Today I’m thrilled to have Joe Jo on the show. Joe and his partner Bart started JustKidding Films on YouTube back in 2007 and today have over 1.5 million subscribers.
Not only that. In addition to Just Kidding Films, they also have 3 other channels JKParty, JKGamer and JKNews which all boast anywhere from 700K-1.5million subscribers each.
All told, I think the 4 channels have a combined 4 million total subscribers which is incredible. If you follow me you know that when my online store was featured on the today show, I had 7X the revenue that day and the today show only gets 1.74M viewers per day.
Think about it this way, a lot of cable and network TV shows don’t even have this high of a viewership so it’s pretty ridiculous that they have such a large audience.
In fact, they are pretty much running a popular TV network which makes their channel ripe for hungry advertisers
Enjoy the episode!
What You’ll Learn
- The back story on how Joe and Bart started JustKidding Films
- How they created such a large following on YouTube
- How Joe and Bart got subscribers early on
- What equipment you need to create great videos
- Joe’s advice on how to build up a successful YouTube presence
- How to monetize a YouTube channel
- How long it takes before making money
- How large his audience was prior to monetization and how long it took for him to get there
- The early keys to building traffic for his channel
Other Resources And Books
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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 thrilled to have Joe Jo on the show. Now Joe and his partner Bart started Just Kidding Films on YouTube way back in 2007, and today they have over 1.55 million subscribers. And not only that in addition to Just Kidding Films, they also have three other channels Jk party, Jk gamer, Jk news. And the new channel I think is called [inaudible 00:01:46] and they all boast anywhere between 700k and 1.5 million subs each. And all told, I think all the channels have a combined over 4 million total subscribers, which is insane. Now if you follow my blog you know that when my online store was featured on the Today Show I actually had seven X the revenue that day.
And the Today Show only gets 1.74 million viewers per day, and so if you think about it this way, a lot of cable and network TV shows don’t even have this high of a viewership. So it’s pretty ridiculous that Joe has such a large audience, and in fact you can think about it this way, they are pretty much running a popular TV network which makes their channel ripe for hungry advertisers. So I’m super happy to have Joe on the show today, and quite frankly the guy cracks me up. One because he tells a lot of Asian jokes which just happens to resonate with me, and he is just a pretty funny guy in general. And with that welcome to the show Joe, how are you doing today man?
Joe: Pretty good, thanks for having me Steve.
Steve: So first of all I had a couple of questions I just want to get out of the way. You are Asian and I believe Chinese too, right?
Joe: Just a mix with everything we actually live that like a mystery for a lot of people because long time ago like this is back in 2007. What we noticed was in the Asian American community there’s just the whole lot of this old segregation. Like there’s this in group competition where communes are on one side, and Chinese are on one side, and it’s like dude we are all Asian American, we need to just identify as that, right? So we try to just put our skills forward and be known for that, and then we don’t want people to claim us as their group or what not, so we always just made it a fun game and said, hey make it a guessing game.
Steve: I was actually more curious how the heck are you not an engineer or doctor or a lawyer? That’s what I’m wondering.
Joe: Well, okay, so I guess I’m fortunate and I’m not fortunate. But the part about me not having a traditional common Asian upbringing is I guess it’s — the way that I was raised is pretty unorthodox. So my parents came in this country to basically pursue music, because back home people weren’t — they just weren’t respecting classical music like out here. And they knew that out here my dad could pursue his passions, and become basically like opera singer.
Steve: Interesting that’s like Asian blasphemy right there, starting going, yeah.
Joe: Exactly, yeah, and it’s — I mean it’s ironic like you got this Asian guy singing like [inaudible 00:04:33] or whatever you call them I don’t know, or trying to be like Pavarotti and shit. Yeah and so he is — so that was the original plan, and yeah I grew up in a house full of art like music. Yeah, they always were teaching piano, singing, my dad brought me along to all of his music lessons.
So the way I was raised was — their parents were like CEO business types. And for them they were like — they were emotionally neglected, and they grew up in this household that was cold and it was always about business and money and power. And the way they raised me was they were like I want you to love life, and to spread creativity, music, arts, and live life. So the way that I was raised was very-very different from most of my Asian friends.
Steve: Yeah, I’m going to have to actually contact the proper authorities and have your Asian [inaudible 00:05:41].
