Instasize: Tell us a little more about yourself! Are you a full time content creator? What were you doing beforehand?
Lizzie Peirce: My whole life I've always been interested in the creative field - music, photography, video, etc. I had done a little bit of video editing when I was in high school, but I didn’t know that shooting/editing video was something people built a career off of. Realizing that it was definitely kick-started my interest within the video realm. I ended up attending Ryerson, a radio and television arts program (one of the best in Canada), so I thought that’s where I would end up - within broadcasting.
Halfway through my schooling program is when I met Chris - who's now my business partner and partner in pretty much everything. He was freelancing with photography and video and I kind of thought, “Hey, why in the heck am I not doing that? That's what I was doing before I got into this program..why am I not doing more hands on work”? My next birthday I begged my parents to buy me a camera as my birthday present. And basically from that point on I was freelancing and doing any projects that came my way.
As I was focusing on broadcasting in school I was also producing material on the side and teaching myself how to edit content, build a client base, study new techniques, etc. It's important to employers to see you've had some kind of experience, so I was trying to balance working both for myself and for someone else. Although I was making money independently, and technically running my own small business, I didn't see this as something I could do long-term.
IS: How did you get into videography? When did you start your YouTube channel or rather, what was the moment that led you to decide to jump onto the YouTube platform?
LP: I got my start working for a corporate video production company, which I still don't regret at all because there was a lot that I learned there. However, after three or four months I realized it wasn’t for me. I liked working for myself way more, so I took everything that I had learned thus far, reached out to “my now partner” Chris (who was also freelancing at the time) and pitched him on the idea. We both thought, “you know what - we're young, there's no better time than right now to try and run our own business” so we hit the ground running and tripled our revenue in the first year of full time work.
We made the jump from corporate to travel because we wanted to try our hand at viral marketing. We started working with different tourism companies and developed a recipe to not only make great video content for our clients, but to also help get those videos seen. At a certain point we thought, “we know that we're good at doing this for other people, why are we not doing it for ourselves” -> that’s when our personal social media accounts and YouTube channels took off.
IS: The videography scene on YouTube is largely dominated by men, have you noticed any difficulties “breaking into” this nitch? Any push back from the community?
LP: At the time I was starting my own channel, I was spending a lot of time watching other creators within the space and I realized there were very few women doing travel video work - I couldn’t figure out why! I think when it comes to YouTube, or any new position, there’s this misconception that you have to be super qualified to start, or even apply, and this was one of those moments where I felt like I needed to be an example for young girls, women, or whoever. If I can inspire someone to start something they haven’t had the courage to, maybe inspire them to run their own business or to improve their skills, then it’s worth it.
I’ve been very lucky when it comes to support. Everyone who's already within the community including other YouTube travel couples, has been very supportive. We all just want to help each other grow, and I love that about the niche we're in. I think that’s a large reason as to why I've been able to stay in this space and still feel inspired, we're all so like minded.
IS: How did you first start working with brands on sponsored content? Is there a particular brand partnership you’re most excited about?
LP: In the very beginning, Chris and I put together a pitch package that contained samples of our work, rates, documentation of past campaigns and their success - basically a content resume that we used when reaching out to brands we wanted to work with. However, I think it's important to know that in any exchange, there's power on both sides and just because the brand “has all the money” doesn’t necessarily mean they have all the power. There is a saying that I learned in school which is “he who has the gold makes the rules” and that's true, but your talent with content creation is the gold - brands wouldn't be offering compensation if you didn't have something to offer. So knowing that you have a following that is engaged with your post(s) and having proof of that is so important when pitching yourself.
Favorite brand partnership - we worked with the Iceland board of tourism on a series of promotional videos for website/social, that was probably one of my coolest brand sponsorships because I had always wanted to visit Iceland. This collaboration gave me the opportunity to finally visit, so that was really cool.
IS: What are some of your favorite editing tools + software?
LP: I actually just did a video on this! You can check it out, here.
IS: How do you keep your creative juices flowing/stay motivated?
LP: It’s so easy to get discouraged when you’re creating content for social media, maybe you aren’t happy with a video you just filmed, or your recent photos aren’t getting as much engagement as they usually do, whatever the case may be. What I’ve done recently that has really helped is invest in a coach, it's actually a virtual coach, who helps me when i’m feeling overwhelmed. Whenever I feel like I need a session or I just want to talk about something, I can access a ton of coaches through my cell phone - it's kind of like having a therapist at your fingertips. The app is called Prosper.
It’s human nature to self-critique, sometimes I’ll take a ton of images and obsess over which one to post, so much so that I end up not wanting to post anything at all! I've learned to not be so hard on myself, I have to love and accept my final products in their entirety before I can share them with the world.
Figure out what it is that you want to be making and really try not to focus on what everyone else is expecting you to make. It’s really easy to spot when someone isn’t being authentic, especially on a platform like YouTube. If you aren’t making content that genuinely excites you, you’re audience will be able to tell.
IS: What inspires you to create?
LP: Inspiring others to create is what inspires me to create. Sharing information that I think is really going to help others in their careers, knowing that I had a hand in their growth, that’s inspiring to me.
IS: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
- Make what YOU want to make, not what others want you to make.
- Figure out what your core values are and make sure those are in alignment with the brands/people you work with. Always go back to your core values.
- Some people get caught in this loop of “I need to be creating every second of every day to be successful” and that isn’t the case. You need down time to self-reflect and make sure the content you’re producing is an adequate representation of the work you’d like to be doing. Know when to say NO to brands/deals you don’t want to do.
IS: What else do you like to do in your free time (hobbies, interests)? Teach us something random.
LP: A lot of people don’t know this but I love to fly and I'm currently working on getting my pilots license! I also love music, I grew up playing piano, cello, and guitar. I like to play and sing so we'll do that in the evening sometimes - no plans on recording covers any time soon. I'm an avid apps and Netflix connoisseur, I love a good Netflix show for sure. We try to get outside as much as we can, even just making time daily for a walk outside does wonders for your mental health!
IS: Last but not least, favorite or most memorable quote, you’ve heard recently:
LP: A woman is like a tea bag; you don't know how strong it is until it's in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt
A reminder that you are fully capable of handling any rough moment life may throw your way!