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How To Crush YouTube with Cyan Cooper

April 3, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

In this three-part mini-series of The Recognized Authority, we’re focusing on the importance of video. We’ll look at how you can make better videos, how to earn the click, what you need to do to crush it on YouTube, and how to make videos that work great on LinkedIn.

In part two of the series, host Alastair McDermott is joined by YouTube expert, Cyan Cooper.

Cyan shares his insights on how businesses can leverage YouTube to grow authority and revenue. He emphasizes the importance of doing research on your audience, packaging ideas to make them compelling, and how to structure content for maximum retention. He also gives tips on avoiding tangents and how to create self-contained videos that stand out in a crowded market.

Alastair and Cyan discuss the challenges of creating long-form content for YouTube and how to leverage the platform’s algorithm to increase viewership, so tune in to learn how you can create a bingeable channel on YouTube!

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Cyan is the co-founder of 100C, a full-service YouTube agency that builds channels for business owners who want to grow their authority and revenue. Before that he built a seven-figure footwear manufacturing agency in China, which ultimately drove him into the arms of YouTube.


youtube, people, videos, content, audience, channel, talking, niche, watch, tangents, motion graphics, starting, algorithm, podcast, packaging, business, interested, read, compelling, bit

Alastair McDermott, Cyan Cooper


Alastair McDermott  00:01

Hello, and welcome to The Recognized Authority. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott. Today, my guest is Cyan Cooper, and Cyan is somebody who is, I think a longtime listener to the show, and has, has some really interesting things to say about YouTube, because I’ve been following you, Cyan on LinkedIn for for quite a while and we’ve been watching your content on there. So Simon is the founder, the co founder of 100C, which is a full service YouTube agency that builds channels for business owners who want to grow authority and revenue. And that’s something we’re going to talk about.


Cyan Cooper  00:32

So from the beginning, when I started my professional career, I always wanted to be at the cutting edge of things. And you’re gonna ask me a question later, I think it’s going to go into this, but I started in China, and I was told in college, that the cutting edge was going to be globalization, manufacturing, you know, do, which primarily happened over in China. And then after years of being over there, I realized that that was not the cutting edge of what was taking place in the business community. And I didn’t enjoy it. So I came back to the states, looking to switch up my industry, and do something that was in line with my natural talents. But then also something that I thought was going to be impervious to the changes of the landscape, and going forward with things like AI and such.


Cyan Cooper  01:30

And so after starting 100 C, which was just a general marketing firm, where we did just about everything I was paying attention to, you know, how do we want to how do we want to niche down what do we want to focus on, and YouTube emerged as a medium that’s so complex, and so creative, that no amount of like, it will always, it will always be something that you can stand out on. If you put in the effort, it’ll never become commoditized, you know, as as like, for example, AI. If you have an Instagram channel, and you you do art, you know, AI, it’s coming for you that the same phenomenon isn’t happening for YouTube. And a lot of people, especially a lot of businesses, recognize that being effective on YouTube makes them stand out in their industry as as an authority. And that, but it’s very difficult to do, and they need help doing it. And so it just all those pieces aligned. And we decided to double down on YouTube about four years ago. And we’ve been doing that ever since. Like I was telling you before the call from sun up to sundown, all we do is make YouTube videos.


Alastair McDermott  02:42

Yeah, that’s awesome. I think, you know, YouTube was really interesting. I’ve been a, technically I’ve been on it for, I don’t know, 15 years or something like that. 2008 I think I had my first video on YouTube. But I I’m probably the poster child of not using it effectively. So… And that’s something I want to talk to you about today about how people like me, and maybe some of the folks who are watching this can use it or listening to this.


Alastair McDermott  03:11

Can we get into some of the details then because you talked about, you know, using it to grow authority. And that’s something I talk a lot with people about in the show. Can-can you talk to me about how you might take somebody, and you can use me as an example if you want, or you can make up a hypothetical if you like, but but if you have somebody who wants to grow a YouTube channel, they think that they they want to do video, ahm, you talked a little bit there about I think you were kind of hinting at production value and quality and things like that. And maybe some of that kind of talk is scaring away some of the people from YouTube. Can you talk to me about like, where the line is? Like, is the bar so high now that we have to have you know that we have to have professional editing and things like that? Or can people DIY? Can you talk a little bit about that?


Cyan Cooper  03:59

Yeah, absolutely. So all hope is not lost. If you want to build a YouTube channel, without having hiring an editor, you know, having branded motion graphics, stuff like that, you can still do it. Especially if you have unique brilliance, a funny humor, you’re you’re, you’re very funny, or you have particularly charismatic personality. If you have those things going for you. You don’t even have to even you have to do basic edits. A lot of times you can just turn on the camera and start talking and you’ll build an audience that way.


