By James Cousins, of Geeka Media
I set up a YouTube channel when I was 12-years-old and my ambition was to turn it into a business.
Lots of teenagers will have dabbled in making their own channel and for most it’s just a hobby that quickly fizzles out but, for me, it was more than that.
I wanted the best equipment I could get and got a job delivering the Coventry Observer newspaper to help me fund my ambitions in business.
Back then, my paper round was seen as a solid form of income for a lad of my age and the work I was doing on YouTube was looked upon by many as maybe a bit of a dream.
However, the money I started to earn through the channel far outweighed by earnings from my paper round and suddenly made everybody sit up and take note. By the time I was in Year 9 at school, I was turning over five figures.
My schoolfriends started to talk about me and my business and it got to the point where I knew I had to turn it into a reality because there was so much expectation. Nobody was really sure how far I could take it.
It seems I am not alone in wanting to make this my career. A recent survey found that becoming a YouTuber was the most popular potential career path among young people which was met with a degree of scepticism in some quarters. “What’s wrong with a proper job?” was the cry from some.
I think we’ve shown that, with the right focus, skills and hard work, that this is a solid career path but, like anything, it doesn’t come easy.
I’ve always focussed very much on tech and that niche has been a major part of our ability to grow as a business, working for a range of clients in that sector.
Over the past year, we’ve really started to accelerate our growth. We moved into the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Innovation Centre in Binley and it has been a really important step for Geeka Media.
Since then, we’ve hired three new team members and have moved into new areas of business, such as more content creation and partnerships with some major clients such as Ebuyer.com. We’ve also hit over 1 million views per month on our channel.
We’ve had some great advice off the team at the Science Park and, if anything, they’ve encouraged us to be more ambitious and have understood the potential of what we are doing. The space here is exactly what we need as a business and it’s just the right environment for the image we want to present to clients.
Also, there are other like-minded businesses here and it’s been great to meet some of them when passing through the centre, find out about what they are doing and chat about business. I think that will happen more often when Covid-19 restrictions begin to be lifted in a bigger way.
And our growth has come with some media attention too – you can imagine my surprise when I picked up a copy of the Coventry Observer a few weeks ago to see there was a story about our expansion here at the Science Park on the front page of the very newspaper I used to deliver.
It was a sign of just how far we’ve come but we are determined to become even bigger. Watch this space!