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Grow Your Business with YouTube

Lesson 21 of 25

How to Expand your Content Ideas

Tara Swiger

Grow Your Business with YouTube

Tara Swiger

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Lesson Info

21. How to Expand your Content Ideas

Lesson Info

How to Expand your Content Ideas

So we're going to talk about how to keep it going. Like, okay, so you thought maybe the hardest part was the technology or do you have the skills ability? Or what are you going to talk about in the general sense? But the actual hardest part of doing YouTube ongoing and consistently is how you're going to keep it going day after day, week after week, forever and ever, amen, and to do that, we are going to look at really specific topic ideas because once you get some specific topic ideas, those will generate more ideas, and I'm also going to teach you how to think of any topic, and break it down into a bunch of specific ideas. Whenever somebody asks you a question, you can actually come up with 10 videos to answer that question, and then we'll also go over how to make it a part of your life, how to make it really simple to keep it going by having structures in place and a system in place, because that's going to help you keep it going once you have a system set up, and I know this is peo...

ple's questions, like, "How do you do it week after week? How do you keep it going?" And we are going to also talk about how you are going to make a sale from the video, what you need have in place, and I'll show you some samples of people doing that so you can see how easy and casual it can be, how you don't have to get weird and robotic. So, to start with how to keep it going, we're going to generate a bunch of specific content ideas for you. So, starting on page eight of your workbook, we're going to talk through all different ways to come up with different content ideas. The first one is to create repeatable segments. So some people's YouTube shows, they actually have different segments that they all put together, right? Like, what are the books we're reading this week? What are the projects we're working on this week? What are the products we just bought? Now, you can split those up into three different videos, or you can put them all together. If you're kind of doing an ongoing kind of talk show format, where every week, we get together and we cover these same three topics, but even if you don't do that kind of show, you can still create repeatable segments. Like, an interview is a repeatable segment. You can ask the same five questions in every interview. Now, I'd recommend doing an interview that's a little more casual, and then they say something, and you bounce off them and you go back and forth, but if you're not quite sure where to start or how to get the conversation started, you can have the same questions, and ask them those questions every time to kind of get into deeper stuff. Another repeatable segment is, if you're vlogging your day, maybe you always show your morning, your lunch, and your getting the mail. That is not very interesting, so you should pick a better one, (laughs) but those are repeatable segments that you do every time. The more you can identify the kind of thing you can repeat, the easier it'll be for you to come up with content and the more your viewer will come to expect it. Just like consistency builds addiction in your viewers, so does knowing what they're going to get from you. Like that opening I showed you earlier from Vlog Brothers, where he slides into the screen and he says, "Hey, Hank, it's Tuesday." He does that every time, so it becomes this kind of inside joke between him and the viewers because you know what to expect. If you create something repeatable like that, it's going to help you because you're not going to always have to generate something new, and it's also going to build that sense of, your audience gets it. I say some of the same things or make some of the same jokes all the time, not even on purpose, just because I have a limited amount of jokes and funniness in me and that my audience, then, it becomes our thing together. You can create repeatable segments, like your intro can be the same. You can always talk about what book you're reading. You can always talk about-- You can always unbox something you just got that week. You can just find things you want to repeat over and over, which, again, are going to serve your audience. What are the things they're interested in seeing in your life? Maybe it's that you always have a painting behind you, and you talk about the progress you've made on the painting since the last time, so they it change week to week. So the other way to never run out of ideas is, I've got a bunch of suggestions for how to never run out of ideas. Okay, so get your pens ready. (laughs) The first is to get your audience involved. You can get them involved in a bunch of different ways. One is to have them comment on your video with their questions. This is actually a sneaky, sneaky trick because not only is it going to give you more content, but it's also going to improve how YouTube sees your videos. A video that gets a lot of interaction in the comments, YouTube thinks, "Hey, that's a great video," and it recommends it more, and it suggests it more, and you just are going to up your YouTube juice when you get more comments on a video. In the video, you would say, "Hey, under this video, leave a comment on YouTube, and tell me what one thing, what one question you have for a full-time painter." Or, "What one question do you have about Renaissance festivals?", if that's where you sell most of your work. So it can be anything related to your audience and a topic they'd be interested in. Ask them to comment with their questions. You can also, and I've done this; it's super fun. You can make a phone number on Google, a free Google Voice line that people call into and leave you a message. Now, you can connect it to your phone so you actually answer your phone, but if you do that, you won't have a recording. So I've linked up, in the resource guide directions on how to create a number that goes right to a voicemail box and Google even translates it, will transcribe it, and the transcription is always kind of weird, so you actually have to listen to it to figure out what they've said. But what that gives you is an audio clip you can use on your YouTube video or your audio podcast of someone asking you their question. That's really super fun, and people love hearing their voice. What I always say when I make a call for that is, "Hey, I'm going to use your audio clip, so by calling this number and leaving your message, you're giving me permission to use whatever you say on my podcast." I say that up front, and in the message, in the voicemail box when they call in, they hear me say, "Hey, it's Tara. You've called my podcast line. By leaving a message, you're giving me permission to use your voice on my podcast." Just so they're clear. You're not just playing messages from your phone that your friends leave you, but people are signing up for it. And what that also does is it keeps them from having your number. Because you could just have them call your voicemail box, but you probably don't want everybody on YouTube to call and text your number all the time. You can also just create a form, and have them fill it out. Google Docs, or Google Sheets actually has a really easy form creator. You can use something like Survey Monkey, and the question in the form could be, "What is the biggest question you have about X?" So what is the biggest question you have about your personal fitness? What is the biggest question you have about your stamp collection, or using stamps? Whatever it is you're going to help people with, ask them what is the biggest issue they have, the biggest problem they have, what's an ongoing question they have. What can't you find the answer for, is another thing to ask people, because what they can't find the answer for is what they're Googling for. So if you put that in your YouTube title, you're going to get found by new people. You can also get your audience involved by making a post calling for questions on social media. This is one of my favorite things to do on Instagram. I will do a random picture and under it, say, "Hey, a Q&A episode of my podcast is coming up. Leave a comment with your question, and I will answer it on air." And by