Video Views: 750,588,922
User Creator: Sep 29th, 2017
Growing a channel on YouTube is a challenge, to say the least. Very few have stepped up to that challenge and succeeded in as short a time as Lizzy Capri. Starting her channel in February 2018, she has grown her audience to over 4 million subscribers and over 700 million views.
We got the chance to talk to Lizzy as she shares about her production process, her creativity and how teamwork has played the biggest role in making her dreams come true.
On her self named channel, Lizzy Capri, Lizzy takes on challenges that turn her everyday life into an adventure. Lizzy describes her channel as a “…vlog/challenge channel where I show my life but in a way where we’re constantly putting ourselves in different situations that are more interesting than just me going there at the coffee shop.” She laughs and continues, “There are so many things that I do for my videos that I don’t even know if I would do them in real life. That’s cool because I kind of get put into new situations that I otherwise wouldn’t do.”
These challenges range from going on a date underwater to giving her friends a room makeover made entirely out of LEGO bricks. No two videos are the same and her audience loves seeing her live her life to the extreme. She shares, “…(I like that) I’m doing something interesting and I’m showing [my audience] my reaction or how I’m dealing with this. Like, obviously, I wouldn’t be doing these challenges if it weren’t for us filming the video, but this is how I would actually react given that I’m in this situation. (laughs)”
What got you started on YouTube?
Before her YouTube days of conquering epic challenges, Lizzy had a typical 9 to 5 at a desk job. She reflects, “I was working at LinkedIn as a technical writer, which is basically creating internal documentation for software engineers.”
At the time, she was aware of YouTube but not necessarily as a potential career path. She recalls, “…in the beginning, [YouTube] was really this mysterious world to me. I didn’t really understand it. I obviously participate in social media and watch a lot of YouTube, but I never actually thought I would ever become a YouTuber.”
I never actually thought I would ever become a YouTuber.
However, when the opportunity presented itself, Lizzy jumped in headfirst into the world of YouTubing. She describes how “[it was] intriguing to learn all of that information…and how different it was from what I was doing originally was just so interesting.” This is what really attracted her to the platform.
Joining the team
Lizzy’s initial venture into YouTube was a collaborative effort. She joined the creative collective known as Team RAR, formerly the Dream Team! Comprised of Lizzy, Carter Sharer, Ryan Prunty, Steven Cho (aka Stove’s Kitchen), as well as Lizzy’s dog Milli, the members of Team RAR got their start working together on Steven Sharer’s YouTube channel.
From there, several individual channels have formed with much success. Though they all have their individual channels, Team RAR works together in front of the camera and behind the scenes to bring creative, imaginative and fun content to YouTube.
“We’re basically like a group of creators who film together,” Lizzy declares. She relates the experience to the feeling of being a kid again, saying, “…when you’re a kid or a teen, you always have your friend groups and you’re always trying to do fun stuff with your friends. So we’re trying to really emulate that. And it’s honestly just so much more fun filming videos with your friends anyways.”
Being part of the YouTube world really brought about a creative awakening for Lizzy. She shares how growing up she felt, “…society and school, it’s like you focus more on math or reading, and [creativity] gets a little bit suppressed. And so once I had a taste of the creative freedom, I was like, okay, I need to start my own channel and really dive into it because I had so many ideas!”
YouTube ended up being the perfect place for her to share her voice.
Lizzy Capri’s creative process
Though it may seem Lizzy’s videos are spontaneous, it takes a lot of work to make her larger than life videos come together. It all starts with an idea.
With her own creative renaissance in full effect, Lizzy was eager to make her videos stand out. Many of her videos are born from a mix of her own ideas and trends that are happening online. For her, the balance is found in what aligns best with her channel and her creative expression. Lizzy explains: “There are definitely trends that we see that are really interesting or really cool; like they become trends for a reason.”
These sorts of trends, Lizzy shares, help in creating content that is very relevant. This kind of content has the potential to be more viral; it’s already on peoples’ minds — and in their recommended feeds.
But following trends isn’t the only way to go viral. Lizzy has found much success in also being a leader of the pack with starting trends. She emphasizes, …”We have to just come up with ideas that are totally separate of what everyone else is doing. And we try to come up with original ideas and original structures on how we’re going to produce our videos.”
