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03:06 – What do subscribers do for your business?
06:07 – YouTube channel versus Facebook vids
08:40 – Can anyone do it?
10:31 – Dialling back the crazy
12:17 – Why YouTube is great for longevity
17:41 – Things learned on the way to 10,000 subs
21:02 – What camera do you use?
29:04 – Triggering your rewards
30:16 – Pre-success declarations
33:23 – From SEO to YouTube
37:29 – The skinny on Brian’s latest book
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Part 1 of the series
Part 2 of the series
James: James Schramko here welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. And today is, of course, Video Tips Part Three. This is a three part series, believe it or not, and we’re talking about the evolution of growing a 10,000-subscriber YouTube channel in under a year. And of course, to talk about that, I’ve brought back my good buddy Brian Johnson.
Brian: James, it’s great to be here. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to share. We’re going have some good times today.
James: I hope we get a special guest appearance from your poodles today.
Brian: Well, you never know what could happen. One can hope, though.
James: Now just a quick recap. We first got together not quite a year ago but quite some time ago. We were talking about how using video in Part One of our series, which was Episode 492 on the SuperFastBusiness.com blog.
And we talked about how to have a brand and strategy and things in Part Two, which was Episode 499. And here we are at Part Three. So it’s taken us a little while to put together this three-part series, but the great thing about that is it’s given us an opportunity to see what you’ve been up to and especially what you’ve learnt since you started the series to now. Because I think you’ve been continuing that journey. I’m pretty sure when we started this series you didn’t have 10,000 subscribers yet, is that right?
Brian: Oh when we when we did our first podcast, James, I had maybe 4,000, 5,000 subscribers, so I’ve increased by three times which is pretty neat, to see that kind of a growth in a year. It’s been tremendous. Today, I’m close to 16,000. So it’s going pretty fast now.
James: Maybe by Part 5 you’ll be up to 100,000.
Brian: Did you see Zoolander? No, I’m sorry. Oh, what’s the Michael Meyer’s, Doctor Evil? One million subscribers.
How subscribers translate into business
James: I do actually work with some clients who have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and it’s really interesting seeing how powerful it is to have a strong subscription presence on YouTube. Obviously, to build up an audience even of 16,000 you must be doing something that people are interested in watching. But how does having subscribers translate into business for you, if it does at all?
Brian: Yes, it does. I’m so glad you ask this, because when I started, I had a very specific and definite goal that I wanted to achieve, and that was to be able to sustain traffic, which is the lifeblood of any kind of a sales and marketing business, right? It’s like, if you don’t have leads, if you don’t have traffic, you can’t move forward.
And today, I’ve got companies coming to me and they want to pay me to do sponsored videos. What’s amazing about that is that it’s about the same kind of stuff, I talked it out just months ago, and I’m covering the same kind of products, the same kind of services. And I’m not sending out e-mails and I’m not knocking on doors. I’ve simply got a simple website, a Contact Me form, and because – here’s what’s up. It’s really about building a tribe of people that are highly engaged.
“What we all want is people that are highly engaged in the content we share.”
The subscribers are great. But I think you know what businesses are looking for and what we all want is people that are highly engaged in the content you share. And today, after I’d been on YouTube now for just about 15 months, I have that. Heck, I make videos about the YouTube algorithm and now companies pay me hundreds of dollars for something I do in a day. And furthermore, that builds my channel more. I get more views. It all happens on my channel. I’m not building their website or I’m not making their videos. I just do what I do.
I’m making money and the coaching clients have been fantastic. And again, it’s really neat. I don’t really have a huge sales funnel, just people know. I think it’s just putting out some some things to the ether, sharing good content and I’ve been able to do that.
Of course, affiliate marketing has been amazing. I actually had a really great run with AppSumo about a month ago. And the promotion was like, well, I think I’ll live stream for a half hour and share this amazing deal, because it’s a great deal. I mean I’d be silly not to, I’d feel bad if I didn’t share this. So all of these things are just, you know, are based on having vision as to what I wanted to achieve, making a plan of how I was going to get there. And it’s kind of there now and it’s just a matter of continuing in and staying on track and you know, understanding you can’t do it all. I see so many people, they want to have their hands in everything, and focus is very powerful.
