Today, I’m really happy to have Tim Schmoyer on the show. Tim is someone who came highly recommended to me by Colin Jones who will be a future guest on this podcast.
He is a veteran when it comes to audience growth on YouTube. And he specializes in helping YouTube creators spread their message to reach people online.
His channel has over 400K subscribers and this interview comes at an opportune time because I’m actively trying to grow my new show, The 5 Minute Pitch.
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 Tim Schomoyer on the podcast. And Tim is my go to expert when it comes to building successful YouTube channels. And it just so happens that interviewing Tim comes at a very fortuitous time because I just released my brand new show where 32 entrepreneurs pitch their products for the chance to win $50,000 in cold hard cash.
Now my new show is called the 5 Minute Pitch. And you can think of it as a more relatable down to earth version of Shark Tank where the judges actually provide actionable feedback to the contestants. Now my fellow judges are Greg Mercer, Scott Voelker and Mike Jackness, and you can check out the show at 5MinutePitch.com/launch, once again that’s 5MinutePitch.com/launch.
Now before we begin, I want to give a quick shout out to Klaviyo who is a sponsor of the show. Klaviyo is the tool that I use to build real quality customer relationships with my e-commerce store. And because all my transactions and email correspondence is tracked in Klaviyo, I can easily build meaningful customer relationships by listening, understanding, and taking cues from my customers and deliver personalized marketing messages. For example, with the click of a button, I can easily send a specific and targeted email to all customers with a lifetime value of over $100 who purchased a red handkerchief in the past year.
And it is for this reason why over 10,000 brands have switched over to Klaviyo. Right now they have this cool docuseries called Beyond Black Friday where they discuss successful marketing strategies that their customers are using that you can emulate with your business. So, head on over to Klaviyo.com/beyondbf, once again that’s K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.com/beyondbf
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 what does Privy do? Well, Privy is an email list growth platform and they manage all of my email capture forms. And I use Privy hand-in-hand with my email marketing provider. They’re a bunch of companies out there that will manage your email capture forms, but I like 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 happy to have Tim Schomoyer on the show. Now, Tim is actually someone who I have not met in real life but he’s someone who came highly recommended to me from a friend of mine by the name of Colin Jones who will be a future guest on this podcast. Now who is Tim? Well, he is a veteran when it comes to audience growth on YouTube. And he specializes in helping YouTube creators spread their message to reach people online.
His channel has over 400k, subscribers and meeting Tim actually comes at a very opportune time for me, because I’m thinking about starting my own YouTube channel for real this time. I’m actually sitting on about 11k sales right now by accident and not doing anything with these people at all. And hopefully Tim can help both me and the audience out. And with that, welcome to show Tim, how are you doing today?
Tim: Hey, thanks for having me. I’m doing great.
Steve: So Tim, give us a quick background story in your motivation for starting VideoCreators.com.
Tim: Yeah, so I actually started back – I started on YouTube without any sort of motivation to do something like Video Creators, which is my business today where we work with creators and help them grow their audiences on YouTube. It actually started back in 2006. I was in graduate school halfway across the country from my family. And I was dating this girl and was trying to figure out a way of introducing her to my family back home. And I was doing a blog at that time, which I was using the way most people use Facebook today. Back then Facebook wasn’t a thing yet.
And so, I was just posting on there what I ate for dinner the night before. And then this YouTube thing came along. I’m like, oh, instead of emailing them video files, I could just post them here and they can just click play, it’ll be a lot easier. So, I started making videos with her going out to eat, going out the restaurants, going out to the park, on movies. Today we would know them as vlogs but back then that wasn’t a word. It was just being awkward in public with a camera. So, I would go out make these videos, I post them on YouTube, better than my blog and my family could watch them.
Well then, this weird thing started happening where other people started watching them too. And I was a little bit nervous because this was during Myspace days now where if someone knew who you were on the internet for some reason, they will come down and kill you. Right? I was like, who is Catholic, you’re 69? And should I be concerned that they’re watching my videos and commenting? So, I was trying to figure out like, who are these people? Why are they watching my videos? Where are they coming from?
And I started asking around other people who are posting on YouTube and everyone was like, we don’t know, Tim, but we’re trying to figure it out and if you if you figure it out, let us know. I’m like, okay, like a good challenge. And so from the very beginning days of YouTube, I was the guy trying to figure out how does this platform work? How do people discover content here? What keeps them coming back? What gets people engaged, what builds community all around on my video?
And in 2013, I started doing this audience development YouTube professionally full time for a lot of different companies and people, but in 2013 I launched VideoCreators.com which is business I run today. It is a small team of nine people who work for me, and together we’re just all working with clients and helping train people, doing their YouTube strategy for them and so far we have helped our clients gain 14 billion views and 61 million subscribers.
Steve: Wow, that’s a huge number.
Tim: We have a lot of fun with it. And for me it’s all about reaching people and changing their lives which is ultimately I think is about my girlfriend at the time now wife, we got married, and now we have seven kids in eight years somehow.
Steve: Oh my goodness.
Tim: We didn’t know that was possible, but we’re just seeing tons of people watching our family videos just like having their lives change, people who didn’t like to commit suicide because videos we’ve made. And people saying, I was about to to get divorced, but I watched your video or you and your wife are learning how to love each other better and I shared that with my husband, we talked about it and now we have hope again for our marriage, just want to say thank you. And just tons of stories I could tell you, but I know you want to talk about more than that. But that’s what gets me most excited. And I just love it when other people can spread that message that reaches people and changes lives.
