10 Invaluable Lessons from Reaching 5,000 YouTube Subscribers

When I started out on YouTube, I never thought I would reach 5,000 subscribers.

Let’s face it, I was making videos about topics-law and business-that are not likely to produce videos which can go viral or gain massive popularity.

To compound matters I was not making videos for a huge population base because my videos are mainly targeted at the Irish market, not worldwide.

Thus, I was getting down to a narrower base, a niche audience on YouTube, which might lead to a few hundred subscribers; but not thousands, and certainly not 5,000.

But that is exactly what has happened today, 5th October 2019, as I have reached the magic 5,000 subscriber mark.

What have I learned from the process? Several things:

  1. Communicating with people and potential new leads and clients through video is incredibly powerful because when someone watches your video you have all their attention, unlike audio where the person may be doing something else like walking the dog or exercising
  2. Making videos is easy, provided you take one step at a time and commit to making them on a regular basis; no matter how bad the first few are, and they will probably be rough, you will improve
  3. I ask one principal question before I make a video now: ‘will the viewer see this as useful? Has it utility?’ Nothing else matters, but if you answer this question in the affirmative everything else-recognition, brand building, new leads and clients, new business-will follow naturally
  4. The type of video you make is limited only by your imagination but it should always be useful, regardless of whether the use is to entertain, provoke a debate, educate, riff on some topic, build your brand, show the real, authentic you, showcase your products or services, etc.
  5. You don’t make videos for everyone; you don’t seek to make viral hits; you make videos for the few-the few who you seek to serve-and you take pride in your work
  6. I am surprised more people, especially business owners and entrepreneurs, don’t embrace video, the power of the smart phone in their pocket, and avail of the huge opportunity offered by YouTube
  7. YouTube is free; this makes my surprise at point 6 even more pronounced
  8. Making regular videos helps you develop and hone a powerful skill-communication-which can be utilised daily offline
  9. Committing to a regular schedule of uploading a video is helpful in developing a commitment to show up and produce something useful; the same principle of showing up could be used in creating other types of content such as blog posts or audio recordings
  10. It is extremely powerful from a thought leadership, brand building perspective to show up with a video and say to your audience, ‘here-I made this-you might find it useful’

What next? I will continue to show up every week with a new video which will, hopefully, pass the ‘useful’ test.

Not useful for everyone? That’s fine.

Roll on 10,000 subscribers!

Here’s my channel.

Why I Am Returning to Twitter

I gave up on Twitter some time ago as a waste of my time and attention; but I’m reconsidering this decision now and I’ll tell you why.

Before I do that, however, let me tell you why I quit. The main reason was that the tweets I did publish appeared to make little impression, did not generate much engagement, and the website traffic I was generating did not appear to justify the time spent sending out tweets. 

From time to time, though, I came across some piece of content or a sparkling piece of writing that made wading through the firehose of dross worthwhile; for example a legal letter written by one of the top law firms in the United Kingdom.

Or an insight into a legal argument or pleading from a leading Queen’s Counsel or a submission to the UK Supreme Court on behalf of John Major in the case taken to challenge the proroguing of parliament. Getting access to this type of material is priceless and would not normally be available to me or be in the public domain.

Research tool

I have also used Twitter for some time as a research tool through the use of lists. I have created a list of top lawyers and law firms, for example, and keep a close eye on their tweets to keep abreast of important decisions in the courts or changes in existing, or commencement of new, legislation. 

This is a bit like having the best legal brains acting as a research unit for me and ensures I am always aware of important changes which might affect the people I seek to serve. 

Video 

A further reason for returning and giving it a 2nd chance is the surprising, positive results I am seeing from tweeting out shortened versions of my YouTube channel videos.

Conclusion 

On balance I believe Twitter has positive benefits to offer to my business provided I use it in a considered, thoughtful way and for this reason I will devote a certain amount of time and effort to rebuilding the relationship.

Feeding the Birds-a 5 Minute Story Out of the Ordinary

Using story is one of the most effective ways of communicating and persuading.

A story can be as short as 3 seconds, or as long as a lifetime.

The video below is a 5-minute story and you will probably recognise the 3 “acts” or “stages” in it. Making this video is the product of a challenge I set myself on a Saturday morning in April: make a story out of something ordinary around my home on an average Saturday.

If you need to influence or persuade, and let’s face it-who doesn’t, you will probably benefit greatly by thinking about how you can use story in your aid.

You can check out my YouTube channel here. It deals with all aspects of Irish law, particularly

  • Employment law
  • Small business
  • Property
  • Personal injuries
  • Probate
  • Litigation

“The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online: How to Get New Clients With a Proven, Inexpensive 5 Part Digital Marketing Strategy”-Update in the Pipeline

I was delighted when I checked the latest reviews of my books for sale on Amazon and Kindle.

Reviews, especially bad ones, can break a book’s life; no reviews at all are not helpful either and it is challenging to get readers to leave a review.

