My name is Sophie Jayne, and I am a health, fitness and lifestyle Youtuber/content creator based in Brisbane, Australia! I also have a podcast “Best Foot Forward” where we discuss important topics surrounding a healthy lifestyle, career, relationships, etc - and released my first healthy recipe ebook “Oh That Glow” at the beginning of this year!
I do all of this full time, which has from a very young age been a huge dream of mine. I always knew I wanted to work for myself and create my lifestyle filled with creativity, freedom & passion. I worked basically full time for about two and a half years after I graduated school with Youtube as side hustle. I made absolutely no revenue for the first couple of years, but was so passionate and had a vision - so I kept my head down and continued to create!
It wasn’t until about November last year that I decided to go full time with it all. I had started driving in a bit of revenue, and was in the process of creating my ebook which took a lot of time and effort. I was working 8 hours a day Monday-Friday at my job, trying to upload youtube videos every second day and create an ebook - and very quickly ran myself down. So I decided to take the leap and dive fully into what I was so passionate about - and it was THE BEST thing I have ever done. By taking it full time I was able to pour all of my energy into Youtube, Podcast & Ebook and am still so stoked with how it has all turned out!
I am currently a one-woman show, I’m also a massive control freak and have to do everything myself haha - but would love to expand into some sort of time in the near future!
I started my Youtube channel at the end of 2016 (Grade 11) on Summer break. I had wanted to for literally YEARS (was filming and editing videos just not uploading them haha) but always put it off - until one day I was like you know what? I’m just going to do it. A quote that I read at the time, which is probably still my favourite of all time, is “One Day or Day One. You Choose.”
I remember ever since I first started watching Youtube videos, I loved everything about them and wanted to do them myself. I became OBSESSED with watching other Youtubers, learning about what they do, how they edit, work for themselves, their lifestyle, etc.
It wasn’t until the start of 2018 (after finishing school) that I decided to take it seriously, posting frequently, and about the middle of 2019 until it started to take off. Now, doing it full time - I am more motivated than ever. I wake up everyday so grateful to live the life I do, and have SO many ideas of what I will do in the future which keeps me so inspired and motivated to achieve all of my goals!
I feel like for me, inspiration just pops out of literal nowhere and in the most random times haha! In the shower? Great video idea. Falling asleep? That would be a great thumbnail. Walking down the street? I need to create that recipe. I have a note in my phone that is honestly SO long with all of the ideas that pop into my mind on the go (if I don’t write them down asap - I will usually forget them haha), and a huge notebook with scribbles and brainstorms of things I can create.
I’m also the type of person that needs to take steps away from it all (social media) for a couple of days if I’m feeling blocked on uninspired. Sometimes I get too caught in everything, and I find that a few days away, usually with friends, re-inspires and clears my mind.
I use Final Cut Pro to edit all of my Youtube videos, which I’ve really only recently been introduced to over the past couple of months and am still learning so much about! I used iMovie on my laptop for years before that and loved it! Definitely proof that you don’t need all the fancy equipment to start out, use what you have and grow from there!
As for my podcast, I am still quite new to it all and literally googled “best programs to record and edit podcasts” and Garageband was in the top 10, so I was like perfect I’ll roll with that! It does the job and is easily accessible which is always the best when you are just starting it all!
Other than that, I don’t really use much else! I also love Instagram but I am really still a noob when it comes to all the ins and outs of it all haha!
I literally told NO ONE about my Youtube channel when I first started it. I told my Dad and one friend, and told them to tell no one haha. When people started finding out (from finding me on the suggested page, etc) and talking about it - I put all, I repeat all, of my videos on private and said I wasn’t doing Youtube anymore. Pretty sure I even cried to my Dad because I didn’t want everyone at school watching my videos and talking behind my back. But I distinctly remember my Dad saying something along the lines of growth only comes when we are outside of our comfort zone, and that it would be silly to let other people’s opinions rule my life, when I was the one living it.
So I turned all my videos back on public, and decided to just own it. If people would bring up my Youtube channel I would act confident (even if I didn’t feel it at the time) and I feel like people who would’ve tried to make fun of it all kind of just got bored. I clearly wasn’t reacting to it, I would laugh if they tried to make a joke - so I didn’t fuel the fire they were trying to start.
And boy oh boy am I glad I kept going, because imagine if I didn’t put those videos back in public, let other people’s unsupportive opinions get to me and never uploaded a video again? I wouldn’t be working for myself, waking up every day excited and happy about what lies ahead. And now? Those people that tried to put it down and laugh about it are asking how I got started and wanting to do it themselves 😂
I really started taking my videos and I guess my “brand” seriously at the start of 2018, where I aimed to post a new video every Tuesday & Thursday. After about a year of that upload schedule, I realised it wasn’t enough and I wanted to get even more serious. I then decided at the start of 2019 to post videos every second day, which I stuck to pretty religiously (other than the occasional missed upload).
The beauty of Youtube is that you really don’t need much to start in terms of funds, I already had an okay-quality camera and my school computer - so I just started from there. I didn’t have any friends/family at the time doing anything similar to me, so all of my mentors were people I followed online. I would love watching the process they would go through with filming, editing, starting their own brand, etc - and would really study strategies and trends I began to see them do.
I think the hardest part about starting out was just the judgment I felt from others I knew personally, but my passion for it all 100% kept me motivated and thinking about my end goal.