Cyan Cooper  04:33

If you, if you don’t feel like you have those things naturally in reserve, then some of the ways that you can still build a really effective YouTube channel without just going with over the top production value is by doing careful audience research, finding out on YouTube, what are the things that your particular target audience is very interested in. There tends to be a few topics that they that that they gravitate towards, you know that saying meet your audience where they’re at, not where you’re at. So and then once you understand that, spend some time, packaging your ideas in a way that’s going to be compelling to them. And I saw that you just had Jake Thomas on. And he’s a master of that of understanding how to package things. And if you, if you just do that, you will win the click a lot of times, and you will, you will, and that will put you ahead of the vast majority of people who you’re competing with, especially in a professional niche, with some exceptions, the competition, there might be a lot of people doing it, but the competition isn’t that fierce. And so that’s, that’s kind of the first step you can take to winning the click and getting people to pay attention to you. Then once you’ve won the click, and you have people watching, you do need to be a little bit more intentional about how you structure your content. You don’t want to ramble, you don’t want to have long drawn out intros. You don’t want to go on tangents. You don’t want to overwhelm people with information and just give them too much. There are some some basic rules that you kind of should follow with your scripting to make sure that once you win that click and you have people watching, you don’t lose them, and you keep them watching for the whole the whole video.


Alastair McDermott  06:12

Right? I think you guys call out the retention graph, right?


Alastair McDermott  06:18

Yeah. So I know, a little bit, a little bit about this, but using I know enough to be dangerous with this. So no, not enough to to actually do it properly. Okay, so you talk. So you’re talking about? First off basic audience research. You mentioned topics they gravitate towards. I’d like to ask you a little bit about how we can identify those. And then packaging in a way that’s compelling and check out the episode with Jake, which is wherever you found this episode. It’s nearby. And, and he does talk a lot about you know, titles and packaging. And then when we’re actually creating the content, being being very intentional with it, having a short intro and no tangents is that no tangents in the hole in the in the you know, in the in the whole video, because I’m I’m just wondering, does that mean that long form doesn’t work? Does that mean that it should be shorter form? Can you tell me a little bit about that?


Cyan Cooper  06:18



Cyan Cooper  07:24

So long form in terms of like, when you say short form, you mean like YouTube short?


Alastair McDermott  07:30

Well, so what I’m thinking is, right, what when we, when we pick a title, let’s let’s take today, for an example, we’re talking about How to Crush YouTube. And so we pick a title. And now I know this is a live, so it’s gonna be a bit different, we are rolling, we’re not, we’re not able to edit this in post, and change the way that we spoke. But we are going to go on tangents. And we probably already have gone on several tangents. So if I’m creating a YouTube video, if I’m creating a video specifically for YouTube, and let’s say I’m doing editing and creating it that way, does that mean that I shouldn’t be be creating a long form video of you know, an hour long that I should actually be keeping it to, you know, 10-15 minutes or even less even like five minutes, where I’m really condensing down. So it’s much shorter. How do you think about that?


Cyan Cooper  08:23

That’s what my experiences in that’s what we’ve been doing. I can’t I know that YouTube right now, like for on one of our larger channels that we manage, I know that I just saw they have a podcasting tab. So I know that they’re starting to double down on on podcasting, I would imagine that the algorithm relating to really long form content, that’s like an hour plus, that’s considered a podcast, it probably my guess is it would work a little bit differently. And I haven’t heard anybody talk about this. But my guess is it would work a little bit differently than the algorithm that most YouTubers are familiar with. So I can’t speak to that, effectively. But if you were asking for my advice, and how I would try to build an audience on YouTube, based on what I know, yes, I would strongly recommend that. If you if you’re podcasting, for example, you still continue to do that. Maybe on a separate channel, maybe on a separate platform altogether. But then you make a point on YouTube to take the information that you get from any one podcast and string it together, edit it. So it’s strung together in a way where every point leads into the next point. And it’s really easy for the audience to follow. And they don’t feel like they clicked for one thing, and then got another.


Alastair McDermott  09:42

Right okay, so it’s sounds it’s a bit like the highlights package for like for a football match or something. So that’s what that sounds like to me. Because, in a way, a podcast episode is like a sequence of tangents because you kind of you follow the strings and and it can end up being, I would hope it ends up being an interesting conversation all around the topic. But sometimes we do go down rabbit holes. And quite often I very deliberately go down those rabbit holes because I’m interested in where those leads. But yeah, I think that when you talk about intentional and no tangents that that already sends a red flag to me about the type of content that I’m creating and putting up on YouTube. Because I think that that is going to be too long and too tangential. For for what you’re talking about.


