After 3 years of an Electrical Engineering / Computer Science degree, Sara Dietschy dropped out of college to pursue filmmaking full time. She is driven by showing the creative process and has brought the rawness & fun of vlogs into her videos and now has over 650,000 subscribers on YouTube. In our conversation, she shares her insights into why the internet is become remix culture, why we should focus on one passion at a time and why design has been so important for her personal brand.
Here are some of the highlights from our discussion:
Now is always a perfect time to start if you have something that is driving you. The key aspect to consider is to think about what is the value that you are providing; for some people this might be to create an app or a website, for others, it might be educational content on YouTube – as long as you are providing value then your content or product is more likely to gain traction.
The internet is remix culture. As Pat Flynn wrote, “there’s no such thing as a unique message – only unique messengers” and this is how all content, ideas and sectors develop and evolve over time because it’s your personal spin on things which makes you special on the internet – whether through a blog or on YouTube. Tweaks to existing content generates new genres – for instance, Casey Niestat changed aspects of the vlogging genre.
Design is incredibly important especially if your name or company is not straightforward to say or spell. The most important thing for a brand is do people know how to spell it and do people know how to say it. Consequently, developing a brand future proofs you so people still understand who you are and what your brand is.
Focus on one passion at a time. It takes a lot of trial and error but really focus on one and if it doesn’t work out then move on to the next thing. As Angela Duckworth says in Grit “passion is a little bit of discovery followed by a lot of development and then a lifetime of deepening”.
One for me, one for them. By adopting this approach to her YouTube strategy, Sara would produce one video which she is passionate about to prove that she is a filmmaker who could tell a story. These videos wouldn’t necessarily get the views, but she can accumulate the right sort of audience from them and it’s the genre of videos that she is passionate about. The second half of the strategy, one for them, is about leveraging the search engine aspect of YouTube and siphoning off people’s audience, thinking about how she can offer value to someone’s audience so that they would come and check out her channel too.
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