Hello everybody. And welcome to this episode of the creator. Come up podcast. This episode, I had the opportunity to talk with longtime utuber Adrian Finch. Adrian has been creating content for social media platforms for about seven years. Now. Her recent content goldmine has been her Tik TOK channel, actually, which we touched on a bit in this episode talking about what she does for different platforms and what has worked for her throughout the years. I personally got to ask some technical questions about what it's like to get brand deals, how that whole thing works and what it's like to create ads for the YouTube market. This one was a lot of fun and Adrian was full of a lot of energy and very excited to chat. So it made it all the better. So without further ado, Adrian Fitch. Alright, Adrian. Thank you so much for jumping on here in your morning on the west coast, even though. Yeah.
Thank you for having me call.
Of course. So what I, what I always do is I push it over to you guys and let everybody tell, let them, let's try this again. Let you tell everybody what it is that you do. And essentially what
You know, it's interesting, six years later, I still have a hard time like telling somebody what my job is, because I don't even really know what it is. And what, how do you explain it? No, it's funny just because like, I feel like with, well, okay. Let me, so basically for the last six years I have been creating and editing and uploading weekly videos primarily on YouTube. So I have my own YouTube channel. Um, it's so funny because nowadays this is not anything new in the past. When I would explain to someone my job, they were like, wait, what do you do? You can make money doing that. How does that happen? So it's so interesting. Now when I tell people maybe it's that sort of imposter syndrome of like, oh yeah, I do social media for a living, but yeah, really for the last six years I've been just building a YouTube channel and I actually have multiple YouTube channels, but one is kind of the main bread and butter, so to speak.
Um, and then, you know, various kind of sub projects have come off of that. I've had, you know, a podcast that was very much more focused on like the back end, the business side of sort of like creating an online business. Well, I just choked on my own. Uh we're good. Anyway, um, so I've had a podcast that's about kind of the business side of starting and scaling online businesses. And then, um, I, you know, I, I create content for other platforms as well. Tech-Talk Instagram, you know, all the, the whole nine yards, but I've also done a lot of like one-on-one coaching. I'm very passionate basically about the fact that I kind of saw this opportunity. I saw what social media could be before. A lot of people did. And I really took that chance and tried to build an engaged audience and build a business with it.
And once I did that successfully, I became even more passionate about helping other people do the same and not always with social media, but just like helping other people who are maybe in jobs, situations they don't love, or you know, who don't truly believe that they can take control of their lives, the way that you did moving to Berlin. Like I'm just going to do it. I really love to help people kind of realize their potential in that way and help them come into their own, whether it be starting and scaling an online business or just realizing what other types of opportunities are out there. Um, so I've done a lot of one-on-one coaching. I've done consulting for companies, whether it be for social media marketing, for dynamic ad video ad creation. Uh, but yeah, so a little bit of everything it's kind of my job. I think, I think what I'm the most passionate about is, is storytelling. So, you know, whether that be promoting a product and making income from that, finding a creative, organic, authentic way to do that, that really tells a story that isn't just this ad that is boring and, you know, whatever. So that's me.
So do you have a background in anything? Did you go to college or anything?
Yeah. Yeah. So I actually went to film school at Loyola Marymount university. So I was like, that's also an interesting thing. I think when you meet you tubers nowadays, it's not as often that you meet someone with a film background and I actually totally started that way. That's how that's what even interested me in YouTube to begin with was I went to film school and I studied screenwriting. So I was all about like learning to tell good stories because I felt personally like the production element and the editing element could be taught and learned elsewhere. I felt like I could go on sets and really understand that, or like, you know, buy a camera and really teach myself that. But storytelling and writing, I think was kind of the tricky part that I really enjoyed getting the knowledge of from school. And, um, yeah, it really just launched me into kind of this space where all I wanted to do was create and film and edit and tell stories.
And as you probably know, like the film industry is very cutthroat. It's very traditional, it's tough to be able to be creative right out the gates. So one thing that I kind of just noticed was that digital media and social media was starting to make a little bit more of a presence, uh, and starting to kind of butt heads with traditional media a little bit. And I thought, you know, why would I sit here? I had job offers for big studios who, you know, I would have been honored to work for and loved the companies, but ultimately I was like, I don't want to be a slave to this corporate side of filmmaking and I want to be able to be creative. And I kind of took a risk and, and initially worked for like a smaller startup, um, so that I could have freedom to like make my own YouTube videos still. Cause I kinda thought, why wait for somebody else to like tell you, yes, you can make this movie or whatever, when you could just be like recording and editing and uploading your own things for fun and, and you know, whatever. Yeah. So I do have a background in film, uh, but also taught myself a lot of like, you know, editing and kind of the ins and outs of like YouTube and sort of how to make it fast and bootleg do all that.
So how consistently were you making YouTube videos? Did you start doing that in college or after?
Yeah, so I actually started my senior year, uh, S like I started my senior year, but like really seriously, my second semester, senior year, it just happened to work out that way. I had interned at a YouTube kind of like production company, a YouTube channel. And I thought, oh my God, I need to do this. So I really started right off the bat, uh, bare, but, but in a weird way, what was crazy was like, that was still considered kind of late for like my age group. Like I girls that were my same age had been making videos since they were 14, like in their bedrooms in high school. And I was not of that generation. Like, I didn't know that it existed. So I was relatively new and like kind of older, which is so funny. Cause I still started before so many people, but, um, I was making videos like once a week on my main channel.
Um, which it's so crazy. It doesn't seem like a lot, but here I am six years later and it's like hard to even make sure you get one video up a week, but there's also all these other things. Like back then, it was just like YouTube video and like maybe an Instagram photo. And you're good now it's like your shorts and your reels and your tech talks and your website and your, all this stuff. And like, and it's like, it kills me cause I'm like, you know, I don't feel like quantity. I feel like quality over quantity, but these algorithms just want you to be pumping out content.
