What 10 Years and 300 Million YouTube Views Teach Us About Great Content

Judson Laipply, motivational speaker and author of “Might As Well Dance,” joins the Content Pros to reflect on the evolution and sharing power of YouTube as well as how to best leverage your time in the spotlight.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Judson Laipply - Instagram

The Evolution of Dance (and YouTube)

Ten years ago, before the dawn of the big man on video campus (YouTube), Judson Laipply filmed himself doing a dance routine that was a comedic bit for one of his motivational speeches. He needed a way to post it on his Myspace page (remember those days?), so he chose YouTube as his video service because of its user-friendly layout.

After posting the video, he left for a weekend retreat without any cell or internet service, and upon returning home, Judson soon discovered he was one of the first people to become a viral internet sensation.

In Judson’s words, he experienced a “rocket booster of 10–15 years of acceleration from an exposure standpoint” as a result of his “Evolution of Dance” video. He would soon be the only person to be a guest on both Oprah and Tosh.0. He has also appeared in music videos for both the Barenaked Ladies and Weezer.

Judson explains that the only reason he was able to leverage his 15 minutes of fame so successfully was due to many years of hard work in his chosen field, something many viral sensations lack. He also speaks to cultivating a YouTube following, the state of social media today, and his career as a motivational speaker on this week’s episode of Content Pros.

In This Episode:

  • What makes YouTube so powerful
  • What makes a “successful” 15 minutes of fame
  • Identifying the keys to being an influential presence on YouTube today
  • Finding the balance between preparation and spontaneity in content
  • The differences between live and digital performance
  • The behind-the-scenes prep for success that the world never sees


Quotes From This Episode:

“To be successful on YouTube as a business, it’s not about having a video that has 295 million views. You need to get 295 videos that each have a million views. Because then you have an audience and you have sponsors who want to target that audience.” —@judsonlaipply

“If you look at some of the big comedians over the years, there’s usually one bit that propels them past that tipping point, but you don’t see their 5, 7, 15 or even 30 years before that. But they worked for years, honing their craft and getting good at comedy. But then something happens and everyone’s talking about it and everyone’s like, ‘Whoa, they came out of nowhere.’ Well, no, they came out of 10 years of hard work.” —@judsonlaipply

“YouTube is really revolutionary. Out of the top 50 programs, 20 of them were YouTube channels. People who have millions of subscribers, who, when they put up a new video, they get more views than CNN or popular tv shows who get millions of views.” —@judsonlaipply

“You definitely have to weigh what you’re putting out there; is this something that needs a little more work? Or is this something that’s good enough? If you put out stuff that maybe needs some tweaking, that may drive people away. But if you take too long to put out more stuff, then people will forget about you. That’s that paradoxical moment we’re in right now.” —@judsonlaipply



What did you want to be when you grew up?

Judson is one of those few lucky people who actually grew up to do exactly what he dreamed of.

“I actually have a journal entry from high school that said, ‘I will be a professional speaker.'”

He gained inspiration from his parents. “My parents used to listen to a guy named Zig Ziglar when I was in middle school and I remember hearing his tapes and seeing some of his videos and thinking that I would love to do that someday. I didn’t know when it would happen, but I always knew that that was something I was going to do.”

As the youngest child, Judson felt gifted with a natural aptitude for the spotlight. “I had that ‘look at me, look at me, look at me’ attitude growing up. So being onstage and being in front of people was always something that I really enjoyed. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of thinking and getting people to think and talking and hashing things out and having those moments of contemplation. Doing that while also entertaining them and giving them something to laugh at is the best part.”

Put on your dancing shoes and get motivated by Judson’s hilarious and amazing Evolution of Dance!

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