How Two Heavy Metal Heads Turned Their Passion Into A Career.

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December 18, 2019

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

David: Both Sean and I come from a touring musician's background, and we came together, and we found that YouTube was an outlet for us to express ourselves musically and scale-out and reach an audience and after that, we decided to make the shift to become music teachers in order to give value to other aspiring musicians.

Sean: David and I met in the touring circuit just with our bands because we're in the same area and then the same scene. As we were touring, we kind of saw that touring and selling merch and playing shows, that is not a sustainable way of life, so we decided to make the pivot over to making online content on YouTube and that was a huge game-changer. "We're not touring, this is way better."

How did you come up with your name, with the brand?

David: Originally, we were thinking, we will come up with something witty and kind of punny so that there are some ideas. We knew that would eventually we'd want to make the pivot to being kind of educational, so we had that in mind. At first, we were throwing around some really bad pun name like, "Get a Riff of This" like getting a whiff of this, but we felt that Riff Shop, just kind of similar to a thrift shop, was somehow less bad, and so we ended up going with that. We didn't really put too much thought into it.

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory!

Tell us a little about yourself and your humble beginnings.

Sean: For me, I've been playing music since I was 10, and in and out of bands in high school and stuff, and, music was always my passion and then try to study it in college but, decided to get a real job. I went through a number of adult jobs. My resume looks really weird. I'm working in finance, I'm a health insurance agent, if you need health insurance, I got you. Then I was working in tech, I'm in finance again and then as soon as I got the nice comfy tech job, I'm just like, "Hey, here's your scooter, have a beer, who cares? Have fun, Its Game of Thrones night, have pizza."

It's a startup tech job and I was getting paid well but I have that existential dread of like what am I doing with my life so it wasn't until I got to a job that I was really comfortable and happy. With that I realized that this is not what I wanted to do so I quit with not really even in a plan I just had a little nest egg that I saved up and savings, moved back in with my parents and I had seen David he was releasing content videos out there and I had done like some other YouTube stuff before working with him, but he was the one that starting the channel on the ground up.

David: I had a similar background as to Sean except that I got laid off, so I didn't really have a choice. That happened, but I think I always knew that I wanted to do something. I think deep down inside, I knew that I wanted to do music full-time but I just never had the courage to and it wasn't until YouTube started rearing its head as an opportunity to actually make it happen as somebody who's a creative person. I enrolled in Jumpcut Academy's Viral Academy and that showed me the roots or showed me the ropes and from there, after I got laid off, I told myself I'm gonna give this YouTube thing a shot and I had the framework that Jumpcut laid out and then along the way.

Sean and I since knew each other from touring bands, we saw that we thought a lot of like and then we both wanted similar things so then we pretty much teamed up. From there, for the next probably I would say two years or one-and-a-half years somewhere around there, we were strictly content creators who made music videos and we tried a lot of different music video ideas that some of them worked, some of them didn't. We had our best streak on YouTube when we were making anime-themed metal music videos and then so we hit a certain point when we made enough money to pay the rent and pay the bills, but as Sean always says and I think he so aptly puts it, "we were surviving but we weren't thriving."

We made enough just to perpetually survive and keep on doing what we were doing but nothing more. We were thinking what's a better way to give value and improve our quality of living and increase our income at the same time? Then we were selling online courses. So after we pivoted and did that, we haven't really looked back since.

Sean: What was making us survive was the amount of work that was required to write a song from scratch, record a song from scratch on our own, not working with anybody else, having the video idea, filming everything for a couple of days and then going in and making crazy ADD friendly green-screen stuff to make it visually appealing. We were lucky enough to crank out a piece of content in a month maybe two in a month, but the pace that we were working at we would have burnt out. I'm kind of jumping ahead because I thought, "What would you say to another person it was maybe considered what your workload could be for the content that you can create, what's the best 80/20 of your time and that's when we started our course creations as like oh wow, we could put in the work effort once and then re-release it multiple times and make it better every time too."

