HOW TO DO LESS BUT STILL GROW YOUR CHANNEL (REAL CASE STUDY)
Howdy. Howdy, everyone. I have been super inspired by this. So today I’m going to tell you a story. Say hello to Jana and Brett, two of the nicest people you could possibly meet if we haven’t met. We’re Jana and Brett, and we’ve spent the last two summers living here in Interlochen. Hey, we’re Jana and Brett, and we’ve called this beautiful slices. What’s are on our adopted home for the last two summers.
But the crazy part to me is they’re getting huge results from the channel, all while doing a lot less than you might think. So let me set the scene for you. In the beginning, they weren’t actually even doing you do no. In fact, Jana and Brett had been traveling Youtube for years. They both knew that they enjoyed it, and so they started sharing it on social media just as a way to share with friends and family. So it started with a Facebook group, then went to Instagram posts and Instagram stories.
Then eventually they realized that they could be doing what they were doing on Youtube and make it a bit more official. Well, we haven’t traveled. This is a long story, but I’ll make it quick. We have been traveling since 2015 On and off. So we’ve spent years and years in Europe and the first time we went, it was way back when and we just had like a private Facebook group and we would share, you know, stories and some photo albums on there, but it didn’t feel like enough, like it just didn’t. It was like, there’s so much still missing. We wish we could communicate yeah to add to that, we were a year and a half out of the US yeah.
But we came back and really felt disconnected, you know, as one would after a year and a half out of the country from family and friends and didn’t really feel like they had any kind of reference point for what our experience was like yeah so then we were like, well, next time we go back, we want to share differently. And this is still just with our, like, people we actually know in real life. So we started doing a little more on Facebook some photos and videos still was like, man, that isn’t like enough.
So then we started the Instagram thing. This was an Instagram. It’s just starting. So we were like, yeah, we’ll post pictures every day. We’ll kind of tell story of our day. That was really cool and it still didn’t like enough. So then next year we added stories and that was where we thought, OK, videos every day. Like, this was great. The video element there really started getting us excited. And so at this point we had spent three years abroad and we. I don’t remember how it started, but I was like, hey, let’s try YouTube.
We watched Kara and Nate, who are like the biggest travel Youtubers. Oh yeah, I’ve totally seen some of the videos. Yeah, they’re also from Nashville, really close to where we live. So that’s funny. I know we haven’t met them yet, but yeah, so we watched them and then we were like, let’s just let’s try it. And so we. Just started last year because it just felt like the next step and we knew how powerful like stories were from Instagram, that form of video.
And so we thought You Tube could be similar. And obviously it’s we quickly learned it’s not the same as stories at all, but the video element of people relating to us and so that was how we began Youtube However, starting off on Youtube was not as simple as it seemed. In fact, when I was asking them about it, Brett even admitted he had a bit of social anxiety for several years that led to.
Being a bit more of a concern than they thought it would be because they realized right away that they would not be successful with their channel if they push themselves too hard. In fact, they said at the beginning they quit. Brett quit vlogging after his second video, and last year after our first video, Brett quit after the second video. Ok, it was so difficult. It was so difficult.
It was so much work self and so I’ll let you share that. But also I was having a really hard time, like being present when we were trying to film a video of an experience. And so, like, we’d be out. Yeah, we’d be out for hours a day. And, you know, like flashing back to 2016 when we really started traveling. Like, we did that for us. That wasn’t a professional choice. And I felt like recording videos was something that. Was getting in the way of us just being enjoying being together in these places. I was like man, if this is the case, this isn’t worth it. But at the same time like you know, we had shifted to doing more remote income type things so that we could spend lots of time out of the country.
And we’ve always wanted to be able to somehow use our travels professionally and that be a piece of how we support ourselves. So just a real catch 22 of like and this seems like something we ought to be doing but. I’m not enjoying it, you know, and so that was just, I’m not good at being a beginner at anything. Like my learning curve tends to be pretty steep, but I don’t like being in that position where I’m starting and i don’t feel competent, you know.