Cyan Cooper  10:38

Well, and to be clear, its people, people want to consume podcasts. So it’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the podcast format, just on YouTube, I do think that the most success that you’re probably going to see with the algorithm is going to be if you do that, one example, I just realized he just recently I noticed that this creator is doing this. Have you ever heard of The Futur without an E at the end of it?


Alastair McDermott  11:01

Yeah. I’ve had Chris Do on the on the podcast. Yeah. Great.


Cyan Cooper  11:04

Oh, yeah. Chris. Yeah. Okay, exactly. So So one of the things that Chris is doing right now is he’ll do, he’ll do like an interview. And it’ll be really long. And then his team will go back and isolate parts of the interview that are self contained. And then they’ll take the time to create interesting motion graphics to demonstrate the ideas being discussed. And then they’ll put that up as its own video. And I’ve noticed that those are doing really well on his channel. And, and they serve the purpose, it’s a great strategy, they serve the purpose of not only performing well on their own videos, but then getting people when they want to recognize that it’s part of a longer interview. And then they go and look for that interview on his on his channel, and go and watch it. So that’s kind of, I think he’s using both strategies together. And if it’s working for Chris, chances are it could probably work for you too. So you wouldn’t necessarily have to go start another channel, you could maybe post your long form podcast, on your YouTube channel, and then also have videos that are segments of it, that are self contained, that don’t go on tangents, also, as videos that you put up.


Alastair McDermott  12:07

Right. And now I’m gonna ask you going back, you mentioned having a separate channel possibly. Would that be a separate channel with like, would you have the? Well, I think I might call it a short form the short form clips, will I have those on a separate channel than the full podcast interviews?


Cyan Cooper  12:27

I haven’t tested this myself, the way I think about it is when somebody discovers your YouTube channel, and they watch a piece of your content, they’re later going to finish or leave and go back to their homepage and be scrolling. When they’re scrolling, they’re going to see more of your content. The question is, does that content appeal to them the same way as the content that they watched before? And if it doesn’t, they’re not going to click? And if that happens at scale, then YouTube will will not promote your content.


Cyan Cooper  13:04

So yeah, so you have to be thinking, you have to be thinking, as with the content I plan on putting on this channel, after people come and watch one video, when they see my other videos in the feed, are they going to feel compelled to click on those? And watch those as well? And if the answer is no, because, because they like getting ideas quickly, and they don’t like to sit there and listen to a long interview. This is this is just something, I’m guessing that you’d have to use data to test this, then then yes, you would want to put those clips maybe on a separate channel. My guess is YouTube’s algorithm is smart enough that it can if you have some content that’s popular with your audience and some content, that’s not, it’ll do a really good job of just showing them the content that it thinks they’re going to want to click on. It also understands their personal preferences, and the type of stuff that they’re interested in. So if you have some content on your channel that speaks to those personal preferences, it’ll also then show that content to them to increase the likelihood that they click, you just want to make sure that the content of your channel gets as many gets for each viewer gets them watching as much of it as possible. That should be your primary metric when you’re deciding what to put on a channel and what to put on a separate channel.


Alastair McDermott  13:04



Alastair McDermott  14:19

Right. And this is where I think I’ve heard you talking about bingeable channels versus bingeable videos.


Cyan Cooper  14:26

Yeah, so So historically, on YouTube, people, there wasn’t a lot of competition. And so you could get on YouTube, you could hemorrhage videos, and the algorithm wasn’t as refined as it is now. So you could get on YouTube, you could hemorrhage videos, find what hits and it would get a ton of views. And then and the likelihood of something random hitting would work relatively well. That’s why people who have been on YouTube with exceptions, most people who have been on YouTube and taking it seriously for a long time have these massive, massive audiences despite the fact that if you go and watch their content today it’s maybe not the most exceptional content on YouTube, because they they were able to ride that wave. Now, that’s that’s not so much. That’s not so much the case. And repeat your question again. I’m sorry, I got lost in my early here.


Alastair McDermott  15:18

That’s okay. I know your timezone or your daylight savings just kicked in. I, where I want to go with this is, I just want to ask, but based on that, does that mean that we should be more discerning about the type of videos that we’re making? Like, should we curate our content more, and put up only super high quality stuff and not, not hit publish on the mediocre stuff?


