Ypulse Interview: Josh Shipp, Advice Slinger, HeyJosh.com

speaker_shippToday’s Ypulse Interview is with Josh Shipp, an internationally renowned speaker on youth issues who channeled his unique talent for empowering young people into the integrated media platform Hey Josh, a safe digital space for teens seeking out advice, entertainment and a community. If you’re attending the Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup Event in June, you can look forward to seeing and hearing Josh’s dynamic speaking skills in action. Register today and qualify for “early adopter” Rates!

Ypulse: What inspired you to start Hey Josh?

Josh Shipp: I grew up as a foster kid and learned a lot of life lessons the hard way. I want people to know the reason I give advice isn’t because I think I’m perfect and know it all, but rather b/c I’ve screwed up a lot and learned from it. I went from being a high school class clown to traveling the world speaking to audiences of teens. Naturally after a show I would get emails for advice. Initially, HeyJosh.com was a way for me to keep the conversation going with my audience after a show. Now it’s more of a dynamic community [of teens] who may or may not have any connection to me. Also, it’s a place to not only ask for advice, but give advice.  Often it’s great to not only hear my perspective on your issue, but several different points of view.

YP: How have teens been affected by the onslaught of media and marketing aimed at them? Does it wash over them? Are they immune? Critical? Not critical enough?

JS: I think the onslaught of marketing affects teens the same way it does you, me or anybody else. It’s numbing. I don’t even notice it. Unless it’s exceptional, funny, or from a trusted source who I asked to speak to me.

The key is earning the right to be heard.

YP: What are the biggest stressers you see in teen life right now?

JS: I get around 100,000 emails from teens a year. The majority of them are around the topics of dating and identity.  “How do I know if a guy likes me?  She says she’s always busy, but I don’t think she’s interested, what do you think? I have no idea what I want to do with my life and no one seems to care.”  Also I get a lot of emails about relationship dynamics with parents, school stresses, and friends.

YP: What will some of the big takeaways be from your presentation [at the Mashup Event]?

JS: Earning the right to be heard. What does that mean? How do you authentically do that? Why every brand, company, product or movement needs a story.

More about Josh: Josh is a speaker, blogger, marathon runner and guitar hero who is dedicated to entertaining, inspiring and empowering teens. He has helped write books, has shared the stage with Bill Cosby, and has appeared on MTV’s TRL, Comedy Central, NBC, FOX and TLC as well as in the Los Angeles Times. Still in his twenties, Josh already has established an international reputation as an inspiring youth speaker with a simple and entertaining, yet challenging message. Through the Web, films, mobile, live events and published experiences, Hey Josh provides advice to the digital generation that is “in your face, but on your side.”

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