Top Boys UK! is a Youtube Channel and Harry Pereira and Vijai Krishnan are the faces behind it. They are school friends (with degrees in Philosophy and Mechanical Engineering respectively) who have turned their collective hand to video making despite no media experience or qualifications behind them. They have embraced the ever expanding social networking sites, with almost 2,000 followers on Twitter and almost 1,000 profiles ‘liking’ their Facebook Page.
In an already saturated market the sceptic would wonder why bother, and the realist would question how you would go about establishing a fan-base (they have already amassed 23,598 channel views) when you would expect everything has done before; an astounding 48 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute.
So I caught up with them to ask why they decided to take the plunge and what they have learnt so far, and perhaps more importantly whether ‘Youtube Groupies’ exist…
You must be really happy with how the channel has progressed. What did you initially want to achieve with it?
Honestly we weren’t 100% sure what we wanted to achieve. We saw other people on Youtube doing their thing, and we had our own ideas for what would be cool. So after we finished exams in June we decided to have a go at it seeing as we had nothing better to do. We’re definitely happy with the way it has progressed and our only regret is not having started earlier!
How much time goes into each video?And do you rehearse beforehand or just speak as the thoughts come to you?
Our skits were a nightmare. With no background in video production it sometimes took four whole days to record a six minute skit with half-acceptable lighting and sound etc. This is mainly why we moved into doing our indoor ‘sitting down talking at the camera’ shows; because lighting and sound is never much of an issue (but the autofocus on our cheap camera can be a right pain). Plus we have nothing to rehearse, we literally turn the camera on and see what happens! It’s so much more fun not knowing what will develop during a show.
Did you have any marketingstrategy, as there must have been a fear the initial videos wouldn’t get a substantial number of views and you could fall into ‘Youtube obscurity’?
Our marketing strategy initially consisted of ‘Let’s get famous people to tweet our stuff!’ But a lot of the time we got ignored or the famous person’s tweet wouldn’t achieve the result we had hoped. We then moved into promoting on youtube itself via commenting on other peoples’ videos and channels, and that provided us with a little kick-start in terms of viewers. We’re also now starting to spread by word of mouth. One of our memories is sitting on Facebook Chat FORCING people to like our facebook page – it took us a LOT of effort just to get 75 likes on our page. We haven’t asked a single person since and we almost have 1,000 now!
Do you believe you have found your niche, and if so has it affected the subject matter of your videos?
Definitely. We initially set out to just do videos for the larger british asian community, but we quickly found out that most people who were watching our videos were girls (asian and non-asian alike) aged 13-17. So we decided to switch up our content by easing up on the subtle humour of the skits/sketches that we used to do. Focussing more on the slapstick and self-depricating humour of our ‘sitting down talking at the camera’ stuff, and talking about topics that they’d find more interesting. This worked much better for us because before hardly any of our videos were spreading very quickly. But by focusing on this particular age group and keeping our content understandable to the wider community (although still centred around asian topics), we’ve managed to get these girls to spread our videos in a way which we just couldn’t manage before.
Have the videos resulted in a significant number of facebook adds from the opposite sex?
Yes. But 90% of them are under the age of 16 *awkward silence*…
And finally, do you have any advice for anyone looking to start their own Youtube channel?
It’s cheesy but just make sure you’re enjoying what you do. You won’t get anywhere if you’re not having fun making all the videos, because they really can be an effort sometimes. So as long as you’re having fun, it’s all good!
Take a look at the duo’s first ever video below: