256: Sunny Lenarduzzi On How To Start A YouTube Channel

256: Sunny Lenarduzzi On How To Start A YouTube Channel

Today, I’m really happy to have Sunny Lenarduzzi on the show. Sunny and I met at Social Media Marketing World where we were both speakers and she has over a decade of experience as an award winning video, social media and brand strategist.

She helps entrepreneurs elevate their businesses on YouTube and her clients have generated over 5M in revenue from organic YouTube traffic.

In this episode, we discuss using YouTube to grow an ecommerce business.

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If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business, I put together a comprehensive package of resources that will help you launch your own online store from complete scratch. Be sure to grab it before you leave!

What You’ll Learn

  • What type of videos work well and how to think about getting traffic on YouTube
  • How rank a video in search
  • How to build an audience on YouTube
  • How to turn YouTube subscribers into email subscribers
  • How to promote new videos

Other Resources And Books


Klaviyo.com – Klaviyo is the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Created specifically for ecommerce, it is the best email marketing provider that I’ve used to date. Click here and try Klaviyo for FREE.

Privy.com – Privy is my tool of choice when it comes to gathering email subscribers for my ecommerce store. They offer easy to use email capture, exit intent, and website targeting tools that turn more visitors into email subscribers and buyers. With both free and paid versions, Privy fits into any budget. Click here and get 15% OFF towards your account.

Avalara.com – Handling sales tax is complicated. Fortunately, Avalara simplifies sales tax with real-time tax rate calculations and automatic return filing. And the best part is that Avalara already integrates with your existing accounting, e-commerce and marketplaces like Amazon, so it’s super easy to setup. Click here and get a FREE TRIAL.

SellersSummit.com – The ultimate ecommerce learning conference! Unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high level BS, the Sellers Summit is a curriculum based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an ecommerce business. Click here and get your ticket now before it sells out.
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Steve: You’re listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, the place where I bring on successful bootstrapped business owners and delve deeply into the strategies they use to grow their businesses. Now today I have Sunny Lenarduzzi on the show. And Sunny is a YouTube expert. And what’s interesting about today’s interview is that the advice she shares with us today is actually very different from the last YouTube expert that I had on the show. Stay tuned to find out why.

Before we begin, I want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode. Supper excited to talk about Klaviyo because they are my email marketing platform that I use for my e-commerce store and I depend on them for over 30% of my revenues. Now Klaviyo is the only email platform out there that is specifically built for e-commerce stores, and here is why it is so powerful.

Klaviyo can track every single customer who has shopped in your store and exactly what they bought. So let’s say I want to send out an email to everyone who purchased a red handkerchief in the last week, easy. Let’s say I want to set up a special auto-responder sequence to my customers depending on what they purchased, piece of cake, and there is full revenue tracking on every email sent. Klaviyo is the most powerful email platform that I’ve ever used and you could try them for free at mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O. Once again, that’s mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.

I also want to give a shout out to Privy who is also a sponsor of the show. Privy is the tool that I use to build my email list for both my blog and my online store. Now, Privy is an email list growth platform and they manage all my email capture forms. And I use Privy hand-in-hand with my email marketing provider. Now, there are a bunch of companies that will manage your email capture forms but I use Privy because they specialize in e-commerce. Right now I’m using Privy to display a cool wheel of fortune pop up. Basically a user gives their email for a chance to win valuable prices in our store and customers love the gamification aspect of this. And when I implemented this form email signups increased by 131%.

I’m also using their new cart saver pop up feature to recover abandoned carts as well. So bottom line, Privy allows me to turn visitors into email subscribers, which I then feed to my email provider to close the sale. So head on over to Privy.com/Steve and try it for free. And if you decide you need some of the more advanced features, use coupon code MWQHJ for 15% off. Once again, that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve, now onto the show.

Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.

Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. Today I’m really happy to have Sunny Lenarduzzi on the show. Now, Sunny is someone who I met for maybe five seconds at Social Media Marketing World where we were both speakers. But I did see her on stage and I was very impressed with her YouTube knowledge. Anyway, who is Sunny? Sunny helps entrepreneurs elevate their businesses on YouTube. And she has over a decade of experience as an award winning video, social media and brand strategist. She’s helped clients generate over $5 million in revenue from organic YouTube traffic. And she was named as a must watch YouTube channel for business by Forbes and Huffpo. And with that, welcome to show Sunny, how are you doing it?

Sunny: Thank you. I’m good. Thanks for having me.

Steve: So Sunny, give us the background story and your motivation for doing what you do. And why did you quit television actually?

Sunny: Why did I quit television? Good question. So I think my motivation is really intrinsic to even when I was a kid. I always wanted to help people and educate people, while also doing it in an entertaining way. I grew up as a total arts kid. I danced and I was an actress and did all that stuff. And I think the through line was that I really loved telling stories that can make an impact. And I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So my original thought, because obviously social media was not always the thing was that I was going to be a journalist and I went to school to be a journalist. My big goal was to work at the 2010 Winter Olympics and I achieved that goal.

Steve: And you did, didn’t you?

Sunny: I did yeah. I achieved that goal and that was pretty much right out of school, which was very lucky. And it was happening in my hometown of Vancouver. And I went up and lived in Whistler for the entire duration of the games, and was filing stories every day. And the thing that really struck me was that on a very logical level, I was on this amazing path. I was, oh my gosh, I was like early, early 20s when the Olympics were going on. And so I was on this pretty fast trajectory. And if anybody knows me, they know that that’s not a coincidence, it’s how my life works. I’m very impatient and I do everything fast.