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing?

David: When you're first starting as a YouTuber, there's kind of this whole testing phase where you got to try different ideas on what you think will work and just see what sticks and then iterate off of that, but as far as a course creator, everything that we do on YouTube now is kind of working backward from our courses. In our minds, we think we're selling these courses, what type of content is relevant for people that would eventually want to buy our courses? Then we work backward from there.

Sean: The other thing was is that I remember, David and I did a couple of tracks together and we were releasing them, we thought this is cool, this is fun, it's working out but what again in terms of noting what our demographic and niche would be once we saw -- Weeaboo metal was the first thing that we did that just like, "Oh my God, metal and anime is exploding." Whereas like talking about you're in the friend zone is not doing as well as we'd like, but once we saw that "explosion", something's there and then we acted on it, then we wrote hentai metal, did Loli-metal with David's craft in terms of writing music. As David put it, he was testing to see what's stuck and then once we found something that caught some fire then it's just like divert all power towards that target.

How do you handle mental block (walk us through your thought process from start to end)?

David: At every stage, there's a lot of mental barriers that prevent you from being courageous enough to take the next step. Probably one of the biggest mental blocks was that we, pivoting from being YouTube content creators to course creators, was because, for a while, our income was derived off of crowdfunding off of Patreon, making enough money to survive but not enough to thrive. We hit a point where we realized, to make this course thing work, we need to stop doing Patreon, and we need to ax that source of income. It was scary because, at that point, that was what was paying the bills, the only thing working. But we saw the bigger picture, and then we had to tell ourselves that this was a risk, but this was the payoff. If we made it work, it would be far greater than what we were currently doing. We pushed through that mental barrier, and it wasn't easy, but we did it, and things turned out pretty well.

SeanThe other thing about the Patreon situation is that we only charged per creation. We never just passively charged per month, which is what a lot of other creators do. That was cool, but for us, we didn't necessarily want to position ourselves that way. We only got paid once a month. Saying goodbye to that "once a month payment" that was just enough to survive, was a big mental block to try and force ourselves to see the bigger picture. I also tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the content, content creation in terms of video or how we're filming, and things like that. So much energy was thrown at trying to get it perfect that turns down the quantity of what you can do, and it probably turns up quality, but what kind of game do you want to play? That was just a mental barrier of it has to be perfect, and it will not be released until it's a 100% perfect but what's the quote, "Don't worry about getting perfection, you'll never get it." Just something else I wanted to throw out.

Where do you get your inspiration from? (do you note them down somewhere?)

David: We pulled inspiration from people both within and outside of our nation. I know that I could point to a lot of musicians the way they would write a song would influence maybe, the way that I would write a song. There are certain ways that other people would create content that would influence maybe some creative decisions for me. I know that Sean likes PewDiePie so I know that that influences him a lot. We're always learning and we're always reading, and always trying to learn from people better than us.

Sean I think David said a couple of times that Filthy Frank is huge, as the OG. We saw what we wanted to do after watching that stuff.

Do you have any techniques you learnt on your journey that you can share when brainstorming ideas?

Sean: Something that I learned from David is how formulaic a lot of music can be and especially music writing, how a lot of things can be templated out in terms of songwriting structure. That was a huge lesson that I learned with content creation that you could start with a skeleton without ever having to really put in any thought and then just polish that down. It might get a little too granular up talking about what beats you should use and we have pre-made beats that we use for choruses and pre-made beats that we use for verses and it's drag-and-drop when you're working in a recording software, but other than that, I would say just getting better at using the tools like Premiere Pro for video editing and just understanding what ISO is and the barebone basics of camera image capturing and stuff.

David: I think you did a great job of answering that. Just essentially not shying away from using a tried-and-true formula and of course putting your spin to it. Creating content, there are certain principles, things in place that you got to do to increase the odds of it going viral and just adhering to that structure and not trying to go off and be too crazy. I think that's really what it comes down to.

