So I asked him “What would you do today if you lost everything and had to start from scratch to build your online business?”
Oh my word…wait til you hear his answer!
My recent guest, Evan Carmichael is ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the WORLD’s Top 40 Social Marketing talents.
Gary Vee has said Evan “consumes so much content and then knows how to DJ it to #Inspire people”
There’s so many golden GEMS inside this podcast interview.
You can grab the FULL transcription of this podcast over on my blog at:
If you’ve ever felt confused about ‘where to start’ in building up your business online…how to find out your purpose and transform others on social media, this is your episode.
Are you tuning in?
Here’s 6 Success Action Tips Evan dived into (there’s more you’ll get from this episode than 6!)
Success Action Tip #1:
• “As soon as you get an idea, you do it.”
Evan shares the pitfalls of getting too overwhelmed with the planning part of actioning a great idea, as success is determined by how fast you can shortcut the path from idea to action
Success Tip #2:
• “Build up your own audience”
Evan Carmichael explain’s the importance of knowing your target audience; listening to what they’re asking for, creating a product around that ask, and you now have a base to sell to.
Success tip #3:
• “Your purpose comes from your pain”
Evan talks candidly about how humans are built to serve, and helping others who currently struggle with what he struggled with in the past fills him up. He believes that if you’re not happy, it’s because you’re not serving
Success tip #4:
“Every post you put out is another chance, is another ticket in the lottery, another opportunity to win”
Evan talks about how he would start from scratch today in 2019. How to use Instagram initially before transitioning to YouTube; the importance of the quantity of posts as quantity leads to quality; if there’s no growth in your followers, why? He asks the thought provoking question “would you follow you?”
Success Tip #5
• “Find the people who you want to be like, who you want to learn from, and then surround yourself with it.”
Evan tells us that if you aspire to be like someone, read their stories regularly, copy what they’re doing; dive into the world and experiment; look at your stats and analytics, see what works and what doesn’t.
Success Tip #6
This is Evan’s ‘one word’. Listen to Evan explain the concept of ‘your one word’ which reflects a person’s most important core value; how that word “becomes the lens through which you see the world”; it should drive who you hire and surround yourself with- what is your ‘one word’?
Hope you LOVE it!
I’d love to connect with you socially!
Give me a follow on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/maria.gudelis/
Check out some cool videos on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mariagudelisfanpage/
Maria: Okay. I’m so blessed and honored to have you here, Evan, on this I Am Possible Podcast. And how are you doing today?
Evan: I’m great. Thanks for the love, Maria. It’s great to be here.
Maria: Okay, good. Well listen, I have devoured your book. I love it, and people, including myself can create businesses from it. And before I kind of dive into that, I have some really cool question to ask you because I know myself and my listeners are going to benefit so much. So to get to know any more if they haven’t because you have 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube and more, what was the first thing that made you smile today?
Evan: Going for a walk with my wife. We start that every morning. We wake up, shake off the dust or whatever and go for a walk to get some vitamin D outside. So, it was a good walk. It’s a warm day in Toronto so pretty exciting.
Maria: Cool. And I love the videos of you and Nina as well, especially the one recently on an Insta story where you’re pretending to be short. It was pretty funny. I love your sense of humor. So what do you love most about what you do right now?
Evan: I think just the ability to have an impact. I think humans are built to serve. I think if you’re not happy it’s because you’re not serving, and I’m fortunate that I get to wake up everyday and make content that serves people and moves them and pushes them. So, I’m super grateful and blessed for that.
Maria: Great. And now what I love to ask every guest on the podcast is what is your current technology stack? What are you using most in your business right now?
Evan: To make my videos or just anything?
Maria: Just anything, like you couldn’t live without. Like your email software, your website, technology, everything.
