Overnight Success? No. The Process of Going from Zero to 200,000 YouTube Subscribers
How do you get a nail in a wall? You hit it over and over and over. That’s what you need to do to get your name out there. On YouTube, I didn’t put together one viral video, it’s been a process of doing over 3,000 videos and counting. Did you know it’s easier to make a couple hundred thousand dollars than getting a couple hundred thousand YouTube subscribers? I’m serious about that. It’s not easy to get a lot of subscribers on YouTube. It took years, a lot of videos, a lot of energy, and a lot of live streaming to make it happen. Don’t think I’ve just been putting up a video once a week—I’ve taken massive action when it comes to YouTube.
If you ever visit my page, you’ll see the amount of activity it took to get 200,000 subscribers. If you want 200K subscribers, you need to first believe it is possible as a realistic and achievable goal. How many different ways can you collect 200,000 subscribers? Creating big numbers requires simple, basic math and any wealthy person will tell you this. If you want to get there in 1-year, it’s going to take 548 people a day. What would you need to do to generate 548 people not just going to your channel, but liking it enough to subscribe to it?
The one thing you have to remember is that people have a limited attention span.
For most of history, knowledge has been scarce. People were workers and didn’t have a lot of spare time to get “educated”. To gain knowledge about things you had to read books. For many, even getting books was a problem. Just a generation ago there were quite a few books available but you still had to drive to the library.
With the Internet today, there is no longer a shortage of information. There is more information on your phone than you could possibly know what to do with. If you need to know how many miles it is between New York and Atlanta, you can find it in 5 seconds. If you want to know all the movies Tom Hanks has been in, it’s mere seconds away. There’s so much knowledge at our fingertips that the world no longer has a shortage of knowledge.
With more information out there than you could ever process, even with a quadrillion spaces available in your brain, the new shortage in 2017 is attention—not knowledge. Advertising now is less about information and more about getting someone’s attention. We have an 8-second attention span. That’s literally the attention span of a goldfish. If you can’t get someone’s attention fast, you will lose it. There’s too much to do and see.
If you are boring, my phone is at my fingertips to take me elsewhere.
When it comes to YouTube, you need to really treat attention as an asset. Money and power follow attention. Whoever can get the most attention is the person who will get the most results. Never underestimate how much activity it takes to be noticed and to maintain attention in your space—especially on YouTube. You have to get through the noise to get noticed.
We live in a time in history when there’s never been more noise distracting people.
You need to be obsessed with getting attention. Don’t fly under the radar. There is a shortage of people’s attention, and whatever is scarce is valuable. Your YouTube channel needs innovative ideas, strategies, and practices that you can start using immediately to get attention because attention is the name of the game.
As an example of this, I did a promotion, or what appears to be a promotion for Twitter. It’s two minutes long. You would think that it’s a promotion to get Twitter followers because at the end of it I’m like “Follow me on Twitter!” It looks like I’m getting arrested, mug shot and all, but the truth is it’s a YouTube promotion for subscribers and you can’t even tell that. Most of my business today – my software company, my real estate and our books, our consulting, our online university – most of our new traffic comes from YouTube.
You need to grab attention.
I have over 27 million views on my YouTube channel. It’s a great platform to use to get known to the world. Some of the over 3,000 videos were done on phones, some of them are 30 seconds long, some of them are 7 minutes long, and some of them are 50 minutes long. I record everything; I shoot video constantly. We are in a video universe.
I got a TV show because of YouTube – it didn’t cost me anything. If you ever watched Turnaround King on National Geographic, you know what I’m talking about. I told my wife, “I’m going to get a TV show.” She came back from an audition one day and the audition was terrible, they were looking for a Latino woman and my wife turns up and they were like “You’re not right” but she had to go through the deal, she had to read. I was like “You know what, your industry sucks. You know why your industry sucks? Because everyone in your industry, except for two or three people, are fetch terminals – they’re basically receivers of possibilities, and I will never do that. I’m going to get a TV show, Elena, and prove to you that we can reverse this thing.”
So I started posting video on YouTube because I’m like “Hey, where is there a TV channel? Oh, YouTube is a TV channel.” That’s where you’re going to get all your TV in the future. So I started dumping video. I create video – I don’t need to do quality first; I need to do quantity first because quantity is going to reign the day. If you want to win a war, it will not be how perfect every shot is, it will be basically becoming omnipresent and covering up the other side.
I think at that time I began I dropped 400 videos in a year. Within 10-12 months I get a phone call from New York – “Hey, we saw one of your videos on YouTube.” Was it quality? No, it wasn’t quality, it wasn’t perfect. I have never looked at a video I’ve dropped on YouTube.
I’ve never edited one video on YouTube before dropping it.
You’ll see some promotional video up there right now that looks really, really slick—but those are my video guys going through it. I pay them to make videos look great because I think it’s worth it. But if you see me cutting anything, it’s one take. I never re-watch it, I just drop it. If you’re surprised that I just drop videos without even looking at them, you’ll soon realize when you start doing over 30-40 videos a month that you too will have no time for re-watching your material.