I have 6 titles for sale which can be purchased in paperback or Kindle format and all of them have received positive reviews. (You can check them out yourself here).

One book which I have neglected, however,  is “The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online: How to Get New Clients With a Proven, Inexpensive 5 Part Digital Marketing Strategy”, first published in January, 2016.

I intend rectifying the situation in the next few weeks by updating it with new material. You may think that the strategy I set out in that book must be outdated now and changes in the digital marketing space would render the strategy worthless or irrelevant.

That is not the case at all.

I carried out a review at the weekend to see how my method as outlined in that book compared with the strategies and methods put forward by other digital marketing practitioners/teachers at that time.

And I am still executing the same strategies with a great deal of success and the three contemporaries who I researched at the weekend have quit what they were recommending back in 2015/2016.

I am certain that what I have set out in my book is sound and works like gangbusters but there are some significant improvements that I have made in the years since first publication. So, my strategy is essentially the same but I would recommend some tweaks and enhancements, especially in the area of advertising on certain social media platforms.

These are the areas I will be focusing on when I update in the next few weeks. Meanwhile the 5 steps I have enunciated in the original book are as sound and relevant today as they were then. Not only am I taking the same 5 steps now on a weekly basis, but I have added some enhancements which I am looking forward to sharing in the updated version.

The Danger of Overreliance on 1 Online Platform

I have written before about the stunning effectiveness of YouTube and Facebook advertising, provided it is done correctly.

There is a tremendous danger, however, in putting all your eggs in one basket.

Recently I met a young woman whose entire business-surprisingly successful-was based on the popularity of her Facebook page and Facebook advertising.

When she fell foul, however, of Facebook’s advertising policies she was prevented from advertising and her page was effectively shut down. This ended her business and she came to me for advice.

The difficulty is that Facebook or YouTube are private platforms owned by limited companies-Facebook and Google-and do not have any public service obligations, for example those that RTE must adhere to.

So, when Facebook close your account because you have breached their advertising policies, and you have unsuccessfully appealed their decision, it is difficult to see anywhere else you might profitably pursue the matter.

Yes, perhaps you can complain to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission or go to the Courts seeking some type of order or relief on anti competition grounds. But pitting the resources of a small business against the resources of Google and Facebook is a battle that is only for the extremely brave or foolhardy.

The takeaway is that these platforms make the rules and if you want to play you need to keep a weather eye on their policies and procedures, which do change frequently, to ensure you are not shooting yourself in the foot and destroying your business.

And you also need to ensure that you do not develop an unhealthy overreliance on one platform.

Employee #30 at Facebook, Facebook Advertising, and Email Subscribers for $.34

facebook advertising

He was the 30th employee at Facebook when it started up. He was directly involved in the creation of the Facebook advertising platform.

And he is almost certainly a multi-millionaire. He is the founder of AppSumo, Sumo, and King Sumo and a leading light in the business world dispensing advice for startups and entrepreneurs.

His name is Noah Kagan.

I came across a video of his on YouTube recently and was fascinated to read the title and the premise of his video. It is called “Facebook Ads Tutorial: How I Get Thousands of Email Subscribers for $1 Each” and you can watch it here.

I was fascinated because I get email subscribers for $0.34 per sign up.

Yes, 34% of Noah Kagan’s cost. 34% of the cost that Noah Kagan, employee number 30 at Facebook, is so impressed with and made a video about it.

So I made a video about it, which you can take a look at on this page.

Of course the reason why I can make Noah Kagan look like a rank amateur is because I am in a much less competitive market.

Less competitive from a geographical perspective, and less competitive from an industry standpoint.

Nevertheless, you would have to wonder why more business owners, entrepreneurs, start ups, hustlers, grinders, and so forth do not avail of Facebook advertising for their business.

And don’t use email marketing properly.

And don’t use YouTube and YouTube advertising properly, or at all.

It baffles me, quite frankly.

Anyway, take a look at the video here:

Content Marketing-a Simple, Effective Strategy

Every weekend I try, and generally succeed, in creating at least 2 new pieces of content.

This weekend, for example, I published a video on YouTube, “Reading Between the Lines at an Employment Hearing” and published a blog post “Part Time Bus Driver Wins Reinstatement and Full Salary Retrospection”.

Content marketing

This is the central plank of my content marketing strategy, something I have been doing since I published my first piece of content in September, 2009.

This is a strategy which I have pursued consistently since then and I have written a book about it, “The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online: How to Get New Clients With a Proven, Inexpensive 5 Part Digital Marketing Strategy”.

This book is only 122 pages long and was first published in January, 2016 and even though many things have changed since the strategy outlined in that book is the one that I still pursue as I write this blog post.

It’s simple: content marketing is publishing useful and/or interesting content for the market you seek to serve.

The content can be written, for example blog posts, can be video (YouTube channel), can be audio (Podcast), or even a combination of all three. But the bottom line is the content must have utility, must help.

That’s all there is to it. It means I don’t have to spend money on traditional advertising, or distribute leaflets, or engage in the tactics that might have worked 20 years ago.

