Welcome to the Crystal Zone podcast with Kyle Russell of CrystalConcentrics.com. Our motto is "Crystals for Life!"
This is a transcription of our Podcast #9 recorded in Feb. '21. SEE OUR PODCAST PAGE here on CrystalConcentrics, or GO TO OUR PODCASTS ON SPOTIFY. The bulk of this blog was written in April '21 - and finalized in the last 10 days of May '21. Post-recording notes and edits are in italics, and the blog format has allowed us to add many great images and links!
So this particular podcast, which will be turned into a blog, is going to be all about my experience with TikTok, the social media phenomenon that has really exploded, at least here in the US and certainly I'm sure around the world - as of (certainly) the pandemic - and maybe before.
In any case, why is it relevant to my Crystal Zone podcast series? It is relevant because it has been quite a journey that began in October of 2020 on inspiration from my son Kobi Russell. He's got his own channel (@KobiRussell) - we call them channels (mine is @CrystalConcentrics). We call them pages too - I don't know if there really is an official and appropriate word for what to call "that-thing-which-is-yours" on TikTok. It's your little domain. And I began then with a "Dad on TikTok" video (that's a thing) and some other casual ones talking about Crystals here and there. And then I went viral. I had some videos that blew up, and by that I mean lots and lots of viewers (into the tens and even hundreds of thousands)!
I'll get more specific on that as we go further into the podcast. And my Followership started to explode. I went up to 10,000, then 20, then 30, 40, 50, now I'm approaching 70,000 followers on TikTok after what - November, December, January, February - four months. In four months, that's an average of twenty thousand new followers per month. Since recording the Podcast, as of my finally publishing this Blog, I'm up past 87K followers in May of 2021 (which represents a bit of a slow-down in monthly-new-followers).
Now what has all the excitement been about? I can't think of a better way of exploring that than to simply open up my phone and do a little bit of scrolling.
I'm going to begin in the present and talk about how I have just launched my Crystals360 annual program (here's my TikTok about that), which is a way in which people can connect with me and a group of like-minded crystal lovers through an online community. It's done through Facebook, as well as through one meeting monthly for discussion and learning, based in part on a curriculum developed and derived from my new book coming out this spring (now June) of 2021 called Crystal Energy, Understanding and Working with Stones for Clarity and Flow. You'll definitely want to keep an eye out for that.
I record this podcast on the heels of a viral video that has already - in basically a day - attracted 16,000 views. In that video I'm wearing my macramé, wrapped, big Moldavite necklace in such a way that it is dangling on my forehead. I talked about what a silly and strange look that was, but what a cool idea it is to to have that as a way of wearing your stones. It got a lot of response because people related to it. People talked about how they used to do that when they were kids or they still do it (or ancient civilizations did it). And I learned a new word, which is a "circlet." Apparently a circlet is this type of a third eye necklace.
Anyway, I'm going to scroll back a little bit and find some other viral vids to tell you about, because they're kind of like the backbone in the story of my "Tok" experience. Though I will say that the dreaded "algorithm" continues to not be very transparent. It's hard to know which videos are going to blow up. For example, I did one on Sugilite smalls - I just laid out three of them and showed color quality variations - and that got 116,000 views, which is pretty cool.
I got 31,000 views on a video about "new crystals, what to do!?" I start by recommending what people NOT do. That whole topic of cleansing, clearing, charging and programming of crystals has been a really key part of my TikTok "career" (here's the first super viral video I did on that, currently showing 569K views). I've put it out there that I do not believe in doing those things above because I trust and respect the integrity and energetic wholeness of the crystals when we get them. And I find that attempts to do any - or all of those four things - are quite invasive and damaging to the chemistry of our relationship with the particular crystal that we might be working with.
So I I've gotten a lot of people appreciating my perspective and saying "wow, that is so cool, because I've always felt that way too."
I've never understood why so many people are obsessed with cleansing, clearing, charging and programming. And yet at the same time, I continue to get comments from people who say the same things that other people on the same exact video have said, which is "what if people touched it? What about the negative energies?" And I respond to that.
I definitely want to do a whole podcast about that particular subject because it is such a hot-button topic. And I want to explain my perspective more fully. But in this particular podcast, I'm choosing instead to focus on my TikTok successes and biggest videos.
