Get More with the SPI Podcast Premium Pass
We're excited to offer a premium listening experience to the SPI audience with the SPI Podcast Premium Pass! We teamed up with our friends at Supercast to build an exclusive feed that gives you the same episodes you know and trust, plus new content you won't find anywhere else—all without ads.
Is there a formula to winning on YouTube?
Is it about your thumbnail images, how much money you have to throw at eye-catching stunts, or does it simply come down to the niche you're in? What if you're brand-new to YouTube — what should be your first upload?
We've been getting requests for an episode just like this one for a while, which is why I'm thrilled to bring on Derral Eves, founder of VidSummit — the best video-focused conference I've ever been to. He is an absolute master when it comes to understanding what it takes to grow massive channels on YouTube, which is why he has a new book out: The YouTube Formula: How Anyone Can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience, and Grow Revenue. Today, he's diving into some of his strategies, like what kind of video you should publish first, the most important step he takes when working with a new channel, and how he helped rocket boost YouTube superstar MrBeast (51.1 million subscribers and counting).
We get seriously deep today. There's a lot of super-specific, invaluable information here about how to grow your channel, so grab something to take notes with, and let's do this thing!
Derral is CEO of Creatus, a video marketing and strategy company, and the founder of VidSummit, an annual event in Los Angeles for video creators and marketers. He has helped 24 YouTube channels go from zero to more than a million subscribers, and he has generated 54 billion views on YouTube.
Derral is founder and executive producer of The Chosen, the highest grossing crowdfunded movie project of all time. He was also executive producer on several viral video campaigns, including Squatty Potty’s ice cream pooping unicorn ad. Derral works with some of the biggest YouTube creators in the world, including MrBeast, who has 51 million subscribers and one of the fastest growing channels on YouTube.
Derral has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, FORBES, World Religion News, and more. He was featured on the Forbes list “20 Must Watch YouTube Channels That Will Change Your Business,” alongside Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
Derral’s career passion and personal mission is to help individuals, brands, and businesses make a positive impact in the world, but his greatest passion is his family: his wife, Carolyn, and their five amazing children, Ellie, Logan, Kelton, Thatcher, and Bridger.
- Why YouTube is the platform that your business should be on right now
- What the best first video is for new businesses on YouTube (nine times out of ten)
- One of the most missed opportunities for content creators
- The most important thing Derral does when researching other YouTube channels
- A quick test for your video title and thumbnail before you hit publish
- When 75 percent of all views on YouTube occur
- Why community is a critical ingredient for YouTube growth
- What date YouTube launched (and what kind of service it originally was)
- Why unlocking the YouTube algorithm is about unlocking people first
- The strategies Derral used to help MrBeast achieve explosive growth
- Derral's strongest advice for online course creators
SPI 459: The Right Formula to Win on YouTube with Derral Eves
Wow. So we've had so many people ask us for an episode just like today's, because today we're talking about the formula to win on YouTube. And we're speaking with none other than Derral Eves, the founder of VidSummit, a conference that I've been to for the last three years in a row. And I got to be honest with you, one of the best conferences, if not the best conference I've ever attended, as far as how absolutely helpful the content and the speakers on the stage were, and of course, the relationships that were built there as well. And I was there as an attendee in 2017, I spoke on stage on 2018, and then I was able to join the stage with my co-founder of The SwitchPod, Caleb Wojcik. And we spoke, we did the closing keynote and it absolutely rocked, and I have to thank Derral for that opportunity.
I also had the opportunity to meet MrBeast and shake his hand and thank him as well as Mark Rober, the glitter bomb creator, and so many other great people. It's just an amazing event. But I'm not here to talk about the event. I'm here to talk about Derral and how much he knows about YouTube. In my eyes he kind of is YouTube. He just knows how it works. He works with MrBeast, he's helped channels get billions of views, and he's here to drop some amazing knowledge today.
I do want to warn you, he gets very specific today. And if you like specific strategies on how to grow, then this is definitely for you. He is the author of a brand new book called The YouTube Formula and of all the resources out there to help you win on YouTube, I couldn't think of anybody else but Derral to bring on the show to give you this information today, and very selfishly ask questions for myself too as I continue to grow my channel this year too. We are approaching 300,000 subscribers at this time. And when I first met Derral and started joining in on VidSummit and everything he has to offer, I was at about 60,000 or 70,000. So he's definitely helped me grow for sure. Anyway, let's cue the intro and then we'll dive right in.
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 - if you could bring one item to a deserted island, it would be a satellite podcasting setup - Pat Flynn!
What's up everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to session 459 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. And today we're talking with Derral Eves about the YouTube formula, his book, and dropping some knowledge here on the episode today so that you can win on YouTube too. Here's Derral Eves.
Derral, welcome to The Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for coming on, man.
Hey, anytime for you, for sure.
Dude, I'm really, really excited to chat YouTube with you and video specifically - and not just how to get more viewers, which we definitely want to talk about, things about the algorithm, all these concerns that people who are interested in video want to know about. And obviously you're a great person to relay a lot of this information with your connections to YouTube and your involvement with everybody in the world of YouTube from MrBeast to just everybody it seems. But how to turn this information that we post on YouTube into dollars, how to actually build a business on the platform, not just do views and actually get email. And this is something that I know you're very proficient at and I think more proficient than anybody. So really excited to chat.
