Ned Fulmer: How to Go Viral on YouTube | E80
#80: How to Go Viral on YouTube with Ned Fulmer
Today on the show we are chatting with Ned Fulmer. Ned is a member of The Try Guys, an online video comedy series, which was originally created with 3 other co-workers while working at BuzzFeed. The Try Guys Youtube channel has over 7.3 million subscribers and their videos have garnered billions of views— making them one of the most successful channels in Youtube history. The quartet hosted Youtube’s 8th annual Streamy Awards in 2018 and they won the Audience Choice “Show Of The Year” award in 2017. The Try Guys recently put out their first book together called ‘The Hidden Power of F*cking Up,’ and they also host a podcast called “Trypod.” In addition, Ned is currently gearing up to launch a new podcast with his wife called “Baby Steps.” Tune into this episode to learn why the only way to succeed is to commit to failing over and over again and get Ned’s top tips for going viral on youtube.
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#80: How to Go Viral on YouTube with Ned Fulmer
[00:00:00] Hala Taha: [00:00:00] You're listening to YAP, Young And Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha and on Young And Profiting Podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life.
No matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests by doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, real estate moguls, self-made billionaires, CEOs, and bestselling author.
Subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain influence, the art of entrepreneurship, and more. If you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button because you'll love it here at Young And Profiting Podcast. Today on the show, we're chatting with Ned Fulmer, Ned is one [00:01:00] member of The Try Guys, an online video comedy series, which he originally created with three other coworkers while working at Buzzfeed.
Now, The Try Guys are independent and their YouTube channel has over 7.3 million subscribers, with their videos, garnering billions of views, making them one of the most successful channels in YouTube history. The quartet hosted YouTube's 8th annual Streamy Awards in 2018. And they won the audience choice "Show Of The Year" award in 2017.
The Try Guys recently put out their first book together called The Hidden Power of F*cking Up. And if that wasn't enough, The Try Guys also hosts their own podcast called Tripod and last but not least, Ned is gearing up to launch a new podcast with his wife called Baby Stuff. In this episode, we'll learn why the only way to succeed is to commit to failing over and over again.
And we'll get Ned's top tips for going viral on YouTube.
Hey Ned. Welcome to Young And Profiting Podcast.
Ned Fulmer: [00:01:58] Thanks for having me.
Hala Taha: [00:01:59] We're [00:02:00] so looking forward to this interview, you are such a star. You have an amazing background story. You really living every millennial's dream to introduce you to my listeners.
You're a YouTube star. You are one of the four members of The Try Guys. And in fact, according to the internet, you are the most popular Try Guys. So we're really excited about that.
Ned Fulmer: [00:02:21] Oh my Gosh. Wow! I'm honored.
Hala Taha: [00:02:23] Yeah. That's what the internet says. And your YouTube channel has over 7 million subscribers. You guys have over 2 billion total downloads, which is incredible.
We've had huge YouTube stars like Evan Carmichael on the show, but you guys are actually like three times as popular as him. So just amazing in terms of your reach and all the success you've had on YouTube, you and your Try Guys have also written a book and it's rose to the number one New York Times bestselling list,
The Hidden Power of F*cking Up. And you also used to work at Buzzfeed, which is really interesting, but now you guys have one off to you create your own independent company, [00:03:00] but before we get into Try Guys, how you started on YouTube, some of your YouTube tips, I'd like to get an understanding of your career background.
Does that sound okay?
Ned Fulmer: [00:03:10] Sure.
Hala Taha: [00:03:11] Okay. So we have something in common. We both got our undergrad in chemistry. I actually switched my major. But I found out that you got your undergrad in chemistry and you actually started your career off as a chemist and used to do comedy at night. And so tell us why did you choose chemistry?
Was your family really pressured you into getting some sort of traditional job? Were you afraid of taking the risk of being a comedian? What was that all about?
Ned Fulmer: [00:03:37] I was always really passionate about it. I've always felt like I'm both an artist and a scientist and chemistry was that mix of math and an understanding of the way the world and
how the world changes. And also there's like a sort of you get to light things on fire. So being a closet [00:04:00] pyromaniac, that was very exciting to be in labs. In terms of why I chose to major in chemistry. It was cause I liked it, but I was, I'm not going to kid you. I'll be honest that having the idea of a backup plan for an entertainment career was certainly in my mind, I figured that I could do a comedy with a chemistry degree, but I couldn't necessarily do chemistry with a comedy or a theater degree.
And that, that proved to be true. That proved to be true for sure. I don't know that I would've gotten the day job at these labs if they are like, so you studied, you have a theater studies major, but you say you're very good at chemistry. I don't believe you.
Hala Taha: [00:04:43] Yeah. And I think it's really important for people to have a backup plan and to have skills that they can always kind of fall back on.
Yeah. For some reason, Try Guys went away today or all these different endeavors that you did went away today. You could always get a chemistry job, which is really important to, to have that [00:05:00] security.
Ned Fulmer: [00:05:00] That's true. And when I was doing a ton of unpaid comedy shows in Chicago, that security blanket and having a job to do during the day was helpful.
I definitely remember a couple of times at my job though, I would be running an experiment in the background and working on writing some sketches. And I remember printing out like a 50 page script for a show that we were doing. And my boss had the chemistry lab walks over and seasoned the printer and he's what's this?
I'm like, ah, Threaten something that I need.
Hala Taha: [00:05:35] Yeah. I can totally relate. I work at Disney streaming services full time, and I run this like pretty big podcast on the side and I always take my interviews during lunch. And so I'm running around and people are seeing me like in a little foam booth, like with all my equipment and camera and everything like that.
And they're probably like what is this girl doing? Although cat's out of the bag at this point, the cool, really cool stuff. So then tell me, how did you [00:06:00] end up getting a job at Buzzfeed. Cause I think he started Buzzfeed in like 2013. How did you have the experience in order to land that job at Buzzfeed?
What was that transition like and how did you get that job?
Ned Fulmer: [00:06:12] I'm honestly not sure. My interview lasted like 13 minutes. I thought I bombed it. They just asked me if I knew how to use a camera and to run sound equipment. And I said, yes, even though I hadn't gone to film school, I knew how to do it.
I had done a lot of like independent shorts and YouTube shorts. So I think people that we're interviewing like that, and I had also had a fair amount of unpaid work experience in Chicago. So I definitely I was, 25, 26 at that time and had several years of experience, even though I hadn't really had a job in the field before.
And I just, I applied because it was in my neighborhood actually. Yeah. I wanted to get some film production skills. [00:07:00] I didn't really like the freelancing lifestyle of being biased yourself all the time. And I wanted to have a group environment so that I could learn and make more connections because moving out to LA making a lot of connections was important.
So that's really why I did it. I thought it was going to be a three month thing where I'd learn some physical production skills and make some connections and then go back to writing spec scripts and trying to work my way into TV writing career. But I had some good advice from a mentor who was a TV writer and he said, don't bother trying to get one of these assistant jobs where you're like getting coffee for
an experienced TV writer and doing that because you could do that for two or three years, but he says this, the new media and digital media is something that everyone working in TV is really curious, slash afraid slash interested in. So try and get a ground floor, job and something in [00:08:00] new media. And that proved to be very good advice because here I am, I started as an intern in 2013 when there was only about 20 people in the company fast forward, two years later, where
hundreds of people and millions of subscribers and fans, and I've learned a ton about how things go viral and how people share and distributed and make content on the internet. And so it's just a really great educational experience far more than I could have ever dream. Film school I never had.
Hala Taha: [00:08:33] Yeah. That's amazing. It's getting hands-on experience is so key and I love that you started as an intern. I think a lot of people don't realize that if you want to get into another industry, one of the best ways to do it is to actually get an internship because you're not required to have like formal experience.
You just need to have the interest and the passion and the attitude and the willingness to learn and usually people will give you a chance. And so it's a great way to pivot and prove yourself and then work your way up. That's what I did, I used to [00:09:00] be an entertainment and was a entrepreneur right out of college.
I used to have a website and then I got an MBA internship to work at Hewlett Packard as a marketer. And so that's how I started my marketing career. So I encourage everyone to get an internship if you have the bandwidth and you're in school. So let's talk about how you guys started Try Guys. I think you started it in 2014 around you guys were all guys who worked at Buzzfeed.
So tell me about that story. How did you guys end up forming this group?
Ned Fulmer: [00:09:29] It was in the early days of Facebook video. If you can imagine Facebook didn't even have video at that point and they were starting this whole new video publishing platform. And so Zach and Keith were part of a group that was trying to understand how people shared things.
On Facebook and what would really go viral on Facebook specifically? And the idea of guys trying things within the female scope of inexperience was something that was really [00:10:00] relatable to a lot of women and it was getting shared widely. And so we started thinking of ideas in that vein, and there's not like a formal
casting process or a formal branding process. We just did it because we were friends. And also we were the only people that were willing to wear Victoria secret thongs on camera as guys, but the decision to call it,Try Guys was just we do everything as a test and then see if it works.
And if it, people like it, we'll do more. But there was no top-down you guys are going to be The Try Guys now, if anything, we kept having minor disagreements with our management because having four people work on one project was counter to the Fs of Buzzfeed at the time where each person would make like six projects.
New here we are four people working. One big project.
Hala Taha: [00:10:58] Yeah. That's so [00:11:00] interesting. So it just all happened by accident. It was just whoever was willing to show their butts. Cause I think your first video is like wearing women's underwear, women's thongs or something like that. That's so funny. You didn't really get to choose your business partners. Most people get to really like the it's either their best friend from college and they start a startup together. Or, they have people apply to be their business partner or to join their company. You just inherited your business partners.
So what's that do you guys butt heads a lot? Do you guys get along? How do you split up the work and does everybody have their unique role or is it all just you guys just like to work on everything.
