Montina Portis is the bestselling author of YouTube Video Marketing Secrets Revealed and several other books. Her YouTube Channel SparkWisdom has over 20,000 subscribers and over 2 Million video views.
In this interview, Montina shares her best tips for marketing your books, products and services using online video and especially YouTube. Whether you’ve never recorded a video in your life or you’re already a YouTube star, Montina can show you how to create an online video empire without spending a lot of money or breaking your marketing budget.
Montina became an author after she heard Tom on the Internet Business Mastery podcast. It was hearing Tom talk about self-publishing on that podcast, along with meeting another successful indie author at a networking event in Texas, that caused Montina to take the plunge and become an indie author.
Montina has a unique story. Her mother did not want a child and abandoned her when Montina was 18 months old. Montina’s grandmother raised her until the age of 12.
Montina met her father when she was 18. He was in prison. He died after serving 19 years of a 20 year sentence.
Montina has been on her own since the age of 16. At the age of 19 she was a single mother living in a homeless shelter with her nine month old child.
She went from a GED to a Masters degree.
Montina has been online and on YouTube since 2009. Once she realized people were making money self-publishing their books on Amazon she decided to try it out.
Her first intention was to write a 20 page free report on making YouTube videos. When she got to 20 pages she realized she had a full book inside her. That’s when she contacted her friend from the Texas networking event and made a plan to publish her first book on Kindle.
About 75% of Montina’s first book came from dictating into her MacBook.
Monetizing Your Online Platform
Montina just retired as an information security specialist with one of the top firms in America. Montina teaches part time entrepreneurs how to turn their passion into profits and make their first $1000 online.
There are a number of ways that you can make money online easily. You can:
- Publish your book through KDP direct publishing.
- Teach courses online.
- Create a membership site and have people pay you on a regular basis to share your knowledge.
- You can also offer creative guides to teach people a specific skill they want to learn.
How Montina Got Started on YouTube
Montina started her YouTube channel SparkWISDOM because she wanted to connect to other single mothers and share her experience.
The name for channel comes from her nonprofit organization. Spark stands for:
- And activating self-confidence and inspiring wisdom in the single parent family.
Montina just connected the dots to come up with SparkWISDOM.
She started with a $14 Logitech WebCam from Walmart. She put it on top of her laptop and hit record. And she’s been hitting record ever since.
The one element that Montina credits for her success is her consistency in creating engaging content on YouTube.
The power of the YouTube platform is your ability to create a community without having to pay to play.
Montina’s first YouTube video is horrible. The audio and video don’t sync up. The video quality is poor. The video is under a minute long.
The reason Montina is successful is she kept recording videos.
Montina is nervous every time she hits record and posts a video on YouTube. Even now with over 20,000 followers she still gets a little bit nervous when she posts a video.
What makes Montina’s book on YouTube unique is she specifically designed the book to help beginners learn how to make the most out of YouTube.
YouTube is a place where you can preserve your memories.
With YouTube you can build an amazing community by putting out great videos and interact with your fans through conversations in your video’s comment section.
You want to put out content that relates to keywords and phrases that people are searching for. You want to make sure that your title is optimized for whatever keywords your audience is searching for.
“It’s not about how good your first video is, but how good is your 50th video?” – Tom Corson Knowles
Just like practice makes you better at making YouTube videos, practice makes you better at writing books. The first book you write and finish is going to be both, the best book you could write at the time, and the worst book you’ll ever write (assuming you write more books.)
Anything you do improves with deliberate practice.
One thing Tom did to help him overcome his fear of posting on YouTube was to complete a challenge to do one video a day for 30 days. A lot of those videos were sixty-second videos. A lot of those videos Tom didn’t even post on YouTube because they were so bad.
The experience of getting used to being on camera, and getting used to the platform was invaluable.
Montina hosts a 30 day video challenge every year herself. She usually does the video challenge in July and post the results on her YouTube channel. Because she’s been active on YouTube since 2009, you can see all her past video challenges, and the quality of her videos has improved noticeably from year to year.
Montina actually has a Facebook group where she helps people learn how to use YouTube to make money online.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t take the plunge and start their own YouTube channel is they are afraid of the trolls. On YouTube you can delete and ban trolls from commenting on your videos.
