Fan favorite Wes McDowell is back on the podcast to share what has worked well (and what hasn’t) after focusing solely on ONE marketing channel…his YouTube channel!

Earlier this year, Wes decided to double down on that and stop his podcast and virtually all social media.

I found that decision fascinating because, from the outside at least, it seemed like both his podcast and social media presence was thriving.

That’s exactly why I wanted to bring him back onto the show to unpack what’s learned, both pros and cons, after months of devoting marketing attention to only ONE channel.

Is this something you’re considering? Leave me a comment on the post and let me know!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
01:55 – Greeting to Wes
04:01 – Ultimate business hack
05:31 – YouTube locally
09:29 – Weighing the choice
13:07 – Long form content first
15:50 – Subscriber awareness
19:29 – Attractors
24:13 – Clarify your niche
27:51 – Personal branding
29:54 – Have more authenticity
34:25 – Can lead to monetization
39:24 – When you are your client
41:58 – Know the verbiage
43:13 – Refining the processes
45:20 – Benefit of interviews
48:22 – Where to start
51:58 – Keywords for titles
54:38 – Thumbnail strategy
1:01:18 – Getting the photos
1:05:51 – Video is essential to use

This Episode Sponsored by Josh’s Web Design Business Course 

Connect with Wes:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #225 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: And welcome in friends. This is episode 225 where I’m very excited to bring on a fan favorite of this podcast. This is Wes McDowell, who, if you don’t know, is an awesome online entrepreneur who helps primarily small businesses learn how to use their website for better conversions and business growth.

[00:00:19] Josh: And the reason I wanted to have him on this time on the podcast is to talk about kind of a case study situation that he’s recently gone through this year. More recently, he decided to go all in on one marketing channel, and that is his YouTube channel. He, he also had a, a pretty well known podcast, and he was doing a lot on social media.

[00:00:42] Josh: But earlier this year, he decided, I’m gonna go all in on YouTube. And the idea of going all in on one marketing channel is something that we’ve been talking about a lot and are going to continue to do so to kind of feel out the pros and cons to that. I know it’s so tempting and so easy to just spread yourself so thin, but there’s a lot of power in diving into just one marketing channel and just going all in on it.

[00:01:04] Josh: However, there’s some drawbacks and lessons learned as well that Wes recently learned and shares in this episode. So I took so much from this. I just love talking to Wes. He’s one of my absolute favorite people to talk to in the WordPress and web design realm, so I’m excited for you to hear from him.

[00:01:19] Josh: Particularly those of you who have not met him yet, I think you’re really gonna be excited to see what he shares, because I think it’s gonna apply to how you market your web design business. So without further ado, let’s just dive right into this one. Here’s West McDowell. We’re gonna hear about what he’s learned, pros and cons by choosing one marketing channel, and I’m excited to hear what you think.

[00:01:38] Josh: Leave me a comment on this one. If you wanted Josh Halback co slash 2 25, let me know your thoughts. Here’s Wes.

[00:01:48] Josh: Wes, welcome back onto the podcast. I believe this is round three, man. Thanks for taking some time to chat. Yeah,

[00:01:55] Wes: I always love coming back, Josh, so thanks for having me again.

[00:01:58] Josh: Well, I just mentioned before we, uh, press record here, I’ve been wanting to, to reconnect with you for a little while here because the last time you and I had a discussion, you decided that you were about to go all in on YouTube.

[00:02:09] Josh: And, uh, I love the idea of like just taking one marketing channel and really diving in and I, I’m just so excited to pick your brain and to see what’s worked and maybe lessons you’ve learned. And then on top of that, what kind of spurred this conversation is, I saw Elementor had featured you in one of their videos.

[00:02:26] Josh: I know you, I use Divvy, but you use Elementor and I think it’s so cool to get featured by the tools and, and the companies that, uh, tools that you use. So, so many things I’m excited to chat about, man. Um, for folks who maybe haven’t met you though, we would you like to let everybody know first off, where you’re based out of, and I’ve been asking a lot of guests recently. When somebody asks you what you do, what do you tell them?

[00:02:46] Wes: When someone else that I do now, I tell, I just tell them, I help small business owners, uh, make a most of their websites and their digital marketing, I don’t tell them I do it. Four people cuz I don’t anymore . So I just tell ’em who I help and what I help ’em

[00:03:01] Josh: do basically.

[00:03:03] Josh: Gotcha. Yeah. And you’re still in Chicago right now, right? I am in

[00:03:06] Wes: Chicago, yeah. I just moved, uh, outta Wrigleyville, so I’m a little, little further away from the Cubs now, but a little

[00:03:13] Josh: quieter too. So it’s nice. . Yeah. Gotcha, gotcha. Yeah. Well, let’s just dive into it, man. YouTube is what you really primarily honed in on, I think.

[00:03:23] Josh: Is that fair to say? That’s secure, your main marketing channel, is that your, is that what most of your content is going into now? Yes,

[00:03:29] Wes: by far. So basically, um, I’ve gone all in on YouTube in terms of, that’s most of my day to day at this point is planning videos, shooting videos, kind of doing the, overseeing the post production of them and all that kind of stuff.

[00:03:43] Wes: It is without a doubt, I would say the most powerful marketing channel out there because people get to know you, they get to see you, and kind of, they, it’s basically like a pre-meet before they ever actually are asked to spend any money with you or meet with you or work with you. So it’s really kind of a ultimate business hack, I would say at this point.

[00:04:08] Josh: I love that. It’s so funny because we’re go, I’m gonna release this right after, uh, an episode I did with Pat Flynn who has two successful YouTube channels, and we really dove into the power of YouTube because I think the reason I wanted to follow up with, with your experience of it as well is that I think a lot of people underutilize YouTube or don’t realize that even as a service provider, you can utilize it in a lot of different ways.

[00:04:32] Josh: Would you say that’s true as well for people who Yeah, don’t wanna have a big channel and don’t wanna be an influencer, but they have a service or a product. Yeah, for sure.

[00:04:39] Wes: I mean, I was doing client work up until about a, about a few months ago. I mean, once you start getting any kind of traction on your channel, people watching your stuff, who are going to be a good fit for what you can offer them, the numbers are really not very significant.

[00:04:58] Wes: Like you don’t have to have a million followers or even a hundred thousand followers on YouTube to really make a good impression on the people who are gonna hire you. And it obviously depends on what your price point is. If you deal in volume, you obviously need more people watching. And if you’re in a local area, it gets a little trickier there because then you have to get people who watch your stuff, who are in your local area.

[00:05:22] Wes: But if you can do what you do for a nationwide or worldwide audience, um, the sky’s really the limit and.

[00:05:31] Josh: It’s interesting though, the local idea, so like u utilizing YouTube for, for local businesses. I have seen this play out in a couple different ways. One was with a client that I worked with who was an insurance agent, but what he did, what was so genius was to do like an interview series with a bunch of local business owners and mm-hmm.

[00:05:51] Josh: and he posted the videos on YouTube. When we did that, he was able to do a little, like 10 to 50 minute interview, Like he talked to me about SEO for, for that interview. And then I was able to share the YouTube video to, to my client’s audience, whatever you wanna call it, and then all pointed back to YouTube, which of course, as we know also contributes to SEO because Google owns YouTube.

[00:06:13] Josh: So I totally agree. There’s so many ways to utilize it. Whether you work with people nationally, globally, or in your, in your local area, that might be a sub, a subtopic that would be interested to dive into one day is to like how to target YouTube locally. That’s, that’s probably pretty interesting. I imagine there’s a ton of ways to go about it.

[00:06:31] Josh: Similar to seo, if you just get more targeted with what you do, who you do it for, I would, I would think that’d be the same approach.

[00:06:37] Wes: I’m sure there’s definitely a way to do it. I, I never really dove too deep into it because I was always able to serve a more broad audience than that, but I’ve seen, like realtors do it a lot.

[00:06:49] Wes: Um, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve seen the approach you’re talking about where someone will kind of interview other people in their community. I don’t always know how well that’s gonna play out, because then it’s like you’re making a video that’s kind of about a restaurant in your neighborhood, not about your insurance. So it’s like, I don’t know, like there’s probably a way to do it. I wanna have someone on my channel that can talk to me about it, to bring it to audience.

[00:07:13] Josh: Well, that’s, that’s what I did. So I don’t know if you know this, Wes, one thing I did before I started my podcast and once when I, early on my YouTube days, I did an interview series with nine dvy web designer, agency owners and business owners. And I just, I mean, yeah, you could say it was the, the same niche and everything, but I just asked them about their business, how they scaled it, what they did. And I didn’t really plug my services or my stuff too much.

