In this episode of Behind the Upload, we speak with Layla Pomper from ProcessDriven.
We’ll break down:
- How Layla turned YouTube into her biggest source of leads for her company
- How she simplifies her video production process to consistently put out content
- Why creating a YouTube channel was one of the best decisions she ever made in her life
- And more!
🎙 Listen to More Episodes of Behind the Upload
Why ProfitWell is Building a Media Network with Patrick Campbell [EP 005]
CartFuel’s Evergreen Content YouTube Strategy [EP 002]
- Logitech webcams
- Blue Yeti microphones
- Elgato Stream Deck
- Elgato Key Light
- Philips Hue Smart lightbulbs
- Sony A6400
- Sigma 14mm
- New Territory Media > BTU Episode – Jelani, Founder of Cartfuel
- Layla at ProcessDriven > Cognito Forms for Beginners
- Layla at ProcessDriven > Documenting your SOP
- Layla at ProcessDriven > YouTube Workflow Example
- Layla at ProcessDriven > Recap on ClickUp’s Annual Conference 2021
- Layla at ProcessDriven > Recap on ClickUp’s Annual Conference 2020
[00:00:00] – Joey
Well, thanks so much for joining me, Layla. I appreciate it.
[00:00:02] – Layla
Yeah. I’m excited, like I said, to talk about the cool part of business, YouTube.
[00:00:06] – Joey
Yeah, the deconstructing the YouTube part. So first, let’s kind of set the stage and, about just kind of quick summary of what you’re doing now with ProcessDriven and what you did before the current version of ProcessDriven. Just kind of set — because I know that YouTube sort of evolved over this change.
[00:00:22] – Layla
[00:00:22] – Joey
And so, to kind of like set the end point where right now and the starting point now, uh, before we dig into YouTube. So like, let’s anchor those two with what you’re doing now and the work there before.
[00:00:33] – Layla
Okay. I’m gonna try.
[00:00:34] – Joey
[00:00:34] – Layla
You could circle me back down if I’m getting too lost here. So currently, the business, right, which is the kind of the heart of everything is ProcessDriven. And we are currently, at this point in time, a membership-based business. We help people systemize their business using a tool called ClickUp. Um, that’s the today. But as you alluded to, that’s not where we started. And YouTube really helped us evolve into where we are now, where it’s primarily this content and education membership model. So where we started was actually pre-YouTube in a one-on-one consulting service provider model. So still in services, but very different format now.
[00:01:11] – Joey
Right. Okay. So yeah. So your original thing was you would do one-on-one consulting. You’d have a direct client. They would book you. You do — you’d help them optimize their business operations.
[00:01:20] – Layla
Processes and systems. Yup.
[00:01:22] – Joey
Uh, and then, today, it is a kind of hybrid course and community where, now, instead of you having one-to-one time, you’re one-to-many.
[00:01:35] – Layla
[00:01:38] – Joey
So those are kind of our two bookends. So let’s break down the YouTube process. You have a really good YouTube video that kind of highlighted your whole year in YouTube. And at this point, it’s probably been like 18 months. So you started —
[00:01:50] – Layla
[00:01:51] – Joey
Like going into YouTube in March 2020, which coincided with the global pandemic. Um —
[00:01:56] – Layla
It was perfect. Good time to work on YouTube.
[00:02:00] – Joey
So, let’s start there. why did you first get into YouTube? You know, what was the initial reasoning for starting to post videos?
[00:02:09] – Layla
Um, well, if you watch that video on YouTube, you’ve heard me talk about this, which might not be great for a YouTube strategy podcast here, but I will just be honest and say, when we started, there was no strategy. Uh, there really was no, we. Um, it was myself and, um, I was in a position where, you know, the global pandemic gave me a little bit of extra free time. And one of the things that I thought would be useful is instead of recording a bunch of Loom videos, which is what I was doing up to that point, for my individual clients, what if I just recorded one video and shared it with three clients. It was such an unremarkable idea. And that’s kind of where the whole YouTube videos started, the YouTube channel started. Um, I would record a tutorial for a client. And I — rather than just sending it to that person with their specific stuff, I would take the extra time to make it generic so it didn’t have any sensitive information, and then upload it. Um, I honestly thought that was all it was going to be at the time, just a database of videos so I could save time having to make individual tutorials for clients. Obviously, that’s not how it ended up, delightfully. Um, so that — it then evolved once I realized that other people beyond my clients were interested in these, you know, simple little tips-and-trick tutorials, I was posting on YouTube, um, about all sorts of software.
[00:03:25] – Joey
Because it sounds like you’re kind of just using YouTube as like a free video hosting platform.
[00:03:30] – Layla
[00:03:30] – Joey
Were you doing anything else, like having descriptive titles? Like, was there a reason that people were finding these videos that weren’t your clients?
[00:03:38] – Layla
Yeah. So man, I, again, like, I wish I could say, Yes, there is a great strategy behind it. Honestly, it was a how-to-based title, based on exactly what I was showing in — you know, most of the videos were less than 10 minutes — 5, 6 minutes were probably normal at that point. And I think I might’ve been writing some descriptions at that point. Maybe, like, one or two sentences, not optimized in any way, just so that way, when my clients saw the video, they would understand what was going on. And that was it. I was just kind of using it, like you said, for glorified video hosting. And when I started seeing the views go beyond 2, 3, 4 views, you know, 2, 3, 400, then I realized, Ah, this is something I should probably pay attention to. Imagine that.
[00:04:23] – Joey
Well, I mean, I guess it lucked out that you didn’t just leave the default, like MOV1345.mp4. You, at least, had a descriptive title.
[00:04:32] – Layla
Yeah, I went beyond the bare minimum.
[00:04:34] – Joey
And the thing I love about this, too, was you were using the equipment that you had. You were making literally Loom recordings. These are just like raw Loom, like a screenshare —
[00:04:46] – Layla
[00:04:46] – Joey
With face and above in a bubble. Um, right. What cam did you — with like your computer’s camera or something? What was it? Like just the built-in camera?
[00:04:52] – Layla
Yup. Just a Logitech camera. Yup.
[00:04:55] – Joey
[00:04:55] – Layla
And no microphone at the beginning, and then quickly got into a Blue Yeti because we had one lying around. And that was it. Like, window light, webcam, Blue Yeti. And that was the first — I think, even once we got serious, I think that was like maybe the first 60, if I were to guess, 60 videos on the channel, which got us up to, you know, a few thousand subscribers by that point with just that setup.
[00:05:15] – Joey
Just Loom, just recording your screen, talking about useful stuff.
[00:05:19] – Layla
Pretty much. Yeah.
[00:05:19] – Joey
Uh, yeah, I love, I love that, yeah, you didn’t invest in anything and it just was like, whatever you had around you, you just got started.
[00:05:24] – You did mention that you like had batched 30 videos at one time. What was the release schedule when you ended up posting those?
[00:05:33] – Layla
Yeah. So after I got past the glorified YouTube as a hosting platform part, and I was realizing that things were taking off, I realized, You know what, let me just record a bunch of stuff. And, like you said, then I decided to batch record a whole bunch of videos, whether they were 5-minute Loom videos, or maybe at that point, I started to dabble in OBS to record little slightly higher quality. Um, but for those, um, yeah, I batched about 30 of them before I really considered the YouTube channel started. And I had them all ready to go. And I was scheduling them, I want to say early on, about two per week was where I started. Um, and within that very first kind of few weeks of realizing, Yeah, I’m going to do YouTube as more than just hosting, um, I had booked out about three months of content and just filled up the whole channel. I had no idea what was going to perform, what wasn’t. But I knew by that point, that how-to, people were finding it. And I was already trained — I was already getting conversations started with people across the internet who found the videos and wanted our services. So I decided to just go for it, and I knew not to expect any results. Um, and yeah, 30 videos or so spread out over the first three months or so of the channel about twice a week. But I — when I looked back at the history, it was probably more sporadic at times because I would just be like, You know what, I’ll just publish this. I wasn’t really sticking to anything firm then.
[00:06:48] – Joey
Did you see — I have somewhere I’m going with this question because I’m like — because I noticed that comment. I thought it was interesting because in, like, a previous interview with Jelani, who runs Cartfuel, he was, like, advocating, like, when you’re starting YouTube, you should just crank out as many videos as possible because it gives the algorithm a chance to kind of figure out, like, what you’re about. And even YouTube, like, recently confirmed that with, like, an interview with their engineer where they’re, like, It’s not that we don’t promote new channels. It’s just new channels don’t have as much content. So like, the algorithm just doesn’t know, have as much data to, like, be, like, ‘Oh, hey, this is who we should recommend the video to.’ So, when you mentioned that 30-video kind of like initial push, did you see like hockey stick kind of like growth from that? I was wondering if, like, that helped boost your channel or if that was, like, kind of like a good catalyst to, like, get the flywheel going?
