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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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Do you find panel lights are better than ring lights? Like the colour distribution is better.
Hey @fastlanedoll I've only used panel lights. Im not a big fan of how the ring lights cause these big ring reflection in the pupils of people's eyes. Makes them look like an alien.


I took about 1.5 months off Youtube and the channel kept on growing at the same pace!!

Now at 2,260 subscribers.
Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 3.59.13 pm.png

I'm now switching to an easier schedule of 2 videos per week. First new video back up again this week:

 

Blackman

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@Phikey

Hey Sam,

Hope you don't mind me bumping your YouTube progress thread to ask a few questions about Google Ads, specifically Google Shopping campaigns, as I've watched so many of your e-commerce/Google Ads videos that you've basically become my "go-to" person for any GSA questions...

I recently launched my first e-commerce store back in May and tested a few products by promoting them via Google Shopping campaigns, which was my first experience with the Shopping ads, but not Google Ads itself, as I run numerous search campaigns in the past.

Now putting aside the niche/product itself and a myriad of on-site factors that can influence the conversion rate, what I noticed with GSA campaigns is that Google triggers your ads for a very wide range of search terms.

I've done my best to write a very specific and detailed product title + description and also I go through the search term reports daily with my campaign, but adding irrelevant terms to the Negatives list seems like a never-ending process at the moment.

Unfortunately, with GSA campaigns we can't pick and choose the keywords that we'd like to bid on, so we rely on Google to "read" our product pages and trigger the ads for what it considers as relevant search terms.

This is especially an issue with products, which are designed to work with other things, like for example car parts, phone accessories, computer components, etc.

If I'm selling parts for a Ford Mustang, I don't want my ads to be triggered for other Ford models, let alone other car manufacturers. In reality, the negatives list gets even bigger, because I could be selling a very specific part, which is designed to fit only a 2005 special edition Ford Mustang, so you can imagine how much stuff would need to be neg'ed to prevent my ads from being triggered when people search for parts for older or newer Mustangs, or even other parts for a Ford Mustang.

My product is correctly categorised in Google's product listings and you would expect better targeting from them, but obviously the more clicks they can get from you, the better for them...

Almost 4 months later, I still find myself adding negative keywords for the same product I began selling in May 2021, because there's naturally a HUGE number of variations of irrelevant terms that Google thinks are relevant, but despite my efforts of carefully using exact and phrase match negatives to rule out as much rubbish as possible, Google manages to come up with more stuff every day.

What's interesting is that this is my experience with a very small store with just 2 products that I actively promoted, getting less than 50 clicks/day, so I can't imagine what it's like promoting large stores and getting hundreds/thousands of clicks daily...

Is this the norm with GSA campaigns or I'm over-complicating things?

Appreciate your help
 

Andy Black

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@Phikey

Hey Sam,

Hope you don't mind me bumping your YouTube progress thread to ask a few questions about Google Ads, specifically Google Shopping campaigns, as I've watched so many of your e-commerce/Google Ads videos that you've basically become my "go-to" person for any GSA questions...

I recently launched my first e-commerce store back in May and tested a few products by promoting them via Google Shopping campaigns, which was my first experience with the Shopping ads, but not Google Ads itself, as I run numerous search campaigns in the past.

Now putting aside the niche/product itself and a myriad of on-site factors that can influence the conversion rate, what I noticed with GSA campaigns is that Google triggers your ads for a very wide range of search terms.

I've done my best to write a very specific and detailed product title + description and also I go through the search term reports daily with my campaign, but adding irrelevant terms to the Negatives list seems like a never-ending process at the moment.

Unfortunately, with GSA campaigns we can't pick and choose the keywords that we'd like to bid on, so we rely on Google to "read" our product pages and trigger the ads for what it considers as relevant search terms.

This is especially an issue with products, which are designed to work with other things, like for example car parts, phone accessories, computer components, etc.

If I'm selling parts for a Ford Mustang, I don't want my ads to be triggered for other Ford models, let alone other car manufacturers. In reality, the negatives list gets even bigger, because I could be selling a very specific part, which is designed to fit only a 2005 special edition Ford Mustang, so you can imagine how much stuff would need to be neg'ed to prevent my ads from being triggered when people search for parts for older or newer Mustangs, or even other parts for a Ford Mustang.

