When you see this article, I will have released 52 videos on my channel. That’s the equivalent of a video every single week. And the way I got here was by releasing two videos every single week for the last 26 weeks. Pretty crazy, right? In this article, we’re going to dig into five lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Aside from being relatable content for fellow creators, I think there might be a business or life takeaway that you’ll also be able to gather from this in case you’re not one.
Lesson #1: Planning is paramount.
The first big lesson I’ve learned on YouTube is the importance of planning. Without a good plan it’s really hard for you to be successful over a sustained time period on YouTube. So it was really important for me to make sure that I had a ton of content ideas that I could queue up in advance so that I wouldn’t have potential writer’s block or just creator’s block when it came to actually filming these videos.
From my past experiences of building organic traffic for different websites, I knew the importance of intersecting, not only the ideas I had personally, but also the ideas that I knew would be discoverable by YouTube. In other words, if there wasn’t already existing demand for that topic that I wanted to talk about, then I wouldn’t make a video about it.
And I think this is one of the mistakes that a lot of new YouTube make. They just make content for the sake of making content, as opposed to being intentional about the content they’re creating. When it comes to planning out my content, I started my channel out on a Trello board, but then migrated it into Notion once I discovered that tool.
Notion is a great way for you to organize through a Kanban view, all the different video ideas you have, as well as to work them through different phases of production. I use Notion not only as a hub for all my future video ideas, but also to share with my virtual assistant and my video editor so that we can stay on the same page of our production schedule, because when I commit to creating new videos for you guys every single week, we need to make sure that we stay on track.
Each Notion card represents a unique video idea. And what I’ll do in these Notion cards is on not only outline the overall script and key points I want to make in the video, but I also outlined specific things that I want my video editor to incorporate when it comes to B-roll, as well as different small things for my virtual assistant to pay attention to.
This has been a great way to combat some potential creator stress that is often associated with creating videos on YouTube. Because I’m always ahead of my content calendar, I know that in those days when I really don’t want to create a YouTube video it’s okay because I have some content already ready to go queued up in the pipeline.
I know some people don’t like to outline their videos, but for me personally, and where I’m at in my journey, I prefer to save you guys some time, and that’s also why I include those timestamps in every single one of my videos.
My big takeaway for you whether you’re a creator or just building a business is to create a system that works for you. Ultimately, you need to do you, and you need to figure out what works for you. Once you figure out what works, you have to stay consistent over a long period of time and play the long game.
Lesson #2: Nothing goes according to plan.
Whatever you think is going to blow up is never the actual topic that blows up and whatever you think wasn’t going to blow up actually becomes your most popular video. A fun part about YouTube is the randomness of it all.
When I first started my channel, I created a few videos on Facebook Marketplace because I knew it was a topic that people were searching for. And I wanted to learn the video creation process. So even though I knew that long-term my channel wouldn’t be all about Facebook Marketplace, I figured it was a low-risk topic that I could talk extensively about.
So I made a short series of three videos and those three videos actually became some of my most popular videos. In fact, if you’re still with me after subscribing to my channel, there’s a one in three chance that you came from one of those Facebook Marketplace videos.
In my personal opinion, I think that these videos are the worst produce because they’re actually the ones that I edited myself. However, it’s clear that they provided a ton of value versus the other videos that were available on Facebook Marketplace, because I’ve gotten a lot of comments that are talking about how helpful they’ve been in selling or buying things on Facebook.
An insight that I takeaway from this is how every single video on a YouTube channel is an asset. It ultimately provides another opportunity for you to get both discovered and promoted by the almighty algorithm. By the way, if you’re finding this video interesting so far, do me a favor and hit that like button below for the almighty algorithm.
The bigger takeaway that I have for fellow creators or entrepreneurs is to not get too caught up on creating that epic piece of content in the very beginning. Instead, it’s way more important for you to just start and get the ball rolling.
Lesson #3: Building in public = more accountability.
When I was first planning to create this channel, I intended this channel to be a once a week channel. However, when I launched my channel, I decided to actually try out doing two times a week, and since that point I have stuck to that schedule every single week.
One of the big reasons why I decided to do this was because bigger creators, like Graham Stephan, mentioned how it was only when they started to release two videos a week or three videos a week that their channels really started taking off. And I noticed the same thing happened with my channel compared to peers that were starting their channels at about the same time.
At this point in time, some of the fellow creators that I started with have a fourth to a half of the subscribers that I have, because they’ve only been releasing content either on a once a week schedule or even more infrequently than that whereas on my channel, I’ve released two pieces of new content every single week and seeing consistent growth week over week.
Ultimately, this makes a ton of sense to me because each video becomes another opportunity for me to give value to my existing subscribers while also potentially introducing myself to new viewers.
