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GOLD! Creating a Thriving Personal Brand w/ YouTube - A Journal & A Personal Guide.

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danyk

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Let's get this started with a basic introduction.

Hi, I'm James. 19 y/o from the UK, chose not to go university since there wasn't any subject I wanted to study that would suit my direction in life. The big goal is to be semi-retired by 30, but that's okay if I don't get there, I'm focusing on the process and journey above all else.

I recently started up my new business which if you are a FLF Insider, you can find my thread here:

So then, what's this about a personal brand & a YouTube channel?
I came to a realisation that I wish I had come to a few years back: a personal brand is an incredibly powerful thing. Especially in business, and especially if you are trying to go fastlane.

With just 100 loyal fans you can do so much to promote your other side hustles, and/or monetise that audience.

This realisation drove me to conclude that I wanted to start building up my own personal brand - right now, with no hesitation, and do my absolute best to get this thing up and running because let's all be clear here: the odds are not in my favour. There are so many channels out there, that it's damn near impossible to be seen amongst the crowd...
or is it?

A Guide as well as Documentation

The purpose of this thread is to not only document my process and journey, but also provide a guide for what is working/isn't working and how you can learn from whatever mistakes I make.

Provide value above all else, as always.

Keeping it Honest and Real
Like in my Insiders thread, I want to be entirely transparent with everyone and keep it as real & as honest as I can.

If one day I decide to just quit the whole thing I will document it on here. I'm in this till I either succeed, pivot, or quit, and you'll have a clear picture on where this process will take me, and where I may have gone wrong/gone right.

What's Been Done So Far...
I already have my channel up and running, and as a matter of fact, you can check out my first video here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg6CGNoynDI


How the First Video Went.
Keeping up with the theme of transparency: I was very nervous when recording and releasing this video.

I've done a lot of acting throughout my childhood - teenage years, and making this video was more nerve wrecking to me than any audition that I've done in the past. But this is the first barrier that people will face if you're trying to make it on this platform: THE FEAR OF POSTING YOUR FIRST VIDEO.

Once I posted that video, I felt a slight sense of relief. I sent a few messages out to some close friends who I had told I was starting this channel up, and they went on to watch it. And a few of them shared the video on their Instagram stories.

Let me be clear here: I was too nervous to post this video on my social media. That's why I just DM'd some friends, in the hopes that I can land maybe 80 views on the video to get me started off.

But once some of these friends posted it to their story something amazing happened: other people started sharing it on their story. Some of these people were friends, but there were also some that I hadn't spoken to or seen in a while that shared it. I even had some really kind messages about how they found the video really helpful and well done.

I really didn't think it was a great video at first. I thought it was bad, and kinda boring because the nerves really stopped me from bringing the energy to the screen that I usually could do with acting. My only intention was to post the first video no matter how nervous I felt about it.

After I felt that positive feedback, I finally made the leap and posted it to my own socials. In total the video sits at around 260 views, 32 likes, and 8 comments. I was more than impressed by that as a debut video - I genuinely didn't think it would surpass 100. I earned about 35 subscribers in total from that video, and a few new followers on my Instagram.

The Goals.
My goal isn't really to be 'internet famous' or anything like that. It's simply to get a personal brand started up, have my name put out there, share some genuine advice from someone who is passionate about entrepreneurship, and self development (no 'woo-woo' selling my $1500+ course shit), and see where it goes.

If you're looking for some specific targeted goals, here's my main objective for the year:
Reach 1,000 subscribers by 2021.

That's all. For now. The reason why I say this is that the subscriber count is really just a vanity metric. I'm more interested in improving things like watch time, and Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - y'know, the metrics that actually count. But until I have some data from my own videos to work off, I can't set those targets as of right now.

My aim is to post once a week. Although it may be once every two weeks every so often. Truth is, I'm balancing three things here: the channel is one thing, the full time job is another, and my other side hustle which I've been working super hard on is the third. Ideally, the latter two are working hand-in-hand, but that doesn't deviate from the fact that my full time job as an estate agent has some ungodly hours that can really eat into free time.

But again, all will be documented here.

Conclusion
That's about it for now.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me them.

