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.

Learning in The Most Surprising Places

It’s amazing where you will learn stuff if you take the time to observe closely. Let me explain.

There’s a man on YouTube with his own YouTube channel.

Even though the views he espouses are, to my mind, pathetic, odious, chauvinistic, right wing, misogynistic, and repulsive I have learned something from him.

Before I share what I have learnt it is noteworthy that he has over 100,000 subscribers, the vast majority of whom are men. He is a mature man. Not only is he mature, he looks mature, too, for he has grey hair and a well-trimmed grey beard and lives on his own.

I have not paid much heed to his back story or what he has said about his living arrangements, but I gather from the titles of his videos that he lives alone and has been through a great deal of relationships and a divorce or two.

He gives advice to men about love, women, relationships, what it means to be a man, why feminism is to be attacked, and spreads a lot of nonsense bordering on misogyny. But his subscribers love him and see him as the father or grandfather many of them never had.

So he gives this purportedly home spun, worldly advice about all types of things to do with life, especially from a man’s perspective. He even has a video on how to smoke a pipe and he has guys asking him questions about smoking pipes, tobacco, and so forth.

In 2019, for young men to be getting advice on YouTube about the benefits of, and techniques for, smoking a pipe is mind boggling.

But what I have learnt is if you are making a YouTube video, and I make many of them, they don’t have to be all action or edited and cut to ensure there is no dead space or movement.

Because this guy, from time to time, just sits there thinking about choosing the right words to speak and puffing on his pipe. Not in any hurry.

He waits until he is ready, until he has the right words, and he doesn’t edit or cut out the natural contemplation or thinking or ‘dead space’ or choosing of the right words to articulate what he wants to say.

His self confidence in this regard is stunning because the most natural thing in the world for most of us is to either fill the space with some words, somehow, or edit it out before uploading the video to YouTube.

And his YouTube subscriber count continues to grow and grow inexorably with his subscribers and viewers giving him the most positive feedback.

So, it’s amazing what you learn when you are watching closely with an open mind, even if you find the individual or his views anti-diluvian and odious.

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 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.]

My Business (and Personal) Growth Strategy for 2019

For 2019 and beyond I want to focus all my attention on the things that matter; I mean the things that really matter.

For my business, and for myself personally.

And these things are closely related.

Let me explain.

There is a small number of things that really matter to continue to grow my business, and one thing I need to guard against and fight like hell to defeat. And if I can defeat it I will win by business and personal growth.

Before I set out the things I need to do to grow my solicitor’s practice I need to be crystal clear about my purpose or objective: an obsession to obtain and serve clients.

Clearly I need to grow my client base and acquire new clients but I also need to serve them, and my existing clients, tremendously well.

To do this I need to focus on the work that matters to achieve this goal-I need to do deep work. (Take a look at my Youtube video about this topic and the book, Deep Work, by Cal Newport, a graduate of M.I.T. and a university professor in computer science at Georgetown University, USA).

This work includes:

  • continuing to write blog posts for my various websites, and to do so in a way that makes the subject matter easy to understand for the greatest number of people;
  • continuing to make videos for my YouTube channel, and to do so in a way that explains the subject matter to a non legally educated audience, and which will address the particular problems facing the viewer at any specific point in time-for example, if he/she is considering taking on a commercial lease explaining what a Deed of Renunciation is for he/she will probably come across this in negotiations for a lease
  • using YouTube advertising to promote my videos
  • continuing to grow my email subscriber list and provide useful, valuable information to the subscriber (my 3 main subscriber lists in 2 markets-employment law and property-contain approximately 6,000 subscribers)
  • doing distraction free focused work in sufficiently large chunks of time to be the best lawyer I can be.

These 3 spheres of promotional or marketing activity are how I have built my business over the last 5 years and I am determined to focus with laser like intention on these areas in 2019.

The battle I must win

And the thing I need to guard against?

I have written about this in the not too distant past and make no apology for touching on the subject again: the problem of the narrowing of my attention span through the use of

  • social media
  • mobile phone.

This battle is a constant one and needs to be fought with real purpose and intention because if I lose I will lose the ability to do the work that matters to me and my business.

I want to retain, and grow, the ability to do focused, distraction free, concentrated work on the things that matter, having identified the things that really matter for my business above.

The things that don’t matter and which I need to guard against to prevent the stealing of my attention and focus are sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and apps like Facebook messenger.

Anything that is an intrusion or distraction as the potential to wreak havoc on my business and personal growth and ability to do “deep work”.

I want to ensure that my attention span is never degraded by notifications and attention seeking sounds or visuals to the point that I cannot read a good long book such as anything by Dickens or Tolstoy.

