You might know Casey Neistat from his luxurious travel films or his viral stunts. But most likely, you know Casey from his daily vlogs. Neistat published videos daily from March ’15 to the format change in November of the following year. Any content creator will tell you Casey’s ability to innovate while publishing new work consistently is remarkable.
Neistat has uploaded nearly 1,000 videos on YouTube since the start of his channel eight years ago and is still publishing frequently in anticipation of his influencer-incubator, 368.
Superstar sidekick and filmmaker Dan Mace has worked side-by-side with Casey on the 368 project, and documented how he thinks the platform’s top vlogger stays productive.
Dan dives into ‘CASEY’S MIND’ (and how it works), five things he’s learned while working around Casey in his latest vlog. Give it a watch! Dan dives into the importance of prioritizing those around you while chasing big dreams as an entrepreneur.
That being said, I’m going to dive into Dan’s perspective on Casey’s productivity hacks.
One Take, Ever.
“[Casey] has essentially perfected the art of imperfection.”
As designers and creatives, we’re constantly fighting the perfectionist plague. Spending hours on a detail nobody notices, worrying about scenes that never make it into the final cut. Leonardo da Vinci was a serial perfectionist, spending sixteen years before finally completing the Mona Lisa.
The instinct to spend endless hours on a single work is incredible, and forces creators to constantly analyze and improve their skillset. However, the same instinct goes against what we know about creative success in the age of social media.
Casey looks to put out a high quality video daily, forcing him to cut corners and focus on what actually matters to complete each video. This starts with the one take rule — stop worrying about the minuscule detail of each shot, and just tell your story. Your audience will appreciate your shortcomings and imperfections; we all have them. Progress your story and move on! There’s no time to analyze that which doesn’t matter.
Be comfortable with imperfection
You’re human and your audience is human, none of us are human. Although Casey is an experienced producer and editor, he doesn’t look to one-up himself with fancy edits.
This is what most viewers and wannabe-vloggers get wrong about what makes Casey’s format so captivating. While he may insert beautiful drone footage or funky camera effects during episode downtime, Neistat’s editing style isn’t what makes his finished products so interesting to viewers.
Casey is honest, raw, and real with his viewers. He shares the ups and downs, the highs and lows with his audience. He doesn’t have a vision for how he wants to be seen, doesn’t have a niche or format he’s trying to fill in YouTube’s attention marketplace.
This internal acceptance is what makes Casey’s vlogs so great; he understands that his audience appreciates his flaws more than his fancy cuts, his life story and improvised adventures more than a narrative built around a certain goal. By embracing what’s real and allowing your content to be human, you can push aside internal hesitations and fifteen takes to just create.
Just share your truth.
“I think there’s a huge market gap for cultural commentary and more practical entrepreneurial advice on YouTube right now.” — me, trying too hard in a recent client conversation.
There’s a time for market analysis, and there’s a time for just doing. You can plan your content around a certain style or format as much as you’d like, but you won’t be able to draw an audience until you drop the facade and just talk about what you’re passionate about.
Casey understands he doesn’t need to be someone he’s not for his audience; his content bounces between technology reviews and physical stunts. The best part? His audience loves it. Don’t feel a need to put yourself in a box! By creating a product that you yourself loves, you’ll build a community of those interested in the same things. Casey’s viewers may not care about the latest drone release, but they care about Casey himself; so his passion for a topic rubs-off on viewers whether or not they share the same interest.
tl;dr — Stop worrying about what doesn’t really matter in your business, in your content, or in your life. Spend your time focusing on your core product — the story you’re trying to tell. The font doesn’t matter, the title of your playlist doesn’t matter, etc! Focus on the core of your project, and the rest will fall into place.
“If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.” — Quincy Jones
Let me know if you enjoyed this in the comments below, or on Twitter. I know it’s not perfect.