Episode 41

Balancing Personal and Corporate Creativity

with Jamie Whiffen

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In this episode, Adam and Carlton are joined by Jamie Whiffen, the producer for Ali Abdaal’s Youtube channel and several of his own very successful channels. Jamie talks about creativity as an individual and employed creative, the importance of TikTok, and the tension between shorts and longer form YouTube.

Highlights from the conversation:

  • Jamie’s background and career journey (6:32)
  • Transitioning from individual creation to company production (11:57)
  • Balancing personal and work creativity (18:34)
  • Advice for TikTokers (23:58)
  • Exciting content trends (30:47)

 

Links & Resources:

 

Keep up with Jamie:

 

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Transcription

Transcription generated by Otter.ai

Adam Vazquez 0:06
On this episode, we’re joined by Jamie Whiffen, who is the producer for Ali Abdaal’s Youtube channel, in addition to creating his own very successful channels.

This was a unique episode, as we don’t often get to talk to Youtube experts like Jamie, so we took full advantage of the opportunity to ask him about creating on the platform for the past decade, what he is excited about in terms of new features, and how he balances his own creative endeavors with the work he does with Ali’s team.

I’m so grateful to Jamie for taking the time to talk to us and feel very lucky to have gotten to meet him. If you’re into Youtube, the creator economy, or just want a behind-the-scenes look at how a major channel like Ali’s gets made, this episode is for you. Let’s dive in with Jamie Whiffen.

Intro 0:55
Put that content down. Content. The close is over. What’s your name? Content. That’s my name. You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That’s my name. Content Is for Closers.

Adam Vazquez 1:16
Alright, welcome back to another episode of Content Is for Closers, Carlton, we’re no longer in person. We’re back to the remote intro recording. But we did have a really fun episode also, thankfully, remote recorded because our guest today is from the UK. Jamie Wiffen, producer for Ali Abdaal. What’d you think of the conversation?

Carlton Riffel 1:37
It was great, man. We’re going a little bit different direction this episode by leaning into the YouTube and video aspect side of things instead of just the podcast side of things. So it’s all content, right. And I think Jimmy offers incredible insights on what it means to produce content, not just for YouTube, but at a certain level. And when we talk about a certain level, he is the producer for Ali Abdaal. So if you don’t know who that is, he’s an incredible YouTuber, massive fallen just slightly larger than ours, by a few decimal places. So yeah, great episode, tons of great takeaways. But what was your impression?

Adam Vazquez 2:16
First of all, it was interesting to hear someone who is as deep as Jamie is into, like you said, YouTube versus some of the other things that we’ve talked about on the show. And just the level of people talking about 10,000 hours, people talk about a certain amount of reps, or whatever it is to be able to come great at something. And Jamie has been doing YouTube since he was a middle schooler or teenager. And so just the craftsmanship that he exudes, when it comes to knowing little wrinkles of the platform, knowing how to make really great videos about pretty much any topic like that he goes through and talks about making gaming videos making productivity videos, now he’s doing some for like crater Academy stuff, in addition to what he does for Ali, I thought that was really great. And then the second thing was just his commitment to his side, his own creativity. Like, he is a creative for his job, but he talks a lot about the energy and the investment that he puts into his own projects. And I thought that was really encouraging for like, I tend to get really locked in on like one thing. And this is like the thing I do. And so that was encouraging me to like expand past that. But how did you interact with that, as someone who does?

Carlton Riffel 3:34
Yeah, that was great because he talked about ways of discovering content and ways of kind of figuring out what you can do through a side project, or how you make that one work. And so he talked a lot about just moving fast and breaking things. And I know that’s kind of like the mantra of entrepreneurship, and in some ways, kind of like the tech world. I think Facebook kind of made that popular with that idea. But it really is true and content too, because we don’t really know what will work. I remember putting stuff on YouTube and kind of like getting to a point where I stopped because it was like, This just doesn’t seem like it’s gonna take off. And that was many, many years ago, kind of as it was coming out, but it was that for him he kept going and kept trying and kept doing different things. And that allowed him to not only see what worked but to get practice doing it. So I totally agree with what you’re saying. There are so many different parts from the creators, especially for those of you who are in the creator economy or are looking to get into the creator economy. That will be super valuable for this episode.

Adam Vazquez 4:39
Alright, well real quick before we dive in, we missed this last week because we’re in person and I forgot to do this. But we do have yet another five-star review to read.

