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GOLD! Ecom Youtube Challenge - Building a channel with 120 videos in 120 days

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Phikey

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Ok I've been planning this challenge for the last 3 weeks and I'm finally doing it. @Fox pointed me in the right direction with a course on Youtube SEO and now I'm taking the dive.

Here's a summary of it before I get into the details:
  • Post a piece of content every single day for 120 days (in my case a Youtube video)
  • Help as many people as much as possible and don't hold back on the value
  • Answer every single comment/question
  • Systemize this as much as possible so my team take care of everything and I just need to finish the scripts and hit record on my camera
What is this?

It's a content creation challenge for myself where I am making 120 videos in 120 days that provide insane value to my audience. I'm not pitching some $3997 course with an automated webinar funnel, this is real value and people can take it and go execute everything with all the learnings I provide.

Why am I doing this?

To challenge my self-limiting beliefs and to build a personal brand with longevity.

I have never been a content creator. I've always had this self-limiting belief that I'm the guy behind the scenes that helps other people become successful and I just collect the income while I do this. I don't write blogs. I don't make videos. I always thought it would take too much time and I'm better off chasing short-term deals than investing in something that might pay off in 6-12+ months.
I also never wanted to be associated with the shady people in my niche. There's a lot of fake gurus showing off lambos, fat stacks and convincing poor sheep to spend $2k on terrible courses filled with hot air. Many doctor their screenshots and convince young-hopefuls to part with large sums of cash in the hopes of achieving the same results in unreasonable spaces of time.
People are now waking up to the Fake Gurus and are looking for some answers. They're looking for real advice that actually helps. I'm going to give the people what they want and I'm not going to charge a cent for it.

What are the videos about?

Ecommerce marketing with everything you need to build your store. Just value, value, value. Content that people pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for but I'm giving it away all for free. Want to know how to set up all your email marketing flows in Klaviyo? I'll have my youtube playlist with the strategy, templates and a walkthrough of exactly how to set them up. Want to know how to set up profitable and scalable Google Shopping campaigns? It's all right there, in the Google Shopping playlist on my channel.

Why would I do this for free and not sell a course?

The more people I help, the more potential people that need my main business.
I'm helping beginners grow into competent Ecom store owners. If I'm the guy that's provided an insane level of value while they were learning the ropes then who's going to stand out when they need to free up their time and hand off their media buying in 1-3 years?
So, it's not 100% selfless here. Nothing is. But I have a different angle to many of the fake gurus because I'm not trying to make cash from courses on the front-end. It's a long-term game for me to build a brand that helps people so much that they'll come back (or tell people about my stuff) when they actually need my help. We love @Andy Black here in the FTF. He provides insane value and when those people have a friend that needs help on their Adwords, who do they recommend? Andy has put in the hard work, provided value and people trust him for that. I'm sure he enjoys it too, which is something I'm starting to do with this channel!

What authority do I have to teach this stuff?

I've grown several 7 figure stores. I helped my first client get their store online back in 2013. I used to manage some local markets in Sydney, Australia and I got tight with the store-holders. I learned their fears, frustrations, needs and wants. I helped my first store-holder get their clothing store online (onto Woocommerce) and designed and built everything myself (even borrowed my friends camera and took all the product photos!). Since then, I've been helping more business owners with their digital marketing and it's only in the last 3 years that I've honed in on Ecommerce and building a team that's really good at helping them scale. We've helped several stores scale to mid to high 7 figures with our marketing work and recently purchased and started growing our own store. I'm documenting the whole process on my channel as well. I was going to just document it here in the insiders section but after thinking about this challenge I want to add it in here and provide the strategy to people watching my channel.

Why 120 days?

Doing it daily because I'll learn fast and fail faster. My first videos are going to suck. I'm still working out the camera, lighting, audio setup. As well as getting the script and editing process perfected. I think the first 30-100 videos are going to suck bad and I'd rather learn quickly at the start and get comfortable in front of the camera.
I've also been studying other channels and it looks like that right around the 100 video mark, channels really start to get some traction with Youtube's algorithm. That is, with my educational niche and targeting longer-tail keywords. Some channels can do well with a few videos but often they're focused on entertainment with higher production value. Miles Beckler (another Youtuber) started the same challenge a few years ago and he reported his results every month.

As part of my research, I graphed out his performance compared to the number of videos he made. Check out these graphs:
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While he was posting daily and regularly for the first 120 days, his subscribers (and views were similar) shot off after 4-5 months. They increased exponentially regardless of his video output. He actually slowed down his video making output after the first 4 months and has seen an exponential increase in subscribers since. Now sitting at 134k subscribers. This guy is living proof. He's talked about this challenge a lot and inspired others to do the same.

Won't this take a lot of time?

Yep, but time is something I have in plentiful supply right now. My agency business is largely systemised and my team do everything. I just check in once per day. My ecom store is managed by my team so I'm just checking in on it daily. I'm also in lock down so otherwise I'm just twiddling my thumbs. Why not make the most of these months and build a foundation that could last for years?

My first video?

Here it is

I'll be updating my progress here regularly as I execute. If you have any questions or advice, please have at it!
 

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Phikey

Phikey

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BIG MILESTONE - just got my first client from Youtube!! $1500 per month PPC client. He gave the verbal agreement and we're starting in 3 weeks.

He found me from Youtube Search and had consumed ALL my videos. The sales call didn't feel anything like a normal sales call for me. He was sold before the call, we just talked through the strategy. This is the power of content marketing. Trust and authority was built way before I even spoke to him.

He gave me some great feedback on the channel:
  • He said that I was very different from all the other youtubers in my niche.
  • He said that he could clearly tell that I knew my stuff and that I had REAL experience because I was showing real accounts and had a depth of knowledge that you can't get from just repeating what you read on a blog (he said some competitors do this).
  • He said that my marketing audits were the most helpful videos on my channel. The videos where I go deep into marketing accounts and talk through my recommendations.
  • His feedback was to do more videos about how to THINK like an expert ecom marketer. How to get the mindset so he could solve all the problems specific to his store, himself.
Current stats:
Subscribers: 212
Videos: 43 (been posting every day but just not in this thread)

I'm only at 212 subscribers and I'm getting a new contact form submission on my site every 2-3 days. Often it's requesting help on little problems and they're new stores (so not a qualified lead). I'll help them via email (not spending too much time doing this) but I'm waiting for the more qualified guys like the guy that's now a new client.
I can imagine that when I'm at 1k subs, or 10k+ it's going to be an incredible source of leads and traffic for my brand. I haven't thought about this too much as I've just been focused on getting good content out there.
 

