How to get famous in Taiwan as a Foreign Celebrity!


Many foreigners living in Asia have dreams of making it big in the media. Asia Options has already featured an article on foreigners finding TV opportunities in Korea. Taiwan, however, is a little different. While there are a few foreigners who have been able to become famous on TV, these opportunities are few and far between.

But fear not. While traditional media (TV, movies) may be hard for foreigners to break into, there is the whole world of new media just waiting for you. Taiwan are huge lovers of social media. Taiwan has the deepest penetration of Facebook of anywhere in the world. They are also avid users of LINE, Whatsapp and other social messaging applications. But most importantly, they are also huge fans of Youtube. So if TV stations aren’t knocking on your door, maybe it’s time to make a Youtube video …

So as a foreigner living in Taiwan, how do you make a successful Youtube video? How to make sure you get the most hits? How can you make a Youtube video which will take you on the path to stardom?

After extensive Youtube viewing, Asia Options has compiled this list to help you on your path to (Taiwanese) Youtube stardom.


1. Controversial content

As a foreigner living in Taiwan, you already have different views to the local Taiwanese. Sharing your views on the differences between your country and Taiwan is always sure to interest audiences. Of particular interest is relationships. Dating a Taiwanese girl? Share your experience! Meeting her parents, what happened? What are the cross-cultural differences you have encountered? Why are Taiwanese boys so shy to talk to foreign girls? Share your own experience because viewers love to relate with their own experiences!

Even societal trends are worthy to talk about. Why do Taiwanese people LOVE queuing up for everything? How come Taiwanese people are able to keep their subway so clean? What are the differences between your country and Taiwan? In this era of globalisation, people want to know more about how people live in other countries, even the most mundane things to you might interest someone else!

If you are feeling really brave, you may even venture into political grounds, how do foreigners perceive differences between Taiwan and China … but be careful!

Check out this video for inspiration, or try this one.


2. Content in Chinese

First up if you can talk in Chinese this is the best way. Taiwanese people love it when foreigners talk Chinese. Try sharing your views in Chinese. If your Chinese isn’t that good yet, talk in English and have subtitles in Chinese. Not all Taiwanese speak or read English fluently. If you have Chinese subtitles or Chinese speech your potential audience will be much larger.


3. Content in Taiwanese

The fact most Taiwanese are not fluent in Taiwanese (also known as Holo, Hoklo, Southern Min or Tai-gi) does not diminish their enthusiasm for foreigners who speak Taiwanese. Do you know how to say a few sentences in Taiwanese? Share it with your audience! The fact you can say a few words in Taiwanese and you are passionate enough about Taiwan to make the effort to learn it will win you viewers across the island. Have a look at this widely successful channel for some ideas.


4. Use a good camera to record and edit your video

Good quality images and sound will make all the difference, as well as sound editing skills. iMovie and Windows Movie Maker do the job but if you want to take your editing to the next level, look at Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. There’s a smorgasbord of tutorials online as well to guide you through the basics and features of these powerful editing software programs.


5. Help it go viral

Uploading a video to Youtube is the first step in going viral but don’t expect an overnight miracle. A certain amount of luck is needed in getting your video shared multiple times or picked up by another user or outlet with a strong flow of knock-on traffic, and you will also need to do your own self-promotion. Ensure that you properly tag your video to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) traffic from within Youtube or Google. Also avoid uploading to Facebook as Youtube will always attract higher SEO traffic over the long term, while Facebook is well suited to a temporary surge. The best way is to upload to Youtube first or another video hosting website and then sharing on Facebook with your friends. Your own Facebook wall will tend to collect the most viewers while posting onto a Page converts to very little exposure- regardless of how many people are following that Page. Instead, ask the Page administrator to share your video via their account as this will significantly increase your airtime. Facebook Groups also still offer relatively good exposure and airtime.


6. Pick a title worth watching

Make sure you select a title for your video which will stroke the curiosity of viewers or rate well in SEO searches. ‘How to…’ videos tend to rate well, as do videos which pose a question and prompt people to view in order to seek the answer.


7. Have fun!

Audiences can tell if you are enjoying what you are doing. So shake off those inhibitions, dust off your cameras and start shooting!

What is your Youtube story? Made it big? What are your tips? Share with Asia Options!


More Asia Options Feature Articles to Help you Build a Career in Taiwan

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Marie-Alice McLean-Dreyfus

Marie-Alice McLean-Dreyfus has lived in Taiwan for two years where she was studying and working. She speaks Chinese and French.

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