How to Grow a YouTube Channel to Hundreds of Thousands of Followers

Want to know what it takes to grow a YouTube channel to hundreds of thousands of subscribers? Then listen in on this weeks podcast with Jesse Muench, the owner of YouTube channels Inspire Video Marketing and Get Handles Basketball. Jesse’s own YouTube channel, Get Handles Basketball, has over 500,000 subscribers that tune in each week for more amazing basketball training videos. In this podcast, Jesse talks about how to organically scale your YouTube channel and how to leverage it into a business. Also learn how to successfully promote, optimize, and create unique video content to grow your channel fast!

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Introduction: (00:00)
You’re listening to the video marketing podcast, helping you go a little more viral every day. Here’s your host, Matt Johnston.

Matt Johnston: (00:14)
Okay, welcome everybody to the video marketing podcast. I’m Matt Johnson. Thank you so much for being here today and spending your time with us here today. Very excited today for the first time on the show, we’ve got a YouTube organic Ninja. Did you know I was going to call you a Ninja? I did not see organic organic Ninja on this show. Uh, Jesse, you mentioned very excited to have Jesse here. Jesse has grown his get handles basketball channel up to 491,000 followers. Raise your hand silently if you would like 491,000 followers on your YouTube channel. I’ll wait. Okay. I’m done yet. He’s also the owner of inspire video marketing. He helps people build and grow businesses just like this on YouTube and uh, been in the marketing world for quite some time. Jesse, thank you so much for being here and I’m so excited to dig into this stuff.

Jesse Muench: (01:03)
Yeah, thanks a lot for having me Matt. And I’m looking forward to it. Uh, excited to share what I can with everyone.

Matt Johnston: (01:08)
I, I, I can’t wait. Let’s just start first about how you got into the YouTube organic game because a lot of people sort of fall into this stuff. Is that your experience as well?

Jesse Muench: (01:17)
Yes. I originally went on YouTube. Uh, I was doing like basketball tricks and stuff and I was just pushing on YouTube as a means to get the video out and put it onto these message boards when those were still a thing, uh, and get respect for my tricks. And so eventually I ended up seeing this other guy that was doing tutorials on how to do tricks and he was getting like crazy dude as I’m like, well, let me give that a try. So then I did that and that kinda led to another thing and then I started going more fundamental basketball tutorials. And next thing you know, it’s a full time business.

Matt Johnston: (01:50)
What do you know? So what style was the growth like at first?

Jesse Muench: (01:56)
I mean, how fast did it grow? So it was, YouTube was a much different thing when I got on it. It was, I was on like almost, I think it started in 2005 I got on YouTube or on 2006. Uh, so there was less competition, uh, but there’s always less, less people on it. But that being said, like if you knew a little bit about search engine optimization and things like that, you could do pretty well. Uh, so a couple of my videos I didn’t upload very frequently. It was like maybe once every three months, two months. And when I did, they would do really well. Uh, but it took me a while to really start taking things a little more seriously. Um, and so I started looking more into search engine optimization, I’d say about four years after that, five years after that. And then I kinda got stuck in that road.

Jesse Muench: (02:40)
And then I just kept doing that and not learning and growing. And then after a while I was like, okay, I need to pay attention to what’s actually happening on YouTube, which it’s not just about search engine optimization, it’s about the quality of your title, your thumbnail, all that stuff. Uh, and just kind of keeping more up to date with the up with a pulse on how the platform is working. And then I started seeing another big surge of girls. So I kind of had like two periods where I had these big surges when I finally decided to take things a little more seriously. Well that’s good because you’ve got the surgeons before you were like fully optimizing your account then. Yeah, for sure. Right. Um, especially like with the business side of things and all of that. Um, you know, at first for a awhile I was getting a fair amount of views, but I wasn’t really capitalizing on it because it was mainly just me getting views and Oh, cool. I get a little bit of ad revenue, but it wasn’t like enough to even pay like my car payment, you know what I mean? Well, let’s go back a little bit. Yeah.

Matt Johnston: (03:32)
Why do you think that without even doing all of this optimization, I know it was a slightly different time, but why do you think without doing all of this optimization, you were still able to get people into these videos? You know, because when we all think about YouTube channels or at least those of us that have dug into it, we, you know, we know that, you know, it can be a full time job to manage a YouTube channel, getting everything in order, you know, from SEO to thumbnails and all this stuff. And we’re going to go into the tactical side of that all later. But why do you think it picked up so much steam so fast? Just based on the content?

Jesse Muench: (04:06)
I think there’s a couple of things that play. Um, number one, I was promoting my content. I wasn’t just like putting it on YouTube. I was putting in a message boards. I was, um, actually at the end of my videos, I wouldn’t do this again probably. But at the end of my videos I gave links to like my personal Facebook page. And then anytime someone added me from a friend and they were from another country, I was like, okay, well I probably don’t actually know this person. So I shoot them a message and I’d say, Hey, check out this video. And so I would just keep sending people to this one certain video and I think that kind helps get some, some, uh, backlinks into the video. Uh, and I told people like, if you found the video helpful, do me a solid and share it. So I did a lot of promoting. Uh, besides that I did do a little bit with the search engine optimization side of things. And then I think besides that is just that the content was different, I think from what other people were putting on the platform as far as, you know, basketball tutorials and things like that. I tried to give people something that they hadn’t seen before and I think that helped it stand out and made it more shareable.

Matt Johnston: (05:03)
Interesting. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. And I think that’s a very good point. I mean even with all of the, the algorithmic optimization that you’re trying to do, you still need to actually share your content and other platforms. Right?

