Sophie Orchard

How I Realized My Childhood Dream And Became My Own Boss.

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July 14, 2020

Who are you and what kind of content do you create? 

Hi! I’m Sophie Orchard. I’m 24 and from the UK. My channel has a whole mixture of videos on it (I call my channel the junk drawer of Youtube; full of different things!) but my main niche would be gaming. Gaming has always been a hobby of mine and making videos of my favourite games is so much fun! There are some games I’m definitely better at than others; but as I like to tell my audience “You don’t have to be good at gaming to love gaming!” I do a lot of Fortnite/Overwatch/Horror videos mostly. Right now it is just me running my channel and coming up with ideas etc! Youtube is a little side hobby for me for days when I’m not working. It’s nice to have something to go and do that you really enjoy...especially if I’ve had a hard day at work! 

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

I’ve been gaming since I can remember. I was obsessed with the Tomb Raider franchise when I was a kid. When Youtube first started, I remember watching a lot of content on there. And then of course Pewdiepie began uploading gaming content (probably the first person I saw doing so!) and I loved watching it. It was nice to watch someone who enjoyed the same things as me and gaining success for just recording himself doing what he loved! I’ve always been super camera shy so I thought “Oh I could never do this.” It wasn’t until 2015 when a friend told me to just get on and make a channel. “There’s no harm in trying! And people will love your personality.” She told me. So I did! I made a channel and started making videos. Most of them were terrible! And a lot of them are private now!

But I think with Youtube your first few videos are always going to be not so great. But you learn so much doing it and slowly they become better and better and you start creating stuff you are really proud of! When I first started I was super lucky that I already had a good camera, access to iMovie and I invested in some cheap softbox lights. But you definitely don’t need all that stuff to start with! A window during the daytime and your phone works just as well! And you can get editing programs for free on your phone. I used to make a lot of excuses not to start a channel, but when I finally plucked up the courage to make one, I was so happy with myself. Because it is something I genuinely love and am passionate about doing! So if any of you are thinking of starting a channel, DO IT! One of my favourite quotes is “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” You might think “Oh I can’t ever do what Pewdiepie does.” or “I don’t have the best camera to make amazing videos.” But I bet you Pewdiepie was having those exact same thoughts in the beginning, and look at him now!

Staying motivated when doing Youtube can be difficult at times. I have a full time job where I work almost every day. And finding the time to record can be really difficult. One of my main obstacles is trying to stay consistent with uploading. I’m not very good at uploading every week. I try as hard as I can but sometimes work gets in the way. My subscribers are so supportive of that though and never hold it against me if I miss a few weeks (sometimes it’s months and they are still dope about it!) Consistency is definitely key to growing on Youtube thought and it’s something I really need to get better at! 

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

It’s really weird, but I get most of my ideas just before I fall asleep. I quickly get my phone out and jot them down in the notes app. I’ll wake up in the morning and either think “Wow that’s such a cool idea!” or I’ll read them back and wonder if I was feeling OK the night before! I have a little notebook where I try to plan out all the ideas I’ve come up with. And then I have a yearly diary where I try and put the best days and dates to use those ideas. I’ve probably got around 3-4 months worth of ideas written down, but again, it’s just finding the time to sit down and record them! Google docs is also great for planning. I have a document with all my ideas listed in there too. And I have my safari browser set to open straight to that document when I go on my computer and laptop. When it comes to planning, my best advice would be to write down every idea you think of, step away from your list for a day or two, and then go back and look through your ideas and decide which ones you actually want to record. 

What are the tools and platform you use to help with your brand?

I’m actually self taught in all of the software I use. When I was a kid I used to make videos of my favourite TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Windows Movie Maker. I never uploaded them anywhere but I was pretty proud of them considering I was 8 or 9 years old! I started using Final Cut at home, and then I got a job at a TV Network managing social media for a TV show and editing trailers/interviews for the show! I gained a lot more experience with Final Cut Pro at that job. And then back in 2018 I got a full time job editing for another Youtuber! So over the past 5 years or so, I’ve gained a lot of experiences with Final Cut Pro and now use it for all my Youtube videos! 

I also use all the main social media platforms to promote my videos such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve also just recently started a podcast called ‘Hells Popcorn’ where discuss horror movies which I’m super excited about! 