This one comes from _vrose_ . The subject is “Content Marketing w Divers…” And then I don’t know how to expand this. The title is longer than I can see, but something about diverse or diversity potentially. And it says, five stars, “Enjoyed this podcast! This podcast is great for marketing leadership and business entrepreneurs. It offers diverse perspectives—” Maybe that’s what the title was. “…on various content related to— On various related…” Oh my goodness. “On various content related to content topics.” Your boy is struggling today.

So thank you to _vrose_ for that five-star review. As always, we read them as you write them, so you can write whatever you want in there and we will (within reason) read it on the show. But yeah, without further ado, unless you have something else, Carlton, let’s get into it with Jamie Whiffen.

Alright, we are back. We’ve got Jamie Whiffen here on the podcast. Jamie, thank you so much for making time with us all the way from across the pond. We appreciate you being here.

Jamie Whiffen 5:58
Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I’ve been listening to the podcast for the past few weeks now and I really enjoy it so it’s nice to come on here and be a guest.

Adam Vazquez 6:06
Awesome. We’re so excited to have you. So for those of you who don’t know, obviously we’ve talked about in the intro, but Jamie is the producer for Ali Abdaal’s YouTube channel. But Jamie, I know you’ve had a very robust career prior to this. You’ve launched a bunch of YouTube channels, you’ve done work for a bunch of different brands. Can you just walk us through what the last part of your career prior to now has looked like?

Jamie Whiffen 6:29
Yeah, like you say, it’s a bit all over the place. I’ve kind of just done a little bit of everything in online, mostly YouTube-related, but I’ve done other things on like Instagram and such. But yeah, I mean, I started making YouTube videos when I was around 12 years old. I’m 26 now, so getting up to like, around 15 years, I’ve been on YouTube. So I’ve written access with it for quite a long time. And obviously, at that time, I started to make silly YouTube videos as a kid. Like I recorded myself pretending I had a lightsaber and edit that in. And that was kind of like what I was doing back in the day. And over time, I just started to get more familiar with cameras and things like that. And a couple of my friends started a gaming YouTube channel they did together this is around the time, Minecraft started to get a lot bigger. And I thought it looked fine. And so I started to produce my own gaming YouTube videos. And yeah, just I just made videos maybe like once or twice a week and I did that for a number of years and grew that channels were around I think like 95,000 subscribers at its peak, and joined like machinima, which is a big network, back it back in the day. And yeah, when I was like a young teenager, I kind of like learned how to create thumbnails, using Photoshop, how to edit your videos, how to present, how to speak on camera— all of these different things, and a lot of skills came from that. And it then led me to kind of like go to university and that’s kind of like by stopped making YouTube videos for a little bit. And that YouTube channel that kind of slowed down. But once I graduated from university, I joined a marketing agency. What they primarily did was essentially licensed old TV shows, and then repurpose that for their YouTube channels. They have channels, so they would call that so they would have a channel called nurture, for example, which was all around like children and babies. And so I was in charge of that YouTube channel, and I would take flips like Supernanny and like all of these TV shows and carpooled with these clips and put it onto their YouTube channel. And over time, I started to progress within the company and I was managing Gordon Ramsay’s YouTube channel and MTV and kind of like just kind of working in that space, mostly kind of like repurposing TV for YouTube. And I was there for a number of years, I moved on and worked for like a forward-thinking accounting agency. And to kind of like work on their marketing, they’re kind of like helps bring them up. Because obviously, when you think about accountancy, you think of people that like gray suits, they were very, it was about like making it look like a fun place to work and kind of like attracting clients in that way. Now worked there for a number of years, moved on to another agency called fam bytes. This is predominantly TikTok agency. And so yeah, I worked there for about eight or nine months, working with a variety of different TikTok stars and eventually had this job come up to work for Ali. And that’s why it moved over to where I currently am and in between all of that I’ve done all these little side projects on the side like an Instagram page that I run and all of this kind of stuff and a new YouTube channel that I have and so yeah, I’m a little bit everywhere done a bit of everything could have been a bit busy and so yeah, it’s very hard to like put into words when someone says so what do you do well, like what’s your career look like?

Adam Vazquez 9:32
Yeah. I love that though. It’s such a great picture of the modern career, especially the modern career on the internet. He can look like a bunch of things, like creating your own ideas, creating the ideas for others and a huge mix in between. I have to ask a couple of follow-up questions there. One, the lightsaber footage. Is that something that is publicly available? Is that something you’re going to feature on YouTube sometime?