And most importantly: ALL feedback is appreciated, the good, the bad, the ugly. All of it.

Have a wonderful weekend folks

I was wondering when I would see one of your posts on here. I watched a video of yours on youtube and wondered to your website. I found MJ DeMarco's books from there and read them in a couple of weeks. Thank you ETERNALLY for pursuing your dreams and showing others the possibilities of living an unscripted life. Will definitely be following! All the best and God bless. :)
 

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StarVoyager

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Another idea but you'd have to get it out a month before the US elections...How the people in the UK view Trump/Biden or something along that vein. Not quite about money, except how it might impact people in the UK if either one wins.

OR you could do two...

Deep Dive into Donald Trump and how he went from reality TV billionaire to US Pres.

Deep Dive into Joe Biden and what he has or hasn't done in the 47 years he's been in office.

Again, depending on the spin you want to put on it.

I've considered doing these myself but every time I think about having to research any politician I throw up a little. So I decided to stay away.
 

EVMaso

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Another idea but you'd have to get it out a month before the US elections...How the people in the UK view Trump/Biden or something along that vein. Not quite about money, except how it might impact people in the UK if either one wins.

OR you could do two...

Deep Dive into Donald Trump and how he went from reality TV billionaire to US Pres.

Deep Dive into Joe Biden and what he has or hasn't done in the 47 years he's been in office.

Again, depending on the spin you want to put on it.

I've considered doing these myself but every time I think about having to research any politician I throw up a little. So I decided to stay away.

Political content is touchy on YouTube. If YTs own algos don't restrict your video because of keywords, you will get reported from people who are upset from your vids depending on your take/spin.

You can get great success doing political content, but it's a minefield.
 
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Valier

Valier

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Another idea but you'd have to get it out a month before the US elections...How the people in the UK view Trump/Biden or something along that vein. Not quite about money, except how it might impact people in the UK if either one wins.

OR you could do two...

Deep Dive into Donald Trump and how he went from reality TV billionaire to US Pres.

Deep Dive into Joe Biden and what he has or hasn't done in the 47 years he's been in office.

Again, depending on the spin you want to put on it.

I've considered doing these myself but every time I think about having to research any politician I throw up a little. So I decided to stay away.
Ahh, politics is definitely something I'd like to steer away from for the most part on my channel.

Regardless of which side you lean, it always seems to divide people up.

Although I do think I could do either of those video ideas/both of them in a non-opinionated, matter-of-fact sort of way, I think I'd just rather opt out of doing a political video for the time being.
 

Vigilante

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If you are a Fastlane Forum insider, be sure to attend the Insider Only call tomorrow (Saturday) with @Valier - details just posted on the INSIDE
 

Mutant

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As mentioned earlier in the thread, the Tyler1 video was far too different, and unlike any of the other videos that I had already built an audience around (first mistake). It was also a very niche topic, without as much interest around the subject as my other videos (second mistake).
I honestly don't see it as that different. The topic of Tyler1 may be niche, but the topic of transforming a personal brand seems to fit right into the business/entrepreneur/money stuff you've done previously - at least to me.


Also, I don't care that I hadn't heard of Tyler1. I think a lot of documentary fans* are used to watching docs where the exact subject is previously unknown to them - it's more about the stories that be drawn out of them. Netflix aren't currently pushing me a documentary on really fast Rubik's Cubers because they think I'm one of millions upon millions of Rubik's Cube fans who are going to race to see their favourite speed cubers on screen. To me your trailer demonstrated there was something (applicable to my interest in business) to be learned from Tyler1's story. And I did indeed learn!

I also wonder if any loss in initial rush of numbers is to do with the length - whereas some of your videos I've clicked straight into from the link, this one instead I added to my mental watch list for later.

I haven't watched it because I view the material as different from just some standard video.

It's not something I watch on my phone or sit at my desk to watch, it's more like I Airplay it to my Big screen, sit on the couch, and grab a bag of popcorn...
Like MJ, it was switched in my mind from "a quick youtube video" to "something I'd watch during a time when I would normally settle down to watch a Netflix documentary" so it took me a moment to get around to.