Andy Black

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Friday night and I'm adding a product to the Google Merchant Center for a new client and the interface is different than I remembered.

So I go to Google (incognito), set the date range to be within the past month, and searched "how to add products to google merchant center".

Guess who's video showed up?

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Phikey

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Day 2, video 2!
Videos: 2
Subscribers: 43

I've been getting some great feedback from friends also in this space and the sort of content they want to learn. It seems that a lot of people in Ecom are tied up with Amazon and feel like they don't have control over their brand. They want to get their store over to a standalone platform and grow it separately from Amazon or eBay so they have more control over their list and the buying experience.
 

CountMonteCristo

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Hey man, first of all respect for the grind so far! You have a solid streak going on, keep it up!

Secondly, I have a few pointers if you don't mind (I’ve spent the last 1.5 years editing videos for multiple channels, all of them 500K+ subs)

People have praised the editing quality here, I have to disagree. I think it’s alright at best, and absolutely needs improvement if you want people to stick around.

So here are a few things that I think are hurting you big time:
  • The music is very loud. It’s distracting. You guys need to dial it waaay down. It’s an informational video, not a dance party. Especially when you switch to sharing your screen and your voice goes even quieter, the music overpowers everything and it’s very hard to concentrate on the info. Background music should only be as loud as to break the awkwardness of silence and/or overpower background noise. (You could also switch up the genre of music and have something more neutral or fitting to the topic.)
  • Same for the sound fx. Too loud. It should be more subtle.
  • Speaking of sound fx, too much. Adding a whip whoosh sound to every single cut not only accentuates the cuts, but it gets annoying real fast. Especially when that same whip whoosh is added to every graphic element too. Too freaking much. It’s annoying, distracting, and quite honestly screams “cheap overseas editors.”
  • I generally think you guys should keep everything more simple. Sound fx for the graphics is fine but totally not necessary. Even the zoom in-zoom out transitions (which intend to hide the cuts by looking like camera switches) are unnecessary and can get annoying if done too much. There’s nothing wrong with jump cuts, this is youtube, not some corporate documentary.
  • Now, I didn’t watch all your vids, but in the last one “How to get a Custom Domain for Ecommerce store” at 0:50 there are 2 takes left in (and both of them are illustrated with graphics lol) which is something to take up with your editor. I’m pretty sure it’s a language thing, they probably didn’t realize that it was the same thing twice, but in any case they should pay more attention to stuff like that.
  • Also, some of the effects are just unnecessary and distracting. Like that matrix number stuff at the IP address line at 1:00. I see the intent, it could be a fun gag, but without the sound and it should end at the end of the sentence, no need to let it run for another.
So, bottom line is: you get what you pay for when hiring cheap editors lol. It’s fine though, these should be easy fixes and actually requires less work from them. To recap here's what I'd have them do:
  • No sound fx, unless absolutely necessary for some gag (like the explosion) or an actual scene transition (like talking head to screen sharing) and never louder than your voice.
  • Jump cuts instead of zoom cuts.
  • Bring down the music by like 20db at least and maybe find something less dancy and more chill. You can really set the atmosphere with music (I mean have you seen @Valier's vids?!) so why EDM and not jazz or hiphop or classical?
And finally (this is where my technical expertise ends and I just give my opinion) I honestly think your thumbnails could be cleaner too.

They are high quality, but not very interesting and often very cluttered. They don't jump out on youtube. They look like generic guru thumbnails and most of them have so much text that I don't even want to start reading it. So personally when I see them at first glance here's what I think: "some ecom guy talking about setting up some complicated google whatever thingy" and I bet you that's most people's thinking too.

By far the cleanest looking one is the How to Build a Shopify Brand one. That's a banger, dude. I think you should strive for more of that clarity. Basically as little text as you can get a way with, and make sure people can read it and understand it in an instant.

Also, I think you could even drop the funny faces, because you're not a reaction channel and nobody knows who you are, so your face doesn't really add anything. I understand that this is a daily challenge and time is limited, however I'd encourage you to experiment with more creative stuff. Put yourself in the mindset of someone looking for your videos. What would grab their attention? A pile of money? A fancy car? An analytics graph? Some big bold words on a solid background? You could even do a search in your niche, take a screenshot of the top results and photoshop your thumbnail in there, see if it stands out or not. (Mr Beast does this all the time and he's doing all right.)

Anyways, I'll stop there, I feel like I'm just rambling now. I hope this helps and sorry if I come across as kind of a d*ck - I can get emotional about bad editing lol.

Best of luck dude, keep up the grind! I'll be watching! ;)
 
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Phikey

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NEW WIN!

Ok I logged into my analytics today and saw something really exciting:
One of my first videos is now starting to rank for the targeted keyword.
Here's the video amongst my other videos:
33457

202 views might not look like much but this is just in 1 week and just 1 video but it's standing out from the others posted around the same time. The 1st video, "Ecommerce Google Ads Audit - Shopify Supplement store", has 254 views but I'd say that's because I had it featured on my channel and a lot of people clicked it in this thread to check out what I was doing.

Here are the view analytics for the "How to Fix Disapproved Products" video:
33458

Youtube is now ranking this video in search and it's just been 1 week.
Most of my videos are keyword targeted - trying to solve a specific problem for my audience.

This screenshot here of my tags shows it's doing exactly what I planned!
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I'm ranking #1-#3 for my main terms!! I know it's just the first week but if this delivers 100-200 views per week, that's 10,000+ views per year. If I have 50-100+ videos on my channel with highly targeted keywords doing the same thing then that's a crazy amount of reach each month and year. I'm basically building a mini video-army that generates traffic perpetually, for free, for years to come (as long as the videos don't go out of date).

---
EDIT: I also know that this might be Youtube pushing my video out more to see if people like it. The views might keep coming indefinitely or they might be something short-lived. We'll see!
---

This thing is a marathon, not a sprint. Going to keep chipping away at it with the long-term view of 4-6 months of work here.

But another quick win is that I've received 4 leads for my marketing agency. That was the long-term goal but I didn't expect to get any leads or traction for the first 2-4 months so this was really encouraging.

Here's video 13 for day 13, another video audit of a google ads account.

I took a lot of the advice I received yesterday by a helpful commenter and I've been working on some new videos targeted specifically towards beginners in Ecommerce. I've already filmed 3 of them and they're now with my editors and will be pushed to the front of the publishing queue next week.
 

CountMonteCristo

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Something that I think people do really well is use their thumbnail and title like a dance.
Yeah, 100%. You only have so much space to "sell" your video that putting your title in the thumbnail is a waste of opportunity. The only purpose of your thumbnail is to stand out from the thumbnails next to it. No more, no less. Then, once you have a split second of people's attention, you can elaborate in your title, however, that too can be very open ended and vague, as long as it sparks curiosity and promises a good use of the viewer's time.

What I think is really interesting about people who go viral is they tend to think backwards about making videos. They start with the thumbnail and title, not the content. They don't go "what kind of video can I make" but first they think "what is the most outrageous, shocking, weird, impossible, provocative image or image-text combo I can make that would spark irresistible curiosity?" And only then they ask how that could fit into their niche or how that could be a video.
 
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Wow! Thanks @Andy Black.

Day 49 today
Subs: 246
Email subs: 83

Still posting each day:



My facebook funnel is still going and getting about signups per day at a CPL of $0.50 AUD which I think is really good. Time will tell if my targeting is on point and if these students are engaged with what I'm doing.

I met up with a friend yesterday that's creating content for artists to help them get signed and build their own following. He runs a record label here in Sydney. I showed him my content system and how I'm easily pumping out a video a day and it blew his mind. We're going to sit down and build a similar system for him over the coming weeks. I really think that content is the way - the way I've seen people engage with my brand has opened my eyes up to its power. The ability to automate the trust and authority building process with potential customers is insane.

For anyone lurking this thread, I recommend checking out this blog post here:
Why I build an engaged Audience First before starting my Company

I found this last week, it was posted here on the FLF in another thread. It's a lot of what I'm already doing and it makes so much sense. Find an audience that has a problem and then help solve that problem. Instead of trying to figure out the product first and then trying to figure out who to sell it to, find that audience, build trust, and then solve their problems.

I still haven't even decided what course I would sell to my small audience but I'm getting different subscribers asking for a Google Shopping course and an Ecom email marketing course. I think what I'll do next is to try to interview some of them to find out what specifically they want out of these courses. I'll also add a survey to my email autoresponder sequence so I can gather some more data about the big problems my audience are facing. The worst thing I could do is to spend weeks/months on a course that I think is really useful but totally misses the mark and doesn't help the people I'm trying to help.

Anyway, enough rambling. Thanks for the support so far guys! The feedback I've already received in this thread has been incredible and saved me so much time with getting my videos to a better point.
 
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Phikey

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Also I'd try to fit some entraitainment stuff here and there, like "24 H challenge: FROM ZERO TO SALES" etc.. like once a week something that potentially anyone would watch, to act as a catch, you know build some audience.
I love this! And that's the plan. Right now I'm targeting keywords to bring in tutorial/how to traffic and I'm going to have more entertaining binge-worthy content (that also helps people) on there so that when they do check out my channel they stay around and subscribe.

Awesome stuff. Definitely subbed!

A few observations:
  • You may want to clean up that title screen. I had to rewatch it 2-3 times to see what it was saying.
  • That key sound effect at the beginning feels like I'm getting stabbed in the brain
Q:

Are you familiar with WooComm + Variable products -> MC? I can't for the life of me get the variable products to show price properly to the crawler.
Thanks for the sub! Wow, really good advice. I'm really glad I posted this thread. Yep, I see it now - I'm going to fix up the title screen and get rid of the sound effects.

Let me look into that for a new video!!! Great feedback and I had no idea that was such a problem.

Good work. I watched this one but not the longer ones. Is 5 mins a good duration for them?

Personally, I prefer not having the swish noises as your logo comes in and comes out. It distracts from what you're saying.

You're doing a really good job speaking to camera and your pace is good. I was supposed to do videos like this so know how hard it is to write the script, read it and not fluff it, look at camera, be energetic, wave hands about but not too much. I bailed on it as it is damn hard work! And I don't want to have to be the guy on camera.
Thanks Andy! I think I'm getting better at speaking right at the camera which is good. I can see a clear difference in the videos from the first ones to the once I filmed this week (I've filmed 45 videos now and they're in the editing/schedule phase so that I'm well ahead with the challenge and I am just putting out videos one per day).
Yep, noted on the swish noises, I'll fix them up for future videos.

Man, so glad I posted this thread. I'm getting really quick feedback on my 'product' that would have taken months if I waited for people to comment within Youtube.
 
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Phikey

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Agree with Andy, do what Valier is doing.
Thanks for the feedback @daftypunk

I've been watching Valier's youtube thread and it is working really well for him. Youtube is loving his videos, they play so well to the algorithm and he's got a lot of traction, really fast. He's monetizing with ads and that's a fantastic strategy. My videos will never be monetized. I'm not trying to make money on the front end or get 1,000,000 subscribers or views on my videos. I'm focused on helping a smaller number of people with specific problems. I want to build up trust and create a very strong resource of how-tos and knowledge.

My goal is not the total number of eyeballs, that's not my success here. I'm very focused on helping a specific group. I'd much rather have 100 true fans that trust and want my expertise rather than 100,000 eyeballs that watch my videos for entertainment. Later I'll get into the entertainment videos and mix them in. It's going to be a balance.