Jamie Whiffen 9:54
You know what, I can’t tell you off the top of my head. I think it may be unlisted, but if it’s not, I will unlist it after this video. So if anyone goes and searches for it on my old gaming YouTube channel, they’ll find it probably like a video at this point. Yeah, that was me getting started with it. It’s got like a 40-second introduction with all these graphics on screen before it even gets to the clip. That shows you how little I knew about making a good YouTube video back then.

Adam Vazquez 10:17
That’s alright. I love that type of stuff. I have my own versions of those. I think I was too old though to enlist them. Because I was I was already in college when we’re doing things like that. So might have to stay ahead. Obviously, you mentioned you’ve done a large swath of different things. You’ve worked for a bunch of different companies. Now you’re producing Ali’s channel. Are you producing both the main channel as well as the vlog content?

Jamie Whiffen 10:46
Yeah, so I’m Ali’s YouTube producer and that basically means I’m overseeing every single one of the YouTube channels. So that’s the main channel, the second channel— which is now a daily vlog channel. That’s kind of since the beginning of May, we’ve been doing that. And also the Deep Dive podcast. We do have a podcast producer who works on the podcast. So they’re kind of like in charge of that. But we have like weekly calls out all of their questions kind of oversee everything to make sure the podcast is going ahead. But with the second vlog channel, it’s very much a collaborative effort between myself and Gordon, which is the videographer for Ali. So he’s the guy who shoots all of that content. And yeah, it’s kind of like a process between us to get that out on it on a daily basis.

Adam Vazquez 11:26
Yeah, so I kind of wanted to fold into that a little bit. I’ve never worked on something that comes out every day like that, especially not something that’s your own. So what did that adaption process look like? I’m sure you’ve worked on a lot more refined things for brands and things like that, and then you’ve obviously done, like you were talking about, gaming videos and all that sort of thing, so it’s not completely novel. But how has that changed how you’ve thought about the creative process when you have to publish every single day, or every weekday, or whatever it is?

Jamie Whiffen 11:57
When this idea was initially floated around, some of us were a bit nervous, like, well, that’s a big task to get a really good video out every single day, can we do that, we kind of went into it with the mindset that we’re not going to try and make this be the best daily vlog on YouTube, we’re just going to record our day and put it out there and we’ll start to tweak it as we go. And we’ll essentially start to refine that content, rather than brainstorming for weeks on end. So how can make this doable. And then let’s just get started and start to work it out. And so what that looked like, was good and kind of like, in short, they had all the equipment, so you could like run and garden and get around the office to film alley, and kind of like free up some more of his time so that he’d be able to go to meetings, Ali was enough, Ali was away from the office, he’d be able to follow him and record all of that. He put in place a video editor so that they would receive the footage and edit it for that next day. So we ideally tried to get the footage by 3 pm for a 5 pm go-live date doesn’t always happen depending on how much footage has been shot the day before. But that’s what we aim for, then like a way that we very quickly learned how to do that would be to— Something that I’ve seen Logan Paul do a number of years ago, when he was doing his daily vlog: he had his video editor in the UK, that was so that once he finished in LA time, he could just send that footage, upload it overnight, and it would instantly get to the UK guy, he would video edited. And by the time Logan would wake up, he’d have a video edit that he could review and send for further tweaks. And so that’s something that we now do we have a video editor that’s not in the UK, so that that time difference allows us to upload that footage put whatever time we finish, sometimes the vlog will get finished at 10:11 pm. Sometimes it finishes at 5 pm. It really depends on what’s going on in that day. But we’ll try our best to get it to the editor and they can give it to us by the next morning.

Adam Vazquez 13:48
Yeah, that time arbitrage. People think of arbitrage in terms of costs like, oh, you can offshore for whatever. But the time arbitrage is probably more valuable in a lot of ways because you can, as you said, have it while you’re sleeping. What about just zooming out? In all those agency experiences, I imagine you had multiple clients or more than one. In this case, you sort of do and that you’re doing a bunch of different executions, but it’s all around one person, one personality being Ali and all his all of his content. How has that adjustment been going from a bunch of things? I’d imagine in some way it simplifies things, but I’m sure there are also just differences from a traditional agency environment.

