Hello, world! My name is Benjamin and I’m 23 years old living in the UK. I work full-time in website management & graphic design role for a book publishing company, however, when I’m not at work I’m likely creating content for my technology-based YouTube channel, ScorpioTech.
For as long as I can remember I have been an avid lover of all things tech and gaming. Growing up in the late-90s and early-2000s I have seen first hand one of the most rapid periods of technological advancements. As the years went on, my passion grew stronger until eventually, I created my online persona, ‘Scorpio’ as an outlet to share this passion.
YouTube has been my primary platform for a number of years but only found some success in early 2020 - with one of my videos hitting 1 million views and resulting in an influx of subscribers taking me over the 11k subscriber mark. I have also begun sharing tech-based content to other platforms such as Instagram & TikTok and have started seeing some success in those areas as well! My content typically includes unboxings and reviews of various products such as peripherals, lighting, gadgets, and much more.
What makes me different? The ethos of my content is centred on quality & honesty. In a world full of paid advertisements and biased reviews, my aim is to give my viewers a 100% honest account of my thoughts and feelings about a certain product. None of us want to waste our hard-earned cash, so if I can persuade or dissuade accordingly, my job is done.
My story begins 11-long years ago.
Back in my early teens, in the early years of social media, I used a budget-handheld camcorder and pointed it at a 15” CRT TV to record some Call of Duty. As you would imagine, the quality was astronomically bad and I drew in little or no viewers - but my passion never left.
Frustrated at the poor quality of my content, I saved up some money from birthday gifts and chores and eventually bought myself a capture card. At this time I was only creating gaming content as I could not afford to buy any fancy new technology, I had to deal with what I had. I recorded all sorts of console games but I remember being too shy to ever do a commentary video.
I went through various different channels before I finally settled on the name, Scorpio. I chose this name for a few reasons. It is my star sign, the Mortal Kombat character ‘Scorpion’ & I just love Scorpions in general!
This channel - then called ScorpioGaming - also originated solely as a gaming channel and again found very little success, reaching just over 200 subscribers in nearly 3 years. At this time I had also found the courage to start doing commentary videos and I combined that with the upgraded quality that the capture card could offer. Even with all of this, my videos were still only pulling in 20-50 views per video. I was demoralised. At this time, I took the decision to take a break from YouTube and focus on exams for several months.
In 2015 I made my first Setup Tour video which saw success as I’d never seen. It currently sits at over 90k views. It was this video that initially planted the seeds of moving away from gaming content and focusing more on technology. In 2016 I got my first gaming PC. I fell in love with the components and the learning process that comes with having a custom PC. My passion was fully re-ignited once again. For the next couple of years, I began mixing both gaming and technology content together on the channel. Every single time, the technology videos outperformed my gaming-content.
Each year from then on, I created a Setup Tour. In 2019 the tour video gained traction and recently hit 500k views. This success boosted my channel to nearly 2,500 subscribers in the space of a year. As 2020 rolled around, I uploaded my 2020 setup tour, trying my absolute hardest with video quality, commentary, and presentation. It finally paid off. In the last 6 months since the video went live, it has flown past 1 million views and the channel has reached over 11k subscribers. With this, I made the big decision to completely split the gaming and technology content. Rebranding to ScorpioTech and created a new channel called ScorpioQuest to share my gaming content.
Then we arrive at today. In recent months, I have branched out to platforms such as TikTok and Instagram where I have also seen success over a short period of time. With TikTok reaching over 11k followers and Instagram over 5k. This has left me in a position where various companies are getting in touch to collaborate with me and I also earn a little bit of money in which I can re-invest into improving my quality further. I never expected to get to where I’m at today, but I’m extremely thankful that I can share my passion with others.
Quite often my content ideas are forged by questions that my audience or I think of, these tend to be spontaneous. To combat this, I have been using software called Evernote, but any note making software will work just fine! This allows me to quickly jot down video ideas, ways to improve, and so on no matter where I am. Quite often the content spurs from suggestions from comments on the videos regarding what they would like to see.
My inspiration and motivation are drawn directly from my passion. My YouTube videos typically follow the same formula. Due to the nature of my content, I cannot afford to buy new technology weekly in order to create content. Until recently I uploaded on an ‘as & when’ basis, such as when I got a new phone, or when I upgraded my PC and so on. However, with the recent success that I’ve seen, I am now receiving products from various companies. This allows me to upload on a much more regular basis without breaking the bank.
In regards to a mental block, I think everyone faces it in one form or another. For me, it can be finding the motivation to start recording once I get home from my 9 - 5. For a while, this was quite tricky, but I found that planning the video out in my lunch-breaks not only increased my motivation to record when I got home but also sped up the time it took to create the content significantly. My plan includes all sorts - such as camera angles, type of B-roll, talking points, and so on.
Tools and platforms have been vital to my success so far. From the age of 13, I began playing around with Adobe Photoshop to create thumbnails and Adobe Premiere Pro. Throughout school and college, I became even more adept with various software. Thanks to YouTube tutorials and self-teaching. If I can do it, anyone can!
For video creation, my workflow is as follows. I firstly record my content with a standard tripod and an iPhone 11 Pro Max - with an overhead rig ready to use for unboxing videos. Once I have the base recording I then write a script covering all the main points and do a test recording with the software Audacity to estimate the length that the video needs to be. Once I have a rough figure, I transfer the video files to my Custom PC. I then use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the clips together with transitions and such like.
Depending on the variation between script length and recording length, I then cut the video to shorten it or record B-roll to extend it. Once this is done, I record my final commentary using Audacity and use effects such as noise reduction, bass boost, and normalisation to achieve the best quality I can. Once the commentary has been added to the video, I then add non-copyright music which I generally source from an excellent channel called Argofox on YouTube. Once chosen, the video is then exported in preparation for upload. For YouTube itself, I use a website called rapid tags to assist the video tags as well as some of my own. I then use my DSLR to take high-quality photos of the product that I’m reviewing/unboxing to use on the thumbnail and also for social media which I will come to next.
In recent years I have expanded to multiple platforms including the following:
I use these platforms to share my latest content as well as interact with my audience on an individual level. I am committed to remaining modest and passionate about what I do. I typically post on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when I have posted a new YouTube video and I talk to like-minded people on my discord server. I use a fantastic site called LinkTree that puts all my social networks under one link! This is a must-have in my opinion, and it’s free! Check it out - https://linktr.ee/Scorpio
I didn’t start out in the hope of success. I originally chose YouTube because it was a growing video sharing platform in which I uploaded gaming videos that I could share with my friends, I thought nothing more for the first couple of years. When I was young, however, I was extremely anxious, to the point where I didn’t upload a commentary video for years after I started. I eventually gained the courage to do this, but it took time. My advice to you is to be patient with yourself, don’t do something that you’re not comfortable doing. It will come in time and when you are ready.
Jumping forward to now, with a following over 11k on YouTube - by far my biggest concern is my audience not enjoying my content. I try very hard to make content that I am proud of and I believe my audience would like to see - I have had some incredibly encouraging and supportive comments over the years that have motivated me massively. Even today though, although I show my face in the occasional stream, I am still not confident in being the forefront of YouTube content, but as I said, I will move to that as and when I feel ready. Patience is key.
In terms of overcoming the disappointment of a video not performing as well as you’d hoped, it’s tricky. You spend hours upon hours making content that you feel is underappreciated. I have handled these small disappointments by keeping my chin up - and moving on. Ensuring that I do not dwell on the past, but instead, focus on the future. Your channel is what you make it. Some things work, some things don’t. Learn from your mistakes and improve in any way you can for the future. Failures are the key to success.
The whole YouTube thing started out as a hobby to me, as it did for many others. I simply posted gaming content as and when I felt like it, sometimes months apart. Once I noticed that my technology videos had potential, I decided to make the switch from gaming content as it is a very saturated area on YouTube and focus solely on the tech side of things.
I wanted a name that was short and easy to recognise, so ScorpioTech was the perfect choice for me. In regards to branding, I created a uniform thumbnail template as well as a matching logo and banners (with a drawing sourced from the website Fiverr) for various social media outlets. As YouTube is my central platform, I tend to link all my other platforms directly to YouTube to generate as much traffic as I can.
I typically aim for one video a week, but this depends on whether I have purchased anything new for myself or if I have been supplied anything from a tech company. I never buy anything just for the sake of making a YouTube video, that would make very little sense financially. However, as time passes, I am slowly building an income from my brand. I am doing this predominantly via YouTube monetisation as well as Amazon affiliate links that I place in my video descriptions.
The first 3 years of my time on YouTube yielded just over 200 subscribers. The following 2 years saw me reach 2,500 subscribers. Then the last 6 months have seen that grow exponentially to over 11k subscribers, with an average increase of 1.3k per month. Most of which came from the 2020 Setup Tour which has reached over 1 million views in a short period of time as I stated earlier on.
My advice for someone that wants to get into content creation is...
Do something that you are passionate about! Do it for you, not for anybody else. Share your story, share your experiences, and most importantly, be yourself.
Don’t go into it expecting your subscriber count to climb rapidly at the start, it doesn’t work like that. But don’t let that demoralise you, stick at it, and in time, you will see the growth.
Make content that you are proud of and that you would enjoy watching. That has always been my goal. Does this video tell me everything I need to know? Do they explain things clearly? Is the production quality good?
You can see passion. As people have said to me in the comments, they can see how passionate I am about what I am doing. Make sure you show how passionate you are, nobody wants to watch someone that doesn't look like they want to be there!
You don’t need all the fancy equipment! I make my tech videos with my everyday phone and an overhead camera rig that I made myself. Expensive equipment doesn’t guarantee success!
Finally, don’t let it become a chore. If you don’t feel up to making a video, don’t. Even if you don’t realize it, it will be as clear as day to your audience. When the fun stops, take a break, and continue at your own pace when you are ready.
The best milestone so far has been hitting 10k subscribers and my first video reaching 1 million views within a few weeks of each other! I can honestly say that never in my life had I expected to have an audience of 10,000+ people and especially not 1,000,000 watching a video that I have produced. I am very proud of these milestones and they have motivated me to work even harder towards future goals. These milestones have completely opened up my content creation in future opportunities with lots of companies getting in touch asking to work with me!
With the recent success of my YouTube channel, I have been approached by quite a number of companies contacting me regarding collaboration enquiries.
The most vital thing that I let every company know is that all of my reviews are based on 100% honesty. I have always and will always let my audience know the full truth about every product, so then it is up to the company whether they are willing to continue the collaboration or not.
If collaboration proceeds, then you must be aware of your own worth. How long will it take you to create the content for this company? You by no means have to work for free, although I have done this in certain cases to benefit my channel. It can be difficult to pick your own rates, but it’s worth thinking about some guidelines. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into deals that undermine your worth.
I have very rarely approached companies, only when I think their product would be an excellent fit for my audience and I have full confidence that the video would be a success. I reach out and explain who I am, what I do, what I can offer them, and usually show some examples of the quality that I can produce.
Most importantly, please be careful. Although I wish it wasn’t true, there are loads of bad-eggs out there. Look for all the telltale signs. Email address, don’t rush into downloading/opening attachments as well as more subtle scams such as asking you to buy a product on Amazon and they will ‘reimburse’ you once the video is live.