Also, just watched one of your videos. Title is way too long- why not just "Grow your online store in 30 days"( or whatever the time period)
That's a general video and one I'll probably make later. The current titles are super targeted towards what people are looking for. It won't be thousands of people per video, but if I have 100 videos and they're each helping 500 people solve a particular problem then I've solved 50,000 problems and impacted A LOT of people in a very positive way.

It's 4 days in and I have 18 new subscribers. It doesn't sound like much but that's 18 people out there that saw a video and saw value out of subscribing and getting more content. That's mind blowing to me and I'm keen to see what happens over the next 116 days.
 

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I’m not a YouTube expert but I’ve heard that the YouTube algorithm is primarily based on watch duration and clicks per exposure. So while subscribing to someone to support their channel is well-intentioned, if you are presented with their videos in your feed and you don’t actually click them and watch them for the duration you are actually making the algorithm disfavor their videos.

If I’m completely off on that, please let me know.
That's correct. The only exception is when the person drops a new video, you'll probably see it in your freed. So if he's executing daily, he'll get a chance every day to show up in subscribers' feed, even if they rarely click.
 
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Phikey

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Well, not the "behind the scene guy" at all! Good stuff, keep it up!
Keen to learn more about setting up an e-commerce store, thanks for doing that.
Thanks! It definitely took some guts at the start but now it feels so natural to be in front of the camera. Comparing the videos I've filmed last week to my first ones is night and day. I feel like I've just levelled up my charisma like a video game. When on calls with prospects and the team, I find myself explaining concepts and ideas with much more clarity. I speak with more confidence and with more effect. To be honest, that side of it has made the whole project worth it already.

Day 24 Video 24

I've now got some true fans!! The feedback is looping back and I'm providing clear value.
33717
33718
33719
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A bunch of people asking for more help, getting me new video ideas, and thanking me for helping them on their journey.

One guy sought me out on all social media channels and is loving all the vids I'm putting out. It's a good sign!!

My latest video (video 24) is targeted towards the video that's generated me almost 500 views alone already. Same topic, similar problem. I launched it and it already has a few comments which is great for engagement. Give the people what they want!
 
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Ok it's day 31 and I've made a video reviewing the first 30 days of daily uploads.

I go into the number of subscribers, the views, watch time, all the analytics so you can see how much I've progressed so far.



I'll probably do something like this each month for the challenge.
 
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Phikey

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Day 46
Subs: 234

Now getting 10-15 signups to my free course every day. This is wild. I'm only spending $5-10 AUD per day on Facebook ads and I'm getting A LOT of interest. I think it's because my ad copy really talks to my target audience.

Right now I'm just building my email list as people sign up for this free course.

Here's the plan with this:
  • My free course (7 sections), teaches people how to create well-optimized product pages for their Ecom store
  • Throughout the course, I have a lot of my youtube videos embedded, so people are digesting my content in a useful way. It's part of how they learn with the course but they'll also get to know my brand, my content, and that I'm also on Youtube.
  • I also have a call to action at the start and end of the course for them to go check out my youtube channel and subscribe. Here I'll get a couple of people to come in from cold ads, get value out of the course, and in doing so they are introduced to my brand. They then go and consume all my other content and become a fan of what I'm teaching.
  • Once they sign up they'll also get emails from me. Because they signed up for my course, I'm going to put them on an email sequence that is very similar to the course. It adds a tonne of value over 2-3 weeks with lessons from within the free course.
  • After 2-3 weeks they will receive my standard email flow which has emails 3 times a week and it's all VALUE. I'm taking different videos I've made and making them into bite-sized email form. The goal here is to add more value to my audience and get them over to my youtube channel to watch the full video. This way I'm constantly feeding my youtube channel with highly-engaged fans that bump up my Youtube engagement rates (good for the algorithm).
I still haven't even thought about what I will sell these people. But I'm creating this beautiful, high-value ecosystem that feeds into itself so my audience are consuming my content, learning and improving their stores.

Anyway, that's the update for today. We're 1.5 months in and finally I feel like I'm starting to see a bit of an uptick in traction and engagement. This might pale in comparison for what's to come (I hope).
 
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Huge update, first client from Youtube just paid!

34325

$1500 USD retainer per month with a 3 month initial contract. This client is a huge ecom brand that has been around for 25 years. $60 million a year in revenue (across retail/wholesaling & Amazon) but they had never got their store on Google Shopping/Google Ads. They were using their searches on Youtube to find an expert that knew their stuff (and so they found me). The sales call wasn’t even a sales call. It felt like they had already decided to work with me and we were just talking through the details of what it would look like.

Very exciting that this thing has finally born fruit! Maybe a lot of people would be impatient by now. It’s day 61 and I was grinding for 3-4 weeks before my first video so it’s taken almost 3 months to get a client from this. 3 months is a long time to the first sale if you’re starting this from scratch, and you don’t have an existing business to fund it. The thing is, all the videos and assets I’ve created so far are done and now out there. They’re continuing to generate views and my average views per day across my channel is increasing every week (now at 300 views per day).

