Your First 1,000 YouTube Subscribers: Case Study Interview with Marissa Romero (Transcript)

One of the toughest parts of building a successful YouTube channel is just getting your first 1,000 subscribers.

Once you hit that coveted 4-figure mark, the algorithm takes over and (as long as you keep posting consistently…) practically grows your channel for you.

But how can you get those first thousand??

This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 59. Listen to the episode here.

Marissa Romero:

The more you understand what makes the algorithm tick and the more you put it together in the beginning, the faster it’s going to grow in your favor. And so, that’s what’s cool about the algorithm and the fact that YouTube as a platform has several different traffic sources within itself. All these traffic sources that are just ready to work in your favor.

Gillian Perkins:

We became entrepreneurs because more than anything, we want freedom. We want to be in control of our own schedule, income, and life. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the reality of being a business owner. I’m Gillian Perkins, and I’m on a mission to take back entrepreneurship for what it’s supposed to be. In every episode, I’ll share with you how to get the most out of every hour you work so that you can work less and earn more. Let’s get to it.

Gillian Perkins:

Hi there, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the show. I’m joined today by Marissa Romero. Hi there, Marissa. Thank you so much for joining us.

Marissa Romero:

Thank you, Gillian.

Gillian Perkins:

Yes, absolutely. Marissa Romero is a YouTuber and creator. She has a YouTube channel that she’s grown to over 100,000 YouTube subscribers, where she talks about online business and building side hustled, building passive income, and also growing on YouTube, because she’s seen a lot of success in that area as well. In today’s interview, I’m going to be talking to her specifically about how she got her first 1,000 subscribers. I was telling her before we got started, that I know a lot of people when they’re first starting their channel and they’re getting those first 1,000 or they got them recently, nobody’s really asking them like, “How did you do it,” because they’re not seen as a big success yet.

Gillian Perkins:

After their channel grows, and they start sharing about their secrets to success and how they did their YouTube strategy, then they just talk about the growth that came later and how they’re continuing to grow. A lot of the time we don’t know how they got that first 1,000 and it can be a bit of a mystery. That’s what we’re going to be focusing at least the first half of today’s interview on. And then in the second half, we’ll be getting into some things that go a little bit beyond that, how she’s grown from 1,000 to where she is today. Just again, Marissa, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today.

Marissa Romero:

Yes, absolutely, Gillian. Thank you so much for having me on the show and I’m excited to talk all things YouTube and wherever this conversation takes us.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. Let’s get started by, could you just tell us a little bit about why you decided to start your YouTube channel? What was going on in your life that you were like, “Yeah, YouTube that’s for me.”

Getting Started With Youtube

Marissa Romero:

I do like to tell this story because it was in my, I call it my entrepreneurial dip, my point where it was do or die either you make something happen and make income come in, or you have to get a job again. Basically, going back to 2017, I had an e-commerce business. I had a couple of online stores and I was doing Shopify. And so, I was doing that business model. I was running Facebook ads, building up the stores, researching hot products. I had VAs helping me with fulfillment and stuff. And so, I reached a point in early-2018 where I had started my digital nomad journey. I had actually left the United States and I was like, “I’m going. I’m off. And I’m also selling my stores.” I was like, “Okay. Well, we’ll see what happens.” I got to Thailand and I had sold my stores.

Marissa Romero:

I was trying out different business models. I was just doing a little bit of coaching on the side where I could, just to make some revenue, but I was like, “Okay, so the bills are increasing. I’m in tens and thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt. Savings is going down very fast. I need to make something happen and I need to make something happen ASAP.” And so, I decided to go with YouTube because I saw the power behind the organic traffic. And I was like, “There’s creators on here that are just teaching what they know. Is kind of like a role model, I guess, based expert.” I’m like, “Well, if I could just teach what I know, because I knew a lot of marketing skills, I guess I could just grow my channel like that.”

