Welcome back to How I Made It, Metro.co.uk’s weekly career journey series.
This week we’re speaking with Miles Laflin, who is a more unusual job than most – he cleans pools, and posts videos of himself doing tidy up jobs on his viral TikTok account.
People love to watch things get clean – and Miles has capitalised on that.
The 32-year-old from Ampthill, Bedfordshire, has made a success of his niche career, but despite the ‘glamorous’ social media side of the role, there’s plenty of tough physical labour involved.
He’s gone from working for a company to running his own – and it’s all thanks to great marketing.
Here’s how he did it.
Hey Miles. What made you get into the pool business?
I was working as a labourer for a builder and didn’t enjoy it at all.
So a relative knew of a local swimming pool company that needed an extra hand so I just started helping out.
I thought it would be an interesting trade to be in as few people know, work or speak about the swimming pool industry.
I started from the bottom helping out, then going out with more experienced engineers learning the tools of the trade.
After 10 years of experience learning the ropes and gaining all the knowledge I could, I plucked up the courage to start my own pool business – @thep00lguy was born – and I haven’t looked back.
How has TikTok changed your job?
It’s changed my job massively.
Before, I was working for someone else, but now I work for myself, so I’m much busier, and The P00L Guy is now a fully-fledged business.
I also have the freedom to pick and choose what jobs will work best for content.
What gave you the idea to make videos for TikTok?
I had personal account already, so I posted a video of my job and it got more attention and views than my other posts.
So I decided to make a new account and call it ‘thep00lguy’.
I posted a few swimming pool clean videos on the new account and they just blew up.
It was around the time of lockdown and everyone was on their phones and at home more, so I think that helped, but also people were intrigued by what goes on and how swimming pools work.
The slimiest pool ever! #thep00lguy #hollayaboy #swimmingpool #slimepool #slime #zimplikids
How did you build your reputation?
I built it via various social media platforms. Sticking to what the followers liked, being honest and staying true to myself.
I think because people could see I was always working while filming, they could see my hard work ethic too.
At the end of each video I would always say: ‘Holla ya boy for the pool work’.
It then became like a catchphrase, to a point where everyone would complain when I didn’t say it. Even celebrities associate it with me.
My YouTube channel now has more than 1million subscribers – and I put that down to hard work, determination, support, and maybe a little bit of luck.
An average day in the working life of Miles
7.30am: The journey to work begins.
8am: Miles collects all the equipment he needs for the day and prepares for his first job.
9am: The first job starts, and there will be several others until 5pm.
5pm: Miles starts editing content, posting to social channels, and replying to comments.
7pm: Time to switch off.
Have you ever seen anything strange on the job?
When pools have been left for many years and not looked after there has been dirt, mud, sludge, trees and bushes even growing in the pool.
I also turned up to a job where a horse had got into the swimming pool, which meant cleaning it was a no-go.
The horse was fine, but had to be hoisted out by a fire engine. An interesting day!
What do you love most about the job?
Definitely the summertime – you’re working outside, getting a cheeky little tan in the sunshine, being treated to ice lollies by clients and even managing a little splash about in the pool if it gets too hot!
What do you like the least?
Doing the sandchanges – swimming pools have sandfilters and the water filters through it to keep it all clean and clear.
Every now and then it needs emptying out and new sand going in – its just such a tedious job and I really don’t like it.
How I Made It
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