This camera was purchased before the creation of my videos. Forking out $500 for this camera was a big deal back in 2007. I had just signed up to Facebook and was completely addicted by the process of uploading and sharing pictures. I wanted a semi-professional camera to get the job done.
I officially stopped video recording with this camera in 2010 since you could hear the camera’s mechanics running in the recorded videos. There would be a grinding sound in the background, so I would put light music into the video to cover up the noise.
I didn’t know what YouTube was back then. A friend recommended it so I could share slide shows and video presentations with a class I was sponsoring in New York. Although I had never been to the school, I was pen pals with the kids for a number of years. The videos opened a doorway of new communications for us. At the time, YouTube was banned from the school. I would have to burn my videos onto DVD’s and mail them for the kids to see.
Since I did not realize that the school banned the use of YouTube when I started to use it, my videos were viewed by strangers. They would comment about my videos. Most were good comments while others were pretty rough and ugly. I thought the concept was amazing. I could share my expertise about traveling and truck driving with people around the world.
In sharing bits about my life, I revealed to the world that I crochet and the reason why I do it. My very first crochet video debuted on March 21st, 2008. And my very first video on teaching crochet was filmed on March 22nd, 2008. I started off instructing about the importance of the hook sizes. First ever video. As you can see, plenty has changed.
I got a lot of email on the very first video… not to congratulate me on a job well done but to tell me off for calling the crochet hook a needle. To this day, I still screw that up. I don’t know why, I just do. My viewers over time have learned my bad habits and go along with it without saying a word. What makes me unique is the mistakes or nuisances of my personality that I readily share on camera.
Over the past 4 years of teaching on YouTube, technology has evolved with social media integration as a back bone. Even before ‘social media’ was a buzz word, I was already doing what it dictates today. I have used several video programs and invested nearly $20,000 in technology to keep up with demands of viewers.
I’ve learned a lot of lessons over time for teaching on YouTube:
- Creating a video that will go viral is extremely difficult and I believe it’s a fluke for the most part.
- Let the passion of sharing and inspiring others be the objective.
- A well viewed video is a creation of knowledge, entertainment, and an application of a project that will set the views in motion.
- Find what is unique about you and will separate you from everyone else.
Mistakes I have made that I regret today:
- Don’t try to please everyone because appealing to everyone doesn’t exist.
- Don’t change concepts based on one or two comments. I have been known to abandoned a concept due to negative comments even though there are many who appreciated it. Dumb move on my part.
- When mentioning brands in videos, you need to be careful because people may think you are sponsored or working for a company.
- Some companies may not want any association to you or your videos. You are best to be generic, so instead of saying a brand and a type of yarn, name the color and what the yarn is. IE “It’s 4 ply worsted acrylic yarn!” and let your audience decide for themselves on the brand without your naming a brand.
- Do not use materials on camera that are difficult to get. It limits your audience and the practicality of the video. Check distribution of products used on camera.
- Understand copyright laws before getting involved. Not knowing the law is no excuse.
Secrets to the best videos:
- Be yourself or at least a personality that you can maintain on a consistent basis when the camera turns on.
- Don’t mimic your competition by doing the same thing. What works for them is mostly not going to work for you. You need to find your edge and then stick with it.
- My creation of my online personality is a true reflection to how I live my life, however, the volume of some of my personality is turned down to appease the many instead of satisfying the few.
- A video camera is important. You don’t need and expensive one because a $500 – $1500 will do the job.
- When choosing a camera, put your hands in front of the camera and determine the depth required in order to focus on you hands. Some cameras I have tested have caused me to lean over the camera to have my hands far enough back so the camera can film them. You need to be comfortable with filming. Google on YouTube the cameras you are interested in purchasing and you will find examples of what other people’s camera output has been.
When I describe an average day for me, I am bombarded with requests on what needs to be filmed. Some people decide I have a limited time frame that must be adhered to their scheduling to make it work. Most people are unaware that a 5 minute tutorial is a big deal since planning, filming, editing and social media aspects are all in the mix.
Being a YouTube host is a lot of fun for the most part. You can create a celebrity aspect for yourself if you desire it. Success isn’t over night nor is it a part time job. I find nearly 10 – 14 hour days is required to keep up. I love my job but I have to say, it’s not about the money so much, it’s about the joy of sharing creativity and the passion of crochet that allows me to work non stop and keep producing content that I care about and that others may find helpful.