“If you’re smart, funny, or ridiculous enough, you can have your own show,” said Valentin Sanjuan, the director and host of the hit Catalan YouTube show, Visto lo Visto.
For a 10 euro entrance fee, audience members receive a night full of laughter along with a little bottle of rum. The segment can be described as a combination of American Funniest Home Videos, whichever late night sho
w Jimmy Fallon is hosting, and stand up comedy.
Last week my teacher invited his ex worker and friend Valentín Sanjuan to speak before my Journalism 2.0 class about how he built his brand and represents himself on the media. When he walked into the room I was thoroughly surprised by his choice of outfit; garbed in what I would call “douche attire” he donned a faded green hat with an american flag, skinny jeans, and a floral pullover that hid a presumably fuckable physique. Unfortunately the picture I took with him got erased when I broke my phone, so you’ll have to rely on my eloquent and accurate description of him to build a visual of him in your imagination.
After being booted from his job working at Catalunya Radio where he hosted Vist i no Vist i (Seen and Unseen), Valentín picked himself back up from the ground and created a program that would exclusively be aired on YouTube.
The benefit of using an unconventional channel such as YouTube to air Visto lo Visto is the ability to auto-edit. “No one can tell me that I can’t say “dick” on my show,” said Sanjuan. YouTube allows for more freedom of speech and has no limitations – a quality that Sanjuan built his brand around.
When he’s not promoting his show, Sanjuan travels around the world with his camera filming his adventurous expeditions that test his mind and body. He posts daily videos of his adventurous conquests on his more famous YouTube account that has over 108K followers and nearly 800 videos.
Through recording these events that tested his limits and pushed his boundaries, Sanjuan cultivated a strong brand for himself that attracted a large audience hungry for more Valentín.
The self-described journalist acclaims his success to his golden rule, “fake it ’till you make it.” After getting the boot from his job working at the radio station, Sanjuan had nothing. But instead of laying in the debris of his crumbled world, he cleaned up the mess and created Visto lo Visto.
In order to make his new YouTube show worth seeing, Sanjuan called upon celebrities that frequented his old radio show and asked them to the station’s “new location,” and by new location he meant “my show that has a similar name to the radio segment I worked for in the past but is totally different, and I’m omitting that pertinent information to coerce you into helping me become successful”.
Sanjuan admits he didn’t make any profit during the first four years of producing Visto lo Visto, but he worked around his lack of income by living off his rule, “fake it ’till you make it.” He secretly redid his kitchen at no cost by promising to publicize all the products on his show, and continued securing A-list celebrities by reassuring them that other well-known people had been on the show too – even though they never were.
Like a modern day Aladdin, Valentín supported himself by tricking the system until the system worked for him. The arabian prince faked his royalty to Princess Jasmine until he actually did become a prince – except unlike Valentín Aladdin had help from a magic genie.
“Until we’re successful, it’s not going to stop,” Sanjuan said, referring to his golden rule. Sometimes you just gotta act like you’re hot shit until you become hot shit – like when I post three Instagrams in a row because that’s what celebrities do.