“I love that this industry is packed with endless opportunities. I’ve met and interacted with so many different people and brands over the years that I would have never met had it not been for this career path.”
Raymond Strazdas produces highly informative, interesting videos on Youtube. His content ranges widely; from gadget reviews to video editing setups and even gaming! These videos undoubtedly offer crucial tips and tricks, hence being able to enrich your learning process on YouTube.
In this week’s Pixlr Spotlight, Raymond Strazdas talks about how he started his channel, his strategies on maintaining audience engagement, what he loves about being part of the industry, and his advice to upcoming creators.
How did you get started in your YouTube/Instagram?
I started producing content online when I was leaving high school and entering college in 2009. I remember watching backyard wrestling videos and thinking I can do better than that. I created an episodic series called XBWF, which ended up being 25 episodes long. It pushed me to my limits both physically and mentally – especially since I didn’t know how to film or edit videos at the time. It was a learning experience that really set the tone for my career.
Did you always know you wanted to do this?
This career path wasn’t something I expected to get into. I originally wanted to go to school for video game design however, my senior year of high school I started watching videos on YouTube and began getting creative with making videos. I was instantly hooked to the creative process and my life completely changed because of it.
How and when did you know you can make this a career?
For me, creating content has always been something that I have been passionate about. I love the process of filming and editing videos. Once I started making money and when brands started reaching out to make videos with them, I knew that this was something I could make my career if I stuck to it. It’s a lot of work and the creative process can be grueling but it is such a rewarding career path.
How do you keep your audience engaged?
I keep my audience engaged by being as interactive as I can. I really enjoy chatting with everyone, replying to as many comments as I can, hosting live Q&A streams and so on. There are a lot of different things I have tried over the years to engage my audience but I found that it really comes down to just being yourself and interacting with everyone.
What do you think is most important when you’re looking for ways to engage with your audience?
I think the most important thing is finding things that your audience enjoys. Replying to comments is great to interact but it’s never a bad thing to find new ways to engage viewers. For example, if you’re a gaming channel, streaming games is a really great way to play games and chat with your audience in real time. You can do the same for any topic really. I found giveaways, polls and Q&A’s are all great ways to engage an audience.
What do you love most about working in this industry?
I love that this industry is packed with endless opportunities. I’ve met and interacted with so many different people and brands over the years that I would have never met had it not been for this career path. If you’re passionate about the process and stick with it, you never know where you’ll end up in this industry.
How do you stay current on all the shifts and innovations?
I typically stay current on shifts and innovations in the industry through social media nowadays. Prior to the pandemic, I would also always be out and about at conferences and events. While I believe those will eventually make a return, social media is a great way to (virtually) stay on top of trends happening in the industry.
Have you noticed any positive or negative changes in your work since the pandemic?
I noticed many changes in my work since the pandemic. Since I have been home more than ever, I noticed that it has been a bit tougher than usual to get motivated. On the flip side, I have also been producing some of my best work yet that has been performing very well and growing my channel more so than ever before. I think the positives have outweighed the negatives for me.
What’s the funniest story that comes to mind ever since you started working more indoors due to the pandemic?
The funniest story that comes to mind is that many brands have been reaching out to furnish my home. I have endless amounts of cardboard and enough desks to open up my own office!
What advice would you give for aspiring creators?
A piece of advice I would give to aspiring creators is to be passionate about the process. Love what you do and stick with it. Creating content and sharing it online can be a bit discouraging, especially in the beginning. You can have a really good idea and it won’t do well like you have hoped. Don’t let numbers/views get to you. Keep making stuff and building yourself up. You never know who is watching and where it will lead!
Read our previous Spotlight interview here.