Leveraging YouTube, building an audience, creating a persona, and being all in for the conversation forever.
Amy Landino is the creator of the award-winning series AmyTV and author of the best-selling book Vlog Like a Boss; How to Kill It Online With Video Blogging. With nearly 400K YouTube subscribers and over 23 million views, Amy has empowered people from over 100 countries all over the world to go after the life they want. In this episode we talk about leveraging YouTube, building an audience, creating a persona, and how Routine has been at the center of her entire content journey.
Transcript and show notes can be found here
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Amy Landino 0:00
I had to learn how to talk to a camera, I realized that the people that were making an impact with this tool were the ones that just really knew how to connect, or at least be themselves on a level that they could find their people. And that was interesting to me.
Jay Clouse 0:18
Welcome to creative elements, a show where we talk to your favorite creators and learn what it takes to make a living from your art and creativity. I'm your host, Jay Clouse. Let's start the show.
Hello, welcome back to another episode of creative elements. You may not know but I've been writing consistently for almost four years now. Every Sunday I send an email to my newsletter called work in progress, where I talk about what I'm learning about building a business as a creator If you weren't on that list yet, I would love for you to go to JayClouse.com and subscribe. It sends every Sunday morning to thousands of subscribers like you. And for the first year of that newsletter, I pushed myself to publish every single day. 365 emails over 365 days, I understand email. And I'm starting to understand podcasting, too. But one of the fun parts of the show is being able to talk to creators who are leveraging platforms that I haven't even begun to explore. One of those platforms is YouTube. I know that YouTube is a huge opportunity for a creator like me, I'm doing audio. Why not do video too, but I just can't get myself to take the leap. But I'm interested in learning more about it and helping you aspiring YouTubers out there to learn the ins and outs to so today I'm talking with Amy Landino. Amy has been on YouTube for how long?
Amy Landino 1:50
Oh my gosh. It's 14, no. 12 years. 12 years.
Jay Clouse 1:56
12 years. That's a long time for a platform was created just 15 years ago. Amy's YouTube channel is called Amy TV, and she makes videos to help people go after the life that they want.
Amy Landino 2:09
Good morning, good life. Welcome back to Amy TV where we come together to help you go after the life you want. Today I want to talk about the 5am Club. What is the 5am Club? Who the heck cares what a 5am Club is? Well, I'll tell you, it's a fun little club I'm in where I actually like don't have to interact with other people like most clubs, which I find to be amazing.
Jay Clouse 2:29
We'll get into Amy's wakeup routine a little later in this interview. But as of this recording, Amy has nearly 400,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 23 million views on her videos. She talks about productivity, morning routines, starting a side hustle, and much, much more. And that's not all. She's a speaker with Vayner speakers, the co founder of a video production agency, author of the best selling book blog like a boss, and in December of 2019, she published her second book Good Morning, Good Life. Amy is a content machine. Not only has she been publishing to YouTube for 12 years, but she's on Instagram, Twitter, and probably some other platforms that I'm not even aware of yet. So in this episode, we talked about leveraging YouTube, building an audience, and how routine has been at the center of her entire content journey. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, I think it's a really good one. You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @jayclouse. Go ahead, send me a message right now. Let me know you're listening. And now let's talk with Amy.
What was the state of YouTube 12 years ago when you're getting started?
Amy Landino 3:45
Not socially acceptable. I can promise you that. The state of YouTube at the time I made my first video in 2007 and I didn't even know it existed. It just ended up being like how do I share video sustainably. And so I found it. In that way, I was literally just looking for an easy way to share content, because I had discovered video editing shortly before that. So at that time, you know, it was fascinating to me because I was like, wow, people are just taking trips to target and making them look interesting on video. And I still think that that's true. It's like my version of saying cat videos. It's like, yeah, it's like, that's the state of YouTube and it still hasn't changed a lot. That's the cadence has made it such a weird place even to this day, you see a lot more traditional content there. But it's it's not what YouTube really started as it's not why YouTube is special. And fortunately, there's still enough of that that's keeping YouTube as successful as it is, even though it's becoming very mainstream.
Jay Clouse 4:47
So what type of content were you thinking that you wanted to share? Were you going to target and trying to make interesting target videos or did you have.
Amy Landino 4:53
I did a target video 100%. I was like, I need one of those. To me, it was that I was so excited, I'd found a creative outlet for the first time in my life. And it was to make windows moviemaker work on my computer that I was like, Okay, I just need stuff to edit. And that's, that's all it became. So I would ask my friends to go out and I would film them being wacky, and probably drinking too much like stuff like that. Just the easy stuff, the easy get to be able to edit together a little project. And then they got bored of that. And so I had to learn how to talk to a camera, I realized that the people that were making an impact with this tool, were the ones that just really knew how to connect or at least be themselves on a level that they could find their people. And that was interesting to me. It took a lot longer to learn that I can learn how to jump cut, but to learn how to to really understand what it meant to communicate when you feel like you're talking to yourself is a special thing.
Jay Clouse 5:57
So it sounds like this was more of an outlet and creative practice than it was some sort of master plan where you're saying, I'm doing this because this is the specific outcome that I want. And I expect this is going to be what gets me there.
