Failing and Rapidly Regrouping, The Journey, Episode 9, Season 2

Failing and Rapidly Regrouping, The Journey, Episode 9, Season 2

MICHAEL STELZNER: I am very frustrated in myself
because I’ve fallen into a trap. Join us on an impossible mission
to grow our business 50%. Welcome to The Journey. We’ve decided to kind of pause
the promotion of the conference to focus in on
the promotion of The Journey. If we get enough people
to watch The Journey we know that the outcome
will be what want. So, I’m working on an email
that introduces The Journey, but also introduces
the story behind The Journey. Our hope is that our readers
will be intrigued enough to want to click through and see what the heck
this thing is all about. (SIGHS) The data for The Journey Episode One is… A little disappointing. A lot disappointing. We might need to alter course. So, let’s get some people in my office. I wish I had better news.
JEN BALLARD: Uh oh. We made a strategic bet
to launch on Facebook and that bet has failed. So, there’s a couple of hypotheses. Number one is the first episode sucks,
which is plausible. The other one is I just don’t think
people are watching long-form content on
Facebook anymore. I think it’s YouTube. But the reality is that only 1%
are watching it on Facebook. So, of those 4,000,
40 watched it all the way through. This is the audience retention analytics. They start watching it
and then literally at about a minute, they drop like a rock. The average watch time is 22 seconds. Now, over to YouTube,
average watch time, three minutes and 29 seconds…
MITCH DONG: Wow. MICHAEL: ..but you can see
that we retain people quite a bit. Almost 50% are staying
all the way to the end. Obviously, we made a mistake and we should have not pushed all that traffic
to Facebook in the beginning. SAIDAH MURPHY: The day of the week
might have something to do with it. MICHAEL: You might be onto something there
because the Mondays are pretty crazy. OK. I’m gonna go ahead and get Erik. Hey!
WOMAN: Hey, Erik. MICHAEL: So, it’s either the content, or the day, or the platform, or all three. My hypothesis is it’s all three. Over the weekend,
people were watching it. The average watch time was higher, the comments were all over the place, and literally it stopped on Monday. So, I think we have to go back
to publishing it on Friday. ERIK FISHER: Why not Thursday
’cause that’s where we actually had moved it to? MICHAEL: I’m fine with a Thursday, but that means we’re publishing
Episode Two this Thursday. ERIK: We can make that happen. We’ve already got it. MITCH: If this is going to help overall,
then we do it. MICHAEL: All in favor of releasing Episode Two
the same week as Episode One on a Thursday, raise your hand. And as far as everybody else
is considered, this was part of the plan.
(LAUGHTER) I feel like saying,
“Power rangers, unite!” (LAUGHTER) Alright everybody. Thank you. I am very frustrated in myself
because I’ve fallen into a trap. The Bright Shiny Objects Syndrome trap. I so wanted to get The Journey on the Facebook Watch platform that I let reason go to the side
and let emotion drive a decision. I spent a lot of time
trying to get somewhere only to find out
that I’ve taken the wrong path. This is the ridge that I went down,
all the way to here. Where I need to be
is way over there. Deep down in the back of my head
was the little voice that said, “Just focus on YouTube
for the launch of The Journey”. Instead, I focused on Facebook
and the data is pretty clear. That was a mistake. We decided to go down a trail, thinking, “It looks like
it’s the right thing to do”. Start working our way down there
only to realise, “Holy cow, we made a mistake”. Yeah. I was driving into work
this morning, and this EntreLeadership podcast
was, like, unbelievably relevant for what we’re dealing with right now, and it’s my great hope
that as they listen to this they’ll understand the importance
of really executing extremely fast and getting things done. MARK DIVINE: You have to ask
the right questions. What is our mission? How can we state this
in the simplest terms? A good percentage of the things
that you think are important end up not being important. Get a good enough plan
and we head out the door and we just fail our way forward. MICHAEL: The reason why
I wanted y’all to listen to this is ’cause I feel like this is the core
of the struggle that we have faced. One of the things
that I learned from listening to this is that it’s very important
that we be aware. And that means awareness
of what the goal is, and that means awareness
of where we are right now. The mission is not clear. And I want to make it clear.
JEN: OK. The mission is to sell
341 tickets this month. We’ve sold 71. What can we do
in this limited amount of time? You guys are dismissed.
Come back to me with a plan. OK. Thank you. JEN: An additional promo email
that we sent today. For ads, we would add a short video ad,
if Mitch can make us a video. (GIGGLES) MITCH: Good one. SADIAH: Once we get all of the ideas of what we can do, what we haven’t do,
and what we need to do, down, then that’s where I’m gonna jump in
and say let’s organise it into a plan. MICHAEL: I am inside of a home
that is under construction, and in a matter of just months, this home has gone from
just an outline on the dirt to a house that is getting to the point where you can tell it’s a house. It’s just amazing how
when you know exactly what you’re doing, how fast you can move. I decided to come out to
the very back of our parking lot so that no one could hear my concerns. I’m starting to feel the pressure. I’m definitely starting to feel the pressure. I’m spending countless hours
in the editing room looking at these episodes, and trying to figure out
how to cut them down, and I’m thinking to myself, “This is not scalable”. Why am I even fricking doing this? Maybe I need to stop The Journey. (DRUMMING MUSIC) That’s duct tape. It’s wrapped in duct tape, dude.
Look at this. Seriously? Oh. A pocket knife just appeared. Who in their right mind…? If you’re a boy scout person,
don’t watch that. “Thanks for having me
back on your podcast. I appreciate you.
Your friend, Jay Baer.” What the heck is this? All the ingredients to
make my own sausage. So, if you’re ever curious about
the sausage which was made at Social Media Examiner, it was made using flowline hog casings. (LAUGHS) Please join me on The Journey. Subscribe now
and be sure to hit the bell, so you don’t miss any of
our future episodes.