For me personally, I found that once I changed my cover art to save that I was releasing content twice a week, it brought a whole new level of accountability for myself in which I knew that I had already set an expectation with the people that were watching me and that I would have to deliver on that promise.
Now, that’s not to say that I won’t potentially change my production schedule in the future, but it is to say that this sort of act of building in public and stating your intentions to the people that are watching you or following you can be an important stepping stone for you to not rest on your laurels and start actually producing. This applies not only to YouTube, but to a potential business or side project that you might be building.
In the very beginning, my goal is to create 25 videos by the end of 2020. But once I committed to that twice a week schedule, I quickly surpassed that and set my goal to be 50 by the end of the year, and as of this recording, I’ve already surpassed that goal as well. It was only because of the Notion system that I set up, as well as my commitment to building in public, that I’ve been able to hit that goal.
In fact, just to keep myself even more accountable once every month or so, I would email an old mentor of mine and update on my YouTube channel with all of my key stats, just to make it really clear to myself that I was going to commit to this goal and achieve it.
Lesson #4: Always give, give, and give.
My channel is an informational channel so as a result, a big goal of mine is to make sure that I’m able to teach something new or provide some sort of insight that you wouldn’t have otherwise learned or known enough before you watched my video.
Obviously some creators can get away with logging about their life, but that’s not really my style. I like to make sure that every single one of my videos has some sort of central lesson or theme, and that I summarize all the big takeaways at the end of every single video. I also strive to keep most of my videos under 15 minutes. And the reason why was because early on, I realized that making more comprehensive tutorials weren’t actually what people wanted to see.
So I try to keep everything jampacked into 15 minutes or less. The reason why I do this is because honestly I’m creating the channel that I wish that I had had when I was first starting out on my entrepreneurship journey. There were a ton of things that had to learn the hard way when it came to sales, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship in general. I had to read a ton of different books and make a ton of mistakes along the way in order to get to where I’m at today.
So what I figured was that if I could distill what I learned into a video or a set of key takeaways or themes that it could potentially save you guys a ton of time in making those same mistakes.
Something I’ve learned is really important in my life is that whether it’s creating YouTube videos or something related to work, it’s all as good to give to other people. Try to give things with no expectation of anything in return, and you’ll notice that a lot of good things happen to you. In fact, you’ll often find that you get more in return when you let go of that expectation of getting something in return for your time or efforts.
One of the coolest and most rewarding parts of creating these YouTube videos has been getting comments along the lines of, “I wish my teacher explained things as well as you.” That just makes me feel good, and I’m glad that I’m able to teach you something new.
Lesson #5: Build a team early.
For all of those content creators out there that created 50 YouTube videos in their first half year without a team, my hat is tipped to you because there is no way in the world that I would have been able to do the same thing. Honestly, I just don’t have enough time and I have too many other projects to work on.
Something I realized early on as I made those first three videos on Facebook Marketplace was that it was taking me the entire weekend to edit those videos while I’m fully capable of doing some basic video editing, it’s not something that I’m particularly passionate about. I’d much rather focus my limited YouTube time on scripting out new videos that I wanted to deliver to you guys so that I can do what I do best, which is share and teach you something new.
Like I’ve mentioned in my other videos, time is the great equalizer for everybody. We all have the same amount of it when it comes to the start of the day. And so I realized that if I was going to spend all this time editing videos, that I wouldn’t be able to create all the videos that I wanted to create.
To solve this bottleneck, I went on to Upwork and test at six different video editors and then pick the one that I liked best. As I created more and more videos, I also quickly realized that video descriptions and tags were taking a ton of my time. So, I quickly started to focus my time on documenting my process of how I do so, and then I outsourced that to my virtual assistant to help me out there. If you want help on how to hire or manage a virtual assistant, be sure to check out my videos on that.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my goal of creating 50 videos in six months without my video editor and my virtual assistant. So I’m immensely grateful for them, and I’d like to give them a shout out right here.
My biggest takeaway for you here is if you find yourself investing a ton of time on something that’s not the best use of your time, then you need to unblock yourself ASAP. Find a way to bring on some help and make sure that you’re leveraging your time on the highest value thing that you possibly can be doing. Whether that’s creating something for your YouTube channel or for your business.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article:
- The first one is to remember that good things take time, and if you can, you should try to expand your time horizon. The compounding effects of my 50 videos are really just starting to show months later. I’m patient though, and I’m excited for the foundation that these first 52 videos have created for me and my channel.
- The second big takeaway is to invest in systems and people. Your greatest limitation will always be your time. So it’s really important for you to make the most of that limited time. When you feel like you’re investing your time on something that isn’t the best use of it, then you want to figure out a way to unblock yourself and bring on additional help.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might also benefit from these lessons I’ve learned making 50+ videos on YouTube.