Social media, especially social video, is a crowded place, but there are still huge opportunities to stand out from the crowd. Find out how on this week's TubeTalk podcast.
In this age of multiple social media platforms, how does a creator really stand out? How do we get those eyeballs on us, so people can see our amazing content, and subscribe to us so we can really grow our own community? These questions will be tackled on today's episode of TubeTalk.
On today's show, I want to help you really stand out above the crowd. Joining me is Todd Bergin, known as Todd.LIVE all across the social media platforms. Todd has been there, done that, bought the shirt, made the shirt, sold the shirt. He has got a lot of knowledge to share with us, as his mission is to teach as many people as humanly possible all about digital broadcasting because that's where everything is going. In this podcast, aspiring video creator superstars will learn:
Why there's still plenty of opportunity to make your mark as a creator right now
Why live-streaming is the aspiring creator's best friend
Why being consistent is such a huge asset for any creator
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How to Stand Out From the YouTube Crowd: Full Transcript
Liron Segev: Todd, welcome to the show.
Todd Bergin: Thank you so much for having me on. It's a great pleasure to collaborate with you again.
LS: Let's give people the quick, who is Todd in a tweet, as I like to call it. What's the quick high level? Who is Todd?
TB: Oh, man, I don't even know that I could do that. It's more like who is Todd in a day, because it's going to take me a day to explain. I've been an entrepreneur all my life. I am a recovering attorney. I tried to fit into the career-type mold. It didn't work the way I wanted it to, but I left on my own terms. I've done a lot of different things, starting with eBay in 1998. Sold a million dollars' worth of stuff over the years over there.
I've been an internet entrepreneur ever since 1998, live video and podcasting, which is pretty much what I do now. I got started with live video first and got into podcasting. I've got two daily podcast shows. One focuses on Instagram marketing, called Grammer School. One is called Entrepreneur Live Video that focuses on, of course, live video, mastering my craft at internet broadcasting and helping other people master their craft as well.
LS: That's kind of the key message with you is you've always been a helper, a teacher. Is teaching your thing? Do you see yourself as a teacher first?
TB: Yeah. You know what? A lot of it's lead by example. If people see me doing things, then they want to know how I did the specific thing. A lot of the coaching clients that I get, they're like, "Hey. I saw this, and this is what I want. Or you sound great, this is what I want." I've actually built podcast studios and live video studios through Zoom, connecting with people in other parts of the country. I haven't actually connected with people in other parts of the world yet, but within the United States, I have and building awesome studios through Zoom. It's really kind of cool.
I love talking to people about who I like to learn from, so that they can go and discover these creators as well. I spend a lot of time learning from Owen Video. I mean if there's anybody out there that I look to in live streaming as somebody who is pushing the envelope in ways that I want to make sure that I see and can learn from, it's Owen. I share a lot of my thoughts on Owen, Stephanie Liu, Nick Nimmin, etc. I mean I've got a whole list of people.
LS: Another thing it's about, it's community. I think a lot of people have into their mindset that because we're both doing the same content, we must be rivals. We must be enemies. We must be competitors. That is absolutely just such a shocking mindset to have.
TB: When you have a local community, you only have so many people that are going to drive your location and visit you and spend money. On the internet, we have the whole world as potential customers. We reach the entire world. There are no limitations when it comes to getting work. The amount of people coming in to digital is endless. There's more than any one of us can handle, and there's probably more that all of us together can handle. As time rolls on, there will be new people to pop up to help carry the weight.
When you have the whole world as a potential customer base, you can engage with your potential competitors in an entirely different way. Instead of competing and being a rival, it's different. When you're local and you're small and you're dealing with competitors within your own local market there, I think it can be different.
LS: I mean I loved your story that you and I were chatting at one of the events where you were telling me about how someone was so scared of going live and you said "Forget it."
TB: Yeah, yeah. I was at Social Media Marketing World hosted, of course, by Michael Stelzner and Phil Mershon and wonderful show. I was at one of the tables. Now, for your audience who doesn't know or hasn't been to Social Media Marketing World, they have a big conference room with lots of tables. The tables all have numbers on them. Then, you get a chart or a legend for the room, so to speak, and you look up the number. You can say, "Okay. Table number 75, 76 and 77, those are all for the live streamers." You can go sit at that table and you'll be around people interested in live streaming. Usually, there's a few live stream guru types.
You just go and you chit-chat. You have some fun. Yes, I was having lunch one day and a girl from Michigan, I think it was, or Wisconsin, somewhere cold, was in town. We were talking. She said she had never live streamed before, and she's really wanting to do it. She had all these objections. I said, "Well what are your objections?"