Oh, that means a lot coming from you. I really appreciate that.
No, I mean there's a lot of people who do video and do video very well, but video integrated with business is I think your specialty for sure. And just a big shout out to you and VidSummit. For anybody who's interested in video and wants to learn more, definitely check out VidSummit. This is Derral's conference, definitely changed my view on video, changed my perspective on the community, and by far the best video conference available. And I don't know what the plans are for 2021, but whatever they are, where should people go to stay up to date on all that?
Yeah, VidSummit.com. And we're actually having it in May, it might be a little bit more intimate than what we're used to, but we are having it regardless of what it is. There's something about rubbing shoulders with people and talking about the industry in the whole, but what I love, and this is more so than anything else: I've never been to a conference where we'd have a keynote like Pat Flynn going to do a presentation. If you've never see any one of his keynotes, you're missing out because you have to see that, but then you go back into the room after answering the questions and go to learn.
And that's what VidSummit is, it is for the person that really understands that video is the opportunity to really expand your business and the people that we have presenting there, they're more about learning and giving and that's the culture that we've created. And so I've been grateful that you've been not only an attendee, but also a keynote. And that means a lot to me. And it really says to the caliber of people that we have there, that this is a place, and this is an opportunity. And there's so much to learn if we'll be willing to not only learn, but to give as well. And you've always been a great giver.
Thank you for that. I attended in 2017, came on to a breakout session in 2018 to the keynote this past year and have met so many amazing people, but not only am I all that, I'm also an ambassador for it. I just love it so much. And I think of all the conferences ... and in fact, I'm slowing down this year in terms of conferences that I'm going to be at, but yours is definitely one that I'm still going to make it to, so.
We'll be approved with everything that's going on in the world. We'll make sure that we're safe.
Yeah, of course. So you had mentioned this opportunity on video, obviously YouTube has been around for quite a while. Why is now the time, more than ever, that we should be focusing on video? I think people listening to this kind of know YouTube and know it's an opportunity, but why in your opinion is this the platform to be on right now?
So it's always about adoption, and I'm really keen on culture and how people will adopt certain things. It's like they adopt the iPod, right? Or the iPhone. It takes several generations to go through before you have the general perspective.
For me, when you know that the fasted growing segment coming onto YouTube is the older generation, the boomers, you know that this is being adopted by everyone because you already have Gen Z, you already have millennial. You already have the Gen Y and the Gen X, and now boomers are coming on as a resource. I went up to my mom's house and she had her iPad out and she was watching a YouTube video of how to change the doorknob. And I'm like, "Mom, why are you doing this? You have eight kids. You have eight boys. It should be our job." She goes, "I didn't want to bother you. And I knew I could find it on YouTube."
This is an opportunity and it's just being adopted now where it is getting a lot more visibility. People are using it as a source, not only for information, but for entertainment and it's being more received now across the world. I mean, they have 2 billion active viewers every month that it's coming on. That's a big majority of the population of the world.
Yeah, that's true. From a viewer's perspective, I can definitely see that more and more people are adopting it. But from a creator's perspective, I think when people consider themselves a YouTube creator, when they're about to start that journey, a lot of times as with anything, we have these demons in our head, "Oh it's too saturated. There's so many great people out there. I'm not an entertaining person like MrBeast so I can never succeed there." How would you respond to somebody who says that?
Well there's first off, the most common question, "Wait, you make money on YouTube?" That's what I get first. It doesn't matter what it is. And then I explain to them, yes.
I think the biggest thing is taking a step back and realize that not everyone is consuming content like what we thought that they would, right? We have this nice, beautiful phone in our pocket. It's all around the world that they have internet access and they're able to connect with things that they love. They can watch what they're into. I want to just give you an example if I could, because this one would probably explain it the best. And I think it would answer the question the best. In my hometown there is a tow truck company, and he goes out when people are in need and he fixes . . . you know, the brakes down and then he tows the vehicle where they need to go.
And one day he decided, "You know what? I have these really interesting calls where they're stranded out in beautiful Utah. And if I would just document it and just pull out my phone and start recording, that would be interesting for a video." So here you have a tow truck company and he goes on these rescues and he did a great job. He's well over almost 500,000 subscribers right now.
He's getting 13 to 18 million video views a month, but he's making more money as a content creator than he is in his towing business. And he did more in two months that he did the full year as a tow truck driver.
It reminds me of something I heard during the pandemic. I wrote a story about farmers and a lot of farmers are turning on their phones to record and just document their gardening and their farming and stuff. And they're making more money doing that versus the actual farming and the distribution that they normally did. It's very similar.
Well, and I think too, it's just - don't always look at it for content creation. And a lot of people, "Oh, I don't want to be a creator. I don't want to get in front of the camera." But they're looking to learn or to connect. And how I cut my teeth into YouTube was this is the funniest story. I don't think I've ever told you this, but I wanted an agency. We worked with a lot of small mom and pop shops. And so the whole goal was to design them a website and then rank them on Google. And I was always looking for ways to get at the top of Google. This is back in 2005, I was expanding my company. And I went onto Craigslist because I was looking for a free desk or a cheap desk.
