Social Media Success: From Homeless to YouTube Star

Ted Williams has been in the spotlight ever since a YouTube video surfaced of what has been dubbed “his golden voice.” Just about a week ago, in only 24 hours, a video of Ted filmed by The Dispatch’s videographer Doral Chenoweth reached over 4 million viewings. He became a national sensation.

Hard Times of the Past

Ted Williams had been trained in radio, but bad luck can hit anyone. He struggled with drugs and alcohol, leaving him jobless and homeless. Doral found him at a mark of two years of sobriety. He was in prison on two occasions for theft and forgery. Ted also had a dozen midemeanors, including four accounts of pedestrian solicitation in the same location seen in the now infamous video.

At 53, Ted never really expected his luck to turn around. He used his voice to try to better his situation, but never did he imagine to become such an overnight celebrity.

A Fairy Tale of a Second Chance

Everyone deserves a second chance at some point in their life. One YouTube video opened the door for Ted to incredible opportunities. Now, he has appeared on various talk shows and news stations. Despite his history, the Cleveland Cavaliers offered him full-time announcing work as well as a house. With one clip of about a minute and thirty seconds, Ted Williams went from being a homeless man going through many trials in both court and his will to survive to a celebrity with a career and new opportunities.

YouTube: Dream Achiever

Ted isn’t the first person to have his dreams realized thanks to YouTube. Many musical artists were discovered because of postings showcasing their talents. Businesses have drawn in customers or supporters after visually marketing themselves. Messages are published for the whole world to see on one site. Sure, not everyone is discovered nor do they all have a happily ever after. But, with a little effort, YouTube can help anyone potentially achieve some new following and recognition.

Lights, Camera, Action

Though we’re not all blessed with a golden radio voice like Ted, don’t be camera shy if you think it can help your personal brand or business. Even if you have a squeaky voice like a boy going through puberty, just go with it. A little confidence and poking fun at yourself can go a long way. Besides, you don’t have to post videos of you performing some talent or doing stand up comedy–the whole point is to get across what you wish to achieve with your brand or business.

If you’re one of those people who just can’t bring themselves to be in the spotlight, that’s ok too! You don’t have to be on camera to put yourself out there on YouTube. You can easily make a little film of your efforts by using various programs or having a friend take your place. Don’t let some nervous butterflies get in the way of a potential boost in following and support.

With Some Effort, We Can All Have Success Stories

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there’s nothing holding anyone back from being a social media success story. Regardless of whether or not YouTube is used to spice up your online presence, take into consideration new and different ways to get your brand out in the open. The Internet is essentially a huge forum with many opportunities for everyone, so why not step away from the generic uses of Facebook and Twitter and try something new? All it took was one video for Ted Williams to go from having nothing to having it all. Though your online experience might not be quite so fairy tale like, it never hurts to put yourself out there in a positive light and let the chips fall where they may. You just never know when it’ll be your lucky day.

  • Jonny Gibaud

    Though Ted’s voice and story is something quite special, it is also more than likely a flash pan success. While these are beneficial to anyones brand it is worth focusing first on the principles of building a solid foundation for you Personal Brand first before focusing on instant success.

    The brands that last are built carefully and over time.