Marissa Romero:

I was like, “I’m going to start and I’m just going to post as much as I can.” I posted almost every day for about two months. I remember getting my first sale with an affiliate product. It was a $33.50 sale. And I was like, “Wow, this is not a sign that I’m probably doing the right thing. I don’t know what it is.” I was like, “Okay, this works. YouTube traffic ‘works.'” That’s when I knew I was going to dedicate myself to building the channel bigger and better. So, that’s where the journey started for me.

Gillian Perkins:

Wow. I can relate to that so much because I had a similar little spark at the beginning that made me decide. What had happened for me was, I had started a channel a few years before and it was totally just a hobby. Just like, “I’m just going to throw some videos up.” This looks fun. And I had no strategy at all, but even though I had no strategy and honestly my videos were horrible, I still had a couple of videos take off. The one that got the most got like 500,000 views. And this was with me not trying out. My channel didn’t grow because nobody wanted to subscribe for the trash that I was putting out there, but I just saw that that power of it where you could get all this free traffic. I can just really relate to that. When I was then trying to build my business later on, and I was like, “I need customers. Where can I find customers? I don’t have a budget for advertising. Oh yeah. YouTube.” That was where I went to.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah, totally treatable, because I actually started blogging even before that, when I was still in the 95. And I didn’t know I was going to be an entrepreneur, I was daily blogging and like I had no intent of making it a business, but no, my videos would see crickets. And I was just like, “Yeah, I’m blogging my daily content, my trip to the river and my LASIK surgery, just all types of random stuff. And that was definitely not going to last. So, I can relate.

Gillian Perkins:

You said you were posting videos every single day. Wow. That is commitment. And that also sounds like a lot of work. Can you tell me a little bit more about how that was working?


Posting to Youtube Everyday

Marissa Romero:

They were not the fancy videos that you see now on my channel. This wasn’t 4K, this was not send the video to my editor and script or nothing. It was embarrassing to think about it now, but I just literally used my, whatever it was, iPhone 7 at the time, the built-in web camera that I have in my laptop, and that’s it. It was just non-scripted. I would get up on camera and film a 10-ish, 15-minute video and just upload it and post. I would add a thumbnail, so that’s good. It was definitely a lot of bad practices that I wish I would’ve known back then, but I was putting it up. The content was getting up.

Marissa Romero:

For me, that’s how I was able to get approved for the YouTube partnership program fast because that generated 1,000 subscribers. I got the watch hours within, I think it was about two and a half months. And I was just like, “Whoa. Holy crap.” I think my first AdSense check was around $900. And I’m like, “This is a huge payday for me because …”

Gillian Perkins:

Wow. That’s proof that you grew really fast at the beginning because a lot of the time people’s first AdSense checks are for $100 because that’s the threshold when you’ll get a check. Right?

Marissa Romero:

Right.

Gillian Perkins:

That means that in that month, when you started making money basically, the money didn’t slowly trickle and you suddenly earned like almost $900. That’s really cool.

Marissa Romero:

I agree. I could not believe it. I was just like, because I’d gone from not being able to pay my bills to being able to breathe again and be like, “Okay, great. Wow. I have this income.” And I was starting to make more affiliate commission. The situation was improving a lot.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. Yeah. You said you were doing a lot of “bad practices” with your videos because you weren’t very strategic about how you were creating them. It sounds like you weren’t editing them much or at all. You were just making them and throwing them up there. Even though I agree, not ideal, especially long-term. Kudos to you for just getting started, having a messy beginning and just getting to work without waiting until everything was perfect.

Marissa Romero:

Right. That’s the thing, it’s when people … There has to be that, whether it’s a financial situation or whether it’s another need to start, it’s like you have to have that go hard mentality in the beginning. I don’t expect anybody to, I don’t advise people to post every day. That’s insane. That’s not healthy. I do tell people to start it, like it’s do or die and that you have no other choice and you’re going to make it work. You’re going to see through the first slow six, nine months and just give it all you got for a year. That’s what I say to people.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. I wouldn’t advise posting once a day either, but I do see some really good things that came from it because when I’m coaching people and starting their channels so often, because they have like a whole week to make every video, they try to spend a whole week making every video and it becomes this really complicated process, and they just get in over their head too fast. They’re trying to make their first couple of videos. They’ve no experience with it yet. And then they’re trying to make this giant production. It can be overwhelming. And that it can be extremely time consuming. I see that it was good for you to start really simple and to not overwhelm yourself at the beginning.