[00:07:39] – Layla
I mean, honestly, I will say, like, when I look at the analytics, I do not see hockey stick. I see gradual, like, almost a straight line, one-for-one correlation over time. Um, I will say I wasn’t — I didn’t publish 30 at once. I did drip them. So that probably correlates to this versus that kind of thing. Oops, sorry. Um, if I were to do it again, I probably would do it the same way, I’ll say that. Um, the reason I did 30 is because I didn’t want to be one of those many YouTube channels that’s like, I’m starting a channel. Three videos, two months off, one video, two months off. I had free time because I lost one or two, like, major engagements due to the pandemic. And I was like, I’m going to use this free time as if it was a client. And my engagement with this client is to make as many videos as I humanly can. And I think if I wouldn’t have done that, I wouldn’t have put in enough to see any results because it really did take 30, 40 videos until I started seeing, oh, wow, this is really — in that period of time, this is really marketing my business. This is really getting me in front of people. And if I would have done 10, I don’t know if I would have been motivated enough by the result that I would have gotten after 10, if that makes sense.
[00:08:48] – Joey
Yeah, you’re saying if you were producing them in real time and, like, after 10 and then you’re like, I got to film another video. And that motivation wouldn’t be there.
[00:09:00] – Layla
Yeah. It’s tough when you’re starting out, man. It’s tough to keep yourself going, especially when you’re doing it all yourself. I definitely needed that, you know, frontloading to make sure that I could just sit back a bit.
[00:09:11] – Joey
Yeah, no, I think — and I think that’s sort of one of those things where you, like, your future self then, like, thanks your past self. You’re, like, thank you for —
[00:09:19] – Layla
Thank you for that.
[00:09:20] – Joey
Making these videos. Um, and your video, I guess you were sort of describing it as like stage 1, stage 2. So stage 2 was stuff was picking up steam and you’re at a crossroads where your, like, your clients that had left from the pandemic or you’re picking up clients again, so your workload was like back at 100%. But now you also had the YouTube videos going. And you said you had to decide if you, like, kept normal hours or just doubled down and made videos at nights and weekends and you did maybe at nights and weekends. And then you said it was one of the best decisions you ever made in your life. So —
[00:09:51] – Layla
[00:09:52] – Joey
Dive into that.
[00:09:53] – Layla
Don’t tell my husband that, but yeah. I mean it is, mean it
[00:09:57] – Joey
[00:09:58] – Layla
[00:09:58] – Joey
One-off — you hedged it — so —
[00:09:59] – Layla
Um, 100%. I mean, I think, like you’re talking about, thanking your past self? Um, I am so glad I frontloaded because when those clients came back on, it was like I had a cushion. I had a cushion of probably, I would say, maybe a month, six weeks of — you know, I had some content already in there. I wasn’t pressured to make content while the client engagements picked back up. But when everything got at full steam again, um, yeah, I was — you know, I was doing a full workday and then, you know, from 6:00 to 7:30, 6:00 to 9:00 sometimes, um, that’s what I was doing. I was recording YouTube videos. I was editing YouTube videos. I was doing all of the pieces of that puzzle. Um, and often weekends as well to try to keep up because at that time, I had committed that, you know, this is working. I’m not going to stop something that’s working just because I’m tired in this moment because I could see it building towards something. So I committed the aggressive goal, I realized now, of two videos per week. And I think we’ve only missed two uploads ever since then in the 18 months since that point. So — and — but both of those were planned, so, like, that’s okay. Um, but yeah, it could be the commitment. And it was — it was a lot. It’s definitely much easier now. But get a team if you can. That’s like the lesson learned there. But putting in the time on the front end, you see those results every single month afterwards, which is what I love so much about YouTube as a platform. It’s like an investment vehicle in some ways. You’re investing time now to get those views, that attention. I mean, the ad revenue down the line years later.
[00:11:27] – Joey
Once that kicked in, was that more — were the 30 videos kind of done and were you starting to having to like produce in real time? Or, like, what was the production kind of cycle like at that point?
[00:11:38] – Layla
You know, it really — oh, man, it really ebbed and flowed. Like, there was times where I’d be four weeks ahead, and then it would be back to, oh my gosh, there’s a video that needs to go on Wednesday, and it’s Sunday. There were — it was really just, you know, balancing the other priorities in life and trying to get out as much as I could while maintaining a consistent schedule. I was never doing the, you know, edit and publish immediately thing. I was always ahead at least a day. Um, most of the time, I would say four or five plus days. But not often more than that. It was really trying to just squeeze them out of those evenings and weekends. Like you said.
[00:12:14] – Joey
another thing I really like to kind of keeping with the, um, using what you have, because there was a period where your videos, you have a very dark background.
[00:12:22] – Layla
[00:12:22] – Joey
And it looked like a stylistic choice. But you explained that you moved houses and your house was completely gutted and it was dark because you didn’t want people to see your drywall but — or other stuff, whatever was going on.
[00:12:37] – Layla
I literally had a ring light, which was my only piece of equipment I’d ever purchased for the channel ever, which was a $20 ring light. I had it jammed on top of the camera directly at it. So it was blinding me the entire time. And you can see if you look closely in the videos, um, it was just super exposed right on top. And it would make the whole background really dark just because the ring light was so close to the actual lens or the actual webcam that it would just max, like, remove everything else. Um, and the wall behind me that you can see in some shots and some live streams is paneling, which, for most of the time of filming, was either ripped open and there was like studs visible. It was unfinished drywall. Like, we were, like, ceiling to floor remodeling that entire house. And I’m glad it came off as a stylistic choice. It definitely was not.
[00:13:28] – Joey
I think it was just great. Because it was like, okay, even if like your house is gutted and there’s not a great spot to film, you’re still cranking out videos and you still kept it going.
[00:13:35] – Layla
Yeah. I mean, it’s the content that matters, right? It’s the content that matters. Not — I don’t matter in any of it. It’s the content.
[00:13:41] – Joey
Yeah. And it’s people searching, or a lot of it is people, they have a problem and they’re looking — they’re looking for a solution.
[00:13:49] – Layla
[00:13:50] – Joey
Uh, yeah. I do want to get into — we’ll talk about kind of your research process in a sec, but I wanted to, like, keep this building with, like, your YouTube journey. Um, so then you also started using, um, a little bit more editing. You started using Adobe Rush.
[00:14:05] – How was that as a, um, like, usefulness or like in that stage? How was it? How was using Adobe Rush?
[00:14:14] – Layla
I mean, I was at the point where I was maxed out on the time I had. And so, I went with Adobe Rush, even though I actually knew how to use Premiere Pro, you know, I was comfortable with Photoshop and those kinds of more advanced products. And I ended up using Adobe Rush because it was almost like editing on my phone in that it was cut, cut, piece together. And I only used it to edit out takes where I was completely wrong, or I had to cut off in the middle. Um, even to this day, like, we’ve had a whole journey with editing of getting very edited and then going back to almost no editing. Um, in those early days where we introduced editing, it was very much like I think I timed myself at one point 12 minutes to edit a video. Um, which I’m not at that now, unfortunately. But it was just purely an efficiency choice to pick Premier Rush because it was just faster. My computer could handle it. Um, and I really wasn’t trying to make them look polished. And I think, accidentally, that was a good choice early on.
[00:15:10] – Joey
Just to keep it simple, keep it like easy so it just doesn’t become overwhelming. And you make videos versus getting stuck in like the edit —
[00:15:21] – Layla
[00:15:22] – Joey
Which is likely multiple times of like — the video just, like, it’s not going out because like it keeps getting polished.
[00:15:27] – Layla
Yeah, I’m not a videography channel, right? Like, I’m not a videographer, I’m not a photographer. I’m a process geek that happens to have a webcam. And I think I needed to own that. And I mean, eventually, I realized I had to up the quality, which is why some of these things have gotten better over time. But I think I had to realize like what lane I was in and realized that my audience would understand that, and maybe even connect with it more because it was just, you know, some geek talking to your webcam.
[00:15:52] – Joey
Uh, I think another interesting hack or tip that you said was that you also kept your gear set up.
[00:15:59] – Layla
[00:15:59] – Joey
So do you want to talk about that of how that helped?
[00:16:04] – Layla
I mean, this early stage, like, if we’re in like the phase 2 of my journey, if you think about that, like the second recorder of doing it as a thing, um, this was the tip that changed everything. Um, so from having the webcam set up to the microphone, just sitting on the desk already plugged in, to the ring light, you know, wonkily put on top of the webcam. Absolutely everything for filming was able to be turned on in 20 seconds. I mean, it’s just opening the application. And that is something that I have stuck with even as like my gear has evolved. And, you know, the overall setup has gotten a little bit more sophisticated. One of the purchases I did later on when I started investing back in the channel was a Stream Deck, so I can do that same thing even now of one button, everything turns on. And it doesn’t seem like that would matter. But when you have so many other things to do and you’re trying to just focus on, like we talked about, the content, I don’t want to worry about any of that. I want to just know it’s there and not try to be too creative every time.
[00:17:03] – Joey
Yeah, I think it’s a big thing. Like the more barriers you can remove from, like, even like when your brain, like, because our — like, at least for me, my brain is just latched on to any dumb reason to like not do something. And it’s like, I don’t want to move the tripod.
[00:17:18] – Layla
[00:17:18] – Joey
But like — so like removing all those barriers of, like, okay, it’s set up, ready to go. What’s your, um, like — what, uh, commands are on your Stream Deck? Like, when you hit a button, what is it doing?
[00:17:29] – Layla
Yeah. So I mean, the one that I’m using most often is just, I have a little icon. I’m looking down at it now. It’s just like a little, um, TV icon and a light icon. And when I click on that, it turns on my lights around here, like, most of them that are able to be connected through that. It opens up the camera, OBS in that case because that’s what I’m using now to record. Um, and it closes out any other windows I have. That’s the most common kind of compound key command, which, again, probably saves me 3 to 5 minutes because I would have to go in and turn off all the lights and so on. And it’s just there. Um, that’s probably the most common one that I use. I have a bunch of other tiny ones for like scene changes in OBS and so on. But the lighting, I did invest in like smarter lighting now, which wasn’t — you know, it was like 100 or 200 bucks, but that was worth it for that reason.
[00:18:14] – Joey
Are these the Elgato lights that connect with the Stream Deck? Because that’s all I got. Elgato.
[00:18:22] – Layla
Actually, half Elgato, half Phillips Hue. So — but they all connect.
[00:18:27] – Joey
Okay. They all connect. Okay. Awesome. Awesome.
[00:18:29] – Layla
Yeah. It’s like those little micro things at this point that I’m like constantly looking for that like 5 minutes here, 10 minutes here.
[00:18:35] – Joey
Um, and can you talk about — you mentioned, you also started doing like monthly themes.
[00:18:41] – Layla
[00:18:42] – Joey
So, uh, can you tell me about that and that — did that kind of help structure ideas? Did that help like, generate more ideas? Or was it an experiment that, I don’t know, didn’t go anywhere?
[00:18:53] – Layla
Yeah. So when it came to the actual content itself, um, for, I’m going to guess on the timeline, several months, we’ll say, you know, a quarter and a half, maybe two quarters, um, we were trying to do themes for the channel. So on one month it would be like all about automations. For one month, it would be all about personal productivity. And I did really like this from my perspective when I was running most of the things, including the content selection, because it let me — um, it’s that freedom from constraint idea. Like, when you are in art class and you have a blank canvas, it’s really overwhelming. But when you’re told, Draw something that reminds you of the beach. All of a sudden, you’ve got tons of ideas. Um, I liked the themes because it helped me focus in. But the problem with it and actually why we’ve moved away from themes now is, um, someone comes to our channel, they discover us because they love automations. But that was our monthly theme. And then we’re not going to be talking about that again until the next time automations is a theme. And that was problematic to me in terms of making our content just kind of continue to nurture our same community. So we have shifted actually from a monthly base theme to some main content, pillars, or buckets, whatever you want to call it, and we kind of scattered them throughout every month. So we maintain a balance over our core topics every month rather than just going all-in on one skew.
[00:20:07] – Joey
Okay. And then do those kind of get filtered or applied to like a playlist, like grouped into a playlist. And then if someone’s like, I really want automations. They can just go to automation playlist.
[00:20:17] – Layla
Yes. And a blog category. Because we do repurpose these now. That was like part of the evolution.
[00:20:23] – Joey
[00:20:24] – Layla
Um, but yes,
[00:20:24] – Joey
All right, cool. Um, and okay, so whatever in phase 3-ish — I don’t know. Uh, when did you start —
[00:20:32] – Layla
It all flows.
[00:20:36] – Joey
Your channel is growing. When did you start noticing that, like, leads were coming in through YouTube? Like, for — I guess that it started like people were reaching out to you, like, because they knew you were a consultant and they’re like, Hey, can I hire you? Or how did that sort of start evolving and how did leads start coming — business leads start coming in?
[00:20:55] – Layla
Yeah, exactly like — it’s almost like you’ve done these conversations before. Yes, exactly like you described. Um, yeah, early on, it was — we’d have a tech tutorial about Cognito Forms. Someone would have watched that video, like, Wow, I’m using Cognito, but I’m also struggling with my other tech. Then they’ll look in the description, go to our website. And at that point, it was, I think, myself and two subcontractors. The team was very small. And they would become a client. Um, I think YouTube works fantastically well for services and high-touch and one-on-one things. I think people don’t realize how well. Um, I would say our first lead, I probably mentioned this in the video with the timestamp with the exact date. But if I were to guess right now, a few months. And that’s it. I would say four months or so was our first, you know, true lead. Um, three months maybe is when we’ve had our first contact. And by six months into the journey of YouTube, almost every lead was coming from YouTube, which was wild.
[00:21:52] – Joey
What was it before? Like, where would your leads come from before?
[00:21:56] – Layla
Primarily word of mouth and guesting on people’s podcasts or other things like that. But I mean, we were high-touch consulting service, so it was mainly referrals from past clients. And that kept, like, the business full. Um, and that very much changed in six months, which actually turned into a problem, um, in terms of just not having any more time.
[00:22:16] – Joey
Which seems like it’s a good lead in to, how did this — how did your business, uh, pivot?
[00:22:22] – Layla
Kind of like YouTube. Uh, it was not a pivot. It was not intended to be a pivot. It was an experiment. Um, so when the consulting was getting booked out, and we had a wait list, you know, looking in months, not weeks. When it reached that point and really something had to give, um, so this was only I would guess 6 to 9 months into YouTube, where it was just way too much. And, um, it started a waitlist for the idea of having kind of a group education of some kind. I never wanted to do courses. I just worried that my type of client, like they would see a course and they would never get into it. So I was — from the get-go, I wanted to do a membership, which is largely considered terrible advice. But it worked. Um, we put a waitlist out there for, um, membership to see if anyone would be interested in kind of working with me in a group way, started mentioning it in videos and our newsletter. And that filled up so quickly that I realized, Oh, there’s something here. Um, a month from that waitlist filling up, which I had a minimum number in my head, once it hit that, I created the first round of what became our membership. Um, early on, there was almost no members. I think we had maybe 8 people, 12 people joined at the initial launch. And I mainly used that course content for my one-on-one engagements. So when someone would work with me one-on-one that get this course, it’s kind of the backbone of our one-on-one time, where they do session 1 between, you know, or they do the modules between our sessions. And I continued iterating. And a few months into the membership being launched, kind of like YouTube, it just took off in a way that I didn’t expect. And it became more clients, more demand, um, just a faster growth rate than any of our one-on-one services, even at a high ticket price point that decided to lean into that, which was scary.
[00:24:12] – Joey
seems like it keeps working out so far.
[00:24:16] – Layla
I mean, you’re not hearing about all the things I’ve tried that haven’t worked, but these are the ones that have.
[00:24:20] – Joey
Um, yeah, I mean, so right now, currently, it’s a hybrid of your most, I mean, you’re interacting with a private Slack group, but people come in and then there’s sort of a module — it’s an online course, so pretty much, partly.
[00:24:40] – Layla
[00:24:40] – Joey
But then people interact on a Slack group. And if they have like questions or support, it’s supported either by someone from your team or other members. Yeah. Sorry, go ahead.
[00:24:52] – Layla
No, no, no. I — you’re spot on. It’s a course and — and that’s kind of, what’s designed, to replicate that one-on-one service experience because that’s what I built the course for to support one-on-one help. And the two kind of were meant to always go together.
[00:25:06] – Joey
I think it’s an interesting model. I mean, have you found that it’s seemed better — or have you found that it’s worked out better than your initial reaction of not just — not doing a straight-up course? Do you think the members — do you think the community aspect adds something different to it that makes it a more valuable than just sort of like a one-off course? Like you sign up and maybe you do it, maybe you don’t.
[00:25:30] – Layla
Yeah. I mean, we’re continuing to explore ways to increase the accountability, to get it closer to that hybrid where it started of, you know, one-on-one plus course. Now, it’s at course plus membership. And we’re trying to continually bring those two points together. Um, I think it’s, you know, proven my hypothesis from the beginning that if you were to just have a course, things would fall off. But also, if it were to just be a course, both the price point and the actual result people get, it wouldn’t work. I think one thing I didn’t mention so far is that the topic that we’re actually talking about is a particular software called ClickUp, which updates weekly. And so, when it comes to creating a course about ClickUp, it’s a recipe for disaster to do something that is meant to be self-guided because ClickUp updates every week, both in public releases and in nonpublished releases, nonpublished updates that happen that you just have to notice. And so, I never wanted it to be, you know, here’s a book that you can read. That’s basically what I view a course as. I wanted it to always be a I’m in a classroom. Yes. There’s a book. Just like if you were in a college class, there’s a textbook, and you have to read the chapters. But when you have a question in a college classroom, you come to the class and you ask the question rather than spending 5 hours, trying to look up something on Google. Um, I kind of tried to build this experience around knowing that this course was going to be imperfect always. And I wanted it to be factored in that, yes, of course, you’re going to ask questions. Yes, of course, there’s going to be personal kind of challenges you’re going to run into. And I didn’t want that to ever feel like an exception or something that happened — had to happen individually in a support inbox. So I think it helps. I think it also kind of matches with our overall brand vibe.
[00:27:15] – Joey
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think, actually, that’s a really good point that, um, uh, yeah, especially making a course that revolves around software. Like software is always being updated with like something like Premiere or Resolve or Final Cut. They have more predictable, like, release schedules. It’s like once a year, there’s sort of a big update and there’s new features. And then all these tutorial companies, like, release their, you know, updates to their courses. But yeah, you’re right. ClickUp does release literally every week or something, a tweak or something new. Um —
[00:27:42] – Layla
[00:27:42] – Joey
And even — I mean, ClickUp is the example that you use, but even with any SaaS type of software, there’s like every — at least once a month or something new with most companies. Um, and that’s also, I guess, another interesting point, too, is like, because of the people, your niche is like systems for small business owners. But like every small business owner’s system is different. And so there’s — even though you could kind of instruct people how to use ClickUp, it’s such a flexible tool that there’s really no, like, one, like, right or wrong way to use it. Uh, so it would be something that is like, yeah, here’s 80% of the stuff, you know, that you could learn how to use it, but there’s probably going to be like that after 20% that’s going to be like specific to every single person.
[00:28:26] – Layla
[00:28:27] – Joey
And the community sort of solves that final 20% issue of people having, like, figuring out their own, like, specific needs.
[00:28:38] – Layla
Exactly. And I think like we’re also just teaching people to acknowledge that there is a 20% there and that they can’t just wish it away or outsource it away. Um, like that’s part of the whole reframe. Like you think about, if you had a video editing class, you can teach someone how to use the software, but teaching them how to develop their own editing style, that needs to be done through interaction. It just doesn’t work to just read that this is how you have a moody style. It just doesn’t work, um, I wouldn’t think. I don’t know. Maybe someone’s done it.
[00:29:07] – Joey
I think it’s a — this hybrid model is really interesting and probably like, uh, a way that future course developers, like, would go and, um, yeah, kinda having this, like this hybrid platform. Uh, shifting back to YouTube — oh, actually, no —
[00:29:23] – Layla
[00:29:24] – Joey
I did want to jump in because you mentioned it and now I like definitely want to dive in further what were some of the — what were some of the, like, things that you did try that didn’t work? Like what was something that was notable that either YouTube or online course / membership-related?
[00:29:38] – Layla
Oh my gosh. So I mean, just kind of the nature of myself and then the business by extension, constantly trying little things to see what will work and what will not work. YouTube example, I could probably point to was, um, something that works for other channels, but I found that actually really did not work very well with our channel, um, which was interviews on YouTube. So I mean, you get that probably with the podcast. Podcast is commonly an interview-based platform, conversations. Um, with YouTube, I wanted to bring that out because I love listening to interview-based podcasts and I wanted to bring on some guests on the channel. And I added this experiment on. And not that my guests were not great, they were. But they just — the performance of interview-based videos, the retention you have on YouTube, um, that to me was kind of more of our failed experiment. We ended up pivoting it a little bit to make them work, and we still can incorporate interviews because of some changes we made. But that was something that we’re like, Oh, this will be great. Process behind the scenes. And then we went to do it, and it just the views weren’t there. The search algorithm did not like what we were doing.
[00:30:49] – Joey
Yeah, obviously, this gets posted on YouTube, but it’s more because like I do it right now because why not? But, um —
[00:30:56] – Layla
[00:30:56] – Joey
I’m wondering — I mean, YouTube’s definitely aware of it because they just hired a, like, head of podcast, um, for — I mean, it’s sort of like, obviously, not quite clear what that use is, but presumably there’ll be a way in the future to possibly tag videos as like, Hey, it’s a podcast, because like YouTube Music is big —
[00:31:15] – Layla
[00:31:15] – Joey
Where people just like to play stuff in the background and use it as a music player, even though their music videos or whatever. So presumably, they might have the same kind of idea with podcasting where if you tag the video as a podcast, maybe there’s some extra features that make it better suited to be a podcast player that just kind of plays in the background for people.
[00:31:36] – Layla
I mean, that would be huge.
[00:31:37] – Joey
That’s the assumption. That’d be — yeah, that’d be nice.
[00:31:40] – Um, I think, uh, when you posted these interviews, were you posting them as like big, long videos? Or did you post clips yet? of the long videos
[00:31:48] – Layla
Big, long, live videos for the most part —
[00:31:51] – Joey
[00:31:51] – Layla
Live, at least. Just —
[00:31:52] – Joey
Uh, because, yeah, that’s the other experiment, too, of like, is it — the, you know, the clips probably will perform better than, uh, 40- minute interviews.
[00:32:01] – Layla
That’s what we’ve pivoted to. So just to give away the punchline, like we pivoted to clips and based around a specific search target, even though it might’ve been a conversation about several things, it was always focused to — when we started to get them to perform, it was focused around one particular element of the conversation, which you live and you learn, right?
[00:32:18] – Joey
I believe you. Yeah. Didn’t you just recently post something on creative SOPs, which was an excerpt from a longer interview. But, I’m guessing there was keyword data around SOPs or something that, like, led you to believe that it would perform.
[00:32:33] – Layla
Exactly. Yup. I mean, we would have — we had somebody come on, he was talking about how they, you know, redid their whole workflow. And this is very heady tour of like the entire path to process improvement, which to my geeky, you know, membership, like we get that stuff. We like that stuff. YouTube does not. The algorithm does not. And so, we took a clip out of it that talked specifically about, you know, redefining what you have, um, mentioning the words of Trello to ClickUp, which is something that, you know, has a lot of traffic. And we just tried to optimize a segment of it for something bite-sized that would actually solve a problem. Um, that’s a mistake we’ve made in the past as well of clipping. But clipping so small that it was just literally a clip. And, um, instead, now, we’re realizing that the clips really needed to be self-contained value nuggets. It can’t be a value nuh and not really finish. It needs to be the full, uh, value nugget of itself, um, in our clips.
[00:33:23] – Joey
So, when you’re saying clipping, like you released like too short of an excerpt that it wasn’t useful?
[00:33:27] – Layla
[00:33:28] – Joey
Okay. What — like there —
[00:33:29] – Layla
Too short of like, a —
[00:33:30] – Joey
Did you find a sweet spot, like, of actual runtime?
[00:33:33] – Layla
Um, it tends to be around 15 minutes. I mean, when we’re doing long interviews, I don’t like to clip the conversation too much. Like 8 minute clips tend to just feel awkward when the pacing is that of a, you know, normal conversation, 15. And our YouTube videos tend to be on the longer side. We’ve experimented with shorter, but our audience seems to be okay with, you know, 15- to 20-minute videos even. So 15 seems to be our sweet spot for clipping from long like hour-long interviews, down to a really good nugget or portion of the journey.
[00:34:03] – Joey
Mm-hmm. That has like a setup. And it’s like this is what you’re gonna get. And then like, it does have that payoff.
[00:34:08] – Layla
[00:34:09] – Joey
In that conversation. Cool.
[00:34:10] – Layla
Yeah. Because interviews have like their own pace to them. So I feel like when you take a 5-minute clip or so, it tends to almost — it just feels weird to hear such a slow, steady conversation in such a short clip. I don’t know what it is about those two things that kind of seem to conflict, but I’m sure people do it well. But we haven’t figured it out.
