Adam Leffert: How to Start as a Content Creator (#291)
As part of my #30daylive in Nov/Dec 2021, I invited Adam Leffert (my long-time partner of Feisworld Podcast and Feisworld Media) to join me in this discussion.
Watch Our Interview
Day 3 of 30 with Adam Leffert: How to START and become a content creator #30daylive – powered by Happy Scribe
Alright. Hey everyone. This is Fei from Feisworld Media and I’m going live for the third day in a row and today we’re going to talk about how to start, specifically how to start as a content creator. This happens to be one of the most popular question, I would say one of the most popular questions that come up. People fear about starting something new, which is not unusual. But here I am with Adam Leffert from Fullsackdeveloper.com. Adam has been with me on this Phase World journey since the very beginning and he’s been busy with his other types of work. But recently we started working on a few kind projects, which brings back some of the earlier memories of starting Phase World and now we’re able to really transfer that knowledge to a lot of other people, including our dear friend Gustavo Serafini who started enabled disabled podcasts earlier this year. So Adam, welcome to join me live.
Good to be here. Fun time.
Yeah. So I want to dive right in and anybody who’s watching right now, please leave us comments and I’m able to monitor that. And if anything, Adam, don’t worry, I’m going to relay those questions back to you as needed. So yeah, let’s actually hop right onto the fear of people not wanting to start content creation. I hear the comments of I don’t want to be judged by my boss, my colleagues. I hear a lot about families, especially, you know, immigrant families in general. I want to pursue art, music. I don’t want them to notice. I know that’s not the route I am my parents really want me to do. So what are your thoughts on that? Like fear about judgment and kind of this outside force, external force to prevent us from doing something new.
It’s something I’ve obviously experienced myself and I’ve spoken with a lot of people about. And I think the first thing to do when you think about a fear of your own or sharing ideas with others is to kind of break them into two categories, which doesn’t end it, but I think allows you to approach it. So for me, there’s the actual something terrible could happen category, which for me is like jumping out of an airplane or riding a motorcycle. I know some people can do that safely. I’ve done it once and realized it was not for me. So things that could actually damage you physically, financially or in your community and other things that are phobias. And I’m not a medical person, but just to put a word on it and identifying that something is an irrational fear doesn’t make it go away. But I do think you deal with an irrational fear different than you deal with something that could actually cause you real harm.
Yeah, that’s a good point. And I think here specifically, we’re talking about people wanting to create something and put it out there in the formats of videos or audios. So I wonder why people have such concern. I think here are some of my own theories. One is, I think today the market is so flooded with what’s considered best advice, how to go viral, what not to do. And I think a lot of creators send a message out with good intentions. Some of those are clickbait and that are kind of saturating our minds in terms of when will I feel mentally, physically ready. The right mindset, all the right tools. I’m really worried that I finally committed to doing this and my first step forward is going to set myself back. I’m making a mistake even before I get started. So I think I want to just jump right in and acknowledge that right away that there is such a myth. I think it’s a myth of finding the perfect path forward. And my personal experience I know this is my experience it might not translate or speak to everyone else’s, but really, for me, to get started with podcasting seven years ago, with YouTube two years ago, it’s about having fun.
It’s about trying something new without giving myself all that pressure, all that goals and milestones, such as I must hit 100 subscribers. I must achieve a minimum of a few thousand downloads per episode or else this whole endeavor is a waste of time. So that was something that even though at the time, a lot of people really disagree with me, especially established content creators. But that goal free living, thanks to Stephen Shapiro, really helped me in the long run.
Yeah, I feel like there’s two ways to go with that, too. I was there when you started Phase World, and I remember all the different emotions and hopes and dreams that went along with it. It’s been a lot of fun along the way. I feel like there’s a couple of ways it seems like everything’s too. But there’s a couple of ways to approach that too. One is you could take that sort of I’m a big Tony Robbins student and fan to say, I’m going to make such a massive effort, I’m going to take massive action because then I’ll get such a big result and then that’ll feedback on me, and that can work for some people. And I’ve done that in some things where, like guitar, I’ve just gone into it whole hog. But other people, that just an excuse not to get started. Or when they do take a massive action, they sort of get a blowback, whether it’s from their boss or their spouse or whoever. So there’s a gentleman whose book I put the web page up so I could bump over to it. It’s called the 15 2nd principle. The gentleman’s name is Al Sakunda.
S-E-C-U-N-D-A. Read the book like 20 years ago, and it really stuck with me. And he said, look, 15 seconds. If you really want to start a new thing, whether it’s weight loss or making money or, you know, being a force in your community, just write yourself a little slip of paper saying you’ll do it 15 seconds a day, and that’s really all it takes. And you say, well, how could that be? Because if you can’t give it 15 seconds, nothing else really matters. And if you do give it 15 seconds, you’ll be amazed that things will start get rolling. And when I’ve gently asked close friends like, hey, ma’am or miss or sir, whatever, could you just do that? And they don’t do that. They’re not even in the game. If you literally, no matter how many kids you have or how big your fancy your job is, everyone’s got 15 seconds.
Yeah. I think there’s so much more to the 15 seconds about building a habit, and I’m not even making an argument whether it’s healthy, unhealthy, right? But that habit is something I feel like I develop it over time. There goes the, oh, I’m really busy. I was in my twentys and I don’t have time. I was so busy and everything I wanted to do had to then translate to something else. And I know for a lot of us, monetary concerns is something that is top of mind. I know it’s hard to admit that, it’s hard to talk about it, but it’s okay. I think we can be honest with one another that in the past few years I’ve worked with a lot of podcasters, and I still do, but I noticed that a lot of my and in general, that category of my clients are shrinking. The reason is that I find it challenging to not open up that money conversation everybody wants to have. All I know I’m doing something really great. I want to have a bigger impact. But if I’m not making money and I’m spending four 6810 hours every week working on this, people get deflated really soon.
So what are your thoughts on that, Adam, with people wanting to translate their effort earlier on to the amount of money that they want to make to justify that endeavor?