Youtube versus Facebook
James: I think the advice, “Be everywhere,” is quite flawed, if that’s what you’re referring to. Trying to be in every media outlet. For example, someone might say, “Hey Brian, look, you could probably promote affiliates from a Facebook video.” What makes it different having a YouTube channel than being prolific on Facebook?
Brian: You know, maybe one day I will do Facebook, but absolutely I’m really focused right now on YouTube. And for me the difference is, when you create a subscriber base, those people are raising their hands to get notified any time you put content out. And not only that, they can click a button and have push notifications sent straight to their phone. So if they really like you, they’re going to see the moment you publish. At the end of the day, to me, that sounds an awful lot like building a list. I don’t know if Facebook has that kind of interconnection between a creator and the audience that they serve.
One of the things I was kind of talking about James, or getting to, was with my channel it’s pretty specific about YouTube and video tips. And I’m passionate about a lot of different things. I think we all are as humans. But being able to sacrifice and say, you know, I’m not going to talk about WordPress or I’m not going to talk a lot about affiliate marketing or I’m not going to talk about maybe Facebook advertising, because it’s going to alienate my audience it’s going to dilute my message.
And also I totally do agree with you on the platform. You know, having that focus of, I’m going to build this now until it’s an asset and then I’m going to move on. And that’s really what I’ve done forever. You know when I started with SEO and I got good at that, and then I really focused on Facebook and I grew a following on Facebook. And then I focused on my Trust Funnel book, and anyway.
James: I think that’s what’s interesting and why we’re talking. Because whilst there are people who have bigger followings and huge subscriber bases, they’re mostly doing the thing that they do. And uniquely, you’re teaching the YouTube technique. It’s kind of like you’re revealing as you go and experimenting like a mad professor, which kind of, while you’ve got that kimono open and sharing, what sort of things have you experienced since we spoke the first and the second time on your journey to that 10,000 mark, which was definitely your stated goal at some point?
A duplicatable process
And I think the thing that is most interesting and this is what I hope is going to bring value to the listener, is that we’ve watched you do this from the beginning to now in a relatively short period. And you believe that it’s repeatable, that other people could do the same things that you’re doing. So everything you’re about to share in terms of your experience should be a direct instruction that informs what a listener might be able to implement for their YouTube strategy, if it’s part of their plan.
Brian: No questions that anybody, anybody at all can move forward and duplicate this. If you look at the definition of ritual, it means to perform a series of actions according to a flow, from A to Z. And when you do that, when you take the actions according to the prescribed order, that’s the phrase I was looking for, “prescribed order”. When you do that, you’re really setting yourself up for success.
And you know, the thing that I’ve learned is a lot of people, they get really excited about creating their own digital business or their own digital operation and they want to create content in a certain kind of a way. And what’s very interesting is if you decide to do that on YouTube, as you’re creating your content, people will tell you what they like and what they don’t. And the more you’re able to really peer in and try to dig deep into their needs and their wants and the more you fulfil their needs and wants with the content you produce – and it’s not even the content, it’s how you produce the content. It’s having the ability to to be fun and engaging.
A little less crazy
And for me, it’s really been a process of dialling back the crazy. I mean when I started, I don’t know why, James, but I had a need to be over the top. And I think it’s because, and you alluded to this, that I kind of did this thing and it was like, this is a live case study. And I had the audacity to say, I’m going to go from zero, a brand new channel, not a huge following, to 10,000 subscribers in a relatively small niche. This is not gaming, this is not a beauty channel where you could have 10 million subscribers.
James: It could be a beauty channel, Brian. Let’s face it, your poodle’s very handsome.
Brian: Well that is true, and Olive is quite the looker herself. I started out and I just think it’s, you know, we all have this internal dialogue. We all have baggage that has shaped us. And for me, comedy has always been kind of this weird quirky thing that I made a weapon and I made it part of my branding. But at the same time, it was clear that I was going overboard.
I always have had a core fan base that loves that, but they stick around because why they showed up wasn’t to get some funny jokes. They wanted to learn how to grow a YouTube channel.
So the more I’ve honored that, without letting go who I am. I think we’re starting to talk about authenticity now and really understanding what viewers want, what people want, and it’s not just the subject but how. And when you’re able to slice that, and really create something that’s fun and engaging, when you bring all of that stuff together, it’s exciting.
The thing to me that is so cool is that there is no platform on the planet that has the longevity that YouTube does, as far as what happens when you publish. If you search for Apple branding, my video is number one. If you look to video number four, it’s Simon Sinek. And the video was published five years ago. You look at the tenth video for Apple branding, that video has been at that position for at least several years. It’s 10 years old.
And I can tell you the videos I published last summer are the strongest videos, because as as we publish on YouTube your channel gets stronger and stronger. And furthermore, as you dial things in more and more, as you really deliver the value that people want, the way they want it, boy, things can really get amazing with the growth. You know, tens of thousands of subscriber growth on a monthly basis.
James: OK, just a few points there. I think what you really highlighted as one of your learning experiences in this journey so far is that you almost shifted a little bit from your needs to the customer’s needs. You might have felt that it was cool to perform, and maybe you had a creative desire and a bold ambition to build up X number of subscribers. As soon as you put the customer first, you realized that what you’re really doing with your humor is just making it fun for them to learn the content, which is why they were there in the first place. Is that right?
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you really hit a number of things. Number one, they come first. Number two, and this is kind of what I alluded, that a lot of people are under the impression that they’re making content for other people and they’re fulfilling their own needs and there is nothing wrong with that. But when we have an opportunity to look internally and really identify what success means to us, then we’ve got a pathway. Like hey, this is working, this isn’t.
And the other thing that’s very cool is that YouTube, they roll back the curtain and they provide you all the information you need to really learn what’s working and what’s not. For example, I have videos that are super creative, people have told me that. There is something about me saying, “Oh, these are very creative, and…” But you know, people have said it again and again.
And they’ve worked. They rank, they drive views, they gain subscribers. But at the same time it’s just again, it’s how much of that you add to the recipe. And I’ve got videos that the quality technically is good, the camera filming is good, the audio is good, the delivery is good, but it’s too much of the humor and they don’t work. So again, it’s really a question of being open and honest with yourself with what you want. And I did have a need to be creative and express myself creative, creatively. I wish I could say that word right now but maybe next time.
Brian: Thank you! Thank you, it’s always good to have a host.
James: It’s fine. It’s totally cool.
Brian: But anyway, you know, it’s like when you dig into your audience retention, it’s clear as day. It’s like if 70 percent of the subscribers bail at 62 seconds and you’ve got other videos that are kind of similar and the average view duration is four minutes on a five-minute video, I mean it doesn’t take freakin’ Stevie Wonder to see the winner. Did you catch that?
James: How long does it take you to make a four-minute video?
Brian: Probably about an hour to script it out, probably an hour to film it, probably another hour to edit it.
James: I’m glad you said that. My friend with a big channel, (and just for context, he’s been going for five or six years) you know, he puts a lot of effort in his daily routine or his weekly routine around making his content, because it’s just a massive thunder force of traffic for some of the reasons you mentioned. I just want to highlight them because they’re so important.
“You can be yourself.”
One, you can be yourself. And my good, dear, funny friend Kevin Rogers does this so well in the copyrighting space, where he is funny and he uses his humor to be engaging and to make learning copywriting fun for his Copy Chief members.
I like the longevity point. That is so important. If you’re going to compare that side-by-side to something like Facebook, unless you want to buy ads to a video, it’s going to slide off that home page pretty quickly, if your customer even sees it even if they’re following you. But with YouTube, that push notification and the definite subscription, it’s far more like the magazine service we used to get delivered to our house. lt’s just an electronic version of media coming to you. And then the extra point is that just how highly engaged your users are, and not just guessing. You get the analytics. The analytics show you a whole heap of stuff about which ones are working so you can refine your formula and serve your audience better.
Lessons learned on the journey
Brian: Yeah. And here’s something that I did learn through the journey, James, was that, be bold. Be tenacious. Have the courage and the tenacity to try different things.
Look, I’m really cool with my journey. I’m cool that I hit 15,000 subscribers in just over a year. I’ve got peers that have grown twice as fast. It’s very easy to see, if you’re really honest with why, it’s because the videos they’ve been publishing for the last six to nine months have been more in alignment with what the audience wants.
And I’m getting there. You know, for me it’s like I’m still growing very fast and I have companies reaching out. I make great money with affiliate marketing, I’m building my list, I’m doing all this stuff. And I did, when I started out, I didn’t know exactly what was going to work. So in order to figure out, I tried different things. I see so many people, they start off, whether it’s video marketing or SEO or Facebook advertising and whatnot, and they kind of do the same thing again and again and they stay in the same vein.
And I really did push the envelope in a bunch of different directions and because of that, then I can go back and I say, well, this style didn’t work, this style did work. This was amazing. Look at those results. And it’s funny, like literally right now over the last three or four days, I’ve been revamping everything, I’ve got a new backdrop, new lights, a new camera, and it’s a process. I’m investing a lot of time, but I’m really close to it being completely dialled in. And I know it will be, it’s just I don’t quit until I figured out and that’ll allow me to take it again to the next level.
One of the things I’ve learned is that when you really put it on the line, when you say the goal is this. It’s YouTube. It’s not, I’m going to launch a book then I’m going to do a product and I’m going to do coaching, I’m going to have a mastermind. And so many people are so scattered, and it’s really hard to be great at everything.
But by really creating, like this is my goal, this is what I’m after, this is my audience, this is what’s worked for them now. Like, I didn’t have any clue when I started. Now I’ve got lots of data and information and the feedback already, unlike the early kind of Season 2 stuff has been fantastic and I got the book coming out, so wow!
You know, I just want to say I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do. And I think it’s important to realize what an amazing time this is. You know there’s always someone’s going to say it’s hard, it’s so saturated, there’s so much competition. And at the same time, it’s never been easier to create content to connect with people and to do what you love and to make money at the same time. And to me, that’s just like, wow, that’s pretty wicked. Cool.
James: OK. So I’ve got to just ask you a few questions here. Firstly, just remind our audience, what’s your YouTube channel. Because I’m sure someone is just screaming at me, “Ask him the channel, James, tell me, what channel are we talking about?”
Brian: So it’s Brian G Johnson TV.
James: OK. Brian G Johnson TV. And that’s Johnson without a T.
Brian: That’s correct.
The technical side of things
James: Yep. Now. Next question someone’s going to be thinking. All right, Brian tell me about your backdrop, lights and camera. The technos are going to want to know, what camera do I use for YouTube video? What lights do I use? It’s a very common question and you might as well indulge us, because I’m sure you’re very excited about it.
Brian: Fairly excited. I did buy the new camera and I bought enough of them now. Because that’s what we do, alright? It’s like we like to buy toys and there’s nothing wrong with that.
For me, I’m pretty happy with the Sonys right now. The Sonys are offering a lot of functionality for people that are getting started. And you know, while 10 years ago you might not have been able to do a really cool looking video in auto mode, you can today. I started with like a pocket camera RX100 Mark 5, and that was great. I had a few overheating issues, so I’m using a Sony a6300 now. And so far, so good.
As far as the lighting goes, I’ve got some very cheap LED lights, I’ve got like cool bookshelves with signs all over the place. I’ve got David Bowie and Prince and Howlin’ Wolf and some of my books. And Robert Johnson, blues singer. So it’s just really bookshelves that, you know, include my influences, people I like, whether it’s a book from friends of mine that have published, my own books, to rock and roll.
And you don’t have to spend a ton of money. I will say this: I think it’s important to know when you’re kind of bullshitting yourself, and when you spend so much time playing with the tech or worrying about the tech. Nothing wrong with doing that, if you’re publishing. I know people that are professional, like they’re almost ready to launch.
James: Ah, yes. That’s very common actually. Filter those people out of my application process to join my membership. I’m not looking for people who are still researching. I’m looking for people who have something in motion. And that’s why I asked about the equipment.
I’ve been through a whole evolution. In the beginning, I went through a series of Kodak Zi8s, flip cams, multiple versions of those, and then a Sony camera and then a Canon 60D, the whole DSLR setup and mixes and booms and NTG mics, the whole thing. But then the setup and maintenance of it, actually moving to the ocean, everything started corroding. You plug the thing in and the sound won’t come through. I had Sennheiser mics, I had RODE pin lavs, the whole thing. But these days, I’m making a lot of my videos just with my iPhone 7 and a lav mic, without even an extension cord. That’s how hardcore I am!
