Known as: content creator
Social media: 2 million followers on TikTok; over 1.7 million on Instagram; more than 900,000 on YouTube
catchphraseWerbespruchCatchphrase: “In Germany, we don’t say...”
People in Germany know that Deutsche Bahn seems to be in a permanent crisis, but to most of those who live outside Germany, this would come as a surprise. German trains are always on time, aren’t they? Liam Carpenter, a 27-year-old creator from Kent, plays with this sort of stereotype about Germany, turning clichés into entertaining skitParodieskits. He made a TikTok video about cancelled and delayed Deutsche Bahn trains that has more than 320,000 likes.
Carpenter says that Germans enjoy his satirical videos and reelKurzvideo (im Internet)reel series “In Germany, we don’t say...”. “I rarely see any negative comments,” he told Business Spotlight. “I use a lot of self-irony and have a dry sense of humour, and it doesn’t come acrossrüberkommen, wirkencome across as meanboshaft, gemeinmean. It’s a very relatablenachvollziehbarrelatable point of view.” Carpenter recognizes cultural differences without criticizing idiosyncracyEigenheitidiosyncracies. He believes it is important to embrace sth.etw. annehmenembrace the culture of the country you live in. “Having a mindsetEinstellungmindset of dive into sth.in etw. eintauchendiving into the culture and the language helps,” he says.
A mindset of diving into the culture helps
A life online
Carpenter began posting videos in 2021. He had moved to Germany, aged 18, to play professional basketball for the Crailsheim Merlins, in Baden-Württemberg. “I always felt I should be doing something else on the side,” he says. “My first idea was to be a fitness trainer. That didn’t work out. I started posting videos about fitness and, one day, I saw a trend on TikTok about people being nervous speaking on the phone. I did one about speaking German on the phone, and the first video got 100,000 likes. I was hooked: be ~ (ifml.)Feuer und Flamme seinhooked. If the first video hadn’t done well, I probably wouldn’t have kept going.”
Now, Carpenter is a full-time content creator, earning money via YouTube ads and brand partnershipMarkenpartnerschaftbrand partnerships. He’s represented by WeCreate, one of Germany’s largest influencer-marketing agencies. In September 2023, he was invited to present an award at the VideoDays Festival, in Cologne, Germany’s biggest creator festival. People speak to him when he’s out, and he’s reaching an international audiencePublikumaudience. “I get messages from people who used to live in Germany but now live in England or America, and they thank me for reminding them of home,” he says.
Does his social media success mean he has trouble clock offausstempeln; hier: mit der Arbeit aufhörenclocking off? “I start at around 8 a.m.,” Carpenter explains. “I write scripts and come up with ideas. edit sth.etw. redigierenEditing can go on late into the afternoon and, ideally, I post a video around 5 p.m. Then, I need to think of the next videos. It never really stops.”
"My favourite video from 2023 is the one I did with my dad when I went back to the UK. I made a video of how I have adapted to German culture and go for long walks, and try to convince my dad to join in sth.bei etw. mitmachenjoin in. He’s shocked — and a lot of people really were like that.” The video’s success felt like a validationBestätigungvalidation for Carpenter. “In the beginning, my dad was unsure about my decision to work in social media, but he’s gained a new appreciationWertschätzungappreciation of what goes into making scripts and films and acting.”
A new home
Carpenter has become something of an intercultural ambassadorBotschafter(in)ambassador, spreading cultural awareness via social media. He’s spent a third of his life in Germany and he etw. aufgreifenick up on sth.picks up on details of typical behaviour in both his home country and his WahlheimatWahlheimatadopted country. “I do feel a little bit out of place when I go back. It’s the little things, like crossing the street. I wait at the lights until they turn green,” he laughs. “No one does that in the UK.”
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