YouTube for Business: How to Generate Leads Pt 1
With Guest Evan Carmichael
Milestones are markers of progress, but the real value lies in the journey and the community you build along the way.
The How To Sell More Podcast
October 24, 2023
Evan Carmichael joins the How To Sell More Podcast in this three-part series to share his valuable insights on what it really takes to build a brand in today's competitive business arena. In this installment, we discuss the following:
- The depth of thought leadership versus fleeting influencer tactics.
- The essence of genuine audience engagement and its impact on trust.
- Balancing the immediacy of direct marketing with the enduring foundation of brand building
Evan, with his vast experience ranging from venture capitalism to setting world records and boasting millions of followers across all platforms, stands as a leading figure for entrepreneurs.
Links to This Episode
- Thought Leadership vs. Influencer Tactics - Gain a clear understanding of the distinction between influencer marketing tactics and authentic thought leadership strategies.
- Value of Genuine Audience Engagement - Engaging with the audience authentically is more impactful than mere metrics like subscriber count or views. The true value lies in the quality of the connection and the depth of the relationship.
- Direct Marketing vs. Brand Building - Business development can benefit from both approaches, but understanding the distinction is crucial for determining the right strategy for growth.
Top 3 Reasons to Listen
Industry Knowledge: Benefit from Evan's vast experience in the industry, and learn how he navigated the challenges to establish himself as a beacon for entrepreneurs worldwide.
Unique Perspectives: The episode offers unique perspectives on marketing, business growth, and relationship-building, making it a must-listen for both budding and seasoned entrepreneurs
Empowerment: Above all, the episode embodies Evan's mission to empower individuals to believe in themselves, offering listeners motivation and encouragement to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams.
Follow Evan Carmichael on Social
More About Today's Guest, Evan Carmichael
Speaker / Author / Introvert, Forbes 40 Social Marketers and Inc 100 Leadership Speakers
Evan Carmichael #Believes in entrepreneurs. Gary Vaynerchuck called him the DJ who inspires people and Ed Mylett called him the modern day Napoleon Hill. At 19, he built then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist raising $500k to $15M. He now runs a YouTube channel for entrepreneurs with over 3 million subscribers and 500 million views, wrote 4 books, and speaks globally. He wants to solve the world's biggest problem, people don't #Believe in themselves enough. Forbes named him one of the world's top 40 social marketing talents and Inc. named him one of the 100 great leadership speakers and 25 social media keynote speakers you need to know. He's set 2 world records, uses a trampoline & stand-up desk, owns Canada's largest salsa dance studio where he met his wife and has a giant Doritos bag in front of him all day long to remind him that he's stronger than the Doritos. Toronto is his home. He's a husband, father, League of Legends Fan and Teemo main.
A Transcription of The Talk
Mark Drager: So Evan Carmichael, best known of course, as the YouTube Master, we were trying to calculate before we started recording, and I was like 4 million subs, and he's like no, and I'm like 5 million, 6 million. He's comfortable with saying almost 7 million subs across your channel, whatever. You don't even care about it.
Evan Carmichael: Yeah, I mean, it's not. Once we crossed a million, it was a big deal. Yeah, and then hitting two and three, we did a little celebration, but I did a live stream when we were crossing. It was more for the audience than for me. And I remember afterward someone told me, "Oh, well, you got to be more excited. You gotta go celebrate. You got to be more grateful and appreciate these wins and celebrate." So I did something with the audience, and I was at a McDonald's in France, you know, that was for my book, but we still, I still went out and did. That's a whole other story. But I still went and did something. I don't remember how it was. And I remember sitting there thinking, "This is stupid. I want to be working. Why am I doing this? I don't want to be celebrating this thing. I feel like the work is the celebration."