Brian: Well, here’s the thing. When you say just an iPhone 7, like, the capabilities of that thing that keeps you connected to the world and also happens to be…
James: It is incredible.
“If your goal is to create a good-looking video, then it’s not just the camera.”
Brian: It’s absolutely incredible – low light performance, the whole bit. And here’s my advice. You know, kind of wrapping up the tech thing is that a lot of times people are excited about video. They’re like, what camera do I get? And my advice is think big picture and think about, if your goal is to create a good-looking video then it’s not just the camera – lighting is really important. If you’re going to be creating videos at home, then take part of the budget that you might have blown on the camera and invest 50 bucks on some fun lights like I did. Then maybe buy a couple of softboxes and then use your iPhone 7, which is absolutely amazing. Now we can add to it, there are RODE microphones that you can plug in to have great audio. And instead of spending a thousand or fifteen hundred bucks on a fancy DSLR kind of thing or mirrorless camera, you use your phone, you get started, you spend a 100 bucks, and you’re good to go. Literally you could spend $300 and have an absolutely amazing video creation studio, if you would.
James: What are you using for audio?
Brian: So for audio on my cell phone, I use a, what is it called? An MV88 microphone. I can’t remember the company but the model number is MV88. Really great, it plugs right into the lightning port, and really great mic there. I also have a RODE mic that works with the iPhone as well. On my regular setup, I have the usual…
James: It’s a Shure. Shure MV88.
Brian: Yes. Thank you very much. Shure MV88. Great microphone. Really nice sound. It’s great for streaming, too. So you know when you say just an iPhone 7, I’m like [gasp].
James: Haha. I just wanted to make a point really that I’ve been through a tech revolution where I’ve actually just streamlined. I think also my friend Gideon Shalwick did the same thing at one point, where the setup and technical aspects to get that amazing video is, it’s actually, you know it gets to a point where, when I was making a video every single day for a few years, it became a part of my routine. But life’s much easier without it.
And another simple solution for lighting for some people would just be to film outside or facing a window with natural light.
James: You can stick your iPhone to a window with a windshield sucker that’s facing a natural light, and that’s your soft light taken care of and you get that full lighting and you get rid of the Skeletor skull eyes – if you just can’t even afford the $50 for some lights. But I like the look of that MV88. I tried a RODE version on the old phone and it just, I couldn’t notice any difference for the little shotgun mic. But that looks like a winner.
Brian: It’s a winner, and one of the things you wanna do with video with shooting from a mobile phone is you really, if you’re using a microphone, I should add, is you want to go in and go to flight mode. You want to turn off like Wi-Fi and stuff like that because it will interfere with the microphone. And that will really make sure you get great clarity. The Shure MV88 has software, an app that you download and it allows you to really dial things in. It’s simple, too.
I think the thing that we’re talking about, James, is simple. And simple is so powerful because it allows you to really focus on what’s most important and that’s the message that you create when you’re making a video, or a podcast, or writing a blog post. You know, all of that is really what’s most important.
And as you progress, things become easier because you’ve done it a bunch of times. And at that point, after you’ve made a hundred videos, then maybe it does make sense to upgrade. Maybe you do get a pocket camera. The Sony RX100 is a great camera. It’s small, it’s portable.
And what I really love about these Sonys is as they do very very well in auto. So you know, I’ve got to tell you, all these settings for a guy like me, like math and a bunch of numbers are kind of the enemy. And I’d much rather play with Play-Doh or paint. All the settings are tough. If I can slam it into auto and then gradually learn the skills of the craft and just really focus on what’s most important, you know? That’s kind of how I progressed in the last 10 years. I’ve always been doing video, and it’s always been really simple. And slowly, I’ve added layers. And what I do now today isn’t really simple, but I’ve got the practical experience to back it up.
Rewards and triggers
James: Fantastic. Yeah, I think the point about making it a trigger, like you could have a celebration goal: one hundredth video, it triggers an equipment upgrade. That way you forced a deadline on yourself that is behaviorally achieved and it will justify the next stage.