Steve: That’s really awesome Tim, and when it comes to YouTube and today’s podcast, I actually want you to start from the beginning, but I don’t really want to talk about the mechanics of shooting a video or the equipment that you need, because all that somebody can find online. Let’s just assume that everyone knows how to shoot audio and video and let’s start actually by talking about what types of videos work well, and if there’s a different mindset involved in getting traffic on YouTube. So for example, does it involve keyword research, is it very deliberate and how you put out these videos and tag them.
Tim: Yeah, so that’s a really big topic to discuss. And the short answer is that there’s many ways to get discovered on YouTube. A lot of people come to YouTube, especially bloggers come to YouTube thinking primarily the way they think with Google, which is primarily search. And so, they are thinking in terms of keywords and outranking each other and it’s very competitive. But on YouTube, I mean, it’s the second largest search engine in the country, second only to Google.com itself — or not in the country, in the world. But YouTube is much more than just search. I mean, there’s that search feature, but a lot of people also can discover you through suggested videos, through the homepage and through playlist and through recommendations.
And so, what’s different about YouTube versus what people are familiar with on Google is if Google does their job well, you’re on their site for maybe a few seconds, and then you’re gone. But YouTube has the opposite goal, their goal is to get you on their platform and stay there as long as possible. And so, discovery is there’s a lot more discovery happening than just search. So, that totally answers your question but just think bigger than that.
Steve: So obviously search is a component of discovery, right? So, let’s talk about that first and then focus on how to get people to stick on your channel and continue to watch you.
Tim: Yeah, I don’t usually target search any more personally, it’s been about a few years. And the reason for that is one is really competitive, and two the principle is like where is your most valuable customer, and go after them. And in terms of YouTube, your most valuable customer/viewer is typically not a search driven customer/viewer, because those people are just looking for information real quick and then once they get the information, they’re gone. They’re scrubbing ahead, they’re like, okay, it’s taking too long, but just looking for information. And according to almost everyone’s analytics I’ve ever seen, the search traffic is worth the least from an average view duration perspective, which is which viewer gives me the most amount of watch time which is just the amount of time someone spends watching your video.
And so, if the goal, YouTube’s goal is to get people to come back to YouTube as often as possible, engage with as much content as possible, then you want people who are going to be watching longer. And often those people come from end screens, playlists, suggested videos and things like that. So in order to hit search, what I’ve been doing for the past few years, it’s actually targeting suggested videos where I get more watch time.
And then what happens is, as I successfully do that, Google starts figuring out who my videos are for, who’s responding well to them. And then they just, literally, they just put my videos in front of the right people, whether they’re searching or they’re on their homepage, whether they’re watching a competitor of mine or whatever, YouTube just learns who this is for and puts it in front of them. So like I said, search is how most people think with Google but on YouTube it works a little differently.
Steve: Okay, so does that imply then that the titles don’t really matter from a keyword perspective, and then you just want to create titles that encourage someone to actually watch the video?
Tim: Yeah, you’re on the right track. Yes and no. So yes, they still matter, but in my opinion, they matter primarily for people like when we’re thinking about optimizing here we have to remember we’re optimizing for people, not for robots. So, everything that ranks in positions of videos and search and discovery mechanisms across YouTube, all of them are based on viewer signals, which is like I mentioned, how long this someone has been watching your video, do they click on it, watch for 10 seconds, and then leave versus this other video, the exact same title, keywords and everything. Do they click on that video watch for three and a half minutes? Well, Google is going to say that the one with three and a half minutes of watch time per person must be more valuable than the one with 10 seconds.
And so, the one that’s only hooking people for 10 seconds is going to drop pretty quickly in results and suggested. And so, the title matters, but not because you’ve repeated the keyword 16 times and really convinced Google that this must be about that keyword. But it’s more because the keyword is what the person who’s looking for that information expected to see. And so they clicked on it, this must be about what I’m looking for. And then the content has to deliver because at the end of the day titles and tags and descriptions, nothing matters if the content itself isn’t actually crafted to hold someone’s attention.
Steve: Okay, and so does the keyword tag when you’re creating a video, does that really matter?
Tim: No, I mean, so we add tags tags, tags which is a form of metadata, you’re telling Google here’s the tag that this video is about. Google primarily uses those now just to check misspellings in your your title and description. So, if you like accidentally misspelled someone or something over there, they’ll be like, oh, here’s the where they actually meant but that’s about it.
Steve: And so in terms of getting on the suggested videos, what are some ways to do that?
Tim: Uh love it yeah, so there’s again this is a big conversation but there’s a couple of basic things that need to happen. Number one is your content needs to regularly attract a similar or the same audience. So, you can’t have like a video about here’s how I don’t know — tie a tie, then here is how I make playdoh, and then here’s what to do if your child’s diaper is dirty. I’m a dad so…
Steve: Yeah I know
Tim: Thinking about this morning trying to get kids ready, but yeah so it’s like those are all the three different potential audiences interested in those videos. And so, Google is like, well, this video is for that audience, this video is for that audience but if you want your newer videos to keep being recommended to people, it’s got to be like yeah, you need to have a specific audience. Google starts to feel pretty confident like oh, we get it, this channel is about people who are trying to climb out of debt and need financial help, right? Or this channel is about people who are trying to grow their audience on YouTube, and they start feeling confident, like who your videos are for.
