AskPat 861 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 861 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
We have a great question today from Ron. Let's not wait any longer and let's get right to it. Here's today's question from Ron.
Ron: Hello, Pat. I'm Ron Brown from ScienceToy.org and I'd like to thank you for Will It Fly? It's a great book. After reading it, however, I am still struggling with one thing. How to validate your YouTube channel. More specifically, I've created science cartoons where animated characters teach science with toys. The plan is to have geek parents, like myself, enjoy the cartoon, then click an Amazon link to buy the toy. My only product is the cartoon itself, and the advertising value it provides. Just like any other YouTube video. It takes several weeks to produce one cartoon. How can I determine if this is a viable business model? Thank you for all you do, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Ron. Thank you so much for the question. I checked out your YouTube video, ScienceToy.org. I think it's a great idea. Kids are always in love with toys. I've noticed a trend recently where a lot of kids will just go to other people’s YouTube channels and just watch them play with toys. That's all they do. Even without “selling” those toys. Even without directly pitching those toys, they are making great money. Because they are building a lot of trust and rapport with those people who are watching their videos. There's a kid named EvanTube, or his name's not EvanTube, his name's Evan. EvanTube is his YouTube channel. He has millions of subscribers. What does he do? He just plays with toys, right? And yes, he does teach people a little bit along the way. That's where I feel like you can stand out.
You have this education, your background—and you can share, along with these toys, how one can get excited for science and that's where—this is right up my alley. My son goes to a STEM school. STEM school is science, technology, engineering, and math. He just loves these kinds of toys. I watched your video, and I also shared it with him, and I wanted to get you some honest comments about these cartoons. You mentioned that they take hours and hours and hours and days to edit and produce. With something you spend so much time doing, you just want to make sure that it is worth doing, and it is giving you the effects you want them to.
The thing I do want to say is that if they don't work, well, then, you know to try something else. And that's where validation comes into play with these YouTube channels. What's cool with YouTube is that you can put up anything, very easily, for free, and try it out and see what the response is like. You can share with friends and family, and get them to respond. It's tough to get validation on a YouTube channel, specifically from brand-new viewers, because people will hardly ever find you right away. It will take time for YouTube to sort of index your videos, and depending on how well you structure your keywords and the engagement with those videos and so-on and so-forth, you'll get ranked higher or lower depending.
Having a video up and just showing you a couple things. One, the process, and if you like the process, great. If not, if it's too much then you change it. So, that validates the process of putting up on YouTube. Then the response you can share with people who you know in your network and other people just to kind of get their honest thoughts about it. I was able to share with my son and give him some thoughts, and I will say that as much as he likes cartoons, kids these days are very much used to really high-end cartoons. Meaning, it's almost like. . . here's a story.
So, we showed our kids Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from Disney. It was one of the first Disney movies out there. It's, of course, hand-drawn, right? The initial reaction was, “Hey, why is this grainy? Why doesn't this look very good? It look's different.” It's because they are so used to these higher-quality animations and these 3D animations from these companies like Pixar and Disney animations and Dreamworks and Sony Pictures, and all those kinds of things. Initially, the style of your videos didn't appeal to my son, who's seven. I believe he's right in where you want to be.
The other part of it was he wanted to see the toy more. He wanted you to play with it, and show him how it works. There was a nice lesson that went along with the initial toy that we saw in episode number one. It was kind of interesting that you had a cartoon version of yourself pointing to a blackboard, which is where all of the things were happening, versus just the whole screen being the blackboard. That, in itself, would help you with the production, because then, you wouldn't need a cartoon version of yourself the whole time. It could just, essentially, be a cartoon version of yourself to start. Which I think is really cool and is cute. But to see it the whole time, and just have the mouth moving and the students sitting in the front, whereas all the action was happening on the blackboard, which is smaller than the size of the entire video, it just didn't make sense.
It's almost like you're wasting your time with those. Whereas what do the kids want? And what do the parents want? They want to see the toy being used and they want to get the lessons involved. There was no real live sort of playing with the toy. I think that's something that, Ron, would be very easy for you to do, and you could even get other people involved in creating stuff and showing people how it works. The thing with toys, when you're selling stuff as an affiliate, is people want to see how those things are being used before they buy. You're doing a number of things that are holding back from building that relationship and showing what that toy is like. For one, you're using this blackboard sort of style videos, which is very much like a classroom. I get where you're coming from, but I feel like you could do yourself a huge favor by just being yourself, being real, not even worrying about the cartoon part of it, and just share these lessons using these toys. Show people the parts, and show people how to use it. I feel like you're going to get a lot more pull from that, in terms of your affiliate sales.
Finally, there was a lot of promotion for these toys and things. I feel like that's something that can happen naturally after just playing with these toys. If you approach this differently, if you approach this as “hey, I'm going to be Ron, the guy who is going to introduce the world to these toys and show people all the different ways on how to use them, but not only that, share why things are happening along the way,” well then, I feel like you have a winning YouTube channel. Now, how would you validate that? Try an episode out like that, and see what happens, and see what the response is like. Maybe you do one that is the same kind of concept as episode number one with that circuit board sort of toy that you shared, and just do it in that second style. Show people both videos and get honest feedback on which one they feel would be better. I guarantee the second one will have more appeal.
It will be more likely to be shared. It will be more likely to give you those affiliate sales that you are looking for. The thing I would do, on top of all that, is to offer some sort of giveaway that goes along with that toy, for free. Maybe it's a quick-start guide, or maybe it's some other hand out or worksheet that kind of walks kids through the concepts of using that toy much easier than that toy, itself, does. That way, you can start collecting email addresses. That's going to be a great way for you to validate the success of this as a business model. It's hard when you do just a couple videos, and you share things, and you're looking for affiliate sales.
It takes a long time to get to that point where you can just recommend something and get an affiliate sale. It doesn't take a long time to have people trust you enough to download something that's worth something to them. That's where I would kind of have my head at, Ron. I think the cartoons are great, but I feel like you could do much better with even just removing them, or at least part of them. I still like them in the intro. Definitely caught my eye. My son was paying attention. He was looking forward to a cartoon with a story, or with playing with a toy. Then, it became sort of a classroom setting, and at least my son, he goes to a STEM school, they don't even sit at desks in their classroom. A lot of STEM schools are more Montessori style where people are hands-on. How can you better represent that in your videos?
So, Ron, hopefully this gives you some food for thought, and gets your gears going. I want to thank you so much for having your question featured here on the show. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having it here, and just thank you once again. For everybody else out there, if you have a question that you would like to potentially have featured here on the show, just like Ron's, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com You can ask me right there on that page.
Finally, catch me every Friday, 1:30 p.m. Pacific on my Facebook page. I'll be doing AskPat Live. I'll be answering as many questions as I can every single Friday for an hour. You can join me there, and rap with me, say hi. Come over to Facebook.com/SmartPassiveIncome and I'll see you there. Again, that's Friday, 1:30 p.m. pacific. Facebook.com/SmartPassiveIncome. Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and here's a quote from James Carswell. He says, “Whenever a man comes up with a better mousetrap, nature immediately comes up with a better mouse.” Cheers. Thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.