And I’ve done that all through my business life, where I set a goal. At one point, it was I’ll buy a nice watch when I reach $100,000 a year and then it was, I’ll buy a nice watch when I’m a general manager or dealer principal of a Mercedes dealership. And I’ve always set little triggers or goals.
And the great thing about that is every time you use that piece of equipment that was achieved from earning it, it’s an anchor to your confidence and your success. Every time I look at my watch, I remember what I had to achieve in my late 20s and early 30s and how I’ve done it before, so why can’t I do it again over and over again?
And as I look at things that have worked well for me that were purchased as a deadline reward or an achievement reward that actually compounds the motivation. So it’s a really good tip there.
Announcing goals before achieving them
Brian: Man, I so love that, James, because really, I would say for me, maybe about four years ago, five years ago, I started doing very similar things. And I remember with my first book, I announced on Facebook that I was writing a New York Times bestselling book.
James: I love it.
Brian: And I hadn’t started writing it yet. And there probably are people that think I was crazy and that’s okay, because not everyone’s going to love you. Then again it’s okay. But you know, I didn’t shut up about it. I was like, “No, but for real.” You know, I’d written 10,000 words and I kept updating and I really created a goal for myself. And after I had written a book, it was hard, I took time, I really had to focus. But what happened was, I was able to write my second book, Tube Ritual, in a month. And it was easy.
And I stuck a goal onto it too, and the YouTube channel isn’t just a channel, it’s a case study like you said. And I made it public and I said, “I’m going to hit 10,000 subscribers in a year. And that’s really scary when you when you say that, when you make it public.
But now, I’m having this interview and I’m proud of what’s happening. I feel good about knowing I’m adding value to the world. I’m doing it in a way that I enjoy. I love how I’m spending my time. Companies reach out to me, clients reach out to me. And the book is done now. So when I look at that book, it’s like, that’s not a book, that is a declaration of the success that I will achieve come hell or high water.
Now I’ll be honest: if I didn’t hit 10k that would have been really hard. But I would have been okay, because I really did apply myself. And I did put all the chips on the table and I mentioned striving to be a New York Times bestselling author, which that’s still a goal and I’ve got more books and domains and big ideas and I’ll do that one day.
But when I look at Trust Funnel, you know, I didn’t hit the New York Times bestseller but that’s OK. I achieved such amazing results with that. And that really pushed my business to the next level. And there’s just so much power in creating goals. And also for me, going public with them because there is a level of accountability that is, it’s just so, it puts a fire under your ass, James.
James: Yeah. Look there’s different points of view on that. I like the Derek Sivers discussion where he talks about the idea that publishing your goals publicly before you achieve them will significantly reduce the chance of you achieving the goal, because you’re starting to get that feeling as if you’ve achieved it. And I certainly prefer to just deliver something and talk about it after I’ve done it than in advance, so it doesn’t work for me to publicly declare goals. But it sounds like it really works for you and it’s a matter of finding that style.
From SEO to YouTube
I wanted to ask you, what was the motivation for you to change from SEO to then Trust and now YouTube. How did you go through those sequences? What led to this?
Brian: You know, what’s really interesting is, if you kind of look at the journey that I’ve had since 2003, I mean in internet years, it kind of makes me like a dinosaur. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it is.
James: Well when I was coming into it in 2005 or 2006, my main concern was maybe I’m too late to the party.
Brian: Yeah. Well I don’t think anybody was too late until 2009, 2010.
James: It’s still really early days. But now the general public knows what a Twitter is and they’re on Facebook. And that definitely wasn’t the case when we were starting out because it didn’t exist. And you know, like gosh, I was setting up membership communities before there was Facebook groups and have survived through the entire onslaught of the internet changing. I think there’s definitely some advantages to getting in at that time, but it’s definitely not too late to start.
“There’s plenty of people that are going to succeed that haven’t even gotten started yet.”
Brian: No, it’s never too late to start. If it’s important to you, you’ll figure it out. And here’s the bottom line too, James. There’s plenty of people that are going to succeed that haven’t even gotten started yet. So you get to decide if you’re going to be one of those people. For me, the process really begins with not wanting or wondering but really like going after it and saying it’s going to work out, you know? I’m going to make it happen and these are the goals that I have. This is how it’s going to work.