Amy Landino 6:08
That was, you're 100% correct. That is absolutely not the approach at the time. You know, I was I was going to school for political science, I already had a great job in lobbying and fundraising, the decision making process at that point was, shoot, I have to quit college because I already have the job and nobody's getting a job out of college right now. Like, I'm killing it in that respect. I just didn't get my degree. So that's the real life conversation I was having with myself in 2008. And I had a really difficult time everyone remembers, and meanwhile, I'm going home and I'm filming myself like, it's a weird situation. It's definitely not. This is a master plan. It wasn't until hanging out with a friend who moved to Ohio to be with her fiance. And she was saying, Hey, I have a question about Facebook and I was like helping her with a privacy setting or something. And she's like, you're really good at this. And I was like, literally everyone's good at this. Facebook is the new hot thing like, duh. And she was like, No, she's like, you're really good at this. You could do this as a job. She was from San Diego. She's a freelance graphic designer, everyone knows that California is further ahead than us for whatever reason, California, New York, they just know what's going on. So California is like, yeah, the local cupcakery is hiring a freelance designer, but they're also hiring a social media manager. That's when I started to understand that not only was I really teaching myself a creative thing, I was learning how to grow a community based on really boring moments of my life on YouTube. And that is a social media marketing strategy on some level. So all of this is ultimately what said, Oh, cool, I learned something. I'm going to start a social media marketing business. It still wasn't. I'm gonna build a YouTube empire at that point. It wasn't it was just that it just So happened to play a role in what I had learned.
Jay Clouse 8:03
At what point did that start to change for you? At what point did you start to say, Okay, I feel like I've put in enough practice and learn what it was like to do some of this video stuff. Now I'm going to take a seriously as part of this Social Media Marketing Agency.
Amy Landino 8:19
It's a really good question. As soon as I realized that it's very hard to take your business seriously, when you work for someone else, you're giving up 40 plus hours like period Your mind is your mind is committed someplace else. So when I realized, this is a thing, I'd been side hustling, I had some clients, I still had my fun little YouTube channel, but YouTube was nothing other than a creative outlet. At that point, I was helping businesses with their social media marketing, and I needed to go full time if I wanted it to be full time. And I had to make the jump and at the end of 2010, I made the jump. And when I did that, I knew that the metastatic YouTube channel wasn't gonna exactly be the right place to present myself as a thought leader. So that's when I started the brand savvy, sexy, social, which was my little fun stick around making social media more accessible for the small business. And that was the new YouTube channel, that that YouTube channel is the same today. It's just called Amy TV now. And it was because I took the jump, and I needed my hub where I could showcase my very best skills to brands who are going to trust me with their online messaging. That's that's really when I took it seriously,
Jay Clouse 9:29
Just as an aside, and kind of to show how far ahead of the curve on this YouTube stuff you were. I thought you were ahead of the curve on Twitter. And I didn't even know that you're doing YouTube stuff yet. And I didn't even know that you anybody was really doing YouTube stuff yet because I saw your stuff on Twitter before I even found it on on YouTube.
Amy Landino 9:46
I love Twitter. I just wish it was up to date now. Like, it's like you can get the news in real time. But it's I don't know. It just it's falling behind Instagram these days and I feel like it had a real chance but anyway That's me being sad about my favorite little Twitter.
Jay Clouse 10:03
Well, we'll put a pin in that because I'm definitely gonna come back to more of the social channels. But take us on kind of a rocketship journey, then from starting this YouTube channel and going full time thinking this is going to be your new thing. What are some of the milestones that happen for you as it related to YouTube and maybe even content Generally, if you want to expand that, that are memorable and made a difference?
Amy Landino 10:25
Yeah, absolutely. So I think a couple of things. First was going full time starting that channel. And the hard work of that was the stuff that everybody likes to forget about. I published three days a week for three years, with only one family emergency, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, two to five minute social media tips for three years. And that's a lot of content. That's a lot of work. That's a lot of time spent in marketing and content marketing, but I was so hungry that I loved my business so much. It didn't matter if I worked nights and weekends. In addition to regular hours, I could do work from anywhere at any time. So I always was able to make that content, I would batch the time that I would record my videos, post those throughout the week throughout the week also working on client stuff. So it was that's a really, really, really big important thing. That's not a milestone that comes into play. But after a certain amount of time, I realized while I was posting videos like how to leverage Facebook, how to leverage Twitter, the conversation quickly became how to leverage video. How are you the only social media expert that's really good at this video thing? It just naturally became a current part of the conversation in the comments. So we started talking a lot more about video content marketing, as Facebook started growing its offerings with video, and other platforms as well. We saw Vine pop up in that time. We saw a lot of different things in video. So with all that the next milestone was really writing the book on it. You know, I had so many people saying I want the book on vlogging like A boss and I was like, That's ridiculous. I make free videos about video. Why do you want a book like I could not comprehend.
Jay Clouse 12:07
Please put this in written word form as opposed to its native form.
Amy Landino 12:11
Right! I was like, like, you guys are really making this tough on me. But that was probably the most rewarding thing ever another in tandem to that was I was starting to be asked to speak. So you're looking at 2013 2014, people asked me to speak, why I don't understand. You are an event organizer of a real event. And you are calling the girl who makes videos in her bedroom, to speak on stage to thousands of people. That doesn't make any sense to me. But when you become a speaker, and you actually realize you're not scared to death of it, because you've just learned how to communicate about the thing you love. That's cool. But when you're a speaker, they want to know what your book is. And so it just, it was a it was from every angle. Amy you got to write the book. So we wrote the book. And that was that and that was 2017 huge, hugely successful self published like I had, so Many colleagues calling me and saying, Amy, it's okay. If you don't sell a lot of books. It's okay. It's a great business card. And I was like, This is depressing. But okay, so, but I sold books because I was building real relationships with people on YouTube, you're seeing me, you're hearing me, I'm your friend three times a week I'm showing up for you. So it was really powerful. And I thought that was amazing. But once I wrote the book on it, and after 2017, I was like, okay, like, I don't want to be the video girl that talks about video on video anymore. Like, I'm kind of over it. I've made every video known to man, the the landscape is going to change, but the way you talk to people isn't, so you're always going to be able to watch that content and learn that from me. I'm ready for the next thing. And there were people watching the channel, who had no intention ever of making a video or leveraging social media marketing. They just enjoyed me. But the resonating thing in the comments was Amy, I don't have time. I don't have time to do that. I don't have time for this. I don't have time for that. So naturally in 2018 when it was like I'm ready for something bigger people don't have Time, because they're not making time. They're not making time for the things they care about. So when I decided, you know what we're changing the name of the channel or changing everything we're talking about, this is a totally new page. Again, lots of colleagues, Amy, what are you doing? Why are you pivoting? This is ridiculous. Why'd you change your last name? There's so many things that you're doing wrong. You have so much stock and all these things and I'm like, No, I'm I'm making real impact. If P Diddy can change his name from Puff Daddy, then I can change my it's fine.
Jay Clouse 14:30
Cutting in here to say when Amy started her YouTube channel, she was using her maiden name Amy Schmittauer. And that's why her Twitter and Instagram handles are to this day, @Schimttastic. She changed her name to Amy Landino after she married her husband, Vincenzo Landino in 2017.
Amy Landino 14:46
So I did that. And that was a huge, smart move on YouTube. Because when you are on Youtube and you are talking about business, it is a very different trajectory. Then the normal YouTube trajectory, where the I'd have no idea what the most subscribed channel is right now. 100 million. I don't know. PewDiePie was the most subscribed for a long time. Jenna Marbles was the most subscribed before that, like, those are comics, those are gamers, those are, you know, music. That's a totally different trajectory than how to build your side hustle into a business. So when you're looking at the top performers in that space, you're talking about Marie Forleo you're talking about Gary Vaynerchuk you're not talking about a very high bar a million subscribers is a lot Tony Robbins, a million subscribers. He's massive. Why is this? It's a different trajectory when we switched gears from a very b2b space to more all encompassing go after the life you want make the time for prioritizing the way that's right for you. YouTube was like game on and I went from 80,000 subscribers to 100,000 in a month and then I went got to 200 in a 100 days and then I hit 300,000 about four or 500 Later. So those are the milestone milestones everybody likes to hear about. But there was a lot of things that had to happen. And every last one of them has to do with listening to the audience and finding out what they want.
Jay Clouse 16:13
So you said, when you made this pivot, you went from 80,000 to 100,000 subscribers, and that was about a year ago, in the 11.
Amy Landino 16:21
That was early 2018.
Jay Clouse 16:22
Okay, in the 10 ish years previous to that building up to 80,000, when you're posting three times a week, every week, what did that growth look like? Was that linear? Was it very slow? And then all at once?
Amy Landino 16:35
It was a very horizontal line all the time. I mean, like, that's just real, not just because it's the way YouTube is programmed. They're looking for mainstream content. They're not looking for business. And that's not 100% true. It's just a matter of how is this topical right now? But that's just real. Everybody thinks they're gonna join a platform today. Talk about 10 years ago, today, they think they're gonna join a platform and just get Buku. You I could have Oprah on my show right now, I'm not going to get Buku. Like, I might get like, a lot of downloads that day, but is not going to last. She owns that social equity, not me, I have to shine in different ways, I might get some other stragglers that are like, this is actually kind of cool, I might stick around. But the olden days of YouTube where I make a video on my channel and I have Jay on my channel and Jay has me on his channel and we send each other 100,000 subscribers that day that's over. Because viewers are smarter now. They want to save their feeds. That's it. Like you have to understand that when you are starting this, it is a journey. If you have a goal, awesome. You should, you should have a goal, you should know exactly why you're doing what you're doing. So you can keep working toward it because you're going to work at it every day. You're going to work at it every day. And sometimes you're going to get seven views and sometimes you can get 100 and 100 is going to be a big day. And if you think about 100 people in your house right now, you'd probably go crazy, but we don't look at 100 as a lot, we look at 100 as a failure. And that sucks. Because if all you need is 100 people to say they'll pay you 15 grand a year to coach with you. What's wrong with that? That's pretty good. You just got out of a full time job.
Jay Clouse 18:16
After the break, Amy talks about how she would approach joining platforms like YouTube today. Welcome back, Amy was just telling me how she grew her YouTube channel, Amy TV to more than 100,000 subscribers. But she had also just told me that people joining a new platform today often set too high of expectations. So I asked her if I was starting today, what should my expectations be? Should I approach it like Amy 12 years ago and use it as a place to learn? Or should I come in with a plan?
Amy Landino 18:46
You should have high expectations of yourself. You should have zero expectations of the rest of the world. I mean, like, the more and more I have ever had expectations, the more I was disappointed. The reason that I wake up every day and I'm like a little peeved with YouTube right now, but I don't control that. If you focus too much on what you can't control, you'll go insane, especially if you're like, No, no, no, no, this has to work. That girl took a photo just like this on her Instagram. Why isn't it working for me? If you come into it like that, you're just not seeing things clearly. So I've been reasonably good. I'm not perfect, but I've been reasonably good at not having expectations. Because I just don't think anyone owes me anything. And I'm just hacking. It's just like a constant hackathon. To me. It's all psychology. And it's a hackathon like, okay, in early 2018, we got 1.5 million views on a morning routine video. Well, then the whole world found out they should be doing morning routine videos. And so all of that's falling on deaf ears now, so it's not going to have the same impact. It's a hackathon once something just becomes overly done. It's not special anymore. It was special at that time. Okay, great. Now we got to come up with a new special thing. And every time you do something individually, it's special. But you have to To look at all of the different things of why a social platform works, so that you can figure out how to get the cadence, right. How you do a podcast correctly, is not the same for YouTube is not the same for Instagram. It's not the same for Twitter. So why are we copying and pasting? Every time we make one video? Why do we put it everywhere? Exactly the same?