[00:34:28] – Joey
Got it. Um, and so, okay, so, we’re today, YouTube channel. Uh, what does that — what does the process look like today in — uh, we’ll start with — let’s start with, okay, ideas. I know you — I’ll link to it. You have a good video on sort of your YouTube, uh, workflow. Uh —
[00:34:45] – Layla
[00:34:45] – Joey
But let’s start. So like, originating the ideas, how are you sourcing your ideas today, uh, for, you know, what video to create next?
[00:34:54] – Layla
Um, so the majority of our video ideas come from either our members or our audience already. So they literally tell us. Um, best advice I could give is just to listen. Um, so we make a proactive effort. Every single person in the company has the ability to add ideas onto our ideas list. Anytime a client tells us, I’d like to see a video on this, and we say, Hey, we’ll add it to the list, we are actually adding it to an actual list or looking if it’s already there. Um, that is how we’re collecting ideas. For most of them is just a concept someone asked for. And when we have a lot of people ask for the same thing, okay, that’s a hot topic. Um, alternatively, there are times where we will look based on keywords. So we’ll see a lot of search traffic for a term that’s related to our business. We’re not showing up very high on that search result on Google. So we’ll try to make a YouTube video around that search result to try to increase our Google ranking. Um, I will say, for the most part, our content is based around human questions. And the keyword comes after, which is backwards to how most people do it. But because we’re in such a niche and we kind of really own our little corner of that niche, um, it seems to always be easy to find the keyword after we find the right question. But maybe that’s just because of where we’re at. We’re not competing for like general marketing keywords. Um, we start with the human question. We usually find the keyword after that and develop from there.
[00:36:20] – Joey
So, like, someone has a question on how to use ClickUp, like, I don’t know, like, how do I make a new list or a list view? And then you look at the keyword data to then figure out the best way to like title the video with that keyword? Is that how you do it?
[00:36:35] – Layla
Yeah, not just title, but also, you know, descriptions and the actual words I’ll use in the video. So um, you know, Answer the Public and different things. I want to figure out how people are asking that question. Um, I often will search Facebook Groups so for, so if it is folders, they want to figure out how to use folders. I’ll search folders in some popular ClickUp Facebook groups in that case and figure out exactly how people are phrasing that question, include that exact phrasing in my verbal, like, how I speak. So I’m speaking in their own language. And also in the video description, I would have phrased it as they would write it. Um, of course backed up by search data and not just, um, Facebook searches, but those two tend to overlap more often than not in this tutorial space.
[00:37:14] – Joey
That’s a great tip. What — uh, you mentioned Answer the Public, what other tools are you using for keyword research?
[00:37:21] – Layla
So, you know, I was for awhile, we were doing the standard vidIQ, TubeBuddy stuff. Honestly, less valuable now. Um, mainly we’re looking — when we’re looking at keywords now, we’re looking at our own analytics. So our Google Analytics for our website and our YouTube Analytics to what’s actually driving us traffic already. Um, yeah, I would say our blogging keywords are really our main, uh, keyword research tools. So we’ll find keywords from where we’re getting site traffic and try to develop more videos around those topics. I used to really like, you know, live and breathe by TubeBuddy and vidIQ and similar tools for YouTube. But I found out that, like, the search results that they were giving me were inconsistent. And especially when you’re in a niche, it’s always like too little data. It’s like, all right, fine. I’ll just see what happens.
[00:38:04] – Joey
My favorite is when vidIQ, you run the same search for the same keyword. And vidIQ is like, Yes, it’s great. Go for it. And then TubeBuddy is like, It is a terrible keyword. No, no, you’ll never rank. Like —
[00:38:15] – Layla
[00:38:16] – Joey
Who do I believe?
[00:38:18] – Layla
Yeah, it’s not good for niches.
[00:38:19] – Joey
YouTube is tough to get data. Uh, when you’re running on your, um, the keyword data for your actual website, is that through, uh, just Google search console? Or is it — are you using like ahrefs or a third-party tool?
[00:38:33] – Layla
Just Google search console at this point. Yeah. And I will say on YouTube, I’ve — one thing that I have realized now, since we stopped using TubeBuddy and vidIQ is, like, we just use our own data. So like, looking at our own keyword analytics there, I feel like that has been actually pretty reliable because it’s amazing how many times we’ll find a keyword that’s performing really well. And we have no videos about that. They’re just — somehow, we mentioned that word in one video so we’re showing up for that one. Um, same goes for the blog. We’re actually looking at our existing traffic, um, and conversations and logic from a human perspective, which maybe eventually will stop working. But so far, it’s working pretty well.
[00:39:09] – Joey
So, like, have you noticed a content gap where it’s like, Oh, we’re kind of ranking for this keyword, but we don’t actually have a video dedicated to that, then, like, that’s a good candidate for a video?
[00:39:16] – Layla
Personal use was, uh, like a specific keyword. So ClickUp for personal use was an angle. I had mentioned it in one video talking about my own day. And we started noticing that, you know, that keyword was getting a lot of people to watch this video, which was about something unrelated. It was about like chores or something. And yet, it was bringing us traffic for this particular keyword. And so then we ended up developing a whole video around that keyword, um, which also lined up with a lot of requests we were having. So you know how it goes.
[00:39:46] – Joey
What — um, now, when you’re actually making the video, is the — um, can you tell me about your evolution of your scripting process? I believe you started from like no outline to an outline, to a detailed outline or — what was — yeah, what is it now and what was the evolution of that?
[00:40:03] – Layla
So, right now, it is, um, it’s an outline. I mean, uh, no scripting. I’ve never done a full script for any video, except for some like brand deal stuff, um, which just dabbled into where I’ve done some scripting. But even then, I’m terrible with sticking to it. Um, so our process right now is we have kind of main sections in our template. So every time I have a video, the template pulls in and it has, you know, hook, explanation, you know, that kind of thing. And I really treat it like bullet points. So if it was a video about the top tips, I would write each of the five tips and maybe an indent saying, Don’t forget to mention that there’s this common issue. That’s it. The rest of it is ad-lib. Um, and previously, if you want to see where it started, it started by literally me sitting down and saying, Oh, I should talk about how to create a task. Record. That was the original scripting. It has since evolved into kind of that line. I will say if there’s any like people’s comments I want to call out or specific things I want to quote, I will write that in. So for example, if I see a question in Facebook that’s exactly worded one way, I will write that to make sure I say it that exact way. But otherwise, it’s like an outline you would do for a school essay. And it takes, I mean, 20 minutes, not — it doesn’t take terribly long to come up with the outline, unless I’m doing something particularly creative.
[00:41:23] – Joey
Uh, do you have a — did you have a background in speaking or like, uh, presenting? Because, like, going off an outline, you always, like, you’re very clear you, uh, don’t — you speak in complete — unlike me, you speak in complete sentences. And, uh, it’s just like — it just comes off very naturally, very friendly to camera. Um, so, yeah, I was wondering if you — if that was like a skill you had before, if that was just something that sort of came naturally. Um, yeah.
[00:41:53] – Layla
Nope. Um, I just knew I wasn’t a very eloquent writer. I mean, I can write, but grammar is not my forte at all. Um, and I guess just since I was younger, like I grew up in a house where rather than writing or being, you know, particularly academic, my lifestyle growing up was very much story-based. Uh, I’ve been trying to analyze this myself to figure out why is this the case because I’m an introvert. I don’t talk that much to real humans. Um, no, it’s just — it’s a skill I had. I knew I had it. I knew presentations were always easy for me. And that’s part of what made YouTube a natural fit. I wanted something that was as low friction as possible. So no editing, talking to a webcam. Got it.
[00:42:37] – Joey
Yeah, you do not use a lot of filler words, so that also makes your editing a lot easier, I imagine.
[00:42:43] – Layla
But I also leave them in when I do use them. I think that whole influencer culture of, like, you need to be perfect and you can’t have your breaths in and you can’t use the word um, I mean, we’re just people. So like when I do say, um, or like, or, you know, mess up, I like to keep it in whenever I can, unless it’s a false — you know, a falsehood of some kind, because it’s just how I would talk. And whenever I’ve had an editor come in and help us, one of the things that made us reduce that editing contract was it was just too edited. The gasps and the likes were edited out and it’s, like, this just doesn’t sound human anymore.
[00:43:22] – Joey
Interesting. I did want to ask because you mentioned or — you did try out like bringing on an outside editor. Because right up — right now, you have edited all your videos, right?
[00:43:33] – Layla
[00:43:33] – Joey
So what happened? So, it didn’t work out with bringing on an editor. What happened?
[00:43:38] – Layla
So, um, you know, we brought someone in, fan of the channel, which was like such a great plus. They knew our content. Um, I actually did test projects with three different editors, found one. I was like, You’re the best one of these, um, came on, and just over time, I think the quality just slipped. And I also think, in hindsight, like I didn’t have enough of a voice yet, like, to know what the voice of the channel was. I couldn’t put into words, the fact that I wanted it to sound like I was just having a conversation with you. I didn’t have good inspiration channels to say, Hey, I want to sound like that guy or that gal. Um, and so, the editor had a lot of free reign to kind of develop a tone. And the way it was going, it just — it ended up developing that person’s tone, but it just felt so far from the initial heart and really what the business was because it was outsourced. It wasn’t like it was an employee who got to know us and who we are. Um, and I think, could be so much better. And we’re going to be looking to, you know, redo this, try it again this year. And I think just knowing who we are and what that tone is, is going to make it so much easier. And I just — I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So talking about another failed experiment, there you go. It didn’t work out.
[00:44:48] – Joey
Yeah. So it seems like a matter of kind of going too soon before you could be, like, I want it like this, not like this. And so, they had too much leeway
[00:44:58] – Layla
[00:44:59] – Joey
For — I mean, not saying —
[00:45:00] – Layla
Leeway’s good to a point.
[00:45:02] – Joey
Yeah, not that you want it to be like formulaic, but it was, I guess, early stages where you didn’t have your own voice or you didn’t have your own style cemented where it could be like once — I guess sometimes, too, it’s like you like see something and you’re like, I can’t pinpoint, like, what’s wrong with it, but I just know it’s not.
[00:45:16] – Layla
That’s exactly it.
[00:45:18] – Joey
Or do you feel like you’re better at the point now where, like, if you did see something wrong, you’d be like, or something that isn’t like your style, like, you could be like, Not that. More like this. Is that sort of the stage right now where it’s like, Hey, we got another editor. Like, we could better communicate, like, what works, what doesn’t work?
[00:45:33] – Layla
I would say we’re not quite there yet, but we’re almost there. And that’s like our prerequisite for outsourcing it again. But it’s the same as writing. Like it took, you know, three years to figure out like what we want to sound like. And we’re still figuring that out. And video, there’s so many more elements that you have to coordinate to make it feel right. Um, yes. What you’ve said. Like that understanding who you are as a video brand was far more complicated than I thought when we really wanted to be intentional about it. And it was more than just, you know, me clicking record.
[00:46:02] – Joey
[00:46:05] – Layla
Yeah. Upgrade. Don’t do that guys. If you’re watching this, don’t do Loom. Just skip that stage.
[00:46:12] – Joey
Uh, I did want to ask because you have some really, uh, like, very specific, uh, style things in your video — not style. Well, yeah, they are style. Thanks. Uh, in the sense of maintaining watch time and getting people to subscribe. Like, you will just point blank tell people, Hey, you’re watching the video this far. You — like, why not click subscribe? Uh, or in another one, you had, um, uh, 12 hidden tips for ClickUp features. And I think in the intro, you’re like, Stay tuned for clip or tick or for — stay tuned — sorry. I feel like —
[00:46:48] – Layla
That’s what I said. Exactly like that.
[00:46:49] – Joey
Stay tuned for trick 11. No.
[00:46:54] – Layla
[00:46:55] – Joey
Tip 11. Uh, anyways, you were teasing the tip for people to stick around. Um, how important is watch time as a metric for you? And have you found that really structuring your videos and like including things like that in the script, uh, has that helped?
[00:47:11] – Layla
You know, I think it’s something that we’re still figuring out. I don’t know the right balance for it. Like you mentioned, like we’ve done the callouts like almost the commercial cuts of like Subscribe if you’re still watching because obviously you like this stuff. Like, having those kinds of clips, it’s fun. And it’s really easy to add in. Um, the teasers at the beginning of like stay ’til the end, that was, I’d say that’s one of my earliest experiments with trying to increase that watch time. It probably felt the least genuine to me, which is why you won’t see that very often in newer channels because it almost feels too common. And I think as soon as you have a callout to subscribe or callout to keep watching, that feels like every other channel. And what I’m realizing now, at least, it stops working. Um, so I’ve — you know, experimenting here, I don’t think I have a great answer in terms of whether it really improves watch time. Um, the biggest thing that helps, honestly, just listicles. And that’s our number one thing. Like, if we want to get a video with really high watch time, 10 things, 2 things, 5 things for, with clear timestamps. I mean, that will always perform really well for us. Um, the teasers, I haven’t noticed a meaningful change. Our channel is also really weird though compared to YouTube norms. People like hang out, like, they like watch. Our watch times are higher than they should be. And people are watching longer videos than they should because of just the type of person we have. The type of geek, as we say, who we have watching our channel.
[00:48:31] – Joey
Yeah. I feel like your channel is also one of those things where like if you’re a new ClickUp user or — and then you find your channel, you’re kind of going to binge. I mean, I definitely binged it. Whereas, like, Oh cool. Like all these things. Like, yes. Okay. Uh, interesting workflow, interesting ideas. And, um, yeah, it definitely feels like it’s the type of person that finds one of your videos. It’s just like, Oh, cool.
[00:48:56] – Layla
[00:48:56] – Joey
They’re down the rabbit hole.
[00:48:57] – Layla
If you’re our weird little person, like the rabbit hole is built for you. Um, so we don’t have to do as much work as an entertainment channel or someone who just does random tutorials. Like, we tend to have a pretty concise and, almost from the beginning, very small niche that we stick to, which makes it pretty easy to have people binge and really get something out of each video.
[00:49:20] – Joey
Mm-hmm. I did want to talk about your — we talked about early gear. What is your current gear setup?
[00:49:27] – Layla
Oh, okay. Um, I’ll look around the room.
[00:49:31] – Joey
Yeah. Disco lights?
[00:49:34] – Layla
Disco lights. So those have stuck with us. This is a $10 As Seen On TV disco light that’s made for Christmas, like holiday time, that we keep around. Um, Phillips Hue bulbs, I’ve already mentioned, which are not really active right now. Um, our main key light is an Elgato flat key light because when I first purchased it, I needed something very small. Um, that’s actually going to be upgraded with a deflector soon, so it’ll be a little bit softer. But that’s the main light that you see here. For the longest time, the only light that we had was a ring light, as I talked about, which was $20. So if you’re stressed by light, just use a window like I did. It’ll be fine. Um, in terms of camera, we have a Sony a6400 with a Sigma 14mm. Yeah. You know what I’m talking about. iconic Sigma lens for the blurry background, which I could probably look at what it exactly is. Obviously, I don’t touch this gear too much other than the initial setup. Uh, Stream Deck for short hands. Microphone is a Shure SM7B with a Cloudlifter Scarlett 2 interface. So if I wanted to have a guest, I could. And right now, I’m actually just using a webcam, so a 1080p Logitech webcam for live streams, just to avoid any complications of audio synching, which, even when I try to use a virtual cam, I always — sometimes it just fights with things. So the power of simplicity here, I’m willing to give up the aesthetics of my nice camera. So that way, when I do live streams, I still usually stick to just a standard webcam. Did I hit on everything?
[00:51:08] – Joey
I think you did. Oh, what do you — and now you are editing in Premiere, right?
[00:51:12] – Layla
Yeah. So yeah, Premiere now for editing, um, what editing that there is with a template. So —
[00:51:18] – Joey
And, uh, you’re using OBS for screen recording?
[00:51:23] – Layla
Actually, that’s a — I should probably highlight that in detail. Like, the OBS is used to record the screen in lieu of Loom. But how I actually record now, which I would only recommend if you have your stuff pretty much stay the same every time is using Scenes connected to the Stream Deck. So I’m actually live editing as I record. Um, so, you know, the screen popping up to the side and then going full screen, then going full face, I have that kind of live DJing using a Stream Deck and OBS, which is so simple but also saves me a lot of time on editing.
[00:51:55] – Joey
Okay. So let’s break that down a bit more. So you’re basically —
[00:51:58] – Layla
[00:51:58] – Joey
Uh, it’s basically like — so you kind of have your things set up like you were doing a live stream with multiple layouts —
[00:52:05] – Layla
[00:52:05] – Joey
But you’re just recording it to tape — well, sorry, that is like a older broadcast phase. You’re recording it to disk. Um —
[00:52:12] – Layla
[00:52:12] – Joey
Uh, they still call it tape. Okay. You’re recording — so you’re just recording — so you’re not recording to your camera. You’re recording into your computer through OBS.
[00:52:21] – Layla
Yeah, using a — yup.
[00:52:22] – Joey
Okay. And then, what, you have a couple of layouts of like, uh, my screen, your screen, your camera, your screen and then camera.
[00:52:31] – Layla
Yeah, I’m so lazy. I went as far as — you know, you ever hear of StreamYard, like the streaming platform?
[00:52:36] – Joey
[00:52:37] – Layla
So they have some pre-made layouts. I literally took a screenshot of their icons, put them on my Stream Deck and then put my layouts to be almost exactly like theirs. So that way, it would be completely consistent, whether I was live streaming or on OBS, like the layouts. And I could remember like figure 1 is this, figure 2 — yeah. It’s reached that point. So I live record.
[00:52:57] – Joey
That is great. And then, what, you just bring it into Premiere and just kind of trim it down?
[00:53:02] – Layla
Yeah. I usually end up with like a take around 30 minutes, and it gets down to about 15, sometimes even 10. So let’s — you know, how much — how many times I retry a section because that’s the downside of ad-libbing is I’ll try to say the same segment a few different times before I find a time I really, really like. Um, so that’s mainly where the editing is, not small things, but, like, here’s a 2-minute section. That was just a bad attempt at section 2. And I’ll just delete that all out.
[00:53:28] – Joey
Got it. I think that was a great tip for, uh, making, like, screen recording and editing a lot quicker. Uh, yeah. OBS with the Stream Deck and your setup. Uh —
[00:53:41] – Layla
It only works though If you don’t need to correct things, really, if you don’t do too many corrections afterwards. If you’re a real editor —
[00:53:46] – Joey
I mean if —
[00:53:46] – Layla
You might not like that.
[00:53:47] – Joey
Yeah, you are limited because then if you’re like, Oh, I’m showing my computer screen, but I really want to see my camera, that’s not an option.
[00:53:54] – Layla
[00:53:54] – Joey
Yeah. Great. Okay. That’s why you just go to be careful. Do it. Proceed with warning.
[00:53:59] – Layla
[00:54:01] – Joey
So now, you’ve mentioned live streaming and you’ve done a couple of — or you’ve done some live streams. Can you kind of talk about how you’ve been using live streaming?
[00:54:08] – Layla
Yeah. So early on, I was attempting to use lives treams for casual conversations, interviews, podcasts-esque, like I said, that didn’t really — didn’t perform long term. It was like a blip and then it died off. And, um, you know, fast forward a bit, I’ve looked to using live streams at this point as almost like a podcast in the sense of just diving deeper with my existing audience and not trying to optimize them for search at all. So with few exceptions, the only live streams we’ll be doing on the channel are things like Q&A for the audience. Or I started a new series with my own, like, personal quarterly reflections, kind of behind the scenes in my business. Those kinds of things that I don’t care if they never get picked up by search. They’re there for my people who want to like get to know us better and go further down that kind of world with us. That’s kind of how we’re using live streams right now.
[00:54:59] – Joey
Uh, yeah, so those are — uh, you call them lookbacks, right?
[00:55:04] – Layla
[00:55:05] – Joey
It feels like a quarterly update for a company. Is it sort of like a building public kind of — because you share your numbers, you share like subscriber data and I think some revenue data. Uh, so yeah. What was the thought behind that of making that like kind of broadcasting that out and making that public?
[00:55:24] – Layla
Yeah. So I think it comes back to figuring out like who we are. Uh, one of the things I realized that, like, is core to what I want this business to be is, you know, imperfect. You know, we talk a lot about process, but I never wanted this to develop into that influencer status, which, I mean, we’re nowhere close to that, that idea that we are the perfect business and you want to become like us. Um, instead, I wanted it to be more like a, we are actively trying to work on this. Here’s what we’re trying. What are you trying? It is that building public idea. And so, the idea of just having YouTube videos, talking about Here’s the right way to do this, or, Here’s the way to build this, to me, that felt very incomplete because no one was hearing what wasn’t working. No one was hearing, you know, who the heck we are. And I wanted to give that imperfect context for those who care enough to hear it. And, um, some ways I’ve seen this done is through like monthly income reports, which have a good intent, but to me, the numbers of revenue kind of throw off everything else and can cause more harm than good. So the idea of the lookback was to give people that behind the scenes, the mess. Basically, let them see the mess so that they know they’re not the only messy ones and kind of let them know how we’re developing. Because I don’t think — ProcessDriven isn’t this brand saying, you know, I’ve launched four successful multi-million dollar companies so you should become just like me. ProcessDriven is about, We are driven by process. Here’s what’s working. And it’s this conversation with our audience.
[00:56:53] – Joey
Yeah, I think that’s great. And your other — um, you do a live recap of ClickUp’s annual virtual conference —
[00:57:04] – Layla
[00:57:04] – Joey
Whatever. Yeah. Uh, I —
[00:57:05] – Layla
Whatever they call
[00:57:06] – Joey
That’s coming up soon. You did say you did one last year and that helped establish you as like ClickUp — going beyond like ClickUp tutorial person to like ClickUp thought leader, thought innovator. How did that — how did doing that live stream also help kind of reach new audience or like reach other people?
[00:57:29] – Layla
Yeah. So um, so ClickUp had this conference. It was a big event for the software. And again, I feel like a broken record. Obviously, I just wanted to do something. I wanted to do something to fill in my audience about it. And I was like, I think it was just a or two beforehand. I was like, You know, let’s put a live stream on. And right after the day, I’ll just recap. And it accidentally turned into more than just a recap and turned into that opinions piece that you’re talking about. Um, I think it helped the channel because it did give us a perspective, which you do not get in a tutorial. You do not have time in an 8-minute tutorial to give too many points of view. But what I thought was really important is that the channel, like, going back to ProcessDriven being what it is, the channel is a place for discussion and for, you know, continually getting better. And if the channel became a tutorial hub, then why are we different than a ClickUp help doc? I didn’t want to just read off ClickUp help docs. That’s not — that’s not very valuable. Um, my perspective was people came to our channel because they wanted to figure out like the reality of using this tool. And if we’re just saying, Everything’s great, nothing’s wrong. This is perfect. That’s not — that’s what ClickUp’s doing. That’s what their marketing department is in charge of. There’s not room for more of that, or there doesn’t need to be more of that. So that video got a lot of backlash with positive and negative from our audience and from other groups of people. Um, I don’t regret it at all, but it was definitely far more divisive than I thought it would be initially. I don’t know if that answers your question though.
[00:59:06] – Joey
Uh, that part kind of does because also, like, YouTube loves controversial videos, so that also might explain why it got more attraction because —
[00:59:16] – Layla
[00:59:16] – Joey
YouTube’s kind of — yeah. Algorithm is kind of crazy and likes to promote that stuff. yeah, no, I guess my, question Yeah my My question was generally just like, how are you using live streaming? Um, and yeah, the two parts of like one directly for community, and then another part, sharing your thoughts in a way that’s outside of like what ClickUp’s putting out and you can offer your own perspective, uh —
[00:59:36] – Layla
[00:59:36] – Joey
Which I think is important. Um, okay. So winding down, you’ve published the videos. What are you doing, uh, promotion-wise and then also, like, repurposing the content?
[00:59:50] – Layla
So, this was the first area where I really started getting help when it came to YouTube was in this step because I really realized the value in being able to, you know, squeeze as much as I could out of a primary piece of content like a video. Um, right now, what we do primarily is to create a blog post that’s optimized for search for Google. Um, we rewrite it all. We used to just do transcripts and the video, and that was it. Um, we’ve evolved that over time to be a full, you know, written for a blog — written for a blog, my goodness, a full written blog post. And, um, that was kind of the main repurposing step. We then extended that to also be an email newsletter for only our best videos. We didn’t want to send out an email for every video. And then also social media posts. So we have kind of a repurposing flow that every video goes through. There’s like a light and then a heavy, you know, depending on the video and how much we want to push it. Um, and most importantly, like that blog becomes another — that SEO game is very similar to YouTube in that it grows over time. And social media, because it’s so, um, brief, we have our social media meant to repeat for any videos that are evergreen, so that way, they do also recycle. Um, that’s our main repurposing. Uh, we’re working right now and incorporating video clips and chopping up using a software to avoid having to, um, use a video editor for that, but doing chopped clips for social media as well. But that’s it. We’re not doing much with anything complex.
[01:01:22] – Joey
Have you started sharing the clips yet? Or is that a coming?
[01:01:28] – Layla
That’s a coming. That’s a — I talked about that —
[01:01:30] – Joey
[01:01:31] – Layla
45 minutes ago with our marketing gal, and it’s happening. But we don’t have anything public yet, but that’s kind of our next level is giving those video clips for social media to avoid having to create, you know, more something unique. Just use a clip of what we already have.
[01:01:45] – Joey
What is the thought behind, like, how you’re going to select the — because this is going to be like a section from — like a minute-long section from a bigger video?
[01:01:57] – Layla
Yeah. And just like we talked about with the interview clipping, we’re trying to find — we’re only going to be doing this for certain videos. At least that’s currently the plan. And particularly listicles. Those will be our top choice of like, Here’s tip 1, here’s tips 2, go here for the next 3. Um, for all of these sources, we’re driving traffic to our blog actually, which has the YouTube video embedded because we want to get that site-based traffic versus early on we used to direct everyone to YouTube. Um, but that’s kind of the — that’s the plan at least.
[01:02:27] – Joey
Right. So right now, in all of the social media posts that are promoting the video, they’re actually promoting the link to your blog post that has the video and the optimized article and all that stuff.
[01:02:37] – Layla
[01:02:39] – Joey
Okay, cool. Cool. Um, and, uh, how has the team developed as far — like, I know you’re still recording, you’re editing the videos. Um, but who else is involved and what’s your content team look like that has their hands involved in the video in some way or after the fact?
[01:02:58] – Layla
Yeah. Um, YouTube — on the YouTube side of things, I think there are three people currently that are involved besides myself. I will just be transparent and say, like, we are understaffed for what we’re doing, uh, which is funny considering, you know, used to do it all yourself. But, um, we have one person who’s just in charge of like content calendar, like keeping everything together, getting the videos out, stressing about it at the end — you know, at the end of the week. That’s someone else’s job now. Um, that’s kind of our content lead. Then we have a writer who focuses primarily on the blog writing, so those SEO optimized posts, um, as well as the newsletters, which kind of go together in that kind of informative and healthy tone. Um, and then we have a third person who’s coming on, just, we’re kind of stealing her from another part of the business, who’s going to be helping for a little bit to, um, help create some social media content. And that person’s just in charge of that edge of repurposing, which is a little bit less content helpy in tone, a little bit more, I would say sales or call-to-action driven. Um, so two writers, one manager, myself creating content. And, uh, that’s pretty much what we have now. But no one’s full-time on content at this point, which is the goal for 2022.
[01:04:10] – Joey
To have a full-time content. When you say content, are you talking about all, like, not just video, but your blog and all of the social media content.
[01:04:21] – Layla
Yes. Our hope is — like, I try to keep it all together, which may not be the best approach, but for us to try to keep it all kind of unified. So um, we’re having one person managing all of those pieces to keep it cohesive. And we’re hoping to bring that role full time, expand the part-time hours of the other individuals. And like, this is a big area where we’re going to have some additional outsourcing in 2022, because it is as, you know, a lot of work. It is a lot of work and, you know, the decision to outsource or go in-house is a hard one. But whichever way you go, you have to really go to really get those — get the rewards and the sanity and time and energy back.
[01:04:59] – Joey
It’s a lot of moving pieces.
[01:05:01] – Layla
Just a few.
[01:05:03] – Joey
Um, and yeah, last one, you mentioned, if you did do all of this over again, that you would batch and do things pretty similarly, but if you didn’t — if someone else was starting to channel, or if you were doing this all over again, uh, what advice would you have to someone starting out in YouTube, a brand or a company starting out on YouTube.
[01:05:25] – Layla
I think, oh my gosh, just one.
[01:05:29] – Joey
You got multiple tips?
[01:05:33] – Layla
Just multiple things that have gone wrong, more than tips. Um, I would say probably figure — make sure that YouTube is the platform for you. Um, which sounds so obvious. But, you know, I tried to start a blog pre-YouTube, and it was such a drain. It was exhausting. And not to lie, there are times where YouTube now is exhausting. It’s a lot. But it’s a platform I enjoy to spend time on. I enjoy spending time on. Um, my audience enjoy spending time on this platform. It just makes sense. And I feel like so often when I talk to other, you know, members will come off and be like, I want to start a YouTube channel like yours. And then we’ll talk a little bit and they don’t like speaking, or they don’t like being alone in a room for 6 hours on end. I love this. I’m an introvert. I don’t want to talk to anybody unless it’s through a camera. I mean, except for you, Joey. But I would just make sure that YouTube is where you want to be. Um, it’s a long game. It’s like farming, and you have to enjoy farming to farm. It’s not a quick return. It’s a labor of love in some ways. I don’t know if that’s the right answer, but that would be the biggest thing I would keep an eye on.
[01:06:36] – Joey
Yeah, I think that’s a great tip of, like — it’s funny, you mentioned, you know, like, hey, you want to start a YouTube channel, but you don’t like be in front of camera, then it’s probably not the best platform for you.
[01:06:49] – Layla
Yeah. so It’s so terrible to say. But like when people ask me, like, How do you get over that? I’m like, I just wasn’t afraid. I just — I mean, I’m alone in a dark room. Like, I’m not afraid of anything right now.
[01:06:59] – Joey
Talking to a piece of glass and you’re like, Hello, glass.
[01:07:01] – Layla
Hello, glass. How are you?
[01:07:04] – Joey
Um, yeah, I mean, I think even also it’s a — yeah, to lean into whatever you’re kind of most comfortable with or what your strengths are because even — I mean, YouTube, it has a lot more structure and the videos are longer, but so many short-form video platforms have popped up, too, where it’s like, you can just take a — you can take smaller bets on —
[01:07:21] – Layla
[01:07:21] – Joey
TikTok or Instagram Reels, or YouTube shorts, uh, and experiment there if video is right for you.
[01:07:29] – Layla
Such a smart idea.
[01:07:31] – Joey
And then double-down into, like, longer YouTube videos if you’re like, Oh, that’s working. Maybe I’ll make more stuff. Or write if you don’t want to be on camera and be a content writer.
[01:07:40] – Layla
Exactly, right? Or do a no, you know, a no-face-shown video. Like, I think we so much — we try to emulate other people, whether it’s their process or their channel or whatever. But they’re doing that because that works to their strengths. I don’t script. Not because it’s better, but because it’s a strength I have. And I’m just going to lean into that to avoid having to spend time scripting. I don’t think what works for someone else is going to necessarily work for you. You have to really know yourself and your — or your team, your company’s strengths.
[01:08:07] – Joey
Okay. Last one, because you talk about process structure. Do you have any process tips for making videos?
[01:08:15] – Layla
[01:08:18] – Joey
Things you found that worked really well in your process setup.
[01:08:21] – Layla
Okay. Number one, which we already talked about is collecting ideas on the go. Uh, I see a lot of people who have to have brainstorm sessions to come up with ideas. I’ve been there. It’s a terrible place to be. Um, that central repository that everyone can add into, I mean, we have like 300 ideas in ours right now that other people are keeping up on and adding notes in. That is a huge help for when you’re stuck. Um, that’s a process perspective of just making that an open space, even letting your audience contribute to that can be huge. Um, the second processing that maybe this is just me, is using dependencies, which is kind of geeky to put that on there. But, um, making it clear what really needs to wait on something else. I see so often people outline a video workflow and they’re like, Here’s all the tasks I have to do. But you can really only do these two right now. Include that, bake that into your process so you can only focus on what can actually be done now and you’re not distracted by those repurposing steps before you actually create the video. Um, video can be very overwhelming that process. If you see everything all the time.
[01:09:30] – Joey
Yeah, I think it’s a great — that is a very specific ClickUp —
[01:09:35] – Layla
That’s a very specific — but you know, it applies to other ones as well.
[01:09:39] – Joey
Yeah, sometimes, I’ve gone a little overboard drawing lines to connect dependencies. Um, yeah. All right. Well, thank you for that very specific tip. I hope a tiny portion of people understand that part.
[01:09:51] – Layla
One general, one specific. We got something for everybody.
[01:09:54] – Joey
There you go. Uh, well, awesome. Thank you so much, Layla. Where can people learn more about, uh, you and your channel and ProcessDriven?
[01:10:03] – Layla
Yeah. Uh, you can head to ProcessDriven.co. That’s our website. And ProcessDriven.co/YouTube to go to the YouTube channel. Hey, there’s another YouTube tip. It’s a redirect link that takes you right to the subscribe button. So —
[01:10:16] – Joey
That is a good, yes —
[01:10:18] – Layla
There’s our third everybody tip to make up for the dependency one.
[01:10:23] – Joey
There we go. That’s the sandwich technique. We got two general with a very specific one. There you go.
[01:10:28] – Layla
[01:10:29] – Joey
Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Layla.
[01:10:31] – Layla
Yeah. Thank you, Joey.