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    Don’t give up. Perseverance will pay off in the end. For me the best part of the journey isn’t so much your initial struggle, but the action and discussions on how the conference is put together and then seeing all the pieces put together live in SD.

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    well, mixed feelings here….
    I started watching the journey because you basically focus a lot on that, but first I join social media examiner because I thought you could teach me something… in the end you need me to tell you, your problem is the content.

    Because of the Journey, I realize you are clearly not doing the right things at the right time and I wonder… is this an act? of course, you know you need to do some planning, studies, and to be prepared… in this video you realize that in the house under construction…

    You never asked some of the users who received the email "why?" where are the forms? the questions on social media and more to understand better your prospect? Why are you trying the answers by yourself when your content is targeting B2C: ask the customer why he didn't watch it?

    You wonder why nobody watched it thinking it's because you haven't put it on Youtube, but let's face some numbers… Youtube is not also a success: it's the content.
    and we need to get back to the basis, I came to Social Media Examiner to learn something I don't know yet, and episode after episode it looks like you actually need my help more than I need yours, and that's a problem.

    I had the feelings for years that your brand platform was to support professionals and experts because of course, you know what you are doing, by stepping down on our everyday problems you are just making me wonder: why I should help (paying) someone helpless as myself?
    I give you an example: many gurus on your field will never talk about their companies failures, they'll flood you with the same content you are consuming today in your car listening to their podcast.

    I see the journey, and then I see all those people coming to your event, they are happy, they learned stuff, they are making money out of it… those two totally opposite vision face themselves: nonsense.

    Pieces of advice (you asked for it) :
    – stop the journey, audit what's working.
    – get back on your feet while you are doing more "what's working"
    ask people what they want, and what they dislike in that, invest in your anti-churn and the people leaving the boat.
    – you have a lot of people in your company: build a new brand platform, don't be the journey, be the shepherd, and build it like a pro, from A to Z, it can take times.
    – you trust your guts A LOT, try it with your head and particularly your numbers

    You know Facebook, the platform is not the issue: IT NEVER IS. (unless you have a very seasonal or a specific business). Your business is about content, you know where the attention is, so if people are not coming it's always because of YOU. You talk about Youtube… but you do realize that your best video has only 37K views and is 7 years old?

