Every person hopes to create that one tweet, funny video, picture, or blog post that takes the internet by storm and goes viral. They pump out every ounce of creativity they possess in the hopes of creating something viral to help vault their fortunes forward.
The problem is that most people don’t realize that their attempt to create viral is what’s stopping them from going viral.
You don’t create viral. You create awesome. Awesome creates viral.
Take the Australian smash hit Somebody That I Used to Know by singer-songwriter Gotye. Before the song came out in July of 2011, Gotye had only reached mild success both as an independent artist and as a member of Aussie band The Basics. The song received limited airplay in Australia when it first came out, debuting at #27 on the Australian Record Industry Association’s Top 50 Singles Chart. The track was then boosted by endorsements from Ashton Kutcher and Lily Allen via Twitter, exposing Gotye’s music to their millions of followers. Within months, the song has gone 8x platinum, topped the charts in 4 countries, helped Gotye win 6 ARIA awards, and has close to 56 million YouTube views. So how did Gotye find international success? Simple. He created awesome, and it went viral.
But the awesome created by Gotye has created even more awesome. Burlington, Ontario band Walk off the Earth saw the track and created their own video version of Somebody That I Used to Know . And, as with the original version they had Russell Crowe and Alyssa Milano tweet about the song. The result has been over 43 million YouTube views and an appearance on The Ellen Show in a matter of weeks. Walk off the Earth recognized awesome, created their own awesome, and went viral.
So what makes awesome? That’s a hard question to answer. But we know that it takes hard work, dedication, and a metric ton of effort (and a tweet or two from super connectors never hurts). And if you continue to strive to create awesome, you may be fortunate enough to have it go viral.