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EXECUTION Growing a Youtube Channel as Part of My Personal Brand

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Prodox

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YouTube is one of the platforms that I plan on building my personal brand on, but this is the one that I see as the most challenging.

I have been at it for four weeks now and my suspicions were correct.

It takes a lot of time to produce one video which means I can currently only commit to putting out one a week, which I think is fine in terms of frequency, but what it does mean is that the feedback loop is extremely long, leading to slower progress than on say Instagram.

That being said, I do enjoy the process and I feel that it is more personally rewarding.

What are the videos about?
My videos are currently all talking head videos on the topic of productivity, and the reclamation of time.

What are my goals with the channel?
I aim to use this as one of my prongs to build an audience.

I'm working on setting up a business right now (progress thread: https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/community/threads/building-an-online-business-to-replace-my-income.95683/) and this is one of the ways that I will be funnelling people to my offer.

This channel is mostly around providing as much value as I can in the niche I am trying to enter, and building some sort of a following.

What is my strategy?
I am making videos around problem topics in my niche with searchable titles.

I don't expect a lot of traction to begin with so, for now, my aim is to put out as much high-quality content as I can, provide as much value as I can, and improve my video making skills.

What equipment am I using?
I am using a Sony a6500 with a Sigma contemporary f/1.4 30mm prime lens, a cheap lav mic I got off amazon, and premier pro on my MacBook air.

Why am I imaging this thread?
I want a place to record my findings, but most of all I would really appreciate any feedback or advice. I'm researching and analysing a lot, but direct advice would be incredibly valuable.

Also, hopefully some people can learn something from my mistakes and findings!

What is something that I have learnt so far?
Don't put in any clear giveaways that the video is about to end. Things like specifically stating you are summarising and ending the video, outro music faded in before the end cards, etc.

When I did this I saw a SIGNIFICANT drop at that very point, which apparently hurts you in the eyes of the algorithm, and it means that they won't see your end screen with playlists, subscribe and your next video button. And if they don't see that, they are less likely to watch more of your videos and subscribe.

What's my channel?

Here is an example of the kind of videos I put out:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FarMqjAlmg
 

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Runum

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Some observations:

I like your background and your video quality is good. Nice screen jumps.
IMHO, when you say "22 weeks per year" there needs to be a visual graphic or something to emphasize that point. 10% needs a graphic. When you make a point there needs to be a graphic.

Need better transitions between your steps to break up the pace.

Youtube media is audio visual. Your lecture style is mainly targeting audio at the expense of visual. Don't tell them, show them. If you want to just tell them then you need to move to a podcast.

I wish you well on your project.
 
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Prodox

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Some observations:

I like your background and your video quality is good. Nice screen jumps.
IMHO, when you say "22 weeks per year" there needs to be a visual graphic or something to emphasize that point. 10% needs a graphic. When you make a point there needs to be a graphic.

Need better transitions between your steps to break up the pace.

Youtube media is audio visual. Your lecture style is mainly targeting audio at the expense of visual. Don't tell them, show them. If you want to just tell them then you need to move to a podcast.

I wish you well on your project.
Thanks for the tips!

These make a lot of sense... I've spent a lot of time trying to learn how to set up my camera and environment to look good on video, but I can see that I have definitely neglected other visual elements like you said.

That will be an improvement point for my next video for sure.

Transitions between steps isn't something I've thought much about... What kind of transitions do you have in mind? Like title screens, or something more subtle?
 

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Transitions between steps isn't something I've thought much about... What kind of transitions do you have in mind? Like title screens, or something more subtle?
Well, if you have your steps numbered, 1, 2, 3, ...then have a graphic number 1 before step 1, and a number 2 graphic before step 2, etc. Maybe a rotating screen or color shift. Something to break up the pace of the video, something mentally stimulating. Maybe a trivia fact?(Just a thought) Maybe different camera angle for each step? Maybe different color shirt?
 
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Well, if you have your steps numbered, 1, 2, 3, ...then have a graphic number 1 before step 1, and a number 2 graphic before step 2, etc. Maybe a rotating screen or color shift. Something to break up the pace of the video, something mentally stimulating. Maybe a trivia fact?(Just a thought)
Thanks, I'll give it some thought and see if I can get some inspiration from other channels that I like.

I wouldn't have noticed this without you bringing it up, so thank you very much. I appreciate you!
 

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Thanks, I'll give it some thought and see if I can get some inspiration from other channels that I like.