Yeah. I mean the guys have me doing seven videos a week, but that's not me making seven videos. That's me recording 3, 2, 2 organic, and then one podcast and then splitting that up into seven total. So I completely,
Totally, It's a, it's a full-time full-time gig, you know? It absolutely is.
And that's always the funny part of the whole YouTube thing, you know, everybody's like, oh, you're a YouTuber. It's like, yeah. But like it's a lot.
It is a lot, especially like, yeah, people, I think finally, maybe understand a little bit more that like when your, the only person to which most YouTubers, I feel like started out that way. And a lot of still are a lot of YouTubers who are big, still are their own editors and their own whatever. And it really is a full time job, especially once you start looking into, okay, you're getting sponsorships, you're negotiating deals, you're signing contracts, you're pitching creative ideas. You're filming, you're editing, you're in it. Like you are, it's a one person show and that's a lot of work. And what's crazy is that it really is like when you break down my week, there's probably only about 20% of it. That's actually like content creating and probably 80% of it. That's like planning and coordinating and negotiating and it's, it's crazy and it's wild and maybe I should be hiring more people, but I just never do.
So with that, what is your week look like? How does that scheduled? When do you record when you do all that stuff?
I wish that I could tell you that I'm like, so type a and have this like, you know, strict schedule that I'm super,
What are you doing? Oh
My God. It's actually nutty. Like how basically. Okay. Yes. So I've always, always tried to have a little bit of a routine with uploading. What is crazy is like seriously in six years, like I not ever actually stuck to like a same day, same time upload schedule. I've mostly stuck to like a weekend upload schedule in general, like Saturday or Sunday. But I feel like as I got older and I kind of just, I don't even know. I kind of just started not caring as much about that, which is silly. It's like the number one, if I were to advise or coach somebody who's starting this, I would say consistency is the most important thing. Having your audience know when literally, and I'm like, why do I, I feel like I need to get hypnotized and have somebody just be like, Adrian, this is what you need.
But yeah, but for the most part I do kind of have, like, I try to time batch a little bit and have like chunks of time that I know that I'm working on specific things. So Monday tends to be a pretty like admin catch up emails, like sort of getting everything set up and planned for the week. Tuesday tends to be like a filming heavy day. I never want to film on Monday. So I'm like, Tuesday is always good. I'll try to like film whatever main channel video that I'm going to do for the week, as well as like a budget tick tock, tick tock is something that exploded for me over quarantine as it probably did many people. So it was not even a part of my, of my daily or weekly workload. Um, it started as a fun thing. And then it literally doubled at my, I doubled my YouTube following on Tik TOK in like four months.
So that slowly, thank you. That was awesome. But it's also crazy how that became, you know, work out of nowhere. Like I, I enjoy it and I'm so lucky that I get to do that, but it's like, now I feel this, oh my God, I need to be making tick talks and I need to not run out of ideas there. And so I'll be filming those on Tuesdays. Wednesday tends to be like mostly an editing slash like, if I have to go film anything else or do whatever day, I'll really like Wednesday, Thursday, Friday are kind of like whatever's left in terms of filming and editing, getting videos scheduled, kind of like posting things on social. It's crazy how long it can take to just like post things on like take talker reels or whatever. Like it's, it seems when you're watching it, you're like, oh, this is so easy.
You whatever. And then you go to like post one and it takes you like an hour to like, actually make sure that it's right and caption and this and that. And like, so like yesterday I spent pretty much all of the day yesterday, like planning tech talks and I filmed like two and I, all of a sudden it's four o'clock and I'm like, literally, what did I do today? Like how did that time go by? So, um, but yeah, that's pretty much my schedule. Again, like my uploading has been a little bit inconsistent in terms of when, but that's something I'm trying to really go into the new year with a lot better of an idea of like a consistent schedule because I thrive on routine, but then also kind of need that flexibility when things come up, you know, I know, I know. I know.
And I have like just genetic procrastination, but like not procrastination, like not, it's so funny, you are correct that I am like opposite of everything that I'm preaching, but I have ADHD. No, no, no, no. So I talk about that a lot where it's like, my brain has kind of like battling itself where I need routine and I need structure, but I also need to be in order to be creative, I need like to feel like I'm not in a structure. It's so weird. So it's like, I battle with myself cause I'm like, I need this, but I also need that. So I'm, I'm just a bunch of spaghetti being thrown at a wall and seeing what sticks that's that's me.
That's a good analogy. Thank you.
Um, so like how, what did you end up? What's your, what's your, uh, content like on Tik TOK? Is it the same? I didn't know that you had, uh, to be honest with you.
Yeah, no worries. It's honestly my little secret. No, uh, no, it is. Yeah, what's crazy. Is it became, so there are many dimensions of me, Adrian. I am the serious business coach business person that I love that stuff. I am the weird, goofy, like psychopath that is just stupid. No, not stupid. Just crazy. And then now I'm, I'm this techie kind of productivity, whatever on YouTube. So I sort of have these different sides of me and they really come out in these different platforms and it's almost not this same cohesive, it's cohesive because it's all me, but on Tik TOK, what I really do, it's so funny. I, how it all started and how it blew up was I, I used to always and still do have these thoughts that are like, how weird is it that, you know, airplanes just are these giant tubes of metal that hurl through the air at ungodly speeds. And we're just strapped to these seats. And then all of a sudden we're just in a different location. Like my brain has all of these, what some might call like high thoughts,
Everyday shower thoughts. And I used to just have these and I would tell my friends and nobody ever would like understand. They're like, okay. Or I'd be like, why do we have eyebrows? And they'd be like, because blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, I'm not actually asking. I'm like, I'm just like, isn't it strange? Like just weird. And everyone's like, no, nobody really under, yeah. Nobody really like felt me. And I was like, no, you're being too literal. Like I know why we have eyebrows, but like, isn't it weird? And basically, so I finally like during quarantine, I kind of got bored and was just like ranting about these things on Tik TOK and like lo and behold, hundreds of thousands of people actually think the same thoughts that I think. And I thought I was alone and I thought everybody thought I was crazy. So I just started like ranting about my first series was like things that are weird. So it'd be like things that are weird, part two, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'd talk about like any number of things. Here's the thing. If you think about anything in the world too long, it becomes weird. Yeah. It becomes strange. It's like, if you say the word banana, like 10,000 times, your
Words become sound. Yeah. Yeah. So I kind of found this like group of people that were like, oh my God, we feel this way too. Why are we like this? And yeah. So I just kind of did that. And then that kind of also turned into me like saying really like crazy facts, like mind blowing facts about random stuff. Like I'm a huge nerd actually, when it comes to like learning and things like that. And I use it. So I just make a lot of videos that have like fun facts and people would comment. Like I learned more from you than I learned in school. I'm like laughing, but at the same time, it's true. We were just like, yeah, I know. So that's what I do on Tik dog. Just a lot more like weird, like just weird thoughts and like facts and crazy things and kind of like little sketches, almost like a little bit of comedy, but it's a lot of my personality, but just like, you know, like things people lie about or like just random things like that. Yeah.