Jay Clouse 20:19
Because it's easy.
Amy Landino 20:20
Jay Clouse 20:20
Amy Landino 20:21
Easy as pie. Yeah. Because that's right. getting attention and getting people to support your brand, your cause and your next lifetime of a career is easy, right?
Jay Clouse 20:33
Well, let's talk about these high expectations that I should have for myself. If I'm Jay Clouse I am, I promise. And I've never done anything on YouTube, but I'm saying you know what, I'm figuring out Twitter. I've got this podcast, it's time for me to attack YouTube. What are the expectations I should have for myself? If I'm going to make a legitimate effort at making YouTube a channel for me,
Amy Landino 20:54
Here's how I think of it. When you are on Youtube. You are your Just like you're sitting right in person, right, you sit down. I want you to imagine, Jay, that we have a religious Wednesday coffee date. Every Wednesday you and I get coffee. That is the epicenter of your YouTube channel. You've promised me a coffee date every Wednesday. So I'm looking forward to seeing you next Wednesday. And I'm looking forward to seeing my friend next Wednesday. So I don't need you to reintroduce yourself every single time you meet me for coffee. I should know you by now. But if I don't, and you get straight into the content really quickly, I'm in. I'm interested. I'll ask you your name later or I'll look it up in the description because I'm back. I'm here. I'm with my friend. He's here every Wednesday. The high expectations are that if you want people to remember you, you show up when you say you're going to show up. That is a lot of that's like Wayne Gretzky or whatever, right? It's it's a lot of everything. But it's definitely YouTube. Because people genuinely feel such a connection to you. Even if it's just seven people. They feel like connection, you taught them something, you gave them some food for thought you, you were there for them. You keep that consistent, because that one video isn't going to accomplish that for you. One video could be a great start. But when they can start bingeing your stuff, because man that was way better than I anticipated. That's where things get really interesting. And we talk about bingeing a lot now because of Netflix. But YouTube was the original binge fast for my audience, I can tell you that.
Jay Clouse 22:27
And people, people hear this, this advice of consistency. And so they say, you know, I'm gonna do it. And they do it for a month, two months, three months, and they've got that horizontal growth line. So if I'm going into this, is there a time period where I should think, Okay, let me make this a six month experiment or a 12 month experiment? When should I actually say I've tried consistency long enough?
Amy Landino 22:49
It's so hard to put a cap on it, because I know you're not going to see anything in six months. But if you do, here's what's amazing. Have you guys ever heard of like when someone gets on Good Morning America, and they didn't know it, but they got featured in some PR girls list of things you got to buy for the new school year.
Jay Clouse 23:08
Amy Landino 23:09
And their website shuts down.
Jay Clouse 23:10
Amy Landino 23:11
Because nobody knew. It was like maybe somebody should have called. But also we don't have that much product. What are you going to do? If you get the hockey stick? What are you going to do when you get a vertical line? Are you going to be able to sustain it? And also, are you going to be okay with the audience that's hanging with you even though it's not the same amount of impact that that thing had? Are you still going to be there for that group? To me, it's not a six months deal, because now I guess I should put it a couple different ways because social so different now, but maybe it's not going to be YouTube for longer than six months, but that's where you started the conversation. And suddenly, Tik Tok is the absolute best place for you to have this conversation now, because it turns out you didn't need more than 15 seconds. Okay. Well, have you built a relationship or any cloud to say like, Guys, let's go hang out on Tik Tok, I just found a way better way to do this. You've got to be all in for the conversation forever, like forever is a long time, but like pretty much forever if this is a reverse engineering of a business plan and you need people to be buying your product or thinking about your brand, you need to be there for the conversation indefinitely. So for now, if that's YouTube, great, you're going to need to stick with it indefinitely, until for whatever reason, there ends up being a better content plan. But there's no doubt about it. It's not gonna happen in six months. It's not gonna happen in a year. But something will happen in that time. You have to be willing to measure all the things for me when I was making three videos a week for three years, you know what I even can't even tell you how many views I was really getting cause I wasn't looking at that. If I had business. It was successful. If I had new clients, it was successful. If I had people buying information products for me, it was successful. So I didn't need to worry about how many views I was getting because I was getting conversion where I needed it. So what you measure for what that success is, is very important. Because if this is about going viral.
Jay Clouse 23:54
Can be tough.
Amy Landino 25:08
Have fun, like, not interested. Yeah.
Jay Clouse 25:11
When we come back, we dive deeper into how Amy thinks about building an audience right after this. Welcome back to creative elements in my conversation with Amy Landino. We're going to talk to Amy about the nuts and bolts of building an audience here in a second. But every now and then on this show, we have a louder for the people in the back type moment. We've had a couple of these in this conversation with Amy that I want to call out.
Amy Landino 25:36
First was going full time starting that channel. And the hard work of that was the stuff that everybody likes to forget about. I published three days a week for three years, with only one family emergency, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, two to five minute social media tips for three years. You've got to be all in for the conversation, forever. Like forever is a long time, but like pretty much forever if this is a reverse engineering of a business plan, and you need people to be buying your product or thinking about your brand, you need to be there for the conversation indefinitely.
