Content is Dead

Liston and I are wading into the shark-infested waters of speculating. Of bloviating about trends.

The first trend we have something to say about today is content.

Links: https://philipmorganconsulting.com/the-expertise-incubator/tei-curriculum/

Full Transcript


This transcript was made by robots, so it's far from perfect.

Liston Witherill
Welcome to offline, a podcast about building a 100% online and remote expertise driven business without the bullshit, posted remotely by me, Liston Witherill.

Philip Morgan
And me, Philip Morgan. You'll learn how we're building our businesses, what scares the shit out of it, and hear from our friends and experts who are building their own businesses to welcome to offline.

Liston Witherill
Phil Morgan,

Philip Morgan
Liston Witherill. How are you?

Liston Witherill
I'm good, my friend. It was interesting. here in Portland, it's all the leaves are falling off the trees. I know it. It's already snowed there. But you probably remember this from Portland. I was interviewed on a podcast the other day. And you know, we're making small talk at the beginning. And she said that she the podcast host, she said that she was out raking leaves into her ravine. And I said, Oh, we have leaf day in Portland Don't you have leaf day. And so leaf day in Portland is when they go around with basically tractors and pick up buckets full of leaves in certain neighborhoods, including mine. So yeah, it's not horrible story.

Philip Morgan
So that's awesome that Portland does that in the weeks leading up to it, people have swept their leaves out into the street. And if you're if you're biking, yeah, you do not want to hit the brakes in a pile of wet leaves, or? Yeah.

Liston Witherill
Yeah. Which is why they collect them.

Philip Morgan
Right. It's just the people don't like, wait until the day before leaf day to put them out in the street, they put them out. So we're a bit advanced. So there's a couple of hazardous weeks for bicyclists.

Liston Witherill
I once got yelled at we live on the corner on a corner and several blocks in both directions drain into our corner just because of the slope of the streets. And so we get a lot of leaves on our storm drain at the corner because of how much drainage happens here. And I got yelled at one time by a biker who told me that I didn't keep my gutter clean enough

Philip Morgan
to keep that thing clean.

Liston Witherill
Well, and it is true that him he didn't yell at me. But he gave me a talking to let's say, and I do keep it cleaner after that, because I didn't realize just how bad it was for bikers.

Philip Morgan
Fucking California expatriates ruin

Liston Witherill
What do I know about rain? Philip,

Philip Morgan
how would I even know about that? They really I feel like they should give you know you you buy a house? And then you start getting spammed by all the contractors and home? Yes. They should also just send out a here's how to deal with rain newbie manual to folks who've just moved to Portland from dry or places.

Liston Witherill
Well, it's actually not that hard. But there are some homecare issues. As I was saying in the pre recording, I'm like, up on a ladder. shoveling out old leaves, of course, is the only time I've done it in four years of living at this house. So that was long overdue. So here we are. So I wanted to talk to you today about an experiment you're running because I have this newfound interest in YouTube, not newfound but more interested in using it as a marketing channel. And I know you've been doing live stream tea talks. And YouTube is one of the channels you're using. So maybe just to begin with, can you just describe what is this weird live streaming thing you're doing and where?

Philip Morgan
So yeah, if we start there I am. Most Fridays not every Friday, publishing a live streaming talk, the talks are usually about an hour to both YouTube and Twitch. So I broadcast it from my home studio in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico using the software I use, but it goes through this service called restream, R e, str, E, A. And that takes the incoming stream and just sends it out to as many pretty much as many endpoints as you want. I just am going to Twitch and YouTube but they support something like 30 plus different endpoints. So you could stream to Facebook Live. You could stream to Periscope, on and on. LinkedIn has a live streaming thing that they're starting to roll out. So anyway, that is that's what I'm doing. That's the the shortest possible answer.

Liston Witherill
And so what was your goal? All in doing this, like what were you hoping to achieve?

Philip Morgan
Several years ago, this idea came to me for this set of challenges that would be called the expertise incubator. And I talked about it on my email list, and folks were interested. So I put the program together, some folks joined, and I've been doing it continuously since then. So the expertise incubator has become something I refer to as a framework for cultivating expertise, you decide to embrace a series of three challenges. The first is to publish something daily on the internet for three months. The second is to do some research into an area of uncertainty or risk for your clients. And the third is to publish that research. That's what ti is. And as I was developing what this program would be, towards the end of I forget what year was listen. Whatever year I started this, I started publishing my thinking to a podcast. And I call it a private podcast, not because he had to have a password to access it or anything, but it wasn't listed in the iTunes Store. It wasn't something I was trying to publicize. It was just a way of saying, for those of you that are interested in this thing that I'm starting here is me thinking through some of the stuff, it was kind of a way to keep people updated with these short audio updates short being not short, because it's for me, so 15 to 30 minutes each. I always wanted to do better than that. Those audio updates felt valuable but incomplete and immature. So the pandemic happened. And I was getting close to the bursting point for my thinking about a better version of this curriculum for the expertise incubator. So I was like, well, I want to get several things coincided I want to do this curriculum for the expertise incubator, meaning I want to document what I have learned that I think would be helpful to folks who are embracing this set of three challenges. I want it to be something like a free curriculum on the internet, sort of like what the Y Combinator startup school has done for their thing, their thing is lead generation, I could see this curriculum functionings in sort of the same way. And I wanted to get better at public speaking. And travel was not an option. So all those things came together. And I said, Well, why don't I livestream myself doing a talk every Friday, and go through the 18 lessons that I've sketched out for this curriculum. So I did are started doing that. And I still am doing it. That way of getting things done, where it's not like a sprint, where I try to get through it as quickly as possible. But instead it is a routine thing that shows up on the calendar. That has often worked better for me for getting big chunks of stuff done. So that was also a natural fit was to say I'll just do one of these talks every Friday, I'll have the week before to prepare for it. So I upgraded a lot of my equipment. And the internet was already good. Here we have 150 megabit upload speeds over fibre to the premise. Not as fast as it would be in a, like a tier one city, but pretty good for a rural location. So I had a lot of the stuff I needed to start doing this. And so I did and I called it to EI talks.

Liston Witherill
And so of course, those are available, dear listener for you to go check out right now. So you have YouTube, you have Twitch. I don't know if you have other channels as well, Facebook or not, but

Philip Morgan
just those two.

Liston Witherill
Okay. And what are you seeing? Are you seeing any differences between those channels because it occurs to me that twitch would be less crowded for business. It By the way, funny side note, YouTube still doesn't have a business category for your channel or for your videos. I don't know if you know that. But it's there's like lifestyle and travel and all these other categories. But there's no business which is hilarious, given the amount of business related content on YouTube, but it seems to me YouTube would be a better place to engage with people who are looking for business advice. What have you seen in twitch versus YouTube? Or is there even a difference?

Philip Morgan
Yeah, several Things to touch on there. Now that you mentioned it, yeah, I use the Education category for my videos on YouTube. Probably some sort of business category had that done available, but education seemed like the next best alternative. Right? So, I mean, this is I wish, it could be a simpler answer than it is. So starting out. One of the things I noticed, as about streaming in general is that it really makes you appreciate what is bundled into webinar software, webinar software from zoom, crowd cast, I mean, there's a bunch of other providers as well. All the things that you take for granted when you set up a webinar with those software's you have to do individually on your own when you stream something. So certainly, you can have followers on YouTube or twitch or whatever. And those platforms will notify people when you're when you've gone live streaming, but do you just go live and then start talking, and then bullshit for five or 10 minutes while people show up for the thing that they're actually there for? So you have to think about this, like, I call it the waiting room experience, but like this, like how do you introduce the whole thing? How do you do that? So I like playing some video, like GoPro videos from my wife and I hiking or biking around house like that's, that's good waiting room content, I think. And I'll play some music. And I've figured out that basically, you don't want to just grab any music that you find on SoundCloud, even if it is licensed for Creative Commons on SoundCloud. That doesn't mean that it is free of copyrighted content that the algorithm at twitch or YouTube will pick up on and start to, you know, rack up, you know, copyright violations there. So, yeah,

Liston Witherill
there are there are purpose built sound libraries for this reason.

