Recently my YouTube channel, Gary & Larry's Edible Adventures was selected for a quick channel review during a live stream training with Derral Eves & Mr Beast. In this podcast I share a few snippets of what they said and my response and thoughts to it all.
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On this week’s podcast… my channel Gary & Larry’s Edible Adventures was critiqued on a live stream by Derral Eves & MR BEAST! What did they have to say? How did it make me feel? Let’s talk about it.
Hello and welcome to the Gary Cantrell podcast and if you’re new here I’m a 14 year podcaster, I’ve worked on live internet radio streams, and I LOVE creating videos.
Just a few days ago I had the pleasure of taking part in a live stream training session with Derral Eves and Mr Beast. This was a perk of pre-ordering the YouTube formula book which I’m nearly done reading (i don’t read any books by the way) and if you want to check it out there’s a link in the show notes. I wanted to watch this live training because if there's any 2 guys I want to listen to, dropping some YouTube knowledge bombs it’s Derral and Mr Beast. What I did not know was that they’d be picking a few channels to critique live on this stream. About an hour in they put out a call to action for everyone in the chat to drop their links in and as you’d expect people started spamming it pretty HARD. I figured if everyone else was doing it, why not me?
I started spamming the link every second. I don’t know what it was about my link that caught Derral’s eye but low and behold he picked me. (AUDIO of him intro-ing it) I was super excited for all of about 10 seconds and then the doubt set in. What if they see stuff they don’t like? What if they literally pick apart every little thing? What if they tell me that what we’ve been doing all along is WRONG?! These are the thoughts that went through my head at that time. My heart was pounding out of control as Mr Beast asked…
So 2 things here, allow me to explain. First on the Seasons playlist. When we came up with the idea of this channel, we kind of envisioned it like a television show which is broken up by episodes and seasons. We didn’t have anything specific to designate 1 season from another so we just decided that a season would be that year’s worth of videos so any video from 2020 would be Season 1, 2021 videos would be Season 2, etc. I have since changed the names of these playlists to simply 2020 or 2021 and maybe that makes things a little more clear. I think there is a number of issues to address on our channel and I’ll run through some of these realizations as we keep going here. Now onto the thumbnails
Up until about a month ago I thought our thumbnails were shit. It was literally just our bodies cut out and placed over top of the front of whatever restaurant we were at. I then took a saturday afternoon and updated nearly all of them. The idea was that we’d pick the brand’s colors of whatever place we were, in this case Chik-Fil-A’s colors are red and white so the thumbnail had a bright red background with white outlines of us and a white Chik-Fil-A logo. I thought these were instantly better.. In fact, our Click through rate jumped from around 3-4% up to 6-7% not a huge jump but it told me that I did something that made a difference and so while they may not be perfect as I’m still learning it points to possible improvement.
So the point about the title here is very fair. I still think that the titles of these videos could use some work. I’m trying to walk the fine line of accurately depicting what is in the video while also trying to make it enticing enough to click and usually falling short on the latter. I could have just as easily called the video “Cafe Americano Las Vegas review” or something like that but that just doesn’t seem interesting to me so the goal here was to personalize it so that if someone was scrolling past they’d say oh that must have been some expensive food and if they’re looking for food videos maybe they’d want to click. I ultimately ended up changing the title to “A Very Expensive Las Vegas Breakfast” which walks that fine line of compromise to me where we are still holding true on the title and not just trying to bait people in.
Again i have no problem with what was said here. We’ve got the establishing shots of where we are at which I personally don’t see a problem with but you’ve got the trash audio and I knew when I went back to watch the video later it was trash. I thought of putting narration in there for the intro and then going into us at the table. This is before I got a new mic for the camera and we were just using the on board audio.
Ok Derral, this right here is the one part where i took issue… “why do i care” This is the only thing where I might say maybe they don’t get what we’re trying to do here. Most food review videos that I watch it’s all the same shit. I don’t say that to speak negatively on it, but there’s a format to it. When you tune in you kind of already know this and you’re watching for 2 reasons, 1 because you want to see whatever food that person is reviewing and 2 you like that persons personality. That’s it. I don’t watch a food review to see someone imitating Mr Beast or doing something crazy in the video. I just wanna see what the food is and the person reviewing it.
This part right here I found to be probably the most interesting point in this entire review. I never thought that 2 of us in the thumbnail would be distracting or a problem. I always figured since it was gary and larry’s edible adventures that the thumbnails would match that and you’d see both of us. Him saying to drop the other guy (sorry larry) and frame up the thumbnail a little differently is actually very helpful. In fact in newer thumbnails of videos that haven’t come out yet I’ve already started to implement this where we will alternate, 1 week i’m on the thumbnail and the other week larry is on the thumbnail that way we are both still represented but also now we can try what Mr Beast is saying here and see how big of difference it makes just having 1 of us on the thumbnail instead of 2.
All in all while it was a bit jarring and shocking to hear these guys review my channel live and it wasn’t easy to stomach at first, with some time to think about it I can really see it in a new light and as i said earlier I think there are some parts that maybe they didn’t understand like we are a food review channel and the whole purpose is to review food. But maybe when they clicked on it that wasn’t abundantly clear. Maybe we can do better on the branding side when it comes to channel banners and such to communicate that so when people click on the channel they know exactly what they are getting. I look forward to implementing some of the changes with things like the thumbnail and titles and see how people react in the analytics. Also this channel has only been going since august and we have under 40 videos. A lot of the pros say do 100 videos and then see where you’re at. I have no doubt that by the time we reach that point we will be even better. I will also say i do wonder what if they had saw one of our videos not in vegas that was lit better, sounded better and over all a bit more focused. We were shooting on our phones for most of vegas and still not 100% comfortable filming in public which by the way is something we’re still working on but what if they had clicked that chikfila video for instance that they saw i wonder what they might have said then. Who knows? Either way I want to thank them for picking me and essentially roasting the channel because it woke me up and gave me the inspiration i needed to think harder about what we’re doing here.