In Part 2 of our series on the Orabrush YouTube marketing story, I interviewed Orabrush Spokesperson Austin Craig to talk about how he became the company's spokesperson for their highly popular YouTube channel. (You can read Part 1 here). Austin shares several tips for others who are considering being a web spokesperson or web personality as a professional career choice.
"When we started, it was a couple years ago. Becoming the spokesperson for the successful YouTube channel -- that wasn't even a thought," said Austin. "It wasn't a successful YouTube channel in the beginning of course; it was just a brand new YouTube channel. I didn't even know being a spokesperson for a YouTube channel was a thing that you could do. I was just making a video with a friend (future chief marketing officer Jeff Harmon).
"The first video we did ended up working really well. He said, hey this is really selling some product! Why don't you come back and make another video? And then we made another one, and then we made another one; and then he's like, why don't we make this a pretty regular thing? And it developed into what it is today.”
"I think being web personality now is something established well enough now that I think it is a career prospect that people can seriously look at. So yes, being a web video personality – that's a legitimate thing you can work toward and become, and it can pay out.”
Austin's Best Tip to Becoming a Web Video Personality: Practice on Your Own!
Austin was already well suited to becoming a web video spokesperson, having done some radio and television work as part of his studies and on-air training in broadcast journalism at BYU. "There they teach you to get really comfortable in front of a camera, in front of a microphone," said Austin.
"Before doing that, before training at school to be a broadcast journalist, if you look back on my early tapes from school when I was first doing the student news report at my college from BYU, I was a deer in headlights! I was so terrified," said Austin. "To me, it was comical and embarrassing.”
Austin then had an idea: "I should post these online just to give other people some hope! There's definitely hope if I can pull it off, you can do much better." It's just getting comfortable in front of a camera, and the only way you can accomplish that is to practice, practice, practice.”
"What's worked for me is just experience; and the only way you can get experience is by trying it out," said Austin. "This doesn't have to be experience working for some huge company. It doesn't have to be, you know, I get hired by this company and be their spokesperson for this product or for this service. That's not even the experience that I'm talking about. It's just being in front of a camera, and getting used to acting natural in what is a very unnatural setting, where you have lights and a camera, and they're might not even be another person listening to you, live. It's just this thing recording you. Getting to act natural in that setting is just practice. So set up the camera, set up some lights, and start making videos and start uploading them. People are going to comment, people are going to give you feedback whether you want it or not. So be ready, and then learn from it, adjust, and learn and grow up. I think it's just doing it over and over and over, over a period of time you'll get a lot better at it.