Following on from Sarah Britten’s well received post about Caspar Lee, the tremendously successful young YouTube vlogger, we managed to secure a one-on-one interview with the man himself. More than just a vlogger, Lee is actually a YouTube partner, meaning he derives an income through advertising on his channel: impressive for an 18-year-old from a small town.
In a Google+ Hangout (video seemingly the most appropriate channel), we got to grips with how Lee has achieved the success he has to date. In the interview, Jason Gird, an apprentice planner at digital agency Quirk, found out a little more about his background, his approach to content, his thoughts on YouTube as a platform and some of the secrets to his success.
Here are a few of the main insights from the interview with the YouTube sensation:
Lee’s inspiration often comes from his fellow YouTubers and he feels it’s important to keep up-to-date with what is happening on the channel: “I guess I watch a lot of YouTube… I mean watching other YouTubers is what inspires me… I just get so upset when one of my friends on YouTube has uploaded an amazing video and I have no plan yet, and I force myself to come up with something.”
He also seems to have a strong understanding about the need for fresh, new content for driving engagement. He loathes the idea of being boring, constantly striving to come up with new ideas, “My worst fear is for people to stay subscribed to me, but not want to watch me because they’re like ‘his last four videos were the same’”.
For Lee, integrating different social media platforms is also key to his success. With over 130 000 followers on Twitter, he constantly looks for ways to incorporate tweets from his followers into his YouTube videos. By getting his viewers into his videos he feels that other might be more motivated to follow him or subscribe so that they too can be featured. Check out this video, featuring Lee chatting with few of his viewers on Omegle.
Interestingly, Lee doesn’t feel like he’s fully created a brand, although looking at his online persona and his consistent communication and video style, one might beg to differ. But he feels like this is something he would probably want to work on going forward. He does, however, attribute the beginnings of his brand to his fans and viewers. He feels that through them he is inspired to start trends, which contribute to his online persona.
In fact, Lee and his followers on Twitter have begun using the term ‘slut’ in unique ways, turning the traditionally derogatory word into something harmless, and at times, even a word that denotes affection. Have a look at how Caspar Lee is described on Urban Dictionary.
Lee is also a man with a pretty clear view of where he’s headed (well, right now in any event). Having decided to steer away from university for the time being, Lee is looking to move over to the UK towards the end of the year to pursue a career as a professional YouTuber. His motivation for this is move relates to the audience in the UK, the ability to grow and network with other YouTubers there and the internet. According to Lee, he makes more income from views from the UK than views from SA currently. But, he still stresses his love of South Africa.
Caspar hopes to keep growing his subscribers on YouTube, aiming to reach one million within year (based on his current growth trends). He also hope to grow his South African subscriber base.
And his tips for aspiring YouTubers?
“Make friends with other YouTubers on your same level. Just support each other. You just have to support your friends rather than supporting yourself all the time… and just have fun. You’ve got to enjoy it, and if it goes nowhere, then refresh yourself. Keep persevering but at the same time also understand that so many people are trying to do it, and only a few will get there.”