“If you look at a book like Harry Potter it has hundreds of negative reviews. When I look at a book I publish that only has five negative reviews, I’m not nearly in Harry Potter’s league yet. I have more work to do.” – Tom Corson Knowles
You can’t take the good without the bad. It’s just a part of life. A certain percentage of people are going to like your stuff, and a certain percentage of people are going to hate it. That’s just the way life goes.
How to Market Books on YouTube
Just because you put a video up doesn’t mean that anyone’s going to watch it or that they’re even searching for it.
The first thing you want to do is establish a YouTube channel. You want to create a YouTube channel and put 8 to 10 videos on your channel before you try to sell anything.
You want to make sure the audience can connect with who you are first before you try to sell them something.
After you build up a community of people online, you can pursue sponsorships if you want to.
When you’re creating your first videos on YouTube you want to keep them under five minutes long. People aren’t going to watch long videos if you haven’t established a relationship with them.
You can go on to Flixpress.com and create thirty-second promo videos for your book and upload them to YouTube.
You want to make sure that your promo video has a title that includes your keywords, or maybe the title of your video is actually the title of your book. You also want to put your book title and keywords in your video description.
Another way to promote your book on YouTube is to do author interviews just like this podcast and put them on YouTube.
Another thing you can do is take pictures and put them together in a slideshow, make a video of that and put that on YouTube.
You can also put videos on Amazon’s website as well. You can put videos on your Amazon author page, and you can post video reviews on Amazon as well.
If you’re writing a nonfiction book you can answer questions from fans in a video. You can do live Q&A’s and post them on YouTube as well.
If you don’t have readers yet you can get some friends together and ask them to have a conversation about your book.
How to Come Up With Video Ideas
If Montina would talk about a topic with a friend on the phone, she’s probably made a video about it. In the beginning, you shouldn’t be choosy about the topics you do videos on, unless you have a specific YouTube marketing strategy in mind. If you’ve decided your channel is about a specific topic, it’s still okay to be off-topic every once in a while as long as you remain true to who you are.
If you can make a how-to video, how-to videos are some of the most popular videos on YouTube.
Talk about something interesting that’s happening in your day or in your life.
You want to make sure that you look at the categories on YouTube and see what type of YouTube channel you might want to create.
Comedy is currently a popular category on YouTube. There might be something funny that your dog does and you might want to do a video of your dog doing that funny thing. Or you might want to do a video talking about the funny thing about does. Or you might want to do both.
Animals and videos are very popular and shareable on YouTube. Never miss an opportunity to take out your iPhone and record your pet. It will connect you more firmly to your audience, and show your relatable humanity.
You can do screen capture where you show people how to use a piece of software on your computer. The best thing about this type of video is you don’t have to put your own face on camera.
Another thing you can do is book reviews. You can do a book review and just have a picture of the book as your video component.
You definitely want to create how-to videos because those are some of the most popular videos on YouTube.
You can also record yourself cooking a meal for your family or friends. Cooking videos are very popular.
Montina did a cooking video on making vegan fried chicken for her daughter. Shortly after she posted the video the producers of The Chew contacted her about doing a cooking segment on their show.
Anything you’re interested in or have passion about, you can do a video on through your YouTube channel.
YouTube’s Privacy Settings
There are three privacy settings you can place on every video you publish on YouTube.
- Private where only you and people you invite can view your videos.
- Unlisted where no one can see your videos except for you unless you give them the direct link to your video.
- Public where everyone can see your video.
There are billions of people online watching videos. Start gathering an audience today.
Get discovered on YouTube
In every industry people are looking on YouTube for talent and experts. If you are an expert at something, or you have knowledge or a skill you can share with the world, YouTube is a great platform to get found.
Tom gets requests for interviews and business opportunities he never could have imagined, just from people seeing his YouTube videos.
The thing about video is that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. And you can quickly build a rapport with your audience if they see you on video.
Video also engages the three basic learning modes.
- Audio learners get to listen to you as your speaking on the video.
- Visual learners get to see you on video.
- Kinesthetic learners get to follow along with your actions as you show them how to do something in your video.
