How to Create a Viral Book Trailer (or Get 1,000,000 Views for Almost Anything)

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How do you create a viral video?

I am asked this quite a lot. I’ve been asked by authors, TV producers, and first-time Kickstarter entrepreneurs. In my experience, the answers are the same for all of them.

In this post, I’ll deconstruct one example: The 4-Hour Chef (4HC) book trailer, which is now the most-viewed non-fiction book trailer of all time. Roughly 1.5 million views and counting.

Before we dig in…

First, let’s make a distinction: creating a “viral” video is not the same a creating a “popular” video, but both can be valuable.

If you use ads to drive 1,000,000+ views, a video is not viral; it is popular. If your views come from organic sharing (or incentivized sharing like DropBox), it can be considered viral.

This post is also intended as a companion to my post, Behind the Scenes: How to Make a Movie Trailer for Your Product (or Book), which goes into equipment, planning, and (tons of) other details that I’ve omitted here.

For later — below are resources that will save you a TON of time and tail-chasing…

Feel free to skip the box for now if you like:

VIRALITY RESOURCES:

YouTube Channel stats – http://vidstatsx.com/
Viral video chart – http://viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com/all
Trending videos – http://www.youtube.com/trendsdashboard

Good blog posts on the topic, probably in this order:
-http://gawker.com/5912376/
-http://www.socialh.com/a-little-bit-of-math-measuring-virality/
-http://tinyurl.com/bnowj55

Outlets that cover trends and tools in online video well:
-Reelseo.com
-Tubefilter.com
-http://newmediarockstars.com/

YouTube Creator Playbooks
http://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/index.html
http://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/guides.html

Now, without further ado, here’s how we got ~1.5 million views for my latest book trailer…

Step 1: Storyboarding

This is like creating a comic book for the trailer, scene by scene. It’s the same process used by Pixar, among many others (video example here).

Here was my first stab for 4HC:

Click here to enlarge the below.

Click here to enlarge the below.

Optional Step 2: If Budget Allows, Assemble a Team

For the 4HC trailer, I brought in several specialists to help with production and promotion.

Please note that a team is nice-to-have and not must-have insurance. To date, my most viral video had zero budget. Here’s what gets you 4-5 million views:

That said, I like to tilt the odds in my favor whenever possible. Here’s my A-Team for doing so when funds allow:

- Directing and post-productionAdam Patch
PR strategy and implementationRyan Holiday and BrassCheck
Marketing, YouTube influencers, and experimental campaignsMekanism (Thanks, Jason and team!)

But how do you choose someone like Adam, if it’s not Adam? You ask for proposals, of course.

Typically, before you hire a production lead like Adam (who also acts as a general contractor for the production team), they will put together a proposal or “treatment”, which includes an itemized budget.

For 4HC, since I’d worked with Adam before, things started with my storyboarding and an in-person lunch with Adam.

Below is the 4HC “treatment,” cobbled together from our subsequent emails and conversations. It gives you a good idea of what you might expect you see:

4-Hour Chef video trailer Treatment

Step 3: Shot List and Logistics

Once you agree on look and feel, you have to roll up your sleeves: it’s time to scout locations, find talent (if needed), and choose specific shots for a to-do list (the “shot list”) that you check off as you film.

Special thanks to Chris Young and the amazing ChefSteps team for letting us use their Mr. Wizard-like food lab in Seattle. We shot the entire trailer in Seattle as a result. Here’s the kind of fun we had (see first 15 secs):

Our full shot list is below. Note that “CU” stands for “close-up”, and “TT” stands for “tabletop”.

Step 4: Shooting Principal Footage

Not much to say here, other than shoot a TON of material when you have the chance. It’s easier to edit down than to add extra shooting days.

Below an example of original footage that will be magically changed in the next step. Here we used one of my favorite books as a stand in:

Step 5 – Editing

The first step is to cut down hours of footage into 120 or fewer seconds. This is tough but important work.

If you make the finished product look polished enough for broadcast, you might have opportunities (or make opportunities) to get it on major TV. Here’s the process I used to get bookings.

