Oliver Potter, YouTube Influencer
This week, Strictly wanted to move away from the corporate world, and ‘Shine the Spotlight’ on Oliver Potter, a YouTube Influencer from Essex! We were very interested to hear everything Oliver had to tell us, and the success of his interesting and unorthodox career. Have a read below to find out all about Oliver’s journey!
How you got to where you are now.
“So, it was about four years ago I created my YouTube channel. It all started when my trip to LA was coming up and I thought to myself, ‘this is a one in a lifetime experience, I need to record it’. I had already been a fan of watching Online Influencers on YouTube and I had always wanted a job or a hobby that allows me to be in front of the camera, so I decided this was it, I am going to become a ‘YouTuber’. I was pretty naive when it came to uploading my first 10 videos, I was expecting to get thousands of views in under 24 hours of the video going public. That did not happen. 10-30 views on each video was average for me. It felt very disappointing but as the months went on, I watched more and more YouTube which fuelled my inspiration and helped me create more and more videos. I was finding my feet. I was pretty grateful to not have much of an audience back then because it allowed me to figure out who I was as a ‘YouTuber’ and build the content on my channel up. I had been doing YouTube for three years with a subscriber count of 1000 before my channel exploded and now, here we are with nearly 130,000 subscribers. It was consistent planning, filming, networking, uploading and a viral video that has helped me get to where I am today because without these things you would be setting yourself up for failure, one won’t work without the other.”
What does an average day look like?
“I usually spend my Friday’s filming videos and then using my Saturday’s for editing. It’s good to have a schedule with these things otherwise you get lost, you fall behind and you don’t upload therefore leading to your channel taking the damage and becoming less relevant than other channels. It usually takes me 1-2 hours to plan a video (depending on what it is), but once I have that structure it helps me out so much because it allows me to stop waffling or repeating myself. It also ensures that the video stays engaging and interactive. Filming a video (again, depending on what it is) can take me anywhere from 30 minutes to a day. There are so many things you have to think about when you’re filming other than what you may look like on camera. You have to think about lighting, sound, the backdrop and sometimes you have to think about how you are going to edit the video before you get to that point in case there are certain aspects of the video that would look better with certain graphics, texts or different cuts. Editing can be my favourite thing to do but also my worst. It could take me anywhere from 2 hours to days to edit a video because you want to make sure it is as perfect as you can make it, as sharp as it could possibly be and as polished as it could be. All these things ‘UP’ your production value and makes the audience more invested in you because the quality and the effort has been appreciated. You can’t rush a video because it will just damage it, your audience will see it and you’ll end up hating it and your channel, entering this hole of self-pity! If you don’t think you can meet your deadline to upload then upload the next day and spend more time editing it without the pressure.”
Is it an easy gig?
“I’d be lying if I said being an ‘Online Influencer’ was easy. There is A LOT more to it than just filming, stitching the clips together and uploading. It requires a lot of effort for not much back in return. You can’t decide to be an ‘Online Influencer’ if you are doing it for the money otherwise you will always be chasing something that’s not going to satisfy you. To be an online influencer you need to love making videos for the sake of making videos, you should feel like every video you upload is better than the one before. Once you focus on the content of your videos it won’t go unnoticed and slowly traffic should start to build (as long as you have sorted the SEO on your content. Constantly having to come up with new relevant or trend worthy videos is hard work and can be really frustrating sometimes. It can make you feel like it’s not worth putting in all of your effort for, but you just have to keep going and it will be that self-discipline and determination that will take you to that next level.”
What are the plus sides / down sides?
“There are many pros and cons when it comes to being an ‘Online Influencer’. I’d say some of the pros are things like being invited to cool launch events, being able to work with brands you love and the fact you have creative control over your channel and content. At the end of the day you are your own boss, which is great but with being your own boss comes the responsibility of studying your analytics to see which content is doing well and why, and then using your analytics to come up with video ideas which match. So, as well as planning, filming and editing you also have to think about networking. For some networking is an easy game but for someone who considers themselves as quite the introvert it can be really hard, and for me personally it can cause anxiety. These are the types of things that you just have to bite the bullet with and be open for conversation. I even started watching YouTube videos on ‘How to be less introverted when meeting new people’, lame I know, but it really did help. The downside of Influencing is that you never know how well a video might do, you may be really proud of a video you have created but the views don’t match your expectation. I can’t tell you how much this effects people. It disappoints people which leads them to just not caring about their channel anymore, good results take time.
Can you make money from it?
Potentially you can get a lot of free stuff, many influencers approach companies asking whether they might be able to test some things out for their YouTube/Blog which most companies are usually quite co-operating if they think you have enough to offer, free advertising! I have products sent to me from time to time, my favourite was probably my delivery from The Body Shop, they gave me such a wonderful selection of skincare goodies.
You can definitely make money with YouTube; Ad Revenue is a great bonus but the real money is in sponsorships and brand deals. When it comes to taking on a brand deal it may be tempting to just take what you can get, that’s what I did at first, but you have to pick brand deals that suit your demographic otherwise the video isn’t going to go down as well as the brand wants and you’ll ending up losing trust with your viewers. For example, if you were a beauty blogger and you suddenly make a video about a new Xbox game, your viewers will be confused and could make a judgement that you are just in it for the money rather than the fun, the community and the experience.”
What are the important qualities to be successful?
“I think there are many things you need in order to be successful. The first one is probably the most important and that’s your mindset, you may want success but that’s not enough, you have to be willing to put as much effort into something, probably more than you ever have done before. You need to decide what you want to get out of something, how will it help you reach the next step? Being able to plan ahead is another big one (mostly when it comes to Online Influencing) I’ve mentioned this type of thing previously in this post but I’ll say it again. If you do not plan ahead you will fall behind, you’ll lose track of your goals and your content will be rushed. You may have a great camera with great sound but if your content is rubbish then it’s pretty useless.”
What are your hopes for the future?
“My hopes for the future are an unwritten book, I still have so much to learn when it comes to Online Influencing which I can’t wait to delve into. To be honest I am not sure where I want to be in the future but I know I am on the right track. I do have a backup plan which is to become a Content Producer for a cool creative social media agency I am currently looking for this type of role as it would work hand in hand with my YouTube channel because I already have that experience behind me, plus I’d naturally learn a lot more when working in that environment of not being seen as an Online Influencer.
To finish this post, I will leave you with 5 tips on being an Online Influencer.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I hope you got a bit more of an insight to what it really means to be an ‘Online Influencer.”
Click below to check out Oliver’s pages:
Published by Strictly Recruitment.
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