Ned Fulmer: [00:11:41] Yeah, absolutely. And so we have developed a very collaborative and fluid way of working with each other over now, almost six years.
And even though we fell into it in the beginning, the decision to leave Buzzfeed and form an independent company was very much something. [00:12:00] Everyone had to be very onboard with and to work very hard at making that happen. So even though we may not have chosen in the beginning, we evolved like recommitted ourselves to this new journey that we're on.
But we, in terms of dividing up responsibilities, we each can the beauty is we can all do a lot of things, but we also tend to gravitate towards things that we prefer. Each project will have one of the four of us as a creative lead, overseeing it, almost like a director and kind of guiding all of the elements and leading the staff towards that goal.
And then more generally we each do different facets of the business. I know Keith runs our Patreon and Zach worked on our kind of organizing the book very heavily. Eugene works on a lot of our external Pitches and forays into the TV space. I handle the managerial personnel [00:13:00] and leading our team, the financial aspects of things.
So we all do different things, but as creatives, we all love to shoot. We all love to edit and they all love to tell stories. And even though we do that in different ways, I think that those differences make us stronger.
Hala Taha: [00:13:16] Yeah,
definitely. I love how you guys all came from the same schooling with Buzzfeed.
And so you probably share a lot of philosophies and all know how to do a lot of cool things in terms of video editing and how to go viral all and all those types of things. So that's very cool. So you guys ended up leaving Buzzfeed, you went independent in 2018. Does Buzzfeed own a part of Try Guys?
What was that process like actually taking something that you created at a corporate company and then going independent. What was that like?
Ned Fulmer: [00:13:47] Yeah, it was, it was a difficult negotiation and conversation, but ultimately it's a win. We, although we have the ability to create a whole new brand.
Make it popular through our [00:14:00] personalities. It would be nice to still be called The Try Guys and have all the IP of our previous work. And similarly, even though Buzzfeed would have, they don't anymore, but they would have had the ability to recast The Try Guys and try and create a new cast dynamic that would have been pretty difficult for them, so I think ultimately it was something that it made a ton of sense and we were able to purchase it outright and now we own it and control it completely. And we're very proud of that fact and have really feel like now for our fans, we can have that brand continuity that they feel like they're watching the same show in the same cast.
Now in it's 2.0 iteration, I'm always curious what things would have looked like if we try and come up with completely new branding, but all of our different ideas of what to call the show. I may have [00:15:00] varying levels of success.
Hala Taha: [00:15:02] What was one of the top contenders?
Ned Fulmer: [00:15:05] Oh gosh, there were so many silly ones.
We, at first we were like, yeah, we'll call ourselves like K, N, Z E like ACDC or some sort of like cool four letter, like rock band, or it's just the four of our names. And it it won't mean anything, but it'll also mean anything, maybe that's.
Hala Taha: [00:15:27] Yeah, I think everybody's so familiar with The Try Guys.
It would have been so hard, I think, to recreate that brand from scratch. So good for you guys that you actually bought that out from Buzzfeed. Why did you guys decide you needed to go independent? What was the decision-making factor in terms of deciding to leave Buzzfeed?
Ned Fulmer: [00:15:45] It really came down to autonomy and ownership.
We wanted to have the autonomy, the able to fully do the projects we wanted to and invest in the things that we wanted to without having to have a conversation with [00:16:00] management. And then we we wanted the ownership over, our own work. There's, I think there's only once you, your career has grown to a certain point.
There's maybe so much you get as a employee. And so having the ability to really build something ourselves that we had ownership and autonomy over was the biggest thing.
Hala Taha: [00:16:25] Yeah. So tell us about your business model. Like how do you guys like monetize The Try Guys and how big do you think you can scale this company?
Ned Fulmer: [00:16:34] We know that from the number of unique viewers we have about every 90 days, there's 25 million people out there who are tapped in. So that's one goal is to take our subscribers from 7 million to 25 million. But of course there's outside of that number. There's growing in new areas and reaching even more people.
So we have some shows that are targeted to [00:17:00] grow into new audiences. Our 4 vs. 1 series is a great example of that. We played for simultaneous games against the blindfolded chess master. And we all teamed together to try and take down a poker pro I think like chess and poker would be not things that you might typically expect from what were known as guys try.
Lady things like acrylic nails or high heels, which are some of our most popular videos. So those are efforts to expand into new audiences. And our business model generally is to develop brands and then to reach the audience in a bunch of diversified ways. So if you think of The Try Guys as a core brand, we can connect with our audience through YouTube videos, but we can also connect with them through
our book. We went on a 27 city international live tour last summer. So that was a live component of podcasting, of course. So there's a bunch of different ways that [00:18:00] we could reach people and entertain them and move them. Those are all various aspects of our business. And then from there, we want to use the try guys as not just a brand of a core cast of four people, but as a, an umbrella of
different brands. So I think that you can sit with us podcasts that Ariel and the other ladies launched as part of that. Also Ariel and I are launching this is it YAP exclusive. We are launching a parenting podcast called Baby Steps.
Hala Taha: [00:18:36] And ariel is wife by the way.
Ned Fulmer: [00:18:38] Ariel's my wife. Yes. Yeah. So it's a developing of new brands and then also distributing various businesses around them is our main.
Hala Taha: [00:18:51] Yeah. I had no idea that your wife's podcast and I think it's with the other Try Guy wives or girlfriends. I'm not sure I didn't realize I was under [00:19:00] your brand. And my next question was going to be, are you guys just focused on your brand, your Try Guys, or are you going to branch out and try new ideas?
So that's really cool. Tell us about podcasting. Why did you guys start to get into the podcasting space? What interested you there and then why this new Baby Steps podcast? What are you trying to teach the world with that new show?
Ned Fulmer: [00:19:19] With Baby Steps, we are totally different world now with coronavirus, a lot of parents are on the hook for baby care 24/7, and not having the ability to go to a museum or out and about to help with that responsibility.
And so we see there's a need to have entertainment and advice and kind of a comedy mixed with information out there. And we also see it as a way of, the first time we had our child, there was so much that we didn't get to say so many stories, we didn't get to tell, and we [00:20:00] don't necessarily aspire to be a daily bloggers or that sort of like parenting YouTube videos, but having a weekly podcast where we can tell stories and also come up with things like react to expert advice and trending product reviews.
We reviewed something called the freedom balls, which is a underwear for dads with a protective cup that prevents baby kicks and glancing blows. Just funny stuff like that, but it's a parenting podcast for not so perfect parents because we make it look cute on Instagram. But the reality is far more messy.
So it's an inside look at what it's like to be pregnant and raising a toddler during the pandemic.
Hala Taha: [00:20:48] Yeah, I love that. I think that's such a great idea for a show. So that comes out. You said
Ned Fulmer: [00:20:52] September 6th. Yeah. Sundays.
Hala Taha: [00:20:54] Okay. Awesome. So that's great. We'll definitely put the link in our show notes.
When the show comes out, we'll [00:21:00] probably align right with your launch. So that will be awesome. You're probably also excited to do a creative project with your wife. Like what a great way to spend more time together and build new memories and bond, honestly. That sounds like such.
Ned Fulmer: [00:21:14] It's so awesome. Cause we just get to chat for an hour. Talk about funny stories and things that happened and yeah. And all the development work, the photo shoots and coming up with all the branding, that's been really fun to do with her as well. We, now we have a we took such a cute photo of our son West with podcasting earphones, and a microphone is just as a mischievous smile as he's standing on it.
So cute that photographer gave us a, like a full, giant like print out of it that we're going to hang in the new podcasting studio.
Hala Taha: [00:21:49] You and your wife seemed like you have such a great relationship. And it's like an internet joke. How much you talk about your wife? You always bring her up in conversations and things like that.
So tell us what's your number one secret [00:22:00] to a great relationship?
Ned Fulmer: [00:22:02] Oh gosh. What's my number one secret to a great relationship? I think I had talked about her a lot because she's really awesome that kind of mutual admiration and respect as well as communication I think is really important.
Even when you're having disagreements, as long as you can approach the conversation from a place of empathy and respect and a willingness to figure things out and to work towards common goals. If you have the understanding that as long as you work at things, there's nothing you can't overcome.
I think that is a small perspective change, but it makes a huge difference in terms of overcoming any obstacle.
Hala Taha: [00:22:46] Yeah. And it probably helps that you guys have very similar ambitions. I think she's an interior designer, but she also is like into podcasting and very supportive with you interested in being like part of your overall brand.
And so I'm sure that helps [00:23:00] my boyfriend's a famous music producer and it helps me because he understands when I have to do all these interviews and like always working. It helps when you have two ambitious people who come together and try to make it happen
So let's go back toTry Guys, some of your video topics. A lot of people might think that they're really click baity, like they're very shocking. They have that shock value, but you say that it really, it's not about being click baity or having shallow topics. You really try to have a message behind every video topic that you have.
So tell us about some of the key things that you've learned or some of the key messages that your show tries to bring about to your viewers.
Ned Fulmer: [00:23:40] Sure.
We try to encourage people to try new things. We want to show that the world is not such a big place, that it's rather small, and we should celebrate our differences rather than let them, the things that we push ourselves away from.
We might encourage people to connect with their loved ones and [00:24:00] their friends and family. Share things that make them happy. And in terms of clickbait, we try and have engaging and exciting topics that people care about. It's not clickbait if you deliver on the premise. I know there are some times that people are like, whoa, I thought that.
This was, I did a, like a fitness transformation where I got a six pack and six weeks and people are like I thought it was a Photoshop, like a prank, like you're I thought it was clean, but it was really a kind of an emotional journey and coming from a place of like male vulnerability and exploring that.
So everything that we do, we try and deliver on the clickbait.
Hala Taha: [00:24:45] Yeah. Do you ever wonder this is like an impromptu question, so you guys are all, I think you have one Asian member in the group. We have three white guys. One of them is openly gay. Do you ever feel like you need, one more try guy, to diversify it a bit, maybe a [00:25:00] minority or something?