I wouldn't have noticed this without you bringing it up, so thank you very much. I appreciate you!
Yw. You are always welcome to take a look at my channel in my sig. I don't have the video skills or background. Most of my videos are detailed how to videos. Lighting, sound, camera angle, and background is always a challenge.
 
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Prodox

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UPDATE 2020/07/09

So it's that time of week - youtube video release day!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q2jNzIMUzU


It takes a long time to produce a video, but releasing it into the world feels good.

I'm trying to cram as much actionable information into these videos as possible and I'm getting good feedback...

The views are very low at the moment, but that is what I was expecting.

This week I took @Runum 's advice and tried to improve my transitions and add in more visual elements to make the videos more engaging.

I want to get my average watch time up and that seemed like a good place to start.

As usual constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!
 

Runum

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UPDATE 2020/07/09

So it's that time of week - youtube video release day!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q2jNzIMUzU


It takes a long time to produce a video, but releasing it into the world feels good.

I'm trying to cram as much actionable information into these videos as possible and I'm getting good feedback...

The views are very low at the moment, but that is what I was expecting.

This week I took @Runum 's advice and tried to improve my transitions and add in more visual elements to make the videos more engaging.

I want to get my average watch time up and that seemed like a good place to start.

As usual constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!
I think you made progress. Your video quality is great. Your speech pattern is clear and concise. I like the transitions.

IMHO you are overusing jumps. Your jumps are good, just too many and to often.

I like your visuals better but still not enough in my opinion.

Example: You talk for 1 minute and 25 seconds before showing your first visual. Go back and analyze the first 1:25 of the video and look for opportunity. You have to keep the viewer in mind. What is he looking for? How can I keep him interested? You have about 15 -30 seconds to keep them or they move on.

You talk about the morning, you could show you rolling out of bed and stretching/yawning.

You talk about making your very own morning routine. You could have a thought bubble pop up showing a short list with the label morning routine. Or, you could show you going through a sample morning routine in very fast motion for a few seconds.

You talk about a morning routine setting the viewer up for a good day and some early wins. You could show yourself in a thought bubble smiling broadly, maybe highlighted or brighter to emphasize happiness.

You talk about taking a show or eating breakfast. Opportunities to show quick pics instead.

0:56 "I am going to give you a few things..." You could say a specific number of things "I am going to give you 4 things...." and then emphasize the 4. Then you number them off throughout the video to keep the viewers watching.

When you say the word chose you could have several choices pop up briefly to set up some curiosity.

Those are just observations for the first 1:25. There is more opportunity there. I do agree that it takes a lot to produce a good video. My recording time is small compared to my editing and processing time. It may take me 8 hours to get a final video ready to upload and that is very frustrating, but part of the process.

Also, your key words are not good. Are you using a tool to help you with better key words?

I think you have some great potential. I like your lighting, pacing, speech pattern, and topics. Good foundation. Keep polishing and you will get better. Also, I see you are sharing on FB and that is good. Share shorter clips on instagram also.

Good luck and keep grinding.
 

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Hey man, I just went through your videos and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised! I love how you've been evolving with each video, but you were confident and charismatic right off the start! I think you have some great potential, just give it some time.

Having said all that...

I think you made progress. Your video quality is great. Your speech pattern is clear and concise. I like the transitions.

IMHO you are overusing jumps. Your jumps are good, just too many and to often.

I like your visuals better but still not enough in my opinion.

Example: You talk for 1 minute and 25 seconds before showing your first visual. Go back and analyze the first 1:25 of the video and look for opportunity. You have to keep the viewer in mind. What is he looking for? How can I keep him interested? You have about 15 -30 seconds to keep them or they move on.

You talk about the morning, you could show you rolling out of bed and stretching/yawning.

You talk about making your very own morning routine. You could have a thought bubble pop up showing a short list with the label morning routine. Or, you could show you going through a sample morning routine in very fast motion for a few seconds.

You talk about a morning routine setting the viewer up for a good day and some early wins. You could show yourself in a thought bubble smiling broadly, maybe highlighted or brighter to emphasize happiness.

You talk about taking a show or eating breakfast. Opportunities to show quick pics instead.

0:56 "I am going to give you a few things..." You could say a specific number of things "I am going to give you 4 things...." and then emphasize the 4. Then you number them off throughout the video to keep the viewers watching.

When you say the word chose you could have several choices pop up briefly to set up some curiosity.