So what's your, it's all in on authenticity when it comes to, I mean, I guess both Tik TOK and YouTube, but it seems like you kind of just put yourself out there 100% authentically on Tik TOK, just saying random stuff and it work well.
Do you think that quarterly, like a normal thing that happens or it just, you know,
Do I mean, you know, it's crazy like YouTube and social media content has changed a lot over like the last decade when I started what was popular was very well edited. Well-produced like, you know, saturated videos that were like super bright and like, you've got all these B roll shots and you had the super nice DSLR camera and like that shallow depth of field. And that's what everybody wanted. They wanted this glamorous like, wow, this is like, top-notch then as time went on, like people started wanting just you just being you and like almost didn't want this glamorous, like produced version. They just wanted like you with zit cream in your bathroom with an iPhone. And it's almost like the viewer I think has just become so much more attracted to authenticity in terms of like, we have this weird fascination with other humans we as humans do. And it's like, which I totally agree with
A hundred percent. I love people. People are so cool.
Yeah. And it's like, you know, people watching and just sometimes I'll be like watching someone's YouTube video in the video frankly, is kind of boring and like, it's not Shotwell. And I'm like, why am I watching this? And I'm like, I'm just intrigued. I don't know. Like, so people definitely started moving towards wanting more raw or real. And with that was kind of like worst quality sometimes. Um, but I do think what's amazing about it is that yeah. People, I think, I think now it's a lot more embraced, like your weird self, your flaws, whoever you truly are. People want to see that because people are also realizing like, oh, I'm not the only weirdo, like, look at this girl dancing, like a crazy person. Like this is me. It's so much more relatable. It's like, that is me. And she's just showing everybody that and like, yeah. So I do, I don't think it's weird anymore. I think maybe like years ago it could have been, you know, a little bit more like, oh, she's out there, but also I've never known how, like, not show that I just, I don't even know how to conceal that.
If I tried just do a lot more scripting, just script everything and just stare directly into the camera.
Well, and I would say like YouTube, but main channel videos are a little bit more produced in the sense of like, if you are teaching something or, you know, anything informational or educational, like you do kind of have a plan for like, what are you saying? Let's make it concise. Let's make it sound good. Let's even talk with more enthusiastic, you know, energy and more sort of like that type of voice. So it's still authentic to me, but it's a little bit more produced blogging and Tik TOK is a lot more just me raw in the flesh, how I am.
Yeah. Do you make any videos on social media for yourself?
I do. I wish I like I'm trying, I have this whole series that I'm trying to do. Um, and you know how it is, you plan this whole thing and then you're like, ah, I'll get to it. I'm currently setting up my room with all the lights and everything like that. So I'm making progress, we'll put it back. I'm doing my best to try to get into that. Um, cause I do like, like I said to you before we started, it's like YouTube has always been my thing. I was still, I was there since the beginning. So I actually do want to ask you who your early inspirations were, because I'd love to know that. And also wise right now. Cause like I look at your videos and I see that they're there. Like I could see a little splices here and there, if you say some names.
Yeah. So, I mean, it's so funny. Like when I started YouTube six years ago, I definitely had like different influence. I actually, how it kind of came to fruition was, I don't know if you know who Monica or Shelby church are. They're these twins that have been on YouTube since it's fine. It's not really your demographic, but um, they've been on YouTube for, I mean, since they were like 14, they were those of that kind of generation. They're like 26, 27 now. But um, they, I actually became friends with them randomly and like they were already really successful on YouTube and I like always kind of wanted to start a YouTube channel, but I was like nervous and they actually like totally took me under their wing and like helped me and showed me what to do. And so like, they were huge influences for me, like quite literally at the beginning.
Um, and they were, they're also brilliant filmmakers. Like that's, what's crazy is they've just actually, they always inspired me because they were these lifestyle, beauty fashion, girly channels. But they were creating these amazingly well made videos. Like they had, they knew production, they knew sound, they knew lighting and I was just very impressed. So I felt like I really gravitated towards that. Um, but in terms of like who I watched, I mean, I was honestly never a big YouTube watcher until I started making YouTube videos, which is crazy. And I feel like I'm definitely like a blog watcher a lot. I watch a lot of blogs. Um, David doebrick I think it's so funny, but it's funny. It's not, it's like the type of videos I watch are not even like my own videos, but when it comes to like main channel stuff, I feel like what I've gotten a lot from people is that I'm like, I'm like I Justine, if she was more of the like relatable average consumer, like if she wasn't as knowledge, people like genuinely always are like, you're like, I just deal with a little more like with a little less knowledge about the tech stuff and a little more like goofiness and I'm like, hell yeah, that's totally, that was, I definitely used to watch her channel and be like, I love that there's a female in tech.
I thought that was so awesome. Like that's like my videos that I made about tech at first were literally just because I actually like geeked out to that stuff. Like how to kind of like hack, you know, different like tips and tricks and hacks for like your phone or Instagram or social media, whatever. And then I kind of like discovered her and was like, oh my God, I love this. Like she's killing it in the tech space. She's female. Yeah. It's awesome. So I, I like definitely was watching a lot more of her stuff. I've had a lot of like networks and managers like kind of like point me in that direction and be like, you're like the next I just seen, but like more about, you know, social media and this and that. I was like, okay, I'm fine with that.