Other cool things that have happened:
  • Our pipedrive funnel has 12 leads in it, usually we have 3-4 at any one time.
  • We’re getting a new lead ever 2nd day now. Not all are qualified, a lot are beginners that need to be at a bigger point before they can work with us.
  • Had a call with another subscriber that wants to start with us but needs to make some adjustments to his site first. He said that no one else is teaching what I’m teaching on Youtube and it really grabbed his attention.
  • Had a call with another subscriber that is trying the alibaba express general store dropshipping route (I DO NOT recommend this at all) and I think I helped convince him to build a business that adds more value rather than just retail arbitrage (by building a brand with a great buying experience). On the call it was like he had never heard someone talk about Ecom like this before.. I feel like a lot of what I’m teaching is disruptive in this space (because it’s different from all the gurus) but I’m just teaching entrepreneurial principles that have worked for thousands of years. Find a group of people with a problem and then find a way to solve their problem. Super simple.
  • I’ve included all my content in my sales funnel. So when someone books a call on calendly (even if they come through a referral or upwork) then they receive reminders for the call as well as links to my youtube channel and free course. This has been HUGE - I’ve already had a call from upwork where that email had converted him into a MEGA FAN. Usually upwork calls are tough because I’m just another media buyer to them and so I need to REALLY prove myself. In this case, he’d gone through my free course and already gotten measurable results for his store. It was one of the first calls I’d ever had from Upwork where the prospect was sold on me and just wanted to work out the details. He still needs to make a few more changes to his store (converting it to shopify from clickfunnels) and we’ll start working with him in 2 weeks. One of his comments on the call “You should really charge for this course Sam”. So it achieved my goal of trying to provide insane value to the point where they wonder how great my paid services are.
  • What value did he get out of the free course? As part of my course I teach students to go and find their target audience around the web (forums, facebook groups, etc) and find out about their needs, pain points and language they use. He did just this and learned way more about who he was trying to sell to. He found out that he was using the wrong language to describe the product and their problems. He also found that his customers were actually more likely to buy the product for their children rather than for themselves. You can imagine how much this would change all the ad copy, website copy, etc.
  • My Facebook ads funnel is still going and getting 5-10 new signups to my course each day. I think this has helped my channel grow as well. I’m getting cold traffic to go through my free course. Within the free course I embed a lot of my youtube videos and also have a few CTAs (Call to action) to go checkout my youtube channel and subscribe. I see this is a safe way to generate paid traffic to my channel without tanking the engagement rates which can happen if you just drive traffic straight to youtube.
All good things and it feels like so much is happening all at once. After grinding my butt off (as you can see in this thread) it’s now getting more and more results each day (exponential growth).

Update on the stats for the channel:

Day: 61
Videos: 61
Subs: 339
Email list: 201

I made a 60 day update video here:

And some other videos I’ve launched since my last update:




Thanks so much for all the support here guys! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the great feedback in the initial pages. I’m half way through my 120 day challenge. I can’t imagine what results I’ll have by 120 days and beyond. If anyone else is considering starting a Youtube channel - I 100% recommend it, as long as you can be consistent and not give up within the first few months (very hard).

It’s a long-term game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Honestly, I am doing a sprint to 120 videos but I’m making sure I’m consistent throughout this sprint and then I’ll switch to 2-3 videos per week after that. With my filming/editing system I’ve created, I can just spend 1 day per month scripting and filming and then I’ll have all the content done for the whole month. When I get to that point I’ll likely do 1-2 weeks of recording and get all the videos done for a 6 month period and then hand it over to my content manager to handle so I can focus on the other parts of the business.
 

Flint

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Thanks for sharing @Phikey, learning from it. Great initiative, superb execution and solid work ethic.

Looks like you're targeting both >$10k/month profit businesses and aspiring/entry level ecommerce entrepreneurs. I'm in the latter category and I'm happy to share my insights and experience with your offering/experiment.

I really like the clear message and branding. Some keywords that spring to mind: personal, humble, positive, congruent, putting client's needs first, driven, knowledgeable, experienced, systematic, strategic, results focused. You build trust with your content and attitude.

I'm following your free course and I like how it places several of your videos in the systematic order of steps to follow. This helped with making your Youtube content more streamlined for me.

As someone who's new to ecommerce (and Fastlane in general), I found it difficult to follow your Youtube channel at first. Each video is a little snippet with details from a bigger picture which I wasn't familiar with. Where do I start? What do I need? Is this enough? Is this too far ahead of where I am now? Do I need to worry about it now? This may be overwhelming and create a feeling that something is missing.

I know you have playlists. But it was only the course that matched my end to end mind map of how to eat that elephant. I'm executing on it now and I'll report back in my progress thread. Good stuff.

You have plenty of other videos not embedded/streamlined in the free course, so I can picture them creating a similar flow perception issue. I assume you'll get there as you're executing a bigger plan, so that's fine. The detailed videos are great regardless as they answer many low level questions in digestible chunks. They build trust with your potential clients already running stores and experiencing issues you discuss.

The course itself is a great read and the story flows well, especially if you need to get your mindset right. I've spent enough time around various businesses to relate to the "need first" perspective, but it was a good reminder of how to approach the Why of your business. You don't stop there though and give actionable advice that can be implemented on the spot.

I've been using your course as a guiding material and referred to it several times to sanity check my progress to avoid action faking. When used like that, the story flow is a bit in the way of the actionable steps, so I created my own summary checklist. Perhaps it would be helpful to have such a checklist at the bottom of each lesson (or the whole course)?

As a side note, the checklist reminded me of @Andy Black's comment on teaching maths. Andy noticed some of his student's minds going blank after writing a formula/equation. They didn't know how to solve it/what the answer was, so they just starred at the page. Andy suggested writing the equals sign at the end... and this was often enough to prompt the brain to keep figuring it out further. I suppose this simple "keep going with what is to be done next even if you don't know the final answer" step removes the overwhelming feeling of burden of performance and getting stuck in your head. Works for me.

So I used this advice here too, and started working on little bits and pieces that I knew had to be done, even if trivial. Thanks to the checklist inspired by your course. The checklist keeps evolving but it's a very important tool keeping me on track.

I'm waiting for your video on pricing and reviewing various expenses related to running a business. As a newbie, I still need to figure out the viability of my idea. I'm probably unaware of various costs and margins that can make my idea sink or swim.

Keep going Sam. You have a new follower and you've built enough trust so that I know where to go when I reach the $10k per month profit mark.

P.S.
@Andy Black, many thanks for recommending this thread and bringing it to my attention.
 
Last edited:
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Phikey

Phikey

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Thanks for sharing @Phikey, learning from it. Great initiative, superb execution and solid work ethic.

Looks like you're targeting both >$10k/month profit businesses and aspiring/entry level ecommerce entrepreneurs. I'm in the latter category and I'm happy to share my insights and experience with your offering/experiment.

I really like the clear message and branding. Some keywords that spring to mind: personal, humble, positive, congruent, putting client's needs first, driven, knowledgeable, experienced, systematic, strategic, results focused. You build trust with your content and attitude.

I'm following your free course and I like how it places several of your videos in the systematic order of steps to follow. This helped with making your Youtube content more streamlined for me.

