In this series, YouTube Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular YouTube channels to find out the secrets of their success.
Roi Fabito got his start on YouTube when he was in high school doing sketches with his friends. Ten years later, at just 26 years old, Fabito’s channel Guava Juice has built a massive following of more than 10 million subscribers and attracted 4 billion views.
Fans flock to Fabito’s four channels to see him do wild food challenges, try out gadgets and life hacks and conduct science experiments ranging from 3D printing to making a watermelon bath bomb out of an actual watermelon.
Fabito’s DIY spirit has led to not just popular videos but a wide range of projects, including an album of original music, a mobile game that got more than 120,000 downloads its first week, partnerships with Mattel, Mastercard and Nickelodeon, and a line of Guava Toys in Target that launched this summer.
Fabito shared his insights about the importance of always being yourself.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How much of your time do you spend on a video and what does that entail?
Every Monday we have meetings. I have a team of four people so we all just brainstorm and research and see what's trending. Typically for video we would find [the trend] amd then before we even think about the idea for the video we think about the title and then the thumbnail -- because those are the most important pieces to a video. That's the first two things you see. We want to make sure that is on par with everything before we go on creatively. Then from there we figure out what we need and how the process goes.
For example, if we wanted to fill a bathtub with pop rocks and sprite, we would figure out how much sprite and pop rocks, so we do a prop list and figure out what the concept is would be in the video. Would I be underneath water at one point or would I be cannonballing into the bathtub? From there we send it to the editor. Then we watch it and give him revisions. It's an hour of prepping, getting props and researching. Filming wise it takes an hour to an hour and a half on average and then editing takes another hour, so a total of five hours per video.
How do you leverage your YouTube channel and to what extent do you monetize it?
First, there’s Google Adsense. Basically when you sign up for the program and once you get accepted you basically just put ads on your channels for every video. [Then there are other projects], I just came out with a science kit, called the Guava Juice Box. They are subscription based and we come out with new Guava Juice Box four times a year with different themes. A lot of my videos deal with experiments. It's a fun way for kids to do experiments at their homes, which they can do while watching the video of me doing it. It's just really cool and a good way for kids to have that hands-on experience. I wanted to find ways to give the kids something back, that would resonate with them. And it turned out really well.
What advice do you have for other people who want to build brands on the platform?
Never underestimate yourself. Whenever you start a project and it doesn't go as planned as well as you wanted it to, people lose hope and basically bring themselves down. But if you believe in your passion and your project, it will basically skyrocket when the time comes.
What's a misconception many people have about YouTube?
That it's easy. That all you do is post videos and that's it. There are a lot of things to go into each video, and a lot of people don't understand [how much time it takes]. Anyone can do it, but just don't realize how much work is put into it.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors