In this episode of Become a Media Maven, I speak with Amy Landino, a YouTube queen.
Like many YouTubers, Amy fell into video and YouTube for fun, but has since been able to turn that fun into a thriving, international business. She travels the world to speak on stages, is an accomplished author, and runs a video production company with her husband.
She has leveraged her network to reach more people and make more money and is giving us tips on how we can do the same.
In the fourth episode of Become a Media Maven, Amy talks about the importance of getting in front of the camera to talk about your expertise. If it doesn’t feel comfortable at first, it will. (Trust.)
Amy is also sharing her secrets on how she tripled her YouTube subscriptions in less than a year bringing in 100,000 subscribers in 100 days!
Here is a list of resources mentioned in this episode:
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How to Use YouTube to Grow Your Business
Amy Landino started created videos before she was on YouTube. She wanted to be the coolest bridesmaid ever, so she put together a little something that would blow everyone’s socks off.
Then, she turned it into a brand. An international brand.
When Amy made that video for her friend, she found out she had a creative outlet that she never had before. On YouTube, she started watching people thought it was crazy how people would just post videos of trips to Target. She was fascinated. She wanted in on it.
“I wanted to make video and I wasn’t excited about being on camera but I just loved the medium,” Amy told me.
That was around 2008 when Amy was playing around with a camera and not really taking it that seriously, but wanting to so badly.
In 2009 and in 2010, she started to discover that she was actually learning a lot about something that businesses call marketing because she was building a presence on an online format and was marketing herself to them. Businesses needed to learn how to do that!
At the time, they were more worried about the Facebooks and the Twitters of the world but were hearing that they needed to do this. They didn’t have the bandwidth and they didn’t have the budget for it.
Amy started to understand that she was learning about marketing while she was playing in her little creative space, so that’s what started her consultancy in 2010. By 2011, she left her full-time job and really dove into that big time, which is where the existing channel she has really started.
“I knew I needed a different channel,” Amy said after going all in. “I needed a new channel that was going to represent me in this new business. If I was going to take the risk and go all in and do it, I needed to have that platform where people could really get to know me and my skill set and trust me so they would want to work with me.”
Fast forward a number of years and the YouTube channel has taken a lot of different forms from a financial perspective. There’s everything from building two different businesses. She has the original one, Vlog Boss Studios, and now Aftermarq, which she co-founded with her husband. These two innovations cater to different types of clients and the channel does help grow that clientele.
How to Start Using YouTube
The channel also makes money in a lot of different ways. There’s affiliate marketing, her own product sales, books, other product sales, and sponsorship. There’s also Google Adsense.
So, how did Amy start getting corporate clients? By creating videos on YouTube.
“I knew that the best thing possible would be for me to give away the information that I was learning. I didn’t go to school for marketing. I used to think it was a dirty word. I didn’t like it,” Amy said. “As I was starting to navigate this space, every time I would learn something new, I would jump on camera and talk about it. So, that could mean anything – especially during like 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. There were so many social networks popping up and so many new features. There was always something to talk about!”
So, Amy would get on camera. One ended up getting picked up by a few publications and syndicated.
When Siri came out, I wanted to be able to tweet from Siri but you couldn’t do it. Amy figured out how to do it because you could tweet to a phone number if you didn’t have a smartphone. So, if you sent a text to that phone number, it was tweeted. She made a video about talking to Siri and telling her to text Twitter. You would just name Twitter in your phone with a phone number that’s designated to your account and read a tweet to it. Then, it will be tweeted.
“These little hacks and things I would just find, and it may or may not have been super beneficial for businesses all the time, but it showed that I was an expert in what I was doing, which was a very unknown space for businesses at the time,” Amy said. “At any time, you can just get on camera and tell people what you know. Blogging has been great, but video really gives you that touchpoint that they get to know, like, and trust you very quickly.”
Using Video to Get Leads
If you can hang out and have a conversation on camera, that’s a fast way to build trust. It’s different than writing bullet points on a blog post. Amy brought a new perspective on any business hack or social hack to an audience on camera consistently for this reason.
Amy’s following was also growing on social media because she had started a personal brand and a lot of people were following her since those first videos. Some started following her on Twitter and then started seeing her videos pop up.
She would always tell people to watch her content if she thought there was something useful for them to look at. In marketing today, we’re always looking for the shortcut and we forget that if you want the network, remember that you already have a network. How do you leverage that? That’s everything.
It is no secret that YouTube is the adopted child of Google. Google and YouTube work really, really well together and you can get traffic from people who are inquisitive about something.
By Amy offering these strategies, she was formulating the headline of the videos to be something that somebody might pop in the search bar.
“They’re not going to know who I am and they’re not going to care who I am, but they’re going to want the answer to their question,” Amy said. “If you really focus your content marketing on the content, not just your marketing, you really can attract people.”
Here’s an example. Amy did a tutorial on how to embed a YouTube video into a Powerpoint presentation because there were just no really good resources. It’s hard. They make it impossible and the tutorials were terrible.
How do I get a YouTube video into my Powerpoint presentation?
Speakers and students have to do that. People within organizations have to do presentations. Amy thought this was useful to people and use as an example in the YouTube world.
Those three areas are hub, hero, and help.
Hub is really focusing on what your core audience, who already loves me, wants. You’re going to do this just for them. You’re going to have videos that are just for them.
Hero is when you’re like, “You know what, I want to go broader here. I want this to be great for my audience, but I think it’s going to help more people than that.”
Help is SEO driven and really helps somebody by answering their question. That’s the purpose of the video.
You could probably be in two camps at the same time, but knowing which one is the biggest is super important.
The Powerpoint video is an example of hero and help.
“I answered a question. I specifically dove into the tutorial in that video and answered it for anyone who would find that video based on searching the exact words “How to embed a YouTube video into a Powerpoint presentation” or other versions of that search query,” Amy said. “It ended up being a hero piece for me because there were so many people that needed that help and that was the huge, huge viral success of my channel for probably three years, which is the amazing thing about YouTube.”
You can make a piece of content on Youtube, publish that video, and it can work for you for the life of your channel… if you stay consistent. This is not true in a lot of other places.
If you want to talk about Facebook video, good luck!
You don’t find things the same way on Facebook that you do on YouTube, so the longevity is just insane.
“I have one video right now about waking up early that I did earlier this year and it just goes in waves,” Amy explained. “It’s getting 25,000 views in the last 48 hours just because there’s trending search activity or trending viewership. People are getting ready to go back to school, so they have to learn to wake up early again. It fell flat for the summer a little bit, but in the spring it was at 50,000 in 48 hours.”
You really have to understand the amazing capacity of search. Search is also driven by suggested results. A lot of traffic Amy gets from discovery is search and suggested results, so SEO is a very, very important thing on YouTube.
If you want it to be found, you have to help other people find it. YouTube is not just going to be like, “Super, thanks for this resource. Let’s get it out to the whole world.” They need to see that you’re as invested as they are in their platform.
Getting More YouTube Views
The biggest tip that I have is you can’t grow the network unless you realize you already have one. Whenever you publish something, it is your mission in life to get eyeballs on it.
“I like to tell people when they’re first getting started, you have friends and you have a family. You need to tell them, “Hey! I’m launching a social presence. It happens to be on YouTube. One of the things that I really need is attention on every video when it comes out. I need likes and I need comments and so I’d really love it if I could pop this into a Facebook group or send you an email whenever I have a video coming out and just say: Hey, can you just get on here and watch it all the way through and like it and comment on it?”
If you bring traffic to YouTube, YouTube brings traffic to you and what they look for is peaking activity in your channel. If you have zero subscribers, but you’re getting 100 views for some reason, that’s peaking activity, like, “Something interesting is happening here. Maybe we should pay attention to this.” They’re gonna continue to watch.
If your statistics go up, you’re going to be doing a lot of that work right off the bat, but it doesn’t mean that the videos that you first published can’t be discovered later as long as you put in the work that needs to be there for each individual upload.
“I don’t recommend publishing more than one at a time or more than one in a day,” Amy said. “You really want to spend time promoting that piece of content.”
Promotion of that video is super important, so find your task force and ask people to do you a solid for the first couple of months of your channel and just pop into your videos. You post them once a week and that’s no big deal to a lot of people. They’ll happily do you the favor if you ask and you’re more likely to see YouTube, send you some traffic.
How Creating Video Led to Speaking Gigs for Amy Landino
Amy was just talking to a camera alone in a room and she started getting inquiries for speaking engagements.
“I had never expressed interest in doing it and I hadn’t applied for anything,” Amy said. “I was just talking about what I knew, but organizers were seeing the ability I had to talk and they needed that and they needed a video.”
They needed certain social networks to be represented on their stages because they needed to communicate these things to other businesses that were coming to their events. So that’s how Amy started speaking.
“I was getting emails from people saying, “I saw your YouTube channel. We don’t have a huge budget, but we would really love for you to come speak. Can you do that?”
So, Amy gave it a try. What she realized was a fear of speaking she had before had a lot to do with not knowing the material. When you really know something, it’s extremely helpful for learning how to speak and speaking has become one of her main revenue streams.
“It’s exciting for me to do something I feel a lot of people don’t do and I think YouTube and speaking fall into that camp,” Amy said. “I want to be able to walk on stage and enlighten someone because it was a keynote speaker that enlightened me at my first digital marketing conference to leave my job and I feel like that position is so powerful and so incredible. All I’m ever trying to do is leave that impact on people. Christina, I got into this because I like to see the look on people’s faces. That’s why I made the first video. I made the first video for Stephanie because I wanted to see her face when she saw what we had done for her. It’s the same thing for speaking. I love to see people had the epiphany. I love to see the result of my content hitting someone and making them realize what they have the power to do.”
It’s very different to speak to a camera than it is a room full of hundreds or even thousands of people, so right off the bat, Amy was nervous.
She didn’t have any experience speaking and all she could think about was speech class in high school and how terribly that went for her, but again, if you know what you’re talking about, you really believe in it, and you’re extremely passionate about it, it lifts you up so much.
She just knew what she was saying and a lot of practice on camera has helped her with that. Knowing your stuff gives you the most confidence.
As Amy’s YouTube channel grows, her speaking opportunities increase. They’re pretty consistent because the industry has much overlap.
“Everyone’s always saying “it’s the year of video” and “we need more video” and “we need more women speaking” so there’s a lot of reasons why I am a great option.
At the same time, it’s also nice to have social proof because that’s what helps the dollars increase. Ultimately, if you can put butts in seats, you’re more valuable.
100,000 Subscribers in 100 Days
Amy’s channel hit 80,000 subscribers by the end of 2017. It took Amy six years to get to 80,000 subscribers.
Everything from the beginning of 2018 changed. Amy had a new name, a new channel, and a new set because she moved. She wanted to approach her content a bit differently. So once that started, it just went gangbusters.
“I think it’s because the content is a little bit more hero as I talked about before,” Amy said. “It just took off. 20,000 subscribers in the first two months of the year. Then another 100,000 subscribers in 100 days. Now, I’m at almost 250,000.
This is an example of the algorithms working. I know people have a hard time hearing that because they go and they post YouTube and they’re like – nothing’s working. But, when you figure out what you’re all about, they love promoting it because it keeps people on their platform. It keeps people watching. It makes them more money.
It’s not that they’re trying to get you to fail. They just need you to find your niche and once you do, YouTube gives you attention, especially if people are loving what you’re doing and you’re getting a lot of positive trajectory.
If you do not lean into that activity and do it again, it’s just going to be a viral sensation for five seconds. The goal is: If this particular piece of content is taking off for some reason and if these people became subscribers, then they’re expecting to see more of that in the future.
“The reason it was 100,000 subscribers in 100 days is because I didn’t ignore a trend. I looked at a trend and I said, “Holy crap. This is making a massive difference (or even if it’s just a small uptick for you) they liked this, then do more of that! That’s really what the algorithms are doing,” Amy said. “They’re trying to help you come to that conclusion of finding your sweet spot of what people want to see from you so that you will be more consistent with that one thing.”
Vlog Like A Boss
Vlog Like A Boss came out in early 2017.
Walking off stage, everyone would come up to Amy and ask her where her book was.
“Here’s the thing. I make YouTube videos. So like, why don’t you just go watch my YouTube channel,” she would answer.
The fact that people want a manual for something or they want a resource for something they can hold in their hand is different than the video experience. So she realized she was holding herself back as a speaker without a book.
So, she went to her audience and said she was putting together something designed for you to flow through and actually be able to follow my advice in the order that I would prescribe it to you if you are my client.
A lot of her colleagues came to her and said, “You’re not going to sell anything. It’s okay. Just have the book. It’s a great business card.”
Her audience bought that book.
“I mean, it was really, really awesome to see how much they wanted that next step,” Amy said. “I think that’s something I took for granted is knowing to lean into the things that are working, but also considering that in the different mediums. They really, really wanted to support me in that way and to have the resource for themselves. The book has just been going fantastically the last year, year and a half.”
As a self-published author, it’s pretty tough to get into stores. Amy wanted to have her book signing at the Book Loft in German Village in Columbus, Ohio.
“I love my city and I’m involved in the community, so to have the signing here is not the same as a conference that hires me or some event that I coordinate somewhere because my audience lives in mostly that area. It was home.”