Sean: Totally.  Not reinventing the wheel and everything we learned from Jumpcut, that was crucial.

What were your fears starting out and how did you handle it?

Sean: I was scared that it wasn't going to work, but then at the same time, it's just like, somehow, I had the balls to quit without a plan, and I knew something was going to work. The biggest fear like David said was making that pivot from YouTube into course creation for our students was probably the scariest moment that I can remember. I can't remember if I had a particular fear about all of it.

David: As Sean said, I put myself in a do-or-die situation or if it didn't work, then I would die trying. I don't want to die because I was even coming from a place of insecurity since I got laid off. I thought that I wasn't cut out for the "real world ", the corporate world, and with all of its politics. That's what my parents and what society has always said that's what everybody's got to do in order to make it to retirement and since I got laid off, I took it personally. I was okay if I'm not good at that, then really, the only thing I have even a remote chance of doing is music because that was the only thing that I felt decent at. That's why I was put into a place of "do or die". It is really my self-esteem, my livelihood was on the line, but I think that in retrospect, that was a gift in terms of having your back against the wall, and having all those bridges burned, the only way to get through is to just fight through it.

Sean: What's the quote? "Never fight a cornered man." The one that I will always remember is David's work ethic is fearless. When I was first starting with him, I thought he is working circles around me. I'm working with someone who really cares about what's going on and is putting in the hours, so I needed to pull myself together, or else I felt like I wasn't gonna measure up, but it was a good problem to have.

How did you guys handle negativity with comments, did it affect you?

Sean: Speaking for me, there's a quote by Wayne Dyer that really resonated with me or a story that I had and basically, it was like, two people from two different newspapers went to go see his event, one person was just like the greatest person in the world. I love him.  The other newspaper article said this is the dumbest person ever, why the hell is he doing this. Then what he did was if you focus on and believe the good comments, then you have to focus and believe in the bad comments too. It just turned into the balance between good and bad comments that you would get, but then you realize, you're creating for yourself at the end of the day.

You're creating it because it's what you're passionate about and if other people resonate with that, that's a byproduct of you being invested in what you're doing and unbelievably grateful for people that love what we're doing but even at the end of the day, it matters that we wanted to quit our jobs to course create and some people want to badmouth about us. We are trying to do something that we're passionate about, that's on them if they want to do that too, that doesn't necessarily affect my mindset anymore. We still get that every now and then. I'm just like, "You went out of your way to speak ill in a YouTube comment?

David: I only read in the comments to gather the data for a general trend of what's going on. Once I learned that I try my best to read into it, only to that point, and not internalize it as much. Sometimes, it definitely gets to me personally but you have to take it in context and you can't shelter yourself off from it completely and you can't totally read into it. It's an ever-evolving challenge, that's kind of our complicated answer.

What were your fears starting out and how did you handle it?

Were you posting consistently each week? 

David: When we. first started, we were doing each week but our quality was very low and then it wasn't until we started to spend more time and make fewer pieces but higher quality content that things started to take off. I know that there's this perpetual debate of quantity versus quality. For me personally, I think quality trumps quantity. That was our schedule. 

Sean: The other thing is the way that our content was positioned in terms of what worked and what gave us what we wanted to create it, is one of those things where it does take time to make quality as opposed to I see a lot of vloggers, or people that are like "Hey, I'm talking into my computer camera and this is my thing, I'm gonna get some b-roll in there." They could make quality content, in quantity. It just depends on the niche that you're in as well. It's like a double-edged sort of can you get away with just cranking stuff out? Some niches can, I would say with bloggers and things that especially if they're hiring out editors but with us, it was more of an artistic choice in terms of music and that takes time to process and create and see what works and the same thing with video ideas and green screen effects and everything else that we can do.

Did you have the funds in the beginning to start your brand?

