We spoke with Musician, Producer and YouTube sensation Andrew Huang about how he’s harnessed the power of his online platform to capitalise on his creativity, amassing a following of nearly 2 Million subscribers.
Here, he discusses his prolific creative output and where he draws his inspiration from, plus (for fellow content creators) he offers his thoughts on how to deal with negative comments/feedback.
On YouTube, to grow a channel the way I have, you have to focus on ideas that are going to be really exciting and interesting to a lot of people. Going really in depth is difficult to do. So, I want to make something that’s really high quality, would be accessible to a lot of different types of people, but would also be for people who are really willing to commit to a learning experience.
I guess what I’ve tried to rely on and make consistent is the general sense from my videos that you’ll be inspired, hopefully learn something that’s more on the fun and positive side, and hopefully I get to be musically creative in making something original that it’s fulfilling for me.
There are so many different subsets of my audience; the ones who are there because they’re not musicians and they want inspiration, the ones who are musicians and want education, or the ones who are gear nerds that want to learn about the latest ‘whatever’. There’s so many different sections to it, that I have to just do what I think is going to be fun for me.
Growing Your Followers
It’s really cool how many people you can reach, and the level of impact that you can have, which is definitely not something I can fully comprehend, because the numbers have just become so large. Even back in the day when my videos were reaching 5 or 10 thousand people, that’s still a bigger number than you can really hold in your head.
After a while doing this, you get instincts about what kind of things will perform better or not. But even then, that’s not always easy to predict. So, mostly I’m focusing on what the content means for me, rather than trying to get to the maximum potential of who happens to be following me.
“I think if a creator chases just the numbers for too long, then they end up in this weird place where nobody’s happy.”
How to Maintain a Prolific Creative Output
I keep a running list of ideas, a few different lists for musical ideas and video ideas, and I dip into those now and then. I try not to second-guess myself too much. I think that is a major thing to remember. Sometimes when I work with other people, I can see how much they get bogged down in just questioning their creative decision-making, which I very, very rarely do. It’s a great thing for creative output!
Sometimes, I end up coming back to something a year later. I’m like, I didn’t do as good a job on that as maybe I could’ve. But overall, I’m much happier being prolific, exercising these creative muscles as much as possible, and sharing as much of my process as I feel like I can, because that’s more interesting for me, and it’s where I enjoy things more.
Dealing with Negative Feedback
I have realised, having read lots of comments that come in, that you can never please everyone. And I guess I wouldn’t say that that’s what I’m trying to do. I think what I’m trying to do is find the cross-section of people, no matter where they are in their life or their creative journey, who are appreciative of exploring the unexplored and furthering their creative process.
I am definitely open to constructive criticism. Sometimes it might be kind of rude, but you can get what the intended message was. I did talk about this in a video once. I had tried to make every negative into a positive, and I try to also take the positives in, without it being an ego inflating thing, more like a boost of energy to keep doing what I’m doing.
If it’s just pure hate coming my way, that’s also just more fuel for me to just do my thing, because this person doesn’t know me, yet they’re still responding to my work. I can use that as energy too. That’s how I deal with it. It doesn’t really get me down anymore, like it might’ve in the beginning. The very first time you’re getting some long paragraph about all your flaws from someone. You’re like, “Oh wow, what did I get into here!.” But it all rolls off now.
At the end of day, this is a person who’s choosing to spend their time leaving these comments on YouTube. How great is their life, that that’s what they’ve got to do?