Philip Morgan
Yeah. One of them that I've discovered lately is pretty good is called epidemic sound.

Liston Witherill
That's what I've been using for my podcasts for about a year and a half.

Philip Morgan
Good, good, good choices there. I should have asked you about this before I started doing what

Liston Witherill
I was gonna say a little known fact that because people ask me, where How am I able to incorporate so much music. And it's a combination of just a subscription that anyone could buy for 15 bucks a month. But then I've also built a database of like 400 songs that are categorized that I've selected in my assistant has added into an air table base. So anyway, yeah, there's a lot that goes into this, that the average listener would never know.

Philip Morgan
Indeed. So I had a, like a sneaking suspicion that by just grabbing something from SoundCloud, maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, the sneaking suspicion that it would not work was correct. So I stream these videos, and I could just leave the recording of the live stream up on Twitch and YouTube. But because prior to me switching over to epidemic sound, that might include stuff that would get listed as a copyright violation. I delete those videos after the stream like pretty much immediately after the stream. And then what I upload YouTube, because you can't, as far as I know, upload anything to twitch Twitch is a pure live streaming platform, whereas YouTube is this hybrid live streaming recorded video platform. So what I upload to YouTube is an edited version that does not have the 10 minutes of waiting room music at the beginning and does not have the chat with folks after the talk. It's just the talk. So I do a quick edit to chop off the beginning in the end, chop out any stuff where I screw up in the middle, which has been thankfully pretty seldom. I mean, if

Liston Witherill
you ever messing up Philip,

Philip Morgan
oh, they're I mess up with the stuff I say but I don't mess up with technical errors very much. So I upload that to YouTube, back to your question. Sorry for the wandering diversion there listening. But back to your question. I like YouTube. Well, I don't love YouTube. I feel like YouTube is perhaps as culpable as Facebook, in you know, stuff like showing extremist right wing content to folks who didn't really want to see that and YouTube has problems like every big social media platform does, but I think it's a good gets off the hook a little easier than Twitter and Facebook to who for some reason. Anyway, I upload, I upload these videos to YouTube because it is the video end of the world's largest search engine. And I do want to maximize the reach of these videos. And I do think that that gives me the best possible sort of free search benefit that I could get for video content. So that was a long winded answer. upload to YouTube, twitch has a very sort of gamer vibe to it. Yeah. Which I kind of when I say like after qualify it about 10 different ways. YouTube just feels a little more buttoned down, and a little more normal. And for a lot of folks, twitch feels like this weirder environment that, you know, the color scheme is kind of like the RGB colors, gamers will have, you know, Windows PCs, and

Liston Witherill
there's like a zaniness and maybe even a youthfulness to it that YouTube doesn't have.

Philip Morgan
I am finding it interesting to be there as a broadcaster, and just feel what that's like I ultimately, I'm not sure it's the right place to be or the best place to be. But I'm enjoying it for now. So those are some of the differences. There's a sort of aesthetic cultural difference between the two. Yeah. And and then there's just like a functional difference where I feel like YouTube is pretty superior place for the video content to live long term.

Liston Witherill
And what results are you targeting? Or what results have you had to this point?

Philip Morgan
Well, the first result would be I build the curriculum I want to build, and I do it one piece at a time, rather than tackling the whole thing as a big waterfall project, which is the right way to do it sometimes and not the right way. Others times, just for me right now, this is going to get me to my goal. So that's the first thing that's going to happen unless I die or, you know, something, I'm not gonna quit until I get there. I'm halfway there. Now, I have none of these 18 talks done and published. So that's the first goal. If that's the only thing that happens, I'm happy. because really what I'm trying to do is build something that's a part of a larger asset. I invite people to attend these talks, I don't live stream them intentionally to nobody. Although it's possible, I'll do one one of these days where I have zero attendees, it has not yet happened. I hope it doesn't. I want people there because I want the feeling of I you know, that kind of edge that comes from live performance, which I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. others who've never done something live may not know, but there's a little bit of adrenaline or something that makes it a little more lively than I think it would be otherwise. Mm hmm. Have you experienced that? Doing anything live or live music in a previous life?

Liston Witherill
Well, live music for sure. But that's totally different, because you can see everybody face to face. I think that I have done some live streaming in the past few weeks. And I wouldn't say I got any sort of adrenaline rush from it, or I didn't feel any excitement. And in fact, as you know, from at least the modern sales podcast, maybe soon to be the serve don't sell podcast, another topic for another time. I do rely heavily on editing in order to tighten it up. And as I've thought more and more about video, and what would it look like to build a video presence because I've been become pretty disillusioned with the discovery possibilities of podcasts. I think that the fit for me on video will be a relatively small number of videos and you know, you look up how to build a YouTube channel. And people go, Oh, you should really ramp up to two to four videos a week. And I was like, you don't need to do that. Not for me, right? Like, you know, if I had 100 videos, that would be a lot that assuming that they're targeted well, and so I would rely more on editing personally. Yeah, I do that because I think I can make a it's a different experience. As you're pointing out if someone's there for the live thing. There's this element of like, I don't know what's going to happen. And also, they're also feeling like they're part of something that other people can experience. Whereas, you know, watching a pre recorded highly edited YouTube video, you don't have that feeling of exclusivity.

Philip Morgan
Yeah, and I think both are potentially valuable. For me, having the audience there live, even if it's like four people is this feeling of, I need to keep this moving. I can't, I can't rely on editing to make it a listable or watchable experience later. So it's just it's a challenge, I guess it's, I use the word adrenaline. And maybe there is some of that for me, even though the audience is not physically there. But I guess it's more appropriately described as it's just a challenging thing. And I like the challenge. I like knowing that there are people who can see if I screw up, so I want to get it right. Like that feeling of you can't fix it in the mix is kind of nice. So that's part of why doing it live. So the goal of people respond, during this, the talk in the chat to something would be a second, you asked about goals for this. First is just merely doing it and getting getting this corpus of content built. The second is seeing something be provocative to people, which trust me doesn't happen every time. Like the last one I did last Friday was on the topic of publishing during times of social or economic distress. It's me trying to crystallize some of my thinking about when, you know, out of seemingly out of nowhere, global viral pandemic happens, and you're publishing to an email list. What do you do? Do you acknowledge it? Do you try to give advice about mask wearing Do you like, what do you do? It brings up this question. And it got to the end of the talk. And people were like, Oh, that was great. Thank you. Yes. And like nobody has any questions during the talk. And that's fine. Other topics were more engaging for folks and more provocative. So I want to know that the I want that validation that the thinking is worth someone taking time out of their day. That's a goal. And then the other goal is there's two other goals listed. One is I just want the pressure of crystallizing the thinking and making it a talk that's worth sitting through. And that's happening to varying degrees. And then the final goal is I want to build this content asset for the expertise incubator to generate interest in the program. And for folks who are want to try this framework on their own, to give them enough that they can apply it on their own. And for folks that want to pay me to be a part of a paid cohort, for them to have an understanding of what they're getting into.

Liston Witherill
Those are the goals. But you did mention earlier that one of the advantages of YouTube and I totally agree is the discovery aspect of it. Right. So their algorithm is written by Google, even though officially, they're separate companies, right? Obviously, they're using the same or a similar search algorithm, as YouTube is. But it doesn't sound like when you just listed off your goals, you didn't list discovery as a primary goal. And of course, as you know, and Jim Thornton is in my ear right now, in spirit, at least, saying, you have to be intentional about getting search traffic, if you want to optimize for search traffic. And if you're not, then you know, it's not your it's not just gonna come on its own. So is that something that you would think about or edit later? Because you didn't mention it as a primary goal?