Jesse Muench: (05:15)
Yeah, I’m, I’m big on that. Um, especially like I’ve been talking about that a lot with the inspire video marketing channel. Like so many people they see these videos on to on YouTube, these tutorials on how to grow on YouTube and a lot of it talks about search engine optimization and all this other stuff and that’s great. And it will help and you know, over overtime you can grow the channel but like don’t just sit there and wait for YouTube to pick it up. Like put some hustle in to get the contents out there to people and you can really make that growth happen a lot more quickly for like the first two, three months of having inspire video marketing as I was starting it, cause I just started that channel seven, eight months ago. I was posting it in Facebook groups where people who are looking to grow on YouTube, you know, I’m not just going to sit there and wait for, you know, YouTube to say, okay, this is a good video. We’re going to put it in search, we’re going to put it in suggest. And I’m like, no, I’m going to get it in front of people. And from there I can build my audience and you know, as I get more people watching, YouTube is going to start to get a better idea of who’s interested in my videos.

Matt Johnston: (06:13)
Mmm. Yeah. Very interesting. Okay, so there’s two things I want to get into on the super tactical side of things here. The first thing is just just how do we grow this thing from like if, if we were starting from scratch today or if we’re going to an existing YouTube channel, it’s a little bit dormant how we grow that thing. And the second thing I want to get into, and I know we were talking about it a little bit before the show that you feel like you, you, you, you, uh, you, you do a lift a little bit different is teaching people how to actually leverage that into a business and capitalize that. Um, so let’s start, uh, let’s start, uh, with the optimization side. So if you were starting a YouTube channel from scratch, what would your process look like?

Jesse Muench: (06:58)
So here’s where I think I have a little bit different approach, I think than some people. So some people will say, just try a whole bunch of different stuff and some people will say, your channel should be exactly this. And I think the answer is a little more in the middle. I think you should have a clear understanding of, okay, this is kind of what I want to do with my channel. But within that, like don’t be afraid to try different formats, slightly different topics, things like that. Just to see what clicks with people, what resonates, what works for you and find your voice. But at the same time you don’t want to be too all over the place. So an example would be like, if I’m going to start a channel on cooking, then I want it to be about different cooking topics. Maybe I’ll try some, you know, restaurant reviews, but I want it to be all food related.

Jesse Muench: (07:39)
I don’t want all of a sudden say like, okay, well here’s how to change a flat tire. Like then you’re sort of losing your audience. You’re building this audience with all these different topics and then when you upload new videos, it’s going to hurt those videos because YouTube is looking at click through rate, which is the percentage of people when they see your thumbnail, do they click it? So if you have like a video that blows up on how to change a tire and all your other videos that you’re uploading around cooking, when you upload a video, all those subscribers you gained from the flat tire video, they don’t care about your cooking video and now they don’t click and click through rate is like one of the biggest things that they’re looking at. So like that’s why it’s important to have at least a, a certain level of definition with your niche.

Jesse Muench: (08:21)
But within that, I think you still got to play around and try different things because you don’t know what you like yet. You know, you don’t know what your audience wants to see and you can’t really find those things out unless you’re willing to do a little bit of experimenting. Um, and besides that, I think another thing is just, you know, model something successful like don’t copy another channel. But if there’s another channel that is doing something well like, okay, what’s making this channel work? What are the pieces they have in place? What are they doing in their videos? Like asking those questions I think is really important. Um, and then besides that, the search engine optimization side of things, um, and I would say even more so nowadays suggested engine optimization. So, you know, you want to really be paying attention to your keywords. You want to try to get that click through rate by up, by having a good title, a good thumbnail, a you want to pay attention to your watch time. So trying to get people to watch as much of your video as possible and watching, you know, longer periods of that video. Um, I could go all day on this, but uh, yeah, there’s a lot of pieces in place, but I think the biggest one is just kind of figuring out that niche and then having a certain level of flexibility with it.

Matt Johnston: (09:21)
I think some people get locked into this and I, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on it. I think some people get locked into this, okay, I need to, I’m gonna launch this YouTube channel. I need to make it a very serious effort. So I need to make sure that I’m not, you know, doing a lot of repurposing of content on here. I’m, I’m, I’m making sure that the expectations from the viewer are always similar. Like you’re going to see, like you’re going to get a similar amount of value, which I think everybody would agree should be, you know, delivering like a large amount of value in every video. But, um, you know, visually does it need to like always look the same like angle wise, is it always need to feel the same? Um, I mean is it a problem to have different formats?

Matt Johnston: (10:02)
How much does that jeopardize thing the, these are all of the things that I’ve come across when I’ve worked with companies consulting that they’re always saying, okay, so how many different formats do we need to have? How many, you know, how much a talking head type stuff do we need to have versus other types of stuff. What do you think about that content mix and what matters the most about it considering that there are two pools of audiences, right? There’s your subscribers and then there’s the SEO crowd. It’s just finding you organically and so you ha how do you cater to those audiences? Especially at the beginning when, I mean, let’s be honest, I mean it can be a battle to get your first 20 subscribers drivers.

Jesse Muench: (10:40)
Yeah. I think as far as that goes, I personally am all for trying different content types for the most part. I think there’s, it depends on the channel though too. Like you’ll see certain channels, like they just do one style of content and that’s what people expect from them. And if you’ve kind of got locked into that for quite some time, then yeah, you should probably stick with it. And then from time to time maybe experiment with something different. But like me personally, personally, like I switched my formats with get handles, I switched them up with inspire and the big thing you have to just pay attention to is what’s, what’s working. Um, if you’re doing the same thing over and over and over again and it’s getting stale, then maybe it’s time to switch things up and try a different format. Um, me personally, I do try to, uh, put a mix in just to keep things a little bit interesting and fresh.

