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SPI 464: Deep Into The Details of a New YouTube Channel (Our First Follow-Up Friday!)

I’m excited to introduce you to our first Follow-Up Friday episode on the SPI Podcast! Over the last couple of years, we’ve had a lot of requests for more solo episodes of the show, and now we’re finally doing it. I’ll be dropping a new episode every Friday to dive deeper into Wednesday’s guest interview. In this case, we didn’t have a guest on Wednesday, so today it’s just me diving even deeper into the world of YouTube.

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about my newest side project, Deep Pocket Monster, a Pokemon YouTube channel where I document my Pokemon card collecting and investing journey. I’ve put a lot of thought into strategies to get the most views and gain subscribers, and today I’ll share what’s working and what’s not in hopes it will help you in your own YouTube journey. Welcome to Follow-Up Fridays!

Deep Pocket Monster
SPI 459: The Right Formula to Win on YouTube with Derral Eves
SPI 444: Instagram Reels and TikTok for Business—Yes, It Does Work

You’ll Learn

Welcome to the Smart Passive Income podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he keeps the boxes for all of his electronics and it’s starting to become a hoarding problem, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn:
Hey, it’s Pat here, welcome to Follow-Up Friday. In fact, the very first one ever in the history of Smart Passive Income, we’ve gone 463 episodes weekly. Although in fact, I’m thinking about the days when I started, it was actually biweekly until I went to a conference, saw how impactful the podcast was, doubled down on it and went weekly. Well, guess what? We’re doubling down on it again, you will now hear two episodes of the Smart Passive Income podcast every single week. This has been something that actually a lot of people have been asking for, but we didn’t want to just do the same old thing, just twice the amount of the same kind of stuff, we wanted to bring something different.

My team and I, we came up with an idea, we’re experimenting with it, we’re trying it out, and I’m really thrilled about it because every Friday, our normal episodes come out on Wednesday, every Friday, you’re going to hear a Follow-Up Friday episode. That episode is actually going to be tied directly to the episode prior. So you’ll have your Wednesday episode, which might be a guest interview or even another solo show that goes really in depth with something, and on Friday, you’re going to hear the follow-up, because between Wednesday and Friday, you’re going to have some time perhaps to let this stew in your brain a little bit, whatever we talk about on Wednesday, you’re going to have some time to consider what your next steps might be.

Also, I find that, during these interviews that I do with some amazing guests, I often have a lot of things to share and say, and to follow-up with, however, I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to interrupt, and I don’t want to spend an additional 20 minutes or 15 minutes after the show, decompressing, unpacking everything, but I want to do that, but it shouldn’t be in the same episode. What’s cool, as many of you might not be able to listen until the end of the week, now you have both the episode from Wednesday and the episode that comes out on Friday, the Follow-Up Friday right together.

So however you choose, and whenever you choose to listen to these episodes, first of all, thank you so much. You’re going to get a double dosage of the show every single week. The Follow-Up Friday episodes are going to be about 15 minutes in length to follow-up on the topic and to share some more insights and to go deeper, and this is a deep dive, and I’m just spending a little bit of time here in the beginning to explain this, but this will be every single week and it’s going to be just you and me. I know a lot of you have also been asking for more episodes with just myself versus all the guest interviews, we’re still going to continue to do guest interviews. There will be occasionally a solo episode just like this past week’s, which was about my experimental side Pokemon YouTube channel.

So, whether or not you are following this Pokemon craze that’s happening right now, I mean, it’s been around for 25 years, but this year has been really interesting because of a lot of things in the market and the pandemic and whatnot. I explained all that in the last episode, if you haven’t listened to episode 463 yet, make sure you go ahead and do that, because this episode is a Follow-Up to that. But let me just give you a brief rundown of what I discussed in that episode. I started a side YouTube channel, many of you know that I have something called the 20% Itch Rule, or as I like to call it the innovation itch. What that means is, I allow myself just 20% of my time to try and experiment and play and do different things because I’ve tried the one-thing thing before, and it’s very difficult as an entrepreneur who has a lot of interests, a lot of things I want to do, to only do one thing.

So I allow myself to do one other thing, but I contain it in 20% of my time and my energy so that I know that I have 80% of the time and energy focused on stuff that needs to be done, and I can know that I’m going to do that, but kind of like a reward, but also just to scratch that itch. I have 20% of my time for other things, the SwitchPod, which was an invention that I co-invented with my partner, Caleb—, if you want to check that out. That was a case of the 20% Itch Rule, and that was two years ago from 2018 to 2019. That’s when a lot of that time was put into that project.

