows like “L’ Oreal” uh and just being everywhere and kind of like reinventing the industry as we know it. Um, and then you know after haircare, after I conquer that, which we already are, um then maybe like a new kind of salon experience. Like they-- it’s just endless possibilities. I want to just conquer the entire haircare industry and just reinvent it because it’s just so archaic at this point. Um…
MIKE: What’s archaic about it?
BRAD: Just like going into a salon, seeing your stylist. It’s been like this for so many years and I feel like hair stylists are very over it. It’s a very hard industry to work in. It’s, it’s very hard to be a hairstylist in a salon because you’re on your feet 24/7. You, you know, have to work your ass off to just make ends meet sometimes. You might not have clients for a few months at a time and then it gets very busy again. It’s just a hard industry to work in and I think we can change a lot and I don’t know exactly how yet, but there just needs to be advancements made and maybe like at-home hair coloring and hair cutting can be simplified in some way. And I think my focus is gonna be bringing to the consumer better knowledge and better tools to do their own hair which is weird because I started my whole channel about not doing your own hair. And now after the-- after the last three years I’ve realized that I actually don’t mind when people do their own hair. It’s just that I want to do-- I want them to do it well, that’s the thing.
MIKE: Do you feel ex (STAMMER) is there any communities in which you don’t feel accepted by in terms of like Youtube or celebrity where they’re like, “Oh it’s Youtuber Hair Guy”?
MIKE: Like do you ever feel that?
BRAD: Yeah. I try not to think about it, um, but I guess I never felt welcomed by the beauty community on Youtube. I never-- nobody ever wanted to-- you know I, I just think was in a weird-- I am in a weird niche where I’m kinda by myself and for a while I thought like oh you know when I reach a million subscribers or like two million or three million, like they’ll wanna be friends. They’ll wanna reach out. They’ll wanna collab with me. But they don’t and I, I understand that now that I’m in the position that I’m in because it just isn’t the same you know. They’re makeup artists, I’m a hairstylist. Like it’s (STAMMER) I don’t know if it could really-- we could really benefit off each other completely, so I get it. It’s all about business on youtube. You know it’s not a lot about making friends and the reality of it, I think a lot of people in the beauty industry on Youtube, they use each other and…
MIKE: I need your advice.
MIKE: So like I started maybe two year ago in terms of a brand. Before that I was a behind the scenes guy, right. Now two years, three years-- last few years I’ve started going on social media. I’m like-- I’m 40 years old, right, um have had PRP on my head to keep it growing, you know, keep the hair growing. So-- but like I cannot for the life of me figure out how to grow my Youtube page. Like, I’ll literally sped so much time architecting the most perfect coaching video where I think I’m gonna help the person have breakthroughs. I’ll (STAMMER) like-- and then everyone’s like, “Well you’re just starting now.” Right? But how do you-- how do you come up with this idea that really worked for you and it’s shot so beautifully?
BRAD: Thank you.
MIKE: You have like the most amazing visuals. Your moments in editing are exceptional. Like how (STAMMER) give me the dummies guide for, for growing a Youtube.
BRAD: Yeah. I mean for the, the production part that took me the last three years to figure that out. I had-- I had no idea how to use a camera or how to light a set and those were all things that I obsessed over and I would just watch tutorials on Youtube on how to do that. And until now I feel like I’ve come across like the perfect set, um then I have like animators who make transitions for me and then I have an editor who does all that and then I have-- there’s just…
MIKE: How do you find them?
BRAD: How do I find them?
BRAD: Again, another like-- just building the team very slowly. Um when I didn’t have as much money, like I-- my-- one of my good friends was an editor and I-- we worked together and kind of trained each other on how to do all this. He, he never made like, a transition before. He never did any of this. He never worked on a Youtube channel and I kind of like showed him the way and he kind of caught up and learned how to do it even better than I could. And so it just took a really long time and like I’m very proud of where I am now. But to answer your question about building your channel, you’re gonna-- like if you just keep pushing, you’re gonna get a video that sticks. Like that is what happens. People-- the people that just keep producing videos, even if they’re not getting views, one day like there will be something that happens and you’re like, “What the hell? I never expected that video to be the one that goes off.” And that’s what happened with me. I mean the day I filmed my first hairdresser reax video, which is the video that kind of blew up my channel, I was so bored that day. I didn’t want to film. My mom was like, “Come on you’ve gotta…” My mom is so supportive and she’s like, “You want to make this Youtube thing happen? Like just do it. Just film the video today.” And I’m like, “Alright.” And then I just set up my camera and for ten minutes I just reacted to this girl messing up her hair and the next day it had hundreds of thousands of views. And I find that happens with a lot of Youtubers where they will post forever and all of a sudden they’re like one of the biggest names on Youtube. It just-- I think it’s just finding out what you’re good at and what makes you unique.
MIKE: When you hit and you started to get a few hundred thousand videos on a view, where you just like, “Oh we’re-- things are about to change in my life”?
BRAD: Yeah I, I-- I’m a person that plans out their life very much so, and so-- and I have very strict goals in mind. I know I’ll get to them, so with Youtube, I knew that was gonna happen. Like I knew I was gonna, one day, make this shit happen and I did and I was like, alright I’m gonna post four times a week. I’m gonna really build my-- build my fandom like as fast as possible while I have their attention because I don’t know if they’re gonna last. I don’t know if people are gonna wanna watch me react to videos for years, which I have weird-- oddly enough. I don’t know how that works, but it’s gotten more popular as time has gone on, um which is so cool. But, yeah I just (STAMMER) I just really pushed it to the max and worked my ass off every single day and night and never stopped. (LAUGHS)
MIKE: There-- is there a certain type of video that you did that you were like, “This-- this deserves to literally get an award. I-- this one is so amazing” and then you put it out and just kind of like puttered, it didn’t give you? What was that video?
