Update 5/3/2016: I am no longer affiliated with Power Up TV, having sold the company last year. This article remains for historical purposes. If you’d like the latest info on starting a YouTube MCN consider my book How to Start Your Own YouTube Network: An Insider’s Guide.
I now work as a consultant. Consider hiring me!
As of this writing, Power Up TV has grown to over 1,200 YouTube Partners and generates almost $10,000 in total revenue per month. Not bad for a startup I launched eight months ago with $110.
Because the network is doing so well I decided it was time to start investing more resources into it, and part of this was creating a detailed growth hacking master plan, most of which is focused on retention of my existing Partners and increasing the life-time value of each Partner (i.e. helping my Partners make more money from their channels).
Setting up an excellent growth hacking strategy is like constructing a domino show and then knocking over just one domino to throw the whole thing into motion. It’s so much work to setup, but once you knock over that first domino it’s kind of beautiful to sit back and watch things take on a life of its own.
Over the past three weeks I’ve greatly expanded the Power Up TV website and made many improvements, which I’d like to share as part of my disclosure policy as CEO:
- Power Up TV now has a new logo that looks more professional and prints better on promotional items like t-shirts. On that note I added a new Merchandise section using a Spreadshirt store plugin for WordPress.
- We now have a proper video intro, video thumbnail template and an end-slate that will be used in all future videos for our YouTube channel. This branding pack is also available to our Partners as a free download on our site.
- I commissioned a custom WordPress plugin to be integrated with our site. This plugin displays our YouTube Partners’ channels at http://powerup.tv/channels. No one else has this plugin except Power Up TV, and we’ll be making improvements to it in the coming months to make it even better at discovering channels.
- There is now a Blog section of the site where the latest news about our network will be posted.
- There is also a Press Room for back-links to all press coverage about Power Up TV, and I’ll be adding a feed that displays all our press releases, too.
- I personally wrote and setup the Creator Academy section of the site. All our Partners have free access to it. The course is based on my eight years of experience using the YouTube platform as a creator, and working as a consultant for many small businesses. It has all the information needed to take a channel from zero to 10,000 subscribers, and it removes the need for me to directly train every single Partner in these strategies (which would be impossible to scale).
- I switched from using Mailchimp for our newsletters to using Amazon SES and Sendy, which is installed and managed from my own server. This dramatically reduced the cost of sending newsletters for the company.
- I launched a Facebook contest to find new contributors to my personal YouTube channel, The RPG Fanatic Show. The channel has over 13,000 subscribers and almost a million video views. Because I haven’t had the time to make new videos in over a year I am converting the channel into a “community” channel for gamers, and will have a lineup of hosts to take over the reigns.
I’ve also spent a lot of time optimizing our social network presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I also setup a placeholder website for Martell Broadcasting Systems and a LinkedIn Company Page for it, too.
Content Lockers and Link Bait
Based on my experiences to date, I have noticed it is a’bit harder to reach the emerging growth YouTubers (between 1,000 and 100,000 subscribers) who are either not in a network or who want to leave their existing networks. That’s the kind of person I want to attract to Power Up TV right now, as having them in the network will make the other efforts I do more effective. I can actually look at their channel data and see what is working and what isn’t; brand new channels lack data to analyze and are more difficult to get off the ground.
In order for Power Up TV to look like a good option to this kind of creator, I need to build up our social media presence and demonstrate we have the ability to give them what they want most from a network; promotion.
Sure, I could hire a “social media manager” to grow the presences but I’m more than capable of doing it myself. Besides I need to identify the techniques that work the best for this market and then create an actionable plan that a social media manager can deploy. The majority of self-styled managers don’t know how to do anything but schedule posts on HootSuite; I need to first develop the strategy before I task someone else with managing it.
The most important aspect of lead generation for Power Up TV has been getting people to see our information on social network likes Facebook and Twitter, so this is something I’ve already got a lot of experience with.
I have learned from experience that getting engagement on social networks like Twitter and Facebook pretty much comes down to having link bait; that is, content that will grab people’s attention and cause them to click onto the link. Link bait is also content that is designed to get folks to re-share it.
The link bait I create for Power Up TV are things that will appeal to YouTube content creators and speak their language.
The first thing I created was an ebook offer to test the waters. I got some pretty good conversions to our Facebook and Twitter accounts from it while I worked on the next stage of the plan……
It took me about two weeks to setup the Power Up TV YouTube Academy but it was well worth the time investment.
As mentioned earlier in this post, my network now offers an e-learning course to infuse everything I knew about being a YouTuber into my own Partners. But I wanted to leverage it for growing the network’s social presence fast, so I put the price of the course at $10. I then offered to give a free course coupon to all Freedom Partners who followed one of my social profiles using a content locker plugin for WordPress. The access page for the coupon is here.
The Creator Academy accomplishes several things:
- Educates my Partners about best practices for growing a YouTube audience.
- Helps generate a mailing list of the most engaged Partners, and any of their friends who they shared the offer with.
- Creates another form of link bait, drawing attention to the network website from Facebook, Twitter and Search engines.
It’s my intention that people outside the Power Up TV network will find their way to the free coupon landing page. The intent isn’t to make money with the course, but to grow our mailing list and social media presence.
As I’ve written before in my article, Why all YouTubers should have a mailing list, having an email list is essential for a YouTube-based business. With a huge list of YouTubers at my disposal I can economically promote my best and brightest Partners and build them up into brands.
Content lockers, for those who don’t know, are an online website marketing tool that requires the visitor to take an action before they can obtain a reward, such as a free eBook or a coupon code. In my case, I require people to follow Power Up TV on Facebook and Twitter, or share a link to the website on their walls.
I love content lockers; they make it very economical to grow a social presence or encourage visitors to share a website link, which helps spread awareness. And I think the value of a $10 course is just right; I could spend $10 on Facebook promoted posts and probably only get 1 person to ‘like’ the page.
I’m currently writing an “Expert YouTuber” course that is designed to educate on how to setup multiple revenue streams so that an audience of 10,000+ active subscribers can be a self-sustaining business for the creator. I’m also writing a Network Certification course to allow for sponsored networks under the Power Up TV banner; technically I can sponsor a network right now but I want to ensure our network heads to be thoroughly educated and I can’t scale this business if I spend all my time micro-managing classes and directly transferring my knowledge to people. An e-learning course is the best way for me to train people on how to setup a network and use my technology.
Basically, I’m trying to create a franchisable system where after taking some training the following the steps, anyone could run a turn-key business.
That said, my primary focus is on scaling the YouTube network and that means completing the Martell TV system. I’ll soon be publishing a blog exploring the lessons learned from our Indiegogo campaign and how the second phase is going to go.