Cyan Cooper  15:42

Yes, absolutely. And one way you can do that, aside from insane production value, is just making sure that you understand the things that are important to your audience. And you’re making videos that that not only hit on those things that are important to the audience, but then when they click on them, they start to listen, the information that they’re getting isn’t just low value, boilerplate stuff, it’s insights that they really can’t find anywhere else, especially for your audience. People want to build authority in their industry, you need to you need to have something about your content that makes it unique and stand out in the eyes of your audience today, with today’s landscape. I think that’s where I was going with, with my ramble before about how things used to work on YouTube.


Alastair McDermott  16:28

Yeah, so if Chat GPT could write it, then it’s not good enough to use the script for a video. Because that’s gonna be that that generic boilerplate that you talked about. And don’t get me wrong, I think that Chat GPT is a great tool that you can use. It’s amazing for a lot of for a lot of very useful things. Typically writing your shitty first draft, some people call it but but just just be aware, it is your first draft, not your publishable content.


Alastair McDermott  16:57

Okay, so I don’t know about charismatic. I don’t know if my humor translates also also, well, what was the third one that you mentioned earlier?


Cyan Cooper  17:09

So unique force of brilliance, charismatic personality and humor.


Alastair McDermott  17:12

So unique force of brilliance.


Cyan Cooper  17:16

For example, you had Peep, Peep Laja on I believe, and, and he I apologize, people if I pronounced your name wrong. He he came on, and he spit hot fire that that that episode was outstanding. I even It compelled me to comment on Twitter, I believe about it. And that’s what I mean by having unique, brilliant. Justin Welsh, also who you know who’s king on LinkedIn, he talks about this, how there’s different types of content that you can make that’s going to that’s going to appeal to people. And the most powerful one by far is essentially thought leadership. And that’s what Peep had. Yes, he has experiences other people simply don’t have. And so he’s able to just turn on a camera and start talking. And people have rapt attention, because they’re not going to find that anywhere else.


Alastair McDermott  18:07

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And by the way, it’s Peep Laja. I know because


Cyan Cooper  18:11

Peep Laja I apologize. I didn’t I, I apologize.


Alastair McDermott  18:16

Yeah, I’m sure he gets that one a lot. I don’t get people mispronouncing my name just misspelling. I understand.


Alastair McDermott  18:25

Okay, so let’s, let’s take somebody like me then. And I have a YouTube channel where I’ve got a lot of mediocre content on there. And it’s the usual thing of it’s been there for years. So it’s been there, the content kind of meanders in terms of the subject matter and things like that, because you know, I was experimenting and hadn’t kind of found my niche and things like that, should I just go and wipe the slate clean and delete all that content? Is that what you recommend?


Cyan Cooper  18:56

No, not necessarily, you should go through first, you should figure out what this is why I talked about channel before videos, you should figure out what you want your channel to be about. And then you should make the conscious decision looking at all your previous content, what’s in alignment with that and what’s not in alignment with that, and what’s not in alignment with that I would recommend taking off your channel. Then you have left this stuff that isn’t alignment with what you feel your value proposition of that channel is go through that and look for signs that a video is a strong video. And one of the primary signs of that is did people subscribe when they watched and if and then so anything that doesn’t feel like a strong video, then remove that as well. And so all you have left are these videos that are in alignment with the value proposition that you want your channel to have. And they’re compelling to the audience, the target audience that you’re going after. So then when a new member of that target audience comes into your sphere And they’re doing that scroll after they watch one of your videos are doing that scroll, and they’re starting to see your videos show up. Every single video, they click on, you know, with a high, high degree of certainty that they’re gonna find compelling. And that. So that’s actually one of the things that people have been talking about the community recently how you can grow your YouTube channel by deleting videos. So you can actually take these, take these, these videos that aren’t in alignment with your target audience off of your channel, and all you have left is the cream of the crop that people do find compelling. And that will cause binge watching behavior, which the YouTube algorithm is, it’s probably the number one metric that it’s looking for. And when it sees that, it’ll then go out and find a whole bunch of people, like those people and promote your content to them.


Alastair McDermott  20:44

Right, do you? I mean, is it enough to just remove those videos? Or do you need to tell YouTube in some way? You know, hey, there’s just been a whole bunch of changes to this channel, you should go and reindex it or whatever.


Cyan Cooper  21:00

It’s not No, it’s not it’s not Google. It despite being owned by Google, it’s not Google. So you can just switch switch them to private. And that’s enough. What’s going to make what’s going to make the difference is over time, the new user, the new audience behavior that emerges as a result, the algorithm will recognize that and you’ll start to see a pickup in your channel.


