Showcasing my Talents and Making a Difference Through My Three YouTube Channels.

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August 24, 2020

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

Greetings! I am Lynworth ‘Mystelics’ Mitchell, and I come from a stunning, small, but very mountainous island in the Caribbean known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica (Not Dominican Republic). I am a full-time YouTube content creator for several channels.

The first Channel, BrBpTV - Be real Be positive TV(2010), is my entertainment media channel. My second and main Channel, Myst.Productionz(2011), is my vlog channel, where I share my thoughts on different subject matters, and my adventures while exploring new places. My third Channel, Aerial Dominica(2017), is where I showcase the story of different parts of my island from the sky, in a cinematic way, using a DJI Mavic Pro Drone. I love what I have to do with these channels as I see the impact it has on many of my viewers, but I also love photography and videography. Mystelics (Miss-Tel-Lixx) is an expression and representation of my personality, but the name simply means Mystery in Lyrics. 

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

I grew up in a small town in the North of the Nature Isle, Dominica, known as Portsmouth, and I always had a passion for the youth and the talent that we possessed. The problem with that, however, was that there was little to no attention was given to us. There were no platforms available for us to showcase these talents. It was for this reason, I started BrBpTV, to push real individuals who were doing positive things with their abilities via interviews and then showcasing that skillset and talent. I was an amateur in the game and knew nothing about journalism, but through trial and error and practice, as the years went by, I got better. In 2015, I was recognized and nominated for the Most Outstanding Youth in Media and won the National Nomination amongst the already established and long-standing media representatives. Back in 2010, I utilized Facebook’s platform to upload, but it was very limiting due to the time limit allowed, so I later migrated to Youtube, which allowed longer uploads. 

On my Myst. Productionz channel, in the beginning, it was simply meant to put the excerpts of BrBpTV on it but gradually turned into a travel/touring (land, air, and sea) channel which I did with my friends and family. This channel became dear to me because as the years went by, I could go back and relive those moments created, some of which were memories I shared with friends and family who are no longer with us today. That channel shows my passion for the development of my Island and Caribbean people. Also, for our elevation in the socio-economic and political environment. But, YouTube also gave me the privilege to do Membership Vlogs, where I still showcase the different adventures and fun with my friends and family, which can get pretty exciting. :) 

Aerial Dominica was a blessing to me. A few months later, when I started doing aerial videography of different villages and towns in my country, five hurricanes would hit my country, leaving 95% of it destroyed. I lived through and survived the monstrosity and recorded and documented everything (before, during, and after the hurricane). The drone footage was able to compare how different villages looked back, during, and after Hurricane Maria and its recovery progress. The footage was also able to help family members and friends, who lived overseas, see the destruction themselves, and also who survived since all communication was gone. I had to leave the island three times to go to a different island to upload the videos before some sort of connection was restored. 

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

When it comes to inspiration, I believe that everyone has a story to tell, and I will help you tell your story. From the onset of when I got involved in being a content creator, I never knew that this would have been the path that I would have taken, considering I was very, very shy. But when I think of people, and the abilities we possess, I get inspired even more to push on and try to help in the best way I know how and that is through YouTube. That’s what and why I use YouTube; to tell the stories of those who are too afraid to speak, be it collectively or individually, and there is always a story to say, so I never run out of content. 

Also, on my membership vlogs, there are many places to explore, both in Dominica and around the globe. It is impossible to run out of options. I think where we fall short is that sometimes we tend to get comfortable in a particular environment or circumstance. Because of that, we prevent ourselves from branching out and into trying new things, seeing different cultures, meeting new people. But I believe the most excellent way to overcome fear is to face fear itself, and sooner or later, different ideas and inspiration come from these new adventures. Also, passion drives pursuit because I did not let my shyness restrict me, and now I am a social bumblebee. :)

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

When I just started doing videos, I used a PC and edited it on a program called PowerPoint Director. I later upgraded to a Mac and now utilized Final Cut Pro X. I also use Photoshop and Lightroom to edit my photos and thumbnails. My upgrade to a Mac was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made, even if I had to spend all the income I had made on social media. #NoRegrets.

When I finish editing my video creations, I utilize various platforms to share my content. Sharing is very, very important on social media, and I know sometimes we may feel like we are bothering people to watch our stuff, but if you don’t share, no one will find your content, to subscribe to it. It is also imperative to share in groups that are interested in your content.

When I started, I would share my videos to every person on my contact list on Facebook. :) But now, I utilize niched hashtags on platforms like Twitter and share in specific groups on Facebook. I also have WhatsApp groups and broadcast groups where some of my hardcore YouTube Famalay (family) get the content straight to their phones. So the platforms I use are Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

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

I think my biggest fear was just being shy. I am not sure why I was shy in the first place, but the thought of being in the spotlight was not my idea. I always wanted to play the background instead. Let someone go in front of the camera, and I will do the editing and behind the scenes. I quickly found out that others had the same fear I did, and I eventually had to brave it to come on camera. I remember when I first held a mic and saw the camera facing me, I had no idea what to say or how to start, but today, if you put a camera in front of me, I would be there the whole day. Haha! I guess it was the fear of being judged by people you may or may not know who would be watching you from the comfort of their homes. Sometimes we project what we are thinking, based on our self-esteem unto others, and that causes us to become self-conscious. The best way I’ve come to terms with this is to get over it. Say a little prayer and stop overthinking. If you have a motive and a purpose in doing something, face it, do it and keep it moving and with that understanding, you become more focused on the issue at hand rather than on yourself. Keep in mind that once you are on social media, there will always be others who themselves may have low self-esteem and feel it necessary to say cynical, non-constructive things. That’s part of the game, so embrace it. Sometimes, it’s the negative comments that make you even better and motivate you even further because you can take what others say, weigh it to see if there are some substance and value, then use it to improve. Never become emotionally attached to a few words written on a screen. 