Those are just observations for the first 1:25. There is more opportunity there. I do agree that it takes a lot to produce a good video. My recording time is small compared to my editing and processing time. It may take me 8 hours to get a final video ready to upload and that is very frustrating, but part of the process.

Also, your key words are not good. Are you using a tool to help you with better key words?

I think you have some great potential. I like your lighting, pacing, speech pattern, and topics. Good foundation. Keep polishing and you will get better. Also, I see you are sharing on FB and that is good. Share shorter clips on instagram also.

Good luck and keep grinding.
This^^^ Everything @Runum just said. More B-roll, more visuals, even graphics and pictures, something. You're saying a lot, and your speech is snappy, and thus it's very hard to pay attention to the information when it's not illustrated with visuals. Either slow down and compact the info with less cuts, make it more conversational (like Alex Becker) or add more visuals and make it easier to keep up (like Matt D'Avella)

Anyways, keep it up, dude, you're off to a very strong start!
 
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Prodox

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@Runum Wow thanks for the insanely detailed critique! Golden info again :)

I think you made progress. Your video quality is great. Your speech pattern is clear and concise. I like the transitions.
I definitely think I've made progress to, I went over and watched my videos in order and can see slow but steady improvement, I'm glad you think so too.

IMHO you are overusing jumps. Your jumps are good, just too many and to often.
Yes, I used more than I did in my previous videos as an experiment this time. some of the jump cuts are only taking out like a 1-second pause to up the pace of the video.

Maybe it wasn't an improvement!

I like your visuals better but still not enough in my opinion.
I see - thanks for all of the examples here, it's very easy to get what you mean from them.

Although I don't think all of those suggestions are the style that I want to go for (speech bubbles and the like), they have sprang some ideas up in my mind - so I'll see what I can come up with.

Also, your key words are not good. Are you using a tool to help you with better key words?
Yes I'm using tubebuddy and the keyword phrase that I used got a good score. It had a good balance between search volume and competition and was green so I deemed it good enough.

I then used the tags that it suggested and chose the ones with the highest ratings, although a lot of them were lowly rated.

I think you have some great potential. I like your lighting, pacing, speech pattern, and topics. Good foundation. Keep polishing and you will get better. Also, I see you are sharing on FB and that is good. Share shorter clips on instagram also.
Thanks, I will keep polishing and grinding and incorporating all the great feedback I get like this.

Really appreciate that you took the time to write this out, thank you.
 

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Hey man, I just went through your videos and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised! I love how you've been evolving with each video, but you were confident and charismatic right off the start! I think you have some great potential, just give it some time.

Having said all that...



This^^^ Everything @Runum just said. More B-roll, more visuals, even graphics and pictures, something. You're saying a lot, and your speech is snappy, and thus it's very hard to pay attention to the information when it's not illustrated with visuals. Either slow down and compact the info with less cuts, make it more conversational (like Alex Becker) or add more visuals and make it easier to keep up (like Matt D'Avella)

Anyways, keep it up, dude, you're off to a very strong start!
Thanks @CountMonteCristo , I'm really happy that you liked them and that you can see progress from one video to the next.

Confident and charismatic from the start? Haha, I felt pretty awkward at first, but I guess I hid it well then?

B-roll, graphics, pictures... Got it.

Yeah I am cramming a lot into the video so I can see what you mean.

I was partly modelling it off a channel that I like whose videos are entirely talking head with pretty much no visuals at all, but I guess it doesn't work for my content.

I've not heard of Alex Becker, I'll check him out - thanks for the recommendation.

I actually had Matt D'Avella in mind when I decided to add some b-roll of me doing some of the things that I talk about in the video. Clearly not enough though!

Thanks, I'll keep grinding and improving!
 

CountMonteCristo

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I was partly modelling it off a channel that I like whose videos are entirely talking head with pretty much no visuals at all, but I guess it doesn't work for my content.
I see. Interesting... would you mind sharing this channel you were inspired by? Maybe we could learn something from dissecting why their content works as just a talking head...
 
