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Patreonlogo-300x68.pngSteve Dotto here. Thanks for joining me today on our journey to 100,000 YouTube subscribers. Last year, 2013, I’d set the goal to reach 10,000 subscribers and one of the biggest changes in getting me to that first 10,000 subscribers was something simple and something that all of the experts talked about but I, like so many of you, probably ignored for far too long and that was to ask people to subscribe. It’s a simple thing but I thought because my videos were so awesome that people would just want to subscribe to my channel and it would be much cooler and much better if I didn’t ask them and they just organically subscribed. And I paid the price. I had very small early subscription. But once I started to put into each video a request for people to subscribe, things changed very quickly and I started getting a substantial percentage of people subscribing to may channel. So let me talk about a couple of ways that you can ask for the subscription. Every video that I post, I go through the exact same process with. As soon as I’ve posted the video, I go in. I always post it as a private video to begin with because I don’t want it to be seen without all of its makeup on. It’s kind of not ready for primetime. So I post it and I have it set—if we look at the Privacy Settings—I have it Unlisted or Private when I first post it, when I first send it up to YouTube. Then I go in and I add cover art to it or I add a video slate, which I will talk about in a subsequent video. Then my routine is always I go right away and I click into the Annotations area. In the Annotations area is where we set up the request to ask people to subscribe to our video. Now if you aren’t annotating your video, you’re missing out on a big part of YouTube marketing and a big part of YouTube channel growth. You have to learn to use the annotation tool and you have to apply annotations to each and every video that you’re in. Those annotations could be a variety of different things but it’s really simple. You’ve got a timeline of your video and the playback head goes through and then your annotations appear down here in this field here. As you can see, I don’t have a lot of annotations to my videos. I go back in sometimes when I have to edit a video or some new information has come up. I’ll go into an old video and I’ll add annotations later. It’s good for that. But this is the basic process. For me, every one of my videos at the 30-second mark, I put in this little “Subscribe to our channel” or “Get more Steve” or I put in a graphic similar to that one. That’s how I do it. I choose to put an embedded graphic in the video that looks a little bit better. You’ll see a variety of different Subscribe options. Some people will just put a little text window up or some people will use an automatic subscribe tool that YouTube has built in, which we’ll talk about as well. But this is what I like to do. I like to embed a graphic and then I put it at the 30-second mark, and then I put that same graphic at the very end of the video. Sometimes, I’ll throw it up in the middle but for the most part I put it in the top and the tail of the video itself. Then you have to go in and at the start of it, where that graphics first comes up, where you want your annotation to start, you click on this button here that says “Add Annotation.” You click on that and you have several different types of annotations that you can add. This allows you to not just add Subscribe buttons but to do almost any interaction with your video or any commenting on your video that you want. If you want to add a speech bubble to make something funny, if you want to add a title here, that’s where you do it as well. Now I’m not sure this is the best way to create annotation links. This is the way I do it. Maybe somebody has a better idea and if so I hope they write and let us know but I choose to use something called a spotlight. You see, I click there on Spotlight and that creates this kind of transparent background. You can put actual text in it if you want. You want to type it in and it’ll put text underneath it, which I don’t want to do. I want to leave that area completely empty. So I then position that graphic or that spotlight where my button is, I position it right over the top and then I choose how long it’s going to be up. Now I’m smart, super smart. When I do my editing, when I create the graphic in the video, I make it 30 seconds long. I put it up for 30 seconds long so I don’t have to look for the backend. I just have to take it from 30 seconds—I always put it up at the 30-second mark in the video—and it runs to the one-minute mark of the video. That’s how I do it and that’s how I make things easy for me, by positioning it that way. That’s the first thing I do. Then we have to tell people. What happens? We have to create an action for that particular button and we do that by creating a link here. Now you can choose all these different types of links. You can link to a playlist, to a channel. What I want to do is a Subscribe button. Now you can put it in and you can go in and type in your username and all that sort of stuff but I do things a little bit more automated. I use a tool on my Mac called TextExpander, which saves the character string of what the YouTube Subscribe link is. So I just type in # because you need to tell TextExpander that I want to use it. I go ‘tysub’ for YouTube subscribe and you see what happened there. You heard a little boink and it fills in all of the information so that now I have my Subscribe link in place. It’s a very fast and efficient way for me to do this. I do this at the top and then I do this again at the tail of the video. Right here at the very end of the video, you’ll see another Subscribe button and I put it in there. Sometimes, I’ll put in other links. In this video, I’ve got another link to another video which is a related video. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about getting people to subscribe. So this is the number one thing that I do to every video. At the 30-second mark, a Subscribe button’s going to come up. At the end, a Subscribe button’s going to come up. I followed that routine each and every time. Then there’ll be some other things that you can do as well but I basically follow that format. That’s the process that I go through to make sure that I have subscriptions in each and every video. Of course, you can ask people to subscribe in a variety of different ways other than just embedding a Subscribe link in your videos. You can use the link that I just showed you, the YouTube subscription link, and you can embed that on blog posts and send it out in emails. You can ask people to subscribe directly from that link as well. There is another way to set up subscriptions. If we go into the Channel settings in our YouTube management console here and we click on inVideo Programming. In there, we’ve got two different tools that we can use. The top one is called Add a Watermark. You know when you visit a person’s video and they’ve got like a Subscribe button that appears for the whole video and if you hover your mouse above it, it allows you to then subscribe, or maybe it’s the logo and maybe it’s their logo that you hover? That is a watermark and that’s another way to create subscriptions. The reason I don’t use it is it’s channel-wide and persistent. So it’s always going to be there. It’s a button that’s always going to be there. It’s great for branding your product but I find it a little bit invasive. I find it too much to have that subscribe button there all the time so I’ve chosen not to use it. But a lot of people do use it and they use it very effectively. All you do is you click Add a watermark here and then you go through and you choose what graphic you want. Now they recommend that you use a transparency and use a single color, just because of how it overlays over the top of the video. Then you choose that file, you upload it and then that is going to be positioned there in the corner. Then if anybody hovers their mouse above it, they can then subscribe to your channel. So it does work very well and I’ve seen people use it to tremendous effect. I just choose not to use it. But before we leave this, even though it has nothing to do with subscriptions, this is where you can choose one of your videos to feature either at the custom start time within your video or at the very end of your video. You’ll see it as you reach the end of the video, if you watched all the way through, they’ll be suggesting the next video to watch. That can be a random thing or you can have it set up. I’ve got what I consider to be one of my hottest videos there. I can go in and I can change that at any time if I choose. Those are the tools that we have in inVideo Programming. In the case of this particular story today, the most important one is adding that watermark which will then give you another option for subscribing. The bottom line is if you don’t ask people to subscribe to your videos, they won’t to your channel. They will but they will ask me where to [inaudible 00:08:40]. There’s nothing wrong with asking. If you enjoyed this video, subscribe. I’ve got a Subscribe button above me right now. Are you thinking about subscribing if you haven’t subscribed? See, it works, at least I hope it works. I’m Steve Dotto. Thanks for spending time with me today. 

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