My name is Adam Butcher also known as ASBYT. I am based in Cheshire, North West England, UK, and I am a tech-based content creator. I started about 5 years ago making YouTube videos, but it didn't become full-time until about a year. Oddly enough, the channel was originally set up for gaming content, mainly Fifa/PES to run alongside my other job. I was working in the early stages of eSports, working as a host at many gaming conventions and tournaments for EA Sports/Konami.
Currently, I have only a small team but am looking to grow this. With a need for scriptwriters, editors, etc in order to simply turn around more content in a quicker time frame - something I currently find increasingly frustrating. Better quality content takes longer to create, and as you would expect, I am always looking to improve the end result for the viewers.
The invention of the brand name ASBYT is not as exciting as it possibly sounds. Many have asked what it stands for and quite simply it is my initials ASB + YT YouTube ……or does it? :)
Looking back to when I first started, the change in the quality of my videos from a production standpoint is actually quite staggering and sometimes I have to pinch myself seeing the difference! Not necessarily because I think my present-day videos are the bee’s knees, but more because of how bad they were at the start!
Because you spend the majority of your time on this earth working, I always wanted to work a job I enjoyed, that didn't actually feel like work. Money was never a big driving force but success and achievement definitely were. My three main hobbies growing up were sports, technology, and performance. Acting or presenting were always professions I looked fondly on and that is why I took a course studying Media & Performance at Salford University, a place known for being great at teaching the practical attributes needed for TV & Film. Not just being in front of the camera side, but also behind the Editing Directing process, etc as well.
While I enjoyed the production side, I definitely felt my skills were better developed in front of the lens. So I decided to embark on the path of a career in TV Acting / Presenting. After graduating, however, I quickly fell out of love with the whole casting process when trying to find work, as I felt casting directors' and agents' relationships had too big a sway on who was chosen for any specific role, but mainly I didn’t like my destiny being controlled by someone else's opinion of “perfect for the job”.
This is why my passion for YouTube evolved, as I was in control of my own destiny and I had full control of the whole content process from the script to filming, to the edit! And I got to be in my own content! :)
As I started moving into the Event Management/Hosting space, I didn’t feel my university degree actually was necessary at all, but this was about to change as I soon realized when I started YouTube, that a lot of what I learned in my studies came full circle, coming the fore and was hugely beneficially after all, even if it wasn't in the intended career path!
When I started the YouTube channel, I was doing a lot of work for EA Sports and Konami, Presenting at events and commentating at live offline tournaments. I loved the work, but it wasn’t as regular as I wanted, so I opened a YouTube channel on the side to basically continue my work around the niche of gaming/sports/eSports, as I had heard people could make it a career!
I quickly realized, however, that at that time, the FIFA YouTube scene was incredibly saturated with creators, so I tested another idea out, another passion of mine, technology. Growing up I always loved testing out all the latest shiny tech gadgets but didn’t have the money to afford to buy them to keep. But that didn't stop me from researching and keeping my ear to the ground listening out for all the latest developments, it was a fascinating time for tech growth.
I started creating breaking tech news stories and tutorial/review content for the tech products I already owned, and started seeing some traction, pretty quickly, with views and a few subscribers! I still remember getting an email every time I gained a new sub! A real person actually watched a video and enjoyed it enough to follow the channel, it was an amazing feeling. I still remember passing 10 subscribers!
Those 10, quickly rose to 100, then 1000 and after growing the YouTube channel, to over 50K subscribers, I started getting emails from brands offering to send me products in exchange for my honest opinions on them. This was an unreal feeling! Huge brands like Samsung and LG, etc. give me products to keep, just for sharing my opinion, both good and bad.
I couldn’t believe it! The channel continued to grow and the sponsorships started rolling in and I could officially afford to make this YouTube experiment, a career. Soon after, I started to realize I needed a brand presence on other social media platforms as well, especially in my field of tech. I wanted more reach in new avenues, to share my love of tech with others! Instagram and Twitter were my main points of call, and later on, TikTok, all of which I now enjoy creating content on, although I could do more!
In terms of fellow creators' inspirations, I can’t pinpoint any individual, but more a generic group, who you try to take the best bits from, whilst still being original and yourself! At the start, I didn’t really watch anyone else, but once I started being invited to tech launch events and conferences, I started to meet others in the field and became intrigued as to their content, as they became friends, (sort of, as there is always that slight competition! :))
I don’t really brainstorm ideas per se, but often if I am reviewing a product I will test it first obviously, so during that process, I will jot down my observations in a list in my notes on my phone, and thus, usually get the overall idea of the product's strengths and weaknesses, and thus a rough storyline or title for the content that is starting to form. If there is any one feature for example that is shocking or amazing or maybe horribly bad for example, these usually make for better titles or content for the viewers, so you begin to form a script around that.
