On Wednesday 22nd November, Westminster Business School was delighted to welcome back former BA Marketing Communications student, Lucy Earl to our Little Titchfield Street campus. Does the name Lucy Earl ring any bells? How about the name ‘English with Lucy’?

Lucy Earl

Lucy started her YouTube channel in January 2016, whilst completing her final year at the Westminster Business School. Passionate about teaching English, she had been running English courses in her spare time and noticed a gap in the market for videos that teach English as a second language in a fun and accessible way. She decided to direct her passion for teaching English into the creation of her own YouTube channel offering tips on English grammar and pronunciation, and listening practice lessons.

Today, Lucy now has just under 700,000 subscribers, Not far from the big 1M! So how did she do it? She was kind enough to share the secret to her success to a sold out room of students and alumni. She started the evening by asking how many people in the audience were current students and told them how lucky they were to be studying at Westminster. She went on to talk about the support she has received from the alumni team after graduating and praised our Study Abroad team, urging people to take advantage of the opportunities that are being handed to them during their studies.

How did your channel grow?

She discussed the growth of her channel after making her first video back in January 2016 after identifying a gap in the market. With a small business loan from her father of £500 (which has now been paid back, with interest) she was able to buy her first video camera. From then on, she saw her subscribers grow steadily from 100 to 1,000 and by October 2016, she hit the viral jackpot with one of her videos which saw an abnormal spike in subscribers.

How do you go viral?

So how do videos become viral and what can you do to keep YouTube’s algorithm happy? Lucy gave some great insider tips on best practices to achieve success. Firstly, if your video contains numbers in the title i.e. Top 10 holiday destinations, YouTube’s algorithm reacts really well and your video could end up getting recommended to viewers. Secondly, content that is family friendly is also favoured by YouTube, plus you’re able to monetize on these types of videos with adverts as apposed to other types of content.

How do you make money through YouTube?

A question that Lucy hears a lot as she is now a full time YouTuber. The answer is that there are many different streams of making money when it comes to YouTube. Firstly, you make money through the adverts that are played just before a YouTube video, however for every 1 million views you receive £1,000 so it’s not enough to just rely on your ad revenue. Other streams include sponsorships, this could be where a brand wants to work you in order to promote a service or product. However, Lucy points out that you have to be careful when it comes to working with brands, as you could end up loosing the trust of your subscribers if you choose to work with someone irrelevant to your own brand.

Affiliate links is also another way of making money, this is when you recommend a product with a special coded link, so for every click/purchase you then receive commission. After building up a significant reputation and presence, you can then start to think about launching your own products which is another way YouTubers make their money (watch this space, as Lucy has something exciting up her sleeve coming soon!) And finally, she can also earn through attending events or guest speaking. As you can see, there’s plenty of opportunity when you’re a YouTuber and Lucy made the point of not to put all of your eggs into one basket. No one knows what the future holds for YouTube, so make sure you’re working on other projects as well.

Question time

After Lucy gave us an inside look into the world of a YouTuber, it was then time for questions from the floor. Some questions included, ‘how do you manage your team?’ to which Lucy’s answer was ‘It’s just me! I have agency representation, but I film, edit and write everything my self’. Another question that was asked was, ‘how do you cope watching footage of yourself back? Any advice?’ Lucy agreed that this process can cause you to ‘cringe’, so you just have to practice in front of the camera so you get use to it, plus she gave great advice on how to look good for the screen; ‘ring light, high exposure and face powder!’

After questions, the talk came to a close, however Lucy stayed to the very end to speak with all of the students and took pictures with everyone. We can’t thank Lucy enough for coming back to the Westminster Business School for sharing her success story with us. Come back soon!

Thank you to Lucy Earl for her insightful talk on the YouTube industry, UG Marketing course leader and former teacher to Lucy, Darrell Kofkin for comparing the evening and to the Westminster Alumni team for organising such a fabulous event. Watch Lucy’s videos over on her channel English with Lucy and find out more about the course she studied with us, BA Marketing Communications.

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