“Let them know why they need to watch this, make them hit that pain point that they’re having and let them know you’re going to solve it in that first 15 seconds. So it may be something like if you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel in 2019 and you have no idea where to get started, stick around because I’m giving you 10 easy steps to get started this weekend.”
Today’s guest is YouTube strategist, Trena Little. As you probably guessed, we’re chatting about how to utilize YouTube in your business. I heard about Trena from a mutual friend but I got the opportunity to meet her in person at a conference we recently spoke at. I’m glad I did because she knows her stuff. This is one of those episodes where you’ll want to have the notepad ready. Trena is an MBA graduate who has built the two YouTube channels of her own.
She served clients like Heather Crabtree, Think Creative Collective, The Contract Shop and Jessica Rasdall. She also speaks at various conferences about YouTube strategy. You’ll want to check out the show notes at daveyandkrista.com for the resources we mention during this episode. Trena provides a number of freebies to help people get their YouTube channel started.
Trena is an MBA graduate who has built two YouTube channels of her own, then turned to serve clients like Heather Crabtree, Think Creative Collective, The Contract Shop, and Jessica Rasdall—and shares YouTube expertise on stages like The Together Experience and Altitude Summit, while contributing to content partners like TubeBuddy. She helps entrepreneurs get their gifts, smarts, and personalities out in the world through the YouTube platform, encouraging them to tackle their fears, educating them to optimize YouTube videos, & growing their confidence every inch of the way.
Trena Little | Trena’s Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook
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“TL: Let them know why they need to watch this, make them hit that pain point that they’re having and let them know you’re going to solve it in that first 15 seconds. So it may be something like if you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel in 2019 and you have no idea where to get started, stick around because I’m giving you 10 easy steps to get started this weekend.”
[0:00:30.8] DJ: Welcome to the Brands That Book Show where we help creative service-based businesses build their brands and find more clients. I’m your host, Davey Jones.
[0:00:41.7] DJ: Today’s guest is YouTube strategist, Trena Little. As you probably guessed, we’re chatting about how to utilize YouTube in your business. I heard about Trena from a mutual friend but I got the opportunity to meet her in person at a conference we recently spoke at. I’m glad I did because she knows her stuff. This is one of those episodes where you’ll want to have the notepad ready. Trena is an MBA graduate who has built the two YouTube channels of her own.
She served clients like Heather Crabtree, Think Creative Collective, The Contract Shop and Jessica Rasdall. She also speaks at various conferences about YouTube strategy. You’ll want to check out the show notes at daveyandkrista.com for the resources we mention during this episode. Trena provides a number of freebies to help people get their YouTube channel started.
I’d like to hear from you about what kind of content you’d like to see on The Brands that Book Podcast as we move forward. I’d also like to know what episodes you’ve enjoyed most so far and why. Tell your feedback, head on over to the Davey and Krista facebook page and send us a message. Now, on to the episode.
[0:01:45.2] DJ: Well, I’m super excited to have you on the show today Trena, YouTube is something that we’ve been playing around with even at the beginning, when we started this podcast, we started a corresponding YouTube channel for it as well. It went down in flames. I wouldn’t say that but what I would say is that we have far more listeners on iTunes and other podcast players for this than we do a YouTube channel and then maybe that has to do with how people consume this kind of long form material.
I’m excited to dig in to all that with you today and I’ve heard so many good things about you from mutual friends like Vanessa Kynes who is on the podcast earlier this year and video is just something that I would like to do more with. There’s so much to talk about today.
[0:02:29.9] TL: Yeah, I can imagine, from video to YouTube to everything in between.
[0:02:33.9] DJ: Yeah, I’m excited to hear about your story about how you got started with YouTube just the little that I know about you and we got to meet each other at Creative Heart this year but didn’t have a chance really to chat all that much. How did you get into YouTube? I know that is sort of like around about way, right?
[0:02:50.0] TL: Yeah, there’s no real YouTube major in college and I don’t want to date myself but I graduated college before YouTube was even a thing and so when I was going through my masters in business, like, we didn’t even have any of that and stuff. I had my job out of college, I pretty much was bored to death, it was no fun at all and when I got pregnant with my first child, I was the first one in the group of friends to get pregnant.
I didn’t really know what was going on, what to expect and I somehow stumbled upon YouTube and started watching, mostly mom bloggers talking about their pregnancy updates. I found somebody who was a month ahead of me. So I started watching her updates and then my business brain clicked with my creative brain and I thought, I would literally buy anything that she told me to buy right now.
Everything she talked about in her baby registry, I was adding it to my list and I was wondering why weren’t more business doing this. I just decided to start my own YouTube channel and started creating a community and realized how instant the connection is on video because it’s kind of like you’re speaking to somebody, you see them, it’s like they’re there with you.
People started asking me how I did certain things on YouTube and it just kind of snowballed from there. I convinced my husband with a lot of promises that if I quit my job, I would make this work and so I officially left my job at the end of 2015 when my daughter was 10 months old and jumped head first at the beginning of 2016 and through ups and downs and rollercoasters with entrepreneur life, I’m still doing it.
[0:04:30.6] DJ: Well, what were you doing prior to YouTube?
[0:04:33.7] TL: Yeah, I worked for the federal government, there’s an army base here in our town and I worked there doing kind of human resources stuff but not really but kind of. It just was not my jam, it was not something that made me excited. When we would go on trips, when we would vacation, I was the person taking all the video and then splicing it all together and editing it so all of our friends that were across the country, we could share that with them on a YouTube video so we could all remember our vacations together.
I loved video editing so that’s kind of how it tied in to YouTube and started my own business.