Evan: I think I’m pretty basic. Email, I just use Gmail. I think if I look at, pick up my phone and look at my apps, it’s going to be Instagram. What else am I using? We use Evernote, we use Dropbox. All pretty basic stuff. I don’t know if there’s anything, oh my gosh, this new technology is insanely amazing, I have to go do it. I think the way that we typically work is we’ll just start and it’s always messy, and then look for tools to help improve. I think people often do default to finding the fancy tool instead of actually just getting started. And so, I don’t know that we have anything too crazy. Adobe Premier I think edit the videos. It’s not me doing it, it’s my team. Yeah, probably email’s my most used app. It’s pretty boring.
Maria: No, I like it. And I’m going to expand on something. I know I’ve prepared questions for you, but you said something that is so important in you mentioned that, you know, it’s not about new technology to look for, it’s like just get started the basics. What can you say to someone right now that maybe is overwhelmed with technology. Because like, it’s funny, we’re busier now in today’s society than 20 years ago when we had less technology. People are more stressed, overwhelmed, anxiety. And when you’re starting a new business, that gets stressful too. Oh my God, I got to use that new automated webinar funnel that someone’s suggesting. Like, what would you suggest to people right now about that if they are kind of not taking action because they’re just overwhelmed?
Evan: Yeah. The key is just to start. And so, entrepreneurs is great to have a big bold vision. Here’s what we want to do, here’s the world we want to create, the change you want to make. That’s what’s great about entrepreneurs. The challenge is sometimes that dream can be so big and overwhelming that we don’t know how to take any action on it. And then the bigger your dream gets the more you need venture capital and the more you need resources and teams and money. It’s too overwhelming. And so it’s great to dream big and you start small. And so, whatever big vision I have, I try to find the smallest possible way to get started right now.
Evan: So if somebody’s listening or watching, they want to start a YouTube channel for example, you take your phone and you just make a video today. I’ll still film videos on my phone. Just came back from New York on the weekend and I had to make videos for my channel. So I made videos from my phone in my hotel room. Still. 250 million views on my channel, I still make videos on my phone sometimes.
Evan: So that’s the starting point. Somebody wants to start a podcast, great. Take your phone and record your first podcast. You can always get better, you can always improve with the tools, you can always keep going. The challenge is I think we waste our best efforts on planning instead of doing. And so I’m a big believer of, as soon as you get an idea, you do it. Idea to action, the faster you can shortcut that path from coming up with an idea to then putting something out into the world is what will determine your success.
Evan: A lot of people spend their best moments, when you feel bold, confident, amazing, [inaudible] this idea, you then default to planning, strategizing, thinking, and then you wake up tomorrow a different person and you’ve lost that boldness and that confidence and you don’t do anything. Where the best you can do is actually just commit and say yes and create something and expect it to suck. Your first podcast sucks compared to now and your podcast in 10 years will be way better than now too. Like as you keep going, you keep getting better. And so, expect to suck at the beginning, expect the tools to fail on you and everything that go, be terrible. It’s great. And then you’ll make it again the next day,
Maria: You know, thank you for that. And it reminds me, like I watch one of the your YouTube videos about that message. I wrote it down, expect to suck at the beginning. Because it’s so true. And you were even saying, look at some of my videos when I first started.
Maria: So, expanding on the starting small with something, you’ve been documenting over the last few days your journey of creating your next YouTube course, which everyone’s going to absolutely love because you are like the best to learn from and model after success. How did you then first start when you had that big audacious goal, okay, I’m going to do this new course. What was the first thing that you did to kind of get momentum on creating that course? Because I was shocked how fast you did all the videos. I think you said you got all the videos done yesterday or something.
Evan: I did the video recording in two days, two full days, which is great. So it’s like spending two entire days with me to help you with your YouTube channel. But there was a lot of planning and prepping that happened before so that I could just get on camera and record. How did I start with it? I’ve had so many people email me and message me and DM me saying, hey, Evan, can you help me with my YouTube channel. I want to grow, I want to learn, I want to get better. I can only give so much on a quick 15 second Instagram, or even something like this, even if we did a full interview with somebody and we did a podcast talking about YouTube, I can give 25 minutes of knowledge. But it doesn’t take people all the way through it and I can’t show examples.