The 4-Hour Chef trailer was featured as my introduction on everything from Dr. Oz to The Hallmark Channel. It’s the perfect adrenaline rush and sales pitch wrapped into one. Especially for short-form TV interviews — typically 3-4 minutes total, with multiple hosts — you’ll be strained to get a word in edgewise. It’s fantastic to let your video hit the talking points, doing the sales job for you.

Now you have a “rough cut” of the trailer. This is first draft, without graphics or special effects.

Once the footage, cuts, and order of scenes is agreed upon, you arrive at “picture lock,” which means that the footage and length can’t be changed. Only at this point does it make sense for anyone to create time-consuming graphics, animation, or sync’d music. Something like this, for instance:

Here’s the complete progression from first “draft” to finished product. Can you tell what changes in each version?

Now that you’ve taken a shot, here’s the full commentary from Adam, taking you though it step-by-step:

And how exactly does Adam work his magic?

Let’s watch how Adam edits the opening atrium scene in The 4-Hour Body trailer, which also has roughly 1,000,000 views. But first, take a look at the finished trailer and notice the opening shot of me at my desk:

Now, we go behind the scenes:

Step 6 – Music

For The 4-Hour Body trailer, I chose music first (Splinter by Sevendust), which I then set visuals to. This turned out to be a licensing headache marathon, and I explain the whole how-to process here. And that was with the band offering it for free! For this new 4HC video, we had custom music produced after the video was complete. The talented Luis Dubuc provided a sync’d jam, and we were ready to roll. No fuss, no muss.

Custom music need not be expensive, and you can even use crowdsourcing with start-ups like Audiodraft. I’ve used them before as well (see here and here).

Step 7 – Launch and Promote

First, a super basic note on uploading. ENSURE YOUR VIDEO CAN BE VIEWED ON MOBILE DEVICES!

25% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices. I screwed this up for The 4-Hour Body trailer, and I’ve been unable to reverse the mistake and make it viewable on mobile; as a result, I’ve lost hundreds of thousands of views.

Screwed on YT
No option to change — shite!

So, avoid being a dumb-ass like me and get it right the first time. Back to launching once you’ve uploaded…

The 4-Hour Chef trailer premiered on HuffPo, then it was reposted to my blog here. When I announced the post my Facebook fan page, we promoted it through FB’s paid mechanism. Notice that this was all done on 11/7/12 and 11/8/12 — roughly two weeks before official book launch on 11/20/12.

One of the most effective promotions I did was a unique BitTorrent bundle of 680MB+ of free content. For the super-low labor involved, it drove fantastic numbers:

Watched the trailer on YouTube: 293K people
Visited the author’s website: 325K people
Visited the book’s Amazon page: 852K people

But that was just one piece of the YT traffic puzzle.

When it comes to YouTube, you need to realize what you’re up against in terms of noise: 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute. To capitalize on the opportunity (it’s the second largest search engine in the world), you need to plan. Spray and pray almost never works — your competition is too good.

So, what to do?

First off, do not split your ammo. If you’re considering ads to help drive traffic, do it when it counts: the first 24 hours, when you can combine it with all PR for a synergistic effect. Momentum begets momentum, and early success begets later success. I often pile nearly all book launch media/interviews into a 5-7 day period (Check out this madness).

Team Mekanism was responsible for 99% of all my YT-related PR and directly and indirectly 50%+ of traffic. BitTorrent and my PR that week make up the rest. Mekanism combined extensive PR outreach with early judicious use of TrueView ads and StumbleUpon traffic (Disclosure: I advise StumbleUpon).

Here’s Mekanism’s explanation of what they did, first as PDF with screenshots, then as text:

4 hour chef coverage from Mekanism

Bolded emphasis below is mine:

To help support Tim’s book launch, Mekanism took a three tiered approach: connecting him to relevant online influencers, hosting a contest on Pinterest (to expand his exposure among the female demographic), and promoted content within Slideshare.

[TIM: Slideshare is hugely underused for product launches. We used it for The 4-Hour Body as well.]