So that’s a big topic. Maybe we’ll pick up some of it later. But a few of the thoughts are that it depends on what you’re doing, right? If you’re doing your art and we borrow these ideas from Seth Gordon if you’re going to for most people, even though we know some professionals sing, dance and act, you’re probably not going to get paid. So I’m thinking of one close friend in particular. But if you really love to do artificially love to play your guitar, just go play, do the open mic night. Adding money to it might make it worse, might make it not fun, or you may not want to go through what people go through. On the flip side, you want to pick something that people want. So I think there are possibilities, and we’ve worked with a lot of people. If people truly without you pressuring them, want what you’re selling. And when you talk to them about it, they say, when can I have it? You might be able to. And that’s something that you focus on your I sort of passed that back to you. A big part of Phase World has been, how do I make this funky thing into a business?
But my last thing on that would be that business is not different. I mean, I’ve been in business for 40, 50 years, 40 years, since high school. Business is just people plus money. That’s it. And the people part is more important. So how has Phase World what are a few examples of how Phase World has taken somebody with an odd or special kind of a unicorn skill and made it part of their financial life? How has that succeeded?
Yeah, you know what I have learned throughout my creative journey, there are a lot of unexpected lessons. And we earlier, during the status call, you know, we talked about with a client that how easy it is to transfer that information to go. In retrospect, there are so many things that are very obvious, but it was completely not obvious in that moment when I started the creator journey. I have to admit that it was really hard back in 2014 as a podcaster, there wasn’t a community where I can just be part of very easily, whether it’s men or women. And it was hard to feel understood. I think that was really hard. But instead, today, whatever you’re trying to do, especially when it comes to being a video creator on YouTube or podcaster, there are just kind of infinite number of communities that you can choose from which can also make it harder. But when it comes to money and I’m so glad we’re able to really open that up. I learned that people developed in a tremendous amount of trust with you, number one, through listening to you on a podcast, but even more so more quickly through videos.
I have a lot more clients who hired me directly booking 1 hour sessions onto creating cocreating projects with me because of my YouTube channel. They see me. And on that note, if you watch some of my videos today, you may be thinking, okay, she’s comfortable, she’s comfortable live streaming, creating videos. But I have a lot of embarrassing videos which you can see and I have not deleted from my channel from earlier on. He’s sort of my oldest verse. I look at myself and I couldn’t believe how nervous I was looking. Like maybe part of it is me judging my hair, how I’m positioned. Oh, that was a terrible camera choice. That was a bad angle. Lighting clearly didn’t work. I was really stiff. Like, you can see me center, just my lips are moving. My body was very stiff. But I realized we all have to go through those moments and not a single client who have come to me and said, you know, you’re really awkward in that video, but I decided to reach out and hire you anyway, that there is such a thing as once you choose to put yourself out there, you’re already in the top 5%.
Most people, according to even guaranteed to go to a conference and say there are 10,000, 50100 people among the audience, I guarantee you only 3% will maybe take action. So if you decide to take action, you are miles ahead of everyone else. And it is so lovely to see Herman here as well. Yeah. Adam, what are your thoughts? Yay.
Yeah. I love Herman very, very much and hopefully see him soon. I think there are a couple of ideas that were very easy for me to hang on to about sort of being judged by other people and with sort of no callousness. I think the best idea is nobody cares, right? If you’re silly and nobody cares as much as you do. So one thing that really taught me that maybe even painfully over the years is, like, growing up, having bad skin, having a pimple, and you’re like, oh, my God, this is so awful and ugly. It looks terrible. And then I finally realized, yeah, it kind of is. But literally nobody that has ever lived cares about as much as you do. Like, they might not like it. They might even think it’s unattractive. But the feeling you have about your own flaw is so much more juicy to you and so much more meaningful. Other people, they care about their own problems. So I think even psychology, there’s a word for it called the other minds problem, which is that somebody else’s feelings are just a passing thing. Your own are so intense. So your positive feelings that help you create a business or a service, those are valuable.
Your feelings of self doubt or not being attractive or not being smart or whatever your thing is, nobody cares. Especially when you’re starting out, you mess up the audio, you mess up the video, nobody cares. And that pain you have, nobody shares it. So just keep rolling.
Yeah. It’s so funny that you mentioned skin problem that already immediately resonated with folks here. And then the skin issue is a real deal because I’m going through some seasonal dry skin right now. I was thinking, like, the timing wise, this is the worst because I’m going live every day, then, you know, and I have to be on Benadryl. Is it called Benedrill? Yeah, every day this week right now, which gives me this level of dizziness, and I feel like my mind isn’t as sharp. But I think speaking of content creation, it’s just like building muscles. It’s like going to the gym every day or twice a week. By the time I committed to doing this, it frankly makes it so much easier. I had this idea of 30 day live as of two weeks ago, I quickly designed everything using Canva. You guys have to check out Canva.com great tool. And I just decided to put some placeholder questions. So if you’re watching this right now, you have questions about how to get started as a content creator or other topics I’ve mentioned before or even later on, just let us know. But I wanted to build a simple structure and I can move around as needed and just welcome that authentic conversation with my audience.
And it really gives me an excuse to be able to do something outside of the YouTube algorithm, frankly, because I know what I’m known for zoom webinar livestreaming and all that. But I want to be able to talk about strategies and how to really grow as content creators. Like this ecosystem is much, much bigger than talking about a single tool or one of the top three tips. It is so much juicier. Like Adam Sun is so much bigger than that. So I want to define what it means to be a creator. I want to really define what starting means in YouTube. On the YouTube journey, people say just hit record. I think from Think Media, they say hid record. Don’t worry about over scripting, don’t worry about the perfect camera. Hit record. I want to add something to that. I really, really need you to hit launch. I need you to hit publish. I need you to publish something on an open public blog. Youtube.com, obviously that means unlisted videos, public videos or launching first that can third episodes on a hosting platform. That’s what I mean by starting. Starting is not about writing in your own journal and saving all the blog posts and drafts.
