The team and I, are grateful you chose to be part of the journey.
If you're looking to use YouTube as a marketing tool for your business, you might find this conversation I had with Derral Eves very useful.
Some of the questions we addressed in our conversation included:
“So who’s this Derral Eves guy anyway?” I hear you ask.
Derral Eves is a YouTube marketing consultant and author of “The YouTube Formula”, a book detailing different techniques to ensure channel growth for any YouTube creator.
The book’s sitting right next to me on my desk as I write this actually and I think it's good.
Here's a question I get asked all the time by my clients and my members in my membership program
In most cases, my answer is "Yes, if you have the time and resources".
If it's only fear that's holding you back, and you have the time and resources to do it, then my answer is usually "Most definitely!".
In my opinion, YouTube is one of the last "meritocracies" in social media. Good content usually gets rewarded provided you're consistent.
Launching your YouTube channel (and getting your content out there) can be intimidating though.
I remember recording my first Productive Insights podcast with Neil Patel. I sounded pretty dopey and I still cringe when I go back and watch that conversation. So much so that the video version STILL hasn’t made it onto my channel.
Ask me nicely one day, and for a small fee of $9,999,997, I’ll give you a peek ;-)
Anyway, the audio version of the interview sat on my hard drive for a year and a half, before it finally made it onto my podcast!
Feel free to head over to my podcast and check out episode 1. It’s right there in all its glory.
Have a chuckle at my expense. I’m cool with that.
My point is, content creation is a skill.
And like most skills you can get better with practice.
Providing value to your audience should be your north star.
Click on the image below to access the YouTube video conversation with Derral.
And while you're there, please do 'like' the video and leave a comment if you find it useful. That helps the video get to others who might find it useful.
Ash Roy and Derral Eves Video Transcript (This transcript has been auto-generated. Artificial Intelligence is still in the process of perfecting itself. There may be some errors in transcription):
Derral Eves (00:00):
Yeah. And when that clicked, when that clicked, he got 144 million video views in less than seven months. I can tell you that in one month on YouTube, he made more money than is here as a tow truck company. There's a lot of opportunity there and it shifted now, he still has his other company, but this is now I mean, source of income. And it employs a lot of people. And, you know, there's a whole, much more storytelling that goes involved.
Ash Roy (00:55):
I'm delighted to welcome Derral Eves from DerralEves.com. And today we're going to talk about YouTube strategies, welcome Derral,
Derral Eves (01:01):
Good to be here, really excited. And, hopefully, I can bring value and this podcast,
Ash Roy (01:05):
Thank you. That's exactly what I look to deliver as well through this podcast and my YouTube channel, which you can access that youtube.com/productiveinsights. So Derral let's kick off by talking about what YouTube has to offer to small business owners who are looking to grow their business and their audience on YouTube. Is it too late to start a YouTube channel? What opportunities do you see YouTube has to offer today?
Derral Eves (01:31):
I think that as we kind of dissect what YouTube is, it's basically an opportunity to get your content in front of the world. We're going past local and we're going global. And it has a lot of ramifications for a lot of amazing things. And I shared a case study in my book about someone that lost her job. They had a lot of financial debt because one of their kids were needing medical attention and it cost a lot of money especially with cancer and all that other stuff. They ended up going bankrupt and they went to look to a place that they could afford. And they kind of put there, they knew the Midwest was it, and they put their finger on a map and it was Hamilton, Missouri of all places. And what they were able to do is look for opportunities.
Derral Eves (02:17):
Now she was a seamstress working on costumes for, for plays and movies. And there's not that many in Hamilton, Missouri. And so she was just doing odds and end jobs and noticed that there's great things that they're in the community. They did a lot of quilting and she realized that there's an opportunity to bind the quilts together and that could be a business. So she started a business there, opened up the quilt shop just to do the binding. And what happened next was this is really important for everyone to realize it doesn't matter if you're a brand small business or a YouTube creator. She's like, how can I bring value to people? And so she started doing quilting where she was teaching people how to quilt and how to do these cool little styles like pinwheels and, and she was able to showcase it.
Derral Eves (03:07):
Well, also in her video, she was selling the material - the cut fabrics that was in the quilts. And it would be on her website that was supposed to be, you know, basically coming out of her store. And what's been great was she was able to pull herself out of going bankrupt to actually having a sustainable business. But she is the number one biggest, quilt fabricator, like we're talking with, with cut fabrics in the world. And she pretty much employees, half the town of Hamilton, Missouri. And she owns restaurants in hotels because all the quilters that love her on YouTube come to her town and they shop in her stores. They eat her food at her restaurants and stay in the hotels. And it all happened because YouTube made it possible for her as a business owner to give value to a potential customer. And they loved her personality and they loved what she was doing. And they were like, Hey, this is really interesting. And it created that cycle of giving, giving people value, but also providing an opportunity for them to, to buy something. And that created that, that feedback where she's still growing organically, she's kind of exploded in so many different ways and it all [came] from YouTube.
