Gregory Ng is an acquaintance of mine. He’s the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Marketing Officer (which is kind of amazing) at Brooks Bell, a firm focused on A/B split testing, targeting and optimization. That’s his job. He’s also married with three kids. But online he’s known as The Frozen Food Master, the host of Freezerburns, a web show dedicated to the frozen food aisle.
If you want to look at what a web show is, Greg is a great example to look to. If you want to start a show, you should look at what he does and how he does it. I know I did, when I decided to start Soda Tasting.
I was watching his most recent episode (embedded below) and I saw a comment made by BBridget511. “How did you get this awesome job?” BBridget511 is referring to the web show he hosts. As I explained, it isn’t his job, but it is a cool thing he does.
Now I would bet that this is a question Greg has been asked many times. Anyone who does something cool or successful gets asked that question. How did you get that job? How did you get that many views? How did you write a bestseller? How did your community reach 500,000 posts? You have to wonder, what type of answer is expected?
- “Oh, just dumb luck. I don’t spend much time on this whole Freezerburns thing.”
- “Twice a week, I steal an item from the freezer section of my local grocery store. That’s my passion. Stealing from the grocery store. It gets me going.”
- “Well, it’s a secret, but I’ll tell you…”
What’s the answer? Work. That’s the answer. It’s strange that people would expect something different or more interesting. There isn’t some cool job store where they are just handing out cool jobs. You have to dig in and start somewhere.
There is no secret. The great thing about a show like Greg’s is much of what it takes to be successful can be seen in plain sight. Watch the videos. See the quality. Check how he writes titles and descriptions. Look at the comments. Check out the Twitter and Facebook profiles for the show. Look at the Freezerburns website. It’s all on display. The “secrets” of success.
If you are passionate, if you dedicate a chunk of your life to producing 587 quality episodes (plus many more side videos) of a focused show over 5+ years, you can build an audience, too. Producing an episode means planning what it is about, buying what you need, shooting, editing, publishing and promoting. And then you have the comments. On your blog, on your videos, via email, elsewhere. Engaging and responding to people accelerates the audience building process.
You have to be in it long term. You can’t think you’ll have a big audience within a few months. It just doesn’t work that way. Speaking from experience, Soda Tasting took 10 months, 2 weeks and 5 days to reach 1,000 subscribers on YouTube. Most of the time, I have released 5 episodes a week. Think about that.
And, again, Greg has a full time job, a wife and 3 kids. You have work, family life, exercise, sleep and other healthy habits and then he finds time, in that remaining piece of his life, to do the show. It takes real commitment to do what he does. Honestly, most people probably aren’t built for it.
This isn’t exactly the standard online community fare that you expect here, but I think the lesson is important. When you see an online community that is massive in size or really successful, and you ask yourself why, this is why. There are no secrets.