Turlock home is cooking money on TikTok

Marco Sanchez has always loved cooking for his family, but he would have never imagined that his hobby at home would turn into a career that would affect social media. Since posting his first video on TikTok in the summer of 2020, Turlock resident known as Woodfire and Whiskey has amassed nearly two million followers on the platform — and he doesn’t stop there.

From giant steaks to lettuce wraps, Sanchez’s high-quality videos showcase a variety of different recipes for, as his username, whiskey suggests. The US Army veteran has spent the past 13 years as a cinematographer working primarily in marketing, but was able to quit his job thanks to his large online following.

His kitchen has now been turned into a video production studio, where Sanchez makes videos that have 1.7 million followers on TikTok, 74,000 followers on Instagram, and 10,500 subscribers on YouTube. Thanks to sponsorship deals and endorsement deals with the brands and products he believes in, the full-time content creator is now bringing home three times the amount he made in his previous job.

Viewers follow Woodfire and Whiskey, featured here on TikTok, for Sanchez’s cooking videos featuring easy recipes and plenty of shots (photo contributed).

“It’s so surreal, but it’s an incredible feeling. I’ve been trying my whole life to do things that would somehow take off,” Sanchez said. All I have to do is cook for myself and show people it’s easy and just enjoy my style of cooking.”

There’s a misconception surrounding TikTok that it’s just an app for teens and kids, but Sanchez says that’s not the case. He has discovered an audience of adults looking to simplify home cooking and is flocking to his videos in droves. He said Sanchez has been publicly acknowledged once or twice, but his fame is relatively low and still allows him to lead a normal life in the city.

While most of the videos on the app are shot on mobile, the award-winning filmmaker values ​​quality over everything and regularly uses a four-camera setup to ensure that his posts meet his own standards.

“I tell everyone I’m not a chef, I just understand how to cook and I’m a great filmmaker,” Sanchez said. “This is my driving room, and being able to combine my love of food and eating good things with my love of making videos is the most incredible opportunity anyone can have.”

Sanchez started posting videos of cats on social media, as many do, but he was recruited into TikTok by a spice company that noticed some of the cooking videos he uploaded to YouTube. The app represents the present and future of social media and with over a billion global monthly active users, viral spread is a possibility for anyone.

Influencers like Sanchez who are able to monetize their followers have become increasingly popular in recent years, and a 2019 study by Morning Consult found that 86% of 13-38-year-olds want to pursue an influencer career.

He said Sanchez’s wife is also active on TikTok and already has nearly 20,000 followers on the app. She also hopes that one day she will be able to quit her full-time job to pursue social media content full-time. The couple’s goal is to eventually become Chip and Joanna Gaines in cooking, and they seem to be on their own.

“We just realized this wasn’t really going to go away,” Sanchez said. “This is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and eventually 80% of the marketing will come from these sites.”

Sanchez’s advice to those trying to turn their online presence into a full-time job is to simply take the leap and do it with something they are already passionate about. Despite the rough times the pandemic has brought to many, Sanchez’s love of cooking and dedication to his profession have turned the past two years into something wonderful for his family.

“We can focus on what has been taken from us, or we can focus on what we can create from what has been taken from us. We can look inside ourselves and say, ‘I’m good at this thing too, in addition to what I’ve been doing at that job.'” Let me see if I can exploit this for myself and my family, and let’s see if I can turn this into something real,” Sanchez said. …Being a social media influencer is all about focusing on love rather than hate. “

Sanchez’s videos can be found on TikTok (@woodfireandwhiskey) and YouTube (@WoodFireandWhiskey). Turlockers can also follow him on Twitter at woodfire_whiskey_official.

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