8 Tools Every Creator Should Use

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8 Tools Every Creator Should Use

Being a YouTube content creator can be daunting. There can be a lot of moving parts when making small or large scale videos. Whether its script writing, keeping track of release/filming schedules or the process of editing your video to look like a pro, there are tools available to help you. Here are 8 of my favorite tools that I use on a regular basis.

1. Dropbox – File Management [Free/$$$ ] 
Collaborating with other YouTubers is a big part of growing as a creator. Having even a free account from Dropbox makes sharing files easy and should be an essential part of any creator’s tool box.
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2. Celtx – Script Writing Software [Free/$$$ ] 
Have a script idea that would make a great video, web series or movie? Everyone has ideas but unless you can make that idea into a flushed out piece that will help you get support to make it, it’s going to remain an idea. Celtx is a Hollywood quality script writing format software that comes in free and paid studio versions. The free version allows you to write properly formatted scripts while the studio version takes you through other phases of production on projects. Both are cloud based so you can share your scripts with others you may be working with as long as they have their own account.
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3. Google apps – Calendar, Doc, Sheets [Free] 
Staying organized is tough for a lot of creatives. Having a calendar or video release schedule that you can stick to will help you be successful. These free app tools from Google will help you tackle almost any project.
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4. Youtube.com – Royalty Free Audio [Free]
Great videos need great music and YouTube has the hook up. YouTube has an entire collection of usable free music that you either has to credit the artist or don’t. The catalog of music has over a thousand songs as well as a sound effects library you can use in your video projects as well.
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5. Transfer big file – Sending large files [Free/$$$ ] 
Need to send one large file that can’t be emailed? Try Transfer Big File. You can send up to a 100mb file for free or a 20GB file with a paid account.
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6. Clip Converter- Video Downloader [Free]
There have been several times where I wanted to reference videos that I had made in my end slate but couldn’t find the original or wanted to link to my friends videos visually but couldn’t get Dropbox to sync their overly large video. Clip converter is an ad supported site that allows you to download any video 20 minutes or less to your desktop.
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7. YouTube Thumbnail Downloader [Free]
If you are a creator long enough there will be a time where you need to get the thumbnail from a video you uploaded. YouTube currently doesn’t have an option for you to retrieve it so this nifty site allows you to do just that.
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8. Adobe Creative Cloud – Everything you need for editing your videos and designing your brand [$$$]
I consider this the holy grail of creative tools. The Adobe Creative Cloud is a professional and industry standard of design tools that include Photoshop (photo manipulation and art), Illustrator (vector illustration), Dreamweaver (website coding), Muse (Visual web design), Premiere (video editing) and After Effects (VFX) as well as many more. You can get started with a free trial then switch over to the monthly paid subscription if you wish to go this route.
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Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

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Chris Pirrilo interview at Vloggerfair 2015

Its always good to chat with founders of events like Vloggerfair. Chris Pirillo, founder of Vloggerfair, informed us about the event, what inspires him and the future of Vloggerfair.

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

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Should I sign to an MCN?

Signing with an MCN (Multi-Channel Network) is a big decision and you owe it to yourself to know what you’re getting into. How MCNs work is they take control of your Google Ad-Sense account and in return they offer you help in some form. Depending on the company, a contract will last during a 3 month trial to a two year commitment and will take around 50% of everything you make in the YouTube world. That’s after YouTube takes their cut. These companies represent themselves to the YouTube community as talent managers often helping them grow and connecting them to brands. They will focus more on larger youtubers because getting them brand deals will in return will make them the most money. This is because the cost of setting up brand deals has to pay off for the MCN. There are lots of these companies that sign youtubers of all sizes and for good reason. Taking a cut of a lot of channels can add up to big business. A typical MCN with 1 billion views per month would be valued at $97 million and make around $21 million and run a traditional ad based revenue service. Not long ago traditional media companies started buying up all the big MCNs. Maker Studios was sold to Disney, Revision3 was picked by The Discovery Channel and BigFrame is owned by DreamWorks.blog_MCM_showcaseAs someone who has been making YouTube videos for a few years, I have been approached by a lot of these companies, some with ridiculous demands for joining and others not so bad for the time they asked me to join. You’re probably asking yourself why didn’t I join? It’s because no MCN has ever been able to offer me anything that I couldn’t do myself. Most things offered from MCNs in my experience were a custom thumbnail generator, SEO generator, a potentially higher CPM and collaborations with other members in their MCN. But I have Photoshop, google search, wouldn’t be in their biggest 1% of youtubers for a higher CPM anyway and have e-mail to talk to anyone I want to set up collabs with. There is no rule that I had to sign with their company to work with anyone else signed to them. If you are a small (under 10k) channel then these are the things you will most likely be offered. MCNs are businesses with the end game of making money. The hard fact is if the 50% of revenue they take from you isn’t making them very much money, then they won’t spend time on you or helping you grow your channel.