And I have spoken with clients and prospects who literally put all their audio files as drafts for years, sometimes six months, a year or more. They feel the content becomes irrelevant by the time they feel like they’re finally ready. So I want a really firm up to say, make sure that you actually take actions as opposed to just thinking about something, archiving something.
And I’ve seen that too. I’ve seen that even in the people that we, fay and I myself, through being a freelance software web developer, and Faye through digital marketing, have seen how it goes on behind the scenes. And the work that you see in the world is such a tiny percentage of the work that people do, but they have to do the other work. You know, every, you know, back to sort of guitar world, everybody started somewhere. You have to get the bad notes out. And there’s an author, a different one that I’ve been listening to recently and speaking with and he was telling me that he went through the whole first chapter of a book and it’s junk, but it’s going to be great. But he’s not showing it to anybody. It’s just not ready. It’s a bunch of stuff and then before people see it, it’s going to be wonderful. So I feel like that can work two ways too. Could not agree with Fay More that you have to just publish it. If you do find yourself somebody who just can’t who would just be thrown by the wayside, if you can’t publish it, put it up and lock it and you can unlock it later.
We work with people on websites and we said, look, just do the website of your resume and just put a password on it, but actually get it out. And then we’ll address the issue later of when to turn the knob. So if at all possible, yes, just push it out there. And the people that we’ve had the privilege to work with through Phase World, they’re the people who just do it, who just get out and do it. But if you can’t at least write the ten pages and then go back and edit it, put up the website, put a password on it, and then the pulling the trigger can be a second 2nd step. And if you never take it, you never get the feedback, you never get the love of people going, oh my God. I found that that meant so much to me. Which is really the fun part.
Yeah, there are many easy ways to get started today and we kind of defined that hitting the published part, but also nearly everybody some sort of social media platform. And what we mean by starting is not simply just putting a heart, putting a like or commenting something that’s great, but I think there is an opportunity for you to look at social media that you have today and think about what can you do more of, maybe on a particular platform. One of the common questions is okay. Facebook, instagram. LinkedIn. YouTube. YouTube. Shorts. TikTok. It’s overwhelming. Where should I get started? Validating some of my ideas? And I have something to say about that in just a second. Is that it’s okay and reasonable to ask yourself as a content creator, as a signal creator, where you would like to publish first and second? Or maybe it’s a single platform you want to focus on. Maybe there’s a reason. I know some people really love Instagram. I have mixed feelings, right? And I also tried on TikTok and I have some mixed feelings. I tried a clubhouse. It’s absolutely not for me. I was one of the first users up there.
For me, YouTube works. I love long form content. It’s okay to be honest with yourself, because even if you work with an expert, or so such an expert told you so, you should be everywhere, all at once. It’s okay for you to ask yourself, what resonates with me? Which platform do I find myself opening, seeking ideas from? And so that’s one thing I want to really address. It’s okay to start small then secondly, finding your niche. I think the word niche is overused. And I would love to hear what Adam has learned over the years as well. Is that okay? Finding your niche. Where can you do the research? There are a lot of places where you can look. Quora quora.com Google Trends, which is free. Quora is also free. Even just a YouTube search bar, literally on YouTube search, for instance, during the pandemic, you found yourself needing to do a lot of things, learn a lot of things on your own, maybe changing your attire. Maybe you find out what does that little light means on your old BMW? There are a lot of things that’s selftaught and those are the questions people are actually looking for.
There are many more people have to learn how to navigate a lot of repair work in their own homes since 2020. And so there are a lot of tools. Facebook groups. Don’t overlook Facebook groups. You probably belong to some of that for your town, for your city, for child care. So there are a lot of knowledge you’re accumulating, you’re gathering more so than you know it.
Absolutely. I’ll even point to Faye that we had this conversation a while back where about ten years after you’ve started your digital marketing work, we were talking about project management, and you were like, yeah, I don’t know if that’s really interesting to people. I’m like, I think you don’t think it’s interesting because you got so good at it that when something feels effortless, it doesn’t feel important. So sort of repeat what I mentioned back then was to think about the difference between yourself at a time and another time. So you get out of college.
And then ten years of work in that field. If you sort of subtract 2010 fee from 2016 fee, what’s the difference? What’s that? Delta? Knowing how to do PM, knowing how to be a producer, knowing how to work with teams, agile scrum, dealing with chaos. And then are there people who are at that point A that want to go to that point B? Can you show them? And I think everybody at every age has gone from those point A’s to point B’s and can leave those people. And we’ve done that. When we talk and working with new clients, it sounds simplistic, but we’ve learned from so I don’t know if they can remember who thought of the idea. You take people from that point A to point B. What is our point A and what is our point B? So in the digital marketing world, people who have published something, maybe Faye said, oh, put up ten episodes of your podcast and then call us back, because that will sort of weed out the people who can’t get past the 15 seconds. And then the point b. Is engagement enough that it pays your bills, or engagement enough that it inspires you?
I think. So don’t just look at what’s hard for you. Maybe look at what’s easy for you. Are there other people who want to do what you can do? And can you guide them? Then you don’t have to be an expert, you don’t have to be fancy, you don’t have to have a college degree. But if you’ve taken that journey, can you bring them along with you?
Yeah. What a great question that just came through as we’re talking about this. So as a content creator, how do you make your content unique compared to everyone else’s? It seems like content are quite repetitive these days. What a great question. I think the most obvious answer I can think of is, you are the one who makes your content unique. It’s very true. So kill a ghost. It’s very true that content is very repetitive. Like, let’s start with Google search. Today I search for how to change my tire. There’s going to be hundreds, thousands of videos, and some of those are probably very similar to one another. All leads to the end result. But here are some variations. The length of the video. What if I only have three minutes to deal with the issue? If I’m on the highway, my car breaks down. Chances are I’m not going to watch a 20 minutes video. I want to find the most crisp, to the point videos, period. And not every creator can do that. And I will. Also, I want to mention the you part, because that’s something that so many creators neglect. Because when we start, we don’t feel special.