If you create 2 pieces of content every weekend, and you do this 52 weeks of the year, and you do it for 10 years you find that you have a significant body of work out there working away for you in the search engines, on YouTube, on social media sites, and so on.

P.S. Matheson have a great podcast which deals with employment law.

The Remarkable Power of Video in Bestowing Authority

A lady from Utah or Idaho or Ohio or someplace in the United States emailed me last week.

She wanted me to advise her in relation to some difficulty she was encountering with a government or State department in the United States. She had seen me on YouTube and was impressed and decided I was just the guy  she needed.

Her problem had something to do with a driving licence or the restoration or renewal of a licence. It was some type of administrative difficulty with the body that issued driving licences in her state.

I quickly replied that she must be mistaken, that I was an Irish lawyer, and I knew absolutely nothing about United States law and could not advise or help her.

She said she wasn’t mistaken, she knew I was in Ireland, and said I was just the man to advise her as the Irish have a great record for fighting for the underdog, loved scraps, and could deliver the knockout blow in her dispute.

She persisted in asking for advice and I told her the only advice I could give was to get a local attorney in her State.

But the power of the YouTube video and the immediacy and authority she gleaned from watching it; the confidence that she had clearly derived from being able to see and hear me in the video, from being able to watch my body language and facial expressions and voice tone was what stuck in my mind for days afterward.

Would she ever have reacted in this way to the written word in a blog post or an article? No, I don’t believe so.

Video has an extra dimension over all other ways of communicating; if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur it is crazy to ignore the power of video.

[Check out my YouTube channel here]

Drip by Drip (the Army of Cost Effective Workers)

I uploaded a video to YouTube yesterday which is almost certainly of interest to only a small group of people. The video is called “The Powers, Duties and Role of Executors in Irish law”.

To the person who finds themselves burdened with the job of executor for the estate of a loved one who has recently passed away, however, the video should be useful.

That’s who this video is for; it’s not for everyone.

For me, from a marketing perspective, this video will almost certainly be relevant next month, next year, in 5 years time, in 10 years time when you consider the last legislative change in this area of Irish law was the Succession Act, 1965.

And the fact that this video will be working away on YouTube for those who are interested in this topic; the fact that I only need 1 or 2 people in a year to generate a nice bit of business from this video; the fact that it only took me approximately 30 minutes to make and another 30 minutes to upload and optimise on YouTube; the fact that once made and uploaded it does not require any further work, maintenance, or tending makes it an efficient way to grow my business.

I remain surprised at how few Irish businesses exploit YouTube and the drip by drip effect of an army of virtually cost free ‘workers’ like this.
[You can take a look at my YouTube channel here.]

2,000 YouTube Subscribers Later-My 4 Fundamentals To Grow a Small Business Online

terry gorry youtube

I got a great deal of quiet satisfaction this week from reaching my 2,000th subscriber to my YouTube channel.


I uploaded my first video in March 2011 and it took from then until the third quarter of 2018 to grow my subscriber base to 1,000.


But it only took a couple of months to add an extra 1,000, which bodes well for 2019 and beyond.


I also get a great kick from the fact that I did it without any ‘expert’ help.


No digital marketing guru, no video marketing expert, no expensive equipment, no cameraman, no editor, no studio time. (I have nothing against experts; but don’t tell me, show me.)


Just me and my mobile phone and a $20 webcam purchased on Amazon.


I made all the videos myself, made mistakes, made rubbish, researched answers to questions, improved a little, Googled some more to find more answers, sought out tips, techniques on YouTube, subscribed to good Youtubers, learned from them, learned from my mistakes, learned from trial and error.


And I have loved the journey, the journey of discovery, discovery about making videos, discovery about video marketing, discovery about marketing, discovery about myself, discovery about communication, discovery about hustling and rainmaking in a digital age.


And bit by bit, step by step, gradually the videos improved, and my subscriber growth has a little bit of momentum now which should help maintain my growth rate into the future.


All the videos have been made with my mobile phone or a cheap desktop webcam and a video editing software program called ‘Camtasia’, sometimes with slides from Google Slides or Powerpoint and sometimes with just me being a ‘talking head’.


The greatest thrill, however, is being able to grow my solicitor’s business and my personal brand with the help of YouTube.


And underlying this growth is four fundamental principles I firmly believe in to grow a small business nowadays:

  1. There are very few gatekeepers now-that is, I can pick myself and don’t need anyone else’s permission or approval to communicate with those I try to serve.
  2. An attitude of “Here-I made this, you might find it useful. It’s not for everyone, but I don’t try to serve everyone, but you might find utility in it.
  3. Don’t like my video/blog post? That’s fine because I will make another one (video, blog post) tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day, maybe you’ll find one of those useful.
  4. Drip by drip, bit by bit, small step by small step.


You can check out my YouTube channel here, my employment law website here, my solicitor’s website here, my small business website here.


Drip by drip.