Jesse Muench: (11:26)
Uh, I know for a while on get handles, I had everything in this gym. I, I, it was a YMC that I would fill mat and then I would just do a voiceover at home and I could tell after a while, like even for me, I got bored of doing the videos. I got bored editing them. I could tell like the audience wasn’t resonating. And then once I switched things up, the channel started getting a nice little surge of growth again. So I think it’s important to like, again, like we’re talking about for like stick within your niche. What’s your main thing you’re giving people? Like what’s your channel about? But like the format type me, he personally I think you could switch that up. Um, branding wise, I think with your thumbnails, a level of consistency is good. So when they see your upload they know it’s, you know, I don’t go hardcore on that.

Jesse Muench: (12:06)
Like I just stick with, okay this is my font that I use. I use impact font for pretty much all the channels I work with cause it’s this nice bold and clean. You can see it and a little mobile device. And then I tried to get my face in there if I can. Um, and then with inspire I also put a logo really little on the in the bottom corner. But like sometimes I think people get a little too stuck into one thing. And like you said, you can miss out on some of that suggested traffic or search traffic by trying to always just cater to your subscribers. Um, I’ve had it where sometimes I just go down these random rabbit holes because one subscriber said something and it’s like, okay, you’ve got to keep in mind like what’s going to help your audience but also help you reach a new audience. So I think if you get too stuck into, I just do this, or one subscriber said this like, and you’re always just trying to please them, you could be missing out on a lot of potential growth. That’s really interesting.

Matt Johnston: (13:02)
Okay, so let’s go back and tap into the actual tactics because a lot of people just want to know what to do. So you’re starting your channel and you want to make sure that you have a process and a strategy to make sure that every piece of content that you have is optimized. So let’s, um, we, we can get to the editorial after this. The stuff you do in the video first, the stuff outside the video from SEO down through the nuts and bolts. What are the key building blocks that every video needs to have behind it?

Jesse Muench: (13:31)
So this is a mistake I made for years. I made the video, then I made the title, should it be the other way? Rock you figure out, okay, what’s the topic of this video? And really like, I think the biggest piece of advice I can give people is YouTube growth. Especially now it’s con it comes down to a videos. Can you make a successful video if that video blows up, your channel blows up. So when you’re coming up with your topic, do you need to spend a heck of a lot more time saying, okay, well what can I do to make this topic stand out? So an example I often give is you could make a video on how to tie your shoelaces. Well, that’s boring. Everyone knows how to do that. But what if you said how to tie your shoelaces so it looks like a dragon or how to tie your shoelaces in one second.

Jesse Muench: (14:12)
You know, whatever. You know how not to tie your shoelaces. And it could be a comedy video, right? Like, ask yourself how you’re going to take that basic concept and add something unique and interesting to it and met that be your building block. And then from there you can, you know, your title will be pretty easy. Coming up with an interesting thumbnail will probably be a lot easier. Coming up with good contents will be a lot easier, but it all starts with coming up with that good topic first. So with that, there’s kind of a mix. It’s kind of like, okay, well what’s going to sound kind of quote unquote clickbait but you want to deliver on, or no, of course, but also what are the search terms that I’m trying to rank for? So you kind of have to, you know, like do a little dance between those two things.

Jesse Muench: (14:50)
Um, but the more you can put that into your thought process, you know, okay, what are the search terms? How can I make this a clickable title and thumbnail in a, in a cool, interesting video? The better results you’re going to get. So I think that’s the biggest tip I can give as far as tactics go with the, just coming up with the video idea. And then as far as like thumbnails go, uh, typically now my big thing on thumbnails is you’ll get a lot of like tutorials and advice and things like this on YouTube. And I’ve had some of my best performing thumbnails as far as click through rate goes, be like the exact opposite. So I’m always testing. I use a tool called two buddy and I run AB tests. Right now I’ve got 50 split tests going. One day it’ll show one thumbnail on that, on a certain video.

Jesse Muench: (15:36)
The next day it’ll show a different one. And it keeps switching back and forth each day. So then from that I can get an idea of, okay, well this is the better thumbnail. And what I found is it’s not the best practices don’t always apply, but what I have seen is typically simple and clean wins. Um, you know, maybe one person, one face, um, one piece of text maybe to the side or one icon. And usually I leave it at about that. Um, sometimes it’ll have a little bit of other stuff, but like trying to get like flowery font and little details in your picture. Like people don’t see that on a little mobile device. So I always almost always try to start with something really simple and I’ve fallen almost across the board like simple wins. Like a lot of people would say you have to use these bright colors.

Jesse Muench: (16:20)
Well some of my best performing videos for get handles basketball is literally like white background action shot of me doing like a move and then a little text to the side. And sometimes the text, I’ll do like an a brighter color, but like I’ve tried all these other thumbnails with all kinds of stuff going on, all these intricate details and just for me across the board, for the most part I’d say they, they just don’t do as well. So I think if you can pay attention to your topics and your titles, you’ll have a good video. If you could pay attention to your thumbnails and within that also the title will help that click through rate and you get that click through rate up and that watch time. Those are the big keys to succeed right now. So let’s go back to SEO quickly because a lot of people would advise you to research first and then come up with your video ideas. Second. Would you agree with that?