Philip Morgan
Yeah, there's one other thing I didn't mention, which is simply to get better at public speaking. Yeah. I mean, I mentioned that way earlier. But that's also a goal. I'll be in a weird context of me being alone in my office looking into into a DSLR lens, right. Anyway, that's a phase two thing. So when I have this corpus of content, I think that I will feel pretty good about it for two to three years. And then maybe the thinking will have changed, maybe I'll throw it away and start over, I'm not sure. But for that two to three years, that's time for continuous improvement if I am willing to be disciplined about that. So one form of continuous improvement would be going back and writing summaries of each talk after having given it that kind of bring out the key points, like, like you did with your client con speakers. doing that for my own content. putting that in the YouTube descriptions, making a better page where I list all these videos on my site. You know, they're in a YouTube playlist they're on, they're hosted on YouTube, but they're also embedded in my website, so the YouTube description Then my website or at least two places where I can work to, to improve this. And then there probably are other ways of sharing this content with the world that I'm not thinking of right now. Like maybe I was about to say, maybe I put together an email course where I drip these out. But I'm like, What is the value of that people can just watch them at their own pace? Yeah, right. Yeah, but stuff like that, where, you know, maybe, at some point, you will want to share this with your email list. I doubt it. But you know, partnerships with other people to kind of broaden. That's the idea I'm illustrating here. Anyway, go ahead. You were about to say something?

Liston Witherill
Well, I was gonna say, I think the real value is, I mean, obviously, the things you mentioned, you get better at video, you become a better speaker. One of the things I find is the more talks I put together, the better I become it, like creating, which, at least I think is interesting content. It's really an audience.

Philip Morgan
Really, right.

Liston Witherill
But it seems to me in terms of like tangible marketing results, focusing on that discovery aspect. And of course, I'm biased, because as I'm thinking about what what a YouTube channel look like, for me, it's like 100,000%, discovery driven, that would be the main reason for me to go on there. In addition to like, I think I can do that I know how to do video editing already. I understand the sound, I have the whole setup here. So there's lots of reasons why video seems like a good fit. But, you know, it's competitive out there, my friend, and I find on some of my big ideas, like serve, don't sell, right, like the the core idea behind my business, no one's searching for that. Maybe eventually, I would need a video on what is served, don't sell mean, or the serve, don't sell mindset. But like that's not really what people are searching for. They're searching for sales tips, how to negotiate, you know, how to send a cold email, like those things that are very generally how to oriented or, you know, what are the five things I need to know about this business topic? That's general Jen, most business content I see, as is about that.

Philip Morgan
Yeah, you're talking about what would be, I want to say phase two, but I just use that in a different context.

Liston Witherill
So phase three, maybe round to round two,

Philip Morgan
of using the tools that I'm using now, for live streaming these talks would be almost the opposite of everything that that I'm doing now. Content format would be, I want to sketch out a series of videos which I'm in my mind labeling specializations, Max, yeah. Five minutes, tops, more scripted, edited, not live recorded, but published, but not live. And they would be closer to what you're talking about, which is this thing where, you know, Jim Thornton has contributed so much to my thinking about this. The way I think about things and model things, and explain things is awesome and useful. And it is suffering more and more evermore from the curse of knowledge. And it's not formulated in the form of a question that a beginner would ask, which would be like, Oh, how do I avoid the feast famine cycle? How do I get a pipeline of work lined up? So that, you know, I'm not stressed all the time?

Liston Witherill
Right, how to get more clients? This would probably be like the number one third?

Philip Morgan
Yeah, a lot of it reduces down to that. How do I get better clients? How do I get more clients? I mean, and I don't think I need to go all the way there to that level of abstraction. But I think about getting better at speaking in the way I'm doing it now. Where it's like an hour long presentation, there's a slide deck. What makes it good is my practice the ability to make a point can leave space and create the emotional impact that that does and to transition in the right way between different points. Like all that stuff, is the art of public speaking that I'm working on now. I think there's an art to making a knockout good five minute YouTube video and I want to practice too, but that's like so different than what I'm doing now.

Liston Witherill
It is totally because I think it also demands more speed than you can have in in a live setting.

Philip Morgan
Right. We're fucking Galloway, that guy if I did, I send you that

Liston Witherill
I'm sorry, go ahead.