Joe: I feel like yeah, totally.
Steve: So give us the quick back story on how you and Bart started Jk Films, I assume Jk Films started before the other channels right?
Joe: Yeah Just Kidding Films was our first channel. And in like if you guys want to know more in depth you can go to Just Kidding Films, type that in on YouTube and we are coming out with this series called how we met. And basically on this it just — it tells you more in depth about my kind of background, and how I met Bart and so forth. But long story short me and Bart we met at our MMA gym. And in such a combative serious type of environment we would always be goofing around, and we would always get in trouble, and we would always be disciplined, but we just couldn’t stop messing around. And in like we found out that we went to the same college and the same high school, we just didn’t know each other.
And this is how many Asians live in [inaudible 00:06:43] park, it’s like there are so many there, we just didn’t know, like we were in the same neighborhood and all that stuff. And fast forward to 2007, that was around 2004, so YouTube comes around and we used to copy our friends and just copy people that were in our classes and just mimic all these different types of like voices, and how people walk, and we thought it was hilarious.
And one day we decided to just record some videos. And we used YouTube like it was like a video encounter, just some type of video sharing account, right? So we just needed to upload some files and then link it to our friends. And we would make these videos, show all of our friends, and all of a sudden those ten views turned into a 100, and we were like we don’t have a hundred friends.
There’s other people watching this stuff, and then there were comments, there’s people like make more, make more. And those hundred views turned into like a thousand. And we just kept making more and more videos, and at that time it was just two guys bored taking in between their study breaks in college just making random videos together.
And we had no clue about acting, film making, we would edit just everything and there’s times that we didn’t edit, edit at all. So after we found out that what we were doing was just [inaudible 00:08:21] one takes. Meaning like we would just turn on the camera and go off and create whole entire stories, and yeah it was — we didn’t know anything. Like we didn’t know what we were doing, we were just doing it purely out of fun, and there was a demand for it.
Steve: So you guys were in college when you started this or?
Joe: Yeah, we went to East LA community college, and he transferred off to UCLA and I transferred off to Kansas LA, but we still kept making videos.
Steve: Did you guys have day jobs after you graduated, or you guys just did this full time right away?
Joe: Well, mid way through YouTube started having a monetization program and we were invited to that. Back then they had to email you and invite you. And we made a couple of thousand dollars, but at that point we were like how viable is this, how long term is this, I’m not sure. So when we finished off college, this was I think 2008 or 2009, the economy just went to shit like it was horrible, like I think I submitted like 50 applications, and we were just college graduates with no job, no decent job.
And he went off to tutor kids, and then I went off and worked at a shipping company. So I was back into logistics, I did logistics before I was into college and I always in shipping. So I was sitting there thinking like man like if I just stuck with it I would have probably had a really good union job by now. And I would have been making double, and why did I go to college?
Steve: Okay interesting, so you actually considered not going to college?
Joe: Right — so here is another part of my story, so when I was in community college about two years into it, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, which just blew my mind. I was like wait a minute you can — anyone can start a business like really, like anyone can do this stuff, I had no clue. So me and my buddies started an eBay business, and we started selling [inaudible 00:10:34] cars, after market car parts. And we just started selling; first we started selling stuffs from our homes like a yard sale to gather funding.
And then eventually we were making about a good eight grand a month, this was when I was about 21 or 22 yeah. And at that point I was like sure I’m just going to pursue business. So we did that and that’s when I also got into shipping too, because I wanted to learn about like shipping and all that, and I kind of had like a double income from there and logistics, but I was kind of stuck like okay, so is this life, you just make a bunch of money and then you die like.
Yeah, so I wanted to do something and then Bart kind of convinced me hey, maybe you should just go back and finish school, it’s two more years. Because at that point I was around like disgruntled old people, like the work, and I wanted to go back and be around young people, I wanted to be around girls, I wanted to like be young again, so or feel my age basically. So yeah, I decided to go back to college, not for a job or anything like that, I just wanted to get out of that whole yeah — but yeah that’s basically what happened there.
Steve: So you decided to go all in on YouTube with JK Films. And can you talk a little about the early days, how did you — were there any things that you were doing in particular to grow this following, or was it just largely organic?
