Do you want to be more productive on YouTube whilst maintaining a great work/life balance? On this week's episode of TubeTalk we talk to Rachel Bennett of The Ohana Adventure about doing just that.
We all know that it takes a lot of work to manage one YouTube channel, so you can imagine how much work it takes to manage eight YouTube channels plus a stable of social media feeds, including Instagram and TikTok. If you want to know what the best tips and tricks are to be productive and be effective with your YouTube channel, this week’s episode is exactly for you.
As a YouTube creator myself, I understand the amount of work that goes into creating your channel. You have to do your research. You have to shoot your video. You have to edit. You have to put a thumbnail together, plus create titles, tags, descriptions, and then after you upload, the work doesn't stop. You have to do your social media. You have to go get those brand deals. So how do we do this? How do we do all of this whilst some of us have full- time jobs? How do we manage the two worlds?
I put these questions to Rachel Bennett, a very, very busy mom from The Ohana Adventure, whose channel that has nearly three million subscribers at time of recording. Not only that, her children have their own channels with hundreds and thousands of subscribers. How does Rachel balance home life, kids' activities, and a very, very busy schedule, and still be successful? In this podcast you will learn 6 killer tips:
How keyword and competitor research is the foundation to YouTube productivity
Why failing to plan is planning to fail
Why You Should Start every shoot with a positive, professional attitude
How to manage multiple channels or video projects
How to leverage content across different social channels
How to keep on top of your key metrics so you can pitch to brands
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Liron Segev: I mean, most people struggle with literally just one channel. You're doing this time and time again. So today what we want to do is I want to ask you how it's possible. I mean, there's only so many hours in a day. How do you manage to get through this all? Where do you start?
Rachel Bennett: I heard a quote a long time ago that said if you want something done, you give it to a busy person. That's actually been a little bit of my motivation as we added one channel on top of another because once you've got a flow, workflow in, then you kind of know how it's done, and you just kind of squeeze it in. But we'll get to all of that, I guess.
Liron Segev: So I think maybe the easiest way of doing this since you do so much, let's dissect your week or a portion of your day. Where do you start? You wake up in the morning. You're ready to attack the day. Now what?
Rachel Bennett: Well, as the kids are going about their day, I carve out a little bit of time for research. So research is what makes the whole flow happen. We sit down. I either sit down with Jase, and we kind of talk about things that are doing well. I look at what's doing well on our channel.
Now, that is key for growing YouTube, is learning what your audience likes and researching your analytics to say, "Oh, they really liked this video. That's what's popping," then also going to maybe similar channels and researching what they do and seeing what type of videos work for them. If that's popping for them and you have similar content, it will probably pop for you.
So we go ahead, and I write down similar channels. I write down all the things that are popping for them, what's popping for us, just a few ideas, and then we sit down as a family. This is probably only once or twice a week. We sit down, and we say, "Okay, guys, here's a few ideas I have. What do you know that's popping? What do you know on teen content, this is what's working, or what about the kid content? What works for that? What about the mom content?" Even my teenager will be like, "Oh, I saw so-and-so do this on their mom channel, and it looked really cool. You should do that, too."
So we have a little pow-wow. We write down everybody's ideas, and with the ideas that I've already written down, we kind of hash out a plan of attack.
Liron Segev: Okay. So everybody contributes, and I think it's very smart, getting everybody's input because they're in touch with what they like. If they like it, odds are pretty good that other teens are going to like that.
Rachel Bennett: Yes. All of our channels, we speak to audiences that are the entire family. So one channel is more teen content. Another channel is more kid content. Another channel is moms, dads, and so on. So we want their feedback, because if they're not going to watch it, then we don't create it.
Liron Segev: Okay, that's smart. If they're not going to watch it, we don't create it, which basically means that they're kind of almost the filter. So would you reject kind of some of the kids' ideas? Would they reject some of your ideas?
