My name is Peter, I'm 27 years old and I have graduated with 2 degrees, a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. Am I going to use it? No, because I concluded that I wanted to become a full-time content creator. Right now, the content I create is all about languages and cultures. If you could wrap it up in 3 parts it would be:
How long have you been creating content?
I uploaded my first video between the 20th and 27th of February 2017 for almost 3 years now. I had created my channel in 2009 to be able to write comments and then I decided to upload 30 to 40 guitar covers after, from that, I actually gained 12 subscribers and I was like at that time, "Meh, what do I need subscribers for? I just want to create content."
How did you come up with your brand name?
My first YouTube channel name was Simply 7. The explanation behind that was I able to speak 7 languages. But I was like, if I eventually speak more than 7 languages, should I come as Simply 8, and then Simply 9? This didn't make sense to me so I needed a universal name. I was brainstorming for 2 days, I asked my community via the community tab and one of them told me "Lingoman" and I was like, "Lingo sounds good, but it doesn't sound really proper to me." So I was like, wait recently, the movie "The Equalizer" came out. What if I take lingo and equalizer and make it Lingualizer.
Are you a one-person army or do you have a team?
One-man army for now. I'm looking for a person to perhaps outsource searching for brand deals and stuff, but editing and stuff I'm doing it myself.
What kept you motivated to where you are now?
The top 3 reasons were:
If I'm actually able to continue this and eventually reach a million subscribers or 2 million and show others that they can pursue their dreams and not listen to other people's judgments then I'm just gonna keep doing it, even if I don't do it for myself, I'm gonna do it for other people, which in the end makes me feel good.
Are there any content creators who inspired you?
Simple Pickup absolutely, aside from them, Mr. Beast, Jubilee and Jimmy Fallon, partially with his skits. Oh and absolutely 100% Long Beach Griffy. I don't think that there's anyone who makes as great skits as he does and he got 500K subs within the past 2 months which is absolutely insane.
My way of brainstorming is unique because most of my videos are based on trends. As soon as there's a trend, I can translate it. That's usually how I brainstorm. There are songs as well, I just look up trendy songs and try to cover them. I try to get inspiration from other YouTubers, my last 5 videos are based on Long Beach Griffy/Caleb City because they make skits and in one skit, I saw how he made a skit called "Jokes are dying" and he put himself into that and put a big banner on his hat covering his face saying jokes. He pretended to be dying and saying, "I can't be myself anymore. I can't make any racist opinion, I can't make anything because people get offended." Then he started a conversation, "Well what's up with opinion? Is he still alive?" "No, he also died."
"He can't have his own opinion anymore either." Stuff like that. That's when I got inspired to make skits instead of just translating stuff, by putting the flags on my face and cover my face and pretend to be the countries to create a conversation. I'm not sure if my way of brainstorming is really helpful to other people but try to remake different channels, I would say and put your twist on to it, I create a combination of memes and Long Beach Griffy and I add my twist on by adding languages.
Don't just watch YouTube videos for entertainment purposes unless you're happy with how your life is currently. But look at your channel in a content creation perspective, think about how could I make this video for my own channel? If you watch Jimmy Fallon, how could you make their video for your channel? Even if it's out of reach, let's say the answer is you need a million dollars, at least you tried to think about it. Then, skim through 10 different channels, and try to find a way to apply the concept on your channel. This is how I stay in the brainstorming process.
I use YouTube, Tiktok, Twitter, and Instagram. I don't promote my content. I repost my stuff on other platforms and use hashtags to gain reach, but I don't care about promotion. If my content gets picked up by the algorithm, it means it's good. If somebody else wants to promote it for me, I'm totally fine with that. But I'm not going to invest energy into promotion when I could invest the same amount of energy into creating videos. This is just my philosophy: Don't promote your content. Unless it's unique, when I know that my content is unique, I still didn't promote it. I think the amount of people that focus too much on promotion is the same amount of people that focus too much on equipment and not on content.
As for tools, I use Adobe. Photoshop, premium, and pro, sometimes Audition. For recording voice, Audacity.
I had 2 fears. The first one was "what if it doesn't work out." I knew I wouldn't regret it in 10 years because I know that I had tried, but what if it doesn't work out? Is there any other way to become self-employed that doesn't involve too much energy? YouTube wasn't energy for me. It was a passion, it was an interest, a hobby.
What would happen? I wish I could look into the future and tell myself in one year from now on, "hey you're gonna make it." That was my thought for the first couple of weeks. Then, right before my channel took off, I started running out of ideas on what to do. I had 5 more ideas that I would want to execute after uploading the Despacito video. I was really running out of ideas and then Despacito's video actually took off so let's repeat it with Love Yourself and Shape of You, and then things started to work out. I was afraid that I wouldn't know what to upload anymore and was considering perhaps taking a break for a week or two, then thought I would be afraid to just basically drop out of the rhythm of uploading regularly.
How did you handle it?
I had quite a lot of luck with the Despacito video taking off and the other one just had the same effect. Once I saw that I started gaining 10 to 30 subscribers a day instead of 1 to 3, I knew things are taking off, and then 4 weeks later, it was hundreds. I just knew nothing's gonna stop me anymore. Even though I was at 1,000 subscribers.
Were you posting consistently each week?
It wasn't up until I would say 2 months ago, I posted every single week for the past 2 and a half years that I posted every week and didn't skip a beat. I wanted it no matter what, and after I broke through, I just knew I want to keep pushing, why the hell should I stop now? So I posted every single week, absolutely with no excuses. I had 3 times a commissioner exam meaning if I fail this exam I would drop out of college. Still, in the same week, I posted a video. I don't freakin care if your - (no offense), dog died, if you want this shit, you're gonna post videos.
