WOOSTER — YouTube broadcaster and Wooster resident Keith Sharier, aka Keefrica, has amassed a following of nearly 40,000 people doing something that most people do every day without giving it a second thought — eating breakfast.
In fact, the budding internet sensation has turned his love of breakfast cereal into a revenue stream under the moniker Keefrica, a nickname that has followed him since his high school days.
“If my YouTube channel went away, I would have to replace the income from it somehow,” said the 2004 Wooster High School graduate. “It helps me pay the bills and rent.”
Being a cereal reviewer is only one portion of what keeps him going online. He started his channel as a way to promote his occupation as a personal trainer, focusing on getting student athletes in shape to participate in their chosen sport.
“I started the channel in 2015 and it was about personal fitness,” Sharier said. “I started networking and traveling to fitness expos and growing my base of followers. But, I felt that I needed to branch out.”
A trip to the grocery store gave Sharier, who is also an assistant football coach with Rittman High School and the semi-pro team Canton Pitbulls, the idea to expand his video offerings into cereal reviews when he spotted a box of Sour Patch Candy cereal in the breakfast aisle.
After posting his first few cereal videos, Sharier saw his number of followers, views and likes start to grow and requests for more cereal videos soon followed. And, as of now, he is riding the cereal wave, but also planning for the future by experimenting with additional products to review when he feels the time is right.
“I like to change things up, I have done some potato chips, Oreos and soda reviews,” he said. “I guess people like food reviews. I have about 15 boxes of cereal in my cupboard to review. Once they are done, there is number of other things out there to try. There is only so much cereal in the world.”
Sharier estimates he has enough cereal on hand to review through June before he switches gears.
With a degree in exercise science from the University of Akron, Sharier had to use the trial and error method of finding out what worked best in the technology arena for him.
“It has been a slow build. Facebook started blowing up when I posted the first cereal review,” he said. “So I had to figure out how to integrate that presence with YouTube. You can’t monetize Facebook, so I had to figure out how to make them coincide. It has been a struggle.”
Along with figuring out his online business model, Sharier had to learn how to optimize his post-production workflow to fit into his busy coaching and personal training schedule. His studio and editing bay consists of, among other components, an eight-terabyte backup drive, three monitors, lighting, a microphone and a sound filter.
“I have friends that are really good at what they do and I asked them way too many questions when I first started,” he said. “But they were willing to help me get started.”
Sharier’s cereal reviews can be found at www.youtube.com/keefrica.
Dan Starcher can be reached at 330-287-1626 or email@example.com. He is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoosterWriter and Twitter at www.twitter.com/danstarcher.