Evan: And so, the idea was I want to take somebody who has a message, who wants to make an impact on the world and take them through the process of building a successful YouTube channel up. And everything that I’ve learned over the past 10 plus years of being on the platform that you guys get to just shortcut the path and go learn from. And so, as soon as I had that idea, I said, okay, great, let’s go, let’s start making it, let’s make it happen. And it was first off creating, okay, what does that e-course look like because I haven’t really done a full fledged e-course. So researching some of the courses. Coming together with a template of what I felt were the most important parts, and then eventually getting to the point of actually recording the videos.
Evan: So, yesterday and the day before was all day in-studio filming. And I was able to do that because of all the prep work that went into it before. But as soon as you get the idea, it’s like, okay, go, here it is, I got to make it happen. Somebody watching wants to have a course, I think a lot of your audience they’re experts on something and want to turn that into a product, a book, a course, a seminar, a workshop, a keynote speech. Great. Start right now. Like if you want to make a course, start right now. The best thing you can do is start right now.
Evan: I call it the 2% difference. So instead of planning your way to getting 100% done, start and just get the first 2% done, and then you can help the planning to take over, but the thing that holds so many people back is just a lack of momentum. There’s too much thinking and not enough doing.
Maria: You’re right. And I know I’m guilty of that as well. So I love that advice. So just to recap that, one of the things that people in your case, you had an audience so they were already asking for this because success leaves clues and let’s learn from you. Second, you researched other courses out there then you kind of created kind of a brief outline then you just took action and started recording the videos. And of course I know you have a team and everything, but those are the, would that summarize the four key steps?
Evan: Yeah, it’s definitely a great start. And I think it’s actually, for anybody who wants to have a course, you start by building up your own audience and you start by seeing what people want. Because I’ve seen so many people launch a course or a book or a product without a market. And then the problem may not be the book, the problem is you don’t have enough of a base to be able to sell to. And so, I think if you can build up your audience first, listen to what they’re asking you for and then create a product around that, you have a much higher degree of getting success.
Maria: Cool. That might lead actually into the main question I wanted to ask you because I think we have individuals listening to this podcast and in my tribe that some are new, young and just starting, whether they’re in their 18 year old or 20s. And some actually who are looking for reinvention in their 40s, early 50s. What can I do when I retire? What can I do because I’m scared of my job, it’s like the Hunger Games, I might get fired tomorrow with all the government cuts and everything.
Maria: So, what would you suggest, if you were to lose everything today, including your brand, your name, your recognition, your tribe, everything, what would you do to rebuild your business right now and to have that freedom that you have right now, and the love and the impact that you have right now?
Evan: So I think your purpose comes from your pain. Whatever you struggled with the most is going to be the people who you want to help. Whatever you struggled with the most, people who are currently going through that is who you will want to help for the rest of your life. It’ll fill you up. So, I struggled so much as an entrepreneur that I love helping entrepreneurs. Humans are built to serve, my path is through entrepreneurship because I struggled so much as an entrepreneur. The path that helps get you out of whatever hole you’re in is not just some fluke, it’s a recipe you can teach other people. So Bill Gates saved my company, I’ve never met him, but learning his story, modeling his success saved my business, prevented me from quitting on my first company. And so, what have I done for the past 20 years is model success, is showcase all these successful people wanting to learn from them.
Evan: And so, I am doing what I would be doing if I was starting over from scratch. If I had no community, if I had no name recognition, if you burned my face off and turned me into a woman or whatever, like you totally just changed my identity and took everything away. I would be trying to find a way to help entrepreneurs model success and believe in themselves more. So on a high level mission, it would be exactly the same as what I’m doing.
