In this episode of Torqueing Heads, Bennetts PR Manager, Luke Brackenbury, hosts as motorcycling YouTuber, The Missenden Flyer, and BikeSocial's Consumer Editor, John Milbank, discuss their top tips for making good YouTube content.
TMF has over 125k subscribers and our own Bennetts channel has just clicked over the 100k mark but what's the best advice for those just starting out making their own videos? What are John, Andy and Luke's favourite channels and why? When to respond to positive and negative comments, and how.
In this episode of Torqueing Heads, Bennetts PR Manager, Luke Brackenbury, hosts as motorcycling YouTuber, The Missenden Flyer, and BikeSocial's Consumer Editor, John Milbank, discuss their top tips for making good YouTube content.
TMF has over 125k subscribers and our own Bennetts channel has just clicked over the 100k mark but what's the best advice for those just starting out making their own videos? What are John, Andy and Luke's favourite channels and why? When to respond to positive and negative comments, and how.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to Torqueing Heads Episode Five - this week, we're going to be doing a Vlogging special, no, not flogging, not blogging, Vlogging, which means video blogging. Had to look that up this morning.
So, in future episodes, let us know what you want to see more of or what you want to see less of, but also I'd say thank you to our sponsor for this week's episode to Spada clothing. If you don't know who Spada are, go to spadaclothing.co.uk.
Find out all the lovely stuff that they do for motorcyclists; clothing and accessories. Joining me today is John Milbank, BikeSocial’s Consumer Editor, and a serial video maker. Self-taught, he's produced, directed, scripted, stared in, funded, pretty much most of his videos that he puts out on BikeSocial, incredible stuff on, on how we test products and, and bike reviews. And 'How to' guides. John, how long have you been making videos as on our log-in special and, you know, what's your secret to kind of making a great video?
John Milbank: [00:00:59] I wouldn't say it's got a secret, especially not with Andy here. Look at the numbers, but, I, three years since I've been at Bennetts, I've been into photography since I was at school with my most enduring hobby, really into photography.
I'm also like kit I love the, trying to work out how to set things up and composition and the technicalities behind photography and hence video. But I honestly couldn't give you tips on how to make a great video, because I think, if you look at the numbers of what we do, some of the videos I've made have done really well.
Some of them are like you think, why, why's nobody looked at that? But, well, I think part of a good success story on YouTube is to be known for doing something and doing it really well. And I think for Bennetts, we're doing a lot of different things, which is great, but people don't say "hey, they do those videos / they do that style."
But for anybody to get into it really it's just enjoy yourself and be honest, one thing I really took from somebody was when I was doing all the videos about the Yamaha Niken or the "nick-en", I was getting really negative then about all the comments people were leaving about the video, about the bike saying it's a trike, and you're not a proper biker if you ride this and you need stabilizers. And I was getting more and more arsey in the videos and somebody said, Si Hargreaves actually saying "Mate, just don't be so negative" because I think a lot of people, the majority of people probably enjoy video, I think, ah, that was good. I watched something else, but it's easy to get dragged down by the negative comments of people who feel the need to criticize or stick their oar in, or, or say something.
So I think main thing really is don't get too despondent. Hopefully. But I'd say Andy's got some better advice for doing this, right.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:02:36] Well, let me introduce, our other guest, Andy, mainly known as The Missenden Flyer a big hitter on YouTube over 156,000 YouTube subscribers, Andy. Yeah. And your, this is your full-time job now.
And, yeah, we wanted to obviously bring you on, we sponsor your channel, but you know, we've been, I've been watching your videos for a long time. In a previous life as well we, we met and wanted to bring you on to, to help us with our, with our episode and talk about what it's like to make a great video.
And yeah. Do you wanna introduce yourself and how, how you came to be such a big star of YouTube?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:03:12] Sure thing. I'm not sure I recognize big star, but it's very kind of you to say so
Luke Brackenbury: [00:03:16] I've seen the plaque in your toilet!