[00:07:38] Josh: I was just a host, which built so much trust and authority that really was a springboard for me to branch into these different areas. And I developed incredible relationships with these folks who were like legit business owners. I think it can work. I think the idea of doing an interview series, even if they’re different industries, can work in a lot of different ways, particularly with that concept of like building the trust and authority.

[00:08:03] Josh: Yeah. Because instead of like creating an ad and pumping out ad money and ad spend and trying to sell quote unquote yourself, you can just interview people and ask them about their business, share ideas, and that goes such a long way. It’s kind of fun because you can just talk to people kinda like a podcast.

[00:08:20] Josh: People trust you and they’re gonna buy your stuff way easier when you, when that time comes where you wanna sell something. It was interesting. Yeah. The guy with the insurance guy, for him it was a little bit different because every industry he interviewed, he was a perfect fit to potentially serve because insurance can work for just about anybody.

[00:08:37] Josh: Yeah. Um, but yeah, I, I definitely think it’s worthwhile, the idea of like an interview series. Um, it’s a lot of work. It’s why a lot of people don’t do it, but it is, I don’t know. I’d rather do that than like, sell and do an ad personally. Well,

[00:08:48] Josh: yeah, for sure. And you’re, you’re getting your name out there regardless.

[00:08:51] Wes: And insurance is one of these things that like, I guess everybody needs, so, Yeah. Yeah. He can, Yeah, exactly.

[00:09:00] Josh: Needs a one. But look, do a cat, like, I would just say like do like again, nine interviews or 10 interviews, line up, 10 people interview, see what happens. It’s like there’s no hard, It doesn’t mean you have to commit to one a week forever.

[00:09:12] Josh: Just, you know, see what happens. So I love that. Now I am curious with YouTube in particular, you had, you had built your podcast, you had built a YouTube channel. Were you doing any other marketing channels or were those two the biggie? Like were you doing a lot of social media or anything else?

[00:09:29] Wes: Yeah, so those were the biggies. YouTube has been kind of the, my main focus for God, probably seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. And then at a certain point I started kind of a companion podcast, cuz my thought was why not repurpose some of this content? You know, I wouldn’t just like, Straight up recycle it. Like I would actually do it in a new way to make it right for the podcast.

[00:09:53] Wes: But we take the same general outline. Um, and then what we’d also do is, um, repurpose the same stuff with Instagram posts. And, uh, we even tried TikTok for a little bit. The thing is though, yeah, I tried it. I mean basically like took little segments of the videos, um, to put ’em on TikTok, which is not really what TikTok is meant for, let’s be honest.

[00:10:19] Wes: So what I ended up doing is kind of really weighing this out, and I have a whole YouTube video about my decision, what went into it. I know I took a look at the podcast and all the Instagram stuff, all the TikTok stuff, and realized that for the amount of effort we were putting into that, we were reaching about this many people as opposed to YouTube, which was like, you know, this many people. So it’s like it was doubling our effort to reach like 1% more people. So it just, it, it was a no brainer in the end to just, let’s spend that extra time on the YouTube channel.

[00:10:54] Josh: Now, you know, so that I remember we talked about that and I Is that video, is that the one that’s called I messed up, but you don’t have to, Is that the video? I think so, yeah. Okay. Yeah, we’ll link that in the show notes for sure. For everybody cuz yeah, it was really interesting. Of course, I was very curious about that because I actually took the opposite approach. I’ve kind of backed off YouTube in a way and really focused on the podcast, which has been by far the biggest generator for me personally.

[00:11:18] Josh: Yeah. But our er, our, our suite of services is a little bit different and I, I think that probably has something to do with it as well, but, . It was interesting. We kind of both took different approaches and it just goes to show you it can work. Like if you throttle into something that you’re, you’re good at, that you enjoy and that you feel like has a good return, it can work.

[00:11:37] Josh: But I think it’s a matter of, like, you, you do have to look at the numbers, right? I think it’s really important to like look at the numbers and then also think about what is the biggest benefit for your business. Like you, you’re a mature business owner and online entrepreneur to where you recognized, I gotta look at my time, what I’m investing in it, and then, yeah, what’s the reward?

[00:11:54] Josh: Like is, am I, if I’m getting a hundred x in this channel, then I should probably spend more of my time doing that rather than the 20% that’s not getting enough.

[00:12:03] Wes: It’s, it’s really tough. It can be tough. Like, it was hard for me to pull the plug on it because in my mind I’d already spent so much time and effort on the podcast. So I think a lot of people, they just, it’s that, uh, sunk cost fallacy, right? They’re like, well, they’ve already put so much into it. I gotta see it through. Well, no, you don’t. I mean, do it if you want to, but if the numbers are telling you that you’d be much better served doing something else might be the way to go.

[00:12:32] Wes: I mean, I am on the, on the other hand though, like it’s good to differentiate, it’s good to kind of have different buckets in case like, what if you went away tomorrow? You know? But, um, I may revisit at some point in the future, but,

[00:12:46] Josh: Well, and that’s a good thing too, and I, I, I imagine you would back me up and say, when you start out, choose one channel and then get really good at that. Because the worst thing you can do is try to do everything and be everywhere to everyone that ultimately very quickly leads to burnout or just. you’re just doing half ass work acro, Or it’d be like quarter ass work across multiple channels, you know? Yeah, totally.

[00:13:07] Wes: And I always say to people like, pick one of the, one of the three biggies, which is YouTube podcasts or blogs. That’s your long form content. Then after that, you can start thinking about kind of the repurposing of on. So never think of social like, I guess TikTok could be thought of as like another, a fourth biggie. Um, but basically you want to think of long form content first, and then you want to think of how you can repurpose it on social.

[00:13:37] Josh: Oh, that’s a great, that’s a great framework to, to go off of because I, Yeah, I feel like a lot of people do tend to just do quick little things on social media, which can be great, but if they don’t, I guess, lead to anything more, that’s probably where a lot of it falls flat, I would imagine. Right. It’s like, Oh, that was nice, but, uh, thank you.

[00:13:56] Josh: I don’t know, like, yeah, if there’s something else to back that up. That, gosh, there’s so much benefit to that. I think that’s the beauty of long form content, whether it’s a video or a podcast or an interview you did, or a webinar or a workshop or a training that you’re gonna do or you wanna build up to, like having something that’s more meaty.

[00:14:14] Josh: I mean, I guess we’re getting close to lunchtime here, so I’m gonna go with the food route. Like, you wanna have an appetizer or something to tease the meal before you get the actual meal, right?

[00:14:23] Wes: Of course. You gotta get hungry first. But yeah, and I, I would say like the video and podcasts are definitely gonna be your best bet. Um, I know we’re, we heard we’re here to mostly talk about YouTube today, so, um, let’s just go with that for, for the purposes of this. So you’d wanna, and what you do want, want to avoid is actually just doing like one or two things and kind of having that be your, um, overall long form content. Like you mentioned, webinar webinars are great, but you need to have.

[00:14:54] Wes: Consistent content week after week or month after month, you need to constantly be adding to that pile. That’s kind of where it gets interesting because if you just do one or two things, especially on YouTube, like it’s probably never gonna go

[00:15:09] Josh: anywhere. Ah, that’s a good point. Petition. I know something that, uh, Pat Flynn mentioned a few episodes back or a couple episodes back was when, when you think about a subscriber, you have to think about what they are expecting next.

[00:15:22] Josh: Do you think about that Wes, with your channel? Like when somebody subscribes to think about, okay, what do they cause and again, I mentioned earlier, I kind of backed off my YouTube, I’m not stopping YouTube. This, A lot of the conversations I’ve had recently and including this one is like challenging me to really rethink it and, and take a whole new lens approach at it.

[00:15:41] Josh: But that idea of like thinking about the subscriber, thinking about what they expect and where they’re at, is that, how, is that something that has contributed to the growth of your channel?

[00:15:50] Wes: Yeah, it has to because. You can talk about so many things on YouTube, right? And you can, like, you could talk about, I know Pat his example, like he talks about podcasting and there’s other channels about Pokemon cards, right? So like had he combined those two things into one channel, that never would’ve worked because the people that signed on to get podcasting advice, they’re gonna see a video about Pokemon cards and they’re gonna be like, What the hell’s this guy talking about? That’s not what I signed up for.