But in this case, I was like, cool, okay, I’m here, I’m at the Olympics. This is amazing. I’m getting this once in a lifetime opportunity. This is really my first big gig out of school, which is crazy. But it still didn’t feel right. And I thought logically in my head, this is it. I’ve done it, check, moving on to the next thing. And my vision of what I wanted was to be the six o’clock news anchor in Vancouver, the major market and I was like, hey, well, I’m going to have to move to a small town. And that’s okay, I’ll do that. I’ll get my experience, then it’ll come back. But when I had this light bulb moment when I was at the Olympics, and it just did not feel right to me and I wasn’t feeling inspired.

I was feeling a little bit frustrated. And I just was more than anything feeling stifled. My whole purpose of getting into journalism and TV was to be creative and to tell stories in a way that I wanted to tell them. Whereas I found the opposite to be true was, I was being told how to edit things. I was being told how to say things; I was being told how to dress. And I kind of just realized it wasn’t for me. And on my way home from the Olympics, I had this crazy idea of starting my first business which I have never started a business, I do not have any business knowledge. I did not go to business school. And I decided to start an online magazine, which at that time was also insane, because not a lot of people were doing that. And I built the entire thing up using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and just naturally figured out how to use all of them. This time, Instagram wasn’t even a thing.

Steve: Right. You’re dating yourself by the way but yes.

Sunny: I know totally. I think it’s also important for people that are saying like I’ve been around the block for a while; this is not new to me. But I just didn’t talk about it for a very long time. And so I basically did that. I started this business and I built up a team of 10 writers. I executed everything on my end. We built up our email list pretty fast, like everything grew fairly quickly. And I really got good at building brands with social media. And so, all these other companies started to take notice because it was so new. And they basically asked if they could hire me to do their strategies, do their management on social.

So then I built this little tiny consultancy, one woman show, did it for five years, traveled, worked for my laptop. And one day, it just got to a point where I was very lucky that by word of mouth, I was getting new clients, but as a solopreneur, you hit a ceiling and I hit that ceiling. And I basically realized I can’t keep answering my clients’ questions individually and going to these meetings to talk about their questions about social media. I have to figure out a way to answer these without having to spend more time because I need that time to work. So pure desperation, I sit down, I film a tutorial on one of the biggest topics at the time.

One of the biggest questions my clients were asking me, which is all about Periscope. It had just launched itself by Southwest that year. It was this huge phenomenon and everyone wants to know how to use Periscope and livestreaming for their business. I sat down, filmed a video, sent it to my clients, thought nothing of it. I had no subscribers on YouTube, but my channel was full of old demo reels and family videos. That was it. And the next morning I woke up and I went and looked at the video and it had 2,000 views on it. And I was obviously shocked. I didn’t know where the views had come from, I was so confused. But I also again had a light bulb moment and realized, okay, well if I did this for a year, I wonder what would happen?

So I kind of just went in with a sense of curiosity. And I made a new tutorial on a social media topic every single week for a year. And in that first year, I grew to 50,000 subscribers, 3 million viewers, and I built my email list completely from scratch to tens of thousands of people on it, which was nuts to me. I didn’t even really know I wanted to be talking about YouTube specifically. I created my first digital product, which was about social media in general, did a launch for that ,learned about online business, learned what an online course was, all this stuff. And everything changed. I always say YouTube changed my life because it really, really did. It changed my business for sure but it also changed my life.

I got a ton of speaking engagement offers. My very first speaking engagement was actually at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, because of their social media manager found me on YouTube and reached out on LinkedIn. And they flew me out to Brussels to present on how to leverage video for their delegates and for the people that they were inviting to this conference. And so it really was a game changer for me. And I think the motivation has always stayed the same. I light up from helping other people understand how to leverage communication tools like social media to make an impact. I want to empower anyone who comes in contact with my content to get their message out there. Because everyone in my opinion, and I think this is the journalists in me but everyone in my opinion has a story to tell.

Everyone has an angle in their life that no one else can speak to and that’s what makes you unique. That’s what helps you build a really powerful brand. And it all starts with this. I just tried, I just tried it. I was curious, I didn’t give a crap about metrics, I did not care about vanity numbers. I just tried to put out good content that wasn’t even highly produced. I used a webcam and a window.

Steve: Today your videos are very polished though.

Sunny: Thank you. Yeah, but now I’m at 200 and some thousand. So again I think that’s a really important thing for people to understand. Like I grew to 50,000 subscribers using a window for my light and an $80 webcam that I touched my computer and I edited the videos myself on IMDB. So and that grew my email list to like I said to tens of thousands of subscribers that allowed me to do my first launch. It brought on thousands of new customers for us through a digital product. So it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to try.

Steve: So Sunny, you got me really excited now. So when it comes to YouTube and today’s podcast, I want you to kind of address the crowd as if we were starting from complete scratch. And I don’t want to talk about any equipment at all, let’s just assume that people know how to take good quality video from a technical perspective. So I would also like you to take the spin of kind of using YouTube to grow an e-commerce business because a lot of my audience is into e-commerce. So let’s start first with the very basics, like what type of videos work well? And how do you actually start getting traffic on YouTube.