My product is correctly categorised in Google's product listings and you would expect better targeting from them, but obviously the more clicks they can get from you, the better for them...

Almost 4 months later, I still find myself adding negative keywords for the same product I began selling in May 2021, because there's naturally a HUGE number of variations of irrelevant terms that Google thinks are relevant, but despite my efforts of carefully using exact and phrase match negatives to rule out as much rubbish as possible, Google manages to come up with more stuff every day.

What's interesting is that this is my experience with a very small store with just 2 products that I actively promoted, getting less than 50 clicks/day, so I can't imagine what it's like promoting large stores and getting hundreds/thousands of clicks daily...

Is this the norm with GSA campaigns or I'm over-complicating things?

Appreciate your help
Eugh. This is why I don’t do Google Shopping Ads. I like to create positive keywords and not bid on so many negatives.

Curious what Sam’s reply is.
 

Blackman

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Eugh. This is why I don’t do Google Shopping Ads. I like to create positive keywords and not bid on so many negatives.

Curious what Sam’s reply is.

Yeah Andy, unfortunately that seems to be the reality of Google Shopping Ads, unless I'm doing something wrong?

Clearly, after coming from working with local lead gen campaigns where I had full control over keywords/ads, this is the complete opposite.

The good thing is that you don't have to write any ads, as basically your product photo + title + price is essentially your ad, but the fact that there's no control over keywords is what gives Google freedom to do whatever they want...

Might be worth pinging/commenting on one of Sam's videos on YouTube regarding this thread, as I think he's pretty active on YT, but he hasn't been on the forum lately - would be good to get his take on this.
 

Fox

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It looks like you moved to weekly videos now but the channel is over 11k subs.

Can you give us an update as to what is going on?
 

Andy Black

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It looks like you moved to weekly videos now but the channel is over 11k subs.

Can you give us an update as to what is going on?
I think weekly is a nice rhythm. Is that what you’re doing @Fox?

Do you have a YouTube progress thread?
 

Phikey

Fortune favours the bold.
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@Phikey

Hey Sam,

Hope you don't mind me bumping your YouTube progress thread to ask a few questions about Google Ads, specifically Google Shopping campaigns, as I've watched so many of your e-commerce/Google Ads videos that you've basically become my "go-to" person for any GSA questions...

I recently launched my first e-commerce store back in May and tested a few products by promoting them via Google Shopping campaigns, which was my first experience with the Shopping ads, but not Google Ads itself, as I run numerous search campaigns in the past.

Now putting aside the niche/product itself and a myriad of on-site factors that can influence the conversion rate, what I noticed with GSA campaigns is that Google triggers your ads for a very wide range of search terms.

I've done my best to write a very specific and detailed product title + description and also I go through the search term reports daily with my campaign, but adding irrelevant terms to the Negatives list seems like a never-ending process at the moment.

Unfortunately, with GSA campaigns we can't pick and choose the keywords that we'd like to bid on, so we rely on Google to "read" our product pages and trigger the ads for what it considers as relevant search terms.

This is especially an issue with products, which are designed to work with other things, like for example car parts, phone accessories, computer components, etc.

If I'm selling parts for a Ford Mustang, I don't want my ads to be triggered for other Ford models, let alone other car manufacturers. In reality, the negatives list gets even bigger, because I could be selling a very specific part, which is designed to fit only a 2005 special edition Ford Mustang, so you can imagine how much stuff would need to be neg'ed to prevent my ads from being triggered when people search for parts for older or newer Mustangs, or even other parts for a Ford Mustang.

My product is correctly categorised in Google's product listings and you would expect better targeting from them, but obviously the more clicks they can get from you, the better for them...

Almost 4 months later, I still find myself adding negative keywords for the same product I began selling in May 2021, because there's naturally a HUGE number of variations of irrelevant terms that Google thinks are relevant, but despite my efforts of carefully using exact and phrase match negatives to rule out as much rubbish as possible, Google manages to come up with more stuff every day.

What's interesting is that this is my experience with a very small store with just 2 products that I actively promoted, getting less than 50 clicks/day, so I can't imagine what it's like promoting large stores and getting hundreds/thousands of clicks daily...

Is this the norm with GSA campaigns or I'm over-complicating things?