Joe: In the very beginning, I feel that a lot of it was super organic. We were just doing things and creating content that we wanted, but were slightly strategic about it. Like it was never a business, but it was more to fill a void in our community. So what we felt like was the 1990s and the super early 2000s, a lot of the content that Asian American entertainers were creating were more for the mainstream and not so much for our community. Because it made sense back then, they had to appeal to non Asians to make it. But for our generation what we were trying to do is be more like in living color, or create content and tell stories about our neighborhood, the way that we grew up.
And the representation that we saw of Asian in Hollywood and the mainstream perspective, I would look at them and I’m like I didn’t grow up with guys like this, I don’t — where do these Asians come from, like I have no clue how this image is in the mainstream, when the guys that I grew up with is a totally different reality. So that’s where we came from, it’s like we wanted to tell our story with a funny twist. And that’s why we have so many like culture jokes and things about like stuff that we get I guess.
Steve: Yeah, I love the culture jokes.
Joe: And that’s how it originally started, it was about like us just trying to fill a void and create content, and do funny stuff. And kind of like create a community here where we are like make something funny, yeah.
Steve: So would you say that most of your viewers are Asian then? So you kind of had like a target viewer in mind when you got started that you were going to go after the Asian community, and then you just started putting out content specifically targeting that community?
Joe: In the very beginning we were just doing things very impulsively. But yes, it just organically led to– I mean we were just telling our story and the funny things that we saw. But I guess a lot of it came — a lot of our first fun base was Asian, because they are the ones who understood it.
Joe: And then the next outside of that would be non Asians, who grew up around a lot of Asians, they understood it.
Steve: Okay got it, so today it sounds like your audience is pretty diverse, right? It’s not just Asians anymore?
Joe: Yeah, fast forward to seven years afterwards and now it’s — we have a pretty diverse — there’s like middle, Midwest, middle aged, farm country, white people, to all kinds, internationally, people from Macedonia.
Steve: Wow okay.
Joe: Yeah it’s, I’m surprised at top people that stop us and say like, hey I love your material, I’m just like really, you don’t seem like the demographic that would, but hey that’s awesome, we can connect.
Steve: You mentioned community, what are some of the things that you guys do to promote community, like do you have areas where like your funs can talk to each other or?
Joe: I guess in more so in a sense that we create like a world and a lifestyle that a lot of people can see how we lead by example. Then there’s– now there’s a facility where like for example [Bob or brigade] [ph] the gym that Bart owns, so and then that’s a community in itself where people can go there, lift, workout. They can also meet us and speak to us, and people who are never into fitness before, they– a lot of people get motivated to join and stuff like that. I guess there’s little pockets of things like that, there’s college events that we do and…
Joe: Usually during the spring we do a whole lot of like visits to different universities and talk and do all that stuff.
Steve: There’s like a bunch of people always email me asking me you know I don’t have any money, but how can I kind of get started. One of the things I tend to suggest is hey why don’t you just get on YouTube and put yourself out there, right? What I was hoping to hear from you is if you can take us back to like giving advice to someone who’s just starting. I want you to squash this notion first of all, do you need any fancy equipment, or a nice camera just to get started?
Joe: Absolutely not.
Joe: Now I get the same type of questions, they’re all hey what kind of cameras do you use, what kind of software do you use, this and that and I’m like okay stop right there, it’s always about content. If you can get good content up there, I mean of course it can’t be a world lead champ, I mean it can’t be horrible, but if it’s good enough, just get it out there, start working on your crap. A lot of people think I got invest like all this money first and get the right stuff, it’s totally no. Like a lot of people that think that way, it does not work out ever.
Steve: Give me the minimalist set up, and if you can kind of comment like if you ever start all over again what frequency you should put out content on. Should you choose a certain theme, the equipment that sort of, bare minimum?
Joe: Well it all depends on what type of channel they’re creating. Well obviously if they’re just going to do like blogs, all they need is a laptop, they can use the camera that’s inside the laptop, and one of the biggest channels on YouTube she’s like top, I don’t know three or top five Jenna Marvels.
Steve: Yeah Jenna Marvels yeah.
Joe: Yeah I went to a Q&A of hers and she was saying yeah like she’s got all these cameras and stuff, but it just sits and it collects dust, because she’s so used to just using her laptop and her webcam that is build in and iMovie, that’s her system. This is coming from a girl who makes millions.
Steve: Yeah I know crazy right?
