Creator Spotlight: Jacob Campbell
Every content creator has a unique story. In this series, we interview creators to highlight why they started creating. This week we talked to Jacob Campbell to hear about his experience with balancing education while creating his YouTube channel.
Tell us a bit about you and your channel
Hey! My name is Jacob Campbell and I am 22 years old and currently finishing up my 5th, and last, year of Kinesiology at Western University. I started my YouTube channel, Jacob Campbell Vlogs, last year. I’m very lucky because it has gotten a lot more support than I could’ve imagined. My channel is still in the beginner stages, but I only hope to use this momentum that I was so fortunate to gain very early on and grow with it. My postings are slightly sporadic right now because I’m so busy with school and work, but I’m working on posting more regularly, like 1-2 times a week. In terms of my content, my channel kind of touches upon a little bit of everything; I have fun videos with friends, sit-down conversation videos, some serious conversation videos, etc. I kind of just film whatever I’m feeling at that moment or whatever I get a lot of requests to do. I’d love it if you checked out my channel and if you have any video ideas, then feel free to shoot me a message!
What inspired you to start your channel?
I’d say there are two different ways for me to answer this question. For me, it’s important to distinguish between what inspired me to create my first video, and what inspired me to continue and create my channel.
My first video that was posted was my coming out story where I sit down and talk about my experiences with coming from a very small town, accepting my sexuality, and my coming out experience. When I was in my late teen years and struggling with all the topics listed above, I found comfort in watching others’ coming out stories. The videos that I used to watch helped me gain confidence and eventually led me to come out. The rationale behind creating this video was to do exactly what the other videos did for me, but for someone else. I wanted to help other people gain their confidence.
My channel, on the other hand, is a little more straightforward. Once I dipped my toes in the water through creating my first video, I just really enjoyed it. I kind of just said to me, “well, it’s quarantine and there isn’t anything else to do and this was really fun, so why not?”
Since I started watching YouTube in high school, I always had the vision that I would eventually create a video for others to see, but never could I have ever imagined the support I would get from people all across Canada, America, and the World. This momentum kind of just gave me the inspiration to keep creating content and continue posting. And there we have it, I now have a YouTube Channel.
What’s your favourite thing about creating content?
My favourite thing is probably filming the videos and learning new filming/editing skills. Because my channel is still under a year old, I still consider it to be on training wheels and also consider myself a rookie when it comes to everything about creating content. The filming and editing processes are very new concepts to me that I have never done before, and all of my knowledge is self-taught… with the help of a lot of video tutorials, haha. I find it very rewarding to be finished a video and look back on the final product to see how much my editing and filming have improved, no matter how many times I am cringing at all of the outtakes.
I also find it very fun to film the videos themselves. Although I only have 1 video on my channel with another person, I am in the works of editing a couple more that are all filmed with others. In all of these videos, it was a blast to just sit down with my friends and hang out. Plus, whether it be by myself or with others, I’m always just having a good time in front of the camera, no matter how awkward I look.
What’s the most challenging thing about being a creator?
For me, I’d say it’s trying to meet the requests for new videos and content. YouTube is very much a hobby for me right now; it is something fun for me to do when I have free time from work and school. Because I am fairly busy finishing up my studies and trying to work 3 jobs to pay for my schooling, at times I’m left with very little time to film and edit. I want to keep posting new content to keep everyone engaged, but it gets hard with the little time that I have, and am fearful that because my posting times are slightly inconsistent right now, that I will lose a lot of my viewers. This is why there are a few time gaps between my videos (although I am really working on posting more regularly and am confident that day will come soon!).
How much importance do you place on audience engagement, and how do you engage with your fans?
I mainly engage with my fans through the comment sections on my videos, or through messages on Instagram. Although I pursued YouTube because I thought it would be a cool hobby, I do place a lot of importance on audience engagement. Since my first video was to help others gain confidence about coming out, I always do my best to respond to any message where I can find myself actively listening to others’ stories or offering advice when I can. I also think it's just really important to recognize that all of the successes that a creator has are because of their audience, so I try to stay connected with them.
I also try my best to just talk to the camera like it’s a second person in the room to try and make it more candid. I find this can sometimes help with keeping them engaged in the videos themselves.
How did you grow your channel?
I posted my first video on my Facebook page, and then it kind of just blew up from there. Within about the first month or so, I had just about 100 thousand views and was climbing at a steady rate. I kind of just used this momentum and took off with it. Once I started posting more videos, my views and subscribers kept climbing. So, I guess you can say that just capitalizing on the momentum really worked in my favour! Although I am extremely blown away with how much support my channel has gotten, it is still in the beginning stages and I hoped to grow it a lot within the next coming months with a few things up my sleeve!
Where do you go to find tips for creating content and growing your channel?
I often go to my viewers for this. In just about every video, I always try to mention that everyone is more than welcome to message me with video and content ideas; in fact, I would actually love it if you did! This helps a lot because some of the ideas I would never think about that are very creative, and even if I don’t use the idea word-for-word, I just add one of my own little twists to it. Now editing, on the other hand, I am desperate. I look to YouTube tutorials, I ask my viewers to comment on links to good editing tutorials, and I even will call my friends and ask them for help if they are more tech-savvy than I am.
What advice would you give other creators or aspiring creators?
For aspiring creators: just do it! I found it so easy to be turned away and putting off starting a video because I got caught up in how daunting it was to post a video for anyone to see. I was so worried if people would like and support it. Don’t feel like you need to do some extravagant video for your big debut. My video had barely any edits, was extremely simple, but I was still incredibly proud of it; plus, many supported it as well! So just do it, and I promise that once you start, it will be hard to stop!
For other creators: I almost feel as though I’m still too new to give advice to other creators because I’m still learning the ropes myself but if I had to say something then I would just say not to let the negative people bring you down! When you post videos for everyone to see, every once in a while, you receive some negative messages or comments about your content, and if you’re not careful then you can slowly spiral from that. Just ignore them or do what I do and just laugh them off, and focus on the positive!
Your favourite creators:
I love to watch David Dobrik + The Vlog Squad, Cody Ko, and currently on a spree where I watch all the TikTok stars who recently started pursuing YouTube (D’Amelios, Larray, etc.)
How can people connect with you?
Message me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacobcampbellvlogs/
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPg-tqsD4AX47N88SY5uXsw