It hasn’t been long since Craig Benzine was waiting tables in a Chicago restaurant. And as his YouTube handle implies (WheezyWaiter) the asthmatic didn’t let sickness stop him from filling a shift. Before he stopped waiting tables, he’d awaken at 6 to spend several hours (or more) to create a daily video before work. And he’d somehow sneak in an extra few hours to interact with fans (something he’s decreased to focus on making videos).
Now fetching an impressively consistent 150-200,000 views on each of his near-daily videos, the YouTube creator (and member of a rock band) takes his same work ethic to YouTube.
Benzine was one of dozens of YouTube partners who assembled in downtown Chicago’s Columbian College yesterday for an education session sponsored by Google.
YouTube has been quietly roaming the country — from NYC and California to the southeast and now Midwest– to help independent video creators, facilitate their interaction with other video makers, and provide them tips on growing and sustaining an audience.
I spoke, obviously, on “how to pimp your YouTube channel,” a mock title for what was really designed to:
1) Remind other YouTubers not to expect fame, subscribers or money to “fill the empty bowl they call life,”
2) Provide them with tips on how to make content advertisers seek
3) Give them practical advice on seeking sponsors directly or through intermediaries (and importantly what to avoid and say “no” to)
4) Keep them aware that the audience should always come first…
Even if you’ve got a pretty badass shoe sponsor like WheezyWaiter:
And those shoes are special. Benzine explained, when I interviewed him briefly for the attendees, his well-worn pair are the only shores he owns.
Is that a brilliant marketing move, or simply the signs of a humble guy who doesn’t need an Imelda-Marcos-shoe collection to keep his feet on the ground?