What Inspires the Full-time Student To Do Technology Reviews, Guides, and Tips on YouTube.

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November 13, 2020

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

Hello, my name is Luis, but people just call me Kryptonic. I’m 19 years old and was born and raised in beautiful San Diego, California. At the moment, I do Doordash whenever I can and am going to school full-time while trying to do YouTube as a side hustle. My YouTube channel has a lot of focus points because I can’t just stick to one subject. I enjoy working on PC’s, talking about technology, and reviewing products that I can align myself behind. I always edit my videos, and I don’t think that would change because I like editing precisely how I want. Being a good editor is like being a good artist; it opens up the world to what you can do, and thanks to YouTube, anyone can become fluent in any editing software. 

I’ve always liked the idea of coming up with my nickname, and with this YouTube channel, I was able to do precisely that, so I had to put some thought into it. I spent about two weeks trying to come up with a catchy name and could be used anywhere. I even tried name generators, but nothing seemed to click. Simultaneously, I checked the names that I wanted on social media to make sure they weren’t taken or associated with anything terrible. That’s an essential part of coming up with a social media name if you’re not using your real name. Then one night in the shower (where I do all my late-night thinking), the name Krypton came into my head, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. So I tried thinking of different variations and checking online to see if the name was associated with anything.

After some time, I came up with KryptonicHD because the only competition I had was Walmart’s Kryptonic skateboard brand. I added the HD to my name because at the time, everyone was doing it, and it works well at separating yourself from other content creators on any website such as YouTube or Google. Coming up with a name that people can remember is just as important as anything else on your channel because it’s what everyone will know you as, for the most part.

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

I began creating videos when I was around 13 years old and started with Minecraft videos because, at the time, that’s all I ever played.

However, I played on an All In One Vaio, which was one of the worst playing experiences I’ve ever endured. I played at around 15 fps because my screen recorder would kill the FPS in-game, and I played off the family’s computer with built-in graphics. Around this time, I spent almost all my time figuring out how to record and edit videos to put on YouTube later. Still, it was a bit hard when the computer was so slow, so I began looking online to see how I could build a computer to improve my quality. Even though I only had like 50 subscribers, I knew that I liked making videos, and the only thing holding me back then was just a lack of power. After many months of making videos, I saved up enough to buy a better computer, which showed me how hard content creation is when you don’t have the right equipment. 

I first began streaming on Twitch one summer in middle school because I thought it would be a fun way to make some friends, and funny enough, playing Minecraft on Twitch brought a lot of attention to myself. I remember playing Minecraft and streaming to around 60 people when my YouTube channel would get like five views a video (most of them being myself just rewatching my videos). From there, I was able to get a decent amount of people over to my YouTube channel, where I would upload daily, so people always knew where to find alternative content to me just streaming. At the moment, I try to stream on Twitch and upload videos on YouTube because I like to diversify my audience and not be limited to one. 

At the moment, my biggest inspirations are the members of the TechFam (OzTalksHW, CoalitionGaming, KristoferYee, ScatterVolt, NerdOnABudget, ToastyBros, etc.). I’ve gotten to see how all their hard-working is paying off, and it makes me glad to know that hard work does pay off. I  wouldn’t compare yourself to others because the best way to grow is to do your own thing, but it’s always important to see what is relevant if you want the YouTube algorithm to throw one of your videos out to everybody’s feed.  

At the beginning of my YouTube journey, I was the most motivated because I had so much free time to pour into the YouTube channel. Whereas now, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find something I enjoy covering and having the time to floor through with it. However, I’ve slowly felt the flame inside me be relit because of extraordinary opportunities like this that show me I'm still a content creator. I still have the same desire to share my opinion with the world about new and upcoming technology. 

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

I usually try to come up with ideas in the morning, write them down on my note pad, and expand on it when I have more to go on. Usually, it’s just in the moment ideas that need time to develop into great video ideas. But,  when I’m reviewing a new product, I like to get as much knowledge about the product as possible because it allows me to provide as much information as possible to my audience about a product they don’t know about. On the other hand, when it’s a product that has been out on the market, I will do some research on the product and see how other people covered it and see what they missed. Usually, people themselves will comment on what they wanted to see that the creator might’ve not covered. I write these all down and try to see how I can implement it into my video while keeping my perspective. 

A mental block is something everyone runs into because it’s impossible to think of something fresh and new every day. I usually try to develop a few good ideas over tons of bad ideas that won’t lead anywhere.

The best way to deal with a mental block is to take a break and realize that it’s always better to have quality content over the content you wouldn’t watch.