Alastair McDermott  21:23

Cool. So okay, and then I’m still in two minds as to do do I need this separate channel for the long form video, like, for example, we’re broadcasting now live stream. So this is, by definition, going to be a long form, long form video with lots of tangents should this be on a completely separate channel to those shorts, those those clips, and the kind of the highlights packages that we talked about?


Cyan Cooper  21:53

Like I said, it’s not something it’s not something I have a lot of experience with. So you’d have to test. And you’d let let data decide the fact that, you know, Chris, Chris Do, is, has been doing this for a very long time. And he’s very business minded, and he is very fact driven, and data driven. So my guess is, if he’s doing that, on his on the same channel, he’s probably done a little bit of research, his team has done a little bit of research and looked at the data and determined that this is actually a decent strategy, the fact that the fact that they’re from the exact same clip, lead, and they’re the content themselves value of the content. And what you’re essentially giving viewers is in perfect alignment, it’s just one as long form and might go on some tangents. And the other one isn’t, that that’s probably sufficient to have, if I’m just based on my intuition, giving you a response, that’s probably sufficient to have them on the same channel, and not need to separate them.


Alastair McDermott  22:51

And I guess the final kind of technical question for you, well, actually, no, it’s there’s kind of just kind of two there. One is, is there a difference to YouTube and how it treats a live video to regular videos?


Cyan Cooper  23:08

I think it promotes live videos, especially when they’re live more like they’ll show up in your feed. And you know, they have that like little red circle around them. We don’t we have we only have one client who does live streams. So we don’t we haven’t spent a lot of time with it. But it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely something that YouTube wants you to do. And it’s it definitely works to grow the channel, especially. And this is something I’ve talked about before and on LinkedIn is doing live streams, especially once you have an audience doing live streams is one of the absolute best ways to sell people. Right, you get we see so many we see so many comments with buyer intent in live streams that our clients does. So that’s a great, it’s definitely should be part of your strategy.


Alastair McDermott  23:56

Okay, so I want to switch back then to what you mentioned earlier. You, you mentioned your audience research. I think this is really key piece. Can you give a quick overview of how we can figure out what the topics are that people gravitate forward towards that people are looking? Because I’m sure that this is quite YouTube specific, right?


Cyan Cooper  24:22



Alastair McDermott  24:22

Because it’s because it’s video. It’s not just regular search?


Cyan Cooper  24:26

The short answer, the easy answer applies across across probably any social media platform. And that’s that you should make copies initially, if you’re starting a brand new channel. Ideally, you’ll go out and you’ll do some research using data and looking at other similar channels and seeing what’s resonating. Use that as kind of like your north star for what type of content you should begin with. But the best one of the best things you can do is just start making content. Make as much as you can see what resonates and then use that to then hone in and start to make more content that’s kind of peripheral to it. Alright, But in related, because that’s probably like I said earlier, audiences tend to have certain priorities in mind. And they share that in common. And as a result, certain videos, certain topics really appeal to them within that niche.


Alastair McDermott  25:17

Yeah, yeah. And one thing that we briefly mentioned before it, can you tell me like, What are the major differences between the way that people use YouTube as users compared to the other social media channels? Because it is kind of like it’s social media, but it’s not really a social media channel, can you can you tell me a little bit how you think about that.


Cyan Cooper  25:40

So I, let me just give you the rundown of why I think YouTube is the best. And a lot of this is what separates it from other platforms. So first of all, it has evergreen content. And so you’re able to, you’re able to make content that one time, and it will continue to get views ongoing. And there’s no other platform that does that quite as reliably. The it shows up on Google, it develops a parasocial relationship, on a level that other platforms simply don’t like even Joe Rogan, for example, you can listen to Joe Rogan, or you know, the most popular podcast out there, on Spotify, all you want, but you’re not going to feel quite as connected with him as someone else you watch on YouTube, where you actually see their face as you listen to them. And you sit there and watch it for long, long periods of time. It’s it’s more discoverable. If you like we’ve been talking about you’ll have content that is targeting very specific priorities of your target audience. And YouTube’s algorithm is designed to have the surface and show up for them. Your success compounds over time you develop, you develop fans, that will go through your entire back catalogue and watch everything. So as a new person comes into your sphere, if you have a successful channel, it everything gets a lip together. And then quality matters people like we’ve been talking about if you are doing a better job of communicating the packaging, that’ll get people to, to fully whereas you can get away with a lot lower quality stuff on other platforms. And then it’s stable and reliable, reliably predictable.


