10,000 Subscribers is a monumental achievement by anybody’s standards and to put it into perspective, it’s enough people to fill 27 high schools and still have left overs!
So when a content creator on Youtube surpasses the 10,000 subscriber milestone, you might assume that their journey took 2 or 3 years as is typical on the platform.
But today, I’m going to blow your minds with a story of a Youtuber who 10 months ago set out to create engaging and informative videos on the platform.
That creator is Daniel Batal of Creator Conversations.
Daniel has uploaded 60 videos since and amassed an amazing 559,253 video views and in the 10 short months since his channels inception has surpassed the 10,000 subscriber milestone.
Now, in terms of views, Daniel’s channel sat at an average of 2,300 views per month until November of 2018 where he went from 2,300 to 5,000. This spike in views can be attributed to the fact that Daniel had been pushing out consistent weekly content for the past 4 months and he had nailed down the content that was performing well for him, which was Filmora tips and tricks. Out of the 61 videos posted in the last 10 months over 40 of them are Filmora related, meaning he has tapped into an audience that is looking for Filmora based content and by utilising Youtube Search Results with Video SEO, has delivered his content to thousands of potential subscribers.
I asked Daniel a few questions regarding Youtube and the success of his channel, I’d like to thank him for taking the time to write up his answers and I think you’ll find some fantastic bits of information, Grab a pen and paper because Daniels about to hit us with a knowledge bomb!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting a youtube channel in 2019?
The single biggest piece of advice I would offer anyone entering the YouTube space in 2019 is to start by developing what we call a “Value Proposition”.
The term “Value Proposition” might sound like a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo but let me break that down so that it makes sense. What it really means is that every Creator needs to come up with one sentence (read as “Sentence” not “Paragraph”) that defines three very basic things:
1) What your channel is about
2) Who your target audience is
3) Why people should watch your channel
Think about it this way; If someone who just met you asked what it is you do for a living, you’d most likely be able to tell them what it is you do without creating any confusion as to what your job is and who your customers might be.
That’s what you need to be able to do when articulating the mission of your channel.
As an example, my value proposition is this: I show Creators how to make better content in order to grow their YouTube channels.
Can you see how it hits all three marks pretty easily?
1) What is my channel about? How to make better content in order to grow a YouTube channel
2) Who is my target audience? Creators looking for tips on how to improve their content in order to grow their YouTube channels.
3) Why should they watch my channel? I show Creators how to make BETTER video content in order to grow their YouTube channels faster.
The reason that this Value Proposition is so important is that it helps define every single step a Creator takes next and makes each decision afterwards infinitely easier.
The first question every Creator tackles is ‘What should my videos be about?’
When I start thinking about what video I should make, I ask myself if my video idea absolutely meets my value proposition.
Maybe I just had a great weekend with my family and I took some awesome video of something we did or a place we visited.
Before I decide to upload that I have to ask myself, does that video belong on my channel?
Because I crafted my value proposition, I have a system in place to answer that question for me. “Does it teach Creators how to make better content in order to grow their YouTube channel”?
The answer is NO.
So that video doesn’t belong on my channel.
What if there is a breakout topic I saw in the news, maybe a new keto diet trend that people are talking about or a new blockbuster movie that is setting box office records and I just saw it and want to talk about it.
Once again, does making a video about that teach Creators how to make better content in order to grow their YouTube channel?
The answer again is NO.
That video also does not belong on my channel even though it might actually get me some views. It dilutes my message and therefor hurts my channel growth.
I see far too many Creators who are unfocused and upload videos about such varied topics that it makes it harder for a viewer to understand what their channel is about. The Creator may think that they are reaching a wider audience but in fact, a viewer might love one video but the next is about a completely different subject so that viewer is less likely to become invested.
What ends up happening is that viewer is also less likely to subscribe.
Staying specific to one value proposition, serving one target audience effectively… that is the key to growing a new YouTube channel quickly.
Some people might read this and be thinking, “But Daniel, I’ve seen a TON of channels that talk about a variety of things”.
What you need to understand is the majority of those Creators have already leveraged the information to get their audience invested in them over time.
Take PewDiePie for example.
He has an amazing following and talks about all sorts of things BUT… he started as a gamer. He made video after video about nothing but gaming and it wasn’t until he had built up a really strong core audience that became invested in him as a personality that he was able to pivot.
New channels need to recognize that they aren’t PewDiePie quite yet, or if they are… they are the him before the fame and need to follow his example.
The comparison game never pans out. The only channel you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. Judge your growth solely on how well your channel is performing this cycle to how well it was in the previous cycle.
Target a specific audience.
Leverage what it is they are looking for to make videos that will get that audience invested in you.
This is the path.
Now, when it comes to Youtube Growth, we often talk about exponential growth, which is growth whose rate becomes ever more rapid in proportion to the growing total number or size.
Daniel has most certainly grown at an exponential level as from November 2018, his channel saw growth of 5,000 monthly views to a whopping 38,000 views in December of 2018.
I asked Daniel Were there ever times, that you felt like giving up? If so how did you overcome this?
No. Actually, it was kind of the opposite.
My first channel was one I created with my son, Jonas, called “Extreme Food Reviews”.
We basically had NO idea of how to create a successful YouTube channel and we thought that if we ate incredibly spicy hot sauces, Tarantulas, cat food, you name it… somehow that would connect and people would love our channel.
It wasn’t until I saw that a few videos on that channel which showed HOW to make hot sauces we loved eating were the videos that kept increasing in views that I realized I was missing the point.
I was making it all about me. I was trying to get people to like me.
