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Eric Worral, of LoCo Ventures, is the interviewee in the latest episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. In this episode, Eric talks about his career journey in Youtube and marketing, the importance of thumbnails, spreadsheet driven content and how "Time is not a renewable resource but money is".
Here are some of Eric's Youtube Channels - https://www.youtube.com/user/MrFailureOptional - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTfHUNZ3AIFJTL2M4EpH0lQ
Here is our new vidwheel Creator Network product that also comes up - https://vidwheel.com/creator-network
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Our goal with this podcast to deliver high-quality, actionable tips and advice from business leaders. Advice that will help you succeed. Oh yeah and that video bent - we are going beyond the typical business tips, we are going to explore the use of video with these business leaders too, from marketing to sales, to internal communications - how they use it and how it impacts their businesses. Thanks for tuning in.
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(upbeat music)- Welcome to this episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. This is a podcast where we talk to business people about interesting things that they're doing with video. And this time, this episode for the first time we have a repeat guest. Eric, did you know you were the first repeat guest on the Smarter Business Podcast?- I wanna be honest and say no, but then that makes it sound like I haven't listened to every episode. So I'm caught, I feel like I'm really caught here.- Got you.- But no, I didn't realize that it's it's an honor. Thank you.- Yeah, well, and part of the reason that it seemed like a no brainer to bring you in for this episode is we've started tying these episodes to the themes that we have going on the creator network. And this month's theme on the creator network is YouTube. So you are the authority.- For the people listening, this is a podcast, I was pumping my hand in the air there.(both laughs) I feel like you always got to do that when you're doing video and podcasts at the same time, you're like, all right for the video people.- So I--- I gonna say real quick though, on your... I think that's great that you're marrying the two and I was and on the last call you dead. And it was pretty fun. It was an hour long call. A lot of people peace out after an hour, but geez we were on there for probably close to two hours after that wreck my sleep for the next day but it was worth it. I had a good time.(both laughs)- The record that we said is actually Clark Devore and Shawn Lewis. And I think we broke midnight the one they would just, I don't know like you can go down the rabbit hole. Right, and yeah there's always interesting things to talk about, so.- Although they're nice people and smart people and I'm willing to share and that's why it's cool having that community aspect to it. And I give you a lot of credit for building that from scratch because that's not an easy thing to do. And, you know, I got in in the beginning and I kind of pop in and out here and there and you can see just the cohesion that's kind of starting to form and just the relationships and the confidence that people are getting from being engaged with the group.- Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And thank you for that. Yeah, we've seen a lot of growth with folks which is exciting in some people who have like, you know moved way down the path that they said go down, so.- I was actually five foot nine before I met Neil. And he just, you know, you got me on those growth hormones. And yeah.- But now to bring it back to some of the content you're creating now you can't fit into SUV's apparently. So, right.- Yeah, yeah. So, for context, if somebody doesn't know if they didn't catch the last episode I see in your notes here, thank you for providing as a episode 20 I do a lot of content on YouTube. That's like my full-time job now. And I like how I put these little like words in there to soften things. It's like my full-time job'cause it still feels weird to me. People ask me what I do and I just say internet marketing, because I say, I feel like if I say YouTube, they're like, Oh, what are you doing like Tik TOK dance videos? I'm like, no, not at all.- They should consider it. That would be great.- There might be some videos of me floating around dancing at weddings after a few drinks. But I like to say it'cause I'm a taller guy. I like to say it looks like those blow up things in front of a used car dealerships when I dance. But as far as video though, yeah. YouTube is my background. I do a lot of, when you go on YouTube, there's all sorts of different ways that people might consume your constant. Majority of my content is YouTube search. So people are using YouTube as a search engine and they're landing on my content and then I'm educating them. And a lot of times I'm making affiliate sales or I'm pushing them to the channel or they're subscribing and just growing a couple of different YouTube channels that way.- Excellent. So you, yeah. You referenced the notes. You brought us back to the path we're supposed to be going down here, which is, I would say that qualifies. I always ask people in one sentence to tell me what they do. There you go. You nailed it. The other thing I like to do when we start out is just talk about, you know, business career or business journey, career journey. I don't know. Last time you were on, you already brought it up episode 20 it was called gaining traction through organic views. That was August. What's changed since August?- Still doing some of the similar stuff but I've just been doing more and more tests on YouTube trying different things out, really trying to explore how to create a hook in somebody's mind or a teaser in somebody's mind when they see your thumbnail and see the title on YouTube. That's something that I've struggled with because I try not to be like a clickbait marketer, you know?'Cause I just, I think a lot of people are just burned out from seeing clickbait and you're like, okay, like I don't even wanna click on this because I know what you're doing kind of thing. And I've been trying to figure out a healthy balance of that, of like how do you create something that creates intrigue but it doesn't feel like you're selling your soul to get somebody to watch your video and been seeing some success with it. I think I told you before just like a quick case study on that, I had a blender video that did really well. I reviewed a bunch of different blenders. It took off, it was getting like a couple thousand views a day during COVID, especially and the thumbnail was decent but it was just a typical thumbnail. Like you could see the blenders you could see my face on screen and it says best blinders. So then I tried something else and it had to do with the opening scene of the video. And it was the fact that, you know, I talked about this blender, it break dances on my countertop because when you it on it just shakes all over the place. So I put that into the thumbnail and tried it out. And I just saw my click-through rate, just plummet on those, on video got cut in half and I was like, not a good idea. So then what I did is I actually took some screenshots from the video and there was a smoothie test I did, I know I live a very fascinating life, Neil.(indistinct) And I tried like all these different blenders and I made smoothies and I poured them out on a plate and I took a chops that can just kind of like a big continuous acid just kinda drew through the smoothie. And what it does is it allows you to see the texture and consistency of the smoothie. And when I realized I'm doing that test is like some blenders just whipped it up like crazy. And some of them gave you this really nice texture and you could see it very easily. But what I ended up doing is I changed that thumbnail again. And I put the bad kind of smoothie test. You know, if you can picture a plate with smoothie on it all whipped up and then a good one. And then I just put a red X in the corner of the bad one and a green check Mark and the good one and just put smoothie chest at the top. So now what happens is somebody on YouTube they happen to be searching blender reviews. My video gets served to them but the thumbnail is really what grabs them. They're like, huh? Like what is that?'Cause who knows what a smoothie test is? Most people don't, I didn't until I researched it. So you're kind of creating that intrigue in their mind of like, well, which one was it? That was the bad one. Which one was the good one? What is this? What am I looking at? So that's the kind of stuff that I've been kind of working on and doing tests on. And the thing I like about YouTube is there's so much data and I've watched my click through rate actually jump up higher than it was before. And if people aren't familiar, click-through rate just means like somebody saw that thumbnail and that's an impression and if a hundred people saw it and five people clicked I had a 5% click through rate. So I've been increasing my views after the fact of making the video just by kind of doing tests and tweaks on the thumbnails and trying to create a kind of a teaser of what somebody is about to consume for the video.- That's excellent because yeah I would have no idea what a smoothie test was. And I do find from my own YouTube experience, those thumbnails where maybe you don't quite know what's going on. Which that would qualify for do like they'll give you a little bit of a huh? What is that? Do I click on it? And then of course you have to deliver on the video end or else people don't stick around, but that's good. I would click that and drink lot of smoothies, you know?- I think it's just like, yeah, your brain naturally wants to close the loop on things. It doesn't like. And you know, where I read about this first, they called it like a soap opera sequence and it was a guy Russell, Oh what's his name from ClickFunnels Russell something.- Was a Brunton?- Yeah, Russell Brunson, I think so. He had a good book about it but he called it A Soap Opera Sequence. And he was more so talking about email marketing. But basically he's like, if you watch a soap opera always before the commercial comes in you have this like boom bump bump. And there's like this big dramatic moment and it doesn't have any closure. And then when the soap opera starts up after the commercial, they close that. But then they have a new storyline going. And the reason they do that is they know that they can lose viewers during the commercial break. So they're trying to hook that viewer, keep them on during the commercial break and then close that loop. But then before the next commercial break they're opening it again. So he was explaining that for email marketing, like you know, if you're sending a sequence and it's got, you know, somebody ops in to your newsletter they opt in for your free resource. You try and at the end of the email set up like a hook into tomorrow's email and they'd be like, Hey be on the lookout for tomorrow subject line, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it creates that little bit of intrigued that somebody like they wanna open that email the next day. And in some ways it's kind of what you're doing on YouTube is like you're kind of creating that opening, like hook loop or whatever you wanna call it on with that thumbnail and trying to put a story in the person's mind. And they're like, I gotta at least see this through and see what this is about.- Excellent. Yeah. And I know that we've had discussions you can do that on the other end, too, right. Where the instead of being like thanks have a good day. You've mentioned in some of our discussions that you say all right, the next videos here, like, or, you know see the rest of the series and you can continue to have people go down that path, right?- Yeah, yeah. And if you don't mind me humoring you on this I just shot a video yesterday. And it's been an idea that I've been thinking about for gosh, probably like four or five months ago. It popped in my head and I do some affiliate marketing. So I'll review different products and services. And some of them there's like a ton of videos out there. So it's like, all right this is clearly a lot of competition. So if you wanna beat that competition you have to create something that somebody wants to watch for a longer time period than the stuff that's already out there. So usually what I recommend in that situation is watch those videos have a critical eye try to see where they might've missed things, go into the comments below people will tell you what was left out or what they didn't like, that kind of stuff. And the particular video I'm doing is it's first service called convert kit which is an email opt-in subscription service kind of similar to active campaign MailChimp. A lot of those services, if you're familiar with for the audience, but I'm like, geez, how can I do this? So, and this one, the hook is I actually got my dad on a Zoom call and we recorded it. And I had him log into my convert kit software and create a landing page from scratch. So the title is going to be convert kit, verse boomer. And then the thumbnail is gonna be my dad like squinting at a computer and going ha you know with this like kinda miffed looking face. So somebody, they probably won't necessarily get there from YouTube search. But in that particular one, my hypothesis with it is that they will watch other people's content on convert kit. And this will get suggested to them because it's a little bit different than what they just watch. And the important thing is I'm gonna try to connect that story that I'm creating with the title and thumbnail in the first 15 to 20 seconds. So early this morning, I started editing that and I got like the perfect lead in, and it's my dad holding up a piece of paper and laughing, you know and he's saying, you know, this is called paper. And the paper he's holding is the Google doc that I had sent him with instructions on what I want him to do.(indistinct) And in the instructions, he is, there are two hyperlinks so links to things and I go, Hey, dad hold that up to the screen real close. Now, show me how you're gonna click those links on that piece of paper. And he had like the perfect response and he's laughing you know, but the thing is, it's like you created this story with the title and thumbnail then in the first 15 seconds I think most people who watch that especially with the millennials will laugh because it's just like the boomer trying to use technology. But then also this kind of hook that I'm creating throughout the video is like, let's see if he can, you know actually go through and build a landing page. And yeah, the idea is just kind of like banter throughout the video because I have good banter with my dad. We always kind of laugh at each other and ourselves kind of thing. And then just trying to capture that in a video review and keep attention throughout the video.- That's I mean, I think that sounds like a winning formula, right? Just the some nail as you described it. (laughs) Feels like one that you'll get some click-throughs on. So yeah. Excellent. And I won't make you reveal whether he was successful building the landing page or not. People have to watch the video for that of course.- All right, see, that is a hook.(both laughing)- I'm gonna, because we're on our compressed kind of timeline here. I'm gonna bring us back and make sure we hit all our points on our notes. We talked about YouTube, you're talking about it throughout the whole thing. That is the theme on the creator network, I guess in short why is that your preferred platform? We may have covered this in the last episode but I think your explanation is such a, I don't know. It appeals to people who hope you have the same definition as last time we talked about why is that your preferred platform?- Hopefully I feel like it's always changing because I really like analogies and trying to figure out what I think makes sense. So hope I'm going the right direction here. And I don't lay it down, Neil.- Go for it.- Basically YouTube when you go there, you just open up youtube.com and take a look at what you see, what you'll see typically is a search bar at the top and then content below. So the search bar is a search focused platform. And then that means people are actually coming here for specific reasons for education and content. And then below is more of like a social network. It's like showing you things that you might be interested'cause you subscribed or you watched this and that kind of thing. The way I think of it is like let's say you were to make content just for LinkedIn. Imagine you're on a Hill and you're you're standing like already like a third of the way up the Hill. And you have to get to the top of the hill. LinkedIn is like trying to run up that hill, right? And as far as YouTube the way I would describe it is it's trying to bike up that hill. And in my opinion it's easier to get quick traction running up that hill.'Cause if you've