I traveled to Pasadena the other night to attend a “Big Ideas” event. I would like to first thank my GPS for leading me into a back alley where several unseemly individuals were wondering what the heck I was doing there. Somehow, I didn’t think telling them “my Driod told me a should be here” would be very helpful. After a few more “recalculating route” responses I finally found a small parking lot in the back of a mostly unmarked building. I pulled in and asked the man if I was in the right place for the event. With a confident nod he let me know that I was. Of course, the fact that he didn’t really speak English – I think his native language was Russian – didn’t really put my mind at ease. Fortunately, another attendee was coming out to his car and let me know that I was indeed in the correct location. Cool.
Apparently this “Big Ideas” event is something they do on a pretty regular basis. Tonight the speaker happened to be Nanea Reeves. If you don’t know Nanea; she has worked for the likes of EA and is now the COO at Machinima. What the heck is Machinima you ask? Well, it’s both a concept and a company. The concept is based on creating cinematic productions with the same type of software that’s used to produce video games. The company on the other hand is a video entertainment network for – well; for nerds and gamers.
So, why is this company such a big deal? For starters, they are the number one – yup, number one – viewed entertainment channel on Youtube. Also, according to Nanea, there are some contributors that are making more than ten thousand dollars a month simply through the monetization of their videos on YouTube. Of course, I had to take a few minutes and check out one of these popular short films. I clicked on the first one I saw and was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it was. Even though I’ve only spent a limited time playing Minecraft I was still able to enjoy this Shaft spoof. Not only did I watch it all the way through; I found it to be pretty funny.
Check it out for yourself . . .
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Alright, enough about Machinima. I went to the event to see what I could learn about building an audience online. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom that could help . . .
- If you’re going to be doing video-based content development; plant your feet at YouTube.com and learn all you can about getting viewers to your YouTube page. Of course, you might want to drive traffic to your own website. However, that should be secondary.
- What are the key traits of an online celebrity? It simple. First, be the subject matter expert; really know what you’re talking about. Second, just be you; people are going to watch if you’re sincere and have a great personality. Finally, and this ties into the first two – don’t try to be everything to everyone. Follow the first two guidelines and you’ll win every time.
- It’s all about the Data. Setup whatever you can to gather data on site visitors. Also, do lots of testing on your site or channel to figure out what is going to work best. Nanea said they were surprised to find that orange order buttons out-do green ones all day long.
What are some of the struggles you’re experiencing in building an audience?