Ned Fulmer: [00:25:01] Yeah, we have certainly so adding new cast members and kind of new talent to the try guys, universe is something we're actively pursuing. And we have some in addition to the thing with our wives, which doesn't really count some of our staffers, why be in Alexandria, wanted to come up with a mukbang show where they're eating a lot of food.
So that's been something we've been investing in as well as some external talent with some new shows that are coming out soon. But yeah, I think that while it may be. I don't know, that's something that we don't have any plans for now to change what the core quartet cast means. Adding new people to the umbrella ofThe Try Guys
universe is definitely something that we're actively working.
Hala Taha: [00:25:52] That's awesome. So let's talk about your book. You guys have a New York TImes bestseller it's called The Hidden Power of F*cking Up. [00:26:00] What would you say was your biggest F*ck and how did you overcome it?
Ned Fulmer: [00:26:05] In writing the book or just in life? Oh, man.
Gosh, that is a hard question. My biggest f*ck in life, honestly, I one thing that really shifted my fate was, I got a really bad knee injury when I was working in Chicago in 2013. And that's what I, I, after I was running way too fast and letting myself go out of control tripped and fell and had a really bad injury.
I had to quit all of my shows, go off on a disability leave from work for a time because the lab of course, required you to be able to lift 40 pounds to work there. Interestingly enough but that was a moment where it really, I was very stable working a day job at a chem lab and doing these fun shows at night that taking a risk and [00:27:00] moving to
Los Angeles or New York, whatever, a larger market for me LA was where I wanted to go. That's a very scary and difficult decision. And when you have the status of two improv groups, you're in and the, when the sketch show that's coming up and then you still have the job, it's it's very hard to just disrupt all of that and say, you know what, I'm going to move to LA with my dreams and a, to.
Having that break in my life forced me to reassess things and realize that wasn't, it wasn't getting younger. And if I just kept here doing the same thing, I probably, even though SNL auditions came by every year and you're always excited for that showcase and working on your material, the other 364 days of the year.
Yeah. That's a very long shot and really one of the few things that is open to performers.
Hala Taha: [00:27:56] So essentially that injury led you to making [00:28:00] that move and making that transition. Is that what you're saying? That's why you ended up in LA?
Ned Fulmer: [00:28:04] Yeah, I think absolutely. It's certainly accelerated that timeline and probably it maybe moving to LA, even though it's something I always wanted to do, maybe it's something that if I hadn't had that break in my life, didn't do.
And that idea of taking a bold risk on yourself, I think, is something that echoes. A lot of different facets of business. I think that if you have the ability to bet on yourself and to take a bold risk and to do something that other people maybe are afraid to do it. That can make all the difference.
Hala Taha: [00:28:37] Totally. And when you're so comfortable and you have a cushy job, it's so hard to take that leap, to take that jump, because you feel like you have so much to lose, but when you already have something that's gone, it's more easy to make up change and to take on that risk. Cause you don't have as much to lose.
So I definitely can relate there. So moving onto another topic in your book, you guys [00:29:00] have a really cute philosophy. You call it failosophy, on ways to tackle life in its wonderful, terrible, uncertain glory. So can you tell us about this failosophy and how we can succeed by failing over and over again?
Ned Fulmer: [00:29:17] Yeah, I think it's related to what we're talking about with risk-taking. There are so many ways that we let the fear of failure or the fear of f*cking up paralyzes into inaction or indecision, but the reality is life is full of mistakes and mess ups. And here I can, like with the benefit of hindsight chart, some like perfect like course of my career, where a lead to be.
And all the connections seem wow, oh, how perfect that he was working at Buzzfeed in 2013. But the reality is like, There were so many moves that I made that didn't really pan out or we're like, we're dead ends. There's going to be so many [00:30:00] mistakes that you make in your life.
And that's not ever going to be a one-way street or a ladder straight to success, even when you're in kind of those regimented like a med school program or, a PhD program even though the seven years might feel regimented after that, there's still, there's going to be like a zigzagging spider web of career choices and decisions and things that you do.
And what I found is that being afraid of messing up is going to severely limit the experiences that you have and the types of things that you can do.
Hala Taha: [00:30:45] Yeah. And so from my understanding this YouTube series with The Try Guys, that wasn't your first YouTube show. How many shows have you had before The Try Guys?
Ned Fulmer: [00:30:54] Oh gosh. In Chicago it was, we would have a different show, [00:31:00] different live show every couple of months. And then in terms of making YouTube videos. I made a sitcom in college cause I was very into sitcoms. And I remember I had a moment where, when we published it online at suddenly got thousands of views and we were like, whoa, but there's not even a thousand people in my school.
I was only ever doing live performances and 200 hundred people would be like, wow, there's so many people here, but the realization that publishing even a, not so great project that I did in school, that was just because we published it online. And segments suddenly got like a order of magnitude, more views.