But, people didn’t know me. I was asking them to take a chance on me without offering a lot of value in return, just a few laughs.
I got to the point where I had to ask myself, “How often is someone going to tune in to watch this idiot eat something stupid just for a laugh?”
Some will, but overall that’s a much harder road to travel to grow a channel.
It does the opposite of what I touched upon earlier.
It relies on people becoming invested in you before you’ve offered any real value other than maybe grossing them out or making them laugh.
Both of which, I should mention, are viable means of success but I could clearly see from the hot sauce recipe videos that were out-performing everything else on that channel, people valued information much more than entertainment. Or at least I saw it enough to know that something needed to change.
So instead of giving up, I actually reached out to Brian G. Johnson and hired him as a channel consultant to help me figure out how to develop a channel that would actually grow on YouTube.
He was the first to really help me understand that was the struggle I was facing.
To make a very long story short, Brian helped me fine tune what my strengths were, find the kind of channel that might actually have a shot at growing and I launched my current channel (Daniel Batal, Creator Conversations) on July 18th of 2018.
Ten months later, I had hit 10,000 subscribers.
In January Daniels channel received 57,000 views, February 73,000 Views and in the months of March and April received 150,000 monthly views, WOW!
But as is often the case, with views come the subscribers and we can see a trend that matches almost exactly with growth in subscribers as with the views to his channel.
Was there a specific point in time when you realised you had found YOUR target audience and how did you plan your channel moving forward?
As I mentioned, I wanted to teach Creators how to make better content but I had to decide how to do that.
How would I find them?
How would they find me?
What were they interested in talking about?
What did I have to offer?
The answer to all of these questions was in the form of Keyword Research.
I was using a video editing software called Filmora to make my videos. I had become pretty good at figuring out how to use it in ways that I hadn’t seen many other Creators talk about. When I realized through research that my target audience was actually searching for information about how to use Filmora, I found my angle.
Research showed me which things people had searched YouTube for and I was able to hone in on the very questions and topics many people wanted to know more about.
If I could show those people how to do things they had asked about, things that other Filmora content creators hadn’t, or at least show it in a way that might connect with those viewers more effectively, I may just have a path to success.
I knew “Filmora” as a search term itself was way out of my reach as a small channel because it had so much competition, so I started making many smaller videos targeting that same keyword but in a longer-tail form.
Filmora Dissolve Effect.
Filmora Flicker Effect.
Filmora Pan & Zoom.
Filmora Mask Transitions.
Filmora Screen Recorder.
Filmora Lag Fixes.
In all, I made about 45 videos that continued to circle the target that showed opportunity. As each video began to gain traction, I could see that each would bring the views on my other videos up along with them because I had developed a strong playlist strategy that linked one Filmora video to the next.
When a viewer was watching one of my videos and YouTube was deciding what to serve that viewer next to keep them watching, my own content had a better chance of being recommended by YouTube.
As each video gained traction, YouTube began recognizing my channel and content as something that should be associated with viewers looking to learn more about how to use “Filmora”.
Once I saw the overall trend of my Filmora content increasing in views, showing up in Search and being recommended more, I knew I was connecting with that target audience and I doubled down on that content.
Daniels monthly subscriber gain had the same dramatic increase as with the video views and there are no signs of him slowing down what so ever, in fact if his channel carries on with this upwards momentum in 10 more months he will reach 44,000 subscribers and his total view count will be nearly 2.5 million! [Source]
What are your plans for the future of your channel?
The broader goal is to reach a wider audience of Creators who want to learn how to make better content in order to grow their YouTube channels, right? There is that Value Proposition that I mentioned earlier.
But currently, it is the narrower focus of Filmora tutorials that have mostly gotten me this far and because my channel is so young, I need to stay within my lane in order to continue on this path of growth.
What I’ve done along the way is I’ve worked on a few video series to help make viewers understand that my channel isn’t just a “Filmora Channel”.
I began a video series called “15 Second Friday” where well-known Creators such as Nick Nimmin, Brian G. Johnson, Dee Nimmin, Owen Video, Nico Kamenzky (the owner of Morning Fame) and others come and give tips on how to grow a YouTube channel but we treat it like a game show where they have to beat the buzzer.
Again, that’s just me trying to use creative content to engage my target audience and grow my channel. I’ve also begun testing longer format videos to see how in-depth my audience is willing to go.
Most of my current videos have been like a hit and run. Smash the information and get the heck out leaving the audience wanting even more.
For me, every decision I make on my channel is completely data-driven. I test out ideas and if those videos result in higher view velocity, watch time and engagement, then I repeat those successes and make more of those videos.
Speaking of data-driven decisions, I used to have my face in my thumbnails but after a lot of A/B testing, I learned that my audience thinks I am grotesque (okay, maybe not but they click thumbnails without my face in them more often).
The fact that I take none of that personally has allowed me to look at what works and what doesn’t objectively.
If it doesn’t help grow my channel, it gets cut. Plain and simple.
I always tell myself that the audience comes first. That doesn’t mean I need to sacrifice my creativity, it just means that I have to align what I create with what my audience enjoys.
Hopefully that continues to pay off going into the next stage of my growth trajectory and based on the results I’ve seen so far, I have confidence in that strategy.
A massive thank you to Daniel who provided us with an in depth insight into some of the tropes that come with being a Youtuber, I think you’ll agree that Daniels story is an inspiration to us all and certainly proves that with the right mindset anything is possible, even in 2019!
Daniel made a video, talking about how he grew his channel and if you’re not already subscribed I highly recommend that you do.