She said, "Well I don't have anything to talk about right off the top." I just attacked it in a way. I said, "Okay. You're from Wisconsin or Minnesota. Have you ever been to San Diego before?" She said no and then we brainstormed content around that, and encouraged here to jump on Instagram Live right there and then, and she did it. She was a little apprehensive and it was all family mostly that came in. Everybody was cheering her on and having a good time. She was talking about it. I got on the camera for just a minute and told them I put her up to it. Her husband was very supportive. She gets off the phone and she turns and looks at me and she's crying. She's like, "That's one of the coolest things I've ever done." I didn't get her name, which kind of makes the story better. I might have gotten it, it's lost in my notes. It was a big moment for me that I changed somebody's life during my lunch.
LS: It seems to be you can go live on Facebook, you can go live on YouTube, of course, you can go live on Instagram. Now, LinkedIn is opening up a live platform. Is everyone supposed to be a broadcaster? Do you think everyone has a message to tell? Or do you think we're going to be seeing a lot of spam?
TB: I mean I think you can look to YouTube as an example for an answer to your question. YouTube is filled to the brim with junk, but with people like Sean Cannell, Nick Nimmin, Roberto Blake, I mean if you're providing immense value, then people are going to find you and they're going to subscribe. That's what matters. I remember when Sean Cannell's Think Media, I think, was under 500,000. It seemed like the next day, we were pushing 800 all of a sudden. The consumers are out there. They're savvy. They're going to find what they want. They're going to subscribe to what they want. It's the same thing with live video.
The difference with live video is people don't really... I don't think they really search for live video the way they search on YouTube for the recorded content. They're scrolling a feed and they find it. It's like, "Oh I'll go in." We have our way of sorting out our content and figuring out. I think that actually helps the good live streamers, the live streamers that are pushing the envelope and doing amazing things. I like to think I'm one of them. My problem has always been consistency.
I can do amazing things in live video, but I haven't even yet, in three or four years, established myself as a consistent live streamer with a consistent show. I can point to Stephanie Liu and Owen Video, I think the two of them, these people are consistent. They partner with brands or they don't, but they create variety shows that stick and keep people interested. They go from a 15 minute news segment to a 10 minute trivia segment to a half hour interview segment to maybe a housekeeping segment. They move the show along beautifully and keep the viewers until the end. People are going to come back to that. As people discover it more, their audiences are going to continue to grow.
LS: At the end of the day, curated content from prerecorded stuff versus live is just different. Once you kind of prerecord, it's beautiful, it's edited, it's scripted, it comes out as a perfect show. There will always be a space for that. Live is just it is what it is. It's just got to happen. It's not got to be perfect. It will be shaky at points. Maybe you'll lose audio at some points. You just roll with the punches. I think people actually appreciate seeing the real creator. Do you not find we might be facing an issue where because only one timeline, there's so much competition trying to vie for those eyeballs, that we're just going to get quantity over quality, what do you think?
TB: I think that, yes, you're completely right. We're all fighting for the one feed. It's tricky on all of these platforms. I've actually taken a big pivot. I attended Kajabi Summit, it was called Impact Summit, here in Irvine which was wonderful having it right down the street from my home. Kajabi really was a moment for me where I really started thinking about my website in a different way. They offered this thing called Community, which is basically like a Facebook Group within your website that you can put a paywall in front of and require passwords and that sort of thing. It's not open to the public, but it's for truly interested people to come and go from.
I'm looking at my website a different way and trying to make that the focus of everything I do now. I was watching somebody, it might have been Brendon Burchard, at the Kajabi Impact Summit. It was somebody. They said, "If your website isn't up to snuff and you're not leading people there with something to sell them, stop everything you're doing, all content creation on all platforms. Go and focus on your website until it's ready for sales, and then go back out and start funneling people into the website. You need to have every I dotted and T crossed before you go out and do that." So many people don't do that, including myself. I went out and just started creating content on Instagram and Facebook and all these other places, not really having somewhere very well designed to send people. That's changing for me, big time.
LS: Where we're evolving as a business, where we're evolving as an internet digital community, do you find that we're so fragmented?
TB: It's interesting. I don't even know how to explain it, because I don't know that I've given it a whole lot of thought. I'll tell you, when a major YouTuber, like Nick Nimmin, who is crushing it without podcasting, contacts me and says, "Who do you have to edit podcasts?" That tells me he's looking at podcasting as an option, which is really interesting. Podcasting is an old technology, but you've got these major YouTube presences that are looking. I mean Nick's not the only one. He's the only one that's contacted me and asked me that question. I know there's other major LinkedIn personalities that are getting into podcasting.
