Koffee with Karina and Rachel Aust: Finding your voice and style online

Rachel Aust is a 25 year old digital content creator based in Brisbane, Australia. She brings to her channel her background in photography and film to present her audience with her videos on minimalism, decluttering, health, and fitness.

What made you want to start a YouTube channel?
Initially the thought came to my mind to start a YouTube channel about a year after I started my blog (FYI - blog was started in 2014, and I uploaded my first YouTube video early 2015). I was gaining more followers on Instagram, who were often asking for my advice or emailing me their questions, so I asked them if they'd want to watch YouTube videos if I put them together, and so many people said yes!

How did you come up with your channel topic?
My channel doesn't strictly have one topic, I would get so bored if I stuck to one theme. Similarly I find myself pursing multiple things at the same time in my 'real life', so my YouTube channel is a reflection of that. It's an accumulation of topics which I enjoy (e.g. style, minimalism) right through to topics I've studied and work in (health, fitness). I believe in taking not only a physical approach to your health, but a mental approach too, so I don't have too much of an issue with my channel ranging from topics like how to have a clutter free home, right to a workout routine, for me a healthy lifestyle ties together both aspects.

How do you plan and organize videos?
I have a bullet journal (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkpgB3-onbw) which I do pretty much all of my planning in. Every month I draw up two pages that have every day listed out for the next 10-11 weeks (depending on how much I can fit) and I plan out all the videos and blog posts that I want to release in this time, as well as what days I'd like them to go live. When I am creating a video I dedicate a page or two in my diary to planning what's going to go in it, when and where I'll film, any props I'll need, main talking points, and any essential shots I need to get. If it's one of my more editorial "arty" style videos I'll also grab my sketch book and draw out some of the shots I'd like to achieve.

What do you attribute to your channel growth?
- Posting regularly;
- Sticking to a schedule;
- Creating relevant content (you have to find the line between making what people search for, and making what is purely for your own enjoyment); and
- Learning about SEO, keywords, and titles.

Your video editing is amazing, your visuals are stunning - how did you learn how to manage the technical side of YouTube? 
Thank you! I have a background in fashion photography and film and I was able to transfer those skills to what I'm doing now. Video editing takes a lot of practise, persistence, and an inquisitive mind to attempt new things. I am thankful that I had many years photography experience to help me compose a shot and have a good understanding of lighting, when I started to allow my videos to be a bit more 'photographic' and stopped trying to film them like other YouTubers I believe it allowed my creativity to flourish. After all, I'm trying to share my experience and my version of things, so why do it in a way others have done before.

What tips do you have for online creators who feel as if they can only be successful if they make similar videos to bigger YouTubers?
No-one will care to watch what you're doing, and they won't become invested in you. That might sound harsh, but it's true. If you're going to attempt to mimic another person's style, many people will see through it, even if it's not straight away. On YouTube it can be very evident if you're feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera, or if you're not being genuine (the cracks will start to show). The reason that big YouTubers got that way is because they have a style and a brand. You need to treat your channel like it's a business and define not only your target audience, but also your branding. What are you all about? What fonts will you use regularly? What colours will you never use? It can take a lot of refining to establish a brand identity for yourself.

What advice do you have for young women who want to grow their YouTube channel?
- Be consistent with your posting;
- Try to film relevant and engaging content (ask yourself, "who cares about this?" before you even decide to film);
- Don't rip off another person's style and pretend it's your own;
- Try networking with other YouTubers and bloggers so that you're in the loop with updates and can share ideas and help each other; and
- Cross-promote on your other social media.

Favorite camera to film with: Sony A7S II
Favorite video editing software: Final Cut Pro X
Favorite photo editing app: Photoshop
Favorite organizational tool: Bullet Journal
Favorite video you have made: The next one ;) Always look forward, never back.

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