ever been on a bike all of a sudden we found a steep incline and you have to get going, it's super difficult. So you will get traction quicker on a platform like LinkedIn or Facebook putting video ads on there, if you're doing it organically. But the problem with those platforms is the moment you stop feeding them is the moment that people stop viewing your content because people aren't going to Facebook to search for things. They're not going to LinkedIn to search for things, they're going there for the organic feed. And as you know, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn if it's on the feed and it's gone in two days, you know? So that's kind of a pet peeve of mine is sometimes people focus so much on those platforms because you get that immediate engagement'cause those where your friends are, those are the people you know and then you kind of hope something goes a little viral and you know, whether it be through a hashtag or whatever but YouTube is more like you're it's really hard to get going sometimes because it takes a little bit of time and energy and you're putting content out and not a lot of people are watching it, but what you'll see is over time if you continue to do it consistently and do it well that you start getting momentum with what you're doing. And as you know, like if you're on a flat, you know a space and you're running or riding a bike, the bike, you can stop pedaling and it still goes for a while. Running like you're done immediately. So I think when you're just, when you're ignoring YouTube you're ignoring the medium that has the most momentum behind it. That's more like riding a bike.- All right. Yeah, I like it. And what you've brought up in the past, this is what I was thinking you would hit on is how it's a fair like play field, right? So YouTube, they don't change the way that people you know, consume search or, you know they might tweak the algorithm, but if you have good content and you have the right search words you're going to be found. Whereas just like you mentioned on LinkedIn or Facebook, you feed them content. They see you as a creator. You're putting stuff out on a regular basis. They will show your content to more people whereas if you fall off, like you're back down the hill. That's the hell on note to you, roll back down to the bottom.(both laughs)- And like I think a lot of people are familiar. I don't know if they're still being used that actively maybe LinkedIn did away with them but what they call them like pods or whatever. You'd have like your 10 group of friends and you'd want to comment right away. And you got to do XYZ. YouTube used to be like that, like five, eight years ago you'd be like, just get the, you know go on five or buy a thousand views run a few backlinks, that kind of stuff. They've done a masterful job at trying to make the platform as much as it can be spam free and just really reward good content. And the way they validate that is by viewer retention time. How long do people watch that video for? So one of my values is I like fairness, and I know things aren't fair a lot of times but I do find YouTube to be an extremely fair platform because I'll make a piece of content sometimes. And then, you know, it doesn't do well and I'll look at it and be like, well, yeah, it kind sucks. You know, I think they made the right call on that one, you know, or maybe it was too long and somebody didn't wanna watch a 20 minute video about a paperclip.(Neil laughs)- I haven't seen that one. I'd like to check it out but--- It's in the works.(Neil laughs)- Paperclips spreadsheet, right. You know, very different manufacturers or something. Well, I do wanna plug a few of the, you have been going deep in terms of education information with both the mattress video which I think we brought up on the last episode that one's been out for awhile, but you just put out a decking material video that is, I think timely for a lot of people and has an awesome spreadsheet tied to it with a lot of useful information because we're getting to the end of our time, if you want to go for one minute on what the video is and kind of I don't know how people might use it or how you started getting into that like spreadsheet driven video content, you know that would be, that'd be interesting.- Well, spreadsheets are nice because they're very visual, which lends itself to a visual platform like a YouTube. And what I did is I am going to be building a deck this spring summer. And I was like I don't really know enough about decking materials. So I started researching them and I was like, Oh this can get kind of complicated. Like every board has different, you know, a bottom is it three cap, four cap? Is it scallop? Is it regular? Does it have grooves in the side? Is it sustainable? Is it fire retardant? Like all these different things. So I started putting it into a spreadsheet and then simply what I did in the video is I go through and I do a extremely detailed review of decking materials and it correlates with the spreadsheet and I just gave the spreadsheet away. But as the seasonality of that video has started to kick in because we're going into spring, I'm starting to see like two, three, 400 views a day. All right. And I haven't quite hit 400, but I'm expecting that soon but I wouldn't be surprised if it got a thousand views a day. So I was like, why don't I build an opt-in form? And I did it via convert kit. And you can this spreadsheet for yourself. So I'm building an email list of people who are bottom of the funnel, like ready to buy decking. And that's a powerful list. And then I'm just testing and tweaking things and seeing you know, are there any offers that can make sense for them? And then I'm even trying to connect right now with 84 Lumber, their headquarters. I bet you, if nobody's learned anything today from this podcast, they will learn something right now. Neil, where are the headquarters of 84 Lumber?