Jesse Muench: (17:11)
I kind of do a dance between the two. Sometimes I start with, okay, this is a cool idea. And I think part of it is because I’ve done so much like research into the keywords, so I kinda know what like some of them are. Um, but within that, I mean I’m always going to like at least put into consideration, OK, what are, what, what’s the search volume on this? You know, is this something people are actually looking for? What’s the competition level? But what I’ve been finding more and more is if I focus actually a little bit less on the competition and just say what’s getting searched volume and how can I make a killer title on a kid thumbnail? And I’m going to put my hat into the ring in this big arena. I’ve been having a lot of success with that, especially with getting handles.

Jesse Muench: (17:48)
Now, a caveat with that is it helps set the channel is bigger, you know, so since I have a larger subscriber base, if I put a video up, I’m automatically going to get a certain amount of views. So it kind of gives me a certain level of authority, um, when I put that video. Oh. Um, but with inspire video marketing, I’ve had some of my biggest success too by trying to capitalize on these higher competition things. Now I don’t have a lot the common devices, you know, high search volume, low competition, which typically I would say is true, but I’ve had some success by trying to go into these bigger topics. Um, and just

Matt Johnston: (18:20)
making better content. Just winning on content.

Jesse Muench: (18:23)
Yeah. Just. Yeah, exactly. When on the title went on the thumbnail would on the video. Um, I would say that that’s mostly a, that that’s largely a suggested video play. Yes, for sure. Because if you’re, and again, that’s why it’s so important. Pay attention to that click through rate and that audience retention and your watch time on your videos. Cause if YouTube sees you’re doing well on that, what they look at is watch time per impression is one of the main things. There’s a lot of things, but if you’re getting a high watch time impression, which means you know, if you go on YouTube and you’re watching a video, you’ll see on your mobile device all the videos below it or if you’re watching it on a desktop, all the videos to the side, every time you see those thumbnails, that counts as an impression.

Jesse Muench: (19:01)
So if no one clicks, then you get zero watch time per impression. If they click, you probably get at least one second of watch time per impression. If you can get him watching longer, then you could get ’em up to you know, 10 20 minutes. That’d be phenomenal. Um, so the better you can do it that the better those videos are gonna perform and the more they’re going to push them in search and suggested. And that’s where like the big views com. That being said, it is a little bit easier when you’re starting a channel to go for the search traffic. Um, so a lot of times I do tell people like, okay, make some more search friendly type videos, but from time to time throw in the mix some videos where you’re going to swing big and you’re going to try to go into these bigger topics.

Jesse Muench: (19:38)
Um, and one piece of advice I can give you on that, that I’m, it’s kinda fun to like kinda relearn YouTube with inspire video marketing and some of the clients I’ve been working with lately, but like I’ve been having a lot of success with that. Just okay, what’s the big news that just came out with YouTube and how can I make a video bot it quick before everyone else does? Because now there’s high search volume. It’s a trending topic, not a lot of videos on it. So that’s probably, I think one of the best ways to take advantage of that whole high search volume, low competition dynamic. Hmm. Interesting. Interesting.

Matt Johnston: (20:09)
Okay. So, uh, so, so it’s worth it to swing big from time to time. You just have to make better content and you’re probably actually comparing your thumbnail against the competition and trying to stand out from that thumbnail wise.

Jesse Muench: (20:20)
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. If there’s something I’m trying to show up for, I’ll pop it in and I’ll be like, okay, well what colors are they using? What are their thumbnails look like? Okay, I’m going to do something different. Now with get handles, basketball typically almost always happens because no one else is using a white background for the most part because everyone probably thinks you need like a, you know, a basketball court behind you or bright colors. Uh, so, but yeah, I mean for inspire too, like I’ll type something in and I’ll see, you know, what, what does look like? And I’m just going to say, okay, well how can I make mine not that [inaudible]. So here’s a question that comes up a lot. How much content do you actually need to create to be successful? How often do you need to post? My advice that I give people, especially when you’re starting out, is one video a week for a year.

Jesse Muench: (21:04)
If you’re not seeing any growth, then you’re probably doing something wrong. You’re not analyzing enough, you’re maybe missing a big piece. Um, but you know, if you’re doing one video a week for a year, I would think at that point, you know, you’d start to figure out something that’s gonna hit, you know, you find it. What I always say is like put one video a week for a year and you know, usually, well before that, you know, you get two, three, maybe six months in and one video is going to pop and from that you double down, okay so I’m going to make more videos about this. This is what’s working for me. I’m going to make some more on this. Um, to start sort of bring the channel up view wise, you know, get more suggested views from your own channel, get some more subscribers, all that stuff. And then from there you can maybe try to branch out with some other topics but like find, find the thing that’s hitting big.

Jesse Muench: (21:48)
So for me, like on inspire, like I just had a video come out about, I don’t know, two months ago when Janell, Eliana, you heard of her? Yeah. So she blew up and I was like, I was a little late to the party but I was still pretty earlier than a lot of people and I got a lot of views on that. So what did I do? I made two more videos on that. I had another video that did well recently cause I got on the FTC cracking down on YouTube kids. I was one of the first videos on it. Again, I was like, okay, I’m not waiting on this when I’m getting it out right away. So I made another followup video on it and that’s like where a lot of my channel growth has come over the last two or three months. Uh, for inspire.

Jesse Muench: (22:20)
Same thing with get handles. I’ve got some actually making videos about trending topics. Yeah, exactly. And then once I start getting those views on that video, like I make another one and they usually don’t perform as well as the first one, but they perform well. Bet a way better than my other videos. Um, an example of this actually would also be my wife’s channel, like, uh, her first video, it’s got about half a million views in a year. And so it was on a learning Spanish while sleeping. So I have her, like, I’m like, just keep making more Spanish on. I’m sleeping buddies while they don’t perform it as well as as that first one, I’m like, Nope, but look at how they perform compared to everything else on your channel. They always get like, you know, two, three, four times as many views minimum. So it’s like, you know, even if you’re not getting quite the results you did, keep doing those and then try new things and see what you can find that next big win that you can double down on.

Matt Johnston: (23:10)
Let’s dig into that video a little bit. I would assume that this is a common search term and that’s mainly where a lot of the traffic came from was SEO. Yeah. So we, um, I was actually teaching like a little course up in Wisconsin and I had a bunch of like business owners and whatnot. Trying to teach them how to start a channel, just people that wanted to get on YouTube. And actually my wife was the only one that did something with it. And I was like working with her. She like, well what am I want to make a channel? Like she didn’t even know what she wanted to make a channel button. She’s from Honduras, so obviously she speaks Spanish very well. So we’re just kind of typing things in and seeing what the options are with two buddy. And we come across, uh, uh, well I think it was like learn Spanish while sleeping or Spanish while you sleep or something or like is that a ball?

Jesse Muench: (23:51)
You know, it’s kind of interesting. So we did a little more research and uh, figured out that it’s basically these videos that people play while they sleep and they learned Spanish through like hypnosis or whatever you want to call it. So, um, I have a background in audio production and I make music with my computer and usually have like soothing music. So I make a song for that. And, uh, you know, there wasn’t a lot of competition on it. Low volume. I got this good Mike here that we could use. So she gets good audio quality. So I’m like, we could actually make a video on this and knock it out of the park so we throw our hat into the ring, you know, put it, put it into the big arena. And low and behold, the first month, all of a sudden about month and a half, two months just skyrocketed.

Jesse Muench: (24:30)
And that’s like she’s got a business built around it now. Like it wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for that first video. She probably wouldn’t have Pete doing YouTube for all I know. But, uh, you know what I tell people that’s not typical. Don’t expect to get a half a million views in a year on your first upload. Because I think a lot of people see these YouTube gurus and tactics and things like that and search engine optimization and you know, I say, I always look at it as like, what are your odds? Those things will improve your odds of performing well, but there’s never a guarantee. Anyone that says like, you just do this one thing and you’re for sure going to get a million views, they’re probably lying to you or doing something that’s gonna get your channel banned from YouTube.

Matt Johnston: (25:06)
Right, right, right. I, I also think it’s good to keep in perspective that one view on YouTube is, at least in my opinion, astronomically better than one view on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, any of these platforms. I mean, first of all, because it doesn’t count as a view until they watched 30 seconds and second of all, it’s just there’s more in search intent behind this content. Right. I agree.

Jesse Muench: (25:28)
Yeah. 100% I mean, I, I don’t think those platforms aren’t worthwhile by any means. Of course. And I’m sure you would agree on that, but yeah, like of a view is different. Yeah. Yeah. And people go to YouTube to watch videos. It’s like you’re on Facebook or Instagram. It’s just like, Oh, it just happens to be in front of your face. But that doesn’t mean you actually wanted to see it. Whereas YouTube, it’s like you click to watch. And that action alone really I think is what differentiates it from the other platforms.

Matt Johnston: (25:54)
So a J just quickly for everybody he’s mentioned to buddy a number of times, I’ll try to put a link in the show notes, uh, to buddy. I’m in, in my opinion, as essential software for anybody who wants to grow their channel organically. It’s, it’s pretty cheap for what you get. And as somebody who runs a YouTube advertising agency, I can tell you that getting YouTube keyword research is way more difficult than getting Google keyword research and tube buddy I have found is one of the more user friendly and cost effective ways to do it, to do that keyword research. But it does everything else too. It’s basically like a little companion. It’s like a little ferry that sits on your shoulder and it’s like, Hey, your thumbnail is not good enough and Hey your, what are you ranking for? Hey, your watch time is this much, your channel has this many views, here are your trends.

Matt Johnston: (26:38)
Um, so, uh, and, and, and, and it does competition ranking sort of on the spot. Well so that you can see where you’re going. So highly recommend that people get into that. I’ll put a link in the show notes. So as a let, let, let’s quickly before we go into how to monetize this stuff, uh, I just wanna make sure that we cover all the little things, um, in video best practices. You know, are we asking people to subscribe and when are we doing that? Um, we discussed thumbnails, but we also should briefly touch on end screens, description, best practices, all of these things. Because at the end of the day, YouTube is looking at many different things to make you rank and in the algorithm. But the big one is watch time, right? And it’s acute, it’s cumulative watch time. It’s, it’s, it’s kind of like how much watch time are you racking up on your channel? Um, and a lot of that has to do with research collation, which has always been part of the YouTube game, right? Like, how are you getting people to go to other content and continue to like follow you? So what are the very like nitty gritty, tactical best practices that basically every video needs to have to be, to be a successful part of your channel?