Philip Morgan
He just assaults your senses with his high velocity delivery of information, which I think he has learned to do, because he's teaching, you know, basically teenagers, a lot of his classes, or you know, people, it's,

Liston Witherill
it's also a stick, right. So what I was going to say is, you and I, we've exchanged YouTube channels that we both like, and some of them are like, really fast talking tons of jump, like really fast jump cuts over and over again. But others are, you know, much slower pacing, where it's more deliberate. And I think that's fine. But I do think to your point, making a five or I'd say probably 10, to me, 10 minutes is kind of the sweet spot. Five is certainly easier, you can produce a lot more five minute videos than 10 minute videos. I think.

Philip Morgan
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter, I think is what I don't know. I I'm intimidated by the idea of compressing into five minutes, even a single idea. Well, yeah,

Liston Witherill
like 10, I think 10 is a good amount,

Philip Morgan
because myself 10, then

Liston Witherill
you can you can show a few visuals, you can have some animated titles coming in. You can and the production demands aren't huge, but you can also can't be thorough in 10 minutes. Anybody who says you can I feel free to send me your hate mail, and I'll tell you why you're wrong. But you can't be thorough, right, but you can give enough information for someone to get started on something.

Philip Morgan
So I think that's the proper appetizer format video for an idea. And it's

Liston Witherill
so I think it's like more specifically, it's like eight to 15 minutes, I think is kind of the right amount for business content, or any how to content? Because if it's more than 15 minutes, I think it should, it should be two videos. Unless it's a really broad topic, right? So like I've been looking at Final Cut Pro editing, for beginners, right? That's you can't do that in eight minutes. It's just like, it's too much stuff. Right? And then under eight minutes. Yeah, I generally walk away feeling like those are very incomplete. Or I it's raised more questions for me than it's answered.

Philip Morgan
Mm hmm. In a not satisfying way, not in a leave them wanting more way, but in a not satisfying way.

Liston Witherill
In a that was lazy, kind of way.

Philip Morgan
Okay. So you really you're trying to make a meal out of those little finger sandwiches hors d'oeuvres that they have at weddings, right?

Liston Witherill
Yeah, I want three sliders not too.

Philip Morgan
So I would not no one would be impressed with my, the numbers that have been generated by the streaming video that I've done. Absolutely, no one would be impressed. But I, I can see how it's building towards what I want to build towards, which is not for the record, not a big twitch following. That's not what I'm trying to build here. I'm trying to get better, incrementally better at public speaking, that's happening. And some of its basic stuff. Listen, like just breath control and posture. Because I do the stuff standing up in front of the video camera. simple mechanical stuff like that. It just benefits from getting your reps in, you know. So I see some benefit. And then I also am like, I remember my listing what it was like when I got into the new and noteworthy category for the consulting pipeline podcast and the week that it launched. I remember how easy that was.

Liston Witherill
And then you were like marketing's gonna be so easy for the rest of my career. I got this.

Philip Morgan
Who are all these suckers who complain about how hard marketing of and my now I feel it now like it is a game of inches. It is years of slow building. And that doesn't feel as fun. But I'm trying and I think succeeding at least partially to focus on the places where I can see improvement. Mm hmm. So that is we're running out of time here. That is, I guess my short report on streaming live video got Any other questions?

Liston Witherill
No, I think that's a good place to leave it. I would just recommend for anyone listening to this if you've thought about doing some of this stuff. The first part is always what Philip described. And that is it takes a while to get Going and it takes a while to sort of understand, just get familiar with the medium, like a lot of what you described is partially that. And then, you know, it takes a while for people to notice you and stick around. So yeah, I think we're gonna have to give another update on this because my stated goal for this will be to drive email subscribers. And the my core metric will be, I don't know if it'll be video views, probably subscribers on YouTube, not video views, but you know, I'll be totally direct. My whole goal here is to create searchable, indexable discoverable video content where I can reach people and bring them back to my website. And so the types of videos I'll be producing are different than what you're describing. So maybe we can give an update on that and a couple months.

Philip Morgan
Looking forward to

Liston Witherill
it. All right, my friend.

Philip Morgan
Bye for now.

Philip Morgan