Jay Clouse 26:14
So there are two things Amy is talking about here. First, and most obviously, is the idea of routine. People will talk about consistency and Amy is talking about that too. But when you go beyond consistency and into routine, something you can rely on something other people can rely on. And something that makes decision making easy because it's automated. That's a different level. And Amy had built a routine of publishing a video three days a week for three years. No questioning of should I post a video today? No, she had a routine that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, she was going to publish a two to five minute video on YouTube. And she made a second point that I wanted to highlight as well when she said if this is reverse engineering of a business plan, you need to be there for the conversation and definitely what Amy is talking about here. is the idea that the audience serves some goal, right? It can't just be vanity. Why do you want to build an audience in the first place, generally is to support your life and your work. But how does your audience actually do that? Is it one on one client services? are they buying a course from you or a product or backing your Patreon? You need to understand the goal that the audience serves. Okay, so now let's get back to Amy. So back to me starting a YouTube channel, okay, I can promise you consistency, but that's probably not enough. You know, what do I need to be thinking about what levers do I need to be pulling in my video and this may be like the content itself this may be like choosing the category the video goes in. I don't know what I don't know. What are the table stakes things I need to consider every time I'm posting something to YouTube.
Amy Landino 27:46
The only thing that matters literally the only thing because niche is an important word, right? We talked about this a lot in business niche, niche, niche, niche, whatever you want to call it. We want to talk about what that that so not the same today as it used to be our niche today is just like basically who we are and what we stand for. So with that being said, not worrying about category not worrying about exactly like what is the best thing to talk about? Who are you doing this for? Like, that is all of it. Let me tell you the reason why I've always felt success. When I watch a video at least once these days. It's more like 50 times. I get the comment. Oh my god, how did you know I needed this video right now. Or I feel you made this video just for me. That should be the goal every time. The only way that happens is for you to know somebody really well. And Jay if I've been going to coffee with you every Wednesday for a long time, you get to know each other. You may not know each other very well on that first trip. Maybe not the second one. But as you continue to find out, okay, I posted something. Let's see what happens. Nothing. Okay. Well, there's there's that's a start, we got nothing. The next time you get a couple comments, they probably have question marks on the end. What are the questions have to say? What loops did you not close? That's not only fodder for content next time you're learning what they're thinking about, the more you learn about what people are thinking about psychology, hacking, you're starting to understand these people so well, that I don't look at the lens of a camera. I talked to a woman named Charlotte. I know her very well. And it's who I talk to in everything I do, because she believes in going after the life that she wants. And that's what we talk about. And I talk about anything that would apply in her life in our capacity. Now, I have lots of people named Joe in their 50s that are not Charlotte. Okay, and they watch
Jay Clouse 30:04
We are not making it for Joe.
Amy Landino 30:50
No, not making it for Joe. But every once in a while Joe stoked about a video, cool. That's the reason why content works is because you do it for the core, and then it ripples out. shareable stuff is shareable for everybody. And if it just so happened to be great for Joe's day, Because it struck a chord that's going on in his life, that's awesome. He might come back to the channel and go, well, none of this other stuff makes sense to me. But that was really good. He's gonna think about a Charlotte in his life that should maybe watch the channel. That's the most important thing in the world, the best creators know who they're talking to. They know the type of humor they'd like. They know the amount of curse words that would make sense. They know the video titles that are going to get their attention. They know the the season that they're in right now. We're all in the same season. Ironically, at this very moment. This is super interesting. And it's why there's the same word in every single email, blog post video everywhere right now, because we know what season everyone's in at the moment. It's knowing that person so that when you show up, you don't sound like you didn't do your homework that day, or that you don't care about the person and aren't even genuinely curious about them. I think genuine curiosity and having the audacity to say, I know exactly who my person is, there's one type of client that would buy my service, that would be the best client ever. Those are the people we're looking for. Those are the people we make videos for. And therefore, we can find them every single time they'll find us, they will gravitate toward us. And we're going to help other people in the process. But if you don't have that core 1000 fans or whatever, that epic blog posts, your 1000 true fans, that's what you should be focusing on. That's the big goal. If you have 1000 true fans, you can, you can move mountains in your life and build something. But we're too busy thinking about the millions and the viral. Or that we're sitting here talking to ourselves in a room by you know, and feeling judged of ourselves, or the wrong people who are going to watch our stuff, or our friends who are gonna think we're weird. Like, that's what I had to deal with 12 years ago, and I know a lot of people still deal with that because it's still a big venture to get on camera. You solve all those problems. When you prioritize the person you're doing it for.
Jay Clouse 31:58
I love that perspective. You know, part of me Thought that asking that question, I would get a response like, well, you need to put a lot of focus into the thumbnail of the video, you need to like do some keyword research on what type of title you're going to use. And that probably becomes true, especially down the line if you're really playing the YouTube game. But I love the approach, especially starting out
Amy Landino 32:16
But how you're gonna make a thumbnail if you don't know who you're making it for.
Jay Clouse 32:19
Amy Landino 32:20
And how are you gonna formulate a title if you don't know how they're gonna read it? Like, that's the point. Those are all super important things like we can we can go into those weeds as much as you want. Those are super important things. But you don't even know what color to pick.
Jay Clouse 32:35
Amy Landino 32:36
Right now, or what? What should this be funny or should it not be funny? Is this a tutorial or am I just sitting here talking like, that's the thing. You've got to know what the person wants. And a lot of people won't do that. They don't want to niche down to one person. That's not enough. We need to impact more people or this is my favorite. We have lots of different types of customers. We have partners and we have people who buy this And then we have people who resell it and just like, okay, that's fine. What are you doing it for? Pick one, because you're talking about three different things. Those people all think differently. Therefore, this is totally gonna be a question of somebody listening to this. Yes, they probably need a different YouTube channel. That very well could be.
