Often we look at success stories and it almost seems like they came out of nowhere. Not only can this discourage us if we’re still struggling, but it also dismisses other people’s work. When we dig deeper into what it takes to become an overnight success, we almost always find years of hard work leading up to it.
I’m so excited to share a huge milestone with you today! Many SPI listeners are already following my journey in the Pokémon space through Deep Pocket Monster on YouTube. That’s the channel I started on the side a year and a half ago and updated you on here and there. So what’s the big news?
Well, Deep Pocket Monster just hit 250,000 subscribers! What?! It took me ten years to get there on my entrepreneurial YouTube channel.
250K subscribers in under two years is insane! But the truth is that everything I learned about videos since 2009 went into my Pokémon channel. This “overnight success” has been more than a decade in the making.
I go way more in-depth into this in YouTube From Scratch, my course that looks at Deep Pocket Monster as a case study. In this episode, though, I want to share three essential strategies I use to grow this channel. You can apply these tips to any platform, so join me for a very special episode to learn all about them!
SPI 616: Just Hit a HUGE Milestone (How It Happened)
Announcer: 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's a fan of the Paula's Choice skincare line, Pat Flynn.
Pat Flynn: Hey, happy Friday. I am so excited because eight hours ago, at the time of this recording exactly eight hours ago, the YouTube channel Deep Pocket Monster, which many of you have been following along in the journey as I've been creating that it's in the Pokemon space, it was created sort of on the side and it is now grown to 250,000 subscribers.
Let's go! I'm so, so, so excited about this and just to give you some context, my Pat Flynn entrepreneurial channel took 10 years to get there. It only took a year and a half or so for this channel, this new channel, Deep Pocket Monster to get there. So I wanted to spend today just to sort of celebrate with you.
It's a big milestone, a quarter million subscribers in less than two years, and I'm just feeling really, really good. I wanted to share three things that I've learned since creating this channel in the beginning of 2020 and what we can, maybe I'll pull from it. And you know, I'm here to inspire you. You know, I didn't know anything about Pokemon other than it was a game that people played or kids played with with cards.
Back in the day I played Magic the Gathering, I always saw Pokemon as sort of more childish. Well, here I am as a nearly 40 year old adult playing with cardboard with cartoons on them. And, not only am I just finding such joy in it, it was a thing actually my kids got me into that got me interested in it.
And of course they have slowed down a little bit with their obsession for Pokemon, but I've just absolutely kept going with it. But more than that, it's actually been an incredible case study for creation, for the world of creators in the creator economy today, especially on YouTube and the community and just how powerful a community can be.
So I wanted to go over some things and hopefully inspire you. Because again, I didn't know anything about this beforehand, and I'm not pretending to be an expert on Pokemon or anything like that on the channel. I'm fully upfront with who I am, but I am using a lot of my decades worth of YouTube experience on my other channel and decades worth of entrepreneurship and business and, and creation across multiple platforms to be able to set this up for success as much as possible.
And I wanted to go over three things with you today. The first thing I want to share with you is that if you are having fun, your audience is gonna have a lot of fun. And you don't have to have an entertainment channel in order for that to pan out to massive success. I create videos that I would wanna watch, and I create videos on Deep Pocket Monster that are fun and, and different and interesting to me.
And as a result, I can tell based on the comments and based on the feedback I'm getting from our community on YouTube and also the Gem Mint Club, which is a more specialized membership. It's $2.99 to be a part of that. There's nearly 2000 members now paying on YouTube to be a part of that community who get access to a discord and member only giveaways and member only streams and things like that.
But the feedback from both of those sides of the coin, Is just, nobody's creating videos like you. And I think that doesn't speak to the fact that, okay, maybe I have better camera equipment than other people that, that actually doesn't matter at all. There are proven YouTube channels out there that are massively successful, who have terrible video quality, but it's the story that they're telling.
It's the information that they're offering and it's their understanding of what else is in the space that they're in. I've shared before, but when I approached this community, I didn't just create a channel and go. I did a lot of research. I got involved in the community. I became a part of it to understand what people liked and disliked about other videos that were out there.