Sunny: Okay so the best way to start getting traffic on YouTube is and this is going to go against probably what a lot of people listening are thinking right now is starting with educational videos, because you have to keep in mind, YouTube is a search engine. And people are searching for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems all day, every day. And if you can show up and as entrepreneurs, we are problem solvers, as business owners, we are problem solvers. As an e-commerce store owner, you are solving a problem by providing a product that’s either going to help somebody or have some kind of an impact in their life, whether it’s something little and fun or something monumental and related to their health, it’s there for a reason.

And so you have to keep in mind that by doing tutorial based content, you’re allowing your content to show up to people who have never heard of you before, which is the magic. I went from zero people and 10 clients max in my little consultancy to 3 million people knowing about me and tens of thousands of people on my email list in a year. And that’s why my business grew so fast. So it’s understanding that tutorial based content is always the best way to start. Then once you have an audience, of course, you can start going after different kinds of content, you can create more lifestyle content, you can create content that’s maybe a little more interesting or diverse. But I still to this day, if you go to my channel, the majority of my content is tutorial based, because I’m constantly generating new leads and a new audience that are going to be interested in my products and services.

Steve: Do you do keyword research then to figure out what to film?

Sunny: Oh, yeah, a lot of it. I always say research before you record. I think it’s my number one rule that I have when it comes to YouTube. And I reiterate it to my clients and to our students all the time, mainly because if you’re not, you’re kind of just throwing up videos and hoping they succeed. And that’s not really fair to anybody, because you’re putting time and effort into these. And we’ve all had those moments where you post a piece of content, and it’s like crickets, and that just doesn’t feel good. So I use a couple of different tools but the easiest tool to use is called Keywords Everywhere. And it’s just a free Google Chrome plugin. And it will tell you the search volume of any term, any long tail phrase, or just individual keyword that you type into either Google or to YouTube. So you know what kind of search volume is behind the topic that you’re going to be making a video on and whether not you have an audience for it.

Steve: How do you determine how competitive that keyword is though?

Sunny: So it’s changed a little bit recently, because the easiest way was I had a formula where it was basically search volume versus search pool versus views and velocity. So what I mean by that is, it was basically the search volume is obviously the amount of search display in behind that keyword.

Steve: And this is on Google, right? Not necessarily YouTube, is that correct?

Sunny: It can be on both. I mainly focus on YouTube, because it is a little bit different. But it shows you how many people are searching for a specific topic every month. So that’s your search pool, and then you do your search volume. And then your search pool is the amount of other results that show up. So I used to be able to see this really easily, there’s a couple different hacks that you can see it now. And it will say like 2 million results, 1,000 results. So that means 1,000 other videos have been made on this topic. You’re trying to look for a topic that there’s been fewer videos made on because if you’re trying to compete, especially as a new channel with millions and millions of results, you’re going to sink to the bottom of the sea and never get found on YouTube.

So and keep in in mind that YouTube is a ranking game. So your best bet for actually building momentum in traffic is to rank number one. And in order to do that, you need low competition, high search volume. So I used to do it with just looking on YouTube search results. Now since it’s gotten a little bit trickier, you can actually use a tool called TubeBuddy, it’s a great tool. And it will show you the competitiveness and it will say you’re rating basically from poor, fair, good, very good or great. And so you’ll know if it’s worth going after based on that rating system.

And then the views and velocity is say there’s three videos ranking at the top for the topic, how to get more views on YouTube. And those videos have been up there for five years, and they have a handful of views. That’s going to tell you right there oh, that’s probably not a very good topic to go after because the top ranking videos only have a handful of views. So you want to go after topics where the first couple of videos actually have a high amount of views on them because that’s a topic people are actually going to be wanting to watch and searching for.

Steve: So assuming you’re not using TubeBuddy, do you have any guidelines in terms of how many videos you’d like to see for a given keyword topic?

Sunny: Yeah, I mean, it’s not really a guideline, because it’s totally dependent on the niche. And we’ve worked with people in thousands of different niches, but I just always say the smaller the better. That’s kind of the general rule. And if you’re just starting your channel, try and keep it under 50,000 video results that you’re competing against. And if you’re a more established channel, of course, you can go after bigger topics because you built more authority, but yeah, the smaller the better.

Steve: All right, so let’s say you found the right topic, and it has less than 50,000 videos on that particular topic. Is there a process that you use to actually get it to rank once it’s been published?

Sunny: Yeah, I mean, there’s so many things to that. So in our program with YouTube for bosses, we teach it in a four phase system. So really, first is the research portion of it, which does take the longest, but it’s also the most important because then you’re making videos that you know are actually going to get views on them, and have potential to rank. And then we go into scripting and filming. And scripting and filming is really important to ranking as well and not a lot of people talk about that.

I created something called the hot script formula, which gets you into the meat of the content as quickly as possible. Because again, your goal on YouTube is not to just serve your existing audience, the goal of YouTube and the magic of it is that you are capable of bringing in a brand new audience all day every day. So you want to make sure that you’re doing your videos in a way where if someone has never heard of you before, they’re going to stay tuned for the entire video. And it’s going to give you high retention because that’s the number one ranking factor on YouTube is people watching your whole video. So you want to get to the meat of the content as quickly as possible.

Steve: Yeah. Can we talk about some of the guidelines as part of that? So you said get into the meat as soon as possible? These are new people also viewing you. So do you give like a brief intro about yourself and your credentials also or no?