And I saw this ad and it says, "You could get a brand new iPod." And at the time the iPod was the size of a brick. And if you threw it, it would actually kill someone because it weighed so much, but it held a thousand songs mind you. And Steve Jobs just introduced the brand new iPod. It was the size of a pack of gum. And I'm like, I want that. So I went to this website, it was called YouTube. I was blown away by video. And I'm, oh my gosh, this is so amazing. You can actually embed these videos on websites. And the first thing that went through my mind was: upsell. I could literally upsell every one of my websites. I just needed to shoot a video, get it on there. And what was interesting, that was October of 2005, 2006 is when Google bought them, and then between 2006 and 2007, all those videos that I started to embed on websites had on YouTube started to show up in search and all these mom and pop businesses started to explode.
And it was because the video that we made for them, that all it was as an ad of some sort promoting their business that they had on their website, started to get the phone to ring. And then the next thing that I went to is, well, we need to do call tracking because I want to be able to validate that this is where this stuff was coming from, and sure enough it was. And I was, "Man, this is a very powerful medium." And I saw businesses that were ready to fold. They were ready to give up. And it was a video that literally transformed their sales process and getting people into the knowing about them. And so that's kind of how it all started. And for me, that's never left me, it's in my DNA.
Because it's like, if you want to create as a creator that's great. If you want to promote as a business, that's great. But at the end of the day, it's all about money. Because if you have money, you can create more. And if you're looking to leverage that, and this is where if you can figure out how to monetize properly and do it, you'd be amazed at what you could do with video. I think just when people see it, it's just not the ads that show up. That's just a drop in the bucket of what you can do it when you leverage it right. And when you have a great strategy from that, that's when you can really look at really expanding you as a business or as a business person or even a promoter to get more people aware of what you're doing, because they're more personally invested with you, because the best way to communicate with them is in-person, the second best is video, because that's the closest that we can come to really engaging almost all senses that you need to really close the deal.
I love that. I'm thinking of a lot of my most popular website pages. A lot of them actually in fact have video embedded on them. And a lot of people came to them from YouTube. My podcasting tutorial is very popular on YouTube and that brings a lot of people over to my space on my website. And if I could ask you - let's just say, for example, a person's listening to this. They are a small design agency and they help build websites similar to what you did. If you're starting a YouTube channel today and you want to use video, what would be the approach that you would take to get more business?
It's all about showcasing. It's all about understanding the viewer. And we live in a world right now that we're very data-driven, but we are human-centered. And so we need to look at what's actually going on. So I would actually do this - dand this is what I do with all my clients. It doesn't matter if they're a mom and pop shop. It doesn't matter if they're Nintendo or MrBeast. I basically break it down and say, "Okay, what do you want to accomplish? What is your finish line?" And that finish line, if it generates into sales, if it's a sales number. Say, "Hey, I want to be able to be X amount of sales." I would say, "Okay, what's going to be the best way to get to that." Now, nine times out of 10 for a brand new business, it would be doing an ad.
I know that a lot of you are cringing right now, probably thinking, "Oh, an ad, why would I want to do an ad?" But you're talking to a guy that put out an ad that organically went to hundreds of millions of video views and sold over $45 million of attributable sales off of a video for a product.
Now, yes, it was a pooping unicorn, and it was a Squatty Potty that we're talking about. But the reality is, is an ad is predictability of understanding who your audience is and then you can always change it out. Okay. And if I was starting a business, I would just make sure that I have an ad budget of $50 bucks or $100 that I can literally try and get in front of the person. And the best way to do that is anyone that goes to your website.
You can actually fire an ad on YouTube. Anytime they go to YouTube. Anyone that didn't call you or get to your success page that you can fire an ad is probably the most low cost. It's called a re-marketing ad. And anytime they go to YouTube, they can see your face. Now, what's even more better is if you figure out, okay, what are they wanting? What are they needing? If they came to my website and are they wanting value or are they wanting a cheap website or they want a fast website? Are they looking for a mobile responsive website? Are they looking for something within their budget or whatever? You can get the details down and you start really looking at, hey, what pages did they go to? What did they bounce off on? And you can actually create a segmented list of ads firing on.
And just for pennies, you can literally have that ad be in front of your avatar, the ones that are most likely to buy. And then what you can look at, you can be geolocated too. Say anyone in this region within four blocks or you can go say, okay, I only want this ad to fire on the business district. Okay. And you can get the business district.
You put in the area of where that ad fires and you really start speaking that message. And I would look at more what the pain points are, people coming in that need a designer or a web master or a web programmer and start defining what the problems are and offering the solutions in a video. And then the more that you can make it quick and responsive and funny at times, if there's no humor, just talk about problem solution, problem solution, you're okay as long as they can see that there's something that's there. And then you can always change it out.
We would even do these really weird strategies where we would have these segmented videos. And the only way that the second ad would fire is when they watched that one video. So we'd say it - and you can do this. I know this is really in depth, but hoping that the listeners can really understand this, but you can actually create campaigns when someone watches a particular video, that's when another campaign fires and when they watch that video, another campaign fires. And so we would actually create seven videos and it would only fire once. So say they could only watch it once within a 90 day period. And so they'd go to the first video say, hey, you probably need a website and that was the whole long of the ad.
And they're like, that's the weirdest ad I've ever seen in my life. And then the next ad they see, "I told you needed a website. Why did you cut me off?" And then after six videos then they had the full ad. And you're like that's a lot of effort and time into an ad campaign. But the only person that saw the second video is the first person that saw the first. And if you made a good impression enough and it was different, they were like, "Oh, man, wait, this guy's coming up again. What's going on here?" And they're paying more attention to your ad instead of just waiting for it to skip, skip, skip. And we would do that all the time.