And then once your videos are regularly targeting those people, then those people need to be consistently number two, be getting the value from your content that they want. So you need to train them that every time I listen to My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, I’m getting exactly what I need. And the same thing is true on YouTube. Like what’s that value proposition or that thread that ties all of your content together so that Google starts feeling confident this is who this video is for and this is what this is about.
And then what happens is when a new person who’s coming to YouTube who has not yet connected with your content search like looking for something or or Google just starts noticing that they tend to start clicking on these types of videos, then they like, oh, they’re probably also interested in My Wife Quit Her Job here. Let’s just put that in front of you on the homepage or as I suggested video and get you into their content as well.
Steve: So that implies that only focus like a focus channel does better than a channel that just talks about random things.
Tim: Better depends on what your goals are obviously, but if your goal is to grow a subscriber ship and grow a community of people who keep coming back to you looking for this, then yes that’s true. You can do have like a random channel but you’re going to have individual videos that grow and you’re just kind of going after maybe adsense revenue at that point.
Steve: Interesting. So I was just thinking about all the blogs out there. Are those guys making a lot of money or?
Tim: Potentially. I mean not all of them are. I mean the thing that you probably know more than probably YouTube creators is that the the size of your audience is not tied almost — well I shouldn’t say in any way, there are some ways it is tied, but but there are channels with like around half million subscribers. That’s like half of the entire YouTube English speaking creative community is around a million, so I’ve got like half my market already subscribed to my channel. I make more — our business makes more I should say than other people. I got a client of mine who now has 10 million subscribers but at the time they had 6 million they came to me saying, Tim, I’m going to quit if you can’t help me figure this out. And I was making more than that person was. So, the size of your audience doesn’t make it — isn’t correlated to how much revenue you earn, necessarily.
Steve: Okay. And then, when someone types in something in YouTube, what kind of determines the rankings and how can you get your stuff to rank higher?
Tim: In search or suggested or both?
Steve: Well, let’s start with search and then move on to suggested.
Tim: So, getting yourself to rank in search really comes down to some of these same principles, which is the title and the thumbnail, do they work together to tease a value that someone in my target audience wants? Not necessarily needs, people don’t really click on what they need; they click on what they want. All right, so my audience wants more views, more subscribers and more money, so if I make a topic around one of those, it tends to perform better. And so, I want to create a video around a topic that I know my target audience is really interested in.
Then the next thing I would recommend is go and do that search a few times on YouTube and incognito window so that your previous viewing history and search history and things aren’t taken into consideration and just see what pops up there and look for what’s in common among all those videos that are ranking top four. Is it new like it was just published a few days ago? In that case then, YouTube just experimenting with it and it probably it may or may not be there in a few days from now.
Maybe you notice that all the thumbnails have like a bright smiling face on them or they all have a question mark on them. Or you go, oh this isn’t doing this title is actually crafted differently than the way I was going for it, and then you realize that definitely has a stronger human element to it. And I can see why it’s not “perfectly” optimized, but the human element there is a lot stronger so it gets more people to click. And so, maybe you notice that.
And then next thing I would look for is how do these videos start because a lot of people, they craft YouTube videos; they kind of model it after what they’re used to, which is television. But on television, when you turn the TV on, the video is already playing; you don’t have to click on a title and thumbnail. But on YouTube, the customer journey so to speak, the viewer journey actually starts with the title and thumbnail. So, you look at the title and thumbnail, and then you pay attention to the first 15 seconds of how those videos open because the title and thumbnail sets an expectation for the viewer of, here’s the value that you want to consume. And then the first 15 seconds either quickly affirm for that viewer that yes, what you clicked expecting to get is coming in this video, otherwise they leave.
And so, maybe you start evaluating how these top videos for the search query are doing that or not doing that. And often there’s a lot of opportunity there because sometimes they’re doing it terribly. So, that’s like the main thing you’re going to maybe for that particular in our example that we’re talking about right now, that’s the main thing that you go like, okay, all these videos are ranking number one for this but none of them are connecting the first 15 seconds of the title and thumbnail. So when I do my video, I need to make sure that I do that.
Steve: So it sounds, like just to kind of summarize is the click through rate matters and then the stickiness of the person matters in the rankings.
Tim: That’s right. That matters more than the actual text in the title and thumbnail yeah, except for the title and thumbnails which gets them into the video in the first place. So that’s important for that reason.
Steve: So when it comes to the thumbnail, I’ve actually heard that there’s a lot that goes into this. So, I was wondering if you could just kind of talk about some thumbnail tips.
Tim: Yeah, really important because a lot of people don’t realize that it doesn’t matter how amazing your video content is if someone is not enticed to click on it in the first place. So, the title and thumbnail is like the billboard, that’s like the marketing piece that really gets people into your video. So, for the thumbnail, a couple principles to consider, one is that most of YouTube’s viewership now is mobile and that we really need to craft these that are really small, tiny size like 72 by 100 pixels or something like that, right? So when it’s really small, can all the information that the viewer needs to see and consider, does it stand out?
So, if you’re using text and your thumbnails, is it still readable? Or if there’s like you’re trying to show like a human emotion or there is something that the viewer really, really needs to see, is it still viewable when it’s super small? So, your thumbnail should be at 10 ATP or 4k, like you should match the resolution of your video but we need to make sure that you can consider that we can see it in a small size, but also then some of the other principles all follow that which is it needs to be clear. It needs to have math like high contrast between the foreground and the background, the thing you want the eye to be attracted to needs to pop off the screen.
Smiling faces typically do better than non close ups of faces. Some sort of human emotion does a good job, whether it’s a surprise or shock or what or just a question or thinking like human emotion does well. Yeah, so all those need to be taken into consideration.
Steve: So, it seems like a human — the thumbnails at least that I see most commonly now always have a face. So, does that kind of imply that you should put your face on the thumbnail?
Tim: If that’s what the person sees when they click play, then yes, because remember the title and the thumbnail set an expectation. But there’s a lot of channels out there for example, like just tutorial channels where all you see is the hands, no face on there. And so, in that case your face isn’t as important because people aren’t clicking to connect with the person, they just want to know how do I build this table or whatever? Others like a kid channel, they just care about ABC series so they don’t they have to have faces either.
Steve: I’m just looking at some of these thumbnails right now actually on my computer and it seems like a lot of these people are outlined in white. They’re these big funky letters for the fonts, neon colors, are these all things that you do with your channel?
Tim: What types of channels are they?
Steve: They are tutorials actually.
Tim: Yeah, so the other thing to consider is the age of the video because thumbnails, like the style thumbnails tend to change like the style and fashion tends to change over time, so what works on YouTube two years ago doesn’t necessarily still work amazingly today. It’s not that they’re bad but but the style a few years ago was definitely to stroke everything in white and put it for us and color in the background. And now it’s kind of moved more towards like Instagram type of feel where it’s just like an amazing picture with that being color graded but not necessarily doctored in terms of texts and things. You’re like, oh, there’s a story there, I really need to see how they did that, or yes, that’s the cake I want to learn how to make or something. So, they tend to be a little bit more straightforward today.
Steve: And in terms of video content then, if you have any sort of pointers on how to create videos that encourage someone to watch all the way to the end, it sounds like it’s a ranking factor, so what are some things that you do to do that?
Tim: So, the other quick outline that I would recommend everyone starts with and not that this makes sense for everyone all the time, but it’s like learning how to write. You need to learn the rules of grammar and how to write so that you can break them and do that intentionally rather than just haphazardly later, right.
Tim: So, the outline I would recommend at least considering when you first get started is starting with your title and thumbnail not your actual video. And so, that means sitting down and you know like the beginning of this customer journey/ viewer journey is they got to see the title and thumbnail. So, draft 20, 30, 50 whatever different titles for this piece of content and keep keep tweaking it. And then what’s the image I am going to use to represent this content that’s going to entice someone to want to click and watch, and start there. That way you can open the video already knowing what the person saw in order to click, and you can open the content pitching the content based on what they click because you already know the title.
Otherwise, what too many people do is they make the content first, they upload it and now that it’s uploaded, they’re trying to figure out the title and then like sometimes it matches but then often like the value actually comes at eight minutes into it. But you can’t title it that way because no one is going to click. At the end of the video, the title might make sense, but you need to make sense in the first 15 seconds. So you need to start there. And that’s the only way you can match the first 15 seconds to connect with the title and thumbnail. And then you need to open — the first thing you need to do then open that video with a hook which is like I said earlier just reaffirms for the viewer that what they click expecting to get is coming in that video.
So, it’s like an educational type video series tutorial for example, it opens like you guys really want to learn how to make this cake. It’s amazing. I love it, it is like the most beautiful fancy cake I’ve ever made. And everyone who comes to your party is going to think that you are some professional chef, but it’s actually really simple. Let me show you how to do it in this video. Right. So just something like that for that, or if it’s a narrative based content, it could be just opening up with a conflict or a motivating story, right? Yeah. Or some people do like coming up on, you can do that but that’s basically the same thing as you just teased the climax of the blog.
If you do a blog, well, you tease the climax of the story and then you go back until the backstory. So you open with a hook. Then number two, I recommend you have some sort of branded intro. And that could be anywhere from three to five seconds but absolutely no longer than five seconds. Anything longer than five, you’ll start seeing audience abandonment on your videos. So three is ideal. And what that needs to…
Steve: Why is number two important in your opinion and how did you test that?
Tim: Yeah, so what happens is a lot of people when they do this is they’re just putting up their logo and making their logo do some like fancy flip or something. That doesn’t add any additional value, it reinforces your brand, but what we’re doing with it is it actually needs to pitch the value proposition of your brand or your channel, in this case to someone in your target audience. And that sets the context now through which people should evaluate and consider subscribing. Like oh, this is a whole channel about growing my audience on YouTube and learning to reach people and change their lives, like heck yes, I’m here, I subscribe.
Versus like My Wife Quit Her Job and maybe the quit sign does a nice little flip in the middle and people are like, I don’t really know if it’s for me, is this not for me, right? And so, that three seconds in my case, it says, Master YouTube, that’s the what, spread your message, that’s the why, Video Creators TV. So, it’s not like a full thing but I’m telling people this is what I do and this is why we do it and then branding.
Steve: Okay, that makes sense.
