Megan Batoon

Photo by Luke Fontana

Photo by Luke Fontana

Meet Megan Batoon, professional dancer, entrepreneur, YouTuber, and host of Just A Tip, an advice podcast featuring a rotating cast of guests.

With over 1 million subscribers on Youtube and 1 million podcast downloads in the last 4 months alone, Megan has built a loyal audience that keeps coming back for more. Over the past 8 years, Megan has consistently maintained her presence across multiple platforms, honing her craft and creating content that she calls “80% lifestyle” and “100% comedy”.

In addition to content creation, Megan has built and grown her own line of merch, overseeing all aspects of the brand, hand-designing each item, coordinating production, and directing her e-commerce team to ensure her products are properly marketed, adding entrepreneur to her multi-hyphenate.

I chatted with Megan about everything from elevating her YouTube content, to staying creative, and becoming the millennial Martha Stewart.

THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN EDITED AND CONDENSED FOR BREVITY AND CLARITY.

How did you get into YouTube?

“Oh man, that was almost an accident. I came out to LA to do professional dancing, backup dancing in music videos and film and I had gotten in touch with a couple of other creators that were on the top charts of YouTube at the time, they were my neighbors. Sometimes they needed an extra body [in their videos] or if someone needed to deliver a line for a punchline, and people started to really like me in the videos so they convinced me to make my own channel. I already had a channel for so long, but I never uploaded on it until I was at an audition and I remember watching a short film on my phone outside, and I was bawling my eyes out and I looked up and everybody was working on remembering the routine, and I just had tears down my face thinking I should leave and do something that would allow me to impact someone the way this video impacted me. I went home and filmed my first video on an iPhone with one of those fisheye lenses, and that was the first video that ever went up on my channel. It was very bad. Ever since then, I got comments from people saying, “I didn’t know you were funny,” or, "I didn’t know what your voice sounded like.” I felt like I had more of a say on videos than I did dancing behind a pop artist.”

How did you transition from dance videos to lifestyle content?

“That’s an interesting transition that I almost had to figure out how not to lose an audience of dancers if I started to do more personality driven videos. So, in the beginning of my channel, you can see that I was doing sketch comedy before I started doing dance and people wouldn’t know what was going on for a second, but then they would get what they’d subscribed for. I wanted my channel to have both elements of sketch comedy and dance, and I really love giving my point of view on everything, so I started weaning down the dance and making it a lot more lifestyle based and more people started to take to that and not be upset that I wasn’t dancing so much anymore. It felt like I had the go-ahead to continue to do lifestyle videos.”

AND NOW YOU CONSIDER YOUR CHANNEL TO BE MORE OF A LIFESTYLE CHANNEL WITH A LITTLE BIT OF DANCE, OR IS IT SPLIT 50/50?

“It’s much more personality driven than it is dance driven. The more I live [in LA] and meet people and see all of the different cultures that come to LA, I love comedy so much more. Dance will always be my first love, but I think that no matter what goes on my channel, whether it is dance, or lifestyle, or a tutorial, or cooking, or travelling… it’s all with a comedic undertone. I would say my channel is 100% comedy, maybe 80% lifestyle, and dance whenever I feel like I want to.”

AND NOW YOU HAVE AN ADVICE PODCAST, How did thAT come about?

“That came out of nowhere. Actually, I wanted to do a podcast for two years, I bought all of the equipment before I even had an idea. I just couldn’t figure out what angle I wanted it to come from, if I wanted a co-host or to try and weather the storm alone. Then I got in touch with Jake and Amir, who I’d been watching for quite some time on CollegeHumor, and they created a podcast network called HeadGum and they had me on their podcast as a guest. That episode did really well, so they reached out and wanted to help me in any way to produce my own podcast or an idea that I’d had. They really helped me figure out that advice was a great outlet for the podcast.”

What ARE SOME OTHER PODCASTS THAT YOU LISTEN TO THAT YOU REALLY LOVE?

“I really like Comedy Bang! Bang! with Scott Aukerman. Conan O’Brien has a new podcast; he interviews people that have been on his show to find a friend, which is really awesome. Those are my two favorites and then also, Jake and Amir’s If I Were You, which is kind of what [my podcast] is like the sister podcast to.”

SO YOU HAVE THE PODCAST, AND THEN YOU HAVE YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL, AND YOU HAVE YOUR MERCH AS WELL… WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

“Generally…writing a video, coming up with video ideas, editing. The word “editing” is kind of all-inclusive, it could mean editing a script, editing a YouTube video, editing a podcast episode, editing a promotion for something, editing designs for future merch. Even the words that go with everything… I send out emails every month with my favorite songs that I keep on repeat, and the words and captions and copy, those are very very close to me because I feel like that’s my voice. I’m very particular about the words I use. Editing everything, that’s the main thing that’s going on. Other than that, collaborations with other people, recording the podcast, etc. It would also depend on if I’m travelling for a job or working with a brand, or trying to come up with something creative for a podcast ad. It ranges from the administrative to the creative. It’s all very fun.”

What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome in your career?

“Probably keeping the inspiration up. The YouTube climate right now… I don’t know who made this rule, but I guess we all kind of follow it, it’s that we have to be consistent on a weekly basis. Figuring out a schedule and making sure that you’re putting out content that you’re proud of every single week. A week is not a lot of time, when you think about it, especially the kind of stuff that I like to put out, it’s a little bit more on the hi-fi side than just filming something with my phone and throwing the clips together. I color my videos, there’s music and everything, all of the timing is very succinct, and the hardest challenge would be to not burn out over 8 years.”

How do you stay inspired?

“I think just changing up the settings and the people that you know. It’s so easy to get involved with one little clique, especially on YouTube… you have the DIY clique, the dance clique, the lifestyle clique, you have vloggers. I think getting out of those cliques and meeting new people. You meet a writer or a comedian or a chef, it’s really fun to talk to people and hear there process and what their hardships are, which is why I love the podcast, because it’s an unabridged 1 hour time slot to connect and we’re not on our phones, we get to be together and really connect on what it is like to work in different fields. Diversify who you’re around and the stories you hear from different people. You can get inspired by something they said or something they’ve done. Maybe it’s a world you know nothing about and that might open a door in your own personal craft.”

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

“It would be to not wait so long to start doing whatever you think you want to do.”

What advice do you have for young women looking to start their own YouTube Channels or podcasts?

“Find what you think about things before you start talking to other people about what you think of things. I think if you just start putting yourself online and don’t really know what you think of the world or how you see it or your personal experience, and you make the kind of stuff you think other people want to see, they can read right through that. The world right now is celebrating genuine authenticity, so if you can just be that right from the get-go, you’ll grow and have fun a lot sooner.”

What big projects do you have planned for 2019?

“The podcast is a huge push for me, which is really fun because it’s about a year old and I’m just figuring out exactly how I wanna do things and I think it’s gonna keep on getting better. As for YouTube, I’m really excited to graduate the content a little bit, hopefully things will be funnier and look better, even from the quality of it, and have a little more meat to it. I’m interested in making stuff that’s a little more documentary/reality feel. I think that’s the new frontier of YouTube, it’s becoming like a second Netflix and I definitely want to be a part of that. Other than that, merchandise is a huge thing; I want to continue to make a lot of stuff that people can wear even if they don’t know who I am, whether it is a hoodie or or a keychain or notebook, I basically want to be a millennial Martha Stewart or type of person. I think it’s one of the best ways I can use my graphic design background, which is what I went to college for, but it’s great that I can continue to use that.”