Combining Music and Travel for YouTube Success
When Andrew Gunadie, aka gunnarolla, and Julia Bentley dressed up as Canadian Mounties and made their Canadian, Please video they had no idea it would go viral. Seven years later, the video showcasing their love of all things Canadian has more than 4.5 million views. At the time, Gunadie hadn’t thought of making a living off of his own content, but after taking a break from his traditional job to tour as a musician he decided to try to make money doing what he loves.
Today, he produces both music and travel videos, as well as branded content. In the past five years, he’s learned a lot about himself, how he defines success, and how Adobe Creative Cloud can help him work quickly, while maintaining a high standard of quality.
Adobe: What challenges have you’ve faced in your first few years?
Gunadie: If I can make my life look fun and exciting, then I’m doing my job well! But it isn’t easy. There’s a lot of hard work that goes along with it, from having to freelance everywhere to make enough money for my next adventure, to networking and hustling and learning to manage my expectations of how my content should perform. It’s a lot of luck, timing, and figuring out how to be relevant and shareable.
Adobe: What inspires you?
Gunadie: I travel a lot, so I get to meet a lot of different people and see a lot of different things. I also spend a lot of time on social media so I’m always aware of what’s going on in the world. I make an effort to talk to everyone, from service staff people to the guy sitting next to me on a plane. I love hearing people’s stories and experiences and trying to find a common ground. I look for opportunities to take a relevant topic and turn it into something funny or something that will change people’s perspectives.
Adobe: What is your schedule and workflow for producing content?
Gunadie: I’ve started to stick to a schedule of two videos a week. I’ve had an idea in the morning or the night before, finished the video that day, and premiered it that night. But it depends on how inspired I am and how elaborate the project is too. The travel videos usually take longer because I’m sifting through more footage and want to take my time. A lot of my big music videos have been 48-hour productions, including writing the music and producing the video. I don’t sit on stuff for too long if it’s a good idea.
Adobe: What do you like about working with Adobe Premiere Pro CC?
Gunadie: When I first switched to Premiere Pro CC, I liked that the interface was very similar to Final Cut and I could keep my keyboard shortcuts. I shoot a lot of 4K and RED, and I like how easy it is to handle proxies and do an offline edit and reel in my clips later. I use adjustment layers to apply a set of effects to multiple clips. I’m also starting to use the Lumetri color panel and like that everything I need is right there in Premiere Pro. I edit photos with Adobe Photoshop CC and use Adobe After Effects CC for motion graphics. Occasionally, I’ll use Adobe Illustrator CC and InDesign CC for other graphics or layout work. The Premiere Pro integration with Photoshop and After Effects is very convenient and helps me work faster.
Adobe: What have been some of the keys to your success?
Gunadie: A lot of people know my Canadian, Please video so that’s often the gateway to my channel. Also, Canada isn’t as saturated with creators, so that has helped. My approach is to be as authentic as possible. I don’t perform; who you see on camera is who I am in real life. I’m lucky that brands have found me and reached out.
Adobe: Tell us about some of the work you’ve done with brands.
Gunadie: The content I make with brands is content that I would probably make anyway, they’re just helping to facilitate it. For example, last year I worked with KFC on a campaign that asked, “What would you do with $5,000.” I gave them the idea of traveling across Canada to five cities in one week. They funded this adventure and the video was really fun and focused on travel.
I also hosted a series for Hard Rock Café called the World Burger Tour where we traveled the world and ate burgers and a series with Kellogg’s called Krave Thrills where we granted one Canadian teenager every month their ultimate dream. I found that I really enjoy hosting series for brands and working with brands to create content that aligns with what I love to do, which is music, travel, and just meeting people and trying new things.
Adobe: What advice would you give someone just starting out on YouTube?
Gunadie: When a lot of YouTubers are asked this question they say, “Do what you love,” and that’s great, but it isn’t going to pay the bills. If you want to have longevity in this industry you need to figure out what your brand is, what content you’re making, what impact you’re having on people, and how you will define success. There’s a whole list of things that you can check off to say that you’re successful that don’t revolve around subscriber number or views.
You also have to diversify. I’m hesitant to say, “I’m a YouTuber.” YouTube is a platform; I’m a musician, an editor, and a host. To keep growing you need to step out of your comfort zone and find new things to try and new opportunities, while remaining authentic.
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