Pockets of Pros: Gator’s Up NEXT! | WD-40

Pockets of Pros: Gator’s Up NEXT!

Pockets of Pros: Gator’s Up NEXT!

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In the chaotic world of social media, crowded with content and overflowing with influencers, one figure stands out in the home repair realm: @jmg8tor, affectionately known as Gator. With his down-to-earth demeanor and wide-ranging practical knowledge, Gator’s candid charm triggered a meteoric rise from zero to hero as an online DIY personality and educator.

Prior to the pandemic, Gator had never used social media. "I'm just doing me,” he says, “100% this is me, I'm just a regular dude." Hailing from Florida, he brings decades of experience in construction and home repair, using platforms like Instagram and TikTok to empower others with lessons he’s learned through his work over the years. Gator also happens to be a lifelong fan of the blue & yellow can – WD-40® Multi-Use Product. Naturally, it didn’t take long for Gator to share his favorite hacks using WD-40 Brand Products to his online followers.        

His sincere and unsolicited preference for using the Original WD-40 Formula to solve problems around the house soon grew into a synergistic partnership, leading Gator to be among the first to test-drive the newly launched WD-40 Precision Pen. We interviewed Gator to gather his thoughts on the pen, and to go behind the scenes on how this Florida Man gets down to business.

Gator's journey into social media stardom began unexpectedly. At his son’s suggestion, he started experimenting on TikTok. One day while he was working on a hot water heater a friend asked, 'Why don't you make that your content?” Gator complied and experienced overnight success. “I made a video the next day on how to read a tape measure, and it did 20 million views in 2 days”, he shared. And thus, the viral sensation of @jmg8tor was born.

Fresh content flowed without a hitch. When it comes to DIY home improvement, there’s no question that Gator’s got game. With over 30 years of experience in construction and housebuilding under his belt, Gator’s expertise in home repair and maintenance gave him ample opportunities to provide valuable and entertaining tutorials. "Anything that has to do with a house, I've done it," he affirms. From building homes from the ground up to flipping properties and everything in between, Gator's hands-on approach, hard-earned competency, and authentic relatability quickly built trust with his audience.

Those familiar with Gator’s online persona know him for his infamous catchphrase, “Next!” This word is exclaimed emphatically at the end of each video, often with an object heaved high in the air. What’s the origin story behind this ritual? Gator recalls, “I did one WD-40 video where I talked about 30 things that it did and said 'alright then, Next!' and turned and threw it (the can) about 30 yards down the hill." In the comments that followed, people started demanding “Next!” in every video. ”Now it's part of it,” he says, “people watch just to see it."

Gator grew up with WD-40 Brand Products. Like many people, the introduction came from his father: "I used WD-40 because my dad was in the Army for 30 years and he sprayed that stuff on everything." He continues, “They sprayed it on tanks and all their Army equipment. At the house he had cans of that stuff in the garage, everything was WD-40. That's why I thought it was cool. Two tours in Vietnam, 30 years in the Army, my dad was the Man.”

Now that he’s become an official WD-40 Brand partner, Gator’s gained even more appreciation and understanding of the solutions WD-40 Brand has to offer. He helps to educate people about the use of products from the WD-40® Specialist line, designed to provide superior performance with formulas for professional applications. Among his favorites are WD-40 Specialist Degreaser & Cleaner EZ-Pods, released in 2023. The conveniently portable pods can be customized in concentration for sensitive surfaces or heavy-duty jobs.

Central to Gator's toolkit, however, is the WD-40 Precision Pen – a game-changer in the world of household maintenance. "I carry it in my truck, 24-7," he shares, "I got about three of them in there - one in the door, one in the console… I keep one in my toolbox and I got one in the boat. I keep one everywhere!" With its precision tip and no-mess application, the WD-40 Precision Pen has become Gator's go-to solution for innumerable tasks. "It works really, really good for your hand tools,” he says. “Your pair of plyers, just dab it on there and it works freaking great. I gave one to my buddy Chris – he said, ‘this pen is the bomb!’ I said ‘Yeah, I know.’"

But Gator's journey isn't just about fixing things, it's about empowering others to do the same. “The biggest thing I've noticed online is that people are afraid to ask,” said Gator. “There are so many single moms, guys who work in offices… they don't know, and they don't want to ask anybody." The true passion behind Gator’s videos – the real secret to his success – is a genuine interest in helping others. His message is simple and straightforward, "If I can help you, I'll help you." Through his engaging videos and practical tips, Gator demystifies the world of home repair so that people of all skill levels can conquer DIY challenges.

With millions of views and counting, Gator's rise hasn’t come without its difficulties. "There's a lot of haters, there always is," he acknowledges. Across platforms, he reviews and responds to a staggering number of comments on his videos every day. Yet, in the face of adversity, Gator remains steadfast in his mission to help others. Playing the Uno reverse, we asked Gator what’s “Next?” for him and he replied, "just more of what I got going on. More projects, more helping people, more WD-40…it changes every day."

Our main takeaway from the interview with Gator can be summed up in a single word: Authentic. The dynamic personality viewers see in his videos isn’t an act – he’s the real McCoy. In an age where online perceptions reign supreme, Gator serves as a beacon of authenticity and true grit. By simply demonstrating skills he uses in his daily life, Gator inspires people around the world to take matters into their own hands and try something new. With a little know-how and the right tools at their disposal, anyone can get the job done right.

If you enjoyed reading this episode of the “Pockets of Pros” series, take a bit of advice from Gator and add the WD-40 Precision Pen to your cart on Amazon. With this versatile pen by your side, there's no project too tough to tackle. Next!

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NEW WD-40® Precision Pen

NEW WD-40® Precision Pen

The WD-40® Precision Pen is engineered to deliver the Original WD-40 Formula with pinpoint precision.



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