Sunny: Yep, so the hot script formula is hook. You’re hooking the viewer and then you give them the outcome of the video so they know exactly what they’re going to learn. They know they’ve landed in the right spot, they know what’s clickbait, they’re not going to waste their time. And then the testimonial or something like if I were to do this for a video, I would say the hook would be in this video, I’m going to teach you how to rank number one on YouTube. The outcome would be by the end of this video, you’ll know exactly how to write the perfect description so that you’ll get found in your search results. And the testimonial would be I’ve helped my clients go from scratch to 100,000 subscribers in 10 months and 10 million views leveraging this formula.

Steve: Hmm, nice. Nice. And that sounds pretty concise actually also.

Sunny: Yeah, you want to keep it under 30 seconds ideally, but if you can do it under a minute that also works.

Steve: And then how long of a video do you typically target? You mentioned that retention is very important. Does that imply that shorter videos work better?

Sunny: Not necessarily. I get that question a lot. People are like, what’s the perfect length? There really is no perfect length. I have videos that are 15 minutes. As long as it’s a tutorial with no fluff, no filler, people watch the whole thing because they’re trying to get the outcome. So of course as concise as possible, no fluff, no filler but there’s no really specific length, because if it takes you 30 minutes to explain the outcome and how to get to the outcome the viewer is looking for, people will still watch that for 30 minutes.

Steve: Because the reason why I asked that question is sometimes I don’t actually have 20 minutes. And maybe I won’t finish the video even though it’s really good. So is there some ideal length in your mind or does it really not matter at all?

Sunny: It really doesn’t matter at all to be honest, because I think you have to think of the mindset that people are in. If you really want to learn something, whether you watch the entire thing in that sitting or you come back to it later, you’re going to want to watch whatever video that it is in order to learn the outcome that you’re looking to learn.

Steve: And are there any tricks to get people to watch until the very end?

Sunny: Yeah, I mean, my scripting formula works pretty well. We usually give them an incentive to stay tuned until the end and it might be something like I’ll give you a special invite to my community of e-commerce sellers so you can get support from other people who have done this like yourself. So that will be like a Facebook group. But you don’t give them the information until the end of the video or you tell them, we actually have put together an entire guide on how to sell your first $100,000 worth of product, stay tuned until the end. So there’s a lot of different ways to do it. But yeah, giving them some sort of an incentive, also doing it step by step because then people have to watch the whole video in order to again get the outcome they’re looking for.

Steve: Interesting. And that incentive you talk about at the beginning of the video?

Sunny: Yeah, you tease it; you tease it at the beginning of the video.

Steve: And then to get them to watch other videos I hear is also another metric used to rank. Is there anything that you do at the very end of the video also?

Sunny: Yeah, I think I call it complimentary content. And this is something fairly new in the last year or before. This wasn’t weighted heavily but of course, every social platform at this point wants to keep you on it longer. So watch time on your channel. But watch time just on YouTube in general is very, very important. So basically, what I do is I kind of alternate so one video, I’ll send people to a guide. One video, I’ll send people to another video that’s like complimentary. So for example, I have a video on how to get really comfortable on camera. From that video, I’ll be like, okay, great. Now you’re comfortable on camera. Now let’s make your first video, here’s how to make videos with your phone. And then I’ll send them to my video on that topic. So I just kind of alternate to increase both watch time on my channel and my authority, but also build up my list, build up my community.

Steve: Okay, and then once — assuming we followed your scripting formula, do you do anything else to actually get the video to rank? Do you give people … okay yeah.

Sunny: So step three is actually optimization and uploading. So of course, you have to upload your video in the right way to optimize in the right way. That includes doing end cards, adding clickable cards throughout the video, doing your titling and your description in the right way, your title has to have your keyword up front, or also it will not get found. Your description needs to be done in a very specific way. I have a bunch of videos about that. And then tags and of course, your thumbnail. There are so many factors to getting your video to actually stand out on YouTube and those are the things that you need to do in phase three.

And then phase four of our program is all about distribution. So this is often a misstep, people just put the video on YouTube and hope it’s going to get seen. But with how much video is uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis, your biggest unfair advantage if you do have an existing audience, or even if you have an audience of 10 people is to share that video on platforms where people are already following you. So when I got started, I had like a couple of thousand people following me on Twitter. And I would share every video that I put out within the first 24 hours on Twitter. And then when Instagram came around, I started sharing every video on Instagram, Facebook same thing.

So I share it on all the platforms, I send it to my email list. So we have a whole checklist in our program of where exactly you want to be sharing your content and how to do it and why you need to do it in the first 24 hours, which is because YouTube really pays attention to that first 24 hour period and how much engagements, how many comments, likes, shares the video gets. And the more comments, likes, shares the videos gets, the more YouTube is going to go, wow, this must be a really good piece of content, I’m going to push it up even higher in not just the rankings, but also in suggested, meaning it will show up in the sidebar, when people are watching YouTube, and it’ll be a suggested video for them to watch.

Steve: So does the thumbs up matter as well as the comments?

Sunny: Yeah, that’s the like, yeah.

Steve: You know what’s really hilarious about this Sunny, I actually just interviewed someone on YouTube who does this for a living as well. And what’s funny about this is your strategy and his strategy are completely different.

Sunny: Oh, interesting.

