Konzi who? Konziwoo, as he calls himself on Instagram, played club football only up under 10s. Nonetheless, the 29-year-old is often seen out on the pitch alongside elite footballers like Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

This is because Konzi runs freekickerz. With over four million subscribers, freekickerz is the world’s largest YouTube football channel, and currently the largest YouTube channel in Germany. The video clips, showing shooting techniques, equipment, and weekly football fails, are regularly watched by several million people.

Konzi’s success story resembles others spawning in the digital sphere today – and it comes with many imitators.

Passion for the beautiful game is a prerequisite for living the freekickerz life

‘We’ before ‘I’

Community. This is at the center of Konzi’s approach. The close-knit group of football enthusiasts elevates his recognition and it has made him a sought-out idol for teenagers to take selfies with.

The community is also the secret to why he has been able to create – without the help of a publishing house – a social media empire equivalent to mass media, thanks to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

He also regularly brushes up on his skills required for running digital channels, such as editing techniques and photography. He’s also prepared to learn from his mistakes. “If I’m honest, my videos have not always been that good,” he says.

3 assists for scoring big

Thanks to its magnitude and fame, freekickerz has been attracting sponsors, many of whom have kept an eye on the channel for some time which means Konzi has learnt to think more and more like a businessman.

What began as a hobby during his economics studies has become Konzi’s full-time job – one from which he makes a living. Konzi highlights three lessons that are useful for anyone aspiring to turn their passion into a profession:

1. Be persistent

“Find out what you can do better than others and make it your project. Always stay on the ball and focus on the goal, even if success is not immediate. You will, no doubt, be criticized – but just get up again and keep going!”

2. Be willing to learn

“Make the effort to continuously improve your skills. Ask and actively source tips and tricks from others. Think like an athlete – if someone tells you that you won’t make it, train harder, and prove your critics wrong.”

3. Enjoy the recognition

“It’s incredibly motivating to see so many positive comments under a video, or to find out you have inspired other YouTubers. Draw strength and encouragement from these moments. It will help you take the next steps.

This approach has taken Konzi to the top. Naturally, the pole position among fellow YouTubers makes him feel proud.

“It’s just like in the world of sport,” he says. “You want to be the best. But if, one day, another channel would overtake us, I’d view that with a ‘sportsmanlike’ attitude as well.”

What are his goals now that he’s number one? “There are always new things to learn and things that can be improved, especially on social media. The most important thing for me is to continue to enjoy what I do – because then our community is happy as well.”

Konzi's tips for success on social media

YouTube: Regularly upload videos based on an upload plan. Choose a specific day on which a given format will be published. This way, users are prepared. Quick cuts (about every 5 secs), contribute to viewers watching videos to the end. The longer a video is watched, the higher it’s ranked on YouTube.
Facebook: Varied content is the key to success. Post regularly, not too far apart in terms of time, preferably several times a day. Respond to comments and interact with your fans.
Instagram: Communication is even more important here. Users write often and appreciate replies. Instagram is a highly visual medium, so image quality is crucial. It’s worth investing in a good camera in addition to a smartphone.
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by Kannan Karuppiah 29.06.2016
Inspiring story...just a suggestion...if the article could have touched upon the business side of freekickerz a bit more in detail such as the worth of his community, financial figures at a high level etc., the article would have been elevated a bit more. Since the focus was on providing inspiration on how to turn your passion into a business, numbers would have rounded it off. Just my 2 cents :-)
Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor Kannan Karuppiah 30.06.2016
Hi Kannan,

thanks for your suggestion.
We value your feedback and will keep it in mind for upcoming articles. But if you have concrete questions for Konzi, feel free to ask them here and we will find out for you.

by Kannan Karuppiah Nina Weihrauch 02.07.2016
Hi Nina, thanks for your reply. My suggestion was generic to the 'wholesomeness' of the article and not in particular to Konzi or freekickerz. Thanks for your offer.
Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor Kannan Karuppiah 22.07.2016
Hi Kannan,

thanks for your reply! We'll keep your feedback in mind :)

by Philip Yorio 24.09.2016
Konziwoo this company is amazing and congrats for creating such a creative and fun company. I believe I could be an excellent addition. Just got a pair of Joma cleats and haven't got to use them enough. Having played Futbol essentially my entire life, but now work and bills are first foremost. I would love to do something like this, the goal in life is to get to do something you love for a living. I know you probably have thousands of people send emails inquiring about help for your company. I firmly believe I could help tremendously, I have been compared to Landon Donovan my entire life and it would be so much fun to help you guys.