6+ Months on YouTube | What I’ve Learned
YouTube

6+ Months on YouTube | What I’ve Learned

(claps) – So it’s been six months since I uploaded my first video here on YouTube. And thanks to each and every single one of you. I’ve been fortunate to experience steady growth in both viewership and subscribers. In today’s video, I’ve summarized a few key takeaways from this hobby of mine. Because as crazy as it sounds, the learnings are surprisingly applicable in a real world business context. First, I’m gonna share what I’ve learned about making video specifically. And how my background in marketing, has helped me generate content that is hopefully relevant for most of you. Then I’m gonna talk about how the past six months have contributed to my personal growth. And how I apply some of the learnings from uploading one video a week to my day job as a product marketer at Google. I still have so much to learn when it comes to creating video content. But I recently found myself reflecting on this pretty fun journey and thought some of you might find these learnings helpful. So as usual let’s get started. Diving right into the three things I learned about creating video content. Number one, know who I’m trying to provide value for. And this is something you hear, a lot of the YouTube veterans talk about. When they give advice to new content creators like myself, they’ll always say to first know your audience, find your niche and grow from there. How I interpreted that advice was very simple. Basically I thought about it like a Venn diagram. And on the left were the things people want to hear about, and on the right where the things I could actually speak to. And for me, that overlap was a tiny, tiny sliver on the topics of interviews, career and business. So even before I made my first video, I try to figure out that user insight, who would benefit the most from the topics I’m somewhat qualified to talk about? And why are they not able to get that content right now? Because that’s basically my value add right there. Long story short, while I found there were tons of great content on career and interview prep, they were all centered around very conventional and safe methods. Meaning everyone was doing the exact same thing and it was really hard to stand out. And that helped me define my target audience, college students and young professionals who may be looking for a better way to structure interview answers. Who may be interested in advanced LinkedIn tips that very few people will use. Because these are the methods that have worked to some extent for me and will hopefully help my viewers stand out as well. So if that sounds like something you’re interested in, make sure to drop a like and subscribe for future videos. Second thing I learned about creating video content, and this is mainly in regards to hardware. Is that lighting and audio, matter way more, than the actual video picture quality. For example, this is how it will look if I relied only on this room’s overhead lighting that most of us have at home. And this look is from a few well-placed and affordable lighting solutions, crazy right? And onto audio, this is how it sounds if I relied on the camera’s built in microphone. And this is how it should sound on what’s called a shotgun mic that can mean attached to the camera or a smartphone. Which leads me to a tip of learning that might interest those of you who are thinking of creating video content. You really don’t need expensive gear to get started. It is actually true that you can make high quality videos with the phone you have, provided that you have decent lighting and audio. Third thing I learned, although frequency really doesn’t matter all that much when it comes to creating videos. Instead, growth comes from the incremental improvements made to each new video. Huge disclaimer, I know nothing about how the algorithm works for any platform. These are just my observations from being a content creator on both YouTube and RED, a Chinese content sharing platform. I bring this point up because there are a lot of videos talking about that perfect upload frequency. And whether uploading monthly, weekly or even daily as better. And obviously this is something that matters a lot to new content creators. I’ve done a bit of research and testing around this area. And in summary, I found that the one upload a week frequency by itself, does not mean faster growth. But rather it comes from improvements I’m forced to make on a weekly basis because I choose to upload once a week. Does that make sense? In other words, because I’m uploading weekly, I get more opportunities to improve my editing skills, cleaner cuts, cooler animations, nicer B-rolls. And those optimizations are what’s causing you, the viewer to hopefully enjoy my content more, watch for longer. And that sends a signal to the platform saying, “Okay, Jeff’s content is progressively getting better, let’s recommend it to more people.” I wish I knew about the sooner as well, because I definitely did stress about the upload frequency for my videos. And whether I can maintain a high quality content¬† if I had to push out two or more videos a week. Let me know down in the comments, if you’re someone thinking of content creation. Some of you have reached out saying, you might start your own podcast or your own channel. I’m not even close to being expert on this, but I’m happy to try my best to answer any questions. Moving on to the second part of this video, how uploading one video a week for six months have contributed to my personal growth. And how those learnings are surprisingly applicable to my day job as a product marketer. First and foremost, I learned how to ruthlessly prioritize. And when I say ruthless, I mean, ruthless. This came in the form of number one, time management and number two, being selective when acting upon feedback. Number one time management, I really enjoy my job as a product marketer here at Google. And so I made the decision very early on that this video hobby of mine wouldn’t cut into my core job. And right now if I add up the total amount of time I spent on both these activities, it would be around 80 hours a week. Therefore I really don’t have that much time to do other things. And so I had to cut down or take out completely some of the activities I used to do. For example, I used to play computer games after work. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge gamer, but I would play Age of Empires, Hearthstone, Dota 2, Dota Underlords, Warcraft Frozen Throne, Sekiro and Halo remastered, and a few others. But yeah, not a huge, gamer. After I started creating videos, I reorganized my timetable and prioritize the things that really mattered to me, spending time with my friends, family, going to the gym. And I basically cut down on the time spent on TV and video games to around one hour a week. Number two, being selective about receiving feedback. So after I started creating videos, my family and some of my friends, would give me their opinions about the direction I should take this hobby. And while I realized it was important to hear everyone out, it was just as if not more important to know when to filter out the noise. For example, I got some amazing actionable feedback that improved my video content and quality. An ex-colleague of mine sent me a message saying my hand movements were really distracting. And so I cut down on that. And a high school friend of mine sent me some content ideas that really sparked some inspiration. On the other hand, there were feedback that had I acted upon them would have been time wasters at best and would have negatively impacted the viewer experience, at worst. For example, I was advised to upload my content onto multiple platforms like TikTok and Bilibili. But I knew from watching established creators, that it was always best to focus on one or two platforms first, before thinking of diversification. And there’s a common misconception, that it is effortless to take one piece of content and upload it onto multiple platforms. It’s not, it takes a lot of work per platform. It’s like saying the same runner would be equally good at 50 meter sprints and long distance running. So the litmus test I go by now, is whether the person giving me advice has expertise in that given field. If yes, I’ll most likely give it more weight. If not, I probably take it with a grain of salt. So you might know by now where I’m going with this. Ruthless prioritization when it comes to time management and knowing which pieces of advice it take, obviously come to play in the business context as well. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between marketing and sales, is that marketers usually juggle a lot more requests. Different cross-functional teams that we work with all have their own objectives. And they’re all hoping to receive some sort of support. Therefore, it is crucial for marketers to identify the areas where the biggest impact can be made. And focus the majority of the resources and efforts on those areas. And that often means saying no to a lot of great but not as impactful projects. Similarly, marketers are flooded with different pieces of information, data, reports every day. And it’s our job to filter out the noise and determine what data can provide us with the meaningful insights we should act upon. To give an extremely simple example, a 90% adoption rate by itself means very little. If the benchmark for similar campaigns is 60%, you know you did a great job. But at the benchmark is 95%, you should probably figure out what went wrong. Wow! Okay.¬† That was a pretty long rumbly video about my first six months on YouTube. But I do hope the lessons I’ve learned are helpful to some of you. If you have gotten this far, please leave some sort of emoji in the comments below like a snowman or Christmas tree or something since it’s December. And just so I know how many of you are still watching. I really appreciate each and every single one of you, every view, every comment I get, positive or negative serves as motivation for me to continue creating helpful, useful, and somewhat entertaining content for you. So yeah, thank you again. And let me know down the comments, if any questions about the topics I covered today and as usual, (lip smacks) have a great one. (lighthearted music)

Leave a Reply