[0:05:10.8] DJ: Yeah, that’s kind of crazy though because you just had a 10 month old at the time and I always talk with Krista, we just had our first jack who is about six months, almost exactly six months now and one of the things that I was talking about was with her recently was, would we have taken the same risks had we had Jack earlier on in our marriage? Because we were married for eight years before she got pregnant when it’s just the two of you, right?
It’s a little bit easier to wrap your mind around taking some risks but with a 10 month old, I mean, how did that conversation go over with you and your husband and were you confident that this YouTube thing was going to take off?
[0:05:48.5] TL: I was confident and my husband was skeptical because he’s a finance person but while I was off on maternity leave, there was like some issues taking maternity leave and then going back, it just wasn’t good. He saw how it was going to affect me if I kept going back to work. That’s kind of where it went and I don’t want to surprise you even more but with the 10 month old and the first year of business, we found out we were pregnant with a second child five months into business. It was really crazy.
[0:06:17.6] DJ: Yeah, I guess probably a hard lesson in productivity or making the most. I mean, that’s been one of the biggest adjustments is I was so naïve. I hesitated to even say this out loud but you know, Krista got pregnant and we were thinking about what life would be after having a child. I was just thinking, you know, in the beginning, they just – they sleep, they eat, you know, they have a little bit of awake time and that’s it and life would pretty much look similar to how it does now and Krista and I were always pretty disciplined people but life has changed in so many ways and so I was very wrong about that. That is crazy.
How’d you first started getting the clients with this new company as a YouTube strategist.
[0:06:57.8] TL: Yeah, a lot of people that were watching my mom videos started asking me questions and then I just started to find this creative entrepreneurial niche or community and facebook groups. Since people, I branched off of my mom’s YouTube channel and started a business channel where I talked about how to get started with equipment and like basics of YouTube channels.
People started talking about me in facebook groups because I became the authority figure so quickly because I was on video. I really attest it to being on video, people were able to connect for me, learn quicker from me and so any time people would ask a video question or a YouTube question and about five or six facebook groups that I was in, everyone was always tagging me.
It was pretty easy to just – once the people started rolling in, it was pretty easy to make it doable with clients from there because they felt like they knew me after watching a video and they could know right away whether they wanted to work with me or not.
[0:07:52.6] DJ: Yeah, I think this probably a good transition into what the maybe the advantages or benefits of YouTube are. Would you say that that’s one of the biggest benefits of being on video is just it’s more instant trust?
[0:08:05.8] TL: Huge, yeah. I mean, not only me but quite a few of my clients, they’re finding their qualified leads, the people that actually buy are coming from their YouTube videos because, I mean, obviously, we are not going to be somebody for everybody, we have an audience and we know that we’re going to connect with that audience and so being on video allows you really to skip that step of weeding out people that aren’t right for you and instantly connect with that person that’s going to purchase your package or your services or whatever it is that you’re selling.
[0:08:36.9] DJ: When somebody gets on YouTube, is that kind of the main benefit is you know, building trust with your audience? I’m sure there’s other benefits to being on YouTube as well but what expectation should people have from like things like advertising income? You know, I mean, there’s obviously channels out there, would that get their videos get maybe millions of views and I assumed that they make decent advertising revenue from those videos but you know, for the large majority of people getting on YouTube, what should their expectations be around the benefits of being on YouTube?
[0:09:06.5] TL: Yeah, I actually teach not to just focus on AdSense as your income. You should always have a business model off of YouTube because AdSense are not guaranteed. In the past two years, there has been what people refer to as Adpocalypse and so you can’t always count on the ad. I mean, my channel is small, it’s under 10k but it brings me enough qualified leads to have a full time business and as far as ad sense money that I’m getting per month is maybe $100 a month.
It’s nothing that I bank on. Use that video to really build my trust with people. I use those videos also now in newsletters and in funnels. As propel come in through often, if they don’t know I have a YouTube channel because I also have a Pinterest strategy and I show up in Google results, they are able to get to know me more through video with video that I’ve already done in my funnel when I link to videos.
[0:10:00.1] DJ: For YouTube especially, the video search engine and obviously owned by Google as well. Have you found increased search visibility through Google search results?
[0:10:11.3] TL: Actually, it used to be Pinterest was my number one external traffic source but now it’s Google and what’s amazing with that is on Google front page, in the search term, not only could you have a YouTube video show up which Google has always put the YouTube video towards the top of the page because Google values video but if you embed it into a blog post, I have multiple keywords where I have not only my YouTube video but my blog post on the front page search results. That’s two results on the front page.
[0:10:39.5] DJ: Yeah, that’s awesome, I think what’s incredible about that is that I see Pinterest as a channel with a ton of opportunity even now. I mean, so many people use Pinterest but I still think there’s a lot more or a lot of opportunity there whereas you know, the search result pages are a little bit crowded, you know?
Maybe there’s a little bit more competition there. That’s awesome that you’re seeing so much referral traffic from Google now and I’ve noticed that in the search result pages as well is that YouTube videos are going to show up right at the top of the pages and they’re really going to promote those over something like just a text blog post. That’s fascinating.
As you got started with your YouTube channel, I think one of the hold up’s for me for YouTube is the simple act of recording a video and then being happy with it and this is coming from somebody like you know, I speak on stage in front of people, I like that, you know? I like talking, Krista would tell you that I very much like talking, right?
Hence the podcast. But at the same time, for whatever reason, when I get in front of video, I go to perfectionist mode, you know? I kind of over analyze everything from how I look t to how I sound and then I find myself re-recording and re-recording to the point where I’m just like, you know, screw this, I’m done with it. Whatever it is, doesn’t get done. Have you always just been kind of naturally comfortable on video?
[0:11:58.1] TL: It’s not been naturally comfortable, it’s just done, it’s better than perfect and I leave my very first videos up. My mom channel, my very first video, the lighting was terrible, I used a DSLR camera that I didn’t k now how to use, I borrowed it from my mom, it was out of focus, I was – I thought the personality too. Those are absolutely cringeworthy and terrible but I leave them up because it shows you where you got a start. You just got to rip the band aid off and do it because the only way you get better is doing it over and over.
I find that you are your own biggest critic and so even though you keep filming it over, you think it’s terrible, so many people, most people won’t even notice anything. For me, I’m always concerned about – I have bottom crooked teeth and so I was always concerned and wrapped up on that. I’ve never even had a single person mention that in a video. Again, we get into our own heads and we went with this perfect background but people actually connect better with somebody who is more authentic and allows them to just –
Allows you to just be more you. I saw a change when I first started, I tried to be very perfect and speak the words right and shoot and re-shoot and I didn’t connect. Once I just let go and started talking with my hands and started being more me, that’s when my channel started taking off, that’s where more inquiries came in, that’s when the community started to be built is because I let myself get over that perfection and just let myself be on video.
[0:13:29.3] DJ: Yeah, I’ve noticed definitely. We were recording a bunch of videos right now for one of our courses and I’m finally at a point where I can do things in one or two takes, you know? Just get through it. I feel like it was a long process for me to get there but at the end of the day, it was just a matter of doing it over and over again and keeping with it.
With that said, I’d still love to you know, get that YouTube channel going, kind of the way that I envision it going. But might be a good time to talk about equipment. What kind of equipment do you need to get started with a YouTube channel?
[0:14:03.6] TL: Yeah, the phones right now have great quality cameras, that’s a great place to start. One thing that I would do is to invest in first would be lighting. Also, these webcams, a lot of webcams are perfect for YouTube too, you can record them on your laptop or whatever you’re using but lighting is kind of the key as photographers, you know, lighting’s going to make or break your shot or the quality of the camera.
One of the easiest things to do is get on amazon or go to Lows and buy daylight balance lightbulbs and just stick them in lights like lamps and get them close to you. That’s the cheapest way to get better lighting. With a phone. I say to get, there’s a Rode Lavalier mic that’s under $100, that’s a great way to improve your audio quality, not only if you’re shooting video for YouTube but again, if you’re going to go live on facebook or on Instagram, you instantly have it better audio quality with a microphone that plugs in to your phone and that’s –
I mean, that’s an investment of maybe under 150 dollars with the lighting and a microphone using your phone. We get wrapped up in all this equipment and if you buy all this equipment and you worry about having to set it up every single time, you’re not going to do it. My best advice to people is just start with something simple to just start going.
[0:15:20.4] DJ: Sure. Yeah, it’s crazy, I mean, just the – I have the external video camera for the computer here, it’s like a Logitech one, it might even be a hundred dollars, this Yeti mic that I use for podcasting, maybe $100. Not super expensive to get started but like you said, if you have a phone, you know, most everyone does now. It’s probably an iPhone or an Android equivalent and the video you can get out of those things is crazy good.
What about like editing the video, what does that workflow look like for you? How much time should people be spending on editing and again, going back to the struggles I had initially was you know, I wanted to edit and make it absolutely look perfect and I never got there and so it never got released.
[0:16:03.1] TL: Yeah, actually, when you’re doing a YouTube video that’s a process that goes in place prior to you even start filming. Knowing what the title of your video is and kind of scripting it out so that you can follow the proper format that works well on YouTube. By scripting it and knowing exactly what you’re going to say, I don’t mean you have to read the script word for word but you know where the video is going, that’s going to save you so much time in editing because it’s not just you sitting in front of the camera rambling and you’re trying to pick like the best pieces of it.
I actually tell people, when they do script it out, just remember a couple of lines at a time and take a break and then read the next couple of lines like take a breather and then it will be a lot easier to cut and splice it altogether because jumps cuts are great to keep people’s attention on videos. Instead of just doing one big take of you talking everything out, just do a couple of sentences at a time which makes shooting easier, editing easier.
I use final cut pro and there are a bunch of different places out there that you can buy plug in’s and I have some editing plugins that have text, certain type of text that you may see or color overlays or transitions. Even color grading, plugins as well so that makes my editing really easy but the goal to make editing easy is really have your video planned in advance so it’s taking less time to shoot it and a lot less time to edit it.
[0:17:27.6] DJ: I want to talk to you in a second about planning your video. Something you mentioned now were jump cuts, something to keep people’s attention. For people who aren’t familiar with YouTube or video, what is a jump cut?
[0:17:39.9] TL: A jump cut is where you cut the video and then add the next video. Let’s say I’d be talking right now and then when you jump right into the next section without me even pausing. That just keeps people engaged because there’s a study out there now that human’s audience retention is like seven seconds now, it’s around a goldfish’s attention.
Having those jump cuts just keeps the eye engaged and minimizes those pauses that people might get bored over.
[0:18:07.7] DJ: Okay, so interesting. Also so sad that our attention is around the same attention span as a goldfish’s. Let’s go back to talking about planning the YouTube video. What is that process look like, are you thinking keywords, things like that beforehand? Is that what goes into planning?
[0:18:24.7] TL: Yeah, there’s a lot that goes into YouTube but what YouTube is really looking for with the video is actually audience retention. Kind of the little golden number we look for in video to see channel, start to take off is if you can get 50% of people who click on your video to watch to the end consistently, that’s when YouTube’s going to start suggesting your videos more and when YouTube suggests your videos more, those videos get more watched time than if you would show up in search and like say rank your videos in search.
