Deniz Sasal Next Up Application

Why are you entering the YouTube NextUp Contest and what makes your channel stand out from the others of the same kind?* 5000 characters

Why am I entering the YouTube NextUp Contest?

I feel responsible to provide the best content that my audience of 55,000 avid corporate professionals deserves.

I achieved this relative success by sticking to a simple principle.

“Content is not king. But rather, quality content is king”.

Now, as my subscriber base grew from 0 to 55,000 in under a year with only 28 videos, my responsibilities to those subscribers grew exponentially.

I will now need to meet their growing expectations of not only best quality advice but also best quality production. That’s where I lack the most.

I believe NextUp will provide me with the training, support, and environment that will fuel the growth of my channel, allowing me to better meet the needs of my subscribers.

I have already watched all the resources available at YouTube Creator Academy, have spoken with various local and international channel owners, and have constantly experimented with one goal in mind; create better content.

Now, I feel I have exhausted most of the self-learning opportunities and I am at a stage that I can get the best out of NextUp.

YouTube is not a video uploading platform for me. But rather, it’s an environment for creating communities. My community deserves better from me and I am dedicated to meet those expectations.


What makes my channel stand out from the others of the same kind?

My positioning in YouTube is fairly straight forward. I believe viewers watch content either to be entertained or to be educated.

I serve the latter.

My channel’s primary focus is about enabling my followers to achieve significant success in their careers.

As the old saying goes “It takes one to teach one”.

I have achieved great success in my career, from being homeless after college to eventually becoming a manager in world’s largest consulting firm; PwC – in our strategy consulting line of service. I have been a management consultant for almost a decade and my career not only allowed me to build financial wealth but also exposure to corporate problems that are equal to 10 lifetime-worth work experiences. I have consulted to the most successful Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies.

This is what sets my channel apart from all the others. This is how I stand out in the crowd.

99% of the available career advice in YouTube or on the internet is from HR professionals. HR usually has very little understanding of the actual work, skills, experiences we need to excel in our careers. Their advice is usually nothing more than generic fluff that is polished with fancy post production gimmicks.

Until now, they were able to get away with meaningless, undifferentiated, shallow content by their production skills.

Those times have changed.

Viewers now demand actionable, useful, and deep knowledge.

They can now see through the fluff and demand quality advice.

They demand a comprehensive, business school-quality content to be given for free. And they are smart enough to know that while it’s free, they are still spending their time and attention.

That’s where I win with my originality and unique advice.

This trend line will not change.

The bar will only get higher and higher.

Road to success is sometimes very simple. It doesn’t require complicated strategy formulations and hypotheses to test. Ironically, something I have done for a decade.

You give your best suit to a tailor. Tailor messes it up and you never visit the same tailor twice. It’s the exact same situation with YouTube. A viewer sees my content, doesn’t like it, he/she will never step foot in my channel ever again.

Fortunately for me, the opposite is also true hence the growth of my channel to 55,000 subscribers with only 28 videos, under a year, with 2m views and 11m minutes watched.

With or without NextUp, I will reach 100,000 subscribers within 4 months. But with NextUp, I have a strong belief that my reach to a million subscribers will come a lot sooner while at the same time delivering better produced content that our viewers deserve.



What are some areas of improvement that you will work on if you are selected to participate in the YouTube NextUp creator camp? (Topics to consider – production skills, content strategy, business development)* 5000 characters

I always enroll in online courses to upgrade my production skills whenever I have spare time. While I know I will eventually get “there”, it’s been a slow progress so far.

Reverse engineering good quality videos hasn’t also worked very well for me.

The reason reverse engineering doesn’t work is the fact that I don’t know what I don’t know.

Once I graduate from NextUp, I want to know what I don’t know. That will allow me to find the solutions faster.

A simple example to this is framing. I didn’t know that I didn’t know about framing. If I knew I didn’t know, I’d fix it – as can be seen in this video;

As a result, that video didn’t gain much traction. This was surprising to me as while my delivery wasn’t perfect, what I taught was extremely useful.

It simply didn’t work.

Once I learned more about framing, then I started applying it to my next videos as you can see here;

Now, I would love to be romantic and claim that as long my advice is better than others’ that’s all I need.

Unfortunately, it’s not the truth.

I need both.

My audience demand not only quality advice but also quality production. I want to be able to meet those expectations.

That’s the reason why I am applying to NextUp.


How do you plan to take your channel to the next level over the next 12 months? * 2000 characters

1) Delivery
I feel fortunate to have my viewers frequently engaging with me. They help me better understand their most pressing issues and how best I can address them.

For example, providing answers to common job interview questions was not something I ever wanted to do. I am not an HR and the topic didn’t interest me in the least bit. I wanted to focus on more strategic topics that you would expect from a management consultant, such as; how to develop corporate strategy, business strategy, how to carry valuations, office politics, organizational design, project management, risk management, career design, and so on.

But after having realized the need and the urgency, the first 13 videos I produced were on helping candidates see a hiring manager’s perspective – instead of HR’s.

In retrospect, it was the right decision.

Those 13 videos have now received more than a million views combined.

While this is great news, the sad part is those videos are not some of my best work in terms of my delivery, speech, and production quality.

My speech is unnatural, nervous, framing is all over the place, the audio quality is subpar, and this list is very long…

This creates a very unique dilemma every single morning…

Someone who sees my recent videos think of me as a charismatic, likable, approachable, and humble person but another person who sees some of my earlier work think of me completely differently…

Over the next 12 months, I want to make sure my delivery and production quality gets better and I create the Deniz Sasal persona that is caring, humble, an accomplished professional that his audience can rely on when it comes to career advice.

Practice helps me get there, but training at NextUp will accelerate the progress.


2) Upload frequency

Once I get better at technical aspects of video production, I will increase my upload frequency to my channel. In future, I’d like to be able to release daily videos while maintaining the quality. At the moment, I have difficulty even meeting a weekly release schedule.