This VET doctor explains how she wants to grow her pet food YouTube channel into a TV show one day
What would you say if I told you that you could grow your YouTube channel into a TV show?
You'd probably say that is a crazy dream.
But, Dr. Jessica Fusch, DVM, a YouTuber who hosts the channel, "Farmer's Market Fido" thinks that it is not so.
In her YouTube channel, she explains how to cook the most healthy food for your dog. Her channel has already become the go-to channel for dog lovers across the globe. She hosts a website called "Key Vet Care" and a podcast called, "The Biohack Your Pets Podcast."
But, what makes people go to her YouTube channel?
Watch the video below to know her YouTube channel secrets, her video creation process, and what videos have done well for her.
And, here are excerpts from our conversation.
Q. Tell us about yourself and your YouTube channel
Dr. Jessica: I'm a veterinarian, and in my 10 years of practicing veterinary medicine, I have realized that our dogs and cats suffer from a lot of chronic diseases. In my opinion, they are just way too common, like allergies, arthritis, ear infections, skin infections, even dental disease.
And then there is cancer. Statistics show that one in three dogs will die from cancer, one in three cats over the age of three or four years succumb to it. It's just really sad, right?
I think that that we could do better as veterinarians, as pet owners, as a pet-loving society. In America, almost everyone has a pet, you know.
Today, 50% of American households have pets, and they really provide us so much love and companionship. Studies have shown that they help lower your blood pressure and anxiety. So, we owe it to them to do our best to keep them healthy.
About my YouTube channel
So, my YouTube channel is about how to cook for your dog. Cats are a little trickier, they are actually obligate carnivores, and shouldn't be eating any carbohydrates at all. They're picky eaters, in general. So, I will get to them later, but first, my mission is to help more dogs get whole fresh food.
"My YouTube channel is about cooking food for your dog."
I teach people how to cook for their dog on my channel, Farmer's Market Fido, which is a fairly new channel.
I'm very busy working as a veterinarian, I have three children, and I have a podcast also called the Biohack Your Pets podcast. But, the YouTube channel is really great, because people can actually see me doing it. They see me making the food, and I'll often link like a recipe, that they can download later.
How can aspiring YouTubers become successful on YouTube?
I think that one of the biggest things is to make a channel that is actually serving a need.
Of course, entertainment channels are serving a need, we all need entertainment. But, that's not my area of expertise. I make educational videos on my YouTube channel for dog owners.
So, make sure that you are giving tutorial-like videos, telling people upfront what they're going to learn there and teach them something.
"One good way of doing well on YouTube is by making educational videos (how-to stuff)."
Most people are on YouTube looking for ways to fix their kitchen sinks, change the oil in their cars. They're also looking for how to make home-cooked dog food, and they need the information from a veterinarian.
So, I'm an expert on dog nutrition, and there are a few other people who have videos out. Most of them are not veterinarians at all, not that there's anything wrong with that.
I think the more the better, you know. I'm more about collaboration than competition, and I'd rather dogs be eating whole fresh food, so whoever they get the information from hallelujah!
I want people to hear it from a vet because a lot of people are gonna be more comfortable with that.
Q. How do you come up with ideas for your YouTube videos?
Dr. Jessica: Absolutely, and I have grown the YouTube channel almost double in the last couple of months, which I think is very important to share in this interview.
It is important to realize what my audience wants from me, and I was able to do that by interacting with my audience, by answering questions based on the things that they're really searching for.
I am utilizing keywords, of course, I'm tagging those videos and the things that people search for. There's a lot of different tools that YouTubers can use to figure out what people are searching for.
"I have grown the YouTube channel almost double in the last couple of months"
You can go to Google, and figure it out yourself. You don't have to pay for anything, just say, “How to cook for my dog?” or "Dog food," and then see what comes up. They'll give you a list of about 10 things, and you'll realize what it is that people are looking for, what they really want help with.