doing that, you're also kind of getting that Instagram picture seen by more and more people, because the more interaction you have, the more Instagram shows it to your followers, so that's super awesome, and it will also get you meeting all kinds of people you didn't even know were out there, listening and following, and some of those people who are following you on Instagram aren't yet listening to your podcast. So after I do this, I get their questions, I copy and paste it into a document, I answer their questions, and then I do another post on Instagram, "Hey, this week's podcast is a Q&A. In it, I answer all these people's questions," and I tag them in it, and I say, "Go to the link in my profile to listen." So it's sending people from Instagram back to my show to listen. So it's a way of cross-pollinating your audiences. If you already have an audience somewhere else and want to move them towards your new show, use social media in a bunch of ways to do that. Not just, "Hey, I have a You Tube channel. Go watch it." But you can collect their questions, answer them, and then send them there. What would you do if you put out a poll asking for questions, and nobody responds? (audience laughs) Do you kind of breeze over that? Because, especially if you're first starting out, you're going to be perhaps lacking some of the interaction that you're hoping to gain. Absolutely. So with any of these, if no one comments-- Here's an awesome thing. If no one comments, no one knows no one commented because no one saw it. So we're embarrassed. We're like, "Oh my gosh, there's no comments. Maybe I should take it down because nobody saw it." No. No one will see that there's no comments. So no worries. So when you have a small audience when you're getting started, or maybe you just have a quiet audience. Maybe you've never done anything where you've asked them to respond, so you've haven't trained them yet to answer you. So, don't worry about it. Nobody saw it. Nobody's judging you. Everybody's worried about their own interaction. They're not watching yours. So I'd just leave it be. And then don't do a Q&A episode if you don't have questions. (laughs) Now, another way you can get their interaction is actually to do a live Q&A. So we were talking about YouTube live in the earlier segment. I showed you how you do that on your phone. When you go live on YouTube, questions and comments will pop up. You can also do a Facebook live, and if you-- most people have at least some amount of Facebook audience because they have friends and family members already on Facebook, so even if people have never done anything on Instagram or Twitter or YouTube, they already have some audience on Facebook, so that might be a good place to get started, and say, "Hey guys, I'm starting a show on YouTube about X, Y, and Z. I'd love to answer your questions." What I'd do is I'd create an event, and then do it live, and it might take a while for questions to start to come in. Answer those questions, then you can save that Facebook video and upload it to YouTube. So if you don't have any YouTube subscribers yet, you can't do a YouTube live and expect to get any interaction. There's nobody there to interact with you, right? You need to have some subscribers, and the subscribers need to have their notifications turned on to be notified when you go live. So one of the things I do in my videos if I want to do a YouTube live, is for a couple videos before that, I'll say, "Hey, make sure you've turned on the notifications." You do it by looking here. It's right under video. There's a subscribe button, and then there's a little bell. They need to click that bell, and they'll be notified when you go live. If you want to go live a lot, you want to mention a lot, "Turn on those notifications," so that people actually know when you're live so they can watch you live. Because without being notified, they won't know. So doing a live Q&A is the easiest way ever, if you have an audience, to make your videos because you don't have to think about anything. If you can interact on your feed, and if you aren't going to freak out if nobody shows up, it's a really easy way to make content you don't have to plan ahead of time. You don't have to figure things out. You don't have to line up guests. You don't have to do any editing. You just turn it on and start. It'll only work, though, if you already have a little bit of an audience. So if you don't have an audience yet on YouTube, do it on Facebook for a while, sending people to your YouTube channel, and then eventually, you can do it on YouTube. Does that sound good? It's a very, very easy way to create content. Then, another way is to actually-- The best way I've found to get people to submit videos is to do a contest. Like, I'm going to give away a free copy of my book, 'Market Yourself,' if you shoot a video asking me your question. Now, your audience needs to be I'd say, over 200 or 300 subscribers before you're going to have enough people that-- because a tiny percentage of people will feel comfortable shooting their video question and sending it in, so you need to have enough people that if only one or two percent of them do it, then you're still going to get some videos. Does that make sense? Because such a few people are going to feel comfortable, and they need to probably have their own YouTube channel or they can send it to your Dropbox, but you want to get their permission to use it in your video, because then, you can edit together their question with your answer, and that's going to do a couple things. That's going to get your audience involved, which is awesome. You're going to reach a bigger audience because if I ask you a question on my YouTube, all of my YouTube audience is going to see that, and so as part of that contest, it should be, post a video on YouTube asking the question, use this hashtag, and link to my whatever. So now all these little videos are going to be on YouTube linking back to my whatever, because that's their contest entry form. So you're going to reach a bigger audience, and then when you post the video on your own channel with their question and your answer, A, you're going to build authority and seem like an expert, and B, people are going to see themselves, if not reflected in you, in reflected in the person that asked that question. "Oh, she's just like me, and she watches this show. This is a show for me." So it's super helpful in building social proof, so people can see other people watch your show, building expertise, building authority, and really building trust with your audience. It's really fun, too. Like, it's just fun to see other people on your show. But it does take awhile before you're going to have enough people submitting videos. So any questions about getting your audience involved? Different ways you could do this? That last point. Is there more information in the resource slide that you're providing? About what? What aspect of it? Well, for example, is there a form that is necessary? You mentioned that we need to get permission from people to use their video. I just literally say, "If you're submitting your video, you're giving me permission to use it. Maybe they could sue me. I'm not a lawyer. Consult your lawyer. (all laugh) I've never had any problem when I tell people that, and then with things like this, when I'm using their clips, I just send them an email asking, and their email back is fine, but if you were going to-- Now, this is for a casual show. This is not a-- I'm not using it like an infomercial. I'm sure that there are different rules around that. So you could always ask your lawyer, but with this, there's just-- I just verbally say it. I say it in the video. I say it in the contest explanation, which I usually would put on my website. Just like, you're giving us permission to use your video in my video. Does that make sense? Yeah. So it's pretty straighforward. You can make it as complicated as you want. You have to go here and you have to do this and you need to do this, but you can literally say-- I could say to everyone, "You can enter a contest to win my book if you make a video submission on YouTube and you tag it with Swiger Live," which, actually, we can just do that. I'm not going to use your videos in my videos, but you just make your first video, and I will send my book to somebody. That includes all of you and all of you guys watching at home. That's it. That's the contest submission.