As someone who's new to ecommerce (and Fastlane in general), I found it difficult to follow your Youtube channel at first. Each video is a little snippet with details from a bigger picture which I wasn't familiar with. Where do I start? What do I need? Is this enough? Is this too far ahead of where I am now? Do I need to worry about it now? This may be overwhelming and create a feeling that something is missing.

I know you have playlists. But it was only the course that matched my end to end mind map of how to eat that elephant. I'm executing on it now and I'll report back in my progress thread. Good stuff.

You have plenty of other videos not embedded/streamlined in the free course, so I can picture them creating a similar flow perception issue. I assume you'll get there as you're executing a bigger plan, so that's fine. The detailed videos are great regardless as they answer many low level questions in digestible chunks. They build trust with your potential clients already running stores and experiencing issues you discuss.

The course itself is a great read and the story flows well, especially if you need to get your mindset right. I've spent enough time around various businesses to relate to the "need first" perspective, but it was a good reminder of how to approach the Why of your business. You don't stop there though and give actionable advice that can be implemented on the spot.

I've been using your course as a guiding material and referred to it several times to sanity check my progress to avoid action faking. When used like that, the story flow is a bit in the way of the actionable steps, so I created my own summary checklist. Perhaps it would be helpful to have such a checklist at the bottom of each lesson (or the whole course)?

As a side note, the checklist reminded me of @Andy Black's comment on teaching maths. Andy noticed some of his student's minds going blank after writing a formula/equation. They didn't know how to solve it/what the answer was, so they just starred at the page. Andy suggested writing the equals sign at the end... and this was often enough to prompt the brain to keep figuring it out further. I suppose this simple "keep going with what is to be done next even if you don't know the final answer" step removes the overwhelming feeling of burden of performance and getting stuck in your head. Works for me.

So I used this advice here too, and started working on little bits and pieces that I knew had to be done, even if trivial. Thanks to the checklist inspired by your course. The checklist keeps evolving but it's a very important tool keeping me on track.

I'm waiting for your video on pricing and reviewing various expenses related to running a business. As a newbie, I still need to figure out the viability of my idea. I'm probably unaware of various costs and margins that can make my idea sink or swim.

Keep going Sam. You have a new follower and you've built enough trust so that I know where to go when I reach the $10k per month profit mark.

P.S.
@Andy Black, many thanks for recommending this thread and bringing it to my attention.
Wow, thanks for the detailed feedback @Flint . I'm really glad my videos and my course have been useful for your journey.

Yes, I've had similar feedback as well - that a lot of my videos are all smaller parts of a bigger picture. I'll later be creating videos that help draw everything together. I like this approach because in the overview videos I can reference all these detailed videos I've created. This means that people can watch the video, and get a list of all the videos they need to go watch specific to their own problems.

I think what would REALLY help my viewers is for me to create a beginners playlist that has a few videos explaining everything from zero. It gives an overview so people can orient themselves before diving deep into all the technical stuff.

Wow! Amazing! I just created my first Skillshare course, so I know how much effort goes into what you are doing! Such a great idea with the challenge.
Thanks for the updates and sharing...wishing you best of luck and may the force/algorithm be with you :)
Thanks @Gepi !! Glad it was helpful!

I think this is what I did for folks in the forum regarding Google Ads. I dropped so much content that people started getting lost or overwhelmed. They then asked for a course to help them go through things faster, and in order. I think it's the best way to create a course - pump out so much free content that people could use that to get results, and some people would pay to have a condensed or curated version.
Yes, 100% @Andy Black. The course helps provide a clear pathway from A to B so that people can go through and make sure they don't miss any steps along the way. Did you have a process for creating your course? How did you know what to include? How did you know how to present it?

@Andy Black , any chance you could use some of your mod magic to remove the section on my first post in this thread where I was updating the number of subs and videos? It's frozen at 30 days because I couldn't edit that post any more after 1 month. I'm wondering if it's going to confuse some people now that I'm well ahead of those stats.

Status update:
Subs: 387 (this jumped by 15-20 overnight!!)
Day: 66
Videos: 66

Oh wow, it's growing quicker now. I was on 300 subs just last week..

My new video for today:
 
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Phikey

Phikey

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His video editing kicks a$$.
All thanks to my fabulous editors!!! I've created a system so that my VA does the research, I refine the script, I press record and film it.. and then I just hand it off to the editor who puts it all together and makes it look great.
 

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Phikey

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Is the research/scripting closely similar to writing an article? Or do you have different guidelines so it would sound and flow better on video?
It's pretty similar. The thing with videos is that it isn't like an article where you can slap someone's name on it and it's fine. If I'm filming the video then I need to be able to speak the content with authenticity. I need to really know the content well and be an expert. I want to build a relationship with my audience and if I just narrate a script that someone else wrote, it's never going to connect with the audience.
So my content manager basically researches the topic and compiles some info in a bullet point list. I can then go and write it out into a script using my own voice and my own knowledge. It cuts the script writing time in half but also produces quality content. I think it's the best of both worlds, in my situation.

Even for the research, I do need to point her in the right direction for where to go to find the info. It's definitely worth it though. We've been filming for 3 weeks and we have a mountain of videos in the queue, ready to be released.
 

lowtek

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Good luck with this, I look forward to your success. I don't think there's any way I could match the volume of output in my niche, but I definitely need to produce more content.
 

Andy Black

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Agree with Andy, do what Valier is doing.
Actually, I wasn't saying to not produce daily.

I see what @Phikey is doing, and I'd do the same - create lots of short videos that answer specific questions I see all the time.

I'd also spend a lot of time creating some evergreen high-level videos that may get traction more how Valier has (although unlikely as I don't have those insane skillz).




I also wrote this in Valier's thread:


So here's some of my take-aways from this thread:

There's often an argument of quality vs quantity.

Quality beats (lower quality) quantity, and this thread and MJ's books show that it's not even close.

