16 episodes

An interview series breaking down the stories behind viral content, sharing what happened when it took off, and showing how the attention is being leveraged into something meaningful. Whether for marketing, fame, or influence — we deconstruct the art and science behind massive exposure only platforms like reddit can foster. Listen, learn, leverage.

The Ghost Influence Podcast: How Viral Happens On Reddit Brian Swichkow: Social Engineering, Digital Empathy, Community Marketing

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 34 Ratings

An interview series breaking down the stories behind viral content, sharing what happened when it took off, and showing how the attention is being leveraged into something meaningful. Whether for marketing, fame, or influence — we deconstruct the art and science behind massive exposure only platforms like reddit can foster. Listen, learn, leverage.

    016 Male Fashion Advice: Creativity, Introspection, & Personal Branding On Democratic Platforms With Andy Mai

    016 Male Fashion Advice: Creativity, Introspection, & Personal Branding On Democratic Platforms With Andy Mai

    In search of himself, Andy Mai sought to take a more conscious look at... his look. He was one of the early adopters to jump into the /r/malefashionadvice subdreddit, also known as 'MFA', that has since grown to be one of Reddit's staple communities with over 500K readers. Andy's passion for expression extends beyond himself as he encourages people to experiment with their self image. Leading by example he constructed the now legendary prompt "let's have some fun" and submitted it to Reddit. Four years later he still gets questions from people seeking a supportive voice and is always there to answer the call. This episode is guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


    Andy's infamous "Let's have some fun." submission to MFA
    Andy's "Fanny Cat" post that he's also known for
    Andy Mai, Creative Director — Website & Portfolio
    Chronicled — Collect & Trade 100% Authentic Sneakers
    Andy Mai, @veroz, on Twitter

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    Music: ‘Splashed - Her Smile (Original Mix)'

    • 37 min
    015 The Sanders For President Subreddit: The Birth & Development Of Reddit Communities With Aidan King

    015 The Sanders For President Subreddit: The Birth & Development Of Reddit Communities With Aidan King

    By the time Bernie Sanders officially announced his candidacy for president in April 2014, Aidan King had already been preparing (and hoping) for five months. Aidan is one of the Co-Founders of the subreddit /r/SandersForPresident, a moderated community on Reddit geared toward political activism and digital grassroots organizing. This community is more than a place to post updates, it's become a powerful network of supporters around the nation working together for a common goal and it's inspiring to see. Regardless of your political interests, Aidan's insights on leading a community are an illuminating education into the human psyche.

    EDIT: Shortly after this episode was published, Aidan stepped down as a moderator of the /r/SandersForPresident subreddit and accepted a position as Digital Staff for Bernie 2016. At the age of 22 and with no formal experience in politics, Aidan King was recruited to be a part of a presidential campaign. The creation of the subreddit wasn't a ploy designed to land him a job, it was purely his passion for the cause and the community supporting it — the rest happened naturally. THAT is how you Reddit.


    Bernie Sanders speaking directly to the /r/SandersForPresident community
    /r/SandersForPresident banding together to support his message
    150,000 subscriber milestone reached in April 2014
    User /u/rawrmaan keeping close watch on Hilary's marketing

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    Music: ‘Schyzox - My World'

    • 37 min
    014 The Real Mimosa Girl: Creative Process & Stolen Content Gone Viral With Ali Spagnola

    014 The Real Mimosa Girl: Creative Process & Stolen Content Gone Viral With Ali Spagnola

    With 29K subscribers on YouTube, 590K fans on Vine, and 2.5M followers on Twitter you might think that someone as prolific as Ali Spagnola wouldn't be impacted by a little content theft — you'd be wrong. Ali shares the brilliance behind her creative process and what it's like when the content you've invested so much of yourself into creating gets stolen. Crucial lessons for anyone building a personal brand.


    Ali's now infamous 'How to make a mimosa' Vine
    Ali's stolen Vine, turned gif, and submitted to /r/unexpected
    Ali's 'I'm The Mimosa Girl Dangit' response video
    Ali's content submitted all across Reddit
    Ali Spagnola's 'Power Hour' drinking game
    Ali Spagnola on Patreon
    Ali's Reddit AMA
    Mention alerts

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    Create social leverage with the Ghost Influence community.