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

I had a lot of fears starting out. It’s a really scary thing putting yourself out there for everyone to see. I was worried about what people were thinking of me for sure. I’ve always been quite a shy person around strangers and have chronic anxiety so something like this was terrifying to me. I think a lot of things run through your head when you are thinking of making a Youtube channel. But in the end, if it’s something you enjoy doing and you aren’t harming anyone, being offensive or using your platform for a negative reason, who cares what people think! 

Luckily I’ve only ever had one or two negative comments. My subscribers are so lovely and supportive. But obviously there are people out there who thrive on the attention they get when they leave a negative comment. That’s what the delete and block button are for! Just delete the comment and block the user. It can be really hard for something like that not to upset you, and it sucks that one negative comment in a sea of positive ones always stands out the most. But never give someone leaving a comment just to be purposefully cruel any attention. Focus on the people who love what you are doing and are always supportive of your content! 

Like I said before, I’ve always been very camera shy. I worried about my looks, what people would think of me, how I sound etc. To this day I still have a wobble before uploading. The great thing about recorded videos is you can edit if you mess up something you say. You control the narrative of your video, and that’s a great thing, especially if you’re worried about if you’re going to sound ‘silly’. I think you continue to learn how to get better and better in front of the camera. I don’t think anyone on Youtube is perfect at making videos, because everyone can keep learning new techniques and get more confident as they continue making content. 

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

As I mentioned above, I’m kind of terrible at staying consistent with upload. My job is a lot of work, and some days it’s really hard to find the time. I do think consistency is key when it comes to Youtube. Having a schedule is really important. It’s also good for your subscribers too as they will then have a general idea of when to expect a video from you! 

As I have always been in full time work, I was really lucky to have the funds and equipment to start filming HD videos when I started, but like I said before, a phone camera is all you really need to start uploading! 

The hardest challenges I faced when starting (and still sometimes face today) is finding the time to record and I sometimes find it challenging coming up with fresh content that will keep people coming back. Youtube is such a huge platform with so many creators, it can be really hard to think of ideas that are unique and new to the platform. (Not that you have to have completely never done before ideas to start a channel, but it’s good to take something and make it unique to you!) 

When I first started out, it was quite difficult to start getting my videos seen. As I said before, Youtube is a huge platform with millions of videos, so getting yours seen can be a struggle. But just keep at it. Promote them on your socials. Get your friends and family to watch and give you their feedback. It’s a slow process, but people will find you if you put the time into your channel. I only really started seeing a spurt in growth when I started uploading Fortnite videos. That was when I started gaining more subscribers and viewers on my videos! I did a video where I carved Fortnite pumpkins and that was one that got a lot of views quite quickly. It’s incredible to see people loving your content! 

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

I think if I had to give myself advice when I first started was “Don’t focus on the numbers.” You shouldn’t get into Youtube for the wrong reasons. I’m a really really small creator. But I’m so grateful for the amount of people who do watch my videos. I still have days where I can’t believe how many people have subscribed. But I spent a lot of the first year looking at my views and getting sad when not many people had watched them, and I wish I hadn’t. The best thing to do is just keep at it.

Don’t look at your views and think you’ve failed because not many people are watching. It’s a slow burn but you will grow if you put the time and effort into your content. Just don’t give up! 

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Hitting 100 subscribers felt insane to me. Because even though it’s not a massive number in the world of Youtube, think about 100 people in a room. That’s A LOT of people. And then when I hit ten thousand, I didn’t believe it. Ten thousand people saw my content and clicked subscribe? No way. If you picture TEN THOUSAND people, that really is a lot of people. It’s crazy to me. I started my channel thinking I’d be awkward and no one would want to watch me, and now I’m nearly at twelve thousand. It’s just crazy! 

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

If I’m being totally honest, I don’t really have any marketing strategies. I promote my new videos on my social media and that’s about it. I’d love to learn more about marketing and see how to grow using better strategies for sure! I’d also love to start collabing with other creators. I think that would be awesome! 

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I’ve been offered a few sponsorships, but I’ve only ever done one, and that was with a horror streaming service. The only reason I did that one was because it was something I already used in my day to day life and was already a huge fan of them. So when they reached out I couldn’t say no! I also couldn’t believe they wanted to sponsor me. The other ones that have been offered to me I declined as I want to stay true to myself and only ever promote things I genuinely love or already use. I don’t just want to accept any sponsorship because it’s been offered to me. My subscribers are so important to me and I’d feel awful promoting something that I didn’t genuinely love.

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