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GOLD! Creating a Thriving Personal Brand w/ YouTube - A Journal & A Personal Guide.

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Valier

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Damn! For those not familar with GPB, that's around $170,000 USD.

You still live with the Ps... what have your parents said about your venture? Are you earning more than them?

Ahahaha - yeah, they've been over the moon about it!

Initially my mother didn't even know you could make any money from YouTube, and thought people just uploaded videos for fun - it's definitely been a pleasant surprise for her.

My parents are both immigrants that fled from their country during a civil war and had to sacrifice a lot when coming to the UK - including working insanely hard to raise me up.

Being able to finally show them that their sacrifices are starting to pay off is another amazing feeling that's come about from all of this.
 

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Amazing James.

You couldn’t be a more humble guy about it too.

Next year will be even bigger I’m sure - well done on all your progress this year.
 

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My parents are both immigrants that fled from their country during a civil war and had to sacrifice a lot when coming to the UK - including working insanely hard to raise me up.

Being able to finally show them that their sacrifices are starting to pay off is another amazing feeling that's come about from all of this.

Wow, very heartwarming. They must be so proud of you, and you, proud of them as well.
 

Muhiddin

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Hi James,

You have completely changed the way i look at running a youtube channel and what is actually possible if you're committed.

Never before have i seen a youtuber who has been able to do what you have done over the past few months. I have heard about mr beast but he doesnt do documentaries. As a youtuber, i cant even imagine the amount of effort you have put into creating videos such as "the rise of fake gurus" and "the untold truth about money".

You said you use the pomodoro technique, if so can you share the total number of hours you have spent on making videos, building and running your channel? I guess its more than 2000 hours.

If we compared youtube to Hollywood, you would be the Stephen Spilberg who doesnt do any crappy stuff and takes years to make one movie and gets a world-wide attention immediately.

Your channel is the reason why i read unscripted and the millionaire fastlane and its the reason why i have big hopes for the future. I own a small youtube channel and i was going to give up on it but now i know what to do. Im gonna focus on CTR and WT.

But i wanna get your opinion on something.

Do you think i should start a new channel in the business nieche? my channel is about langauge learning and the pay is devastatingly low: $1 or $2 per 1000 views

And could you please tell me what udemy courses you took to master your skills? I looked at yout twitter page and everywhere in this forum but i was unable to find the answer to this.

James, thank you for putting in all the hard work and making the impossibe possible for us!
 

Harsha Vardhan

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Woah, James Jani......
Love your videos man those are few of the best videos I have watched in YouTube.
Love your Channel and what you are doing man...
But I always wonder how do you edit that good man what software do you use to edit videos??
 

Einfamilienhaus

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Congratulations to your outstanding success! I hope you don't mind if I put your most important findings into a short list.

Viewers
A) They take more attention primarily on the Thumbnail. Secondly on the Title. At the end they decide if the content is relevant for them.
B) The number of Subscribers doesn't matter anymore. More important is Point A above and Point C below.

YouTube Algorithm
C) Youtube will support your content through "Video Suggestions" more easily if you put more time into quality instead of quantity.
D) YouTube will split test your videos against similar videos to a small audience. The winner of the both will compete to another similar winning videos to a bigger audience. The winner takes it "all".
E) The number of uploads doesn't play a bigger role than the quality of each video.
F) Create watchable Content which is connected with the previous video to increase the viewers' engagement.

Is there any other point you find important to mention? It would be great, if we could have a short list of quality features. Thanks!
 

Gepi

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Hi James,
it is so incredible to see your journey unfold over this last year. I think you are very deserving of your success! Your parents probably woke up the next morning after you told them and first thing asked themselves: did we dream our son making more than us already at 21??

I just watched your most popular video 'The Untold Truth about Money'. It was great! Your narration is super easy on the ears, the clips you've chosen are very fitting, and the music (especially the soundtrack in part 2!) is super atmospheric and makes the video a pleasure to watch.
I am just getting started making videos, as I have recently finished my second course on Skillshare (yeah, I've seen your promotional links, as well ;) ) and have a (very small) YT channel to share free content related to it. So I know very well how much time and effort you put into creating this, and I think it is just awesome how well polished your content is.