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

Everything I do brands on my name Mystelics and the one thing I have done on social media is to be true to who Jah (God) has created me to be. The freedom to express me in my unique, honest way possible. Because of that, people tend to gravitate towards what I have to say on different subject matters. So whatever I do on social media, be it vlogs or interviews, they expect that same energy. I show the same respect to my followers and listen to what they have to say because there is a reason why they take time out of their day to watch my videos. I also upload very frequently and consistently on my main channel, MystProductionz, to provide my followers with regular content. Whenever I upload on my other channels, I am sure to let them know so they can see different ideas.

In the beginning, however, it was not always this smooth because I did not have any help or had any social media friends with expertise in it. Doing YouTube or social media was taboo, so I had to learn and figure things out through trial and error. One of the things I was not doing before was sharing my videos, but when I found out that sharing is caring. I shared my videos everywhere and to everyone. I also had a regular 9-5 job at a medical school as a simulation technician and videographer. Some of my earnings helped me get some recording equipment (mics and digital camera) and my first PC laptop. 

The videos that did the best on my channels were seasonal. For example, in the summertime, my travel videos or merely going to the beaches and rivers or rollerblading down a mountain would do very well. However, what made my channel pop the quickest and fastest was my Hurricane Maria videos. A lot of people were interested in knowing what was taking place in Dominica after Hurricane Maria hit and found that information through my videos.  

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

Listen to your audience.

Your audience, whomever they are, come to your channel for a reason, so give them a reason to keep coming back. Once you can provide some time of value or substance to your audience, they will always keep coming back even to those who appear negative or “haters.” If they dislike your content, they would not be coming back to watch your videos. So sometimes, your haters are your fanatics. When people always look out for your content, you gain loyal followers. For your loyal followers, be sure to be kind and provide incentives for them to feel loved. Be genuine and always be honest and truthful because people can tell when you are fake or faking.

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

When I graduated from State College with an Associates Degree, the usual rhetoric for us in the Caribbean is to find a job working for someone. There was minimal talk about working for oneself or becoming an entrepreneur. The first job I got was a teaching position. I turned down because I felt I did not leave school to go back to school. Later, I applied to several businesses, where I got to work at some of them. I was a contracted surveyor, an accountant at a bank, a custom accounts executive. My last job was at the medical school, where I worked for eight years as a simulation technician. I also obtained my Bachelor’s Degree In Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship during that time as well. The establishment was closer to my home, and the income was pretty good, but I never found fulfillment in doing it even when they included videography in my job description because I was good at it. But it was during these years that I kept learning and doing YouTube and getting better at it until I decided to leave the job, to do what I felt compelled to do. It was during the same time when the then President Obama reached out to influencers and entrepreneurs in the Caribbean to become part of a more extensive network under the United States Department for which I became. The next year was when category 5 Hurricane Maria hit my country and sent my YouTube channel on an upward trend very quickly. 

When I quit my job, I made between $100 to $150 per month on YouTube, but I also had significant enough savings that could last me for about three years without a job. I had a plan and set out to make it, even though I was not sure how exactly that would work out. I had faith that God would work out everything as long as I am within my purpose, and it worked out pretty well.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

I started taking YouTube more seriously around 2016 or early 2017, and I was doing pretty well until it changed up its algorithm. I also had a reaction channel as well, and that channel was drawing the most income ahead of my other channels because the niche was different, but when YouTube changed their policies, a lot of reaction channels felt the brunt of that change. But that experience helped me zone in and focus more on the content of what I was doing with the other channels. The focus should always be to zone in on your craft and be consistent in what you do. 

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

My most crucial marketing strategy has always been sharing on existing platforms, and I think WhatsApp is the best and fastest way to grow your brand since your first audience are your friends and family and encourage them to share it with their people. Social media is a community, and therefore, I act with a community mindset. You share my content, I share your content that way you reach more people, and the right set of people will gravitate to your channel. 

Niching your videos is also very important, and the things you say in your videos also help YouTube to zone in and niche your videos correctly. I am a believer in organic followers. Forcing people who are not interested in your content may give you more subscribers but very little engagement.  YouTube is looking at audience retention and engagement. So it is vital to be true to who your audience is. It is better to have 5k subscribers and have high audience retention and high engagement than to have 1M subscribers with inferior audience retention and fake engagement. YouTube and other platforms notice these things, so your 5k followers may be more loyal to you, and because of that, you are successful.

I have never collaborated with other established YouTubers. Over the years, I have gained a few famous YouTube friends, but the people I have worked with were the people I brought into the YouTube game. In the future, I am looking to collaborate with other YouTubers out there when there is an opportunity. I will also make sure that the collaboration strictly links to the niches we are doing.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

Sometimes, it is hard to decipher which brand deals and sponsors you should do. Not all brands are good brands. Also, keep in mind that some of them are fake. It is vital to do some research on these different brands. I have never done a “brand deal” on my mentioned channels; however, I have done advertisements for companies and businesses that I know personally. I have patronized their products and services and see to it if it will benefit my audience. I try my best to stay away from products and services that I do not know or cannot vouch for the sake of making a few dollars. My audience has never complained about my recommendations so far. 

Be truthful and authentic in dealing with brands etc. Also, becoming an affiliate on Amazon can help promote brands that you know and love. When it comes to payment, I do a lot of research to find out what my channel is worth, and the work that will take place to make the advert possible. We may get many offers, but it is crucial to have a price floor so that you do not low-ball the value of your followers and your channel. 

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