Matt Blackmer on Going Viral with Tint Tutorials

December 20th, 2023 by Casey Flores

In an age where you can learn almost anything online, Matt Blackmer of Detroit-based The Tint Studio has taken to teaching tinting. What he didn’t know when starting was that his how-to-tint videos would become a viral sensation.

Matt Blackmer

“One of the biggest ones was accidental at the time but I kind of understood why after I made it,” he says. “I went to Walmart and tinted a window with only stuff from Walmart—a spatula for a squeegee, a regular knife to cut the film—but that video blew up.”

Blackmer was hooked. A regular YouTube consumer himself, he’d been tinting since 2009 and wanted to dip his toe into content creation.

“I was really early on with posting YouTube videos, but I was one of the ones that stuck with it,” he says. “The hard part about it is you’re always kind of chasing the algorithm. Once you hit those numbers, you try to hit those numbers again—so you can pretty easily drive yourself crazy. I have to come up with a healthy balance that reaches a broad audience but also is helpful.”

It’s those videos that perform the best for him. Several of Blackmer’s videos have north of 1 million views and he boasts more than 226,000 subscribers on YouTube and 150,000 on TikTok. His total YouTube views come in at 139 million, with his most popular long-form video “How to Tint a Door Window” boasting more than 7.2 million views.

His most viral video is a YouTube Short. (Note: We can’t embed Shorts, but you can check it out here:

Blackmer continues to post videos because he likes it—not so much for the profit-sharing—but his content is monetized by the tech companies.

“It’s not nearly as much as you would think,” he says. “Over time, it’s been good and there have been really good peaks. The views are primarily from shorts, but the Walmart-type videos were a good kick.”

The real reward for him came after about one to two years of posting content when people began telling him they started a window tinting business thanks to his tutorials.

In recent years, he’s switched to more short-form videos for YouTube Shorts, TikTok or Instagram Reels, which rack up more views than traditional videos.

“There can be a 12-minute YouTube video when what you need to know can just be 20 seconds,” he explains. The editing process can be more challenging, but the views and platform profit sharing are more rewarding. TikTok is especially flooded with tinting videos.

“One of the best performing TikToks was just from an off-handed comment,” he explains. “Someone said ‘do you need water to tint windows? I tried it and it was just sticking to the glass.’ So, I made one with no water and showed why it wasn’t going to work – the video did 20+ million views on TikTok … window tinting on TikTok is really big now. It has a very discoverable algorithm and many shops that try to do stuff on YouTube are having a lot more success on TikTok.” He referenced Glacier Window Tinting, which has 1.7 million followers.

Along with online popularity come the inevitable online trolls. Blackmer says he was ready for them from the start, thanks to the online brutality he witnessed during the days whenever someone would post a video on there. “It was nothing but s*^& from people,” he says. “When it hits 100,000 views, you hit a more general audience and that’s when you get people who have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about.”

Matt Blackmer has turned his virility into a career—not so much due to revenue share from the social media platforms but from directing people toward his shop where he sells a product he invented as well as tools. He also trains installers looking to start their career in window tinting and runs a shop of his own. His new focus will be architectural film, as his channel and attention has been spent largely on automotive.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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