*to be fair, your YouTube probably has more people there for the exact subjects you're covering than their general love of documentaries - I just happen to be both.
 

stefanoesposito

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 8, 2019
30
20
45
Naples, Italy
Let's get this started with a basic introduction.

Hi, I'm James. 19 y/o from the UK, chose not to go university since there wasn't any subject I wanted to study that would suit my direction in life. The big goal is to be semi-retired by 30, but that's okay if I don't get there, I'm focusing on the process and journey above all else.

I recently started up my new business which if you are a FLF Insider, you can find my thread here:

So then, what's this about a personal brand & a YouTube channel?
I came to a realisation that I wish I had come to a few years back: a personal brand is an incredibly powerful thing. Especially in business, and especially if you are trying to go fastlane.

With just 100 loyal fans you can do so much to promote your other side hustles, and/or monetise that audience.

This realisation drove me to conclude that I wanted to start building up my own personal brand - right now, with no hesitation, and do my absolute best to get this thing up and running because let's all be clear here: the odds are not in my favour. There are so many channels out there, that it's damn near impossible to be seen amongst the crowd...
or is it?

A Guide as well as Documentation

The purpose of this thread is to not only document my process and journey, but also provide a guide for what is working/isn't working and how you can learn from whatever mistakes I make.

Provide value above all else, as always.

Keeping it Honest and Real
Like in my Insiders thread, I want to be entirely transparent with everyone and keep it as real & as honest as I can.

If one day I decide to just quit the whole thing I will document it on here. I'm in this till I either succeed, pivot, or quit, and you'll have a clear picture on where this process will take me, and where I may have gone wrong/gone right.

What's Been Done So Far...
I already have my channel up and running, and as a matter of fact, you can check out my first video here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg6CGNoynDI


How the First Video Went.
Keeping up with the theme of transparency: I was very nervous when recording and releasing this video.

I've done a lot of acting throughout my childhood - teenage years, and making this video was more nerve wrecking to me than any audition that I've done in the past. But this is the first barrier that people will face if you're trying to make it on this platform: THE FEAR OF POSTING YOUR FIRST VIDEO.

Once I posted that video, I felt a slight sense of relief. I sent a few messages out to some close friends who I had told I was starting this channel up, and they went on to watch it. And a few of them shared the video on their Instagram stories.

Let me be clear here: I was too nervous to post this video on my social media. That's why I just DM'd some friends, in the hopes that I can land maybe 80 views on the video to get me started off.

But once some of these friends posted it to their story something amazing happened: other people started sharing it on their story. Some of these people were friends, but there were also some that I hadn't spoken to or seen in a while that shared it. I even had some really kind messages about how they found the video really helpful and well done.

I really didn't think it was a great video at first. I thought it was bad, and kinda boring because the nerves really stopped me from bringing the energy to the screen that I usually could do with acting. My only intention was to post the first video no matter how nervous I felt about it.

After I felt that positive feedback, I finally made the leap and posted it to my own socials. In total the video sits at around 260 views, 32 likes, and 8 comments. I was more than impressed by that as a debut video - I genuinely didn't think it would surpass 100. I earned about 35 subscribers in total from that video, and a few new followers on my Instagram.

The Goals.
My goal isn't really to be 'internet famous' or anything like that. It's simply to get a personal brand started up, have my name put out there, share some genuine advice from someone who is passionate about entrepreneurship, and self development (no 'woo-woo' selling my $1500+ course shit), and see where it goes.

If you're looking for some specific targeted goals, here's my main objective for the year:
Reach 1,000 subscribers by 2021.

That's all. For now. The reason why I say this is that the subscriber count is really just a vanity metric. I'm more interested in improving things like watch time, and Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - y'know, the metrics that actually count. But until I have some data from my own videos to work off, I can't set those targets as of right now.

My aim is to post once a week. Although it may be once every two weeks every so often. Truth is, I'm balancing three things here: the channel is one thing, the full time job is another, and my other side hustle which I've been working super hard on is the third. Ideally, the latter two are working hand-in-hand, but that doesn't deviate from the fact that my full time job as an estate agent has some ungodly hours that can really eat into free time.

But again, all will be documented here.

Conclusion
That's about it for now.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me them.

And most importantly: ALL feedback is appreciated, the good, the bad, the ugly. All of it.