Sean: We had our physical assets like a camera. We had some savings. I was unemployed for a bit, that is pretty much the extent of that, but it's not we're trust fund babies. There was definitely a finite period of time where if we didn't make it, then we'd be dead broke. I definitely remember it like, how much is Premiere Pro with Adobe? 20 bucks a month, $10 for each of us.

Did you get any outside help in building your brand? (mentors, courses etc)

David: Definitely Jumpcut was really helpful. There's this other guy, Jeff Walker, he's really helpful too, to learn from course creations. There's a whole lot of books that Sean and I read and so we have a lot of mentors from books. I've mentioned Wayne Dyer. There's a whole lot of marketers, creatives and our parents. We're learners, so we really try and just learn as much as possible and just use what has worked for them and try and incorporate it for us totally.

Sean: Dr. Joe Dispenza is another huge one for me. It just comes down to in terms of mentorship, you could be given all the answers, but it depends on what your work ethic is and how you can apply it. That's where a lot of the self-help stuff comes in. I know a lot of people are just like it's woo-woo crap, and that's totally fine, but for me, that's like, "Okay, my tank is empty, how do I do this?" Okay, let's just think about it differently and that helps so much in the course and content creation. This is exactly how you do it. I need something to tell me okay, I need to log into Jumpcut and watch videos to figure out how to do it.

David: The whole path of entrepreneurship is very lonely and I think that there's something really comforting in reading stuff, hearing the trials and tribulations that other successful people have been through and when I listen to that, and when I read, it's very comforting because it feels like I'm not alone because it's otherwise extremely lonely. In a way, these books, these authors, these mentors were some of my best friends in helping me get through difficult times.

I think one of the greatest things about having a partnership is that it's not as lonely. There's at least some other person who can provide you perspective and tell you when you're like in my case when my ideas aren't good for whatever reason. There's give-and-take so we've been fortunate enough to have this partnership.

Sean: The other thing is I would not trade the comforts of not having the stresses that are involved in running a company because, in terms of benefit to not, I'd much rather take on the stress of it for the greater good of the company, if that makes sense. There's another Tony Robbins quote that I like and it was "If you go the opposite way that the masses are going, your chances of success are greater." It's like, yeah, I don't hang out with my friends and I wish them all the best, I don't have the same drinking buddies or anything like that but focusing on this, I feel like I'm doing the best thing for my life and David's life and then also all the students and all the people that we can help with the content that we create." That's another random thing I want to throw out.

How long did it take you to see traction on your content? (how difficult was it to get your first 100 followers/subscribers)

David: I think that quantity of followers, that's kind of a vanity metric that in and of itself doesn't really have a whole lot of meaning so even though we have about 120,000 subscribers, I could say with absolute confidence that probably at least half of that if not more, aren't in our target demographic anymore and our content just falls on deaf ears for them. And not to dodge the question, but I definitely want anybody reading this to know that it's not necessarily about the number of followers, it's really about the quality. I personally know people with 300,000 to 500,000 subscribers that are really struggling to make ends meet financially and Sean and I have seen people with 50,000 subscribers that are multi-millionaires. That's my stance on that, but to answer your question, it took us probably about three years to get our current subscriber base.

Sean: If you reverse engineer how you're going to be working on your own and being your own boss? We met a guy who's doing investing or investment consulting and he had 10,000 followers on YouTube and he was getting clients through YouTube with his videos and he was making bank. He was making a crazy amount of money for 10,000 subscribers. I know other friends of mine that have run other music channels and they have half a million subscribers but he just got a job working somewhere else because he can't afford to live on his own.

Apparently, it's how your business going to work, it's not necessarily making videos, and then hopefully brands will reach out, it's more so like how can you see yourself solving a problem for somebody else because that's how you get paid. If the problem is the company wants to get more recognition in the marketplace through your viewers and to run ads and give you high dollar Adsense, that's definitely one way to do it. But reverse engineer, how this company's gonna work for you - before you start, I think is a really good place to start. If you're starting with a channel or you're in a channel and struggling financially, that's the advice that I would give you.