However, there's threads in here (including mine) where I give myself a challenge to do something once a day for X number of days. I still stand by those challenges for a few reasons:
  1. They get you started.
  2. When it comes to creating talking head videos or recording podcasts, they help you get over yourself.
  3. You learn blazingly fast.
  4. You get into a habit and a rhythm.
  5. You develop and hone an end to end process.
  6. You can learn things when you make "mistakes" and do something different and get a different reaction.

Rapid production can improve quality.

There is a famous parable in the book Art and Fear that goes like this:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.



My personal strategy is to do both.

If I want to learn or get into something new, then I want to do it many times and I want to cycle through the process as rapidly as possible. I set myself a 30 day challenge with a goal to putting things out there daily for public scrutiny, but I'm not too bothered about growing a big following or getting "traction". My goal is to get better at it, and observe the market feedback to see what works or not. My goal is to come up with a process, and to "get" it.

It's a vastly different thing to do something ourselves rather than just read it in a book or follow someone else doing it.

Once I've done something a multiple times (and am even getting bored of it) then I have a much better vision of how it should be done best. Now I stop and think about how to make the best version I can.


Personal example: Creating little Google Ads videos on YouTube.

I created quite a videos on my personal YouTube channel. One suddenly got a lot of thankful feedback. I was surprised. I put ad spend behind it, and it got more views and likes, for tiny spend.

I've retired to my bat cave to mull over how to create the best version of that video I can, so it's super short and to the point (which is a common theme in the feedback I get from my videos and course).

I'll do it again and see if that can generate email signups. If it does then I have the bones of a replicable strategy.

I'll THEN create a brand new channel where I use those learnings from scratch... without the library of a few years worth of random videos.



So yeah, strive for perfection, but consider getting there sooner by getting out there sooner.

Super inspiring thread Valier.
 
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Phikey

Phikey

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We officially have our first mega fan!
33741

Someone saying they will buy anything I make! That's so encouraging and shows the power of building trust through content.

Maybe I'll make a course someday but it would have to be incredibly valuable and better than anything else out there.

For now, I'm just focusing on building the trust and relationship with my audience. I've been working on a mini-course that's a free lead magnet.

This is going to be huge, as the goal here is to help the audience member have a clear and measurable positive impact on their store within my course. It's on optimizing their product pages and I know that if they go through it and see their conversion rates jump up by x % then they'll clearly see that I know my stuff and can help them.

Day 26, video 26.
 
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Phikey

Phikey

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Friday night and I'm adding a product to the Google Merchant Center for a new client and the interface is different than I remembered.

So I go to Google (incognito), set the date range to be within the past month, and searched "how to add products to google merchant center".

Guess who's video showed up?

View attachment 33764
Yes!!! There it is!! The power of keyword research and Youtube SEO.

The last few days have been wild. I've been closing new clients like crazy and been getting more messages from subscribers asking for help. This weekend I'm filming a marketing audit video for one of my subscribers!!

I also just dropped my most valuable video I've ever made so far.
I teach my audience how we run manual bids for shopping campaigns with our own template. We've scaled up dozens of campaigns with this method and I've never ever heard of anyone using it or teaching it. Why? Because I created it myself over a year ago and it's incredibly effective.
I've even let people get direct access to the template we use, for themselves. I do put it behind an email opt-in but it's just so valuable that I think I need to start asking my audience for something in return. With the responses I've been getting from my little audience, I think they'll be ok with this!
 

Andy Black

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I'm following your free course and I like how it places several of your videos in the systematic order of steps to follow. This helped with making your Youtube content more streamlined for me.

As someone who's new to ecommerce (and Fastlane in general), I found it difficult to follow your Youtube channel at first. Each video is a little snippet with details from a bigger picture which I wasn't familiar with. Where do I start? What do I need? Is this enough? Is this too far ahead of where I am now? Do I need to worry about it now? This may be overwhelming and create a feeling that something is missing.

I know you have playlists. But it was only the course that matched my end to end mind map of how to eat that elephant. I'm executing on it now and I'll report back in my progress thread. Good stuff.

You have plenty of other videos not embedded/streamlined in the free course, so I can picture them creating a similar flow perception issue. I assume you'll get there as you're executing a bigger plan, so that's fine. The detailed videos are great regardless as they answer many low level questions in digestible chunks. They build trust with your potential clients already running stores and experiencing issues you discuss.
I think this is what I did for folks in the forum regarding Google Ads. I dropped so much content that people started getting lost or overwhelmed. They then asked for a course to help them go through things faster, and in order. I think it's the best way to create a course - pump out so much free content that people could use that to get results, and some people would pay to have a condensed or curated version.
 
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Phikey

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Is it possible to share how much it costs to hire all your VAs? :p
Yes! I pay video editors $30-$40 per video, and my content manager is $12 per hour.
Honestly, I'm investing quite a lot into this project but it's because I can use the profits from my agency to do so. I'm looking at this as a long-term-game. If I help people start and grow an ecom store and they become successful in 1-2 years then I'll have built a lot of trust with them and when they need someone to manage their marketing they'll be more likely to choose me. I'm not going to build a course anytime soon unless it's 100x better than all the other courses out there - and this space is incredibly competitive for courses. Everyone has started a dropshipping store and then are trying to sell a course on it.
I'm just going to help as many people as possible, build an audience and an email list, and learn what their biggest problems are and try to help them. Some of the more advanced viewers that have established stores might come to me as a lead for my agency, but I'm not expecting a lot.
 

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Hi man your videos are very well done, I'd maybe consider having your own style, like something that people can remember after watching one of your videos.

There is a famous italian youtuber(not only) who's called montemagno, you see bookshelve and a bald head and you already know you've seen the guy.
Maybe instead of books keep some accessories, just give the background your own twist.

That was my 0,02 good luck!
 

Andy Black

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Day 4, video 4.
Subscribers: 52
Good work. I watched this one but not the longer ones. Is 5 mins a good duration for them?

Personally, I prefer not having the swish noises as your logo comes in and comes out. It distracts from what you're saying.

You're doing a really good job speaking to camera and your pace is good. I was supposed to do videos like this so know how hard it is to write the script, read it and not fluff it, look at camera, be energetic, wave hands about but not too much. I bailed on it as it is damn hard work! And I don't want to have to be the guy on camera.
 