Gillian Perkins:

And then it also, you’ve got a lot of practice in right there at the beginning, because you were doing every day, you got your process down packed. Whereas when you make a video like once a week, you know what happens is once a week you sit down to do this thing you haven’t done for a week. That’s new and foreign to you all over again. It was a great way I think, to get your feet wet and to be really committed, but without being too overwhelmed, because if we tried to make a video every day right now with our current processes, that would be insanity. That would be so unhealthy, but if we sat down to talk to her WebPAM and then hit upload, maybe it took 15 minutes to design a thumbnail in Canva, we could do that.

Marissa Romero:

Exactly.

Gillian Perkins:

Maybe we don’t want to keep doing it forever like that, but it would be pretty easy to fit into a schedule.

Marissa Romero:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s just like any other … Like if somebody has a coach for something, you can’t just magically in a month or even two months just have the habits that this expert has, it’s impossible. And I think that’s where people get stuck, is they try to incorporate everything all at once. And it’s just like, you can’t start with just uploading five to eight-minute videos and go from there. Establish those habits first of just getting into a routine and then naturally over several months, everything is going to improve altogether really.

Gillian Perkins:

Well, maybe your getting started strategy wasn’t perfect. I do think that there were so many good things that you did and so many lessons that other people can learn with how you kept things so simple, how you were so consistent. Talk to me a little bit about just the growth that you saw because it sounds like it happened pretty fast, you said about like two and a half months. Aside from just posting every day you said you did some things wrong, what did you do right? What were some things that really contributed to that growth?


Growing on Youtube

Marissa Romero:

Oh, that’s a great question.

Gillian Perkins:

Well, let me ask you this. Was it completely organic, you just put the videos on YouTube and then clicked out of YouTube? Or did you tell anyone about the videos? Did you promote them somehow at all?

Marissa Romero:

Yeah. I guess a couple of the things I did that were good was I had good titles. I had good titles with a lot of keywords in them. I had secondary keywords. I had a description with links, affiliate links and other keywords in there as well. I think that that was good because a lot of people can miss that in the beginning. I had the thumbnails, those were good things. And also one thing that I was doing was looking at my analytics, even though I didn’t understand them as good as I did back then as I do now, of course, but I would look at the analytics and I would say like, “Oh, this one, this video about Instagram marketing did pretty well. Maybe I should make another one,” something like that. Those were things that I think I did pretty well the first three to four months that I was on YouTube.

Gillian Perkins:

Okay. The first thing I’m hearing is consistency. You were super consistent. And then after that, it sounds like you were pretty focused on keyword research and YouTube SEO and ranking on YouTube. And that was where you put most of your attention. Is that right?

Marissa Romero:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I would say I started to post not as frequently. I think I went down to posting like three times in a week because I was getting better at duplicating my top content, I guess you could say, and putting a little bit more care into the script and what I was going to say and actually having bullet points and things to talk about. Yeah, that’s what I would say.

Gillian Perkins:

I see. So, basically when you first started, you had this like scattershot approach of like, “Let’s just put the content out there, let’s see what works.” And then as you started to see what worked, then you double down on those topics, those keywords that you saw were working, and so you focused on creating gradually like higher and higher quality content and less content. Is that right?

Marissa Romero:

Yeah, I would say that’s right.

Gillian Perkins:

Okay. Aside from those things you’ve mentioned so far, is there anything else that you did to get those first 1,000 subscribers? I mentioned like, did you promote the videos at all? Were you sharing links to them on Instagram, on Facebook? Were you telling people in real life?