Appreciate your help

This is, unfortunately, normal with Google Shopping - and you don't seem to be over-complicating things based on what you've shared. I commend you for reviewing your search terms daily. Most sellers don't do this, and they suffer for it by paying for a lot of irrelevant clicks.

There are several tactics we use to build up our negative lists more effectively.

First, we add phrase match terms to the negatives where it makes sense. For example, if you don't sell used parts, you can add "used", "pre-owned", "refurbished", and so on.

Second, you can get ahead of poor quality searches with some brainstorming. For example, if you only sell Ford Mustang parts but have noticed other models in the search terms, you can research a list of all the other Ford models. These lists tend to be easy to get (List of Ford vehicles - Wikipedia). From this list, we can start adding "focus", "fiesta", "escort", etc.

Third, we use something called an N-Gram analysis. Here's some information on it and how to use it. Search Query N-Gram Performance Script | Brainlabs This is an excellent way to get even more phrase match terms to add to your negatives, not to mention getting good ideas for your product titles.

Fourth, we use an ad script to auto-add negatives of search terms that don't have specific words in them. Here's the script we use: AdWords Script: Auto-Add Negative Keywords - Automating AdWords You must be careful with the setup, but once it's running, it can save you a lot of time and money.
 

Phikey

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It looks like you moved to weekly videos now but the channel is over 11k subs.

Can you give us an update as to what is going on?

Yeah, the daily videos were great for the first 4 months to kickstart the channel and algorithm but it's really not sustainable when you're growing a services business.

I've just been releasing 1 video a week so it doesn't take too much time but maintains the traffic.

Honestly, the Youtube channel has exploded my business. Best thing I ever did. Of course, it was a huge investment for a long period, but it is still paying for itself every single month with new clients coming in.
 

Andy Black

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Yeah, the daily videos were great for the first 4 months to kickstart the channel and algorithm but it's really not sustainable when you're growing a services business.

I've just been releasing 1 video a week so it doesn't take too much time but maintains the traffic.

Honestly, the Youtube channel has exploded my business. Best thing I ever did. Of course, it was a huge investment for a long period, but it is still paying for itself every single month with new clients coming in.
Good for you Sam. Love how you’ve built this asset that’s generating new business for you.
 

Fox

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Yeah, the daily videos were great for the first 4 months to kickstart the channel and algorithm but it's really not sustainable when you're growing a services business.

I've just been releasing 1 video a week so it doesn't take too much time but maintains the traffic.

Honestly, the Youtube channel has exploded my business. Best thing I ever did. Of course, it was a huge investment for a long period, but it is still paying for itself every single month with new clients coming in.

Amazing and well done - that is a lot of hard work so great to see it paid off.

If you were to start this challenge again (or for someone else looking at doing it) what would you now recommend to do differently? Or maybe what would you recommend to do even more of?

Would love to see the lessons learned.
 

Phikey

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Amazing and well done - that is a lot of hard work so great to see it paid off.

If you were to start this challenge again (or for someone else looking at doing it) what would you now recommend to do differently? Or maybe what would you recommend to do even more of?

Would love to see the lessons learned.
Good question, I finally have some time to sit down and write out some thoughts:

Some things I learned through the process:
  • Building an audience is a fantastic way to get to know your audience on a deeper level and find their problems and pain points. I have shifted my business significantly since starting, focusing in on helping my audience as much as possible, and also learning how to speak to them in a language they understand: “their problems”.
  • Building an audience builds HUGE trust. On many sales calls now, the prospect will often want to take a screenshot of the call to show their friends because they can’t believe they're speaking to me after watching my videos for months. They say things like “it’s so weird to actually see you respond to me in person rather than just watching” “It‘s so weird to hear your voice as it’s been in my head for so long”. It’s made it a lot easier to close deals with great clients that I really want to work with and can confidently get results with. I don’t have to beg for clients, or work with clients that I know will be tough to deal with. I can pick and choose, which has resulted in a huge amount of testimonials and case studies (we have about 20 on our website now).
  • Sometimes you just need to jump in, commit, and do it. It’s so hard to start something like this challenge, that’s why I came here for the accountability. Though, it’s been worth It. I’ve now built an asset that’s generating consistent views, leads and business and we’re growing rapidly because of it.
  • It’s also made hiring a lot easier. People want to work with a business that’s ’winning’. We’re not huge, really, but I’ve been able to blast my email list when needing to hire and picked up some great candidates, one of which I have hired which has been awesome. It also attracts higher level talent that want to be a part of something big and cool, to work for a company that’s doing something in the space.
  • Change their state. This is the best advice I can give. When you change someone’s actual state of being you gain huge trust and they’ll listen to everything you say. They need to set up Google Analytics? Make a video that means by the end of 5 minutes they can verify that it’s set up and then you get all the credit. It proves to them that you know what you’re talking about. If you can help them with just one thing like that, you can help them with many more. So many blog posts and gurus have waffle content and hide things behind lead magnets and courses. Give people real value up front and you’ll have them for life. Simple and well-known advice but it’s true to a T.
What would I do differently?
  • I would start with better production value and editing from the start. This is a double edged sword. It would take longer to start and get into the rhythm but my early videos are now immortalised because many of them have ranked well and have received tens of thousands of views. To be honest, they are great value, but I know that if I spent more time on the production side they could have done even better.
  • Learn how the Youtube algorithm works, inside and out, and play to your advantage. This means editing your videos well to remove any fluff, improve the scripts so you don’t waffle or go off track. I’d go through each video monastically before publishing to optimise them as much as possible. Though, this being said, there‘s so much value to ‘just starting’. I think that if I tried to do 120 videos in 120 days with a high-production level approach I would have burnt out.
  • Don’t make waffle videos just to fill space. I went after some keywords that were low volume and low competition but they ended up falling flat, not generating traffic, and actually hurting my channel. I would also make some videos that I thought were valuable but the audience weren’t interested in them at all. Sometimes you might think you know what your audience NEEDS but that doesn’t really matter if they don’t know they need it. It’s a lot harder to convince someone they need something (even if they really do) than to just give them what they need first, build trust, and then they’ll go through the valuable content.
  • Don’t get caught up in video topics or niches that suck you dry. GMC Suspensions were a big topic last year and I made some great videos on it which generated a lot of views. I also went ahead and made a course on the topic which was one of the first quality resources available. It made some good sales for a few months but died away as an army of people from Fiverr took my course, learned everything and then started offering a service for $5. I spent a lot of time creating that course and it was profitable overall, but I should have focused on my core service and hiring. You can make the most popular videos in the world. They’ll generate ad revenue, but if you’re looking to build a business around the channel then you should keep in mind how you’ll monetise it.
  • I wouldn’t have made it all about me and my name. I wish I used a pen name for the channel. This is just because now my videos are up and immortalised, if I ever want to go under the radar or wipe myself from the internet, it’s going to be much harder. I would have built it around the brand, which would make it a lot easier in the future if I want to hand off the ‘acting’ to someone else. I can still do it, but I’ll need to transition.
  • Get the business model or service dialled in before starting. I had too much business and have had a waiting list for months and months because we grew and I didn’t have the team to handle it. I’d rather maintain a high quality service than hire rookies just to get the sales. It would have been great to have a good foundation first so I could make the most of the sales.
  • Charge what your worth and the value you provide. It took a long time before I caught on that I should be charging more. The clients were getting a super sweet deal and I was at full capacity so I was turning away clients. I now charge something more reasonable and it’s increased profits too.
  • Don’t get an ego. This started happening as my channel took off where I though I was hot stuff. I had to check myself and bring it back in because it brought emotions in that were not conducive to running a business. I started thinking more about what I thought people needed to hear rather than helping people with their problems. I’ve found that when I’ve stopped doing this I lose their attention quickly. Something to keep in mind. Focus on helping people, getting them from A to B and you’ll build their trust. Monetisation comes naturally after that.
What would I do more of?
  • Queueing up videos in advance. I did do this many times but there were one or two times in the challenge where the publishing caught up to the bank of videos I had saved up. I’d focus on another project for a week or two and I’d be back at the stressful point of filming, editing and publishing with almost no videos spare.
  • Hire multiple editors at once. At the start we had 4 and we paid them on a per-video basis. This made it easy to calculate my expenses and we could save money in periods of less editing. It also meant that if one editor got an ego about their editing (which did happen), and they try to raise their rates because they think that the channel’s success is all due to them, you have a backup. This actually happened and I told him that I have 3 other editors taking jobs and he changed his tune entirely and actually offered a discount to us if we provided him more videos. You don’t want your channel being held hostage like this and having to find a new quality editor mid-way through without disrupting production.
  • Spend time building the branding assets and not iterating with videos. My first videos had bad audio, low quality titles and transitions, and overall lower quality editing. I wish I did more video tests before posting videos that have now become vital to the viewers of my channel.

