On the face of it, Julian Ilett’s channel shouldn’t work. He has no real video camera or DSLR to shoot with, doesn’t use any editing software, hardly appears on screen – his hands feature most often – and is, how can we say this gently, not in the “youthful” genre of YouTube Creators.
What’s more, his videos, though produced at a steady stream, are neither comedy skits nor music videos nor vlogs (those three being the most popular forms of YouTube entertainment). In fact, they’re all about transistors, solar panels and circuit boards.
Despite this apparently unpromising premise, Mr Ilett has built up an enthusiastic fanbase of around 13,000 subscribers and hit almost four million views. Each subscriber is keen not only to view such delights as “Roundup of Switched Mode Buck Convertor Voltage Regulators” and “Charging a Lithium 18650 Cell using the TP4056”, but to chip in on his Comments with their own suggestions for how to overcome any problems he encounters.
Filmed handheld on a Nexus5 mobile phone with a splendid disregard for the kind of production values that YouTubers are so often urged towards by the site itself, Julian’s videos are nonetheless a hugely useful exposition into what makes good content.
Three key elements are instantly discernable:-
1. Relevance. Each video, niche though its target audience undoubtedly is, addresses exactly that audience with precisely the kind of information they seek. If you subscribe to this channel, you know exactly what you’re getting each time a new video is uploaded and it’s exactly what you want.
2. Reality. There’s nothing fake, rehearsed or scripted about Julian’s delivery; he’s absolutely natural and chats merrily away to the viewer as he disects his latest project almost as if they were in the room with him.
3. Interaction. Like many successful YouTube Creators, Julian clearly takes the time not only to read the comments left for him by fans but to respond to them as well, both in the comment replies and within videos. Such a two-way street serves to reinforce the community aspect of the channel and build a loyal community which will return for more, and share what is posted.
When he reached 10,000 subscribers, Julian posted a video explaining that he now needs only to work part-time due to the financial rewards from his channel. Such achievements – which, no disrespect intended, are relatively lowly in the great pantheon of YouTubers – are nonetheless surely an incentive to any aspiring Creator on their journey.