Evan: In terms of tactical execution, I would probably start with Instagram first. It’s just the fastest way to grow. It’s not the most sustainable or long term. YouTube is the most sustainable long term way to build a brand, mostly because YouTube’s the only platform where your content lives forever. So I have videos from eight, nine, 10 years ago still getting me views for my brand, where an Instagram post from five days ago wasn’t getting views anymore. The same thing for Twitter and Snap and Facebook and LinkedIn. Most of the other platforms, the content is always fresh, so that allows you to stand out quickly, but you have to stay on that treadmill to keep going, where YouTube takes a little longer to get going but once you do, you have all of this army of content behind you that keeps generating traction.
Evan: So if I was starting from scratch, my mission stays the same. I start with Instagram right now in the 2019 environment to the point where then I can quit my job or get enough money to support myself and then quickly start transitioning to building up my YouTube presence.
Maria: So Instagram first, YouTube presence. Excellent. And as far as on Instagram, I know people can get this information for free from your Instagram and YouTube channels. Any quick tips you can give right now for someone that’s just starting and how to grow their Instagram following their tribe?
Evan: So 80% of success on any social media platform is buyer content consistently. So if you’re not growing in Instagram, one, you’re not posting daily, or two, it’s not good enough yet. Yet. How do you learn how to make good content? Well, you practice, you put in the reps. The quantity leads to the quality. So Instagram last year I started with 6,000 followers. Now I’m at 160, something like that. Mostly because I started taking it seriously. But I was able to grow quickly because I knew how to make good content from my decade of being on YouTube. Now it’s just understanding how do I bring that to an Instagram platform.
Evan: And so, for people who are just getting started, I think of, what would you want to see? Like what’s missing on Instagram? What would you like, what would you comment? You make for yourself. I still make my videos for myself. Like I like my videos. I need my videos. I’m making them through my lens. And so, same thing for your Instagram. If you were to land on your own account, would you subscribe to you? Would you follow you? Would you comment on you? Is it good enough content? And then daily. So the more you can make. Every post that you put out is another chance, is another ticket in the lottery, is another ad bad, is another opportunity to win. Most of them probably won’t blow up, but every time you go off and you bet on yourself, you get another chance to do it.
Evan: So, for Instagram I do six times a day. We do three videos and three posts a day. The three videos now, this is like super tactical, but we go IGTV for the videos instead of the regular video posts because they just perform five to 10 times better. So, hack for right now.
Evan: It’s easy to say, well, when you started this, you got a team, you got people to help you do this. And yes, now on Instagram, I have one person, full time was helping me. But at the start, when I started taking it seriously about a year ago, I was doing everything myself. Everything. I was posting six times a day myself. And digesting the comments and writing the captions and being involved in the community. And as a result of you being in it or me being in it, I could quickly see, okay, here’s what’s working, here’s what’s not working. Instead of just delegating to somebody on your team, you figure it out and you build the connection and you build the community, and then you’ll grow. But you have to make the commitment to wanting to do it.
Evan: So, fire content every single day is 80% of success.
Maria: So, this is something interesting, is like worth a million dollars right now what you just shared because everyone was trying to crack that social media code or where to start first and full labor of the day right now is Instagram, could be different six months from now. But if we go back to Instagram, I’m going to ask some tactical questions, I know some of my audiences are really tactical because in the past I used to sell a social media certification program. So people are kind of wanting to know what to do.
Maria: I notice your Instagram TV’s episodes are a minute and one second. Can you expand on that? Rather than 90 seconds or two minutes, it’s that one second to hit the IGTV, but why one minute, one second.
Evan: So we’re still trying to keep it short and the minimum for IGTV is a minute, has to be over a minute. So to have post a clip to your feed, if it’s under a minute, it won’t go to IGTV. It’ll post as a regular post. And a regular post, the cap is one minute. So, sometimes we’ll go longer but we designed it to be around a minute, and if it’s under, then we’ll add a logo or something at the end, bumper to hit the 1:01, just so we can post it to IGTV. Because again, IGTV, you’re getting five to 10 times the results of the same video, like a one minute video post as a post versus a one minute and one second IGTV video, the IGTV video will give you five to 10 times as many views.
Maria: That’s amazing. Five to 10 times as many views.
