How To Get 1 Million Viewers in 48 Hours (For Free)

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My brother, David Ward, is a talented videographer, producer, and director, and has helped me and Jynell with a lot of our videos.  He lives in Austin, the second film capital of the world.  I’ll never forget the time David called me, full of excitement, to update me on how one of his videos that he posted on YouTube has gotten over 2 million views in just 10 days.  It had gotten over 1 million views in just 2 days.Let’s stop and think about that for a minute.  There were over 1,000,000 people who watched my brother’s video on YouTube in a two day time period.  And over 2,000,000 people who watched it in 10 days.

That’s a lot of people.

And that’s a lot of exposure for my brother David and his friends who created the video with him.

Do you want to know how all this happened?  Someone posted a link to David’s YouTube video on the site Reddit, and so many people found it interesting that they voted on the story and made the video go viral.

You see, once the story made it to the first page of Reddit, so many people saw it, and started tweeting about it and posting links to it on Facebook.  Then, two million (and counting) people saw it and continued sharing it with others.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since it happened, so I could figure out the lessons to be learned from all this that you could really benefit from.

Here’s what I’ve determined.  There seem to be certain elements that made David’s video go viral.  I’ve done my best to translate those elements into a 5-step process that anyone can follow.  While walking you through this process, I’ll show you actual examples from David’s story to illustrate the concepts.

Step 1:  Come Up With A Catchy Angle

The first step is to come up with a catchy angle that millions of people will find funny, interesting, entertaining, or politically controversial.

In David’s scenario, he and a few of his friends had submitted their video to a contest for the super-bowl that was sponsored by Doritos.  Their video did not make the finals in the competition (although it should have, in my opinion)…but the video was funny and creative.

And when someone posted about David’s video on Reddit, they mentioned how they felt that the video should have made the finalists, and asked others to watch it to give their opinion.

If the friend who posted the comment on Reddit about the video had just said “watch this”, it wouldn’t have been as catchy as talking about how these guys made a really cool video that should been a finalist in the Doritos super bowl competition, but didn’t make it…and how that is unfair.

Since the super bowl was on everyone’s mind at that time, and everyone loves a good controversy involving an “under-dog”, this had an angle that got attention.

So it’s important to come up with a catchy angle that has mass appeal, or your story won’t have the qualities that will make people want to share it through social media.

Step 2:  Determine The Best Social Media Sources

The next step is to determine the best social media sources for your story.  For example, you may not want to post a blog on Reddit, since Reddit is more focused on interesting videos and photos.  But Digg, on the other hand, is more focused on blogs and articles.

The point here is that you need to identify the best social media news sources for getting your story attention on the type of site where it could fit in, and grab proper attention.

Step 3:  Submit Your Story

Once you’ve found the best social media sources, then you can submit your story there, or have a friend do so on your behalf.

But you start with planting the seed on one or more of the best social media sites that can get the proper attention.

Step 4:  Encourage Interaction

Then, you can encourage interaction, such as by responding to comments people make, posting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and your other social media accounts, etc.

Step 5:  Watch it spread

Then, if you’ve done your job right in coming up with a newsworthy angle, putting it on the right social media site for that type of story, and on encouraging and facilitating more interactions, you have a great chance of watching your story spread.

In my brother David’s example, his story made the front page of various news sites, including Yahoo News (as you can see in the below screen capture).  The news caption says “Funny Doritos ad creates buzz.  Three friends may have lost a Super Bowl contest, but their video has become an Internet sensation anyway”.

Since this all happened, my brother David has gotten a lot of new business as a result.  A lot of businesses saw what he did and started contacting him about making a viral video for them too.  And he now has far more credibility as a film producer because of this.  (Click here to check out his site if you want more info.)

If you put this 5-step formula into practice, it can help increase your chances of having your own videos go viral.  And as always, please let us know your feedback on how this works for you, or what you think of the article.

To learn other ways to increase your revenue, then make sure you sign up for our special Business Mastery Training webinar.

*Originally published as Issue # 61 – January 28, 2012 and as Issue # 189 on Wed, April 10, 2013

One Response

  1. Etsuko Brandler says:

    You should make an eBook with this post.

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