Rachel Bennett: Oh, for sure. There is definitely tons of rejection going on. I will be so pumped on an idea, and I'm like, "Oh, this is going to be fantastic. It's working on this other person's channel. It's doing well. It looks like it's popping." I go and I bring it to the family, and most of the time, the teens are like, "Yeah, no. No, it's not going to happen."
If they are totally thumbs-down, "We don't want to do it," then we don't do it. We don't do it. Occasionally, if they're like, "It sounds okay," but if I feel like it's really something that's working on other people's channels that is similar to ours, then we do it anyway.
We go to them for their feedback so that they get excited about what we're filming as well as if it is their idea or they put their input in. Then they're going to naturally go, "Oh, this is my part. I want to do this" or "Oh, I really love this part. I'm excited to be in this video," whereas if it's only Mom's idea every single time .they will lose enthusiasm, and that projects onto the screen.
Liron Segev: So do you see that happening if they're not into an idea and they're going along with it in any way?
Rachel Bennett: Oh, yes. That person will naturally fade into the background, either through editing, or we just kind of know, "Oh, they're not into it," or they're just kind of in a bad mood. Everybody has bad moods, bad days.
With that, we let them have their day. They're kind of onscreen once in a while so that our viewers know they're still there and nothing's wrong. But they just don't want to be in this video, particularly, or maybe they get out in the challenge early on.
Liron Segev: Okay. So it's okay. So you kind of almost have a yes, no approach.
Rachel Bennett: Yeah.
Liron Segev: I think it's pretty important to have everybody's buy-in. It translates into what the video comes out as.
Rachel Bennett: Yes. If you as a female, you're a mom out there and you have a family and you're wanting to create content with your family, I think it is a key balance to include the family, because if you are creating content that's just on the sidelines, where the family's occasionally in it, then that's totally fine.
They don't have to necessarily have all the input. But when it is a full family-type business like ours where we have channels for every child, every age, it is key to get the whole family on board, because you want that enthusiasm, you need that input, and to make your normal, everyday flow, it's key to have that input there so that they know what's going on, as well as listening to their needs and wants as a mom, as well as a CEO.
Liron Segev: I love the idea of having that safe space, where it's okay for them to say no.
Rachel Bennett: Yes. They don't have to be in every video. They want to take a week off of videos, that's totally fine. But that's why we try to make it fun. We try to make it engaging with them so that they want to be involved in most of the videos.
Liron Segev: Got it. Okay. So we've had the discussion. We kind of have an idea of what you want to shoot. What's the next kind of plan of action, plan of attack?
Rachel Bennett: Okay, well, once we've written this all down, we need to work it into the schedule, and we get that shot list ready. So I go back. I have my time while the kids are doing something else. I write down a shot list. We figure out, what are the key points that's going to make this video pop? What's going to make it really funny? I write down comedy little strips of like, "Okay, this would be really funny if this happens."
A lot of times, my shot list might only be three points. The intro, okay, we have to play this one game, and, of course, the outro where I wrap it up. Sometimes I just let it flow how it is and things will happen. Then as things happen, as we're filming, I kind of, oh, come up with something, and we've got to put that in there. Other times, I have a full, detailed shot list, where it's just the type of video that needs that. If it is my mom content, I've got to have my points on how we do this, this, this, and that, and we make sure I cover it.
Or if it is a kid content, I do have more shot lists, because they need to know what happens next. They're beginning with their storylines. They don't see the whole picture in their head. So we write down the shot list of, "Oh, here's the ten scenes, the ten steps that need to happen throughout this story."
Liron Segev: So your shot list is almost the plan of action.
Rachel Bennett: Yes.
Liron Segev: "So I'm going to need to make sure that I cover these five points. I need to make sure, if it's a brand deal, perhaps," and we'll talk about brand deals a little bit later, but if it's a brand deal, you'll need to make sure that you've included all those.
Rachel Bennett: Oh, yes. Brand deals have many more points. So those ones, we make sure that we hit the topics. But every video can be a little bit different than the rest as long as you feel that it's covering what you wanted, the idea of the video, to happen.