And we used to do it where ... And this is a hack. It's not no longer the case, but if they would bounce off - with under a certain size, we'd actually do a three minute ad, but we'd only do the ad. And if they skip it, then you wouldn't pay for it. So we'd get a whole bunch of ads that they skip. It just, "Hey, if you don't want a website, just skip this ad." And then they'd go to skip the ad. Then basically you knew that it was there and you didn't pay for that. But then after that, it was, okay since she didn't skip it, you need a website. Let me tell you what we were able to do, and you can go through it. And it was really interesting. So we'd actually start deviating our marketing spin. I know that was probably the longest answer for that, Pat.
But what I'm saying is go for the easiest view first, the easiest view first is literally ads, and you can test out, you can start segmenting, you can take a hypothesis of who you think they are and you can make, okay, let's make a video that responds to them, and then you can bring it in and you can say, okay, what's an organic approach of what you learned from this ad buying to go from there, because the easiest way to make money on this, if your goal is sales, is through ads.
Yeah. Okay. That was a surprising answer in fact, and I don't hear a lot of people talking about YouTube ads, although I know some people who do YouTube ads and are very successful with them. Part of it's just because creators aren't stepping up and actually on the platform doing ads as much as they are on Facebook and Instagram. So that's-
You basically said that they had a business that was for a design business.
I was looking at what their goal would be, and I would assume to get more business. So that would be the first area.
Now if you wanted an organic one, I would look at, okay, what are some problems that people are facing, but keep in mind that when you go outside of ads and you start going to organic, then the world becomes your customer. When you do ads, you're literally segmented into your region. Yes, you can go out to the world, but it's very expensive to compete with the world in an ad campaign.
So when we create a video or a channel that's more for reaching people in the organic manner, what's the approach that they would take. Let's say, for example, instead of a design agency who is making sales - and I agree, I think ads are the quick, easy way to just discover new things and start trading quarters for dollars. But when it comes to the person who maybe they don't know what they want to serve their audience with yet, they don't even necessarily have a product but they know they want to serve an audience. They want to build an audience and learn more about them and gain a subscribership so that they can better follow up with them and serve them later. What would be the approach to building a channel like that?
So when you don't know what you don't want, and you're like, "Okay, I don't know where I'm at. I know I want to create content." It's probably being more a consumer than a creator. I know that's a little harsh in the sense if you want to create, but I would take some time and define what you like and what resonates with you as a viewer and what you would like to create. And so there's a process that I go through really in depth is recon and research. And I think that this is probably one of the most underutilized things for content creators is they just create, and they don't really research a little bit to see what trends are out there, what happens. And they miss opportunities all the time. And I think -
They just hope to get lucky.
Yeah, they literally just kind of throw out content and hope it sticks. And I don't think that it's the best approach. I think there's a lot to learn from seeing channels that are succeeding and then looking at the patterns that are happening with successful channels in a specific area, a specific niche. And I'm telling you, you can't name a niche that's not on YouTube. Seriously people, "oh, there's not a this," I guarantee you start searching. You're going to find niches that you never thought would exist, but they're there because there're already communities or interest when it comes to them.
But I think it's more about doing the recon and research. So what I do is I like to try to find 5 to 20 to 30 channels that are doing what content that I would kind of do. And I'd look at some patterns, like how do they title things and how long are their videos and how they do the intros and what are their thumbnails look like, and start seeing those patterns from there.
And then I'd look at the pacing. How fast do they talk in the videos? How much did they use B roll? How much do they do this? And I start making a list of all those things, but the most important thing I do, Pat, and this, I can guarantee you, no one does this to the depth that I do, I just read the comments.
People will tell you what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. And there'll be very opinionated in it. And people look at the title and thumbnail and they'll make all the assumption off the video, but they won't read the 10,000 to 20,000 comments in there. And I do because you'll get ideas of how the creator either hit the mark or missed the mark. And if you get enough of a list of all the things that they did right and what they responded to, that gives you ideas of what to create. And all the stuff that they missed the mark, that gives you ideas of what to create, what people really want.
I mean they went enough into the comments to say, "Hey, do you know what Pat, you did a great job on explaining your podcasts, but you left out X, Y, and Z. Why did you leave that out?" And they're very opinionated on that. I'll bet you never get that because you're very thorough.
It's an every day thing for me to not get upset about the comments I get sometimes.
Yeah. But these aren't just not negative nellies, they're just passionate about the industry. Right? They're passionate about ... You get some toxic teds, that's fine, but the reality is, if you're really doing recon and research, that's what you need to be looking at is at those comments. And when you're looking at those comments, then that gives us a better indicator, a better understanding of what to create.
And then it would move to the next step, would be coming up with an idea. And it literally goes against most creators, but think about what the title's going to be, what the thumbnail is going to be, do that first. Don't do it after the fact. And I like to have this little mantra: it should be really easy to understand from the thumbnail and the title, but it should be easier to share. And I can honestly say I've worked with a lot of creators, but a creator that's almost getting, he's well over a half a billion video views a month right now, he's a master at this. And our tests that we have is, how are people going to share the video? And, hey, did you see that MrBeast video where he ate the world's largest pizza? Well what was his video? "I ate the world's largest pizza."