Joe: Yeah so yeah it depends on the set up, you could do that. If you go toward like the short films route, yes you’re going to need some equipment but…
Steve: What about frequency, how often would you, how often do you need to post something. I mean obviously consistency is the key right, but what would you recommend in terms of frequency?
Joe: As much as possible. The way that YouTube has changed in the algorithms and the way– it’s all about volume now. Back in the day it was more about viral videos, and it was more about like if your channel has this like Mitch thing that’s going on with it, but I feel like within the different eras of YouTube right now we’re in the era of volume.
Joe: What — like the best channel for us right now is Just Kidding News. We upload five videos a day for that one.
Steve: Holy crap! Okay wow, so do you guys do anything special when it comes to tagging your videos for search, or do most people just find you through just being a subscriber?
Joe: Yeah there’s definitely some benefits in that whole search engine optimization, like putting in the right tags, is that what you’re talking about the tags and stuff?
Steve: Yeah that’s what I’m talking about, yeah.
Joe: Yeah, and like I said it depends on the strategy of the channel. Some people, they really know how to work that system and their videos pop up regularly when people make searches. Of course thumb nails, if your thumb nail looks really good people are going to click that, your title. You know some people they study that click baby style, and then people just can’t resist but to click that, click it right in.
Steve: Yeah totally I fall for that all the time, pisses me off.
Joe: On YouTube actually if you log in there’s all this information that actually helps you out on that, because they want to help out the person and the creator, so they tell you how to make your thumb nails. They tell you there’s– it’s really cool how YouTube helped out the creator now, so they have their own course within it, within the well yeah.
Steve: What do you guys do, it doesn’t seem like you’re optimizing your video titles at least not to me at first glance not for your videos, at least on JK Films.
Joe: Right, we have different types of strategies for each channel.
Joe: Just Kidding News is more the newsy kind of hey click the blues, and click the cool thumb nail, and then oh guess what the conversation is entertaining, I’m going to subscribe to this channel.
Joe: Same with Astefills [ph], Astefills is basically you know it’s sexy whatever, it’s controversial. Click this same thing oh interesting conversation, I like these guys. Just Kidding Films has gone through so many types of changes and eras like we started from skits, now it’s more like a lifestyle channel.
Steve: I see, okay.
Joe: It’s a self sustaining eco system, so we rely upon our loyal following that’s been with us for seven years to understand already. That’s why the recent video of mine that says how we met/Joe right? Like the out– people from outside aren’t really going to care about me or my life, or anything.
Joe: It’s more for the people that have been watching for this for so many years, and so now it’s transitioned into being more of like once you’ve got X amount of subscribers, you can just be a self sustaining eco system.
Steve: I see so it sounds like JK Films is just kind of your own eco system and then you’re getting new subscribers, because I know as you cross promote all the different channels very well. And so would you say that like JK News is kind of like your outreach to getting new subscribers which you then funnel into the rest of the eco system?
Joe: Yeah that’s the strategy right now, you pretty much nailed it.
Joe: We have our biggest channel Just Kidding News that’s bringing in all these people, and then when they say who are this people right, they start clicking up for Just Kidding Films that one’s lifestyle. That one is basically our taste, what do we eat, where do we hang out? Like how do we live, how do we think?
Steve: I see.
Joe: Just Kidding Party is the counter lottery and the friendship behind it all, so us playing games, but were gearing it more and more toward a game show, so it’s going to be more like a Japanese game show like…
Steve: Yes okay, so how do you bring people back to your videos and alert them of new content, do you rely on YouTube for that, or do you guys have an email list or anything special that you do?
Joe: We– I think we really heavily upon subscribers…
Joe: The way YouTube is working right now is the reason why volume is good is, because when you sign into YouTube the first thing you see is like recommended videos and then right under that you’ll see the different lines of subscribed channels, right?
Joe: The more you watch videos of that channel, the more the system will think okay you really like this channel, I’m going to just bump it up to the top.
Steve: I see okay.
Joe: The more frequently we upload, the more they’re going to see all of our channels on the top, and routine, I feel like for humans like the more repetitive they do something, they just get really used to the groove of doing it. The more frequently you upload something and the more they watch your content, the more they’re going to just keep doing it and doing it and doing it.
Steve: I know that you guys have a website too, is that for kind of like an ancillary thing meaning you don’t really try to drive traffic directly to your website. It’s just there for informational purposes?