I started to understand who the other players were in this space and what their specialties were, the specialties that I cannot compete with. And so, what I was able to bring to the table was something that didn't exist in this space, and it's gonna be different for every niche. And you don't have to be a newcomer to a niche, to do some research and reconnaissance in a space to then understand what would be welcomed.
But I eventually understood that nobody was telling good story in this space, right? Some people had really good camera equipment. Some people had all the best cards and I can't compete on the best cards I can't compete on years of experience and knowledge. I can't compete on understanding how the market of Pokemon cards works for buying and flipping and investing and all that kind of stuff.
But I can compete with telling story and I can compete with connecting with the audience, because that was another thing. A lot of people were just doing the same thing, opening packs, and really, I started to see as I've dug deeper, A lot of people in this space, and this is most spaces treat their audience as a whole.
And what I mean by that is they speak in terms of, Hey, everybody, welcome back. Or you all out there understand that I'm doing this versus a more intimate, personal, you might be doing this and here's my experience with it and how it might be able to help you. Using words like you and getting to connect with the single viewer that's on the other end is going to help all viewership have better retainment and have just better connection, right? That personality coming through shines through more, when you are speaking on a one to one basis and the truth is that's how a person's viewing it. They're viewing it solo on their phone. They're viewing that video or reading that email or reading that blog post or listening to that podcast. On their device usually by themselves.
But when we talk to them, it's as if they're all in a room together, right. It's a little bit different than when you're on like a stage and there's literally people right next to each other. But even then when I'm on stage talking to people, I still speak to the individual sitting in that single chair.
I say words like you or your experience, or this is how it's going to help you, not you all or you guys, or this sounds very nuanced. It sounds very, almost not that important, even though to me, it's one of the most important things and how I've been able to really build a, a deep connection in this space.
In fact, I got an email, no, it was not an email. It was a handwritten letter from a father of, one of my viewers who has autism. His son has autism and his son has been made fun of for liking Pokemon cards in his school so much so. The bullies in this school, take his cards while at lunch or so, and tear them up in front of his face.
It's really, really, really bad. I can't imagine just, I just can't imagine that. And his father was telling me in this letter that my channel has helped him find joy in life again. We're not just talking about in Pokemon cards, but in life. So Armand, if you're listening to this, this is his son. I appreciate you.
And I'm thankful that you're a part of the community. And I don't know if you'll ever listen to this, but I see you. You are an important individual and we love you for it. Right? Just keep being you and keep being excited because there's gonna be people in this world who are not going to see things the same way you do.
And those aren't really the people that you want to hang out with or affect your life in that kind of way. There are some people in this Pokemon community and elsewhere in your life that will support you for who you are and all the special things that you have to offer the world. So you see what I mean?
Like this is back to you, the listener, like this stuff goes beyond Pokemon. When you make those real human connections through your content, you begin to start having an effect and an impact lives out there in ways that you can't even imagine. And this is just one letter out of several that are similar.
There's a person in the space who had considered suicide. Who said that my videos have helped him find joy in life and wanna stick around. I mean, this is deep stuff, right. So I know I started with a tip about having fun. And I think that's important because the truth I of the matter is just be you and you will connect with people who will, who will resonate with that.
And, and you can make a bigger impact together in that way. So that's tip number one. If you're having fun, your audience is gonna have fun and more so than that, they're gonna connect with you and respond in an incredible way. Number two analytics. We at Deep Pocket Monster by we, I mean my producer and editor, Dan.
We look at the numbers and the numbers guide us, right? It's it shouldn't be all about the numbers. And that's why I started with that first tip. But the numbers tell us what the audience is enjoying and what they're not enjoying. The audience is telling us what YouTube favors to help us push our videos out or not. The analytics tell us what we should do and what we shouldn't do, but that can only happen over time.