Steve: He was saying that none of that stuff matters. It’s just all about retention. And the keywords in the description don’t really matter, either. But I think mainly it’s because he produces non tutorial based video.

Sunny: Yeah. Is he doing more blog stuff?

Steve: Yeah, more blog stuff yeah.

Sunny: It’s just a different beast in both. But I’m still saying like retention really for me is the most important metric. And it definitely isn’t last year on YouTube. But I’m also I think it’d be silly not to make sure everything else is done right because those things are very important for your rankings as well. So yeah, I think there’s obviously differing opinions. But I know what’s worked for me. And I’ve now helped over 2,000 people grow their channels very rapidly, so I know what works for other people too.

Steve: Sure, of course. And in your description, does it pay to create a nice, long, rich description?

Sunny: That part doesn’t matter as much anymore. I’m not really one to do like an essay in the description, especially because a lot of the times, it can kind of defeat the purpose of the video. I often see people put every single step that they include in their video in the description. I’m like, why are you doing that? Because people are smart, and they’re going to go down there, read that instead of watching the actual video, and that kills your retention. So I do about 200 to 400 words. And it’s really just a reiteration of what we’re talking about in the video and doing the primary keyword saying that over again, and then also adding in your secondary keywords as well.

Steve: And what about the keywords in the video? Are those important or do you just populate them just kind of by default?

Sunny: Do you mean like saying them verbally or?

Steve: No, no, you know how underneath the video you can type in the topics?

Sunny: Oh, like a tag?

Steve: Yeah, the tag, sorry.

Sunny: Yeah, I do recommend paying attention to your tags. And I mean, I don’t think you need to go crazy with them. But you do want to reiterate again your primary keyword and the tags as well.

Steve: Okay. All right well, let’s talk about — you mentioned building an email list from YouTube many times. Can we talk a little bit about how you do that?

Sunny: Yeah, totally. So I mean, my best way to do it is to just keep it hyper relevant. And I think that the more that you understand that people if they’re taking the time to watch your video, they’re invested. And YouTube is really a lot of warm leads, because they’re already in a place of needing the answer that that they’re searching for. When they find you, so when you deliver it, of course, they’re going to want to learn even more from you. So for example, we have a video on how to get more views on YouTube. That video now has well over half a million views on it. And it’s built our email list and continues to build our email list even though it’s three years old, and I’ve made updated versions of this video, it’s building our email list by about 300 leads a day. And those are all being funneled into our programs and our product offerings.

Steve: Is that done via a link beneath the video or within the video itself?

Sunny: So both, so I always talk about it at the end. And that’s part of my scripting formula, it’s my call to action at the end is it’s just extra relevant information. So the video is on how to get more views on YouTube. Our lead magnet that we have attached to it, which is basically a PDF download that has extra information about how to optimize your videos, it’s called views release news and it’s a YouTube SEO checklist. So it shows you how to optimize your videos in the correct way to actually rank them.

Steve: And when you decide your call to action at the end, you mentioned earlier, sometimes you refer to other videos, and sometimes you take them off to sign up for your email list. So you just kind of keep a balance because both are important?

Sunny: Yeah, exactly. Both are important yeah.

Steve: Okay, and kind of talked about a lot of things. You did mention the thumbnail, how important is the thumbnail?

Sunny: Thumbnail is vitally important, especially now just because there are so many videos on YouTube, so really dialing in a thumbnail strategy is super, super, super important for your videos to stand out.

Steve: So do you have any tips? What’s your style?

Sunny: M style has changed. I was doing — I don’t know I was doing like three words, three or four words and I still recommend it. If you’re a newbie, and you’re just starting on YouTube, no more than four words on your thumbnail is really, really important and having big bold text because you have to keep in mind if people are searching on mobile, which a lot of traffic on YouTube obviously comes from mobile, it’s teeny, teeny, tiny, tiny, the thumbnail. So you have to really make it pop on a tiny little green with a tiny little thumbnail. But now because I have an audience, I use a lot of thumbnails that don’t have any text at all. And it’s just more of like a big bold picture of myself in like a bright background.

Steve: Interesting. Yeah, I’ve heard conflicting things about thumbnails. Some people advise that you always keep like the same style so when someone is scrolling through, they immediately recognize that it’s you and they want to click on it. And then there’s other people, they just try to be really bold, really bold colors, really funny facial expressions.

Sunny: Yeah, totally. I mean, there’s so many different styles you have. And I think the thing is like, I’m constantly changing it, I’m constantly testing it. But if I were to start all over again, and I just did a video on this, I was like, if I were to start my channel from scratch, this is what I do. And I would go back and I would start my channel with thumbnails that have three to four words maximum, that are very like punchy headlines for whatever the video is about.

Steve: Okay, and for the distribution part, when you’re starting from scratch, and let’s say you don’t have anything, what are some of your advice there in just kind of jump starting the process?

Sunny: Sorry, what was that, sorry?

Steve: Let’s say you have no audience to start like you’re starting from nothing.

Sunny: So still same thing applies. I mean, I would still just — I would do the research. And we have a lot of people that come in through our programs who have no experience, have no audience and are starting from scratch. And I think the thing that I just always reiterate is like, this is not an overnight game. YouTube is a long game, we do have clients who have grown insanely fast and built massive businesses in a very short period of time. But I think it’s important to set the expectation that every video is helping you, every video is getting you where you want to be. So if you don’t have an audience, do the research, still do the research, figure out how to script and film your videos in the right way, optimize them and upload them in the right way so they can actually be discovered in search. And then of course, distribute them where you can.

