I Started Teaching How to Speak Korean on Social Media - Hamin Lee

Hamin Lee

I decided to try growing my social media and teaching Korean to help everyone out. I moved to Instagram and Youtube around July to expand my platform and teach there as well. 

Especially Youtube since Tiktok only allows a maximum one-minute long video. Instagram grew above 60K and Youtube about 37K within 4 months.

1. Tell us about your background and journey. 

My name is 이하민 (Hamin Lee). My English name is Chris Lee. I was born on February 9th, 1999 in South Korea. Then I moved to Canada in 2010. I am currently at the University of Toronto studying digital enterprise management (digital business). 

Moving to Canada was a struggle for me because I couldn’t speak English at all and had to leave all my friends and grandparents etc. 

When I used to learn how to speak English, I didn’t know where to start, I wasn’t sure if I am improving or not, but most importantly I was nervous to speak English because I thought maybe my pronunciation is weird or I would say things that wouldn’t make sense to my friends. 

I understand the struggle when it comes to learning a new language very well from my own personal experience. It took me a while but after I decided to have the courage and start speaking even if I get it wrong it helped me to improve myself a lot. Now I can speak English fluently and I always remember this time when I teach Korean. 

2. What led you to start your content on Instagram, Youtube, and what is it about? 

I love teaching and it’s one of my passions. I used to teach math and English to elementary to middle school students but I lost my job due to COVID in march. I used to teach my friends how to speak Korean and I noticed that there are a lot of people who want to learn Korean. I decided to try growing my social media and teaching Korean to help everyone out.
I started teaching how to speak Korean on Tiktok in April 2020 and my videos were going viral and people were telling me that they love my explanation. I continued with it posting 3~4 times a day. I was able to gain 100K followers in May. Then I was at 200K by August. 600K by September. And currently above 800K followers. 

I moved to Instagram and Youtube around July to expand my platform and teach there as well. Especially Youtube since Tiktok only allows a maximum one-minute long video. Instagram grew above 60K and Youtube about 37K within 4 months.
I’ve built my community using Discord group chat as well and there are people who want to learn Korean, who like kpop and kdrama etc connecting with each other and learning Korean as well. 

3. Is vlogging and YouTube content creation a financially sustainable career? 

I’ve made some money from Tiktok and Youtube. There are some brands that offered me to work with them. Also, there is some income from Youtube as well. However, compared to the time I spend, the income is extremely low. 

I am currently looking at this for the long-term just focusing on how I can help others and bring value. I believe that the best way to be successful with whatever you do is to make sure you are caring and giving what other people want instead of chasing money. (I am not doing this for money as well but it’s still nice to have) 

Though, I believe that content creation can be a financially sustainable career over a period of time. You just have to be patient and keep working hard until you reach that point. Nothing comes easy but again it’s more than just money since it’s about giving value to people, influencing others. 

4. What has been your biggest challenge that you faced and how did you overcome that? 

The biggest challenge was managing my time and coming up with content. I’m a student and there are jobs that I have to do. Coming up with content, shooting, and editing takes a really long time. 

It takes about a few hours especially since I post at least 3-4 per day. I’ve been doing it for months since April so I also faced the struggle of running out of ideas as well. 

I was feeling overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do but I overcame it by making my own content plan document to write down all of my ideas depending on the type of videos that I can make. Also, I have a folder from Monday - Sunday and have an additional extra draft folder for me to schedule my posts. 

I make a lot of videos at once or make them once in a while and fill them in. This way, whenever I need to take some days off or there is an emergency situation I don’t have to worry about making new contents just post whatever I have saved. 

I always ask for feedback from my followers and watch other Korean lessons to find the best teaching method that I can use for everyone because sometimes learning can be boring. I’m someone who knows how difficult it is to learn a new language so I try my best to make my lessons easy, simple, and interesting as possible. 

Most importantly, whenever my followers show appreciation of me teaching Korean motivates me a lot as well. I’ve got a lot of sweet messages, photos, and videos of them learning Korean from my video. Just the love and care that I receive is so much it helps me to stay motivated as well. 

5. How do you define success for yourself? 

Success for myself is to have a positive influence on a lot of people and helping people out as much as you can. How much money or fame you have could determine your success but I believe that real success is to go beyond that because those are just temporary. 

You can make a huge difference even if you change one person’s life. I’m a believer and my purpose in life is to use anything that God has allowed you to have in your life to help and influence as much as you can in a positive way. 

I am interested in a lot of things. I like photography, videography, I love producing music, business, and teaching. I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing in the future but whatever I do, it doesn’t matter what kind of career you have but doing the best and helping people out in whatever field that you are in, wherever you are at. 

This is a real success for me. Being someone who can be looked up to so that they can help and influence other people’s lives in a positive way. 

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring creators? 

Becoming a creator is fun but difficult. You might have to give up on a lot of things because you really have to put in your extra effort besides whatever you are doing such as school or work. 

For example, there are times where I stay up all night working and not being able to see my friends or talk to them for a long time because of how busy I am. Noone barely notices your hard work in the beginning. 

You also have to stay strong mentally because there could be some hateful comments or you could be in a position where you compare yourself to other creators who are doing well. For example, feeling down looking at numbers of your followers, likes, comments, etc. 

Don’t worry about these things just make sure you know why you are doing this. It’s important to have a goal and understand why you are doing this because you can always think about what inspired you to start whenever you are going through a difficult time to motivate yourself. 

Furthermore, not just making content consistently but understanding what kind of value I am providing to others, always trying to learn and find where you can improve on, and having a niche is extremely important. 

7. Which is your favorite book and why? 

My favorite book is the bible. There are a lot of messages that we need in our lives and it’s what keeps me truly happy and strong. 

Whenever I have faced problems in my life that I wouldn’t be able to overcome, I received strength from the bible and it is still what keeps me strong and gives me wisdom. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) 

Instagram ID - @korean_hamin

Hamin Lee

Hamin Lee (Chris Lee)
Youtuber, Teacher
https://www.youtube.com/Korean Hamin
Link - https://hamin.contactin.bio/

Interviewed By - Syrine Landolsi

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