Right. You have to create a bank of videos before you start to get some of that data back that is actually useful. And don't just judge things based on one video, but you can use your entire library to understand what it is that you should continue to do and what it is that you shouldn't continue to do.
So what do I mean exactly? Well, the number one, most important thing to me related to number one is the retention rate. And so if you look at your retention graphs for your videos on YouTube, and it's not just for YouTube, If you look at the retention graphs for your podcast, where do those exist? Not in your host.
They exist on places like Apple Podcast. They exist on places like Google Podcast, those analytics, which don't give you the full story of all your listeners, but they do give you the full story of the listeners who are listening on Google on Google Podcast analytics, the Apple Podcast analytics, give you a story of people listening on Apple.
It's not gonna give you the whole rundown of how many people are listening, but the people who do listen on those platforms, they'll tell you the story of their enjoyment of the show or not enjoying the show. They're going to have retention graphs for each individual episode, and you can begin to understand just like on YouTube.
Which parts of the show are people really engaged with which parts are they re-listening to? Those are things that you wanna know, which parts have a cliff dive, or just like a down like the mountain sort of part of the graph where you under you're starting to understand, oh, like people didn't enjoy that.
Or what I said there caused people to click off and leave. Those are things you should understand on Google for blogs, it would be the equivalent would be page time, right? Time on page would be the equivalent. Now it's not gonna give you necessarily like which parts of the page, but you can get some insight on different changes that you make.
As far as like, well, which ones or what is helping people stay on the page longer, but there are tools out there that you can connect to your blog, for example, to literally see a recording anonymously of how a person goes through your page and maybe what is most interesting and, and what is not interesting.
So all this to say, just even outside of YouTube, just use the numbers to guide you. So retention rates are really important because a lot of that affects the reach, if, for example, on a video, if a video has a much longer watch time or average view duration or percentage, it is more likely that YouTube is gonna push it out.
Now, in addition to that, you also need a good clickthrough rate. And this is the, the, the other set of numbers we look at on YouTube quite often, which is the clickthrough rate of the video. So when a video is displayed on a person's home feed or as a recommendation, how often are they clicking on it? And if that number is not very high, if it's in the one to three, 4% range, it's not gonna get a lot of views because YouTube, they wanna send out the videos that people are going to click on and watch cuz that's, what's gonna ultimately help them get people to stick on the platform and see more ads.
So when you create videos that don't help YouTube in that way, YouTube is not gonna help you back. So we look at our click, the rates for our videos, as soon as they're published, if they're in the ranking 8, 9, 10 range out of 10, from the previous 10 videos, then we're gonna immediately change the thumbnail and perhaps the title, because that's it, it's the thumbnail or title that's affecting the click-through rate at the start of a life of a video.
And if it's low, we wanna change that to, to make it as high as possible. If the retention rate is low, well, then we can't necessarily change that, but we can do a better job the next time. So the clickthrough rates are important. The retention rate on the videos are important and I could go way deeper into analytics.
But the truth is, if you just focus on those, you're gonna do really well. This is what we talk about. Our course YouTube from scratch because there's, there's probably hundred, I mean, there are hundreds of things you can analyze as far as analytics on YouTube specifically. It's too overwhelming. So let's look at the most important things and pull those levers.
Right. So analytics guide for sure. And that, and that's definitely helped. And then number three, is community and having people feel like they're a part of something. So in addition to using words like you to connect with the viewer, if I'm teaching something, here's how you can protect your card. So you don't lose out or lose money or, or whatever.
Whenever I talk about Deep Pocket Monster, I say we. like, I just posted earlier today that we did it, we crossed 250,000 subscribers. It's not about me. I am the team leader. I'm the group leader. I wear the C on my shoulder as the team captain, if you will, but we're in this together. And if I score, we all win.
If I lose, we all lose. If somebody else in the community does something special, I wanna highlight that because that's a win for all of us too. Videos that helped the community have been very well responded to did some videos that did take a little bit of extra time. Videos that maybe put me in a position of perhaps a little bit of controversy, but I did some videos that were for helping the community, not just because, oh, here's a cool video about some cards or something like that.