Overall it’s been awesome. There are many channels out there with more subscribers and views but my viewership are super niche and targeted. I love this because Youtube has figured out who watches my content and are better able to recommend me to other people too.
I’m excited moving forward. I’m still posting one video a week but soon we’ll focus on SEO and blog post content and build that up as a traffic source.
 

Phikey

Fortune favours the bold.
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Good for you Sam. Love how you’ve built this asset that’s generating new business for you.
Thanks Andy. I really appreciate your support, even from page 1. I owe you a beer (or a coffee) so if I’m ever over in your neck of the woods it’s my shout.
 

Andy Black

About to go on a video creation spree...
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Good question, I finally have some time to sit down and write out some thoughts:

Some things I learned through the process:
  • Building an audience is a fantastic way to get to know your audience on a deeper level and find their problems and pain points. I have shifted my business significantly since starting, focusing in on helping my audience as much as possible, and also learning how to speak to them in a language they understand: “their problems”.
  • Building an audience builds HUGE trust. On many sales calls now, the prospect will often want to take a screenshot of the call to show their friends because they can’t believe their speaking to me after watching my videos for months. They say things like “it’s so weird to actually see you respond to me in person rather than just watching” “It‘s so weird to hear your voice as it’s been in my head for so long”. It’s made it a lot easier to close deals with great clients that I really want to work with and can confidently get results with. I don’t have to beg for clients, or work with clients that I know will be tough to deal with. I can pick and choose, which has resulted in a huge amount of testimonials and case studies (we have about 20 on our website now).
  • Sometimes you just need to jump in, commit, and do it. It’s so hard to start something like this challenge, that’s why I came here for the accountability. Though, it’s been worth It. I’ve now built an asset that’s generating consistent views, leads and business and we’re growing rapidly because of it.
  • It’s also made hiring a lot easier. People want to work with a business that’s ’winning’. We’re not huge, really, but I’ve been able to blast my email list when needing to hire and picked up some great candidates, one of which I have hired which has been awesome. It also attracts higher level talent that want to be a part of something big and cool, to work for a company that’s doing something in the space.
  • Change their state. This is the best advice I can give. When you change someone’s actual state of being you gain huge trust and they’ll listen to everything you say. They need to set up Google Analytics? Make a video that means by the end of 5 minutes they can verify that it’s set up and then you get all the credit. It proves to them that you know what you’re talking about. If you can help them with just one thing like that, you can help them with many more. So many blog posts and gurus have waffle content and hide things behind lead magnets and courses. Give people real value up front and you’ll have them for life. Simple and well-known advice but it’s true to a T.
What would I do differently?
  • I would start with better production value and editing from the start. This is a double edged sword. It would take longer to start and get into the rhythm but my early videos are now immortalised because many of them have ranked well and have received tens of thousands of views. To be honest, they are great value, but I know that if I spent more time on the production side they could have done even better.
  • Learn how the Youtube algorithm works, inside and out, and play to your advantage. This means editing your videos well to remove any fluff, improve the scripts so you don’t waffle or go off track. I’d go through each video monastically before publishing to optimise them as much as possible. Though, this being said, there‘s so much value to ‘just starting’. I think that if I tried to do 120 videos in 120 days with a high-production level approach I would have burnt out.
  • Don’t make waffle videos just to fill space. I went after some keywords that were low volume and low competition but they ended up falling flat, not generating traffic, and actually hurting my channel. I would also make some videos that I thought were valuable but the audience weren’t interested in them at all. Sometimes you might think you know what your audience NEEDS but that doesn’t really matter if they don’t know they need it. It’s a lot harder to convince someone they need something (even if they really do) than to just give them what they need first, build trust, and then they’ll go through the valuable content.
  • Don’t get caught up in video topics or niches that suck you dry. GMC Suspensions were a big topic last year and I made some great videos on it which generated a lot of views. I also went ahead and made a course on the topic which was one of the first quality resources available. It made some good sales for a few months but died away as an army of people from Fiverr took my course, learned everything and then started offering a service for $5. I spent a lot of time creating that course and it was profitable overall, but I should have focused on my core service and hiring. You can make the most popular videos in the world. They’ll generate ad revenue, but if you’re looking to build a business around the channel then you should keep in mind how you’ll monetise it.
  • I wouldn’t have made it all about me and my name. I wish I used a pen name for the channel. This is just because now my videos are up and immortalised, if I ever want to go under the radar or wipe myself from the internet, it’s going to be much harder. I would have built it around the brand, which would make it a lot easier in the future if I want to hand off the ‘acting’ to someone else. I can still do it, but I’ll need to transition.
  • Get the business model or service dialled in before starting. I had too much business and have had a waiting list for months and months because we grew and I didn’t have the team to handle it. I’d rather maintain a high quality service than hire rookies just to get the sales. It would have been great to have a good foundation first so I could make the most of the sales.
  • Charge what your worth and the value you provide. It took a long time before I caught on that I should be charging more. The clients were getting a super sweet deal and I was at full capacity so I was turning away clients. I now charge something more reasonable and it’s increased profits too.
  • Don’t get an ego. This started happening as my channel took off where I though I was hot stuff. I had to check myself and bring it back in because it brought emotions in that were not conducive to running a business. I started thinking more about what I thought people needed to hear rather than helping people with their problems. I’ve found that when I’ve stopped doing this I lose their attention quickly. Something to keep in mind. Focus on helping people, getting them from A to B and you’ll build their trust. Monetisation comes naturally after that.
What would I do more of?
  • Queueing up videos in advance. I did do this many times but there were one or two times in the challenge where the publishing caught up to the bank of videos I had saved up. I’d focus on another project for a week or two and I’d be back at the stressful point of filming, editing and publishing with almost no videos spare.
  • Hire multiple editors at once. At the start we had 4 and we paid them on a per-video basis. This made it easy to calculate my expenses and we could save money in periods of less editing. It also meant that if one editor got an ego about their editing (which did happen), and they try to raise their rates because they think that the channel’s success is all due to them, you have a backup. This actually happened and I told him that I have 3 other editors taking jobs and he changed his tune entirely and actually offered a discount to us if we provided him more videos. You don’t want your channel being held hostage like this and having to find a new quality editor mid-way through without disrupting production.
  • Spend time building the branding assets and not iterating with videos. My first videos had bad audio, low quality titles and transitions, and overall lower quality editing. I wish I did more video tests before posting videos that have now become vital to the viewers of my channel.

