Mastering YouTube Strategies with Ed Lawrence

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Tired of spending hours optimizing your YouTube content only to end up with a low conversion rate?

Ed Lawrence is the Founder of Film Booth.

He helps over 13,000 newsletter subscribers with actionable tips to grow their channels and YouTube businesses.

In this episode of Creators on Air, YouTube educator Ed Lawrence shares his advice on the power of storytelling, the value of editing as a content retention strategy, and how to craft engaging, data-driven content that converts.

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Episode Transcript

Akta [00:00:00]: You don't have to have a huge audience on YouTube to have a successful business. But if you don't need millions of views and subscribers, what do you need?

Ed  [00:00:08]: Just don't do anything original. At the end of the day, there's millions of videos on YouTube, probably hundreds of millions, and there's a very small percentage of those that will get, say, a hundred thousand views. If you're like, I'm gonna talk about this topic. Oh, I'm just gonna call it this title. Oh, I'm just gonna put this image because I think that's what works. You're probably gonna fail. You just need to do is find the clues on YouTube as to what already works, because the chances of you making a video that does well are so slim. So just use the data that's out there.

Akta [00:00:32]: Meet Ed Lawrence. He's the founder of film Booth, and he helps educational creators to grow and monetize. In this episode of creators on air, Ed shares the strategies you need to build your audience on YouTube. Monetize through products and scale your business.

Ed  [00:00:48]: The main mistake they usually have is to do with how they present their ideas and their packaging. So everyone kind of knows you need to make good videos on YouTube, right? To grow a YouTube channel. And a good video could mean different things. So a good video could be a very specific video for a small amount of people. That creates a big impact in their life, not one that gets millions of views. A good video could be one that was so good, it got millions of views because so many different people were interested in it. The problem that most people come up against to start off with is they don't know how to package their content. So they make a video and then it will never hit its true potential, assuming it is good, because they've called it something no one's interested in clicking on, so they don't come up with the thumbnail and title one.

Ed  [00:01:27]: And that's probably the toughest thing about YouTube, it's working out, how do I make this thing? I want to talk about highly clickable, because if you can't do that, no one's going to watch it. That's the first mistake. The second mistake is they often then get too caught up in the view numbers. So for educators in particular, if you want fame, then you need to be caught in the view numbers. If you want to grow a business, you actually need to be looking more along the lines of, how do I create content that nurtures a very sort of strong community so that people know that I'm credible, trust me. And then how do I turn them into clients? And you don't need many views to make millions on YouTube, which is crazy. I know people doing 2000 views per video doing a million a month.

Akta [00:02:05]: Oh, wow.

Ed  [00:02:06]: That's another mistake is often people get too stuck into the YouTube growth side of things. And I fell into that trap myself too, when actually, if you have a great offer combined with content that's incredibly useful, you can win really early on in your YouTube journey. So those are the wo biggest mistakes educators make.

Akta [00:02:23]: That's so interesting because I've definitely fallen into that trap as well. I've always thought, let's do well on YouTube. You have to get those views in. So if you are an educational youtuber and you're predominantly focused on building a business, how much attention do you need to be paying to things like the title thumbnail, the hook, making videos engaging, is that still relevant or is it a different game altogether?

Ed  [00:02:48]: Yeah, it's still relevant. There's three stages that we want to look at, right? Stage one is growing a following. So you need to get good at YouTube. So you need to get good at filming, editing, presenting and understanding how to play the YouTube game. So that's where thumbnails and titles and quality content is really important because you just never get anywhere. But what that means is you don't have to get a million views. If you start to get a few thousand views per video, most people are probably in a position where they can offer something. Now, it will depend on the niche, but let me give you an example.

Ed  [00:03:18]: I started helping someone out. It wasn't a paid thing. They had 500 subscribers. They were in a very specific niche that was in May. I think they're going to go full time next year. They're not even at 2000 subscribers yet because they have the right kind of offer. So you do want to get good at thumbnails and tiles because you got to get the clicks, but really you want to be thinking about the offer as well. I think I slightly lost track of where I was going with it.

Ed  [00:03:43]: Can you repeat the question?

Akta [00:03:44]: It was how important things like the thumbnail title hook are for education.

Ed  [00:03:51]: That's always important. I think the thing that you kind of have to be wary of is there's these three stages. So it's like first stage, grow a following. Stage two is monetize a following. Stage three is scale. That means scaling everything. So you build the following, you then work out what products to produce, and then once you've tested it and you've got a community and you've got people, really lots of testimonials and you're like, this product is fantastic. Then it's a game of, okay, how do we get more and more people into this? What we don't want to start with is how do we get as many people into nothing? Because it's very stressful chasing views and trying to grow a channel and it often takes all your headspace and creating YouTube content that grows channel is a completely different headspace to growing a business.

