April is a sweet girl from Nashville who has been on YouTube for almost three years, but her unique voice and sound makes her stand out from the crowd. “I don’t want to be just a YouTube artist.”
She enjoys engaging with her fans by talking back and forth with them on Twitter, but also on other social platforms like Instagram and Keek. She also enjoys hosting virtual concerts on Stage, where fans can interact directly with her online.
“I use YouTube as an outlet for my music. I wouldn’t really consider myself a YouTuber — I’m a musician.” What’s even more inspiring about April’s story is that she was born without a left hand and uses a special prosthetic to play the guitar. “Don’t be scared to put yourself out there and don’t be scared what other people are going to say about it.”
Sean creates sketches, blogs and game commentary for his channel, which has been active for two years now. He engages with fans by being as accessible as possible. He even gave out his number to fans at PlayList Live so they could call him if they wanted to. “I made a video where fans had to decode a secret code at the end of it, which was my phone number. I want people to feel like they know me. I had a girl call me yesterday and she was crying.”
He believes that YouTube is trying to turn itself more into a medium for professionals rather than amateurs. “I care a lot about these kids. When I was a kid, I would go to places where I would feel relatable, and I want them to go to my channel to feel the same way.”
Adande Thorne (aka Swoozie) used to be a lifeguard at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando but decided to get into professional gaming once he saw the potential. “I used to play video games and would make money, and people would always ask me how to get paid for video games. I saved up three months pay as a lifeguard before quitting my lifeguarding job to play games full-time.” Google called him in 2007 and he became the fourth person to join the YouTube partner program. “I never wanted to be YouTube-famous. I talked to Michelle Phan back in the day when I thought nobody was making money off of the site.” Swoozie did a collab with Michelle, and his subscriber base jumped 30 thousand overnight.
“My content is unique because I’m not scared to share personal information that 90 percent of others won’t admit. I will talk about super intimate stuff and people can really connect because I show my vulnerable self.” In order to engage with his fans, he likes giving away things to people. “One time, I bought a bunch of Playstation gift cards and started giving them out to people. I spent tens of thousands of dollars go give things out and try to make sure every single person gets my time; I’ll go out of my way.”
About the author: Derrick Fung is the co-founder and CEO of Tunezy – a website where fans can gain access to exclusive experiences with their favourite YouTubers. Derrick is a top 20 under 30 entrepreneur named by Profit Magazine and a former investment banker.