Um, so it was definitely, did you get, like you said, you have managers and stuff. Do you, do you still have management and whatnot?
No, I actually don't. So it's a very weird world. Like YouTube and social media management is super interesting because basically when it first I've had managers, I've had networks that my channel has been signed to all in all. Like what I can truly say is that nobody needs it. Nobody needs it. If you find somebody who's bringing you deals or who is doing for you, what you think you need help with, like is actually assisting then hell yeah. Do it have a manager, but I've just found time and time again that like, it was kind of this shiny object that we just like thought we needed. And then they really liked didn't bring that much value. And I was like, I've been doing this alone already. Like why? So I've, I've had a number of them and it's like, you don't, I think nowadays they're a lot more refined.
I think management companies actually have like digital divisions now that understand what they can help with. Whereas in the past it was kind of just like people trying to like make money off of you tubers and yeah, totally. And not even in like a super shitty way, just like they weren't, they don't know exactly. They didn't know. And like the only people who knew were us and that's, what's crazy. We had to realize as like some earlier YouTubers that like, this was still so new that we actually knew like no manager or agent was going to know more than you. And that was crazy. Like, because I just wanted to trust somebody. I wanted somebody to help. I wanted to get more deals. I wanted somebody who was in the industry and agent or somebody who has brand connections to just like give me deals.
But the thing is, and they might have those brand connections, but they did not know. They didn't understand the world. They didn't know how it worked. And I was like, oh my God, we actually know more than these people. And even nowadays it's still a little bit like when you look at management, they obviously do understand a lot more, but at the same time, they have not started and created and nurtured and built channels for six years or 10 years. So at the same time, you just always have to be really careful and protect yourself because especially with something like social media, that's just still relatively so new. Like people don't know more than you necessarily. So I'm independent right now.
Oh, okay. Cool. I mean, yeah, like you said, uh, if you can do it yourself might as well, no need to pay anybody. Um, there's a little fun fact that I do, you know, who, who, uh, Jacob Sartorius is? Do you know who Cody COE and Noel Miller are?
Yeah, I don't. Yeah. Yeah. I know Cody co not Noel, but
So they have a podcast and they do like tours and stuff together. When in fact their tour managers are the same person for Jacob Sartorious and Cody Kona.
Oh my God. That's funny. Yeah. I mean, see that kind of, it makes sense if it's like a tour manager, because I guess like tour managers have very specific jobs and like it's a whole different space touring, but like, it is funny because they're such different people, such different like audiences. Yeah.
Both of them one day at the, uh, so the music venue I used to work for, they, they had both of them. They had tiny meat gang come in one day. And then like a couple months before, uh, Jacob Sartorius and his whole crew of like Instagram kids came by, it was literally 400 girls that just like stood in a line outside to get pictures. And I worked, what I had to do was just to stand there and take the girls phones, take pictures and go next. I mean, the kids were like, the kids were sweet, but like, it was so weird. And then it was funny when, when Cody and Noel came back, uh, their tour manager walked in and was like, I know you, why do I know you? And he's like, Jacob Sartorius. I was like, oh, that's funny.
That's so funny. What a wild, like in this crazy small world, it is, it really is. And it's especially, you know what I can tell you from behind the scenes, that social media is like high school. It's like, there are the groups and, and it's not always negative, but it's like when, when we were a little bit younger, it was a little bit negative. Like there was a lot of toxicity actually among like different cliques of YouTubers. And it's crazy, you think like, oh, they don't all know each other, but it's so weird. It's like, somehow we all just know who each other is. And part of it is like years ago, we used to always have like, uh, conventions, like playlist live VidCon, things like that. I kind of aged out of that. Or I guess I aged myself out of that. I was, we kind of stopped going to those.
Like I think the last one I went to was like maybe 2017 or 2016, maybe 2017. But it was like, we all, all these YouTubers of like similar demographics or not even similar demographics, just, we all just kind of like knew who each other was, would like see each other a couple of times a year at these conventions. And like, but it was it's crazy because in a weird way, you're like, how do we all actually know each other? Like, just from watching each other's videos, we're not actually all friends. And like, there are so many different YouTubers at different ages. And so it's like, I don't know how we all it really a small world. It really is.
Now. Did you do a lot of collaboration early on in your YouTube career?
I feel like there were a lot more collaborations back then. Um, I definitely did some, but I feel like I didn't really do any like huge ones because I feel like I kind of missed the boat on that. A lot of people were doing big, big collabs. Um, and that would used to be a huge way to grow a channel. Like it was like, if you did a collab with someone, yeah. It was wild. And then I feel like I kind of was like too small at that point to be like asking these bigger creators, like collab. And that was kind of like etiquette to you learn, oh my God. It was just, it wasn't crazy world. It still is. But it was just looking back at this world at like, when it was new and nobody really like, knew like nobody else outside of the bubble, like understood.
It was like, there was this etiquette of just like, you don't really ask like a bigger creator to like collab with you. And when somebody did, it was like dramatic and like weird. And some people would, and then other people wouldn't. And so I did like some collabs, but really by the time I was like big enough to maybe like do real collabs with people. It kind of wasn't a thing anymore. It kind of like, maybe we'd be in each other's videos, but it wasn't like, uh, it, it didn't help gain subscribers. It wasn't, you know, this crazy thing.
So too busy making your own videos as is so.
Very true. Yeah. Yeah. I would do fun ones. Like just for fun with friends, be like you're in town, let's make a video together, but it was a lot more at the beginning. Um, I mean really just like my own friend circle, which is like all female lifestyles. So maybe not, but, um, I know like Morgan Yates is like one of my close friends and she's, she's been doing YouTube forever. Um, shout out, Morgan, we love y'all um, one, oh, well here's, this was not actually a collab, but I do have a little like full circle moment story where, um, there's this YouTuber named Alicia, Marie. She's amazing. She's one of the girls that I just have always really like thought was bad-ass and looked up to because she totally understood the world of YouTube, but, and she was so, so wildly popular, but she also was so smart.
