- DIVER: Monroe Mann
- NATIVE COUNTRY: USA
- CATEGORY: Artist
- DIVE: YouTuber
- LEVEL: 2
- REQUIREMENTS: (Has reached 100 subscribers and you played a primary role in that happening)
When and why did you decide to pursue this dive?
I didn’t actually choose this dive deliberately.
Back in 2006 or so, when I first created my channel, I just sent out an email to my email list letting people know, and somehow, over the next 10 years or so, I just organically managed to reach about 144 subscribers. I didn’t really try to do it. I just sort of amassed them over those 10 years!
How long did it take for you to accomplish this dive from the day you decided to pursue it, and why did it take that long?
I honestly don’t remember if it took me 10 days or the entire 10 years from 2006 to 2016. All I remember is: first, starting the channel around 2006, then, telling people about it during 2006 and quickly forgetting about it, d) then uploading my music videos and short films around 2009/2010, and voilà, seeing in 2016 that I had 144 (or so) subscribers.
I really didn’t try at all deliberately to get the subscribers at that point—I was just creating content, telling people about what I had uploaded, and I guess people subscribed. But… once at 144, it stayed there for a looooong time, until I finally took ‘channel growth’ seriously. Alas, that’s for another certification and I will share that story in my next certification!
What do you think was the hardest part about achieving this dive level?
Since I already had a small following via my email list from my book writing and acting, I think the hardest part (for me) in terms of getting to 100 subscribers was a) amassing my small email following to begin with, and b) coming up with and creating content. I had no specific plan to amass subscribers (and in fact, when I first joined YouTube, it wasn’t even owned by Google, and I don’t even think you could gain subscribers). I was just making videos. Looking back, if I knew then what I know now, and if YouTube were as popular back then as it is now, and if digital filmmaking using just your phone were as easy then as it is now, I wonder if perhaps I could have gained a larger following more quickly. Alas, it’s a fool’s consideration, since we can’t go back in time…
What do you think was the easiest part about this dive level?
The easiest part was getting those first 100 subscribers because… I don’t even remember how it happened. In this case, the hard work from the prior 5 years helped me out, because when I shared my channel with my email list, a bunch of people subscribed. Also, making the videos (when you have inspiration) is a lot of fun! So there’s some advice: it’s easy to gain a YouTube following when you already have another following. Case in point: Kevin James (of “King of Queens” fame) started his channel just as the 2020 pandemic was taking off. In a few short months he had already reached 250,000 subscribers, and now, in less than a year, is close to 1 million. Why? Two reasons: a) his content is great, but more importantly b) he had a large following to begin with who followed him over to YouTube.
What is your advice for someone who is pursuing this dive and level?
Gaining even one YouTube subscriber requires a lot of trust. Most people don’t want your videos clogging up their recommendations feed, and clogging up their subscriptions feed. As a result, for most people, getting the first 100 subscribers is extremely difficult. In fact, gaining the first 10 subscribers can be difficult.
But… you must push on. While the slog from 100 – 900 can feel like forever (I’m currently at 746 as I write this), I promise that once you hit 100, you gain a measure of confidence. You start to think, “Huh, maybe I can do this after all.” But getting that first 100 is often very discouraging.
You see, when you first create your channel, you’re so excited, and you have big dreams and big expectations. If only 2 people subscribe after you tell all your friends, it can be incredibly demoralizing.
But… you must push on. Right now, I am soooo close to reaching 1000 subscribers, and I am becoming more and more excited with every new subscriber. I can see that milestone on the horizon! And the excitement grows the closer and closer you get.
OK, so what’s the big deal about 100 and 1000? They aren’t just arbitrary milestones. At 100, you unlock your custom url. Mine is youtube.com/monroemann And Break Diving’s is youtube.com/breakdiving Please subscribe to both! Why do these channels have customer URLs? Because each channel has at least 100 subscribers.
Okay, so what then about 1000? Well, that’s when you unlock one of the eligibility requirements for becoming a paid YouTuber!
So all you need to get paid is 1000 subscribers? No, not quite. That’s just one of the two requirements.
The last and final piece of the puzzle is having 4000 total watch hours in the last 12 months. It can be 4000 hours in a day or spread out over those prior 365 days.
To you reading, don’t presume that you know which will be easier for you: the 1000 subscribers or the 4000 watch hours. I’ve seen some channels with 220 subscribers and millions of views, and I’ve seen channels with thousands of subscribers, and comparatively few hours of watch time (estimated based on the low number of views). You need to push for both: subscribers and watch time.
Then, once you reach both milestones, at that point, you can join the YouTube partner program. I haven’t reached either yet, but I’m getting close!