Tim: And that gets people like a quick intro to who you are what you’re all about, which is one of those questions they’re asking about before they subscribe. Is this for me? And is this content that’s valuable for me or not?
Steve: Okay, great. Yeah, this is just like the principles of e-commerce. As soon as someone lands on your site, they need to know what you sell and why they should buy from you. Same…
Tim: Exactly, yes. Yep. Yep. Yeah, a lot of these principles are straight from business marketing world. It turns out people are people whether they’re on Google, YouTube, a blog, Facebook, whatever, like we’re all people, so the principle is transferred. And then the video should — if you’re doing like a talking head number three is it should like just welcome people very briefly, hey guys, my name is Tim Schomoyer, welcome to Video Creators, we are all about helping you grow your audience so you can spread a message that reach people and changes their lives. And then you get into content.
But in order to do that, you get into content. So the number three, the welcome should be very quick. And I actually do most of my welcome with a lower third that pops out so I don’t have to take as much time verbally to talk about it. And so people can kind of just visually see that while I’m talking. And then again, to the content itself and…
Steve: What’s a good length for the video now that we’re talking about content?
Tim: The way to evaluate length is based on how well you can hold someone’s attention. So, sometimes people say three minutes, but that’s only true if you’re only good at holding someone’s attention for three minutes. Some people are great at holding someone’s attention for 10 minutes, half hour, or some people can’t do it for three. so it really depends. My principle is if you have a two minute idea, take two minutes to share that story of that message. Don’t try to artificially inflate it into 10 and don’t try to take a 10 minute idea and squish it into two because someone told you a two minute idea was better. Serve the viewer the best you can and if that takes two minutes or 10 minutes, serving the viewer is the most important thing.
Tim: So, deliver the content and then you wrap it up with some call to actions. I have a couple of different call to actions to make depending on what the goal of the video is. Another mistake a lot of people make is they try to do too many goals with each video. Each video they want to get tons of views, they want to rank number one in search, they want to generate a ton of leads and sales for their thing, they want to go big on Reddit, they want Huffington Post to pick it up, they want it to engage a new community. I’m, well, well, well, slow down.
A video will perform much better if you have one primary goal for it not 15. Just like your website, the front page of your website is designed with a specific goal in mind which is different than the about page which is different than the contact page which is different than this sales page, right? And so, what’s the primary goal of this video? And that determines what your call to action is. I think you should have — there’s probably — well there’s four different goals you could have for content.
One is discoverable, and if this is meant to be discoverable video, then the primary call to action should be to get them to watch another video which is you on the screen saying, guys, now this cake was amazing but if you have a birthday, you probably want to consider this cake right here and you’re like pointing to it on your screen. Say like, click this video right here and we’ll really dive into like how to turn this same recipe into an amazing birthday cake or something, and I’ll see you guys in the next video.
So, there’s nothing like hey, hope you enjoyed the video or see you next time or bye, just like another sales technique, which you’re probably familiar with, which is you just talk about the product as if they’ve already made the transaction. You start talking about the vacuum cleaner like, oh, wouldn’t be nice like this would suck up everything in your home and can you just imagine coming home and rather than having to pick up everything, you can just vacuum? And people are like, oh yeah. So, you’re doing that same thing with video, don’t sign off, just talk with the assumption as like they’re going to keep watching and they’re going to keep hanging out with you. And they are far more likely to actually then give that next video more watch time and increase the session time that your videos are having from getting people from video to video and all that is just really good signals that give your your videos a lift.
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Let me ask you this, how do you prioritize all that? So you can guide them to another video, you can ask them to subscribe, you can actually take them off your website and try to get an email, how do you decide what you want to do?
Tim: Yeah, let’s come back to that because that’s the fourth video. So, the first one is discoverability and the call to action, get them to watch another video not necessarily to subscribe actually because if you get them to watch multiple videos, YouTube will follow them around with more videos from you on their on their homepage, on suggested videos, and things and that’s more valuable than just getting a subscriber who never watches you again. Two, the next goal would be community, and for me the main call to action there is engagement, so comment like guys, how would you make this cake? This is how I made it, but man, I’m open to other ideas.
And this is typically content that’s a little less produced and just the goal there is to grow then know, like, and trust factors after you’ve already brought people in with your discoverable content. The third video is…
Steve: Are you getting them to content to write comments on your video, is the thumbs up a factor also?
Tim: No, thumbs up and comments don’t actually mean anything. People often get correlation and causation confused on YouTube. I see a lot of YouTube experts making this mistake all the time. On the surface it looks like if you get more likes, your videos perform better. But it’s only because the people who are engaged enough to give you likes are people who watch your videos longer. So it’s just correlation not causation. So what you really need is people just to watch your videos and to give you a like, it’s fine but it doesn’t actually change how your videos perform because Google said this is too easy for people to gain that. So they don’t count it.
Steve: Okay, yeah, go on, I keep interrupting you.
Tim: Yeah, no, this is good, this is great. So whenever you need, just keep interrupting me, otherwise, I’ll just keep talking. So number three, these are your sales videos. And this is now where you’re going to try to get people off. So in terms of like an email sequence or something, we’re doing the exact same thing, we have a lead magnet which is our discoverable videos. And then we have our community videos which is like the first several emails of that email sequence which grows into like and trust factors, because people value the information, they otherwise wouldn’t have gone out and sought for that type of thing, they know, like, and trust us.