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:03:19] So for me, my story is very similar to many other people on YouTube, as far as I can gather beause I've asked lots of people this question myself, and I'm sort of an unintended YouTuber in that, like John, I've been a pretty much a lifelong photographer.
And I got my first SLR. I remember for Christmas when I was eight. It was an old Praktica - a Russian thing, a manual thing, anyway so I've always enjoyed taking photographs. And then, I've always done things that were sort of, you could say were kind of action oriented, although I'm definitely not an action man in any way. So I enjoy skiing. I enjoy flying my aircraft, which is why I'm called The Missenden Flyer, and motorcycling. And so when action cameras, things like GoPros first came out about, about 10, 12 years ago now the first ones came out I to myself, I might have to be doing enough of these things that actually warranted splashing out some cash on ones cause they were quite expensive at the time. And, so I got myself a little GoPro with the intention of just teaching myself how to edit video, having done some action and still photography in the past. Did a bit of that. I put them on YouTube just really to share with friends and family - this is the bit of the story that is the same with many other YouTubers it seems. And then I was surprised when people, other people, started to watch them. And in particular, I used to watch my biking one. So after a few years of doing just the odd, occasional video, I, I decided to just focus on the motorcycling ones cause they were the ones that were getting traction, and the rest is history as far as I'm concerned. I mean, I only really started doing it properly about three years ago. That's when I sort of class myself becoming a in quotes, vlogger, cause you right now do full time although I wouldn't say it is necessarily my job. There are two critical differences between doing this and actually having a job. And I can tell you what they are if you like. but, so yeah, so I've been at this now properly putting a lot of time into it for the last three years and I absolutely love every aspect of it. And it's fantastic. I mean, I have got some hints and tips for would be vloggers. If you're interest
Luke Brackenbury: [00:05:12] I want to know what you were going to say about it being the difference between a job, the two, the two things...
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:05:16] You want the tips. I hope I hope I can remember what was. I was, yeah, there are two, there are two big differences. The first one is you don't get paid very much so that's, that's the first one and that's it so don't go into it thinking you get big, get rich cause that won't happen. You need to sort of be okay in the first place. I mean, although is my full-time job in quotes. It's not how I make my living. There's a big difference. And the other thing is, I can't remember. It'll come back to me a, there was something else. Oh yeah. That was our thing. Yeah. I think it's, it's fun.
I enjoy doing this. This is basically, as I said, you know, from when I started, this is a hobby of mine, so I've managed to make a hobby into something that I now do all the time and, you know, advice to kids out there, youngsters thinking about what they're going to do for a job, whatever, find something you like doing and just do that.
And, and that way you're onto a winner. Hopefully the money will come as a result of that, because these sort of your enjoyment of it will mean that you'll do a lot of it and you'll probably, you know, you get to a reasonable level at it and, and all that stuff flows on. So that's, that's what that was about.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:06:08] My two, my two boys who are 11 and nine. That's what they want to be when they're older, they want to be a professional YouTuber. I mean, I want it to be a professional wrestler, motorcycle racer, footballer, truck driver. None of those things...
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:06:20] Don't fancy your chances against Big Daddy, Luke, if I may say
Luke Brackenbury: [00:06:23] ...don't know; small and fast! But that's what they want to be now. And, you know, you said about getting rich, but then you see some of the YouTubers who, you know, the, particularly the gaming ones, you know, and the views that they get and that's what my kids are inspired, aspire to be. My, my youngest son put his first YouTube video out that weekend and it was a gaming one. Well, it was Minecraft. He, you know, he made me really pretty cool on Minecraft, but then he wanted to put it out there. So we edited together picture and picture, but I think a good thing, the difference about motorcycles, is you can actually get out and do things.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:06:56] Yeah. Yeah. But of course the thing is that, I mean, there are, there are mega successful YouTubers, as I'm sure most of us that watching this, watch them, you know, the Casey Neistat's of the world and all the others.
And of course, they're extremely good at what they're doing but they are, you know, the fact is they are very, very few and far between how many other thousands of channels out there are there that you don't watch or only have got, you know, a handful of subscribers, whatever. So I think you've got to go into it thinking, not necessarily it's going to take off massively.
