Joining me this week was Thomas Frank. Thomas is a YouTube sensation with over 2.5 million subscribers on his main channel.
This all started for him back in college when he first published a website called College Info Geek. Fast forward 10 years, that website is still extremely popular and has spawned a book on the 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades, which helped drive Thomas’s audience growth. He is now most passionate about creating video content that helps people with topics like productivity, how to live a better life, and how to create wealth.
Thomas is also joining the OnDeck Course Creator Fellowship that I’m running as he gets his feet wet in the world of online courses with some really exciting courses on productivity in the works.
This conversation had me furiously taking notes, documenting his journey as a content creator, as a value provider, and as an audience builder. There are tons of tips here that you can apply at home.
- What does Thomas do exactly? (00:01:42-00:02:30)
- Does Thomas consider his videos as the cornerstone of the content that he puts out? (00:02:33-0:03:54)
- At what age did Thomas start creating content online? (00:04:03-00:05:48)
- How seriously was he taking his content building on his website in the early days? (00:07:19-00:11:53)
- Thomas talks about how he built backlinks and the strategy that worked for him. (00:11:53-00:13:17)
- How did he go about his process in learning PHP and how does he tackle a learning project? (00:13:19-00:17:54)
- Thomas talks about what he studied at Iowa State University and what he did to generate income then. (00:17:59-00:20:09)
- In those early days, how seriously was he taking his writing, and what was his creative process like then? (00:20:10-00:24:00)
- Who was he writing for when he started writing? (00:24:10-00:27:00)
- How much editorial did he go through to nail down the structure of his book? (00:27:01-00:29:06)
- At any point, did he think about whether he should sell or publish his book instead of making it available for free? (00:29:07-00:32:58)
- When did he start to realize the power of YouTube? (00:33:22-00:38:00)
- Thomas talks about the first viral video he made and what made it go viral. (00:38:07-00:40:54)
- When did Thomas start to look at his video creation as a business? (00:40:55-00:44:38)
- Thomas talks about Flywheel Business Models. (00:44:38-00:47:00)
- Does Thomas have a system for tracking his ecosystem of content? (00:47:02-00:48:17)
- How far out does he plan his content calendar? (00:48:18-00:49:51)
- Thomas talks about how he views his Twitter account and how he uses it. (00:49:53-00:53:18)
- How does Thomas go about finding a new audience? (00:53:21-00:55:36)
- How does course creation fit into his ecosystem? (00:56:24-00:59:50)
- How does Thomas view the relative benefit of a large audience versus Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans concept? (00:59:55-01:04:19)
- “Never stop learning”, Thomas explains his view on this. (01:04:27-01:07:24)
- Thomas’ take on NFT’s (Non-fungible Token). (01:07:24-01:09:24)
- In terms of creating digitally signed copies of pieces of writing, how does Thomas view it as a creator and how does he view it as a consumer? (01:09:26-01:12:48)
- What’s the concept of Nebula? (01:13:11-01:16:46)
Selected Links from the Episode
- 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades – by Thomas Frank
- OnDeck Course Creator Fellowship
- 1000 True fans – Kevin Kelly
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