Chris “Burr” Martin and his daughter became Internet superstars back in 2016 when Chris began recreating daughter Cassie’s selfies and sharing them on social media. In order to intimidate boys who were commenting on Cassie’s pictures, Chris spent hours copying her selfies down to the outfit, tattoos, poses, piercings and more. Known as the #SelfieDad, Chris has a total reach of nearly 150,000. Previously, Chris was in radio, producing commercials, hosting and co-hosting as well as night time DJ’ing. In addition to running his social media brand, Chris performs stand up comedy and has hosted events worldwide, including Japan, Germany and Australia.
How long did it take for the initial selfie post to go viral?
It’s weird because I had a couple before then so probably I don’t know. Maybe two before – I mean I’d been posting them and then the one was all of sudden just like within three days it was just massive.
At what point did you realize that influencer marketing was a viable revenue source?
Because what I do real in my real job, my real forty hour a week job is boring. I count boxes so to have something that I enjoy doing and then you get money for it that is just way better.
Can you tell us a little bit about your partnership with SmileDirectClub?
So I had – when the selfie dad thing really hit my daughter was working at a fast food restaurant and she saw a couple people come in and they were like “oh you know” so she was feeling really high up and everything, like oh they recognized me. And then she overheard one of them say “did you see her teeth” and so they were talking about her teeth and it crushed her. So she was like it felt really bad and okay I’m going viral and all that so I needed to do something about her teeth. Got her the smile direct thing and that went through and her teeth strengthened. And then she took a photo one day and she was smiling with all her teeth and I had realized out of all those selfies in the whole year she had never given a full smile. And so I wrote to direct smile and I said “hey, you know, I just really want to thank you guys. You really helped her confidence” and it was I just tagged them and they noticed her. And they’re like “oh that’s her and that’s you from the videos and the pictures”. So we just got to talking over twitter and it just snowballed from there. And they flew us down to Nashville and met everybody and it was just loads of fun.
What’s an average day in the life of #SelfieDad?
Yeah I do inventory control for a big food warehouse. But I also – I spend a lot of time alone so I spend a lot of time in my head with thoughts and ideas. So if I come up with like a dumb commercial for like a – like a did a commercial for a perfume called, Wearwhose and I just did a dumb – you know, kind of a parody of other perfume commercials and stuff like that just for fun. In my head I get ideas.
That’s where I came up with like some of the podcast ideas I do and some of that. Some of the selfies I will get an idea like what can I do, what could I use. So that actually – I should be spending more time thinking about my job but that’s generally how the day goes.
How do you make your tattoos?
I used to do a sharpie and now I do dry erase and then it’s whatever I have around the house. Sometimes it’ll just hit me that day that it will be funny to me so I’ll do it.
Have you had any weird requests from brands?
Well actually for smile direct when we went down there they were doing a photo shoot and through that year I had lost like forty, forty five pounds. And so they had Cassie dress up in a short white shirt and they wanted me to have like a short white cut up shirt and I kind of told them I said “Can we do it a little- it’s not good looking. It’s not a good look that I want to show off right now cause nothing had really tightened up yet” so I had to say no to that one.
I read in a People magazine article that you have impacted people in a positive way, including a young girl with autism and a man who lost his daughter. They both find joy and humor in your posts. So what are your plans moving forward as the #SelfieDad?
I don’t know. I mean I don’t want to be the guy with three followers still putting on makeup. I got to think of other things to do. So that’s why I keep my Instagram and stuff. I try to keep it light, I don’t post anything serious, I’ve learned so much in the last two years just about people and the stuff they are going through and so I just try and keep it lighthearted. I still get emails from people like oh that made me laugh and just dumb things that I’ll do throughout the day.
I’ve always been that way kind of the entertainer, comedian guy so if I see something funny I rather post that then something serious. Just learning from my followers and everything they don’t want to see anything serious they just want to laugh and scroll.
Can you tell us about your stand up comedy shows?
Yeah I did stand up. I hosted a couple of shows, I used to host a charity, blue and gold charity for boy scouts, I’m the costume contest for the local Lilac City Comicon [which] I’m the host for that. I’ve been doing that for like ten years, and it’s just kind of keep you on your toes. I have no problem with a microphone and a crowd.
Where do you see influencer marketing headed in the next five years or so?
I see it going the way that you guys are doing it with you can kind of tell just people who have built themselves up. It’s easy for people to like hire a celebrity and do all that that comes with like – if you get Will Smith you know what you are getting. But I’ve seen a lot of people on like your site and stuff and people on Instagram who did it and they are normal people, you know. So I think that hits a lot easier and faster for other people to kind of just see it as themselves.
Has anything changed since you started posting selfies?
Yeah and no. It slowed down but the challengers will come every now and then to see if I will do anything but now that she’s learned, just from being the viral celebrity, she’s learned how to shut them down pretty fast so I don’t have to be watching all the time.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.