If that's your area of expertise or your passion, then you can share information on that. If you find one video does a lot better than another video, obviously, that's the type of video that your viewers want to see from you.
When that happens, YouTube sees you as an expert in that field. Viewers on YouTube want to continue to see over and over again.
For example, in a couple of my breakout videos, I've done dog treats, but I think that's been done a lot. Everybody feels pretty comfortable making a dog treat, no matter who makes the recipe.
But, when it comes to the actual meal or the whole food diet, they want to hear it from a VET. So, those videos have done better for me, which is obvious. I knew that that would be the case, but it's fun for me to cook for my dogs, including treats and other things.
"People want to hear how to cool whole food diet from a VET than anybody else."
What kind of YouTube videos has done well for me?
I've done a few review videos, one of which has done pretty well. So, obviously, people are going in there to see what does she think about this particular box.
Others haven't done as well, so it just is interesting, you have to kind of pay attention to what people are really valuing your opinion on, and do more of that. But, in different ways.
I have dog food based out of turkey, fish, and it depends, because not every dog can eat turkey, fish, chicken, or beef. So, whatever niche you're in, there are always multiple ways to tell the story, because it takes a few times for us to learn something.
"Whatever niche you're in, there're multiple ways to tell a story on YouTube."
So, if I love watching somebody teach me how to do YouTube, for example, I'll keep going back until I kind of get it. It's going to take several videos, before I'm like, “Oh okay.” Besides, you've got to pay attention to keywords, you've got to put those in, and it's the same for everybody.
You need to be consistent too, and it sounds so cliched. For me, it started about a year ago, it was the first video, and another one a week later, and another one a month later. Then, one more a couple of months later, and then back to back, and then it became inconsistent.
How frequently do I make videos?
Right now, I make a video about once a month, and a little fun video in between. A few months back, I did a quick video on how to use an Instantpot to make hard-boiled eggs, which is very quick, but so freaking helpful.
I think it's helpful to me because it's so much easier than having them on the stove. So, I wanted to share that on YouTube, and on Instantpot Facebook groups. That's another way to connect with people in a different audience potentially.
But, that video is not getting as many views as the full recipes, where people can actually get the recipe. But, that's okay, and I knew that that would be the case. I think my audience is fine with that, and when I have the help I'll do more.
Q. How has YouTube helped you grow your business?
Dr. Jessica: YouTube has helped me in so many ways. It works in a way to help me gain some awareness around my practice and the things that I'm passionate about in my practice.
YouTube is a way for me to help my clients, even the ones that I see in person too. I don't have to go through every single detail with them. I can say, “I made a video, here you go,” or, “I don't have time to talk about it right now in this exam. But, you can watch my video on YouTube on this topic.”
If they ask me, “How do you make the recipe?" I can say, "Please go to my channel, and you can see how to do it exactly.” That is another reason why I've started this channel too.
"I don't have to go through every single detail with my clients, I can ask them to watch my videos on YouTube."
Q. How do you create awesome YouTube thumbnails?
Dr. Jessica: I have learned from watching other successful YouTubers. It helps to have a similar aesthetic on all YouTube thumbnails. so that people start to recognize your thumbnails.
I don't have enough videos, for people to get to that yet, but I try to follow some sort of a branding guide. While I pay attention to details, I love variety too, and I like to mix it up, so they're not all exactly the same. Making all of it the same would be boring.
I try to follow some similar patterns, so that people could start to learn my thumbnails in a list of videos suggested, and then come back to my YouTube channel.
The other thing is a big, bold font. It's important to be able to read the title of the video when it's really small in suggested videos on YouTube.
You may have a smaller print in the second part of the title, but the title itself needs to be big and bold, and easy to read. Not like fancy scripts that you really can't make out when they're small. And, of course, bright colors, and cute puppies always help too.
"I try to stick to a pattern so people can recognize my videos. The font on a YouTube thumbnail needs to be big and bold so people can see it on their suggested videos feed.