[00:16:20] Wes: Right? So you do have to think about the viewer. It’s not just all about what you want to talk about today. So a little bit like to put that in the framework of my channel, I talk about a lot of different things, but they’re all under one umbrella. Which is service business owners getting more clients through their website. Within that, I can talk about your website itself.

[00:16:44] Wes: I can talk about getting people to your website and in that now we’re talking Facebook ads and blogging and podcasting and all that kind of stuff. So as long as you can wrap it all in some kind of umbrella that really thinks about what it is, what do the people really want? Right? No one, No one like really wants a they need a website because it’s gonna get them something. So what else can we talk about that’s gonna get them that same goal?

[00:17:13] Josh: Oh, that’s so beautiful. You know? Yeah. It’s funny, when I first met you, you kind of coined yourself as a website strategist, or I think a web strategist maybe, and we talked a lot about that on the podcast recently with how important strategy is in all areas of business, just like what you just explained, but also on a website where it’s like there’s a lot of strategy behind a successful website, but no client is Googling website strategy.

[00:17:39] Josh: Like they want website to make more money or grow their business. So it is interesting. There has to be such an intentional approach. I feel like when you have one service or one suite of products to, to make sure, like you can, you can do all these different topics, but they don’t go outside too far the boundaries with what those are about.

[00:17:58] Josh: Um, and I think that’s really common with web designers in particular with their service offerings because they may do websites and that may include a few things, but then once you get out of the box of web design and you get into like photography or videography or things that are pretty far outside, I mean they can contribute, they can be ancillary services, but that’s where this can, can really muddy up the message for, for clients.

[00:18:19] Josh: So I think the idea, whether it’s YouTube or any other main marketing channel, having the idea of like so clear what you do and then the few things that you can talk about to, to get people through the door. I love that we, cuz it’s so easy to overlook, isn’t it? Like, it’s so easy to get in the weeds of your business and then you kind of forget, like can you, can you succinctly say what you do for somebody just like you did a couple minutes ago? It’s so important.

[00:18:46] Wes: Yep. Gotta nail that elevator pitch. You gotta know who you’re helping and with what, or you’re not, not gonna get very far, you know? And the other, that’s the other way to think about a YouTube channel too, is you can think about it or any kind of niche, right? You can think of, you can niche down to the person, the kind of person who needs your service, and then within that you can start talking about other things that are important to them as well. But yeah, it’s gotta all come back. To that person.

[00:19:13] Josh: And how are you, how are you figuring out your topics? Do you do any data or keyword research or anything like that? Um, small business owners, I imagine we’ve been in the industry for a while. We kind of know probably what their, what their challenges are, but do you take a, a measured approach or data approach to that as well?

[00:19:29] Wes: I do. I mean, I look at all the, the videos that I do and I see like what performs the best. Um, for a long time it was Facebook ads related videos, which is never a service I actually provided. Okay. So I’m trying to pull back on that a little bit. I will still talk about it sometimes because it’s a good attractor.

[00:19:50] Wes: The people who are interested in running Facebook ads for their business are probably also interested in getting a good website or improving their website. So, um, I look at what’s performed well. I also look at, you go in, um, I don’t know how much your average listener is like, First on the inner workings of YouTube and the dashboard, but basically they tell you what other channels your viewers watch specific videos that they watch, and you can see the numbers.

[00:20:20] Wes: You can see like, Oh wow, um, my average viewer watches Neil Patel and this is the video they’re watching from him the most. It gives you a lot of really good insights on what maybe you should be focusing on filling in those gaps.

[00:20:35] Josh: That’s a good point. I didn’t really, Okay. I’m actually looking at my analytics right now. I mean, I had seen, it’s kind of similar, even podcasts. Platforms will do that. They’re like other listeners or listen to these other podcasts. I actually did not look into that as in regards to my YouTube channel though, so I’m definitely gonna look now I’m kind of looking into it. This is really interesting.

[00:20:54] Wes: Yeah, just kinda like your audience insights and it basically shows you.

[00:20:58] Josh: All that good stuff. Other channels. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, that’s awesome. And gosh, it’s so interesting, particularly I would love to, to pick your brain about the idea of kind of measuring quantity versus quality with YouTube. Because I have some other YouTube colleagues who are doing like web design tutorial type sites and their channels are mult, like hundreds of thousands of subscribers, 30, 40, 50 million views plus.

[00:21:26] Josh: But they are generally reaching an audience that is like starting to build websites or people just googling how to build a website. Your audience though, is a little bit different. We like, yeah, you might get some of those folks, but you’re also, like you mentioned, you’re really targeting small business owners, which maybe you’re not, Maybe your channel could be way bigger if you were targeting like how to build a website type of people.

[00:21:48] Josh: But yeah. Is it fair to say you’re, you’re kind of really zoning in on like more quality viewers rather than just anybody and everybody for the sake of numbers. Yeah.

[00:21:58] Wes: And you, I will qualify that though cuz I am also going after those kind of how to build a website type things because I have a second arm of my business that does affiliate sales. Okay. At Blue Host. So I started these videos, but, so it’s like even if I get someone who’s not that small business owner to watch this particular video, that’s okay because I’m more likely to get more affiliate sales through that. And YouTube is smart enough to know that they, that person probably isn’t gonna be interested in another one, one of my videos.

[00:22:29] Wes: So it doesn’t really detract away too much. Yeah. But I do a fair amount though of talking in my videos. I make it known that like this is for you, the small business owner, not for you, the fledgling digital marketer. Yeah. Who’s trying to work with small business owner. They can watch it too. And I’m sure a lot of them do, but I gear it toward them with examples and I talk about it in a way that’s, you know, more like you’re a small business owner. You’ve probably never done this before. And here’s, here’s how to do

[00:23:02] Josh: it. So this is such an important like case study example of how you talk in your videos and who you talk to is going to determine your audience. It’s either gonna attract the right people or push away the right people. Like even the way your channel artwork sits, like your, as of right now, your YouTube channel artwork says, Next level website marketing strategies for explosive business growth.

[00:23:27] Josh: That tells me you are creating resources for business owners and you’re not creating resources for somebody who’s learning, like you said, website design to help their own business owners like it. It is really intentional, so it’s a great reminder to make sure. First off, I would say you have your ideal client in mind.

[00:23:47] Josh: You have your marketing and your messaging that, that little pitch where you’re so clear about what you do and that’s gonna determine how you talk in all of your videos and all of your blog posts, all of your marketing channels. Um, at such a great point, man, because that can be missed. Like if you’re like, Hey, if you’re trying to figure out how to build a website, here are some tips that just brought in a whole different audience.

[00:24:07] Josh: Rather than you as a small business owner, you need your website to work for you. Here are some tips. I love that. What a great reminder.

[00:24:13] Wes: Well, it gets even more gra granular than that really, because a lot of people who are small business owners with a website, they’re doing e-commerce, they’re trying to sell a product. I take it a step further and say, I’m for service business owners. If you are not selling anything on your website, but you want to use your website to bring in way more clients that you can close on the phone or over email, this is a channel for you. I’m gonna show you how to do that. Yeah.

[00:24:39] Josh: And have you found that to help with your, like the CPM cost, like the costs per clicks, Are you running ads? Are you, are you making money off your videos? So have you, has that, have you seen that help as you attract like more serious business owners as far as those

[00:24:54] Wes: numbers? I, I think so. I mean, I’m, I’m making quite a bit higher cost per what it is. Like rpm? Yeah. Or like, yeah, whatever those numbers are. Then you see being the average, like my RPM is like around 50 bucks. So like for every thousand views I get about 50 bucks, which you look at other people and like people, other people will like kind of brag about $20 or, but most like entertainment channels, it’s closer to like 20 cents,

[00:25:26] Josh: right? Right. Thousand. Yeah. So mine’s $47 and 88 cents. Right. That’s icp. Which sounds like it’s very comparable, but again, um, now your channel is way bigger than mine. I’m happy to trash my own channel cause I just think it’s terrible and I have so much I wanna do to it. But regardless, one thing that we have in common is we’ve targeted like quality over quantity. And I don’t mean that as a person, I just mean like we’re targeting people who are in a different place right now in their business and in their journey than some of these channels who are either entertainment based or you’re like, you’re just trying to sell tools or just trying to, you know, sell something like that.

[00:26:03] Josh: I mean, I know that’s a part of what you do, but by far it’s so clear to me that you are serious about helping small business owners. Yeah.

[00:26:09] Wes: And I think that, Well, thanks for saying that. And like, I think that the biggest differentiator too, of making a lot of money with, with your ads on YouTube is if you’re business centric. It’s not, it’s not just all about the, the quality of the people, but it’s like, if it’s about business, like you’re gonna attract way more advertisers who are trying to sell their stuff and they’ll pay a lot more for it.

[00:26:29] Josh: So I relabeled my podcast recently to the web design business podcast. Would you say that’s probably a good move for where I’m headed because I’m definitely targeting business of web design?

[00:26:40] Wes: It’s great because the old show is just called the Josh Hall Web show, or what was it called? Yeah, Web design show. Yeah, Web design. Okay. Well you had web design in there, so that’s good. But I think when we, when we’re talking about any of these things like podcasting or YouTube, um, by the way, I’m a terrible example cause I just, I, I just use my name on YouTube, but.

[00:27:01] Wes: That’s okay. I think because the search engine is better in YouTube for, they’ll, they’ll find a, a video. Mm-hmm. . But a podcast is different. I don’t, this is why I had such a hard time with a podcast is the searching is just not as good. It’s not as like impactful and helpful for, for podcasters. So to have the word web design in your title prominently is probably a good thing for you.

[00:27:26] Josh: Well, and I was, Okay. Case study. Let me pick your brain on this. While we’re here at Wes, uh, I had debated on changing my YouTube channel to the web design business channel. Mm-hmm. , but I stuck with my personal brand because my website is josh Um, Okay. What are your thoughts on that? Like, do you think it’s worthwhile, uh, particularly as I put more web design resources, like business resources, Do you think it’s worthwhile keeping the personal brand front and center? Since that is my website. Okay. On YouTube I

[00:27:51] Wes: do. Because here’s again, what I just said is important. I. People are never going to be search People search podcasts for a overall podcast a lot of the time. Sometimes an episode, but a lot of times they’re looking for a podcast on YouTube. No one’s looking for a channel.

[00:28:07] Wes: They’re looking for a video. So as long as you use keywords strategically in your video titles, I love the idea of having a personal brand. That’s why I changed mine from the deep end to West McDowell because people were getting to know me to where the business name was, taking it back seat like people didn’t know the deep end.

[00:28:29] Wes: They just knew that this face was on the videos and they were getting to know me like they will get to know you.

[00:28:36] Josh: Gotcha. That makes sense. Oh gosh, that makes me feel so much better, and totally makes sense. Yeah, I think that’s a really important point for folks thinking about starting their channel as well. Like there is power, particularly YouTube with a personal brand as far as like where you end up. But yeah, you target the videos about a certain topic. What a great point. Because yeah, when it comes to searching podcast versus YouTube, people search YouTube for an answer to a question or generally a topic.

[00:29:01] Josh: Mm-hmm. that is going to bring up your video, and then if it’s by this West McDowell guy or this Josh Hall guy, then like, Oh, okay, he’s. Dude behind the channel and then that builds that trust and authority. But the topical stuff are your playlist, the videos and the details. I think that’s such a great approach as opposed to having a business channel, which let’s face it now more than ever, business channels are usually just like, it’s lame.

[00:29:24] Josh: It’s like, this is why it’s funny, my business coach James Ramco, he just changed his brand to a personal brand. Uh, it was super fast business. Now it’s just James Ramco and I looked at all of his social media posts because they would be duplicated often. His personal profile always got way more engagement than the business one did, even though the content was exactly the same.

[00:29:44] Josh: Yeah, there’s something about showing up being personal that’s so powerful now. So I think it’s a, a great reminder when you have any sort of channel, particularly YouTube. Yeah,

[00:29:54] Wes: totally. Like I was on YouTube last week, I don’t remember what I was looking up. I was looking up kind of, um, How to do something specific with a specific, um, program. And I don’t remember what it was, but then there was, there were videos from that company and I didn’t wanna watch those. I wanted to watch the ones from normal people. People, Yeah. Cause I wanted to see, like, you want to get their. Like them weighing in and their personal reactions. If, if it comes from a company, it feels less authentic already.

[00:30:25] Josh: Yes. Oh, that’s so well said. Or if somebody’s working on behalf of a company, sometimes it’s like, Right. No matter what they say, the company’s not gonna probably, um, you know, maybe they’ll let them have a little leeway with an honest opinion on something. Yeah. But there’s gonna be some level of lines that can’t be crossed. Yeah. Uh, in that case,

[00:30:43] Wes: Oh, I remember what it was. It was looking for a new microphone for my, my camera and like B and h, B and H video. Official one came up and I was like, Yeah, I don’t wanna watch that one. You’re trying to sell me something versus this guy who’s just gonna gimme an honest review.

[00:30:56] Josh: That’s a really interesting point. And I, that leads me to kind of, um, Elementor featuring you recently on their ad, because I’m a divvy guy and I think one reason when I started my YouTube channel, it blew up fairly quickly on me, was because I had a lot of resources around divvy, but I was unbiased. Like I didn’t work for elegant themes.

[00:31:14] Josh: I blog authored for them for a while, but I was never a employee of elegant themes. So I gave my honest take on the tool and what I loved about it, where I think it could be improved. And I think that really resonated with people and it’s why I kinda rival, if you search a lot of related things, a lot of my videos still come up right next to elegant themes.

[00:31:32] Josh: Yeah. Because like you do mission, it’s a. Unbiased personal opinion. Same for you, Wes. I’m actually curious, um, and again, this this conversation, it, it spurred from me seeing Elementor feature you and I was like, Oh, I wanna talk with Wes again. How did that go about? Like, was it similar? You, you use Elementor, but I imagine you were an affiliate but you were never like hired by them. I don’t know what that looks like now, but is that kind of how that started for you as well?

[00:31:56] Wes: Yeah, so I use Elementor. I love it. Um, we’ll always you and I will always butt heads over this one, You Divvy guy, but Element , I love Elementor. Um, I am an affiliate for them. However, I will go on record saying their affiliate program is terrible. Like they give you no way of, basically, I, I should turn a lot of people onto them within my paid course as well because I happen to believe it. I don’t think I’ve gotten paid more than like 50 bucks from. Ever. And that’s fine. Oh, wow. Well, because they don’t, this is a tangent, but like affiliate programs to work well, they need to give some kind of, um, incentive for people to sign up through you and they don’t really do anything like that.

[00:32:40] Wes: It’s like, I can just count or anything and it’s like, I can tell you like, use my link, but why would I use your link with when I can just go to elementary and get it? So that’s really what I’m talking about. But anyway, um, recently, and I, I do a lot of videos, just kind of the web tutorials, how to use it, and I guess they caught wind of it.

[00:33:02] Wes: They saw some of them and they, they reached out to me. I assume other people who do the same kind of videos as well to do, um, an ad for them basically. So it’s me talking about my experience using Elementor, why I like it, and they’re running that as an advertisement.

[00:33:19] Josh: Gotcha. Well, probably, probably on my channel. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s how I saw it. Um, even though I’m a Dvy guy, which side note? I have to say divvy and elegant themes. Affiliate program is the best. Like every time I join somebody, oh my gosh, every time I join somebody’s affiliate program, I’m like, You guys should, whatever elegant themes does, that is the way to go.

[00:33:38] Josh: Cuz they’re, they’re on it with that, That’s another great point. Like maybe companies need to really think about their affiliate programs for this type of SAS product or any type of online product anyway. Yeah, that is a, that is a really interesting point too because I’m guessing YouTube is what probably got you in the door for, to be featured with Elegant or uh, to be featured by Elementor, which of course, build your brand, build your authority, build your trust.

[00:34:03] Josh: Cuz somebody might see your channel and be like, Oh, that’s the dude I just saw, like element or feature this guy. So he must be legit. That’s another benefit of having a YouTube channel. And again, not everyone’s gonna have a huge channel, but even for service providers or if there is a tool that you’re really keen on, do some training on it or just share what you know about it. You never know where those opportunities could lead. Yeah,

[00:34:25] Wes: absolutely. I never would’ve thought, you know, I never even thought it would turn on my monetization to be honest with you. I thought like, I’m in this for a different reason. I’m selling my course, I’m selling my services. And then one day, like last year I just said, let’s try this.

[00:34:40] Wes: And it was like, like I say, it was a much higher dollar amount than I was led to believe it would be. So it’s like I kicking myself, I didn’t do this like years ago, right? But then I never would’ve thought like a brand deal would emerge. But by now I’ve done that for Elementor and then some rush, if you’ve heard of them.

[00:34:57] Wes: Yeah. They’ve contracted me to do, um, I’ve done a course for them, they paid me for, and I’ve done a, a whole series of YouTube videos for them that they also paid me for. So, um, probably have to cool it with the brand deals a little bit. My own business has kind of take, has suffered a little bit lately because of that, but, Interesting that I, things I never would’ve thought were

[00:35:18] Josh: possible.

[00:35:19] Josh: Yeah. Now, yeah, I think most people think about making money on YouTube. The thought is ads of some sort or like, you know, brand deals is, is kind of a level back typically for folks, but you still, the primary goal of your YouTube channel is to get people to go through your program. Is that right Wes? Is that still your end goal?

[00:35:37] Wes: That is my main focus, yes. Um, but the two other arms have kind of branched out as well. The YouTube ads is becoming quite a, quite a thing. And then my affiliate sales as well. Okay. So I really have three branches of my business at this point. The courses I do wanna elevate and make sure that that’s always the highest because it’s something that I actually own and. Don’t wanna give too much. I don’t want give two other companies too much power over my business.

[00:36:10] Josh: Right. In other words, Right. And that can happen when you, the, the reality is when you start putting out resources and content and it starts gaining traction with something else. They are probably gonna want a piece of that.

[00:36:20] Josh: And that’s just, but that’s the nature of the beast. When somebody like you basically become a salesperson for elementary and they’re like, well they, Wes already knows the tool really well. He’s already got an audience. He’s already share. Like, we don’t have to hire somebody to potentially sell this if we can use West to, to do it in this side of the market.

[00:36:39] Josh: So that, that does become the, the problem you have to kind watch out for is you could essentially become a salesperson for like 10 different tools and that’s your full-time job. And if you don’t wanna do that, you have to do it Very limited, I feel like. Yeah. So what does your suite of services look like now?

[00:36:54] Josh: And I want tie this back into like really cho choosing one program or one platform to, to go for, Cause you, do you have multiple courses that are one off at this point or are they all under like one program?

[00:37:04] Wes: I have one program right now, one, and it’s, it’s called the Profitable Website Launchpad. That’s it. Um, I basically, I, I use it to teach those small business owners, the service business owners, everything to do with creating a website, starting with the messaging, ending with Elementor, bringing it to life. I don’t have any of anything else at this point. That’s my complete

[00:37:27] Josh: focus. And your private coaching and consultations, are those just for the high level folks that may wanna take you up on that or, or is that kinda just like a side, like extra benefit kind of thing?

[00:37:37] Wes: It’s pretty extra, yeah. It’s just like, I recently really, uh, increased my prices there. Nice. Simply because it didn’t really get me excited to do it. Like, I love talking to people. I love helping people, don’t get me wrong, but when I’ve got a lot on my plate, there’s nothing that’s like, kind of gets me. I don’t know, just like out of the zone, but looking at my calendars like, Oh, I’ve gotta stop what I’m doing and get on a call, you know, for a half hour today. So I just raised my prices. Now it’s whoever wants to to pay for it will. But gotta be honest with you, I think those are going away very soon. I think I’ll be moving it.

[00:38:16] Josh: It’s another example of like, you can try something out and see how it works. Like if you wanna do one on one consulting or anything like that. Like you found, I think the first time I was exposed to your website, I checked that out and I think back then it was like 300 bucks for an hour, if I remember right. Or maybe 3 99. Now it’s a thousand dollars for an hour. But again, if you get to a point where, by the way, no one’s bought that.

[00:38:39] Wes: Okay. People buy the half hour. Actually one person bought it and then they canceled like 30 minutes. Oh really?

[00:38:44] Josh: Well, just goes to show you though, like they thought better. If it’s something where you don’t need to. Just freaking raise the rates. And then the person who does do it or is gonna do is probably gonna be a really quality leader.

[00:38:54] Josh: It is gonna be worthwhile. But again, it’s a good example of like figuring out what you wanna do with your time and how you wanna focus on your content creation and growing your biz. So I’m actually kinda curious, since you have what, full-time, or not full time, but you’ve really just devoted most of your time to YouTube, how has that helped you personally, Wes? Like, have you had more bandwidth to just make that channel better? I, I, I Do you have more time for yourself? Like, what’s that look like in a personal thing?

[00:39:24] Wes: More time for myself. Not really. I wish I could say it did. I mean, the, the dream of this is always, it’s always sold is like make your own hours, like live on the beach for half the year. Um, it’s hard work. I will say that. Um, especially because I, I’m not going easy on myself while I am making it the bigger focus and I’m not. Doing client work anymore. Now I’m kind of my own client at this point, and I’m, I’m a tough client to work for. Let’s be honest. I’m, I kind of, I’m, I’m raising the bar on my videos.

[00:40:00] Wes: I’m really try, I’m, I’m cutting down on the number of them speaking to the quality versus quantity thing from earlier. I’ve decided to, to not do weekly videos anymore that are going biweekly. But with that comes the expectation that these videos need to be twice as good or better. Right? They have to, each one has to earn its place.

[00:40:22] Wes: And I’m getting away from the strictly talking head style, which I think is, it’s limiting, right? Cause what, what I wanna go for is something that’s a little bit a mix of entertainment and education to where even if the title of the video doesn’t sound that interesting to you, you still wanna watch it because, you know, That you’re gonna learn something good for me and you’re gonna have a good time. Yeah. With the video. That’s kind of my thing now. So it’s, um, I would say it’s been more work than ever

[00:40:56] Josh: lately. Wow. Okay. That’s actually, it’s not what I expected. I figured it would be the opposite since you didn’t have as much other things to work out. But that does make sense that if you try, if you, if you make quality better on something and have a really intentional approach, it does become way, way more work.

[00:41:13] Josh: Uh, so probably thank God that you stopped doing the podcast if you felt like YouTube was absolutely. You know, really the, the strong way to go. I think what’s interesting too is when you think about your customers, small business owners, like how many of them are listening to web design type of podcasts or even like pro you know, like, Right.

[00:41:32] Josh: I guess, I don’t know. The re I think the reason I say that because I think the reason the podcast for me has been such a a, a big channel for, for the growth of my business is because there are so many web designers and web design business owners that do listen to podcasts because we’re all online entrepreneurs, service based people I think they probably listen to podcasts, but I don’t know how many business podcasts they listen to. Have you, have you seen that as well? Do you ever think about that?

[00:41:58] Wes: Yeah, I mean I think there are a fair number of like, but like marketing type podcasts. And I think that that’s more what I was branding it towards. It really was. I never used the term web design. It was much more about, um, it was always about the

[00:42:10] Josh: profitable website was the title. Right? Profitable website. Yeah. So like

[00:42:14] Wes: emphasis on profitable. Like, it was trying to like convey that, you know, you can use your website to make more money for your business.

[00:42:23] Wes: Um, and I’ll show you how. So it was never about like the design of it, right? Cause I knew early on I couldn’t really talk to small business owners using words like design. And some people would be interested, but they’d be interested for two weeks and then they’d move

[00:42:40] Josh: on to the next thing. Or even conversion.

[00:42:41] Josh: If you say conversion to a small business owner that you know has a barber shop or something, they’re like, what is that word? . Yeah. Right. Highest place over. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting man. Well, so what’s like, what looking forward for your channel? Have you, it sounds like you’re going quality over quantity, Less content, but better content.

[00:43:00] Josh: Yeah. What else is, I feel like I’m catching you at an interesting time because I feel like maybe the honeymoon phase of going all in on YouTube is maybe worn off a little bit. What’s like the next chapter look like in your approach to YouTube?

[00:43:13] Wes: Yeah, so I’ve got a team and we’re, we’re really refining our process right now. I think that is where a lot of the extra work is coming in because we’ve gotten so behind, I’ll be honest with you, like I had a move. We both had moves at the same time, right? Um, where I was, I couldn’t get any real work done. There was too much construction going on all over the place and like, I can’t make a video in that kind of environment.

[00:43:38] Wes: So we got way off track. Now we’re really playing catch up and I think that’s where a lot of the falling, where a lot of my overwhelm comes from. So right now we’re, we’re refining processes. We’re making, I think we’re gonna hire on a junior. video editor, who basically will act as an assistant to my editor so that he has more time to put the polish on.

[00:44:03] Wes: Gotcha. And then the junior editor will just kind of like do the, the first rough assembly of all the cuts and then pass it along. And so, yeah, I mean that’s the, the next phase is really refining that process, getting it to a point where maybe we can talk about bringing weekly videos back. Um, oh, and the other thing that’s kind of interesting is I’m starting a new, and we talked about this last time, we spoke Josh about, um, bringing on a bit of an interview format, but not in, in a traditional way that you normally think about it.

[00:44:38] Wes: Um, I will feature expert interviews here and there, but it’s not gonna be like a long form, like what we’re doing now. Like, I’ll start that, I’ll start it that way, then I’ll cut it into little quick segments. That will fit into more of a story that I’m trying to tell with the

[00:44:56] Josh: video. Gotcha. Hard to

[00:44:58] Wes: talk about.

[00:44:59] Wes: You’ll, You’d have to see it

[00:45:00] Josh: in action. I’m very curious. Yeah.

[00:45:02] Wes: Yeah. We’re working on some of those right now, and I think it’s gonna be a good way for me to bring expertise that I don’t have to my audience in a way that’s authentic without me trying to act like I know about it. . Yeah. We’re bringing it through another person who’s gotten a real result. You know, rather than me just lying about and saying, I

[00:45:20] Josh: got a result that I should. Right. I mean, I, That’s what’s so beneficial about the podcast end of things for me, is to have those long discussions about like, like, so like one of my students, Steve has a subscription web design model. I didn’t do that, so I don’t know exactly how that works.

[00:45:36] Josh: So having him on and being able to share with my audience, that’s key. Like that is the benefit of being able to pick the brain of, of other folks. I know I just did an interview yesterday for, uh, Kath, uh, Kathleen, um, Gratzer who, or Colleen Gratzer, excuse me, who is a accessibility person by nature, but she’s trying to like, help a lot of her audience with like conversion tips and I’m getting more known as far as like website conversions.

[00:46:00] Josh: So I was able to share what I’ve learned and what my students have employed and she’s able to share that with her audience. And yeah, that way you like, you kind of host it, it’s under your brand, that knowledge, but it’s, it’s, you know, it’s taken by somebody. It’s, it’s really dished out by somebody else, which is great. I love that. And, and gosh, you know this west, like you’ll learn so much. And you’ll be able to apply it and learn. It’s a win-win. It’s a win-win all around. Yeah. You’ll

[00:46:23] Wes: learn a lot and you’ll meet a lot of cool people that can, like you can network with and uh, like I’ve got Jasmine Star coming on in a few, like a few months. I don’t know if you know of her, but she’s kind of a big, Does

[00:46:34] Josh: she this podcast, a Jasmine star show or something like that? Probably. It’s so funny that you mentioned her name because when I thought about having a personal branded podcast, Jasmine Star, for some reason that came to mind and I think it’s because I follow Amy Porterfield and she mentioned it or something recently.

[00:46:51] Josh: Uh, but yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah, so I think it’s either way, I, if somebody’s watching this or listening to this and they’re interested, but they’re like, at this point, where do I get started? Or what do I do with maybe an existing channel? I think an interview type thing is definitely worthwhile. I mean, there’s complexities to it with lighting and where you’re gonna be and all that stuff.

[00:47:12] Josh: I would just say do it through Zoom and keep it simple to start, particularly if you want, it’s more, it’s more about giving your guests and audience to share it with their audience and their business owners, which really can build that trust. Yeah. I’m kinda curious though, Wes, for the average, like in my case, web designer, web design business owner, who is thinking about putting resources on YouTube for both SEO authority building, they’re not gonna have, they’re not gonna be the next Josh Hall or Wes McDowell with a huge influencer channel.

[00:47:39] Josh: I mean, maybe they will, but those will be outliers, but they just wanna use it as a, as a different channel. Where would you say they practically start with, like what type of videos to create? Because you mentioned talking ahead is different and I actually find the like business type talks way more work than just doing a tutorial where I’m like, okay, here’s how to do this in Divvy or here’s what I like about this in divvy. Those seem to be way harder. The talking ahead just, there’s just more to it rather than just recording a screen.

[00:48:06] Wes: Well, I mean it, it can also be less too. Like I actually find my tutorial videos to be the biggest pains to do. Oh

[00:48:12] Josh: really? Cause they’re funny. We’re so opposite on a lot of this stuff. But that just shows you like two diff very different people can use one, one tool and it’d be a very different experience.

[00:48:20] Josh: Yeah. Well because it’s easy

[00:48:22] Wes: for me to write out a script. I don’t know if you, but like I write scripts and I have a teleprompter cuz I used to try to riff and it would just be too, too much stopping and starting. So I just haven’t lined up in there. And to me it’s the easiest thing in the world is just to like talk to the camera and then.

[00:48:39] Wes: Put it out there, and then all you, all you really need to do is add a little bit of B-roll, Like get a story block subscription or shoot your own. Does not have to be fancy. That’s not what people are there for. Um, and I would actually say the first place to start would be to think of how you can answer questions.

[00:48:57] Wes: You can all the time. That’s like the easiest place to start to get your feet wet. Those are not the videos that are going to, um, make you a household name necessarily, but it’s good for getting the reps in. You need to do that. I can’t, can’t stress that enough. Back to quality versus quantity. I think you start with quantity may not be a popular answer, but you start by just doing it a bunch of times with the, the freedom of knowing that no one’s watching you yet.

[00:49:30] Wes: You know what I mean? Like no one’s gonna be seeing that. Like people. hardly ever go back to my first videos, and thank God they don’t, because those videos are terrible.

[00:49:40] Josh: And you can delete those later. They’ll now delete. We link those, We’re gonna link those in the show notes for sure. Yeah, , that’s great advice though, Wes.

[00:49:48] Josh: It’s very counterintuitive to what I would’ve expected, because yeah, most people say like, be really prepared. And I’m sure the natural instinct is to like, you know, feel really good on camera, make it perfect, and then launch. Of course, we all know you chase perfection. You’ll never get it done. You’ll never build anything. You’re just gonna waste a bunch of time. I love that counterintuitive approach of just qu uh, quantity over quality, which is actually opposite of the whole conversation we’ve had primarily, well, I mean, eventually good idea.

[00:50:14] Wes: You’ll flip it eventually, you know what I mean? But you need to, People are always, You mentioned being comfortable on camera. Well, how do we get comfortable on camera by going

[00:50:23] Josh: on camera a lot. Every day. All the time. Yeah. Right?

[00:50:27] Wes: Yeah. It’s, it’s how, the only way to do it. So rather than thinking about this has to be perfect, just answer, Write down all your FAQs you get from your clients. And this is such hacky advice. Everyone gives us advice, but do it anyway.

[00:50:40] Wes: And then make every one of those FAQs into a video. Um, and just keep trying to get better and better. And watch a lot of YouTube, see what works, what draws you in. Um, and the other thing we need to talk about, we haven’t touched on yet, it’s probably the most important thing, titles and thumbnails. Um, if you don’t get people to click on your video, , it doesn’t even exist really. Right.

[00:51:06] Josh: Great point. Yeah. Cuz you can share it and then maybe eight people will watch it, but if you don’t Yeah. Like the, the key and the beauty about YouTube is that it is a sales. Force for you that will show your video if it’s bringing people in and people are staying on the video and watching, like average watch time is a currency that is very underrated if people stay on a video instead of bouncing off it real quick.

[00:51:30] Josh: So I couldn’t agree more. What about resources for that? Like, um, titles, I imagine, and this is just the approach that I took. I did zero keyword research or any data when I started my channel, I just titled videos of like what I would search if I search like how to do this in divvy. That’s what I searched and that’s what worked.

[00:51:49] Josh: So I think basically like answering a question in the title is a great way to go. Any other tips maybe for titles and then we can go to thumbnails?

[00:51:58] Wes: Yeah. So for titles, um, you mentioned keywords. Keywords are important. Here’s what I would do. I would start with your videos, like really going for those keyword phrases that you would wanna research.

[00:52:12] Wes: Get a tool like vidIQ or Morning Fame if you want to get really serious about it. Or just go in and see like what all the other popular videos in that topic are titling themselves and go for something like that. But eventually, you wanna break away from being over a line on keywords. If you’ll notice most of my videos now, I don’t even, I really don’t even title it anything to do with what it’s about.

[00:52:37] Wes: I use curiosity instead. Um, because at a certain point you’re gonna find that you’re capped by the number of searches for a topic. But if I say something like, um, you know, the number one digital marketing hack that you can’t afford to ignore this year, But I’m really just talking about like, Spotify ads or something.

[00:53:01] Wes: If I just try to like how to use Spotify ads, A people aren’t probably searching for it. B if they’re not interested in Spotify ads, they’re gonna be like, I’m not gonna watch that video.

[00:53:11] Josh: Gotcha. So it’s a way to introduce a tool or a framework or a strategy that maybe they wouldn’t have searched for.

[00:53:17] Josh: Right.

[00:53:18] Wes: And it’s curiosity building. You ask for a resource, here it is. Um, it’s called, I don’t remember how I got to it, but just do a Google search for, it’s called Creator Hooks. It’s basically, you get on this guy’s email list and every Monday he sends an email with like five new, uh, title formulas basically.

[00:53:39] Wes: And he shows you like a numerical score of how this title format, like how much it improved on this YouTube creator’s normal

[00:53:49] Josh: view count. Interesting. Right. So

[00:53:51] Wes: like this title did better, did 10 times better than his average.

[00:53:58] Josh: YouTube video. Gotcha. Yeah. This is creator We’ll link that as well. Great. Okay. Very cool. Yeah. So title’s super engaging. Now I’ve heard a couple episodes ago, Pat talked about this as a YouTube guy. I did this a little later on in my YouTube journey. I wish I would’ve taken it more seriously. And that is the thumbnail and how important thumbnails are for clicks. What’s your approach on thumbnails, Wes?

[00:54:21] Josh: Do you have like a, do you have a framework where it’s like a few words, a picture of you and some sort of background or color or what, what, Cause I love your thumbnails. I’ve always thinked those as inspiration and been jealous. Um, so how do you approach thumbnails? Yeah. So are.

[00:54:38] Wes: I’ve gone through a lot of different kind of iterations of them over the years, but I think the ones I’ve landed on now are pretty solid. I think they’re eye catching color-wise. Um, what I like to do is I, I do like to use a facial expression of a reaction. I know that sounds very like kind of Mr. Beast or kind of like hacky in a way, but it does work. Um, if you say like, You won’t believe this, and I’m, I haven’t gone so far as to do like the home alone face, like hands on cheeks kind of thing.

[00:55:08] Wes: Yeah. But, um, but then the other thing is you definitely don’t wanna just reiterate the title in the thumbnail words you want to come up with. Yeah. Some little, like an alternate hook or something that goes with it rather than just what it is. Like. Do you mind if I pull

[00:55:26] Josh: up? Absolutely. Let’s. All right. I don’t know if

[00:55:29] Wes: you wanna edit this part out,

[00:55:30] Josh: but I mean No, you’re good. It’s just while you’re pulling that up, it makes me think of when I started my YouTube channel, um, Shocker. Didn’t go through a course or any training, I just went for it. So I’m making all the mistakes we’ve talked about, but I literally duplicated the title in the thumbnail, and sometimes the title was so long that the words were teeny in the thumbnail.

[00:55:49] Josh: So it would be like, how to do this in Dvy and this and this and this, and this terrible thumbnail. And it was the same picture of me over and over, which by the way, I do still have a, my YouTube channel as well. So I think it’s great that both of us have put our, you know, we’ve kept our early videos on there, uh, because they serve as lessons learned.

[00:56:05] Josh: However, I will say you can always replace thumbnails and I’ve started doing that. Yes. And titles. And titles, Yeah. One of my videos is about manually migrating WordPress. It’s actually my top video now, and I replaced the thumbnail with something that’s way more engaging, way more fun. And I dig. I did see a big jump in my analytics. I could look at it now, but it’s literally like a big jump from when I changed the thumbnail. Yeah, no, I mean,

[00:56:29] Wes: it, thumbnails and titles are huge. I mean, it makes a big difference, but, so I have it, pulled it up here. So my latest video, uh, the title is he found a way to get 90 new clients with the zero paid ads. And then the thumbnail says, Anyone can duplicate this. And I’m like looking on my computer. Like amazed. Yeah.

[00:56:47] Wes: Then another one is make these website tweaks and never lose a client again. And I’ve got like a before and after of two computers where the first one says six clients gained, and the next one says 54 clients gained. So you’re, you’re not just reiterating, you’re not repeating cuz it’s, it’s a waste of real estate

[00:57:06] Josh: if you do it though way. Yeah, that’s a beautiful approach. In the before and after thing, gosh. I mean, what better set up for, for a thumbnail than to have any sort of before and after? Uh, yeah. I know I, I’ve, I think I just talked about this, but I, when I was looking at my figuring my new office out, I was thinking about lighting and stuff and I found a video that said, Go from this to this with home office lighting.

[00:57:27] Josh: And that got me that, that got my click. And the video was so great. Uh, I’ve subscribed, I think it was Ben Johnson maybe, but, uh, I’ll, we’ll link, link that video, but man, Yeah. Genius. Yeah. And if

[00:57:38] Wes: you do like a before and after of a website, what works really well is like the new website is like either pixeled out or blurred out or something. So it creates that curiosity again. Cause if you just show the new website and people don’t like what it looks like, they’re just like next.

[00:57:55] Josh: Yeah, so true. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cuz I guess if you run the risk, like you’d probably want to have a streamlined look I would imagine. But if every tutorial video looks the same or video starts looking the same as far as the thumbnail, I imagine you do run the risk of like, oh, it’s kind of the same thing over and over.

[00:58:11] Josh: Yeah.

[00:58:12] Wes: And honestly like making your video thumbnails like super branded and streamlined from one to the next. It’s not the mo the most important thing. Like it’s important in the sense that you wanna make sure people get it when it’s another video from you. Right? You want them to know like, that’s why I have my face in every video. It’s not cuz I love my face, it’s because I just want people to know that it’s my video. So anyone who watches all of them will watch

[00:58:39] Josh: this one too, hopefully. Yes. Yes. And I just looked it up, that lighting tutorial that I looked at was Ben Johnson. Great. Follow. Um, Great point though. And I’m actually kinda curious the videos, like if, if somebody wants to put themself on a thumbnail, I know that not everyone loves that, but one approach that I thought about as well is I remembered if somebody shares this, they may not know who I am.

[00:59:02] Josh: So this is a great way to say like, Okay, this is what this guy who I’m about to hear from, particularly if I’m not on camera, if it’s just my screen, then this is at least who he is and what he looks like. And regardless of what you think, first impressions matter. So, and there, there’s something about building trust by seeing who you’re about to hear from. So I definitely recommend that.

[00:59:22] Wes: Totally. And, and to go by your last point of just being, showing a tutorial without your face, I highly recommend not going that route. I highly recommend adding at least, at least a few seconds in the very beginning where you are on camera. I don’t know something about when I look at these tutorials where it’s just as someone’s screen right away, it just feels disconnected and it doesn’t, like I have no trust building with this

[00:59:47] Josh: person at that point. That’s a great point. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve learned, So all my early videos were just the screen, but I did learn to just add like a little ten second like, Hey, I’m Josh Web design coach. This is what I’m gonna show you how to do in this tutorial.

[01:00:00] Josh: Let’s go. Even that little thing adds so much or a lot of people Now, how do you feel about having the uh, the little like video of you in the corner, like loom style? A lot of people do that. But I actually find that slightly distracting in some cases. Um, what are your thoughts on that? Well, that could be really great for a

[01:00:16] Wes: tutorial where cuz they have done, like, it depends on what people want when they come there. If seeing your face without seeing the screen is gonna cause them to abandon it based on their, now they think it’s not a tutorial that might be a good way to go where you’re in the corner so they can see a tutorial is right around the corner, but they’re still seeing your face and you’re getting the benefit of that, you know.

[01:00:39] Wes: Recognition basically. And then you can turn that off, right? That could possibly be there for that little intro

[01:00:46] Josh: and then it goes away. Yeah, good point. I remember a couple times having myself in the lower right hand corner and then having to like go down there with my mouse and being like, Oh, shoot, I completely blocked what I was doing. I need to adjust that. Yeah. Yeah. That, that’s cool. I’m kind of curious from the thumbnail perspective, the images of you. Do you just take them around your house? Did you, did you go to a studio and get like 300 photos done in different poses? Or do you just take ’em, you know, with decent lighting in your house, with your phone and cut it out in Canva? Like what’s the, the strategy behind that? Yeah, so

[01:01:18] Wes: I’ve, I’ve gotten really good at doing my own video and my own b-roll and my own taking my own photos. So basically I just, it’s my iPhone. I put it on a tripod and I had, um, a little remote that can kind of, that can take the pictures with it. So I just did a.

[01:01:35] Wes: Ton of photos and you just a bunch of different reactions, looking happy, looking, concerned, you know, looking at my phone, looking at a computer, all the different permutations of that. And then I would hire someone on five to remove all the backgrounds. And I actually have, it’s hard to tell on those, but I have a filter that I run in all of them that I think makes them look a little more interesting.

[01:01:58] Wes: Okay. So I use a filter and then this is what I started doing lately, which, um, it’s hard to really tell, like, it’s not obvious, but I think it makes a difference. Within Photoshop, there’s a feature of like liquefy and I make my eyes bigger. Oh, interesting. Okay. You know, like not to, not to where I look like a manga character all of a sudden, but you can really overdo it.

[01:02:21] Wes: Yeah. But when it’s like a three quarter shot, it just makes the eyes bigger and more expressive. And I don’t think you can really like. Tell that that’s going on, but no

[01:02:32] Josh: works. Now I see it though. Now I’m looking at your thumbnails. Now. Every time I see one of your videos, I’m gonna know that little trick. That is genius though. Like you, it doesn’t look weird. It doesn’t look like marsh and McDowell. Like it. It like I see, I see it now. Like as I’m looking at you during this call, when I’m looking at your YouTube channel, I see ever so slightly bigger eyes, but uh, it does translate when you see smaller thumbnails. So that makes total sense. What a cool trick. What a cool little hack. Yeah,

[01:03:00] Wes: and you can also make your smile like your mouth bigger. Like just make it look. I mean, it depends on who your audience is. You can go overboard with it, but some, maybe that’s the point. Maybe you’re going for a cartoony look and whatever gets the click, you know?

[01:03:14] Josh: That’s fascinating, man. So interesting. Well, man, we’ve covered a lot. We’ve covered a lot of, uh, of YouTube tips in particular. I, you know, with my audience, again, I, I, I just, I wanna hone in on this because I think it’s a very untapped channel for most web designers and web design business owners, particularly in the case of, and I’d love to get your thoughts on this, having a catalog of videos that you can use, even if they’re not getting found on YouTube as much, but as like a resource for clients.

[01:03:42] Josh: What are your, we can get ready to wrap this up, but what are your thoughts on that of just having like a dozen or two dozen or three dozen videos that are your resource of educational stuff for clients that’s public? Like, what are your thoughts on that and the benefits of that?

[01:03:55] Wes: I love that and that’s why, that’s how I got started on YouTube, was doing it that way. Um, cuz basically there were certain processes that I just, people would always ask questions about and I’d rather just. Direct them to that, like buying web hosting, Right? Cause I’d always have them do that and it’s like, I didn’t want to have to tell them what to do each time I made a video about it. Um, trying to think of other examples, but no, it’s a, it’s a great way to get your feed wet because you’re doing it with the expectation that you’re talking to someone that you know, which is kind of how you should be approaching it anyway.

[01:04:32] Wes: Right? You should be always, like, when you’re talking to the camera, you should be pretending like that’s someone you know, like it’s your best friend or something. It’s how you’re gonna come across best.

[01:04:42] Josh: So I love that. It’s great advice. And I was even just thinking the, the advice that you said a little bit ago, I know you said it’s kind of like a elementary idea or that we all know about just taking your FAQs and making those videos, but mm-hmm.

[01:04:55] Josh: if you’re not a content creator yet, that is something that you may not have thought of, and you’re probably like, Okay, now I need to do keyword research and think about this and try this. Yeah, no, just take the common questions and make videos to them. And guess what? If there’s like a hundred other answers out there, make your own version.

[01:05:12] Josh: because you’ll stand out being uniquely you. And another big, big time benefit I’ve found of making videos is you learn more about that topic. Mm-hmm. . So if clients are asking you as a web design business owner that they’re, they’re wanting to get better Google rankings or something, and you’ve got your own tips for seo, make that like a five tip video on, on YouTube.

[01:05:33] Josh: You can share it with your clients every time that they ask about it, people on YouTube will start to find it. And then where does that lead to your service or to a productized what, whatever you do. So I, I, I think you’re totally right. We like, there’s no Harmon It is there. Like it’s just nothing but benefits and win-wins.

[01:05:51] Wes: Yeah. And we’re, we’re reaching a point, Josh, where video is No, it’s, I would say it’s no longer a nice to have. Um, I would say we’re, we’re approaching the territory of video being essential for any business that wants to make it sounds harsh. Um, You know, some people just say they don’t feel comfortable on camera, and I want to challenge those people because to just to leave that alone and say, Okay, you do, you, you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.

[01:06:24] Wes: So I really th I mean, podcasts aside, like, you’re covered because you’ve got a podcast, right. I mean, I think that’s a good secondary option, but I think if anyone who’s, who doesn’t have a podcast or a YouTube channel, I think YouTube is gonna be their best bet, um, to really go all in on and. Future proof your business. Cause if you don’t do it, you’re really putting yourself at a disadvantage.

[01:06:50] Josh: Future proof your business. I love that. And I totally agree. Whether you like it or not, video is king right now. I mean, content has been king for a long time, but I think like the, the new version of that is video and I think it’s probably because of how we’re wired with social media and we’re just used to, to seeing people.

[01:07:06] Josh: Um, I also think the whole challenging people to get comfort on camera. I totally agree. It’s like, If you have to meet with somebody to sell with them or take a call, you’re gonna be communicating with them. You might as well just learn how to do it to a camera. And I know it’s easier said than done, but it goes back to what you said earlier. Just do it over and over and over and over and over again and you will start to get better. You will. And there’s,

[01:07:29] Wes: there’s a lot of things that we do that we don’t enjoy or that we don’t think we enjoy, but we have to learn them as part of doing business. And IT people will always give those people a pass by saying, Oh, I’m not comfortable on camera.

[01:07:40] Wes: Say, Oh, okay. Yeah, you’re fine. No, I’m gonna say that’s another one of those things you need to do that maybe you don’t wanna do. But I think you’ll find like after you do it for a bit, it gets easier and you probably will actually enjoy it. You’ll definitely enjoy the benefits of getting on a call with a client and suddenly they’re saying, I can’t believe I’m talking to you. As opposed to six months ago when you weren’t on YouTube and you’re like, their arms are crossed, like. Why should I work with you? Dance for me. Right boy.

[01:08:09] Josh: And it goes, it goes back to what you said earlier. I forget how you worded it, but it kind of already generates or not generates a sale, but it already builds that, like, um, that getting to know you factor.

[01:08:21] Josh: Right. I forget exactly how you said earlier, but it, it really does so much to like prime somebody to buy from you. Yes.

[01:08:29] Wes: And like I said, like honestly it went from me having to sell my ass off on the phone to people, you know, and to people just being like, Oh, I, I’m talking to you. I can’t believe it. And then I, my, this selling was already done.

[01:08:45] Wes: They already wanted to work with me. This is just to kind of more to see like logistics, like how it works.

[01:08:52] Josh: I love that. That’s the power of YouTube. I love that. It’s true. It’s so true. It’s, gosh, I think about, cuz I didn’t really think about my YouTube videos selling me for services, but I got a lot of clients from my dvy tutorials. I had no idea that was gonna happen. But you just said it when they came through, it wasn’t like, why should I work with you? It was, how much is this gonna be? Yeah. And that is a beautiful place to be. Exactly. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Well that’s a fun note to this conversation.

[01:09:17] Wes: Especially if you hate selling. Yeah. If you hate selling YouTube’s for you,

[01:09:20] Josh: Yes.

[01:09:21] Josh: You hate selling. Share what you know and put yourself out there and yeah. You’ll find that’s the best sales tool there. Especially nowadays. Especially nowadays. It’s crucial. Um, so Wes, I always love chat with you. You’re such a gold mine of same. Talk and thoughts and experience and, uh, you always seem to have some counterintuitive approach every time I talk to you, so I really appreciate that.

[01:09:44] Josh: I particularly love the idea of going quantity first. Just get, like getting all the bad out there. Uh, and, and maybe not. It’s not even bad. It’s just not great yet, but you’ll get better. Yeah. And you’ll hone in on how you like to do things and what you’re good at. And next thing you know, you don’t have to sell anymore.

[01:10:00] Josh: Woo. Woo. That’s what we want. . This is the, uh, we’ll have to retitle this one, like, uh, stop selling and start creating videos or something. Woo. I like that. Yeah. Might, might make that, might make that the title. Anyway, Wes, thanks you. Thanks for your time, man. I’m super excited about what you’re up to right now.

[01:10:17] Josh: And then shoot for the next round. I’m excited to, The next evolution of what you do, cuz you’re always evolving in a cool way with your business. So I love seeing it.

[01:10:25] Wes: Oh, thanks. Well, I’ll definitely give you a front row seat each time. I’ll keep, keep coming back and tell you what I learned.

[01:10:30] Josh: There it is. Beautiful. Wes, thanks again man.

[01:10:33] Wes: Thanks Josh.

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