This year and the end of last year, it’s this new YouTube Pokemon channel. I talked about how I got started with this and why. But most of all, how I built relationships before launching this so that by the time it launched, I had some support in the community already, and how I found my position in the space, because a lot of us, we go into different spaces and we just go and it’s okay to ship. You need to ship or else nothing’s going to happen, but at the same time, a little bit of research ahead of time can go a very long way to help you discover what your position should be, where your landing spot should be.

Many of you perhaps have heard of my market map exercise in my book, Will It Fly? This market map exercise, which is one where you’re supposed to do some research on any niche that you’re trying to get into, to discover the places where your target audience is going to exist or where they do exist. The people that has already earned the trust with that audience and the products that they’re already buying and the prices. So the three Ps, right? The people, the places, and the products. That will allow you to find the fourth P which is your position. So you can discover where you should land that plane, if you will.

So, in the world of Pokemon Trading Card Games, I landed on, yes, a little bit of investment, but there’s a lot of investment channels already, but here’s where I’m leaning into. I’m leaning into the storytelling, the history, as well as a cinematography, something that gives me a complete unfair advantage in this space, because I know how to tell great stories after doing this for 12 years here on the podcast, and also, cinematography with a lot of the equipment that I’ve been able to use and get familiar with over the last year after streaming daily for 365 days, actually we’re very close to 365 days.

So, if you’re listening to this around the early parts of March, 2021, you might be able to catch my 365th episode, which is happening on March 15th on the YouTube channel, I’m going to be streaming for 365 minutes on day 365 with prizes and fun things like that. Anyway, you can check me out there if you’d like, but this is the Deep Pocket Monster YouTube channel that we’re talking about. So, I’m bringing all the camera work, I’m bringing all the fancy edits. I hired an editor. Yes, Dan Patrick Norton. Thank you, man, because you’re killing it right now. Immediately we started to see some results, many people commenting, “Wow, this is different, I haven’t seen anything like this before, your storytelling is great.” That’s a good sign because that’s purposefully what I’ve been trying to do.

Secondly, we started to notice that the algorithm started to share our videos. The cool thing about that is a lot of the videos on my SPI channel are getting found because of search. It’s hard because a lot of people come in and they might find my podcasting tutorial because of search and they dig into it and they’re like, “Oh cool. I like this person. I’m going to subscribe, they’re really helpful.” Right? That’s a great thing. However, the next day I might come out with a video or a live stream about email marketing, and then another one about mindset, and then another one perhaps about making a logo. It’s all things business. But people found me initially because they wanted information about podcasting.

So, on the SPI YouTube channel, which I do have a goal to double the size of the channel to half a million people who have subscribed to the channel this year, that is a goal, and I’m working toward that, and so far it’s going okay, still got a lot of work to do. But on the Pokemon channel, it’s very simple, because all the people who follow the Pokemon channels are looking for more Pokemon information, but they’re also looking for something new and different. So when they find me, they actually watch all the way through.

I’m doing a lot of things that I’ve learned in the podcasting space, in the channel. I’m doing a lot of things I’ve learned in my research to how to better my SPI YouTube channel on this Pokemon channel. So we’re doing things like spending so much time, and this is probably the big takeaway here, our work and effort to spend so much time to craft an amazing title and an amazing thumbnail is working. We’re getting impression rates, I mean, click-through rates, right? Because YouTube will send impressions out. It’ll impress or show your video to all different kinds of people that they think would click it. If you have a really high click-through rate, guess what? They’re going to send it to more people, and that’s exactly what’s been happening.

We saw a click-through rate of 15 to 20%, which is unheard of, one out of every five people, it’s been going down because YouTube has been sharing it with even more people. But we have a video that was published a week ago, which is about a mystery box that I purchased, which now has over 33,000 views. We hit monetization on the channel, which requires 1000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. We hit that at exactly one month after starting the channel. We’re really excited about that. You know what we account for that? The focus on the thumbnails and the titles. I cannot stress that enough.

I mean, just to give you an idea, I mean, you’re not watching or looking at the thumbnail right now, you’re not on YouTube, but let me share with you what some of the titles of these videos are. We have changed them. We have optimized them and they are working really, really well. So, the first video here is the only Pokemon card like this that exists, and it’s hard to grade. It makes you go, “What is that only thing?” Right? We didn’t reveal what the card was. Not a lot of people in fact are searching for it. Yes, keyword research is a part of the process at times, but that’s not what we’re going for. We’re going for suggested views. We’re going for being found on people’s browse and home pages on YouTube.

