Young content creator Muhammad Aliff Irfan Aziki is a local example of how YouTube can change someone’s life. Balqis Lim writes
MUHAMMAD Aliff Irfan Aziki is turning 22 this year but he already has a million subscribers on his YouTube channel Alieff Irfan.
It’s a significant milestone for this rising comedy creator who started his journey in 2016, and has seen a steady growth especially last year where he witnessed a meteoric rise in his YouTube channel subscriber count from 100,000 to one million.
This is due to his comedy videos about the ups-and-downs of life which many find relatable and appealing.
What’s more interesting is that his videos are all done in his native Kelantanese dialect.
Aliff was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. One day, while watching YouTube videos, he stumbled upon a video of a man talking about buying his Maserati from income earned from YouTube.
As a curious teen, Aliff was sceptical at first but eventually researched YouTube earnings. His interest got a hold of him.
From zero knowledge about creating content, he started learning about the basics of making a video, watching tutorials on posting a video, all on YouTube.
He then began his YouTube journey by doing random reaction videos, question-and-answer type of videos and vlogs of his daily activities.
Things were not so rosy for him in the beginning as he was not successful in gaining much income, let alone views.
Aliff realised that earning income from YouTube was not just about posting videos on the platform. He took a breather and started to focus on his interest, which was producing drama and editing videos.
In July 2017, Aliff focused on creating different YouTube content based on his interest.
“I start posting parody/comedy videos on YouTube based on viral topics and are easy to relate to. I like to act, so this has also become a platform for me to showcase my talent,” he says.
His first comedy video titled Jantan Pilih Rupa (Versi Kelate) garnered over 15,000 views in a day.
“I was so surprised when the video became a hit. It was also the first video that I did in the Kelantanese dialect. Previously it was a mix of Malay and the English language.
“I found my calling and became motivated to create more of the same type of video after.”
Aliff was pursuing a Diploma in Science Policy at a public university in Machang, Kelantan when he started his YouTube journey.
As his channel grew in popularity, so did his commitment. He received offers from product founders and brand deals to do product placements on his channel. However, he was held back by datelines.
“I decided to quit my studies because I want to focus on my interest. It was hard but if I were to continue, it would interfere with my learning,” he says.
His parents, though not confident with his choices, supported him in his YouTube venture. His mother paid for his first camera by instalments.
“I made about RM600 for one product placement, and I received five to six offers during that time. For a student, it is a lot of money.
“I have now proved to my parents that I can make my own income through YouTube, and even buy a car,” says Aliff, though he added that he once had to sell his smartphone and buy a cheaper phone so he could repair his laptop.
NOT A HOBBY
His achievement does not stop there. At the end of last year, Aliff established his production company AI Studio.
This young creator has nine employees including a scriptwriter, videographer and editor who produce content.
“When I was working solo, I published four to five videos a month. Now that I have my own team, we manage to create 10 to 12 videos.
“Every time I post a video, I gain new subscribers. With a team handling the production, we can also ensure consistency to garner more interest.”
On why he set up his own production company, Aliff says it is for the long run.
“I am not doing this as a hobby anymore. It is my career now. Moving forward, I want to have something secure, thus the creation of AI Studio.
“To expand the business, we also offer services that will include music recording soon.”
AI Studio offers services from portrait and product photoshoot to video production of events such as weddings.
Aliff once aimed for 100,000 subscribers and within eight months, he did it, acquiring the Silver Creator Award.
“A lot of YouTubers have received the same award but it means a lot for me. It meant I have done things right.”
Reaching a million subscribers meant Aliff now holds a Gold Creator Award too. A Diamond Creator Award goes to those with 10 million subscribers.
Aliff doesn’t read comments on his work anymore now.
“I have come to realise that even 10 per cent of negative feedback can bring you down.
“I just post the video and let it be. People may think I am snobbish because I don’t reply but I am just being careful,” says Aliff, adding that he communicates with fans on other social media platforms.
While Aliff understands that trends evolve, he will continue to produce original content in the Kelantanese dialect — something that is unique and has gained a lot of attention.
Besides his comedy videos, AI Studio aims to produce movies.
He advises YouTubers not think about making money first — a mistake he made when he started — but to do it out of interest and passion.
“Don’t give up even when it’s hard to keep up. You just have to be consistent because hard work will definitely pay off. It’s just a matter of time.”