Ash Roy (04:22):
Can you share the name of the YouTube channel? So our listeners of us can go and check it out,
Derral Eves (04:27):
Start Quilting Company. Sorry, I probably should've done that earlier, but yeah, go check them out because like, like click on one of their videos, see, and their descriptions, see how they do the sales pitch. It's really great. You know, it's a really, really great
Ash Roy (04:39):
Option. It's an amazing story. It really is. And it's such a wonderful story because this person was able to pretty much lift themselves up by their bootstraps and actually use YouTube as a channel to deliver value. And that's the key here to deliver value and grow an audience and create a following. This is something I talked to Seth Goldin about at length on episode 200, which you can check email@example.com slash 200. I'm sure the journey wasn't easy though, for these ladies, there were quite a few challenges that happened along the way. Could you talk to us a little bit about that and how she overcame then? Because I just don't want to give the impression that you start a YouTube channel and bang it succeeds. There is a lot of consistency effort that goes into this
Derral Eves (05:23):
Is seen as being authentic and she's like, I can't do this. I can't go out and create videos. Like I don't have a video face, I got a radio face but she does. She's so cute. And she's, she's, grandma's just fits right in. Right. But she got so nervous recording her first video that she tripped and broke her leg. And so they had the ambulance come, got a cast on, but she's still filmed because she's like if I don't do it now, when am I going to do it? And so like, if anyone has dumb luck, it's her right. Of trying to get this to happen. I think it's just getting comfortable where you can share value. Like it's just people, people will be tolerant when they know that you're authentic and genuine and real. And, and then too, they're like, I really liked the way she does this.
Derral Eves (06:09):
Or I like, like her personality or I really like, you know, the stories that she's weaving cause she has a ton of, of backstory. And she was just kind of those cultures that kind of tell you exactly what you need to know and all the little details and you just, just the the perky and fun, but she didn't start that way. She started out very awkward. I didn't like to be in front of the camera, but it's a skill that can be developed. Anyone can develop it. And that's something that she made a thing is every video is gonna be a better video. And it that's when she's like, Hey, how can I bring value for someone? Cause I don't want to waste people's time. And that's when everything transformed for her.
Ash Roy (06:44):
I can totally relate to that. I had a video with Neil Patel. He was my very first guest on the podcast. I had it recorded. It was sitting on the hard drive for a year and a half and I was scared to publish it for so long. And I eventually published it. I look and sound so raw. It's the very first episode, productive insights.com forward slash one. I went ahead and published it. I'm so glad I did because since then, fast forward five years, I've had the opportunity to speak with some of the greatest minds in business and marketing. And I feel truly grateful for having stepped into that discomfort and something that really helped me. And I've heard other people say this too, if you make it about the audience and about delivering value and try to take the focus off yourself, but make it about the other person that significantly helped to reduce the level of discomfort. And I think Amy Porterfield and I talked about this in episode one 45 as well.
Derral Eves (07:36):
Absolutely. I think it's more about bringing value to someone. And this is where the [biggest] disconnect is. I don't care if you're a business or a marketer or a creator. It's like we create content for us and they're going to like it. And we're trying to ram something down their throat. Like that's not what we need. That's not the way the world is anymore. What it is is like, Hey, do you know what I'm going to create a piece of content that I really, really love and engage in, but I know that this person's going to love it too. Now, if you look behind me, there's this star wars poster back there, you get a bigger star wars geek than me. Like I love star wars. Star Wars is like literally integrated into my life from a young age. But when a creator comes on and disrupts what a viewer possibly would love and just caps it at the knees, just because they needed their [creative] outlet, Kate rain, Johnson, like all those, all the videos that did the last jet, I very specifically was very disheartening for a creative cause I, I seen empire strikes back over a thousand times.
Derral Eves (08:40):
Okay. Wow. Thousand times I saw The Last Jedi once I wanted to walk out of the movie theater and I'm a hardcore hardcore star wars fan. So what does that tell you? You got to create content for your audience and I, that that, you know, as a content creator, you want to have the freedom to do whatever you want. That's great. But it's valuable to understand what people see as valuable and how to leverage it and the power of storytelling that can weave it from there. That's why Mandalorian rocks and last Jedi actually stinks as just because the difference of taking the same audience, but it's helping them see where that value is.
Ash Roy (09:21):
You've touched on some very important concepts here. One you talked about is storytelling and the other, you talked about his value, which is something that is going to continue to coming up through this conversation. I'm actually currently doing a course with Bernadette GYN, Seth Godin on story skills. And I agree with you totally. It is so important to create engaging stories or you've been behind some very successful channels. Quite a few of them have grown to about a million subscribers or more, is that correct?
Derral Eves (09:50):
I mean, we've created plans for a lot of companies. We've actually had a plan and then executed on that plan to get millions of subscribers. We've done 24 of those and we've generated about 61 billion video views on YouTube. So yeah, I'd say that we've, we've kind of cracked the code there. I've also worked with bigger, bigger creators too, that I don't necessarily say, Hey, I've done that, but I've worked with them on their strategy.
Ash Roy (10:13):
Is storytelling a big part of this strategy?
Derral Eves (10:16):
Yeah, 100%. I do believe that humanity we're we're storytellers and we're listeners of story and we learn through story and when you disconnect it where it's just straight information, people will consume it as straight information and they won't come back to watch another video because they got what they needed. They got the value that they wanted. If we weave in story, then, then we're actually being more memorable and I can pretty much do this. And I do this with all of my students or people that come in contact with my clients is I have them trying to recount some of the most memorable pieces of content that they have. And it always has a story wrapped around it. And like that's the, how we remember is through story. And that's how we engage. And that's what we want to do. We want to weave in a story regardless if it is a quilting store that is looking to sell fabric, right?
