2018 is the year of video. Haven’t you heard?
You may have heard me mention this a few times already.
But we’re ready to take this to the next level.
In just a few days, I am going to start posting three to five videos a week on my YouTube channel! With my video recording studio all set up, and my trusty videographer Caleb, I am equipped and excited to bring you value in new ways, on a channel I haven’t focused on at all.
Subscribe here if you haven’t yet (or read on to find out exactly why you should subscribe!).
SPI on YouTube—A Little History
To effectively talk about the future of my YouTube channel, we first have to go back in time to when I started my YouTube channel in 2009. The reason I started the channel is because some of the content I was creating warranted being taught via video. It was visual, so it made sense.
Well, it did until I realized I was deathly afraid to be on camera. Some of my first videos published on YouTube are composed of me using a screen share tool to record what was on my screen so that I could avoid putting my face on camera altogether. I was terrified.
Over the years I’ve become more comfortable with being on camera, obviously. That’s how it is for any content medium when you’re first starting out. You’re getting a feel for it. You’re trying things out. You’re getting used to hearing your own voice.
But you also don’t need to always have your face on camera when you’re creating videos of value. Some of my initial videos have performed very well, despite their lower quality in terms of production. The value was there, and I didn’t have to show my face (woohoo!).
The key is that you don’t have to be perfect from the start. No one is perfect. There is no such thing. Sometimes you just need to start somewhere.
You need to start with value.
A few of my early videos I want to share aren’t great in terms of quality, but they’ve provided value to my audience over the years. These are:
Passive Income Streams 101
In this video, created in October 2009, I share the business model I used to create multiple passive income streams. If you listen to my voice, you’ll notice a lot has changed!
How to Build a Blog in Less Than 4 Minutes and Write Your First Blog Post
With a timer counting down, I showed my audience how to build a blog in less than four minutes. A catchy title and a special Bluehost affiliate discount made this video very popular, and has helped me earn millions in Bluehost affiliate income over the past nine years.
The Over-the-Top Office of a 6 Figure Work-at-Home Blogger
The first time I really put my face on camera was in this video. My audience got to meet Gizmo, my dog, and I shared a behind-the-scenes look at my tiny at-home office.
As you can tell, the videos aren’t great quality, but they still get views to this day, nearly ten years later—which is so awesome.
Back then, my YouTube channel mostly featured tutorials and walkthroughs of my processes.
When I became a little more comfortable, I started to put my face on camera, which opened up more opportunities to experiment and try different things on YouTube, such as adding text on top of the video, and that sort of thing.
And then in 2011, I slowed down on creating videos. That’s when the Smart Passive Income podcast and blog really started to take off, and so I shifted my focus to those two platforms. I started to publish podcast episodes every other week, which quickly changed to every week. I didn’t feel like there was a need to create videos. And yet, despite that, the video channel slowly but steadily grew.
A few years later, as I headed into 2014, I decided to revitalize my YouTube channel. At that point, I had around 35,000 subscribers—all of whom had found my channel organically. I had no real structure or strategy for my channel, so I worked with my videographer, Caleb, for an entire year to create what we eventually called SPI TV. We experimented with publishing one video per week. We analyzed how each of the videos performed. We looked at the video topic, number of comments, and shares. We tried videos where I answered questions from viewers. We did all sorts of things.
And, in the end, I think we experimented our way into some pretty neat and useful videos, including:
That last one, the public speaking video, was filmed in secret in a closed room at an event. We weren’t even supposed to be in the room, but it had a stage and I wanted to use it to record the video and to, show viewers how to effectively speak in public
Most fascinating, out of the fifty or so videos we created under the SPI TV label, the video that has been the most popular is . . .
Today, this video has more than half a million views! Crazy.
After a year of producing videos for SPI TV, I was kind of burnt out. I got to a point where I was spending a lot of time and energy fishing for topic ideas. It didn’t feel as organic as it should’ve been. I eventually put aside SPI TV to focus on the AskPat Podcast.
Fast forward a couple of years, I took my first trip (ever!) to Europe for DNX Global in Lisbon, Portugal. That’s where I tried vlogging for the first time. I bought a new camera, a Sony RX100 Mark V, and I captured my first moments in Europe. It was fun. I wanted to try out vlogging, something I had never done, and what better place to do it than during my first European trip!
Here’s that video:
I had the camera, a mini tripod that I could set up anywhere, and I just started capturing different moments from the trip. I had so much fun with it. I created mini stories during each day I was in Lisbon. Once I published them on my YouTube channel, I started to get some great interactive feedback—with folks asking and commenting: “Pat, where have you been?” “This is amazing.” “I’d love to see more videos!”
It was reassuring to see that. I honestly didn’t know how my audience would react, but the feedback has been very positive. That sparked new life for me. Over the past couple of years, the blog, podcast, and now the online courses, too, have been working well on their own. They’re a well-oiled machine. I am still very involved in each of them, but the team and the tools we use allow for both a certain amount of automation as well as giving me a break from all the minutiae.
However, I had lost a little bit of that spark of creativity, that outlet for me to try different things and be my weird, awkward, silly me even more.
But, ever since creating the vlogs, and seeing that reaction, it’s made me want to create more and more. I’ve started experimenting with vlogs, capturing behind the scenes of events I attend. I even experimented with hiring a team to follow me around, which was an interesting experience, but not something I’d bring to AskGaryVee or Derek Halpern levels. Those guys are already doing amazing things in that world.
Video, Video, and More Video in 2018
All of this leads to where I’m at today with video, and that is a commitment to making video one of my main focuses for 2018. I think there are a lot of areas of online business that either aren’t covered well, or aren’t even covered at all. If you search for online business-related content on YouTube, you’ll find either a lot of the same old stuff, or you get really scammy or clickbait-type content.
That just makes me sick. I want to change that. I want to fill those gaps of knowledge in the area of online business. That’s why video in 2018 is so important to me. In addition to providing value for my audience, I know that focusing on my YouTube channel can provide a new source of traffic for me. I’m excited to see what optimizing my YouTube channel will bring, and how that will impact my brand. I want to continue to grow and, as always, continue to learn from my experiments so I can share that learning with you. On top of that, by focusing on video, it gives me another way to collaborate with people that I may not have connected with on other platforms.
According to Cisco, video will represent 82 percent of all IP traffic by 2021. (Source: Cisco’s VNI forecast.)
It’s why, in May 2017, I leased a 900-square foot studio, and invested $35,000 to create a legitimate video recording space with multiple sets, and the equipment I need to make professional videos.
And also why my videographer, Caleb, and I have put our heads together to create a content plan for 2018. Every week, we’ll be meeting consistently to film and batch process our videos. We’re having a lot of fun with it, and I’m learning so much about the video space.
I’m learning that, in order to really grow your audience, your video content needs to be engaging. So that’s something I’ve been focused on this year. With that content, we’re also applying that to blog posts and podcast episodes too. If you’ve listened to any episodes from this year, you’ll know that there is just something a little bit different about them—more compelling, more engaging, and more educational.
I attended VidSummit this year (and I’ll be a keynote speaker at VidSummit next year!), where I met a lot of amazing people creating super engaging video content. It’s inspiring, and I’m learning a ton.
But I’ve also realized that I can bring some of my own experience and value to the YouTube community. A lot of YouTubers, although they have millions of subscribers and views on their videos, they don’t necessarily have a business. I want to help that with that. So I’ll focus on helping them build a business with the audience that they’ve built, outside of the YouTube platform, which will allow them to grow and expand in ways they might not have thought possible.
This leads us all the way back to why you should subscribe to my YouTube channel. For all the reasons mentioned above! Plus, as a bonus, I’m throwing a big contest that will give a shot at having a virtual chat with me over coffee and a spot in an upcoming video of mine!
Pat Flynn’s 2018 YouTube Giveaway!
Virtual Coffee and a Spot in an Upcoming Video
What You Can Win
I will be giving away three (3) spots that include:
- A 1-hour face-to-face Virtual Coffee Chat with me! We can chat about whatever you’d like: your business, personal life, if you are stuck on something and need help, or want to run an idea by me.
- At the end of the call, you will also have the opportunity to promote anything you want (business name, social media handles, “hi, mom!”, etc.) and be featured in an upcoming YouTube video that I’ll post on the Smart Passive Income YouTube channel.
How to Enter the Contest
There are multiple ways to enter and earn entries into Pat Flynn’s 2018 YouTube Giveaway. These include:
- 1 entry for entering your name and email address on the Giveaway Page
- 3 entries each for referring a friend to enter the contest via Facebook and Twitter
- 5 entries for watching the full 5-minute YouTube video I link on the Giveaway Page
- 10 entries for subscribing to my YouTube channel
To potentially win a Virtual Coffee Chat with me and a spot in an upcoming video, enter the contest by clicking the link below:
Thanks so much, and I hope to see your face online!