May was a very important month and a very successful month as I achieved all the goals that I set for myself last update.
Not only was I re-launching the channel and updating all of it’s component parts but I was going to fulfil my commitment of getting in front of camera, creating and publishing video consistently and turning this into the YouTube channel it should have been from day 1.
Before I had a chance to shoot anything for myself I had the opportunity to collaborate with my good friend and fellow YouTube expert David Walsh.
Not only is David a pal and very smart when it comes to video strategy but he had at the time almost 100,000 subs (he’s now broke past that so congrats David) so I knew this could be a significant opportunity to grow my YouTube channel and my reputation.
Quick aside: If you are approaching another YouTube Creator to ask to collab, go to them with a pitch for a video idea, and make it a good one. Try and offer them something that will be of benefit to them and try and do as much of the heavy lifting in terms of preparation as you can.
The shoot went really well, and I felt comfortable in front of the camera after having some practice at my 9-to-5 job.
Luckily I made that decision to start editing straight away because the audio on my microphone cut out after about 30% of the way in. I was fortunate that we were recording from two sources so I rescued what I could from David’s Mic and fixed it in post production using an amazing free tool called Auphonic.
I also hashed together a basic sting using static images, basic transitions and some free sound effects. I’ll definitely upgrade this at a later date but I quite like it’s simplicity. See it in action here.
New for me also was using Photoshop to make a custom thumbnail – my designer friend had created an idiot proof template for me - and choosing backing music from YouTube’s audio library.
I published the video on May 10th and got some really positive engagement. No one criticised me, my knowledge, or presenting style so being in front of camera wasn’t the end of the world after all. What was I so worried about?!
I got some relatively good views and subscribers that month from the video but if I’m honest much less that I had hoped and expected and I think I know why.
David was sending his audience over to me but when they had a look around my channel they could see that it was still a complete mess with hardly any subscribers – not much of a reason to sign up.
Even more motivation to get this channel turned around and fast. I had to get some videos in the can to go along with all of the channel changes I was making.
I’d started scripting the previous month (should have mentioned that in the previous update) and put the finishing touches to those.
No experience of self shooting, no-where to shoot and still no camera of my own I roped in two colleagues of mine to help set-up and shoot and they also bought a DSLR camera and tripod.
I did however purchase an audio recorder, a lapel mic, a green screen and softbox setup, as well as a 3 point lighting kit on the recommendation of a filmmaker friend. You can see all of the equipment that I purchased here.
I cleared out my living room, set up my green screen and lighting and recorded six videos that day including my channel trailer.
Again I was comfortable in front of camera and the shoot went pretty smoothly. I was pretty happy with how the footage and audio came out but definitely some lessons learned in how I want them to look next time.
For the next few weeks I spent every waking hour preparing for the re-launch which included:
· 2 videos edited
· Channel art re-done including a picture of me
· New copy for my About section and default description
· Re-did ALL of my thumbnails using the template my friend had made
· Prepared to launch my 1k subscriber challenge.
On May 20th I launched this challenge publicly using one of the videos I shot during the batch shoot.
I also edited a slightly different version which I unlisted and embedded on the website. Going forward I will simply embed the main YouTube version – I think the audience can deal with that and it will save me time and resource.
The launch got a strong response and quite a few people signed up to join and follow along the challenge, I was happy to see positive comments on my first solo video on the channel. Again I hadn’t been slated – all was good in the world.
On the 23rd of the month I appeared on the Tube Talk Podcast which I was really pleased with as it’s the longest standing and most revered Podcast in the space. I set up a dedicated landing page for listeners and I think that sent me a few more YouTube subscribers.
I then continued to scramble to get the channel re-launched by the end of the month and by the skin of my teeth I had it all switched over on the 31st of the month and you can see exactly the steps I took as I recorded the whole process live as I did it:
I’m really happy with how the re-launch went. The channel now looked professional and more importantly it showed that I was practicing all the advice that I was preaching. I only wish it had been done in time for my other collaborations (or even better from day 1) – Important lesson learned.
Ok enough talking lets get down to the analytics for the month
· Number of uploads = 5 – Most ever in a month
· Total views for period = 1971 - Highest ever viewed month
· Total subs added = 69 – Highest ever subs growth and about 9 times what I was adding the previous period
· Total subs lost = 7
· Total subs = 174 - which meant that the channel grew in subs terms by 55%
· Total Watch Time = 2492 minutes – highest month ever
· % views from Search = 11%
· % views from Suggested = 7% - Highest ever percentage from search
I don’t think there is any coincidence that the uploading of much more video has lead to the most views and watchtime I’ve ever had in a month.
The collaboration no doubt lead me to my highest ever number of new subs although as I said it would have been even greater if the channel had been releaunched earlier in the month.
So happy to see the percentage of Suggested views rising steadily month on month and although I don’t like see the percentage of Search views going down I think it is related to the amount of direct traffic I was getting from the collab video. Not worried about that drop.
· Publish at least 2 videos
· Film a new format video on my Webcam which requires less setup
· Publish Webcam video as part of my first 1k challenge update