The ranking videos usually get less watch time than suggested videos from YouTube. That’s why it’s really important to plan your content out in advance, to make sure it’s valuable and watch your audience wants to see. What I basically do is I just go to YouTube and I use YouTube search sometimes I’ll go into the google incognito window so that YouTube doesn’t know my previous search history because YouTube wants me to watch as much video as possible there, they’re going to put videos in front of me that they think I’m going to watch.
My search results are going to be a little skewed just going into my YouTube account and searching. I’ll go into an incognito window and just start typing in the idea I’m thinking in YouTube search and it’s going to try to pre-populate the key words and that’s what people are actually searching on YouTube for.
That’s a goldmine for a video idea. If I just search, how to start a YouTube channel, there’s probably five different video ideas, how to start a YouTube channel with zero subscribers, how to start a YouTube channel and grow fast. Those are all the different video ideas and those are actual wording and phrases that people are searching on YouTube.
Planning that out in advance, really helps you make sure your video will be successful on YouTube.
[0:20:07.9] DJ: That’s so interesting because I mean, it’s very similar to the way that I would tell somebody to do keyword research, right? If they were writing a blog post or if they were you know, for search engine optimization, you could go into Google, you could look at you know, the bottom of every search results page, there’s a list of related searches, that’s sometimes a good way to generate some keyword ideas and then the same thing. If you go into Google and you just use the auto populate.
But like you said, you’re going to want to use incognito window and that’s when people are checking their own rankings, right? The often don’t use incognito window but Google knows that who you are, what website is associated with you so they’re just going to deliver your website higher than otherwise would be.
Supper fascinating. A lot of similarities between how you should do planning for just writing a blog post. About planning though, you talk about audience retention, is it important to even know what video you’re going to do next in your content calendar so to speak so that you have somewhere to send people either at the end of that video, so that corresponds with other stuff that you’re doing?
[0:21:12.8] TL: Yes, this is kind of my big strategy on YouTube is to plan in series or playlists. Playlists are huge on YouTube and that’s kind of the way you can get people to binge your content, Netflix style. When I’m thinking about my strategy, what my content is coming up, I’m thinking about five to six videos that I can put into a playlist.
For example, I had a client come to me. She wanted to do a video on how to onboard a new client and so that’s great, let’s make that the playlist and what are the other videos so we could put into that so you can get them to have in those first three videos. What to put in an onboarding questionnaire? The best client management tool, what are those easy wins you can get to them in video four and five, maybe you go a little deeper explaining your process and what it looks like so they can connect with you and that final video, is your sales video so to speak.
Not necessarily to sell something but your goal in that final video is to send them off of YouTube to get your opt in or to check out your packages and so that’s for a business, that’s probably the best strategy is to think in playlist, your first two to three videos are going to be those discoverable videos and those quick wins like get new people to your channel and then those next two videos could be those community videos that allow you to show a little more of your personality.
Let them get to know you, then not final video really sends them to where you need them to go off of YouTube because it’s so important to minimize the amount of time you send people off YouTube. If you let YouTube just suggest more of your content.
[0:22:45.1] DJ: Sure, that makes so much sense but do you – through those initial videos, would you ever even include something like a mailing list opt in or a call to action other than going to the next video or you really try to keep people on for two to three videos without sending them off?
[0:23:01.5] TL: Yeah, I do have my opt in in the description box link but every – my goal for every single video for like the first four or five is to watch the next video. If I can prove to YouTube that I’m keeping people watching more of my content, they’re going to suggest it to more people and that’s going to get me more leads.
If I’m constantly sending people off of YouTube. YouTube’s basically going to burry my content and they’re not going to suggest it to anybody. That’s why it’s pretty important to think of your strategy in advance and think when those sales videos are going to be so that I can rest your content up into a boat and get people into your list.
[0:23:36.1] DJ: When you come up with these series or playlist, do you publish all your content at once or do you come with these four to six videos or however long the playlist is going to be and then publish them all at once or is it like, do you drip them week to week, what does that look like?
[0:23:49.6] TL: Yeah, YouTube wants consistent new content so I post on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. The first video maybe, I will end my video in kind of a generic type format where I’ll say, if you want to learn more about how to use YouTube in your business strategy, make sure you click that video that’s on your screen right now and YouTube has end cards that you can add that send them and for the first one or two videos, I will add the best for viewer option in the end screen because YouTube again is going to put the best video that you have that that person is going to watch.
Then, the rest would be you know, make sure you watch the rest of this playlist, click the playlist that’s on your screen right now. Then you can always go back once you have a full playlist and change those end screens and update them to the playlist if you want.
[0:24:35.0] DJ: Yeah, these end screens are the ones you find within like the YouTube editor, right? Like when you upload a video and they really are easy to use, you know? We really just select them and drag them in and play somewhere where you want them to be. That’s interesting hearing how you use those end cards. Real quick about the frequency in which you post.
You post on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. Your business model obviously is very much around YouTube. Being a YouTube strategist, what would you recommend is kind of the minimum amount that people could post to YouTube but still get benefit, would that be once a week?
[0:25:06.8] TL: Yeah, I’d say once a week and spend that extra time, instead of posting quantities of videos, post quality, if you’re posting one video, really make sure it’s hitting that audience for attention goal out of the park. Maybe when you post your first couple of videos and you’re testing out YouTube, study that analytics, that audience retention graph and figure out where are people leaving. Allow the time so what you were probably seeing by posting these podcast, you were probably seeing a significant drop in audience retention in the first five seconds.
I’m going to guess you probably saw about at least 50 or 60% of people left in the first five seconds. Because people come to YouTube for a specific type of content just like if you posted an Instagram photo on Pinterest or you posted a Pinterest photo. Every platform has its own unique type of content.