Jamie Whiffen 14:28
Yes, it’s different in the fact that now you’re working directly with that influencer, you have that direct relationship with them. And that is very beneficial in the sense that you can help to like guide to them, you can help to shape what we should be doing what we should try to stop doing to help grow the YouTube channel. When you’re working with an influence inside of an agency. You don’t really have much control you’re kind of your remote right so you can only send them an email or WhatsApp. You have the occasional zoo Pimcore It’s a little bit more difficult to kind of help guide them. Because it’s, it’s also interesting in that something I’ve noticed is that influencers that work with agencies tend to I don’t know what it is with influencers, an agency, sometimes agencies, depending on how they work. There’s like a, like a bit of friction, I think in that, like, sometimes they don’t want to listen to someone else to tell them how to be creative, or how to do things, they want to say, I got myself here before you guys even came to me to be part of the agency or to work with you guys. I know what I’m doing. I know what my audience is. And a part of that is absolutely true. But there are some influencers out there who have a bit of an ego, I know what they’re doing, and they don’t listen to agencies. And sometimes it’d be better if they did. And so when you’re working with an influencer directly, you’re in the office with them. You can have long discussions about these kinds of things, you can see other parts of the business, the bigger picture. It’s not, let’s just put this video out. It’s, we’re gonna put this video out. And it’s going to lead to this, this, this and you can look at it from a business angle, like how you’re actually going to make money, how this is going to lead to people buying the courses or clicking on affiliate links, etc. Or how this may lead to future sponsorships. That is where you get that benefit of being within a business with an agency. It does feel slightly transactional. It’s like, Hey, we’ve got this sponsor, because like, there’s, you’re just the middleman between a sponsor and an influencer. And you’re trying to please both parties. As the middle guy, you’re always kind of like the bad guy, right? Because you’re always trying to keep both parties happy and saying, Well, I don’t want to concede on this particular thing within the contract. And so it’s a little bit difficult. I personally really enjoy working directly with the influencer. I think it’s a much happier existence. I think that you get to be more creative, you get to see the fruits of your labor as well. Your name is attached to it. If you’re working with an influence within an agency and that piece of content that you’ve helped them create goes viral, whatever, the agency gets the credit. Whereas if you’re more in like a business is kind of like, oh, yeah, Jamie helped does that kind of thing. So there are a lot of different trade-offs there. I have friends who’ve done both, and they prefer the agency life. It’s kind of just like, who you are as a person and the creators that you’ve worked with in the past?

Adam Vazquez 17:12
I’ve never been on the client side, on the side of the influencer, but I’ve always said that as an agency person, you’re hired not necessarily for your— Or the product that someone’s buying is not necessarily your creativity, it’s to make them feel more creative. And that could be through something that you’re creating for them or the way that you position your brand. But to your point, it’s certainly not because they want some creative guru to come in and speak into their own creativity, at least normally where, to your point, you’re sort of on the team now. You’re not considered an external vendor or someone who’s kind of trying to change things from the outside, you’re part of that creative engine. I think that’s really cool. And I also love the idea of— Agencies are always trying to get as much more information and data as possible in order to paint the best picture, you have all of that access to like you said, what is driving courses? What creative is driving revenue, all that sort of thing. That’s pretty cool.

What about just in terms of, as a creative, you have all these different—you were just talking about—you have all these different creative endeavors, you have your own YouTube, you have Instagram, like all these different things, and you are successful at them and you’ve built solid channels. How do you balance your own creativity and creative curiosity with what you’re producing for the company?

Jamie Whiffen 18:34
I found that I’m actually more creative and want to put more effort into my side projects whilst being in this business. And I think that’s largely just because you’re around Ali, you’re around other YouTubers and creators and entrepreneurs that come in and out of the office, especially for like the podcast, your other people within the business, they’re very creative themselves, they have their own YouTube channels, their own side projects. And so it feels like you’re within like a think tank almost in that you kind of like you collaborate, you help each other, you’re consulting each other, helping them through any problems that you may have come into. And that was something that I never really had before. I don’t really know what that is, I don’t know if it’s because it’s in real life. Now it feels more tangible. And it feels like actually succeeding and getting to 100,000 subscribers, for example, that feels doable now was before and you’re just on the internet, and it’s just you and the only person in your life. You’re kind of like, oh, I can look on the internet and see all these people have done it but can I actually do it? When you’ve got other people also trying to grow their YouTube channels and you can speak in person, it just feels like it’s, yeah, of course, why can’t we do that? You just got to put the work in and keep learning and keep tweaking and be consistent and eventually you’ll get there. So that’s something I’ve noticed since being within the business and that’s kind of like how I balance it.