    I hope you are going to make it, you and your team deserve it, and I want you to be the expert I hired when I join Social Media Examiner. Lots of love, Terry.

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    Jeremy Vest

    I love the journey and think you should keep on doing it. However, I suggest that 80% of the content you put up on YouTube answers questions people are asking about social media management.

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    A Life That Travels

    Guys, thanks for sharing.

    I've debated a lot whether or not to go hard on Facebook (as opposed to YT) as I launch a new video project, conscious that Watch is a huge deal for FB and they're going to want good content and will prioritise it.

    Now I've got the answer: the reality is that they're not really pushing long-form content very hard in the algorithm, and user behaviour is different on FB then YT.

    Should you continue The Journey?
    That's really up to you and what you make of what your data says.

    But here's the truth: good and successful ideas can go bad, and bad ideas can sink businesses. The core of Lean Methodology is to iterate fast and not be blindly loyal to what worked in the past if it's no longer working.

    What does the data say?

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    Marketing Artfully

    Years ago I followed the Social Media Examiner… it was the cutting edge place to find out about marketing. Then over the last wee bit, it felt like it was just rehashing what everyone else was saying… Facebook, Facebook, Facebook.

    Seeing Michael come to the realization that Facebook is not the be all and end all through using data was so darn refreshing (watched his LONG interview on Joel Comm's Facebook… ironic).

    I would rather watch someone who is real and shows the ups and downs, rather than the same old, rehashed "experts" rah, rahing the same 2 or 3 strategies that are "Marketing Cool" but don't actually deliver results.

    New YouTube Subscriber & Returning Fan, Tara

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    Salma Jafri

    I don't think you're going to shut down the Journey Mike, nor should you. The value of this vlog is in the marketing insights that other marketers glean from it. But I absolutely agree with Jeremy Vest that you need more how-to content to power up your channel. As you get more views via Search, and then ultimately via Suggested (because watch time will rack up in your favor), your channel will grow, increasing viewership for all videos. It's literally the help-hub-hero model of YouTube content strategy in action. You've got the hub, just add the help. And the hero content would be the conference videos. You've got this SocialMediaExaminer Team 👊

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    Sandra VanSickle

    I agree with Salma, I don't think you will, nor should you end the Journey. Each episode holds an inspiring message above and beyond what you are trying to accomplish at SME. I look for each episode on Thursdays…(did you skip last week). Thanks!

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    Gary Stockton

    Mike I think you should continue the Journey. You are on the right path focusing on YouTube, the data confirmed what you already knew. The longer I work in marketing the more I realize there are very few silver bullets in this game. Your fans want you to succeed, we can see you in the arena. Keep fighting.

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    James Rupright

    The Journey is important, so don't let it go. If you feel you are spending too much time with editing & stuff, delegate it to someone who has already been working with you on it and knows what you want it to look like and do. You can always approve before publish.

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    Guan Felix

    Some great insights on how to optimize things, based on reliable data. Thanks for sharing 🙂 And remember, those who persevere and overcome failures and/or challenges are the ones who will win in the end. Keep going!

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    James Howard

    YouTube is the place to grow. But it takes time. Many new people on YouTube make this mistake. Slow growth changes to faster growth as the channel grows. The Journey will show this one day. It's amazing. But you already knew this. Love the show! 😎

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    Kenneth Todd

    You have to keep it. To me that was the missing link between your website and your brand story. Video allows you to share your story and message at a much more personal and compelling level. You just haven’t sucked in enough viewers yet and when you do…the impact will be significant.

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    Karen Clark - My Business Presence - Social Media for Direct Selling

    Keep it. Delegate some of the work to someone who gets it. Then teach your existing audience how to ‘join the bell club’ and get notifications of new episodes. If they aren’t primarily YouTubers they need to be taught this or they’ll only see episodes accidentally in passing when they think to visit YouTube.