You might get lucky and maybe that will happen, but you know, there's an awful lot more that don't. And I mean, even in, and it also, it depends what niche you choose. So I went down that motorcycling route because that was just something I was interested in but let's face it there's not that many motorcycle people that watch motorcycling videos in the UK.
So, you know, so hint, you're never going to get a massive foreign, so. You mentioned at the start of the video, I've got, I think 155,000 subscribers, something like that. But that's, that makes me one of the bigger YouTubers in the UK and then compared to YouTube is generally that's a tiny number.
So, yeah, it's quite hard. I think if you're going to go into the motorcycling niche, like I say, get yourself into gaming or makeup, and then you're onto a winner.
John Milbank: [00:08:01] I think what you said about it being part, sorry, Luke, being part of something else is important for you, you know, you've got your... everything you've worked at in your whole life and career before that, and for me making video is, like a fun side part of my job, which is, you know, testing kit and bikes and stuff like that.
And the video stuff kind of just spins off. I tend to do video where I need to, to support something and say, 'Hey, look, I need to be able to show you this'. And sometimes you just think this is cool, but I totally agree. Like, what do I say to our daughter, just try your best at school because do your best and when you come out, you get to do something you like. You can choose what you want to do. And, yeah. Yeah. I think we're all lucky. I mean, looking at what bike magazine, we started out and yeah. Doing something you love makes a massive difference.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:08:47] Yeah. You're going to spend a lot of time doing whatever you choose to do you're living.
So even regardless of the monetary aspect, it makes a lot of just logical sense to do something you like doing. I spent 25, maybe slightly more years doing something that fundamentally I didn't like it made good money, but there's more to life than that. And that took me a long time to learn that lesson.
So heed that kids.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:09:07] So how many videos do you think you've made now, Andy?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:09:10] How many have I made or do I make?
Luke Brackenbury: [00:09:12] Have you made?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:09:14] I think, I haven't checked recently, but when you look on your main page, I think it says how many I've got, I think, probably between five and 800 videos up there now. I mean, it's a, it's a crazy amount.
I did when I first, when I started doing this, as I said more seriously, about three years ago, I thought, right, I'm going to go for it now. I made three videos a week, every week for basically three solid years without any breaks and that, and there's definitely a bit consistency helps if you do that.
Now I do now like two videos a week, just cause I want a bit of a life outside of YouTube, but it's a very all encompassing thing. Again, because I enjoy it it's very easy just to keep, you know, just crack on and just do YouTube is my life. But, you know, I do have a family and stuff and other things that have to get done, unfortunately.
John Milbank: [00:09:56] Yeah, it's the editing and it takes time and it it's all good fun shooting a video. And then you think, ah, I've got to put this well,
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:10:02] This is it, there's more to it than you might possibly think just by watching the video. The actual videoing part of being a YouTuber, I find it bizarre that I refer to myself as that now, is a minor part. So I was, I actually made a little film this morning in my garage, probably took me about half an hour to do the actual filming but you know, a few days, either side of that, I'm not doing any filming. It's all the sort of the planning I do actually do a sort of a script for mine. Not, I don't not, don't write things down word for word, but I build an outline or plan it.
Then, like you said, the editing takes an awful lot of time. Then there's a load of stuff, techie stuff around uploading and optimizing the videos, not to mention all the planning in the first place of working out what you'd do, scheduling, and then all of the social media that goes with it, you have to be into these days.