Ali implemented something a number of weeks ago now where he said that the first hour of every single day, everyone has to spend that time working on their own projects. He’s kind of said, you cannot work on the business. It’s up to you to work on your own projects because I think it’s very valuable that you do that. Some people do that, some people will work on the business but they’ll take those hours and say, put it towards a Friday, and they can then spend four hours or five hours working on their own project, but it’s been useful to have that. It’s nice to hear the boss tell you, “You can work on your own projects.” And it feels nicer because, obviously, in the morning, you’re more fresh, you’re more awake, you can work on things. A lot of people and myself included every now and again, you finish work at 7-8 pm. You’re like, Okay, I’m just want to go home and relax, I don’t want to work on my project. So that’s been very valuable.

Something else that we also did last week is that we’d had a team retreat, we went to Wells. From Sunday to Thursday, we worked there. And the whole point of that was work on your own projects. And in that time, I got a ton of things done, of all of my different projects worked on like an Instagram course, same goes for putting on Skillshare worked on my YouTube consultancy, I want to start like growing like there’s a bunch of different things. And being around the team, again, is kind of like really what just energizes you and gives you that fuel to keep going. And so for me, that is how I kind of like balanced my creativity, when it comes to my projects is just Yeah, kind of blending those two worlds. It doesn’t feel like I’m working. And then I have to leave work and go and work on my own thing. It just feels like it’s in flux.

Adam Vazquez 21:28
Yeah, that sounds like a very unique and awesome, impactful place to be. So when you went out as a team, you all as a team went to Wales, and then worked on individual projects. You didn’t work on the business projects. Is that what you were saying?

Jamie Whiffen 21:42
Yeah, that’s correct.

Adam Vazquez 21:43
Oh, that’s awesome.

Jamie Whiffen 21:44
Some people didn’t have to do any work, they just relaxed. Some people, like I don’t even want to work my own projects, I just want to go in the pool and go hiking and do that ever. The only thing for me was to get like the daily vlog up. And single main channel video. Other than that, just what’s your main projects and relax.

Adam Vazquez 22:01
Very cool. Wow, what a great little benefit and perk. I’m sure that was super enjoyable. You said that part of the appeal to it is you’re in this accelerator, you’re learning from everyone else. Is there something specific? And if not, that’s fine, too. But is there something specific that you’ve learned in the last several months, either mindset-wise or even tactically that’s helped you in your own creative projects?

Jamie Whiffen 22:22
Yeah, it just keeps taking action and to be fast with it. I’m someone who tends to overthink or kind of like, let me just plan this whole thing out. Once I’ve got all of my ducks in a row, then I can start the thing. What I’ve learned here, especially from watching Ali, is to let’s just move fast. We’ll break it, and then we’ll fix it. That’s something that he constantly does, he’s constantly changing everything within the business, and finding new ways to move forward. And that’s something that I’ve started to, like do with my own projects is to kind of Yeah, just to move fast. And when something goes wrong, then fix it as opposed to try to walk on eggshells, and make sure, okay, I’ve got to plan this entire thing out. It’s just sometimes like that can be very slow, especially when you’re dealing with the Internet. The internet moves very, very quick and so you have to match it.

Adam Vazquez 23:18
Yeah. Back at the very beginning, you were talking about the last stop you had was with a TikTok agency. We’ve had a few folks on here from VaynerMedia, and a few other places talk about the importance of TikTok. What would you say was the main takeaway from going from longer form, YouTube format content to creating more for TikTok? Was there one big lesson? I think a lot of people have interest in TikTok. They have maybe curiosity, but it seems like this unknown thing if they haven’t spent a bunch of time creating on the platform, so any advice for those folks?

Jamie Whiffen 23:57
Yeah, I mean, TikTok is a completely different beast in that, yes, it’s video, but it’s not at all like YouTube. It is completely different. It’s, it’s different in terms of who that audience is TikTok typically tends to skew younger, it’s different. And that with that comes different, like attention rates, right? So TikTok is like a very rapid YouTube. Still, you have to be kind of rapid to keep people’s attention, but it’s not as fast as TikTok and obviously, TikTok is a feed, so you very quickly with one swipe? They’re gone. YouTube? Yeah, you can click away but it’s not as easy to click away. So there are a couple of things there when it comes to speed and a lot of people just think, well, I can take my YouTube video and I can just cut it up and repurpose it on TikTok. And it’s gonna work like that’s not how it works.