And here’s the thing, when you’re a beginner and you don’t have an audience, you can pull from other people’s audiences. So there are so many Facebook groups and forums out there and I did this at the beginning. I would go to Facebook groups and forums that were dedicated to social media marketing and filled with other people in the marketing space. And I’d ask the admin or I just get the approval to be able to share and I’d say, hey, I do these videos, is it okay if I share them? And then even a lot of times that there’s tutorials in groups, there’s going to be people asking questions about specific things. If you have a video that answers that question, that’s so helpful. So I think as long as you understand you can build an audience even if you don’t have one right now by getting really crafty with where you’re putting your videos.

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So Sunny, let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about some specific case studies that you’ve done or clients that you’ve had in e-commerce space, and how you’ve managed to help them build an audience. Do you have any case studies handy for physical products?

Sunny: Yeah, so Stone Coat countertops. This is a really interesting one, we just worked with a company called Stone Coat countertops, and they sell epoxy products. And we brought them in through our intensive program and they worked with us for 90 days. And they started with us at about 70,000 subscribers; they already had a good start. But they came to us because they didn’t really understand the entire process of YouTube and they didn’t understand how to continue the momentum. They were finding that they were kind of getting stalled. So we worked with them for 90 days, we doubled their subscribers to 140,000. They’re now close to 200,000.

And we also helped them pay off the investment of that program, which is not small, but it’s worth it if in the first video, you are generating close to $20,000. So their first video that they did with us, they’ve generated close to $20,000 in product sales. And it was a live stream. And it’s something that we do with a lot of our clients to kick off the momentum of their channel. It’s our live launch strategy. And yeah, they generated about 20k in sales, and then they had their highest revenue month ever in the first month of working with us, and like I said, doubled their subscriber growth as well. So they doubled their revenue and doubled their subscriber growth.

Steve: Can we kind of talk about like the exact video that was produced that generated this money?

Sunny: Yeah, it was actually a live stream video. So it was the very first video that we did with them in the program and we advised them to go live to basically do a live demo of how their products work and treat it like a launch, treat it like a product launch. And they had extremely high retention. It was super interesting and engaging how they set it up. It’s on their channel if you want to go check it out. I can’t remember the exact title to be honest. But it is on their channel if you want to check out how they set it up.

Steve: I can see how that would work. It’s an epoxy right, so you can demonstrate how good it is. It’s kind of like an infomercial or like a QVC type of commercial.

Sunny: Totally yeah, yeah.

Steve: What happens though if your product doesn’t really solve a problem and it’s kind of like a vitamin?

Sunny: Oh my God, that’s huge. There’s such a big opportunity for say you’re selling a vitamin. Okay, what is the vitamin for? Do we have an example of like what the vitamin?

Steve: No, I just kind of came up with that at the top of my head. But let’s say it’s like vitamin C.

Sunny: Okay, cool. Cool, so I would be making videos on all — I would create basically a list of all the benefits of what vitamin C can do for you and then I make tutorials. So let’s say that vitamin C helps build up your energy, or helps you get better sleep at night or helps you have a better complexion. I would do a video on how to get clear skin with vitamins. And then I would talk about all the steps that you follow. And then I would say actually, one of the things that I use is this product, which is something that I’m actually selling now. Vitamin C, whatever the brand is, you can grab it in the link below.

Steve: How do you get over people who have camera fright? Do you have to have your face on the video?

Sunny: You don’t have to, but it works a lot better when you do, yeah. It’s called YouTube for a reason. They want to see you on YouTube. And I just know because we’ve worked with so many people now and I get this question a lot. And the thing that I always say is, I’ve been through this too, I mean, and I came from working on a multi-million dollar set in Morning TV to going on to YouTube. And you think it would be easy for me because I had done so much TV before this. But it was really hard because I was like, I don’t have the lights. I don’t have a team. I don’t have a producer. I don’t have a director; it’s just me in a webcam. Why would someone want to watch this?

And I also really battled with people thinking I was going to be an egomaniac because I was putting myself on camera. And so I just got to a point where I was like, the thing is, I’m helping people. And if I focus on the value of my content, the nerves really go away. I’m not focused on what I’m looking like or sounding like and getting so caught up in that, I’m more so focused on like, I’m a genius at what I do and I’m going to share that out to the world. And everyone is a genius in their own right; everyone has something that they’re really, really good at talking about. And you naturally are talking about it anyways.

I’m sure for you, you talk about e-commerce left, right and center because you’re passionate about it and you know a lot. So if you were to write down — and this is a good tip for anyone listening, if you write down a list of all the things that you’ve mastered in your business, that’s a really good place to start for topics. So you write down a master list of like, I know how to optimize videos, I know how to write a description on YouTube, I know how to sell products through YouTube videos, I know how to build an email list on YouTube. I know how to build up my Instagram following, I know how to double my engagement. Cool, all good topics, then I do the research. So starting with just like a brain dump of these are all the things I’m really good at and then doing the research and the process that I talked about earlier to figure out how to actually get them up and out there on YouTube.

Steve: Sonny, I know you have a podcast as well. What’s your opinion on putting your podcast episodes on YouTube?

Sunny: I really don’t like it.

Steve: It actually will hurt your channel?

Sunny: Yeah.

Steve: It will.