This title has been doing really, really well for us. The only Pokemon card like this that exists, and the thumbnail is myself holding the card really close to the camera, but you can’t see what it is. You can see the back of it and I’m looking at it, and then it says, “Only one.” It makes you want to look to see what that card is. Here’s another one that we actually spent more time on in terms of the title. Initially, the title said something like, “Don’t make this common mistake when collecting cards, collecting Pokemon cards.” We want to include Pokemon as a keyword in the title, but we changed it. It didn’t really hit as hard and you probably already forgot what it was after just 10 seconds.

Then we changed it to, “This collector’s mistake could have cost me thousands of dollars.” So now it’s a little bit more intriguing, but we changed it again. We changed it to, “This mistake is costing Pokemon collectors thousands.” It’s not about me anymore. People don’t even know who I am. This mistake is costing Pokemon collectors thousands. We do have three moneybag emojis at the end, and thousands is in all caps. The thumbnail is me wincing holding a binder of cards, and it says, “Don’t make this mistake.” When we made that change, we saw an immediate bump in impressions, click-through rate, and overall views.

Again, like I said, this video now is just doing incredible. To be specific, we have, over the last 48 hours, 5,000 views, 71.1% from browse features, 16.9% from suggested videos. So those are videos that are suggested to people after watching a previous video from somebody else’s channel, 1.9% from search. Let’s click through this even more because it’s crazy. Less than a percent for my subscribers, because I didn’t have a ton of subscribers, but this has been doing really well. Now, the money video, every once in a while, your video’s going to pop, and this video actually now has 38,000 views.

This one, again, we changed the title several times. We changed the thumbnail a number of times. I remember sitting in on a presentation at VidSummit, which is a conference run by an awesome guy, his name’s Derral Eves, and he’s very well connected in the YouTube space. In fact, he’s partnered with MrBeast, and MrBeast, who is a YouTuber, he’s like 25 years old. He has 50 million plus subscribers, one of the fastest growing YouTubers in the world, just ridiculous content. He’s amazing, and he’s very humble. I met him in person in fact. But I watched a presentation that MrBeast was giving about how to win on YouTube. 75% of the presentation was about thumbnails.

When you think about it, it’s so important because when a person is scrolling through their device and looking for things to watch or opens up YouTube and sees a whole bunch of suggested videos on the homepage or they’re browsing, and they’re just scrolling through, you need to be a thumb stopper, right? As I like to call it. You need to stop that thumb, have people go, “Wait, what is that about?” So, we had a thumbnail where I’m actually dumping cards into the trash can. Some of it’s Photoshop, some of it was actually just old common cards that I didn’t want to scratch up. So I am dumping them into a trash can.

The trash can didn’t look very good. So we just replaced it with another trash can that stood out a little bit better. Then we put the number $700 pointing down into the trash, because the title of this is “Trash? Opening a $700 Pokemon mystery box—how much value is actually inside?” so it makes you go, “Mystery box, what’s inside? Why is he throwing this in the trash? It must’ve been really bad.” This video at one point had a retention rate of over 65%. That means 65% of people who watched this video watched all the way through. If you get 50, you’re doing very good. People’s attention spans on YouTube is very short.

This video is 18 minutes long. It was purposefully crafted in a way to hold people all the way through, because it’s a mystery box, right? We saved the good stuff until the end. We teased some of the things, we create hooks that get people to stick around. We made it nicely edited as well to make it entertaining. We put some nice music behind it as well, but you don’t need those fancy things, you just need a reason to stick around to the end. It’s so funny because I’m looking at the analytics here, and at the 16.5 minute mark, you can just tell something happened.

I’m looking at the graph now and it just cliffs, it dives, and just people start leaving right away. So when I click on that, because YouTube will show you when all these things happen, I had just revealed the last card, and people left, they got what they needed, and this just proves to you that people come for the thing that you promise, and as soon as they get it, they’re gone, you have to, especially on YouTube and on a podcast, in a blog post and email, you got to give people a reason to keep falling down the page or reading through that blog post or listening all the way through that podcast episode or watching all the way to the end of your webinar or watching all the way to the end of your video.

So our plan based on these analytics are, we’re going to save the last card, the very last thing, and all the call to actions, which I did in this video, which was the last minute and a half, “Follow me here, subscribe here. Thanks, like, thumbs up.” All that stuff. That’s going to be before the final reveal, and that’s great because it’s going to hold people and more people will hear that call to action. Hopefully that will help increase our reach even more. But this is significantly, significantly helping out the channel right now, and it really helped us get to 4,000 hours within a month. Now, we’ve put ads onto the videos and we’re already generating revenue just after a month.