I've seen a couple of doomsday articles it's gonna collapse, I don't know about that but as David said, this is a vanity metric. It depends on your demographic target audience. Even companies view CPMs differently based on your demographic. They'll give you higher price points to run their ads or crazy low price points that run their ads. What does your demographic look like? Who are you making content for? Picture the end's like avatar first and then work backward. I think you'd be more financially successful and be a successful content creator doing that approach.

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

David: Think of a way to make money and then use YouTube as a platform to scale up exposure for that method of monetization. Neither Sean and I are doing this for the money, we're doing this to give back and of course we want the financial security that comes with it but the end result, we're not money-hungry people. That's not why we're doing it ,but still with that being said, you do need money to sustain any type of lifestyle. That's why it's of utmost importance to have that dialed down instead of just going in without a plan and expecting that once I hit a certain number of subscribers, I'm just gonna be rolling in money because that's just not how stuff works.

Sean: The other thing that I would say is

Learning through failure is more efficient than perfectionism.

Being able to fall on your face, that allows you to learn infinitely faster than theoretically worrying about something. If you're gonna be creating content, it's better to fail than it is to try and perfect.

David: You learn more from failing.

What are the mistakes/poor decisions you made, missed opportunities you got blindsided by, things that were hard for you to do things you had learn, other challenges/obstacles?

Sean: My thing is I've always wanted to do brand deals just because that is a type of metric that we could hit with a particular demographic that we have. I'm very happy with the way that everything's worked out right now but I've always thought is that leaving money on the table? Are we hanging on and waiting for something that we could be doing right now for other supplemental income? Also kind of learn how to work with companies that way. That's the only thing that I can think about. Other than that, we haven't done any brand deals since I've been working with David. I know David's done a couple when the channel was first starting.

David: Sean and I have done pretty well in terms of just moving fast. There's stuff that we could only have seen, for me, there's only mistakes that I wish I'd done differently in hindsight, but I'm happy knowing that nothing's gonna be perfect and there are gonna be mistakes. I'm much happier that we made mistakes to begin with and we did it as opposed to never doing it at all. To give you an example is we were just doing a launch and then we thought we should do it this price point and go all-out with the launch. We find out that price point is probably too high so then we learned from this experience, we're okay but next time, we'll probably do micro launches testing at different price points before we go on with a full launch. I don't think that we would have learned that lesson unless we've gone through what we did now, but I'm glad that we learned it because it's probably gonna save us a lot more money and headaches in the future.

Sean: Mistakes are always a good thing. They're not something that should be thought of as regrets, I know I've been learning.

Got any neat little tricks or life hacks that you can share with the reader?

Sean: I just bought mine, and I've been using it today, a Teleprompter stand. An iPad would be awesome, you can control that with your computer but if you have an iPhone, you could control it with a Bluetooth keyboard that I just figured out today. If you just look up how to pair your Apple keyboard with your iPhone, it just saves you so much time and it's so much easier to do. Also, key commands in Premiere Pro, nested sequences in Premiere Pro, what's the word David, where you could stack the videos and hit one for camera one, two for camera two or three for camera three?

David: Multi-camera sequence editing.

Sean: Multi-camera sequence editing is amazing. That is the biggest game changers in terms of my workflow.

David: My girlfriend is really a good writer. One thing she told me that stuck with me in a way where it's ubiquitous throughout all of anything that we do is that shorter is better.  So when it comes to writing scripts, songs, video editing, oftentimes, being more concise is a much stronger move than being overly verbose and having something really long. I would say more importantly is just having mental frameworks to make sense of this weird job we have, because there's a lot of imperfect information that we have.