It's like that's it, at the end of the day that's the test. And so when you come up with that title and that thumbnail idea, now you take all those comments and say, okay, how can I make this most amazing video, but know that a lot of the people that click on it, a title and a thumbnail, jump off, how are you going to grab their attention? And that's where I would put my focus.
And I would probably put my focus in the first third of the video, because that's when the people are the most sensitive to bounce. And how can I bring the most value? If it's an education video, how can I bring in the most value in that first three minutes? But more importantly, that first 30 seconds? And then if I can keep them, bring that value as it's staggered out for those first three minutes, and then you can go from there. I don't think a lot of creators do that. They just create content, but I've seen channels that speak to an audience and then YouTube finds, hey, here's a pattern of the viewer. Guess what it does, Pat? It promotes it because 75 percent of all views happening right now on YouTube is when YouTube recommends a video to the viewer. That's a lot of use.
It is. I want to talk about MrBeast a little bit. First of all, I had a chance to meet him last year at VidSummit, super humble guy, legit, super friendly. And he has an amazing team. And thank you for giving me a moment just to say thanks and have a picture with him.
And he did a little talk on stage about all the things he's doing and a lot of the stuff that you're talking about related to thumbnails and titles, and he went really deep on that. And that's pretty cool.
What's your response to somebody who's like okay, well, MrBeast, first of all, he gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars in every video. He has these incredible challenges where he's giving away islands or giving little kids their credit card to spend money on whatever. I don't have that money. I'm not as sort of "crazy" or outlandish as MrBeast might be perceived as, so how would I create a video like him? How do I get the same kind of growth or keep people on watching when I don't have thousands of dollars to give away to the pizza guy who delivers my pizza?
That's a great question. And all I have to say is this. There's mainstream viewing patterns, right? And so he's more mainstream now. He's getting people like you and I watching, but also our kids are watching him. And so it's just like, you're getting that mix. So it's going out to a more general audience and that's not for every channel and it doesn't need to be, all you need to do is have the right people watch it. And it just really understands what your goal is, but it goes back to that towing company. And I know that that's a different example, but when you have a video - and you can go on YouTube and you can search him up, it's Matt's Off Road Recovery, and you can get to that channel and you can see what he's been able to do.
But the more important thing is it speaks to the viewer. When it speaks to the viewer and you really get connected to what the viewer wants and you're providing value, which is entertainment or education, or what have you, that's when you actually have a winner. Now, in MrBeast's case, I mean, his whole thing is doing some amazing things and sharing spectacle videos where he does X, Y, and Z in the video or whatever it may be. But the reality at the end of the day is he gets people to come back and watch another video. And in the same case with this tow truck company, it's like, can we get people locked in and wanting to come back and watch more? And when you have 70 percent of the people that are subscribed to you watching the video, you know have a winner, you know that there's something going on.
And when you read the comments it's, "Oh, it's so funny, this or this or that, or I really love this part, or this or that." That right there is you know you have an engaged audience. And so that's what I look at more than anything else. And I don't think that you need to be a MrBeast level of an idea, but your title and thumbnail should connect to a human. And you should know the audience. You should know what they would respond to, what would turn them on in the sense to get them to click, or that would disengage them and get them not to click. You should know that. And that's something that you need to have a pattern. I always look at, if you're the avatar, then you should know what you should like and what you don't like. And you - take off your creator hat and put on your viewer hat, what would you click on?
But I do want to say this. And I think this is something that businesses and creators alike should have a better understanding, which is really understanding the viewer. And you cannot put too much emphasis on understanding who's watching your videos. You should be reading the comments. You should see who's subscribed and what type of channels that they are and what they're putting out there. Because the more that you understand about them, it's easier to take those hypothesis of who they are and to validate those. And the more that you understand your data, you're able to do that as well.
Thank you for that. On Matt's Off Road Recovery I'm guessing he ... Like what is entertaining about that? What keeps people watching his videos and watching more of them? What about that channel specifically? I mean, based on what you're telling me, it's just a guy who's rescuing people who are stranded because of towing, but what is it about how Matt does it that makes it interesting?
So to answer that, I think it's more understanding people of why they come on YouTube. Okay. When they come onto YouTube, they either want specific knowledge and to be educated, okay, that's one of the things, some of them come on because it's their TV. They have certain channels that they watch and they'll watch every single video.
But when you look at it, I want to even go deeper. So I look at his audience and it is someone that probably works a blue collar job, someone that enjoys the outdoors that probably likes to go off-roading and they love that. And so when I look at that, when they're getting off work, they want to unwind from work. They want to de-stress, and this might be one of those avenues for them to do that. Right? But when we go even deeper than that, and when you understand that that is your audience, then it's about something more.
So with Matt, I can guarantee you it's more about the rescue than the job. It's more about buddies rescuing and helping someone out, that would be the channel of Matt's Off Road Recovery, because what happens in the video, they got a call and you'll hear them. So we got a call and you'll see on every description it says, so we got a call to go to rescue, and then it's the video. And that's what the video is. And what's amazing from it is people are on that adventure with him, because he doesn't know what he's going to get himself into. And so does the viewer, they don't tease what's going on. Right? And so it's that adventure to go and help someone. And that's what the video's about. That's what the channel's about. And that's why it's resonating so well.