And I could tell that she like really understood filmmaking and videos and she was so creative and she was so consistent just like everything I aspire to be. And she was so freaking cool and people were like obsessed with her anyway. Um, so I like looked up to her so much and I was like, oh my God, she's so cool. And I think she's like similar age to me as well. And everyone else was like a little bit younger anyway, like a couple of years ago, her sister who also does YouTube randomly like needed help filming something. And I was like, I'll do it. I was like, had some free time. And I was like, I want, I would love to like, get to know them. Yeah. I was like, I'm in. And I went there and like, it turns out Alicia, the girl that I was like, oh my God, she's so cool.
She had like been listening to my podcast when it first came out. Like she found it and was obsessed with it. And she like talked about it in a video and she like thought it was so good. And so when she met me, she was like, I'm obsessed with your podcast. Like, it is so amazing. And my podcast is all about like mindset shifting. It's like about like creating and living your dream life and like not letting anything. So, and so in my mind, I'm like, oh my God, you who I think has like the dream life, the dream career that I want, like you are finding my podcast to be helpful to you. Like, that's amazing. It was so cool. So random, but like, yeah. So she's a homie now and like we've never filmed the video together, but she's, she's so cool. Okay.
That's such a surreal experience. Just like your idol is like, I know you and I liked you and you're like, oh
Yeah, it was very, it was so cool.
And it was also like, it was weird because I feel like I don't really like fan girl or, you know, it's not really like, oh my God, like she said this, but it was like truly somebody that I respected and saw it was so great at what they do. And so, yeah, exactly what you said, like having that person you look up to and think is so good at what they do be like, wow, you're really good at what you do. I was like, oh my God, kill me now. I have lived. I know, I know. I D I was like, oh my God, it made me, it made me feel so good. I was very happy. So that was cool.
Yeah. I have a buddy back in the states. That's a pretty big animation YouTuber. And every time that we get together, I always just like geek out. I'm like, how was VidCon? I can never, I can never hold myself together. Cause I just want to ask.
I know, I know. Right. You just want to know everything like you wish you could just like hire them for a day to just like talk to them all day and be like, hi, can I just pick your brain for like 10 hours straight?
Because, uh, obviously, you know, something more than I do cause you're there.
Well, and you know what, let me tell you too, like, I think times have changed as well where people like YouTube is a little bit less petty now. Like if you genuinely talk to people who have done well on YouTube or wherever or something in a position that you want to be in and you come from a genuine place and like, they are going to want to help you more than you think. And I think in the past, especially when everybody was just a little bit younger, a little more like immature, like, and people did try to use people like that really did and probably still does happen. But like, I think there was a lot more hesitancy in the past about like YouTubers opening up and helping people or just giving anyone advice or like ever like tagging anyone. People were very protective for good reason because a lot of people would like take advantage of it back when it was a lot easier to grow.
And it was like, people really were shady like that. But I feel like now there's just, there's there doesn't need to be this like hidden, you know, world of knowledge. It's kind of like, like for me, if somebody came to me who was starting a channel, I'd be so into the idea of helping them. And to be honest, that's what helped me start. Like when Monica and Shelby really took me under their wing, nobody else was doing that. Like, nobody else was okay with like helping somebody else succeed. And that was something that really stuck out to me was they were like, no, we love this so much. So like, we want to help you do this too. And I was like, that's awesome.
Hey, like those People in my, uh, be my mentor.
I wouldn't be your mentor. I will be your mentor. Yes. I'd love that. It's really like the pay it forward type of thing. I think a lot of people don't think that people like in higher positions than them, or whatever, like would want to help them. But then I feel like so often they do. And I noticed this all the time with like celebrities and like podcasts and things like that, where like I listened to this podcast, armchair expert. I don't know if you've ever listened at stack shepherd. He basically, he interviews like celebrities and huge people. And, and it's so funny. It's so like just cute because he'll have this guest on, he'll have like Brad Pitt on and he'll be like, Dax will be like, I cannot believe like you agreed to do this podcast. And Brad Pitt will be like, I'm so glad you said that I could be on this vine. We're both just like, oh my God, I can't believe. And it's like, everybody feels that way. Everybody's just like, who me? Like they're so up there. And then it's like, that person up there is like, no, like I, like, I want to do this. I want to help. Cool to see that
Everyone is human until you meet those people that you read or you meet them on like a normal like circumstance that you realize that.
Yeah. And that's actually why I love that podcast. It's very disarming. It's like all of these big stars are like bill gates was on it. Barack Obama was on it and like, they're all, it's just so it's like, they're literally sitting there at a coffee shop just like talking about their lives and they all have the same insecurities, the same issues, the same struggles. Like, it doesn't matter what level they're on. And it's so disarming and just like, I don't know. I just, it really shows a different side of like, we are literally all human. We
Are all human Armchair expert. It's incredible because every interview is like very, there's not always like one specific aim for the interview, but it flows really well. Like he'll just ask random questions, but it always ends up just being this like incredible conversation about random shit. It's great
The coolest people. Oh yeah. I could go on and on.
Yeah. Switching gears back to so I don't get fired. Um, um, so how long was it that, uh, it took you to get to a point where YouTube started paying your bills, making your social media career started getting to a point where you were making a living off of this
Great question. Um, so for me it was about, it was about two years after it honestly was about one and a half to two years after I started now, I got a big headstart because again, I was kind of working with this collaborative channel and these girls that had a following and there was a lot of cross promotion. So I really had that initial boost where I kind of like had viewers finding my channel. Um, but then really what kind of started happening was like, so brand deals and like sponsorships were a thing, but it was, it was, there were a lot less rules. There were a lot less guidelines. It was a lot more bootleg and kind of guerrilla style of like, nobody really knew what they were doing. So it kind of, it, I started making money from YouTube pretty early on because even some companies would recognize like, Hey, can I send you my like subscription box of random goodies?