Liron Segev: Okay. So it's all about proper planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Rachel Bennett: Oh, snap. Yes, there it is.
Liron Segev: Okay, cool. So I have my shot list. We know what we're doing. Everybody's onboard. What's next?
Rachel Bennett: Oh, well, first, there are meltdowns. That always happens. I'm just kidding. Right before we shoot, we try to get into that positive attitude. You've got to be ready to go. So it's mostly me. If I am the one filming, then you've got to be in an excited attitude. I've actually been on set with a bunch of different companies and brands, and we try to take pointers from them.
So I've noticed that say, the director, always friendly, comes up and talks to you, "How you feeling?", portrays the idea of what's going to happen. So we've already done that with the children. "Okay, this is the feel of today. This is what's going to happen." They know what's going to happen, and then they have enthusiasm. "Oh, that was really, really great. Let's do it again." Right?
Some scenes, you have to reshoot. We don't actually reshoot a ton on our family content, unless it totally flops, or with the brands, we do reshoot. But they just have to have a positive attitude. We get going on this shot list, and we try to plow through and get as much as we can do. We have a lot of food, or we break for food, because we don't want hangry people.
Liron Segev: Yeah. Because you're shooting with your entire family, and your kids' ages, what are they?
Rachel Bennett: Okay. So our oldest is 16. So we have 16, 14, 13, 11, 9, and 7.
Liron Segev: Okay. So that's a lot of people to keep happy.
Rachel Bennett: Hangry is not a thing. So we always have food on hand, and when I notice someone starting to whine, it's probably because they're hungry so we go straight to the food. We try not to film at night because we get tired, or we try not to film super early, because, again, tired or hungry.
But, truly, those are the things that balance out most of the kids, and we also give rewards. So okay, if we get these things done, we have an incentive. You can go play with your friends afterward, or it's Friday. We're going to have a movie night, or, truly, a lot of our challenges have a prize. It may not be exactly what we say onscreen. I'm not giving my kids $1000, guys. It's not happening.
But I do give them an incentive, like tonight you get to choose the movie or maybe you get a date with Mom and Dad, or sometimes I will give them days off from school. "Okay, I have a certificate, and you get a day off from school, some chores," whatever. So that usually keeps them happy and excited to film every day, or mostly every day.
Liron Segev: But you want them to bring their best so that you're rewarding them, but you're also rewarding your audience, which, at the end of the day, is what this is all about.
Rachel Bennett: Yes. We want to give them the best. If we are all enthusiastic, all the actors in our family are enthusiastic, the video comes out better, and, obviously, it gets a better content overall for our viewer. That's the key.
Liron Segev: So the one thing I wanted to ask you, because you've got kids and kind of the older, kind of the young, they're boys and girls, what do you do when it comes to keeping the kids safe, especially when you're shooting outdoors? Do you get recognized a lot? What do you do, as far as that's concerned?
Rachel Bennett: This is a big question we get all the time about safety. So I find that we've taken different precautions. So we do not film in front of our house. We don't want people to know where we live. Our PO box is kind of far from where we live, so we try to keep that a little bit separate. But we try to keep our names off of things like that. That's one major just precaution, keeping the kids safe like that.
But when we do go in public, we're always there. We like to meet our fans. We love it when people come up. We love it even if they're in our video. We appreciate that. So we don't mind having people approach us, but we're always precautious. We're always there. We make sure the parents are there. But the hard thing is actually on social media. We do a lot on Instagram, Facebook.
The kids don't have Twitter. But we do a lot of different social media platforms, and, with that, we are very precautious. The kids are allowed to post on Instagram. The teenagers have their own phones. But we have a DM rule. No one is allowed to DM, as well as emails and things like that. We have a business email for the children, and that's what's out there. Then they have personal email. So if they have friends that they want to email, they give them their personal email, as well as phone numbers. They give them their personal phone numbers.