It’s the same if you’re taking Facebook Live over on YouTube. What that’s going to signal to YouTube is this significant drop off that your content isn’t quality content and they are just going to start baring your content again.
[0:26:08.6] DJ: Yeah and for us, one of the things was just the sheer difference and the amount of people who were listening to the podcast via iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, whatever podcast player versus YouTube. How you edit audio and how you edit video are very different. With video, yeah you can chop it up but if you chop it up too much, it looks funny right? Whereas with audio you have a little bit more flexibility in how you chop it up.
So there are a lot of issues there and I want to talk, there’s two things that I want to mention here or I want to stop and talk to you about that I don’t want to get lost in it so to speak because I feel like it is one of those things we totally could. Earlier you had mentioned different plugins for final cut pro. Final Cut Pro is what we use as well. There is so many other things out there that people can use and if you just have a Mac, I think iMovie is the built in Mac one.
But for Final Cut, would you be willing to share some of the plugins that you use. You don’t even have to share them now but if maybe I can get a list from you for the shownotes that’s some of your favorites.
[0:27:10.0] TL: Yeah, so I mean the main one I use is called VFX Nut and I know there’s other ones out there that’s basically the only one I bought from is VFX Nut and I mean they have a packages. They have a YouTuber package that comes with a whole bunch of different types of text plugins that you can have the fancy text instead of just what final cut offers.
[0:27:32.0] DJ: Okay, good to know and I will put that on the shownotes and I didn’t want to forget about that and I wanted people to know that they could go to the shownotes to define that and –
[0:27:41.1] TL: And that does make your editing a lot easier because once you set it up once on one of your videos so you get the coloring right, the font right, the size right then it is just copying it from video to video and so that makes it a lot quicker and easier to get that text. So if you are doing step one and you want to have a solid background with a fancy text come out then you just have to copy that to the next video.
[0:28:02.5] DJ: Yeah that sounds so easy. That’s great. The other thing I want to talk to you about was the length that your content that your video should be on YouTube and so again, using this podcast as an example, our episodes at minimum they are about 30 minutes but more than likely they are 45 or an hour. Does that kind of content does not do well on YouTube like are people really looking for shorter videos or what’s your experience?
[0:28:27.7] TL: There is no secret to length of video. I know there has been a myth going around about YouTube videos. It needs to be 10 minutes because that is what YouTube wants but what YouTube is looking for is that audience retention. Now you do have to balance that with watch time minutes because again, the more – if you are thinking about YouTube as a game, you want to accumulate as many coins as possible, right?
And so all the minutes you accumulate are your coins that you are accumulating but then if you get 50% of people to watch the end, think of that as a pot of coins and so that is even more valuable. So you’ve got to balance the length of the video with how long people are watching. So those videos need to be value packed the entire length so that people are watching. That is when YouTube is going to start putting more of your content out.
[0:29:11.1] DJ: Okay so it doesn’t necessarily have to be 10 minutes. It could be three to five minutes as long as people are watching and maybe going onto the next video and then theoretically, it could be 20 plus minutes as long as people are staying tuned in.
[0:29:23.6] TL: Yeah, once you start hitting say you are hitting 60, 70% audience retention on a five minute video then that’s a signal to you, let’s make it a little bit longer and see if we can get and accumulate more watch time minutes. For me I am not really thinking about the time when I am shooting my videos. I know the content, I know what points I want to cover. So some of my videos may be three minutes.
I think Monday’s video was a longer one and it was 12 minutes and so I am not really thinking the time going into it. I am just thinking about the content I want to share.
[0:29:52.9] DJ: All right and the last thing I am going to ask you about on how you record and publish your videos, we are going to talk about optimization here in a little bit but how much time from start to finish would you say that you spend on a YouTube video. How much time should people account for? I know in the beginning it is probably going to be a little bit longer but in general, what does that process look like from start to finish creating a single YouTube video including getting it published and shared?
[0:30:20.2] TL: Right, so first I would say doing a single YouTube video at a time is not a good idea. I do it in batches. So I have two kids and I know I have two days a week that are kid free. So what I do is whether the kids are here or not I plan about three or four hours to research about 12 videos because I am going to shoot 12 videos in one day and that’s three months’ worth of content. So I take about three to four hours to plan out my content.
Doing that keyword research and then scripting and then when I shoot video, I am shooting from about 9 AM until noon or one and I am shooting all 12 of those videos. I have to do my hair and make up to be on video and it is not a hair and makeup say every day here and so I know if I am doing that, I’m getting as many videos done as possible. So shooting video it is going to get easier and easier the more you do it and so the first one may be a little bit cold and the second one you are getting warmer.
So instead of just having a cold video every single time you shoot a video or something comes up and you can’t shoot a video that week, it’s good to have them in your back pocket and then I will edit in a batch too because again, your brain set is in editing mode and you can easily copy and paste all of those pre-sets that you put in and it makes things so much quicker. So I actually suggest that you batch these content and it will go so much quicker.
[0:31:42.1] DJ: Yeah that’s great. That is what I do with this podcast actually. You know I have three interviews today because it would just be maybe too much to try to schedule interviews throughout the entire week and then figure out a time to get those processed and so on. So I think that is excellent advice. I am not as good as you though in terms of planning like three months out. So I think if I can get a month out I am in pretty good shape.
But I do want to move into best practices for YouTube. I know you have a number of dos and don’ts for us. So where do you want to start?
[0:32:11.5] TL: We’ll go with the dos and then we’ll go to the don’ts and so the first do is you have to really think about your thumbnail also. So I know we start when I talked about how I researched my videos a lot of the time I am looking at the thumbnails that people are using and that is the little image that goes with your video. That may make or break your video whether that thumbnail grabs people’s attention or not and the new YouTube analytics.