Coming up with theses ideas is a team effort. Crediting her collaborators, Lizzy observes: “We have so many creative juices flowing throughout our team that it’s really fun and easy to really keep moving forward with different concepts that were new concepts.” It’s the diversity of her team’s backgrounds, goals and vision that gives Lizzy her unique ideas and execution.
“On top of that,” Lizzy adds, “the internet just helps so much with keeping things fresh because you have the world at your fingertips and there’s always new things coming out and new things happening. I feel like a lot of people might view it as something that’s super difficult, but I think for us and the environment that we’re in, it’s a lot easier.” Once the idea is set, it’s time to bring these ideas to life.
In her earlier days on YouTube, the process was very much run and gun, according to Lizzy. She reminisces, “…Let’s say, like I put fake snakes in his bed or something like that. It’s just, we just would do it that way and just like create, just pick up the camera and film it.”
But now as Lizzy’s and Team RAR’s channels have grown, she and the team have more of a process. This not only allows them to be more effective. It also gives them room to grow and evolve.
“It’s evolved to a point where we focus on not only the ideas but what exactly, how exactly we’re going to make that idea come to life. We really put a lot of structure around, okay, let’s create an outline for our concept. Let’s create an actual step-by-step direction for how the scene is going to go. How we’re going to start it, what’s going to happen specifically, and then how we’re going to end it.”
It’s all in the details
The planning phase has quickly become Lizzy’s favorite stage of the production process. “I don’t know why that’s one of my favorite parts but it’s just the most exciting part for me,” Lizzy admits. Elaborating, she shares how she, “…just get(s) really excited for what’s to come. It’s just fun to kind of spitball ideas and [figure out] how we’re going to make this work.” Once the logistics are all figured out, everything comes together during filming.
This process is, “… a little more stressful because there’s more pressure,” Lizzy admits, but with her teammates there she’s never alone.
Growing as a team
In addition to the creative minds behind Team RAR, they also have a growing production team working behind the scenes. Elaborating, she explains how Team RAR includes, “…the creators and then we have a whole support team of PAs, [and] we have someone who runs our operations. We have a brand manager and we have like a whole team who helps us out.” Additionally, each member has a dedicated editor for their respective channels.
Having an editor has been a key supportive element for Lizzy’s channel. Her editor not only helps save her time but is also a creative force on her own. “My editor is amazing. She’s so good at what she does.
Being able to work with someone you can trust and save that time has really helped us grow.
“[Having an editor)] really cuts out so much time. Like editing takes like eight to 12 hours for a single video and sometimes even longer. So being able to work with someone you can trust and save that time has really helped us grow.”
Building a shareable brand
Developing and producing creative content is massive undertaking for any one channel. But doing that isn’t enough to grow such a massive following in a short amount of time. You also need to develop a brand that makes people want to come back and watch more.
Remembering her early days on YouTube, Lizzy reflects, “… I think early on … like super early on, we [did] a really good job at creating a brand that was very inclusive.” She points to a video they worked on called “Share the Love.” It was a music video that carries a positive message to help spread love around the world.
It’s a video that has over 100 million views and something Lizzy still to this day gets recognition for. “…we spent a lot of time on our ‘Share the Love’ music video, which really helped with marketing and branding and it’s something that kids still remember today.”
This message of positivity and love is something that Lizzy carries throughout her videos. It’s something she credits for her massive channel growth. She says, “I want my viewers to really connect with me on a different, more real level. I think that’s why YouTube is so big. It’s because you can connect with people on a more real level versus a TV show or a movie.
People are engaged with Lizzy. They care about her and the rest of Team RAR. This gives the viewers people to root for. Observing how far she has come, Lizzy says, “ I think… since I’ve started, my content has just gotten more interesting and it’s more engaging. People [can now] really connect with me, and if not me like the other characters in my video. And so I think that really helps with growth and connecting with our audience.” Going through adventurous challenges is one thing, but going through it with a community of friends you’ve connected to is what helps spread so quickly.”