Online Influencers:

To drive widespread awareness of The 4-Hour Chef, Mekanism reached out to credible online influencers to help drive word-of-mouth. Mekanism reached out to bloggers and YouTubers across a variety of verticals relevant to each of the different chapters within the book. For example:

• Food Enthusiasts
• Male Lifestyle
• Science + Tech Bloggers
• Mom Bloggers
• Lifehackers

In researching outlets and people, Mekanism took an approach very similar to that outlined by Mike Del Ponte in his Hacking Kickstarter post. The key is establishing relationships, and ensuring your content/message is tailored to each individual blogger’s audience. To accomplish this, Mekanism not only crafted custom pitches, but also provided a wealth of assets that could be freely used: exclusive excerpts, interviews with Tim (live or recorded), his video book trailers, images, etc.

Without a doubt, the most engaged audiences were those of several YouTube stars/channels, specifically SourceFed & WheezyWaiter. These appearances led to thousands of comments and likes and contributed to YouTube being the second largest traffic drive to Tim’s target landing pages.

Slideshare:

We wanted to see if it was possible to get a deck outlining the benefits of the 4-Hour Chef on the homepage of Slideshare, vis a vis having it rank on Slideshare’s ‘Top Presentation’s of the Day’ section. Slideshare was chosen because it has a well-educated and affluent user base that matches the target consumer of The 4-Hour Chef (69% college grads, 37% have $100k+ HHI).

First, a Slideshare deck was created to outline the benefits/chapters of 4HC. Next, we did the math to determine how many views, and in what period of time, were needed to drive the into the ‘Top Presentation’s of the Day’ section. Based on our observations, it seemed as though 15,000 views within a 24-hour period was likely enough.

Having this understanding of required viewing density, we uploaded our deck and promoted it via paid StumbleUpon ads and drove the content to the homepage of Slideshare via “stumbles,” ensuring everyone visiting the site the day of launch saw the presentation.

Keep in mind that the sum is greater than the parts. Here are more of the parts, written in a report to Tim:

Slideshare Presentation
– Made the ‘Hot on Facebook’ and ‘Hot on Twitter’ section (on homepage)
– Was ‘Featured’ (also on homepage)
– Peaked as 2nd most popular presentation last night

Sourcefed Video
-#3 most liked & top favorited ‘How To & Style’ video of the day
-#5 most viewed ‘How To & Style’ video of the day
-#65 top favorited & most liked video on YouTube today (of all videos across all categories)”

BLOG COVERAGE
http://sourcefednews.com/workout-systems-roundup/
http://www.tubefilter.com/2012/11/19/tim-ferriss-book-trailer-youtube-4-hour-chef/
http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/my-interview-with-bad-ass-mother-fucker-tim-ferriss
http://www.tubefilter.com/2012/11/19/tim-ferriss-book-trailer-youtube-4-hour-chef/
http://www.insidehook.com/nation/tim-ferriss/
http://gearpatrol.com/2012/11/21/tim-ferriss-the-4-hour-chef/
http://www.5minutesformom.com/67553/an-interview-with-tim-ferriss-author-of-the-4-hour-chef/
http://newmediarockstars.com/2012/11/tim-ferriss-interview/

YOUTUBE INFLUENCERS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ggiUlMujSE&list=UU_gE-kg7JvuwCNlbZ1-shlA&index=2&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olSnJC3juXw&feature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw7nZmqiH1I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J8fiuG7z-I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAJBnwBxAWs

The goal of all of this, of course, is to build a rapid view count number that pushes the trailer above the noise. This then propagates into additional organic sharing, all of which sells books.

###

So, those are the basics of stacking the deck in your favor for online video. Most posts on “virality” are vague generalities, so I wanted to dig into the weeds. Hopefully you like this.

Are there any other details you’d like to see, or questions you’d like answered? Please let me know in the comments.

Posted on: April 10, 2013.

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91 comments on “How to Create a Viral Book Trailer (or Get 1,000,000 Views for Almost Anything)

    • It isn’t about only working 4 hours per week. The work in 4HWW is defined as something we wish to do less of. Looking at the subject matter, it’s obviously a labor of love. The day in day out drudgery of ‘earning a buck’ and checking inboxes is what’s missing here.

      Like

  1. Tim many thanks for this post. I am in the beginning stages of a product launch and there were MANY points you made that I’ll be drawing inspiration from for my own endeavors.

    I really liked the explanation of story-boarding and the information relating to the approach Mekanism took to getting the video going in the early stages.

    Like

  2. Tim,

    This is J.R. I have been a big fan of your work since I first picked up your book on Jan 7th 2008. It was between semesters senior year of college in Miami FL and I was completely lost and dreading having to get a real job. Anyhow I’ve been connect with your work since that time and….loooooong story really short have recently had a big breakthrough involving Zen koans and the concepts of accounting and entrepreneurship. It’d be great to chat about this for a few minutes. If you’re interested you can just send an email.

    With Trust,

    J.R.

    Like

  3. this is awesome. you’ve detailed everything from the storyboards and treatment to the production and distribution. this should be required reading for all filmmakers. thanks!

    Like

  4. Cool article. Here’s a question:

    Getting linked by authority websites is the most important factor to get ranked high by Google result pages. Are press relations and creative agencies more valuable to a muse than an SEO company when it comes to getting ranked higher?

    A little more detail:

    For a muse scenario, I’m wondering if you could delve into a little the services a company like Mekanism provides versus a company that focuses on SEO. Things have changed a bit with SEO since 4HWW came out.

    I have an ecommerce website where we sell pretty niche products. In order to rank for the important keywords and keyphrases, we have to do SEO in order to get higher up on Google’s results page.

    The hardest and most effective part of SEO is undoubtedly link building, and it seems like SEO companies seriously do not help with this at all. They claim to build links for you, but it’s extremely shady and they don’t disclose exactly what links they have built. When they do, they are almost always useless links. SEO companies seem really only useful for helping you with your keyword research, fixing title tags and copy.

    Getting a link from websites like Lifehacker or Gizmodo is incredibly valuable, but SEO companies seem to not be very good at that type of outreach or press relations. Wouldn’t the time/money spent on SEO services be better used by getting more press, specifically online, so you get more quality links back to your website?

    tl;dr: Linkbuilding is crazy important for your muse’s website. Is blogger outreach possibly the best thing you can do to help your muse, thus rendering the services of an SEO company useless?

    Like

    • Hi Allen,

      Really depends on the companies (there are good SEO firms), but I generally prefer PR firms with a lot of digital savvy, such as understanding the PageRank value of Gizmodo etc.

      I focus more on the PR side with known outlets as targets.

      Hope that helps!

      Tim

      Like

      • Yessir. As I was typing my question, I sort of started to realize the answer. I need to build my brand and in the process, the links will come.

        Like

    • Allen its seems you’re not clear on what your end goal is here, SEO is more about capturing existing demand in the search results whereas PR/media outreach is more about creating demand and awareness, two completely different marketing approaches.

      Sure there is some crossover and PR can result in decent links but you can’t expect an SEO firm to do PR work for you….at the end of the day an SEO firm’s job is to generate organic rank and quality traffic that converts, link building is the wrong metric to judge their performance on.

      Like

  5. I’m definitely going to do this with my first book. I’m just starting to write it now but I have big ideas! I have your book to thank for that, Tim.

    I’m still on 4HWW but 4HC is next.

    Thanks Tim, for being such an inspiration.

    Like

  6. This is a brilliant guide Tim – thank you.

    I’ve been reading more and more about Slideshare and your breakdown of the demographic there is really useful information.

    If you were to estimate a cost to produce the finished video and promote through those channels, what dollar value would you use?

    Like

  7. This is an incredible post. I loved reading it. It reminds me that anything can be done, and there is a way to accomplish any result you want.

    Thanks for sharing all the details… and congrats!

    Like

    • This is absolutely the secret we’ve seen with our clients on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Most projects fate is already sealed by the time they launch. By the 48 hour mark, it’s usually pretty easy to guess roughly how much the project will do overall.

      Like

  8. Ah this is great! I just saw yesterday that Psy had 1.5 billion views on YouTube. Prrretty wild.

    I’m curious to see what can be done by clever unsigned bands, and eager to experiment now!

    Like

  9. Hi Tim,

    First off let me say, long time follower love your work.

    My name is Shaun and I am 23, living in Australia. I wanted to give some thanks! This article was perfectly timed for me as my boss (at my 9-5) has asked me to produce a series of short informative youtube pieces on our company, will be referring to this post frequently.