That’s a rule of thumb for me. If I can’t watch it a million times, why would I force someone to deal with that once? The last thing I would say is that if you have friends and family watching your videos, ask them to give you some ideas because most of the time, they have a random thought that might just work for what you are doing. I can’t tell you how many crazy ideas I’ve been able to turn into an actual video for my audience to enjoy. 

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

Since the beginning of my channel, I’ve always tried finding the best programs for the things I do, and Adobe had everything I needed. It was hard at first to start using programs like Premiere Pro and Photoshop. It made me want to give up at times because although there were videos online explaining how to do things, they just weren’t the quality of a video tutorial in 2020. I learned to use most programs by just watching YouTube videos and trying out different combinations. I clicked every button until I found out what it did and how. Don’t forget that YouTube is free and good at helping you learn to use any type of program. 

At the moment, I’m on YouTube, Instagram,  Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Discord. Every platform works differently, and I believe it’s essential to take time out of your day to look at how they all work and find a useful way to implement it into your content. Many programs out there will also help you optimize your channel for YouTube’s algorithm, such as Tube Buddy. YouTube’s creator dashboard is also handy to see where you need improvement, but it’s a bit confusing of an interface, so it’s best to learn that page like the back of your hand. 

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

In the beginning, it was tough to put me out there because people on the internet can and will be mean to you for no reason. However, you realize that more people will enjoy your content and provide positive feedback over the few trolls who have nothing better to do. I see it, content creation isn’t easy, but it also isn’t something that only some people can do out of this world. To this day, I still see comments asking me how I got started and how I overcame my fears of putting myself on the internet and what most people don’t know is that I don’t see my camera as a camera but instead as a friend that I’m talking too. A camera can be intimidating, and the only way to make it less intimidating is to get comfortable around it. However, that may be for you. Many people don’t realize that making videos is a great way to grow your social skills because you learn to be concise and professional in a short amount of time. 

Also, don’t be afraid to get a few nasty videos out before the good videos because it’s better to upload something that might not be perfect but gets you started. Some people spend ages trying to upload the ideal video and end up never uploading anything because it's never exactly what they wanted. Getting into your head won’t get you anywhere. It’s better to upload a video and see how the audience feels about it and see how you can tune it to be your video still while incorporating these new ideas. I always tell people it’s better to upload a few videos now and have a foundation to get your name out there over uploading one semi-decent video and not having any follow-up content on your channel. Overthinking is probably a creator’s most significant enemy because we’re all too harsh on our content. 

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

At the beginning of my YouTube journey, I was uploading daily because I wanted to get my channel out there, and there was no other way than by just uploading content. The first thing I bought was a microphone because even if my footage looked bad, people would understand me. As long as the footage is watchable, it’s most likely fine, but bad audio is never okay, and people will click off a video just because of that. You don’t need to have the best equipment out there to start a YouTube channel.

Still, you have to keep in mind how many people are doing the same thing trying to grow as a creator, so I would say that if you wanted to stand out right off the bat, having some sort of equipment will create YouTube videos much more comfortable. It’s not like you’re buying a microphone that will cost an arm and a leg. You could easily buy a USB microphone and use it to record videos and then use it for other things like school or gaming. 

I would say I started seeing progress almost right away because I was uploading daily and was responding as much as possible for people to keep them coming back to my channel. Within a few months, I had hit 100 subscribers, and I thought, “Wow, this was pretty easy,” and from there on, it took about a year to hit 1k, but this time around, I wasn’t thinking, “this is easy” I was thinking “Woah I finally hit it.” I believe hitting 100 subscribers is the stepping stone to see if you have what it takes to continue, and hitting 1,000 subscribers is where you sort of start to shape an idea of what your channel can become. 

Since the beginning, I didn’t know what I wanted to make content for, so I kept doing what I wanted to do and that helped and held me back at the same time because I was doing many technology reviews while also doing gaming videos. So I created a split within my audience because some people wanted to watch more gaming and others wanted to watch more technology. I had to choose how I wanted to proceed, and I ended up sticking with technology because the older I got the fewer games I played, and the more interested I was in new technology coming out.

Some of my most popular videos are about OBS Studio, and Streamlabs which are two softwares used for streaming and the reason they did so well was that I watched a lot of tutorials on how to stream, and I still felt super lost, so I decided to learn as much as I could and share it with the world in a less confusing fashion. Those videos averaged 50,000-100,000 views within a few months. 

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

The number one thing I would tell people if they are getting into content creation is that they need to find a schedule and stick to it because if I learned anything is that consistency keeps you on top. Once you have a schedule down, people will always know when you’re going to post, so they’re more likely to watch it over somebody who just uploads at whatever time they feel like it. Even if you’re only uploading a  few times a week, come up with something that works for you because everybody is different, and not everybody has the time to edit a video all day and upload when they’re ready.