Overall it’s been awesome. There are many channels out there with more subscribers and views but my viewership are super niche and targeted. I love this because Youtube has figured out who watches my content and are better able to recommend me to other people too.
I’m excited moving forward. I’m still posting one video a week but soon we’ll focus on SEO and blog post content and build that up as a traffic source.
What a write up. Will have to come back and study this. Thanks for sharing!
 

Andy Black

About to go on a video creation spree...
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May 20, 2014
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Some things I learned through the process:
Building an audience is a fantastic way to get to know your audience on a deeper level and find their problems and pain points. I have shifted my business significantly since starting, focusing in on helping my audience as much as possible, and also learning how to speak to them in a language they understand: “their problems”.
I love that your focus building an audience is to get to know them and their problems/pain points on a deeper level, rather than to sell to them. And this is how best to sell to them anyway!

Building an audience builds HUGE trust. On many sales calls now, the prospect will often want to take a screenshot of the call to show their friends because they can’t believe they're speaking to me after watching my videos for months. They say things like “it’s so weird to actually see you respond to me in person rather than just watching” “It‘s so weird to hear your voice as it’s been in my head for so long”. It’s made it a lot easier to close deals with great clients that I really want to work with and can confidently get results with. I don’t have to beg for clients, or work with clients that I know will be tough to deal with. I can pick and choose, which has resulted in a huge amount of testimonials and case studies (we have about 20 on our website now).
Yeah, I get that too. It still takes me aback.

Myself and @Fox had our first video call last week. We both thought we'd already chatted via video because he's seen each other's videos so often.

Sometimes you just need to jump in, commit, and do it. It’s so hard to start something like this challenge, that’s why I came here for the accountability. Though, it’s been worth It. I’ve now built an asset that’s generating consistent views, leads and business and we’re growing rapidly because of it.
Yeah, making it a challenge is great. I can imagine doing a video a day is hard though.