    Lastly I wanted to make a suggestion, Being Perth / Australia based, it’s hard for me to travel to catch you speaking at any of your conferences. As I am actively seeking to do so, Here’s my suggestion.

    It would be amazing if you could organise something like a bootcamp, a week, with yourself, sharing experiences eating slow carb, training occams, developing muse generation techniques and just general lifehacking goodness.

    I assume there would be many foreigners who would be interested in making the trek to see you for something like this! Anyway just some thought’s thank’s again for as usual being a constant source of assistance and inspiration for many of us.

    Like

    • Hi Shaun,

      Thank you for your comment. Two things:

      – I’ve been thinking of a bootcamp, so thank you for the reminder, and
      – I should be speaking in Australia in November, I believe. Keep an eye on the blog for announcements!

      All the best,

      Tim

      Like

  10. Hi Tim,

    I had both a video and a product go viral in Brazil and beyond—accidentally!

    We released a new iPhone app called “Rego”, for bookmarking locations. Seeing a disproportional number of downloads in Brazil, I discovered that Gizmodo ran a story there about how the word Rego in Portuguese has a, let’s say, “special” slang meaning.

    I followed up to Gizmodo, telling my side of the story, in a video that was created ad-hoc, in a car garage and with no script or practice:

    http://www.dafacto.com/2013/03/22/rego-goes-viral-in-brazil/

    Gizmodo loved the response and ran a second article. Fast Company magazine then picked up on the video in the US, and it spread from there.

    I think it’s a good thing we decided to just roll with the name meaning discovery in good humor, as it led to a huge amount of press. And fortunately, Rego is an amazing product — Apple featured the app on the App Store home page in 127 countries — so the attention from the event led to lots of customers who ended up loving the app.

    So the lesson here is, sometimes the stars unexpectedly align, and viral just happens serendipitously!

    (BTW, I actually had wanted to reach out to you about an advisor role, because it’s a product that’s perfect for your lifestyle, but I couldn’t figure out how to get in touch…)

    Like

  11. Hey Tim,

    Great post! However… there’s a recent trailer that I believe now lays claim to the ‘most viewed non fiction book trailer of all time’ from Matthew Hussey for ‘Get The Guy’.

    MJ

    Like

  12. Tim, I hate to ask about budget since I was taught it’s rude to talk about money but no one else seems to shoot straight dealing on the topic.

    I understand if you don’t want to disclose amounts but would you mind sharing what percentages of your budget did you spend on each of the methods mentioned? Does hiring a PR firm like Mekanism make sense for a first product?

    Like

  13. Also thank you for the article Tim, the YouTube partners bit was very enlightening. My first reaction was to be worried about contacting the ‘youtubers’ when I remembered what you wrote in 4HWW about “finding Yoda”.

    Like

  14. Amazing article Tim! Thanks a lot for sharing such invaluable information. I come from India and the online PR culture here is still in its infancy. It’s fascinating to see how well-planned you guys are in your advertising and PR approach. Kudos for documenting each and every step so succinctly for all of us to learn from. You probably had a huge marketing budget but the best part of this post was that you gave us an idea of how one can spend the money wisely.
    Cheers!

    Like

  15. How did you incentivize the StumbleUpon traffic?

    I just launched my kindle book (and also did a physical version on CreateSpace) and it’s doing pretty well without any promotion thanks to Amazon’s awesome platform.

    But I’ve heard a lot of authors using press releases and getting tons of social traffic. Since StumbleUpon is such a disproportionate driver of traffic, I’m curious to know how you got it flowing?

    Vincent Vinturi

    Like

  16. Thanks for sharing multi-level solutions from zero budget (hard Egg ;-) ) to Hollywood type production and the entire process of launch with chronology.

    Each of your article I read, makes me go sequentially on 3 steps :

    – First step: Frustration of “This Tim Ferriss is so brilliant, at only 35″ and I feel stupid with zero good use of my time and life… :-(

    – 2nd step: Searching excuses for myself… Tim surely had better “teaching parents” who stimulated his curiosity, etc… and 1 year in Japan was surely life changing experience…

    – Third step: Honesty of internal voice remembering me that also people with more handicap than me have always done all I would be scared of. At the end all excuses are sophistications of fear/laziness lack of control and comfort zone.