We really don’t. Who’s special? Gary V special. Tony Robbins special. Look at them. Look at how slick everything look at the team that they have. It is hard to compare. It might feel really embarrassing, but what I have learned is even with my Zoom videos, I was certainly not the first. I was able to speak to a very unique audience in 2020, particularly the dance and fitness instructors. I helped them solve a very specific issue with Zoom. It’s not just generally Zoom 101, how to use Zoom, but specifically how to resolve the audio syncing issue, audio issue for teaching fitness, which is not what Zoom is really designed for. One thing, I learned from Sarah Cooper something I’ll never forget. She was in the Phase Role documentary and she said something like, faith, it’s impossible to be unique these days. And I said, what do you mean by that? She’s like, of course everything has been done, but just remember that it hasn’t been done by you. Yeah, Adam, go ahead. What are your thoughts on this question?
Yeah, totally agree with us. I think it is a great question, and I think there’s a couple of reasons why content is all the same. One is people copying stuff, right? Copying other people’s style. Two people doing what they think people want. So whether it’s Squid games or bitcoin or whatever, the sort of thing to Joe is people that are chasing what they think a trend is. And then the flip side of that is, where are you spicy? Like either what wacky thing has happened to you or what part of yourself that when you share, people kind of light up. So I feel like it can be an emotional thing. It can be an issue of empathy or sensitivity to notice when you interact with people. What kind of lights people up about you? Where’s your funk? Where are you off the beaten path? And then what podcasting, what the web allows is you to find the people who want that. And one of the things that I’ve really been proud of, faye and Fay’s world is that when there’s this huge amount of listening hours, not about being notable or whatever, but when we look and we go I remember the statistic, I did the math a year ago or something, and it was that eleven people fulltime 24 hours a day had been watching Facebook, YouTube videos.
And what I was happy about that is they could have just hit stop. So people talk about audio and video being intimate. You see the person, you hear the person, but all they got to do to get away from it is just hit pause and go away. So I think that’s what’s important too, is that you’re not chasing anybody down. You’re not chasing them in an airport, right? And trying to get them to contribute. You’re letting them in. And then the people who do choose to listen to your podcast, they want to so you can relax and say they want to join with you on your uniqueness. Otherwise they would have just gone somewhere else.
And I would also like to add, as I’m hearing what you’re saying, is that I didn’t know how I stood out. There are things where you hear from your parents, your friends, but what is the general public, it’s going to resonate with your content, for what reason? And so to this person’s question, also on the screen that I learned that I studied computer science, I used to be really intimidated by this whole male power kind of mansplaining situation. I came from that environment. And I go on YouTube today and I see so many fancy tech tutorial personality. I mean, multiple camera angles. They speak so fast. I’m like, you know, I have to watch it, have the speed, and I don’t even know what they’re talking about. I actually produce a lot of zoom livestream. How to YouTube, how to podcast videos. I felt at the beginning intimidated by the fact that I didn’t really sound like anybody else. But now when brands are reaching out to me to initiate what we call the brand deals and positive sponsorships, they found me because they say, you know what, I want you to talk about my products, my software, because I feel like you sound like you’re talking to a friend.
I’m sitting here. I’m not trying to. Sell you anything. I’m just talking to you. I sometimes even share with you my own struggles to say, look over here. I wish that feature isn’t there. It doesn’t really work right now. I have conversation with these brands to say, I’m struggling with this feature being here. I don’t know what it’s doing and I really need that. And these conversations are super helpful and people like that and they find it really soothing. Is it the word I hear? Comfortable and soothing? When they hear me teach them something really new, they feel like I also just learned it. So I have what Adam calls empathy to really kind of dive in a little bit deeper. So thank you so much for the question. I know we usually don’t go live for this long, but since I can see, like, a number of people staying on, I want to address something else. Thank you, Malcolm, for coming back again. And I love just, you know, if at any time I stop sounding like a friend, please let me know because I certainly want to change that. I want to really address something else, which I think we heard from Dory Clark is your role as a content creator.
I hear this all the time, Faye. I’ve only been doing this for 1020, even 30 years. I don’t deserve I cannot write this blog article, this and that. And I think Dory says something that your role can be an expert, you can be a connector or you can be a reporter. So, Adam, do you mind elaborating on that a little bit? Like what they mean in terms of.
Yes, that one was we are huge friends and fans of Dory. That was actually Tony Robbins and a gentleman he was on a video with.
I love crediting Dory and everything.
Yeah, she’s awesome. But it was for one of their courses, which I didn’t join yet, but you can look them up. I’ll think of his name later. We’ll put it in the notes. So anyhow, he said that there are three ways that you can engage with people as an expert. It’s good in the sense that you feel like you know what you’re talking about, but it could take a long time, 1020 years. Right. And so if you’ve done that, it’s time to face as, push, publish, share with the world, but maybe not the best way to set off on a journey. I’m going to study for 20 years, then I’m going to start podcasting. The second one is as a connector, say, oh, I met this person who wants something. I met somebody who can provide that and you introduce them or you provide that service through somebody else. And that can be great because you’ve got no inventory and your ability to serve is unlimited. Anything ethical that you can get your hands on, you can bring those two people together. Reporter is really kind of face. Art is sort of as an expert in digital marketing, but really as a reporter as far as phase world goes.
And that’s wonderful because you’re that person who meets Dorie Clark, Steve Shapiro, Chris Voss, Sarah Cooper, and a bunch of people who you haven’t met before, you know, friends of ours that we validated through the platform and share their ideas. And you can ask them questions that you want the answers to share them with your audience. You just have to be a good listener and put up the video. You don’t have to be an expert. So you can start right away. And then what happens? Over time, you become more expert by listening to all these people and getting these sort of very intimate answers to the questions. And then we moved on to doing a lot of connecting. So if you had to pick one, I’d say reporter is the place to start.