Now, it’s not going to be a life-changing amount of money, but it is money nonetheless, that didn’t exist before from getting very, very honed in on who this audience is, what is it that they actually crave and that they’re looking for? What are they getting from other channels? How can I one-up or how can I do something a little bit different? It’s cool because a lot of the comments here are things like, “Wow, you’re going to blow up. This channel is going to explode. You’re going to go to a million subscribers.” I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s a good sign that these people are saying it.

So if you want to check out this channel and see in real time, this new niche experiment that I’m doing, you can follow me on YouTube at Deep Pocket Monster. This is a fun experiment again that I’m doing, and everything that I’m learning and figuring out along the way I want to pass along to you. Right now, we’re in the middle of experimenting with what’s called the YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts are YouTube’s answer to TikTok and Reels and the 60 second or less videos. There is actually that built into YouTube now, but unfortunately it’s a little wonky, and right now, in order to be found in these shorts library inside of YouTube, you have to put hashtag short in your title and hashtag short in the description.

The video has to be less than 60 seconds long, and that gives you the possibility of you getting found in this engine of shorts in YouTube, and they’re pushing it out hard when you get in that engine. We have two videos currently that are hashtag shorts in the title and description, which have very, very little short traffic right now. Apparently it might take up to three weeks at this point in time for things to start working.

Now eventually, and here’s what’s going to happen, and I got this word from Derral. Eventually, the shorts capability will be built within the YouTube mobile app, similar to Reels, similar to TikTok. They’re probably building it out right now, where in the app itself, you can create a 60 second or less video, and then that gets put into the TikTok or Reels type of thing, make sure to try and listen to the episode I did with Keenya Kelly not too long ago. That’s Keenya Kelly on Smart Passive Income. That is episode 444, where she talks about using Instagram Reels and TikTok. Do you need to dance in order to make that work, because that’s what we think that usually is? No, you don’t need to dance, but you need to show up.

In the world of Pokemon, we’re getting really, really cool shots of cards and we’re getting people to interact. Which card do you like best? Or which cards are these? Do you know the name of them? People are commenting, we’re getting hundreds of comments on these shorts, but it has yet to insert itself into the engine where we’ve seen some people do this and they’re getting hundreds of thousands of views. Has it happened yet? Will it ever happen? I don’t know, but it’s something we’re experimenting with, and again, I’m going to continue to learn on this channel. It’s very similar. It has notes of the Niche Site Duel, that I started in 2010, where I built a website from scratch in an industry that I had no experience with, doing the exact same thing here, except this time it’s on YouTube.

That time, in 2010, the Security Guard Training Headquarter’s website, which I sold at the beginning of 2020, that was done on a website and a blog, andthis time it’s on YouTube. So, if you want to follow along, you can either stick around here and make sure you subscribe to the Smart Passive Income podcast, which likely you are already, and if not, I’d recommend you do that, because I’ll continue to let you know what’s been going on and just keep you up-to-date behind the scenes. Or you can actually follow me at Deep Pocket Monster, it’s sort of a play on the words because deep pocket, as in, I’m spending money on these cards, I’m investing in them, but also pocket monster is actually what Pokemon, that’s what it means. Poke, pocket. Mon, monster, Pokemon. Pokemon.

Okay. Anyway, thank you for listening to our first Follow-Up Friday, sort of unique one because we’re explaining what these Follow-Up Fridays are. But also this was after a solo episode of first one that I’ve done in a while about something completely random seemingly, but hopefully there’s some lessons to be taken away here as far as how I approached this new channel and approached this new space. Perhaps by the time you’re listening to this, we might be at 5,000 subscribers or 10,000 subscribers. We’ll see, or it might just fall flat and go nowhere. We’ll see what happens, but it’s a fun experimental ground. I’m learning a lot, I’m implementing a lot of what I’m learning on the Pokemon channel onto my regular channel and vice versa, and I’m here to keep you informed as well.

So thank you again for listening to our Follow-Up Friday episode here on Smart Passive Income. This is episode 464. 465, we have an interview coming up, so make sure you subscribe. Then the Follow-Up next week about that interview, we’re going to go deep into some stuff that is actually quite life-changing. It was for me, in fact, and it related to this guest and you’ll hear why on Wednesday next week. So thank you. I appreciate you. You’re the best, and have a great, great weekend. Team Flynn for the win. Peace.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at

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