BRAD: Um, there’s so many. (LAUGHS) Um, but this-- one video that comes to mind is my first-- I flew a fan out to get a makeover by me and it was this big, like kind of competition where like one person gets chosen out of thousands of people that entered and I flew her out here and did this whole elaborate makeover on her. I spent all this money and I’m like, “This is a huge investment.” It was like five or ten thousand dollars and at the time I wasn’t it was-- I wasn’t making that much. And so I’m like, let me just invest all this money, try this out and I released it and it just didn’t have the reaction that I thought it would, which was super sad to me. And that’s something that I have worked on over the years, is getting upset over views and just trying not to do that anymore. Because oftentimes, I’ll upload something, I’ll think it’s really good, it won’t get a lot of views at first. A months later it’ll have two million views and I’m like, okay so it just didn’t find its calling at first, but later on people realized it was a great video or some-- (STAMMER) or it’s found its audience on its own, so.
MIKE: I mean-- I mean put things in perspective to the listeners. You have like five and a half million subscribers?
BRAD: Mm hm.
MIKE: That is so many sub-- you’re growing 10,000 subscribers a day.
BRAD: Mm hm.
MIKE: What-- you’re saying that what in your brain is like, “Oh no, now I’ve made it” is what?
BRAD: I-- right now my goal is ten million subscribers. Like that is something that I just really-- I really wanna accomplish that for some reason even though I don’t think it really matters. Um I don’t know why but I, I-- this is something I work on constantly is, the comparing to others thing. I’m so bad with it sometimes. I used to check my social blade, the matrix from Youtube and it tells how many subscribers you get a day and how many views you get. And I used to check all the time and if it wasn’t up to my standards, I would have the shittiest day ever. Because I’m just so competitive and I-- I constantly would compare myself to other people in the same area as me or people that came up at the same time as me, I would check their social blades and compare it to mine and I would just be like, crushed, “(UNINTELLIGIBLE) I’m not growing as fast as they are.” But that is like the worst thing anybody can do on Youtube because everybody’s Youtube pages are different. It’s (STAMMER) a different-- there’s different aged groups who watch different people that just so happen-- like if you have 14-year-olds that watch you, you’re gonna get a lot of subscribers very fast because they have nothing to do. Like they’re just watching and watching and watching. Here come their friends and then-- well it can have like older, maybe 20 or 25 people, they’re at work, like they’re not gonna subscribe as fast. You’re not gonna grow as fast. Like there’s just so many different factors that’s why I took a backseat from comparing myself as much as I used to and I think it’s a lot healthier.
MIKE: Even when we compare people that aren’t doing as well, it still doesn’t make you feel better.
BRAD: No. (STAMMER) and I think it’s-- I think it’s healthy to a point because I think without me comparing, I wouldn’t be where I am. And I think it (STAMMER) led me to a lot of success because I did compare and when I saw those numbers dropping, I pushed even harder. So it’s like ha-- finding a happy medium between comparing and being really upset, to comparing and using it as motivation for myself.
MIKE: Do you find that people try to get into your personal life more since your success?
BRAD: Yeah (STAMMER) I think that I have a lot less of that than a lot of Youtubers because I don’t really like, get involved with drama. I’m not uh really apart-- I think that once you get involved with the drama, your whole life gets exposed and people wanna find things-- reasons to hate you or reasons to like you and I am not like that at all. (STAMMER) I am actually like a sort of private person. I don’t like, go on my story every day and (STAMMER) say, “good morning” or like you know, constantly update people. I just like, “My new Youtube video is out.” call it a day.
MIKE: I’m gonna switch this up a bit. I wanna talk about your products. I have a lot of female listeners who are, you know forty and up, right so I have a lot-- a lot of women. You know what-- ‘cause you have a whole product line, so I’m just more curious about it. What product-- how can they find out more about your products and like what are products that you’re really proud of?
BRAD: Yeah. Um, you can go to xmondohair.com.
MIKE: It’s XMONDOHAIR.COM and that’s where you can see your-- all your products, right?
BRAD: Yes. Um, there’s videos of me talking about them. There’s all kinds of information, so I mean our two star products right now for summer are the “Salty Sea Salt Spray” and “Wavetech Wave Foam” which are both products that give you, like, flawless, beachy, wavy hair with absolutely no crunch, no frizz and it’ll turn even the straight hair wavy with no heat. So it-- they’re really revolutionary products and people are dying over them. There’s also, like, reviews under every product on my pages so you could read up and get a lot of information about them. And yeah people are-- it’s insane actually. We are about to sell out of them and we just put them up for sale like a month ago.
MIKE: Right. And you’re in New York, right?
BRAD: Yes (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
MIKE: Got it. And, and so anyone who wants to find out more about like (STAMMER) your hair, your styling, your tips, your videos they can just go to xmondohair.com?
BRAD: Mm hm.
MIKE: And I think-- I really appreciate you taking the time, uh, to talk to me. Super helpful to understand uh, even at first you don’t succeed you keep doing it and doing it and doing your thing…
BRAD: Mm hm.
MIKE: ...and that you uh don’t compare yourself to others, that you stay authentic to who you are and that you believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you and don’t get caught up in the drama with the baby mama and you know-- and just overall. Like you’re a star dude and I’m happy to support anything you have going. So um, thanks for coming on man.
BRAD: Thank you for having me. I couldn’t have said it better myself. (LAUGHS)
MIKE: Thank you Brad for being on “Always Evolving with me, Coach Mike”. Everyone go check out Brad’s Youtube channel on his brand “Xmondo Hair” which he is founder and CEO. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please download and subscribe. Let me know on Instagram @coachmikebayer. And until next time stay safe.
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