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Linus Sebastian is the YouTube influencer behind three major YouTube channels—LinusTechTips, Techquickie, and ChannelSuperFun—which have a combined following of over 4.5M subscribers. Notably, Sebastian’s LinusTechTips is one of the most popular tech channels on YouTube (by subscriber count), and the content creator has become a trusted source of information thanks to his educational and entertaining tech reviews, showcases, buyer’s guides, and more. Videos on his channels have also been sponsored by a variety of well-known brands, including Google, LG, Samsung, and many others.
Read our exclusive interview with Sebastian to learn more about his journey to becoming a YouTube influencer.
Mediakix: What do you love about producing content that made you realize it was going to be your career?
Linus Tech Tips: The money. No, but seriously. The thing I love most about it is that I *DO* get paid to do something I would have done for free anyway – learning about and tinkering with cool computers and gadgets and telling other people about them!
How do you think you’ve grown as a businessperson, content creator, and thought leader within the past decade?
I think thought leader is a bit of an overstatement, but I appreciate the ego boost. I’ve definitely grown as a businessman and content creator though. It’s hard to look back at a defining moment and say “that’s where I evolved”… This isn’t Pokémon, but there has been a constant onward march towards my ultimate goal of being a “real company” (yes, the inspiration from Pinocchio is real).
Sometimes it’s as big as moving into a commercial space so we don’t get complaints from the city about taking up all the street parking in a residential zone, and sometimes it’s as small as hiring a garbage service so my business development guy doesn’t have to deal with it every Friday.
What is your advice to anyone thinking about taking on a startup without any initial capital? What gave you the confidence to continue what you were doing despite obstacles in the beginning?
It depends heavily on the goals of that individual, but for me the answer was “don’t quit your day job.” I was still working at NCIX producing videos for them until I reached the point where YouTube Adsense revenue could easily support me individually and it wasn’t until then that I hired my first team members, and started working on making YouTube videos full time so I could find new ways to generate revenue to help me pay them. Even then it was a stressful period in my life and would have been impossible without my wife’s support. That’s another great piece of advice. Make sure you’ve got your whole team (family) on board!
What is your process for choosing which brands to partner with and which best fit your content?
We’ve never stressed too much about how a brand fits with our content, since we offer everything from product placement all the way to completely separate segments of the video that are focused on the brand message, but we do care about working with reputable brands who treat our viewers correctly. We’ve rejected numerous sponsors after doing initial research into their history and/or receiving negative feedback from our audience.
Collaborations with other YouTube channels and creators is a pervasive theme in your channels. How have these partnerships added to and strengthened your channel in general?
I actually don’t feel like we do that many collaborations compared to other large channels. It seems MORE relevant to more mainstream content as there are plenty of other tech channels that collaborate much more than we do and I’m not convinced that it’s a huge part of their success compared to just creating high-quality standalone content.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I love the spotlight and I love sharing my love of technology. I don’t think it’s possible to design a job that’s better suited for me than this one. I also love working with a world class team every day. Not wanting to work with people I didn’t respect and admire was a huge part of the reason I started my own company in the first place, and being able to go to the office and be surrounded by a bunch of superstars is invigorating and exciting.
What is your desktop background picture?
Haha. The default one. I almost never change customization settings like ringtones and desktop backgrounds because I change my devices so frequently that it feels like a waste of time. Windows 10 does allow you to sync across devices, but I’m just not that particular about it anyway.
What was the longest amount of time you hadn’t gone to sleep? For what reason?
I’ve done close to two days before. It was actually during a period where I had a lot of work to do at my day job and I was up against a time crunch where Luke and I needed to produce some obscene amount of content like 5 or 6 videos. We ended up in a Denny’s where the waitress never brought us our food because she fell asleep. Good times.
Who is someone you’d like to meet but haven’t had the opportunity to yet?
I’m sure this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but my wife is 8 months pregnant right now and I can’t wait to meet my new daughter. There’s no one else in the world who I spend more time wondering “what’s she going to be like when I meet her?”
What are you looking forward to most in the future for your channel? For your life?
My goal for my channel and for my business is ultimately to create a team that’s self-sufficient to the point where I could continue to work here, but I’d no longer be needed. It’s not to do with being lazy or being tired of playing with technology, but it’s my belief that the best business leaders train replacements who are as good as them or better, and that’s my goal.
Once I’ve achieved that I’d love to invest some of the money I’ve made into a completely new venture—maybe part time—because there are some products I think the world needs that no one has the passion to create…But I can’t give too many details about that today.
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