The channel’s growth began to accelerate in 2017, and Carter Sharer — who was also working on the channel along with his brother and Capri — said he would quit his day job if the channel passed 100,000 subscribers.
It did, and Capri said she thought to herself, “I’d be willing to quit too, but if we reach one million.”
Within two months of Carter quitting, the original channel “Stephen Sharer” hit one million subscribers, prompting her to leave her job at LinkedIn.
“It was so insane,” she said. “We had an Excel spreadsheet of ideas — hundreds of ideas — and any time I would think of an idea, I would add it and that’s where a lot of the initial video ideas came from.”
At first, Capri spent time on the backend of the channel, managing the email account, audience engagement through comments, and fan mail to build audience loyalty, she said.
“My traditional job definitely helped shape my experience on YouTube, and created more structure around being a creator and working in this unstructured lifestyle,” she said.
Out of her four channels, Milli’s World is the second most popular, at almost one million subscribers.
Capri said it usually takes several days to develop an idea into a video. And there’s a strategy to gaining millions of views.
“It seems like we just picked up the camera and ran, but we actually sat down, brainstormed, and figured out a structure for the video,” she said. “We want it to feel easy, but there’s a lot of production that goes into each video.”
Capri said she spends a significant amount of time thinking about what the thumbnail image will be, and about an hour taking the photo for it.
In a previous interview, Reed Duchscher, president of the talent management firm Night Media, spoke to Business Insider about popular techniques creators use to draw in younger viewers, like adding bright colors like neon green and yellow to a thumbnail image.
“The reason why these popular channels are being promoted comes down to two things: high average view duration and high click-through rate,” Duchscher said.
Capri employs some of these techniques on her thumbnails.
Today, all four creators are on a “team” together, with several employees, from full-time video editors and production assistants, to someone who assists with merchandise creation and sales, she said.
“There’s a sustainability aspect for businesses that is different from if it’s a hobby or passion,” she said. “I’ve always taken it very seriously, and you have to if you’re relying on it to pay your bills.”
She said the team works together every day, and films about two videos a day for someone’s channel. They’ll also spend time reviewing each video’s analytics together — like views, click-through rate, and watchtime — looking at what works and removing methods that don’t. She said they aim for a 50% watchtime on videos and will look at where viewers are clicking off from the video through the data provided by YouTube’s creator studio.
“Our day is totally packed,” she said. “There are a lot of backend business things we have to get sorted out, with our legal team or accountant on a weekly basis.”
Capri said she earns money through Google AdSense (which places ads within her YouTube videos), through brand partnerships, and other opportunities like merchandise.
What works on YouTube changes constantly, she said. Over the past year, she said her team has been focused on developing a creative strategy, and rebranding the team name (previously “dream team”), while also growing a sustainable audience, making sure they are still focusing on the followers they each have, instead of the one-off viral hits.
“There is a lot more pressure now, because there are so many more people involved,” she said. “For us to grow, not just as one channel but as a group, there’s power in numbers and we saw that.”
For more on how influencers are profiting from their success online, according to industry professionals and creators, check out these Business Insider Prime posts:
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