And I would imagine there's this idea of the unknown and what's going to happen? Is it going to go well? that keeps you sticking around similar to MrBeast videos where - who's going to win? You have no idea what's going to come out of 24 hours sleeping in ice or something. What's going to happen? And of course the thumbnail represents that it's like MrBeast frozen and it says hour 17 at the top, it's like, oh my gosh I have to watch to see, does he actually survive this? Or what happens? Right? So there's a reason to stick around. And that's kind of something that I'm working on my videos is trying to create a really good hook or open a loop, such that a person would want to stay around 'til the end. I've been getting very involved in the Pokémon community on YouTube. And there's a lot of people who open these boxes and open booster packs.
And it's like, the next pack might be the one. So I'm going to stick around and watch all the way through, because I don't know what's inside, but I want to find out with this creator too and when a good card comes we kind of all celebrate together.
Exactly. And realize not everyone wants to watch a MrBeast video. I mean, they might watch something that grabs their attention once in a while, but to be an active viewer that comes back every single time ... maybe they're more into vehicles. And he only does vehicles every once in a while. Right. But he's giving them away instead of more seeing someone rescued in a really weird spot. And so I think that's the essence, is we're all into what we're into, where you're talking about Pokémon, I mean, you're doing a couple amazing things. Pokémon already has an amazing community, right? But it's bringing the element of the surprise and delight. You don't know what you're going to get. You're either going to have this amazing card that you've been waiting your whole life for, or it's just going to be a dud and you didn't really make anything.
You already have 50,000 of those cards. All right. So that's what I love about this. And it's more about communities, there's all these little sub communities that are out there. And I want to instill this into everyone that's really listening. All you need is literally 1000 people that love your stuff. You get 1000 people paying you $1000 in a year, that's a million dollars. Whether it is a product or whatever. I mean, you can really scale it. It's all numbers. And what I love about your book is you went in depth on this, of really getting these active super fans and that's what you need. You just got to have people that are so into it that they're groupies instead of going from concert to concert, they're going to the next video. And they're really becoming your evangelists for your videos and taking it to a deeper level of fandom where they're going out and finding your audience for you. They're giving you ideas for your content.
Exactly. I want to dive into ... if a person is here listening and they have, for example, an online course or some sort of consultancy, or they do coaching, how do you balance what you "give away" for free on YouTube versus what you can charge for? But before we get into that, I want to ask you about your book. I know you have a book, it's out. Tell us about the book, who's it for? And what could we learn from it?
Yeah. So the book's called The YouTube Formula: How Anyone Can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience, and Grow Revenue. I mean, that's very pretty timely right now in today's world. And I love it because I can guarantee you, I read every book that there is to read on YouTube and there's no book like it, not just because I wrote it, but it gives a perspective from someone that has worked with the biggest brands and creators in the world. And I do a good balance between, how do you leverage this as a YouTube creator and how do you leverage it as a brand? And we interweave how to get the most out of YouTube and video specifically, and it's broken into a couple - MrBeast wrote the foreword, it's probably one of the most interesting forwards you'll ever read.
And there's actually a complimentary course that's in it as well. And I actually got that idea from your book, by the way. Thank you so much. I'll give you all credit for that. I'm like, yeah, that's a good idea, but it's broken into three parts. And I thought about this a lot because a lot of books will just say, "Here's the secrets of this or that." Or, "Here's all the ways that you make money on YouTube." And I wanted to give homage to the platform. And I think that the first chapter is the mantra for me, which is to try, fail, analyze, and adjust, a YouTube history lesson. And I talk about the history of YouTube. And this is a test for you, Pat, because you've been on YouTube for a while now, but do you know what day YouTube was launched? I don't expect you to know the answer there.
Okay. Let me think about year.
I feel like I once heard that it was like Valentine's Day or something like that.
You got it. You actually got it. I don't know if you googled that, but good job, first place.
No. I heard it was something interesting like that. I knew it was, I don't know.
It launched on Valentine's Day for a reason. Not a lot of people know this, but it was because it was -
This is why I know this, I remember hearing you saying that, yeah. That's why.
... a dating website. And when you watch the first video that was uploaded to YouTube, it was uploaded in April. And you see what he's talking about. And it's a dating website. It becomes a very dirty video. He was at the zoo talking about elephants, anatomy, and he had some references there, but what happened next? And this is what I love about the book. And the whole essence of it is they tried to get people to jump on the platform. They tried to do it on Craigslist. They were paying women $20 to post a video just to have the dating site. But in May, they were handing out flyers at Stanford, all this other stuff. But in May, they were analyzing the data and realized that nobody was using it for what they intended it to do. And so they had to make a very hard decision.
Do they keep it a dating website or do they look at the data and adjust? And they adjusted to make more features for people to post videos of their cat or their adventures or whatever they want to do. And it now became a video sharing site instead of a video dating site. And that's how YouTube transformed. So that's what the book's about, is more about the platform, the ecosystem, the AI, and the algorithm breakdown. And that's part one, part two is about the opportunity. That's about how to make the money. And then part three is about the formula, how to make the money and how to leverage the platform. And so that's the book. I definitely would encourage anyone to grab it, but more so because it's built on principles that are not going away. And this is what I'm the most passionate about, is if you want to unlock the algorithm, you have to unlock people because the algorithm is about people.
