Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Vlogs

Jayzar Recinto

How A Foodie Stepped Out Of His Comfort Zone To Make A Name For Himself In The World Of Vlogging

Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Vlogs
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April 19, 2022

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

Hi everyone! My name is Jayzar Recinto - an entrepreneur and content creator based in Lipa City Batangas in the lovely country of the Philippines. I’m happy to report that I’m now in the transition of being a full-time content creator. I currently run a digital marketing agency and I was doing content creating as a passion and as a hobby. But I figured that if I want to be where I want to be, I have to give it my 100%. Being the founder of a digital marketing agency, I’m blessed to have a team behind me. I have a videographer that comes with me on some of my shoots but he edits most of my vlogs. I also have graphic designers on my team for thumbnails, channel art, and the likes.

I’m using my full name as my brand name. I want to treat my brand as a business and that requires having a solid brand name. It was tempting to use something more catchy like something food-related to reflect the content of my channel, but I want to grow my name as a brand so that’s what I’m currently doing. My first channel name was HelloJayTV. “Hello” because we currently run two lifestyle fan pages - "Hello Lipa" and "Hello Batangas". I figured that that can help my branding. Jay is my nickname and TV because I wanted it to be like a TV show. I then decided to just use my full name for branding purposes. This way, wherever this content creation will bring me, I am hoping that I’ll have a strong name that I can proudly attach to what I’ll do in the future.

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

I’ve been a content creator for almost 10 years now. I started with just blogging. That stint also required taking a few pictures. It was an old ASUS phone that proudly hangs in my office. We were able to grow our brand and we were able to build a team. We started taking better pictures and videos, thanks to our photographers and videographers. With this, I still chose to remain behind the scenes. I didn’t feel like I had what it takes to be a vlogger. I felt that I was too old and I wasn’t good-looking enough. I was also not comfortable talking in front of the camera.

Eventually, I told myself that if I am to grow as a content creator, I have to do things that I wasn’t willing to do - and that includes vlogging. I put out my first vlog on YouTube three years ago, and it was BAD. I wasn’t smiling. I wasn’t even looking at the lens. It was really bad and cringe-y. But hey, at least I put out something.

Perfection is the enemy of good enough. This quote inspired me to put out content even though I know it’s going to be bad. I learned that from Casey Neistat. Then you just keep on improving. Hat tip as well to a local inspiration - Carlo Ople - who taught me to utilize brute force in such a way that you just put out content after content until eventually YouTube acknowledges you as a content creator and pushes you out there on their platform.

I’d like to think that I’ve improved a lot since then. Constant improvement has always challenged me, and my family and followers continue to inspire me. The appreciation I get from the small businesses makes it worth it.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and what is your advice in getting the creative juices flowing?

I don’t brainstorm when it comes to content. I’ve always been a foodie. Eating and cooking have always been a part of my lifestyle. The only difference now is I have a camera to document everything. Moreover, I do listen to my followers whenever they have a request. If there’s a clamor for certain content, I go for it. I’m also very heavy on analytics. I check what my followers want to watch and the type of content that they engage in. If I’m having some sort of mental block, I take that as a sign that I need to take a break. So I just go on my life as usual and wait for inspiration to hit.

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

My team uses a wide variety of software. Right now, I’m in the process of learning Adobe Premiere Pro.  I am currently on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. For TikTok videos, I just use the in-app editing tool.

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

I started pretty late as I was already in my mid-30s. I was at a point when I felt that I couldn’t afford to go into something and just waste my time especially since I have a family. Fortunately, I have a wonderful support system, starting with my wife. She encouraged me to follow my passion and to fulfill my dreams. Just like most content creators, I was also afraid of what people will say. There will always be doubters, haters, bashers. But then, I realized that this is my dream and I’ll be the one to reap the benefits or suffer the consequences. As long as I have my family’s support, that’s all I need.

How did you build your brand to where it is now? Take us through your process.

I just put out content after content. There was even a three-month stretch wherein I uploaded content on YouTube daily. It’s all about consistency. I always set a goal for myself - like how often should I upload content. I upload at least once a week on YouTube and on TikTok at least once a day. I hold myself accountable for that. It wasn’t easy at first because I’ve always been consistent but had little to show for it in the beginning. The first 1,000 subscribers were tough. One of my videos went viral and this added over 10,000 subscribers. Then the growth became stagnant. It’s still a challenge.