A thing I just noticed:
You seem to present some ideas from MJ in cinematographic format in this video I watched, and of course you are also mentioning this first thing in the description and in the outro. I am myself studying economics at University at the moment and some things, like 'perceived value' are just a thing that gets taught there in marketing/service conceptions and so on, so some things even MJ did not invent totally anew, he just put the pieces of the puzzle together in a major new way ('just' of course, being an understatement, this is NOT an easy thing to do).

But, my point is: you don't have to reinvent the wheel or find the singularity formula, as long as you have an original way of presenting something and as long as your own handwriting shines through. If you present content in a new light, shine a new perspective on it, then it will gather an audience, it will find viewers!

This was just a big eye opener for me right now. And it relates to what I myself experienced
when making my courses on 3D modeling. There are loads of tutorials out there, but no one presents the topic quite like I do, and my audience rewarded me with following and watching on Skillshare, and for these first 5 months bringing me some nice extra money on the side.
(If you are interested: this is my progress thread - I am nowhere near as far along as you are, but you've also chosen a good field which has a waaay bigger niche - moneyyyy ;) )

So the moral of the story: Find something people want to learn and make good, original content - no matter if the idea has been told before! Think about all the songs which became succcesses - the version from Marilyn Manson 'Tainted Love' was a remake of a remake, if I remember correctly. Ideas are (often) cheap, but good, original ways of presenting them are not! Cheers! :D
 
Last edited:

Mike Stoian

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I didn't bloody think I would find one of my favourite Youtubers on here. You're bloody amazing.

Thanks for all the great content you put up!
 

BD64

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Incredible stuff @Valier.

I'm sure you don't need anymore validation to know you've got something real good here, but just incase you did...

Found another channel, almost a carbon copy of yours in terms of everything aside from the fact that it's specific to the fitness niche. I won't post the link here but have PM'd you it in case you are curious.
 

runnaboi

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Love your latest video James! You can tell how much work you have put in to it... great things ahead.
 

Alfie321

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Hey @Valier I'd be more than interested in the editing course. If you could go into the thinking process (why this sound effect here, why this sudden transition there, what effect you want to create, how and why it works) that would be insane value.

Most courses are about the technicals but I can learn technicals anywhere and for free. Now deconstructing your own thinking process is something almost no one does.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with competitive game analysis but it is a good example of this:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc_tGIJ7OqU


Another one is the hotseat series from Pick Up Artists. Basically clips of guys going out and talking to people and deconstructing why, when, how they do what they do. Those were insane value at the time and am for sure there would be a lot of people who would benefit from that kind of material.

Keep up the good work!
 

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P789

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Hey @Valier, I love your videos on YouTube and I watched it all at once. However, I am concerned on some comments on your videos impersonating you, specifically this comment on the Part 1 of the LoA.

This is a spam account, attempting to scam anyone who would dial the number. Also, this isn't the first time happened. On your most popular video, there were a LOT of spam accounts spamming that video.

Screenshot (227).png
I have reported that account as spam.

This article may help you in moderating the spammers.

EDIT: This video below demonstrates what will happen when interacting with the spammer.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgDCW8FIg9A&t=307s
 
Last edited:

alexkuzmov

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Hey @Valier, I love your videos on YouTube and I watched it all at once. However, I am concerned on some comments on your videos impersonating you, specifically this comment on the Part 1 of the LoA.

This is a spam account, attempting to scam anyone who would dial the number. Also, this isn't the first time happened. On your most popular video, there were a LOT of spam accounts spamming that video.

View attachment 37196
I have reported that account as spam.

This article may help you in moderating the spammers.
What the hell
I just checked his top video and the scam bullshit is everywhere in the comments...

Capture.PNG
 

MJ DeMarco

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Amazing how success attracts the grifters, scammers, and low-rent assholes.
 