    So coming to your blog is strangely kind of heavy process, but so inspiring at the end. And, timeless value of deep and complete articles, I love.

    I’ve always expected my life being changed by an old long white hair greco-roman type philosopher’s books.

    Eventually the 2 most interesting books I’ve ever read in my life (and I’ve “heavy read” daily 4-5h for decades) are 2007-4HWW and 2013-4HC written by a 29-35 years shaved head sport-man look author with orange t-shirts… ;-)

    Difficult to express how grateful I am. Thanks for having the exceptionally rare combination of digging into extreme experiences during 2-3 years + ability and will of teaching those experiences to replicate in simplest ways.

    P.S. sorry hope there’s something understandable in this comment despite my awful English, I’m French ;-)

    P.S.2 4HB was less interesting only in my particular case, because I’m dentist, so less surprises for me in 4HB (being already in medical field)

    P.S.3 That would be awesome if you could make more courses like the “creativeLIVE” one with Noah Kagan, Dr Kelly Starrett… Loved those videos. As Thomas Edison believed almost 1 century ago; video learning is the best way.

    Like

  17. Dear Tim,

    I am a big fan who just discovered your books and ideas. I am also am seasoned producer and enjoyed reading this post. But I have to say that I feel your title was catchy yet misleading and your post overly self-promotional. You have shared the steps to making a good video, but you have not really made a compelling case study of how someone who is not as famous as you are can get 1 million+ views.

    A celebrity like yourself who is a seasoned promoter should expect to reach a million views fairly easily, especially after luring readers to your content this way. But I am afraid the more common man will have great difficulty reaching these numbers following the very few truly viral tips you offered in this post.

    Like

    • Dear Ivan, you perhaps saw that the still most viral video Tim has is a zero budget one done in 5 min with his brother. (4-5 million views)

      A good tip is probably sharing useful solution to very common problem.

      Like

  18. I think on of the key elements here for video’s to go viral, and it is the same for Tim’s book or musicians, bands, ect. You need traditional off line media for publicity along side of all the internet marketing and online interviews. Great article Tim. Thanks.

    Like

  19. Hey Tim,

    I am assuming that Mekanism costed a fair amount to hire–––probably more than a bootstrapping entrepreneur might want to shell out right from the start.

    Assuming that I had access to pretty good video editing skills and I had the actual video production covered, do you have a basic estimate of the amount of time that went into Mekanism’s actual promotion?

    Thanks!

    Like

  20. Very interesting post indeed. Thanks for taking the time to put it out there for us. Have done a couple of product launches so far, and this is where I still have the steepest hill to climb at the moment :) This will definitely help!

    Like

  21. Good stuff Tim.

    Just reading the post gave me some ideas – I’m going to create a folder in Evernote for “Product Launch Ideas” and clip this as well as other useful blogposts into it – to revisit a couple of weeks before a launch.

    As you said…. the first 24 hours and the 5-7 day window are crucial.

    It’s easy to miss this the first time out the gate – sometimes you just want to get something up there with the thought that you can promote it later.

    But, yeah… I’ve definitely put stuff up and felt the momentum die too early on because there wasn’t enough legwork in the pre-planning process.

    Got to spend a couple of weeks planning the marketing out beforehand next time around…

    Like

  22. I just bought Ryan Holidays book yesterday, great read so far! So this post was also great timing for a new biz and video launch in May… My main question here is about paying this “team”.
    I’m sure you’ve been around long enough to know what your doing and who your dealing with Tim, but for a new startup whats the best (mainly econimcaly speaking) way to get the best team working for you?
    I’m looking at taking the angle of giving key players in the team a piece of the pie, even if only for a 3-6 month trial period, or a base retainer + sales %. A lot of these types of people and firms can be quite hexy, they might be good but who knows if they’re good for you, or if your new product / company is going to be received well…even if you’ve tested the Sh!t out of it…. any tips on payment arrangments?

    Like

  23. Greetings from Switzerland! Thanks a lot for sharing this Tim, I am thinking about hiring a company to do the book trailer for my language comic book, but I also like that your most popular video is you in your kitchen!