Sunny: Yeah. Well, it depends on how you do it right. So there are really cool strategies of how to do it in a way where you’re still getting higher retention. But that means you’re doing basically short clips from a podcast. So I think it’s actually Jordan Harbinger who’s just on my show, but he does a really good job with repurposing it. And he basically takes like little mini tutorial clips from his guests, and he turns them into tutorials on YouTube. So he just takes that clip, puts a thumbnail on it, does it the right way for YouTube uploads and for YouTube, and it does it really well for him.

Steve: Okay, yeah, that guy lives like right down the street from me.

Sunny: Yeah, he’s so awesome.

Steve: Yeah, it’s so funny because he does video as well. So he’s taking video clips, right?

Sunny: Yeah, exactly.

Steve: He knows. Okay yeah. And what is your opinion on Facebook video actually compared to YouTube?

Sunny: Facebook video is great. I think the thing to understand is that video of any kind on any platform works in an amazing way for you, it’s the best way to build that like a trust factor with people, if people can see your face, they can see how you react to things, they can see your eyes, they can see how smart you are and trustworthy you are on camera. My thing with Facebook video is that it’s not evergreen. It’s cool for viral velocity and it’s cool for engagement in the moment. YouTube and why I love it so much is because it will continue to build your business in your sleep, it will continue to bring in leads for you in your sleep as long as you’re getting your videos ranked. And it you will continue to generate videos for years to come if they’re high in the search rankings.

Whereas on Facebook, you post it, you get a couple days’ worth of engagement velocity, and then you have to make something new. So I love YouTube because it’s a little bit of a lazy strategy. It’s like I make one video, that’s free advertising for me bringing in leads for me. I don’t even need to touch it, the channel is going to continue to grow, subscribers grow, leads grow on my email list and I’m good to go.

Steve: No, laziness is good. So just kind of curious then, when you produce a YouTube video, how do you repurpose that content?

Sunny: So when I produce a YouTube video, we repurpose it into Instagram stories, we repurpose it onto our Instagram feed usually through a graphic and image and a really interesting caption about why the audience there should go and watch it. We send my email list; we put it on to our Facebook page as basically we used to do a native teaser. So that strategy worked really well for a long time, where we would do like a 30 second clip of the beginning of the video and then we’d say to watch the full video, go to YouTube. Now I mean the best way to do it is to do a live stream because it gets so much attention on YouTube or on Facebook. I go with live sometimes, and I’ll just be like, yeah, check out this new video that we have up on YouTube, you’re going to learn X, Y and Z. It gets an immediate high level of attention from your audience and drives a ton of traffic over to the channel.

Steve: I see. So you’re actually not trying to get an audience on Facebook, you’re driving everyone over to your YouTube video?

Sunny: Exactly.

Steve: So how do you feel about embedding YouTube videos into like a blog post and driving people there? Is that the same as driving it directly to the YouTube page?

Sunny: It’s not. So our strategy has always been drive people directly to YouTube for the first 24 to 48 hours. And then we’ll switch out the links and we’ll send people to my website. But the reason that we don’t send people to the blog, or the website in the first 24 to 48 hours is because that you don’t — a lot of that traffic doesn’t count and you’re not getting engagement. People don’t go to a blog and then click on the YouTube video and give you a thumbs up, a comment, and a share. That just doesn’t work that way. People are lazy, which I get. So you want them going directly to YouTube to give you them the signals that you need so that YouTube knows it’s a good piece of content. So this is a huge missed opportunity for a lot of people when they just embed the video on their blog. You want to send people directly to YouTube first, give them a thumbs up, a comment, a share, a subscribe, super, super important.

Steve: Okay, wow, this is so interesting just because I interviewed the guy and he said that stuff wasn’t important at all. So the thumbs up and the comments, okay. All right, so send them directly to the YouTube video and then also embed it on your post and maybe later on, you can refer people, but that first 24 hour period you’re saying is crucial.

Sunny: Crucial. Yeah.

Steve: Okay, do you have any key analytics that you look at for your videos?

Sunny: Retention is my main analytic and then I will say…

Steve: What’s a good retention number?

Sunny: I’d say anything about 50% is good because you have to keep in mind people’s attention spans and also understand that there’s going to be a lot of people dropping off in the first couple of seconds just because things happen. It’s okay, that’s normal. But as long as it’s a pretty flat line throughout the entire video before you see a drop off. And for most of my videos, if I look at the graph, so I can actually tell when people go off of my videos because there’s a dip. And it’s usually when I say and this is the goal is when I say yeah, go grab our guide, or click this link below to go join our Facebook group or whatever it might be. And at that very moment, I can see in the graph on YouTube in the back end, people are dropping off and heading over there. So that’s a pretty powerful method for people to stay on the video.

Steve: Okay and if my videos are unlisted and I change them to public, does that 24 hour timer start then or when I actually…

Sunny: Yeah, it starts when you actually make it public?

Steve: Okay? And what are some of the most common mistakes that brand new YouTubers are making?

Sunny: Oh man, there’s so many. And I actually just did a video about this, because I get asked all the time. So I mean, the biggest one is people think they need to be doing a video a day. And that’s just like painful because it’s all about quality. If you can do a quality piece of content every single day, all the power to you. But if you can actually create something that’s going to be impactful, meaning it’s going to inspire, educator or entertain, you just don’t, you don’t need to be posting it, it’s not going to benefit you in the long run. It’s not like an Instagram or a Facebook where you constantly have to be active. It’s about quality over quantity. So that’s the biggest mistake, I would say. And then…

Steve: Let me ask you this, if you have a bunch of crappy videos, would you recommend deleting them then and keeping your channel tight?