Marissa Romero:

I wasn’t. I wasn’t, but I should have. I think it’s just something I didn’t know to do. My thumbnails were a hot mess because at first I was doing them and I’m not a graphic designer at all. I had no sense of branding, so it was just like one thumbnail would be purple and yellow. The next would be tidal. Who knows [crosstalk 00:15:05]?

Gillian Perkins:

Been there, been there.

Marissa Romero:

And so, I wasn’t doing those things and a lot of times people, they’ll have a Facebook group or a fan page or an Instagram account and they’ll think like, “Oh, I only have 600 followers or whatever,” but I tell people it’s so great in the beginning, if you can, just repurpose content of little clips of your YouTube video and put those on IGTV because we know that IGTV is your only evergreen content where you can have a link forever and in there, so that you can have more traffic going to your video. I do think if you promote it on Instagram, Twitter, your Facebook, TikTok, oh my gosh, I just started Tiktok last week and you can’t ignore the virality. Wherever you are to cross-promote your YouTube channel that’s a great, great tactic. YouTube, the algorithm really likes that too.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. Again, I hear you saying like, “I made some mistakes at the beginning. I should’ve been sharing it more.” Yes, but at the same time, doesn’t that just show the amazing power of the YouTube algorithm, the fact that you were able to grow your audience that fast and get just that much visibility just on YouTube alone without doing anything else? I think that is an awesome, just like inspirational thing for people who are thinking about starting YouTube to hear, because a lot of them ask me like, “Oh, do I need to post it on Instagram? Do I need to post on Facebook? Do I need to go on TikTok or something like that?

Gillian Perkins:

Again, they’re trying to over-complicate it too soon. They have this fear that they don’t have a big audience. How is this ever going to grow? Because telling people on Instagram, it’s not going to help that much since there’s nobody there yet. What you’re telling us is that you got started and YouTube did this on its own. You put the content into YouTube and YouTube grew your audience for you, which is just so cool.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah. It’s great because back in … Well, I don’t think either one of us were on YouTube back in 2012, 2010. The algorithm was just based off of one factor, like views, getting views, that’s it. But now we know what the algorithm wants. It has a checklist of factors that it goes through, like a click through rate and the view of velocity and just posting frequency. The more you understand what makes the algorithm tick and the more you put it together in the beginning, the faster it’s going to grow in your favor. That’s what’s cool about the algorithm and the fact that YouTube as a platform has several different traffic sources within itself. There’s the search bar, there’s notification, there’s suggested traffic, all these traffic sources that are just ready to work in your favor.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah, absolutely. It is such an amazing ecosystem that they’ve created. A lot of people I think can get down on YouTube about how the algorithm doesn’t work, how they want it to, or it definitely has its glitches has its problems. I think we can all agree on that, but there’s no doubt about it that they’ve just built something that is an incredible system for suggesting content to people that people will enjoy. And that just gives this huge opportunity for people to become creators and to create that content that people will enjoy and get found, which doesn’t happen on just about any other platforms. So, I love it.

Marissa Romero:

Right, exactly.

Gillian Perkins:

Okay. Getting back to your YouTube journey, can you tell me about any challenges you faced during that first year of trying to grow your channel?

Youtube Challenges

Marissa Romero:

Challenges in the first year? I got to a point where I wanted to level up the quality of the videos. I definitely saw a need for that. I think the biggest obstacle during that first year was going from iMovie to learning Final Cut Pro and then thinking to myself, “I could be an amazing editor. I think editing is super fun, but I’m just not the best. There’s people out there that can do it for me and that can make my videos look really good.” I think that the challenge there was finding an editor or a team that I could trust because I had tried editors on Fiverr and they were doing no better than I could do. I’m like, “Okay, this is frustrating.”