Derral Eves (11:11):
and giving you tips, like there's a story behind everything. And when you weave that in, then that's where the emotion of connection is, and that's where humans connect with with each other, but it helps them remember. And I think the biggest point is when you actually do amazing storytelling, people will share that message with other people. And that's the best type of marketing out there is when people organically word of mouth say, Hey, have you saw this? Have you been a part of this? And, and that is all back down to messaging of what your message is. What's your origin story? How are you weaving your storytelling? Why you're creating content, the purpose behind that, but also the each individual pieces of video. And so I think that's a skill that anyone can develop. I've seen the most awkward people Excel in this area.
Derral Eves (12:02):
Once they got over the hurdle of, oh, you know, I'm trying to get, I'm trying to bring value to that viewer. And the best way for them to learn is by having a story wrapped into it. And so there's story arc and there's all these setups that's actually happening and they get to the climax. So that, it's great. It's a great piece of content. And, and that's where I think everyone tries to. Over-complicate it just the, Hey, I'm not wasting people's time, but if, if you want to look in your own life, the ones that you remember that the, it doesn't matter if it's some keynote on stage or a video that you had, or even your third-grade teacher, it's the stories that have you remember, and that remembering has you share with people. That's just the way it is. That's the way humanity is. And
Ash Roy (12:43):
We've evolved through stories to some extent, you know, move past knowledge from generation to generation using the power of story. So it's hardwired into us. You shared a very interesting story on clubhouse about a tow truck company. I thought that was a very engaging one. And in fact, this very conversation started with a story about the quilting lady. So would you like to tell us a little bit about the success that this tow truck company has had using YouTube?
Derral Eves (13:13):
Tow truck company? Just a few blocks from where I live and I got this random call as is, Hey, you might not know me, but so-and-so gave me your number. And I'm like, I don't know how you got my cell phone. And he's like, oh, do you want to go to lunch or YouTube? And I'm like, if I had a dime for every time somebody wanted just to pick my brain about you, that's why I have a consulting service. Right. But I went onto his YouTube channel and I go, oh no, I think there's something here. And so, you know, just because of the reference and I'm a big person of networking. And so we, we, we facilitated the conversation. He was basically going out and documenting his rescues. So like when he goes out and do a toe, it just kinda document the rescues and people were watching it and he'd get tens of thousands of video views on it.
Derral Eves (13:57):
And the difference was, is understanding where the value's at. And I was talking to him and you can look upon YouTube it's Matt's off-road recovery. So he does these off-road recoveries where people get stuck in sand or, or whatever. But I go, people don't really care that the technique of how you got someone out, I know in your mind that that's what you think they don't really care about that. He's like, ah, come on, come on, Matt. And I say, let's, let's kind of break it down. Why are people watching this? Okay. Is everyone gonna use that technique? Well, no, never in a million years, unless you're a tow truck company they're going to ever do that. Like, they're, they're going to be stranded and they're going to call you to pull them out. Right. He goes, okay, I see your point. I say, what they, what it is.
Derral Eves (14:41):
It's about a group of friends that go out and rescue people. And, and that is the content. And when that clicked, when that clicked, he got 144 million video views in less than seven months. That's insane. I can tell you that in one month of on YouTube, he made more money than his whole year as a tow truck company. There's a lot of opportunity there and it shifted now, he still has his other company, but this is now a main source of income. And it employs a lot of people. And you know, there's so much more storytelling that goes involved. Well, he's actually creating a new, a new character in the channel, which is the car like the recovery vehicle - the first one's called the banana and it's a Jeep and it looks like a banana is really bright, yellow. Well, he has this Corvair wagon.
Derral Eves (15:32):
That's like that. He's like literally building it from scratch and people are going to be so connected to that content. They're already giving it names. And you know, it's all a part of the story and it's going out and you know, it's not on its first rescue yet because it's still being built, but they're going to be so emotionally connected to it because they're a part of the story of seeing the witness of a character that's actually created in that content. That's where it is. And like, I think a lot of people struggle with this. They're like, well, my YouTube channel can't be about storytelling. It can't be about that. And I've said, well, I don't know a channel that can't be about storytelling. I think that you just need to really take a step back and say, okay, what are we trying to do here?
Derral Eves (16:11):
I don't care if it sells, I don't care if it's developing an audience, getting subscribers, getting views, it's like take a step back and really look at how can I be a better storyteller in communicating the message that will bring value to that viewer. So that they'll go, oh my gosh, this is so amazing. And they're going to think in their mind, 10 people that like the same thing to want to share it because humanity, one thing that we do really well is when we like something we instinctually like this is like primal that we have to share it with someone. Cause then it's like, somebody needs to be as passionate about this as I am. You know? And so anything Star Wars-driven, 100%, I've literally sent five text messages to my daughter. Cause she's a big star wars geek. We're having a mean[ingful] conversation in text.
Derral Eves (16:57):
But when anything that comes across, she's the first one I think about, you know, and the same way when, when she comes across it. And so you're going to be able to share content that, that hits to the core to you. And you're going to think of everyone that you think should have that value and you're going to put it out there, you know? And you mentioned Seth, a couple of times, I've shared his videos before. Like, I's like, oh my gosh, so-and-so needs this. They, we were just having that conversation the other day. They need to listen to Seth and that's the truth. That's what humanity is. And so it doesn't matter if you're a quilting company, doesn't matter if your tow truck company, it just is storytelling, storytelling, you know? And, and when you do it in the right way, it's done at, at a higher level.