Evan: It’s crazy right now.[inaudible]
And again, this may not last, this may not be the same case in six months. But right now, we haven’t posted a single video post in at least a month, maybe two. It’s just been all in on IGTV because Instagram’s promoting it more. And so, as a marketer, as somebody who’s trying to get attention, you got to go where, you got to play to the algorithm. This is where understanding the different platforms, it’s the final 20%, 80% is just fire content daily. The final 20% is understanding each platform that you’re going after and understanding what’s going to work on that platform.
Maria: Yeah. And as far as the IGTV and I started doing it maybe about two weeks ago or a week ago.
Maria: Do you also do this, do you then share, because you can’t share it to your story like a post saying saying new post, do you then just create a story and then link your IGTV and say, hey, swipe up to watch the IGTV story?
Evan: No. I think people use their stories all wrong to be honest. I think if you’re just doing a promo for what’s in your feed, people are going to stop watching your stories. You’ll notice it. Like if you look at the people who you follow, look at their stories. The one that you watch consistently aren’t the ones who are just saying, hey, watch my IGTV or watch my, here’s my post, here’s a clip from my post. New posts down below. You stop following those people. Not that you unsubscribe them, but you stop caring about their stories and then their stories bounce to the end.
Evan: And so, and this is for any social platforms. If you are only putting out commercials, you’re going to lose following. And so, you always want to play to the platform. And so, with an IG story, your IG stories can be a huge boost for you. If you’re doing IG stories that you geo tag to your city, wherever you are right now and you use hashtags, you have a much better chance of ranking for a big hashtag on your story than you do on your post, especially for a smaller account.
Evan: So if you’re trying to rank for something like motivational quotes or dogs of Instagram or some big hashtag, you’ll likely never get it off of your post, but you can for a brief moment of time offer your story because they value the recency more than the relevancy still. And so, if you’re using stories just to promote something else, you’re wasting a big opportunity, because now nobody’s going to care about your stories and nobody’s going to watch them anymore. So, I would have at least 80% of my content on any platform be value add and not promotional. So, if you’re going to post in your stories about, hey, check out my latest post or check out my webinar or checkup my whatever it is, some commercial, it’s okay, it doesn’t mean you have to be 100% just value, but if you’re flipping it, if you’re 80% just promoting something, nobody’s going to watch it any more and you’re not going to rank.
Maria: And I love this advice because a lot of even big marketing gurus are teaching the opposite, 20% value content, 80% promotional, ask for the sale, be pure direct response marketing. So, that’s huge.
Evan: The best way that direct response works is through ads. If you want to go with direct response, then you run ads. Then you put ads in people’s stories and you put ads on Instagram ads, on Facebook ads, on YouTube, to say, hey, I’ve got this free whatever, go sign up for it and you put them into a funnel that then leads to a webinar or a book or a coaching or whatever it is that you’re trying to sell. But doing direct response as organic content almost never works.
Maria: Yeah, great advice. So back to the Instagram stories. You are a huge proponent of modeling after success and even your first software company, I loved how you were making, going from like 300 bucks a month to all of a sudden, you followed, like you learned from Bill Gates and then you found partners to do that to make I think that first month was like 20,000 I think with your first software company.
Maria: So, if someone’s trying to learn about Instagram and Instagram stories, I would suppose the best, I know this sounds so kindergarten, Evan, so forgive me, but the best thing to do is follow you, like start watching how you’re doing your stories because what you just said to me is learning, for me even, because I was probably way more promotional. I’ll admit it.
Evan: Yeah. So I would look at, you can look at me, you can look at others, you can look at training. The more you dive into the world, the more you’ll pick up. You can experiment and pay attention to your analytics. Like look at your stats and see how many views you’re getting, how many times you’re getting ranked for different hashtags. I have a certain style, so my style is more thought leadership content. So, you’re not following me to see me in a underwear commercial or something. I’m not the fitness guy. I’m the advice guy for entrepreneurs and so I’m giving entrepreneurial advice and showing some behind the scenes of what my life looks like and building my company.
