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Perfect Blend: BA student Alfie Sajir scoops top prize at Pitch Influence 2020
BA Content, Media & Film Production student, Alfie Sajir, is ending the year in style after scooping the top prize at Pitch Influence 2020 – a national competition by The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA).
Entrants were required to create short videos pitching who they were, what they did and their ‘pitch winning’ idea. Alfie, a successful coffee blogger under the alias @quantumcaza, bagged a £1000 prize for his efforts, with the judges praising him for presenting a “passionate entertaining visual impact story” that they felt a connection with. In his pitch, Alfie speaks candidly about his upbringing, the impact creativity has had on his well being and his aspirations for the future.
In celebration of his award, we caught up with Alfie to discuss his coffee vlog, life at ScreenSpace and what tips he has for launching your own YouTube channel…
Alfie Sajir’s winning entry to Pitch Influence 2020
What inspired you to focus on coffee with your vlogs?
I made the decision to vlog my daily life to help with my mental health because I was in a bad place. Counselling wasn’t helping me and I knew the first challenge was to improve my anxiety and self-confidence. I started vlogging what I got up to during the day and found myself in Starbucks a lot watching videos from the YouTuber Syndicate which provided an escape from the real world and inspired me. Initially I was stuck in finding who I was on the platform. Everyone has a niche subject that an audience knows them for. Then, boom, it hit me – why not combine vlogging about something I was truly passionate about, which is coffee.
What do you think is the recipe to a successful YouTube channel?
I love this question because each person has a different recipe. For me, if you follow these steps you are already halfway there…
1. Energy and personality are key because people relate to the vibe you are emitting.
2. Find a catchy unique name that people will remember.
3. Follow trends. Video, title and thumbnails are so important because they get your video seen by thousands. Make sure you do research into what videos have worked for others. Keywords and hashtags also work wonders if you execute them correctly.
4. Be consistent with quality content.
5. Start networking. Go to events and engage with other creatives both online and in-person because it’s who you know, instead of what you know, once you get into the YouTube community.
What improvements have you been making to the channel this year?
When it comes to creating content, I’m always looking to improve and try new things. I’ve been getting tons of advice from big creators with 100k+ subscribers on how to execute my videos with more of an impact. This year I’ve completely upgraded my thumbnail game by making them more enticing. I have also learnt to give myself a break from time to time with social media because, even though we basically live and work on it, the YouTube world can get overwhelming.
How long does a typical video take to create and what tools/software are you currently using?
When it comes to making a video I normally finish shooting within a few hours. With editing, I’ve got to be in a good mindset. On a good day it can take 1-2hours, but sometimes a few days. That isn’t really a bad thing as it lets me come back to the video with a fresh pair of eyes. The equipment I use to film is a Lumix G7, video pro Rode Mic and a Joby Tripod. I edit on a MacBook Pro and the editing software I use are Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop and Lightroom.
If you had to pick one video that best showcases what you do, which one would it be?
That is a very hard choice as I’m still constantly developing but I would say that these two videos that best showcase what I do would be my Blank Brixton Review and The Best Study Coffee Shop in London | CoBalance Café – which you can watch here.
What has been the most useful thing about your course at ScreenSpace so far?
Opportunity. As it was a new course when I joined, I was worried my year would be the test subjects to improve it for the future. But I must say, the amount of opportunity provided is out of this world. The guest speakers and industry tutors provide great insight, and being able to network at VidCon London opened up so many opportunities for me as a creator. I met and connected with so many like-minded individuals.
Finally, what’s your current favourite coffee shop in London that readers should check out?
This is such a hard choice because I have a handful of favourite spots around London. For me, it’s Hide Away Coffee in Soho. The staff are amazing, the coffee is great, and I’m able to hold meetings and study there, so it’s the ideal place for me.