Q. What is the ideal duration of a YouTube video?
Dr. Jessica: Really good question. One of the things that YouTube looks at when you're growing your YouTube channel, is watch time. So to increase watch time, it makes sense to have longer videos, if you have fewer videos.
Now, if you're able to make a couple of videos every week, it is nice for the viewer to have a shorter video. But the most important thing is to say what you need to say, in the shortest time possible.
"No matter how long or short your video is, say what you have to say in the shortest possible time."
I also really want my videos to be like a cooking show that you might see on TV, and so it's a little bit longer in those videos because it's me talking about using the ingredients. It does take a little bit more time to go through all of that.
Repurposing my podcast content
I show little bits and pieces of each part of putting the recipe together, and that takes longer obviously. But, the video about making hard-boiled eggs in the Instantpot was very quick. It takes only four minutes to make the eggs, and I'm certainly not going to shoot the Instantpot the whole time. I'll put them in, and come back when it's done.
But, when I'm preparing and adding supplements, those videos are a bit longer. I've also started to try and see if it works to repurpose some of the content from my podcast.
My podcast conversations are an hour-long, and I want to include all the ones that involve nutrition discussion, and I just haven't had a chance to go through them and put them all up there yet.
But, I want to make a slideshow and the YouTube thumbnails, the graphics that go with it, and it takes time to make a slideshow. That's an hour-long and makes it interesting certainly.
"I'm trying to see if I can repurpose some of my content from my podcast. I've had great conversations with amazing guests on that, which I want to convert into slideshows for my YouTube channel."
It's fun and I think getting that information out there in every way, that I can is really important. So, I just don't want to limit those interviews that I've done with amazing guests to just my podcast.
I want to put them on YouTube too, and so those are going to be really long and people will just listen to them. Some people just listen to YouTube videos, they don't even watch the whole thing. They listen to it like a podcast, so that can work too. We'll see.
Q. What are your future plans for your YouTube channel?
Dr. Jessica: My ultimate vision is to actually have a food network show, or a cooking channel like on TV, where I'm cooking for dogs. I really see that our pets are more and more valuable to us, they are a member of our family, a lot of people are interested in cooking for them.
For example, sometimes, I give my kids fast food and box cereal. I give my animals some of the pre-made dog food, sometimes. But, I also cook for them, and I want everybody to know that they can do that too. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
So, it is a fun and interactive way, and sometimes you can even make it where you start to prepare a meal, and you make it for both. There are subtle differences in what you can do for your dog versus what you can do for yourself.
I'm putting together a course as well, to teach people about dog nutrition, and how to cook for your dog, and what are those subtle differences between what you would cook for yourself, and what you would cook for your dog.
That way, you can really cut down on prep time if you're prepping both meals all at the same time. So, yeah hopefully you see me on TV.
"Anybody can do a YouTube video, it does not have to be all or nothing."
If you're a dog owner and you need ideas to cook a balanced diet for your dog, hear it from Dr. Jessica's in the below YouTube video.
Dr. Jessica Fusch's story is just one amongst a series of fabulous conversations that we've had with YouTubers. Here're other fabulous conversations in our "Grow Your YouTube" series:
- This photographer-YouTuber explains why human facial expressions are important for a YouTube thumbnail
- Live For Another – The story of 20-somethings who make it a habit to help ailing patients live their craziest dreams
- Trekers - The YouTuber couple who shot to celebrity status with a video of a secret World War II U-boat
- The story of how a celebrity interviewer-YouTuber discovered his "Aha!" moment three years ago - Chris Van Vliet
- How a French guitarist got 2 million views on his YouTube videos - Tanguy Kerleroux
- The awe-inspiring tale of a 55-year-old realtor-YouTuber who's aiming for 100k subs from zero!
- "If you aren't authentic on YouTube, people can smell you from a mile," says a flight attendant-YouTuber