And you can put it on your channel and I'll pay you $200. And I was like, uh, yeah, this went from just like something I'm doing for free to like, yo I'll make 200 bucks. So like slowly, there were like all these brands that would reach out. And then kind of like once I felt like I was getting enough, like regular deals, like you will have like good months and bad months. But once I felt like overall deals were still coming to me is when I felt confident enough to like, not work my other job. Um, because I felt like, okay, I'm making enough money to pay the bills, but it, it was more about feeling like that was sustainable. So I wanted to make sure that, you know, for six months to a year, and it wasn't a ton at the beginning, like I didn't have as many expenses and it was like, but it was still livable.
I was fine. I mean, for context in the film industry in LA entry level positions pay nothing. Like the offers that I had were like $35,000 a year, $40,000 a year. So, and I took one of them, like I was working one of them. So, you know, we're not coming from this perspective of like, oh my God, I worked at Amazon for $200,000. Like, and so for perspective, like when I first decided to do YouTube, full-time I think my first year I like doubled the salary that I was making at my other job. And so I think I made like 60 or 70,000, which for me having just graduated college and quit a job to work for myself to even if it was 60, like even like to double what I was making at an entry level job was nuts. Like I was like, what?
So it also was a lot easier. I think, for me to feel confident enough to quit the job, because my salary was so low, my salary was so low that it was like, oh my God, cool. I'm fine. Like if I'm living and surviving off of this salary, like I feel better about it. I think that'd be great. Yeah. I was like, I'm good. I think there would probably be a lot of other people, especially like now who maybe would feel, especially if, depending on like your age and stage and what kind of income you want. I think it would be a lot more tricky to like, feel like, like you would need to wait a little bit longer or like make sure the deals are bigger. At least I would, I think if this were happening now, my standard of like what I would need to feel like fully secure, I think would be a little bit more, um, or not just like more money. I think just like, I don't know what I'm trying to say because I'm kind of trying to give you an inside look. Cause I feel like nobody talks about this.
No, I was going to actually ask it like, what's the deal with, so what does it look like when you get brand deals? What do you look for when trying to gather from that before you actually make a committed?
Oh, I love that question. I was actually just talking about this yesterday on Instagram because I actually accepted a brand deal and did my research and then realized it wasn't as legit of a company that I thought. So I dropped the deal anyway, basically for me. Um, so you can always pitch yourself to companies and companies can also reach out to you. A lot of what happened when I started was like me pitching because I was super interested in pitching and a lot of companies that we know and love didn't necessarily do influencer marketing yet. They didn't know that it was a thing. So I actually would go and pitch and a lot of the companies would be like, okay. And like, we would almost kind of kick off their like influencer program. Um, but usually like a company will reach out and they either have an offer or they don't and they just want to discuss it.
And like, you can kind of tell quickly nowadays, like, all right, is this going to be legit or is it not? And then if it's going to be legit, have they already offered something or are they kind of just wanting to talk to you at to see like what your rates are and what you could do? So I'll typically get reached out and then if it's right away an offer, what I always look for first and foremost is like, if I like either I already know and love the product, the number one thing for me over literally everything. And I mean this, and it's, it sucks sometimes, but it is true is over money over anything. I have to actually think that the product is great and that I believe in the company and I support the values and everything. Like I will not. And I think first of all, I mean, I just that's, those are just my values in general, but like, yeah, but I think also part of it was that when I first started YouTube, I had a very, very, very young audience.
And so I think that kind of ingrained in my head like how impressionable they were. And I always would just think to myself, like if this 13 year old girl like asked her mom to buy her this thing, would I feel good about that? Like, would I feel okay? Like, would they trust my recommendation? So for me, it's very much like, I need to believe in the product. I need to think it's good if I haven't used it before, or like tried it, I actually will try it. Like I will have it sent, make sure. And so sometimes it's tedious and sometimes like you miss out on big paychecks, cause you just don't fully align with what they're doing. But in my mind, like what comes around, goes around and there will always be more. Um, so yeah, usually like they'll either offer rate or they'll ask you your rate.
I always prefer when they just offer a rate. Cause I just don't know the ballpark of what they're working with. And sometimes it could be a lot higher than you think. And sometimes it can be a lot lower than you and then you're like, damn. And so if somebody asks you your rate, first of all, I mean on the one hand you do just have to know your value. And like at the end of the day, if someone doesn't have the budget, you just have to be okay. Passing. I think when you first start it's a lot more, like there were definitely a lot more deals that I said yes to when I was starting that were maybe not paying as well as they should be paying, but you kind of learn your value as you go and you sort of learn. What's like the industry standard and it's a lot higher than you think.
So it is tricky, like pushing for more, it can be like uncomfortable and it's definitely been something that has had to be learned, like how to really push for like what you know is worth it. Because sometimes people, companies sometimes make you feel like small, like there'll be like, well your views weren't that good last month. They're like, what? And you just have to remember like, literally there's a reason they're coming to you. It's because they don't have this themselves. They did not spend years building an audience. And the channel, they, this is like, what you built is valuable is so valuable. And even though it might feel easy to just take a picture and post it on Instagram, like, because sometimes I do feel like that I'm like, this is so stupid that I'm even asking for this amount of money, but it's like, that's what it is.
Like, that's the value that you've built. It's all those times that you've made things that weren't paid for. It's all like all of that equals what your value is. So that was a very long way to say, like the process is typically they reach out, you negotiate a rate. I decide based on, do I like the product? Do I like the company for me, the biggest thing has been building and nurturing relationships with, with brands and companies that like, I love. So sometimes that means me like doing a little bit extra work at the beginning, but it has always paid off. Like I've had multiple companies where they've been like, oh my God, I'm so sorry, but could you do like one more edit or like one more round of whatever and I'll be like, yeah, totally. And then like, those companies come back to me cause they're like, you were so nice.
