Invest With Queenie

A Self-Investment Enthusiast Sharing Life Lessons through a Finance YouTube Channel.

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July 3, 2020

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

My name is Queenie, I’m based in Sydney Australia. Currently YouTube is a side hustle and I have a full time job in marketing. I started creating YouTube videos with my partner. I’m really lucky, he’s really supportive and actually helps me edit all my videos. We collaborate on making the videos together. Having him working on it as well helps me stay motivated and it’s great to have someone to brainstorm ideas and someone to help grow the channel with. We are both deeply passionate about helping people become more financially independent.

I came up with the brand name Invest With Queenie with my partner, we liked it because we are a finance YouTube channel, so the “invest” part was perfect. But we also like how Invest has lots of different meanings, like you don’t just have to invest money, you can also invest time or anything.

It took a few weeks to come up with, we wanted some sort of brand name instead of just using my own personal name.

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

I took a few alternative paths to get to where I am today. After finishing high school, I moved out of home and I was studying law and communications at uni. To try and make ends meet I was doing a part time telemarketing role and a part time unpaid internship, and full time uni. I had no free time and I was working so hard for just $400 per week which was barely enough to pay for rent, groceries and utilities. After doing this for a while, I dropped out of uni because I just couldn’t afford to keep living like that, it was driving me crazy, and from there on I was committed to progressing in my career so I wouldn’t see dropping out as a mistake.

Fast forward 4 years and I have bought my own home with my partner, I have savings, I have a 6 figure income, and I just have a great life. I feel very grateful for how my life planned out, and I do know that if I ever do go through tough times again, I will be able to get through it because I’ve been there before.

I decided to start the YouTube channel because I know that there are a lot of people out there now who are struggling, especially with COVID-19, like how I was. Maybe they’ve lost their jobs, or they’ve had their hours cut. It breaks my heart to see, and I wanted to make videos to inspire them. Basically the YouTube channel I’ve created, I’ve kind of created it for myself back then when I was struggling. It’s to give that person hope and to let them know that if they are struggling, that’s okay, because if you keep working you will get there.

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

It all starts with having your target audience in mind, and really knowing who they are. I created a little avatar of who my target audience is, and whenever I brainstorm ideas and videos I make sure that I’m speaking to them and their interests. I also try and ensure that all my videos have the following key elements:

  • Personal perspective. This is a huge one for me. When I first started I was making more generic content, but I realised anyone can make videos like that, but no one can make videos from my own unique perspective. So I try to bring in as many of my own personal experiences and stories as possible.
  • Positive and inspiring. I always try to make this a key theme of my videos. I want people to feel like their future is in their hands and they have the power to change their situation. I want them to feel inspired and happy after watching my videos.
  • Key lessons and takeaways. Even when I am making a video about my personal story, I try to structure the video so that there are steps and key takeaways, rather than just me talking for 10 minutes. This is because even if I’m telling an entertaining story, I want them to feel like they are learning things while they watch.

I also do keep track of news which is trending and try to create videos about topics which are on people’s minds. I use software and tools like: Google Trends and CrowdTangle to find trending content. This is to help inspire me and get some ideas about the hot topics.

I also use SEMRush, which is an SEO tool to see what keywords are trending so that I can make search friendly content as well which is evergreen.

Some techniques I’ve learned from brainstorming is to write down all of my potential topics into a spreadsheet so I can pick what my next video is. I also use the Instagram story polling feature so that I can ask my audience if they are interested in this next video topic. This helps me get an idea of if the topic is right. I also ask them to DM me some content ideas, and this also helps me understand what they would like to see next.

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

I use Final Cut Pro to edit my videos, or rather my partner uses this. We started off by using iMovie and Final Cut Pro has a free trial so we decided to give it a go, and we loved it!

We also are very active on Instagram to build our community and audience. We actually started Instagram a month after YouTube but it’s been growing much quicker. Now we have 1,400 followers on Instagram and 900 subscribers on YouTube.

I also use Canva to create the thumbnails for YouTube and also to create infographics on Instagram. I find this kind of content is working really well on Instagram.

For YouTube we also use Tubebuddy to analyse our organic search topics and see how competitive those topics are. And also SEMRush to analyse the search volume for certain video topics. 

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

I was so scared when I was just starting out. I was so worried about what people would think of me. Some fears that ran through my mind included: what if no one watched my videos? What if people watch them and judge me? What if I waste all this time and energy on something which just makes me look like a fool? But making videos was something I’ve always wanted to do. I really want to help people and inspire people who are doing it tough, so that they can pull themselves out of a bad situation. I want to give people hope in challenging times.

I have had a few negative comments here and there. They used to bother me but now I’ve realised that it’s just part of being a YouTuber. You can’t please everyone. No matter how pure your intentions are, you will always rub someone the wrong way. So I just brush it off. Especially when they are just attacking me personally, and offer no constructive feedback on my videos, I realise that those negative comments say more about them than they do about me.