With YouTube, there are 5 main types of categories of content you must satisfy. Each video can also be a combination of two or more of the following:
1. Entertainment—Most people go to YouTube to get entertained. This is why things like cat videos are so popular. People just want to laugh, see something amazing or shocking, and feel good for a few minutes. It’s the same reason why people watch TV. YouTube is like a giant cable network in a way, and you can watch on demand whatever stuff you want to watch. If you want your channel to grow, you will need to figure out how to entertain people. This is part of the reason I put a reality show together—reality shows are entertaining.
You need to be entertaining.
2. Educational—Many people go to YouTube to learn things. You can watch a video on the history of New York City or learn about the differences between a molecule and an atom. Literally, you can educate yourself on just about anything in the whole world at this point on YouTube with so many videos out there. You want to put up videos up that can inform your audience. Below is an example of me simply doing a live cold call. Salespeople can watch this and learn something from it.
You need to educate people.
3. Instructional—This is very similar to educational, but you can do more exact how to, how not to, step by step videos that walk your audience through something. People don’t just want to learn; they want to know how to do something so they can duplicate it. I like to put up a lot of instructional videos for people because I know they are helpful. Below is an example of me instructing people how to get a job.
You need to instruct people how to do things.
4. Motivational—People need motivation. Video is a great tool to use that can help push people into doing some action. I’ve always been big into motivating myself and motivating those around me. I created a best-selling program called 100 Ways to be Motivated, and many of my YouTube videos have a motivational purpose. If you can motivate people, they will follow you. Here’s an example of how I like to motivate:
You need to motivate people.
5. Promotional—You can promote yourself and your products on YouTube! I have many ads uploaded. Don’t listen to anyone who says you shouldn’t push your products or services. If you believe in what you sell, you need to promote. I’ve sold many things through my YouTube promotions. Here is an example of just a classic promo video:
You need to promote your products.
Between these 5 categories—entertainment, educational, instructional, motivational, and promotional—I had over 10 million views on my videos in 2016 alone. Again, many of your videos by be a cross between these things. I have videos that are entertaining and motivational, others are more instructional and promotional. When you do a video, decide which primary purpose you want to accomplish with it and then go for it.
I actually had YouTube shut me down from some videos. I posted a video, they shut it down saying it involved illegal third-party content, which it didn’t. It was just some hater that tagged it that way. You’ve got to have you some haters on YouTube, by the way. That’s what social media is about. It’s about pulling the haters out of the rafters and the closets, getting the voyeurs to come out, getting those trolls that never do anything all day except sit on a sofa. I can just see the guy sitting on a sofa right now dropping Oreo cookies all over himself, watching me. Watching me make money because I’m using social media right. He is just sitting on his couch being a little troll.
I’m going to beat on YouTube until trolls and haters are like, “Dude, I can’t even keep up with the guy.” You need to beat it so frequently that somebody actually calls you from YouTube and says, “Enough.”
So I contacted YouTube about this video they took down and I said, “Hey, let me tell you what I’m going to do. Number one, I’m going to sue you for taking my video down.”
They kept robotically replying “It had third party content…”
“I’m suing you for it. Number two, I’m putting it up again and I’m going to label this one, ‘The Video That YouTube Took Down.'” The Video That YouTube Took Down video got more hits than the video that YouTube actually took down. Then they put the video back of The Video That YouTube Took Down.
I want to be clear with you what I had to go through to create the “overnight success” I have had on YouTube. A lot of people think that the mistake they’re making is they’re selling, pitching and promoting too much. Not true. The biggest mistake you can make on YouTube is that I don’t know you at all. Obscurity means I’ve never even heard of you. If I’ve never heard of you, that’s your fault—not mine.
If you don’t know me can you buy my book? Could you hire me to speak at your company? Would you even know to go my YouTube? No, of course, you wouldn’t. If I don’t know you, there is no way your name means anything to me. So even though you have a channel, I’m not going to follow you. So #1, I don’t know you.
Number two, your second biggest problem—obscurity level number 2—is that you do one or two videos and then you don’t follow up with more content. If your audience watches your YouTube video, they will probably soon forget you, forget your company, forget your product, and forget you in the marketplace because you don’t follow up with more content. Not repeating the message often enough is the mistake you can make at level 2.
YouTube Obscurity Level 1: I Don’t Know You
YouTube Obscurity Level 2: I Know You, But Forgot About You
This is why you have to continually put out new videos on your channel. So what are your two problems? People have never heard of you and if they did, they forgot your name because they are receiving so much content elsewhere on a daily basis. Remember, people have a short attention span. If your video isn’t motivating, or it’s not entertaining, or it’s not educational or instructional, they will quickly stop watching your video and likely never return and forget about you within an hour.
You have to hook people. If they watch your video, you will come out of obscurity level one. You have to have such good content that people want to subscribe. Keep uploading content or you will fall very fast back into obscurity level two.
It’s not easy getting 200,000 subscribers on a YouTube channel.
None of my videos have outside ads because I want to be able to control what’s on my videos. I don’t want some drug company advertising their pill on the screen while my video plays, even if that means I’m leaving money on the table. I’ve never done paid advertising to bring traffic to my YouTube channel, it’s all organic—from 0 to 200,000.
If I can do it, you can.
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel today.
Also, check out the upcoming 10X GrowthCon this March—tickets are going fast.Learn more here.