You were so easy to work with. Like, yeah. And like they bring me more and more stuff. And I've noticed a couple of companies who I just have built these incredible relationships with. And sometimes I'm like, oh, my video didn't get as many views as I hoped. But like they still come to me for work over and over again because they liked the product I create. They like my energy and, and working with me. So I do finally feel a lot more rewarded for like having good production value and like really being authentic and genuine with it. I feel like in the past people would just be like, oh, you don't get enough views. Like we're not going to pay you. And I'm like, okay. But like, do you see the value in having this? Like yes or no and people didn't. And I have some friends who were a little bit more like, no, like you don't get more edits or like whatever, which is totally fine too. They know their worth. And they're like, I'm not going to do extra work that you're not paying for. But I do notice like me getting more like repeat deals because of my willingness to do some of that. So you kind of just, yeah, that was sorry. That was a such a long answer, but
Good. So when you send an edit, is it the whole video that you send in, like coupled with their ad portion or do you just send in their ad portion?
Yeah. So that's, that's also a good question. It's the whole video. Um, there are different types of ads though. Of course there's like mentions where it's kind of unrelated or maybe similar topic to the video, but like sort of just an upfront, like this is sponsored by, you know, Bose, like these are the headphones, blah, blah, blah. Okay. Now let's get into the video. Um, even when you do those though, you always send the full video because a lot of times they just need to look at like other compliance things, like making sure that you didn't put any competitive brands in the video, making sure that you're not swearing or getting naked or doing anything weird. Like obviously, you know, they just, they do usually need to see the whole thing. Um, but typically what I've noticed a lot more nowadays is a lot fewer of the mentions.
I think a lot of like gamers and, you know, there are certain like genres of YouTube that I feel like do a lot of mentions, like, you know, okay, we're going to do this gaming thing, but it's brought to you by blah, blah, blah. And it's not really related to the video, but it's like upfront for the type of video that I do. And I think why companies come to me a lot and like good, big like tech companies and stuff is because what I like pride myself on is my ability to integrate a product or a campaign into like a concept very well and very organically. And that's what I love doing. It's my favorite thing is like telling a story, even like weaving that ad into the real story that is whatever I'm talking about. So I do a lot more like integrations, like products that genuinely fit into the type of video that I'm making.
Um, so yeah, so we always send the full thing and like, but, but what'll happen is typically they'll say, okay, like, I'll send my first draft. They'll give you all the talking points and they'll give you like the do's and don'ts you make the video, you send the first draft and then they'll come back and either be like, great. It was approved, like go live. Or they might be like, give you a little list of like edits. Usually they're pretty minor. I haven't had any like major reshoots because at the end of the day, and this just is where you, you really learn, like which companies have experienced and which don't. And I've given a lot of companies feedback later being like, by the way, like next time you do something like this, you really should like tell the person upfront, like don't for example, like there was a word, like I kept using this word in a video and like, they were like, oh, you can't use that word. And I had to like reshoot the whole thing. And I was like, but you didn't tell me, like, if you had just said, don't use this word,
Wouldn't have to reshoot everything. Yeah.
Right. And it's tough. Cause like, sometimes there's things that you don't catch. So typically the edits I've gotten are very minor. Like, oh, can you just take out that saying or swap the logo or like move the placement of something. But I have had a couple instances of like needing to reshoot stuff and you it's fine if it makes more sense. But like sometimes if I feel like it's something that they didn't tell me, it's like frustrating. Cause I'm like, you didn't tell me not to do it this way. Like, how am I supposed to know?
So do you step up and be like, you, do you say that originally? Or do you just kind of bite your tongue and
No, I do. I mean, I think like really lately, like I'm not, I'm not a new, I'm not new to this anymore. This is, I've been doing this for a long time and I'm always, I always like put on a smiley face and I'm like, yeah. You know, like, I don't think I've ever actually been like, no, I won't do this edit. Um, but I definitely give companies feedback. I think that it's beneficial. Any, anybody should willingly take feedback like that? Especially from somebody who's doing the marketing, like I've told a company like, yeah, no problem. I'm like, you know, by the way, just, just a little feedback, like things like this, you know, I'm happy to do this, but it is tricky when you know, this is something that could have been avoided and like, maybe just make sure of these things next time upfront.
Like, I do tell people that because I actually, I would want somebody to tell me that like, anything is helpful in, Hey, if they don't take it, whatever. But I definitely, always want to like help be like, Hey, here's a way that this could have gone better for you. And like, it doesn't help them to make me have to go refill something. Like I wouldn't want, I would want to make it the easiest. Yeah, exactly. So for me, it's like anything that I can do to help. And that doesn't typically happen. I did have a really frustrating one, a couple of weeks ago that was like kept coming back to me with edits. And I was like, you're changing things. Literally. I was like, why couldn't you have told me all of these the first time, like, cause I would like go change the thing, send it back. And they'd be like, oh, so can you do this? And I'm like, why didn't you just give me that whole list? Like, this is not how it works. You're supposed to give me the whole list. If they had me changing, like something about the edit that was already changed. Totally.
But like, no, anyway, They don't pay me ass anyways. Um, with you being, uh, not new to this game, is there anything that you would suggest people do if they are starting to just try to get into it for myself, even like trying to get into YouTube and really try to hunker down? Is there anything like a top list of things that I should be hitting?
Definitely. And what's so funny is it's like, it's actually easier. Like nowadays for me to tell you what to do as a new person than me, who's had a channel. Cause like sometimes like sometimes in a weird way, starting from scratch is like really good when, when there's been all these algorithms shifts. And like when YouTube is just looking for different things, like sometimes it's hard to evolve your channel over time to like really work in every kind of phase of YouTube. So it's almost like way easier for me to like sit here and tell you like what you could do to be successful on YouTube. Um, I think, I mean, first and foremost, that goes without saying is obviously the content itself. Like having something to offer people like having whatever it is, having value, like whether it's informational or entertaining having something to offer and also like making it unique, not unique from other stuff.