Joe: Right, I mean like three years ago we were planning on doing stuff like that and probably creating something of premium content, but the model is working so well right now, everything is living well on YouTube that just those in the brands alone, like the brand sponsorships alone it’s doing well. Starting something from scratch like a whole new website, it didn’t really make any sense.
Steve: Okay yeah I saw one of your most recent videos where you and Bart were talking about your success, and your brand new auto mobiles which were very nice by the way.
Joe: Thank you.
Steve: Let’s talk little bit about monetization. Let’s start with it from the beginning, so when did your channel start generating any amount of money, how long did it take and when did it start ramping up?
Joe: Wow, so I think in about 2008 or nine, wait eight. We were invited to the partner program, and I think the first check was like $1000 after six months.
Joe: Back then we didn’t know what we were doing, and there wasn’t a huge user base either. Like if you had 100,000 views back then, that’s equivalent to having maybe a couple of millions now, you know.
Joe: Yeah it’s a– it was a different ball game, but at that moment we didn’t think it was even something worth it, and I don’t know we were kind of pursuing school for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I’d say 2011 when we said we really, or 2010. 2010 is when we said let’s do this like hard core.
Steve: Meaning like five videos a day hardcore?
Joe: No, we still only had Just Kidding Films, but…
Joe: The commitment was with our jobs on the side, we’re going to save up, we’re going to pay off our debts, and we’re going to commit to one video a week.
Steve: Okay, all right so that’s doable.
Joe: Yeah and to give you a clear idea of the type of hustle we had to do was I would basically leave to my work at six AM, comeback at about nine PM, work with Bart until midnight, repeat that on the weekday, and on the weekends we would just spend that time to film, and then the week prior would be the film would be done, and then it would be go– the video would go up the next week.
We would always be a week ahead, and we would continue this for about a year and half. All the money that was coming in, we just recycled it right back. And so it wasn’t until, I think 2012 or one year or two years where me and Bart paid ourselves. Every single thing that we got we started paying our staff and growing it and growing it and recycling it, and I think when we did pay ourselves it was only like 1000 bucks a month.
Steve: Interesting, and so it took five years it sounds like to get to that point right?
Joe: Yeah it did, and that’s just our method. We could have totally pocketed more earlier, but we had a plan to grow really big, and now we’re capable of doing what a lot of YouTubers aren’t. What happens is a lot of YouTubers do everything themselves and there’s a catch, they basically spread themselves thin, and if they don’t get a staff or team up or anything like that, I mean no one person could record, edit, create volumes of content, write the content, all that stuff, research, do the business and make appearances. It’s difficult like…
Joe: I have some friends that are just alone, and then they’re basically slaving away, and they’re cut at how much they can make. For us what we wanted to do was eventually get people who are specialized in what they do, and hire them and so all that money that came up we would just pay them, pay them.
Steve: I see, so you started hiring you stuff starting in 2010 it sounds like?
Steve: Or eleven?
Joe: In 2010, well the first person was Bart’s girlfriend who came along and helped us out. The second person was Kasey, he’s from like Dallas, so he would have pretty much done it for free, but he had expense because he’s a transplant.
Steve: Okay, and then when did you guys I guess, how soon could you monetize your channel? So you said six months for $1000, and then once you started doing it for real was it on the order of like five figures in 2010 for the year? Like just revenue I know you had to pay a bunch of people?
Joe: Oh man, that’s, that was so long ago.
Steve: I’m just wondering like when it started really taking off, and first of all actually let’s back up a little bit. How do you monetize a channel first of all, do you use AdSense or sponsorships, like how do you get money?
Joe: There’s several ways our company makes money. One is AdSense which is all the pop-ups that you see when you click on a video. That typically runs from a dollar to five maybe per 1000 views, yeah.
Steve: Okay right.
Joe: Another way is brand sponsorships. So a brand would approach us, let’s say I don’t know Nike, and they’ll say, hey, use this shoe. We’ll give you some product and a couple of hundred bucks; this is when our channel was really small. And things like that it’s relative to the size of your channel. I would say if a channel is about 50,000 to 100,000 subscribers, typically their brand deals are going to be anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand.
Joe: It also it depends on how many views their videos get, I mean there’s a market value to all of this stuff.