CJW

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What the hell
I just checked his top video and the scam bullshit is everywhere in the comments...

View attachment 37197
Yep, I've seen loads of similar threads on anything to do with making money on YT... it's often a clone of the video they are commenting on. I've been in FB groups where someone has asked if it's safe to send payments to get crypto as it was "YT influencers crypto guy... YT influencer gave me his email". Fortunately he asked in a group and we were able to warn him that it was a scam and not really the YT channel owner.
 

MJ DeMarco

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What the hell
I just checked his top video and the scam bullshit is everywhere in the comments...

View attachment 37197

Sad thing is, these dumb asses are everywhere.

If the forum didn't moderate/screen posts, this is EXACTLY how every thread in the forum would look.

We literally delete dozens of these spam posts per day, and the rest don't make it past user approval.
 

alexkuzmov

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Sad thing is, these dumb asses are everywhere.

If the forum didn't moderate/screen posts, this is EXACTLY how every thread in the forum would look.

We literally delete dozens of these spam posts per day, and the rest don't make it past user approval.
How do they keep finding ways to do it though?
It looks like its automatic, because its repetitive, but maybe real people post the spam like its their job?
 

woken

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I’m just speechless. I’ve watched through your videos long before I ever found this topic.

Keep doing you my man ! You’ve got my on your videos. They’re addictive.
 

Fox

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Hey @Valier this video popped up and within seconds I was like “ah another James Jani video”.

I had to literally double check this wasn’t you - seems he ripped off your whole format and even the voice sounds super similar.


He does give you some credit in the video details but it’s kinda crazy to copy someone so heavily.

Id imagine someone sent this to you already - I’m curious if this has been happening a lot?
 

Raja

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Hey @Valier this video popped up and within seconds I was like “ah another James Jani video”.

I had to literally double check this wasn’t you - seems he ripped off your whole format and even the voice sounds super similar.


He does give you some credit in the video details but it’s kinda crazy to copy someone so heavily.

Id imagine someone sent this to you already - I’m curious if this has been happening a lot?
1618839072448.png
I see similar growth pattern like james's videos
 

Zache

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Hey @Valier this video popped up and within seconds I was like “ah another James Jani video”.

I had to literally double check this wasn’t you - seems he ripped off your whole format and even the voice sounds super similar.


He does give you some credit in the video details but it’s kinda crazy to copy someone so heavily.

Id imagine someone sent this to you already - I’m curious if this has been happening a lot?

You think James Jani created this format? Go watch Jake Tran, he was doing the same format before James. This style of video has been around for a long time and as much as I love James' videos, he wasn't exactly the first one to do them.

He clearly puts a lot of time and effort into his videos and provides value to his viewers so I don't see why you are disapproving of this guy. What's wrong with copying someone if it works and other people enjoy it?

They have the same voice? Maybe they are just from the same area of London.
 

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Thurlam

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hot damn, wasn't expecting this thread to be by the guy who got me into MJ's books in the first place, and whose content I've already consumed all of. fascinating read, and very impressive work. I still have to give you a lot of the credit for the relatively recent radical shift in my mentality, and for that I will remain grateful for the foreseeable future.

not long after watching your money vid and subsequently reading MJ's books, I actually spent about 6 months working on a 6+ hour long review of a video game I had just wasted my previous year on, in an attempt to salvage something of that waste. but since I kind of hated making it, video games are by and large bad for me (in addition to being a very saturated market), and my voice is basically a 2-3 compared to your 8-9, alas, this doesn't seem like a particularly viable path for me. (though to my surprise I did receive some glowing comments, but that strikes me as more of a vocal minority/early adopter kind of thing.)

anyway, good shit James, looking forward to your next one.
 

BD64

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Hey @Valier this video popped up and within seconds I was like “ah another James Jani video”.

I had to literally double check this wasn’t you - seems he ripped off your whole format and even the voice sounds super similar.


He does give you some credit in the video details but it’s kinda crazy to copy someone so heavily.

