Watching YouTubers doing it right

I may have a bit of an obsession with YouTube. It's a hobby and I love it, and I can chalk it all up as business research now that I'm writing this blog post!

In the year or so that I've found a lot of the big name YouTubers (those are the ones who make substantial livings off their YouTube fame) time and time again I've seen that most of them are doing a lot of what we advise our clients to do and slowly but surely it has turned into Internet fame.

I'm not promising internet fame here, but let's pull out the important pieces:

Great content

Good YouTubers figure out what their audiences want and they provide it. It also needs to be in line with what they want at the same time for it to be successful and for them to want to keep doing it.

Music covers are one my favourite things to watch on YouTube. High quality covers of recent popular songs are gold for a musician making videos (I make no apologies for loving Taylor Swift's new song. I even like the original!).

I could post examples of great YouTube content all day from comedy to musicians to cooking shows, but that would be too distracting so I'll just share one more. I made this meal and it was amazing and now I can't get enough of all the Sorted Food videos.


Consistent schedule

Most YouTubers have a schedule they stick to. Grace Helbig of It's Grace made a video Monday through Friday for years and has only recently gone down to three videos a week.  

Hank and John Green (the vlogbrothers) post a video every Tuesday and Friday.

Fans expect the content and if they go to the channel on those days and there aren't videos they are disappointed.

It's not fast

A lot of these people have had YouTube channels for years. It's take awhile to get to the point where they now make enough money to make YouTube (and all that it's brought them) their career, but slow and steady wins the race.

Opportunities come knocking

While a lot of YouTubers make money on their content alone, they also make money from advertising and from companies, such as Patreon and Subbable that have popped up to help content creators find ways to make money online. For example, Walk off the Earth gets a dollar from me every time they make a new video through Patreon. In addition to this, there are also lots of opportunities that pop up as a result of their internet success, including:

Book deals:

Opportunities to be on Broadway and Tours

TV show deals

Consistent quality content aimed at your audience is what helps grow your reputation online. Whether you're creating content to help business owners learn to use social media or you're just out to entertain, it always come back to quality content.

Leave a comment and let me know if you've seen anyone online slowly grow to huge success with the delivery of consistent valuable content. And also let me know if you have any favourite YouTube channels because I'm always looking to check out more!

Case study: Blendtec

There are many out there who are using social media to build their businesses or AS their businesses.  We will be finding interesting content and featuring their stories here regularly.

Video is one of those things that most of us know we should do (because so many people love to watch video and because video is really rich content - always good for SEO!) but that few of us actually ever do.

What holds us back?

- Fear of not producing a good enough video

- Not having the right equipment

- Not having the time to invest in video

- Feeling our product/service isn’t really “video friendly”

- Uncertainty about how to create good content

I can’t help you with the first three other than to say, you can do it, practice makes perfect, you don’t need fancy equipment and find the time, but I do want to talk about the last two points. It’s just about finding the right angle.

Make it entertaining

As a general rule, the most popular videos on YouTube are popular because they are fun or funny. People want to be entertained.

Blendtec is a fabulous example of a product you wouln’t necessarily think of as “fun” but they have done an incredible job at promoting their product and their brand on Youtube.

Blendtec sells heavy duty blenders and kitchen products (like food mills) and in 2007 they started a viral marketing campaign called “Will It Blend?”

Blendtec’s primary target audience is businesses with commercial kitchens - restaurants, schools, etc. Yet they’re reaching the masses with these videos. That means your mother’s sister’s partner who runs a restaurant can hear about this product from someone who doesn’t even run a food service business.

The owner, Tom Dickson, started producing videos demonstrating what their blenders could blend.  He has blended everything from matches, to rake handles, to cellphones and iPads.

Over the years their YouTube channel has had close to 200 million views, they’ve created an entire line of “Will It Blend?” products, and they have said that the videos have clearly accounted for an increase in their sales.

Blenders aren’t really a product you think of as “fun”. Tom Dickson managed to do something different and creative that has taken his brand further than it ever would have gone otherwise.  I certainly don’t know of any other industrial strength kitchen product brands, but if a friend of mine ever opens a restaurant I’ll definitely be asking, “Oooh - are you getting a Blendtec??”

Have you thought about how you could jump outside the expected with your business and create a fun video for your business?

Case study: Devin Super Tramp

There are many out there who are using social media to build their businesses or AS their businesses.  We will be finding interesting content, interviewing people and featuring their stories here regularly.

- Lara

This past weekend my family and I were doing one of the things we often do together - watching YouTube videos. My husband seems to find the best of the newest viral videos and the kids were screaming for the giant swing video.

As soon as I watched it I understood why the kids loved it so much - I did too! Then we started watching more of their videos and all I could think was “THIS is a blog post!”

Devin Graham has turned making cool YouTube videos into a career. He found a winning formula in extreme sports/crazy fun + excellent music and now posts weekly videos that get millions of hits to his YouTube channel. And, it should be noted that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web - second only to Google, that is.

By creating this kind of content, he earns (I imagine) considerable amounts from YouTube and has also managed to get sponsorship for some of his videos from companies like Vooray and Blank Snowboards (though how much in product and how much in actual sponsorship dollars I have no idea).

What can we learn from someone like Devin? Although I don’t expect any of us to join the ranks of those who can make a living off making fun videos that millions like to watch, we can learn what it is that people enjoy. For Devin and his audience - an audience the sponsors clearly want to reach - the message is:

1) Fun

2) Energetic

3) Daring

4) Young

Though these words may not work for you - what words WOULD work for your audience?

If you have a company that deals in children’s clothing or toys - can you create a fun video of kids giggling, laughing, playing, looking cute and with fun music?

If you are an interior decorator can you show someone how to make their curtains hang just right in 2 minutes?

If you are a professional organizer can you share the secret to folding fitted sheets step by step?

Think about your audience, what they want, and how video can bring that information to them. Then test the water and try to make some of your own! Until then, check out some more of Devin Graham’s videos - they really are fun for the whole family!

Video is a powerful medium - have you thought about how YOU can use it for your business?