Marissa Romero:

I guess the hardest part was trusting in the team that I finally did choose and trusting in the investment I was making, that it would in return have such a greater results and not being scared to invest there because a lot of people think like, “Oh man, if editing is going to cost me $500 a month or $1,000 a month, ah, I’m not sure if I want to do that.” You just have to trust that that’s so much of your time that you’re getting back to do other things in your business.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. I can relate to that too. I tried to outsource a few things in my business prior to that. And at least while I had had a team of employees with my local business, when I tried to take my business online and I was working with people remotely, I just found that to be a whole different ball game and really difficult to communicate with them about what I actually needed them to do and have it be profitable really, to have them be saving me more time than they were costing me. The thing that finally I was able to outsource, the first thing, was video editing and it was after trying a few different video editors, just like you were saying on Fiverr and being frustrated with it. And then finally I found someone on Upwork who was a good communicator and that was probably their number one good skill.

Gillian Perkins:

They were also pretty good editor, but they were a good communicator. I could talk to them like a human and they understood what I was looking for. At that point I’d had my channel for around a year or so and I’d been doing all the editing myself. I wasn’t yet making so much money that this was just extra money I had. Like, “Oh, this money, I don’t know what to do with it. I guess I’ll invest it back into my business by hiring someone.” That wasn’t what happened. It was just, my channel was making more than I was paying the editor. That was the only math that was going on. And I was like, “I need to get my time back so now I can build the business around this channel.”

Marissa Romero:

Exactly.

Gillian Perkins:

I think that hiring an editor is. I always tell people that I recommend that they start by editing their videos themselves just so that they can at least get their feet wet, see what it’s like, try to figure out what they’re looking for, but then after they do a little bit, if they are not planning on doing it long-term, it is really good to hire someone because editing is just the most time consuming part of the process of making YouTube videos.

Marissa Romero:

Exactly. I can’t agree more. Being an editor isn’t something you want to really level up and be super good at. Yeah, definitely I agree with you, let it go.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. I was spending probably four hours editing each video and then I outsourced it to someone who could do it better for me in about half the time. He would spend like two hours. Even though I was paying him at that time more than my time was worth per hour, it was fewer hours, and so the math worked out. The math made sense and it really helped me to be able to grow.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah. Nice.

Speaker 3:

The episode you’re currently listening to was originally offered as a livestream inside Startup Society, our training program for digital entrepreneurs. Each week in the program, Gillian teaches a live workshop for Startup members, including a teaching segment, like what you’re listening to right now, a tutorial segment that demonstrates how to take action on the lesson and an open Q&A period where Gillian and guest experts work directly with each member. Members also get access to Startup Society’s library of business training courses, monthly co-working sessions and other events and our private community forum. If you’re looking for affordable business training, mentorship, and accountability, then visit startupsociety.com/podcast to learn more about the program and apply to join. Now, here’s Gillian with the rest of today’s episode.

Gillian Perkins:

Thank you so much for everything that you’ve shared about how you’ve gotten this first 1,000. Like I said earlier, I just think it’s such an amazing testimony to the power of YouTube and it can be so inspirational to people who are thinking of starting with thinking, “Oh, but I don’t have any traction yet. I don’t have an audience yet. How do I go from here to that first 1,000?” The answer is the algorithm. It’s amazing. We just need to show up and be consistent, find the right keywords and go after, just make those videos on a regular basis about the topics that people are looking for. Now, I’d like to transition a little bit here and talk about what you’ve done to grow from that first 1,000 to where you are right now. How many subscribers do you have at the moment?

Marissa Romero:

152,000 subscribers.

Gillian Perkins:

Oh wow. You’re growing so fast. That’s so cool. Last time I looked you were at 125. So, that’s awesome. Amazing. What has changed? Talk about that first. What has changed from your strategy at the beginning to the strategy that you’re using today?


Youtube Thumbnails

Marissa Romero:

Yes. I would say that thumbnails are-

Gillian Perkins:

Thumbnails matter? What? Crazy.

