We were able to catch up with Sami Jarroush from the Rock It Out! Blog during SXSW this weekend. The conference hosted a panel featuring the challenges of becoming a music vlogger, which is someone who covers the music industry in short-form video on sites such as YouTube. Developing your own style, injecting personality into your videos and building a passionate following are just some of the things master Sami has to teach all of you.
He got his start several years ago by hosting a show for a competing network. He jumped into YouTube and noticed how many people were sharing their views on the music industry so he decided to put a few vlogs up himself. He is passionate about rock, and began diving into things behind the scenes – the clubs, the bands and the music itself. He noticed fairly quickly that people seemed to like what he had to say – and more importantly – the way he said it.
He’s been making his living by creating unique content for about two and a half years. Even though it’s not easy much of the time, Sami admits that the passion he still carries is what drives him. You can have a million viewers… but they mean nothing if you don’t care about whatever it is you are putting out there for them to watch.
I’ve talked in the past about how important it is to be yourself. Figure out who it is you are and embrace it. Don’t try and pretend to be something you aren’t – especially on video. People are always going to see through you, and they’ll never develop trust in you. Believe in yourself and the things you are trying to teach others. Be creative – find your sense of style and polish it. You don’t have to be the smartest person out there or know even half of everything to succeed. You simply have to be different from everyone else… bring your knowledge and heart to everything you do in a way that is all your own.
Sami mentions that the Internet is ruthless – boy oh boy is that ever true. The audience will know if you’re a poser. Don’t bother talking about something simply because it’s a hot topic that day. If that’s not what YOU are passionate about, you are going to be dismissed as a phony sooner than immediately.
Be consistent. People want to know that they can count on you. If they are forever logging in in the hopes of finding something new by you, they’re going to quickly give up and move on to the next person. Develop a routine and schedule and stick to it. If something happens to prevent you from keeping to that timeline, let your followers know so that they don’t feel as though you abandoned them.
How do you get started? It’s simple, young grasshoppers: pick up a camera and turn it on. You have no clue just how far you can go if you don’t bother to try.