Technology, Setups & DIY Projects

Lee Lechner

How Enthusiasm For Tech And Movies + Hard Work Are The Perfect Formula For His Booming YouTube Career

Technology, Setups & DIY Projects
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April 22, 2022

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

I am Lee Lechner and I’m located in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I work full-time as a digital marketer for a manufacturing company, but last year I decided to give YouTube a shot and began making videos as a side gig.

My content focuses primarily on three things: Tech, Setups, and DIY projects.  One of my goals with each of my videos is to give random tips and tricks that might teach viewers something they’ve never thought of or know how to do.

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

I grew up in a small town with three brothers and a sister.  We played a ton of video games and watched a ton of movies growing up.  We weren’t exactly the richest family in the world, so anytime I was able to get my hands on new tech, it was a huge deal for me. 

The mix of having to work hard to afford new tech (i.e. working at McDonald's throughout high school) and my love of movies is definitely where a lot of the inspiration of my channel comes from.

I chose to get into YouTube for a handful of reasons:

  • I wanted to finally challenge myself to publish videos that people wanted to watch rather than casually making (not the greatest) videos I used to post on Instagram. Plus, I had taken several online video production courses over the years, and I honestly felt like I did nothing with it
  • My full-time job involved me developing content that would organically attract people from the biggest companies in the world, ranging from electric vehicle manufacturers, space companies, tech companies, and a ton of others.  I asked myself that if I could do that with plastic, rubber, and tape, what could I do if I made content that I’m not only way more passionate about, but also way more people were into it?
  • During this pandemic, I watched a ton of YouTube and loved what others were creating. I wanted to be part of that.

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

When it comes to brainstorming, ideas will typically come to me from my everyday usage of tech, input from my friends and people I’ve talked to, videos I watch, and problems I run into that I struggle to find solutions to online.  When these ideas happen, I write them down in my Apple Notes app as I’m able to easily access it on my phone and computer basically anytime.

Some of the things I do for research are:

  • Watch YouTube a ton to get ideas of what works and what doesn’t. I’ll literally watch videos on my TV and see random shots that I think look amazing and record them on my phone for future inspiration
  • I read almost all the comments on my videos to see what people like vs. don’t like (no matter how extreme some of those comments can get haha)
  • I specialize in SEO and getting the company I work for to rank well for specific topics, so I use those skills to help do the same for my videos

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

The main tools I use for YouTube are Adobe Premiere Pro 2022 (video editing) and Photoshop (thumbnail image). I learned how to film and use my equipment by taking a course called Fulltime Filmmaker.  I loved that course!  I also have taken several additional courses about YouTube, filming, and lighting that I found on Udemy.com.

The majority of my traffic for my channel is a result of organic traffic. I’m working to improve my social platforms to boost my channel though. I’m currently on Instagram and Twitter, and I recently decided to try posting on TikTok as well.

My username for all of them is: @llechner27. You can check out my recent post in Instagram.

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

Starting out, I had several fears:

  • How do I compete with the other people doing similar videos?  These people, most often than not, had teams or were just extremely talented YouTubers
  • I fear that I’d say something wrong in the video and not be able correct it after posting it
  • I fear that no one would watch it after putting countless hours into it

I had those fears, but I didn’t let them hold me back from starting something out. I knew that no matter what happened, it was just a video and I can always continue to improve.

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

Even though my channel is still small, I got it to where it is today by focusing on quality over quantity.  It all started off with my first video about how I fixed my Xbox. It was a super quick and low production quality type video, but it ended up getting thousands of views because it was essentially the only video that showed how to fix a specific problem people were struggling to find an answer to.

After that, I had more confidence and decided to put way more effort into my first desk setup video. That was the point that my channel completely took off. Below you’ll see how my traffic went up fairly fast for that video, and it only took me a few weeks to get my first 2000 subscribers, giving me the ability to monetize my channel.

Since then, my operations have remained the same. It’s still just me doing the testing, filming, and editing. It’s not been easy to combine that with buying my first house, planning a wedding, and continuing to work my 9-5 job.  On weeks that I have to get a video out, you’ll typically see me work my full-time job, come home and eat, and then film and edit from about 5 or 6 PM to 1 AM.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it to me.

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

If you’re not sure what to do, just research. Research a lot.  People love to learn and if you’re able to teach them something new that might actually benefit them, they will be more willing to give your content a chance.  But also research what you’re entertained by and try to find a formula for it to implement into your content.

In order to help my content get traction, I go into every one of my videos with the mentality that nobody knows me. I would then assess what I would need to do to make them want to watch my content over the thousands of other similar creators. A couple of areas I focus on is a strong intro with quality shots and music integration to, at the very least, pique someone’s interest.  I then research a bunch of other creators to see what they’ve done and try to figure out if there’s something I could do differently or something completely new.

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

I still work my regular job, but after monetizing my channel I’ve committed more and more to posting videos knowing that there is always a chance I could one day be doing this full-time.

Currently, I’m focusing on trying to diversify my content slightly as I know it’s unrealistic to only post desk setups. If I’m able to grow my channel with newer forms of content, I honestly feel like I’ll be able to go full-time one day.

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

Time management has been my biggest obstacle. I want to put the best quality content out there, 100%. But in order for me to achieve this, I have to spend countless hours filming and editing. The only way I’ve been able to bounce back is by continuing to do it.  The more I film, edit, and establish a process, the faster I get turning out content.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Three of my favorite milestones were:

  1. Hitting 50,000 views on my first desk setup video. I thought that was as high as I’d get. Excitingly, it’s now almost at 1,000,000 views!
  2. Getting a brand to reach out to me was a huge deal for me. I never thought anyone would want to just send me their products to test out, and now I’m getting brands emailing almost every day
  3. Monetizing my channel was massive for me. While I love making content, being able to make a living off of it was the ultimate goal

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

I specialize in SEO and inbound marketing.  Essentially, I wanted YouTube to organically recommend my content.  Because of this, I do not do any sort of paid advertising. My strategy comes down to, outside of developing the best content I can, studying what’s working on YouTube and optimizing by thumbnail image and title.  These have been vital towards my videos getting traction.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I’ve had a fair amount of brands reach out to me.  At first, I almost accepted anything they were willing to send. Now, I do my research and ensure the products are high quality and relevant to what I use. Some of my tactics for research are checking Amazon reviews, checking YouTube videos, and doing general searches on Google to find anything else I can.

What is your monthly earning from content creation? 

Currently, I would say I’m bringing in right around $3,000 - $4,000 / month through my content. This is a mix of YouTube revenue, Amazon associates, and miscellaneous commission deals I have with a few companies.

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