Did you get any outside help in building your brand (mentors, courses, etc)
I joined a course called Viral Academy at Jumpcut and I got all the information that I needed to become successful and it was the best investment in my life because I got the money back within half a year after starting. Other than that, friends, feedback, sometimes from friends, but they weren't really on social media, let alone experts when it comes to giving proper feedback. They were just like, "I would watch it." and I'm like "I don't care if you would watch it. Cool that you would watch it, but I'm at 5,000 subscribers, not at 5 so I need more concrete feedback."
What were the hardest challenges you faced when first starting out?
I think finding something that I'm comfortable with what I'm doing. I always felt comfortable in front of the camera, but none of the directions that I had for the first 4 to 5 directions were things that I wanted to do. I didn't feel comfortable with all my directions in terms of this is what I wanna be doing for the rest of my life. When I found out the thing with languages, I always had a passion for languages and music. The toughest challenge was to find something that I'm truly passionate about. I actually am passionate about giving people advice on how to pick up different songs if they wanted to be a DJ at parties which was the first direction, but I'm not truly passionate about it. I wouldn't wanna be doing that for the rest of my life. I would eventually just get bored. But languages, is something that I could talk about every single day which I also do off-camera.
The toughest challenge was finding your final channel direction, but it's more like finding something that you're comfortable with that you don't feel the fear of expressing what you think and how you feel, because you're not afraid of what other people might think of you. I didn't care what other people thought my singing skills which were shitty. I just liked singing and this is why I did it, and I didn't have this fear. I did have it with the other directions because I was singing for the sake of singing the normal lyrics, but then when I found the direction with singing songs in different languages, I didn't care because it was in different languages. The fact that I had this factor of the languages within my channel made everything so much better, and I felt comfortable with it.
What would YOU have done differently with all the knowledge you have now?
Make videos that people give a damn about, or leave content pieces out of your videos that people don't care about.
I had so many videos in the past where I was talking about stuff that I could have easily left out and made the video 1 minute shorter.
My biggest advice is when it comes to what to do in terms of content, think about if you were a random person, would you give a damn about what you were saying in this video? If the answer is no, cut every single thing out. That's absolutely the biggest thing, providing value, what would I have done differently, I'll cut my videos from beginning on better pacing, create better editing in general, and make the videos more enjoyable. When I look at my first videos that also went viral, I said to myself why didn't I cut these 2 seconds out? It just looks so weird when I'm still in front of the camera but not saying anything.
Got any neat little tricks or life hacks that you can share with the reader?
The first life hack which is the toughest one, try to get rid of the fear of judgment - If I was afraid of what other people would think of me, I would have never uploaded any song cover, like never. Many people ask me, "Why do you upload videos when you cannot sing?" I say because I like it. Why give a damn, would I care about what other people think? There's plenty of people who enjoy my singing skills and other people who enjoy my language translations, so number one, if you're able not to give a damn about what other people think of you, you're set.
The second one is 'don't get stuck on editing'. As long as you feel like you're providing value like you had cutting stuff properly and stuff like that, but people will take out the value from your content and not necessarily be editing style. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone viral either, absolute proof that it works.
The third piece of advice, find something that you're truly passionate about. I'm passionate about volleyball, yet I would never make videos about volleyball. I'm passionate about giving people life advice, yet I would never make videos about life advice. I make videos about languages because I fucking love languages and I love music. When it comes to giving speeches for advice and whatever, yes, then it's about life goals for the person, how to succeed in life.
A question to ask yourself, what would you do for the rest of your life if money didn't matter, if you can answer that question, make videos about it, even with a low budget. If it's about traveling, talk about traveling. If it's about playing the lottery, pretend to be playing the lottery and just make your own lottery game at home on paper and make funny skits. You can find a way always! There's a video that went viral of 2 guys recreating the Lion King theme song, the intro with no budget by putting themselves into costumes and playing the scene on the sofa and it went viral... there's never an excuse.
I did have 4 to 5 jobs my whole life, but I got fired 2 months after I started making YouTube videos, so I didn't have a job when I left for my exchange semester and while being on exchange, I already made money, couple hundred bucks a month. When I came back, I lived with my parents, so I didn't feel the urgency of finding a job. They didn't put me under any stress.
The fiirst milestone was when I uploaded the Despacito video which was the 10th of June, somewhere around that date. The second milestone was when my Despacito video that hit within 3 weeks of 10,000 views. The third milestone was just a couple of days afterward when I uploaded my Shape of You and Love Yourself video in different languages, and I knew that languages would be my final channel direction. The fourth milestone was when I left for my exchange semester with 2,000 subscribers which I gained within in total 1 month.
I do not hire anyone to handle anything. People do share my content from time to time so I hear people telling me, "I send this video via WhatsApp because it's so amazing." There are times where a video gets shared on Reddit twice, my video got shared by LadBible and BuzzFeed, that was quite cool other people tell me, "I shared your video with my whole class because we wanted to see how you say 'School is out' in different languages, stuff like that, which was a cool experience too. I was always like if you want to promote my stuff, do it. I'm not gonna do it because if my stuff is good, it's going to be picked up.
For brand deals, I usually get approached, and sometimes I approach them. Companies that approach you usually have a low budget because you wouldn't think of approaching them. When I do get to the point of finalizing a brand deal, I always try to get at least x1.5 to twice the amount of what I usually get just so I can see where their budget limit is. I then tell them to tell me their rate - let's say $500 and I say, okay let's do it for $1,000 and if you enjoy this partnership then we can lower it next time around.