Like obviously everything exists already, but making it like putting your spin on it, whatever that be. Maybe it's just like you're teaching the same stuff other people are, but you have a better personality or like you edit it in a cool way or your dislikable person or whatever it is. Um, obviously that, that piece of advice goes without saying, it's just obviously having something to offer. My next piece of advice is not something that a lot of people love, but like, I just think it's truly the way to grow the fastest is to really like pick a niche, like actually pick one kind of thing. That is your thing that you do. And that doesn't mean like one video. It just means like one topic. Like if you are a cook, like you like food, then like just make food videos. Don't make DIY house decor videos.
Like it sucks because what YouTube started as for me was a creative outlet. And I like a lot of different things. I like home decor, but I like clothes, but I like tech, but I like blogging and it used to be a lot more rewarding of that. It was used to be a lot more personality based. Like if you were just cool, somebody would subscribe, but YouTube in order to get your stuff pushed. Now they want to be able to know what you do if they can easily, if the algorithm I say they, but like if the, if the software, if the codes can really tell easily like what you do and that would mean having similar keywords in titles and descriptions it in your actual words, like, like for example, my videos that have the word iPhone in it, like do really well because YouTube has already deemed like, oh, this girl does iPhone stuff.
So when she puts that word in, oh, it's probably going to be a good video, whatever. So like really having a niche, which is not always, you know, a fan favorite of for creators, but it really, really will help you blow up. And then, and also if you pick a niche, like there are actually endless possibilities for the types of videos you can make in that niche. It doesn't mean it all has to be like a cooking with me video. You can also do other types of food videos and like whatever, having similar keywords in your title, description and tags is also huge, getting yourself like actually seen and searched for. Um, and that would really just mean like looking up like doing keyword searches. This is all a little bit more advanced. Like I just started really getting back into this type of stuff.
So ignore that for a second. Yes. You know, you, you already know. So, but, but even before that, like really it's like having, you know, uh, serving an audience, having value, picking a niche and making sure all your stuff like actually is in that niche. And that doesn't mean like all around, like Instagram, everything. It's just like, if you want to grow, you just have to have an age nowadays. Um, and then the third one would be consistency. Like upload consistently don't skip too long. But I also would say like, it's a battle between quality and quantity because on the one hand you want the quality to be good and you want to post consistently, but you don't want to post so consistently that your videos aren't good or that like, you know, you're like you actually miss a week because you're too burned out.
And like, that's always a balance that you need to find. Obviously the more you upload the better, but also like if you were to post an amazing video every Saturday, like you would do, you would do well, you would be fine. Yeah. Um, yeah. So I think those are the biggest things. Uh, also nowadays, like when you are making a video, like really figuring out how to hook your audience in right from the star, I've been noticing more and more like in the past, people would have these long intros and like subscribe and this is what I'm up to and blah, blah, blah, blah. And now it's just like the video starts and it's like, here are my three tips for blah, blah, blah, number one. And it's like crazy, but it's, I need to even like work on adapting more to that. I feel like I still don't quite do that, but it's like attention spans are just so much shorter now, especially with, with things like tech talks.
It's just so literally thank you. Take talk like God. So really getting into it, like right away and really hooking the audience in. And then also trying to figure out a way to keep the audience watching for the longest amount possible watch time is the number one metric that YouTube looks at when it decides to like push your videos to more people is like, how long are people watching the video for? So if you can get people to be sticking around for majority of the video, that's great. Um, and often the way that people just do that, or like, you know, have either like having listicle type like formats, like, okay, 10 things you need, like, we're going to count backwards from 10 of like the most important things when you're starting you to a YouTube channel, like obviously you're going to want to hear number one. So you're like going away or you're going to scrub through. But even if you scrubbed through,
It's still watching that counts. Yeah. So I would say those are kind of like my four, my four things, I would say the things to like, not stress out about right away at least are like the branding, which is so funny. I feel like I used to be like, oh my God, I need like the best banner ever. But it's like, those are all things you can fix and adjust. And like, all anyone's really gonna care about is your freaking video. And like the thumbnail needs to be good, but like don't stress out about like, what are my handles? And what's my brand. And like, like, oh, what should my, like a description say, like just make them dig video and then you can fix that stuff later.
Well, perfect. Hey Adrian. I think we're hitting our time here. Um, to be honest with you.
So I talked so much. No. Not at all. Like that was wonderful that you, you hit a bunch of things that, uh, I, and honestly just the conversation really opened up some things for me to ask a lot of personal questions that I had about YouTube. So this is very helpful and hopefully helpful to other people that are listening as well. So where can people find you?
Yes. Well, uh, I live in California now.
I address it. Um, no, so, uh, you can find me on YouTube. I have two channels. I have my main channel. If you just search Adrian Finch, you'll find everything. I have a main channel and I have a blog channel that I that's a little bit more like for fun. It's kinda it's, it's just there. It's small. I I'm inconsistent, but it's, it's fun. Um, and then on Tik TOK, basically everything is Adrian Finch. Take dog Instagram. My podcast is called self-made mastery. I am on hiatus, like I mentioned, but if you're interested in, you know, mindset training and kind of just really like creating and living your dream life, you can go check out self-made mastery. There's about like 80 episodes right now that are amazing. I will actually toot my own horn and say, they're incredible. You should go listen. Um, but yeah, so that's where you can find me.
Thank you so much for coming on this.
Like honestly, this one,
Thank you for having me. No, it's really cool. Getting to talk about the journey. It always reminds me just how wild it has been and how different every year has been and how this industry is just all about adapting and it's, it's pretty nutty. It's pretty cool. And I wish you the best of luck on your endeavors and channel. I expect to see a video soon from you.
Thank you. I will try my best and maybe that'll be, if I upload enough and I gain a little bit of a following, then I'll, I'll join onto your, uh, your podcasts.
Oh yeah. You can be on my podcast any day you want.
I honestly don't. Don't threaten me with a good time there.
The threatening I am threatening knife is at your throat threatening. Sorry. That was inappropriate. You're welcome. Bye-bye.