Reflections on 100,000 subscribers and my journey getting here
Why I Started a Youtube Channel
So this is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but I started a channel because my mom nagged me to do it. She always thought I had interesting information to share and was good on camera so she thought I should make videos on youtube. At this time I didn’t even watch youtube beyond the occasional viral video; I had no idea what a “beauty guru” was, or that videos were made beyond funny cats and Charlie biting his little brother’s finger. So she sent me links to some of her favorite youtubers and I started watching – Carli Bybel, Nicole Gurriero were the first two I ever watched. But they are makeup focused and that’s not really my passion so I still had little interest. Then she showed me a Bethanny Mota video and I got a little spark of inspiration from that. I liked how her videos were fun, creative and about a variety of lifestyle topics. So finally I decided to try it.
The first youtube video I made was almost 2 years ago on a point and shoot camera; it was the first video I had made since I was about 10 years old when I used to film myself doing “magic tricks” – which consisted of me making objects disappear by stopping the camera, throwing the object out of the frame, and turning it back on. ABRA CADABRA! (I think I was ahead of my time, haha.)
So at this moment 15 years later had absolutely no clue what I was doing, to the point that I thought I had to do the whole video in one take. So every time I messed up – approximately every 15 seconds – I would start from the very beginning and start over again. So a 10 minute video took me an entire day to film. This is not fun at all, I thought, this is terrible! After making this video I actually remember google searching: “do you have to film an entire video in one take?” #cringe
So I posted that video, and I waited: “THIS IS IT!! This is my big moment! This video is definitely going to go viral. I’ll probably make it on the local news”
And then… so much nothing. After a few weeks it had maybe 5 views. And I’m pretty sure 4 of those were my mom. Who am I kidding, all 5 were my mom. So needless to say I was a little discouraged and humbled and didn’t have much of a desire to do another video.
Several months passed and my mom kept nagging me to try again, “I had natural talent!” she said. To which I replied “I’m pretty sure all mom’s think that about their kids, but thanks.”
But she kept at it, she kept nagging me almost every time we spoke for several months, so honestly just to stop the nagging I decided to give it another go.
I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous – I started my channel because my mom nagged me to. But you don’t know the power of her nagging. The tenacity. The perseverance. I truly believe her nagging could end wars.
My Channel Journey
So after my rocky and somewhat reluctant start, I discovered that I had a genuine love for making videos. Way to go mom for seeing something in me that I didn’t even see in myself!
Some of the most fundamental elements of my personality are that I love to learn new things and I love to be creative, so making youtube videos was an amazing outlet for these passions. In the beginning, I decided to pursue making videos as a learning exercise, and I didn’t care too much about getting followers or being excellent. I let myself be a beginner and didn’t put too much pressure on myself, I just enjoyed the process. I also spent my spare time learning about filmmaking and video editing, which I found quite enjoyable. I got a huge sense of satisfaction from seeing my videos improve.
One of the most difficult things about making videos – to this day – is being myself and having high energy on camera. It took me several months to realize that my on camera personality was a little flat, monotone and ….let’s face it, dull. So I decided to focus on having more energy and personality on camera – I personally believe this is a huge factor in getting people to connect with you. Once I started being myself, having fun and integrating my humor into my videos, I noticed a jump in my subscribers. I also felt strongly that I wanted my videos to add value, teach people something new, and if I could do that, people would respond. That also ended up being true.
Overall, I basically had the attitude that I would focus on improving my content, video quality and my on camera energy and viewers would come naturally. I did virtually no marketing of myself, I just worked extremely hard behind the scenes.
There have also been a lot of personal struggles along the way for me. If you watched my “25 facts about me video” you will know that I am an extremely sensitive person- it’s actually called “HSP: Highly Sensitive Person.” I take things very personally and I am sensitive to criticism. I wish this wasn’t true about myself but it just is what it is. My first boss out of college nailed it when she said: “Brittany, you could get 100 compliments and one critique and you will only focus on the critique.” Yup, pretty much.
So take that personality quality and them put that person to be judged by thousands. GOOD TIMES!! The very first mean comment I received was someone telling me that I was fake, stupid and inauthentic. That hurt me so deeply because one thing I pride myself most on is being genuine and that I care so much about people. I remember sobbing in bed for almost an entire day. I know it seems ridiculous – and I cringe thinking about that now, but, like I said, it’s been a growing process.
The thing that has been hard for me to grasp is that no matter how hard I work on a video and how good I feel about it, people will pick it apart. There are always those token comments of the people who find anything they can wrong with me or something I say. It used to really, really bother me, but at this point I’ve come to expect it and have started to try to find the humor in it. I’ve also discovered that the more I stand behind myself and what I do, the true pride and sense of confidence, the less it effects me. I am still not perfect in this regard, but I see progress in myself and I’m proud of myself for that.
What 100k Means To Me
When I decided to commit to youtube in January 2014, the goal I set for myself was to get to 100,000 subscribers, however long it took. At the time, that seemed like a HUGE number, one I could not even comprehend. But now that I’m there I realized I don’t feel much different at 100,000 than I did at 5,000. The meaning of that number isn’t the number itself, but what it represents. That I’m doing something right. That what I’m doing is resonating with people.
At the end of the day I realized that none of this is really about me. It’s about you out there supporting me – because without you none of this would have happened. The absolute best and most rewarding aspect of this whole experience is hearing from people that I have inspired them in some way – to eat healthier, to be more organized, to try new things – because that is why I do this.
This journey has been so much more challenging then I ever thought it would be- but it’s also been more rewarding. So from the bottom of my heart thank you to each and every person who has believed in me and supported me.