And now we get to the last email, the sequence which is to ask for the sale or in our case post the sales video. And the goal, the call to action here is to get people off of YouTube. Now the reason you don’t want to mix this with your discoverable content is because one of YouTube’s goals is to keep people on YouTube as long as possible. And so, if your video successfully keeps ending the viewing session and getting people off of YouTube, that video will not be discoverable for that much longer, right. So instead, we’re doing it just like a normal funnel like with email so we’re doing that with videos.
So the sales video, that is just intended to go to your subscriber base. It’s not intended to get a ton of views. It’s just going to pass through that feed of people and then like a week or two after you publish it, it should no longer be getting any videos. And that’s where you’re getting people off to go sign up for something or buy something, or there’s a sale going on, or a brand deal opportunity, or whatever the case may be, just get the heck off of YouTube. And that’s that one.
Steve: So when you’re talking about getting people off of YouTube, you’re talking about embedding a link in the video that they can actually click on, right?
Tim: Yeah, or a link in the description. It’s going be like that first link they can click under the video orifice to your website. You can put that right on the video for the people to click on.
Steve: So, when people click on those links, that actually negatively affects the discoverability of that video is what you’re saying?
Tim: Potentially. It’s a little bit more complicated than that but for our conversation, yes, if it does it effectively and consistently, which is what you want. If you do that well, then that video will not be positioned as favorably.
Steve: Interesting. Okay, so let’s say I have the video now. How do you actually promote a video to just kind of get it off its feet, so to speak?
Tim: So, if you have a built in audience like you already have, then I would be emailing those videos to my list, be promoting him on Facebook, Twitter, just kind of wherever I already have an existing audience, just promote it there. And the goal isn’t necessarily like a lot of people try to get all their Facebook people to subscribe to them; they try to get everyone in the audience to subscribe to them everywhere. And I’m more of a fan of getting someone from Facebook to subscribe to you on YouTube doesn’t necessarily help you because they’re engaged on Facebook not youtube. So, I at first will just promoted to everyone I can just to get that initial watch time and traction on it.
After that, it comes back to what we kind of talked about earlier which is consistently posting content for a specific audience that delivers a specific value every single time that people just grow to know and expect is coming from you. And it’s about doing collaborations, it’s about looking for videos that are performing really well in your niche and making similar content that could be suggested to it, not making the same video, but like, for example, my wife and I, with one of our kids, we homeschool our kids. And we saw this one video about how to do golf ball paint, and it’s getting tons of traction.
And basically it’s you hold a pen, you put a piece of paper in the bottom, squirt some liquid paint in there, and then you just roll a golf ball around in there and it makes like a cool design on the paper. You’re like, oh, that’s cool. Like, we don’t have any golf balls. And my wife is like, oh, we got an oak tree though. And and so we made a similar video called, how to do golf ball paint with acorns, right? And so that video, you can see how it was not the same video but it could clearly be a related video or a suggested one next to that video. And so our goal was just to get the spin off views then of people who were watching that big video to then start watching our video and then gain traction that way as well.
Steve: So, you’ve mentioned repeatedly that getting a subscriber is not as important as just getting people engaged in your video. So first of all, is that correct? And two then, what is the point actually trying to get a subscriber?
Tim: Yeah, it’s a good question. S,o subscribers are valuable because they will typically give you more watch time than a non subscriber will and that makes sense. They are familiar with your brand. They’ve already learned to love your content. And so, as your subscriber base grows, each new video you publish, you potentially get to launch that new video with more viewership and more watch time, which as we’ve kind of referred to already helps with how that video gets positioned all across YouTube.
So there’s value from that perspective, but the reason I don’t push it as much now, I mean, I still do, it’s still visually there on screen, the subscribe, and I’ll often say even on discoverable video, I’ll say something just very briefly like, so subscribe to this video and I’ll see you guys over in the next one or just something like that. I’m not making this full blown pitch for it. And the other reason for that is today’s social media is also mature enough that we know what it means to follow someone on Instagram or Twitter, we know how to like a page, people know how to subscribe to a channel. And often I just do that visually instead of like taking the time to call it out instead. So, they’re so valuable but on a discoverable video, the goal for me is actually to get people to watch more content.
Steve: So, one question I had for you and I’m not sure if you up do this, but I have all these podcast episodes, should I not be putting those on YouTube because those tend to get horrible engagement?
Tim: Again, it depends on your goal. If it’s on the same channel that you’re trying to grow with different type of content that is more optimized for YouTube, you could and just community and just count it as community content. But typically yes. So those podcasts on YouTube don’t perform as well as native content that’s designed for YouTube. If you wanted to kind of mix it up a little bit, kind of the way I’ve found, this is how I do it on my podcast actually, is I record my podcast as a live stream on my channel. And so, it’s a piece of content that people are watching and listening to.
So, I present the material like I normally would just as a recording live and then my producer then gets a lot of the good questions that were in chat while I was talking, but submit a shared Google Doc for me while I’m talking. And then I just answer some of those questions at the end of my podcasts less live stream and I include those in the podcast recording, but then it lives a little bit better on YouTube than before.
Steve: I guess the question is, can putting a bunch of non engaged content hurt your channel overall?