I had ever gotten by doing live shows. That was a, an early appreciation, back in 2008, 2007 that, oh wow. Maybe this like digital [00:32:00] media is a thing.
Hala Taha: [00:32:01] And a lot of people like they may look at you guys and think, oh, I didn't overnight success, but you were working on your car. And experimenting with things from 2008.
And it reminds me like, YAP for me is my sixth show. I was in radio. I used to forget on any seven. I used to have online radio shows. I used to be more focused on music and hip hop and I evolved, but YAP is my most successful show. Imagine if two years ago I said, I'd oh, I'm done with broadcasting. I don't want to give it a try again.
I would never be talking to world famous YouTubers and Robert Green and Mark Manson and huge people. So I would say don't be afraid to practice, to try to start something, to fail, to stop it, to evolve, to try a new show. That's how you succeed. It's really just trying and trying. And so until you succeed.
Ned Fulmer: [00:32:48] I completely agree.
Cause every try that you do everything that you attempt, you gain experience from it. You gain a better understanding of your own skills and like you're not going to just [00:33:00] be successful right off the bat. That's a great piece of advice that I've heard for film writers. There's this paradigm of the young film
writer that just rewrites their same Opus movie 10 times. What if they spent that time writing 10 different movies and all of them are not great, but maybe the 10th one is a little bit better. Maybe one out of them is good. And I think that for anyone just starting out especially if you're interested in media, the barrier to entry is so much lower.
You, you can just be filming things on your cell phone and trying out different things. And the nice thing about digital media is it's not like some big oh, I, I have to send my perfect spec script to an agent. It's you can just start publishing things if people don't like it and nobody will see it.
So who cares? And then the things that people do, like we'll put you on the map and then an agent to the extent that you [00:34:00] need, one will be coming to knock on your door.
Hala Taha: [00:34:04] Exactly. I know people just need to like, not be free to try and also not stick to the same thing for too long. I see a lot of podcasters, especially they have a show that like never takes off when they do it for five years.
And it's okay, your show is not working right. You need to either change your marketing. You need to change your branding. You need to change your angle. You need to change your frequency ginger format. Something needs to change. You can't just keep doing the same thing and then expecting that someday.
You're going to blow up. If it doesn't get attraction in a year or two, you probably need to like start something new and not be afraid to stop it and start something new. In my opinion.
Ned Fulmer: [00:34:38] That's really, that's a really great point. I've never thought a bit like that. Podcasters need to be thinking about their podcasts
Hala Taha: [00:34:45] Yeah, let's get into some YouTube tips. So we love actionable advice at Young And Profiting Podcasts that's like my main thing that I always give people practical advice that they can use. And like we said, your channel has over 2 billion views, 7 [00:35:00] million subscribers. You guys are huge YouTube stars,
have a wealth of information. You guys released this blog on Patreon last year, that was called the 10 tips to grow viral with Try Guys. I don't expect you to have memorized that blog post, but what I'm going to do is do like a rapid fire segment where I will list off one of the tips I'll do. I know we won't get through all 10 maybe like
three or four of them. And maybe you can elaborate. Let me know if you have any examples of what you've done with Try Guys specifically, and just help people learn a little bit more about that tip. Does that sound good to you?
Ned Fulmer: [00:35:33] Rapid fire. Let's do this 10 out of 10 baby.
Hala Taha: [00:35:36] Let's go. Okay. Let's see if we could get all 10.
Tip number one, connect with people's passions and identities.
Ned Fulmer: [00:35:44] Yeah. People like to share things that say things about themselves. So if you can make something that connects with what someone really likes. It's much more likely that they'll be like inspired by the content and want to share it to their [00:36:00] friends.
Hala Taha: [00:36:00] So go narrow that's I think that's the tip there. Tip number two.
Ned Fulmer: [00:36:04] Like we did a video about, anime cosplay, where we went to the anime expo. I am heard of that before, but then at this anime expo, there's hundreds and hundreds of people all dressed in esoteric costumes from animators and mangoes.
I have not really known. And that was a really big, specific audience that then had that video get a lot of views.
Hala Taha: [00:36:30] Yeah. And they got exposure. And that's the thing about YouTube is that it's like every video kind of operates as its own thing, and you can get new fans from that video being focused on enemy, but then they can go see your whole channel and maybe watch more videos.
So tip number two.
Ned Fulmer: [00:36:46] We're totally failing at this rapid fire I'm going to do so deep, even on number one.
Hala Taha: [00:36:54] It's okay. Make sure your videos accomplish one of these three things, make your audience feel [00:37:00] something, connects them with someone or something or informs them of information.
Ned Fulmer: [00:37:05] Yeah. What we said?
No, I, you want to make your audience feel things, right? Like you, you want to make them learn something or you want to make them feel laugh or cry or feel joy. That's something that I think effective content at all different mediums does.
Hala Taha: [00:37:25] Totally. I totally agree. I think that's great advice.
Tip number three, anticipate how the viewer will react.