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

Growing the brand came down to these main strategies:

  • Posting 2-3 videos per week helps build consistency
  • Improving the quality of the videos including putting in great editing and animations to improve the watch time and make them more engaging and also ensure that the video and sound quality is high
  • Telling people to like and subscribe really prompts people to like and subscribe. 30% of people who watch my videos have subscribed which is pretty high. For a small channel I also do have quite a bit of engagement because I ask people to comment
  • I saw there was traction from the first video. But it has been increasing and building up over time which is great. But I must say, getting subscribers is more difficult than I imagined it would be. I really feel like I worked for every single subscriber. Creating videos is also very time consuming, I don’t think people realise how much work goes into it. From researching, brainstorming, scripting, filming, editing, creating thumbnails and also seeding out the content. It’s hard work! You really need to have a passion for it. If you’re just in it for the money or the fame, you won’t stick to it, it’s way too hard!
  • I think that one of the videos which really helped was the one about my worst financial mistake. I realised that people weren’t engaging with the generic videos where I just shared tips, they wanted to know my story and my perspective. That video did way better than I thought it would and a lot of people were commenting because they could relate to making bad investment mistakes!
  • Today we try to run a tight ship when it comes to creating content, and we try and save time where we can, while still keeping the video quality high. So we do things like record all our videos on the one day, and look for shortcuts to make the video editing time faster. All this really helps.

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

What I’ve realised is, you need to bring your own story and unique perspective into your videos. I used to make generic videos about trending topics, but they didn’t work. Because anyone could make those videos. So now I share funny stories because that’s how people will relate to me.

Anyone can make a video after researching a topic, but no one can make a video about your story and your perspective. So use that to your advantage. Share your story and your lessons.

Some actionable steps on how to get started are:

  • Make videos about what you’re interested in and what you’re passionate about. It’s a lot of work so you need to make sure you do something which is actually interesting to you.
  • Make sure there’s a demand for it, and try to do search friendly topics. I think that Vlogs are great when you already have a following, but it would be hard for people to find your content because there aren’t keywords in there. So I think try and do a mix of videos which are search friendly to get new subscribers, and also more videos about you to help your subscribers get to know you better.
  • Invest in a good microphone and good sound. It’s way more important than having a clear video. It doesn’t have to be expensive equipment but sometimes a little money goes a long way.
  • Also create your own audience profile and do research if you can. I have an audience profile of my target audience and this helps me ensure that I’m creating content they are interested in, which fulfills their needs. I try and get to know my audience as much as possible.
  • Also just keep learning about how to make great videos and try and improve every time. There’s so much free information out there on YouTube so check it out and keep learning and growing.

How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

I haven’t quit my job yet, I think I only will once I start earning more and it just makes sense to. 

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

  • Getting to 100 subscribers and then 500 subscribers was exciting!
  • Getting emails about brand deals and partnerships was great, I didn’t think I would get any until after I had 1,000 subscribers so that was a great experience.
  • In my own personal life, paying off my school debt was a milestone, although it wasn’t that much because I dropped out, buying my first home and starting an e-commerce eyelashes business were some highlights!
  • These milestones have been amazing, I never thought, not in a million years I would be able to get there so quickly. It really shows that if you put your mind to something, you will get there.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

Here are some growth tips:

  • Find a niche which excites you and where there is a demand and a potential to grow. I chose personal finance on YouTube because I’m passionate about it.
  • Get inspired and consume content in this niche. See what works well and how you can make your content even better. Keep learning, improving and getting inspired.
  • Improve your videos and content by 1% every day. It may not seem like much, but that effort compounds and grows over time.
  • Use other platforms like Instagram to grow your audience and push them to your channel.
  • Ask to collaborate with bigger YouTube accounts, you really have nothing to lose. I reached out to a lot of finance YouTubers in Australia to do a collaboration with, and the one person I really wasn’t expecting to get a response from was Brandon from Aussie Wealth Creation. To my delight, he agreed to an interview. We did a video interview and it’s now one of my most watched video. I got hundreds of subscribers from it, which is quite a lot of subscribers since I’m still quite a new and small YouTuber.
  • I do also post some of my videos on Facebook groups which are relevant, like groups for entrepreneurs. I also post on Quora, if someone asks a question relevant to a video I’ve created, I’ll post it there. This helps build the brand and audience.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I’ve had a few brand deal requests come through, but I haven’t gone through with any of them because I want to ensure that I’m strategic in my brand partnerships and our values are aligned. I think that missing out on short term money and deals which aren’t aligned is better than just accepting any deals. I would only accept deals from brands I’ve used before, or would use, before promoting their brand. I want to make sure that I do my due diligence because at the end of the day, I want to ensure that the brands I vouch for are legitimate and worthy, because otherwise that can put my reputation on the line as well.

My advice would be to try the product or service yourself before promoting it and saying yes, if you liked the service and this is something you would genuinely pay for then do it, but if not, consider turning it down.

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