Mark Drager: Well, but people really do turn to you to learn how to grow their followings, grow their impact, grow their mission-driven companies through YouTube, and through TikTok and social media. But massive players in the industry also turn to you because you've spent what, over a decade now looking at the YouTube algorithms. I mentioned a decade ago, and you immediately looked up for our listeners. Because back a decade ago, in 2009, which means it's been over a decade. If we have new listeners who don't quite realize the dynamic that's happening right now, Evan and I are in person here in Toronto, in your studio. We've known each other for a very long time, and your very first YouTube video that you ever put up, I helped you shoot just a few blocks south of here. Well, you didn't help me, you shot it. I shot it, and I did it. And it took us six weeks to make.
Mark Drager: If you can believe that. But people turn to you now because there's so much attention, so much revenue, and so much you can do on YouTube. And I think most people don't even know how to scratch the surface. So if I'm a business owner, if I'm in sales, marketing, or business development, and I haven't been using YouTube, first of all, why should I even consider going onto YouTube?
Evan Carmichael: So I think it starts with understanding that people are going to learn. YouTube is the number one learning platform now. If I'm trying to figure out how to do something, I'm not going to the library. I'm not asking my mom. I'm going to YouTube and asking, "how do I blank?" And chances are, if you're an entrepreneur, your competition is showing up. Or people who are less skilled, less knowledgeable, and less passionate about the thing that you are showing up, and you're not. So it's still a wide-open space for most industries to get your content on YouTube. Because in advance of any sale, you need to educate your clients. And we do this normally as entrepreneurs. Before you sell something, you're answering questions, we're putting stuff on our website, we're educating. YouTube is an educational platform. It's not a sales-first platform, although we can talk about how to generate sales from YouTube. The idea is we're building a brand, and we're educating our clients so that they find us. We attract ideal clients like a magnet coming to find us and want to do business with us.
Mark Drager: And so if I'm familiar with SEO, or content marketing, or if we're running ad campaigns going to landing pages or LinkedIn campaigns, how should we be thinking about YouTube? Is it an SEO play? Is it an ad play? Or is it something else?
Evan Carmichael: So there are three ways to use it, and we can touch on each, and you can dive in deeper into whichever you want. There's the bizdev show, which we're using just to generate business for our company. We don't care how well the video does, we're not looking at views at all. There's the "demonstrate the process" show, which we're using more for conversion than anything else. So one is bizdev, and one is conversion. And the third is building our brand, which is what most people think of when you think of YouTube, making thought leadership kinds of videos. They each serve a different purpose, and it depends on what your goals are with your business. The brand is usually the biggest way to have long-term success with your company, but it takes a while to build a brand. And a lot of people fizzle out along the way. They don't know how to generate immediate revenue, which is where the other two shows come in. So if you need to make money this year, or right away, like in the next three weeks, you can do it through YouTube. It's just not through thought leadership content and not through brand-building content either. Thought leadership is the brand-building content.
Mark Drager: Okay. So from your point of view, being that thought leader, being that educator, being that resource that your prospects and clients turn to, that is the brand play, not what most people probably think about, which is: let's go hire an influencer, shoot a commercial, hire some young person because "they know social media better than us", give them some money and go make something. That's not the brand play.
Evan Carmichael: Well, okay, you threw a couple of things in there. If you're doing influencer marketing going to run pre-roll ads, or do commercials, that's direct marketing. And you can do that. You just track if it leads to conversions for you. And that's definitely a play. It's not where I'd be an expert. Giving someone on your team who's just out of university a chance, that's usually an attempt to build a brand. We're trying to create our own content to build a brand. It's usually not a super effective way to do it. But the direct marketing side is very tangible. A lot of big money is coming into YouTube because the ad policies are strict-ish but less strict than Facebook and Instagram. So people are getting a higher ROI off of YouTube ads than they are on Facebook and Instagram. That's not my domain, but I see ad budgets shifting a lot towards YouTube. My side is about using the organic side to generate business. And again, it's either bizdev, where we need to generate sales; and demonstrate the process for conversion; or thought leadership, where we're trying to build a long-term brand.