Steve: I see so is it based on views meaning like per thousand on a typical video. And I noticed, I have watched a bunch of your videos, when you guys have sponsors, are those the videos where you actually go to a different location and then film something?
Joe: It depends on which one you are talking about. So we did one with Sayon [ph]. And of course the more in depth and the more like in your face the advertisement and all that stuff, the more money we get. So with Sayon we got a car from them and we created the whole entire story and all that stuff, and those it’s like a dedicated video, a brand integration video, and a story just for Sayon.
But there’s also ones where — there’s a quick little call to action at the end of the video. Like hey, go follow this or go check out this website. There’s also ones where in the beginning they send us like a little ad, like for example you see in the movies they go this — or the TV show they go this episode was brought to you by so and so. And there’s a whole lot of those, but that’s a huge part of YouTube income.
Steve: So how do you get them, or do they just come to you after a while?
Joe: In the past we would seek them out, we would — you could email like the marketing department for each brand, there is a contact. We would go out sometimes, people would come to us and email us just have your like contact available on your channel and all that stuff. But most people what they do when they become like a good size as they join a network, so there’s several YouTube networks out there. There’s Maker who was just purchased by Disney, Collective, that’s one we are with. Machinima, Full Screen, there’s a bunch of — they are like universal or something like that, but they are more like agencies.
Steve: I see is, FameBit one of those two or?
Joe: Yeah, I think so, I feel like they are, but they are one of the newer guys.
Steve: Okay got it. So basically you start out and you join one of those and then basically they find deals for you and take a cut?
Joe: Yeah, it depends on what they specialize in, so some of them are one stop shops like they go in, they help develop your channel, they also get you brand integration, they might even help you find ways to film, collaborate whatever. Each network has a different style of how they cultivate people, or what they are involved in. But almost all of them do have relationship with brands and they bring you deals, and there’s like a percentage that they take from that yeah.
Steve: How big do you have to be to be accepted in one of these?
Joe: I feel like I have seen channels with anywhere from 50,000 to like millions subscriber wise. It also depends on if they are like believe in your channel and see that it’s viable and stuff like that as well. But I would recommend people to grow like several hundred thousand subs before they seek out any of these networks, because you’ll have more of a negotiating power. When you go in these contracts that people are going to sign up they could run from anywhere from a couple of years to five years or whatever. Yeah, and I mean it really depends on your strength, like we come in as a huge network so we got a lot of leeway, we can get a lot of things in our favor.
Steve: I see, so they are literally are like agents?
Joe: Yeah, some of them are traditional agencies. The Collective, they are traditional Hollywood agency and they got into the digital realm so.
Steve: I imagine you have a separate deal per channel then, right?
Joe: Oh we just have a one large — yeah, like we just add it all together.
Steve: I know you guys all have your own personal channels too that have over 300K subs, are those unrelated to JK, are those just personal?
Joe: So the way that it works is we pack it, we make deals, we package a huge army together, and then we do it. But then once then money comes in we deviate up. So technically it is by association, but it isn’t because they don’t profit from — JK does not profit from these other channels.
Steve: Okay, I think I understand, so actually walk me through getting your first let’s say hundred thousand subscribers. Is it just a matter of consistency, or are there some tricks that you can do to kind of accelerate that process?
Joe: There’s a lot of things that go in to building your subscriber base. Like I said it depends on your channel, for example there’s cooking channels out there. And of course the type of fan base you are looking for are people who like to cook. Or there’s channels out there like my personal one that’s life logs, and I’m going out there blogging. And the strategy will vary depending on the channel, because the food network is going to have a different strategy to cartoon network.
Joe: And for us in the beginning it was about subscribers, but nowadays we don’t care about subscribers, all we care about is views. Because what we noticed was, okay subscribers look good to the outside world meaning marketing agencies, people that if you want to become an actor or something and you have a YouTube channel, they go everyone emphasizes that, oh, look this person has this many subscribers, but what they don’t know is you are getting paid from views not from subscribers.
Some of these kids they will go off to college and they’ll start watching YouTube or they might start working and they’ll start watching YouTube, but they might still subscribe. You have this huge numbers of subscribership, but maybe you didn’t grow with your fan base, or what not, and you are only getting 10,000 views of videos. So the real value here is the views and a lot of people don’t know that. So it’s good to play both games, but I would focus more on content and getting a consistent view versus a subscriber base.
