I’ve been thinking about growing 1 year’s worth of food on our 5 acres of land. My wife and I were looking forward to gardening and trying our hand at chickens when we moved to this property a little over a year ago, but when the pandemic hit and grocery stores started limiting food to quantities unsustainable for a family of 9, we decided to move a little faster on learning to grow and raise our own food.

We now have chickens, a garden, grape vines, apple trees, blueberries, and a hunting station setup for the fall. The learning curve has been steeper than I anticipated, but I’m thankful for books like this from that shows us step-by-step how to successfully plan and grow all our food for a year, plus courses from , and coaching from @joshnava and .

I love systems that produce results, so this permaculture stuff feels like it could be right up my alley and something our whole family can be a part of together.

There’s NO way we could’ve figured all of this stuff out, though, without the help of people who knew what they were doing, who could teach us these systems.

YouTube works the same way.

Not every channel or niche is exactly the same, but there are basic principles and systems you need to have in place if you want to develop a successful, long-lasting YouTube channel.

That’s why I created Video Labs.

And it’s why I LOVE when we come to the end of it and our creators don’t need us anymore – because they’ve learned these systems and strategies and know them so well they walk away as YouTube experts.

We recently just wrapped up with an 8-week class of Video Labs. I got to sit down with 7 of our graduates and ask them what the biggest takeaways from the class were that made the most impact on their channel. Here’s what they had to say.

  1. Cut the fluff. The longer you take to get to the point of the video, or deliver on the value promised in the title/thumbnail, the more viewers you’re going to lose. This applies to the end of the video too. If you notice a significant drop off either at the start or end of your videos in your analytics, try experimenting with different hooks or cutting some fluff out. You may be rambling or not getting to the point fast enough.
  2. Establish 2-3 KPIs (or goals) for what success looks like to you. Everyone has different goals on YouTube, so it’s important to measure what success looks like to you. We recommend that most creators focus on CTR and retention (increasing people clicking on your video and the amount of time they stay on). If you can increase these metrics (usually with better titles/thumbnails and video content), YouTube will push your video out to more people.
  3. Plan your titles and thumbnails ahead of time. SO many creators spend hours upon hours scripting, filming, editing, and optimizing their video and then spend 15 minutes on the title and thumbnail. The title and thumbnail is your movie poster or trailer. If it stinks, no one will watch the video you worked so hard on. Titles and thumbnails work together to tease the story and value in your video. Use your thumbnail visual as a visual representation of what the video is about and use that title to tease the visual.
  4. Place story in your video! We’re wired to LOVE a good story. Whether you’re an educational, lifestyle, entertainment, or DIY channel… everyone can integrate story into their videos. If you want to improve your storytelling skills, I recommend listening to Donald Miller’s . We walk our Video Labs students through how to do this in Video Labs as well.
  5. Make videos your viewer finds valuable. With 500 hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute, there is a LOT of competition out there. Making a video you want to make probably won’t get you the results you’re looking for. If you really want to build a loyal audience, you need to deliver value to them consistently each week. When everyone is making YouTube videos, why should anyone care about yours? What’s different? What are you uniquely bringing to the table? These are all things to think through as you shift your content so your content is targeted towards a specific audience and it’s serving people well.

What do you think? Do any of these resonate with you? What area of your YouTube growth do you feel like you need to improve?

Let me know! My team and I love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading!

Keep changing lives,


P.S. Do you want to be the next Video Labs graduate who I get to chat with on our livestream about all things YouTube? Or do you just feel stuck and want to grow your views, subscribers, and revenue? and let us help you get there.

Check out these creators here:
– Pressure Wash Help – https://www.youtube.com/FCPWLLC
– Multilingual Kids – AskTetsu – https://www.youtube.com/user/asktetsu
– Nick Lituanio – https://www.youtube.com/nicklituanio
– Fruit Mentor – https://www.youtube.com/fruitmentor
– Melissa K. Norris: Modern Homesteading – https://www.youtube.com/melissaknorris
– Own The Chaos Investing: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpZqTguGOptG9ek2WLkV0zA

The next Video Labs session starts August 20. Register here: https://videocreators.com/video-labs/