So, I watch a lot of content on YouTube and recently (I think a few months ago) found the awesome Ashley Mardell (HeyThere005/@AshleyMardell). Now, normally, I would be happy to just say “Go subscribe to her!” and move on. But, I had a dumb thought about her that relates to two things that are important to me: social media success and influencing change.
My dumb thought: “How did she get to be SO GOOD at vlogging so quickly!?”
Now, with hindsight, the answer (and my logical flaw) seems obvious, but I think the details are worth discussing.
The important details involve two big ideas:
- People think the information they have is the important information
- Success virtually always comes from HUSTLE
In Re: #1 – This involves the “…so quickly!?” part of the quote. It didn’t happen “quickly.” Or, more accurately, it didn’t happen as quickly as I thought it did.
See, I briefly fell into logical trap that her content had begun roughly around the time I became aware of it. I had done some research by watching a few videos that had populated in the ‘related videos’ section, but those only took me back a few months. So, up until recently, that was all the information I had. Therefore, as is common, that became the frame through which I perceived her content. “How recently she started vlogging” became an amplifier for how great I thought that content was.
It is important to keep in mind that not all information is created and received equally. More often than not, people allow the information they have fill the gap left by information they don’t. So, if you want people to have certain information, be sure you provide it in a way that is obvious and accessible.
In Re: #2 – This involves the “…SO GOOD” part of the quote. In reverse order of importance, I think the answer is: natural talent, a genuine passion for making content, and hustle. And, by “hustle” I don’t mean selling, I mean putting in work.
This is the part I missed at first. The nearly 200 videos on her channels (not counting collabs that ended up in other places.) Hours of content that are the product of hundreds of hours of editing. After 30 videos you can begin to hear her ‘vlogging voice’ and closer to 75 it becomes a roller coaster that only goes up. (I think she’s got what it takes to be a million+ subscriber YouTuber if she wants to be.)
I think we are encouraged to look for the instantly successful, and encouraged to reverse-engineer that story onto successful YouTubers whenever possible. And, I think that’s why there was a delay in my appreciation of Ashley’s work ethic; because I wasn’t encouraged to look for it.
Much like they way that “eat less, exercise more” is the not-glamorous-but-effective truth behind weight loss, I think “make content, regularly” is the truth behind being successful on YouTube.
However, because it is less glamorous, it gets talked about less, which I think is a shame. Because, I think creators like Ashley should be valued for the awesome content they create AS WELL AS the effort that goes into that content.
By: James Chamberlain