Building a Social Media following & Video production business with Vancouver Entrepreneur Alex Yu

building a social media following

I came for a visit to Vancouver after almost 2 years away. My friend mentioned that our mutual friend Alex had built a full-time business doing video production and a strong social media following using Youtube and Facebook during my time away.

Alex has built a following of 43,000 subscribers on YouTube and 15,1000 likes on Facebook focusing on Transformer videos and reviews. He also owns a local video production company Ragin Ronin productions.

In this video series I will try to unlock some of the keys to success that Alex has had building his video production company and his social media following.

In video 1 of 3 we will talk about some keys to doing well on Youtube, what gear Alex uses, and how he started his video production business. I apologize for the poor sound quality. We ended up meeting at one of the busiest malls during the Christmas holidays so it was super loud background noise that I’ve tried to reduce in post production.

What I found particularly interesting was that Alex said it took 4 years to build his audience. He also stressed consistently with publishing content on  a regular schedule, which is an area I could improve on myself. He also shared what gear he uses, but the important thing he stressed was to get started and play with what you have. He also shared how he got started in the video business by volunteering to do videos for free at the beginning. He even managed to get a $200 donation, a $300 donation, and then a $500 donation before deciding to do it full-time. Alex also reviewed that he does the Youtube videos part-time, but the video production also takes the majority of his time. I think this is a good approach doing free-lance video work because the skill of video production is transferable to youtube.

Alex Yu  (Ragin Ronin)

In video 2 we talked about some Social media tactics such as relating social media accounts to post to your Facebook and twitter simultaneously as an example. Alex also talks about whether he uses a script or does he wing it for his Youtube videos. An interesting point Alex makes is that of Social Media etiquette. One example he talks about is not abusing your Facebook friends network by posting content that they didn’t sign up for. That is what your Facebook Page is about.

In video 3 Alex reveals he supports hootsuite twitter as a source of information and supports Youtube cross-collaboration if it is a good fit. Because his Youtube Channel is related to the entertainment industry his posts musts be timely so he has developed a daily routine to gather information. He also impressively posts about 3 videos a week. His number one advice is to be original and do to something you love. What I found interesting is that Alex doesn’t have a blog yet and chooses to focus his efforts on Youtube and the Facebook platforms to build his business. This is evidence that you don’t necessarily need a website or a blog to generate Internet revenue.

I plan to do more of these videos with Entrepreneurs around the world. Please sign up to our newsletter for an update on other videos and for the rest of the videos from Alex.

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My 3 biggest failures as an Entrepreneur and what you can learn from them

Greg Hung World explorer, film-maker & entrepreneur
Greg Hung World explorer, film-maker & entrepreneur originally from Vancouver, Canada. Currently in Taiwan.

Wasting Time and Money outsourcing my website

The digital nomad lifestyle is my current path


In my 3.5 years since leaving corporate and returning to corporate I’ve made some mighty failures and had some small wins. It was painful to share my 3 biggest failures as an Entrepreneur, but hopefully you can learn from them and gives me a chance to reflect on what I’ve learned.

What can you learn from my experiences? Outsourcing my website to Odesk – I had heard from my colleagues in my MBA class and the Vancouver startup community about sites like O-desk and E-lance. I decided to shell out $2500 CDN to a company in India to do my website using O-desk. I took my time to carefully research the team and everything. I was even pleasantly surprised by the mockups. After that the project just went downhill. I saw the working prototype and even though I had an assigned project manager there were huge miscommunications. After 4-6 months I saw that I was not going to get my site and I was left my some useless code and files. I eventually decided to get it built locally in Vancouver even thought I knew it would be more expensive. I started by the big names and they eventually referred me to a talented local team called IdeaHack that built me this site.

Lesson learned:

  • I could have saved 4-6 months and $2500 CDN by hiring a local team right away. Hire local to where you are.
  • Your website is your foundation and hub on the Internet. Expect to invest some time and money upfront. It will pay off for you in the long term
  • Outsource smaller things like a logo not larger things like a website

Putting all my eggs into a MBA Business Plan

My Vancouver Taiwanese friend Allen introduced me to Taiwan which was a better environment for my goals

Our final MBA project was a super business plan where me and my partner at the time co-wrote a business plan to start a luxury tour company in Vancouver. I left a good job in Vancouver as an IT manager and sold my apartment that was contingent on it being successful. I spent a lot of money on administration and legal costs incorporating and worrying about logo trademarks. The first tour was failure and I realized while doing the first tour there were a lot of things we overlooked as we weren’t in the industry. First, the travel industry in Vancouver is seasonal. Unless you come here to ski the best time to travel here is in the Summer time. The second is that to tie up hotel rooms from a nice hotel like the Fairmont for a tour on a discount you need to pre-pay them and take responsibility for them if they you can’t sell them. This was high risk and not on the business plan we had worked on almost full-time for 3 months.

On the positive side I hired a video production company that ended up inspiring me to combine by existing passion for Travel, which is a huge part of what I do to this day.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t rely solely on a business plan and be prepared to make adjustments if things don’t work out
  • Have the mind-set of putting our small experiments and investing more time and money into those that work
  • I would instead try something less risky like try to market and sell and existing tour for another company
  • Don’t worry about administration costs until you prove you’ve got some sales to prove you have an existing business


I was in a rush to leave the corporate world and start my dream and make big money right away. I was spending lots of money on a website, and camera equipment, rent, and travel. If I could do it again with the wisdom that I have now I would have gone on a working holiday to Taiwan with my camera equipment. Taiwan would give me access to high speed internet and a low cost environment allowing me time to experiment. I would have started listening to podcasts from Internet entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn on and building up an audience

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t be in a rush to change the world so quickly. I spent too much money too quickly and making costly mistakes before learning from others that had already had success
  • Vancouver wasn’t the right environment for me. It’s expensive, cold, and expensive to travel from. Look at your environment and decide whether it’s right for you. If not access all your options. In my case Taipei, Taiwan is a better environment for me. I’ve got access to low cost living, safe, fast internet, cheap travel, and I can learn Mandarin.