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    Joel Tetzner

    A humble viewer’s opinion:
    – Nobody goes to Facebook for long form content or to be sold to. We go to interact with friends or groups. Plus the reach is so minuscule.
    – I’ve watched both Journey seasons. All on YouTube only. I get excited for new episodes. However, this season just seems like Mike is more stressed and under too much pressure. Not fun to watch. Too much emphasis given to meeting the goal number of tix sold and no content as to why I should buy a ticket.
    – It seems like all the stress about the goal is causing you to look at eliminating “stressors” like the Journey. I feel you need to evaluate all the stressors (including the monstrous size of this goal) and you may find the Journey is not a real stressor after all.
    – based on the show, it appears like most efforts are put forth in marketing to your own audience and then strangers who don’t know you on Facebook. I follow many people you have as speakers and have never heard any of them promoting this conference. Maybe more emphasis is needed on audience building by working closer with your speakers and really getting their audiences on board. Isn’t that the core concept of “social” media??
    – all of the attendees have audiences as well. These past and future attendees need your attention. Build JV relationships with these people. If they experienced the greatness of the conference, get them on the team to promote it each year.

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    I'm old and retired. I'm dabbling with a little business I've started. While in the industry I was in (38 yrs) I was involved in many subsidiary start-ups for major corporations. I enjoyed it and was good at it. I enjoy you vids (The Journey) because it brings back many memories – good memories. I actually enjoyed the struggles. Ultimately, they became routine and I was not baffled or intimidated by them. I always had tactics "on the shelf" that I could employ once I recognized the nature of the challenge. When you start, most of what you need is not in place. You must strive to standardize and "routenize" your business and push these activities down to lower level employees. This requires creating policies and procedures. This, in turn, assures things will get done the way you want. You must set up monitoring mechanisms (as always whether a new or established business) to assure they are actually getting done and done right. Caution: In a start up initial policies and procedures become obsolete as the business grows. The earlier in the start-up, the more rapidly P&P become obsolete. The monitoring mechanisms should be designed to take this into account and appropriate adjustments made in a timely manner. Such changes are appropriate and will be more frequent in the early stages. However, excessively frequent changes in direction at top management level are dangerous regardless of the reasons. They most usually indicate things are out of control. Excessive changes create chaos. Honest mistakes or mistakes due to incompetence take the same toll. There are other factors that are extremely important, each of which take a lot of time to explain. Among them are good Vs bad planning, execution, & focus. If something doesn't work it matters greatly if it was because it was a bad idea or plan, whether execution was poor, whether focus was poor. The key is execution. Good plans will fail if executed poorly. Not so good plans can do well if executed well. The key to good execution is focus. The key to good focus is discipline. A good operator is one who always has good focus and execution. Then, if a plan fails, you know it was the plan – not execution or focus. OK. Enough for now.

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    Mariah Braun

    I think The Journey gives your brand a personality and something that we can all relate to! Please continue creating this content. <3

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    Scot Saunders

    I agree with Salma. At 57, I'm just now jumping into Social Media Marketing and agree that YouTube is the place to be Mentored, not just entertained. I've recently discovered Social Media Examiner and was told this is where to start for all things Social Media Marketing. Please don't give up. People like myself need help and there's more of us coming.

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    Byron TGI Friday

    Dont stop! Keep going Team! If the production of these videos are too time consuming – I would suggest that you simply do some less produced /polished videos. Do some rough-cut unpolished Vlogs. Remember how Gary Vee successfully leveraged low tech video via some awesome narratives.

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    Mike Snyder

    I feel your frustration. The digital construct continues to evolve so rapidly that even the best of the best find it difficult to keep up. The digital landscape is a field of shifting sand that often catches us in a moment using yesterday's strategy while time and change marches on to a new drummer. There are two key elements here that you touch, both are related to content strategy and the tactical venue. Without strategic testing of the message and venue you have no idea if the narrative will produce conversions in volume. Conversion in a fractured digital world is a more complex finesse job than it was a week ago, and the week before that, and so on and so on. Without adequate testing to locate where your target audience has migrated, the promotion and sales process suffers from extreme constipation diminishing the value proposition of your promotion and sales. All of this to say there is no replacing preparation and testing before launch. That may seem obvious, but when we are engaged in promotion and sales every day, we tend to resort to our comfortable tactics, turning a blind eye toward something as simple as testing the venue with a trial balloon. A/B testing in real time on a real audience is often unsatisfying.