When people hear your voice on video and get to know you as a person they can connect you and your voice more directly with the books you write.
Videos draw people in.
How People Make Money on YouTube
A lot of people have the misconception that you make money from your YouTube channel itself. It’s true that some people make money from their YouTube channel through ads. But the vast majority of successful YouTubers make money from opportunities they get because of their YouTube channel.
They make money from sponsorships that they get through their YouTube channel because of their popularity.
And they also make money from any products or services that they sell by advertising them on their YouTube channel.
One simple way to make money on YouTube is simply to do a product review of something that you use and get an affiliate link and put it in your video description. When people buy the product through your affiliate link you get a commission.
If you want to start making money from YouTube, you want to put out good content consistently, because that’s what’s going to lead to you building a community that will enable you to monetize your channel effectively.
Another way you can make money is by partnering with a bigger YouTube channel to get sponsorships. If you partner with a bigger YouTube channel you usually split the income from your channel 50-50. The benefits to this type of deal is that you get better opportunities for sponsorships by partnering with these bigger channels.
Make sure in every video you post the title of your video correctly. You want to use keywords in the title that your audience would be searching for. You also want to put keywords in the description of every video you post.
Look at what people are searching for. Be very specific when you create a video title and description.
You can leave a video review on Amazon, and upload that video review to YouTube as well.
Uploading video reviews to YouTube is a great way to have people start thinking of you as an expert, because when you leave a video review they will associate you with the book you review. The other great thing is that you can post that video review on Amazon as well.
Other Ways to Use Video Outside of YouTube
You can also create video courses on course platforms like udemy and skill share.
You can also use video on your blog and on Facebook.
You can also use Google hangouts and Skype to answer questions through video. Montina likes to use video to answer questions because she believes it creates a stronger connection to the audience.
Equipment for Recording Videos
You can create good enough quality videos on your iPhone or android phone. Montina has a fancy camera but it’s really not necessary. Many of her videos were shot on her iPhone.
You can also use a tablet to create a video. When Montina is recording videos for courses she plugs her iPhone headphones into her laptop and creates videos using her laptop WebCam.
When you’re starting to build your YouTube channel it’s not about being fancy. It’s about delivering good content consistently.
The one thing you might want to consider investing in for your YouTube videos is a smartphone tripod so your videos don’t look shaky.
“An imperfect plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow. The same thing holds true for videos. An imperfect video today is better than a perfect video tomorrow.” – Tom Corson Knowles
The key to success on YouTube is starting as early as possible and being consistent in delivering good content. It takes time to develop a following anywhere. You just have to put in the work.
Another benefit of starting where you are right now and consistently delivering content is that as you get better your earlier videos will show social proof. People will see that you’re a human being. They’ll relate to you more because you’re revealing that you have flaws. You’re not trying to be perfect in front of them.
You’re going to get better over time as you practice creating videos and being in front of the camera.
Some people use teleprompters for their videos. If you have to use a Teleprompter, use a Teleprompter (you can use your laptop or mobile device as a teleprompter for free!).
Pro tip: When you’re recording onto a laptop camera look into to the eye of your laptop camera. When you look into the eye of your laptop camera it makes you look like you’re looking directly at the person on the other end of your video. If you don’t look into the eye of your camera, it makes you look like a video amateur.
“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product then you launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman
People and Resources Mentioned in This Interview
Justin Bieber was found on YouTube when he was a kid. Tom mentions him as another YouTube success story.
Arnel Pineda—Tom mentions him as an example of someone who became famous quickly because of their YouTube channel. He was a homeless guy in the Philippines, and he became the lead singer of Journey.
Philip DeFranco Montina mentions Philip DeFranco as an example of someone who’s videos are really rough at the beginning then get better over time.
https://www.internetbusinessmastery.com/ibmapodcast/ – a podcast about being an entrepreneur on the Internet.
https://flixpress.com/ – Make a 30 second video about your book
https://www.skillshare.com/ – an online learning community where Montina teaches.
https://www.udemy.com/ – another online learning community where Montina teaches.
https://www.facebook.com/MontinaPortisBiz – Montina Portis’s Facebook business page.