We live in a time and era where it is almost impossible to avoid gadgets. And there are certain technology enthusiasts unearthing the hacks of each app that you use on your phone and sharing it with us for the sake of simplicity.
The content creator era has provided opportunities for several people where they get to showcase their skills and bring to us solutions, never knowing to what extent these can help us. All of this through a few simple taps on our phones. One such person is Tejas Patil, commonly known as Elementec, who started his content creator journey on YouTube and has now diversified to become an IG influencer as well.
We, at Edugraph, caught up with the tech guru Elementec aka Tejas Patil as he shares his content creation journey, his views on Instagram as a tool and how one can find their niche. Excerpts.
Q. What inspired you to become a tech influencer?
There is no specific reason why I chose to become a tech influencer but I was always interested in technology and gadgets since my childhood. For example, I got my first computer from my parents in the first standard. From then on I was interested in seeing what was happening inside - I used to dissect the computer, remove the CPU, and other parts. In this process, I definitely did destroy several computers as I did not know how to fix them. There were many trials and errors in my journey. Gradually, my interest in technology became very profound. I started changing the software on my phone as well. Things like these led me to pursue my interest in technology. I became that one person that everyone used to approach for anything related to technology. A friend contacted me and told me that I have a knack for doing something big in tech and should put it to use. She suggested I start a youtube channel of my own dedicated to technology and the related stuff that I know. So, that's how I started my YT channel in 2019.
Q. Were you always fond of technology? What do you read or watch to stay updated about the latest trends?
Primarily, my source of research is Google. I follow a lot of tech leaders and tech-based articles published by major newspapers. Nowadays, Instagram has also become a good source of inspiration. I first make sure there is good research behind it and I highlight the important points and then make a reel on it. I don't follow a specific source. I am continuously exploring and learning. 90 per cent of my research is on the internet. 1 article I read leads to another idea and then I research it. I’d advise aspiring tech creators to start reading 1 article every day and then start exploring.
Q. What do you think makes you stand out from other creators?
The way I talk, my tone. Usually when I am speaking I shed all the heavy words and terminologies that a normal person cannot understand. I opt for layman's terms and use basic words when speaking. Secondly, my editing skills. The kind of videos I put out, I do everything strategically. There is a reason behind what I do in the edit as well.
Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day goes in research as I focus more on research rather than on creating content. After waking up, I do some meditation and exercise for 15-20 mins, to clear my mind. Then I immediately hop on to the topics that I have and start researching them. I write a good script and shoot it. Recently, I have also been working on my own agency for marketing, so that's where most of the time goes these days. I am trying to balance it out, but the majority of it goes behind research and shooting the content and making it ready for editing.
Q. What would you do differently if you were starting your content creation journey now?
I have thought a lot about starting again, but actually, I would love to follow a specific niche instead of going around everywhere. This is something I would really follow.
Q. Why would you follow a specific niche?
“Niching” down is important as it is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, YouTube, Instagram and even the content creation space are not like they were in 2016 anymore, where you put out anything and people will watch it. You really have to choose the topic as people are looking for specific things to watch. For example, if I am putting out smartphone reviews and then suddenly I start putting out headphone reviews, then most people will not respond to that content. They would expect smartphone reviews from me and headphone reviews from some other content creator. So, that's why “niching” down is very important.
Q. If you could change one thing about YouTube or Instagram, what would it be?
In Instagram, I would definitely add the option of searchability. For example, on YT you can search any content and access it very quickly. But Instagram does not have that option. You just have to scroll endlessly on a profile to find exactly what you want, which is an issue I face almost every day. I get comments and DMs all the time from people referring to a certain older reel from 4 to 5 months ago which they are asking to reshare. Even I cannot find that reel quickly. So, this is a problematic issue as short-form content is very helpful in a short time hence the virality of that content. But, the issue that comes with it is once you watch it and don't save it, it is gone forever. There is no point in going through three to four months of content and finding it.
Q. What are your 3 favourite tools for editing and making videos?
Currently, I have started using the paid version of Adobe Premier Pro, but if I want to give a free alternative to that then there is NCH VideoPad and Filmora. For the presets that come along for graphics one can use Mixkit.co - a website for finding tools for animation and transitions which can be used in your videos. It is a good tool for one to get started. Lastly, Photoshop is my go-to software and one of the must-have ones, since there are always some videos where you need to edit photos and manipulate them.
Q. You have found your niche/genre in technology and have been doing that for some years now, starting from YT to being viral on Instagram. So, how does one find their niche in this content creator era?
Finding a niche is not an easy task. It takes a lot of trial and error and personally, I have done this for two to three years. It took me almost two to three years before I could confirm that yes technology is my thing. If I talk about my content journey I started with comedy in 2016 where I tried out different content types with comedy. I did a lot of things including network marketing and blogging for a year. After everything, there was one that I really felt strongly about. That was technology and I thought it was something that I’d like to go forward with. But now the thing is even in technology there are niches that have come up, like smartphone reviews, headphone reviews, talking about technology-related conspiracy, so it's all about trial and error.
I would recommend to someone that they not think too much, and instead try out for a month at least. Push out 30-40 videos in a particular niche. And if you are not satisfied with it, you can definitely hop onto something else. While starting out you have a lot of time to experiment and do a lot of stuff. Trial and error is the only thing to find a good niche. Or else if you are confident about one thing, like finance creators who come with a background in finance, they start sharing what they know. Similarly, if you know a particular skill very well then definitely start making content on that. But if you are not sure then trying and failing is the only way.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring content creators?
I’d like to advise people that Social media is very volatile. You cannot entirely depend on it. So one recommendation would be if you want to pursue content creation, definitely go for it alongside your additional work. If you are in college make sure you can balance both, effectively, instead of giving importance to only one thing. Once you have a good base in content creation, then you can look forward to creating only content. Otherwise, you should learn to balance both, as I have seen several content creators who have started out and they didn't have enough pay, quitting jobs and work - which is not a strategic way of going ahead.
So to sum up, here are my recommendations:
- Balance everything - give equal importance to other things,
- have patience - in content creation it takes time before you start making a sustainable income out of it and
- just keep at it and trust yourself. Set a goal where you want to reach and just keep doing it.
Making sure your content is well-researched and resonates with people, can help you get more shares. And of course, hard work and dedication will take you places.