How Dr. Muneeb Shah (Derm Doctor) got 14 million people on TikTok

With over 12 million followers, Dr. Muneeb Shah (@dermdoctor) is one of the most influential creators on TikTok today. If you’re part of his huge fan base, you know that Shah’s content is as entertaining as it is informative. “It all started as just a way to have fun,” Shah said. Entrepreneur during a recent IG Live interview. “But I quickly realized that this content is a way to bring healthcare education to millions of people who don’t have the resources to get it any other way.”

Dermatology Doctor

Shah, whose content can also be found on Instagram and YouTube, spoke with Entrepreneur social media director Sana Ali to break down the creative, educational and business aspects of what he does and provide inspiration and behind-the-scenes advice for future viral stars. You can watch the video here and read the takeaways below, which have been edited for length and clarity.

How it started

“At the start of the pandemic, I became a TikTok consumer. TikTok is super addictive, and it has all these trends and sounds that help you get really creative. So I started creating content for fun and then the videos started to take off. It was definitely something involuntary. At one point I made an educational video and realized from the positive response that there was a huge amount of white space for good skin care and dermatology information.

Related: How to integrate TikTok into your video marketing strategy

Timing is everything

“During the pandemic, people were spending a lot of time on Zoom, looking at their own face, thinking, ‘Okay, I have this extra time. How can I actually have healthier skin?’ And instead of focus on concealment, I think a lot of people were trying to heal their skin, so you saw a huge spike in interest in skincare right when I started creating skincare content. skin.

His advice to beginners

“I actually left my old videos just so people could go back and see how it all started. I held the mic to my iPhone and just used a lamp in front of me as a front light. There was no thinking process about production values. I was just having fun and creating content that I thought would resonate with people. So I would advise people to create what they think is good for them and good for the community around them. In the beginning is the best time because you can totally be yourself and be free.

When it became something more than a hobby

“There is a real access problem in the United States with health care. In some areas, you cannot see a dermatologist; you don’t have access to the kinds of doctors you need… so there is a huge information gap that needs to be filled. So when I started creating content that went viral on specific diseases, that’s when I realized I could educate so many people. My mentor said to me, “You just educated five million people about hidradenitis suppurativa, which would take a lifetime to do in person. That’s when I realized it was really important and something to incorporate into my life long term. That’s when I kind of pivoted to being a real platform and branched out to YouTube.

Related: 6 Tips to Grow Your Business on TikTok with Ads and Influencers

Its global reach

“I recently went to the American Academy of Dermatology conference in Boston. Dermatologists from all over the world go there, so I met doctors from countries like Brazil, Panama, Paraguay and Chile. And they said, “Our patients showed us some of your videos and were asking questions about some of the things you were talking about.” It’s really fascinating to see the reach you can have as an educator on these platforms – how you can spread information around the world that many people find difficult to access.

On his process

“There is content that can take me four hours to create, and others that only take a few minutes. It depends on what it is. So there’s a video I made – and it was only a minute long – where I went to Los Angeles. It involved hours of personal use of Adobe Premiere to line up all those sounds and images just to hit the beat and stuff. But if you ever see me wearing a blindfold in my video, that means that video was made with me in bed, about to fall asleep, and I saw something that I felt like I had to react or react. And I literally roll out of bed, shoot the video in 20, 30 seconds, then go back to bed.

Why YouTube Matters

“We put a lot of energy into YouTube. We love it because it’s searchable. So if viewers around the world have a question like, ‘How can I treat acne?’ they can grab it and videos will pop up, so we’re creating videos that show very systematic, evidence-based ways to address different skin conditions, and this YouTube stuff will take you about eight hours, nine hours to do per video.

On its impact

“There have been a lot of comments on my videos that have been amazing. Someone will tell me they went to have a mole checked out because of something they learned from my videos. They will tell me : ‘It ended up being early melanoma, and I never would have gone if you hadn’t made this content.’ And to me, it’s like, ‘Wow!’ It’s amazing. If I read a comment like that at a time when I’m feeling a bit discouraged or tired or exhausted, it makes me feel like, “Okay, this, this actually has a purpose, and I must continue.”

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