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Growing Your Team – 100K Subscribers #40

We have just passed 75K subscribers!

As our reach is growing I am finding that I need to bring some additional talent into my team in order to properly support the channel and community,.  

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  Steve Dotto here. How the heck are you doing this fine day? Me? I feel like I’m in the middle of a very long race but we might see the finish line in sight kind of down there because the DottoTech channel has hit the 75,000-subscriber mark, the three quarter pole of our stated goal of 100,000 subscribers. It has been a while since I’ve updated this particular vlog so today we are going to talk about my thoughts and then adding to the talent pool in drawing YouTube channel to 100,000 subscribers on DottoTech. Yes, indeed. This past week in June, we passed the 75,000-subscriber mark in DottoTech. The June the year we started—we’re two years into it, almost exactly two years into growing, starting to build this YouTube channel—and two years ago at this point here, we were at 4,000 subscribers. One year ago at this point, we were at 27,000 subscribers and now we are at 75,000 subscribers. It is a huge number and it is a miniscule number, depending on your perspective of subscribers on DottoTech. But it is not the most important number. Do you know what the most important number is? Oh yes, you do! It’s one. I have one community. My community on YouTube that I support that supports me and that’s what we should consider. It doesn’t really matter the actual number. It does matter the actual number but the energy, the effort, what we do with the channel, it shouldn’t matter whatever that number is. This is my community, this is my channel and I should be supporting it. I’m trying not to obsess too much on the individual numbers that make up the channel. Having said that, we are in a competitive space. We do like to measure our success and so the metric that I’ve chosen for this particular theme for this vlog is getting to 100,000 subscribers and this was a milestone. So let’s honor it and say woohoo! Thank you so much for all of you who subscribed. Now there have been a lot of changes, well not a lot of changes but a lot of evolution in the DottoTech channel since last we spoke. I’ve been very busy. In fact, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of work and the amount of opportunity. For those of you who may be new to this vlog, who haven’t watched all of the past episodes, this vlog is talking about my journey in trying to take my YouTube channel and grow it, and have it become the foundation for my business, build my business off of it. For 20 years, I was in a broadcast TV world. I’ve built a good business model around the broadcast TV product. Now I’m trying to re-create that in YouTube. And maybe six months ago we passed, a year and a half into the journey, we passed into some form of profitability where we’re starting to make some money, not a huge amount of money yet but I can see that I didn’t make a mistake in trying to figure this out and trying to use YouTube as a base for business. Indeed, YouTube can be the foundation for an excellent business. Currently, we have four kind of pillars of revenue attached to my channel. The first is we actually have something called crowdfunding going on through the crowd funding site, Patreon, which is bringing in around $4,000 a month into the channel. Awesome! I just love what’s happening with the crowdfunding because it’s a very community-focused application there. We also have AdSense revenue on some of the property. This particular video that you’re watching right now doesn’t have any ads attached because I consider it to be one of the perks of that Patreon community but most of my how-to videos have ads attached and I make a little bit of money, not a lot. Maybe in a good month, $2,000 a month but still some money coming in on that space. The third pillar of my revenue has become the biggest one and that’s a traditional internet marketing pillar, where I’m selling information products. I’ve built a solid community, built them into a mail list that all of those good business practices that internet marketing type people teach you to do. So now I have a big, solid mail list of an engaged community that’s interested in what I’m talking about. I’m listening to them and they’re telling me what they want to learn more about and where it’s appropriate, I’m putting courses together, helping them and teaching them a little bit more about that space. We do that through a combination of videos that I produce, webinars and finally bringing them into courses. We just launched at the beginning of this month our latest course, which is on becoming paperless, the Paperless Office which I partner with Brooks Duncan. So in some cases where there’s a content expert that knows more than me in this space, I will partner with somebody else to produce that course. That course has gotten out of the gate just like a race horse. It’s gone! Fantastic. I think we sold about 180 copies of the course in its first flight through so we are thrilled with that. Everybody taking the course seems to be very, very happy with it. So the course model of actually selling information product, that is tried and true. It’s been part of the internet marketing space for a long time and indeed it’s proving to be the most profitable side of my business at this point. The other revenue sources, traditional speaking, for a long time I’ve had a traditional speaking business and that is increasing and doing quite well. Actually, even better lately and I’m sure a lot of that due to the additional exposure and the initial success of the YouTube channel. So the business has been going along really well. If you are in that growth mode where you’re taking and you’re pouring all of your energy into building a community on YouTube and then starting to leverage that into different revenue opportunities, what’s the next lesson that I’ve learned as I hit the 75,000-subscriber mark? The lesson that I learned is outsourcing, time to outsource. I was listening to one of Pat Flynn’s podcasts the other day and he had Michael Hyatt on. Michael was talking about doing things that are your strengths and not doing your weaknesses and hiring people to fill in the spaces that you, as an entrepreneur, are weak in. This has not been something that comes easily to me and I suspect for most entrepreneurs that it doesn’t come easy to you either. It’s hard to hire people. It’s hard to offload things. But I’ve reached the point where my business will not grow and in fact it will probably start to shrink because I can’t maintain the pace that I’m doing without getting people to help me, especially in the things that I find it difficult to do. So beyond the traditional things that you might be thinking of like accounting and bookkeeping and that which I certainly find difficult to do, those are quite often in place for most of us but if you don’t have that outsourced, be looking at that right away. But from the YouTube channel and the DottoTech perspective, I’ve now made two hires. I’ve hired two part-time people to help me grow my business and support my business in one aspect and grow my business in the other aspects. So here is the narrative of how that happened. If you follow this channel, you know that a couple of months ago, I purchased or I signed up to move my customer relationship management system over to InfusionSoft, which is an awesome application. I’m sure that Ontraport, its