Yeah, reporter is not a trivial one necessarily, but it’s very helpful. When I started as a podcaster, I would absolutely agree with Adam that my role was very much a reporter. I was doing a lot of interviews, and I still do today, and to talk about other people’s expertise, their origin stories, being able to make that connection. During the shortly after the show, the guest goes, hey, I want to introduce you to person A, B and C, and maybe you want to interview them, maybe you want to do business with them. Same thing for me. I am now in conversation with someone, maybe with Adam, maybe with someone else. And I go, you know what? It would be really great for you to meet person X, Y and Z. And all of a sudden it really is this network economy, but in a very curated way. We’re not talking about going to a party in downtown holding a glass of champagne and just start mingling with random people. But this is very strategic and that’s one of the things that I really benefit a lot from. So I’m seeing some questions here from Alexander, so let me show that on the screen right now.
Also real quick, dean Graciano was the other gentleman’s name. So if you want to find that video, it’s Tony Robbins and Dean Graciano. Wonderful advertising their course.
Yeah. All right. Thank you for this question. I’m so glad you asked this question. If you’re creating content, how do you predict the next trend or viral things? And there’s a follow up to that which is maybe we’re chasing trends. What would the results would be the results for one’s channel? So I’m going to go back to the original question. Adam, who should go first?
A couple of thoughts on again with no passing it off, I think by definition, you can’t predict virality and you can’t predict trends. What I will do is steal an idea that I read from Futurism, which is basically just teachers whose job it is to predict the future. And what they say is that you just go it used to be Japan, maybe now it’s China, it could be Seattle. But you basically go to the place where people are doing new things and then bring them back and report on them. So it’s less of a head scratcher and more of a get out into the world and see what things are happening. And also, I wouldn’t put kind of all your eggs in the trend basket, but there’s another idea, which I did invent called Newsjacking, where let’s say Squid Game, everyone’s talking about it. So you do an episode, hey, this is why freelance software development is like Squeeze Game, but then you sort of let it go. So you don’t really want to put all your eggs in that trend basket because when it’s not a trend anymore, what do you do? So, I think.
Newsjacking. Yes. Trying to catch that thing as your full time gig. Maybe not.
Yeah, the trends are constantly moving. So when it comes to content creation, currently I’m working with a channel called Doctorpedia on YouTube. I am basically their main and only YouTube strategist right now. I’m learning so much because when you think about trends for a medical channel, of course, COVID is huge. Right? I’m even nervous mentioning that on this video because I know you need to be going to demonetize it right away as it’s medicine related, but it’s normal within the pandemic COVID. What are the trends? To break it down further is we recently have been approved to get the booster shot before this. Before the booster shots were kids over the age of twelve, and then were kids finally between the age of five to eleven. So these are newsjacking. These are trends that are surfacing very quickly. But if you’re Alexander, if you’re based in the US. You probably will also notice something that the moment where you know that the trends are gone, everybody now has more or less have the booster shot. All of a sudden, nobody’s talking about it anymore. So that is something to pay attention to. Should you ride the wave?
Should you have the expertise and talk about it? The answer is yes. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I think all of a sudden your channel might pivot to this certain direction. I’ll use another example, thanks to Herman, if he’s still listening right now, is that a year ago my channel had nothing to do, very little to do with personal finance. I would say like two, 3%. I’m very passionate about it, but I just never thought I was qualified to do it. And it was hard for me to pivot from content creation to personal finance. And so Hermann reminded me that there was such a thing as pandemic unemployment program in the United States based on people’s income. All I did for that video, believe it or not, I opened up Wall Street Journal new York Times. I just basically highlighted those articles. It was frankly like a stupid screen recording. I was highlighting, reading and this is reading the article. I wasn’t trying to act as if I’m a lawyer, attorney or accountant or anything. I always, you know, as a YouTuber warn people to say make sure you talk to the responsible party, which is hard to do during the pandemic.
And those websites, the pua websites were difficult to navigate. All of a sudden those videos that I created were getting 1020, 300 views. So it was once again, don’t kind of put all your hope into creating one video. Remember, consistency is king or queen if you play chess. And consistency is everything because you really don’t know which one is going to take off. And by putting more content out there you have a much better chance to write the algorithm wave, so to speak.
Yes, I would definitely echo that. I think anyone who has put out content would agree. This gentleman named Scott Hanselman who’s a technology educator, works for Microsoft and all on great guy that everybody loves. And he wrote about how which one of his articles was popular or well known or well appreciated. He’s like, I never would have guessed and I’m nodding my head off. Buffet is saying that because I think anyone you need 50 or 100 to really get noticed on YouTube. But which one of the things you do, which joke you tell is really going to land? Which concept is going to catch on? Nobody knows and that’s the reason you got to just keep putting it out there.
Absolutely. And I think there is no other takeaway other than putting your hours, keep it consistent and is to keep things simple. If you’re a YouTuber, to get started on YouTube, don’t worry about the fancy camera and get started just with your phone, with your iPad, whatever device you have in your hand. Frankly, the phones are not cheap these days and it comes with these killer 4K cameras on your iPhone alone. It could even be an older phone. It works really well if you have your right now I’m using this $99 Logitech HD camera. A lot of people create popular content using this. So don’t underestimate and don’t overestimate the quality of the products to start off with. I also want to say keep your software simple, please. When I start talking about live streaming, I hear all the time people want to even I personally invested in this fourk camera. I have to get a special dongle for another $200 so it can transfer the highest quality. I even try that during my 30 day live. But just keep it simple, you know, keep your software simple knowing that when you start, you’re not going to have most of us won’t have the budget to hire a co host, a producer and editor.
So keeping things simple what I call like sort of the capsule software approach, like a capsule wardrobe, is tremendously helpful. Keeping the scheduling simple, too. One thing I invested in, it’s called Acuity scheduling. Some of you are using Calendly, I think about how to streamline the process. If I were to invite guests onto my show, I send Calendly or Acuity scheduling link to them. And on top of that, I’ve configured my schedule to know when I’m available. I ask them to submit all their information prior to scheduling time with me, including their bio, their headshots, their social media links, all of these things. And it saves so much time. But optimizations can only be built in over time. You’re going to stumble on different hurdles and just don’t blame yourself, right? Take that self shaming out of the equation, knowing that you have to learn your own way. No matter how many thousands of dollars you spend online courses, following experts, even listening to this, you’re going to make some mistakes. And that’s absolutely okay.