Jesse Muench: (27:46)
Yeah, so usually we, we’ve got kind of a loose script that we use, but there’s some certain P key elements that we’d like to have in place. Uh, first of all hook, you got to get a good hook in the beginning to give people a reason to stay to the end. Also within that, usually I try to have something near the beginning where, you know, I kind of give people if it’s a longer video anyways, if it’s a longer video, I’m going to say, okay, well we’re going to go over this, this, this and this. I call it the table of contents. And the reason I do that is because that way maybe they’re just interested in one of those things. They’re gonna stick around for that one thing. Or a lot of times what I’ll do is I’ll just say, and at the end I’m going to have something to help you with this. And usually that thing at the end is either a, you know, I’ll send them to a squeeze page or a lot of times they’ll an end screen to go to another video. So not only am I giving them a reason to stay to the end and getting them watched him up on that video, but then I’m getting them on another video. So I think it’s really important to get that hook in the beginning. Get that in the beginning. Um, if I can just, if I can just interject for a second, this is like super

Matt Johnston: (28:48)
for super important, this idea of hook because it’s different on YouTube and that’s kind of what I’m hearing you say. And I love the way that you’re describing it. I have like this a, this system that I’ve developed for, for basically to create shareable video. It’s called like the hero system, but the H stands for hook. But the thing is not every hook is created equal. So on Facebook and Instagram, you may be creating a hook that actually stops people from scrolling. But on YouTube, the hook is more of what, uh, what we would call in the TV news world. Like a deep tease, right? Like we don’t just want people to stop, we want them to watch the whole thing. So you can’t tease to something that’s gonna happen in five seconds or put all your best stuff at the beginning. You literally have to do it. Would you say the deep tease is sort of correct?

Jesse Muench: (29:33)
Yeah, for sure. Um, one thing interesting. It’s a very, very different, yeah. And, and one thing I’ve actually, I found with get handles is, so if, if it’s a video about how to do like, you know, five crazy moves you’ve never tried before. If I showed the entire move in the first 10 seconds, you know, all five of those moves, you know, the whole, you know, if it’s two, three triples each move. And I sold them every year, those dribbles. Okay, cool. I got it. See ya. Next video. No, no, no, no, no, no. I’m going to show him a little piece of it and kinda chop it up and like give just a little like here’s one dribble of a three dribble move, here’s another dribble from a different move. So they’re like, okay, there’s some action shots. It’s kind of engaging them. It’s kinda like, okay, what’s gonna happen?

Jesse Muench: (30:11)
But I don’t give them the big thing. They came forward until near the end. And that’s like one thing that it took me a long time to figure out that it probably shouldn’t have. But like you’ve got to have those things at the end that people, that that gives people a reason to save now I think like the thing that I said before, like I’m going to have something at the end for you, like, and then link them to something with an ice cream. That’s helpful. But I think the more important one is what’s the main reason they click the video? Like what’s the title and thumbnail? Like what’s the video about? You got to use it relevant. Yeah, you gotta tease it at the beginning and don’t, don’t give them the huge pay off until the end. I know some viewers, I get comments saying I hate the big buildup and making me wait, but that’s the way you two words, like you’ve got to play the game.

Jesse Muench: (30:53)
Um, so if you want to get your stuff out in front of the audience, you’ve kinda gotta be aware of where like the big payoff is in your video. I would say like that’s one of the biggest tactics I could give a besides that, I found that helpful to near the hook. Give a little bit of like a, you know, this has worked for a lot of people, like almost like a testimonial or a social proof element of some sort. That really helps. Okay. Yeah, that’s great. And should, should we be asking people to subscribe both at the front of the video and the back? Great question. Um, so I pay a lot of attention to my audience retention graphs. And what I’ve noticed is if I ask people to subscribe in the beginning, a lot of times I’ll get a dip and a lot of times that that retention will come back up.

Jesse Muench: (31:32)
But it’s usually not quite where it left off and you know, there’s still a dramatic drop cause you know, you’ll be here and then I’ll come down and it’ll come back up a little bit. But it’s not like a nice smooth motion like you would want it to be obviously. Um, and that point from where it drops off, when that call to action, people are like double tapping to skip forward 10 seconds basically. And then some people are just flat out leaving. So what I’ve found is I sometimes I’ll ask people to subscribe if I really want to try to drive subscribers because that way there’s a better chance they’ll see it. But what I’ve started doing is just have like a lower thirds that’s animated so people see it, they know what’s there. But at the same time, like people have been on YouTube a while, they understand like how subscribing words for the most part.

Jesse Muench: (32:10)
I mean you still got some people that are new to the platform, but I typically will just kinda keep with like hook and get right into the content. And while that’s happening somewhere in the bottom or the top, I’ll have an animation so people can see it. And then near the end I’ll have another animation actually ask people to subscribe. And I think another big thing to consider is the notification about like that should be part of your call to action, subscribe and turn on all notifications. Because just because I’m someone subscribed to you on YouTube, like it doesn’t mean as much as it used to because you might subscribe to someone if you’re not clicking to watch their videos. YouTube just out showing them in your subscription feed. That’s why you got to make sure you’re getting people on that notification squad as people like to call it some times. So when you upload a video it pops up on their screen and if you’re on your mobile device they get a notification right there and it’s sure to show up in their subscription feed.

Matt Johnston: (32:59)
That’s really great advice. Very interesting. Cause I know there are multiple camps on that. Um, so as far as end screens where research relating to other videos, is that how you, is that what you do as well?