A comparison that I usually draw upon is like text, right? You have these different content creation mediums, you have audio, you have the written word, you have video, we take the written word tweets, very different to an article, and they’re very different. It’s a completely different thing. Yes, it’s still text, but it’s a completely different way of how you would write a book compared to how you’d write an impressive tweet thread. That’s the same thing here with YouTube and TikTok. With TikTok. Yes, you have things like its vertical wind, and YouTube doesn’t typically like that. But the types of content that work on TikTok wouldn’t necessarily work on YouTube, especially the short form content of like a funny file, for example, or a 60-second quote from a podcast, that doesn’t necessarily work so much on YouTube, and that algorithms work slightly differently. It’ll be interesting to see how that happens. So what happened to moving forwards with YouTube shorts, I’m still not convinced on YouTube shorts at the moment and how they’re kind of rolling out I think, especially were having a lot of people creating shorts and getting a ton of subscribers. And they’re still releasing the long-form content and not seeing those subscribers translate to views. And it’s like, well, the people subscribed in the YouTube shorts algorithm, they subscribe to you for your short content. Now you’re trying to sell them long form. It’s a different mismatch.

Adam Vazquez 26:08
It’s like a different channel basically.

Jamie Whiffen 26:09
Yeah, it’s completely different. And so that’s why we should see how YouTube tackled that. I wonder if one day they’ll kind of just say, you know what? We can’t really tackle this TikTok problem. They’ve cornered that market work long form is what we do best and stick to early, because I think the problem YouTube may have is it could end up being like Instagram, where they just keep adding features and features and features, and it becomes so over bloated. No one likes anymore. I feel like that’s very much what happened with Facebook. Facebook just had everything on it. And like now, no one really goes there. And I feel like Instagram will go that same way if they continue to just add. Now it’s a almost a video platform in that IGTV, there are reels, there are stories. There are not too many photos anymore, and that’s fine because video— That makes sense. The world’s moving more towards video so they’re adapting, but how do you balance IGTV, reels, stories, and God knows what else they’re going to add in the future. TikTok is just one feed. That’s pretty much all they’re doing at the minute. They’re kind of like introducing the shopping aspect to it. But I don’t know, like, there’s just a lot of different things that they’ve got to try and balance out there. And so with YouTube, I think they do long-form well, and I think that they shouldn’t mess that up trying to chase off the TikTok. But then again, money talks, and that’s the reason that they made that move. Who knows? I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

Adam Vazquez 27:34
Yeah, I heard something interesting. I can’t remember where I heard this. I wish I could cite it but someone was saying, from a creators perspective, if you’re creating on YouTube, if you’re creating a really any social platform, non-TikTok, there are different ways in you could be an educator, you could be an entertainer, you could be whatever. Another some other category. And on TikTok, you can do those different things like you can educate, you can provide information you can, but you have to entertain like it has to be entertainment first, I thought that was a really good lens on what your what the difference is between the platforms like yes, you can educate while you’re entertaining. But if it’s not entertaining, if it’s not, like you said, very quick unto them punchy. And to the point with the creative, no one’s ever going to give you a chance to educate because that’s just the intent behind the platform. Do you think that’s accurate?

Jamie Whiffen 28:27
Yeah, I think that’s completely accurate. I think, especially with things like TikTok, I think TikTok is very much a entertainment platform. Or you can obviously learn things there. But it’s definitely entertainment. And YouTube has that. But it’s also very much like a place you go to learn for everyone will learn anything. I absolutely go to YouTube. And I think a big part of that as well was that YouTube is a search engine, right? Like you can go and search for specific things. Whereas with TikTok it’s all based on the algorithm. It’s what you watch is what you get served. And yes, there’s a search bar, but I don’t think any of us kind of think, oh, I need to know how to, I don’t know, get a clean shave, or how to learn how to play the guitar, I’m gonna go to TikTok and find out like, we don’t really do that, especially to learn something because what you’re gonna learn it in 60 seconds, probably gonna shoot videos, right. So I think there are different use cases there. And I think YouTube should definitely like keep that in mind when they’re kind of like looking at what YouTube shorts could be and how that merges with the longer form content, maybe they have the incentivized creators to have the long form version and the short version. And the short version is almost like the trailer for the main YouTube video. And that’s what you see when you open up the app, you open up shorts, and you go through and you go oh, that was interesting. Now let me go and watch the long-form version. Something like that could work as opposed to just having these completely different types of content sit separately and like say you’re kind of competing, or with your own audience, right? If I do short gonna do long form, who am I actually creating for are here who are subscribing for shorts and shorts tend to be snappier. But the long-form content may be a bit more relaxed. So those people who subscribe for the fast-paced content, they’re gonna eventually go, this is too boring for me. And they’re going to unsubscribe. It’s a bit messy. They need to figure out what their strategy is.