In the short amount of time Lizzy has been on YouTube, she has found that a big key to her success is collaboration, specifically with Team RAR. “I think that there’s power in numbers,” Lizzy declares. Continuing, she believes, “as a group, we’re so much stronger than individually. I think that’s something that sets us apart. Being a group.”
The individual members of Team RAR all have their own focus and vision for their channels. Lizzy believes it’s that variety of focus helps them to stand out. It’s in, “…having that diversity within a group I think is so important. It’s so much more interesting for viewers. I think that’s something that really sets us apart, is having that diversity in content yet still being in the same group.”
As a team they not only get to share in the wins, they also get to challenge one another to take their content to the next level. “Every single person on our team is so ambitious; that’s probably one of the biggest challenges. (laughs) It’s so hard to really kind of shut off and not work. It’s just so easy for us to hang out and then talk about ideas and stuff.”
It’s the power of the team that brings everyone’s individual channels to new heights, even their littlest member of Team RAR. “It is kind of crazy how fast it’s grown and how fast, like, even our team has grown. And even my dog’s channel, I never thought it would be as big as — she’s almost at a million subscribers and she’s, like, a dog. (laughs)”
Surprising results for Lizzy Capri
As impressive as Lizzy’s rapid channel growth has been, it’s come to her as a big surprise. Looking back she says, “It’s really funny because when I first started I didn’t think I would. I didn’t really think about, okay I want to be at this many subscribers in 2019 or something. I didn’t really think about that that much.”
YouTube is Lizzy’s fulltime job now, something she didn’t even think was a career path a few years ago. The difficulties of running your own business produce almost as many obstacles as the challenges Lizzy takes on in each of her videos. She shares, “You just learn so much [about business] through experience, navigating through new obstacles or new challenges.”
Her continued growth is aided by her determination and her willingness to rise to the occasion. Reflecting, she says, “Just looking back and thinking of these moments where, I was so tired but I kept pushing through because I wanted it so bad. I think I surprised myself with how hard I worked. ” That kind of feeling of determination doesn’t come that often, Lizzy shares. Crediting her early years of being a swimmer, she reflects, “…I would swim until I couldn’t feel my arms. And just that feeling of pushing past your mental boundaries is so interesting to me. And when I’m in the moment and doing it, I don’t think about it.’
It’s crazy to think that a year ago, I was living in an apartment in Virginia, dreaming about moving to LA.
Lizzy Capri and Team RAR keep a fast pace. They move so quickly that Lizzy admits she rarely thinks about slowing down. She reflects, “It’s crazy to think that a year ago, I was living in an apartment in Virginia, dreaming about moving to LA (and now I’m here). And it’s cool because it’s all documented. Like you could see all of the hard work on my channel and you can (chronicle it) to see all happen.”
Making an impact
But there’s more to Lizzy Capri’s channel than epic challenges, teamwork, and creative fulfillment. Lizzy also activates her audience to make a lasting impact on the world.
The Thirst Project is a non-profit organization that builds wells for underdeveloped communities that can’t get easy access to clean drinking water. The organization makes these wells available for people who need it and people who would otherwise have to walk miles and miles to get to dirty water, which ends up killing a lot of children.
Lizzy reached out to the Thirst Project to brainstorm concepts for how can she can make a video about their cause. She wanted do something to create more awareness.
Remembering a younger version of herself, Lizzy reflects how, “…when I was younger, I didn’t really think of things outside my bubble of my immediate friends, family or community. I think creating more awareness of [global issues] is important.”
Through her channel, she has partnered with The Thirst Project to raise funds and bring awareness to the organization’s needs. “I think it’s so perfect for my audience because it’s just encouraging kids to look outside of their bubble and see what else is happening in the world and try to help.”
A final word from Lizzy Capri
Creating consistent creative content on YouTube can be a challenge, especially when you go into it alone. But if you’re anything like Lizzy Capri, you may not have to. From her perspective, YouTube has, “…given me so much more experience that I otherwise would never have.” As Lizzy advises, make videos with your friends. Support each other’s channels but more than anything, challenge yourself and each other. Even if you don’t find your self with several million subscribers, you will find a community. And you’ll grow in the process.