I thought that’s always comforted me is if people want it so called, right, or beautiful, they’ll go somewhere else. Like if they want to hear perfectly produced music, they’ll go to Spotify. If they want to see a Hollywood movie, they can turn on Star Wars or Doon or whatever. So when you’re producing your video again, it’s sort of a yin yang. You want to do your best. You do want great audio quality. You do want good video quality as an ongoing thing. But while you’re chasing that goal of quality, realize and this is another word that I learned from Stephen Shapiro. I asked him about his writing. It’s an author that I’m working with on some software. He said, I’m not a writer, I’m an author. Like people come to me for authority. I try to pick the best words, but I don’t think of myself as the guy with the absolute, you know, perfect spelling, best grammar, most compelling writing. I’m here to help my clients and writing is a way to do that. So while you’re trying to look good, sound good, and have everything be super high quality, which should be a constant improving process, realize that if they really wanted perfectly mixed audio and 100 million dollar video, they would just go to HBO or Spotify.
So they’re here for back to kill a ghost? They’re here for your perspective, what makes you special, what makes you spicy. And that’s what they’re going to stick around for, is that kind of DIY feeling, not necessarily perfection. And that could just be an excuse for not starting back to the 15 seconds.
Exactly. So another question came in, and I like what you’re asking here because it’s actually relevant in terms of YouTube strategy as well as TikTok. TikTok is getting very popular. So the question is, would you say YouTube’s algorithm is harder to attract and to build traction versus TikTok’s algorithm? Again, I think that’s something to do with how you are. Like for instance, for me, I’m definitely a YouTuber first. But one thing you want to pay attention to is this new feature still in beta called YouTube Shorts with an S and content that are under 60 seconds is something that you can post and only post natively through your YouTube mobile app. Now that feature is now competing with TikTok. As we all know, TikTok only allows, I think TikTok now allows shorter content up to three minutes. I only noticed that recently. So in terms of algorithm, YouTube Shorts is very, very powerful and I will also say that YouTube recently invested a hundred million dollars to award YouTube Shorts creators clearly to compete with TikTok. With that said, what about regular YouTube videos compared to TikTok? Yeah, TikTok is a little bit easier in terms of just regular videos because how the algorithm works is it’s going to send to, I believe, the first 500 people and depending on their organic reaction interaction with your TikTok content, it then determines whether the platform is going to send it to more people.
It doesn’t quite work the same way on YouTube so it is very easy to feel deflated on YouTube at first something might get three views, five views you can see and I’ve seen clients channels that you can see the hard work they put in. You see single digit views whereas on tick tock I put something random on there is almost always gets like hundreds of views. Right. But this goes back to our earlier questions. Where do you want to devote your time? It is a commitment. So for me, with full transparency, what I do now is I love creating longer form educational content. I may be four, five minutes, I may be eight to twelve minutes. Then I find the best bits under 60 seconds to repurpose them to be YouTube Shorts. And if I feel like it, I might also publish them on Tik tok because the work is already done. So I guess I’m answering this question in multiple dimensions that how can you get the most mileage out of your content? Which is something I truly believe in. Is content repurposing on your own leverage maximize your time? If you have a virtual assistant, if you have a content editor, I’m all for it.
Hiring help, I’m all for it. I have a separate dedicated live stream to talk about how to hire, how to write your job description, how much it costs, very affordable. Get someone to help you to repurpose your content and trust the people that you hire.
And this one was actually one that we can correctly attribute to dory. We were at a Dory book signing event which was fun. We met at Cool, people we’re still in touch with and somebody asked her the question how do you do so much? I mean you’re a superwoman. How do you do it? And she said everything I do is many things he said. So if I’m coming here to say I’m meeting new people, I’m speaking about what I care about and listening to people’s reaction and seeing what people grew up to. Like, they say you’re recording an audio, but you also do an audiogram, and maybe that goes on Instagram. So each thing can have multiple platforms and multiple uses. We got into transcripts for accessibility, but also for SEO. So I think that’s the way it’s that if everything is only one thing, it’s exhausting. But if every time you engage, you think so somebody invites you to do a talk, you say, can I have nonexclusive rights to the recording? Is it okay with you if I publish the recording? Because sometimes if you want them to publish it, they might not.
So any opportunity where you can get many, many uses and reach new people for sure.
Great question. Yeah, this is a popular question. We only touch the surface. Should you be concerned about which platform to focus on first, due to the popularity, traffic and algorithm, and personally I’m lucky enough to have been a little bit deeper into my journey. I started Feisworld from a timeline perspective, and really Face World podcast started in 2014, that’s seven years ago, and my company full time freelancer plus creator since January 2016. So I learned a lot of lessons along the way. And now on top of that, I have a better understanding of who I am as a creator and who I’m trying to attract. There were a lot of assumptions earlier on, so I can basically stay with confidence, knowing the type of person creator I am in my audience. YouTube is currently my best bet, and I really hope that goes on and lasts for a long time, frankly. But if you are getting started, you’re just starting out like you don’t really know what’s going on. By the way, I do have a tool which I’m going to make sure to include a link after we conclude here. I started something called Face World Academy.
It’s actually in the description, wherever you are watching this, there’s a link called Faceworld podia.com. That’s Feisworld Academy, where I listed a how to evaluate social media platforms for yourself. And I was being very frank about asking yourself which platform you like to begin with. Think about like, where do you find yourself spending time on? And there’s a reason. Maybe it’s TikTok. Maybe it’s Instagram. Maybe it’s Facebook. So that is important. What comes natural to you? And generally speaking, people say that TikTok is geared towards teenagers. And my friends in their twenty s say I’m too old for that. Not necessarily. There are hashtags and people called, I think, TikTok, Gen Z, Gen X, they’re on there, you know, and it really has very little to do with age. Sometimes it’s about the core audience you’re trying to reach, and once again, with content repurposing, you can put the same piece of content on multiple platforms, but more than once. Maybe consider ten pieces of different content. You put it on, let’s say LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, and you can come back and look at the analytics altogether. And don’t worry about the vanity metrics as much like how many like loves.