- Well, I think you may have brought this up in a previous conversation. Are they in Pennsylvania?- Yeah, 84 Pennsylvania.- 84 is the name of the town? Well, they didn't bring that out.- Yeah. I know it sounds like you're making it up, but that's I didn't realize that's how they got their name. So I have been able to create a contact there. I sent him some resources. He said, they're going to discuss it. I have no idea. My hope is that they will provide the lumber for free. And then we can have some sort of arrangement that I can send them qualified traffic that I'm getting 20 30 people a day right now, subscribing for this resource. And they say, Hey, 84 Lumber 250 locations nationwide. But that's kind of one of the difficult things I have to deal with is trying to sell this idea and the value to companies, because I don't work in the company but that's part of the process.- Well, and that's probably why you, like you find that affiliate set up to work so well. If you could be an affiliate for a handful of the manufacturers on your list, that would be another way to monetize that content, right?- Yeah. Yeah. It's just finding the right affiliate. Something that you feel good about something you feel good recommending and then yeah, they get, you know, you can help connect that traffic to them. You make some income from it, and this thing can live potentially for a decade online, just generating leads, income and sales for the affiliates that you're partnered with.- Excellent. Well, let's talk about you're going to speak to the VIT wheel creator network on April 22nd. Do you wanna tell everybody what you're gonna talk about when you're on?- Yeah, I think right now what I was gonna talk about was something, you know you may have heard the acronym B fam brother from another mother. I just always liked it when I used to play basketball every once in a while someone we'd be like, Hey, what's up B fam. And I'd be like, my heart would pitter-patter and be like they liked me, but I was part of their tribe, you know? And the, what are we talking about is like how to think of building that following because things that you're doing connect with them on a personal level, on a niche level, on a values level and how you can kind of grow that community. That's something I've been learning and figuring out as I go. And I'm gonna share that, and then just kind of talk about YouTube and any kind of questions and answers anybody has on the platform.- Excellent, and you're going to start a course around B Fan?- Yes, eventually. And my goal is could I get something up before this presentation? I don't know. I got a few things I'm working on eventually I will. Yeah.- Excellent. So I'm gonna skip to the last question. The one question that kind of ties all these podcasts together and it's going to be tough for you because I ask what's one thing you've done to make your business, your client's business smarter and you've already done a good one thing back in August. So do you have a new one thing? The one in August was spend money to make money. Don't be afraid to hire out for tasks. You're not qualified or you're not. Don't like doing, do you have one more thing?- Yeah, for me, I took some time I put together a mind map, you know I've got a free one via mindmeister.com and I put myself at the top of it and I created an org chart because I'm a company of one and I do outsource a few tasks but I kind of started creating buckets of everything that I do so that I can see the whole process visually. Cause I'm a very visual person. And then now what I'm doing is I'm just picking off certain projects and tasks and seeing if there's other things I can outsource and starting on Mondays, I started doing this three weeks ago four hours every Monday morning. All I do is I look at that work chart and I try to figure out how can I simplify my week?'Cause I heard a quote recently. And it was just based on, you've probably heard this too. And time is not a renewable resource, money is. You can always make more money but you can't get time back. And that's kind of the way I try to look at my business now is how can I focus on time getting more of it because it's not a renewable resource. And then the more of that I'd get I think that there is going to be momentum behind that because then I have more time to think and be more strategic rather than just do a so really same thing spending money to make money, but being more strategic looking at the org chart, figuring out what I do and don't like doing and trying to find people to fill those roles of the things I don't like doing, or I don't do well.- Awesome. Now you've got two, one things could, you know and they're both excellent. Yeah, time, right? That's ultimately the equalizer everybody's got the same amount of time, so.- Which is ironic because like we're already a minute past your time because you got kids ready add, right?- Yep. Yeah. I've got to go on to a kid duty. Yeah, because my wife's to get to it with work. So with that, I am going to say thank you for tuning into this episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. Thank you, Eric, for coming out and chatting with us. If you'd like the content that you hear, please subscribe on YouTube or wherever you consume your podcasts and share this with a friend.- For the people watching or listening to the podcast, I'm pointing to subscription button on the screen, wherever it is.(crosstalk) I can't point.(both laughing) Alright, thanks for having me, Neil, I appreciate it.(upbeat music)