Jay Clouse 33:16
Amy Landino 33:17
Because they're asking different questions. They want to know different things. How different is up for discussion depends on how different your customers are. But that's a big question I get, oh, well, I speak multiple languages. Congratulations, the Spanish speaking people need their own channel. Because if you put Spanish and English on the same channel, the English speakers are going to skip all the Spanish ones. That's not good for the algorithm. That's not saying I pick one. I pick one person. It's okay to have multiple platforms. If you have multiple people, you've got to choose but you've got to choose you have to choose who they are.
Jay Clouse 33:49
How did you choose or create Charlotte? If Charlotte is a fictional person? How did you do that?
Amy Landino 33:55
She's quite fictional. Yes, still fascinating of a human being but you know, fictional I honestly like it had a lot to do with you start with where you are. And I started with where I was. I was a small business and I was thinking about how I was going to bring awareness to my brand. I slowly started realizing that that was true. I was talking to marketers, but they were sometimes within or other organizations, not their own. And so it just it just over time you look at the questions. And you know, when the questions turn out to not be I'm super unfocused as much as I get really focused. And then my boss comes in and tells me that I gotta do something. What do I do? Well, you should probably listen to your boss, but now I know, Charlotte works within an organization, right? So you really just have to feel it out. You continue to get to know each other on your coffee date. And that is ultimately how I figured out who Charlotte was.
Jay Clouse 34:53
How much detail should I go into when I'm creating my Charlotte?
Amy Landino 34:57
I think it comes down to what's going to help you the most. For me, I want to know everything because I want to know how far I can go with her. Like, I want to know all the different things we can talk about. But also, I think it helps a lot to envision someone in your mind if you're really struggling talking to a camera at the beginning stages of filming. It's hard, because you're sitting here and you're like, I feel ridiculous. Or, you know, you think about who's going to watch it. That's not that person. If you can't stay focused on, here's a great example. What if your phone was going off the entire time you're sitting down for coffee with Charlotte, you're probably focused on somebody else at that point, somebody who's bugging you, it's not exactly the best analogy, but it's the same idea. If you're not focused on her for the coffee, your mind is everywhere else. You're not going to do a good job of talking to them feeling making them feel heard in that moment, because you're too busy thinking about how mom's gonna think this is stupid or mom's texting you right? So that's how I think of it. I've heard people just say great tip Amy. I just wrote a name down on a sticky note and stuck it to the top of my camera and it works like charm. Great, cool. I don't need that. I feel like logistically I would be like wiser sticky note on my camera. But, but if that works for you great if you need to say, Charlotte is five, four with brunette hair and not a lot of makeup and she prefers to wear jeans and a sweater like whatever if you need to envision that person. Cool. Also, what does she wear? are you dressed up for her? are you dressed down for her? You know what I mean like, it's stuff like that, that actually really makes you think, how am I representing myself to this person? If you're talking to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? How are you trying to look right now? How's your lighting? How is your office look? Not necessarily what are you wearing? Because I feel like that's something that could be up for discussion these days with the startup world and Mark Zuckerberg and all that kind of crap, but really like how are you representing yourself? How do you want to be received?
Jay Clouse 36:54
I want to double click on this inherent tension that I think a lot of creators feel in the beginning between two Taking yourself seriously as you're saying, and also feeling a little bit ridiculous creating for in the moment, nobody seemingly, you know, even when I do voiceovers for this show, which can be all of six seconds of audio with no one in the room, I will screw up inflection or I'll hear my microphone go pop and I will literally just start cursing. And you know, in a time of social isolation, where I'm living with my girlfriend, she probably just hears me from downstairs like just cursing up a storm, and then saying the same line 10 times in a row. How did you get over that? And even you know, both internally and externally from people around you who know you're doing this How did you get over some of that ridiculousness feeling?
Amy Landino 37:37
I haven't gotten over it, it still happens. As a matter of fact, we've decided that we're helping the algorithm along by adding those bloopers to the end of my videos. So something to think about maybe people want to hear, you know, all your mess up someday. But I think when that's happening the most is when I'm losing focus of her. I'm in a struggle point right now because I've always been really good at sitting down and just talking and sometimes I want to try harder. And I tell myself I need to write, and I need to script a video. I'm not good with a script. I can be good after many, many, many takes. But I will get in my head a little too much because I'm not talking to somebody when I'm memorizing a script. So this is why I've always been really kind of against scripting for video. prompters never look natural. I've yet to see somebody who really did a great job with a prompter other than like mainstream media who just made them do it a million times. But I really think you should talk to the lens of the camera like it's a person, because usually when I'm having the most struggle, it's because I'm focused on too many things. The other thing is, we might not know our thing well enough, if we are struggling to get the words out. I like to ask the question when someone's like, I don't know what my passion is like. Okay, great. What could you talk about for 30 minutes non stop, like similar to how I have not shut up for this entire interview, right? Like, I'm not reading from a script like, what could you talk about for 30 minutes non stop and feel energized by it? Even if somebody didn't want to hear that for 30 minutes? Like what what is that thing? Because I think that's when you know you're hitting your stride is when you're not forcing yourself to talk about something you don't know. This is really great for making sure nobody becomes thought leaders and things that they're actually not thought leaders on. Like, just because you think being an entrepreneurship coach right now is a great idea. Maybe don't do it. If you have no idea anything about entrepreneurship, like that's probably not wise, right?
Jay Clouse 39:36
Amy Landino 39:36
If you are struggling to get the words and advice out, it's probably because it's not authentic, and you have no idea what you're talking about, like just be self aware. Just be self aware about it. And I do think the mess ups tend to happen more often when we genuinely don't know what to say. And we're trying to pull them from a place that's more scripted more prepped, and not who we are.