The algorithm follows the people. And so the first thing that you need to do is get Pat's book, which I hope you already have and understand that people like to congregate into bigger groups and super fans. And this will compliment Pat's book in every aspect, because that formula to get someone to click, you've got to understand what's going on in their life. And so understanding to be data-driven, but you're more human centered, then that's going to resonate more with people. And then the people as they respond to your content, the algorithm picks up on it says, "Hey, I noticed that these group of people like Pokémon and they like these unboxing videos, well, guess what? We need to send it out to Pat because Pat likes Pokémon surprise videos." And they get very, very specific. And when Pat sees it on his YouTube homepage says, "Oh, I like this."
Honestly, YouTube has introduced me to some amazing people in the Pokémon space who I am now friends with because I caught wind of their videos. And I reached out to them and now we're friends and we're collaborating in different kinds of ways. I'm so grateful for it.
Because YouTube understands what you will click on.
Which is also scary. We've seen The Social Dilemma and we know that this can be used for good and bad, but as a creator, hopefully we're all coming from a place of service and wanting to help people and entertain people where we can use these algorithms for good.
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, yeah, that's kind of the essence of the book. And I think the biggest thing is, if you ever want to leverage video and YouTube in the right way, it's just understanding people. It's understanding, we need to spend a little bit more time in recon and research. We need to understand why people do things. We got to understand what is already popular now. There's channels taking off in the Pokémon space. I can guarantee if you get 20 of those channels and you start looking for patterns and you're able to know what to identify, and that's what I show you in The YouTube formula, the book, then you're able to make the assessments of, "Oh, well, if I do this, I have a higher probability, based on this research, that it's going to actually take off."
Awesome. Where can people go get the book?
You can go to YTFormula.com and you can get the book there or Amazon, or your book of choice. It's all over the place.
I do want to say this, and this is for everyone moreso, understanding the audience is the most important thing. I know I said that several times, Pat, but MrBeast started a gaming YouTube channel. And you'd think that a big YouTuber would just immediately just start posting videos on gaming. And I want to tell you the process that we went through, because I know, because I was right there from the beginning, it was the fastest channel to get to 10 million subscribers. However, for two months we did not promote it on his main YouTube channel. And you would say that is insane. Why wouldn't you capitalize on those millions and millions and millions of views and subscribers to get them informed about the YouTube channel for his gaming. And do you know why we didn't do that, Pat?
Because we made a list of 20 channels that would have the viewer that we were looking for. Because the viewer that's viewing gaming content is different than people that are viewing his current channel. Yeah, there might be some crossover. And so we reached out to those channels. We reached out to Preston Plays. We reached out to Laser Beam. We reached out to Dream and a few others, and we actually had them push our videos, and that led to some collaborative efforts and some creators coming in and competing for money in a gaming scenario. And it started to go from there. But what was interesting was -
The Rock, Paper, Scissors video?
No, no, no, no. This is literally on Beast gaming. This is not the other -
We were promoting those videos that were for Minecraft and some other games that we were playing. But what was interesting is about two and a half months into it, we just exploded. We literally exploded. We went from getting about 500,000 views a day to 4 million views a day and it just took off and you're like, well, what was the difference? Well, YouTube finally figured out who our audience was and started to promote it to it. It went out and found our audience for us. We didn't even have to do that. And that's where it started to take off. And then what we did is then did one of our biggest videos. We were holding it. We were waiting for that kickoff. And then we put the gas on, were we had all these people promote, they came into a tournament and we did a collaboration video.
And it even went further where we were getting 10 million views a day. And it was like, holy cow, like really, really taking off. Right? And then we even put the gas on even further where we then finally introduced it on the main channel and got it pushed out. And so there's a lot of opportunity here and it's like, even the biggest YouTuber in the world is so sensitive about traffic, about who's watching the videos, that he didn't want to cross-promote it from his main YouTube channel until he had the right audience. What does that say about the importance of the viewer? What does that say about the importance about recon and research? Because we spent six months understanding the viewer, making videos, testing videos, and we even had like 30 videos we scrapped before we put out our first video. And the reason why is we wanted to make sure that it was a banger 100 percent of the time, following the formula that we know that works, which is the YouTube formula, which is the basis of the book.
Well, thank you for that. I can't wait to check out the book and have everybody get their hands on it. We'll pop in links in the show notes. Now, finally, Derral, I want to ask you what I had asked earlier. A lot of us who are listening to the show are creators who sell things like online courses or coaching. And sometimes we have a hard time balancing, well, what do we actually post a video about that we're giving away for free? Obviously we want to provide value, prove ourselves, build authority, but at the same time, we want to bring them into our course. How do we balance that? And how do we go from YouTube to course? And how do we balance what we offer for free versus what we keep in our programs?
So the first thing that I would do is make sure that everything talks, so I'd get Google tag manager set up, have all your pixels in Google tag manager on your website and all over the place. So you want to know where traffic's at. That's the first thing that I do. The second thing that I do is say, what's the biggest value that I could possibly give?
And I do know this, that a lot of people are afraid to give so much that you think that by the time that they get to the course that you gave everything up and there's no value there. And I want to put in your mind, stop thinking that way. And the reason why is because pretty much they can find anything they want in the world on a specific subject online, it's out there. Some of it's free.