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Runum

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This is an example of one his videos that has... well nothing other than him talking at the camera.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLBCerAlk8I
Yeah, Nick Nimmin has 633k subs. If you look at his first videos 6 years ago he did a lot of graphics. He didn't start out as a talking head, he grew into it. Now, he can post crap and 10k viewers will watch it. (He doesn't post crap, just using that as an example)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kQiJpVFgIA


Looking at the video that you posted, it is true that he is talking but look at his shots. Sometimes he is center screen sometimes he is right screen. Sometimes facing straight at the camera, sometimes facing to our left. He moves his hands and makes gestures. He changes the screen between paragraphs and points. Sometimes he is face in the screen sometimes he is further away from the camera. He is also very animated in his facial expressions. He sometimes talks fast and sometimes slows down. Overall he is doing more than just talking.

Sorry for the edits, I keep coming up with more thoughts.

When Nick is on video he commands your attention using his voice and other features. This is a skill to learn. I taught school classes for 16 years. I took command of my class through voice, facial expressions, body language, etc. The students knew that when they were in my class it was time to work and learn. We had fun doing it but they were expected to do their part.

As a suggestion, if you are aiming to be a talking head, are you comfortable talking in front of strangers in public? If not, you are going to have a difficult time with selling it. You may want to try out Toastmasters for a year or so. They specialize in helping people with confidence and public speaking challenges.

Again, you are doing well. You are learning. I am not shooting you down. Keep on working on your craft and you will improve.
 
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Andy Black

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Dammit, another great YouTube progress thread for me to follow.

I . Must . Not . Become . A . Consumer .



It takes a lot of time to produce one video which means I can currently only commit to putting out one a week, which I think is fine in terms of frequency, but what it does mean is that the feedback loop is extremely long, leading to slower progress than on say Instagram.
@Phikey is moving at a blistering pace here:
 

Andy Black

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OK, watched the start of a couple of videos. Good work. You've lots of potential. I like the professionalism already (intro, meat, outro, end-screens, thumbnails <<< the stuff I don't really do yet!).

It was recommended that I do similar talking head sections throughout my videos, but I found it way too much hard work so have decided to go off at a different tack. I'd like to be able to just sit down, record, lightly edit (or get someone else to lightly edit) and publish. I record screenshare videos with Loom all the time for clients and prospects so I just need to make it as simple as that. (It's a shame Loom messes with the mic gain of my nicer mic though!)

A lot of my content lends itself to screen capture videos so that helps me not be on camera other than as a little webcam in the corner (which I may not always do anyway). My gut also says that, because my content can be highly technical in nature, that videos being less polished can be a good thing.

Consider putting a tiny bit of ad spend behind your videos? I know @Phikey doesn't want to do that with his channel, but that's what I'm going to do with mine (a brand new channel, not my Andy Black channel).
 

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What is something that I have learnt so far?
Don't put in any clear giveaways that the video is about to end. Things like specifically stating you are summarising and ending the video, outro music faded in before the end cards, etc.

When I did this I saw a SIGNIFICANT drop at that very point, which apparently hurts you in the eyes of the algorithm, and it means that they won't see your end screen with playlists, subscribe and your next video button. And if they don't see that, they are less likely to watch more of your videos and subscribe.
Ha. Good learning.
 
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Yeah, Nick Nimmin has 633k subs. If you look at his first videos 6 years ago he did a lot of graphics. He didn't start out as a talking head, he grew into it. Now, he can post crap and 10k viewers will watch it. (He doesn't post crap, just using that as an example)

<snip>
Ahhh, OK - I fell into the trap of copying large YouTubers now, rather than copying them when they were first building their audience.

Thanks.

Yes he does speak really well - One of my goals is to actually do public speaking so I might give toastmasters a go as practice before I get the opportunity to.

Thanks for the suggestion.

And don't worry about shooting me down - I have thick skin!
 
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Here is an example of the kind of videos I put out:
Great video. I recommend trying switching the camera angle or positioning so there's more variety on the video. If you check @Valier's thread you'll notice one of the key components of his success is how is videos are both long and full of variety, whick keeps the users from getting bored.
 
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Great video. I recommend trying switching the camera angle or positioning so there's more variety on the video. If you check @Valier's thread you'll notice one of the key components of his success is how is videos are both long and full of variety, whick keeps the users from getting bored.
Yeah I've read through that entire thread - it's a great story.

I'll definitely try switching up the camera angle this time, thanks :)
 
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OK! So my next video just got released.

I tried to increase the visual variation this time, camera angles, images etc. to make the video more engaging, what do you think?

One thing I messed up on was that I forgot to lock the white balance on my camera, and because I move around blocking and showing a blue light, the colour changes quite dramatically from scene to scene.

I learn something every time, haha.

