Tasia Custode

How I Started My Side Hustle Creating Content Focusing On Tech Tips And App Reviews.

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July 6, 2020

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

Hi, I’m Tasia (pronounced like Asia with a T). I originally hail from the Great White North (Oh, Canada!), but am now based in sunny Scottsdale, AZ. When I’m not shooting and editing video for my production company, Brio Media, I’m creating content for my YouTube Channel. My Channel focuses on tech tips and app reviews.

Shooting with a 2 cam setup in my home office, Scottsdale, AZ

I research, produce, write, shoot, and edit all of the content on my YouTube Channel. Occasionally, if I need a set of second hands, I’ll set up my tripod, or enlist the help of my husband and his iPhone.

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

On the set of AppTV, Vancouver, Canada

After more than a decade hosting and producing weather, live call-in, and tech shows on Canadian TV, I moved to Scottsdale in 2014 and was looking for a way to stay relevant in the tech industry. Knowing Google is the biggest search engine, and YouTube the second biggest, I decided to start posting quick tech tips, social media tips, and app reviews on my Channel. What started as a quest to stay relevant, turned into a passion, and a growing personal brand. 

I try to focus on content that will be of use to people. My videos have never been about views or subs, but about providing useful tips or tricks in the hopes of saving someone time, or providing answers to tech questions. 

There are quite a few content creators who inspire me, for a variety of reasons. Some of my favorite subs are Steve Dotto (DottoTech), Lucie Fink, Sydney Cummings, Marie Forleo, and Jonathan Morrison. Even though the content from these creators differ, they all share an incredible work ethic and a passion for content creation - which comes through in their videos!

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

I quite literally get ideas for content everywhere and anywhere. Generally speaking, if I have a question about something, or need to know the best travel apps, or want to figure out a quicker way of organizing my digital life, chances are others have the same questions and needs. That’s usually my starting point. Often times, my family and friends are a big source of inspiration - if they have questions, others most likely have the same questions. I even get inspiration from the latest news sometimes. 

As ideas come to me, I write them down in my Notes app on my iPhone so I can write the script out at a later date. All of my scripts are written and stored in Google Docs, providing easy searchability. 

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

I work off a MacBook Pro and edit all of my videos using Final Cut X. All of my screencasting is done using Camtasia for Mac, or the screen recording function on iPhone. I created my YouTube header using Photoshop, and the intro to my YouTube Videos using After Effects. I’m completely self-taught and believe anyone can learn to use these programs. There are also some great templates and customizable themes found at LenoFX, Pixel Film Studios, and Videoblocks. 

YouTube has some great assets and I encourage creators to take advantage of their offerings. My music is sourced from YouTube’s free bank of tracks, but audioblocks and audiojungle also have a wide variety of tracks for a fee.

I’m active on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter under the same handle: tasiacustode. I’ll have a Facebook Page soon, too! 

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

The biggest fear I had about starting a YouTube Channel centered around personal insecurities: What will people think? Am I too old to post to YouTube? Will anyone watch? What if people say mean things? However, I am most comfortable on camera believe it or not, and I realized long ago that I can’t please everyone - and that’s okay! 

It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to share your opinion and ideas, and it’s even okay for people not to like any of it. I’ve had my share of rude comments, but I never respond to hate with hate. I can’t control how others will act towards me, but I can control how I react. Whatever the content topic, I want my Channel to be a positive place. Healthy discussions and disagreements are wonderful and encouraged, and I aim to keep the comments section a safe place for all. If someone makes a rude comment, often times I’ll respond with positivity and love. Other times, if the comment is inappropriate, the user gets reported and the comment removed. 

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

Running a video production business takes up most of my time (and pays the bills), so though I try to be consistent on YouTube, I create and post content only when time allows. 

In 2018, YouTube sent an email to all creators with less than 1000 subs informing them that their channels would no longer be eligible for monetization. I was one of them, and was given 30 days to reach 1000 subs or lose what few dollars I was making. I was angry, but decided the only option I had was to get to 1000 subs as fast as I could. I created a video on the best Mac apps and I posted it to reddit. The video took off. I gained over 600 subs in less than a month, and surpassed the 1000 mark. To this day, I have not had a better performing video, or month! It was definitely a combination of tenacity, good luck, and a little manifestation.

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

Start creating content and don't get caught up in the details.

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies by overthinking everything. If you have something you're passionate/knowledgeable about, create content around it and get your ideas out there. The finessing and perfecting can come later. 

Scripting and/or creating a storyboard is an important step when creating content. Having a script will help you stay on track and keep to your main points. Plus, you can use your script as an estimate of how long your video will be: each line of dialogue is about 5 seconds. 

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Reaching 1000 subs and being eligible for monetization was the first major milestone I achieved on YouTube. The video that helped get me there was my first-ever Mac app video. That video now has over 100,000 views and was my first video to reach that number. It remains the most popular video on my Channel - for now anyway!

My next milestone is to hit 5000 subs, and hopefully 10,000 by year end. 

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I get approached about once a week by brands looking to collaborate. I tell everyone the same thing: if I use and like your product/service/software, and genuinely think it could be of use to my viewers, we can work together in some capacity. I won’t ever partner with a brand if it doesn’t align with my values, or if I think the product is subpar. 

Often times, brands will approach with an offer they think is fair - it is up to you to know your value and worth. Really think about how much time the content will take you, as well as how many people it can reach. If you need a starting point, there are some great resources out there to see what other content creators are charging for their services.

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