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Phikey

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Day 14, video 14!
Just hit 81 subs.
43 more than when I started. Really exciting stuff! This thing is a marathon and most people give up in the first 2 weeks. I'll still be here in 3.5 months when I hit 120 and it will all be worth it.

A mega value drop today. I didn't realise how long this video would come out to when I was filming it. 26 minutes of talking about Google Shopping. I think this one could go either way. Could flop or could go well.

When I'm looking at the quality of the videos I'm filming now (which are weeks ahead in the queue) they're so much better than these videos that I started off with. I present way better, way more positive, confident and engaging in front of the camera. My script writing is 10 times better. I cut out all the fluff. Yesterday I was reviewing a new video and I found myself glued in and forgot I was meant to be reviewing the final version. I think that was a good sign.
 
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Phikey

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Hey man, first of all respect for the grind so far! You have a solid streak going on, keep it up!

Secondly, I have a few pointers if you don't mind (I’ve spent the last 1.5 years editing videos for multiple channels, all of them 500K+ subs)

People have praised the editing quality here, I have to disagree. I think it’s alright at best, and absolutely needs improvement if you want people to stick around.

So here are a few things that I think are hurting you big time:
  • The music is very loud. It’s distracting. You guys need to dial it waaay down. It’s an informational video, not a dance party. Especially when you switch to sharing your screen and your voice goes even quieter, the music overpowers everything and it’s very hard to concentrate on the info. Background music should only be as loud as to break the awkwardness of silence and/or overpower background noise. (You could also switch up the genre of music and have something more neutral or fitting to the topic.)
  • Same for the sound fx. Too loud. It should be more subtle.
  • Speaking of sound fx, too much. Adding a whip whoosh sound to every single cut not only accentuates the cuts, but it gets annoying real fast. Especially when that same whip whoosh is added to every graphic element too. Too freaking much. It’s annoying, distracting, and quite honestly screams “cheap overseas editors.”
  • I generally think you guys should keep everything more simple. Sound fx for the graphics is fine but totally not necessary. Even the zoom in-zoom out transitions (which intend to hide the cuts by looking like camera switches) are unnecessary and can get annoying if done too much. There’s nothing wrong with jump cuts, this is youtube, not some corporate documentary.
  • Now, I didn’t watch all your vids, but in the last one “How to get a Custom Domain for Ecommerce store” at 0:50 there are 2 takes left in (and both of them are illustrated with graphics lol) which is something to take up with your editor. I’m pretty sure it’s a language thing, they probably didn’t realize that it was the same thing twice, but in any case they should pay more attention to stuff like that.
  • Also, some of the effects are just unnecessary and distracting. Like that matrix number stuff at the IP address line at 1:00. I see the intent, it could be a fun gag, but without the sound and it should end at the end of the sentence, no need to let it run for another.
So, bottom line is: you get what you pay for when hiring cheap editors lol. It’s fine though, these should be easy fixes and actually requires less work from them. To recap here's what I'd have them do:
  • No sound fx, unless absolutely necessary for some gag (like the explosion) or an actual scene transition (like talking head to screen sharing) and never louder than your voice.
  • Jump cuts instead of zoom cuts.
  • Bring down the music by like 20db at least and maybe find something less dancy and more chill. You can really set the atmosphere with music (I mean have you seen @Valier's vids?!) so why EDM and not jazz or hiphop or classical?
And finally (this is where my technical expertise ends and I just give my opinion) I honestly think your thumbnails could be cleaner too.

They are high quality, but not very interesting and often very cluttered. They don't jump out on youtube. They look like generic guru thumbnails and most of them have so much text that I don't even want to start reading it. So personally when I see them at first glance here's what I think: "some ecom guy talking about setting up some complicated google whatever thingy" and I bet you that's most people's thinking too.

By far the cleanest looking one is the How to Build a Shopify Brand one. That's a banger, dude. I think you should strive for more of that clarity. Basically as little text as you can get a way with, and make sure people can read it and understand it in an instant.

Also, I think you could even drop the funny faces, because you're not a reaction channel and nobody knows who you are, so your face doesn't really add anything. I understand that this is a daily challenge and time is limited, however I'd encourage you to experiment with more creative stuff. Put yourself in the mindset of someone looking for your videos. What would grab their attention? A pile of money? A fancy car? An analytics graph? Some big bold words on a solid background? You could even do a search in your niche, take a screenshot of the top results and photoshop your thumbnail in there, see if it stands out or not. (Mr Beast does this all the time and he's doing all right.)

Anyways, I'll stop there, I feel like I'm just rambling now. I hope this helps and sorry if I come across as kind of a d*ck - I can get emotional about bad editing lol.

Best of luck dude, keep up the grind! I'll be watching! ;)
Man, this is incredible feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this out.

You've confirmed a lot of things on my mind the past week or so.

I think with the novelty editing I've lost sight of how I can really help people. I'm making tutorials and educational videos - so getting the information across is the most important thing and what I should focus on. The production should be great but shouldn't try to take center stage or distract people from learning.

Here's what I'm going to work on:
  • Only have jump cuts (no zoom cuts)
  • Keep sound fx really subtle - not for every animation/transition or thing that happens. Only have it rarely when it actually adds to the video
  • Reduce the music volume so it just fills in the silences and covers background noise
  • Experiment with other music types - I agree too, I'd love to have some jazz in there. Awesome idea
  • Thumbnails - I've been talking about this with my content manager too. You confirmed just what I was thinking and we'll work on these
If you have any other feedback then please let me know, thanks for following along and this sort of advice is worth its weight in gold.

Day 16 today and a new video that targets a really big pain point for ecommerce: getting the product feed set up in merchant center so people can run Google Shopping ads:

The thumbnail for this one is just like the ones we've been doing because we've had it queued up for a while now. We're going to go through the videos now and improve the thumbnails for all the past and future videos.

We're now at 93 subs - so we grew 8 overnight. Really awesome to see this grow and the more we can perfect the style of our videos the better our content is going to be from here on out!
 

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