Most of it's free and some of it's under a pay gate, but it ends up out on free so they can go and find it. Okay. And it's more about the community and it's more about organizing it in a way that makes sense for people. I have stood on stage and I've given out all my tips and techniques, every single one of them, but it's only for 45 minutes or an hour, or I'll do it in a video, it's only for 12 minutes. And so can I give everything that I know and everything that I can give in those 12 minutes? Absolutely not. And onstage? Absolutely not. Now, if you're worried, I always do what I call the delayed approach. I would always give all my latest and greatest information, but it was from six months ago. Because I'm always six months ahead, and I'd give the case studies of everything that you can learn from what I learned.
And it's like literally light years ahead of a lot of other people, because they're not as involved with YouTube as I am. And they don't see as much data as I do, but I just do it like, this is what I learned six months ago and I'm focusing on new stuff now. And so you're able to do that. So I would just encourage you to give as much as you can, as much value, because the value will lead to the sale. And I've seen it time and time again, the people that are hesitant, that don't give, have a hard time communicating the sell. And the sale should be, "Hey, I really resonate with Pat. I really resonate when he talks about podcasting and he gave me all these amazing tips. I can't wait to buy this because he's an organized in a way and provides it in a way that I can get so much value." And they're connecting to you as an individual.
And if you always kind of hold back, you're never ever going to reach the full potential of what you can do. Now, remember when I said, you want to get that targeting set up beforehand with the pixels to fire, because I think that every content creator that's selling a course or selling something should always handle re-marketing. And it's the cheapest thing that you could ever do. It's just that subtle reminder that you're out there. And then even though they watched that video, there's an opportunity to get them to be reengaged with you. Because they took enough time to click on a video to watch, and you can set up a campaign that when they do it, you can remind them about how amazing your course is and you can have it go through a campaign and it doesn't take that much money to do it.
It's really pennies when you really look at it from the overall perspective. But what you need to do is make it very effective, really be testing and split testing the messaging, and really going from there because at the end of the day, it's all about sign up.
Now, I'm going to give you the most powerful advice that I can give you if you have a course. I would do this. I would say, do all I said before, and then make a list of all the most common questions that they would have in your niche and write them down. And I would make videos on that because people are Googling and on YouTube searching for those answers. And if you provide the answers to the common questions that they have, you now have an opportunity to not only populate your segmented list, but two, if you offer something for them at the end of the video, whether it's something at the top of the funnel, you have something that's enticing to them, it could be more amazing or white papers or whatever you want to do. I like to do something video because this video is there and you can actually have people come into your list. And so for me to this day, I did videos back in 2013. And to this day I get thousands of emails added to a list and getting added to a course. And I know you do too as well, Pat. You have these evergreen videos out there adding people to it because you brought so much value that they wanted more and it just added them to a system, a drip system to get them to become a client.
I love it Derral. Thank you. This is exactly what I was hoping for. One clarifying question before you go, in terms of that pixel, you can actually put that on your YouTube videos, like on YouTube, not just on your website?
Yeah. So YouTube will allow you to connect to AdWords. And so you just have to attach your YouTube channel to AdWords, and then you can add that AdWords pixel into your Google tag manager. And whether you do that with Facebook or whatever, but I like to do it where this is a really, really, really hyper tip, advanced tip, but what they call a custom combination. So you can say anyone that watched my YouTube videos that didn't go to my website, give them this ad, and you can get really, really in-depth. You can give them infinite amount of ifs and thens that can get very, very tactical on getting that right viewer seeing it, so.
Perfect. Man, this is so great. Remember, check out the book - one more time, name and where can they go to grab it?
Yeah, it's called The YouTube Formula: How Anyone Can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, and Build an Audience, and Grow Revenue. You can get it on Amazon or you can go to YTFormula.com.
Thanks so much, man. Appreciate it. And I'll see you at VidSummit.
Yeah, thank you Pat.
All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Derral and now know a lot more than you did when you started this episode about YouTube. And as I told you, as I warned you, we did get into quite a bit of detail. And of course, all of that stuff is going to be outlined and mentioned and talked about in further detail within his book, The YouTube Formula, which at this time of the recording, you could either get on presale or it might be available right now on Amazon or anywhere else you can get books, we'll link to it in the show notes obviously: SmartPassiveIncome.com/session459.
And Derral, if you're listening to this, thank you personally so much for the help that you've had with myself and my channel and growing it and understanding the ins and outs of YouTube. And I hope all of you implement at least some of the strategies, some of the things we talked about today, and if you want to check out Derral, once again on his website, DerralEves.com, just look up Darrel Eves on Google as well and you'll find his YouTube channel. Super helpful, super, super genuine guy and I appreciate him so much.
So thank you as well for listening all the way through. And if you haven't yet seen my YouTube channel, you can go to YouTube.com/patflynn to see how it's grown and how it's going. And of course, follow Derral and check out The YouTube Formula anywhere you can get books, highly recommended.
All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate you for being with me today and I look forward to serving you in the upcoming episodes here this year. If you haven't yet done so please hit that subscribe button, wherever you're listening to this, because I'd love to serve you in the upcoming weeks with some really great episodes coming your way you will not want to miss. So again, I appreciate you so much. Thank you, and as always, keep up the great work and we'll see you on the next one. Cheers, peace, out, Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com!
Want more from SPI?
Enter your information below if you'd like to join our newsletter!