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  • Lights, Camera, Action!

  • I don't know about you but these are the 3 words

  • that I've wanted to hear at some point in my life,

  • especially when Madhuri Dixit was at the peak of her career.

  • Kyu ki #MaiBhiMadhuriDixitBannaChahtiThi

  • But why roam around the streets of Mumbai, looking for a production house to cast you

  • when you can write your own videos,

  • edit your own videos and

  • you will find people who will watch those videos.

  • And if this face can get 1 Lakh Subscribers, so can you.

  • So today I am going to tell you

  • 1. My journey, what all I had to do to get 1 Lakh subscribers.

  • 2. Important lessons that you must know before you start your own channel and

  • 3. I'll also tell you about the equipment that I use

  • and the initial investment that I made to start this channel.

  • So this video is not to tell you how Grreeaat of a YouTuber I am but

  • to tell you what really happens behind the scenes.

  • Because now that we are family, I don't really want to hide anything from you.

  • But before that, if you like what I am doing, make sure

  • you hit that big fat Like Button

  • because that motivates me to make more videos.

  • Let's begin.

  • On 6th August 2016, we released our first video.

  • It took us 18 months to reach 10K subscribers.

  • And just 6 months to go from 10K to 1 Lakh subscribers.

  • And just 1 month to go from 1 Lakh to 1.58 Lakh subscribers.

  • Crazy, isn't it?

  • So let's take a quick trip down the memory lane

  • to see exactly what happened?

  • And for that I've divided my YouTube journey into 6 phases.

  • When I used to work in I.T, a few girls in the gym

  • used to ask me how to workout instead of asking the trainer.

  • So I thought why not make a YouTube channel out of it.

  • And thus began The Urban Fight.

  • So for 2 months, everyday we used to create new 15 Min Home Workout Videos

  • and in between as breaks, Sugandh would read out the daily news.

  • So workout + daily news update. Great idea, right?

  • Nobody was watching it.

  • I noticed that dance videos used to get a lot of eye balls.

  • Plus it's a great workout.

  • So I did the 90's Bollywood Dance Workout, Beyonce Dance Workout

  • I even became a Zumba Certified Trainer so

  • that I can legally use the word, 'Zumba', in my video title.

  • 'Dhaakad' was my first choreography and because of this video

  • we got our first 500 subscribers.

  • And this was the time when even my parents and relatives found out that

  • I am 'dancing on the Internet' and all hell broke lose.

  • But as my friend Rohit says,

  • #MahLyfeMahRules

  • Dance videos were doing great, but I felt that we are not really adding value to our subscribers.

  • This is the time when you are not famous

  • but make 'okayish' videos. So people want you to make videos for them.....for free.

  • I thought atleast they'll promote it in their networks

  • and I was desperate for that outreach.

  • So I did a running video for an adventure club,

  • a video about exams for a student magazine

  • and a Zumba video on a Telugu song

  • because a famous Telugu FB page said that they will promote it

  • which they never did.

  • Now I don't regret doing any of these videos

  • but for a long time my focus shifted to how can I make videos for others so that they'd promote it

  • instead of discovering what videos I like to create.

  • This was the time when I wanted to discover who I am and what I enjoy doing.

  • So I tried different genres.

  • I even did a Hyderabadi comedy video called, 'Hauley Weight Loss Sawalaan'

  • where I invented a sassy character called Afreen Aapi.

  • This was the video that made me realise why I should never do comedy.

  • During this phase, we were still stuck at 2000 subscribers.

  • I remember around the same time, the MSG controversy was happening

  • and one of my relatives called me and said,

  • "People have turned up in lakhs for this guy..

  • ...and you still don't have 2000 subscribers."

  • More than making me angry, this comment

  • determined me to pursue this even more.

  • Now all this while I was creating videos

  • but I was not connecting to my audience.

  • I was giving information but there was no emotion.

  • This was the time when we decided...let's make videos that have affected me!

  • And that's when the channel became Female-Centric.

  • It's not because I don't love guys. I do.

  • My husband is a guy.

  • So I started talking about Periods, Eve-Teasing.

  • On someone else's channel I saw a video called,

  • 'Questions you want to ask a Gync'

  • where the YouTuber interviewed her mother who was a Gync.

  • I loved the idea.

  • But it didn't answer all the questions that I had.

  • So that was the first time I went to see a Gync

  • and visited her 2-3 times before I could

  • request her to do a video with me.

  • On the same lines, I did, 'Questions every woman wants to ask the Police'

  • and this is one video that I am extremely proud of.

  • Because we all talk about gender equality and female problems

  • but nobody really offers any solutions.

  • In this video we discuss solutions for problems like

  • Eve-Teasing, Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, Child Abuse and more..

  • If there is one video that you want to watch on my channel

  • I request you to watch this video because

  • you might just save someone's life.

  • We started as a Health and Fitness channel

  • but we realised what use are diet plans of

  • when you are not healthy here (in the mind).

  • And 'here', career and money are the biggest worries.

  • And that's when we started making Finance videos,

  • Mutual Fund videos, Career Videos.

  • These videos are extremely close to my heart

  • because that's when you and I became friends.

  • I love reading your comments where you share

  • your life goals with me. And that's the community I want to build.

  • Of go-getters. People like 'you' who work hard to get what they want.

  • I really love you guys.

  • So those were the 6 phases of The Urban Fight.

  • But the phase that I always want to be in, is the experiment phase.

  • That's why we keep doing 'Travel' videos,

  • I did that IKEA video, where I had to edit 500 files and

  • I screwed my back, but that's okay

  • who needs those last 2 vertebrae right?

  • Anyway, so that's the journey that you see on-screen.