And, and of course answering comments, I'll try and answer as many comments as I can. That's something that, you know, I probably answer, I would say on an average day, 200 comments a day, So, you know, that's a massive, and you don't have to do that. I do that cause I am, I decided that, you know, people have taken the time to watch videos and take the time to write something to you then that's the least you can do to write back, but it is getting to the stage where that's getting a bit difficult. So, and YouTube gives you this option to put a little heart now, next to the comment that you've read. So they're not always questions. So I'll do skip sometimes and just give it a little heart. But, but yeah, that's a, that's a big drain on time too, which obviously people don't necessarily think of that. Cause it's not. They just see you like this video. I'm still answering comments on videos I've put out five years ago.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:11:25] Speaking of videos, like five years ago, you said how many you've made you do watch your first videos now obviously bearing in mind, like you said, you, you made these for fun, do you watch now and cringe or do you use the lessons that you've learned making them, or you know, how much you've developed or do you just not watch them?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:11:42] Well, I don't watch them that much. I haven't got much time and I, and you watched them so many times when you edited them, you know, them pretty much all off by heart anyway.
But I do, funnily enough I watched an older one early cause I was just, I'm enjoying the fact that I've lost a bit of weight but watching the video back was, I wouldn't say I was cringing at it because of course you all learn, you get better as you go along and know, of course you gain confidence in front of the camera, that sort of thing, this sort of stuff isn't natural to most people because they don't do it all the time. And now I've been doing it all the time for at least three years, possibly 12, if you go back to my, when I started, you do, you do get more natural at it, so I don't really cringe, but yeah, I do think the, the quality has improved and not necessarily the quality in terms of picture quality, the sound quality that has helped because obviously technology has moved on, but just the fact of knowing what comes across better on camera and what doesn't, and in a way it's good that you learn those lessons early on in your YouTube career, because that's what not many people are watching.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:12:38] I mean in terms of advice for people starting out then, because I talked about my kids and I, you know, I've, I don't make as many videos as, as you both do. I hate to watch them back anyway, but you know, for people starting out who really want to do this, you know, we've, we've created a, a video guide of how to make, videos with your mobile phone. That's on our, on Bennetts Rewards. But what do people do? What's the, what's the kind of basics, and I ask this to both of you, what's the basics you need to kind of create a video in terms of, equipment and also the, the structure of, of putting one out there?
John Milbank: [00:13:11] I think what Andy said about, just starting with a GoPro or something like that is a massive help.
I've noticed people about a year or two ago. People suddenly audio became the new thing to criticize. Everybody was an audio engineer all of a sudden, and that's particularly frustrating on launches actually, because obviously we all want, everybody wants to hear what the bike sounds like, and we want to hear what it sounds like. It's frustrating on launches sometimes because you generally can't take a camera crew with you so you're trying to film what you need yourself while you're riding the bike on roads you've never ridden on a bike you've never ridden and I find that quite not stressful, but it's. Yeah, actually stressful but fun.
But that frustration when you get back and you get the video back from the manufacturer and there's no engine sound, all you can hear is the camera crew talking to each other, and then you get complaints about it. But I think, yeah, it's important. So if you've got a budget to buy some kit, I'd say don't just blow it all on a fancy camera.
Also don't think you have to buy the fancy DSLR's and stuff. I use DSLR because it's my. you know, the camera I had, but you don't, I don't think you have to spend a fortune on a camera, most everybody's watching this stuff on YouTube, the most they're going to be watching on is the tele at 1080.
My, daughter's best friend, her dad works with BBC World Service and they film everything in 1080. They don't shoot in 4k. I mean, they're using some pretty fancy kit, but he'll often use a second camera is just GoPro. And the GoPro audio is good. Pretty good. But yeah, spend what you can, but don't... I'd say don't go mad. Certainly when you start it out, you can use your phone.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:14:48] Yeah, I completely agree. I, sorry. I spoke over you there. I am very kindly. Luke told me this question might come up. So I actually made five quick basic tips for people that might be starting out:
The first one, you're spot on I think, John. My first tip was don't worry about the kit. You know, you don't need expensive cameras and mics, all you need is a phone that's tip number one. So we covered that one. Second one; do make sure I haven't said that. Do you make sure people can see and hear you?
So, so you do need a certain, I mean, the phones these days are so advanced that that is all you need, but if you're going to do vlogging and on a motorcycle with a helmet, and you're going to speak, then you do need to actually, when people hear you, one of the things that frustrates me when I look at new YouTube is sometimes, often get people to say all, look at my channel, or do you think of it?