So we went from 100 to 0 real fast, but then after two videos, then I said, Okay, I don’t feel like 0 is really where we should be. So let’s just slowly progress and let’s. We were trying by the way, like. When we left last year, our idea was to post a video every week. So we did that for two weeks and we’re like, yeah, no can’t do this.
So our going part way to like from zero to 50 was let’s try to post a video every three or four weeks like once a month. And just that way we can learn and there isn’t this pressure and we were working at the time as well and we were still traveling. So that was our next step. Now their story thus far may be very relatable to you watching this. In fact, a lot of us go through a very similar process while we’re discovering what we want to do with our channel. In the case of Jana and Brett, there was a big turning point when they decided it’s time to actually be strategic while we’re growing our channel.
And that’s coincidentally the time that they found yours truly and the glorious howdy howdy of Nate here. They found channel makers and they started watching a variety of videos. They decided to join my Youtube system, Project 24 and they began to intentionally go through the. Process and some very interesting things started happening because they started to make some different choices. In fact, I’m convinced it was part of these decisions to start doing less and being more intentional and focused with their content that they had a video take off and get tons of views.
When we saw about Project 24 that kind of collided with. Like, mentally, this desire to make our channel helpful to people. Like we’ve always desired to like be a connection point for people, to help them have the kinds of experiences that we’ve been able to enjoy. And so we didn’t want our channel to just be about us and about people watching us. Do fun things. So it was the perfect opportunity to kind of build like a new archetype for the channel and to think differently about the type of audience that we wanted to have.
And then with that, we also were like, you know what, we’ve. Been able to maintain every three weeks of posting or if we did every two, you know, and at the same time, we’re planning our summer travels, we travel for like 5 or six months every summer. And so all of that happened at the same time where we decided to just go to our two favorite countries and spend more time there. So for us, it also just naturally was we just love Switzerland and can’t get enough of Switzerland, so we’re going to spend more time there. And we have lots of connections to Italy and love Italy. So those are the two places we’re going to go, and that naturally helps shrink our.
Channel as well, like those are the things that we wanted to focus on and we can produce for us and this ideas of content about Switzerland like that’s the never ending bucket for us and something that we never get tired of. And so all of it collided at the same time that was just in February and so that’s when we really kind of kicked it into gear and like focus into flying all these. We haven’t kicked it into high gear, but we started taking the course and then applying things to product 24 which has obviously made a huge difference. Yeah, it really has. So to pause this story here for a moment, for a Nate teaching moment here, I wanted to outline exactly why I think the applins in the Alps channel was having the success they were having at this point for you, watching this, you see for the applins they started focusing on two things.
One, the things that they enjoyed the most and the things that they could actually fit into their schedule and. Two, the things they’ve realized that they could be the most helpful in. So for you watching this, that looks like intentionally doing less by focusing on the things that you want to focus on. That might look like being more helpful and how you’re going to be more helpful with your content. Or it might look like being more entertaining and exactly how you’re going to entertain your audience. Which is exactly what Jan and Brett did because they decided to go more informational and be more helpful with their video topics and then they decided to narrow down the niche or the geographic area that they were.
Targeting to Switzerland and Italy. And also I totally forgot when I was talking with them of doing the tradition of getting the guests to say boop the like button. So sadly, I don’t have a clip of either Jana or Brett saying BOOP the like button on this video if it’s being helpful to you. So we’re just going to have to pretend that they’re saying it. So now we’re going to talk about the successes, which is part of what’s been so inspiring to me. One was they had an aha moment when they realized they put a ton of time into creating a comprehensive video on choosing train passes for traveling Switzerland.
They said they wrestled back and forth about whether to actually publish that video or not. It was a ton of work. They said should we publish it and in the end they decided to do so and Fast forward a few months. It’s one of the highest viewed videos on their channel. And also when people see them in public, when they meet them, when they’re traveling Switzerland, it is the number one video that people reference as being super helpful to them. You see from my perspective at this point they’re getting proof of concept with the revenue streams that they’re building.