Steve: So let me ask you this, so if you are focusing on views and you want to put out the content that people want to watch, do you guys have some sort o feedback mechanism in place so you know what to produce that the people actually want to watch?
Joe: I think the comments are a great thing about YouTube. I remember one day they were about to take it down, but what I love about the comments is a lot of the heavy leg work and creating content is created by a fan base. Like you just survey them in one of your videos like let’s say you have a cooking channel. And after you are done you can let the fans know hey what do you want to see me cook next? And leave it the comments below.
You could kind of take a quick glance and if not out of 10 people are saying I want you to make steak, then you can be for sure that the next video you do creating steak you are going to get a lot of views on it. And what you want to do is have this community of back and forth. See what they want — basically appeal to what they want from you. And this will keep growing and growing and growing eventually, so yeah.
Steve: So back to your first hundred thousand subscribers, so consistency, putting out good content on a regular basis. Let’s say you wanted to go into — let’s say you were someone who just wants to put out a blog, any particular advice that you would give them to just get started?
Joe: Yeah, first and foremost think about what’s important to you. Because a lot of people when they create blogs, they go oh, what’s popular? What’s the hot topic right now? What’s all the other bloggers doing? But I think that’s a wrong way to go by it. The thing you want to do is find your niche market. So if talking about snakes and lizards and reptiles is really important to you, pretty sure there’s going to be a million of other people out there that feel the same way.
And if you are being authentic and you can go on for hours, speaking about this particular subject, and people can sense that, and they are going to find that what you are speaking about is interesting, I want to listen to you. So that’s one thing, like figure out what your niche market is, or figure out what’s very important to you and what you want to talk about, versus what’s popular what’s the trend and all that stuff. And then that’s how you can cultivate an authentic fan base.
Steve: So basically niche down is what you are saying, to something very specific.
Steve: Okay. Yeah it’s very similar to like just websites and businesses in general. If you try to go too general you won’t please anybody.
Steve: Are you guys ever worried about having too many eggs in kind of like the YouTube basket, you know what I mean?
Joe: Well, we have a strategy for that too.
Steve: Yeah, let’s talk about it.
Joe: So you know the digital world is crazy. Like five years ago none of the stuff was really around. What I mean by that is YouTube wasn’t such a big thing. So we know how things can change pretty much within three months on YouTube. Like trans-change, everything changes. So we got to play– we got to in a reckless crazy up and down type of world, we got to try to make that– we got to find somehow stabilize this, because we got 18 mouths to feed. A lot of people are starting families. We can’t live like rock stars.
With this in mind, I picked up a lot of like business books and I surrounded myself around a lot of people that are smart and investing in things like that, and we are moving this YouTube money into other things. Basically we are diversifying into other businesses.
Steve: Yeah because I was going to say like what if all of a sudden one day people are just like using periscope and not looking at YouTube as much anymore. Let’s talk about some of these other businesses that you are kind of diversifying into. Are they online related, or are they just kind of offline businesses?
Joe: Half-half. So one is– we partnered up with our buddy David [inaudible 0:41:52]. He created a clothing company two years ago. It was like boutique street wear. He saw a lot of success into it, but his partners kind of lost the passion for it. For me and Bart we really like the brand, and we were like you know what, let’s help him revive it. We partnered up and we are going to be launching this pretty much fall of this year. It’s called Go for Broke.
Steve: So I would imagine that since your channel has a lot of clients, you could easily prop up like generally a whole bunch of sales for anything that you promote for the most part, right?
Joe: Yeah, that’s basically our strategy while we have a lot of eyes on us. I got this thinking like okay, if brands like Scion and Brisk, if they are willing to put a dollar on us and advertise through us, why are we not creating our own products and advertising within us. That’s where the concept came from. We basically– we are going to be partnering up with our friends in their business, their brick and motors, their retail shops, their restaurants, and once we get a piece, a percentage of that and we invest into it, then it’s in our best interest to promote it as well.
So it’s kind of like this win-win situation that we’re creating. We take care of the marketing, we drive the traffic, and then they stay specialized and they do what they do best, run a restaurant and all that stuff, and what we do is we can spread awareness of that property and also invest into it as well. So that’s basically the type of stuff that we are moving into.