And often you can't hear them when they're actually on the bike if they're trying to speak, so that's an important one, but the third one, we've done technology, just be yourself. Don't try probably someone else's style. Because again, that, you know, we've all seen the big YouTubers that have amazing production values and everything else, and, and a certain approach to making videos.
If you try and copy them, people will soon see through that. So you can't be a fake, you've got to sort of develop your own style basically. I would say otherwise, people just, just won't watch. And I find nothing more of a turn off for someone that is obviously trying to copy Casey Neistat, for example, you can't emulate him, he's too good. Next one. well I've mentioned this already actually, don't go into it thinking it's going to make you rich. Cause it won't do. I spent a lot when I was doing this, I spend probably 10 days, 10 hours a day, seven days a week doing YouTube related stuff. And when you work out the, you know, the payback, I get batched less than minimum wage for doing this.
So you ain't going to get rich. And then the last one, if you do go into it intending to make something of it, you've got to consider it as a long term game as well. Again, I mentioned my first video I posted in 2008, so it's taken me 12 years to get to this point, where people asked me to come on interview programs like this.
So it is a long-term game. You have to be consistent, keep doing them. don't be disheartened, like you said before, you'd get a lot of negative comments as well as the positive ones. Luckily 99% of comments are positive, but it's the 1% that really get yet to the heart of the ones that I remember vividly all the time.
You need very broad shoulders as well. So if you're have a weak constitution, don't go into it. So that was, that was the top 6 tips.
John Milbank: [00:16:59] How do you get your mic set in your helmet to record so well? Cause it's really tricky, isn't it?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:17:06] Well, it can be, trial and error, basically. I did make a video on this, actually, if you want to search how to set up your mic for video blogging, you'll find it.
But yeah, basically I just, the trick for me and this one really, I got this tip from my flying and aviation background where, you know, where you wear the headset to the airplane. It's a very noisy environment in an airplane, and they'll never work less than mic is literally on your mouth. So, so I thought it's a similar sort of environment.
So I get the mic as close as I can to my lips. So, it's pretty much touching my mouth, the mic. and that's how I do it and trial and error, and different helmets vary, but generally speaking, I don't, I don't have too much problem with it. I, I sometimes wonder why people struggle. I think a lot of the time people think that you're just using the audio out of the camera, but you do need an external mic plugged in.
So that's what I do try. I think I've been a bit lucky actually in some respects.
John Milbank: [00:17:51] No, I love it. I think something you said about not being somebody else. I remember when, when I worked on Bike magazine actually, cause I was a designer for years before all the way through working through Emap and Bauer. And it was only when I went to Mortons editing Motorcycle Monthly and Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, I became a 'proper writer'.
And I say that very loosely. I did a lot of writing when I was a designer and Art Editor, but I just remember being at Bike magazine, as well as working with Dan Walsh who was an incredible writer. And you remember him, don't you Luke? He was incredible writer. but I remember writing something and Steve Westlake, before I wrote it, saying to me, whenever you write, just write as if it's you talking about it, don't try and write like anybody else.
And I think he's absolutely right. And I wrote that first thing. I'd written about a bike, from how I chat about it down the pub with my mates. And he said, this works really well. Obviously I've had a lot to learn. I've still got a hell of a lot to learn, but I think, yeah, being yourself is absolutely vital.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:18:46] I mean the downside comes if you're unlucky and by being yourself, you're a bit of a knob end. And so that's not...
John Milbank: [00:18:51] That's why my numbers are so poor!
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:18:55] So there is a bit of luck involved. Yeah.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:18:58] I mean, talking about the negative comments, I mean, how, you know, how do you deal with that? Cause that's the sort of thing that would put off I guess a lot of people, you know, you're out there, you're putting yourself out there to, for criticism, you're doing this because you, you want to enjoy, or you want to make a career out of it.
But like you say, YouTube, just brings out those keyboard warriors who, yeah, they always either complained about the audio or, or just, they don't like you, but you know, you said you remember those, I mean, to the pair of you, you know, how do you deal with those?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:19:27] John, you get more than me? You go first!