Id imagine someone sent this to you already - I’m curious if this has been happening a lot?
Yup, this is the exact post/YouTuber I was referring to but didn't want to link. Although, his videos are quite good and fill a different niche.
 

Ivex

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Holy guacamole! It's James Jani. I came across one of your first videos on my recommended a while back, can't remember what it was exactly now. But your style was a touch of genius in the daily upload culture of YouTube.

Keep it up.

British content creators rise up.

The "Sidemen" of entrepreneurship will rise up soon to challenge the American entrepreneur niche lot (Kevin, Graham, Jeremy).
 

Steve A

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hey congrats on your success mate! This is all very inspiring!

one or two people touched on it in earlier replies but i just want to point out what really stands out about your videos for me.

sure your video editing skills are top notch, you do heaps of research (more than most are willing to do) etc...

But what really grabs me is your ability to tell a story!

armed with the same editing skills, the same research, the same stock footage etc, i bet most people would fail to TELL that story as well as you do. The videos are gripping from the get go, and they do not relent.

you are a talented man, my friend! Your success is well deserved!

keep up the great work
 

Hampus

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Hey there @Valier

Just spent the past few hours reading through the whole thread, page 1-11! Super inspiring for sure. Makes me want to start a YouTube channel myself.

Would love to see another quick update post whenever you get the chance, I see you've gained another quarter million followers since the last one 5 months ago. Any new insights? Change in plans or strategy? Any online course revenue yet?

Cheers from Philadelphia!
 

noordean

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Let's get this started with a basic introduction.

Hi, I'm James. 19 y/o from the UK, chose not to go university since there wasn't any subject I wanted to study that would suit my direction in life. The big goal is to be semi-retired by 30, but that's okay if I don't get there, I'm focusing on the process and journey above all else.

I recently started up my new business which if you are a FLF Insider, you can find my thread here:

So then, what's this about a personal brand & a YouTube channel?
I came to a realisation that I wish I had come to a few years back: a personal brand is an incredibly powerful thing. Especially in business, and especially if you are trying to go fastlane.

With just 100 loyal fans you can do so much to promote your other side hustles, and/or monetise that audience.

This realisation drove me to conclude that I wanted to start building up my own personal brand - right now, with no hesitation, and do my absolute best to get this thing up and running because let's all be clear here: the odds are not in my favour. There are so many channels out there, that it's damn near impossible to be seen amongst the crowd...
or is it?

A Guide as well as Documentation

The purpose of this thread is to not only document my process and journey, but also provide a guide for what is working/isn't working and how you can learn from whatever mistakes I make.

Provide value above all else, as always.

Keeping it Honest and Real
Like in my Insiders thread, I want to be entirely transparent with everyone and keep it as real & as honest as I can.

If one day I decide to just quit the whole thing I will document it on here. I'm in this till I either succeed, pivot, or quit, and you'll have a clear picture on where this process will take me, and where I may have gone wrong/gone right.

What's Been Done So Far...
I already have my channel up and running, and as a matter of fact, you can check out my first video here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg6CGNoynDI


How the First Video Went.
Keeping up with the theme of transparency: I was very nervous when recording and releasing this video.

I've done a lot of acting throughout my childhood - teenage years, and making this video was more nerve wrecking to me than any audition that I've done in the past. But this is the first barrier that people will face if you're trying to make it on this platform: THE FEAR OF POSTING YOUR FIRST VIDEO.

Once I posted that video, I felt a slight sense of relief. I sent a few messages out to some close friends who I had told I was starting this channel up, and they went on to watch it. And a few of them shared the video on their Instagram stories.

Let me be clear here: I was too nervous to post this video on my social media. That's why I just DM'd some friends, in the hopes that I can land maybe 80 views on the video to get me started off.

But once some of these friends posted it to their story something amazing happened: other people started sharing it on their story. Some of these people were friends, but there were also some that I hadn't spoken to or seen in a while that shared it. I even had some really kind messages about how they found the video really helpful and well done.