    Like

  24. I’m sitting here working on a strategy to increase quality (3-5% conversion rate) traffic to my t-shirt site. As with most people I’m trolling through the internet falling on the same boring article on “How to drive traffic to your site”. All of them obviously attempts to drive traffic to their own site by giving out “free content” like a good little internet marketer. I’ve read them all but I’m just hoping there might be something new, something that might spark that illusive idea that I’m looking for.

    Bottom line they’re all the same, but you break things down in such a systematic way that doesn’t just give you step by steps (because those tend to be generic) but rather you give the thought process behind the actions, which then allows one to customize the actions to ones own personality and skill set.

    Thank you, I have exactly what I need now to structure my campaign next week. This is a REAL blog. Real writing not just “content”. Refreshing, thanks.

    Like

  25. Thanks for putting this together and sharing Tim! It is very timely for me. I have recently purchased your 4 Hour Chef book but have been too busy at the moment working outside of a 9-5 job, writing and building a website for my own cookbook designed for travelers. However, I am very much a newbie in the online space. Even though I have had 2 good reviews and people think it is a great idea, I mistakenly misunderstood the effort it takes to make ‘something go viral’. So even though I’ve been a little disheartened in the past week, your post put everything into perspective for me. I am enjoying the process though and I will just keep going and keep learning :) ….and I’m going to make a video trailer! :)

    Like

  26. Tim, I want to thank you for these amazing posts the last couple of weeks. Not only is the content fantastic, but they make a great starting point for the over-preparation necessary to create our own amazing things. I’ve paid hundreds in hours and money for less than I’ve gotten from your last few posts. Thank you. You possess the crazy analytical brain I wish I had developed.

    Like

  27. Hi Tim – I am such a big fan. I have all your books, did your 4HWW exercises (times 5) until I finally got the courage to the leave the corporate world and stat up my own company. I keep buying your books over and over again for friends and family. Guess what? Now 4 of them also fired their bosses to join our exclusive NR club! :-) They are: my husband, my brother, my bother in law and a friend of mine. We are like a MASS CASE STUDY, Tim! In fact, I tell EVERY friend about your books and blog. If the don’t read you, they’ll never understand me. So you are a MANDATORY reading.

    I find this post ultra helpful because I’ll soon start “vlogging” (love it!) and I’m working on selecting a production company for a trailer. You prepped my mind with these steps – when I speak with the producers I’ll come across as more organized and experienced, which is great for PRICE negotiation – so thank you!

    My husband and I would LOVE to connect with you, if possible, next time you are in Chelsea, London (UK). ASADO and yerba mate with Gardel in the background is on us! :-)

    All my best,
    Alejandra

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  28. I think what I love most about most of your posts, like this one, is that you don’t just tease us with the 30,000ft view of an idea, you unpack it and give tangible resources that can help others take action on their own. Obviously most can’t duplicate what you’ve done, nor should they even really try (because they should focus on creating their own WOW and success in their own unique ways), but your ideas backed with the tools are very helpful. So, thank you for pealing back the curtain, sharing and equipping.

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  29. It’s amazing how much effort you put into one video. I never knew all of the little details you could focus on when making a video under 5 minutes long. I’m definitely bookmarking this read!

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  30. Hi Tim, massive fan of your work and this is my favourite post you have made so far. Bookmarked!
    Love the amount of detail you have gone into.

    Was wondering did you pass on any business advice on to Adam Patch?
    Be interesting on your thoughts of business tips etc for Creatives who provide a creative service. WIth so many variables in providing creative services it can be difficult to figure out a consistent business model.
    Would love to hear your advice, especially aimed at other filmmakers/ Video Producers out there.

    GREAT POST!!! Many thanks for your generous buffet of information.

    P.S.
    Be interesting maybe to see a future post on behind the scenes of your web series Random Show.

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  31. Your information about how to create a viral book trailer is very awesome and I very like to try it myself so that I can get much more views for any of my lessons as my profession is a teacher. You have shared a very good info about this and I very appreciate it.

    Kind regards,
    Roy

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  32. Excellent break down of the process you use, coming up with the idea(s) for something is really only a quarter of the battle. The real work comes in proper presentation and marketing. Well done sir.