If that happens, I am screwed and will have failed abjectly in my fight to do the work that matters to me and my business.

Choosing the right clients

I also need to be far more particular about the work and clients I take on and avoid trying to help everyone who comes my way. If I was to do a close time analysis of certain types of work I routinely do and compare it with other work that’s available to me I believe I should exercise far more discernment and need to refuse a lot of easy money.

2019

In 2019 I hope I come back here again and again and remind myself of the work that matters to me, and not get distracted with time consuming notifications on my phone or in my email inbox.

What about you? Have you identified the critical work to be done for your business or career? Have you noticed the potential ambushes to your attention and your ability to do “deep work”?

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.

Where Have All the Gatekeepers Gone?

Not too long ago if you wanted to write and publish a book you had to get a publisher.

The publisher, if he approved, would get your book into the bookshop. He was the gatekeeper.

Now?

You don’t need a publisher because you can do it yourself with Amazon. Here’s my Amazon author page, for example.

If you wanted to make a movie/film you needed a movie producer or someone to ask and pay for you to make a documentary. 

Now? You can start a YouTube channel if you have a mobile phone and let’s face it: everyone has a mobile phone. Here’s my YouTube channel.

If you wanted to publish an opinion or point of view you needed some place that would provide two things:

  • an audience
  • a way of publishing your view. 

Now? There is no gatekeeper preventing you from publishing your views, observations, opinions, message to your heart’s consent.

You can start a free blog/website with WordPress.com or Blogger.com and distribute widely what you publish on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever you choose.

Not all the gatekeepers are gone, however. For example if you want to be a solicitor you will need to pass the exams, and meet the requirements, of the Law Society of Ireland.

If you want to be a doctor you will need to meet requirements to get into medical school and meet the requirements of the Medical Council.

This is not a bad thing; we need to set certain standards in many areas of life.

But if you have something of value to offer or something to say take a quick look around and you will almost certainly see that the only gatekeeper is you.

I Care That You Don’t Like My YouTube Video

I am not going to lie-I do care that you don’t like my video.

I made it and uploaded it to YouTube because I thought it had some value, some utility. And seeing that little thumbs down icon always hurts a little.

It hurts if it is genuine and my video is truly worthy of the thumbs down.

I don’t care, however, if you gave it the thumbs down because you are a begrudger.

I don’t care if you are a whinger.

Or a naysayer.

Or a hater.

Or a regular habitue of the swamp of jealously and envy.

And the bad news for you, and good news for me, is that tomorrow I get the chance to upload another.

And another.

Because all I need is a mobile phone, an internet connection, and an idea.

And there are no gatekeepers now. Very few, anyway.

So, you can sit on the sideline and boo and give me the thumbs down when I make a video and upload to my YouTube channel.

Work away, knock yourself out. You only get one vote, though.

Meanwhile, I will keep making stuff and putting it into the world, and having a say.

And trying to serve the people I make it for.

It’s not for everyone, and if it’s not for you? Bang away on that button.

YouTube Advertising-Are You Using This Stunningly Cost Effective Digital Marketing Channel?

If you are not using YouTube advertising for your business you are missing a great opportunity.

It is incredibly cost effective and I am getting video views for all my campaigns at 1 cent per view and, for some, much less than that.

YouTube advertising cost of less than .005 cent per view (Click image to enlarge)

For example my “Residential Property” campaign has delivered 1,491 views over the last 7 days at a cost of Euros 7.38.

This is stunning because the cost per video view is 0.00494969818; yes, less than .5 of a cent.

And a video view on YouTube is only counted when a viewer has watched in excess of 30 seconds of your video. If someone watches for 25, 28, 29 seconds and clicks away I am not charged a cent.

Not one cent.

Imagine being able to communicate by word, voice, body language, gesture, facial expression with 1,491 people-how much is that worth?

Imagine getting 1,491 people into a hotel in Dublin or Cork or Galway or Limerick or a provincial town and giving them useful information which would position you as an expert in your area of business. Would that be worth less than 10 euros?

Currently YouTube is wide open for any Irish business to exploit and put to stunningly effective use for the benefit of the business. From what I see there are very few Irish businesses wading in, though, and picking the low hanging fruit.

Even less are availing of the advertising opportunity on YouTube.

This is a huge mistake, one that I find puzzling and inexplicable.

Meanwhile, though, I am delighted to ‘fill my boots’ and grow my subscriber base, leads, clients, and solicitor’s practice on YouTube.

(You can take a look at my YouTube channel here.)