Jesse Muench: (33:09)
Yeah, so I either want to try to get them to another video. A or a playlist can be really, really powerful to really get that watch time and session duration up and are really powerful. Tip I think I can give on that is like you, the way you present that playlist. If you’re going to do a playlist, don’t just say, Hey, I’ve got a playlist over here. Like, Hey, I got a playlist here. Binge watch all those videos. You know, so that way, like when people think about it mentally, when they go to that playlist, they’re not just looking at it as like, okay, I’m going to check out this playlist. They’re thinking, okay, I’m supposed to binge watch this whole play this. Which they might not, but at least there’s a better chance I have them watching two or three videos versus just one. Okay, see you later. I forgot about it. I think that little bit of change in a presentation can help. Um, yeah, I think it’s really big to either get them onto another video or another playlist or if again, business-wise, get them onto a squeeze page or an offer, you know, or a sales page or booking a consulting call or whatever the case may be. Um, and I think that’s a big missing thing for a lot of people is not looking at that side of things.

Matt Johnston: (34:08)
I, I think that we could probably talk for years about all the ways to optimize your content to, to, uh, to rise through through the ranks of the algorithm. But, but let’s, let’s pivot here cause it’s because I think the transition works well and I’m sure that you have plenty of resources people can go to to find out how to optimize these things. Um, turning it into a business. I, I think this is a good segue to that. What are the, I would say let’s start with the biggest mistakes that people make, not to monit because I think that some people think that the best way to monetize your channel is by clicking the enable monetization box in your settings. But probably, probably

Jesse Muench: (34:44)
not. No, no, no, no, no. And I have this struggle because I’m, I’m trying to show a lot of people how to grow a YouTube channel and then build a business around it. And the common theme I have with a lot of people is they just want to try to like grow the channel, get AdSense, you know, maybe get brand deals, which I think brand deals and sponsorships is a decent source of revenue, but like you are really missing out. Um, and I actually got a video coming out on the inspire channel a little while talking about this. Uh, basically how, you know, I feel like the biggest reason a lot of people quit YouTube is because they don’t feel like it’s worth their time. And if you know, you’re just kind of doing it to grow with AdSense and get views like, and you’re not seeing the results from that, it’s so much easier to quit.

Jesse Muench: (35:27)
And I think if you’ve just start taking a little bit more of a business minded approach and build an email list and have products and services so you can make a little bit more money from that channel, it’s a lot more worth your time and you’re much more likely to stick with it. It’s really hard to justify putting all this time and effort into these videos and maybe you want to get better equipment, but you can’t because you can’t afford it. You’re running out of time to make the content. Well, if you’re making money in return for now, you’re like, you know what? I think I could put some more time into this channel. So I think it’s really, really important for people to see the potential to make money through offering their own digital products. Did you know services, online consulting, you know, monthly memberships through Patrion.

Jesse Muench: (36:05)
There’s so many things out there. Uh, but the big thing I always tell people is like if you just think like it’s AdSense and that’s your, like your goal, you’re missing out. Like you could be making literally 10 times, maybe a hundred times more money through other means. Like people, people like pay a lot of money to run Facebook ads to get in front of people. But when you’re really running YouTube videos, like if you think about it like, like a business or marketing person does when they’re running Facebook ads trying to make a sale, they pick about this, you’re paying for Facebook ads to get in front of people. But if you’re on YouTube, you’re getting paid through AdSense to get in front of people. And on top of that, those people love you. Like people are so cynical about a Facebook ad, but when they come to watch a YouTube video and they watch that whole thing and they really connect with you, like, wow, this is really, really good and you get to the end like, you know what?

Jesse Muench: (36:53)
They helped me, Oh yeah, I’m going to check out that free thing they have. So then the creator, not only are they building that relationship, it’s a lot easier to make sales and things like that, but on top of that you’re getting paid, you’re not paying like you are for Facebook ads. So I think like people are really missing out on like what an opportunity they have. And I think the biggest issue is for a lot of people on YouTube, like they, they look at making offers as greedy, don’t I? I’ve asked this into some Facebook groups that people are like, I feel like if I only have like a thousand subscribers, I only got a hundred subscribers. So I would feel like I’m selling, Oh, I feel like I’m being greedy. And I’m like, not necessarily like there’s people that want that next level of product or service or something more, you know, detailed or really breaking down a process or your individual attention.

Jesse Muench: (37:37)
Like people would gladly pay for you. It’d be happy. Um, and I think just people have this kind of fear with, with anything money related and asking people for money and it’s not evil. It doesn’t have to be. But, so let’s talk tactical about it. How do you actually, let’s say that you have an info product that you’re sending the link to it or something like that. How do you actually weave that in, in a way that isn’t destroying the expectation of value from that content? Where does it go? How do you pitch it? Yeah, so usually for me, I’ve got like two or three different, uh, free things that I’ll get people to sign up for an email list. So usually what I’ll do is like whatever the content is about what’s like relevant to this, what can help them take that to that next level?

Jesse Muench: (38:21)
What can help them get the results of what that video is about and take it to the next level, get it faster. You know, always ask yourself like the, what ties in with it. So an example would be like, I’ve got videos on how to improve your ball handling. So like I got a free ball handling workout that will help you in minutes. It’ll improve your athleticism and your ball handling at the same time. It only takes minutes to do, it’s already helped thousands players. I’m sure it’ll help you to just go here. Um, I’ve got another one for shooting, you know, so I’ve have a video that’s about how to improve your shooting of basketball at the end. I’ll say I’ve got a free workout for you. So I think it’s just a matter of figuring out like what’s this free thing that’s new, interesting.