Ned Fulmer: [00:37:33] Yeah. Don't really know what that means. Let me know when you find out,
Hala Taha: [00:37:39] I think it has something to do with, will they share it or not? I think that's what it relates to.
Ned Fulmer: [00:37:44] I think I was thinking of ways where even in the construction of a video, if someone clicks on like a home makeover video, there's certain conventions that they
be aware of, so you can play with those where you can build on certain expectations [00:38:00] and then subvert and disrupt other expectations to keep them surprised, keep them delighted.
Hala Taha: [00:38:05] That's good. Okay. Tip number four, test and iterate.
Ned Fulmer: [00:38:11] This is very core to our philosophy. We think of every video as a test, and then we look at
the analytics, we try and gain learnings from it. Whether it's a style test or a content test, a casting, test, everything we do, we try and learn something and then do more of the stuff that's working and do less of this stuff.
Hala Taha: [00:38:33] What kind of things do you AB test? This is going a little deeper on, on the question.
Do you AB test your thumbnails and titles? What are you AB tests?
Ned Fulmer: [00:38:41] Yeah, we really only have the ability to AB test titles and thumbnails. I know that some like Zach launch day, a T company recently, and he was doing some AB testing of Google ads and Instagram ads. But mostly we have two different thumbnails and we'll play them off against each other.
And same with titles, you [00:39:00] don't want to like mess with it too much because if somebody clicks on something, that's Try Guys try that way. And then they get there and the title is like Zach sprained his ankle ouch. Like
Hala Taha: [00:39:13] it's confusing then. Okay. Tip number five. Find your foundational.
Ned Fulmer: [00:39:19] Yeah. So as much as trying different things and like different types of content showcasing different identities is important. There's also an important element too different, any channel you have to have consistency. So we try and have that core format of, it's the four of us trying something new learning from an expert.
We try not to deviate too far from that, because we've found that when we're having periods of time, where we're throwing so many different things at the audience, and whether it's like just solo shows or things where we're not really trying something that maybe we're [00:40:00] just like playing a game. If you go a little too wide with your format that you start to lose tune in, because some people are really excited about one thing.
Some people were really excited about the other thing, but on the whole, you won't get as much excitement for your content and your channel, and then things will start to suffer. So that's actually something that I think that people should takeaway is like what is a core element of what I make and how can I always be true to that?
And it's not to say that you can't do other things, but they should, in their best form, they should come via a different vertical. That's why for the Baby Steps podcast, we're launching that on a completely new channel, right? It's going to feel very different and very unique because I think that will attract drag guys, fans, but we also attract, might attract some unique fans.
Hala Taha: [00:40:52] Cool. Okay.
So the last tip I'm going to go, have you go through is show human error to make your [00:41:00] content more relatable.
Ned Fulmer: [00:41:02] That's a very robotic way of saying that's true though. That's true. Yeah. That's very that's a very inauthentic way of saying be authentic, but it is true. I went to an Ivy league school.
I happened to be wearing Gale. T-shirts very embarrassing. But I'm very smart and good at things, but that makes me understand that when I'm on camera, oftentimes not being good at things is better for the video. You know what I'm saying? Even if I know the answer to something thing, the wrong answer is better for the content because it lets the experts look good and it lets you be a conduit for the viewer for them learning something half the time.
I really don't know. Oh, wild person that likes making bad decisions. But part of that is specifically doing that for the content to be better. [00:42:00] And letting my kind of like theory brain with all the stuff we're talking about just be for guest interviews on podcasts, where we talk about like very important stuff like profiting.
Hala Taha: [00:42:11] I use probably the dirtiest show you've ever. You'd be like, this girl is such a nerd. This is the nerdiest show I've ever been.
Ned Fulmer: [00:42:17] No. It's all good. But I do, I really only get invited to the nerdy shows. Very much for having me.
Hala Taha: [00:42:27] Okay. I have a new YouTube coach. I'm actually really starting to try to blow up Young And Profiting on YouTube.
We're big on apple. We're big on Castbox. A baby on YouTube. We're nothing compared to you guys. So I have a few questions in terms of your some now, what is your advice for thumbnails? I know YouTube face is really important. Tell us what YouTube faces in terms of having your mouth open your eyes.
Yeah. There you go. If you guys are watching on video, you can see as easy there. Tell us about thumbnails because my coach told me the thumbnail is more [00:43:00] important than your video.
Ned Fulmer: [00:43:02] In some ways, that's true. The biggest things on YouTube, and this has been documented other places check out Matt Paths, channels like YouTube theory.
There's you know, you want to have a high click through rate and you want to have good audience retention. So that means that people click on the video, they're interested in it and they stick around to watch it. So you have to create an engaging premise and then deliver on that premise. Ideally towards the end of the video. YouTube faces just means like people react and engage with faces more than they do not.
So having an expressive face that delivers intrigue and suspense. I think I, one of my favorite thumbnails, so it's everything do perfect does is great, but there's, they often will, if you don't know them, they're a trick shot, channel a quintet, but it's a guy throwing a paper towel, a [00:44:00] roll, and it's like mid shot and there's a paper towel holder there.