With TikTok, it’s different. The current number of followers I have there is a better representation of my consistency. TikTok really helped out a lot. I usually don’t plan my content there. I just wake up and decide what I’m going to do as far as content goes. If there’s a potential to make bigger content for YouTube, I do it. Now, I still run our business but I’ve put a solid team so they don’t really need me to supervise anymore. But I still do work for the company perhaps for an hour a day. This means that I get to spend 90% of my time and effort creating content. I’ve been a serious (but part-time) content creator for about 3 years now. Hopefully this year, I can really do this full-time.

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

You have to do what you love doing. Stop asking people what type of content you can do. Stop searching for trends that you can hop on. It takes a lot of work. Just create content on the things that you normally do. This way, it’s not really a lot of work. The only difference is you have a camera in front of you. Once you get the hang of it, that’s when you can explore different types of content for your own growth as well.

Also, creating content on the things that you normally do will help boost your credibility. Credibility goes a long way in content creation. Find your strengths. Maximize them. Acknowledge your weaknesses. Work on them. Hold yourself accountable. No one else will. Set actionable goals and stick to them. Upload a vlog on YouTube at least once a week and a video on TikTok at least once a day.

Be patient. Most of us were not popular when we started, so we have to build our following from scratch. Don’t be discouraged if you only get 5 views. That’s still 5 more views than when you didn’t upload a video.

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

Don’t give up your day job! Do it as a side hustle first. As you grow, your brand will require more and more of your time. Slowly chip away the time from your day job until you’re confident that you can do this full time. Decide if you’re going to do this as a hobby or as a career. If it’s a hobby, then of course you have to continue working to sustain your lifestyle. If you see it as a career, don’t fully switch to it yet until you’re earning enough to pay the bills.  Personally, I run a business and create content at the same time. I’m spending less and less time on my business and more and more on my brand. Again, my dream is to do this full-time. I’m lucky that my wife is ready to take over the business anytime.

Tell us the biggest obstacles you have experienced in your content creation journey. And how did you bounce back?

The pandemic really tested me. My content is highly-dependent on traveling for food, but the pandemic locked me at home. I tried “mukbang” vlogs but I never really got the grasp of it. I got stagnant and it really was a challenge for me because our business, just like most businesses, suffered during the pandemic. Should I keep going on my vlogging or should I focus on our business and help turn it around? Fortunately, with my wife’s support and the resilience of my team, we were able to do both.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

I remember my first viral video. I was refreshing the page every second and dozens are being added to my subscriber count. I’ll never forget that feeling. Also, hitting my first 100,000 followers on TikTok was pretty sweet. Hitting 100,000 subscribers is my goal on YouTube but I’ll take TikTok for now. Oh, and people recognize me in public for my TikTok content. That’s pretty surreal, especially when they ask for a picture.

One more thing, of course, when I got my first earnings!

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

I’m focusing more on relatable content. I’ve embraced my Batangueno accent and people love my content for that. It’s the best thing I’ve done for TikTok. Collaborations also helped me a lot, especially on YouTube. The amazing thing about content creation is there are a lot of people willing to help you out. I’ve done about a dozen online collabs during the pandemic and about five personal collabs. There are more in line in the coming weeks. Facebook has been really great when it comes to sharing my content. I’ve got a couple of established pages there where I share my content. It’s also amazing that people and pages share my content organically.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I’m a believer in the saying, “If You Build It, They Will Come.” I don’t actively reach out to brands. I just focus on creating content. They noticed me, eventually. I only accept brand deals that I have no problems attaching my brand with. Personally, I don’t want to endorse something I don’t believe in. I’ve said no to brands that I don’t really use. I take pride in being a storyteller. I tell stories for brands. How can I tell a story if I don’t have a personal experience with it?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of shady brand deals out there. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Know your worth and charge extra for interest. Know what you bring to the table. If you’re confident that it’s going to be a win for the brand, don’t be afraid to negotiate a deal that makes sense for you as well. If you feel that the offered rate is too low, you can tell them what rate you feel is fair for you. That’s what I do, along with a disclaimer that you’re open to working with their budget but deliverables will be adjusted. I’ve accepted hundreds of x-deals. I’ve paid for products and services for my content. This is especially true for local and small businesses. I rarely charge them except if they have specific expectations for deliverables. Content is content. It will also help you down the line.

What is your monthly earning from content creation? 

I’m not comfortable giving out my monthly earnings, but I can tell you that we’re living a comfortable life because of my content creation career. 

Here’s the thing though. Don’t get started on this thinking that it will be your main source of income. It’s a struggle. It’s an uphill battle. You have to get started because it’s what you want to do. Keep doing it and eventually, you’ll be amazing at it. That’s when the money will come in.

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