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How to turn online gaming into a lucrative career: Advice from Youtube Fortnite sensation Lachlan Power

Fortnite has spawned a handful of gaming superstars, including a 25 year-old Australian named Lachlan Power. Yahoo Finance's Jen Rogers sat down with gamer asnd content creator Lachlan Power to talk about how he's turned a childhood passion into a very lucrative career on this THE NEXT: 21 to watch in 2021.

Video Transcript

LACHLAN POWER: My name is Lachlan Power and I'm a YouTube gaming content creator. And in 2021, I'll be focusing on building my gaming organization, PWR.


JEN ROGERS: So like Beyonce, you go by a single name. You have over 14 million subscribers on YouTube. You started out playing "Minecraft," but it is your "Fortnite" videos that can often be found on YouTube's trending videos. So when and how did you actually figure out that this could be a career?

LACHLAN POWER: So I think we just hit eight years. And it was actually pretty quick for me. The first month in, I think I was getting a couple thousand views of my "Minecraft" videos, which was insane. But at the time, I had a side hustle project, which was developing a "Minecraft" server. And I always have this memory of like there was one day where the revenue on that server made, I think it was like $1,000 in a day. And that was just like unbelievable money at that time. I was 17 at university and I was just like, I think I'm going to drop out and pursue this I think. And I haven't regretted that ever since.

JEN ROGERS: What did your parents think of that? Like did they try to convince you to stay or did they get it?

LACHLAN POWER: They were sad at me leaving at first, and then tried to convince me to go back for the next year, even though I was making really good money. But you know, the argument would always be there, this can't last forever. So I made it last forever.

JEN ROGERS: So how do you define yourself now? Are you a gamer? Are you a content creator? Are you an entrepreneur?

LACHLAN POWER: It's a good question. I would say content creator would be the overarching kind of description of what I do, but these days it's a lot more delving into game development, the whole ecosystem of content creators. And mainly it revolves around PWR, which is the eSports organization. We focus on a lot of game development stuff, working with our new content creators out in OCE. That's where we're starting out. We're just developing those as personalities within the space, helping them get the kind of tools and advice from myself on how to build their profile online.

JEN ROGERS: So how do you spend your day? Like how much of it is playing video games versus the business side of your job?

LACHLAN POWER: So the business side, it's interesting. It's like, it's full time. Full time full time. Full time squared. You wake up, you think about work, you go to bed, and in between that, is just you think about work. There is nothing, especially in the influencer kind of side of things, you're always thinking about the next business opportunity. You're always thinking about your next video, you're always thinking about how you can better optimize a certain process within your organization.

But to answer your question in regards to like how many hours I play a day, that's like a number that steadily gone down over time. I enjoy playing games a lot, because I don't get to play it as much as I used to. Like when "Fortnite" first came out, I think I was putting on like eight hours a day. These days, maybe like two or three, because there's just so many other things taking my time. But it's still definitely something I enjoy every second of.

JEN ROGERS: I was actually really interested to read that "Fortnite" and the Australian Open teamed up for a "Fortnite" Champions series. Do you think we're going to see more of this, this old guard and new guard, real world, virtual world coming together?

LACHLAN POWER: Yeah. I think Epic and the "Fortnite" have done an amazing job with breaking down those barriers between the traditional and the gaming realm. Because it is so new. And the Australian Open is one great example. As well, I've also done a lot of things in game as well through the Icon series. Have awesome, amazing collaborations with Travis Scott, more of these mainstream things that kind of make gaming cool.

JEN ROGERS: So you bought your first NFT, non-functional token. So what do you think that NFT is?

LACHLAN POWER: Yeah, no, I think the NFT space is amazing. I've been doing a lot of research myself personally into the whole scene. I think for creators and creatives it's a great way to monetize your audience in a new way. And I think we're going to see a lot more of it. I feel like for creators, it's a lot like buying a piece of apparel or having ownership of a collectible within an organization or something or a creator is a very powerful thing to do online. And I think it's going to be very interesting when that, if that world collaborates with a game, that could be a very interesting space.

JEN ROGERS: And do you feel the same about Bitcoin and crypto? There's a little bit of overlap people see between your world and the crypto world.

LACHLAN POWER: Yeah, definitely. And I feel like it's getting closer to that bridge day by day. I personally am very into crypto. A little bit of investing myself into a few coins. And it's just very interesting, the blockchain technology. And I would really love to see a video game get involved, because I think that is going to be when it gets real.

JEN ROGERS: So what advice do you have for kids everywhere who want to be like you? They want to make a career out of playing video games.

LACHLAN POWER: I would always start on YouTube. It's just a great discoverable platform for people to find content. Provide value in a way through niches. Growing out of a niche is probably one of the best strategies you can do. That's what I did. I grew out of a mod within "Minecraft." I didn't just tackle straight from "Minecraft." And I feel like "Fortnite" as an example, there's a lot of niches within creative, especially right now. This is a new space.

But just finding a way to do things different that you would still watch. And you need to focus on your titles, your thumbnails. They're your first things that a new audience member would see, so you need to have your best foot in the door. And then just deliver on the content. Make them not want to click off the video. Make sure you're getting good retention on your videos and using your data to make better videos. And finding ways to create content that people aren't doing is the best way to grow in my opinion.