Have a wonderful weekend folks
Dear @Valier, thank you for sharing your YouTube journey with us!

You have a unique talent, you are a great Documentary FilmMaker, and your skill is truly out of the ordinary!
In addition, you also demonstrate a profound maturity in the way you treat the themes you have chosen, and this aspect is not at all obvious given that you are only 19 years old! Chapeau!

As for the YT algorithm, in my opinion you don't have to worry too much, you have shown a lot in these months and you have a fantastic fanbase!

Anyway, I want to make 2 considerations about your proceeding.

# 1 - I believe that the common thread that unites your 3 most successful videos is to dispel myths and stereotypes. I believe you need to focus your channel on this angle.

Here are the 3 myths you debunked:

Fake gurus: "As I progress through this guru's upselling program I will become rich"

Self help: "With the next book / seminar I will get enlightened / become realized / become peaceful, etc."

Money: "To get rich I have to get a good job and work hard"

# 2 - As for a future paid course, in my opinion, in addition to a course on growth on YouTube, you should develop an elaborate course, a Masterclass-like top class course on becoming documentary filmmakers.

That's what you are, and after viewing your videos, I imagine the perceived value of this course is no less than $2,000
The course program could contain all aspects "from zero to hero":
- Research
- Scripting
- Filming
- How to's
- etc
And finally also a chapter on SEO with a particular focus on YouTube. Here you could refer to the other course entirely dedicated on YouTube growth.

I've been watching videos on YT for quite a few years now, and I really don't remember seeing videos that match your quality!

Congratulations again and continue with your work!

P.S .: At the end of June I opened Songwryte, a YouTube channel on Songwriting tips and techniques, it was something I've wanted to do for years, and I would be super happy if I only could get even one tenth of your success! :p
 
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Valier

Valier

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Dear @Valier, thank you for sharing your YouTube journey with us!

You have a unique talent, you are a great Documentary FilmMaker, and your skill is truly out of the ordinary!
In addition, you also demonstrate a profound maturity in the way you treat the themes you have chosen, and this aspect is not at all obvious given that you are only 19 years old! Chapeau!

As for the YT algorithm, in my opinion you don't have to worry too much, you have shown a lot in these months and you have a fantastic fanbase!

Anyway, I want to make 2 considerations about your proceeding.

# 1 - I believe that the common thread that unites your 3 most successful videos is to dispel myths and stereotypes. I believe you need to focus your channel on this angle.

Here are the 3 myths you debunked:

Fake gurus: "As I progress through this guru's upselling program I will become rich"

Self help: "With the next book / seminar I will get enlightened / become realized / become peaceful, etc."

Money: "To get rich I have to get a good job and work hard"

# 2 - As for a future paid course, in my opinion, in addition to a course on growth on YouTube, you should develop an elaborate course, a Masterclass-like top class course on becoming documentary filmmakers.

That's what you are, and after viewing your videos, I imagine the perceived value of this course is no less than $2,000
The course program could contain all aspects "from zero to hero":
- Research
- Scripting
- Filming
- How to's
- etc
And finally also a chapter on SEO with a particular focus on YouTube. Here you could refer to the other course entirely dedicated on YouTube growth.

I've been watching videos on YT for quite a few years now, and I really don't remember seeing videos that match your quality!

Congratulations again and continue with your work!

P.S .: At the end of June I opened Songwryte, a YouTube channel on Songwriting tips and techniques, it was something I've wanted to do for years, and I would be super happy if I only could get even one tenth of your success! :p
Thanks for these suggestions and the kind words, friend!

# 1 - I believe that the common thread that unites your 3 most successful videos is to dispel myths and stereotypes. I believe you need to focus your channel on this angle.
This is something that I've come to realise as well, and I think it may be the best direction for the channel too.

# 2 - As for a future paid course, in my opinion, in addition to a course on growth on YouTube, you should develop an elaborate course, a Masterclass-like top class course on becoming documentary filmmakers.
This is a great idea! Although I wouldn't consider myself a "documentary filmmaker" per-say, or at least nowhere near a qualified one.

I think my knowledge and skills translate into being able to teach video editing, storytelling, narration, etc which can all be combined into a single course.