I really didn't think it was a great video at first. I thought it was bad, and kinda boring because the nerves really stopped me from bringing the energy to the screen that I usually could do with acting. My only intention was to post the first video no matter how nervous I felt about it.

After I felt that positive feedback, I finally made the leap and posted it to my own socials. In total the video sits at around 260 views, 32 likes, and 8 comments. I was more than impressed by that as a debut video - I genuinely didn't think it would surpass 100. I earned about 35 subscribers in total from that video, and a few new followers on my Instagram.

The Goals.
My goal isn't really to be 'internet famous' or anything like that. It's simply to get a personal brand started up, have my name put out there, share some genuine advice from someone who is passionate about entrepreneurship, and self development (no 'woo-woo' selling my $1500+ course shit), and see where it goes.

If you're looking for some specific targeted goals, here's my main objective for the year:
Reach 1,000 subscribers by 2021.

That's all. For now. The reason why I say this is that the subscriber count is really just a vanity metric. I'm more interested in improving things like watch time, and Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - y'know, the metrics that actually count. But until I have some data from my own videos to work off, I can't set those targets as of right now.

My aim is to post once a week. Although it may be once every two weeks every so often. Truth is, I'm balancing three things here: the channel is one thing, the full time job is another, and my other side hustle which I've been working super hard on is the third. Ideally, the latter two are working hand-in-hand, but that doesn't deviate from the fact that my full time job as an estate agent has some ungodly hours that can really eat into free time.

But again, all will be documented here.

Conclusion
That's about it for now.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me them.

And most importantly: ALL feedback is appreciated, the good, the bad, the ugly. All of it.

Have a wonderful weekend folks
Let's get this started with a basic introduction.

Hi, I'm James. 19 y/o from the UK, chose not to go university since there wasn't any subject I wanted to study that would suit my direction in life. The big goal is to be semi-retired by 30, but that's okay if I don't get there, I'm focusing on the process and journey above all else.

I recently started up my new business which if you are a FLF Insider, you can find my thread here:

So then, what's this about a personal brand & a YouTube channel?
I came to a realisation that I wish I had come to a few years back: a personal brand is an incredibly powerful thing. Especially in business, and especially if you are trying to go fastlane.

With just 100 loyal fans you can do so much to promote your other side hustles, and/or monetise that audience.

This realisation drove me to conclude that I wanted to start building up my own personal brand - right now, with no hesitation, and do my absolute best to get this thing up and running because let's all be clear here: the odds are not in my favour. There are so many channels out there, that it's damn near impossible to be seen amongst the crowd...
or is it?

A Guide as well as Documentation

The purpose of this thread is to not only document my process and journey, but also provide a guide for what is working/isn't working and how you can learn from whatever mistakes I make.

Provide value above all else, as always.

Keeping it Honest and Real
Like in my Insiders thread, I want to be entirely transparent with everyone and keep it as real & as honest as I can.

If one day I decide to just quit the whole thing I will document it on here. I'm in this till I either succeed, pivot, or quit, and you'll have a clear picture on where this process will take me, and where I may have gone wrong/gone right.

What's Been Done So Far...
I already have my channel up and running, and as a matter of fact, you can check out my first video here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg6CGNoynDI


How the First Video Went.
Keeping up with the theme of transparency: I was very nervous when recording and releasing this video.

I've done a lot of acting throughout my childhood - teenage years, and making this video was more nerve wrecking to me than any audition that I've done in the past. But this is the first barrier that people will face if you're trying to make it on this platform: THE FEAR OF POSTING YOUR FIRST VIDEO.

Once I posted that video, I felt a slight sense of relief. I sent a few messages out to some close friends who I had told I was starting this channel up, and they went on to watch it. And a few of them shared the video on their Instagram stories.

Let me be clear here: I was too nervous to post this video on my social media. That's why I just DM'd some friends, in the hopes that I can land maybe 80 views on the video to get me started off.