You mentioned like the SEO and whatnot. And for me, when I got started, there wasn’t, like you mentioned, there wasn’t Facebook groups. Heck, there wasn’t Facebook, there wasn’t Twitter, there wasn’t YouTube. It was kind of like, well, there was Google. So you could make web pages. And if people searched and your site showed up….
One of the things I learned is you can be a pretty crappy salesperson. If you are able to really understand what motivates someone, and the more you know about what they want, the easier it is to make a sale. If someone is searching for a Halloween costume, that’s pretty vague. If they’re searching for plus-sized candy corn Halloween costume free shipping, like you know exactly what you need to offer and how to create a page. And by create a page, I mean you show the costume and you have a Buy button and it’s going to take care of itself if you can fulfill all those needs.
When I started seeing the result of really learning the power of SEO, really my career has always followed SEO. So I did SEO until 2010, then I started doing self-publishing and writing. It’s weird. It was more about, well, it’s a search engine. And I can get on Google because I’m on Amazon and Google might be wary of me but they like Amazon, so I’ll go do that now.
And the same thing with YouTube, you know, I got started with Facebook just because I wanted to hang out with my pals that I had met at events. And I started enjoying it. And I learned about social media, which is just, all that means is you get a poodle and you get some photos taken. [Dogs bark in background]
Oh, thank you. Perfect, so perfect.
James: There we go. That was good. We wanted it on cue. I love it.
Brian: OK, so let’s see how long this is going to take. Sounds like a good 20 more seconds, yeah. [Barking continues] Let me go try to calm them down.
Brian: Hey James, sorry about that. That was UPS. They don’t like UPS too much.
James: Yeah. But that’s okay. They’re fine with DHL?
On Brian’s latest book
James: Now Brian, you mentioned your YouTube book. What’s that about? I know you sent it to me, Tube Ritual. You know the one I like the most? Chapter 9, because you put a 12-step program and I know that people like steps, and it’s good to have a framework or a checklist to work through. It makes life easier. So I thought the book was wonderful. Well done.
Brian: Well, thank you very much. Yeah. You know what’s cool about the Chapter 9 too is not only is it the 12-step upload process that I use to ultimately drive more views, but there is free software available that allows you to, it’s TubeBuddy. It’s a plugin for Chrome, and I’ve actually partnered with TubeBuddy and we’ve got my checklist that’s in the book in the software, too.
So pretty cool that you get the book, you can study, you can see the case studies. You get the 12 steps and then you get the free software and you use my checklist and it walks you through that upload process so you can drive some more views, which is a good thing.
James: Yeah. Fantastic. So I mean you’ve got a good opportunity there to help people with all the right tools and the right program. So the Tube Ritual, you can actually get that at tuberitualbook.com, is that right?
Brian: Absolutely, yeah. Tube Ritual the book, that comes available on June 19th. Really excited about that. And if you go to tuberitualbook.com before that, you can download Chapter 9, you can access the free software, and furthermore when the book comes out, I’ll save you a few bucks. For a few days, anyway, because that’s how this marketing thing works. Someone told me that.
James: I like the sub headline too, it’s jumpstart your journey to 5,000 YouTube subscribers, because that’s your market, is helping someone just get started and crank up the 5,000.
I’m certainly going to give this book to my team and see if we can start to tune our channel, taking some of the advice in the steps and some of the chapters. And they certainly listen to this podcast and I think that’s actually helped us improve our subscriber base. Now I think we’re in the 2000s at the moment, so let’s see if we can get it moving up the ladder a bit.
And I’m going to have to crank open that iPhone and make a few more videos. I’m actually pretty excited to, after speaking with you today, because I am really keen on the longevity aspect of YouTube vs. the, I don’t know what it’s called but it’s sort of like the showman aspect.
The bothersome thing about Facebook Live
There’s something about Facebook live videos that bothers me, I think. People are oversharing, if you know what I mean. Do I want to have a video tour of the hotel they just checked into? I know they’re very excited about it. But in the general scheme of is it good for the audience, I think it’s just total bragging. And you know, super uninteresting content with a lot of ums and ahs, bad scripting, no plot, no plan. It’s just like voyeurism almost, like “welcome to my world, look how amazing I am” type videos don’t do it for me. And I’ve unfollowed a lot of people because I’m not interested in that. Is this something you’ve observed?