Tim: Potentially because what happens is you’re unintentionally teaching your audience, your subscriber audience to subscribe for the native content that’s designed for YouTube. They’re thinking, oh, I don’t have to watch every video that this channel puts out. Steve puts out great content, but only like that one I don’t have the watch. And you never want to start training your content that or your audience that they don’t have the watch everything you put out. I mean, they just want naturally but you certainly don’t want them to start filtering if you don’t have to. So I would either put that type of stuff on a second channel or just stop completely.
Steve: Okay, that makes sense. So, I just kind of want to end this interview by having you outline some of the most common mistakes that new youtubers make. And if you can just sum up the ones that you see, I imagine you see these all the time.
Tim: Yeah, we talked about a lot of them already so far, but the main one is that people just focus on optimizing for robots and not for people, and they don’t understand that the robots are designed to surface what people respond well to. So, instead of getting caught up in all the algorithms stuff, which we can talk about it if you’d like, but it’s just far more advantageous to focus on the viewer rather than on the system. that works better in the long run.
Steve: Yeah, so if I were to just sum up everything, it seems like just engagement is key. And as long as you have people watching all of your videos, YouTube will figure it out eventually.
Tim: If by engagement you mean people watching, yes.
Steve: Watching the entire video.
Tim: Yeah, because sometimes engagement people think like interaction, which is helpful and yeah, so those people do equal more, they’re worth more from an average view duration perspective. But at the end of the day, if you have a channel that’s going after toddlers, you’re not going to get comments and thumbs up. They don’t even know how to do those things, but they’re going to give you a massive amounts of watch time, right? So, engagement in terms of how they watch the video.
The second thing I guess a mistake is that people give up too quickly. And maybe your audience is a little bit different. But on YouTube, it looks so easy when you’re watching the top creators. You’re like, oh, all they’re doing is hanging out, making videos with their family. Like, I can do that. Oh, all they’re doing is playing video games, I can do that. But we forget, sometimes, I think your audience is probably more mature than maybe the average YouTube viewer is – I’m not insulting anybody, but I’ll just maybe go with that assumption for now which is that we understand when we watch an athlete on TV, there’s a whole backstory that are missing. There’s like, they’ve been practicing this since they were six and now they make it look effortless.
Or that musician who you’re like, oh yeah, I could play the piano like that, that doesn’t look too hard. Or that actor or actress who plays her role so amazingly well. Like when someone is good at what they do, they make it look easy. And a lot of creators, I think, watch a lot — yeah, they watch other YouTube creators, but they’re only looking at the ones who are at the top of their game. No one is comparing themselves to someone who’s at the bottom of their game. And what we don’t see which is what my team and I see is we see all the people who are struggling at the 100, couple of thousand, even 10,000 subscriber level, those are all the channels you don’t see because they’re small.
And so it gets frustrating because it’s easy for us to see just the people at the top of the game and get frustrated like why, it feels like I’m doing everything that they’re doing, and yet I’m not winning. And then I guess a third thing, a third mistake is that people — like we tend to think that the only thing people want is the content itself. But what makes channels actually win on YouTube is actually the human connection that people feel with the creator. So, you can give a perfect tutorial, let’s just use the same example, a perfect tutorial on how to bake a cake. And you give step one through eight for example, and you deliver it and execute and maybe the cinematography is just beautiful, and then a true story actually.
I worked with a creator who had seven full time people on their production crew, all television background, shooting on like $10,000 cameras and couldn’t break 24 views on a video. And the content looked amazing, and they come to me like, Tim, this content looks great but why is it not performing? And there were frustrated because there was a guy in his basement with a frickin webcam getting millions of views. And they were like, our content is so much better than that guy’s content, why is he getting millions and we’ve been doing this for 10 months now and can’t break 24 views?
And it makes sense when you think about it in terms of this guy I was working with. I was like I’ve watched 20 some of your videos now and I still don’t even know the host’s name. I don’t know — it was a vegan channel — I’m like, I don’t know why veganism matters to you, or what like, should I consider it? You just gave me the hard, cold, straight up, dirty facts and that was it. This other guy, he has a story people connect to. They understand why he’s doing this. They understand what his motivation is and they feel like they’re connected to him. And so, his videos are performing far better all day long with a webcam in a basement because he’s connected with people.
And so, the end of the day, remember that each of these views that we have in our videos, they’re not just like little tickers that just count up. Every view represents a real person and so we’re actually connecting with people. And I don’t know how much time we have here. We could talk into what gets people to connect but just…
Steve:We have a couple of minutes if you want to just summarize that because I mean, I think it is important right, people in course, like I sell digital course, people tend to buy the course because of the teacher as opposed to necessarily the content. So, I imagine this principle applies to videos as well.
Tim: Oh, yeah, and pitching, not the what you do but like the reward that they’ll get if they buy the course/ watch the video or something not just like, yeah, like solving the problem. So, there’s a few things that I recommend people do to kind of make it easier for people to connect with you and your content. And a lot of this for me goes back to a book called Primal Branding by a guy named Patrick Hanlon. And he looks at all the top brands that develop cult like followings and he asks, what made it possible for this brand to get people to love them so much, so deeply? And he breaks it down to seven aspects of the primal code.