But look at the comments, guys. Look at how many people shared it with other people. Look at how many people actually commented and asked questions. I think comments and shares are super powerful that somebody who didn’t just stop at watching engaging, they want to share something with someone else. I noticed another trend on YouTube. I couldn’t I totally stopped paying attention to this because in the US we don’t really use WhatsApp as much. It’s like I always thought it was kind of an overseas, like, European thing. I noticed so many of my YouTube videos got reshared through WhatsApp can you imagine like talking to someone and then my videos shared there. And so those are very signaling in terms of which platform will suit you the best. So I hope that’s a longwinded answer.
Yeah, I feel like you definitely want to take any free benefit. But also back to what’s become a theme of don’t rely on it. Because if you, let’s say, build a business and it’s based on Facebook and it grows and grows and grows, and you might come to some large dollar number that’s bringing every month somebody wakes up the next morning, change the algorithm, now you’re out of business. So I keep promising family to write an article. I’ll just say the word now and on if they write the article, which is winds are blowing. I always think of the ocean and the winds are blowing in the ocean. And some people would put up a sail and sail for fun or for commerce, who knows? But let’s just say for fun. So where are those winds blowing? Organic SEO is an example. People are searching for stuff. If that wind is blowing, you can put up a sale. Absolutely do that. But also you can’t rely on that because they will take it away from you. Which is why I have a website fullstackdeveloper.com, if you want to check that out. Faye has a website.
People would say, some people would say, oh, web is passe. You know, you have to be on those platforms. But nobody’s taking phase world.com away and nobody’s taking full stack developer.com away. So while you, while you’re being a windmill to extend the metaphor and creating electricity out of that free asset that we’ve in, those things that are happening in the world also mismatch that in your own mind by saying when that bit flips, when that programmer decides to change the rules and again, it’s their party, they can where am I going to be? And you have to be able to kind of keep rolling, which is another good reason to sort of spread your bets. And it’s great to use a platform, but don’t 100% rely on it because they will change.
And what I just did in the comments, which was automatically posted to YouTube and Facebook, is I said, Join us on Facebook. I started a group in 2015 called Creative Entrepreneurs, Actually, and then just kind of encouraging people to join us to share your questions, whether it’s YouTube or podcast or blogging. And there are no silly questions. You’ll realize that I love the fact that people are in different parts of their journey. Some people have written a book and started a YouTube channel, started a podcast. But the beauty was like, we all started different things at different times. We were able to help each other out. And also in this group, we’re kind of quote unquote trained professional. I don’t mean that we’re all experts, but we’re trained in a way. Coming from Seth Godin’s Altampier, coming from Dori Clarke’s group, we know how to provide feedback. So it’s never about shutting down your questions to say, how could you all? You should have known better. None of that. It’s about asking the right questions for you to really think it through, to make sure you’re not alone on that journey. So, absolutely. Let’s see.
And there’s one word. This is the longest live stream I’ve ever done. And thanks for everyone’s. Great questions for Adam’s. Patience. I know a lot of the content creators beg users to engage with our channels by sharing, commenting instead of begging. Is there an alternative method to do this, to have the same purpose? And yeah, let me just say, first of all, never, ever do stub. For stub. What it means is going to these Facebook groups or begging other creators, I mean, these reddit groups, to say, if I subscribe to your channel, will you subscribe to mine? Never do that. It’s a complete waste of time, frankly, because you want the people who truly resonate with and respect and really enjoy your content to be part of your tribe. I think the number of followers or subscribers, so called, on YouTube is overrated anyway. Subscribers, a lot of them inherently very people like to say disloyal. It’s not that everybody subscribed to so many channels, and there’s just no way for us to really watch all the content. So, yeah, the vanity metrics, once again, just be very careful. But there are better ways to engage with your subscribers or viewers.
Keep in mind, a lot of viewers are not your subscribers. What I always say is, hey, it’s Faye from Faceroll Media. I give them a reason. I created this channel to help content creators like yourself. You point to the camera to turn their body of knowledge into scalable income streams. So I say that up front. You know what? If you could if you want to subscribe, if you find this helpful, please subscribe. If you don’t, that’s okay. Or give this video a thumbs up, we’re down. Letting me how I can improve it asking that question as opposed to, like, me, subscribe, please. I need this. I need to monetize my channel so you can ask a question instead. Adam, any thoughts on that?
Yeah, I would agree with that. I would say do ask. So we have another friend, Michael Roderick of Small Pond, wrote a newsletter they read this morning, and I think it was pretty and pink. He referenced Duckie, who was the friend who’s always sort of from the movie, like the best friend who never gets the date because he doesn’t ask right. He just hangs back in his hopes that someday it’ll land in his lap, which it doesn’t. So I do think ask, give it a present moment to use that phrase. Be present that moment, but then move on. So I do think that YouTube please like and subscribe, because I do forget, even with all the YouTube I watch, that said move on to the other things. And another sort of mismatched thought about why not to beg for likes because other people are going to buy them anyhow, why it’s not worth doing the sub for. Sub thing is because somebody’s going to buy 1000, 10,000, 50,000 Instagram or YouTube subscribers anyhow, so you’re wasting your time. And another thing we learned at Podcast Movement was depending on what you’re doing, ten or 20 people might be enough.
But if you’re trying to be the next Tim Ferriss or whoever, yeah, you might need 1000, a million, 2 million subscribers. But if you’re trying to get the attention of car buyers in native Massachusetts, ten or 20 coming into that car dealership might be more than enough to make your native car enthusiast podcast worthwhile. So what are you trying to achieve? A handful of the right people could be more valuable than what Faith talks about. Vanity metrics, numbers that really just don’t mean anything, and literally 100,000 people that are just hitting a button versus people that really want to get into it with you.