It’s also made hiring a lot easier. People want to work with a business that’s ’winning’. We’re not huge, really, but I’ve been able to blast my email list when needing to hire and picked up some great candidates, one of which I have hired which has been awesome. It also attracts higher level talent that want to be a part of something big and cool, to work for a company that’s doing something in the space.
That's so cool. Was that an unexpected benefit?

Change their state. This is the best advice I can give. When you change someone’s actual state of being you gain huge trust and they’ll listen to everything you say. They need to set up Google Analytics? Make a video that means by the end of 5 minutes they can verify that it’s set up and then you get all the credit. It proves to them that you know what you’re talking about. If you can help them with just one thing like that, you can help them with many more. So many blog posts and gurus have waffle content and hide things behind lead magnets and courses. Give people real value up front and you’ll have them for life. Simple and well-known advice but it’s true to a T.
100%. Give people aha moments and/or something practical they can do there and then. Videos, podcasts, articles (and even courses!) that don't do the above are so frustrating.


What would I do differently?
I would start with better production value and editing from the start. This is a double edged sword. It would take longer to start and get into the rhythm but my early videos are now immortalised because many of them have ranked well and have received tens of thousands of views. To be honest, they are great value, but I know that if I spent more time on the production side they could have done even better.
Yeah, it's a tricky one. The way to improve quality is to keep publishing and learning. I have an accidental podcast which are just recordings of me chatting to people. By doing lots of those it's given me the ability to create super-short and tight podcast episodes for a new podcast. I've insisted that each episode for the new podcast is edited so it's tight. My co-host wanted the first episode published almost immediately, but I pushed back till I was happy with the editing. It only took a few days longer, but it's now something I'm happy to direct people for years to come.

Learn how the Youtube algorithm works, inside and out, and play to your advantage. This means editing your videos well to remove any fluff, improve the scripts so you don’t waffle or go off track. I’d go through each video monastically before publishing to optimise them as much as possible. Though, this being said, there‘s so much value to ‘just starting’. I think that if I tried to do 120 videos in 120 days with a high-production level approach I would have burnt out.
Remove fluff, don't waffle or go off track. As a consumer, I wish more content creators did this. As a producer I'm happy they don't. It's easier to stand out.

What would have been a happy compromise starting out? Do a video every 3 days?

Don’t make waffle videos just to fill space. I went after some keywords that were low volume and low competition but they ended up falling flat, not generating traffic, and actually hurting my channel. I would also make some videos that I thought were valuable but the audience weren’t interested in them at all. Sometimes you might think you know what your audience NEEDS but that doesn’t really matter if they don’t know they need it. It’s a lot harder to convince someone they need something (even if they really do) than to just give them what they need first, build trust, and then they’ll go through the valuable content.
I hate waffle videos and podcasts. I'm more forgiving for written content because I know the first part is for SEO, and I can quickly skim down. I was listening to a podcast yesterday and it took 11 minutes to get to the meat. 11 minutes!!! I was busy skipping forward 15 seconds to find where she started. I didn't bother listening, and I removed that show from my list. How you do anything is how you do everything. If you don't respect my time in that one episode I started listening to then you'll not respect my time in any of your episodes.

100% agree with fulfilling demands that's already there, rather than try to generate demand. That's the whole ethos behind paid search after all. You can educate people on what they need once they know, like and trust you. I'm reminded of "Give them what they want, then sell them what they need."

Don’t get caught up in video topics or niches that suck you dry. GMC Suspensions were a big topic last year and I made some great videos on it which generated a lot of views. I also went ahead and made a course on the topic which was one of the first quality resources available. It made some good sales for a few months but died away as an army of people from Fiverr took my course, learned everything and then started offering a service for $5. I spent a lot of time creating that course and it was profitable overall, but I should have focused on my core service and hiring. You can make the most popular videos in the world. They’ll generate ad revenue, but if you’re looking to build a business around the channel then you should keep in mind how you’ll monetise it.
Lots of gold advice in here. I'm reminded of the Mother Theresa quote in my signature. Don't worry about numbers, just focus on helping people.

Oh, and for some niche channels the ad revenue pales into comparison to the other ways to monetise.