I wish I would’ve done better from the beginning to maintain a good relationship with a company because you never know how things could turn out. For example, during Christmas a few years ago, I got many things sent to me, and I was honestly slammed. And I gave priority to some products that could’ve waited and taken longer to make videos for more essential companies, and just like that they never contacted me again. Time yourself and work at your speed over the speed of which others expect you to do at. It’s your channel, and taking your time on a video will almost always end up benefiting you. 

If you’re trying to grow your channel, but nothing seems to work, it’s good to ask those around you what could be improved or changed because the best feedback is by those around you. When I first started, I felt like everything I was doing was right. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t growing until one day I mentioned it to a friend at school. He told me, “honestly, you’re kind of shy in your videos,” and I started to look at my channel as a whole. As previously mentioned, he was right because camera shyness was holding me back from interacting with my audience more naturally. Constructive criticism is the best thing you could ask for, and sometimes people just give it to you for free in the comments. (even if it’s rude, there is always a lesson to be learned)

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

From the beginning, I knew that if I wanted to grow my channel, I’d have to have content to show for it, so I began uploading daily until I had a solid foundation of videos that people could check out if they ever ended up on my channel. I had to figure out what niche would work for me, and at the time, tutorials were viral because many people wanted to do things such as content creation but were limited because they simply didn’t know how to use the softwares. I liked the idea of collaborating when I was starting because it seemed like a natural way to bring subscribers from channel to another. Still, I realized that collaborations don’t work unless both channels already share a very similar audience. Most of the time, you can just get your name out there by sticking to relevant topics at the time because no matter what, YouTube will always get your views if a topic is popular enough. 

The number one thing I see people that is entirely wrong is spamming themselves on other people’s channels because that doesn’t bring people in as much as it makes people want to check you out even less. Promoting yourself on someone else’s channel is an excellent way to make enemies in the community. A better approach would be posting your video links in forums where it’s allowed and relevant to the forum. For example, if you do keyboard videos, you don’t want to go on Reddit and post in the car section because people will instantly disregard it. You have to be smart about your phrasing because merely saying “Check out my channel” won’t do a single thing for you.

The best way to go about it is by incorporating your links into answers. For example, if someone has a question about how one keyboard sounds over the other, you could say something like, “Well, this keyboard has a better feel and sound to it in comparison to this other one, I took a look at it in my video XXXX, and it left me surprised”. Something as simple as that is an excellent way to put yourself out there while giving your opinion about a topic you're well versed in. Just always make sure you do your due diligence in finding the right place to promote because realistically, besides uploading onto YouTube, it’s all on YOU to get your name out there. 

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I like reaching out to companies. After all, I’m able to select who I want to work with, which is very overlooked on social media because most people think that because something is free, it automatically is good. However, companies still reach out to me, and I try to sort through them, but a fair amount of them are just spam amazon accounts that reach out to hundreds of people using the same template, and they’re effortless to see through. Personally, when I go through the selection process for a brand, I look for quality and price because sometimes things are too cheap, and the quality takes a hit. 

One of my favorite brands to work with was Creative because not only are their products reasonably priced, but every single product has an incredible presentation along with fantastic build quality. Basically, I wish more companies were like Creative because a lot of companies just lack that professionalism. If a company ever wants to “guide” one of your videos, I’d say to just skip the whole project because, for YouTube, the thing that makes people stand out from each other is the unique perspective we all have when looking at something. No one goes on YouTube to hear people only good things about a product. They could just go on the Amazon listing for that. One story I have behind a product being way below my standards was Thronmax’s microphone. It had everything everyone would have wished for; USB-C braided cable, touch volume control, and touch mute button.

However, the product itself was one of the worst sounding microphones I’ve ever heard, and I couldn’t believe it. I did extreme test scenarios and was really giving it the benefit of the doubt, and it just wasn’t performing. After coming to a conclusion, I emailed the company and explained to them that I either uploaded a video with my thoughts on it (which would’ve been mostly bad) or I held off until they made fixes. They decide just not to scrap it because they knew long term it’d only hurt their branding. I’ve only recently started getting into paid promos and such, and I would say at first, it’s a little intimidating because you don’t know how to price yourself. After all, no one talks about it. 

The best way to get started is to start off high with your price and see how they react because if you start off to low they probably won’t go out of their way to let you know the average that most people charge. Also, for most ad spots and such I would say to try to keep it under 1 minute because after that  the viewer might get distracted from the rest of the video.

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