Although I wouldn't ever price it at anything in the thousands. In my opinion that seems excessive, and is another reason for why I dislike "fake gurus", because charging thousands for an info product when plenty of information can be accessed online for cheaper doesn't feel right for me.

I've always seen the benefit of a course as being organised information coming from one source that has done the research and has the skills to condense and deliver that knowledge in a single package. To me that could be worth hundreds, but steering in the thousands range wouldn't make me comfortable.
 

Peter Kay

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2019
5
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If you're looking for some specific targeted goals, here's my main objective for the year:
Reach 1,000 subscribers by 2021.
I just read the entire thread from Page 1 to Page 10, your journey is mindblowing!!

Your videos "The Truth About Money" and "The Rise Of fake Gurus'' severally appeared to my YT as recommended but it took me a couple of days to click on one.

The day i did click on the "The Truth about money" video, i watched every single video that was on your channel. At that time of watching your videos you were of a few thousands of subs I saw your channel blow up with subs in just a few days. (i saw this happen because I rewatched your videos times haha).
Landing on this thread here and realizing that your initial set goal was 1,000 subs by 2021 but you surpassed it more 370 times is extremely mindblowing.

Your journey here is extremely fascinating and inspiring. Thank you for being an inspiration to many here. Keep up the great things

Cheers to an incredible journey keep moving.
 

Fox

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@Valier any issues with copyrighted content so far?

34885

I made a video showing some of the "Wolf of Wall Street" and it got flagged for using content from the film. It is just a few parts only around 4-5 seconds each.

I can dispute it but it requires you clicking a box that says your whole channel can be removed (possibly) if the dispute is incorrect (from my side).

Any thoughts/experience with this?

It is quite annoying since it just took off and was getting over 10,000 views a month.

I don't know how these movie review channels get away with it - maybe they get direct permission?
 
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Valier

Valier

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@Valier any issues with copyrighted content so far?

View attachment 34885

I made a video showing some of the "Wolf of Wall Street" and it got flagged for using content from the film. It is just a few parts only around 4-5 seconds each.

I can dispute it but it requires you clicking a box that says your whole channel can be removed (possibly) if the dispute is incorrect (from my side).

Any thoughts/experience with this?

It is quite annoying since it just took off and was getting over 10,000 views a month.

I don't know how these movie review channels get away with it - maybe they get direct permission?
Still no issues with copyright so far (although I'm steering away from using movie scenes in future videos).

It may be helpful if you send me a link to the video so I can gather more context on how it was used.

From what you've described, it seems like fair use to me. YouTube's algorithm has most likely detected the scene because there has been 0 alterations to the audio and video, and consequently flagged it since it cannot tell whether it was done in fair use or not.
 

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Fox

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Still no issues with copyright so far (although I'm steering away from using movie scenes in future videos).

It may be helpful if you send me a link to the video so I can gather more context on how it was used.

From what you've described, it seems like fair use to me. YouTube's algorithm has most likely detected the scene because there has been 0 alterations to the audio and video, and consequently flagged it since it cannot tell whether it was done in fair use or not.
It might not work in your region atm...
View: https://youtu.be/Ep-Tna3wU6c


You think dispute it?
 
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Valier

Valier

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It might not work in your region atm...
View: https://youtu.be/Ep-Tna3wU6c


You think dispute it?
I personally would. I really don't think YouTube will take down your channel if you're not given the benefit of the doubt.

Unfortunately I can't see the video myself, but it may be worth having a look online to double-check that it does comply with fair use laws.
 

dario

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Nov 14, 2012
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Congrats on your success :smile:

Maybe you're not using anymore, but just for your information, I saw quidemy.com is not loading.
 

stefanoesposito

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Naples, Italy
I think my knowledge and skills translate into being able to teach video editing, storytelling, narration, etc which can all be combined into a single course.
You could teach how people can get your same results with the same means you have, or had when you started.

I understand that being behind a camera and being the director is something different, and BTW if you'd learn that too… well, you could make actual movies James! You HAVE it, man! Keep it on!

P.S.: And if, by the time you become a real director, you need songs or soundtracks, keep me in mind! :cool::p
 
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