But once some of these friends posted it to their story something amazing happened: other people started sharing it on their story. Some of these people were friends, but there were also some that I hadn't spoken to or seen in a while that shared it. I even had some really kind messages about how they found the video really helpful and well done.

I really didn't think it was a great video at first. I thought it was bad, and kinda boring because the nerves really stopped me from bringing the energy to the screen that I usually could do with acting. My only intention was to post the first video no matter how nervous I felt about it.

After I felt that positive feedback, I finally made the leap and posted it to my own socials. In total the video sits at around 260 views, 32 likes, and 8 comments. I was more than impressed by that as a debut video - I genuinely didn't think it would surpass 100. I earned about 35 subscribers in total from that video, and a few new followers on my Instagram.

The Goals.
My goal isn't really to be 'internet famous' or anything like that. It's simply to get a personal brand started up, have my name put out there, share some genuine advice from someone who is passionate about entrepreneurship, and self development (no 'woo-woo' selling my $1500+ course shit), and see where it goes.

If you're looking for some specific targeted goals, here's my main objective for the year:
Reach 1,000 subscribers by 2021.

That's all. For now. The reason why I say this is that the subscriber count is really just a vanity metric. I'm more interested in improving things like watch time, and Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - y'know, the metrics that actually count. But until I have some data from my own videos to work off, I can't set those targets as of right now.

My aim is to post once a week. Although it may be once every two weeks every so often. Truth is, I'm balancing three things here: the channel is one thing, the full time job is another, and my other side hustle which I've been working super hard on is the third. Ideally, the latter two are working hand-in-hand, but that doesn't deviate from the fact that my full time job as an estate agent has some ungodly hours that can really eat into free time.

But again, all will be documented here.

Conclusion
That's about it for now.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me them.

And most importantly: ALL feedback is appreciated, the good, the bad, the ugly. All of it.

Have a wonderful weekend folks
Hi everyone

After reading through all 11 pages of this thread I want to say that I am amazed at what I have seen.

Not only is James' growth on youtube spectacular, and his mindset and attitude humble and inspiring,

But it is wonderful to see the positivity of the forum members congratulating him and supporting him throughout his journey. MJ really has built something special here.

I read TMF 2 years ago, and the book and its lessons flew WAY over my head- i liked the financial maturity and the right attitude to apply these lessons anyway. I saw a quote from the book I had saved to readwise which sent me to this forum and. this thread, and back to the books which I am rereading.

James, you have shown me and everyone else that wants to become a fastlaner that it is possible through youtube, something that I wasn't sure about.

I might even start a thread of my own.

Its very nice to meet you all.

Noor
 

Beebop27

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 22, 2020
68
65
110
Sydney, Australia
Hi James,

Firstly I want to commend you on what you have achieved.

To say it's commendable is an understatement and ... well.... well done bro!

I do have a question for you though... which is how do you do your sound editing? Your voice is so crisp and clean, and not at all diluted from the music and effects you put in.

I went to your microphone and saw which one you use, which would help, but do you then process your sound through compression?

Thank you in advance, and no worries if you are too busy to reply.

I look forward in seeing your next video.

Keep up the great work!

All the best..
 

Cameraman

Contributor
I've Read Rat-Race Escape!
Sep 25, 2021
24
57
18
UK
Ahahaha - yeah, they've been over the moon about it!

Initially my mother didn't even know you could make any money from YouTube, and thought people just uploaded videos for fun - it's definitely been a pleasant surprise for her.

My parents are both immigrants that fled from their country during a civil war and had to sacrifice a lot when coming to the UK - including working insanely hard to raise me up.

Being able to finally show them that their sacrifices are starting to pay off is another amazing feeling that's come about from all of this.
I came to this thread after it was recommended by @Andy Black. Having read through it over a few days it's very inspirational. I'm genuinely chuffed for you (for anyone reading this who is not from the North of Engalnd that means delighted). You've created a great channel and having watched a few of your videos I really like your style. Best of all, you've inspired me to be more serious with my own YouTube channel.

Thank you, well done, and I wish you continued success.
 

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