Derral Eves (17:37):
And I want everyone, when you get a chance to look up mark Rober, he was a NASA and an apple engineer and he quit that. Cause he literally put a Rover on Mars and he developed some of the technology that you have in phones on apple and he's a YouTuber. But he was doing that while he was actually working at these other papers, a side job. He is by far the best storyteller on, on YouTube. Like I've seen a lot of them, but he uses storytelling to explain [the] science and it's cool. Wow. And he's getting, you know, 40, 50, 60 million views per video. And it was just like, like people really engage with it because he knows how to set it up. He knows how to create that, that effect. That he's really interesting. So like the, you know, the pandemic was really, really weird for the whole world.
Derral Eves (18:25):
Right? Well, he was looking at his window one day and says, look, I noticed there's just a squirrel in my yard. He made a video about making an American ninja warrior course for a squirrel because he was bored like everybody else in the world, but he was talking about the science behind it. Like, why wouldn't you want to watch that? Right. And so for me, I just say, D take a step back and find a way to better communicate your story and why people should listen to you and then weave it in. Well, why you're so passionate about this, this X, Y, and Z. And that will get you closer to your finish line in sales, in marketing, as a creator, you know, audience development that anything else
Ash Roy (19:03):
Stories are so weaved into our psyche, you mentioned the desire to share. I think we have this innate desire to share with other people because when we were running around in tribes, we survived because of the power of the group and the collective knowledge, the collective strength that we had. So it makes perfect sense to me.
Derral Eves (19:24):
No, but let's just, let's make it clear. We're still running around and try
Ash Roy (19:27):
It. Yeah. Just online. It's just online.
Derral Eves (19:31):
Right. And so like, we're going to surround ourselves with people that get us and we can have these conversations that everybody's like, what's a Pikachu, you know, Pokemon or whatever. You know, you're going to be surrounded by those communities and you're gonna be able to have conversations. So it hasn't changed just kind of the way that we gather has changed a little bit, right. It doesn't need to be in person. It's like you could have people that are in, you know, the deepest jungles of South America that are still connecting with us. And they're just kind of connecting with what they're passionate.
Ash Roy (20:03):
So Derral, can you talk to us a little bit about these storytelling frameworks? And do you cover these in your book? Can you talk to us about some of the key ideas in your book and how it can help somebody to achieve their objectives on YouTube?
Derral Eves (20:21):
Covered in the book? It's, it's one of the main sections they're really understanding how to make content that's valuable. The first thing is to realize in storytelling is time is the most precious things that we have, and you don't want to waste people's time. So you need to be able to package it in a way that that leads to more interest as they go along. Um, you realize that when someone sees a title and thumbnail on YouTube and says, oh, I'm curious to see what Seth Godin is talking about. Boom, they're going to click on it or whatever it may be. It doesn't really matter, right. They're going to click on it. And they, their tolerance level is about 15 seconds because they're going to say, um, is this what I actually clicked on? Is this something that's there? So you just need to hook them in to pull them into the video, right?
Derral Eves (21:12):
And then once you have that, you have about a minute, a minute to prove yourself that their time is not going to be wasted with your content. Right and they're looking to be educated, inspire entertain, or all three, you know, they're, they're doing that. They're looking to unwind or destress, right? So you, you basically have about a minute and a half to fulfill, and you'll see a lot of people that they just lose them. And they lose like 50, sometimes 60% of the people there. And the reason why is because they didn't really hook people in to the story, they didn't really pull them into what's actually happening here. And they didn't really validate what was advertised in your title and thumbnail. And so that's where that disconnect is. So you have to have that, the next thing would be the setup. So once you hook them in, then it's setting up the story, right?
Derral Eves (22:03):
So you're able to pull the curiosity and you start setting it up. And there's different types of setups stages. One of my favorites is a progressional setup where it just progressively gets to that climax. So it just keeps on going up higher and higher and higher until it hits. And, and that's great, but there's different types of styles. I cover them in the book of the different ways you can do that. It's coming down to the point of K what's the best possible way visually and, and also audibly to pull people into what I'm talking about. Is there a way to progress it because is it just, oh, it's only two to two seconds or is it 30 seconds or is it a minute, or can I visually show stuff that will progressively take you where you need to be on that journey to get you to that, that, that payoff moment, which is why they clicked on it, cause you're going to validate it.
Derral Eves (22:55):
And then that payoff moment continues to give until that climax. And then that climax goes from there. There's another little element that I was actually taught by some creators that did a TV show called the gush. I like to relate this because this is where I truly do believe. Once you understand the mentality of great storytelling, people will sit through and endure longer videos. Okay. So I like to explain in the Marvel universe, I'm a scifi geek. I out superhero stuff. Just, I love it when, when we are actually going back to theaters and people would wait at the theaters, even though the credits would come up and why would they wait? Even the credits are coming up, but why would they wait? Yeah. Because they going to get a teaser of some story that was going be the next release.
Derral Eves (23:45):
Okay. That's the goods like people would wait through two minutes or three minutes of just VFX credits. And then another two to three minutes of all the other credits that's going on just to get that 30 seconds. Oh my goodness. Did you see that? And when they leave the theater, they're so excited because they're like, oh, the iron man two's coming out and this is gonna be so epic. We saw the scene and this is like introduced here and your, your mind's going with that. And that's all you can talk about and people will go back in line just to watch it so they can watch it again. Yeah. That's the good moment. And so I've always found that, that content, it doesn't matter if it's a movie, it doesn't matter if it's a podcast. It doesn't matter if it's a video ad. If they can get that last gush, that last laugh, that last bit of value that was unexpected, that was there.
Derral Eves (24:34):
Then people will have the tendency to share it. Yes. And that's the share-ability factor that I go in detail in the book. We did it I don't know if you seen it, but it's the Squatty potty pooping unicorn ad in 40, $42 million in cells. Um, and, and what, what had is, has a good fish, which is the first thing you see for the, the hook, which is you see a unicorn pooping, rainbow Sherbert, ice cream, who does that. Right. Okay. So that's where it starts. Right? And then it has the buildup it problem solution. We go through a little bit different on ads, but we cover that in the book as well. But the good fish was the prince who was the prince of Pope that was explaining why you need the Squatty. Potty is holding, holding ice cream. And then he hands it to a little kid.
Derral Eves (25:28):
And another one to the little kid and another one's a little kid. What does a little, kid's going to do with Sherbert ice cream? They're going to lick it. Okay. You think that's the good fish? That wasn't the good, that's funny. What was the gush was the prince then pulls out some toilet paper because a little girl had some ice cream on her cheek and she cleaned the ice cream off with toilet paper. Now that is funny. That's the good, that is what, what makes great content is because, you know, it makes you laugh. It's that last laugh. You're like, oh my gosh, I gotta send this to so-and-so. They just, they're going to love this. And that's where you have that organic movement. And when that you have that organic movement that happens naturally, then you're able to kick in and amplify it in so many different ways because you now just went from one view to earn views.
Derral Eves (26:15):
Like people are actually going out there and sharing it for you. You don't have to do anything for it. You don't even have to spin advertising on it. It happens just organically and you can get millions of millions of views. And that's why I'm passionate about the book that I wrote. It's called the YouTube formula, because that's the formula that you can learn. And I've used it in every, every scenario. And, you know, we've gotten well over 61 billion video views on YouTube from it. And it's all coming back down to, how do you bring value to enough so that you're bringing them into the story and you have that payoff at the end, the good that we're talking about, where they have to share it. They have to get it out there. They have to watch it again. And then they're going to just like literally pepper the internet, putting your content out there. And that's how you're going to organically grow. That's the key is, is really, earning the trust that you're bringing that value in whatever that value proposition is. More importantly, what are, whatever that unique value proposition is to really elevate someone's life or to bring that value in that they have to share. That's what we're trying to do. A few points.
Ash Roy (27:20):
I just took note of while you were speaking, one was the gush that you talked about. I remember reading a book, I think it was made to stick by Dan and chip Hayes, where they talked about breaking people's guessing machines. And I find a lot of comedy and humor is about that this slightly unexpected shift to the story, but it's somehow kind of closes a loop and there's that laughter a recognition as humans. We kind of delight in being pleasantly surprised with an unexpected twist. So that was one thought that came to my mind. Another thing that I thought about was you're talking about thumbnails. Would you agree that the thumbnail makes a promise in terms of what the video is going to deliver, but then the video must deliver on that promise whether it is at the start or at least further confirmed to the viewer
Derral Eves (28:13):
Within the first, within the first 20 seconds, because remember that's the first tolerance level. Like if you don't really pull that in, then it's a disconnect from what was advertised in that title and thumbnail. And if that value is not portrayed to the level of what they expect by clicking on it, they're going to go to the next one. And that's what happens every day. I can honestly say that's why a lot of brands, businesses and YouTube creators fell is because they don't really understand that concept. They they're their creator first, instead of taking your little crater, head off, put it off to the side and experience how the viewer is going to consume your creation cause like that, that is key. And if there's a disconnect, if it's hard to understand, if it's not simple, then they're going to just jump to the next video. And, and you're going to not, you're only going to get two views or three views instead of getting millions of views because you're actually connecting on a, on a deeper level. What do you
Ash Roy (29:10):
Recommend in terms of video length and whether people should be using two buddy to test on nails and stuff like that.
Derral Eves (29:18):
You're doing a launch today for those that want to follow this? I, three years ago, we decided to take a passion project where we wanted to create a TV show. So I'm an executive producer of a TV show, but we wanted to build a social army and we needed it crowdfunded cause it was going to be well expensive. And so we grew that crowdfundand it wasn't like, Hey kind of a slap on the back Kickstarter campaign. We actually got approval with the securities exchange commission to do a reggae offering. And so we had investors come in and these are just, just everyday people that were investing in the project. Well, we're launching season two of the show, which is self-funded, by the way, we got the first money that we raised broke the all-time crowdfunding record in film and television. We re raised over $10 million from 19,000 people.
Derral Eves (30:09):
It funded season one, well season two was paid for by all the efforts that we did in season one. And so we're even funding season three right now. So it's like, you know, things are actually happening, but we're doing a launch right now. And I want to tell you what we would do a to buddy is a reactive tool. Can't do testing to see what thumbnail works the best on new content. It only works really well on doing, it's not a true AB test. It's basically going here for a couple of days and then there for a couple of days, instead of just alternating. So what we did was I picked out knowing what I know and I, and I, and I teach this in the book, but knowing what thumbnails would be the best responsive, I picked out seven options. Then we took a and went over to Facebook because if you really want to target something, that's where you need to target it and put it on a, the thumbnail on a video that was somewhat related and we tested titles and we tested, um, thumbnail combinations on it.
Derral Eves (31:07):
And we're looking at what was the highest probability and we're looking at multiple factors. So it's like, I, I'm more concerned about how many people clicked on it. And what was the average view duration of the video? Like those are the two key things, cause like you can just get a high click through rate, but if they're not going through the video, then there's a disconnect on what they perceived and what they're actually getting. We launched that today. Um, and right now, it's live, you can go look for the chosen season, two trailer official trailer and what's interesting is we pick the winner and by that I didn't need the ads to do it. I already picked the winner, but we just use data to validate. So we're making data-driven decisions. And the one that I thought would respond the best was actually the highest rated one in the ads.
Derral Eves (31:49):
We use that as the actual thumbnail and it had a 32.9% click-through rate on the YouTube. And so, so tell me that, that it's important. Yes. 100% it's important, but a lot of people are not going to go through hundreds of dollars of AB testing on Facebook because you can do AB testing on Facebook, to do your YouTube videos. Right? But what YouTube gives us is, is other data. So you can start seeing, Hey, here's all the videos that performed really well, that had a higher click-through rate and you can group them together and like what, what's the similarities then you can learn from it. And then you can say, okay, I'm learning, Hey, my audience loves these types of thumbnails. What if we replicate it? And then two, then you can look in real time to see, oh, is this higher than our average, our baselines, right?
Derral Eves (32:39):
So if it's higher than our baselines, you know, that it's something that responding really well. I truly do believe it's more, what would get you to click? And then two, how do we actually enhance it? And I think that's a skillset that anyone can learn, but you gotta be a student of, of how to improve. And so for us, I can guarantee you we're data-driven creators where we're looking at all the data points to make the decisions, to how to improve and the best way to do this. See high performing content and low performing content and what made them high performers or low performers, and then try to replicate it, right? You don't want to try to replicate the lower performers the best for me with two buddy, I love the tool. I think it's great. But the only way to do it is look at your own data and then to two, but he does have it so that you can test them nails, you know, after 21 days or 40 days, when you actually got the most of the views that you need to, and then you can start doing some tests and say, Hey, I have this hypothesis how to make this thumbnail better.
Derral Eves (33:37):
And you can go from there. Now, your other question is probably the best question you could ask me all day, which is how long this is something that I am passionate about when we made the Squatty potty pooping unicorn ad it was four minutes. Okay. And at that time ads didn't go longer than 30 seconds to a minute max. Okay. They just didn't. And, and I showed it out to myself and the other executive producer on the project, Jeffrey Harmon, who's the founder of Harmon brothers and, and, um, angel studios, stuff like that. He and I would, would just test out to kind of our inner circle group. And these are people in the industry. Every one of them says, this ad is way too long. Right. And my thing was okay, I trust you, but what, why, why are you saying that?
Derral Eves (34:26):
And they're like, well, no ads like this, like this is not like normal ads for like a minute. Like you're, you're doing like for like come on now. And so we decided to ramp it up a little bit. Okay. So we brought it down to like three minutes, 40 seconds by just making it 110 X, the audio speed in the video speed, you know, on it, which is like a little trick in editing. Right. But everyone said, no it's way too long. Jeffrey and I had a conversation as is, ah, now like the theme that they is, and I asked him, I go, did you get to the end? Well, yes. Did you find a funny, yes. Where are you going to actually share it? Yes. What more do I need? Like, I don't need to be able to conform to what someone says.
Derral Eves (35:08):
This is what content is. Okay. I wanted to get value and if I can bring value, then I can hold retention. And I want everyone to hear what I say next. I listened to a three hour podcast on YouTube today, three hours. I don't have three hours, but I did because it brought value. And the number five most watched YouTube channel in 2020 is Joe Rogan. The number five. Okay. He's even on Spotify. Like he's moving now to Spotify, but he's still the fifth, most watched channel. Not a lot of people know that. Do you know what number seven is Joe Rogan clips. So if you're bringing value, people will sit through a three hour podcast or a, you know, a four hour, you know, Schneider cut of, you know, justice league because the value's there, or they won't even stomach 15 seconds of your content because the value's not there.
Derral Eves (36:07):
So make it, as long as you can bring value, the moment, the moment you don't bring value, you need to either edit it down to make sure that the value is there. And I don't care what, what length it is. It should be what it needs to be for the value proposition. More importantly, the unique value proposition that you're bringing to the viewer. How do you know if you're bringing value? The data doesn't lie, guaranteed. You can put a video out and we have all these amazing tools with analytics and you can see drop-off at the first 15 seconds. Yeah. Well, there's a disconnect, right? So like I said, we're a data-driven creator. So as we create more content, we're going to learn from that content. We're going to be able to say, oh, when I said this at minute marker four minutes, it was an exit word.
Derral Eves (36:54):
You can see that you can see exactly where it is in analytics and you can start saying, okay, here's a pattern of drop-off is I start asking myself what is going through the viewers mind right now? I watch it go, just putting my viewer hat on and realize, oh man, I said this or there, the audio is like weird or whack or, you know, I didn't, I didn't change the camera. We could do a little different editing. So then what you do is you take that data and you're like, I'm going to create something new. And I'm going to take what I learned right here and make better content. And that's the cycle of it, which is plan, execute, analyze, and adjust. That is what the YouTube formula is.
Ash Roy (37:32):
That's brilliant. You just said something that really clicked for me. What's the video as if you were the viewer, that's a great little tip there in terms of creating content that resonates them. Do you recommend repurposing content? Like take, for example, my YouTube channel, it has on average 35 to 40 minute long conversations like we're having now. I don't know that there's a lot of story in them and I'm learning a lot as you're speaking, but I'm thinking to myself, perhaps I should be splintering some of the content and maybe weaving some story around it with effects, video effects or, or maybe even just narrating a story. So for example, I talked to Seth about empathy in marketing and how it's lacking to a large extent and how important it is. Maybe I share a bit of a story on empathy. And then I say, let's hear from Seth Godin, hear what he has to say. And now let's hear from Neil Patel and see what he has to say and kind of try and make a bit of a story boarding thing around it. Do you recommend doing that and cutting the videos down to 10 segments rather than 30 minute long videos? This is where
Derral Eves (38:38):
Probably I am probably the most passionate about, because this is where I get asked a lot from brands. They spend a lot of money in time and like I have this amazing talk that I did and I'm doing from there. The difference is, is the intent, the intent of the video. And I think the, I think the, the essence of it is what is the intent of the piece that you're creating now? I think you can weave it where you have to you'd have to fill something different. So, okay. I've had a lot of conversations over with Seth Godin and you know, what, he brings so much value in today's video. I'm gonna give you five tips that Seth gives to help you be, you know, more creative or whatever, whatever that thing is, then you can break the second one because you just set it up.
Derral Eves (39:22):
Right and then I think that's the whole essence. I personally, don't like to do that because I think that there's a disconnect. If, if something's made for a specific medium, then it's connecting because the intention is for that medium. Um, and there's always try to people like, oh, I got all this amazing content. I'm going to put it out there this way. That's fine. Just know that you're not going to get the same results. If you were making a piece of content that was meant for a viewer on YouTube versus someone that was on stage in Santa Barbara or something like that. So, I mean, there's the disconnect, but it can be done. I think podcasts is the most beautiful way to do it because it can be done if you do it with video setting and stuff like that. And then too, just knowing, oh, the clips would be great. Cause you get those little sound bites that, that are perfect, that, that have its own video essence of, of bringing storytelling in there. And then it can kind of pull them in to the longer form that they want to listen to the longer form.
Ash Roy (40:16):
So the intent really comes back to the audience. How do I deliver value to the audience? How is the audience going to receive this? You really need to step into the audience's shoes and think from their perspective, Derral I've ordered the book and I can't wait for it. Or I've, I'm really looking forward to seeing it and applying some of the strategies you share in the book, how do our listeners get access to that book if they want to buy a copy?
Derral Eves (40:42):
So you could pretty much go to any book retailer and buy it. If I was buying it, I'd probably buy it through ytformula.com because there's some bonuses and extras that we go from there. I wanted to do a little bit more added content like there's hours and hours and hours of the person that wrote the forward. His name's Mr. Beast. He pulls in, you know, half a billion video views a month. I've been working with him for two and a half years. Thus, that's why I wrote the foreword, but we also use some case studies in the book as well. You know him and I, we did it like a four hour training and we went through all the different aspects. You only get that if you go to ytformula.com and the only reason why is because for me, like anyone can buy the book anywhere and that you can find the value.
Derral Eves (41:23):
But if you want to get more closer with me and the stuff that I have going on, that's the best place, because you can get tens of hours of content training outside of what the is that reinforces it. And one thing I do want to say, cause I'm a consumer of book I read, I read anywhere between four 75 to 94 books a year. Wow. I look for case studies. This is chock full of case study because if not, it's a theory, right? And if I only did it once and I can't replicate it, then that's not a system. That's not a formula. A formula is when you're able to prove it with yourself and then show that it can work with other verticals and niches. This book is chock full of case study of people that I taught the formula to. They executed on in all the different niches and aspects of it, whether it's small business brands or creators, and you're able to see the results of that.
Derral Eves (42:12):
And so took a lot more time doing it that way. But do you know what, when you have a case study, there's just no debate. Like it works. One of the biggest things for me is seeing people right now, tweets as, oh my gosh, I just did this one little thing that I was missing. And I learned it in the book and then I see their channel just taking off or just taking off. And they're like grateful for that. And that, for me, that's, that's the best thing as an author, but more, more importantly as a mentor, helping people, you know, on that journey because I've been on YouTube since 2005 and I can honestly say I did 61 billion video views on YouTube. 1 billion was just dumb luck. I can't take credit for that. 60 billion wasn't dumb luck. It was replicating what we learned from that dumb luck, billion.
Ash Roy (42:53):
I love case studies. I did a lot of them during my MBA and I find them to be very useful. It also allows the viewer or the reader, or however they're consuming it to put themselves in the place of the person who is the subject of the case study and visualize themselves getting that result as well. So that's awesome. And I got the book from ytformula.com. I also will link to that in the show notes of this episode, which you can firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash two, one three. Last question. What are the key action steps you recommend someone takes if they're listening right now or watching right now to get started with growing their YouTube channel and how do they get in touch with you?
Derral Eves (43:37):
Yeah. I think the biggest thing is, know who you're creating content for set goals and expectations of what you're looking to accomplish, make him smart, you know, you can't just say, okay, I want a billion views in two months. Like, okay, let's be realistic here. Right? Like, like be very focused in on what you're trying to do and always try to iterate and improve. Like if you're just doing that and you're satisfied with iterating improving that's where growth comes from. And then to please be ultra-sensitive to the viewer, it's been the theme of the podcast. Right. But I can honestly say I've worked with the biggest creators on the planet and also the brands on the planet. And, and sometimes they're not as sensitive enough to the viewer because that viewing experience is so important. It's top of the funnel, as you can get, if you want them to come down that funnel that they need to able to say, okay, this is great.
Derral Eves (44:32):
And then that earned trust coming from earned value, that's proposed in that video. That's how they get deeper and deeper into your content where they cannot miss a video and then doing consistency, like being very consistent in I'm going to always put out videos and I'm always going to analyze it in a way that I can improve and doing that consistently. You cannot fail you can't because if you're always iterating off of, Hey, I did this wrong, I did the shrine. Let's test this out. Or here's an amazing thumbnail. Here's a bad thumbnail. Let's do less bad thumbnails and more amazing thumbnails. You're going to just improve. And that's where you can get high click-through rate percentages. You can get longer retention and so on, but I'm gonna wrap it up like this. It's really important to surround yourself by people that will lift you up.
Derral Eves (45:19):
And, and also realizing that you might be deficient in an area that you might want to expand your team. So that mats off-road recovery. When we started doing the, the edit for him, we were able to bring up three minutes and 32 seconds of retention time, you know, on his videos, the LinkedIn go longer, but they watched longer because it's like knowing how to edit and he wasn't comfortable editing. He's just a personality type he's authentic, right. But if you can actually know how to do it, where you're weaving your storytelling in your edit, it's amazing. And there's a lot of people out there that can do that. And if that's your deficiency, find someone that can do it better than you. And then just got to teach, teach them to look at the data the same way that you look at the data.
Derral Eves (46:03):
And, and then lastly, the data doesn't lie, make data-driven decisions, data. Isn't just what you see in analytics. The data is what people have in comments too. We want to know the demographics, the psychographics, what they do online, what they do offline that avatar is we want to know what they, what they do in the morning when they wake up all the way to, to, to go to bed. Yeah. We want to know what they consume, who they hang out with, you know, what, what other things that they're passionate about because there's a lot of similarities that happen. And if you start weaving that stuff into your storytelling, then you're connecting on a deeper level that you can't even imagine. And I think that's something that everyone can, can really look at and analyze. And the best way to do that is go into the comments. See what you're seeing in the analytics is actually true of what people are saying. You know, as you're meeting people out in the space, they'll tell you about it. Um, you know, they'll talk about what they love, what they don't love, you know, and just having that as validation points. And then also knowing that they're not alone, there's other people like them out there. And just really look at that multiplication factor that's there.
Ash Roy (47:12):
And Darryl, you said keep testing. Is there any such thing as producing too many videos, as part of the testing process
Derral Eves (47:19):
Testing should be a part of your creations. So like every video is a test. It's like validating a hypothesis. I have an idea that I, that the value will be that the people will see a title and thumbnail they'll want to click it. And I think that I can get them to the end of the video and that that's a test every time you put out a video. So whether you do that once a week, once a day, once a month, you know, it's just like, can you actually improve the quality? That's what we're trying to do here. Improve the quality. Because if you improve the quality, it takes care of everything else. It does. It just does.
Ash Roy (47:56):
And having that hypothesis at the start is really important too.
Derral Eves (47:59):
The moment that we become arrogant in our content creation is the moment that, that our demise and I've had a lot of people reach out, oh, I just, I lost all my, I lost all my subscribers. Nobody's watching my videos anymore well is because you're arrogant and you lost touch of, who's actually watching your videos and it's same in business. It happens all the time. And you're like, the attrition rate is just horrendous. Well, you're not bringing value to them. And so they're leaving. Like, let's just, let's just, let's just say what it is. So be humble. Don't be arrogant and be teachable and learnable and be a student of data where you can start validating your hypothesis to really make better content. And that's all it is. That's all the YouTube formula.
Ash Roy (48:40):
No, it comes down to empathy like humility, listening and generosity when you've been so generous in this podcast. Thank you, Derral. How do our listeners find out more about you
Derral Eves (48:51):
Just go anywhere on social media, just type my name. D E R R A L - Derral Eaves. I spell my name correctly, by the way or you can go to Derraleves.com The books, and that's
Ash Roy (49:02):
YTformula.com. If you're driving, that's correct. Don't take your hands at the steering wheel, but remember that YTformula.com we'll link to that in the show notes, which you can email@example.com slash two, one three. Thank you so much for being on the podcast sterile. It was really a pleasure speaking to you.
Derral Eves (49:20):
It was a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.