James: James Schramko here, SuperFastBusiness.com, chatting with Kan from SocialWave.com.au. Hello, Kan.
Kan: Hi, James.
James: Kan, you been helping me out with some tips on YouTube, and one of the things that I’m interested about is subscriber numbers. I think we have five or 6000 subscribers at the moment, which is not very many, because a lot of the people I coach have reached over 100,000 subscribers. And I’m just wondering, should I be deeply concerned about that? Is it something that needs fixing, and how would I go about fixing it, if it does?
Kan: I don’t think you necessarily need to have a huge subscriber count in order for it to give you the business outcomes you want, if that’s what you’re after, as well. We’ve got clients who have very similar number of subscribers as you and they’re absolutely killing it. They’re picking up hundreds of leads every single month for their business as well. I do see it as a bit of a vanity metric, but it also is a bit of a gauge or a barometer for businesses to understand where they’re at, and how interesting their content is. For example, if you have a lot of videos and very little subscribers, it probably means that your videos aren’t keeping people very sticky, and they don’t want to see more of it. So that’s something to take into consideration.
James: Should I delete old or unwatched videos or leave them there?
Kan: That’s a good question. I would say it is a case-by-case situation. So if, for example, you want to be positioned as… let’s take, for example, someone who’s a lawyer, and they want to be known for a specific area of law, and you previously published content about cats. Completely irrelevant. I would say yes.
James: This is why I didn’t build my personal channel, still saving my cat video content for some other day.
Kan: Absolutely. In that case, just yes, take them down or get them unlisted. But look, a lot of the time, it’s because maybe the first round of your videos, you were talking about the same topics, and it wasn’t great. I’d keep those there. That’s totally okay, as well. But definitely, I would say yeah, if it’s completely irrelevant, definitely get rid of it.
James: Okay, that’s a good one to know. All right. And what’s the deal when you hit 100,000? This seems like YouTube sends you out a plaque or when you hit a million, you get a special thing. I’ve got clients who have hit a million subscribers, and they’re really good at YouTube, like REALLY good, and some of them must be damn close, I think. So I’ve seen them in game markets, I’ve seen them in music education, I’ve seen them in sort of online design-type markets… There must be some markets that are just super high volume, and the noise-to-signal ratio may not be the same as a business like mine, which is like, pretty dense content. And I don’t think I’m ever going to be mass market. And so I feel a little bit of comfort in that our numbers are small.
But what’s so attractive about these plaques, if it isn’t just vanity metrics? Is there other benefits? Do they come into some special club? Or do they present at events? Or do they get promoted by YouTube? Are there other reasons why you might want it?
Kan: Yeah, I mean, that magical, sort of milestone where, you know, if you hit 100k, or 500k, or a million subscribers, YouTube sends you that little plaque. Could be the silver play button, or the golden play button, which is the one that everyone wants. But I think it’s YouTube’s way of just gamifying things and keeping people really engaged as creators on the platform as well. Because at the end of the day, it benefits YouTube as well, because if they create more videos, then more people stay on YouTube, and more people watch videos as well. So it’s in YouTube’s best interest.
But to answer your question about the other aspects, I’ve seen creators who have had very, you know, relatively small subscribers, we’re talking maybe in the 10s of 1000s, who have been invited to YouTube events as well, partly because maybe they’ve got some very recent traction, or there was a particular series of videos that have done very, very well, in proportion to the number of subscribers they’ve got. I’ve seen that happen as well where someone’s gotten hundreds of 1000s of views on a video, but only had like, less than 10,000 subscribers. So YouTube tends to invite you out to sort of these events to network, although I think COVID has put a damper on that, and it’s gone a bit more virtual. And they tend to do things a bit more regionally as well.
So if you’re an Australian-based creator, you’re probably doing a lot of Australian-based stuff. If you’re in the travel space, then maybe you’d get invited over to – I’ve seen people get invited over to say, Tokyo and the Japanese travel bureau gets you to do a whole series of videos. So there are opportunities there to be able to do that. And it does have a bit to do with your subscriber count. That’s certainly one area that they consider.
James: If you’re starting out and you had a small business, would you recommend someone set up their YouTube account as a person or as a business channel?
Kan: I’d set it up as a person, I think that’s the best place to start. I think YouTube tends to connect with individuals as opposed to company brands.
There was a really interesting study recently, it was a study about a company called The Verge. So anyone who watches this, they’re a big media company, lots of different presenters and personalities, and then trying to grow their channel versus an individual growing their channel, it was incredibly hard because the audience didn’t connect very well. They were seeing different people on screen, as opposed to you know, personal brands who tend to be just the one presenter or the one person in front of camera. And these channels traditionally perform extremely, extremely well.
Now, having said that, that’s more of sort of the influencer pathway, but if you’ve got a business I’d still recommend you do that. Partly because people build a connection with you. And then in turn if down the track you wanted to diversify, introduce new personalities, you could slowly roll that in, which is what a lot of our clients are doing.
James: It’s an age-old question. Thank you Kan. It gives cause for contemplation and appreciate your time and sharing tips here about subscribers for YouTube.
Kan: No problems, thank you, James.
James: Kan there from SocialWave.com.au. Good man.
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