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    Amanda Brown

    I come to Social Media Examiner to learn what’s new in social. I listen to the podcast, dip in and out of Facebook, and watch YouTube. I watch The Journey to see you struggling to use social. Ironic. The Journey won’t sell SMMW tickets because it’s all about YOU. Go back to helping ME and then I might buy. Sorry to be harsh but that’s my 2 pence worth.

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    Jahanzeb Kadir

    Hell NO the journey is fun
    Just cut the metaphors down they're too old-school hehe
    I believe the format's a little less fast paced than what the audience wants……
    I'd rather you redo the structure of the episodes. The intro alone looks very scripted.

    Having followed the journey since day one I see a value proposition evolving but I stuck around also because I'm patient and keep an eye out for trends……

    How about letting someone from the team take over the limelight?
    Variety and another perspective
    I mean SMMW isn't all just Mike right?

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    Walter Kerkhofs

    People are on facebook for friends and family, and to watch funny movies.
    The best place to show your content is here on Youtube, and Google Plus.
    You're vlog the Journy is not funny enough for people on facebook.

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    I know a lot of effort is put into the production of these episodes, and looking at the stats plainly, it doesn't look so great. BUT that doesn't mean that it isn't valuable – you have a small yet highly engaged audience here that's open to consuming more of your content! And really, if you think about most channels on this platform, success doesn't come overnight – it requires experience and iteration. If it's taking too much effort in its current form, find ways to cut it down or do it more efficiently. Like you said, it's unbelievable how fast things get done when you have a plan!

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    M Roy

    I’m not sure what the answer is. But one thing is I feel SME is bouncing around a lot and loosing focus vs following the flow. I Remember last year at SMMW you had great speakers about bots yet now your talking about them again but for SME.
    Keep up the Journey, it’s great value for the small guys like me

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    Bobby Barbour

    I enjoy the journey as it’s a unique view into the behind the scenes of a successful marketing company. I enjoy watching it because I can relate to the challenges. It encourages me to keep going, keep experimenting, and have the courage to keep learning.

    There is a certain amount of truth in Brandon’s comments. However, you guys have a challenge to balance ‘entertainment’ with ‘education’ with a sprinkle of interest. I suggest the Journey does that and does it differently to anyone else out there. Keep up the good work!! I for one love it. 🙂

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    Ken Gullette

    This is one of the best episodes yet. There is a great lesson here. I have ignored YouTube a lot during the past couple of years and focused on FB, and I don't like the results. I, too, am turning back. But here is my vote: DON'T STOP THE JOURNEY!!

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    Chris Brennan

    Great episode! Funny enough, my job in 2019 is pretty much all video! I'm revamping the YouTube channel and going all-in. My gut was telling me not to split the videos onto each platform and simply focus on making it YouTube exclusive. Instead, makes teasers and cut snippets to share on social, to drive people to the YouTube channel. This video pretty much confirms that plan for me!
    Thanks Mike!
    #YouFailedSoWeCouldSucceed 😉

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    Pawtails Pet Sitting Services

    Appreciate you sharing 'the journey'. We are all scrambling to engage and retain the attention of our clients. Those of us who benefit from your cutting edge insights will follow you on YouTube and your Podcasts. Facebook jas turned into the 'myspace', its not where my customers go to learn, or grow. Thank you for sharing your challenges! Regroup, begin again. We will be following your lead.

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    Dave Hayes

    The journey is awesome, one thing is clear though, as you have said previously, on Facebook People scroll and aren't interested in content, whereas here on YouTube, they watch for longer and its better engagment, plus when the channel is at a certain point there are monetisation benefits that you can take advantage off.

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    Vignesh Vijayendran

    The journey is a fantastic value and you should keep doing it. Real problems and real solutions I enjoy this series from India, it's wisdom-packed. I have watched more than 5 episodes today!

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