The lessons all stack up and I can see my quality going up. I went back to my first video the other day and it makes me cringe so much.

How unexperienced I was xD

My last video had a significant drop in click-through rate, I don't know if this is down to the increase in reach or because the title and thumbnail were rubbish... I'll keep experimenting on this.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z9cW9JPFWo
 

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Much better. Lots of visual changes. Great progress. Better presentation.

One nuance I noticed, I turned the volume down and put the speed up to 2x, sometimes while you are talking it appears that you are shaking your head no. Very subtle but something to look at.
 
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Much better. Lots of visual changes. Great progress. Better presentation.

One nuance I noticed, I turned the volume down and put the speed up to 2x, sometimes while you are talking it appears that you are shaking your head no. Very subtle but something to look at.
Woo - Thank you :)

Shaking my head?

Huh, I hadn't realised that. I do move my head while talking though, is that a problem do you think?
 

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Woo - Thank you :)

Shaking my head?

Huh, I hadn't realised that. I do move my head while talking though, is that a problem do you think?
Could be. You have to be self aware of any subtle messages you may be sending with face or body language. Your total message must be congruent to be believable. Anything that is not in alignment will negate your message. Just food for thought.
 
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Could be. You have to be self aware of any subtle messages you may be sending with face or body language. Your total message must be congruent to be believable. Anything that is not in alignment will negate your message. Just food for thought.
Thanks - will definitely keep it in mind :)
 
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How I am choosing video topics and titles

So it's Saturday, and that's the day that I plan and record the footage for my weekly youtube video.

I've just come up with this weeks topic and title, so I thought I'd post a little on how I'm currently doing it.

My channel is focused around productivity so that already narrows things down quite a bit.

As I go about my daily life, ideas come and go - everyone has ideas, the problem is that most people forget them. The solution to this is to write them down, so whenever an idea pops into my head, I write it down in my Notion.

When it comes to Saturday I take a look at my list and pick a topic that I feel like doing.

Topics sorted.

The hard part is the title and keywords that I'm going to target.

For this I use a website called answer the public to get some ideas. Sometimes I get a nice base to start off, often though nothing on there inspires me.

Either way, the next step for me is to head over to tubebuddy's keyword explorer. There I spend some time fiddling with phrasing, vocabulary and ordering to find a longtail keyword that has a good rating.

I'm still a small account and I don't get much traffic to my videos to get them to higher spots.

Because of this, I figured I'd aim for low competition and low search volume. Low search volume is still well above the traffic I get at the moment, and high search volume keywords are dominated by big channels.

My thought process is that I will pick up the crumbs that larger channels leave behind until I grow strong enough to start taking slices of the cake.

Using this I come up with my video topic and title and I can start planning the content, which I'm about to go and do now!
 

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How I am choosing video topics and titles

So it's Saturday, and that's the day that I plan and record the footage for my weekly youtube video.

I've just come up with this weeks topic and title, so I thought I'd post a little on how I'm currently doing it.

My channel is focused around productivity so that already narrows things down quite a bit.

As I go about my daily life, ideas come and go - everyone has ideas, the problem is that most people forget them. The solution to this is to write them down, so whenever an idea pops into my head, I write it down in my Notion.

When it comes to Saturday I take a look at my list and pick a topic that I feel like doing.

Topics sorted.

The hard part is the title and keywords that I'm going to target.

For this I use a website called answer the public to get some ideas. Sometimes I get a nice base to start off, often though nothing on there inspires me.

Either way, the next step for me is to head over to tubebuddy's keyword explorer. There I spend some time fiddling with phrasing, vocabulary and ordering to find a longtail keyword that has a good rating.

I'm still a small account and I don't get much traffic to my videos to get them to higher spots.

Because of this, I figured I'd aim for low competition and low search volume. Low search volume is still well above the traffic I get at the moment, and high search volume keywords are dominated by big channels.

My thought process is that I will pick up the crumbs that larger channels leave behind until I grow strong enough to start taking slices of the cake.

Using this I come up with my video topic and title and I can start planning the content, which I'm about to go and do now!
Nice. Thanks for sharing your process.

Maybe also look at the Google Keyword Planner to see what people are searching for on Google. They don’t quite search the same on YouTube, but it can give other clues, and maybe your video can rank for searches on Google too?

I do believe that suggested videos get more volume than searches in YouTube. What are the main channels and videos you’d like to show up after? Is there any way you can engineer it so that’s more likely to happen?
 

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