Class Description

In Grow Your Business with YouTube you'll learn how video can take your business to a new level! You’ll learn how to find time to make videos that are fun, easy, and effective at selling your products. We will focus on generating content ideas, and you'll learn how to use those videos to find brand-new customers (and keep your current customers coming back). You'll walk away from this class with a customized plan for making videos that will grow your business and increase sales.

Use YouTube to:

  • Build trust with your audience
  • Regularly talk about your business and products in a friendly "behind the scenes way"
  • Demonstrate your subject matter knowledge

We Will cover:

  • How to replicate your customer experience online (mood, brand, attitude)
  • Building community by being yourself
  • How video fits in your brand and business
  • Planning content (lots of idea generation) Including short samples!
  • How to be yourself and comfortable on camera

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

YouTube for Business Workbook

Bonus Materials with RSVP

YouTube Resource Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Linda E

Tara Swiger was amazing! Clear, concise and so informative. I loved this course! I am so inspired to get going with my You Tube videos and feel confident with her plan of actions. Thank you Creative Live.

Jennie Powell

Tara made so many excellent points and has made me have a long list of actionable points to help to grow my YouTube presence! She has such a clarity of expression and a friendly manner that I find very easy to learn from.

Lori Rochino

Great video, lots of notes were taken as I got a lot of takeaways to use for my new Youtube channel. Thanks, Tara for a great class!