I left my job and only have 8 months to make it as a YouTube magician (Part 2)

A candid look at one magician's big leap.

Jack rhodes on DSLR camera screen

I've taken an 8-month career break to turn my passion as a YouTube magician into a living. One Ahead invited me to share the highs and lows of my pursuit every few months. You may want to read part 1, in which I went from 2k followers to 107k in only the first two months.

I left my job, and now I only have 8 months to make it as a YouTube magician (Part 1)
Magic on social media can be hard work. We asked Jack Rhodes to document his attempt to turn his passion into a career.

Hello again, fellow ‘One Aheaders’ (is that the right term?). We’re back documenting the highs and lows of the social media magic world.

In the last article (spanning July - September 2023), we covered how I’m taking a career break from my day job to try and pursue a career as a full-time magic content creator. Within that three-month timeframe, I gained over 100k followers on Instagram, became ‘mates’ with David Blaine and earned just over £200…

Long story short, these next couple of months, I really need to start improving income-wise if I even want a chance at making this my full-time gig. Remember, I only have until March 2024. That's when my agreed 'career break’ from my day job as a Nuclear Engineer ends.

This is a good time to say if you haven’t read the previous article, you probably should. It’s very good. 

Although I would say that; I wrote it.

October 1st

We’re starting off with a bang. I’ve just uploaded a 10-minute-long single-take magic routine, and in terms of pure ‘magic’ content, this is my best video.

100 Levels of Sleight of Hand: Video

Let’s take a moment to discuss the planning that goes into a video like this.

Firstly, the packaging needs to be right and when I say ‘packaging’ I mean the title and thumbnail that YouTube shows to users.’ This is what gets the click. You could have the best video in the world, but if nobody’s clicking on it, what’s the point?

Here’s the rough plan I had going into the prep stage. I don’t do this for every video, but it definitely helps to get the rough ideas down for packaging and scripting:

Screenshot included potential thumbnail and title, with a simple outline and comments from Jack's producer
Screenshot of Video Outline

Now, in terms of getting a lay audience to watch magic videos, there has to be more on offer than ‘magician does tricks’. At least, there has to be more on offer in the packaging stages. Hopefully, your performance and personality are engaging enough to get them to stick around once they’ve clicked on your content. It’s just getting the click that’s the hard bit.

So, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can package a video to make it appeal to as broad an audience as possible. 

In this case, the hook is you’re clicking to see someone do something impressive whilst blindfolded. This could work in other niches; it could be a golfer blindfolded attempting ‘Golf Skill - Level 100’. I don’t know; I’m making it up as I go along, but you get the jist.

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