My plan is to focus on the 1000 subscribers first (see above), and once I reach that milestone, then focus on the 4000 hours. Both are very difficult to achieve unless you are a famous name brand already, or stumble upon a viral video. However, as I said above, and as you may soon discover, a viral video with millions of views doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with 1,000 subscribers. I’ve seen many accounts with 200 subs and millions of views. So they have perhaps met the 4000 hours requirement, but not the subscriber count requirement. So yes, the key is the subscribers, because with 1000 subscribers, any day, one of your videos could go viral and push you over the 4000 hours, whereas if you end up with a viral video before you have 1000 subscribers (and that video doesn’t earn you many more subscribers), that viral moment was (perhaps) wasted… The best scenario then is to get your channel monetized first, and then strive for the huge viral video. However, ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you reach the 1000 subscribers and the 4000 watch hours as long as they are legitimate subscribers and legitimate watch hours. The days of gaming the YouTube system with fake subscribers is over—don’t try or your account may get suspended.
Bottom line: do not just shoot for a viral video. It may not turn you into the successful YouTuber you think if it only brings views, and not subscribers. Your fight for subscribers needs to be something you are actively doing on a weekly basis. Every week, week in and week out, until you reach 1000. Then, and maybe then, you can start focusing on viral videos…
What are some of the best resources you recommend to those pursuing this dive at this level, and why do you recommend them? Please include relevant weblinks, if applicable.
I think the best resources at this level are books and courses on marketing and sales:
a) The book Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
b) The book Guerrilla Networking by Jay Conrad Levinson and Monroe Mann (yeah, that’s me!)
c) Any books on sales you can find
d) General resources on how to use google ads to promote your videos. Note: you can do from your creator studio dashboard.
e) The breakdiving.io community, wherein you’ll find many youtubers like myself sharing tips and encouragement with one another
Bottom line, you need to be an amazing salesman. As I mentioned, yes, it’s possible that your name and videos alone will result in a huge following appearing overnight (cases in point: Kevin James went from 0 to 250,000 subscribers in three months during the pandemic; 3DBotMaker went from 1000 to 300,000 subscribers in just a few months too during the pandemic). But these are rare cases. Usually, you are the one who needs to hustle, sell, and make it happen. One subscriber at a time.
Is it tedious? Yes. Getting started as a YouTuber is not for the faint of heart, and not for the undisciplined.
Tell us a story of one of your adventures pursuing this dive. (At least 5 paragraphs)
I remember back in 2011, shooting some music videos for my album Get Off Your Ass. It required so much equipment to shoot and edit. Today, about 10 years later, it’s amazing that you can shoot (and even edit) everything on your smartphone.
This isn’t really a story, so much as inspiration for YOU. These days, you are not limited by equipment, or frankly, even by your budget. You are only limited by your imagination. You can plan, shoot, edit, and upload your YouTube videos entirely from your phone, and without spending another dime. All you have to do is use your head and your skills.
This means that if you want to gain 100 subscribers… you can. Just make regular content (perhaps once a month minimum), and constantly ask people to watch, and to subscribe.
How do I get people to watch? So many ways: via email, via text, by handing out custom promotional cards for my channel, by asking people to subscribe, by using google ads to promote my videos, and even by sharing my comments on other people’s videos, asking them to please subscribe <—-this last part requires finesse. You can’t just ask. You have to weave your request and the fact that you have a channel cleverly into the YouTube responses. Done correctly, people WILL check out your channel, and… with each new subscriber you get, the more credibility you gain, and the more likely someone will take a chance on you and subscribe. Done uncouthly, and you’ll get criticized for blatant self-promotion. Oh, hey, speaking of self promotion, please also follow me on twitter.com/monroemann and say hi on breakdiving.io/monroemann 😀 More info at monroemannlaw.com
How did you prove you met the requirements for this level?
You can find my YouTube channel at youtube.com/monroemann. Here is a screenshot:
I also submitted the URL to my YouTube page to the dive committee on Break Diving, and a number of members certified that I did indeed have my own YouTube channel with 100 subscribers minimum. I hope you will check it out yourself too, watch some videos, and if you like, please subscribe! Help me get to 1,000! I’m nearly 3/4 of the way there!
Will you be pursuing the next level? If so, why? If not, why not?
Absolutely yes! I’m at 746 subscribers, and the next level is 1000! I am almost there! Hey, will you help me out by increasing my watch time and then subscribing?! (Hey, gotta ask!)
And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Monroe Mann is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: ARTIST – YOUTUBER – LEVEL 2. Congratulations Monroe! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!
The author above wrote this WYSEguidance post as one of the certification requirements to become certified by Break Diving, Inc. for a dive completed. Would you also like to find greater success, happiness, and friendship, and make genuine supportive connections with others around the world pursuing your same dreams? We will certify you in your life accomplishments, and help you find new dives to pursue! Come join us at www.breakdiving.io and soon your story will be the next one you read about on this site!