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  33. Tim,

    sending auto-mails often happens in general culture – e.g. when bands try to show their new EPs or when the writer tries to break his novel through the media.

    If it’s not a secret, could you shed some light on the effects of preparing a ‘personalised’ content for every influencer you decided to work with? I’m sure it went splendid (well, we all know it did), but I wonder if you maybe have some numbers with it.

    All the best,
    Andrzej.

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  34. What a great article Tim! I absolutely love the fact that you always avoid the generic stuff and delve so much deeper into the topic than most other authors.
    Thanks

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  35. Thank you for sharing the step by step videos, diagrams, and cartoon storyboards on creating a book trailer. A lot of thought and work goes into creating an exceptional piece. The end result pays off, nice book trailer!

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  36. Dear Tim
    you talked about fixing or replacing the American school system, may I share with U a paper I wrote recently “ 21 century educational model “ ( 22 pages )
    a completely new concept of education
    Cheers
    Rafael

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  37. Cool, just to week after I read the article, the chance was given to me, to use the techniques, to promote the trailer for a musical I will be performing in

    I am really looking forward to see how it will work out

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  38. Great post again, thanks Tim!
    Could you elaborate more on what you did with the BitTorrent bundle? was it just a simple upload to meet searches or did the link accompany the video YouTube upload?

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  39. Valuable info Tim! The post would be a helping hand for the business involved in the beginning stages of a product launch. Various points being made by you in the post could be drawing inspiration. Thanks for the post!

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  40. Hi Tim,
    Do you know what video formats work on mobile? I have done .flv and .avi. Just curious. That is a good point to bring out, the mobile user. I use mobile even more than my laptop now.

    I am working on my video presence. It’s still in the rough stages of just getting comfortable in front of the camera. I am trying to find the careful marriage between selling and offering good content. I seem to teeter to one or the other.

    Thanks for the insights.

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  41. Hey Tim,

    Excellent post! I’ve produced two viral videos with 1 million+ views and I have some others that will follow. A great resource for anyone interested is the YouTube Handbook.

    Ny method has been to be constant, fill subject gaps, add details missed by similar videos, good editing (by not perfect), and just following your passion.

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  42. Awesome Everything.I really am inspired, motivated and better informed on how to create and market my book. Thank you so much.You answered many questions, that I had no idea would even come up during a project. I have two very important questions:

    1. Where is the trailer made with no budget, and how did you eliminate costs in creating it?

    2.How does one determine the audience, epecialy in an eclectic book that is written with a variety of verticals different in each chapter,such as The 4 Hour Chef?

    My current book project is a Creative Non-Fiction with a story of an abusive family, however each chapter differs showing things such as: Cooking, Poetry, Humour, Friendship, Spirituality and Self-Dicovery. So, how do I determine who is my audience?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated and put to use. Thank you so much for your time, efforts and expertise. Once again, Great Job! Bravo!

    Sincerely,

    Christina MacQuarrie

    I have been tryng to determine my target au

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  43. Hey Tim,
    I just recently found myself between work projects and my wife asked me to take over the cooking so I picked up your book and after Osso Buko, I’ve been promoted to Chef de cuisine of our casa. Thanks!

    I approached your book and the cooking as my full time job and being sort of OCD created an Excel spreadsheet with several of your recipes which I can use to generate a shopping list. I could have just scribbled it out on a sheet of paper but I work with excel so this made sense to me. It might be something other techy sorts of cooks might be interested in (and could possibly improve upon) so I’m willing to share it. Just let me know.

    Love the book – you’re making me look like a rock star to my wife and this is priceless!

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  44. This is a very reliable and informative article. Thanks for all the tips. And, oh, thanks for clarifying the difference between a “popular” and a “viral” video. I thought they are just the same. I’ve always thought that it is hard to have a million hits on Youtube and I just thought that these hits only belong to those famous people of a certain field. Now that you’ve shared the tips, maybe I could try some, if not all of these to finally have my own viral video. Maybe I should start building up my own group to have something like this. I so appreciate what you’ve written. Thanks again and I look forward for more of your marketing strategies like this.

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