Marissa Romero:

Thumbnail strategy has changed and that’d probably be the number one thing. And I would also say going for suggested traffic as opposed to keyword search traffic. For me, I don’t think, and this is something that is more for advanced YouTubers. You can’t just go for suggested traffic in the beginning. I guess with thumbnails, that is part of the strategy to get into suggested traffic and to get into the play next video position on other people’s channels. That is, I think the first thing I would tell somebody is maybe have a graphic designer or somebody give you a thumbnail style guide. And that’s what I did in about summer of 2019 when someone told me like, “You should just have one style.” I’m like, “One style?”

Marissa Romero:

Well, I thought that my audience would get bored and that my thumbnails had to look different all the time. I’m like, “No, I can’t just have one style.” And so that’s what I did. You can see in my analytics that it made the difference. The AdSense revenue went up, views, subscribers, because I had a sense of branding. I picked three colors and I just stuck with that and that was it. And I was like, “Wow.” And I had my first viral video on the channel because of that. I had a work from home video that went viral. Then after that, I later on about maybe six months later, I invested into a full branding identity and branding style guide, which goes in deeper into who your audience is, your logo and your colors and that. That also made another huge difference.

Marissa Romero:

I think the point is you just constantly look at how you can level up in your niche and make your intros better. That’s the other thing, is retention. Are you holding people that first minute of your video? How many people are leaving and clicking off your video in that first minute? Obviously people are always going to leave. That’s just how it is statistically, but can you hold 50% of people during that first minute? Can you hold 60 or 70? And so, those are the things where you start to focus on. Once you have that habit developed, you start to look at those fine tune things that really make a bigger difference over time. And it’s less effort on your part really at the end of the day, when your thumbnails are converting higher. And when you’re doing things during your video that are holding the retention longer.

Gillian Perkins:

I cannot agree more, thumbnails are so, so important. And I definitely think that people should figure out a way because I have a few different strategies I share with people about how to get their thumbnails looking consistent, but it is so important. And so many people just try to freestyle and just design each thumbnail as its own thing. Like, “Let’s try to make this thumbnail look as good as it can.” But not only are they missing the mark with the one thumbnail, but all the thumbnails don’t go together at all. And it does help your channel so much when your thumbnails look consistent, when people really see your channel as having high quality content and it starts with what they see when they just visit your channel page. Right?

Marissa Romero:

Exactly, exactly.

Gillian Perkins:

You were also talking about, how one of the strategies that’s really changed for you is a shift from focusing on just search traffic to now focusing more on suggested traffic. Aside from thumbnails, what else are you doing to try to get more into suggested?


Youtube Strategy

Marissa Romero:

One strategy is just modeling after viral topics or titles. That’s not really to say copying the videos. It’s more like, if you see a video that’s like, how to lose weight fast after pregnancy 10 tips, and you see that that video is viral. It’s got a million views in six months and it’s on the first page of YouTube, all that stuff. That’s a good indicator of a title that you can do. People ask like, “Well, do you copy the exact same title?” Well, you can switch up, if it’s 10 tips, make it five or how to lose weight postpartum fast or something, switch up maybe one or two things in the title. The idea is the same that you can choose. It’s not about reinventing the wheel. And that’s what I think people get hung up on is like, “Oh, I got to have …”

Gillian Perkins:

Got to be special. I got to invent something. You don’t.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah, right.

Gillian Perkins:

Good ideas are out there. Most big stores that are making lots of money like Walmart or Target or something like that, they’re not making money by inventing a new product. They’re making money by selling a product that has demand for it. We can look YouTube and we can study YouTube, study the content on YouTube. We can see what types of content there are demand for, and we can create those same types of content on our channel. It doesn’t mean we’re copying people. It means we’re learning from what topics are performing well.

Marissa Romero:

Exactly. It’s the same. I know this isn’t about TikTok, but it’s kind of the same. With TikTok I was so scared. I’m like, “I have to dance. And I have to, some of these wild things.” And it’s like, no, just there’s topics that are popular in my niche. And I’m like, “Okay, well use the same title. Use the same hashtags and just make it your own, make it your own version. And that’s how you get it going. It’s the same that applies with the popular videos that are already doing really, really well on YouTube.

