Category Archives: Digital Marketing

How To Get 1,700,000 Youtube Subscribers

Let me introduce you to Maangchi.

Maangchi is a little Korean woman with a warm, husky voice. She’s a YouTube star and maven of Korean cuisine. I myself fell in love with her penchant for hot pink lipstick and fascinators, her way of wielding a killer cleaver, and of course, her recipes. In fact, so enamoured of her recipes was I, that it took me a while to see what was behind them.

You see, Maangchi isn’t just a cook. She’s actually a freakin’ content genius.

Currently courting 1,700,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, countless visitors to her bulging site, and thousands of active users in her forums, Maanchi isn’t someone to take lightly (fascinators notwithstanding). That kind of pull and longevity – her channel celebrates 10 years this year – takes some serious contenting chops.

Success leaves clues, as they say, and at her most recent Google Talk, Maanchi dropped a whole mess of them. Google says this talk “provides a crash course in authentic Korean home cooking” but it’s actually a crash course in how to do content properly and be wildly successful at it.

If you want to create amazing content that has your clients or customers hungering for more, follow her recipe. She won’t let you down.


1: Do what you know (17:40)

“Write what you know” is a hairy old chestnut, but it actually comes into its own with your content. Whether you’re writing it, filming it, recording it, or otherwise manifesting the hell out it, it needs to be based on what you intimately know as an expert in your field. And it makes sense: people come to you because of what you can brilliantly do, which is a byproduct of what you intimately know, and your content is an extension of that.

When doing content, you should do what you know – and do it generously – because your clients or customers are desperate for your knowledge. In return for this act of generosity, they will reward you with more business, more loyalty, and more trust. As icing on that hunk of cake, they will also come to consider you an authority, or a thought leader. (These terms, by the way, can only be bestowed upon you. You cannot claim them for yourself without someone, somewhere, sniggering.)

Maangchi started sharing her recipes with the world because someone told her that she was great at Korean cuisine. What are you great at? How can you communicate that as part of your content?


2: Don’t run out of content (18:00)

Content works, but content is hard. This is because if it’s going to work it needs to be a) great, and b) regular and consistent. Stats from CMI tell us that it takes 15 to 18 months from the point you begin doing content, to the point where your content literally pays off in actual coin of the realm.

Do you have enough content, or ideas for content, to do you day after day, week after week, month after month, for up to 18 months? Like, really?

For most people who attempt content marketing holus-bolus, it’s only a matter of (brief) time before their content becomes spasmodic, and then sputters to a halt.

The first way to ensure you don’t run out of content is the obvious one: you need a strategy and a plan. That’s it. It’s the best way to keep up with content marketing’s hungry demands.

The second way is one that I’ve written about before, and one that every editor and publisher is familiar with: your content has to be incredibly specific. General content is fine for periodic sharing, but for the consistently-good-and-good-and-consistent content, you need to get as specific as you possibly can. If Maangchi had set out to do vids on the theme of Korean cuisine as a whole, she might have had enough for a few, albeit informative, videos. But because she’s filming recipes, which are highly specific, she will never, ever run out of content.

Make your content highly specific, and you won’t run out of content either.


3: Begin anyway (18:25)

We all want our content to be perfect. Guess what? It isn’t, and it probably never will be. You need to begin it anyway.

Style, voice, themes, and messaging can’t be prescribed and then executed perfectly. This is because the act of creation is in itself a kind of searching. The more you create, the more you discover, improve, and evolve. In other words: the only way to do content is to do content.

Or perhaps, like Maangchi, you’re willing to embrace the uncertainty of creativity but don’t have the proper gear. I get it, and I sympathise: I want you to shoot on great cameras and record on great audio equipment, too. But guess what? The gear you want will probably be obsolete tomorrow, or the week after, or the month after. So begin with what you’ve got. You can upgrade as you go (and yes – you should upgrade, but that’s a blog for another time).

Commit, and do. Perfection only comes with practice.


4: Get a home on the Internet (22:20)

If you’ve worked with the original Mad Scientist, Ian, and I hope you have by now, you’ll have heard him say how important it is to own your digital real estate, and how absolutely vital it is to put your content on there. Maangchi would agree with him. Almost from the get-go, she knew that after they watched a video on YouTube, a good portion of the audience would want more: more direction, perhaps, or precise quantities, or the same information presented in a different way.

Your audience – your market – needs someplace to go. That means your own, registered website. On your website, you have ultimate control over how they experience your content. You can take care of these people in every possible way. And you can easily direct them where to go when they’re ready for your services. Your website is your most valuable digital asset.

Social media might be important, but it doesn’t belong to you. Social media’s main interest is itself – not you, not your business. Use it, yes, but treat it as your distributor, not your publisher. You are the publisher in the content marketing scenario.