They’ve shown that they can create content that is helpful and or entertaining to people. And therefore, the revenue is starting to pick up. In fact, this proof of concept thing is something I’m including in a future video, which I will tell you about more at the end of this video. The other really cool success that really cannot be quantified is last summer they had two or three dozen people come up to them while they were in Switzerland and say thank you so much for helping me plan my trip.
At this point in the conversation, I had to ask because I’m always curious. I wanted to know what they thought about Project 24 and how or if it had helped them. And this is what they said. Yeah, I just think that it’s easy to get stuck. This mindset of either something’s going to have to happen that’s just going to cause us to blow up, or yeah, if I just keep making the videos, I’ll get there without any kind of real intentionality. So there’s some kind of like spot in the middle of that I think, where it’s like. I just keep at it like don’t pay too much because I’m a results oriented person, you know, like I need to see that to be motivated.
But to some degree it’s like you got to set that aside for a little bit to actually stay the course on some sort of strategy to see how it works and if it works and where to tweak, like not to constantly be tweaking because that’s a problem I’m always running into. But that’s where having something like Project 24 that’s proven this process that works. And then apply to your own niche. And what you’re going after is crucial because I would just be lost in my own crazy mind if I didn’t have something like that. And we’re so good for each other because I’m like give me the path.
Let’s follow the path, check it off next thing. And so we make it good, fair yeah and I do want to say, like I love your research focus. I love to do that kind of stuff. I got, I love your approach. I so appreciate how helpful. Your videos are the content and it’s just it’s been great for us and I feel like it’s an incredible value the price point of Project 24 so this isn’t an not paid to say this like I’m glad I was recording there play back at your darkest moments I appreciate that permission if you need to up your price it’s still at we would say it’s totally worth it and.
Yeah, it is absolutely worth it. So now you and I know that the story is not done for this channel applins in the Alps. In fact, I asked them what is next and they said they’re heading back to Switzerland to keep making videos and hopefully more guides or products to be helpful to people. They also said they might even plan some meetups or host some day trips or do some trip planning consulting. How cool is that? Well, I think we’re hoping to at least keep maintaining where we’re at. Posting every two weeks, making helpful videos. I think we we’re planning to spending. Year in Spitzerland next year. So we’ll be on site for a whole lot more.
And so we want to keep continuing making like a product a quarter is our goal and so maybe to have videos that almost lead up to it. And so having more products, having more and also expanding. So we’re really just in this one part of Switzerland, but our hope is that next year once a month we can post somewhere that’s broader like one of the big cities or another famous mountain region. So not just so targeted, although that’s still like our core area.
Because most people go to this area and to one of the cities or this era and to another mountain region. So that’s our hope to expand there. And then we’ve just started talking to maybe some affiliate partners, but we’re really picky about that, so. We have one that we’re talking to about working with and hoping to incorporate that in, like you said, the power of affiliate marketing. And so how can we do that naturally but also beneficial to our audience and that’s something we’re starting with.
But yeah, I think also then combining the digital and the offline worlds, so like it was talked about maybe doing a small group trip. Which I think we could like do right now if we really wanted to, but we’re trying to figure out if that’s the next big commitment we want to make now you can check out their channel, it’s app links in the Alps, but I’m going to include the caveat here. I always do only subscribe if you would naturally already subscribe to their channel. We don’t want them to have any dead subscribers. And at this point I fully acknowledge that you with your own channel, you’re on your own journey. You may not be doing travel videos or even helpful videos at this point.
So if you’re not sure what to focus on or what less things to do to grow your channel more quickly, I am putting the finishing touches on a video right now that is exactly what I’d be focusing on at any stage of channel growth if I were building a successful or lucrative channel this year. Because the video in question represents a lot of time, a lot of effort analyzing thousands of YouTube channels. And so when that big video is published, I’m going to put it right here for you to watch next. And a funny little note here.
I’ve recorded a little behind the scenes, a sneak peek of what that video will look like. I’m going to put it in the description of this video. Until then, I’ll put the next best video right here, and also if you want to check out. That unlisted secret behind the scenes video. You can find the link in the description of this video. South Go watch either that or this next and we’ll see you there.