Cyan Cooper  27:21

And so how do people interact? And so I guess I didn’t quite answer your question. But how? How is it different people, people develop probably the biggest point in there is the parasocial relationship, by watching you on a regular basis, especially if you have a format bingeable where people keep coming back over and over to, to watch your videos, the connection that they feel with you is so much stronger than something that’s maybe just primarily audio based, or even something that’s video based, but it’s much shorter, like Tiktok. And so they that’s probably the single most defining characteristic, I would say, of the audience relationship to creators on YouTube.


Cyan Cooper  28:04

To give you an example, there are events, I’m drawing a blank on some of them but like there’s events where creators will go and their fans can come and visit them. And in person, and YouTube consistently, people who have big YouTube followings will have tons of people show up. And then just recently, TikTok did its first one or something. It started to do them. And one of the biggest problems was that nobody was showing up to meet their these creators, these readers would have millions of followers and people still wouldn’t show up. And so I would say that the probably the biggest definable characteristic of that relationship is the parasocial nature of it where people feel really bonded to the creators that they watch it.


Alastair McDermott  28:50

Right, right, really interesting. So the relationships, the evergreen content, which is something that, you know, I think that there’s something in the nature of authority type content, that we have an advantage in that most of the content that we create can be evergreen, if we design it that way. And then the compounding effect, and I think that is just something that that is natural to, to all of kind of building a body of work and content creation, is that there is a compounding effect, it grows and it grows and it grows. It’s like I heard somebody say what’s the best way to sell a book is to write write another book. It’s kind of the same, same idea. And I know that might sound a little bit extreme, but But you know, that they sent it for a reason.


Alastair McDermott  29:37

So okay, that’s really interesting. And then the other thing is, it doesn’t feel like a regular social media channel, youtube because of that evergreen thing of the possibility of something being shown again later. Is there any kind of date based advantage in the algorithm was something more recent, or like, will it show was something from, you know, 2010 If it’s 100%, relevant?


Cyan Cooper  30:07

Both yes to both. So YouTube’s algorithm does favor newer content, assuming that its quality is there. So if it has two comparable videos within a niche that are competing ones, the newer ones older, and they seem to have relatively similar metrics in terms of click through rate, in terms of audience retention, yes, it’ll prefer that, especially if you’re in like a news based niche, where freshness is extremely important. You know, if you report the news, five days later, nobody cares, you know. But then at the same time, and this is true, especially for a lot of niches on YouTube, that are more that are not quite as fun, you know, that are not quite as entertainment based. So for a lot of businesses, in their niches, somebody made a video, a lot of times, if you go and search in your niche, you’ll see someone made a video like five years ago, about, you know, the basics of HR or something like that. And it’s still getting, its up to like, you know, 200,000 views or, or 500,000 views or a million plus views. And it’s still just holding that number one spot. So So yes, to both add, no, if that’s confusing.


Alastair McDermott  31:18

No, no, that’s good. So, so let me I’m probably going to ask you to repeat yourself here. Let’s say you’re talking to somebody who is an expert in their field hasn’t done YouTube before, and is thinking about doing it, where would you advise them to start.


Cyan Cooper  31:34

If you’re an expert in your field, do the things we’ve already discussed, where you’re you’re packaging and go back, watch the episode with Jake, Jake does a great job of talking about how to package with title and thumbnail your idea for any particular video, get a bunch of videos out there and see what your audience is interested in. And then kind of use that to narrow your focus and double down on that direction, and then start making more of that content. That will, if you do it, right, and you’re doing a good job packaging, and you’re doing a good job of scripting your content, so that you’re not losing people when they’re watching, that will give you a very strong chance of starting to develop momentum on YouTube. And then, once you feel like the algorithm is starting to show yourself to more and more people, you have a good idea of what your audience is interested in. If you’re starting to build momentum, then maybe go back, remove some of those videos that you did before, where you’re just testing the waters, and you have a YouTube channel, then then focus, you know, continue to engage with your audience, communicate with them use community posts, everybody now has access to community posts, to survey your audience on a regular basis to get insight into what it is that they’re that are their priorities, who they are, what type of content they want to see.


Alastair McDermott  32:52

And is that a text post? Can you tell me a little bit about that?


Cyan Cooper  32:56

Yeah, community posts are just, they’re, they’re, they’re text based, but they also have, it’s kind of like, like your options on Twitter or LinkedIn, you can do like a poll, for example, you can post a picture, you can just post text. And it used to be to get to 500 subscribers in order to have access to it, but they recently made a change so that everybody has access to it. So that’s a great tool. In addition to doing the things that we just talked about, where you’re testing the waters with various videos, you’re just making a bunch of content to see what sticks, then also use that once you start to get an audience use that to get an insight into their brains. And what what do they want? What are they focused on? And And between those two, you should be able to get going.