Mad Scientist_Violeta Balhas_Content

5: Create a community (23:00)

Powerful is the business that can create and nurture a community. Businesses that are actively engaged attract more of today’s most valuable currency, trust, and are able to get up close and personal with the most important people: the clients or customers.

This is great, but communities also have huge content marketing benefits. Not only do communities make your content into a dynamic, ever-evolving construct as they discuss and share it, but when you host your community on your website, they also provide you with the easiest solution to your biggest content marketing problem.

Let’s back up a bit. The reason you need to create and publish great content consistently and regularly is because of Google’s favourite F-word: freshness. If you do as Maangchi did and say, set up a forum on your site, forum participants will constantly provide fresh content by asking and answering questions, engaging in lively discussion, sharing tips, and generally being cool to each other. A little judicious moderation aside, that’s as easy as content gets.


6: Learn from your audience (27:00)

Maangchi’s engagement with her audience means that they are giving her something else other than the adulation and income she deserves: ideas for more content! And not just any content: the content they really want.

When you create your content, who are you doing it for? Your audience and market, or yourself? Seriously. Because it’s one thing to pat yourself on the back when you have friends and cronies telling you how inspiring you are for writing about your blindfolded hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, and another thing altogether to have someone say, “I was really impressed with that piece you wrote about hiring sales staff. Can I make an appointment with you so we can talk about working together?”

Listen to what the people around you are saying. Listen to what makes them happy, but mostly, listen to their questions, whines, and whinges. You have the solutions they want. Put them into your content.


7: Don’t lead with the book (30:00)

Books – almost all of them self-published – have become the marketing tactic du jour, with a bunch of self-styled gurus selling too many people on the idea that books are necessary for establishing you as an authority. It’s not about the book sales, of which there’s bound to be almost none, but about your positioning.

At least, that’s the idea. The fact, however, is this:

The flood of crap books by a flood of people who actually know very little, unleashed upon the most sophisticated market in the history of the world, means that your book will most likely languish, along with your position as an authority, or a thought leader, or whatever you’d like to be.


Unless you first prove yourself as someone who knows a hell of a lot (through your business, and your content).

Unless you first build up a loyal market and audience over the long term (through your business, and your content).

Which is how Maangchi’s cookbook has sold a vast number of copies and cemented her position. Which is how Maangchi is now known as the “Korean Julia Child“, Which is how if you Google “Korean recipes”, her site is the second or third hit you’ll get. Which is how she got 1,700,000 YouTube subscribers.

You can, too. Get cooking.


The 80/20 rule: A Digital Marketers reflections on the Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle has had an honored place in management theory since the 1960’s

In the early 20th Century, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed something peculiar about the world that he lived in . 80% of the land in his country was owned by only 20% of its inhabitants. Similarly, only 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained some 80% of the peas. In 1941, Joseph Juran read Pareto’s work and expanded on it, realizing that in many situations 80% of the output was contributed by only 20% of the input. Calling what he termed the “vital few and the trivial many” the “Pareto Principle”.

The Pareto Principle has had an honored place in management theory since the 1960’s, with many seemingly strange correlations being noted. For example, it has been observed that 80% of decisions come from only 20% of meeting time, and that 20% of a sales force will produce 80% of the sales. Similarly, when applied to other areas of life the 80/20 principle still seems to hold. For example, anyone thinking back to school may recall that about 80% of the trouble in classrooms comes from only about 20% of the students.


Pareto, Pareto Principle, Digital Marketing

The Pareto Principle can also be thought of as applying to our personal lives as well. If we think about the people we know, it is often 20% of them that are giving us 80% of the most grief, while another 20% are giving us 80% of the most joy.

This has been extrapolated into the work day, where it is often said that only 20% of what you do will produce 80% of your results, so that when faced with multiple things to do, one should focus on those tasks and people that will the greatest benefit for the least input.

This means that we need to focus on what our goals are and how we can best move towards achieving those goals. Within many business settings, our goals will be fairly well defined by certain Key Performance Indicators, or by sales and production figures. Unfortunately a large number of small businesses don’t seem to have any goal beyond “stay financial” and as such, much time is wasted trying to do to much with too little. For example, in starting up a new restaurant, it is not sufficient to say that you want “everyone” to be your clients. Rather, you need to identify a niche and tailor your menu and marketing towards attracting that type of client.

Much of what passes as our work day is often taken up by fluff and things that aren’t really that important. Do your pens and paper clips really need to each have their own colour co-ordinated paper box on your desk? Or would you be better off spending the time getting on top of your accounts?

The key here is that we all need to identify those things that you can do and those things that other people can do and to focus everybody’s efforts on those tasks that value add, while putting those that don’t lower on the priority list.