Adam Vazquez 30:18
Jamie, thank you so much for spending time with us. I know you said earlier, you get down at seven or eight o’clock at night, and you’re just like completely dead. And today, you came home from that and did this with us. So we’re super thankful for you spending your time with us and talking with us before we let you go. I would just be curious, we talked a little bit about the tension between shorts and longer-form YouTube. Is there any trend that you’re particularly excited about when it comes to content, new media, anything like that? Or a project you have going on?

Jamie Whiffen 30:46
Yeah, I think with YouTube at the moment— Maybe it’s just me, but YouTube the last year and a half, two years has been kind of boring. It doesn’t really feel like there have been many major breakout YouTubers who have shaken the YouTuber mold and said, “This is what it means to be a YouTuber.” You think of 2016, you had like Casey Neistat coming on with a daily vlog, right? That was a type of vlogging no one had ever seen that obviously, they moved on to Logan and Jake Paul with their faster pace editing. And that moved on to like the Mr. Beast type of content, that’s huge budgets. So over the top, we haven’t really had anything I feel like that’s kind of like, made us go, oh, this is interesting. This is different. Let’s say maybe I’m wrong. But that’s just me. And something that I think is interesting is Ryan Trahan. He kind of makes very similar videos to Mr. Beast, but he started a series a couple of years back called Surviving with a cent a day or something like that. And he started to create a bunch of these videos. And earlier this year, he got he blew up with a YouTube called surviving in the world’s loudest room. And then he released another video called surviving in the world’s quietest room. And he just started to build from there. And something that he’s currently doing is on day 14 at the minute is that he’s releasing a daily video. But he used to release a video every two weeks now he’s releasing them every single day. And they are almost like a vlog but they’re in like a Mr. Beast format, in that he’s going from LA to the East Coast. I don’t know when East Coast beach go from LA to the East Coast, surviving and only a center day. And he’s trying to get across there like heat and like the content is really creative. He’s been up to people like why so you this water bottle for $1 He’ll get the dollar, how they go and buy an ice cold bottle of water. I’ll sell you this for $2. Now he’s got $2. And he’s doing that and getting across America. And he’s doing it now. And people can actually go and see him right now. I think he’s in Texas. So you can go watch him, you can help him on his journey. And like, that’s a really interesting way of like merging two different genres between like data again. And like this, Mr. Beast style. And the first episode I think had like 15 million views. Currently, he’s holding 6 million views on average per day. That’s why 6 million a day that’s bigger than TV shows, network shows. And so that’s a really interesting trend. I’ve never seen anyone do that before. And so I’m excited to see what he does when he reaches the 30 days and how that’s going to shape his channel. So he starts to do this more often because his subscriber count is blowing up, his views are blowing up. His ad sends will be blowing up, so I think it’s a good move for him.

Adam Vazquez 33:18
Yeah, he’ll have more than a cent a day for sure.

Jamie Whiffen 33:21
Yeah, definitely.

Adam Vazquez 33:24
That’s Ryan Trahan. We’ll have to link that in the show notes below so people can check it out. And then you mentioned at the beginning, you have a new YouTube channel coming out. Is that live? Is it something we can send people to?

Jamie Whiffen 33:36
Yes! I can send you the link after this. It’s a YouTube channel that I’ve kind of been experimenting on for a little while. One of the pieces of advice that Ali gives a PTA is, when you’re starting off on YouTube, you’re either an architect or an archaeologist. And if you’re an architect, you kind of know what it is that you want to do. You might say, well, I like going fishing, I’m going to create a fishing YouTube channel, you can plan on how you’re going to do that. Because you’re very specific. If you have no idea and you just have a variety of interests, then you’re more of an archaeologist, you’re just going around and you’re discovering what is the thing that you’re good at what your audience like watching. And I feel like I’d been like in that sort of place for a number of years. Now. If you go to my YouTube channel, it’s digital marketing, it’s vlogs at YouTube tips. It’s kind of like everything, and the possible flex two weeks I thought it’d be quite nice to like start doing like some YouTube consultancy. And so I think the route that I’m going to go into start producing videos on YouTube kind of breaking down, how YouTubers are growing, how they’re growing their businesses and their teams and kind of all of that sort of stuff. And so, I’m also going to be converting my Instagram account into 10 carousels every single day breaking delicate YouTube tip I started doing to viruses already. So that’s kind of like what I’ve got going on at the minute.