Evan: If that’s what you want to do, then I’m a great model for you. If that’s not what you want to do, then I’m a terrible model. Finding the people who you want to be like, who you aspire to be or you want to learn from and then surround yourself with it and consume their stories regularly and say, okay, that’s interesting what she’s doing. I’m going to copy that and try it and see if it works for me.
Maria: It’s cool. And as far as, I’ll just fire off some quick questions around that and then get to the last question because I know time’s running out. As far as hashtags on an Instagram story, you recommend like big hashtags like over a million or like micro hashtags under 200,000?
Evan: Instagram I do big hashtags. I do one to two per story and then always geo locate each post that you’re putting up.
Maria: And as far as the six posts per day you’re mentioning, clearly one should be at IGTV, what are the other five?
Evan: Three IGTVs and three pictures.
Maria: Three IGTVs and three pictures. Wow. Okay. That’s a lot of content. But I love that because you mentioned quantity leads to quality.
Evan: And every post is an ad bad. It’s a chance. So people listening may be terrified by that. It’s okay. Maybe you can’t, I’m used to being a content machine. I’ve been doing three videos a day on my YouTube channel for the past, I don’t know how many years. So to go from three full length 10 to 15 to 20 minute videos a day to then make a picture for Instagram is so easy. But for somebody first starting off, maybe all you do is one picture a day and one video a day or a picture day and then a video the next day and then back to picture. So you rotate between the two. So you don’t have to be at six a day but your ambition should be to create more content.
Maria: Okay. The big kahuna question here. So your one word which I absolutely love, and I want people to know how to get it as well, and your website. But in it, the thing that intrigued me most was the minute you had this one word, believe, that it changed your results for a lot of your videos and your website. Can you kind of expand on that to also inspire others? And by the way, pounce on inspire is my word. I even have a bracelet for it here.
Evan: I love it.
Maria: Yeah, yeah.
Evan: So the concept of your one word is everybody has one most important core value. And when you figure out what that core value is, then you can build a business and a life that you want. So it’s around your most important core values. So if yours is inspire, even just finding it, then it forces self reflection. It forces, you look at your physical environment. That painting behind you better make you feel inspired. You lit the candles to make you feel inspired. You’ve been asking yourself, what can I do in my daily routine to make me feel more inspired? Asking that question leads to better answers.
Evan: If you’re now talking about creating a show, a podcast, you should ask, you should only bring on guests who make you feel inspired, right? You should only ask questions that hopefully lead to inspiring answers. And so it becomes the lens through which you see the world. If you’re going to hire an editor for your team who’s going to fix up these podcasts and put them together, edit YouTube videos, they better love inspire. If you’re thinking of all the skills in the world that can do a great job, but if they don’t believe in inspire, if they don’t want to inspire people through the material, you’ve captured their brain, but you don’t have the heart and soul.
Evan: And so, leading with something like I am looking for an editor who wants to inspire the world with amazing content, that’s going to bring in the right person. Somebody who looks at that job ad and says, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Great. We’re not going to, don’t work with Maria. Like you better want to inspire people if you’re going to be on Maria’s team. You’re going to do it by being the face and the voice but you’re going to need a team of people behind you.
Evan: I’ve got 24 people on my team. Everybody believes in entrepreneurs. Doesn’t mean that one word all is belief, but they all believe in the mission of what we’re doing around helping entrepreneurs. And so same thing for you. You want to surround yourself with people who love inspire, who want to inspire others, who want to uplift both from the guests, your team, suppliers you work with. The more you’re around it, the more you’re going to create amazing things.
Maria: Yeah, I love it. That’s beautiful way to end this episode of the podcast. Evan, how can they find out more about you?
Evan: If you want the book, you can just go to Amazon, you can pick it up there, easiest spot. For me, Evan Carmichael on most social media platforms. If you’re going to come say hi, say you found me through Maria.
Maria: Oh, thank you, thank you. All right, so I’ll stop recording now.