We often can get caught up in trying to do everything ourselves, but need to remember we have been hired for a designated role, specifically for the unique skills that we bring to the equation. As such, we are often going to be at our most productive when we are engaged in those tasks that utilise our special skills and we would be better off delegating tasks that require lower levels of competancy. (Just don’t do what the US developer from Verizon did, I don’t recommend this approach.)

For example, the Australian Army once had all of its soldiers do work in the various messes. Given that your average tank soldier has no training in cookery, the jobs that they would do in the kitchens were unskilled and menial. This was an absolute waste of resources. Given that the Australian Army had spent tens of thousands of dollars training soldiers to crew armored vehicles, and pays them very well, it effectively had the most expensive bottle washers in the country doing work that they presented. Eventually, common sense prevailed and civilians were bought in on the award wage, thereby freeing hundreds of soldiers around the country to to what they were actually trained to do and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

One of the best ways of implementing the 80/20 principle in the workplace Continue reading

Temperament Insights to Add a Bit of Science to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Once upon a time marketing was an arcane talent – a mystical understanding of human behavior that enabled certain magicians to understand their customers and make sales.  These days, an increasing number of straightforward tools are available to help business people develop the craft of marketing as a skilled practice.    One of these tools is the Myers Briggs temperament model.   Continue reading

The Mobile Age of Telephone Throwing – Art or Sport?

Ian and Andrew here discuss the quirky sport of telephone throwing in Finland. Apart from throwing his own phone, Ian along with Andrew talk about the infamous incident when Russell Crowe threw a phone in the hotel suite, resulting in being arrested.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss the phenomenon of throwing mobile phones.


Aaron Sorkin wins Oscar for The Social Network

Congratulations to Aaron Sorkin for his phenomenal adapted Screen Play The Social Network. It’s this kind of genius that has deservedly won him an Oscar today. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m not sure it’s right to say you’re part of the world. Admittedly, I’m a self-proclaimed Social Media junkie but I found it to be nothing short of a masterpiece!

Read the full report in The Hollywood Reporter.

About the Author:

Ian Hopkinson is CEO of Mad Scientist Digital and a Creative Advisor to many start-up businesses across the globe.

For more information on all things digital, you know the drill

Australia, I’m Back!

Today – Mad Scientist Social Media, is born. After over 5 years in the United States immersing myself in social media and entertainment I’ve opened the doors for business in Australia. We have people in Sydney, Melbourne, & Los Angeles –  all social media experts ready to work on your upcoming project.

About the Author:

Ian Hopkinson is CEO of Mad Scientist Digital and a Creative Advisor to many start-up businesses across the globe.

For more information on all things digital, you know the drill

The Business of Digital with Mad Scientist Digital

The digital marketing business is often at times misunderstood.

A simple way to define digital marketing is: the promotion of brands or products using many forms of the electronic media.

What does it take for a company to do marketing in the digital arena the right way? There are three main ways you can break it down:

1. A good digital marketing company has to be able to manage the often complex customer relationship in both digital and traditional

2. A good marketing company has to be able to respond to as well as initiate dynamic customer interactions

3. To bring together big data from a variety of sources and to add value to their clients for better decision making

Out of the many thousands of digital marketing companies, most are snake oil salesman selling their ‘digital marketing’ expertise. An owner of a website should know what to look for before hiring a marketing company for their website. In this video, we endeavour to give you some helpful suggestions on what to look for before you get locked into any contacts.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson  along with  Keith Chagnon from the Los Angeles office, endeavour to give you some helpful suggestions on what to look for before you get locked into any digital marketing contracts.


Part 1-How to Avoid Digital Marketing and SEO Rip-Offs


As a business owner, digital marketing (and SEO) is maybe something you are very confused about. However, you may have found yourself to be a victim of some fast talking sales person’s pitch or an email which promised you ‘guaranteed number 1 rankings’ on Google  in a very short period of time. Needless to say, more than likely it never happened. All that did happen was that your bank account was a little less full.

In an attempt to clean up the industry which is full of con artists and snake oil merchants, we have put together a small series of Google Hangouts with a list of what to watch out for BEFORE you sign ANY contract with an SEO company.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss how to avoid being ripped off when you engage the services of a digital marketing company.


Expert SEO and the Streisand Effect

What does Expert SEO have to do with the Streisand Effect? Great question. Find out in this latest installment when Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson explain how some recent comments from a fellow YouTuber sent our views soaring higher than ever. The only way to describe the irony of these classic digital situations is ‘Poetry in Motion.’

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss what expert seo has to do with The Streisand Effect?


Do You Know If You Are Using A Cheap SEO Service?

Ian and Andrew revisit the dangers posed to businesses when choosing to use cheap and nasty SEO companies. The potential risks and outcomes are discussed.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss the risks a business takes by using cheap seo companies.