Adam Vazquez 34:56
10 a day that you’re going to do on Instagram?

Jamie Whiffen 35:00
One carousel, but there’ll be 10 images within that carousel.

Adam Vazquez 35:03
That’s powerful, yeah.

Jamie Whiffen 35:04
Yeah, it’s kind of like how I grew. So I have another Instagram account called Yeezy Thoughts. I’m a huge Kanye West fan and a thing that I noticed at the beginning of locked down in 2021, had all this extra time on my hands was that there are a lot of quote pages on Instagram that were doing very well. And they had like a million followers getting tons of likes, and they were just putting up a daily quote, and I was like, Oh, I could create an Instagram account like this, like the graphics weren’t that interesting. I thought I can do a better job here. And then maybe I can sell posters or something with these quotes on and like I can make this may be a business. And I started to do that. And it was difficult because it’s just such a saturated place and Instagram. It’s very much an echo chamber. And this, you’re lucky to get on the Explore page. And so I thought, Okay, let me combine this with, like a niche. And I had followed many Kanye West Instagram accounts. Like I said, I was big fan. And so I thought, well, Kenny, so I said, loads of principal things in the past, why don’t I just like merge that together. And so I started this page. And I, every single day, I had about like, three 400 quotes from Kanye in a notion of database. And I just started to make these carousel images. And the reason I made it a carousel image, as opposed to just the quote, which is what a lot of these pages were doing was because it counts as engagement every time they have to swipe to see that so that the image that you would see on the feed would be a photo of Kanye West. And then I had each of the individual carousels designed like one of his album covers, and so cool, and there would be text on there saying, Kanye is thoughts on whatever. And then you’d have to swipe to see what his thoughts were, and you didn’t, you’d have the quote. And so that was incentivizing people to share it. Why didn’t realize was that people love sharing quotes. And so people would be sharing this to their stories all the time. And some of these posts would be getting like 200k impressions a day, it was insane. And the YouTube channel blew up. I’m sorry, the Instagram account blew up, when I had just started it. And within 90 days, it grown to 15,000 followers, it just continued to keep growing. And since then, I’ve kind of like spin it off into having like your own posters, I got into like a drop shipping business where I was sending, like, different caps out there that were all related and would be of interest to like hip hop and Kanye West fans. And so that’s kind of like what I want to do with this with my personal Instagram now, and I’m going to try and build up of these carousels that have like a YouTube tip or something like that. Maybe I’m not sure if it’s gonna be just around YouTube. I think it might be around creative economy, like that kind of interests me. And so that’s kind of the rap that I’m thinking I’m gonna go in.

Adam Vazquez 37:44
Incredible. That sounds, first of all, incredible story about the Kanye quotes. Is that still up? Is that page still up?

Jamie Whiffen 37:49
Yes, still up. I’m currently in the process of trying to find someone to help on that because it’s a lot of work to do daily textiles.

Adam Vazquez 37:56
And you said it was called Kanye— Yeezy Thoughts. We’ll have to link that. And yeah, it sounds like a great idea. I mean, obviously, our show exists to have those conversations and putting that on Instagram and finding ways to extend that to people who because I mean, that’s where a lot of people spend time, it is a no brainer, so that we will definitely, definitely check it out and support it. Jamie, we’re so thankful to you for spending your time with us. If people want to catch up with you outside of easy thoughts. Where can they look at all the stuff that you’re doing?

Jamie Whiffen 38:29
You can follow me on Instagram @JamieWhiffenYT (YT for YouTube), over on Twitter, and I’m sure you’ll link my YouTube channel down below.

Adam Vazquez 38:38
We will. Thank you again so much. We loved having you on and we’ll have to catch up again soon.

Jamie Whiffen 38:41
Amazing. Thanks, Adam.

Carlton Riffel 38:43
And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening to this episode of Content Is for Closers. We hope you find this show really helpful as you grow your business with content. Maybe you know of other people who would find this show helpful as well. How about you send them our way? If you didn’t like this show and you want to tell us that, then you can head over to contentisforclosers.com where you can send us a message, give us some feedback, ask questions, or find detailed notes for every episode. Until next time, keep creating and keep closing.