That's required for us to make decisions based off of, but so long as we have these mental frameworks for example one, is the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle, that we use to make decisions. There are different frameworks in terms of what we can expect. This couldn't this percentage conversion rate out of our entire email list. We use that kind of framework. I think just knowing several different frameworks that help you make decisions, that's probably one of the bigger mental hacks that we've benefited from.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Sean: I would say the third video David and I did was Weeaboo metal, that was the first video I ever made that got over a million hits getting 100,000 subscribers.

David: The plaque was pretty cool.

Sean: Yeah, the 10,000 subscriber plaque was cool. I got to find that. Making our first product, that was huge.

David: There's a couple, because we're in music, there's a lot of people that do reaction videos. There is this one channel with over a million subscribers do a reaction video on one of our music videos and that was really cool because I like their content.

Sean: I would say it's seeing other reaction YouTubers filming themselves watching our video, that's the coolest thing. I just watched a 12-year-old kid watch it laughing his face off and pausing it. And of course, that's not even taking into consideration, on an occasional basis, we get emails from fans saying that they really enjoyed the content and it helped them get through a difficult day so that's always very heartwarming.

David: When we're making courses, we have the ability to also help people on a way more personal level so as a result, we got a lot more personalized reactions and personal advice and help that we can give these people that meant so much to them that we probably wouldn't be able to get through in a video on YouTube.

Sean: Going just through emails like David said, that's a huge payoff as well.

David: A philosophy that I feel strongly about is that what you do, you should feel. Of course, it's got to pay the bills, you should feel it's much more than that, you should feel it's more fulfilling. I think whether or not it's being creatively fulfilled or leaving a positive impact on the world, the avenue of a content creator/course creator has allowed us to get a lot of those higher-level demands met so we're fortunate that way.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

Did you do a collab with another creator?

Sean: I would say that was another huge milestone. Somehow we were able to reach out with this band I loved, Brojob, I would ever have dreamed that I'd be able to work with them.

David: When we got Jake on there, I was just like, "What?" I was playing it cool, but that blew my mind. I didn't know that you're a big Brojob fan.

Sean: I listened to them years before I met you. We did a collab with him on our hentai metal track and he crushed it, that was awesome. Collaborations with him and then David had reached out to a guy in Noble Pause to do a reaction video to our music video, that was a really good shot in the arm.

How did you reach out to these people? Did you use just like a cold email?

David: For Noble, we reached out via cold email but I think a lot of them are our subscribers who had been leaving comments on his, so it was it wasn't super cold. I think he was at the very least probably just aware of our existence and that's the cool thing because the YouTube world seems very big, but there are very few people who are doing what you're doing in the same niche in the same category. I feel like people start to catch wind of each other once you pass a certain threshold.

Sean: There's another quick shout out I wanted to give. We were able to meet up and work with Lindsey Rae for a little bit. She was another reason why and inspiration for the channel Riff Shop in general because when Riff Shop first started, they were making a lot of how-tos, like how to drive a stick shift, how to tie a tie, how to do laundry and that was really noted on how to cook a meal.

David: That was a big milestone to work with someone who had inspired the basis of the channel I'd say.

Did you hire someone to handle your marketing stuff?

Sean: We do Facebook ads and we put money into the look-alike function on Facebook Ads, that's probably as much outsourcing as we've done. We've definitely talked about outsourcing certain parts of the company like editing, but that's pretty much as far as we've gotten.

With the Facebook ad that you did, did it do well? Was there something to learn from that?

Sean: I think we've gotten a pretty good cost per results. There are some nuances to that so I'll just say yeah.

Did you post into any groups?

David: We posted groups but there's this weird catch-22 when it comes to promoting and growth hacking content where if you have to really push hard and market your content, then that probably means that your content isn't that good, but on the other hand, if your content's really good, then you don't have to push it because it just pushes itself. We'd much rather just work on the next video or the next idea than spend two days growth hacking it and trying to push it on Reddit and stuff.