The interesting thing about podcasting is that, like you said, people are listening, they can do other things, but the bulk of people are listening to a podcast with their earbuds in. You really don't know who is out there. It's not always easy to move those people to other places, but I know they're out there. I know I'm having an impact on their life. I have a heat map in Simplecast that tells me where in the world people are downloading from, and how many episodes these various places people are downloading from. I've got people on every continent except for Antarctica. I'm always checking for a blip on Antarctica somehow. Maybe somebody in a weather station down there will download at some point.
I'm having this amazing impact. I'm filling a room. At 500 to 700 downloads a day, I mean I'm going to come to the conclusion that I have 400 to 500 people downloading on a daily basis. That's an amazing impact. People are listening to me from five to 15 minutes a day with their headset or in their car. I'm filling a large conference hall 365 days a year. It's an amazing thing. The connection's personal, because most of the time... In fact, I haven't had a guest on either of my podcasts in over a year. They're listening to me for the entire duration of the show. They're getting to know me and they're coming back for more.
I think in the long run, I mean it's hard to measure how it all plays out, but it has to be good. I think other people out there that are fighting algorithms in various places, I mean there is no algorithm with the podcast. You subscribe, you're going to get the download. It's a great way of getting content out there one-on-one. I talk to my crowd as though I'm talking to one person. I treat each episode as though it stands on its own, very rarely referencing other episodes. I just have fun with it, and people respond. Again, it's tough to measure the results.
A lot of businesses that are going to look at it and say, "Okay. What's my ROI?" Okay, what do you want in five years? Look at it as a long game. For me, it's a resume enhancement. I mean people hear that I've got over 500 episodes on two daily shows and, all of a sudden, it's like handing somebody a book you've written. I watched Chris Shrub one time. He was at VidCon and he went up on a booth that was interviewing people. He said, "Hey. Would you like to interview me?" They said, "Well who are you?" He handed them a book and they just went nuts.
Podcasting is a great thing, but I do see consolidation. For me, I've been all over the place. I don't care about Twitter. I don't care about Facebook. I care about LinkedIn only because they've added video. I think that LinkedIn offers opportunities for creators to connect with the workforce and people in office environments who are starting to look less at resumes and more at online presences as an indicator of what somebody brings that they might want to bring on the team for a temporary contract job or something more long-term. It might be a shocker to your audience, but all of my paid clients, since I've been doing any of this, found me on Instagram first.
Instagram has been valuable to me. The people that are finding me, all of my paid clients are mid-40s professional women who are knocking it out of the ballpark, who want to cut the time and the trouble out of getting to where I can get them. These are people that could figure it out on their own, but they make enough money on an hourly basis that it's actually... It makes sense for them to bring me onboard and just get a job knocked out. They're finding me there. I mean people think that Instagram is for kids. No, I don't think so. Not completely. Yeah, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and my website, those are my focuses.
LS: Todd, before we kind of wrap up, I can see your focus. I love that point that you made, by the way, of your resume is your online presence. People will simply do a search and go, "Wow. This guy can deliver. This girl can really deliver an amazing set of values, an amazing set of knowledge, amazing content. They're going to be a big asset to my company," versus where you go to college, which course did you do? That just simply doesn't really paint a true picture, strong emphasis of why we should all be creating some sort of content. It's never too early to start, because you will suck at the beginning. You'll get better and better the more you do. As we wrap up, Todd, if people want to find you, you mentioned a whole bunch of places where you're available, what is a good place? Where should they connect with you?
TB: Obviously my website. This is one of the beautiful things. When people meet me and they say, "So what do you do?" I say, "Well I'm Todd.LIVE." They're like, "Is that your domain?"
You can make your domain your name. It can be an amazing thing, and especially if people type it on the internet somewhere and it turns that into a hotlink, even better. If you just want to chit-chat for a couple of minutes, my favorite place to do that, and where you're going to get the fast response, is Todd.LIVE on Instagram. I use Instagram private messaging like it's a text message service. There's a benefit to that. As a little tip to your audience, when you use Instagram as your text messaging service, the private messaging there, you build deep connections on Instagram and your follower count goes up. The quality of your followers goes up.
LS: We all know at least one or two creators out there that's really struggling to understand what their next step is, could really use valuable information like this, so share this episode with them and make sure we all connect. At the end of the day, we're just one big creator community. Todd, thank you very much for your time again.
TB: Thank you too Liron. It was a great pleasure to be on the show. I'll be here anytime you want.
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.