Moldavite consistently produces a lot of views. I did one on real versus fake Sugilite, which was quite popular. Here's my "How to Tell Fake Moldavite" video. And in fact, that whole theme of real-versus-fake anything is very, very salient to people. My first major boost in that area came in talking about real vs. fake Citrine.
On TikTok, very recently, I sort of came to the rescue of a vendor who was posting super top quality gem rose quartz, and his comment section was completely inundated with basically hate-comments, saying that he was pushing fakes and should be doing "the scratch test" (basically guilty until proven innocent) etc. I simply commented that gem Rose Quartz really does look like that, and if you're spending big money, you can rely on some pretty incredible material. It was funny because later, I saw a few comments where people said "even @CrystalConcentrics thinks these are legit. That was a nice boost to my ego.
I really don't like to get involved in other people's politics. Even if I disagree with a certain poster (my nickname for a content creator), for whatever reason, I won't ever confront them on their page. I think it's inappropriate to challenge someone on their own turf, it's disrespectful. Something I'm particularly opposed to, is when "the Creator" (as we are also called) is condescending or belittling of their commenters. Fighting fire with fire - it's like an eye for an eye - and we all end up blind.
When it comes to engaging other posters, I'd rather seek out a way to message them and have a more mature conversation one-on-one than dumping crap in their Comments section, because I think that's rude.
That's haunted my own channel a couple of times, where people have asserted that the Moldavite I was showcasing specifically - actually it was the cut and polished Moldavite pendulums I have - that they were fake for the very reasons I said they were real (that they had certain types of bubbles in them). Here's a video I did on someone else who asserted the great big Moldavite I was wearing as a circlet in the photo above, had to have been fake.
And I will always engage people who question me or who have a different perspective than mine, to a point. My anti-trolling rule is: If they keep needling me or disregarding my points or disrespecting my earned authority in this field, I tend to delete their comments and block them from seeing my channel.
If my channel is not producing content that you enjoy and instead it's bringing out the troll in you - then you clearly don't need (or deserve) my content - and I certainly don't need your negative presence on my page. Here's the first video I did about Crystal Trolling.
As of April 2021 - with 3.4 million views on my #KyleRussell & #CrystalConcentrics hashtags (now it's up to 3.9 mil. mid-May) - I've only had to cut loose 3-4 people, which shows it's not a serious problem.
So, moving right along, I'm looking for only videos that have over 10,000 views. This one was really good. This one got 27,000 views and I'm going to open this up just so that I can read this tasty comment to you.
It says "Wow, you're the first 'crystal guru' that I actually feel like I should listen to LOL." My Reply video talks about how it reminds me of the slogan that I came up with for my Tucson 2020 appearance, in my graphics of the postcard I was handing out there. I said that I was "Spiritually Inspired and Geologically Grounded," which is such a powerful concept in the sense that I am grounded in the stones, and I am not (as I say in the video) "Airy Fairy." But I am still spiritually inspired - which means that I'm not scientifically based or evidence based - in the sense of scientific experiments.
The rigor (or rigidity) of the scientific method does not apply (or stand up) to the ephemeral nature of metaphysics. Let me underscore this observation. We usually find (or are told that) Metaphysical reality is simply not real, and deficient by comparison with Scientific "truth." But clearly, Science does not have a monopoly on Truth, since it seems to vary so widely in the personal experience of each person from others.
I find, however, that even though we rely heavily on inspiration and channeled information, that it really helps for anyone that we're sharing our knowledge with - to hear a sense of logic and groundedness - in what it is that we're saying.
Why are we saying it? What is it based on?
If it is inspiration, be honest about that. If it is logical - be clear about that - so that people can really know where you're coming from.
Continuing my scroll...
Um, I got 12,000 views on a video I did about Crystal Elixirs and the bottles in which people put crystals to drink from. My point ultimately, was that I don't prefer to ingest my crystals, I rather like to sort of hold them, rather than eat them or drink them.
You wouldn't know if you are not a follower of me on TikTok, but a couple of months into it, I decided to start doing two videos daily. And as a result, I have a number of drafts that I can draw on - and they total like 40 drafts - now 120, a few months later. I just open up my drafts and I think about what the vibe is (of the day) that I want to share.