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Life after Corporate: What does an Entrepreneur’s Monday morning in Vancouver look like?

Greg Hung World explorer, film-maker & entrepreneur
Greg Hung World explorer, & entrepreneur originally from Vancouver, Canada. Currently in Taiwan writing an ebook on his working holiday experience in Taiwan

Life after Corporate: What does an Entrepreneur’s Monday morning in Vancouver look like?

I’m visiting Vancouver for a month during the holidays and I’ve already had a chance to see some of my family and friends. On a Sunday night I went for dinner with my friends Dulce and Eliza. It was Sunday night, which is usually the time when we dread the thought of going to the office the next morning. Dulce said “Tomorrow we have to work. Greg you’re so lucky you don’t have to wake up early.” Yes in this aspect I am lucky, but I still have to work. I did a lot of my work upfront the month before so I could relax a bit more in December.

What does an Entrepreneur's Monday morning in Vancouver look like
My office at Urban Fair in Vancouver

In some ways the Entrepreneur lifestyle I’ve designed gives me the opportunity to choose my schedule and where and when I want to work.

On Monday morning in Vancouver people will drive 20 minutes to an hour one way to the office for an 8-9 hour day. I skip this commute and will wake up about 9:30am and sometimes earlier to fly my drone near the park downtown. I might enjoy a dip in the condo hot tub when it’s not busy and everyone’s working. After I may take a walk for lunch at the local café/grocery store in Vancouver called Urban Fare. I bring my laptop to do some work. They have water, washrooms, good wifi, desk, chairs, booze, and food.

On other days I’ll wake up early to do some work at the local coffee shop Tree Organics and spend the rest of the day with my Mom. I’ve plugged away hard since 2011 to figure out what works and realize this sort of freedom. It’s still early days and I’m not earning nearly as much as I was an IT manager in Vancouver yet. However, the freedom I get for doing something I enjoy when and where I wants means a lot to me. In fact, I can do my work from anywhere in the world with a good Internet connection. One of those countries I’ve chosen to live is Taiwan where I can cover the majority of my living costs with my Internet business. I lived there for more than a year learning Chinese and experimenting with different ways to monetize my passion for Travel and videos.

Vancouver is an expensive city compared to Taiwan so I had to work hard, hustle, and be creative before I arrived to enjoy the freedom I’m having now. If you’re interested in hearing more about my Taiwan experience or my Entrepreneurial businesses I’ll be speaking about this on December 27th. Ticket information is below I hope to see you.



Taiwan Working Holiday – Event Dec 15th Vancouver

I had an idea to talk about my Taiwan working holiday experience before I returned to Vancouver.  I scheduled an event on Eventbrite and was actually surprised once I started getting some ticket sales. After all this was my first paid talk and and an experiment. Once I got to Vancouver I found a great spot at the Tree Organic coffee shop on Pacific and Richards st in Yaletown Vancouver. Thanks for the coffee shop for reserving the space and letting me use the projector. This is a nice quiet coffee shop near the waterfront. After some weeks I started to see more paid tickets and came to the realization that I was actually going to do this talk. I put together some slides on slideshare, but I already knew most of the material I just used it as a reference to keep me on track. I brought out my camera to video record 47 minutes of the talk.

Taiwan working holiday
The talk in Yaletown Vancouver

Highlights of the talk


  • The experience of a Working Holiday in Taiwan and what Taiwan can offer someone in Vancouver
  • Living in Taiwan
  • The experience and freedom of leaving a job and go travel the world
  • Teaching English in Taiwan
  • Making friends in a new country
  • Creativity on making your own income through the Internet. Earning a passive income on the Internet writing Amazon kindle books, Teaching on-line travel video courses, freelancing, and selling video footage on the Internet




Lessons learned from this experience

First this experiment paid off. It feels great that people actually paid to hear me talk. To me that is market validation that I have something of value to share. Second this was the first time using the Eventbrite platform to schedule a paid event and it worked out very well.  The third, is that it’s worth it to try and see how it works out. If this talk didn’t workout then it wasn’t the end of the world, but at least I tried. Luckily in this case it did work out, and I already see some things I can improve on for next time.

I really enjoyed doing this paid talk and sharing valuable tips, stories, and experiences with the audience. I would like to do a lot more talks like this around the world as I feel I’ve invested a lot of time especially the last 4 years on experiences that most people will never have the chance to experience. At least they can hear firsthand what is was like to leave the corporate life and have the taste of freedom. I also realize that I don’t really get nervous speaking in front of a crowd anymore. Once upon a time during high school I dreaded speeches. since those days I’ve done so many presentations during the MBA, run many work meetings, and have taught many classes in Taiwan, and talked in front of the camera many times during the past 4 years that I’m just comfortable with it.

If you are looking for another revenue stream and you enjoy public speaking as well and have something of valuable you think others would like to hear then maybe you can try a paid talk like I have.

Video highlights from the event

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full version

Here are some highlights of the event. If you wish to purchase the full 47 minute talk in HD just click on red button on the left for the download link.