I started making video interviews with tech founders on my iPhone in late 2014. I had no previous background, knowledge or experience of media production. A TV producer saw some of those interviews and asked me if I'd be up for making a TV show about 'startups'. That proposition sounded like a good buzz so I set about raising the money to make a TV show.
I was later shocked to discover that successfully raising the funds was absolutely no guarantee of getting a show on TV. Enter YouTube, followed soon after by Facebook. These platforms enabled me to upload my video content whenever I wanted and at no cost. So why would I bother with TV? I built a SquareSpace website to make it easier to be found and connected my YouTube channel to bring the site to life. IrishStartUpTV was born.
The original idea of a website was to help my videos be found by an audience that (at the time) only associated YouTube with cat videos. Within a few days of the website going live I was receiving emails with collaboration and other business offers. Within a few months I'd built up a decent library of interviews, significantly upped my production values and secured my first paying customers for my videography services. I've since interviewed over 200 startup founders, government ministers, heads of industry from Ireland and abroad and have had two viral video collaborations viewed by nearly half a million people.
My best advice for anyone hoping to start a media career is to just do it. Find an area that you are passionate about be that business sport or makeup. Build a YouTube channel to showcase your skills and interests. Facebook is a great way to get eyeballs on you - if you can schedule a live at fixed times and discuss something with a consistent theme (a subject you are both expert and passionate about) then you will set yourself up for best success!
If you put a bit of effort into banging out some regular content then you'll have a platform to sell yourself from in jig time. If you smash it on social media you may not even need to get a job in TV. If you're still fixed on TV though you'll at least have something that you can use to showcase your skills. If you build a big enough audience you'll also find it much easier to negotiate when it comes to discussing salaries and contracts!