Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
This installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by creator fintech company Karat Financial.
It was 2017, and Lizzy Capri loved her new job at LinkedIn.
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The role was something she’d worked toward her whole life. When she snagged it, she hoped it would be the start of a long, long career in tech.
And it probably would have…if YouTube hadn’t happened.
During her first year on the job, Capri, on the side, had started making videos with her boyfriend Carter Sharer. He also had a prestigious tech job, and after becoming interested in the ins and outs of YouTube’s recommendation algorithms, had decided to put his programming skills to work by taking crack at making videos designed to be “rare and ridiculous”–but also viral.
A few months in, Sharer got an AdSense check for $22,000. Not long after, his channel crossed 100,000 subscribers. For him, that was the sign: it was time to duck out of Silicon Valley and go full-time as a content creator. Capri, who by that time had her own channel, was more hesitant. A hundred thousand people was nothing to sneeze at, but she’d need more convincing before quitting her dream job.
More convincing was exactly what she got. Both her and Sharer’s accounts hit one million subscribers and kept growing. In late 2017, Capri left LinkedIn and joined Shareer as a full-time creator.
Nowadays, Capri’s main account has more than 6 million subscribers. But we’re here to talk about her second account, where she’s getting into YouTube Shorts. Like last week’s YouTube Millionaire, ZHC, Capri is an established long-form creator figuring out how to make short-form work for her.
We’ll let her tell you about it below.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: For someone who’s reading this and may not know anything about you or about Team Rare and Ridiculous, tell us who you are and how you became a creator.
Lizzy Capri: My name is Lizzy Capri, I’m a YouTuber, and I started about…oh my gosh, five years ago? It doesn’t feel that long, but I guess I started about five years ago.
I got into YouTube basically with my boyfriend Carter, and we just started posting videos and they started to gain traction. At some point we decided to quit our jobs and just commit to YouTube full-time. It was definitely kind of a dream career that we never thought would be feasible for us, so to be where I’m at today is absolutely amazing and surreal.
But yeah! I just post fun blogs, challenges, viral ideas. Team RAR is well-known for doing things that are rare and ridiculous, or maybe even just ridiculous. We’re kind of like a group of creators where we film all together. There’s five creators on the team and we all film our own type of content, but also come together to film videos. So yeah, we just try to take things above and beyond and make sure to adapt to the changes and continue to grow.
Tubefilter: We actually talked to Carter not too long ago about how he ended up founding Team RAR, so we know the two of you were both in your dream careers before you ended up deciding to do YouTube full-time. How did you make the decision that yes, YouTube was worth quitting your jobs for?
LC: So initially YouTube was really exciting because we didn’t really have much to lose. We still had our full-time jobs. But at a certain point of growth, we were like, “Okay, we need to continue on this path. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if we don’t commit to it now, we’re probably gonna lose this kind of opportunity forever.”
So once we hit…I know for Carter, it was over a hundred thousand subscribers, he was like, “Okay, I’m gonna quit my job and really commit to this.” And for me, since I was all the way across the country—he was filming videos in Virginia and I was in California working at LinkedIn—I was like, “I don’t know, I worked all my life to get to this job.”
And so for me, the point was a million subscribers. Yeah. For me to be like, “Okay, this is legit and we can really take this to a different level,” was a million.
And at that point I honestly wasn’t really scared because, well, I had a million subscribers. I feel like you kind of have more confidence in “this is going to work” with a million. So yeah, I kind of was like, “I’m not even gonna look back for a second.” And I just quit my job and here we are today.
Tubefilter: That’s a great tie-in because obviously now you’ve hit a million on Carter’s channel, your main channel, and now your Shorts channel, which is the one we’re here to talk about. When did you start filming Shorts and what appeals to you about that vertical?
LC: I think I started filming Shorts basically when they rolled out. Obviously it’s very similar to TikTok and Instagram Reels, and short-form has really been taking over the internet. I feel like YouTube was one of the first revolutionary ways to go viral and then Vine came out and then TikTok came out, and it’s interesting because it’s such a quick way to grow, but at the same time, it also has its caveats.
Like on YouTube, if you can get your audience engaged in the long-form content, it’s just so much more impactful on the viewer because they’re watching for a longer duration. So they really start to get to know you, your personality, the things you like, and connect with you on a deeper level. Whereas for Shorts, it’s these little snippets of us, and they’re so quick that you don’t really capture that feeling of, “Oh, I know them, I’m friends with them.” That kind of feeling.
So in that way, it’s very different, but I think what’s most appealing to me is how quickly you can grow and go viral. Like, some of the videos I have on my Shorts channel are just so silly, but have over 150 million views.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like you’ve seen any audience crossover at all? Has your Shorts channel been bringing more people to your main channel?
LC: It’s very difficult to say. I definitely think it supplements really well, because in this weird space of social media, you just have to be on top of every platform, whether you enjoy it or not. I feel like with Carter and I both, our biggest strengths lie in creating these long-form videos—which is great because everyone you meet who does Shorts will say, “Oh my gosh, I want to transition into longer-form content.” Whereas, you know, for us, we have that down pat and we’re just trying to diversify and stay relevant on all the other lengths of content.
I do think it definitely supplements my channel, my longer-form content, but I’m not really sure what the conversion rate is because there’s not really any metrics that YouTube gives that are cross-platform from Shorts to long-form content.
Tubefilter: So what does the average day look like for you in terms of balancing making multiple lengths of content across multiple platforms?
LC: So generally we focus on long-form content throughout the week. Mondays are usually planning days. And then through the week, like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we film. The more we film, the better, just because that’s what we’re good at. Where we thrive is that is in front of the camera.
In terms of filming for short-form content, it’s kind of random. We try to supplement, like if we’re filming a video and and the middle we’re like, “Oh, let’s film this quick Short,” or “Let’s film this quick TikTok,” or something. It’s just kind of random, we don’t really plan out for that—although we’re trying to build out a system that can plan for that.
For now, we just kind of film them running gun style, as we go. They’re not really planned out. And if they are, then it’s like a super quick set-up time, super quick film time. It takes way less time to edit than long-form content.
So yeah, our day-to-day is mostly, we focus on our long-form content. And from that we either get snippets from our long-form content and turn them into short-form, or during the filming of it, we get an idea and we’re like, “Oh, let’s film this real quick.”
Tubefilter: Is it nice to have that ability to be spontaneous in a way that you can’t with long-form content?
LC: It is, it’s really satisfying because it’s so immediate, it’s so quick, you know? Whereas long-form content, it takes a week or two for post-production before you can post, before you can see the feedback from your viewers. In that sense, it’s really satisfying, where you’re like, “Oh, okay, it already has this many views.” That’s awesome. And you’re able to post it almost immediately! It has a different level of satisfaction than long-form content does.
Tubefilter: Are you trying to focus more on short-form? Do you like the balance of short-form and long-form you have now?
LC: From the backend side, I’m trying to build out my business so I have a running structure of being able to film long-form content—a system where we can turn out videos in a more efficient, organized way. That way I’ll have more bandwidth to focus on short-form content or any other areas in social media I want to pursue.
I think short-form’s really interesting, especially YouTube Shorts, because I do think there are going to be creators who emerge out of Shorts. Shorts specifically, um, because every platform—Instagram, TikTok, all those platforms—they always need their A-list creators, and I think YouTube is spending a lot of their resources trying to push Shorts and get creators on their Shorts platform.
So I see that being kind of a big area of opportunity. Right now it’s just tough because I don’t have a lot of bandwidth with already posting so much content on my long-form side, so I’m really just trying to build out the business on the backend so I will have more time for these things.
Tubefilter: Does that mean hiring more people, or…?
LC: Yeah, usually hiring more people, and creating like infrastructure, a standard of procedures for my long-form content, because now that we have a strategy and a method of how we film them and get them done, it’ll be easier to onboard people and get everyone involved.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like YouTube has an edge over other platforms in the short-form arena?
LC: I do think YouTube is super powerful in that. I mean, they’ve just been established for so long and so many people, especially now in this age are viewers of YouTube over traditional cable television. That being said, I also think YouTube provides the best monetization for creators, where it actually allows creators to be able to go full-time as an influencer, versus TikTok.
It’s tough, because you might make a couple thousand here and there. Maybe if you’re in the top 1% you’ll make enough to quit your job. But with the instability and the competition, it’s super saturated, and I do think it gets more and more difficult for other platforms to really provide enough monetization for creators to actually quit their jobs.
Tubefilter: Aside from building out your infrastructure, do you have any plans for the rest of the year?
LC: Yeah! So we just moved to North Carolina, which is wild because we were in L.A. Since we moved, we had so many resources at the old Team RAR house, so we’re kind of accumulating all those resources again, and we already have so many things in the pipeline. Bigger videos and bigger projects.
As we grow, we’re scaling to our level of success, and we’re trying to one-up our other videos. So we just have a lot of really big videos coming, which I’m really excited about, just because now Carter and I both have hired our own production teams, so we’re able to put more into our videos. Each video we’re able to do more entertaining, more fun. So yeah, we’re just excited to be out here and grow our team and make our videos even more epic.
Tubefilter: What would you say is your number one piece of advice for creators who may be up and coming, on Shorts or on any other platform?
LC: Work smarter, not harder. There’s only so much time in a day and there’s so much competition out there that you really have to think through what you’re trying to do and what your goals are so you can execute them in an efficient and successful way. That’s what’s going to set real creators apart from one-hit wonders.
Tubefilter: One last thing—we know you recently made your acting debut with a guest role as a teacher in Brat TV’s Crown Lake. How did that come about?
LC: I’ve known about Brat TV for a while now. There are so many cool series they do, and I feel like a lot of influencers have their debut on a platform like that, which is really cool, so you don’t feel so alone. As an influencer going into acting, it was really cool to experience being on a full production set, and just showing up and being talent.
Then the acting in and of itself was really interesting because I had never acted before, but given my improv experience from my YouTube videos, I think that gave me enough experience to be able to pull it off, I guess. Yeah, it was a really fun experience. I learned a lot through that process and it was really cool to see the behind-the-scenes of how everything operated.
Tubefilter: How long were you on set?
LC: I was there for one full day of shooting where I was like, on call, every 30 minutes, and then another day I was there for just a couple hours, one or two scenes. I just played a small part, so I can only imagine what it’s like to be a main character in a show. That would be insane.
Tubefilter: Is that something you’re interested in doing more?
LC: I think I would definitely be interested in acting more. I just have to take acting classes and get better at it. But after watching myself, I can critique on how to be better!
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