Master YouTube and THRIVE As a Creator - Roberto Blake
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Here are my eight (yes, 8!!!) core takeaways from this interview:

1. How to Build a Loyal Fanbase

Be the only person in your niche, no matter how big you get, that literally replies to everybody, even if it's just a two-word reply.

If you reply to every single comment, you will be the only person of your size or in your niche that acknowledged that person on the content they watched out of the entire day, or out of the entire week, and now you've built loyalty habits.

People want to do clever titles and clever thumbnails or even clever video aesthetics, and you don't need any of that. All you have to do is be clever in the fact that you show people that you care, you show people that you respect them, you show them that you're putting them first, and that you're putting value first.

If you're not building loyalty habits and you aren't going out of your way for your consumer, your customer, your viewer, or your listener, don't expect that loyalty. Don't whine about it. Don't cry to me about it. Don't complain. If you haven't built habits, that show there's a reason to give you that loyalty, don't complain.

2. Stop Proving Yourself to the Wrong Clients

I don't sell to insecure people. I don't sell to anyone who has more time to debate than to work.

I have no interest in proving anything to you. You either watch the content, you agree with what I said, you've tested it for yourself, you've gotten results, or you're planning to, or you don't. Move on. Content's free. Don't complain. You're wasting time.

You're either going to buy from me or not. Guess what? If you're going to waste time, going back and forth with me and need my credentials and you need to do all of that, you're not working on your business, which means you're gonna fail. Sorry. Bye. Move on. Nope.

I won't even take your money. You know why? I can't deal with insecure people. That's my harsh, ruthless, utilitarian ethos about how to do business.

I will turn down people's money that are inconvenient to work with because every minute I spend trying to make you less insecure I'm not doubling down on helping somebody that is ready to do the work.

3. Start All Your Videos Like This

The best SEO videos right now are Ryan Stewart being like, "Hey, you're not here to listen to me talk about myself, let's get into it." That's literally how he intros his video.

Because guess what? That leads with value. Let's talk about what you need, not what I need and everything like that. They'll worry about your qualifications if they disagree with what you're saying.

Lead with value. Not what's valuable to you, not what makes you feel the best. That's a trick that nobody realizes. If you tweak this one thing, everything changes. Get right to: you don't know me, you don't care. Let's get into the video.

4. Stop Being "Original," and Do What Works

If you decide that you're not going to do this click-baity title or this style of thumbnail when there's clear evidence that is what resonates with the average consumerβ€”if you decide that you're going to do something weird and quirky for the sake of being original and it tanks? That's on you, homie. That's your fault because ego is expensive and you just paid the price for it.

You're making content that your audience will respect, that is for people who've never heard of you because growth doesn't happen in just maintaining what you have. That's not growth. That's called maintenance. Are you building an empire or are you a janitor?

The average consumerβ€”the title and thumbnail and topicβ€”you're beholden to them on that. Period. End of story.

Think about it: in the product and consumer world of e-commerce and even physical products, how original is anybody, and has not being original really hurt anybody's sales? How original can we be about smartphones? Everybody's come up with a clever, original take on a smartphone. What happened to them? Where are they now?

"The market is the market," as GaryVee likes to say. You want to be original? Cool. If nobody cares, don't be surprised.

5. Meet Your Audience Halfway

Uploading a video when you know that 60% of your potential audience is asleep because you just wanted to get it out? Don't complain about the results.

When I do a video like that, I know it's going to tank, but I'm like, I'll make it up in the search engines, right? The algorithm is not going to be able to do a lot for me because 60% of the people that we know love your content are asleep. What the hell are you doing? Upload at the right time.

Topic: majority of your audience has a specific need or problem. You did this one-off thing because either you want to build or reach a new audience, or you did it for you? Okay, cool. Don't complain about the reviews, because we're only distributing your content to people likely to watch it, and most of your audience may not care about this.

If you're building a new audience, take your lumps. That's where you take ego out of the equation. You have to meet the audience halfway.

Where you get to be original is in how you deliver for them once you've set expectations and met them halfway. How you deliver for them can be refreshing and a different take and the thing that they haven't seen before, and that's what you do to make yourself stand out and make yourself a destination.

6. 3 Questions to Filter Opportunities

A lot of opportunities come to me and the majority of them I say no to.

I ask myself, am I excited about this, yes or no? And then I asked myself how excited am I about this on a scale of 1 to 10? If it can't break a 7, it's not worth prioritizing. I ask myself three core things to filter opportunities:

1. Is this a revenue-generating opportunity, yes or no?

2. Is this something that helps build brand, yes or no?

3. Is this something that builds me and my personal development goals as a human being, yes or no?

It has to qualify for at least two of those things. I still might say yes if it does one of those things well enough, but it can't be something that compromises my brand. It can't be something that compromises my personal values.

What I value and what I care about is a very limited scope of very important things to me that I refuse to compromise on. The good news is because it's a limited scope of things that I refuse to compromise on, it makes being decisive very easy.

When it comes to opportunities and costs, I've really looked at prioritizing my physical, mental, and emotional health a lot, which I don't think a lot of people do.

When you're in a season of hustle of building something versus maintaining or growing something, it's easier to feel the pressure of that, and then that's how people make compromises because they rationalized things or because scarcity drives them.

7. Your Reputation Is Everything

If you're an influencer and you cheat on your significant other, this literally can directly impact your bottom line. This directly could make your fan base turn on you.

You haven't changed the value that you provide. You haven't changed the thing that they consume. Nothing happened to them, but they're going to feel hurt and betrayed because they put an emotional investment in your identity and who you are and what your values are, and they're going to vote with their attention.

The little bit that they might spend with their wallet in terms of merchandise or donations, all that goes away, and when their attention goes away, so does the advertising, so does the brand, and the algorithm also is reactive to the audience.

Nothing happens if the audience doesn't like you anymore or doesn't feel you anymore. Your value is literally tied to your likability, despite the fact that the quality of what you produced, you being the product, hasn't really diminished. The perception of your market value has diminished and directly impacted everything.

As an influencer, you are directly held to the standard and perceptions that your audience has or the standard or perceptions that you set.

8. How to Differentiate Your Channel From Others

If you want to differentiate yourself in the market, come up with a very unique value proposition for making your channel a destination, making your platform and destination, and making your website a destination. What am I coming here for that I don't get anywhere else? What is the differentiator?

How did you find an additional way to respect the audience is something I think of. Jumping in the content immediately is another way of respecting the audience. Putting up notes that they can screenshot is another way to respect the audience if you're doing informational-based content.

Having the best audio quality is a way to respect the audience. Having a non-distracting lighting setup or background or something like that or something that is not distracting, but is interesting, and showing you put care into the details, is a way to respect the audience.

Acknowledging viewers and popping up, "Hey, your questions here or your comments here," or "Hey, comments of the day, and this is so-and-so," and you acknowledging the actual people in your audience, is another way to respect the audience.

I guarantee you, there are probably 10 or 20 different things that a competitor is not doing that would represent you respecting the audience.

That's a reason to come back to somebody: this person gave me unique value and this person proved that they respect and acknowledge me and people in this community in a way that other people don't.

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