In episode 24 of The Structural Engineering Channel podcast, Alexis Clark interviews her co-host, Mat Picardal. Mat hosts the very popular YouTube channel “Structural Engineering Life,” through which he promotes the structural engineering profession to engineering students who are not familiar with the industry perspective. In this episode, Mat talks to us about what he has learned from building his YouTube channel and how he continues to inspire the next generation of structural engineers.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Mat in This Episode:
- What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
- What were the biggest struggles that you had in your YouTube journey?
- Is the audience that you are targeting the students who are pursuing a structural engineering career?
- How do you determine what content you want to feature next?
- Do you get a lot of organic requests from your audience?
- What are some of the things you plan to do to inspire the next generation of structural engineers?
- How did you manage to grow your channel so quickly and how do you sustain engagement with your audience?
- What are three of the biggest things from your episode, “Reality vs Expectations,” that you want to share with the listeners
- How do you get your content to your audience quickly and ensure it reaches the largest number of people in the shortest time?
- You have the “draw” part of your content; how do you then get the message out that you have new content on your channel?
- How did you craft your video, “A Day in the Life of a Civil Structural Engineer,” and how did you choose to include the pieces that you did?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How Mat Uses YouTube to Inspire the Next Generation of Structural Engineers:
- Some of the biggest struggles you have when starting your YouTube channel are deciding on the topics, worrying what other people will think of you, and getting over the fear of opening up to people.
- To determine what content you would like to feature, you need to think of what you wanted to know previously in your career, such as things like what you wished someone told you that would have saved you a lot of time. You also need to listen to your audience through their comments about potential topics for your next video.
- To grow your audience and keep them engaged with your content, you need to know who your audience is and you need to care for them. Knowing who your audience is helps you to know what they need to hear and learn about. Caring for your audience means to show interest in them in terms of responding to as many comments possible and giving them the information that they need. In the end, a YouTube channel is all about your audience—not yourself.
- YouTube is a search engine and you need to treat it as such. You need to know how to optimize your videos so that they show up when someone searches for something.
- To make time to do this, you can use your profession as your content. Document what you are doing instead of trying to come up with content to create. People want to experience what happens in the real world of your profession and learn from your experiences.
- Having a YouTube channel is a journey. You might be bad in the beginning, but you will learn and progress as you go along. You can see it as a documentary of your growth.|
In the video, “Reality vs Expectations,” there are three points that Mat would like to share with you:
- Once you get into the structural engineering industry, you are not going to know a lot, and that’s completely OK. You will be taught, mentored, and expected to ask questions.
- When working for a firm, you need to know the different phases in a project. This will help you in your career in terms of efficiency.
- Make it as simple as possible, no simpler. You need to build your intuition and check your calculations.
- To get content out to your audience quickly and have as many views as possible in the shortest amount of time, put your script into bullet points of what you would like to discuss, and then communicate it to them. You also need to post relevant content about what is happening now and what can be done about it positively.
- To get your content out to your audience effectively, you need to see what has been done before and what has already been popular on YouTube. See which titles would make the audience click on the video. You also need visually appealing snippets to get the attention of someone scrolling through videos.
- Shooting a video like “A Day in the Life of a Civil Structural Engineer” takes a lot of research, and editing the video can be on the challenging side. It contains personal parts of your life and it can expose you to criticism, but that is the type of video that people want to watch. The more you let your audience in, the better the connection you have with them.
More Details in This Episode…
About Mathew Picardal, P.E.
Mathew Picardal is a licensed engineer practicing on structural engineering projects in California. He has an undergraduate degree from Cal Poly Pomona and an M.S. in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego. He has designed and managed various types of building structures, including residential wood apartment buildings, commercial steel buildings, and concrete parking structures and towers.
Structural Engineering Life
Engineering Management Institute Content
Civil Structural Engineering – Reality vs Expectations
A Day in the Life of a Civil Structural Engineer
What Is Structural Engineering?
How To Pass The PE Exam (EET Review vs Self Study)
7 Ways To Get A Civil Engineering Internship (Structural)
Best Post-Tensioned (PT) Concrete Design Books
Connect with Mat Picardal
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on the things you plan to do to inspire the next generation of structural engineers.
To your success,
Mathew Picardal, P.E., & Alexis Clark, P.E., M.ASCE
Hosts of The Structural Engineering Channel