I use Final Cut Pro to edit my videos and Gimp for photos and thumbnails. Originally, I started using Gimp as it was a free platform, and was going to make the jump to Adobe Photoshop later down the line. However, after years of using Gimp, I just can’t really be bothered with the effort of learning something new, especially with the busy schedule! For the same reason I now always use a Mac for video editing, I don’t really have the time to learn Premiere Pro or Da Vinci Resolve.
I have always been a fairly confident chap. I think being in a youth theatre, and working on screen before, helped with this. The more you do something, the easier it becomes, so even if you have no experience in front of a camera, or you think you look or sound silly and nervous, just keep doing it! Soon it will become very natural.
I also have always quite enjoyed interacting with viewers' comments, good and bad. Up to now, the ratio has been overwhelmingly positive, but I have actually always felt that overly negative comments are quite comical. I have never understood the notion of taking the time out of your own day to negatively speak about someone else who you have never met, over the internet. If you don’t like something, scroll on, why waste your own time? So I have always enjoyed conversing with negative comments just as much as positive ones - the mindset intrigues me!
But on a serious note, 99% of the time if you respond politely back, you often get an apology, from someone who is quite simply having a bad day. So brush it off, focus on the positive ones, or have a good old laugh at the negative ones! :)
When you start a YouTube channel you focus on ‘how to grow a channel’ and the answers are always, post often, focus on watch time, engagement, click-through rate, etc. As a result, I would often post about 5 videos a week.
As the channel grew, so did the quality and attention to detail, so this dropped to about 3 a week. Currently, I am on about 1 to 2 a week. The biggest challenge I face on a daily basis is posting consistently, and a lot. Not only is the team small, but I am married, and a father of 2 littles! I made a conscious effort a couple of years ago to halt the obsessive drive for growth (because you have to be in order to do so) and focus more on the family, at this very important time.
The work-life balance was, in my opinion, wrong when I had my youngest daughter. I was growing the business, so I feel it was necessary, but after the birth of my son, the business was going well, and I wanted to work less and be around the family more. I do find I have a constant frustration, with similar creators, with seemingly fewer responsibilities, having more time to create more content than me.
The more you create the more you grow.
When both children are firmly in school, I will probably switch back, but who knows? I do feel the lack of work obsession over the last couple of years has reduced the ability to grow further, (those algorithms do punish the slack uploaders). But again I feel the right choice was made for my health, stress, and all-around well-being.
Any money I made early on, I transferred back into the business, upgrading my computer, camera, and audio equipment. Unlike most creators, I can’t point to any one specific video that hit the algorithm gem and fired me to success! It has more been a steady progression. Slow and steady wins the race!
Nothing will ever go perfect, every creator and genre is different also! Trial and error is always the best solution. Just create, and see what works and what doesn’t. Give yourself time, as things don’t happen overnight, but also know when to cut ties and try something else! Just keep up the effort, it’s not as easy as some make-out! If you are already creating and not seeing major growth, try and see what others are doing in your field, and what the successful ones are doing.
Again, don’t copy, but try and incorporate things that you think are making them successful, but always have your own twang!
Big milestones include over 40k subscribers, (the capacity of my favorite football team’s stadium, Chelsea!) then 100K subscribers of course, and the YouTube Plaque. And then 500k and 750K. But I think the biggest achievement I feel, is the fact I know I can now support my wife and two children well, off my own back, all from nothing. Although I never wanted anything major growing up, I never had a lot of money. And in this now incredibly uncertain world, to offer some certainty and financial stability to my children is an amazing feeling!
A huge way to grow your audience is to collaborate. I have never actually done this though really, and something I will hopefully look to do more moving forwards.
I have never approached a company to work with. I have been lucky always to receive that first line of communication. Also thankfully, I receive a fair few, so I can be picky and never have to compromise on integrity, something that is really important, especially in my field. I have not, and will not ever promote a product I don’t believe in. I am aware that people may make conscious purchasing decisions based on my opinions, so I have a responsibility. Furthermore, because the demand level is fairly high, I don't really negotiate on fees. I would prefer to walk away and focus on other projects than undervalue myself, know your worth!