And so you, you immediately feel that sense of suspense. Yeah. Unfulfilled potential of, oh, is this going to hit the paper towel holder and be successful finding weight? That would be way, way more that's way better thumbnail than someone just like holding a paper towel and then text being like paper towel, trick shot.
That's a fine thumbnail. But if you can really give a visceral sense of an unfulfilled potential. Yeah, it is. It's a much better than that.
Hala Taha: [00:44:39] Yeah. And like I mentioned, I had another really big YouTube or on the show, Evan Carmichael. And he told me that the length of your video performs best at 10 minutes long.
Have you found the same thing or do you have another recommendation in terms of video length?
Ned Fulmer: [00:44:54] Honestly, it's different based on your audience. It is a little bit endemic to [00:45:00] the platform. Like I think people tend to watch longer on YouTube than Facebook, for example. But if your audience is used to 25 minute videos, probably a 10 minute video will feel short to them.
But if your audience is used to 90 seconds videos, that 10 minute video might feel long to them, but it's optimizing for audience retention and watch time means that your videos should be the length they need to be to retain the most amount of people. So for most videos on the platform, that's 10 to 15 minutes, but our most popular series is 35 minutes long.
Cause it feels like a TV show and there's stakes and suspense. And you really want to find out what happens at the end. Then you need the full half hour develop all the storylines. It's a cooking show called without a recipe. It's feels like a TV show. For a podcast I know that people, since they're [00:46:00] so long, it's less common on YouTube.
So I think typically what people do is they'll have. The long form podcast channel, but then they'll also publish like top clips channel or highlights either on another channel or within the same feed.
Hala Taha: [00:46:17] Yeah. I heard the dual channel strategy is a good one. Cool. And then my last question before we close out is I know the intro of your video is really important.
So do you have any philosophy in terms of how you intro your video?
Ned Fulmer: [00:46:31] Yeah. And this is, this has changed over time. I think we often started with a non-sequitur joke. That was really funny. And that I think works for your existing fans cause they'll think, oh, how funny, but for new fans that are clicking on it, or for people that maybe don't know your content as well, you really want to be delivering on the value proposition of the title and thumbnail immediately.
What did I just click on and why is it going to be worth watching [00:47:00] and exciting for me? I think Mr. Beasts does a really great job of this, where sometimes literally at the beginning of the video, if the title is last to leave $800,000 island keeps it. The first five seconds of the video is an expanding on that premise of like I bought an $800,000 island and my 10 friends are going to stay here.
And the last person here is going to win it. That's just this title, but in two sentences.
Hala Taha: [00:47:26] Yeah. So it's like delivering on what you got them to click on in the first place is really important in the first like 10, 20 seconds.
Ned Fulmer: [00:47:34] Yeah. And having some of your most visually interesting shots. And the very first three seconds that, cause people there's so many different things you can do spending your time.
And if you're here listening, thanks for spending your time with us. You may, you're probably listening to this while you're doing something different. Maybe you're watching something different while you're listening to this. There are so many different ways that we spend our time and our attention.
[00:48:00] And some people might watch the first couple seconds of a YouTube video, like from Instagram, others might click on it, but then you constantly have other thumbnails and things that are backing your attention. So you really got to, if you were trying to convince someone that your content is worth watching, you better make it as worth watching and as worthwhile as fast as you can.
Hala Taha: [00:48:24] Yeah, I think that's great advice. Now, the last question I ask, all my guests who come on the show is what is your secret to profiting in life?
Ned Fulmer: [00:48:34] My secrets are profiting and life I think is to surround yourself with loved ones. The times when I've been the most happy is when I have been working with people that I like and have been.
When your work life and your home life, your family life is working in harmony, you're going to be that much more inspired to be your best self in all aspects. Yeah. I think that, yeah, don't get, don't go at it alone would be [00:49:00] my
Hala Taha: [00:49:01] That's beautiful. Where can our listeners go to find more about you and everything that you do?
Ned Fulmer: [00:49:07] Yeah, so you can check out our new podcast, Baby Steps. You can search for it on Apple podcasts or anywhere you get your podcasts as well as youtube.com/babysteps to join our YouTube community and try guys you can check us out on tryguys.com or search for Try Guys on YouTube, youtube.com/tryguys at Ned Fulmer
with an M and had done that before that's funny. But yeah. Thanks for listening and thanks for letting me get nerdy with you for an hour.
Hala Taha: [00:49:38] Thank you Ned. I appreciate it. I think our listeners are going to love all these YouTube tips and your awesome come up stories. So thank you for sharing that.
Ned Fulmer: [00:49:47] Thanks. Bye.
Hala Taha: [00:49:49] Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review on Apple podcasts or comments on YouTube, SoundCloud, or your favorite [00:50:00] platform. Reviews make all the hard work worth it. They're the ultimate thank you to me and the YAP team. The other way to support us is by word of mouth.
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