Alastair McDermott  33:36

What about professional editing? Like, can somebody just flick record on their webcam and put something straight up? Or do they have to go through the professional editing, the motion graphics and stuff that you talked about? B roll all that kind of stuff.


Cyan Cooper  33:53

If I mean, if I’m if you find yourself in the same niche as one of my clients, you’re probably not going to, you’re probably not going to be this. But you can if you do the things that we’ve been talking about, no, you don’t need to you don’t need to have a bunch of motion graphics, you don’t need to have a bunch of you know, editing. If you do a really good job, if you’re a great speaker, and you do a really good job of collecting your thoughts in advance and knowing exactly what you’re going to say and you know that it’s high value for your audience. You can you can hit record doesn’t matter what type of camera you have, just start talking. And people, you know, make sure that it’s structured well make sure that you grab attention, make sure you give people a reason to keep watching the beginning and make you know so that you’re you’re not losing people. You don’t have motion graphics to do that for you. That’s one of the advantages of motion graphics. But, but then just stay on point and you will build an audience. I see people do it all the time. There’s one guy I can’t remember his name. I was just looking at his channel and he does minimal editing he he adds like the occasional B ROLL CLIP and that’s about it and his videos are like 30 minutes long and Just sit there and talk. And people tune in to watch in the hundreds of 1000s. So it’s definitely something that you can do, just make sure that you’re not wasting your audience’s time. That’s key, like, figure out what your audience wants, give it to them every single time. And you will grow even if you don’t have all these all the bells and whistles.


Alastair McDermott  35:19

Awesome. I think that’s, that’s a good place to leave it on that topic. I asked the same question in every interview. And that is what is the number one tip that you would give somebody who wants to build the authority?


Cyan Cooper  35:32

To… kind of what we’ve just been talking about to make sure, yeah, if you want to build your authority on YouTube, make sure that you are in tune with your audience and what they want. And you’re, you’re consistently delivering it. And you’re doing it in a way that they find intriguing. So they’re going to click, and that is high value to them. So they’re going to continue to watch all the way through. And that’s not easy. Even if you’re an expert. Even if you’re an expert, a lot of times you’re kind of you’re up here, and your audience is down here and you’re out of touch with where they’re at. And so it it takes time and experience to get to a point where you understand where they’re at, and how you can reach them in a way that they find very compelling.


Alastair McDermott  36:24

Yeah, yeah. Cool. I think one of the words that you use there, I just want to pull on that thread a little bit. What is intriguing for you.


Cyan Cooper  36:34

Within, for me personally?


Cyan Cooper  36:43

Yeah, again, it’s just it’s understanding for your audience, what’s intriguing to them. So to give you an example, one of our you know, one of our clients is a lawyer, their audience is just extremely interested in one particular part of their case. And that’s a part that involves them getting paid lots of money. And so we have made videos that are gravitate toward just that topic. And they consistently get clicks, they consistently get views, they consistently get the most engagement out of anything that we do, because the audience finds that more than any other part of the process, the most intriguing.


Alastair McDermott  37:24

That’s a great example. Yeah, thank you. Okay, so let me ask you about failure. Has there been a business mistake or failure that you’ve experienced yourself that you can tell us about what you learned from it?


Cyan Cooper  37:36

Yeah, like I said, at the beginning, I was in China for a decade, I lived over there, I spoke the language. And I eventually started a company. I did that for seven years. And it was manufacturing footwear. And I experienced just about every problem that you can experience in a business. I was ripped off, I followed bad leads, I worked with the wrong partners, I had, you know, shoddy product, I the whole gamut of mistakes, it did get to the point where it was a seven figure company. That sounds a lot more impressive than it actually was, you know, the cost of goods sold was astronomical, because we’re making huge orders. But eventually, I realized that I had followed the wrong path entirely. Not only not only was it not the cutting edge of business, like I talked about before, but it also wasn’t, I was not happy. I was I was not enjoying what I was doing. And so eventually shut it down. After I did the biggest project we had ever done. I said the company down, I came back to the States. And I would, I’m glad I did it. But was it wildly successful? Absolutely not.


Alastair McDermott  38:50

In the moment, did you wonder if that was the right thing to do to shut it down? Or were you definitely sure that this needs to go?


Cyan Cooper  38:57

I was I was positive. I finished the project. I looked at the prospect of doing the next one. And I was in everything in me just said no. And so and I left.


Alastair McDermott  39:09

Cool. Yeah. Well, good job.


Cyan Cooper  39:13

Thank you. Thanks.


Alastair McDermott  39:15

Well, maybe this next question might might provide some insight is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you?