Jesse Muench: (38:51)
Different, maybe goes a little more in depth because a full process, uh, gets in the results quicker or takes that result that they got from the video to that next level. And then for there it’s a lot easier for you to ask for that email and there’ll be more willing to give the email, especially after you’ve helped them with all the free content they got on YouTube. It’s more free stuff now. You’ve kind of gave them two really cool free things, maybe more if they’ve watched multiple YouTube videos. And now when you ask for the sale, you’re like, you know what, Jesse’s helped me out for years. Matt’s helped me out for years with these YouTube videos or months or you know, I’ve watched five of his videos and I got so much out of them. I’ve literally had people tell me that they bought my products because they’ve got so much value out of the free stuff.

Jesse Muench: (39:27)
Like it wasn’t even about the product. You know what I mean? And I think, you know, obviously you do want to make that product as good as you can, but if you can get them to take that next step onto that email list and then from there you can provide them, you know, different, you know, links to other YouTube videos. You can give them back to YouTube. You could take that and then say, okay, well I’ve got this sale going on, this product. Usually it’s 50 bucks, now it’s 25. Like, that’s a great tactic. Um, but you know, I look at the email list is like this way to build the relationship even further. Give them some sort of a exclusive content that I don’t put on YouTube. And from there, like it’s reciprocation. You give people good stuff and they’ll be willing to pay for even better stuff.

Matt Johnston: (40:06)
So let’s get even more specific here. What are we talking about when we’re trying to get people on our end in, in uh, into our email list? Are we talking about info card on screen, call to action. And in the description, typically w so I’ve switched this actually recently for a long time I had a end screen or I would put it into description, but what I found is like on a mobile device description, you have to click the button, open the description and get it to expand. Or sometimes they end screens, they don’t work all the time. YouTube didn’t kind of bug you with that lately. So what I’ve been doing is I’ll put it in the comment, the top comment, and I’ll pin it there because people, this is kind of a couple of things for you. People are number one are a lot more likely to just go to the comments on their own.

Jesse Muench: (40:46)
It’s easy, it’s pinned to the top, it’s front and center, and then it gets them down into the comments. So hopefully they’ll leave some comments and get some engagement on the video, which helps build that relationship with them, get them coming back to videos and helps, you know, with engagement for the YouTube algorithm, all that stuff. So that, I’ve been leaning a little bit more towards that, but I even then I’ll usually put it also in the description, the free gift or whatever. Also put it in the unscreened. I’ll also have an info card. Uh, typically, uh, I have found all those info cards, eh, they don’t work so good. They, they, cause you’ve got to get them to click to watch the info card and that percentage is usually really low. And then when the info card pops up, the percentage of people that actually click, one of the things in there is even lower. So I’ve leaned more towards typically comment and end screen and then description to some degree. This is

Matt Johnston: (41:34)
great. And that, and then you’re asking them, I mean, you’re actually asking them to subscribe or you can important key. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s huge. Yeah. Yeah.

Jesse Muench: (41:42)
I think a lot of PE people think like, well you know, they’ll just do this and they’ll just know it. Like I’ve got this free gift filled, we’ll check it out. Like, no, you’ve got to let them know it’s there. Like it’s crazy. Like how many, you know for me like with get handles, like I feel like you know, you can get in the mindset of like, you know, have everything that you have and it’s a common, I think mistake to assume that everybody else knows. No, they don’t know. You gotta let them know what you have to offer. So you can’t assume people are going to check out the comments and check out the link you have there. You can’t assume they’re going to go to the description. You can’t assume they’re going on the Instagram. Like anytime I have an unscreened I’ll be like click here and I’ll look and I’ll point and I’ll say it. And that makes a big difference. You know, even if I have like an arrow pop on the screen, like that’s better. But to get me verbally saying it and looking and pointing, I feel like is I know is much more powerful and it gets a higher click through rate than just having to kind of pop up there and passively having it there.

Matt Johnston: (42:30)
Yeah, I mean it’s very similar to, to what you might do doing. I mean, it’s sort of, it’s the same idea as a webinar. I mean, you front load massive amounts of value and then you come in with a call to action and you know, in this case it’s a relatively simple, you know, sign up for my email list. It’s, there’s not a lot of friction here. They know that they can back out at any time. Um, as long as you’re making the experience easy, putting them into a good sequence, it makes a whole lot of sense. For sure. Yeah, absolutely. Jesse, this is great. Thank you so much. Uh, I think we’re all going to be, uh, blowing up our YouTube channels now. But seriously, there are a lot of different camps about a lot of these things. And I also think it’s very hard often to find all of the tips that you need to crush this in one place. So I’m, I’m, I really think we’ve done that in this show, which I think is great for people. Where can they find out more about you?

Jesse Muench: (43:21)
Yeah, so they could check me out on YouTube is where I’m really trying to get people to grow my channel, um, and help more people. That’s are you on YouTube? Yeah, I got it two kind of three times with my wife not helping with her channel. Yeah. But, uh, it’s fair video marketing on YouTube, on YouTube, uh, got a lot of stuff on there that goes more in depth than some of the things. Get screen shares for some things, uh, tactics, tips was to come on top topics, you name it.

Matt Johnston: (43:47)
That’s great. Yeah, I highly recommend I’ll link to them in the show notes. I highly recommend that everybody check those out because one of the best ways when you’re, when you have a platform that has so much tactical stuff involved with it, one of the best ways is just to see who’s crushing it and try to emulate some of that and make it your own. So Jesse’s one of the best, so check him out and see what he’s doing there. Thank you so much for being here and for giving us all of this value. We really appreciate it. No problem. I appreciate you having me on, Matt. It’s been fun. All right. Thanks everybody for joining us on the video marketing podcast. Another great episode here today. If you got value from this, and I certainly hope you did, please do subscribe, leave a review and looking forward to seeing you next week. Cheers.

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