Jay Clouse 39:58
I want to pause for a moment and really to underscore what Amy was talking about with Charlotte, this is one of those pieces of advice I've heard a bunch of times, but never really listened to like I should. And maybe you're in the same boat. The way Amy talks about Charlotte is as if she is a living, breathing person. She's someone that I can visualize as she's talking about her. And that's the way that it should be. These personas for your audience or for your customers can be really powerful. How would you talk to this person in this isn't limited to creators, Trader Joe's describes its target customer as an unemployed college professor who drives a very, very used Volvo. That's vivid, it's specific, and it's useful. Okay, now that we've zoomed in, let's zoom out and go beyond YouTube to other social platforms. I want to expand the scope of discussion here a little bit. There are a lot of listeners of the show who are, you know, they've been they've been making things whether it's art or whether it's, you know, content maybe but a lot of them are also just working with clients right now. And the real is realizing I want to get off this hamster wheel. And I think the way to do that is to build a brand around myself or a brand around my work. And they're not on these channels, at least not intentionally. So if I'm thinking about my content and social strategy, how would you encourage someone to think about where to start? You know, a lot of people get overwhelmed and try to do all of them at once. Is that the way it has to be done? You just white knuckle it, or should you start in one place? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.
Amy Landino 41:27
I've been saying this for a number of years now. Initially, it was not well received, because there was a time where you needed to go to your audience, which is still true, but you should not be somewhere where you are not going to find your Charlotte like oh I found her. I know exactly who she is. She hangs out on Tik Tok a lot. No thanks. Like, okay, well, that sucks. I mean, there's gonna be a fundamental issue there. But I've been saying this for a while, like I really think it doesn't make any any sense to at one point in time it was you've got to be on Facebook, you've got to be on Twitter, you've got to be on LinkedIn. You should host your videos on YouTube, figure that out if you can, and then Instagram was starting to come up. That's ridiculous. That is so hard, even for a huge company to do. Like, let's be honest, because if you're a huge company, Twitter is probably going to be more customer service than anything to totally different strategy, totally different apartment. And yes, social media has to play a role in it. So to me, I think it's been the case for a while that you should be going to where your audience is, but you should crush it at one thing before you are worried about 50 things, which is why I still have not done a single Tik Tok because my team is all about it. My team is so ready for me to do some Tik Tok action and I think I could be great, but until I know I'm going to show up for coffee on a regular Tik Tok basis, which is a lot I'm not there yet. And I think that that's a missed opportunity. But with those missed opportunities, we're not sitting on our hands, we're doing the other things that we do really, really well. And if we start dropping the ball on the things we do really, really well, why the heck doesn't matter if we went to that other platform, because ultimately, you're still spreading yourself way too thin, because you're still trying to do the other thing really, really well. And you're trying to learn a new platform, and all the other things you still refuse to quit. So I just think you have to pick one.
Jay Clouse 43:31
They're also super different platforms, right? Like, it's easy for me to show up for coffee on a podcast, I would dread coffee on YouTube. Like that's just a lot harder for me to get excited about and to show up every week and do there'll be a lot of time in the week where I'm thinking to myself, I know I need to be doing this. I made a commitment to do this, but I don't want to do that. And maybe that's a signal that let's just double down on the coffees on the podcast.
Amy Landino 43:54
100% and you bring up an amazing point, you just didn't say the word shooting all over yourself. When we say I should be on YouTube because its content, its social and search all in one platform. Yeah, sure you should, but with what resources. So you're just going to show up there and take up space on the platform. For what you're not going to see anything. If you're not taking it seriously. we tell ourselves we should a lot because we're paying too much attention to what the outside world is doing. Now. It's okay if you're looking at everything objectively and going okay, what is the state of things right now, we're about to dive in. We need to take very seriously one to two platforms, we need a separate strategy for both because we cannot copy paste that is not repurposing. So if we do that, what are they looking objectively at everything and saying, okay, podcast is it for us, man, like podcast is really where the magic happens for people to get that aha moment. They need to hear from our brand. Great, perfect, but to go, Oh, so someone started a podcast, we have to start a podcast like that's a totally different conversation. And everyone knows it, and they refuse to talk about it, because they just come in They go guys Tik Tok, it's where it's at. We have to do Tik Tok everyone's doing Tik Tok. Did you see Kevin Hart's doing Tik Tok, Tom Hanks is doing Tik Tok, everyone's on Tik Tok, we have to be on Tik Tok. Okay, great. Why? Like, what are we gonna do that's gonna be valuable for our person in these 15 second funny videos that don't really convert anything unless you happen to be holding a product in them which I don't think that they've necessarily killed tik tok yet with sponsorships, but it'll happen. And why? What are we going to accomplish? What is going to make this shareable? What is going to make this fascinating what is going to make this? Make people love us? It's an important question to ask. It can't just be what everybody everybody's doing. It must be hot.
Jay Clouse 45:41
In December of 2019, Amy took her knack for routine a step further by publishing her book. Good morning, good life. Five simple habits to master your mornings and upgrade your life. So naturally, I wanted to hear about her own routines besides making videos.
