What it Looks Like to Be Authentic Online with Corey McMullan

The last thing Corey McMullan had on his mind when he scrapped print advertising in favour of social media marketing for his family’s appliance store was that he would become an influencer. But after launching a TikTok account for McMullan Appliance & Mattress, that’s exactly what happened.

As of writing this post, the content on his TikTok account has received more than 3.3 million views, amplifying his Smiths Falls, Ont.-based business profile around the world and subsequently turning Corey into the “TikTok appliance guy.”

“I’m flattered it’s working for my local business,” Corey says on the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. “But I’m also fielding emails from Australia, New Zealand, all across the US. And I’m so flattered they want to buy from me. I could show you 50 emails in 10 minutes of people saying, ‘How can I buy this washer from you?’ and ‘I’m in Kentucky — how can buy it and give you credit?'”

His recipe for social media success is simple: be authentic, know your stuff, and try things out until they stick. Corey’s influencer status has resulted in media coverage from CTV News, CBC News, Toronto Star, and other outlets marvelling at how this small-town Ontario business has catapulted to global recognition.

“You just got to get up and do it and find your own personality,” he says. “Don’t be scared. And if you don’t like something, you can always delete it and get rid of it. It doesn’t have to exist forever … People put up videos with no narration and music behind it and they dig a hole with a machine and they get 1,000 likes. So really, just try it.”

Corey speaks with us about why his brand of authenticity about home appliances has captured the imagination of TikTok users from St. Catharines to Saudi Arabia and the strategy behind growing his account to over 86,000 engaged followers in just a few months. Check out our conversation in the episode below.