If you are already in a MCN and would like to leave, be sure to let them know 60 days before your contract ends(some contracts auto-renew). There will most likely be a series of back and forth e-mails trying to convince you to stay often offering a bigger revenue split. Always verify that they know you would like to discontinue before your contract is up.

So what can you do to get help without signing to one? First, education yourself. If you’re reading this you’re on the right track! Secondly, figure out what you need and go get it. If there is something you can’t do then hire someone else to do it for you. Does your channel need professional art? Then hire a graphic designer. Are you big enough that you need help with bookings? Then hire a manager to get you booked at events. The ultimate decision to sign to an MCN is yours, just be sure that you have your contract read by a lawyer and make sure the terms are worth giving up your ad revenue.

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

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How to become a member of the press

Did you know that anyone can be a member of the media or press? Journalism is simply the act of disseminating news to the public and the term can apply to anyone. All you have to be is either a reporter or a writer for a publication. Many journalists start their journey by writing for a personal blog building their brand or covering stories by their computer web camera and sending it out by a video platform. As the growth of the information age, it has been increasingly harder for people to tell who actually fits into the title and who doesn’t, which is great for people looking to jump into this area of content creation.

Though I am not a lawyer, I will tell you there are ethical responsibilities to identifying yourself a journalist or part of a media outlet. First off when you publish your content you have to only publish the truth. This is part of the first amendment Clause that protects the right of individuals to express themselves through publication and dissemination of information, ideas and opinions without interference, constraint or prosecution by the government. If you publish something that makes fun of your subject it has to be in such a way it can be identified as satire, otherwise you’re slandering which is illegal.

Being a member of the media or press does have its perks. Often at big events, there are reserved special sections at the front or free passes for members of the media at conventions.  Heck you could hit up VIP parties via twitter and ask if you could send a vlogger to cover the event. (It helps if you have a following on a major platform.) In fact, several years ago I did just that to get into a Funimation party with an open bar during Sakuracon. We were escorted by security into the VIP area where we were able to meet many of the people who worked at Funimation as well as other people who were seen as VIP. It’s great for networking, creating content for your channel and the ability to align your name with bigger brands with established followings.

To help you identify yourself as a member of the media it helps to have a badge and business cards stating so. There are claimed accredited associations you can go through that will charge you upwards of $200 for a card with their logo letting people know that you are a member of the media. You can also just have a badge printed up which is what most outlets do.  To help you with this process we have made 3 FREE mock up Press Badges. You can use these or you can design your own.badgesStep 1: Download the PSD file package of your choice.
Step 2: Edit the information on the badge template for your channel.
Step 3: Print one or both sides of the press badge off. Use a thicker card stock for the print.
Step 4: Cut the sides out to match the same height. If you need to, use double sided tape to hold them together and cut the sides of the cards together so the line up even.
Step 5: Look at the front of the badge. Where you see a white circle, punch a hole through the cards.
Step 6:  Laminate the badge.
Step 7: Cut the plastic off the outside of the badge but leave enough area for the plastic to stay together.
Step 8: Punch a smaller hole back through the original hole before we laminated the badge.
Step 9: Put a lanyard in the hole and wear it.
If you download the template, be sure to share the article on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook. Thanks!

Design 1 | Design 2 | Design 3

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV