M&M 49: Becoming a Prolific YouTuber
How often should you post on YouTube? Being prolific on YouTube starts with a great idea but nothing can replace a strong work ethic. In Episode 49 of The Money and Media Podcast, PT Money interviews John Sonmez about how to become prolific on YouTube.
Jon Somnez has amassed over 150,000 subscribers on his Mindset of the Champions YouTube channel. He produces 2-3 videos per day and his daily topics tend to include personal philosophy, self improvement, and entrepreneurship. John firmly believes that outworking and outproducing others will put him in the top 5% when it comes to success on YouTube.
Intro John Sonmez–YouTuber, businessman, author, real estate expert
2:55 A broad approach keeps you in the game
5:00 To be prolific, you gotta be a believer!
9:25 Should you start in secret?
11:15 Keeping your own tank filled
13:35 Creating a workflow that works
17:30 How to connect with more people on Youtube
19:55 How to overcome your fear of the camera
22:55 How to make money on Youtube
Take a Broad Approach to YouTube
John’s YouTube channel has evolved over the past few years. He began his channel as he was building his company, The Simple Programmer, which existed to teach soft skills to software developers. It has since morphed into a personal development channel.
Even in his software days, John was very much interested in personal development and he received a lot of feedback from his viewers with questions related to living a better life. He describes his channel as broad–including everything from finances, physical fitness, mental games, philosophy, and entrepreneurship.
John’s current numbers don’t lie; he currently has over 156K subscribers and nearly 2,500 videos. Of course, since he uploads 2-3 videos per day, these numbers change quickly. We asked John to share his top tips how you should post on YouTube, so let’s get to it.
Get Your Mindset Right
The first thing you absolutely have to do if you want to be prolific on YouTube is to believe that it’s the right thing to do.
Maybe you aren’t sure what your strategy should be or how to win at the YouTube game. John didn’t either. In fact, he still confesses that when he has no real strategy, he goes back to the one strategy that always works: being prolific.
Even if you aren’t the smartest or the most well-developed business person out there, if you put out more content than the others, you will eventually get ahead. Always keep in the forefront of your mind what you want to accomplish and go for it. You aren’t creating junk just to have something to post; you’re simply going to the plate every chance you get.
This requires that you leave any perfectionistic tendencies at the door. Would you rather have 2 videos posted or 200? Do your best, learn as you go, and keep uploading. Has John posted videos that aren’t great or that he could have edited more? Yes! The key is to keep going and don’t stop.
Should You Begin in Secret?
What if you’ve never done video before? Should you practice a lot and just keep your channel a secret until you get better at it?
John is a firm believer in just getting it out there; that if you wait to be done making less-than-great videos, you will likely never put anything out there. After nearly 7 years, John is quite sure he hasn’t yet gotten all his bad ones out of the way.
He posts videos all the time that he’s not happy with and yet those are sometimes the ones he gets the most feedback on as far as them impacting his viewers. We simply aren’t a good judge of our own content at times. Be authentic, be genuine, be real, and people will relate to you.
Keeping Your Tank Full
When you are sharing multiple videos per day, you have to be putting stuff in your own tank on a regular basis. John is a huge audiobook fan; listening on 3x speed allows him to plow through multiple books per week while on his runs.
Reading on his Kindle and coaching clients also provides him with lots of material. He tends toward introspection which helps him to create ideas for content. His passions inform what he is creating and you can see that on his channel. Just like the rest of us, he goes through phases of what he’s interested in, which translates to videos on that topic.
Workflow and Hiring Help
John’s first piece of advice for someone wanting to be as prolific is to stop worrying about how often you should post on YouTube and start off much more slowly.
John started with one video per week, doing all the editing and captioning himself. After a while, he had a workflow designed consisting of creating the topic, recording the video, editing the video, and so on. Once he had this workflow down, he could turn out 3 videos per week, still doing these things himself. During this time, he was always trying to shave down the time the process took.
Once he had this flow mastered, he began to think about which parts he could hire out. He currently has a full-time employee who does all of his editing and uploading. John records his videos each day but once he uploads them to the Dropbox folder for his employee, he doesn’t touch them again.
Making Connections on YouTube
Anybody can make a bunch of videos and stick them up on Youtube. What makes John different and why do his followers feel such a personal connection with him?
John mentioned earlier the need for authenticity when creating content. When John records videos, he doesn’t hide anything. If things go wrong, he leaves it in. Why? His faults are not something he feels the need to hide. Vulnerability is okay. People want to relate to other people. They want to see someone real. Stop caring what others think about you and how often you should post on YouTube and create what you know they want to see without trying to hide behind your editing.
Overcome Your Fear of the Camera
Anybody who has an online presence of any kind can likely attest to being fearful at some point of the technology required to do the things they needed to do. You can easily find someone to either teach you how to do those things or pay someone to do them for you. But how do you overcome the fear of talking to the camera?
Some people compare making videos to public speaking but John has done public speaking and he shared some major differences between the two. In public speaking, you get feedback from the audience. You can make eye contact. You can use body language and read the body language of your audience. Not so in video.
Like with most things, practice makes better. The more you get in front of the camera, the more comfortable you will become. When you look into that camera, pretend that you are looking your audience in the eye. Do it until it feels natural. And no matter what, if you know that being prolific is what you need to do, keep pushing.
How to Make Money on YouTube
As of this airing, things have changed somewhat in the YouTube space when it comes to making money. The main thing that people are seeing is their ad income dropping.
John’s advice is to not rely on ads for income. He calls it “the lowest form of income.” He is adamant that you need a product to sell. You can’t rely on someone else for your income. If you have thousands of followers and are making a certain amount on ads, you could make a whole lot more by selling a product to those same people.
With over 150k subscribers, John brings in less than $3K per month in ad revenue but he earns significantly more than that by selling products.
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