Yeah, I display the gurus statement here. Herman, my producer on Facebook, YouTube channel, documentary podcast for years and years, and also her mom works with me on a number of my clients projects as well. And this is great reflection. Something that we learn over the years. Never ever rely on any single platform will be tied to any algorithm. We jokingly say that the YouTube algorithm is like this robot. It literally is this robot we’re trying to please. And I say that also. I’m currently working with part of the YouTube team on one of my projects, and frankly, nobody knows. That’s just a reality. And it could change even if you know some secret person who can tell you and explain to you what the algorithm is, it could change tomorrow. So I dare to say that be your own platform. You are the platform. People come to you because. Of who you are, the way you are, how sophisticated you are, the things that we can’t even put on paper, right? So be you. Create your own platform, own your content. Having a website is great. Having your contents backed up somewhere, guys, if you’re publishing on your podcast content, YouTube, make sure you save those videos somewhere else on Dropbox and then back it up using what is it?
Back blaze. Yeah, back up your content. These are great. Oh, my God, more questions even came in. Let’s see how much of this we can answer today. If one of your videos start to spike or go viral, how do you keep the ball rolling? Great questions. I can answer that. If you were going to switch to a different topic, how you pivot without losing your followers killed us. So you have some of the best questions here, for sure. And thank you for helping us, like, pinpoint these situations and thank you for the replies from our other viewers. And I love seeing people helping one another, by the way. So very simple. One of my latest videos on YouTube is called the One Thing You Need to Know About Going Viral growing on YouTube. It takes literally one video, and I can tell you exactly what video that is for me from March 2020. The video I said with a thumbnail, I’m not even on that thumbnail, says how to teach Zumba on Zoom. Very niche, very specific. After I released that video, it went from day 1700, 1400, and then for the following weeks, it was growing.
Basically a thousand views every single week, even some days, a thousand views every single day. And to a degree that I still am a zoo enthusiast. And I will hop on these Zoom dance calls and the instructors like, oh, my God, you’re Faith from faze worlds. And it was really interesting to be recognized in such a small, niche community. And I would say that once you have that take off video, not millions of views, but hundreds, maybe thousands of views, you’re going to see all the comments. Hundreds and hundreds of comments. It’s so overwhelming. People are saying, oh, you said this, what about this? I also need to know specifically, I taught people how to use audio with zoom. And people say, what do I need to wear a headset? I need an audio interface. How do I do that? Where do I buy these audio interfaces? Was beyond my wildest imagination. And from those comments alone, killer Ghost, I was able to create a, I think a dozen or so follow up, like, follow up videos and prioritize them based on the, you know, how repetitive. I’ve seen those questions, knowing that there’s a need and each and every one of those videos took off just as much.
It was crazy. So pay attention to comments. How do you pivot without losing some of your followers? You’re going to lose some of the followers for sure. And for me, I did a couple of things, but between pivoting from Zoom, I’m not going to be the only Zoom meeting. Zoom webinar person YouTuber on my channel. I say, hey, guys, I did a new welcome video. Thank you so much for being here for the past year. I’m here to let you know that I’m still going to create some videos, but I’m also going to create YouTube podcasting videos and teaching you how to be a content creator on your platform. And thank you and for allowing me to do that. This is really important as part of my journey, and I really hope that you’ll come along, but not everybody’s going to come along. That’s okay. So feel free to announce it to your followers. And also, in between time, instead of dropping your old popular content instantaneously because you might still want to write the algorithm, it’s a slowly pivot to new topics. So that’s what I was going to say. Yeah.
And if also, if you Google Faye, I’ve seen a couple of steps on that journey that she didn’t have time to point out. One is that we went from where she went from that video about Zoom to we still have, I think, a 1000 1400 person Facebook group. So that migrated to another platform that’s still going where people ask and answering questions. Another thing is to ask yourself either what else do you have to offer that people might want? Or what do your people need? Faye has been involved lately at a lot of very high end livestream webinars where people saw her and said, oh, can you host this? Can you produce this? Can you do the technology part of this? You can speak to that, but that’s looking in the rearview mirror. It’s a natural progression from digital producer to helping our friends, our close friends who are here today. Zoom instructors spin their livelihoods back up when COVID first hit, to producing sort of national and even international webinars because it’s something that she has and something that they want. It’s really just matching those two things together. What do you have to provide that people can’t get somewhere else?
I think that’s where, frankly, that’s where money comes from. Things that people really know they need, they know they want, and they can’t get it. If they don’t get it from you, then they pay for it. And that’s sort of how it’s gone, looking back.
Yeah, I mean, so many wonderful questions and thank you so much, Penny Boy stock alerts. Also reply to a lot of the questions from Killer Ghost. And I love reading these user names, by the way, from our chat. We can do a little chat overlay here. Did it not work today? I thought it would be working, but I’m going to try again. I don’t know why this doesn’t work today. Anyway, I’ll have to let restroom know about this. But I really want to thank everybody for joining. I know this was a longer livestream. If you missed parts of it, please know that it’s going to stay on my channel, on YouTube, LinkedIn, all of that. And also in the link in the description below, I talk about Facebook Academy, I talk about all 30 day live that I will be releasing every single day at 03:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. So there’s going to be one for tomorrow as well. And we don’t wait to talk about like health insurance, taxes, how to start an email list, when you should start thinking about courses and all that. And I really want to appreciate you guys for being here.
What I’m doing right now is like what YouTube says. Don’t say that. I’m going to say you’re being here, everybody just like drops off right away. But I really appreciate you guys for choosing to stay with us. And you bet there’s going to be a follow up video at the end of the 30 day, maybe even a weekly basis to show you guys like, the growth. By using live stream to grow my audience, I am barely active on Instagram and after one day I was able to reach like 300% more of the people. I don’t even know how that works. So thank you so much for tuning in. Malcolm, you stayed on for so long. I really appreciate you being here with us. And everybody who asks a question now, where or later we’ll monitor comments and please know that we’re here rooting for you and just keep on creating. I’ll see you next time. See you tomorrow in 24 hours. Bye.
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