Amy Landino 45:58
Yeah, I just heard like so many people eye roll just now. So I just want to like clarify like
Jay Clouse 46:03
Loud eyes on this show
Amy Landino 46:05
Loud eye rolls, guys. Um, here's the thing. I think the magic of the routine for me is that when I found out, I couldn't unknow it, like, you know, you probably started your business based on this right? Oh my gosh, I'm really good at that you can't unknow that. And when you're an action taker, things happen with that there are lots of people who can't unknow something and don't do something about it. So that's something to analyze there. But where I find it becomes difficult in this business, and probably any business is there so many shiny objects, much like the last conversation we had. The only way for me to stay focused. And I don't want to say stay the course. It's not stay the course you need to be really aware of when things change and context changes. But if you want a successful YouTube channel, you're going to have to stay in some kind of a course for a long time in order to do that, you really have to not beat yourself up with decisions. And I've just learned that the more decisions you have to make throughout the day, the more likely your day could go to complete crap. So for me, starting the day, on my terms, doing XYZ things that I have learned over time, have helped me get the clarity and the start that I need to be able to own the rest of the stuff that's on my plate has limited the decision of what I'm going to do tomorrow. What time am I going to wake up? Am I going to get a workout in? Am I going to do these things? What am I going to wear you are making the most ridiculously stupid decisions first thing in the morning and then later, you need to make critical decisions for your business. And for your clients. It doesn't add up. It doesn't add up to success. you question yourself too much, and you beat yourself down. So the morning routine for me is not because I'm a morning person. It's because I figured out and I couldn't unknow how productive I can be when everyone else is still asleep and still In 2020, after 8 million, potentially billion blog posts about successful people waking up early in the morning to do things, people still don't do it.
Jay Clouse 48:10
Let's say that I'm totally bought in and I want to build these routines for myself, and I want to have this coffee date for my content. I have all these plans in place. And one week things go sideways, and the plan goes out the window. What happens? Do I give up on it? Should I give myself like some Grace? How do you think about that? Does it ever happen to Amy?
Amy Landino 48:30
You have to give yourself grace. Are you kidding? Yeah, I happens every day. Still. I mean, like you, you've got to go through those moments. But the other thing is that there's someone that's going to quit this podcast and go sweet, waking up at 5am tomorrow, just like Amy said, I should and then you're shooting all over yourself. You don't actually know that 5am is the right time for you. You should find and I'm saying should again. But you should go through that and figure out like, okay, that sucked. I didn't enjoy that. I didn't make the most of it. I never want do that again. Great self awareness. No problem. Six o'clock could be good. If six o'clock works for you then cool. Also, there's lots of people who work like late. There are night owls. I'm not a night owl. I wish I could say I'm a night owl, so I wouldn't have to do this morning routine thing. I am so not productive around dinnertime, I just want to eat and veg out. I'm not gonna get anything done at night period. So being aware of that is fine. If you're the type that's going to work till three in the morning, and you're stoked about that, do it, but then sleep for seven hours, and then wake up. And then start the day on your terms. Still, don't check your email right away. Don't rush to the shower to roll out of your house as fast as possible and commute somewhere that's not safe. Like you still can start the day on your terms. No matter when your morning is. So try it and then try something else. And then keep trying something until you find the actual routine, which becomes a ritual because you do it regularly. Once you figure out what works for you, that's when the magic happens because you're no longer making the decision anymore. This is just how it is. This is how we do things. And then the important decisions get made in a much more level headed capacity.
Jay Clouse 50:10
How do you think about resilience as it comes to these routines that you're building? An example that comes to mind for me is, I've been writing weekly for three years. And still often I end up conceptualizing and writing that piece the day before it actually ships when things go sideways. That's a bad time for that coffee date. I was supposed to have that day. How far ahead? Do you think about planning and, you know, delivering on the promise that you're making, now that you have this content machine that you've been writing for years?
Amy Landino 50:39
Yeah, it's different now than it used to be. I mean, and and also, it needs to be the same. It needs to be similar because I don't know what it is. It's like some kind of weird magic or something. But when I know I'm creating something really, really good. It's usually something I figured out 48 hours before it's got to come out or less. And it's like bang it out, get it done, this is gonna be awesome. And then like, is like the audience, it's like, there's this alignment moment. That's amazing. And it usually happens like that a traditional youtuber is like sick, let's do that video. And then they ship it as soon as it's done in a media company world that doesn't work very well. We have partners, we have sponsors, and so we have to come up with ideas, we have to work with them on ideas. So there's a balance, there's these like super fun, creative moments you get to have so that you don't lose that in yourself, which is really important. And then there's the more like pillar content that's tried and true and really good. And we're going to do it in advance because we have to get the partners approval on it in advance and then we scheduled accordingly. In addition to making sure all those things line up with the promised coffee date, so there's there's a significant balance and that's what happens when you take your part time passion and turn it into full time freedom. I'm still passionate About my video and my work, but in order for it to be freedom that I can rely on, there are some rules I got to abide by. If I want to work with partners, this is how it works. If I want to do these other things, this is how it works. Like you just got to build the machine to figure it out how it works. But you also have to continue to stay tuned to yourself so you don't lose that creativity.
Jay Clouse 52:26
Here, I was thinking I was going to learn about YouTube today. And I walk away with a bunch of ideas for how to think about creating content and building an audience. I cannot stress enough what Amy talked about in terms of having high expectations for yourself, and low expectations for the rest of the world. When you think the world owes you something just for your effort, it's easy to get bitter and cynical. And believe me, I've been there. When I was writing an email every day and even every week, it was easy to think that I wasn't getting the attention or respect that I deserved, based on the effort that I was putting in. But you can't think that way. You have to do your best to show up every time with the intent of helping other people, or you will continue to be ignored. I'm walking away from this conversation with the to do item of defining my Charlotte. And I think you should too. If you want to check out Amy's videos, go to youtube.com/AmyTV. You can find her book at Goodmorninggoodlife.com or on her website, AmyLandino.com and of course links to all that are in the show notes. Thanks to Amy for being on the show. Thank you to Emily Clouse for making the artwork for this episode. Thanks to Brian scale for mixing the show and also creating our music. If you liked this episode, you can tweet at Jay Clouse and let me know if you really want to say thank you. Please leave a review on Apple podcasts. It helps a lot. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.