Brian: Yeah. Well that’s really interesting and I think I hear exactly what you’re saying and it’s really important to you. Again, one of the things we talked about was honor the audience and what they want. And live is powerful and live gives us an opportunity to connect with our audience.
But the problem that I hear from you, James, is that when you start seeing content that you really didn’t sign up for, like you followed someone because you saw something in what they were doing that interested you, and then all of a sudden now we’re on the beach and you know, here’s the hotel room or here’s a movie review. And I struggle with this too with videos that I see produced. Like, it’s really a pet peeve and it was even before I started really learning about YouTube and that is to get to the point, please.
Sometimes I don’t know what happens with us as humans, but you turn a camera on, and some people, it’s hard for them to stay on topic. And if you’re not on topic, it’s just a bad thing because you’re not congruent to what you said you were going to bring to the table and people will unfollow you.
James: Yeah. I think people just get lost up in their ego and just take it to extremes. And yeah, they’ve missed the point and it’s all about them and all about their insecurities and their need to be impressive. And it’s a massive turnoff.
Yeah. Well, there’s a lot of that in our own industry, generally speaking, and it’s a massive, massive turnoff for me too. And I don’t know. For me it’s like just a whole showboat kind of thing is kind of sad, because it’s very hollow and whatnot.
But you know, at the end of the day too, I will say I think live is really powerful. I think live when done right is a great strategy and now that YouTube has rolled it out, one of the things to think about is just because there are people doing that doesn’t mean we can’t use the tool. And you can go live and you can cover a topic and you can get in and out in 10 minutes or 15 minutes. You can do Q and A for five at the end of the deal.
And what happens is you create a livestream that turns into a video and you don’t have the editing and you don’t have the time commitment to create that content. If you have the ability to stay on track, if you have the confidence to to keep the show rolling. I mean, I’ll tell you, boy, live can be scary. I work with TubeBuddy and they pay me to livestream once a month and I have had so many problems.
And you’ve got 100 people on the stream, and you’re the so-called – and I don’t use the word, I don’t like to refer to myself as an expert. I like to think of, I’m showing you how I’m figuring this out in real time. If it serves you, amazing, if not no problem. Maybe someone else is for you, but other people refer to me as an expert and TubeBuddy is giving me money. And I know the bandwidth is bad or the audio microphone thing broke for a moment. And you know, I think the thing is, when you have the ability to work past that, figure out the problems and keep truckin,it can be a really great experience and it allows you to connect with an audience in a way that you don’t get in video. But yeah, at the end of the day, James, unfortunately there’s a lot of piss-poor content.
“Just have a point.”
James: Yeah. I think you’ve got right to it. I think whatever medium whether it’s live, pre-recorded, whatever platform, it’s like, just have a point. Think about the customer and deal with it. I actually saw, you know how Facebook flashes up your. previous memories? I just saw a live video I made a year ago. It could possibly be the last live video I made, but it was when there was this massive surf rolling through out the front here, like the size of a small house. And I was just filming people catching waves. That’s what I think it was designed for, was to share something that you’re experiencing that you very rarely would see, that you might want to share with other people.
And that was a good one, and the other one before that on a Periscope. Do you remember that, Periscope? It was a New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney one year. So I haven’t been hitting the live too much, but I think people are overdoing it and I really like the concept of a channel where you can bake up what you want, put some thought into it, have good good ideas, use your Tube Ritual checklist, get out there and get some subscribers and build your business up, whatever business you’re in.
Brian, it’s been really good having you back.
Brian: Yeah. James, thanks for having me. It was a pleasure to connect last summer and to do Episode number One and Two and this has been just as much fun and an honour to spend time with you. So thank you for having me. I do appreciate it.
James: There you go. So you’ve been listening to SuperFastBusiness.com with Brian G. Johnson, our special guest, talking about YouTube video marketing tips. This is a three-part series. By all means, go back and listen to Episode 492 and 499 on SuperFastBusiness. You want to see how this episode came about, the backstory, so to speak. If you enjoy the show go ahead and leave a ratings in the iTunes marketplace. It would be really appreciated. And I’ll catch up with you next time.
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