“People like us because we are who we are on camera. We have different personalities, but they match well.” Jacob and Josh, two brothers, got their YouTube channel off the ground when they participated in “Internet Icon,” a show hosted by the YOMYOMF Network.
They keep their fans engaged by being down to earth and by being very active on social media. “We try to reply and comment back and forth with our fans. We have a series called ‘This or That’ where we compare two different things in a video and our fans can participate.”
The two brothers are originally from Atlanta but are now based in L.A. “We also believe a lot in doing collaborations, as it keeps fans coming back and engaged when they see unique content all the time.”
As a kid, Michael always wanted to be a filmmaker — so he became one. He started on YouTube in March 2009 and has grown his channel to almost 900 thousand subscribers. He’s currently trying to focus more on long-form content, but is still doing sketches and interactive “choose your own adventure” clips.
He recently directed a movie called “Smiley” and believes that the move towards long form content is inevitable. “YouTube is one of the few honest places where things will live or die. We’re in an interesting time. There are no gatekeepers anymore. The audience is the gatekeeper. You have to listen to your fans.” Michael believes that we are in “a new age where fans are determining who’s good and who’s bad.” He adds: “You barely buy success anymore. All the middlemen are going to go home broke; we’re starting to cut out more middlemen.” He advises people looking to build their follower base to always keep the fan in mind, because “they are ultimately the gatekeepers.”
Olga Kay (right)
Olga used to juggle in the circus before pursuing YouTube full-time in 2006. “I travelled with the Ringling brothers for two years and ended up in L.A. after looking for work as a juggler.” Her content has been evolving with her fans’ interests and has been becoming more and more professional over time. “I see YouTube as a stepping stone into bigger projects.”
She’s built an army of loyal followers (over 500 thousand on YouTube) by being real and talking to them directly. “I love going to meetups and giving out a lot of stuff during them. On my videos, I often give gifts out to fans for the best answers to keep them engaged.” She has some very interesting ideas to get her fans even more engaged: “I would love to invite them to photoshoots and maybe even bring them on tour with me like what Lindsay Stirling is doing.”