Ed  [00:04:35]: So I can't focus on both at the same time. I just pick one and go all in on that.

Akta [00:04:39]: Right?

Ed  [00:04:39]: So right now, for me, thumbnails and titles are not a priority. Getting views is not a priority. Producing a product I can then take to level three and scale is. And then next year I will put all the effort back into content and start playing the YouTube game again. So I like to look at it in levels rather than just trying to take it all on at once. Because it's too much for anyone to handle, especially if you're new.

Akta [00:04:58]: Definitely. So let's say that we've got a creator who's at level one. They're trying to get good at the YouTube game. What advice would you give them in terms of making better thumbnails or making better titles? How can they basically increase their kind of click through rate?

Ed  [00:05:14]: Yeah, sure. So just don't do anything original. People hate me for this. Look, at the end of the day, right, there's millions of videos on YouTube, probably hundreds of millions. And there's a very small percentage of those that will get, say, 100,000 views. A very small percentage will get ten. So if you're like, I'm going to talk about this topic. Oh, I'm just going to call it this title.

Ed  [00:05:36]: Oh, I'm just going to put this image because I think that's what works. You're probably going to fail. What you just need to do is find the clues on YouTube as to what already worked. Because the chances of you making a video that does well are so slim. So just use the data that's out there. So the first thing I do is, and I always say to people, and they never listen, I'm like, validate everything. So pick a topic. Okay, I want to talk about writing blogs.

Ed  [00:05:57]: Is there a lot of interest in that? In a massive space, maybe not, but in my space, yes, there's a lot of people who are interested in that. Okay, let's go and look at YouTube now and see what the best performing videos on blogs are. Okay. There's one here that's called the nine biggest mistakes that wreck your blog's monetization. It's got a million views. Or that sounds like the sort of title that maybe I could produce. So you either steal the title or you tweak it slightly and then you go and look for thumbnails and patterns in thumbnails that have worked in your niche and around it. So charisma on command is a great channel for stealing inspiration from because they write really intriguing words in their images that pretty much most educational niches could steal and apply to their own.

Ed  [00:06:37]: So I'll find a title that worked in my niche, I'll find a thumbnail that worked in my niche, or I'll find a title that worked in the wider niche, or in a thumbnail that worked in the wider niche, and I'll take one bit from another and pair them together. So I have a title and thumbnail that is proven to get clicks or has words or patterns in it that are proven to get click. And then I will write the hook and then I'll make the video. If you make the video first, you're probably going to fail. You have to make videos people will click on and then work out what to put into it for an educator. Otherwise it's just not going to happen.

Akta [00:07:11]: And how much are you thinking about discoverability? So, like optimizing for the search or optimizing for videos being picked up by the algorithm, especially when you're an educational creator. And should you be leaning a little bit more into that search side or not?

Ed  [00:07:27]: You can. The problem is with search is very slow. So people like, they rank in search and then views dribble in and then people quit because they're like, oh, I haven't blown up yet. And often search based channels get very big subscriber accounts, but they have very low returning view numbers because what they do is they make videos about very specific topics that when YouTube pushes that video on the homepage, unless you're interested in that exact specific thing at that exact second, you're never going to click. So what that means is it's harder to bring people back. Now if you have marketing where you've created a funnel where it's like, let's get people from YouTube into our email, this could work, but most people get incredibly frustrated with it and it's kind of a slower way to grow if you're willing to stick and play the long game for four or five years, probably a good idea. Most people just don't have that patience. So I don't bother with keywords or anything like that.

Ed  [00:08:12]: I'm just all about human interest. How do we get someone to click on something they're interested in? But more importantly for me is how do we bring back the community? Although I teach people to grow, for me it's never been make big viral hits that appeal to lots of people. It's like, try and bring the right people back time and time again. And if I'm totally honest, most educational channels, if they got 10,000 views per video, there's an amazing business in there waiting for them. They probably don't need more. So that's a goal of my smaller, more niche channel. Ten K views per video.

Akta [00:08:44]:And how do you achieve human interest? How do you achieve that goal then of bringing people to stay and watch your videos, but also to keep returning.

Ed  [00:08:52]: So you have to figure out what they're interested in. So it's often a game of giving them what they want and then delivering what they need. So if I make a video that's like how to present a YouTube video, that's not a burning problem they've got, they might not click on that when it gets shown. Whereas if I call it something with way more intrigue, I did one that was basically a how to present video called the silent hack youtubers use to hook you. And then I told this story of how two youtubers overcame their presenting hurdles with body language. It's the same video packaged up differently in a far more appealing way. And then that went and got like a million views, which, in terms of how to present videos, is the most viewed video in the world on the topic.

Akta [00:09:32]: Wow.

Ed  [00:09:33]: But it was presented in a way that is just sort of more general interest.

Akta [00:09:37]: Yeah.

Ed  [00:09:37]: So you can go that wide, but really it's just like, how do I get to know my audience and what they're interested in? Yeah, and there is a downside because it often means we end up making what they're interested in. And sometimes we need to talk about things that aren't just what the viewer will click on. Because it's like if you were asking a school kid, what do they want to do at school every day? They're not going to sit there and go math, so that it's the thing they really need, they're going to go art. So there is an element of sometimes where educators get forced to make stuff that maybe isn't for the greater good. Yeah, but that's the nature of the beast.

Akta [00:10:12]: And are there any ways that you communicate with your audience? To try and find out exactly what it is that they want.

Ed  [00:10:19]: Just the view number, if it gets more views and clicks and engagement and retention. The thing is, people often say something that they don't necessarily mean. So the way I look at YouTube is if I was to buy, let's say, my partner, a new birthday present, say, what do you want for your birthday? And she might say, I want a ring. Okay, I'll buy you a ring. She's going to open it. Wow. Thank you very much. Whereas if I fought more than that and I was like, what has she always wanted? And I didn't ask her, and then I gave her a present where she it and she was like, how did you know? Oh my gosh.

Ed  [00:10:52]: I've always wanted one of these. You're amazing. That's what we need to do of YouTube. If we ask them, they'll just tell us what they want. And it's not always what they want or what they really want. So we use the data to try and establish what they really want.

Akta [00:11:03]: Oh, I love that.

Ed  [00:11:04]: You can do it just by looking at what gets a lot of views and the response you get.

Akta [00:11:08]: Yeah. And I find it really interesting that what you said about how you presented your video idea because it sounded very different to kind of like the educational videos that I've seen, which are mostly like listicles or like talking head videos. So how can educational creators make their videos, I guess, more engaging and interesting and how can they present it in a way that is interesting in the way that you presented yours?

Ed  [00:11:35]: Kind of to walk before you can run. So the first thing to do is just start with a listicle, something simple, and then think, okay, I've got five points I want to make. How do I make these points more interesting to someone who's not necessarily that interested? So what you generally find is when you make a video, there's going to be people obsessed with the topic who are just in the zone where they just want to learn everything. There's going to be people who are interested, then there's going to be more people who are kind of like, intrigued, and then there's people who are not that interested. The more people you can get interested and keep watching, the better your video is going to do. So way that you do that is, firstly, you need to, and this is the biggest mistake educators fall into, make your viewers feel smart, not make yourself look smart. And a lot of people want to go into depth and talk about all these fascinating things that are interesting to them and make them look smart. But it makes other people feel dumb.

Ed  [00:12:22]: It overwhelms them, so they'll leave. And you often see the retention graph of youtubers who have done that slowly, people leaving. Or when it gets to the deep part, people drop off because you've made them feel stupid. So that's the first thing. Simplify everything to a level that might actually make you feel like it's not that useful. It's usually the most useful content you'll make. And then use metaphors to simplify things as well. So comparing something to complex to something every day that they understand is a win.

Ed  [00:12:49]: So I once wrote a metaphor about spreading yourself too thin. And in order to grow a YouTube channel, you need time. So I used a glass and filled it with water and I was like, this is all of the time. And then this is your Instagram port of it in. This is your website, port of it in. This is your customer support port of it in. By the time you get to the end, there's no time left to devote to YouTube. So it means you show people, like, visually, this is the problem you have.

Ed  [00:13:14]: And then it clicks. So props, metaphors and stories, those are the things that are going to make your content easy to digest and make people feel smart. So that's what you should be starting as. Like, okay, I want to make a point. Is there a story I can use to make this easier to digest and then move on and keep it simple? Then you can move on to bigger stuff. But I would probably say that most people will never have the time to devote to a video where you go to the level. I did that on that one. And I say that because I don't.

Akta [00:13:41]: Have the time to devote either. And what about editing? How important is because I know for entertainment creators, editing is like a huge part of retention. And you've already mentioned retention graph. Do you use any editing hacks as an educational creator or how much do you think about that?

Ed  [00:14:00]: Yeah, well, for me, retention is in the writing.

Akta [00:14:03]: Okay.

Ed  [00:14:03]: So making sure you write a script that you're always thinking, how do I keep people intrigued in something? The editing is then the tool that I use to bring that to life. So if I want a lot of views, I'm going to put a lot more effort into the editing. But in more simple content, I would use text. The simplest editing is if you want to make a point, say it and then just show the point on the screen at the same time. Doesn't need to be a massive sentence, could just be a few words. When people read and listen, they digest it. It keeps them engaged. So on my smaller channel, I use text a lot, but not much text, just text to back up what I'm saying.

Ed  [00:14:40]: Another thing that's really simple is just to say, coming up, and then bullet point what's coming up in the video as you kind of set up what is going to be in the video, people read it, they listen to it, they know what to expect. And then as you knock off one point, you can cross it off in the edit, and then they can still see there's two things to look forward to they might be interested in. So that in its simplest form, is a real win. The next thing is, and most people aren't very good at this bit, it's knowing what to cut out and knowing what to keep in. So we tend to think everything's important, but what you want to be looking for is once you've filmed it, put it into your editing timeline and be like, right, what can I get rid of? What's stopping people from getting to information or what's waffle, what's actually not needed. And you kind of have to watch it a few times and then just experiment and be like, right, I'll cut that section out and see how it flows. And often the second you cut something out, you'll be like, yeah, that works better. So the actual cutting out the content is important, but if you're kind of new to it, you can't jump in and do all of the stuff that you're getting told to straight away because it goes really deep with pacing, timing, music and emotion.

Ed  [00:15:43]: Really just want to get the basics right first.

Akta [00:15:45]: Yeah. And how do you approach things like giving the viewer context? Because you've already mentioned cutting things out. So, like cutting out fluff and things like that. But you've also mentioned making the viewer feel smart, because something I struggle with is, as an educational creator, how much context should I give for things I'm talking about versus just diving straight in? And is that context too boring? Is that going to be just a load of waffle? So how do you balance that where you're giving enough without it being a bit too dragged out?

Ed  [00:16:17]: Yes, the context can be a bit of a killer because people who already understand it and they sit there going, I know this sort of stuff. Do you know what? Thinking about my actual content, there's very little context I ever give, right. Because the title and the thumbnail and the intro has done all the work that sets it up right. So I'm usually just jumping straight in.

Akta [00:16:36]: Okay.

Ed  [00:16:37]: But thinking about it. And years ago, yeah, I used to struggle with that thinking all the time. I think maybe I stopped worrying about it so much. One thing I have learned is the smartest, most successful people know that there's always more to learn. The people who are just above beginner level, they're the ones that think they know it all. So the beginners probably need the context. The people who are experienced are happy to listen to it. It's just the small group in the middle that are maybe like, oh, I know this, skip.

Akta [00:17:05]: Yeah. And what about writing your hook? So I feel like a hook is the most important thing that everyone talks about as an educational creator, how should you be approaching the hook? Should it still be, like, in an entertainment style? Or is it just making sure that you're delivering on the value and the title?

Ed  [00:17:22]: So there's multiple hooks on YouTube. It's pretty much just a game of hooking people nonstop. So your thumbnail and title, that's a Hook. You've got to hook people to get in. Your opening line is a hook. You then set up what you're going to talk about and then ideally re-hook them with something else. Like you open a loop to keep them intrigued, and then you hook them multiple times through the video. So traditionally, people look at the hook as, like, the opening line.

Ed  [00:17:44]: Yeah, there's a few different versions that I use. So the first hook, because a lot of people just jump in and they're like, I'm going to show you these three things. And then they say them. That's not a hook, that's just saying what you're going to say. It's not particularly interesting. A hook is. The idea is to pique people's curiosity to make them want to listen to your setup. So the strong statement hook is one that I use sometimes, and that's when you hit someone with a statement that's kind of designed to shock them.

Ed  [00:18:13]: So if I give an example, one I wrote the other day was YouTube shorts won't just destroy your channel, they'll destroy your life, which is an incredibly strong statement which my script would then have to go on to sort, know, pay off and back up. So often when I'm writing a strong statement hook, I'll write a few. I'll start off really sensational over the top, and then I'll tone it down a bit until I look at one and I'm like, yeah, that's good. Another kind of hook would just be a question hook. So what's the big difference between a successful vegetable garden. And one that fails, it just plants a seed in people's mind. Another one, you can just hit them with an interesting fact. Like 99% of youtubers fail because they don't edit slow enough.

Ed  [00:18:55]: And then you can do a metaphor hook or start with a story. And if you're starting with a story, you want to drop people into the darkest, deepest, most chaotic moment of the story. So, for example, we just lost our biggest clients and had 24 hours left to generate $20,000, right? But we pulled it off. In this video, I'm going to tell you how, blah, blah, blah. So there's loads of different ways you can create hooks. There's the visual hook as well. So what you show on screen at that time is also going to help a lot, but those are some basic ones to get started on.

Akta [00:19:27]: And what about, like you said, you re-hook people throughout the video. How do you do that?

Ed  [00:19:32]: Well, basically you want to pose a question that they want answered to, an answer to. So it would be like if we use the example of YouTube, shorts won't just destroy your channel, they'll destroy your life. Let's say I say that, and then I say, in this video, I'm going to show you why. I'm going to show you how to stop it from really damaging your channel and I'm going to show you how to blow them up. So it generates you tons of business. There's a few things people are interested in. Then I would usually jump into something like, but first, let's look at why you should never make shorts. So I'll kind of throw another question in the way that is ideally intriguing to that viewer.

Ed  [00:20:09]: And I'll usually think about it, but that would be it. You open a loop, you then go and close it, and then you move on to the next point. So YouTube really is just a game of making people want to know what happens next. And often with educators, what we can do is viewers can leave halfway through because they're completely satisfied. You've ticked everything they cared about on the list. So it's like, right, if you pay something off, if you finish a point the viewer cares about, you need to quickly set up something else that intrigues them. So intrigue is the number one thing to get good at and opening loops and hooks because it means you can always try and bring them back at that moment where they are like, I'm off.

Akta [00:20:44]: Yeah, definitely. And what about when they've finished the video? How do you set up your channel or your videos so that people will want to kind of almost binge watch, I guess, or move on to next video. So not just like leaving your channel or is that less important if you're making educational videos?

Ed  [00:21:01]: So I've always pointed people at another video because to me it felt like a wasted opportunity just to put a video there. It's called an end screen that just is like, watch this next and not really selling it because it's so hard getting a click on YouTube. It's like, oh, if you have a sentence to sell them on, why they should click this video next. So for me it was like, keep them watching your videos as long as you can. They're going to go through four or five, they're going to build stronger relationships with you. YouTube's going to notice that. But it's not really like a secret hack for me. It just made sense to keep people watching your content.

Ed  [00:21:35]: So what I do is I just write another hook at the end. And the hook is often just telling people what they've watched won't be as impactful because there's a problem they still have and then they can fix that problem by watching this video here and it's really successful. I get messages all the time, people saying, oh, it's 04:00 a.m. It's the fifth end screen I've clicked on. I can't stop watching. If you continually keep them intrigued and entertained and then give them something else to watch and you give a compelling reason to do that, they're going to click on it.

Akta [00:22:04]: Yeah.

Ed  [00:22:04]: So that was the strategy I always used. I don't want to sell it as like a hack for blowing up your channel, but I think for educators it can be a weapon. You can also use it to then drive people to a video that's kind of like a webinar format, which is what Iman Gadzhi does. He's got 6 million views on his VSL because every video he makes points back to the same video, which is basically starts his sales funnel. So there's different ways of using it, but making it bingeable means often not going too deep because you'll wear them out, keeping them entertained and giving them some sort of intriguing option to click on.

Akta [00:22:40]: And let's talk about level two now. So thinking about monetization, you've mentioned already that you don't need a huge audience to get to that stage, but that you focus on growth or monetizing rather than both at the same time. So how do youtubers know when to make that switch? They know they've kind of aced the YouTube game even though they don't have a big audience, so they can start thinking about monetization.

Ed  [00:23:04]: Well, ideally they think like that from the start so you don't have to then switch. I do it because I don't want to build a big team around me and try and juggle loads of stuff at once. I just sort of focus on one thing and then move to the next. So the people who are good at building teams, they can do everything in one go, but most people aren't. And there isn't actually that much talent out there that's good enough to get a result. So for me, I kind of jump from one task to the next and pick different goals. What you should be thinking is from day one is looking at comments. So the more comments you're getting on a video, the more your community values you.

Ed  [00:23:41]: Generally the more engaged they are with you. If you're getting 10,000 views and only getting a couple of comments, there's no emotional connection there. If you're getting 10,000 views and you've got 300 comments, that's a lot and people really value you. So as you get more and more comments and more return viewers, this is a sign that, okay, there's people here that trust you because they keep coming back and that's usually a sign that they would be ready to buy something. So it's just to be mindful of that. The thing you have to be careful of is you don't want to go too soon. So some niches you can from day one, just go for it. Some require, I think you to put in a bit more time into your following to build more credibility and trust before you're like, hey, buy my thing.

Ed  [00:24:21]: Because then it kind of feels like, oh, this is just the sales funnel, right?

Akta [00:24:24]: Yeah.

Ed  [00:24:24]: Whereas some niches, especially if you're teaching people to make money and care, they're just like, I know this game and doing what I want to do. So you can maybe pounce a little bit sooner. So yeah, you want to build those relationships and the most important thing is credibility. So you'll probably start getting invited onto podcasts, you'll get sponsorship inquiries coming in, you'll get more comments, you'll get more engagement, and your channel will just be growing at a nice rate. And that's usually a sign. It's like, okay, maybe I could now focus on a product, but you could keep pushing that for ages. I mean, I didn't really think about products properly until I got about 50,000 subscribers. And then I didn't build a bigger product until I was like way over 100,000, but I probably could have done it sooner.

Ed  [00:25:04]: However, for my higher ticket products, I don't do sales calls, I don't do anything. I send like an email and it sells the whole thing out. And that's great because it means people trust me. They don't need much convincing.

Akta [00:25:16]: Yeah.

Ed  [00:25:16]: Whereas other people I speak to, they need to put in a lot more work to create a conversion. So it's different for everyone. But I would say just keep an eye out and keep it in front of mind that there's never going to be the perfect time to build a product. You just got to make a good, educated decision around it.

Akta [00:25:32]: Yeah. And what advice would you give to creators for working out what offering they should start with or offer to their audience? How did you go about that?

Ed  [00:25:43]: Well, to start, I think you want to keep it simple. I don't think you should be thinking, I'm going to go and build a giant course because if you've never built one before, it's going to take ages. It's probably going to be the worst thing you ever build because it's your first, so keep it simple. So the way I started was just with a 60 minutes live that I sold tickets for and then I sold that on demand afterwards. That was it. And it was great. It sold like 200 in the first month, which I couldn't believe. And then I just left links to it.

Ed  [00:26:15]: I never really pushed it again and it made passive sales for a year. I think it made about $50,000 and I promoted it once in an email, like 600 people in my community board, and then just left links. So as my channel grew, it continued to grow. We use this approach on another business too. Same sort of thing that generated multiple six figures just from these simple live to then on demand products. So that's the best way, I think, to get started because it's a low risk time investment. You don't have to go and spend months building something. You will learn a lot about your audience and how willing they are to buy.

Ed  [00:26:53]: Your first product generally is going to have awful marketing. You're going to try your best, but if people are buying something from a landing page that sucks. It's really going to do well for you as you get more into marketing and improve. So you test the waters and then another quick win is just consulting. So I created a small digital product and then I had a calendar people could book in that was like, they pay for the hour they book it in and then once a week I had a day where I just sat doing calls with people. That's really good because you learn the real problems of your audience, so you notice patterns. Everyone's got the same problem. That then enabled me to go and build a bigger product which solved it.

Ed  [00:27:33]: So I stopped doing consulting because I digitized and created a digital product which solved the problem and then that was infinitely more scalable and then that grew the business more. So those are the two quickest wins, consulting and a very simple digital product. That's where I think a lot of creators should start in terms of educators and info channels.

Akta [00:27:53]: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I'm intrigued by what you said about how you didn't really have to push any sales as much like you just had an email and you've got your links. So what does your, I guess, sales funnel look like? And do you actually include any CTAs in your actual YouTube videos or not? How does that all work?

Ed  [00:28:11]: I've put one call to action ever in a YouTube video. My sales don't come from YouTube, they come from Twitter and email. The trust and credibility and personal brand. My brand is YouTube, so that's where people get to know me and build trust. The sales happen on the community wall, tweets and email. I never promote in a video ever and my sales funnels are pretty much non existent. So I've been very fortunate and I've never had to do much work in terms of getting someone over the line, even for high ticket products my cohort people just apply to. I then look at their channel, see if they're right and if they write, I send them a link and they'll buy there and then, or they don't.

**Ed  [00:28:52]:**So that's good. What people don't realize about YouTube is it's the ultimate relationship builder and credibility builder. Long form content, there's nowhere to hide. Anyone can knock out a short with a bit of information. It's a lot harder to take someone on a deep dive and show and give true value. So a lot of YouTube creators have really warm viewers who are just wanting to throw money at them in some cases. So the sales process is happening in all the videos all the time. And that's what's really cool about being a youtuber is a lot of them don't realize is they'll get away with murder.

Ed  [00:29:27]: They don't need the perfect offer, they don't need the perfect marketing. They'll be able to make something their viewers really value and buy ten times easier than people who have done ads and other platforms.

Akta [00:29:36]: So in your description or videos, is it just directing people to your email, your Twitter, or do you also link to products as well?

Ed  [00:29:43]: So there's some links to products below. I'm going to change that and just push it to email.

Akta [00:29:49]: Okay.

Ed  [00:29:49]: And not have anything else because I put a lot of effort into my email and I think it's been an absolute, it's been great for business and building a community off of YouTube. And I want to build a much bigger community off of YouTube because there's a lot of changes on the platform. And at the end of the day, if you leave your audience on a platform, there is risk attached to that. If you own the audience, there's not. So yeah, the simplest way is you can just leave a link to your product. So one little trick I have is the home page video that's a little promo, just introducing people to a product so they know that I'm available for business. That could be a little video for a lead magnet to get people into your email. And then, yeah, I keep it as simple as I possibly can and it works.

Akta [00:30:33]: And let's talk about level three then. So scaling, what's that look like for you?

Ed  [00:30:38]: So scaling is the two people that do it the best are Iman Gadzhi and Alex Hormozi. So scaling would be. I now have a product I really believe in. It's tested. There's a lot of money in the business. Now let's build a content machine. So you become a production company. Ideally you have a product that doesn't require you to be working on it all the time, so you can pump thousands of people at it and it will not buckle under the pressure.

Ed  [00:31:08]: And that would be being everywhere. So you are making regular videos on YouTube, you are doing regular short form everywhere. You're on Twitter, you're on email, on podcasts, you become omnipresent and you create a giant personal brand that explodes the business. There's not that many people who have done it in the way that Hormozi and Iman Gadzhi have done it, but it's going to happen a lot more because they've shown people how to do it.

Akta [00:31:34]: So why do you think they were so good at doing it?

Ed  [00:31:37]: Iman's, I don't know, a bit of an exceptional guy. He came up with an insane strategy. Most people would never have been even considered. And he's been excellent at building a team and a massive business. He's got like 50 editors.

Akta [00:31:53]: Oh, wow.

Ed  [00:31:53]: And he's very good at being a team leader, I guess, and the front man. And then Alex Hormozi has Leila. So Alex is really inspirational. He is a wealthy guy who's dressed himself up as a regular guy. He's got a floor, he wears a nose thing on his nose to help him breathe, which kind of makes him look, know he's not perfect, becomes more relatable. So they know personal branding and they know the game better than anyone else and they're executing it. And then he's got Layla helping him build the teams to then create more content and pump it out. That's the problem with scaling, is you become a production company in that you need to build a big team and you need to put systems in place to have all this content repurposed and pushed everywhere.

Ed  [00:32:40]: You don't have to do as much as they've done, but once you've got a product you're confident in that is infinitely scalable, then it would make sense to do everything you could to get as many people looking at ads, affiliate and multiple platforms. So, yeah, they did well because they knew how to build teams and create systems. And there are interesting characters.

Akta [00:32:59]: Yeah. And you mentioned that you don't want to have a big team. So what does your team look like at the moment and what advice would you give to creators who want to start hiring? Like where to start?

Ed  [00:33:11]: So my team currently is me, and then in my communities, my paid products is Aaron, who basically helps give feedback and helps me look after people. He kind of drops in for like an hour a day. And then there's James, who has been helping with all sorts of things. That's it.

Akta [00:33:31]: Oh, right.

Ed  [00:33:32]: I've just hired a new editor to help with one of the channels. But, yeah, that is my team. In terms of hiring, the key thing to do is probably to fire early. In terms of if they're not great in the first week, probably not going to be great. Hire three people for the same role and test them against each other on the same project. One will usually stick out as going much further. Really wants it more. The worst thing that happens is you end up with two that are really good, and then if that one doesn't work out, you can hire the next one the next week.

Ed  [00:34:09]: So the thing about YouTube is you are going to struggle to find people who are good enough at certain tasks. So there's lots of editors, but if you really want to go and blow up a channel, you need a very good editor. They're in demand, they're all taken up by other know the bigger channels. If you want a good strategist, you can't even hire them. They have thousands of people on a waiting list. All the best people at YouTube are YouTube creators. So it's quite hard to find good talent. When you find them, you should really look after them and make sure they don't leave.

Ed  [00:34:41]: But that is a frustrating role for a lot of people. It takes up a lot of time. You have to put a lot of investment into finding the right kind of people, too. And you're really going to get what you pay for. If you pay cheap, it's not really going to help you that much. So that's what I would be thinking is find. Find the areas that you don't like doing and then hire the best person you can with the money that you have. But you got to think about your own goals.

Ed  [00:35:04]: Like, most people don't get into YouTube because they want to become a production company and delegate and give feedback. So I went that way. It just sucked the life out of me. All I did was give feedback. This is a job I never wanted. So I was like, don't do that. So, yeah, think about your own life. Do you want to build a big team? If not, how do you get as big as possible with as small a team as possible? AI is going to be really helpful for that, for everyone.

Ed  [00:35:30]: But that's what I would say to people is like, we're not all kitted out for massive teams and it's not particularly fun if you don't like doing it. Definitely managing people.

Akta [00:35:39]: Definitely. And how do you maintain a strong personal brand when you're trying to scale or you're hiring? How do you keep that essence of what it was to begin with?

Ed  [00:35:50]: Well, a lot of that will be down to the writing for me. So I did have someone who was writing and I never ended up using many of the scripts because I was like, this just doesn't feel like me. And in the end I was like, actually, I like writing. I'm not going to give that away. That is my essence. And then the way I present those words, you can deliver words in different ways. One will sound like me, one won't. So that kept the essence, I guess, as you call it in there, the editing.

Ed  [00:36:17]: There's a lot of editors who can copy my own style and that'll be the same for anyone. If you're a good editor, it's pretty easy to copy someone's style, despite what people might think. So, yeah, you can maintain that but I think the writing was the bit where I put my own spin on it. So that's the thing I've decided to keep and I like doing, too.

Akta [00:36:37]: Yeah. And if there's one thing that you wish youtubers knew about treating YouTube as a business, what would it be?

Ed  [00:36:44]: I think it would be to realize that it is a business. So most business owners don't get stressed and upset when their marketing doesn't get as much reach. Whereas in YouTube, people have existential crisis when their video is a ten out of ten and their world falls apart and they're like, oh, this isn't working, and they have breakdowns. It's like it was a video. You're going to have a lot of videos that don't perform as well as you thought.

Akta [00:37:11]: True.

Ed  [00:37:11]: There's a real kind of, like, emotional connection to the content and actually, if you can break that and not get too caught up in it, it's a much easier ride. So I'd probably say, like, just keep in mind that getting more views isn't the end of the world, isn't the be all and end all. What the be all and end all is. You create a business and a lifestyle that you've always dreamt of and one little blip doesn't really matter.

Akta [00:37:38]: That's really good advice. I'm going to end now with a quick fire round. So I'm going to ask you five questions that I ask every creator that comes on air, starting with, what's your favorite thing about being a creator?

Ed  [00:37:48]: When I get a message or see a client have a life changing result.

Akta [00:37:53]: Oh, I love that. What's something that gives you the most inspiration for what you create?

Ed  [00:37:57]: Tv shows from the year 2000s. Comedies, probably.

Akta [00:38:01]: Really? How does that work?

Ed  [00:38:03]:Yeah, things like peep show, Red Dwarf, all these, like, older comedies.

Akta [00:38:08]: Yeah.

Ed  [00:38:08]: That's where I get most of my inspiration from.

Akta [00:38:10]: That's very different. I love that. What's the tool that helps you as a creator?

Ed  [00:38:15]: Chat. GPT.

Akta [00:38:16]: Oh, nice. How do you use it?

Ed  [00:38:18]: That's my best member of staff. I use it for everything. I'm dyslexic, so Grammarly is dead.

Akta [00:38:25]: Okay.

Ed  [00:38:26]: Gets all my typing done. I use it to repurpose content. I use it to create lead magnets. I've just produced a course and I was writing up the text in every video and I was like, why am I doing this? So I fed all of my scripts into it and it basically spat out step by step instructions for every video on the course. It's saving me weeks.

Akta [00:38:46]: Wow.

Ed  [00:38:46]: Every month.

Akta [00:38:47]: Okay. I need to be using it a bit more.

Ed  [00:38:51]: Go for it. Sorry.

Akta [00:38:52]: What's something that helps with your creative work life balance?

Ed  [00:38:55]: I don't have one if I work till I sleep every night.

Akta [00:39:00]: I love the honesty there.

Ed  [00:39:03]: But the thing is, people are like, oh, you shouldn't do it. And it's like, I don't want to sit and watch Netflix.

Akta [00:39:09]: That's true.

Ed  [00:39:10]: I got into making content because that's what I used to do in my spare time. So all I would do is go and make some different content or I would start another business because that's what I find interesting. So I'm not sitting here going, I'm getting burnt out. It's more just like, I love this, so I'm not going to stop doing it.

Akta [00:39:24]: That's good. As long as it's not burning you out and it's from a place of love, I think that's fine. And what's one piece of advice that you would give to other creators? So not necessarily just youtubers, but anyone who's in the creator economy, think in.

Ed  [00:39:37]: Ten years rather than weeks.

Akta [00:39:40]: Okay.

Ed  [00:39:40]: Because the longer term your mindset is, the more likely you will to succeed and you won't make short term decisions if you're thinking in months or weeks or even a year, it's too short term.

Akta [00:39:51]: Yeah, that's very true. Amazing. Thank you so much, Ed. It's been such a pleasure to chat to you about YouTube and especially for educational youtubers. I think this video will be so helpful and reassuring as well to know that you don't have to have a massive audience because I feel like that's a limiting belief I've always had. So thanks so much for coming on air.

Ed  [00:40:09]: No worries. Thank you very much.

Akta [00:40:10]: You can find Ed on Twitter and through his newsletter, Booth Club. And if you're a creator doing sponsorships, check out Passionfroot. We help you to streamline your entire workflow. I'll see you in the next one.