Sean: Certain things with growth hacking strategies are good badges for later on just to note that you have been featured on the front page of Reddit or you have been featured in metal magazines or something like that as David has done. I think he put it very well if you have to push super hard to get your content out there, then it's probably not the best piece of content, but later on down the road after you have marketed yourselves and maybe you have tried avenues like Reddit, being able to say we've been featured on the front page of Reddit, we've been featured on all these metal magazines and metal forums and stuff, those are great ways to market yourself at a later point. I wouldn't say necessarily it's something that you should stray away from marketing, but note that it's not the end all be all, and it's a resume item.

Sean: That is the one thing that I will say about being able to post on social sites, it's like marketing is built into good content. It's kind of apples and oranges, but the new CyberTREK, they spent zero dollars on marketing, they just had that crazy truck reveal show that was a post on YouTube that was gonna happen anyway. Content like that just gets viral and therefore people just, "Did you check this dude out?" That's not only word of mouth, but friends sharing with other friends, that's infinitely more valuable than doing Facebook ads or something.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships?

David: We're definitely not experts in terms of we haven't done a whole lot of it just because historically, we've preferred other ways of monetization, but yeah we've done a couple of brand deals one with Dollar Shave Club, one with a headphone company. They're fun to do but it just never made sense for us. Maybe now it does, historically, there are other things that we prioritized.

Sean: Tailing off that, the big thing that I started taking them for David was you don't want to give your audience option paralysis. What I mean by that is in terms of your call to action, why did you make this video? You want to say it's an either to subscribe to the channel or in our case, we were doing crowdfunding for Patreon. If we were doing other videos that also had an ad somewhere at the end of the video, it's like hey sign up for our Patreon, also Dollar Shave Club is amazing and don't forget our other sponsors in the description, the person's less likely to do any one of the options as opposed if you give them one option. What we did for the longest time I guess if we were to do a brand deal was with ourselves and our Patreon.

Every single video we did like, subscribe to our Patreon, it's awesome or maybe we got shirts or something like that. There is definitely a benefit I've said earlier about why brand deals could be the lifeblood of a lot of channels. But for us it was okay, what is the one thing we can focus on right now 53:42 and that was crowdfunding so literally, every time we did a call to action, it was to our Patreon and if we were to get another brand deal then that kind of like if you want the artist to sign up for a Nord VPN and give you five bucks for your song, you can choose your battle there.

Do you guys still have a Patreon page? Is it still running?

Sean: We do, the other thing is that David and I act a little bit differently than other people that have Patreon pages and Patrons, a lot of people do the passive income route which is just every month, they just get charged. The way we have it set up is everyone has their own spheres and we have ours obviously, but we only charge per creation of content. As David and I have been talking, if we're gonna make David's screaming transformation that doesn't really make sense if we charge the patrons that signed up for hentai metal.

We don't want to leave a sour taste in their mouths, we don't want to make a quick buck on a bad relationship if that makes sense. We'd rather go in the red and have people say if those guys are awesome for later relationship building. That's just one thing that I wanted to lay out there for our Patreon page. It's active, people can still subscribe but we haven't cashed out on that thing for-- I don't even remember the last time we cashed on it.

David: I think it was for our Joji cover of Slow Dancing in the Dark. It's just funny that was our lifeblood for the longest time that we were afraid to say no to and now it's something that we're just like, "Oh yeah, we still have a page." We love all of our patrons to death, but it's not the primary focus right now for the company.

Sean: Not all content is the same in terms of the eyes of CPMs of companies like how much they want to pay. Is your demographic going to align with theirs for a higher-paying brand that wants to run their ads on your video, but Google Adsense is not something to rely on in our case. Some people like Shelby Church, or the young real estate investor guy, I can't remember his name right now but and he makes tons of money on ad revenue. His thing is hey, I bought a Tesla and it turns out at $78 a month. The ad revenue and the ad types of brands that wanted to run ads on that were crazy high comparatively to us where I think we've made under a thousand dollars in the entire span of our YouTube.

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