And all the channels on YouTube that are just growing or killing it, they have pretty much all seven of these aspects just firing on all cylinders so well again, that you don’t even notice it unless what to look for. And we’ll just go through a couple of the big biggest ones right now, which is one of them is your backstory. Number one, like your key cult is your creation story. And that is people just need to know like who are you? Where do you come from? We know Google started in someone’s garage, right? We know like Steve Job’s story, we know who these pioneers are, the people who started these brands, these companies, we’re not connecting to logos, we’re connecting to the people who started these these logos and these brands.
And so, when I opened up to you in this podcast, you asked me how did you get started? I told you my backstory, my creation story. And so, for people to start caring about you, they need to know kind of where you came from. Number two, they also need to know what do you believe, which Patrick calls it the creed, but we’ve been referring to it a little bit here called the why as well. But I believe YouTube is a great place to reach people and change their lives.
I told you one little story that impacted me in terms of in that regard, but the strongest communities online and offline, they always revolve around shared beliefs. A lot of people think they would revolve around common interest but they’re actually like — common interest will give you something to talk about but when you believe the same thing, it like sucks you in. And so, stating that might sound scary and intimidating, but YouTube channel is so much competition that you really do need to state not just what you do but you need to say why you do it. What do you believe about why this is important? And the people who share that belief with you will jump on board so fast, as opposed to if they don’t have that information.
And you also need that, maybe number four is because the creed will separate the non believers and you actually need the haters. The Democrats wouldn’t be anything without the Republicans, Folgers would be nothing without Starbucks, Apple would be nothing without PC. You need these opposing people because of the strongest communities when they link arms together; they’re standing against something and which means that you need to stand for something in order for anyone to stand with you.
So, this guy with the vegan thing in this basement was like people knew, they knew his story, they knew what he was for, they knew what he was against, they knew what he believed, they knew who the non believers were, and then they also another one is the rituals. And the rituals are just the repeated interactions for people to grow to love and expect with with your brand. And so the best creators — do you watch a lot of YouTube by any chance?
Steve: I do actually yeah.
Tim: So, if I say like Pound It, Noggin, See Ya, do you know who that is?
Steve: No I don’t, I only watch a certain type of video, but yeah.
Tim: Okay, what type of videos do you watch?
Steve: Personal development, e-commerce, tutorial related ones, but I did notice that a lot of them sign off the same way.
Tim: Yeah like like Dude Perfect is the one I just mentioned, they have about 30 million subscribers. They have so many rituals if you start looking for them throughout their entire — the content, the celebrations they do, and the way they sign off. PewDiePie currently the largest but soon not to be the largest channel on YouTube used to do like Blueface and would do [inaudible 00:51:56] fingers and do this PewDiePie type of thing. And it’s like as you say like another creator I know will start every vlog with this camera in a different location. And he would pick up the camera then be like audience, that’s another ritual audience, why are you in my plants? And so every video opened like a question, why are you under my desk? Why are you in this shoe box? Why are you?
And so, it’s just like a ritual the audience just grew to love and expect. So we could go on with that. Rhett and Link have those too, they open with a hook and they say, let’s talk about that. And then they have icons and the icons are the things that just represent your brand, like in terms of Rhett and Link, it’s their hair. You know who Rhett and Link are by the way?
Steve: Yeah I do, I do actually.
Tim: Okay, so you know what I’m saying when I talk about their hair?
Tim: Their background, their sets is iconic on crutches of creation story, everyone who watches them knows their creation story, that they’ve been best friends for first grade, started making videos, started a commercial company and grew to this YouTube thing. They talk about their relationship, the Baxter, the relationship in almost like every other episode. So, we can keep going but some of those things make it easier for people just like, oh, I know who they are and what they’re about and it’s easier for me to make a connection with them now. And if you can…
Steve: [Crosstalk 00:53:13] is just about exposing your personality to the viewers, right?
Tim: Yeah, and your story, what you believe, what you’re all about, and then giving them some things to latch on, like, the icons and the rituals and stuff too.
Steve: Okay, Tim, this has been an amazing episode.
Tim: Yes, sorry, I just keep talking.
Steve: No, no, no, you know how I am. I tend to interrupt people and I haven’t interrupted you that much because everything that’s been coming out of your mouth has been really good stuff. Well, Tim, I want to give you a chance to talk about what you do and where people can find you online.
Tim: Yeah, so my team and I, we love working with creators and just helping them with their strategy and doing their analytics and everything for them to really help them grow a channel that reaches people and changes their lives. We do that through – well, right now we’re doing every weekday we have a new video video at YouTube.com/VideoCreators which is content designed just help people grow their audiences. We do a series, right now we’re in the middle of — called how they got 1 million subscribers. And we just sit down with million subscriber plus channels and ask them to reveal all the tips, tricks, and secrets, and tactics that they implemented to grow their audience to 1 million subscribers so that we can do the same.
I also have a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, just search for Video Creators weekly episode every Tuesday where we talk about a lot of the same principles as well, and dive into them in-depth. So, check us out there.
Steve: Cool. Well, Tim, I really appreciate your time. Thanks a lot for coming on the show.
Tim: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. I’m actually really excited to implement the action items from this episode and looking forward to grow the 5 Minute Pitch audience. Now once again, if you all want to check out my brand new show, head on over to 5MinutePitch.com/launch. For more information about this episode, go to Mywifequitherjob.com/episode244.
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 ecommerce store. So 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 ecommerce 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.