But videos that literally helped the community to call out some scammers that were happening in the industry to call out Walmart who was partnered with a Chinese company who was creating and selling fake Pokemon cards on Walmart. That first video I did about the Walmart scam has over a, nearly over a million views at this point, and has been featured on different news stations and articles from pop culture.com to other places.
And guess what it's done? It's raised awareness, not just for these scammers, so people can be. But as a byproduct, that's helped raise awareness for my channel and the community that we have, and the fact that we're all fighting this good fight together. Right. That's one aspect of community is, Hey, you, as the creator can step up to create something, to help support the community.
Number two within community is highlight the people in your community, right? Community is not just keeping the spotlight on you on stage. It's sharing that spotlight with others. One thing that I did that a lot of people have commented on and appreciated is when we hit a hundred thousand subscribers, I bought an extra play button from YouTube. So YouTube will give you one for free a silver play button to sort of commemorate a hundred thousand subscribers, which is really cool. And you should be very proud of that. You could buy more of them. You have to just express why you're buying them. And I said, you know what?
I'm gonna be, I'm gonna buy another one that I'm gonna send to the moderators of the channel who are part of this community who do an incredible job during live streams to, you know, make sure the community's safe and, and that the chat is, is okay. I'm gonna send silver play button, the second one to each of my moderators.
So they feel like they're a part of this so that they can see the reward that they earned as well. Cuz it's not just about me and I have them all sign it and I have it back here. I need to send it to a few more new moderators, but I have it here. And that was like, some of those moderators broke down because they were so happy to be a part of this.
I mean, ways to reward those in your community who are stepping up to help others is, is really, really important. So put a spotlight on your community, especially those who are within your community, doing some excellent work and you're gonna see some magic happen. So that's just a few of the things that I wanna point out today that came to mind after hitting 250,000 subscribers.
To to you out there, if you do follow the channel or you have been following this sort of case study, just thank you because it's been really fun to put myself in a position again, of, of being a newbie in a brand new space. I've had some people say, Pat, of course you succeeded with that because you already have an existing community at Smart Passive Income.
I did not feed anybody on Smart Passive Income this case study until it was working. And more than that, I don't want all of my subscribers on SPI to go and check that out because that's not who this channel is for. It was grown from scratch. And the beauty of this is again, to tie back to what I mentioned in the beginning.
That means you can grow something from scratch too. It's just been an incredible joy ride and I'm excited because we're just getting started. I mean, we should hit half a million by next year. And, and if not, if, I mean, it could continue to grow and exponentially grow. It could reach a million. And that will be my first million subscriber channel.
So hopefully this information I'm sharing with you is helpful. You know, I have a lot of information inside of my course, YouTube From Scratch that uses Deep Pocket Monster as a case study, that goes a lot more deeper into the how to, and all that kind of stuff. But I just wanted to finish off by saying, you know, a lot of people say, pat, like you got so lucky with this channel, you know, to have 250,000 subs in less than two years, like that's incredible.
But you know, that that was the overnight success, that kind of thing. But I wanna remind you. I've been on YouTube since 2009. I just so happened to in the year 2020, 11 and a half years later, create this new channel Deep Pocket Monster. So no, it's not an overnight success. And this is the truth behind most success stories, even though things might happen rapidly, you peel away and you go do a little bit more research into exactly what it took to get there.
I mean, there are years of experience and hopefully those people are also sharing the things that they're learning so that you could fast forward your journey as well. And, and that's my goal here is to help you fast forward your success.
And that's what we do and SPI. Anyway, thank you so much, a little bit longer episode today, but I just am so, so excited. Where we're at and, and thank you for your support along the way. So Deep Pocket Monster on YouTube. If you wanna check that out and thank you again for being a subscriber here.
And I look forward to next week, cuz we got some more interviews coming up and some other fun things headed your way and I cannot wait to continue to help you on your journey and, and thank you for letting me and my team be a part of it. Cheers. Peace out. And as always Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.