Throughout our I Did It My Way series, we’ve witnessed how YouTube can serve as a launching pad for a personality’s career. Whether it be new opportunities with well-known brands or a chance to further live out one’s dream, it’s safe to say YouTube has been a highly-successful launching pad. For our latest feature in the series, we talked with health fanatic Nick Bare. Nick took his channel from 10 views a video to hundreds of thousands of views, regularly, and sometimes even millions. Bare creatively uses his time in the Army as a tool for content and also for sharing behind-the-scenes details about growing a supplement brand in addition to starting your own gym. Nick’s channel is packed with everything, such as great business insight, fitness and military training. Check out how Nick has used YouTube to maximize his opportunities.
I Did It My Way Appetizer
coiski: Is there one moment or person that was the catalyst for you starting your YouTube channel?
Nick Bare: So I moved from Georgia to Texas for the military, and I arrived at my unit to see everyone was on a training rotation in Germany for a few months. So, I really had a lot of free time. I was transitioning from the whole college/military school mindset to ‘here’s the rest of my life; what am I going to do with it?’ The military, for me, was something I wanted to do for four years, so I knew I had to start building my exit strategy early. I had my business, and I saw YouTube as a great opportunity to help grow and build my personal brand. Initially, it started as a place to track my progress, training and nutrition.
coiski: What is your biggest and/or most successful YouTube video to date?
Bare: There’s actually one video called Day In The Life Of An Infantry Platoon Leader, and I filmed it while I was in Korea. I simply showed my life, and what it was like being an Infantry Platoon leader based in Korea. That video, in itself, got over a million views, and it took my YouTube Channel from 30,000 subscribers to 80,000 subscribers in one month. That video actually got picked up by a hate group – like a hate thread on Reddit or something. People were trolling and bashing the video, therefore, it got out to all these people. I can remember sitting in Korea watching this video and seeing the views go up by tens of thousands and I was blown away seeing my subscribers growing. It was that one video that really blew things up for me.
coiski: At what point during the management of your YouTube page did you say to yourself, “I made it; this can be a full-time thing?”
Bare: It was probably right before I was coming home from Korea; the time I spent in Korea is when everything really started growing. So when I was ready to come home, I flew my brother down to Texas from Pennsylvania, started building a gym and finding warehouse space. In the beginning, my dad always supported my idea to start a supplement company, but he always told me it’s a bad idea. He would say, ‘you’re going to lose all your money.’ Once it started growing, he called me one day and said, ‘Good job starting a successful company.’ That’s when I was like, alright I guess this is all going in the right direction.
coiski: What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome, creatively, with your YouTube page?
Bare: The biggest obstacle from the beginning – from a creative perspective – was having myself stand out because, in the beginning, I didn’t want to share that I was in the military. I wanted to keep it off my channel and for the longest time I tried to. But when I had to leave for Korea, I didn’t have a choice. I was there and had to film if I wanted to maintain my businesses and my channel. That’s where it really started growing because it was different than everyone else. At the time, I was almost trying to mimic and copy what everyone else was doing because I assumed that would help me grow. With that method, I was just that one person that was always one step behind, and I had this reactive decision-making process for the longest time. I think I really started to pick up some speed when I began becoming proactive rather than reactive and started doing things others weren’t doing.
coiski: Is it tough to diversify your content all the while remaining engaged with your target audience?
Bare: Yeah, I try to rotate videos in between my military stuff that I’ve learned, and now that I am out it’s harder to do. I know I’ve lost some following since getting out of the military. So in return, I always try to bring my content back around to that one thing that keeps me separated: my military experience. Being in the business realm of directly owning and operating a business, I can correlate that to management and leadership stuff I learned in the Army. I don’t try to stray away too far; I just try to focus on business, fitness and military. Then there’s some lifestyle stuff; just having fun. I find that if I stick to those three topics, I do pretty well.