Gillian Perkins:

That was one of the things I focused on the most heavily, right when I was starting and even a few months before I was starting. I was just like studying YouTube. What is working on YouTube? What kind of content are people watching? And I was just making lots of lists. I love to make lists. And so making lists was my way of doing research. I was just making lists of videos that I noticed were performing well. And what about them was performing well? What about it did I like? And I just started there with like really studying as a platform. And then that put me in a position to be able to make content that was a lot more strategic than like I said, I had had this channel in the past that was so not strategic. We had different approaches when we got started.

Gillian Perkins:

I was like, “Study, study, study, study, study.” And then I still had a messy beginning, but it was like a slightly informed, messy beginning. And you were like, “Let’s just go for it. Post a video every single day.” And then you went into study, study, study where you were really trying to figure out what worked on the platform.

Marissa Romero:

Right. Yeah. It’s funny because I feel like those are two types of people. There’s someone that will take 74 measurements and you’re like, “Wait, I’m not sure. Let me just get it.” And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not. It’s like, you got to just give yourself a date and just no matter what happens, just go and do it.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. I think it’s important that you know yourself because some people will get in that research mode and they will get stuck there forever. They’ll over-analyze and they’ll never get started. For me, I know I’m just like a researcher type person, but I always do get started. I just need to give myself some time. I need to know how much time I’m giving myself, but I need to give myself a little time to get to know what I’m doing and then I’ll jump in and I’ll be all in. It helps me to be able to play on, I think when I know what I’m getting myself into, but like I said, people have to involve themselves because if you’re going to be the kind of person who just gets in research mode for too long and never gets going because of that, then it would be better for you to just jump in like Marissa did.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah. Yeah. I, yes, completely 100% agree.

Gillian Perkins:

Thanks for listening to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Before we wrap this up, listen into this question, a Startup Society member asked during the live stream.

Youtube Style

Gillian Perkins:

Let’s see. A question from Tomlin Campbell. He said, “How did you develop your YouTube style? I noticed your style is playfully fashionable and that you’re fun and easy to listen to. Plus you’ve got a lot of moving images and sound effects in your videos. How did your YouTube brand evolve?”

Marissa Romero:

Oh, that’s really nice. Thank you for that. For me, the biggest thing was just being vulnerable and being myself because there’s nobody else that you can be except yourself. Sometimes you see another creator in YouTube and you’re saying, “Man, I want to make videos like that.” But you just can’t, you really can’t. And so, it’s best to just embrace your personality and who you are because to me, even so I look at my videos, I’m like, “Man, I sound boring or I sound dull.” You’re always your big critic, but if you’re being vulnerable and being real about the journey you’re on and what value you’re giving, that is going to make people love you and the brand, honestly. That’s the number one thing I can recommend.

Marissa Romero:

And as far as the editing, the graphics and everything, that evolves over time because if you start editing your videos yourself, you’ll learn simple things like titles, doing cuts and cutting out the fluff. You’ll learn lower thirds. You’ll learn subtitles. You’ll learn how to add B-roll and stuff like that. The editor is supposed to be better than you. The idea is they take your video and make it look good. A good editor will always try to level up their videos, they will.

Gillian Perkins:

Tomlin responded in the comments of the live stream. And he said, “No way, you really are not boring.” I think that everyone sees both sides of this. Okay. Everyone feels like they are boring when they watch their videos. Objectively, if you watch someone’s raw video most … Like right now, we’ve got this nice dynamic with an interview where we get to go back and forth and it makes it more fun and punchy. But if I just sit there and just talk to a camera, especially if it’s a longer thing like a YouTube video, it’s going to get boring if you just watch the raw video. In fact, I would say that most people would have trouble sitting through mine or yours raw videos. They’d get bored while they’re watching them because it is long, it is slow, there is pauses, there are stumbles.