I wouldn’t have made it all about me and my name. I wish I used a pen name for the channel. This is just because now my videos are up and immortalised, if I ever want to go under the radar or wipe myself from the internet, it’s going to be much harder. I would have built it around the brand, which would make it a lot easier in the future if I want to hand off the ‘acting’ to someone else. I can still do it, but I’ll need to transition.
This is interesting. Do you mean a "pen name" like an author has a pen name, or do you mean a brand name like for your agency/courses?

I kept changing the name of my YouTube channel from my personal name to a brand name. I've decided to just stick with my personal name, link to my personal brand website, and build other channels/sites if the volume justifies it.

Get the business model or service dialled in before starting. I had too much business and have had a waiting list for months and months because we grew and I didn’t have the team to handle it. I’d rather maintain a high quality service than hire rookies just to get the sales. It would have been great to have a good foundation first so I could make the most of the sales.
That's the main reason I don't push any of my social media accounts. I've too much business coming in as it is. I think just sending folks to a lead magnet could be good to start. Then figure out how to serve folks on that list over time.

Charge what your worth and the value you provide. It took a long time before I caught on that I should be charging more. The clients were getting a super sweet deal and I was at full capacity so I was turning away clients. I now charge something more reasonable and it’s increased profits too.
Ha. I'm still not doing this. I've been raising prices slightly, but not too much as I'd then be serving a different segment of the market I don't want to focus on.

Don’t get an ego. This started happening as my channel took off where I though I was hot stuff. I had to check myself and bring it back in because it brought emotions in that were not conducive to running a business. I started thinking more about what I thought people needed to hear rather than helping people with their problems. I’ve found that when I’ve stopped doing this I lose their attention quickly. Something to keep in mind. Focus on helping people, getting them from A to B and you’ll build their trust. Monetisation comes naturally after that.
Thinking you're hot stuff and that whatever you produce will go down well is a trap lying in wait. We get started by helping people. We scale by continuing to help people.


What would I do more of?
Queueing up videos in advance. I did do this many times but there were one or two times in the challenge where the publishing caught up to the bank of videos I had saved up. I’d focus on another project for a week or two and I’d be back at the stressful point of filming, editing and publishing with almost no videos spare.
What if you'd not put yourself under the stress of having to do the challenge, but produced videos regularly? I know people who've stopped producing because they were doing a challenge and missed a few days. For the new co-hosted podcast I'm trying to keep to a weekly schedule (my co-host wants to do twice a week). I'd rather we recorded two episodes a week and built up a bank for when the inevitable happens and we're not able to chat for a week or two. Even recently we had a 2-3 week break but I personally don't think it matters in the big scheme of things.

Hire multiple editors at once. At the start we had 4 and we paid them on a per-video basis. This made it easy to calculate my expenses and we could save money in periods of less editing. It also meant that if one editor got an ego about their editing (which did happen), and they try to raise their rates because they think that the channel’s success is all due to them, you have a backup. This actually happened and I told him that I have 3 other editors taking jobs and he changed his tune entirely and actually offered a discount to us if we provided him more videos. You don’t want your channel being held hostage like this and having to find a new quality editor mid-way through without disrupting production.
Ha. This is smart. I'd have never thought of this. Thanks!

Spend time building the branding assets and not iterating with videos. My first videos had bad audio, low quality titles and transitions, and overall lower quality editing. I wish I did more video tests before posting videos that have now become vital to the viewers of my channel.
Can you redo those videos to the standard you want, and even run ads to them? You've proved the content is good, so can you improve them?

I've done this a few times with a particular video on my channel (not least because Google keeps changing the Google Ads interface). I've no qualms creating a newer version of a video and leaving both on my channel.

Here's that video. It's only about a minute long.
View: https://youtu.be/mLYH9OBd3J0


Overall it’s been awesome. There are many channels out there with more subscribers and views but my viewership are super niche and targeted. I love this because Youtube has figured out who watches my content and are better able to recommend me to other people too.
I’m excited moving forward. I’m still posting one video a week but soon we’ll focus on SEO and blog post content and build that up as a traffic source.
It's great that you’re excited moving forward. This seems like just the start for you. Well done for getting started and sticking with it. This is a lesson for people, and you deserve all the results you're getting.
 

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