It is called the studio beta, they now give you an analytic for your click through rate and so that helps you determine whether that thumbnail and your title entice people to click because you are going to see how many impressions your video got versus how many click throughs and so what I suggest doing is always taking a video of yourself at least. People connect with humans, people connect with the whites of your eyes and so I have been testing this a little bit.
And I have been noticing for more female targeted videos, it helps if your videos – if your thumbnail shows more of your personality instead of a solid background. So I have been doing more thumbnails of me sitting at my desk and I have seen a higher click through rate. Also more Instagram-y or Pinterest type of photos for thumbnails are doing well for female creators or female targeted videos. I am just take it that’s our mindset right now, Pinterest, Instagram.
[0:33:31.7] DJ: And those include your face like you said, you at your desk or something like that.
[0:33:36.6] TL: Yeah just trying to show possibly what you are talking about. So if I am talking about power sheets or simplified planner, maybe it’s me sitting at my desk writing or maybe it’s me showing that planner just so they can get an idea of what it’s about. Highly saturated, sharp images do well and also branding your image somehow. So for me, I have a little pink triangle in the bottom left hand corner. So if they watch one of my videos and then they go over to the suggested videos.
After they are done watching my video my thumbnail stand out with that little pink tab on the side that gets them to click to watch another video of mine if they enjoyed the one they want. So making sure you brand it somehow as well.
[0:34:15.2] DJ: And is there any text overlay on the videos as well like the title of the video or?
[0:34:20.2] TL: So you would want to try to test some text. If you put text on it, it should not just reiterate the title. It should just pull out three or four words that really describe what the video was about or something that teases the story or the value that they’re going to learn in that video.
[0:34:38.0] DJ: Okay, really interesting and to go back to what you are saying earlier about click through and impressions, right? An impression would just be somebody seeing that result where does that click?
[0:34:47.5] TL: Yeah insert and suggested in the home feature like those different places.
[0:34:51.6] DJ: Versus the click through which would be actually somebody clicking on that result and I assume that for YouTube, it’s similar to how a Google search result would work and you can see this information for Google search results and the Google search console how many times, how many impressions a keyword has or your site has for a keyword versus how many people actually click through and I am assuming that click through rate is going to be one of those factors for ranking, is that right?
[0:35:18.2] TL: Yeah, again YouTube is looking at a lot. It is looking for how long people are watching your videos, they are looking at your session start time and length like how long are you keeping people on YouTube too and so it is looking at a bunch of different things.
[0:35:30.8] DJ: Awesome. So what is the next do?
[0:35:33.1] TL: Then the next do is titles. We always think of titles last. I know a lot of people think the title is last. I would know your title before you even write your content. Knowing your title is really going to help you craft your video to ensure when people click on your video that’s what they are going to see. A lot of times that causes the drop off and audience retention is because you created this title and you thought it was an awesome title.
But you crafted it after you did the video and you just fit it in the video box but if you do the title first, that really helps you craft your content to keep people watching because the first five to 15 seconds of your video should be your hook. The way you are going to entice people and you’ve got to pull in the title somehow in that first five to 15 seconds to ensure people the video that they clicked on is the video they’re actually going to be watching and the value they’re going to be getting.
[0:36:23.9] DJ: Okay, awesome and I want to jump ahead if you have a do around hooks.
[0:36:28.3] TL: Okay, yeah sure. I can do a hook, yeah.
[0:36:31.2] DJ: Because I was just wondering what a hook look like, are you basically teasing content and then going to the front, what does it look like?
[0:36:39.0] TL: Yeah, so it is basically the first 15 seconds of your video and a lot of people may open the video saying, “Hey guys, this is Trena. Welcome to my channel.” But what you want to do is turn the knife a little bit and let them know why they need to watch this, make them hit that pain point that they are having and let them know you’re going to solve it in that first 15 seconds. So maybe something like, “If you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel in 2019 and you have no idea where to get started, stick around because I am giving you 10 easy steps to get started this weekend.”
So they know they are getting 10 easy steps, they know they’re going to be able to get started this weekend and they have that pain point. They want to start a YouTube channel but they have no idea to get started. So being able to incorporate all of that into that first 15 seconds will increase your audience retention and will that people watching your video longer.
[0:37:28.1] DJ: Okay that’s awesome and would you include any intro to your channel after the hook? So you basically the hook and then the introduction like your typical, “Hey I am Trena and this is my channel.” Yeah.
[0:37:41.3] TL: So the next, I will just flow into the next do and it is a YouTube video format. So the YouTube video format looks like this: you have your hook and then you have a branded intro. If you do or don’t so like the graphic or the music or whatever and that should be max three seconds. Three seconds that’s it because again, we got short attention span and it is going to look like an advertisement for people and they are not going to stick around.
They don’t care how pretty your logo is but you just want to reiterate your value proposition of your channel and who you are. So three seconds and then you open it with your personal intro so hook branded intro, personal intro, say your name and the value proposition of your channel. So for me I say, “Hi, I’m Trena. On this channel I help creative entrepreneurs get on YouTube to grow their business.” Very to the point because by 30 seconds you’ve got to get to that content.
Especially people who are brand new to your channel, they don’t care who we are. They have that pain point that is causing them to click on that video. You’ve got to get to the content and then you have your content and then you wrap up with your call to action which is different per video.
[0:38:44.2] DJ: Awesome and I love your introduction because it is very clear. Like that value proposition is very clear and right away you understand what it is that you’re offering people in general. So do you have any more do’s for us or are we jumping into don’ts?
