Owen Video: Youtube/Livestream Coach & Producer, The Video Marketing School: “College Was a Good Time. But It Taught Me Nothing About YouTube”
Owen Video is a YouTube and livestream coach and producer with his business, The Video Marketing School, which generates multi-six-figures each year. He helps brands and businesses scale their visibility, authority, and profitability with YouTube and livestream content. He also speaks on the impact of video content for business owners at conferences like VidSummit Los Angeles, Video Marketing World: Dallas, and Power of Video: Belfast.
Owen’s Original Story: “College Was a Good Time. But It Taught Me Nothing About YouTube”
I run a virtual YouTube and Livestream coaching and production business that I started back in 2013 called The Video Marketing School (A.K.A. Videospot). Before that I was a videographer, and before that I sold radio ads. I speak all over the world on the impact of video content for business owners at conferences such as VidSummit Los Angelas, Video Marketing World, Dallas, Social Media Marketing World San Diego, and Power of Video, Belfast and have been featured in Social Media Examiner, TubeBuddy, Restream and more.
I grew up in a two-bedroom duplex in Long Beach, California. My parents slept in the living room and my four other siblings and I shared the back two bedrooms, my sister in one room and my brothers and I in the other. My dad worked for UPS and was rarely home in my older years. My mom was a stay-at-home prescription drug addict who did not pour into us kids, so no one taught me to tap into my creativity and passions. No one taught me how to prepare for the future. My parents were not college graduates and they were not entrepreneurs, so how would they know? They were just trying to survive.
When I left high school, I had no idea what I should do, or even wanted to do, in the future. I had loved participating in high school drama, but that’s about it. I just knew I didn’t want to be poor like my parents. So I was thrust into the world with no skills, and no knowledge as to how to navigate.
After floundering around in junior college, I got into multi-level marketing (MLM) and for the first time discovered entrepreneurialism. It taught me a lot about sales, which brought in side income as I waited tables. Although I was the best in sales at every job, I found myself getting fired constantly. I was too creative, and had a difficult time following the rules.
But, off the clock, I loved video and would play around with it with one of my high school drama buddies – making video podcasts, funny sketches, and dreaming of more. I even got to be on Judge Judy after a break-up with my girlfriend landed me on the show.
It was there that I really fell in love with the ability to create video for both the real world and the TV world. The sets. The lights. The conflict. The impact.
And then the rerun of my Judge Judy episode hit YouTube back in 2009, and people started reaching out to me on Facebook because of it. That’s when I looked into this new video platform that would change my life.
I didn’t start doing what I love until 2010, after getting fired from another job. I picked up my video camera and started going door to door to businesses charging $25 for a two-minute video for them to use on YouTube to get their brand out there.
I had never been happier with a job before. I was my own boss. I was doing something that invigorated me and gave me life. And I was helping people.
Then these businesses started asking questions about how else to use the videos, where else they could post them, and other internet marketing questions. I didn’t know the answers, so I started learning them myself and sharing what I was learning on my own YouTube channel.
My business was born. Videos started getting views and traction. My email and phone number started getting calls. And, slowly but surely, I grew from videographer to Video Marketing Coach. And I hadn’t even graduated college yet.
I ended up going to college to earn a degree in media because I thought maybe I could work in the movie industry or something with it. And guess what… I watched movies and TV and wrote papers on them. I did have to create some videos – and they were awful. I still laugh about that. In the end, I had a good time. But it taught me nothing about YouTube.
Everything I know about YouTube and coaching came from using and watching YouTube, talking and working with other YouTubers, and that’s it. The best video marketing coaches I know in the industry, including YouTubers, learned it on their own. My business knowledge came from reading great books on entrepreneurialism and business as well as hiring coaches to help me along my journey.
The biggest challenge I have had in entrepreneurship is trying to be too many things at once, just to make money. Over time I’ve learned to keep it focused. Be yourself. Do what you are passionate about. And do that thing only, getting better and better at it. Master it. Be the expert on it.
I started with videography, then rabbit-trailed into digital marketing and web design before settling on just video content marketing. It wasn’t until I got really focused that my message started resonating. I also had to learn some business skills and so reading books on that topic have helped me iron out those skills.
I don’t think you need a business degree. Entrepreneurialism is great when you’re a one-man show. But once you start having to hire employees and outsourcing contractors and such – you need to learn how to be a good leader, so learning leadership through books and studying others in the industry who do it well is key.
If you don’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer or in a career that requires a degree, then don’t feel like you have to do it. Learn customer service skills. Read books by successful entrepreneurs. Think about what you love to do and find a problem that people have in that industry. Seek how you can solve it and how you are better than anyone else. Don’t try to be like everyone else – instead, find your angle and your flavor so people want to work with you over anyone else.
If you are disciplined, creative, and don’t fear failure, you will do well. I’d also add to look ahead and see where the culture and the world is going. Anticipate the issues and needs of people that are coming and figure out ways you can help with that. I got into YouTube when it was still the Wild West. That was the best decision I ever made. I saw that businesses could potentially use this platform before they even did. And that led to an awesome business.
Find more from Owen Video on The Video Marketing School, on Twitter @OwenVideo, and on his YouTube channel.