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Takeaways from VidCon's creator track

Nick Cho, aka Your Korean Dad, and some goon who looks a whole lot like me at VidCon 2023

Last week, I went to VidCon - the annual summit for video creators, which was in in Anaheim, California. It was my first time as a creator at the event. Though most of my published work is in written format rather than video these days, it was an exceptional experience.

As part of the creator track, I attended a number of panels and workshops. I also had the opportunity to meet with a number of creators and industry professionals.

Here are my top takeaways from the conference:

Everybody's people, and people are amazing

I was shocked at how many YouTubers / TikTok...ers, and other creators I met who were just... hanging out in the convention center in Anaheim and happy to talk shop. In particular, my wife Natalie and I had a wonderful conversation with Nick Cho, who you may know better as Your Korean Dad. Not only was he happy to be approached, but he was also incredibly kind and generous with his time.

He gave some great advice about building a fanbase. He starts every video with "I'm your Korean Dad!", which is an unexpected and memorable way to introduce himself. His videos are also very personal, and he's not afraid to be vulnerable.

He also has a very clear mission: to be a father figure to his audience.

Nick was kind enough to spend 5 or so minutes giving Natalie feedback on her channel Primary Focus, and bid us farewell with an unexpected "please keep in touch!" -- an absolute class act.

Stop plastering your logo on everything

I also went to a talk by John Green and his DFTBA colleagues Brandi Jessup, Sierra Schultzzie, Fraize, and Brandi Jessup, where they talked about the intention and strategy they put into designing and selling physical merchandise for their fanbases. The top nugget here: the best things they sell to their fans are high quality products that don't scream "I'm a fan of this thing". They rarely have a brand name or logo on them, and they're often subtle references to the in-jokes or memes that their fans love.

Stop designing t-shirts with your logo on them, and start designing things that your fans will love because they make them feel like they're part of a community.

Tools and feature launches for creators and community builders

Many of the sessions I attended at VidCon were focused on how to build and foster community, both tactically and technically. Here are a few of my notes that I wanted to share:

Patreon support for digital goods and free membership tiers

Patreon launched free membership tiers -- which sounds like something that should have always existed. It's a great way to offer your community members an inside look at your process, and to upsell them to a paid tier when they're ready.

They also added support for selling digital goods - like ebooks or exclusive downloads - which makes it even easier to offer your community members something of value.

An acronym as a tool for marketing

The AIDA Model is a helpful tool for brainstorming and structuring a marketing strategy. The acronym stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action: these are the steps which people tend to go through when deciding to make a purchase.

The indexifembedded keyword

Here's a quick and hyper-specific SEO tip for my all my fellow web-building dudes: the indexifembedded keyword can be used to tell Google to index a page if it's embedded in another page in an iframe. This is particularly useful if you want to mark a YouTube video as unlisted on your channel, but still have it show up in search results when embedded on your website.

This all has me thinking quite a bit about the role video plays in my life - I would love to find more time to share stories and learnings from my startup journey in video format. I'm not sure what that looks like yet, but I'm excited to explore it.

If you want to follow along, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel @mikebifulco.


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Until next time - be excellent to each other!

Takeaways from VidCon's creator track

Last week, I went to VidCon in Anaheim, California. It was my first time as a creator at the event. Here are my three takeaways from the conference.



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