    Music: ‘PKR - Ignite (Original Mix)'

    • 35 min
    013 Don't Get Wet: From Unemployment To The Front Page, Mobile Game Development With Sandy Gordon

    013 Don't Get Wet: From Unemployment To The Front Page, Mobile Game Development With Sandy Gordon

    Laid off from his 9-5, Sandy Gordon decided it was as good a time as any to start his career as a Pixel Artist and submitted his first game, Don't Get Wet, to iTunes with his partner Tudor Iancu. With nothing but passion and dedication, he shared his story in a brilliantly eloquent submission to Reddit's /r/gaming community. Striking a nerve with other designers and programmers seeking to make their passion their paycheck, his story took off and eventually hit the front page. 


    Don't Get Wet, submitted to Reddit's /r/gaming
    Don't Get Wet mini-postmortem, stats and more
    Dashing Knight, submitted to Reddit's /r/gaming
    Sandy's story and stats, submitted to Reddit's /r/gamedev
    Sandy's top Reddit submissions
    Spaceboy Games on Twitter
    Sandy Gordon on Twitter
    Woody Harrelson's atrocity of an AMA


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    Music: 'Progressive House — Valuo'

    • 46 min
    012 Flamethrowers & Magic: The Highs & Lows Of E-Commerce On Reddit With Adam Wilber

    012 Flamethrowers & Magic: The Highs & Lows Of E-Commerce On Reddit With Adam Wilber

    Passionate magician, fantastic human, and COO for Ellusionist — the 'The World's First Online Magic Retailer' — it wasn't abnormal for Adam Wilber to conceive of something as magnificent as a wrist mounted, fully concealable flame thrower. Making it's way to Reddit organically, it generated sales far beyond what they ever expected. A year later, while launching the second (even more concealable) version their ignorance got the better of them and they were banned from /r/gadgets for inadvertently gaming the system by campaigning to their email list for votes. The story of the Pyro is one of success on accident, failure on purpose, and (finally) success on purpose.


    Pyro Fireshooter promotional video
    Pryo Fireshooter submission to /r/gadgets
    Pyro Fireshooter (free press) on USAtoday
    Pyro Mini promotional video
    Pyro Mini successfully submitted to /r/shutupandtakemymoney
    Ellusionist site submissions to Reddit
    Rick Lax — Deception Expert on Facebook

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    Music: 'Dan Porcaro - Shadows'

    • 1 hr 2 min
    011 The Virginity Story That Went Viral & Sparked A YouTube Channel With Sean Thomas

    011 The Virginity Story That Went Viral & Sparked A YouTube Channel With Sean Thomas

    Responding to the prompt to discuss "the weirdest encounter you've had that's ultimately led to sex", Sean Thomas saw an opportunity to share his virginity story. Channeling his screen writing background, he detailed the epic as vividly as he remembered it. His comment generated more traction than the submission it was posted to and three years later it became the inspiration for his YouTube channel 'Based On A Crude Story'. In this episode Sean shares how he generated 9K subscribers in a week.


    The Original Virginity Story
    The Birth Of "Based On A Crude Story"
    'Based On A Crude Story' YouTube Channel
    Sean's Submission History On Reddit
    Alone: Oculus Rift Game Review by Markiplier

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    Music: 'KOOA - Don't Stop (Extended Mix)'

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

johnny_darko ,

How the Ghost Influence Podcast Influenced Me

Listen to Brian Swichkow's voice before you Google his picture. I know, I thought the same thing. Okay, so I'm a marketing student with 1.5 years to go before I get my BS in Marketing with a concentration is social media and mobile devices. I want to be a 'growth hacker". While searching for 'growth hacker' influencers I came across a marketing podcast that had Brian on as a quest. He was so knowledgeable and entertaining, so genuin and came across very authentic about organically creating buzz and growing your brand that I had to check out his podcast. I was hooked from the first episode. Now I'm binge listening to him everyday on my 1 hour drive to work. The time goes by quickly because not only are his guests knowledgeable and insightful, but Brian really knows how to tell a story. He masterfully guides his guests stories, extracts the nuggets and gems of the story then does a micro recap putting into context so that it makes sense how you can apply the methods used and lessons learned to your marketing/branding efforts. I'm almost done with all the episodes. Brian! Please, please make more episodes. I'm getting the same feeling I got after the last episode of Game of Thrones season 7. Dread!

Tim Coyne ,

Finally!!

I'm sort of just wading into the Reddit space. This podcast has been tremendously helpful! Thank you, Brian!

BarryPaulPrice ,

The Art Of Hacking Without Hacking

Brian is so amazing at naturally finding the hacks in a socially irreverent and provocative approach to tech, social media, and digital biz. The guy is truly THE social engineer you want to be listening to — and he curates only the best people and insights for anyone ready to truly understand today’s online world like Neo mastered the Matrix. Become the Chosen One, listen to this podcast!

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