  • But that's just the tip of the Iceberg. :)

  • Now I am going to tell you what I had to do behind the scenes

  • to get 1 Lakh subscribers.

  • These 3 stories made me the YouTuber that I am today.

  • Story #1: I am a Software Engineer by profession.

  • 4 years of Engineering and 8-9 years of Corporate experience.

  • But if you go to the gym, doesn't mean you are qualified to give health information.

  • So for 6 months I attended theoretical fitness classes taken

  • by Doctors and Fitness Coaches.

  • I became an ACE Certified Fitness Expert,

  • a PN Certified Nutrition Coach,

  • a Zumba Certified Trainer

  • but most importantly, I worked as a gym trainer,

  • a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Trainer), at a functional gym called, 'F45'

  • so that I get the experience of training people.

  • Because my priority is to give you the right information

  • and not make any random 'Keto Diet' videos.

  • Story #2: When we were struggling at 500 subscribers

  • for publicity, me and Sugandh used to wake up at 5:30 AM every Saturday,

  • go to parks across Hyderabad

  • and conduct free 15 Min workout sessions.

  • This is Kashif, he used to join sometimes to help us conduct the sessions.

  • Both him and Sugandh used to go around and request people to join

  • while I conducted 15-15 minute sessions for 2.5 hours.

  • Some people were so excited, they would join even without having to invite them

  • and some, didn't even look at us

  • while we requested them to join.

  • It didn't get us a lot of subscribers

  • but it taught us a lot about human behaviour.

  • And the third and the final thing that truly made us who we are

  • are collaborations.

  • We requested our friends to be in our videos

  • hoping that their friends will watch it.

  • We did a video with an RJ from Hyderabad

  • and she was kind enough to share our video on her page.

  • We did it because no other YouTuber wanted to do a collab with us.

  • And why would they? We were in our 1000's.

  • But somebody from the YouTube team, told us a story

  • of a girl who went to meet, 'iiSuperwomanii'

  • during a meet and greet and gave her a script.

  • iiSuperwomanii found it so cute

  • that even though the girl had 8000 subscribers, she still did that collab with her.

  • I thought, what a brilliant idea!

  • So we went to attend a Creator Camp, all the way to Delhi.

  • I thought I'll take a script for that one YouTuber that I loved.

  • I am not going to tell her name but

  • I found her in the hallway, ran inside the room to get the script from my bag

  • and I went to her.

  • I was so excited to see her, I introduced myself,

  • told her how much I love her work and I gave her the script.

  • She didn't even look at it.

  • Had a troubled irritated expression on her face,

  • asked me to mail it and walked away.

  • It broke my heart.

  • It's okay if you don't want to do a video

  • but you atleast treat a fan right.

  • I came back to Hyderabad and I did that video anyway.

  • And that was the first video to hit 1 Million Views on my channel.

  • I probably want to do a pelvic thrust right now, but I shouldn't.

  • Screw it.

  • So that was my journey.

  • Sure I faced a lot of rejection along the way

  • but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

  • Because rejection didn't just make me a better YouTuber,

  • it made me a better person.

  • Speaking of rejection, we are not done yet.

  • Every year, YouTube conducts these events called NextUp

  • where select YouTubers with potential are chosen to be trained for 5 days

  • by Top Creators like Bhuvan Bam, Mostly Sane and the YouTube team

  • so that they create better content.

  • You can apply only if you have between 10K to 1 Lakh subscribers.

  • I have been wanting to get selected for the past 2 years

  • because it just puts that YouTube stamp that

  • you are working hard and doing good work.

  • So last year we couldn't apply because we were less than 10K subscribers

  • and this year, I was planning my videos so that we don't hit 1 Lakh subscribers

  • until the applications open up.

  • And they finally opened up and I applied

  • and this is the mail I got last week.

  • "Unfortunately we cannot offer you a winning spot"

  • To say that I am disappointed, would be an understatement.

  • It's not about the training or the money.

  • It's about not recognising the hard-work and the difference that you are trying to make

  • and that's YouTube.

  • So if you want to start a YouTube channel and want to take anything from my story, it's this..

  • 1. Don't do it for the money

  • or the likes or the subscribers.

  • Do it because you love it.

  • Youtube is a long ride in the night on a road with no street lights.

  • It's scary and frustrating.

  • But the only reason that's pushing me is because I love

  • making videos that I believe are making a difference.

  • And the second and the most important point of being a YouTuber is this..

  • Stay loyal to your subscribers.

  • Don't sell things that you don't believe in.

  • Everyday I get requests for selling packaged snacks,

  • fat-loss drinks, supplement powders - things that I will never use for myself or my family

  • and you are a part of my family.

  • When you build an audience, remember that

  • the trust they have in you, is worth a lot more than any money that brands can give you.

  • Don't lose that trust.

  • So always remember these 2 things while you are on your way of getting 1 Lakh subscribers.

  • And finally, here's the equipment that I use.

  • A DSLR for regular shoots,

  • a Vlogging camera and a Gimbal for whenever I am travelling,

  • a Joby Gorilla Pod and a Tripod because most of the times I shoot alone,

  • a collar mike for better sound,

  • a Yeti microphone incase more than one person is speaking,

  • lights

  • and a Mackbook Pro for editing my videos.

  • If you want to buy any of these,

  • I have left their Amazon links in the description.

  • You might ask, what's next?

  • Frankly, I don't know.

  • I am thinking of either starting a new career channel or

  • a new love and relationship channel.

  • I don't know. Comment and tell me what do you think I should do.

  • Because on this scary YouTube road, you are my street light.

  • But before you leave, both me and Sugandh

  • would 'Dil Se', like to thank you

  • because this silver play button would have not been possible without you.