[0:38:57.6] TL: Yeah, I think that is a good enough dos. I am going to start fire hosing people with all of these information and they’re going to be like, “Where do I begin?” So let’s just do some don’ts. So my biggest don’t and my biggest pet peeve I mentioned it a little bit is taking your live videos and putting it on YouTube. Just because people are on YouTube for a different reason and for a different experience. You can use YouTube live which is a great piece to incorporate into your content strategy.
But one thing that you want to do with your YouTube live thumbnails is have somewhere on there that it is a live video. So whether you have a little red record button that says live just so people know going into it when they click on that video, it is a replay of a live video but again, Facebook videos are totally different because you want to engage with people and talk with people and so they don’t work. I have tried it with clients, they don’t work.
So don’t do Facebook lives on YouTube. You can put them on unlisted and use them on your website if you want. By the way, they are not going out to your whole YouTube channel and your whole YouTube universe if you do it unlisted.
[0:40:04.9] DJ: So basically that is a setting that you would chose after you upload the video?
[0:40:08.4] TL: Correct.
[0:40:09.0] DJ: And then that way you can embed it wherever you want but it is not taking away from both the value that you offer on your channel and then also probably aesthetically too.
[0:40:19.5] TL: Yeah.
[0:40:20.1] DJ: Okay, awesome.
[0:40:21.3] TL: The other big don’t I have is don’t try to be something for everyone. So a lot of the times I get people that come to me they’re like, “Well I don’t really have a niche. I want to talk about this and this and it is not going to work.” People need to have a reason to subscribe to your channel. So for me, the reason why people subscribe to my channel is because they wanted to grow their business. It is very specific and that is going to cause them to subscribe.
If you are doing planning videos and you like cooking videos and you like to talk about your business, people are confused and they don’t know why they need to subscribe to your video. So don’t try to be a jack of all trades on YouTube.
[0:40:57.3] DJ: Okay, awesome and what other don’ts do you have for us?
[0:41:00.6] TL: Don’t just go into YouTube without a plan. Have a plan, have a content plan. Again YouTube really loves consistency and so if you can shoot your videos upfront and have videos in your pocket so that you know you can have one live every Tuesday, the more you can incorporate your live posting schedule the day your video goes live into your audience, the better it is going to help you grow a YouTube channel because if you guys are uploading a video on Tuesdays at noon, your audience will be like, “Great, it is Tuesdays at noon, Davey and Krista have a new video up, I am going to grab my lunch and watch their video.”
And so the more views you get in that video is live in that first 24 hours the more valuable you are to YouTube and the more they are going to suggest more of that video to more people. So that’s why it is really important to be consistent and have a game plan going into YouTube.
[0:41:49.5] DJ: Okay, awesome. I feel like that’s definitely a mistake that I made in the past when it comes to YouTube. I just go with the share quantity of like I am just going to put up as many tutorials as I can. So I do want to talk about optimization here with you unless there is something else that you wanted to particularly –
[0:42:05.1] TL: No, that’s good.
[0:42:06.3] DJ: Okay, awesome. So definitely want to talk about optimization here. Before I jump into that, subscribers versus something like retention rate. I’m sure that all contributes somehow to what videos are shown or just ranking in general like on Instagram, one might say that it is not so much how many followers you have as it is the engagement you have with those followers, right? Not to say that not having generally one follows the other.
If people are engaging with your Instagram account, generally people are going to follow that Instagram account as well. So I assume that that is sort of true with YouTube as well like how important is it to build subscribers but really how do you weigh that against some of the other things that you look at when you are looking at the metrics for YouTube?
[0:42:52.1] TL: Yeah, I mean numbers are basically a vanity metric. It is not making you money no matter how many subscribers you have. At this point in time I am under 10K on my YouTube channel. That is a very small channel for the niched YouTube educators but it converts. It converts for me and so I am actually focused on getting people to watch more of your videos than to say, “Subscribe to this video,” because the more you can get people to watch the more likely they’re probably going to subscribe anyways because they’re going to start liking you.
And they’ll be like, “I want to make sure I get all of her videos. So I am going to go ahead and subscribe,” and so it is more so the audience retention. I mean YouTube really understands how we work and so they know people are watching your video to the end that you have quality content and that channel is going to keep people watching and so they’re going to push more and more of your content to more people and that is ultimately higher on to build more subscribers.
[0:43:47.0] DJ: Okay awesome and I think that is good to clarify because with any given channel I think you know whether it is email subscribers or whether it is an Instagram account. If you have lots of people following those accounts or subscribed to those accounts but none of them convert like you say then it doesn’t matter. It is just of any metric so watching how people engage with your content along the way I think is probably –
I mean it certainly is more important for a lot of these other channels that we talked about on the show. So good to know that it is similar for YouTube as well. So we have a video, we’ve posted it, what are some of the things that we are going to do to optimize that video so that after we’re done sharing about it via our other platforms that maybe get some evergreen traffic.
[0:44:32.2] TL: Yeah, so a lot of times people talk about metadata and leaving all of this special metadata and YouTube us at the point now where it knows what your video is about when you post it and so as far as adding a title that really proposes the value or pitches a story of your video, having that custom thumbnail, writing about a two paragraph summary of that video in the description box using keywords, using your tags.
So tags are like keywords and YouTube just using your tags to describe that video. So if I am talking about how to grow a YouTube channel, I am not getting really fancy with these tags. My tags are just how to grow a YouTube channel, grow a YouTube channel, how to start a YouTube channel, grow a new YouTube channel, just those types of tags a lot of people get hung up on having the perfect metadata but YouTube nowadays knows what your video is about.
