We are CONSTANTLY talking about using story to engage viewers, get more watch time, build trust, gain subscribers, and just make better videos. But, the main push back we get is from educators. If I’m making an educational video, how can I do this??

Well, today we will tell you! And we make it simple, too. It’s doesn’t have to be hard or complicated to tell a story. In fact, there’s a formula you can follow in your very next video to help you tell a story around your information on your first attempt.

Creator Spotlight

But first, let me introduce you to Chad. Chad is an educator himself in the real estate world. After , he has far more confidence in his ability to use storytelling in his videos. And because of that, he more than doubled his views and subscriber growth rate on his channel by adding storytelling. Check out to see how he did it. And if you want us to work with you directly, book a and see how we can help you grow.

Where to Start

The first thing we can recommend if you want to start incorporating story on your channel is to take some time and watch a lot of videos outside of your niche. Broaden the scope of what you think you can do. The best authors read the most books and the best creators watch the most YouTube. Look for other educators who are using story well and consume their content. You have to expose yourself to different ways that storytelling can be used.

Relearn What Storytelling Is

Storytelling doesn’t have to be an epic major motion picture film type of story. Sometimes it is as simple as, “You want something and you have to work through a struggle to get it.” How do you get the viewer from not knowing how to do x, y, z to work through the obstacles to learn it? We don’t need a full on Lord of the Rings story here. Just keep it simple. Donald Miller said, “A story is about a character who wants something and faces obstacles to get it.” That’s it.

You can keep it simple by just showing change. Think about every movie you’ve ever seen. 99.99% of the time, the main character changes from the beginning of the story to the end. If they were alone at the beginning, they’ll have people in the end. If in the beginning they were scared, at the end they are bold and confident. Your job is just to show that change.

Feeling Stuck?

Connect with your viewer’s story! Say exactly what’s in their mind to connect with them. At the beginning of your video your viewer might feel confused and frustrated. Call that out! The more you connect with the thoughts in their head, the more they will trust you to bring them along in the process.

Your viewer can be the character in the story. They want to overcome the obstacles to learn this new skill. Something is at stake for them. They need to overcome certain obstacles to feel confident at work or feel accomplished in their musical goals, etc. So highlight not just what they are looking for on YouTube but why they want to learn this skill that you’re teaching.

Magical Formula

Let’s make it even easier. Here’s the magic formula you can use in your very next video:

I want ____________. But, ________________. So, __________________.

I want to train my dog to protect my chickens. But, I have never owned a dog before and have no idea how to train it. So, I am going to reach out to my neighbor who used to own a dog training company and ask him to help me. (True story here.)

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Let’s try another. I want to submit my taxes on time. But, I don’t want to pay someone to do it for me. So, I’m going to learn to learn to do it on my own.

We had one of our video labs student do an amazing job with this once. He wanted to make a video to teach his viewers how to use a video editing tool, but he wanted to add a story. So he fabricated a story about how he had hours of footage, but only a short amount of time to edit it down before his deadline. So he used this made up story to set it up his video. This was perfect because he put himself in the viewers shoes, which automatically builds connection.

Another example is from a homesteading channel I worked with. He had 10 days to put up a barn because an event would be happening in that barn at the end of the 10 days. So he showed the steps on how to build it. But, he also the shared the lessons he learned and the frustrations he encountered along the way, which made it so much more intriguing.

It can be so simple. I WANT to get my chickens from one side of my property to the other. BUT, there’s a road we will have to cross and if I don’t do it at the right time, they won’t make it. SO, this is what we are going to do. Step 1, step 2, step 3. Then show the transformation! Explain your fears and frustrations along the way and you automatically have a better story.


It will take longer to crank out a video as you learn this new skill. It’s so easy to sit down and do step by step educational video instead. But with that method, you are so forgettable. There’s no emotional connection. People will quickly click away and never come back. Taking the time to use storytelling will be worth it. Your views will be higher, your audience retention will be so much better, and you will not be forgotten.

The Power of the “But”

Notice that I used “but” in my formula – not “and.”

“This happened and then this happened and then this happened.” That is just a sequence of events, not a story. This happened, but then this happened. BUT, then this happened!” This is such a simple tool that builds tension and is already more intriguing.

I want to build a dresser for my wife because she hates the style of the one we have. But, I’ve never built a dresser like the one she wants. So, let’s see if I can do it. The story is now no longer about how to build a dresser, but about making his wife happy. It can end in a reveal, which that viewer is not going to want to miss. It’s a bigger story that someone can connect with on a personal level and it will make all the difference.


YouTube Analytics now shows automatic translation metrics, so you can see what languages people are watching your videos in (and maybe add manually translated captions). You can see an overview on the Analytics Audience tab. More details from Creator Insider: .

Have comments, reactions, questions about all of this or just want to say hi? for us and we may use it in an upcoming podcast episode. Until then…

Keep Changing Lives!

Tim Schmoyer

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