Sunny: No, I think you can keep them up. I don’t think you need to necessarily like have them public but I think you can keep them on the channel. I think people ask that a lot too and they’re like, do I need to delete all my old videos? And I’m like it’s kind of a waste of time. I’d rather just you focus on moving forward and doing things in the right way there. And honestly, we’ve had a lot of people have success with re-optimizing their videos in a way with old videos and seeing those old videos go to the top of the rankings and generate more views for them.

Steve: Interesting. So if we were to look at your channel, we would see all the old videos as well?

Sunny: Yeah, they’re all there, good and bad.

Steve: I will definitely link those up then.

Sunny: Yep.

Steve: Sorry, you were in the middle of talking about another mistake. I apologize.

Sunny: I actually don’t remember what I was going to say. Oh, the other biggest mistake briefly. I’m sure peeve people off but it’s just that people think like, oh, I look at someone like Casey Neistat or I look at someone like Peter McKinnon or I look at them like a Gary Vee and I’m like, okay that’s the model. I got to follow that model. That’s what I’m going to do. And it’s not. You have to do what makes sense for you, the niche you’re, what your capabilities are. Casey Neistat is a world class filmmaker as is Peter McKinnon.

Gary Vaynerchuk has a team of 20 plus on his brand team, dedicated full time editor and videographer. So like, be realistic about where you are and what you’re capable of, and how you can bring the best forward with what you have, instead of trying to copy other people’s models because no one’s ever going to supersede the original. And it’s important to hone in on what makes you unique, because that’s what performs the best on YouTube.

Steve: I’m just curious, what does it take for you to produce a video today, like who’s on your staff?

Sunny: For us, we now have — we just actually like this month brought in an in house videographer. But she’s also doing more than just YouTube. She’s doing all of our video content internally for like our courses, and then also for our programs and then also for like promotional ads, and then YouTube as well. So it’s actually still to this day, very easy. We for the most part are doing one shoot every month or one shoot every two months. And I bang out four to eight videos in about four hours. And that’s it. That’s all I do. And then my team takes them and edits them and creates the teasers for them for the other platforms. And then distribution is up to myself and then the other members on my team, where we make sure that it gets sent out via email and social media.

Steve: Okay, and so you just batch it all and it’s just one video a week.

Sunny: Yep, yep.

Steve: Well, Sunny, we’ve been chatting for quite a while. I want to give you an opportunity to talk about your services and your course.

Sunny: Well, thank you. Yeah, so YouTube for Bosses is the best place to start. If you go to my website, SunnyLenarduzzi.com, you’ll be able to find it under the work with me section. I’ve had thousands of students come through this program. See incredible results. We’ve had one student go from, like I said, zero to 100,000 subscribers in 10 months, and she built a multiple six figure business. She’s done well over half a million in her first year of business, starting from complete scratch with no email list nothing when she began with us on YouTube. So that’s one of our best case studies out of YouTube for Bosses. But we have so many more. We have clients growing by thousands and thousands every single day, whether they started with one subscriber on their channel, or they started with a more established channel.

So it really does show you everything you need to know to succeed as an entrepreneur on YouTube. But I think that something really important to understand is that there’s a big difference between being a daily blogger, a creative and an influencer, versus being an entrepreneur on YouTube, and really checking in with your objective and your goal for it before you get started on your strategy. But our strategy has worked for entrepreneurs, but it also has worked for personal brands, it’s worked for bloggers, it’s worked for people in all different niches because it’s a formula. It’s not like it’s something that’s customized to every single person. It’s a formula you follow. If you follow the formula step by step, you’re going to see insane results. And then we also have a consulting program, both group and one on one and we have an agency see as well.

Steve: Do you handle smaller clients as well?

Sunny: Our smaller clients usually come through our group consulting program.

Steve: Okay. Okay, cool. Well Sunny, I really appreciate you coming on the show. I learned a lot today.

Sunny: Thanks for having me.

Steve: All right, thanks a lot.

Sunny: Thank you.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Now because I’m in the midst of starting a YouTube channel with my kids right now, all of this information is super helpful. For more information about this episode, go to Mywifequitherjob.com/episode256.

And once again, I want to thank Privy for sponsoring this episode. Privy is the email capture provider that I personally use to turn visitors into email subscribers. They offer email capture, exit intent, and site targeting tools to make it super simple as well. And I like Privy because it’s so powerful and you can basically trigger custom pop-ups for any primer that is closely tied to your e-commerce store. Now if you want to give it a try, it is free. So, head on over to Privy.com/Steve, once again, that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve.

I also want to thank Klaviyo which is my email marketing platform of choice for e-commerce merchants. You can easily put together automated flows like an abandoned cart sequence, a post-purchase flow, a win-back campaign, basically all these sequences that will make you money on autopilot. So head on over to Mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, once again that’s Mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.

Now I talk about how I use these tools on my blog, and if you’re interested in starting your own e-commerce store, head on over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six-day mini course. Just type in your email and I’ll send you the course right away. Thanks for listening.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast where we’re giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information, visit Steve’s blog at www.Mywifequitherjob.com.

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