I distinctly remember reaching my first 100 subscribers and being so excited haha, I can’t remember how long it took but it was probably at least a couple of months. I remember my Dad saying “imagine when you hit 10,000 subscribers!” and that seemed so far fetched!
Crazy to look back to where I was then compared to now! It’s funny though, as much as it is all so much bigger and my full-time job now, I’m still just little old Soph sitting in her bedroom making videos haha! And I love that, as that has always been how I’ve loved it!
It’s also definitely not an overnight success situation (as many often think it is!). I had one big video called “How I Changed My Body In 6 Weeks” that really brought a whole lot of traction to my channel, which many people often say to me “Oh you are lucky you had a video do that well” and “I just need to post one viral video”. But what they don’t remember is the 4 years of work that has been done prior to that one video. Having a viral video is all well and good, but will people want to keep watching you and your videos if you post 3x a year and put little-to-no effort into making a connection with your audience? Probably not - and that is one of the most important aspects from my experience!
Ooooh I love this question! I did a whole podcast episode on Best Foot Forward about all things social media and content creation with a few of friends who do the same thing; and the one consensus we all came back to is that if someone wants to get into it all, the best thing you can do is simply start. It’s like the saying “If you never ask, the answer will always be no”.
If you never start, nothing will ever happen! A year from now, you will wish you started today.
And even after learning everything I have learnt along the way, I would not have done anything differently looking back. Those bad, cringe-y videos I first posted got me to where I am today and I love that I can look back and appreciate the process (and laugh at the cringy-ness haha!).
I would stay with anyone starting out, stay in your own lane - don’t promote something you do not believe in, don’t let other people’s opinions affect your passions; put your head down, keep those blinkers on and work hard until you get where you want to be.
My biggest tips would be to surround yourself with things that you want in your life; podcasts and online classes about content creation, find friends who are interested in the same thing and teach each other what you've both learnt so far. Network, network, network! Also thumbnails & consistency - they are EVERYTHING!
I had a full time job alongside all my online stuff for a while before finally making the decision to quit and pursue my passion. I had built it up to a point where I was making enough to survive - but barely haha. Essentially, I had a vision, and I knew what I had to do to get there. Don’t get me wrong, I was using a lot of my savings for a couple of months when I first quit, and there were definitely times I considered getting another job. But I gave myself a few months, worked hard - and it paid off!
The overall biggest milestone for me so far was probably the day I made the decision I was going to quit my job and work for myself - as that has always been my biggest dream! I remember putting that on my vision board as the end goal - so the fact I have gotten to this place always makes me feel so proud!
Of course, having videos perform really great feels very rewarding as if you feel like all of your hard work is finally paying off - but I think the biggest highlight so far has been seeing how my online community has grown. People that genuinely are invested in your life and genuinely care for you are honestly MIND BLOWING!
I remember when I first started out, I would see people promoting their channels on other people’s videos so I started to do that too. I now look back and cringe at that haha, things like being in groups and spamming comments may seem like a great idea at the time - but really just taints your page and looks a bit annoying to everyone else 😂(and will in the end not create a real and organic community that watch your videos).
In terms of marketing, I’ve always been quite fascinated by the subject and studying human psychology - so I really would I guess try different marketing strategies until I found one that clicked. I think I only ever did one collab with another creator when I was starting out, and didn’t see much traction or great improvements - so I really just stuck in my own lane! In saying that, I’ve recently made a beautiful group of friends who are all doing the same thing, and I think because our friendships are real and authentic, all of our pages have benefitted from it! I always think about it as if you think about your favourite TV show, there are a whole array of characters making it interesting - and I know all my favourite Youtubers are the ones that film with their friends and family, it makes it fun, personal, engaging and interesting!
Something I have focused on a lot over the past year has been expanding my brand and reach across multiple different platforms! Instagram, Youtube, Podcasts, a lot of people are using Tik Tok as well. The more content you are creating across different platforms - the more eyes you will have on it!
I think I’ve reached out to a brand once in regards to working with them (as I was obsessed with the brand and thought it would be so fun working with them), but I usually like to let brands come to me. It feels better morally, to me - and I almost feel like I’ve “earnt” the collaboration if they have found me and want to work with me haha!
If you are thinking about reaching out to brands though, I suggest keeping it really casual and not ‘“demanding” in any way! Start out with how much you love the brand and stand by their attributes, what you could do for the brand, etc… And see what happens from there!
I’m extremely selective with the brands I choose to work with (and have really made it a priority over the past year and a half!). In the end, your viewers trust you and in order to create a trusting, long term relationship - you want to make sure you are only promoting brands you fully stand.
I have a rule that if I don’t use a product myself - I will not promote it! I usually send a polite reply to any brands I don’t want to work with, saying it doesn’t quite fit with my brand but thanking them for the offer!
You will definitely get your fair share of shady emails asking you to collaborate with a lot of different brands, but I feel like you can usually tell the good from the bad. Simple things like is your name written in a completely different font to the rest of the email, is your name even spelled correctly and the little bio at the bottom of the email from the sender. It’s quite comical when you get an email from a remote control car company asking about a collaboration and you’re just like… Have you watched any of my videos 😂
Overall my advice when working with brands is that if you are not jumping-out-of-your-seat excited about working with a brand - don’t do it!