Top Atlanta YouTubers

There are lots of great content creators in the metro Atlanta area. We have a bustling film and TV community, some big name celebrities and personalities, and of course a ton of YouTubers.

While it’s fun to be in a city home to hits like Stranger Things and The Walking Dead, it’s also fun to be in a city home to people like Roberto Blake, Aaron Marino and Evan Ranft. Each of these three YouTubers are at very different stages of their journey, but all of them are wildly successful in their own niches.

I know there are other top creators in the Atlanta area, but those are three I follow pretty closely. In North America, it seems like New York City, Toronto, and parts of California have their own unique YouTube community vibe, but I haven’t noticed something similar in the Atlanta area yet. There are Reddit and Facebook groups for local creators, but none I’ve found that are very active. I’m hoping that changes soon, and I hope the creator circle in Atlanta continues to grow.

What about you? Are you also in Atlanta? What other top YouTubers do you follow that live in the Atlanta area?

Putting it off till tomorrow

Procrastination is a horrible thing. It’s something that sets in slowly, and rarely starts as intentional. Think exercising, studying, improving relationships, or anything else we try to improve.

A cousin of procrastination is laziness. They go hand in hand. We procrastinate because we’re lazy (or tired, or had a long day at work, or are too busy with our kids, or because we went to bed too late, or any number of other excuses).

What’s dangerous is that once laziness and procrastination set in, they’re hard to kick out. We get comfortable in a routine of the two. But again, we all start with good intentions. Intentions to go to the gym every day, to study for that test at the beginning of the semester and not the end, to do more special things for our significant other, and so on.

We all hit streaks of doing great, but without a formed habit, we slip back into familiar, safe territory. Being remarkable and exceeding our own expectations takes work. It takes a reason, a why. And the why must be way more important to you than the immediate, short term satisfaction of just being lazy and putting it off for tomorrow.

What are you putting off for tomorrow that you also put off for tomorrow ten, five or one year ago? Why not dig in right now? Or, of course, there’s always tomorrow.

Balancing work and family time

Something a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is balancing family and work life. Perhaps even more so those of us trying to start a side hustle on top of a “normal” career.

The side hustle on top of the normal career is my current predicament. And I’m trying to balance all of that with my family life, giving my wife the ample love and attention she needs while also trying to find time to devote to my side hustle.

My wife’s point of view is that I should be committed to the family when I’m not at my 9-5. But I obviously can’t work on my side hustle at my 9-5 so I’m constantly trying to fit in my side hustle when my wife would prefer I’m being present with our family. It’s a constant struggle.

My wife is normally very accommodating, and usually doesn’t mind if I spend a few hours here and there working on my side hustle in my free time, but she grew up in a household that has always had very clear division between work and play time. I grew up with my parents separated and always had lots of time to do my own thing. We didn’t grow up in similar households – as is the same with most married couples.

My typical stance is that it’s important for me to work on my side hustle because it’ll eventually help our family by helping us get out of debt quicker and helping us reach our life goals quicker. My wife thinks I should be able to support our family by working my 9-5 alone, which is true, but my current 9-5 is not my passion. It doesn’t bring me much fulfillment or excite me. Some people might say I should try to change my 9-5, but I’d rather build up something on the side that’s completely in my control.

So where do I find a middle ground? Or, where do you find a middle ground? Is there a path forward that‘s positive for all sides of the table?

Write your video idea down before you begin

I made a video a long time ago on the importance of having a script. But it was kinda BS. I work off of bullets sometimes, and occasionally I write out entire paragraphs, but it’s seldom that I actually get a complete thought down in writing before I start. So, it’s time to be more intentional! It’s time to make better content, tell better stories, and grow your channel faster.

You might be thinking… “Well that’s great Sam but I vlog. I like being spontaneous. All of my favorite YouTubers just have their camera on them all the time.” Yes, they do, but they’re 100% intentional with the content they’re producing. And more than likely, they’ve written out notes, a shot list, and possibly even the entire script of dialogue they want to share in their video.

The thing is, you don’t have to read your notes or script verbatim. You could just try reading it ten times before you hit record, that way you’ve prepared your brain to regurgitate the thoughts you wrote down on paper. Again, it’s not about needing to read from a teleprompter, but rather prepare your mind to be able to clearly and concisely share whatever message you want to drive home to your audience.

Writing things down ahead of time does lots of useful things:

  1. Helps you remember what you want to say
  2. Keeps you from getting sidetracked or rambling
  3. Let’s you make edits before you hit record
  4. Saves you lots of takes and headache
  5. Makes you a better creator

If you follow tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, you’ve probably noticed his content is getting increasingly better, more polished, and generally more fun to watch. In one of his latest videos, he shows his Google Drive folder, and he’s a document with his video notes. Now, that’s not something he’s shared, but you can guarantee his notes are full of intentional ideas. He’s made nearly 1000 videos, but he’s not such a great creator because he’s done it so much. It’s also because he’s planning his content. And he’s got a team to help him do that, film him, and help him produce it and share it with his nearly 10 million subscribers.

So if I leave you with just one takeaway today, it’s that you need to be writing down your thoughts before you pull out the video camera. It makes the entire process much more smooth.

Doing only a few things well

Yesterday I touched on the fact that I’m horrible at starting new projects and never finishing them. I think it’s a horrible habit to have. Here are some things I’ve started and stopped over the past few years:

1. Exercising regularly

2. Eating clean / sticking to a healthy diet

3. A marketing agency with a close friend

4. A podcast (now on my second one)

5. Studying for the GMAT

6. A handful of online businesses

This list is just a few of many. I usually rationalize quitting them by telling myself I can’t do everything great, and instead need to focus on doing a few things well, but the truth is I just get lazy. And once laziness sets in, its a downward slope from there. Now, there’s no way to do everything at once – you do need to say “no” and get good at saying no, but I can never find a great middle ground.

However, I’ve realized that doing a few things really well can have a tremendous ripple effect in other areas of your life. Take nutrition and exercise, for example… If you wake up early and get in a good workout, you’ll have an easier time eating a healthy breakfast and saying no to junk food (i.e. office doughnuts), and you’ll be more focused at work or school and be more motivated throughout the rest of your day.

Today is the second day of my daily blog journey. I’m doing well there. Now I just got to keep doing other things well (being a good husband, staying motivated at work, exercising regularly) and the rest should fall into place. Let’s see where we’re at tomorrow!

Best Resolution for Vertical Video on IGTV

With Instagram TV (IGTV), you can’t just throw any old video up on the platform. It MUST be a vertical video, between 15 seconds and 1 minute long (or up to an hour if you have a large enough following). So, what dimensions should you be make your content? 4:5? 16:9? Let’s talk about the perfect resolution for video on IGTV!

B-Roll on an iPhone

While in Las Vegas I decided to film some “lazy b-roll” while out walking around Caesars Palace and the Strip. It’s nothing fancy, not by a long shot, but it’s a good reminder that you can capture b-roll on any device – even a device from a few years back. With a little more effort on angles, location, slow mo and creativity, a lot more could be done on an iPhone. Don’t let the gear you have stop you from making content.

Note: All footage shot with FiLMiC Pro on an iPhone 7. No lens attachments were used, all shots were at 24 fps without stabilizers, gimbals or sliders and there was no color correction applied in post.