main competitor, is also awesome but it gives me so much control over managing and supporting my community. It’s a mail list manager, but it also does full customer relationship management, has a shopping cart attached. So it gave me an awful lot of things to do. Then I took three months to learn to use it. It’s a beast. It’s a lot to learn to use. I put my nose to the grindstone, I figured it out and I set it up properly and it was going along quite well. But I recognized that it was taking me longer to do things that it might take somebody else but it was important for me to know how it worked so there was kind of like a balancing act there. But I knew that it was dragging me down as far as energy, time and I was sometimes getting caught in an administrative minutiae when I should be thinking strategically or creating some content. So after Social Media Marketing World, I met a very talented InfusionSoft outsourcing person who helps businesses like mine managing their InfusionSoft installs. We came to terms and for the past 2 months, April has been working with us and managing our InfusionSoft installation and it has worked out brilliantly. This last course that we’ve launched, we had set up a full membership module, too, which would just have been a bear for me to get through. April set that up. There were lots of little challenges but now we’ve got two courses that are running into that membership area so smooth and its taking all of those stress off of me as far as running InfusionSoft. Now I don’t think that the path that I took is a bad way to do things. I think it’s really important for entrepreneurs, especially technically-minded entrepreneurs to understand the capabilities of the tools that you’re using, choosing and buying. So me still knowing InfusionSoft, diving in and actually doing things occasionally myself and possibly breaking things but understanding how the software works, I think that’s really important for me strategically, making decisions or moving ahead. But having somebody to do that heavy lifting, to go in there, to build the campaigns, to troubleshoot the little issues and to deal with a little problems that people have with the membership area so it’s off my plate has been a stroke of genius as far as I’m concerned worked out so well. So I’m thrilled with the way that is helping support my business. So now I feel like I’m doing a better job of supporting the community because I have a partner working with me in April. Next, I cast my eyes to growth. There are a couple of places that I know I need support in growing the market. I know I need help copywriting. Writing is not my strength but I didn’t see that that is the first place that I wanted to start spending money because I think that hiring a copywriter or hiring a person to do marketing work with me is quite challenging as far as the content side. It has to be somebody that already fits so I wanted to spend a little bit more time thinking about that. But I didn’t want to start dabbling and start moving DottoTech into paid traffic. Everything that we’ve done so far has been grown through organic traffic and we’ve reached the point where we have some money that we can invest back in. So I believe that we can accelerate the growth of the community, accelerate the number of people that are exposed to my product and they might choose that they like to follow us and they will come on to our mail list and will become part of that pool that we can ultimately sell courses to and be a part of the entire business structure. I believe that we can accelerate that process through proper use of paid traffic. I’m speaking about Facebook Ads or Google Ads, that sort of stuff. So also at Social Media Marketing World, I met a very talented person in that space. We hit it off, we came to an accord and now I’ve just started dipping my toe into the world of paid traffic. I don’t have a lot to report at this point here. We’re still kind of figuring out how we are doing it and we’ve got a very limited budget that we’re applying, but I’m very confident that in a fairly short period of time we will have a system in place that really amplifies and magnifies every one on my posts that goes out and puts them in front of more people who might choose that there’s value in the DottoTech brand and start coming in and become a part of our community as a result. So perhaps we will see the growth. I haven’t focused it on growing the numbers of subscribers. I’ve focused it on growing my number of email subscriber, on my email list but I’m expecting to see some real movement in those numbers over the next short period of time and those numbers have a direct correlation to how much revenue you can make when you launch a course or you offer a product. So that will have a definite impact downstream. That’s really it that I wanted to talk about in Growing Your Channel into 75,000 subscribers. I apologize if you were watching and hoping to get something about the actual YouTube side itself but this vlog has always been about the holistic approach to using YouTube as a base for business and the YouTube part is going along swimmingly. It’s growing by 3,000 or 4,000 new subscribers every month. We’ve got tons of engagement in the channel. I haven’t made any changes in how I’ve done that side of the business since my last vlog. We’re is still supporting the heck out of our channel, making sure I go into Comments every day, making sure people feel heard and validated, responding to them and listening to what they want videos on and it’s all tracking nicely. Every video we post now is getting immediate traction as soon as it’s posted and jumping up within a week to a couple of thousand views, which is really a number that really resonates as successful for me in my world. Remember, one thing I would say is you have to choose what numbers and what success looks like for you. Right now for me, the YouTube channel is successful. Not that it can’t be better and I don’t want to make it better, but its purring along quite well. So now I’m kind of trying to build out the supporting business aspects to take advantage of what I consider to the channel being kind of on cruise control. We will return to looking at more detail of the channel itself and how we actually grow the number of subscribers but that’s for another vlog. This one has gone on long enough. Thanks to everybody who sent me congratulatory notes on hitting the 75,000-subscriber mark. Onwards and upwards to 100,000 subscribers. That is all the time I have for today. There are three ways to stay in touch with us here on this channel. The first is please subscribe to this channel yourself so you hear about all of our videos as soon as they come out. Second, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll hear about my great webinars where we teach all sorts of productivity and internet marketing-related topics. As well, we let you know about our upcoming courses. We have an awesome course coming in late Septembers on webinars, which I guarantee is going to be good. And finally, we are supported by the largesse of our supporters at Patreon. DottoTech is a crowdfunded site, I mentioned earlier in this vlog. If you want to know how Patreon works, just drop by our website or drop by our Patreon page, take a look and see what’s included. We ask you to support us on a monthly basis but there are perks included with that support and the perks are indeed amazing. That is it for today. Till next time, I am Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle!


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