Adding cards, so cards is another thing you can add to your video and when you are just getting started adding them evenly spaced throughout your video but once you start getting some metrics back on when people are leaving based on your audience retention, potentially add a card about five seconds before people start leaving. So you suggest another – it’s like suggesting another video to them.
[0:45:45.9] DJ: It is such a great hack. Anytime I’m just adding cards to the end and there’s really no rhyme or reason. I mean sometimes there is, sometimes there’s a very clear next step but often times because like you have told us, we should have a plan and I didn’t have a plan. It was just whatever is next. So that is really I love how you are using the metrics there to figure out, “Hey I am going to go back and I am going to add those cards.”
And those are something you can add since that is in the YouTube editor stuff, you don’t have to re-record the video to do that.
[0:46:13.8] TL: No, yeah and then the other one is getting them transcribed. So YouTube does have an automatic one but it’s not great. So I use the service rev.com and they’ll do transcriptions for a dollar a minute and why I love this is because it links to your YouTube channel. So once you purchase the captions it takes about an hour or two and you automatically have custom captions on YouTube and that is going to help your audience retention.
Because a lot of us like to read as we are hearing, as we are watching what they are saying and so that increases your audience retention, also the dev community and you can take that caption that they create, download it and upload it to Facebook. If you upload your YouTube video natively to Facebook so that is how I repurpose. I go from YouTube to Facebook and then upload that YouTube video natively to Facebook and add those captions that I paid for to that Facebook video.
[0:47:08.4] DJ: You could also use that almost like a blog post. You might go in and change it up a little bit because how you write is maybe a little different than how you speak but that is interesting. I have seen Rev. So we have used in the past Temi, I think that’s how you say it which is it’s the same company but it’s their cheap brand you know? So it is like 10 cents a minute. So if you are on a budget that is a good one to check out.
The downside though is Rev I believe they run it through their software but then they also have humans check it right? So it comes back with nearly 100% accuracy I assume whereas Temi basically you’re just running it through their software.
So you’ll have to go back in and make a bunch of updates but if you are looking to save a couple of dollars, it is a good way to do that and get captions but they also don’t have a direct connection as far as I know to YouTube like Rev does but if you are only doing a six minute video it is not –
[0:48:02.2] TL: Yep, six minutes a week, right? It’s not –
[0:48:02.4] TL: Six minute a week, yeah.
[0:48:03.6] DJ: See, I was transcribing these podcasts, you know? Which are an hour, you know? All of a sudden you’re spending $60 just to get it transcribed. Now, I have this service that does it that edits and all that stuff too as well. Rev, for something like the podcast gets a little pricey. That’s awesome.
You know, I got to imagine that people are going to be first of all, they’re going to, I bet people are taking notes. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, that’s okay, don’t let that stop you because I know that you have resources already available via things like Trello, that actually break up everything we talked about, it’s all laid out nice and neat. Can you talk about where people can find some of these resources if they wanted to get started?
[0:48:46.2] TL: Yeah, I have the YouTube Roadmap launch. It walks you through 10 steps, it helps you figure out that value proposition and takes you along the steps of setting up your YouTube channel and getting it ready.
That’s at my website, trenalittle.com/roadmap and then if you’re really ready to get a workflow in place and you just want to copy slate what I have. I have a Trello board that walks you through every single process. I think it’s at over 50 checkpoints so I’m a checklist person, I love being able to check things off a checklist so it takes you through the research phase. Here are the five checklist you need to do in the research phase. Then you go into the scripting phase, here’s your checklist, here’s your scripting template.
It takes you through every process with all each checklist that you need to do for that process and that’s at trenalittle.com/workflow.
[0:49:37.3] DJ: Okay, awesome. I’m jotting this down real quick because you’ll be able to – if you go to the shownotes for this episode, we will have those resources listed out so that you can go directly to Trena’s website, download those things, get access to that kind of stuff and then also find her YouTube channel as well.
You know, if you are interested in starting a YouTube channel and again, I think that there’s just so many opportunities there. You know, it’s going to take a little practice getting started but YouTube Pinterest, podcasting, I think there’s just so much opportunity there because it’s not as ubiquitous as blogging and I’m pro-blogging. I don’t think blogging is dead or any of that nonsense like that but I just think that it’s probably easier to cut through the noise if you know, in starting a YouTube channel because percentage wise, business owners, you know, there’s probably a 90% chance that a business has a blog but do they have a YouTube channel? You know, it’s extra way I think to get search visibility.
[0:50:33.1] TL: Yeah, I don’t know what the most recent statistic was but in 2017 it was like 9% of small businesses were on YouTube and so I’m not sure what it was this year. You can kind of cut through the noise like you said a bit on YouTube.
[0:50:44.5] DJ: Yeah, even if that double, even if it’s 20% now, even if it’s 45% now. I guarantee you that the number is far lower than the people who have a blog. You know, we could keep talking, I’m going to start wrapping it up here. Again, just speaking of audience retention and things like that. Anyways, Trena, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast here. I can’t wait to implement the things that we talked about and are there any other places that people can connect with you beyond your website and YouTube channel?
[0:51:14.4] TL: Yeah, I do a lot of Instagram stories so I will share a lot of the times when I’m batch recording so what that looks like, the stack of clothes I have on the floor that I’m changing into and so that’s at Instagram.com/trena_little.
[0:51:29.5] DJ: All right, awesome. Well, thank you so much.
[0:51:31.7] TL: Yeah, thank you.
[0:51:36.1] DJ: Thanks for tuning in to the Brands that Book Show. If you enjoy this episode, please consider subscribing and leaving a review in iTunes. For shown otes and other resources, head on over to daveyandkrista.com.