Cyan Cooper  39:23

Several, one more recent one that I’ve read is “$100 Million Offers” by Alex Hormozi. And you know, everyone’s talking. I’m sure a lot of people roll their eyes when they hear this because everyone’s talking about this book. But Alex, Alex Hormozi for me, he put in a lot of pieces into the puzzle that I didn’t see before. I felt like I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my professional life. And I know a lot about business about about my you know, my industry, but I still felt like there were some pieces missing and him and that book in particular, put gave me those pieces to see, like what’s missing in order for to create a company that’s truly going to scale and have potential long term.


Cyan Cooper  40:08

Another one is, you know, for people who are interested in YouTube, “The YouTube Formula” by Derral Eves that’s a fantastic read, it’s at a more advanced level. But if you want to read a book, there’s a lot of really bad YouTube books out there. If you want to read a book, that’s actually a good YouTube book, YouTube Formula Derral Eves.


Cyan Cooper  40:25

Another one, if you’re interested in storytelling. And you obviously that’s something of interest to me, because I’m on YouTube. “Secrets of Story” by Matt Bird is one of the best books on story that I’ve ever come across, if you want to, if you want to understand all the intricacies of how to write fictional, entertaining style content, that people are going to be moved by emotionally, Secrets of Story by Matt Bird. And then another business one is “The Business of Expertise” by David, David C. Baker. He’s outstanding. I’m sure most of you who are listening to this have probably read that. And then the last one would probably be “The Road Less Stupid” by Keith Cunningham, how the standard business book where he talks about


Alastair McDermott  41:09

…has been recommended before. Yeah, I think all of those books have been recommended before except for the YouTube formula. But I’m gonna put all of the links to those in the show notes as well for this episode. And what about fiction? Do you read fiction?


Cyan Cooper  41:24

No, I enjoy science fiction. I’ve read very little fiction. The fiction I have read that I enjoyed was “Dune”. And then Orson Scott, what’s his name? Orson Scott. Well, there’s something like that “Ender’s Game” card, Ender’s Game and “Ender’s Shadow”.


Alastair McDermott  41:43

Yeah, yeah.


Cyan Cooper  41:44

Those were outstanding. Those are on stage as well. How about how about yourself? I don’t know if you ever do you ever have a guest flip the question on you. Have you ever cared? what yours is,


Alastair McDermott  41:54

um, I am a total sci fi fantasy nerd. So I read way, way too much. I read like a book or two a week, which is kind of embarrassing. But I read I read way too much of that kind of stuff like Brandon Sanderson and people like that. And Dune is one of my favorites as well, for sure. But or Scott Card, that that whole series is very good to the end, or at the Ender series. Although it started to go a little bit, actually a bit like the dune series, the later books started to become a little bit more weird and weird as he go on. So there are more books in that series as well. So


Cyan Cooper  42:28

that’s why I stopped, I stopped the Ender’s shadow because I heard that that’s what people that is.


Alastair McDermott  42:33

That is a great, great book, though, that that second book and a shower. Yeah. Cool. Well, thank you. And thank you for flipping the question. So literally, sign if people are interested in learning more about you and maybe checking out your YouTube agency, where can they find more?


Cyan Cooper  42:50

I am exclusively posting on LinkedIn. At this point. It’s the only place I’m active. So just search for my name’s C-Y-A-N Cooper, on LinkedIn, you’ll find me I think I’m the only cyan on the entire platform. Definitely the only site on Cooper and I do plan I do have it is in the works to start doing a whole lot more thought leadership on in the YouTube Space in the future. So if this is something that you’re interested in, and you want to get the rest of what’s in my brain, be sure to follow me and you won’t be disappointed, I promise.


Alastair McDermott  43:25

Yeah. And I’m going to link your profile in the show notes. And I do recommend people check out your posts because I’ve been following for a while. So ever since you first commented on on one of my podcast episodes back in like episode 15 or something. I’ve been following you since then. And even though I haven’t really been actively thinking about YouTube all that much, I still enjoy the posts you’re putting up. They’re really, really useful and insightful. So thank you for that.


Cyan Cooper  43:51

Absolutely. Thanks for having me on.


Alastair McDermott  43:53

Yeah. And that’s it. It’s been great to have you on the show. Thanks for coming in and sharing your your knowledge with us.


Cyan Cooper  43:59

My pleasure.


Alastair McDermott  44:01

And if you want you can check out the post the podcast episode with Jake Thomas. We refer to that and that will be I think, Episode 108 or 109 of the of the podcast if you want to look for that. So thanks for listening and see you next time.

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