Make Better Content

Have you seen the latest Jake Paul Christmas music videos?

You probably know of Jake Paul. He’s the ridiculously popular YouTuber with 12 million subscribers. Not to mention the Twitter and Instagram fans and his previous run with the Disney Channel.

He got his start on Vine with funny videos and stunts. And though that genre of video is still very much what he’s known for, he also sprinkles in his help for others — the wishes he makes come true for his young fans or getting people out of their homes during the Houston floods.

Of course, it has to be noted that he’s controversial and polarizing. His neighbors were considering filing a class action suit because of the trouble he caused which included giant bonfires of his furniture burning in his empty pool.

This December, Jake released an entire holiday album with his original take on the 12 days of Christmas or Litmas.

They’re terrible.

But I’ll get back to that…

A week ago, another YouTuber blew up in attention. If you didn’t catch it in one of the many dozens of business magazines which covered this, you might have even seen it mentioned on SNL’s weekend update.

That YouTuber is Ryan. He’s 6. And he pulled in $11 million last year doing toy reviews on YouTube.

Ryan, like many of us on YouTube, started out with very little traction. Until he created a video of playing with 100+ toys he took out of a giant homemade egg shaped box. That video now has almost 1 billion views.

With the success of that and more videos, he has over 10 million subscribers, even above top YouTubers like Casey Neistat and iJustine.

Now, what lesson can you possibly draw from Ryan the 6 year old toy reviewer and Jake the “neighborhood hoodlum”?

I think if you pay very close attention to their content, you’ll see a trend.

It’s all aspirational.

Ryan’s whole channel is content for kids who’d love to be in the same position to open up 100 presents.

And though you might cringe watching Jake’s humor, who wouldn’t want to live in a mansion with a bunch of their friends enjoying life. Who wouldn’t want a dose of that carefree attitude he has. Who wouldn’t want the close relationship he’s had with his brother over the years (the current, and possibly fake, feud notwithstanding). All, while we watch escaping from some of the drudgery of our own lives.

Take that lens and find some of the other successful content on YouTube. You’ll see so much of it linked — the unboxing videos, the product reviews, the tips on doing your makeup and hair — “Here is something or some skill I have that you aspire to. Let me show you what it’s like. Let me show you how to get it yourself.”


a hope or ambition of achieving something

Of course there’s a darkside to this. They’re are plenty of people flashing their lifestyles and fancy cars for little benefit to the viewer just to rack up views and ad dollars. Jake Paul can sometimes be found guilty of this. Shoot, I know I can be guilty of this, showing people how much fun I had today and cherry picking the good stuff.

But I spend quite a bit of effort making sure the work I produce on my YouTube channel isn’t just some thin veneer or shill for a product. It isn’t some brag fest of how awesome my life is. I try to open up about the real challenges I go through everyday raising a toddler and growing a business.

Then I try to show the things that have helped me get past those obstacles. The patience, technology, or decisions. And it just so happens there’s a new problem everyday. You should have seen last night’s toddler fit. Maybe I’ll include it in a vlog episode soon 🙂

I think if you lead from a place of creating more aspirational content, helping others obtain or achieve something, you’ll see that content reach much further than the work that focuses on outrage, opinions, or humour alone.

What skill or quality do you have that people aspire to have? I don’t care if you feel like the most unsuccessful person in the world, there’s something you can do or recently learned, that someone else wishes they could get too. Even if you just learned to get the most basic Ruby on Rails application running, someone out there wishes to learn. Even if you just learned how valuable white space is in a design, someone out there can’t wait to get even that far. Even if you’re a three year old, you just learned something the two year olds who come after you wish they knew.

Go help people who aspire to be better versions of themselves and they’ll help you get better too.

Merry Christ(Lit)mas and Happy Holidays everyone. I hope you have the chance to spend the time with family and friends. If there’s anything I can ever be helpful with, please don’t hesitate to ask. Email me anytime ([email protected]). Or Twitter.

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life. And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups, try Highrise.