My first Moldavite pendulum video got 17,000 views (now up to 18.2K). I sold both of those featured pendulums immediately as a result of having done that. "Best Beginner Crystals" got 10.7K views, and in that video I was talking about how important I think it is for people to get a sense early in the game about power and energy differentials, say, between a super ascension stone and a very grounding stone. And that as a beginner, if you can figure that out - that discrepancy - then you've gone a long way towards learning how to work with crystals on a more advanced level.
I have 50,000 views on Moldavites, three grades of it that I explain: Popular (under $100), Collector (up to $1000), and Enthusiast (into the thousands) levels.
187,000 (now over 200K) views on my Stone Identification video, in which I lament that people got wind: I occasionally tell folks what stones they have.
Someone then wrote me out of the blue and said "what is this?" - along with a photograph - which is rude. I said, so. And I got a huge outpouring of love from people who said it's not old school to expect people to exhibit a basic level of politeness. Fifteen thousand on my Selenite vs Satin Spar video. Uh, 27,000 views on my Charging Crystals Not Needed video. 13K on Moldavite, bright green or black.
And then the big breakthrough videos, the ones that really made my made my debut as a viral TikToker, were my ones about Citrine.
Citrine Clusters: 170,000 views. My real Citrine Guide: 13.3K. And my Fake Citrine vs. Real Citrine, 46.7 thousand views. So those were my big, big breakthrough videos and, you know, other than that, I've got plenty at one and two, and three and five thousand. Usually - once it starts taking off, it really - really takes off. And you can tell pretty quickly whether that's happening if you start getting, you know, a thousand or more views in one day.
But I do not focus or obsess, although I will certainly check particularly my Comments pretty religiously multiple times a day, because I love responding to people's comments. And the comments are really - on one level - the lifeblood of the channel, because people who comment are curious. They have questions, and because I have so many answers, I'm able to make Reply Videos. I love making reply videos. And I've done many, many of them.
Already a lot of people are very grateful for that, and thank me. I've also, as a result of having gone so viral and having gotten so much attention on TikTok, received a number of inquiries daily from people who want to purchase particularly lower priced Moldavites. And because I have been blessed with a stock of those, I have been able to move out a bunch of them and it's very reassuring to know that these special tektites and stones are going all around the world - because of me and my making them available - and my having resonated with so many people on TikTok. More recently, I have fewer inquiries, but they're from folks who are more serious (and willing to spend more per purchase).
I got another Comment, which turned into a reply video regarding people saying they feel so safe with me or that my voice is calming and reassuring to them, and that has been a real blessing because it means that my energy is able to reach and touch and resonate with people that otherwise would never, ever have heard of me. And I also think it's very important that I'm doing what I'm doing because it provides a different and alternative voice.
Before TikTok had a lot of people talking about crystals on it, there was, of course, every other social media outlet - Instagram and Facebook and online - and in the books there is a lot of crystal lore, which I do not agree with. And my book talks in detail about the ways in which that is true. So again, I won't go into that here in this podcast, but providing an alternative perspective from someone who is confident and experienced and directly inspired is, I think, a valuable contribution to what I call the Crystal World.
So on that note, I think I will complete this podcast. Thank you for listening. Always keep an eye out for the written versions, because I will have photo stills and links that can direct you towards some of the videos that I have spoken about.
Thanks so much. And until next time, bye bye.
OUR BIGGEST NEWS AS OF THIS POSTING, IS THAT KYLE'S BOOK "CRYSTAL ENERGY: UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH STONES FOR CLARITY AND FLOW" IS DUE OUT MID-JUNE 2021
You're in tune to the Crystal Zone podcast, talking all about Crystals for Life, and you might wonder where would be a great place to buy crystals? Well, we have a warehouse and storefront, the Portal Crystal Gallery in Arlington Center, Massachusetts. You can have a look at all our displayed items. And also, if there's something of interest, we have an extensive back stock.
In any case, if you're more distant and you want to work by email and phone, we are happy to serve you through our Quality Custom Crystal Mail Order service. A portion of our inventory is up at CrystalConcentrics.com, but you should definitely email Kyle@CrystalConcentrics.com with any questions. We can send you videos and show you all kinds of items which we have not yet had time to upload on to the site. Looking forward to hearing from you!