Sydney McDonald is a TikTok creator and social media coach. She’s also the Founder of Sydney On Socials, which spans her content creation, UGC videos, coaching, strategy, and growth tools.
We sat down with Sydney to learn why she (and her followers) trust Captions to automate and save hours of editing work. Our conversation dives into topics like:
- Why captioning is a time suck for both full-time and part-time creators
- How Captions replicates the work of outsourced, professional editors
- Reclaiming her time to focus on what matters: growth and creativity
“I posted a TikTok about Captions that hit 5 million views. I still get comments saying, ‘This app is amazing. I love it!’ People clearly wanted a tool like this.”
Don’t Let Editing Slow Your Content Production
As a video creator, Sydney relies on captioning for three reasons:
- Accessibility — It makes your videos more accessible to various kinds of viewers.
- Clarification — When Sydney can’t reshoot a piece of footage, she can add clarifiers or elaborate with extra details on what she’s trying to say through the captions.
- Info delivery — For her how-to TikToks, which might include a step-by-step approach or formula, captions and text-based info help viewers easily read and follow along.
All of these use cases mean captions are nothing short of essential to her content. But, before discovering the Captions app, she’d have to edit her videos in TikTok and hand-type everything.
It was time-consuming and unsustainable as she started producing more and more videos.
Despite the common misconception that full-time content creation isn’t a real career, says Sydney, her work day always stretches from 9 to 5 (with little downtime) like any employee.
When it came to production, her usual workflow for a two-minute video would go:
- Plan and script the sit-down TikTok video
- Record enough footage — usually for 7–10 minutes
- Dice and splice that footage for about 20–30 minutes
- Import it to TikTok to edit and caption for another 30 minutes
Of course, it’s not grueling work to write your own captions and make them visually appealing. But, when your job relies on producing tons of video and every two-minute video requires at least an hour of work, it’s simply an inefficient use of time.
Heavy editing workloads made worse by unhelpful tech or interfaces are ultimately preventing creators from doing their best work and generating as much as possible.
Part-Time Creators Can’t Waste Valuable Time
Part-time content creators are almost always trying to generate and post on top of their full-time roles. In Sydney’s experience, most of her media consulting clients will tell her: “I already work during the day. When am I supposed to find the time to do all of this?”
If you're trying to keep active on your accounts and post more than once a day, spending an hour to shoot and prep one video is simply not feasible.
When you can't focus most of your time and attention on TikTok or Instagram, every second you spend on your content counts — and shouldn't be wasted on busywork.
“I would record a two-minute video, get seven minutes of footage, and then spend an hour editing and captioning it. You can’t do that with tons of content.”
Why Sydney Chose Captions: Immediate Time Savings
Since starting to edit with Captions, Sydney describes it as an excellent resource for any creator trying to simplify their workload and cut down on required editing time.
She highlights a couple of features that have been especially helpful:
- Zero work required — You simply have to pick which video to upload to Captions, and it’ll automatically trim your dead footage and (accurately) write out your captions for you.
- More customization — Once you have your captions, you can easily customize fonts and colors, picking from a far wider variety than you’d get from TikTok’s in-app editor.
Even more, Sydney knows many creators in her audience — both professional influencers and more casual TikTok posters — have also been hoping for a solution as easy as this.
Since posting a partnership video plugging Captions, it’s been liked by over 40,000 users — and viewed over 5 million times. She still receives comments every day from users loving the app.
The Easiest (and Cheapest) Captioning Tool on the Market
Within the last year, we’ve seen more and more established creators outsourcing their workloads to professional editors who often charge up to $200 per TikTok.
It’s understandable if you have the money and need to get your content out by a deadline.
Yet, in Sydney's opinion, many of these expensive edits end up looking like something that could've been put together in Captions for free (i.e., pop-up emojis and unique text styles).
So, having an app that'll do the work for you quickly, easily, and (most importantly) for free is a game-changer for newer creators trying to professionalize their content.
“Captions is an awesome resource. With a click of a button, your footage is trimmed and your captions are automatically written for you. It’s one and done.”
Benefit #1: Editing with Captions Turbocharges Engagement
Editing with Captions has enabled Sydney’s content to be more visually dynamic and engaging for viewers across the board.
It's also been especially helpful in capturing TikTok users who browse the app without their volume on or earphones in. Countless people do it. Maybe they’re in a public place or just watching videos late at night.
But, as a result, if they see a video of you just sitting there and speaking, they’ll scroll right past it.
No one wants to stick around to watch your mouth move silently. So, captions become essential for sparking user interest and driving down the rate at which they scroll away.
On that front, she emphasizes how Captions can visually elevate your videos — particularly when you compare it to TikTok’s limited in-app capabilities:
- “Automatic” captioning — Too many creators have tried out TikTok’s automatic captioning feature, only to have to go back in and correct the text themselves anyway.
- Boring, default text — TikTok also doesn’t let creators visually customize those standard captions, meaning there’s little-to-no way to stand out on someone’s FYP.
Even if you’re an educational creator who frequently posts simple sit-down videos (like Sydney), you need to complement your audible draw with a visual draw to compete for attention.
All in all, she affirms that Captions stands out as an editing app because it helps creators stand out, with many options for creating your most entertaining, vibrant video possible.
“Using Captions adds something visually entertaining and simply unique to your videos. That difference can get the average TikTok user to stop scrolling.”
Benefit #2: Improved Bandwidth to Create Content
As a video content creator, editing and captioning will always be tasks on Sydney’s checklist.
However, she makes sure to point out just how much time someone can actually save by making an upgrade as easy as downloading Captions.
At the end of each work day, she'll usually have a few to-do list items that she couldn't get to, so she pushes them to tomorrow. And then that happens again. Rinse and repeat. Small business owners (which most full-time creators are, even if they don’t realize it) are all too familiar with that never-ending to-do list.
Because of this, those small time-saver hacks like Captions — even if it's just 30 minutes or an hour here and there — have allowed Sydney to get back to the work she truly loves.
The less essential tasks that usually get pushed back are more creative, growth-oriented ones, like recording a course for creators or brainstorming her next product.
In her own words: "The Captions app saves time, which helps you refocus on creating what you actually want to put your energy toward but often don't get the chance to."
Leveraging the Right Tools = Seamless Growth
If you have the right creative systems and tools in place for your needs, that will, as Sydney puts it, set you apart as someone who’s serious about growing as a content creator.
According to Sydney, “If you treat your content seriously — like something that’ll make you millions of dollars someday — then it has a much better chance of actually making you millions of dollars.”
It’s why we see a huge gap in results between:
- Someone who hops on TikTok, gives it their all for one week, then gives up
- Versus someone who invests the time and money to set themselves up for success
“Having creative systems and tools like Captions in place sets you apart as someone who’s serious about content creation and growing your platform.”