Steve: Let me ask you this, you know a lot of brands, they obviously invest in you guys for advertising for a reason, can you kind of comment on what conversion rates that they expect, or is it kind of more like brand play.
Joe: Yeah it really depends on the initiative. So some brands they just want brand awareness. Like really big companies like Coca-Cola and stuff like that, they just want – they know they are going to get sales regardless. So they are not nickel and diming and seeing like, “Okay I want to make sure that at least one percent is coming over.” They are not like that. They just – they look at you, they go, “Okay, I want to promote here. So here’s I don’t know half a million.” They are insane.
Like the big guys is super simple, they just throw money at you, do what you got to do. That’s majority, majority of the time so not annual. A lot of the times, mom and pop and especially people who don’t understand digital realm, they have a lot of reluctance. And for them they are like, well, if I spend $5,000, I don’t know if I’m going to make it back, because how popular is this or whatever. It’s really like people are just afraid of what they don’t know.
Joe: So some brands may want like a call to action. They’ll say, “Here can you, promote my store online at the end of the video.” And then they’ll pay for it. A lot of the times, there’s no guarantee. Majority of the time there’s no guarantee. We don’t put any type of like, “Okay, we are going to make sure that there’s 20 people that come to your store.” None, there’s none of that. It’s just people like they just– you guys negotiate a price, they see your channel, they see your content and that’s that.
Steve: Okay. So do you guys tend to weed out like the little guys now and just work with the big guys?
Joe: Yeah, because I really don’t like working with people that don’t see the value in us, because it becomes this whole thing where like I’m convincing them that don’t worry and they are like worrying and like. It’s really an insignificant amount of money to deal with the headache, and I’d rather just have somebody explaining to them and that they have confidence in the whole digital realm.
Steve: That’s makes sense, total sense.
Joe: But a lot of times now like people are more sophisticated in the way they market. They understand that this is way more effective than traditional advertisement. Yeah, we don’t really deal with it that much. Now there’s a lot more money going on to this whole digital realm of marketing and stuff too. Because these smaller companies are seeing how the big brands are putting their dollars into it, now they want to jump on board. So it’s a lot easier now than before.
Steve: I mean the way I see it, it’s just like television all over again except you have links that you can click on which makes it much better. That’s my opinion.
Joe: There’s way more specific statistics, way more.
Steve: So Joe, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but if you want to just take a quick moment and talk about like your various projects and channels and where people can get a hold of you, that would be great.
Joe: So I know I was real serious on all that, but I promise I’m not that serious. This is just some business stuff.
Steve: I’ll take as one video man. I’ll put it to the show notes and they’ll know your true self.
Joe: Yeah, I mean like Steve said, we own five channels. Just Kidding Films, Just Kidding Parties, Just Kidding News, Just Kidding Gamer, Ask The Feels, if you type any of those in, you’ll find any video on YouTube, and you can watch that. I also have a personal channel, The Uncochin—T-H-E-U-N-C-O-C-H-I-N.
Steve: You guys don’t need to write anything down. I’m making all the stuff up on show notes. Yeah and I’m going to use this interview as a black mail. This is the most serious I’ve ever seen you actually. This could like ruin your entire reputation like that.
Joe: Seriously, like the buddy is boring. He’s so serious, a lot and a lot of explaining. Yeah, when I get to this business mode, and I’m like I’m not explaining everything is so serious.
Steve: I know dude. I’m impressed. You did it for forty minutes. Crazy, all right man, Joe, I just want to thank you once again for coming on. I learned a lot and you are really inspiring to all those people and the best part of a YouTube is you don’t really need a lot of money to get started. Just put yourself out there and things are going to happen.
Joe: Yes please guys, start now. Just whatever it is, don’t put much mind into it. I feel like a lot of people tend to over analyze, and then they get paralyzed. Let’s just do it.
Steve: Awesome dude. All right man, take care.
Joe: Okay, you too.
Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Whenever someone comes to me and says, “Hey Steve, I have no idea what business to start, and I don’t have any money either, what should I do?” I tell him to just put out content and good things will happen. And this is exactly what Joe and Bart did with Just Kidding Films and now they are doing seven figures online with YouTube videos.
For more information about this episode, go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode94. And if you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave me a review. It is by far the best way to support the show and please tell your friends, because the greatest compliment that you can give me is to write a referral to someone else, either in person or to share it on the web.
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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.