WARNING: The following email contains an unflattering thumbnail that may be unsuitable for younger audiences.
You might be thinking that I is on da YouTube (I’m kewl, deal wit it) to boost my profile as a copywriter a little, and while that’s true, there’s actually a more wholesome motive behind it.
It involves my daughter:
Isn’t she adorable?
More importantly, isn’t Unsplash awesome?
A few months ago, my youngest set up a YouTube channel – sharing screengrabs of her playing that godforsaken Roblox game she loves so much.
She tells me she’s doing it for fun…
She tells me she doesn’t mind that she doesn’t get many views…
Or have many subscribers…
… but I know the truth. I can see it.
She DOES care.
Problem is, I can tell her that views and likes don’t count till I’m blue in the face…
I can try and persuade her that it’s about showing up, learning to get better, and building a body of work until I’m purple in the face…
… or I can show her that her Dad can suck balls at YouTube too.
And I can.
Look at these stats:
I’m averaging just under 4 views per video.
Not only that, look at these miserable FB metrics:
4 likes. FOUR!
AND ONE OF THEM IS MY WIFE!
Every time I get embarrassing stats like these (or should that be “I get embarrassing stats like these every time”?), I show my daughter…
… and I remind her what I’m focusing on.
“Only four likes… but 5 people shared it. What do you think is going on there?”
“Two likes today… but I nailed it first take and came up with a funny line on the fly. Also, I feel a bit more relaxed on camera now…”
I’m always keen to point out how unsuccessful my “Dear John on the John” videos were, but…
… when I applied for my first copy job, the first email I got back from them began:
‘Dear John from “Dear John on the John”…’
They didn’t ask me how many subscribers I had or for a photo of my diamond YouTube play button.
They watched the videos and decided for themselves.
Turns out, I didn’t need millions of people to see the video…
… I needed one.
And all I had to do for that was sit on the toilet and hit “record”.
I just needed to start.
“Just get started” is the same advice I give to business owners who are scared to email their list.
(I’d say “just do it”, but this email might end up costing me millions of dollars)
A lot of business owners hold back on email because they don’t have a big enough list yet, or aren’t quite sure how often they should email (“should I email every second Tuesday at 7:03, or every third Thursday at 16:17?”), or what format of email they should send.
They want everything set up perfectly before they sit down and start writing.
Sorry. Not gonna happen.
Start wherever you are… and then keep going, learning as you go.
Start – you know your audience.
You know what they’re struggling with, what problems they have, and what’s keeping them awake at 3 am…
… so why not start there by emailing about those?
Show up in their inbox and help them out.
Make their lives a little bit better.
‘OK, but I got a few unsubscribes on my last email. What should I do?’
Keep being helpful.
‘My open rate is 0.01%!’
‘My wife wants me to cover her in clown makeup and call her Ronald when we… ya know… do “it”…’
Keep going (but maybe see someone about the clown thing).
Keeping going forces you to focus on the thing that matters – getting better at serving your audience.
Email gold isn’t found in mastering the metrics.
You can get high open rates with “I just stabbed your mum” and “I think I found your credit card in a massage parlour…”, but they’re hacks.
They don’t measure what really matters with email – connecting with your audience and building trust.
That takes time.
And it’s not about being perfect.
It’s about showing up and being informative, engaging, entertaining, and useful, time and time again.
That’s all you have to do to get started.
And you can do that TODAY.
So why aren’t you?
Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to me on YouTube.
I NEED DA VIEWS!!!!
P.S. At the risk of doubling my view count, you might also find the following clips useful:
And, forget about subject lines, here’s what you should really be focusing on when it comes to email…