Nearly 50,000 people are subscribed to Leusner’s YouTube channel with some of his more popular uploads getting hundreds of thousands of views.
At 10 years old, Justin Leusner picked up his iPad and filmed his first YouTube video. Of course, he asked his parents’ permission first. His mother, Dawn Leusner, gave her approval, but offered a healthy amount of skepticism when her son informed her his plan was to make a career out of being on YouTube.
“I said, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it,’” Dawn said with a good-natured laugh. “He throws it in my face now.”
Six years later, nearly 50,000 people are subscribed to Leusner’s YouTube channel, YourFired, with some of his more popular uploads getting hundreds of thousands of views. Between taking classes to improve his editing and design skills to flying out to Los Angeles to network with fellow YouTube creators, Leusner’s mom said she stands corrected: Her son is on his way to making a career out of his YouTube channel.
First and foremost, Leusner started as a fan. He enjoyed watching YouTube videos, so he decided to film some of the things in his life that he had fun doing. He loved watching WWE, so he made a duct tape ring out of mattresses and supplies he had lying around the house and invited some friends over to film a wrestling match.
From there, Leusner was addicted. He started filming basketball content, NBA Live Mobile videos, vlogs, pranks and challenges. His most popular video to date in which he plays NBA Live Mobile and earns a rare Steph Curry card has garnered more than 400,000 views.
Leusner said for as far back as he can remember, he’s had a voracious appetite for technology and computer software. When he decided to start uploading to YouTube, his 11-year-old self went to the Apple Store and took a class on how to edit in iMovie.
An avid “Celebrity Apprentice” fan, Leusner picked up the “you’re fired” catchphrase from the show and began saying it around the house. He said at some point, the joke evolved into the name of his channel, which he’s since shortened to simply YF.
He said the keys to his YouTube success can be attributed to a couple of factors.
“Really what it is, is me staying consistent. It’s one of the main keys on Youtube,” Leusner said.
In the past six years, Leusner has uploaded nearly 900 videos, and he tries to upload every day when he can. He said he’s taken care to ensure his videos are high-quality through strategic lighting, a green screen in the background and by learning as much as he can about editing. He said Google is his constant companion. When he doesn’t know how to do something, he finds the answers for free on Google.
Over the last two years, Leusner has taken YouTube from a hobby to a profession. With the help of his parents, Leusner began making money through adsense and sponsorships. He said he’ll work with companies to help promote products through his channel.
Also in the last two years, Leusner began traveling to Los Angeles for VidCon, a convention dedicated to digital videos and their creators. He said the experience has connected him with fellow YouTubers and helped him to learn more about how to brand his channel.
Along the way, Leusner’s friends and family have been some of his biggest supporters. Dawn said in his daily life, Leusner is reserved and shy, but when he gets in front of a camera, he transforms.
While Leusner’s eventual goal is to move to Los Angeles, which has become something of a hub for YouTube creators, there’s a few mile markers the Moorestown High School sophomore hopes to hit before he graduates. He said he hopes to hit 1 million subscribers by the time he graduates and to have garnered 1 billion total views.
As far as college, that’s a nonnegotiable. Leusner said YouTube has never come before school, and he plans to attend college before making YouTube his full-time job.
Dawn said she’s extremely proud of her son for learning how to network, create merchandise and an array of other unexpected business skills at such a young age. She said he’s also saving nearly every penny he’s earned from his videos.
Search YourFired at www.youtube.com to watch Leusner’s content.