How One Viral YouTube Video Changed The Course of His Career

Meet Ashvin Praveen, Engineering Graduate and now Co-Founder and CMO of whacked.

What began as a fun video project with a friend sparked his love for Content Creation. Said video has now reached over one million views on YouTube.

How did you discover your love for Content Creation?

My flatmate back in university, Edward Ong, is a YouTuber. He plays fingerstyle guitar and makes these impressive guitar arrangements. As a kid, I have always been interested in videography so when Edward asked me to join him for a shoot one day, I agreed.

We went to a park and shot a 3-minute music video for one of his newest pieces at the time. That video today has over 1 million views on YouTube so it has been a wild journey!

For the next couple of years, I worked very closely with him on scaling his YouTube channel. There were a lot of late-night talks between us trying to find ways to grow the business.

I discovered then that I enjoyed the business element of content creation – especially when I got to work on data to optimize the video’s performance. What started purely out of fun inspired me to learn more.

After that, I did a couple of internships in Digital Marketing and Content Creation in my 2nd and 3rd year of studying Engineering.

Did you get objections from family or friends for pursuing Content Marketing instead of Engineering?

Plenty! To be honest, I still really enjoy Engineering. I just really wanted to give content marketing a go. I felt like 10 years down the road, if I didn’t explore this passion of mine, I’d regret it.

When I was doing my internships, my parents were quite sceptical. Since they come from a very traditional background, I had to convince them that this was a viable career choice.

After taking up a graduate role in Content Marketing I had a long and difficult discussion with my family. I told them that this is what I wanted to do. Over time they saw how passionate I was in this field and believed in me. They’re very supportive of what I do now.

My friends, on the other hand, weren’t surprised to find out that I pivoted to Content Marketing. I was always making content while we were studying!

I do have some acquaintances that questioned my decision but overall, it has been pretty positive. My close network of friends has always been supportive.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” With content creation, you can’t afford to do that.

Can you tell us about a favourite project you worked on recently?

What I love the most about content creation is videography.

I created an Instagram Reel on video lighting for a small business I run called whacked. We help businesses scale through content creation.

I’m interested in getting more people into the content creation space. I think a lot of people assume that it is a lot harder than it really is. They get discouraged by technical challenges like video editing, lighting, and camera setup.

I want to break a couple of those myths and make content creation accessible. So my content will largely explore this along with how to tell a good story.

“I strive to make sure my content creates value for my audience”

Who do you look up to when it comes to Content Creation?

I watch a lot of YouTube videos. I like learning from Peter McKinnon, one of the biggest people in filming and cinematography.

For content creation, I like watching Ali Abdaal. What I like is that you can tell they put a lot of effort and thought into their craft. Their energy level makes them stand out to me too.

Since you didn’t have any formal training before pursuing this career, how did you learn your skills?

I had to learn on the go. Nowadays there is so much content you can learn from for free, especially on YouTube. A good part of my learning was on my own initiative – picking up different skills and putting them into practice.

What’s your philosophy on Content Creation and storytelling?

I strive to make sure that it creates value for my audience. That’s very important. Every piece of content you make shouldn’t be just for the sake of creating it.

There should be a message that you want to deliver. I find that content with value makes such a big impact on its performance.

How have you grown since you started this journey?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned to be a lot more independent and results-focused. For every content I produce, I have learned to track its performance.

As a whole, I find myself more creative when it comes to finding unique solutions. It helps in other areas of my life when it comes to problem-solving and decision-making.

Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue a career in Content Creation?

I’ll say what most creatives say – just start.

You know that Abraham Lincoln quote “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”? With Content Creation, you can’t afford to do that.

By the time you sharpen your axe and learn all the skills you need, it’s already too late. You might have already lost any potential traction.

The right way to go about it is to start chopping the tree with a dull blade and sharpen it as you go. Over time your content will improve, whether it be creating videos, designing graphics or writing articles. It’s all a matter of practice and learning from trial and error.

A lot of people are afraid of others seeing their imperfect content but after 4 years of doing this, I can tell you that it will never get perfect. Besides, if you have a perfect video, there’s nothing left for you to do anymore.

At the end of the day, what I do is set a deadline for myself, do the best that I can in that time frame and move on to the next project. I focus on creating the next content instead of looking back and trying to “perfect” the previous one.

whacked is hosting a FREE copywriting bootcamp beginning June 28. The event is limited to 30 participants only. Sign up for Attract Recruiters by Writing Good Sh*t today!

The Hiredly team would like to thank Ashvin Praveen for sharing his love and wisdom on storytelling with us! Be part of the zany team at whacked by applying on Hiredly.

Got a cool career story to share? We’d love to speak with you! Write to us at [email protected].