TikTok is LAME. How Khabane Lame became the most followed user on TikTok without saying a word…

First off, he’s not lame. His last name is pronounced LAH-MAY. He uses a shortened version of his first name Khaby. And he has 144.4 million followers.

Khaby is a 22-year-old from Senegal. He now lives in Italy and began using TikTok after being laid off from his factory job in 2020. 

Khaby started making videos because he wanted to make people laugh in the difficult period of COVID lockdown. 

Initially, he emulated others on the platform by creating clips of himself dancing and watching video games.

But you don’t stand out by doing more of what is normal. Instead, he began antagonizing the makers of life-hack videos. 

And he did by doing the opposite of what most commenters do. Khaby did it without saying a word. Not even a syllable.

Simply shaking his head, giving a shrug, or looking at the camera with exasperation.

Lame told CNN last year, 

“I came up with the idea because I was seeing these videos circulating, and I liked the idea of bringing some simplicity to it… I thought of a way to reach as many people as possible. And the best way was not to speak.”

In our book “Pink Goldfish 2.0,” David Rendall and I call this strategy withholding. Withholding is one of eight ways to differentiate by being FLAWSOME.

Withholding is about limitations, restrictions, boundaries, and constraints. It’s not about doing LESS of what makes you different… It’s about doing less of what makes others “normal.”

In addition to the life hack videos, Lame also posts short comedy skits using other funny videos. 

And he does those as well without a word. See a couple of example videos in the comments. The fishing one is my favorite.

According to research by Alfred Mehrabian, when we communicate something with emotion … only 7% of what we communicate are the words we use. The majority of what we communicate (55%) is our body language and gestures.

Is it working for Khaby? Yes. To the tune of 2.3 billion likes on the platform. His TikTok bio says it all…

“Se vuoi ridere sei nel posto giusto😎
If u wanna laugh u r in the right place😎”

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Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.