Okay, and let's imagine that if you're listening to this right now, you may not have jumped on YouTube. You might not have a team supporting you. But you're likely sitting on a lot of internal content: your processes, your thoughts, your team, and all of the sales and marketing tools that you've accumulated. Is the best strategy to start by repurposing what you already have and uploading it to YouTube, or should you begin from scratch? And what's the plan?
Evan Carmichael: It really depends on your objective. Are we looking to generate sales and make some money immediately? If you're aiming to profit in the next 30 days, then you might consider starting a Biz Dev Show. But for clarity, could you provide an example of a type of business?
Mark Drager: Sure, let's consider an architectural firm.
Evan Carmichael: Alright, so for this architectural firm, how are they currently obtaining leads?
Mark Drager: Primarily through word of mouth or RFPs, often from property owners or investors. I'm leaning more toward the commercial side, though I'm not sure why, but let's assume they focus on commercial projects.
Evan Carmichael: So, are the leads coming from mortgage brokers?
Mark Drager: More like institutional lenders, large holding companies, or perhaps project management firms responsible for constructing vast commercial spaces.
Evan Carmichael: Understood. Most architectural firms are probably geographically specific, meaning they don't usually take deals from across the country. So, considering a firm located here in Toronto, Canada, where we are now. If you already have an existing business with well-identified referral sources, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. My suggestion would be to initiate a show where you invite individuals from Toronto who fit the description of your ideal referral partners. You could reach out to all the institutional lenders, brokers, and project managers in the city and invite them to discuss architecture in Toronto on your podcast. This approach would put you directly in touch with your potential business partners.
Mark Drager: The twist here is that this conversation is morphing into the very concept I adore. I cherish connecting with individuals to discuss improving sales since it enables me to forge deeper connections and augment my understanding. It feels like inception; we're discussing the exact strategy I'm employing, but I never previously consulted with you about it.
Evan Carmichael: I term it the "bizdev show." The idea is to feature potential referral sources or possible clients. Consider this: if you, as an architectural firm, knew all the institutional lenders and project managers in the city, you'd only need to network with a select few, maybe a hundred at most. If all of them recognized and appreciated you, it could exponentially grow your business. So, launch a new show. You don't need a vast following from the outset. Sure, getting high-profile celebrities like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson might be challenging, but attracting project managers and institutional lenders, many of whom might never have been interviewed, will be much simpler. This isn't about gaining subscribers or becoming an influencer, it's about fostering relationships. If you understand the value of a lead, allocate a budget accordingly. I recently advised a CEO to take this approach, and she secured a $100,000 contract post-show, despite having no subscribers. The point of the show is relationship-building. Using platforms like Zoom is an option. However, if a lead is invaluable to you, consider investing in professional filming and spending quality time with your guests.
Mark Drager: So, focusing on the title or how the video might perform on YouTube isn't the main concern?
Evan Carmichael: Exactly. The emphasis is not on how the video fares on YouTube. The platform serves as a mere tool, an excuse even, to cultivate and nurture relationships.
Mark Drager: See, I say "him" because to me, the title matters. And to me, the viewers matter. And to me, making sure that Evan Carmichael is well-represented matters. And we build that relationship, all those things matter. But perhaps...
Evan Carmichael: No, but then you're wrong. It doesn't matter. Because you told me that what you cared about is getting sales. I asked you what your objective was at the beginning: "I need to make sales in the next 30 days." Yes, the title of your video doesn't matter because it doesn't impact your relationship with them.
Mark Drager: And it doesn't embarrass them to go later to YouTube or Google their name and see that this only got six views.
Evan Carmichael: It's a brand new show. Okay. So you have poor marketing? This is the best they have ever looked at and will ever look at on anybody's show ever. If you're so worried about it, you could throw a budget against it—throw $100 ads against a video and get views. But that doesn't impact your relationship. They're going to love you because you spent two hours with them. And you got to know them. And you can cut up the content and give them little clips for their Instagram and their YouTube shorts. You're doing the marketing for them. So good. So simple. But anybody can do it. You don't even have to like... Now, would it be embarrassing if you showed up with your iPhone and you're trying to hold it out here and it's wobbly? Yes, that's embarrassing. It doesn't represent your brand. At that point, do a Zoom call or use Riverside instead. If this person we're talking to has an established business, they're right. Is it worth $1,000 to spend two hours with an ideal referral partner for you who might be worth seven figures to you this year? That's probably a pretty good investment.