Gillian Perkins:

It’s not fun or exciting or fast paced at all. And the editing helps so much. To everyone who’s listening right now and thinking like, “Well, you guys are fun on camera. You guys have a lot to say. You guys are well-spoken.” But when I get on camera, I stumble around and I am boring. It’s not the difference between us and them. It’s not the difference between us and the people who are listening? It’s the difference between right now we’re doing an interview and it’s the difference between the editing really. The editing brings so much life to a raw video. And I don’t think that you can imagine how much of a difference that makes until you have a professional editor or someone who knows what they’re doing, touch your video and you see the before and after for yourself.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah. And the other thing, Gillian is you have hundreds of videos public on your channel, right?

Gillian Perkins:

Oh yeah.

Marissa Romero:

We’ve practiced hundreds of hours, like thousands of hours doing this. That’s what it is too.

Gillian Perkins:

For sure.

Marissa Romero:

You’re developing this skill of public speaking and camera confidence, all of these things, each video you get better and better. That’s another huge component is we’ve practiced so, so much.

Gillian Perkins:

It reminds me of that expression, you can’t compare your day one to someone else’s day 1,000 or something like that. If you’re just getting started and you’re feeling awkward, well, don’t compare that to my video or to Marissa’s video today because we started there too really.

Marissa Romero:

100%.

Gillian Perkins:

I think that the change comes both from, I mean yes, from repetition, but both from getting comfortable and just naturally getting more confident on camera. And also the intentional changes that you make when you then edit or watch your videos and you see things you don’t like about them and things that you like about them. And you decide to make these intentional changes like, “Oh, I need to move my lighting. I should be talking a little faster. Oops. I was talking too fast. I need to slow down. I need to pace myself a little bit more.” Just all the things and that can only happen as you have all these videos to watch and you can analyze them yourself.

Marissa Romero:

Exactly.

Gillian Perkins:

Marissa, before we wrap this up, what is your best advice for someone who is thinking about starting a YouTube channel right now, or maybe they just got started? What would be your best advice? Something maybe you wish you had done that now would have grown your channel faster.

Marissa Romero:

Yeah. I would say maybe the top three things is, one, just get into that mentality that you’re excited to get into a big pool of this traffic. YouTube is competitive, but that’s really great news for you. Get into this mentality that you’re super excited to just join and everyone at the top could win. There’s room. Everyone at the top could win. There’s no such thing as a saturated market or topic or audience. Go in there and get it. Your brand is going to succeed eventually. The second thing would be branding, not like your whole full branding identity, but just maybe a guide, a color palette for your thumbnails. I would say plan that out. That is a really great thing to plan in the beginning. And then also just strategically plan your first 15 to 20 titles on your channel and make them relevant to the niche that you’re in and just make sure that they have good things like keywords in them, that’s good.

Gillian Perkins:

Keywords are good, yeah. Great advice, Marissa. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today and just for everything you’ve shared with us, I know this was really insightful. I’ve seen so many amazing comments on the live stream about how helpful people found this interview. Thank you so much for taking the time and just for everything you’ve shared with us.

Marissa Romero:

Thank you. It was a pleasure and honor to be here. Thank you so much.

Gillian Perkins:

All right. Well, that is everything for today. Thank you so much for joining me for today’s episode. If you found this episode helpful and you would like to participate live in future recording sessions, then be sure to visit startupsociety.com/podcast to learn more about all the benefits of membership and apply to join. And finally, it would be a big help if you left Work Less, Earn More a review on Apple podcasts. Not only will this help us reach more people, but it’s also going to give you the chance to potentially win a 12-month membership to Startup Society.

Gillian Perkins:

All you need to do to enter is post your review on Apple podcasts, then email a screenshot to contact@gillianperkins.com. Thanks again so much for listening. Now, let’s wrap this up. I’m Gillian Perkins. And until next week, stay focused and take action.

Sean McMullin