This is Doug DeMuro.   An unassuming guy from California with more than 4 million subscribers.  His videos generate a million views within the first week of being uploaded.  

In this video, you will learn that you can do the same with just a camera and a microphone.  You will learn to create a win-win situation for you and the companies you will take the product from to help you grow your channel.

Unlike an unboxing or tech review channel, Doug doesn’t need to buy or receive anything.  He just drives to where the product is, and as he lives in California, there is no shortage of luxury cars and dealerships willing to loan him one.   With millions of subscribers, it is well worth the trouble for the dealers if only to have a short callout at the beginning of the video.

Doug’s videos are all structured the same way;

  • He introduces the car
  • Then his gives thanks to the dealer or person that lent him the vehicle
  • Next, he promotes his own website cars and bids.  Then, he shows a vehicle currently on sale on the site, gives a short description and moves on. We’ll get back to that aspect of the business later.
  • At this point, the review begins.  Doug list all the vehicle features, starting from the outside and moving to the inside, talking about the attributes, his impression about them. When he can, he adds some historical facts from previous models.
  • When he has spent about 15 minutes on the topic, he takes the car on the road.  As he drives, he gives his impression of how to car his accelerating and handling the road, then compares it to other cars he has driven.
  • At the end, he returns to the video of himself standing outside the vehicle and gives it a Doug Score.  At this point, most viewers and I have already left, but for those that like to get the score, it will make them stay until the end.

The genius of the channel is its many anchor points or, should I say, a matter of branding, like calling it a Doug Score and showing the same old static white on black screen with his website and information.  The intro also never varies.  After watching a few videos, he knows that his subscribers have already become familiar with the structure and what will be discussed in the video.  But, mentioning it at the beginning of each video means that he knows that he is far from reaching everyone on YouTube.

This is something that too many YouTubers seem to be forgetting.  The YouTube world is vast, and there are thousands of channels with more than a million subscribers you have never heard of.  Even today, I just discovered a channel with 5 million subscribers that have been on YouTube for more than 10 years, and despite being a topic I really like, the YouTube algorithm had never shown it to me.  It will be the subject of our next video.

That’s why Doug DeMuro and others don’t assume that new viewers will know what to expect from the video they just happen to stumble upon. So they just introduce each one as if to a new viewer.   Knowing what to expect from the beginning is key for people to stay on the video longer and to get people to subscribe to your channel like you are doing right now, right?

How to make videos like he does?  First, you need to be ready to drive around a lot.   Unlike most YouTubers who review products in their studio’s comfort, Doug needs to drive and sometimes fly to film new and exciting cars.   As a new YouTuber, this is a decision that is hard to make as you can’t be sure that you will make enough money with that video to offset your expense.  Without detailed statistics on each one of your videos.  And without knowing what is trending at the moment, you run the risk of spending a lot of time and money on a video that will generate only a few dozen views.

However, when your channel is big enough, it works.   To prove it, you just have to look at the video that generated the most views on Doug’s channel.    It has 14 million views, and it is about the most expensive production car in the world, the Bugatti Chiron. (Pronounced – Sherun)  To film it, Doug had to fly to Toronto, Canada, to do it.  I am assuming that because it was the opening of a new Bugatti dealer and because Doug is famous, they paid him for it.   But if you are a small YouTuber, trust me, they will not.  So, you will have to determine how much money you are willing to invest in making a video that is either financially rewarding or at least will bring you many views and subscribers.

Now let us talk about the advantage of using dealerships or the case of a review channel; stores or restaurants as sponsors and not the manufacturer.   The main one is that you don’t need to be biased in your reviews.   When you borough a BMW from a dealer, you can afford to be a tough critic.  It will give you credits for being honest without impacting the dealership negatively and risking your relationship with them in the future.  

That wouldn’t be the case if Canon were to have sent you a camera to review.  In this case, any negative reviews which could hurt their sales will risk your future business with the company.  After that, it would be unlikely that they would ask you to review products for them anymore, let alone pay you for it.

Another thing that Doug DeMuro is doing well is not relying on YouTube ads alone to generate revenues.   That’s why he opened a car trading business called cars and bids.  It is a website where people can buy, sell and trade rare and unique vehicles that wouldn’t normally be easy to sell on eBay or non-specialized car selling sites.   This is a genius move as he can use these cars to make more videos that are in line with the spirit of the channel.   This is an added benefit to his subscribers and doesn’t appear to be a shameless plug when presented to them.   Let me give you an example. 

You see, that was a shameless plug for my Sci-Fi novel.   It is something completely unrelated to the topic. It is breaking the flow of the video and leave people feeling used.   It also makes little sense to do it unless you have a huge fan base that worships you and would buy anything you put in front of their eyes.  So, unless your name is Celine Dion, don’t do this.

But, in the case of Doug or The Lock Picking Lawyer promoting his own set of lockpicking tools on a lockpicking channel, a subject we have reviewed in the video that just appeared in the top-right corner of the screen.  Promoting a business that adds value to your subscribers makes sense, and you will be able to promote it repeatedly without risking losing your audience retention.

Now, how difficult is it to get dealerships or companies to land you a product?  Well, it depends on the product in relation to your channel.  If you have 100,000 subscribers and have videos that can show what you are doing, it will only be a matter of reaching the right person and waiting for approval.  It also depends on how professional you are.  Suppose you have insurance to protect the product. You also have professional video equipment, and you are willing to pay for the product if you damage it or give a deposit. It will help speed the negotiation.    However, if you have a new channel without any social proof and you want to borough a Lamborghini for the weekend, well, good luck with that.

Doing things at your level is the key to success in business or on YouTube.   So, start small and grow.

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