Last updated on August 1, 2017
I want 100,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel by December 31st.
But I can’t expect results if I'm making 💩. To reach my goal, I needed to step my game way, way up.
I’ve been uploading to YouTube since 2006... but until early 2017 I half-assed my videos:
Producing meh content was a HUGE missed opportunity.
YouTube is the world's #3 search engine. If you want to grow your business, it’s important to dominate YouTube.
I turned to an expert to help me reach my 100,000 subscriber goal.
With his help, my videos are 100x better than before.
His channel, Video Creators, has 300,000+ subscribers and 22+ million video views.
Tim knows his stuff. And his coaching improved the quality of my channel 10x.
Over the past three months…
I’m going to give you the same tips Tim shared with me. Use these tips to grow your YouTube channel — and improve your content in general.
Share this episode with ONE friend who has a YouTube channel.
Here’s a crazy stat for you…
400x MORE people subscribe to my channel from my channel homepage than my videos.
Mind = blown.
I have 70+ videos, all with CTAs to subscribe to my channel. Yet on average, each video only brings in a handful of subscribers
Even my REALLY popular videos don’t match my channel homepage for new subscribers.
I had no idea the difference until I looked at my YouTube analytics with Tim.
Since 80% of people subscribe from the channel homepage subscribe button, I needed to optimize the channel homepage for effectiveness.
The first action item Tim gave me was to redesign my channel’s header image.
If you're going to grow to 100,000+ subscribers, you're going to have to get a lot of people who aren't familiar with your name yet
I needed to share my experience with people who don’t know my brand. I wanted people to realize “Oh wow, this is a channel for me” right away.
My old header image sucked. Here’s what it looked like:
When people see your channel image, they think two main questions:
These two questions don’t just apply to YouTube. It’s the same for TV shows, films, podcasts, products, and businesses.
With my channel image above, you’d probably think I was into weird hentai porn and obsessed with Japan. Not a good representation of the stuff I talk about on my channel.
After Tim’s suggestions, I created a NEW channel header image:
In seconds, people can understand a bit more about me, what my channel covers, and why they should subscribe.
Think of your YouTube channel page like a website. Communicate your value proposition clearly.
People only glance at a web page for a half a second before they move to something else. Your YouTube channel is the same.
After you optimize your header image, here are 3 more ways to optimize your YouTube channel homepage:
Your channel homepage looks different for subscribers and non-subscribers. Have you adjusted your channel page accordingly? 👀
For example, on my channel non-subscribers see the channel trailer video:
But subscribers see something different.
The trailer is hidden, and instead they see my featured videos:
Your channel trailer video is prime real estate — and one of the most important ways to hook non-subscribers.
It’s important to remember your channel trailer will ONLY be seen by people who are NEW to your channel. In other words, you should speak directly to new visitors.
Tim recommended using a 4-step narrative to hook new users with your trailer:
Keep your channel video succinct, focused, and under 60 seconds.
There’s a reason weekly, episodic content has become a part of our culture: TV companies want their shows to become a part of your weekly routines.
When the new Game of Thrones episode comes out next Sunday, you fire up HBO and watch it. It's a habit.
YouTube wants you to feel the same.
If you want to grow a channel, you need your subscribers coming back to watch your new videos.
And on YouTube, I’ve publish videos every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Two retention metrics YouTube cares about:
If you’re publishing content consistently, and have viewers coming back to visit, YouTube will rank you more highly.
Time for a truth bomb…
Most people probably don’t even notice the subscribe button on your channel or below your videos. 💣
Just because you know how to use YouTube doesn’t mean someone else does.
Chances are, a bunch of people don’t even know what the subscribe button does.
In your channel trailer, and every video you publish to your channel, you should include a call-to-action (CTA) to subscribe.
Here are a few example call-to-actions:
And if you want more free videos to grow your business, click the subscribe button below.
Want to hear when I release new videos to help you start and grow a business? Click the subscribe video below.
Some things in life aren’t free, but my videos are: Get FREE updates when I release my FREE videos by clicking subscribe below. You’ll be the first to know.
You can even get creative and do a “picture-in-picture” subscribe push to get people to subscribe in your videos.
This is what I did in my how to finish what you start video (watch till the end).
Playlists are a hugely important part of YouTube marketing.
The goal of a playlist is to get people to watch multiple videos.
Behind-the-scenes, playlists help with YouTube marketing when it comes to two key YouTube SEO ranking factors:
Watch time is the amount of time people spend watching your video. The longer the watch time, the more likely it is to rank well in YouTube searches.
This is basically a quality filter. If people watch more of your video, it must be good, right?
This is how YouTube sees it:
Session watch time takes into consideration how your video contributes to a user’s overall viewing session.
YouTube wants people coming back to their platform to watch more content. And once someone is on YouTube, the goal is to get the viewer to consume as much content (and advertising) as possible.
If people engage with your playlists, and watch more than one video, this is another HUGE win for YouTube because people are spending more time on the platform.
Playlists are an incredible way to boost both watch time and session watch time.
The key to a successful playlist is writing an EPIC title.
Rather than a playlist called “Starting a business”, give it a great title like you would a blog post, podcast episode.
I recently changed all of my playlist names to boost watch time. Here are three I went with:
These playlists pitch the value of watching — the why and how instead of the what.
The goal is to get people clicking into your playlist.
Here are three tips to make incredible playlists:
If you listen to my podcast, you’ll know how much I LOVE automation.
(You can check out how I automate my hiring process here.)
There’s a neat YouTube feature that allows you to automatically add videos to your playlist.
Here's how it works:
Now any videos you upload which meet your defined rules will be automatically added to your playlist.
In marketing, there’s a term called “vanity metrics.”
Vanity metrics are numbers which look nice, maybe sound impressive… but don’t actually matter.
Seeing a million video views might sound nice, but it doesn’t do much overall.
The most important metric you should focus on is actually watch time.
If you can get one viewer to spend 5 minutes watching a video, it’s better than getting more views with people leaving after 10 seconds. Focus on what matters.
Another metric to notice is audience retention, aka how long people watch your videos. To get 100k, I need to get that figure around 60% to 70%.
When I started focusing on retention, my channel started growing RAPIDLY.
Here’s my video retention for my 3 strategies to start a side hustle today video.
The best way to increase retention is to study what works.
Go back through the analytics of your last 20-30 videos and find the patterns of what's causing people to abandon.
One thing I learned with my videos is I need to open up my videos with a clear hook. In some cases, 20% of my viewers would leave the video after the opening 30 seconds.
To focus on retention, here’s what I do with my most recent videos:
You need to figure out what triggers your audience to stay and what makes them leave. Data is key to figure it out.
The two most important things to make someone find a video from search:
One mistake most people make on YouTube is repeating title text in the thumbnail.
I used to do this all the time. #guilty
Exhibit A from my economics of writing a book video with Ryan Holiday:
C’mon, Noah. You can do better than that...
The text in the thumbnail is not indexed in any way. If audience knows how to read, they'll read the title.
Instead, make thumbnails with a really clear visual that connects with the title.
Now, I try to create thumbnails in a way that complements the title rather than just replicating it.
Exhibit B with my video on how to stop being a wantrepreneur:
Creators often spend just as much time on their titles and thumbnails as they do on their videos themselves.
It doesn't matter how awesome the content is if people don't click.
Want to hear my full conversation with Tim?
Listen below to uncover all the YouTube marketing goodness he shared with me to 10x your channel.
Ps. Check out the epic new videos I'm doing on starting a business, growing an 8-figure company, and more...