How to Become a YouTube Idol

20141018 me and the man

This weekend I was fortunate to go to the YouTube Fanfest Academy for creators and see the YouTube Fanfest show last night.  It was an exciting and inspirational weekend and I’m grateful to everyone, especially my one and only, for getting me into these events.  Not only was I able to grow my YouTube following by 25% in one day (from 8 to 10 – log into gmail and subscribe here if you haven’t!), but I also got to meet and listen to the stories and advice of some YouTube sensations.  I even got to hang with Marquese Scott, of this viral video’s fame.  Here are some highlights from his interview and the questions I was able to ask him one-on-one.

Q: When did you start dancing?
A: Age 12 after dance battling some kids at the roller skating rink and losing badly.

Q: How did you get started on YouTube?
A: At first I just loaded videos to view my own dancing and to improve.  Then as more people other than my direct friends started to watch my videos I started to dress nicer and find nicer backgrounds for my videos.

Q: Is YouTube a business?
A: Yes and no – I still have love for dancing but there are now commercial considerations like what to wear etc.

Q: When did you get a manager and how did that process work?
A: Luckily I had a manager from before I blew up, from when I was doing “So You Think You Can Dance” etc.

Q: How is your time divided between on and off YouTube?
A: 40 on / 60 off – live performances take up most of my time but I am considering employing a team to push my channel full time so I can work more on that.

Q: Do you have any advice for people just getting started?
A: Love it 1st.  And stay true to your content.

And from my brief convo with him after his talk –

Q: Was there ever a time when you considered quitting?
A: Never – and when you decide to take time off or do something else, that’s when you lose it.

Q: You started posting videos when you were already an advanced dancer.  What advice can you offer to someone who is a bit more blue belt in his skill level?
A: Don’t worry about the level – there is an audience for every level – just find it and keep doing what you love.

So that’s it – I shall keep making my vids, and see what comes of it.

Later in the weekend I got to speak to his manager (and also spill sparkling water all over his shoe in my nervousness, sorry!), and he reiterated the point about loving it – “Love it, because it’s a ton of work”.  Anything of value is, innit.