We specifically tell our kids they're not allowed to DM. So if they meet somebody and it's a friend, we have to trust them enough to give them our phone number. That's how they communicate. They're not allowed to DM anybody, friends, teachers, people at all, because there is a lot of predators that come, and they come through on the DM. There's so many articles out there that I suggest people read. It gets really gnarly.
So we just cut that out completely. They reply to comments. That's it. They reply on YouTube, but we do not message in any form.
Liron Segev: Okay. That's smart. I mean, DM is where the weird happens.
Rachel Bennett: It's true. Sadly, as it is, it is a place where fans can connect. But just for safety, we try to connect through only comments and not through messages.
Liron Segev: But even on their own social media, the older ones have their own social media. So they upload themselves onto Instagram?
Rachel Bennett: Yes. We have full access to that. So it does say parent-monitored or parent-run. All the younger kids' are parent-run. I have the phone. They have to ask me. They post, whereas the teenagers, they have their own phones. They post regularly. They do stories, all of that. But I have it on my phone or an extra phone that we have in our home, where I can frequently check the messages, as well as the comments. We don't want negativity.
So whenever there's bullying online or just major harsh negativity going around, honestly, we just kind of delete it, because we want to be the good so we try to cut out all the bad. I do find that a healthy dose of seeing some negativity is normal, but most people get that at school. So it happens.
Liron Segev: Well, and that's the whole thing. In the olden days, everything stopped at the school gate. Okay? But now it's in your pocket, and it carries on 24 hours.
Rachel Bennett: It does, and I think you can definitely see it on your kids' faces when they're hearing the negative comments over and over again. We try to have those positivity talks and say people get keyboard power, or they find this power behind the screen where you don't have to say it to their face.
Liron Segev: So we've done our research, you've got your plan of action, and then you upload your video. I'm assuming the work is not done at that point.
Rachel Bennett: Oh, the work is never done. Work's never done. Honestly, when you are on social media, the work's never done. But you upload your content. You need to promote. You need to promote in some way. You need to share on social media. If you have an Instagram following, if you have Facebook groups that you're a part of, you share, "Hey, this is a mom content. Sounds really fun. I'm going to share it over here, because maybe some of my friends or groups that I'm in, they might appreciate that."
Rachel Bennett: Wherever you have a following or even wherever you share, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. TikTok. We love TikTok, and, honestly, it's not just music anymore. People share a lot on there. So you've got to promote. You've got to share it out there, and then the following will grow as they appreciate your content. If you're doing the research and you know what they like, it'll be this circle that continues to grow.
Liron Segev: Maybe give us some examples. If you have a video, do you share a clip of that video? Do you do a teaser for that video?
Rachel Bennett: Yes. On Instagram, I have found that different things work. So I used to only share the thumbnail onto our Instagram stories, and I'd be like, "Oh, this is today's video. Swipe up." That does good. But the click-through rate is lower. If I am talking and I go, "Oh my goodness, you guys, we just filmed this awesome game, dah dah dah dah dah. Swipe up," that is better than a thumbnail.
Now, if you have an actual cutdown of the video, which I do. I usually have a 10 to 15-second cutdown, maybe even 30 if it's so good. Then I have a little snippet. It's kind of like a cliffhanger. This is what's happening, something funny or something really dramatic or whatever. Then you have the "Swipe us" right there. That one actually gets the best click-throughs.
Liron Segev: So do you encourage maybe a behind the scenes or "We've just done this. You guys, we cannot wait to share this video with you"?
Rachel Bennett: Either of those. I do cutdowns of the videos. I actually send different clips. I'll do a cutdown for Jase, where he's mostly in it and these things are happening. So he gets that. I share a specific cut down for Klai where she's got more of her on it because her audience doesn't want to see just me. They want to see more of her. So I do one specifically for her. If I am really good with my shot lists, I remember to film a behind the scenes.
Liron Segev: A behind the scenes. So I like this idea of know your audience, share various different clubs depending on who's in it. That's great. Okay. So now we've done all this work, and the work never ever stops.
Rachel Bennett: You cross your fingers and hope people watch.
Liron Segev: The YouTube algorithms smiles upon thee.