Mark Drager: Now, what if I remember working with a client where— and this is more common in, I would say, larger companies— I love the idea where you invite everyone out for a lunch, and you put together a roundtable conversation and have that filmed. Now you're getting like 6, 7, 8 people. It's not only the pull of just one-on-one, but the more people you bring into the roundtable of a higher caliber, the more it feels like a network or a mastermind group. Am I just making it too complicated now or...
Evan Carmichael: It all depends on your objective. If you told me what you want to do is sell in the next 30 days, organizing that will take more than 30 days. Getting bigger names to sit around a table for an hour is going to be a six-month project. Now you're the one who put it all together. You're seen as the networking guru or maestro. But if I'm trying to sell to you or have you refer business to me, I want as much one-on-one time with you as possible, not in a group.
Mark Drager: So there's no excuse. You can't say, "You can't make money on IG" or "You can't make money on YouTube." Taking time to make content and waiting a few years for it to pay off— there's no real excuse for that. It's just about making the right type of content. Well, there's lots of...
Evan Carmichael: Excuses? Yeah, there are lots of excuses. There's no good reason, though.
Mark Drager: Yeah, there's no good reason for you not to.
Evan Carmichael: I mean, if you don't have a big budget, could you get someone for $500? Maybe it's a one-camera setup, but you can have someone with you for $500 for the day. Is that relationship not worth $500? Maybe not, especially if you're just starting and you don't know how to generate leads or have no business and you're struggling. The model still works, but I would probably then go to Zoom because the cost of infrastructure is a lot less. If you have a business, like the example of a successful architectural company, they bill a lot. So $1,000 to meet ideal referral partners and spend a couple of hours with them is a great investment.
Mark Drager: You don't even need to be good at this or know anything; you just have to do it.
Evan Carmichael: Let me think. If you don't know what to do and you don't know how to sell and you've never closed anybody in your life, well, then you're probably not doing it right. Give me an example. That's why I asked for a scenario. Said a brand new startup like a high school teacher quitting his job to try this? This would be an alteration to the strategy.
Mark Drager: This podcast is called "How to Sell More", not "Let's Learn How to Sell."
Evan Carmichael: This is like fishing in a barrel. You already know how to build relationships. You've sold something before. You're doing the same thing, just edifying them and asking questions. The format is you talk for an hour, mostly about them and their story. The questions are super easy. You, Mark Drager, spend days researching someone before they come on your show. You want to ask the perfect question, referencing something obscure from their past. But conducting an interview like this is easy. Just ask why they got started, what made them want to do it, and what problems they're seeing in their industry. Ask everyone these same five basic questions, and then they'll tell stories. And you just listen. The more the other person talks, the more they think it's a great conversation. What I would love to do, though, is make sure that in the middle of your interview, you ask a question that you can be an expert on. I want them to know that you're not just another podcast host, but that you're good at what you do. Have a mini discussion on that topic somewhere in the middle. And then at the end, go back to them and what they're doing and how you can promote them. It's very basic, eight questions.
Mark Drager: As a branding agency that helps B2B, I was going to try hitting you with a question, but it seemed too obvious.
Evan Carmichael: But that's exactly it. By stating your expertise and then asking a question, I know you run a branding agency.
Mark Drager: So good. Okay, we are going to do another episode. We like to keep these short, but the final question for you is: What is your number one tip or strategy to help us sell more?
Evan Carmichael: Understand your most important goal and then create the show that helps you accomplish that goal. YouTube can serve you in many ways. Most people see it as a place to become an influencer and build a brand. And if you want long-term success, building a brand is crucial. But that doesn't happen in 30 days. So if your number one goal is I need to make sales in 30 days cool. Start a YouTube show around business development.