Rachel Bennett: Yes, you must sacrifice many things to the YouTube gods.
Liron Segev: Any tips for us on working with brands?
Rachel Bennett: Oh I could talk for hours on that one.
Liron Segev: All right. I'm kind of starting out. I've got a maybe a smallish audience. Can I still get a brand deal?
Rachel Bennett: Oh, yes. My very first brand deal, we had under 1,000 subscribers. We were getting 30,000 views in the 48 hours, so 15,000 views a day, on the whole channel. I mean, our numbers were quite low.
So I learned a lot of this through my husband, who, as a brand, would work with social media influencers. So he was sought on the other side. So he would tell me what he wanted to see from the influencers when they approached him.
Now, you want to push your bigger number. So if your bigger number are your views or even watch time minutes, because that's amazing, right? Oh, well, I might only get 15,000 views a day, but I get 240,000 watch time minutes. Now, that is a big number, which a brand may not totally understand, but they say, "Oh, that's impressive."
So you need to know your value. You come up with something that is impressive for yourself. "Okay, this is how many views I get. This is how much watch time minutes. I'm getting this many new subscribers every day" or this many page views on your blog or whatever it is. You need to learn what is a good representation of yourself on numbers.
Then you promote yourself and your content. What do you do? Are you great with families? So I talk a lot about we are a family that likes to travel. We like to play games together. We spend a lot of time in our home.
So depending on the brand, you approach them in that way. So if a brand is a travel company, I say all of the videos that we might've done in the past that are traveling. "Oh, well, we recently went to Cancun, and this is a video that we did there," while showing some of the fun adventures we did there. It might not be a travel video where it's like, "Oh, visit Cancun," but it is us in Cancun, and our followers want to know what we do there.
So that is a good way to promote to the brand, like, "Hey, we went to the Cancun. We saw all these things. Our kids enjoyed that. Here are our posts. We're going to visit whatever this brand is. We want to come and visit your country. Could we work out something where we promote dah, dah, dah, dah?"
Liron Segev: So you customize your pitches depending on who you're speaking to.
Rachel Bennett: Every single pitch is different.
Liron Segev: Okay, so that's, again, another great tip, because it's not the same thing that goes to every single brand. Talk to their pain points. Show what value you can bring .and make it easy for them to say yes.
Rachel Bennett: If you have some time on your hand, you could make five different media kits just for our family. So one would be a travel media kit that we would send to the travel brands. One would be a home and family lifestyle that we would send to any product that would be in the home. Whether it's a home electronic, like home automated system, or whether it's blinds or whether it's some kind of furniture, we would show that media kit.
Now, you don't have to do that. You can have your basic media kit that shows your numbers, all your handles, all of that, and then you just customize the pitch into the email towards that brand. You want to always promote one of your top number videos that relate to that brand.
Liron Segev: Okay, well, that's the key, that it relates to the brand. It's got to be easy for them to understand why they would want to work with you.
Rachel Bennett: Yes.
Liron Segev: Okay, so amazing bits of information all over the place here. All of this, obviously, will be in the show notes. Links to all of Rachel's channels will be here as well. As we wrap up, if you could put one thing on a billboard in Times Square or on a tweet that the entire creator community would see, what message would you share with them?
Rachel Bennett: Oh my gosh, this is really hard. It would be a series of billboards, all the way through the freeway, from California to Vegas, every step along the way. That's really, really hard. Honestly, I would say you can do it. You've just got to make yourself do it.
Liron Segev: Ooh, I like that. Okay. Fantastic. Rachel, thanks for taking the time to be on TubeTalk.
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Liron Segev, aka TheTechieGuy, is the Director of Customer Success at vidIQ, an internationally celebrated Digital YouTube Strategist working with some of the largest brands and YouTube influencers in the world. Over the past 20+ years, his work has taken him to South Africa, the UK and the US where he frequently speaks at conferences and provides expert tech commentary for various print publications, radio, and TV while actively running his Tech YouTube Channel.