John Milbank: [00:19:29] Honestly, it is hard because obviously I work for an insurance company. So partly, obviously we're an insurance company, and also you have to consider your responses, as a representative of a business. When I worked at Morton's, there was a point where I started responding to people, how I wanted to respond to them.
They realized it was massively unprofessional. I'm going to have to stop. The thing actually is what I have to keep taping because it, I used to have YouTube, my work YouTube on my phone as well. And I took it off because I found it while I was out for walk with my daughter and everything. I would just be looking at it and like, 'Oh I need to respond to this'.
So I just took that off, but I find the best thing is if I'm starting to fret about it, delete it and see easiest way to just get rid of him. I'm not talking about me, where you go look, okay, I get why you're upset or why you don't agree or why you might have a problem with something else. And then you can engage somebody and try and talk to them and explain how things are, you know, I do that a fair bit.
But some, you just have to think 'ah, delete'. And sometimes I do go and have a look at their channel and see the other things that they watch and like, and sometimes it's really frightening! So then I delete them, hide them and never go near them again.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:20:44] Yeah. Yeah. I'm much the same. I don't, I try not to delete anything actually, cause a lot of people to see you know, the other side of this stuff as well to some degree, because also I know other YouTubers that have had a, you know, got criticized for deleting comments. So I try not to do that. If they're, absolutely obscene and outrageous, I will delete and ban people, but that's only happened in a small handful of cases.
In terms of trying to deal with it, I mean, like I say, I mean, we know what the advice is, is just ignore them. At the end of the day you know, they've got nothing better to do, but, all that said it's quite difficult to do that, particularly if they're, you know, if they are very personal or if they do something, if it goes more than the comments.
So I won't go into details, but I've had a few things happen to me that are physical things as a result of... I haven't been beaten up or something like that. But, you know, I've had stuff, like my bank account details published and people have followed me onto my driveway and stuff like that. Which you could really do without.
So, so there's a bit of that as well, which is, which is more tricky to deal with. The bad comments, I mean, at the end of the day, it's just a comment. You just got to let go over your head, but it goes back to what I said before. You've got to, he gotta be fairly sound mental stature, I think, to, to take it. Cause, let's face it, we don't all like everybody to do me and you can't keep everybody happy. So, you know, I get so much grief just about my catch phrase for goodness sake. I'll get, I'll get loaded haters in the first four seconds of my videos.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:22:04] What is your catch phrase?!
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:22:06] I'm not saying it. I don't like it myself.
That was a, that was another bit of advice. If you're going to come up with a catch phrase, make it a good one that doesn't have Jimmy Jimmy Saville overtones!
Luke Brackenbury: [00:22:15] Like John says, we've just posted a difficult position because we have to try and, you know, obviously be professional and everyone's entitled to opinion, of course. And you know, when you sit and watch tele yourself or your family, you always comment on, Oh, what's this idiot, what's he doing? You know, and it's, it's the fact that you can actually put, put the words in a box and let someone read it.
John Milbank: [00:22:34] I guess the weird thing is sometimes, there was a comment the other day I was responding to a comment, I can't remember what it was about but it was, it was somebody complained about something and they clearly weren't a motorcyclist and had no interest in the thing, but there were moaning about the video you like, 'there's so much content on YouTube, why did you choose to watch this then?'
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:22:52] Yeah. it's nuts isn't it? It's not like it's compulsory that the other way I deal with it. I quite enjoy actually, I quite enjoyed the challenges, just like playing around with the English language generally. But, I quite like to be, the worse the comment is, the more polite I'll be in the response.
And I find that quite a fun challenge and you can't do any harm with it. And the, and the interesting thing is that although I find that quite a fun challenge, probably I would say that without exaggeration seven times out of 10, if you do that, the person comes back and apologises for the original comment. And it says that 'I was a bad, I was in a bad place. I don't know why I said that'. So it's very interesting reflection on the human condition, I think.
John Milbank: [00:23:26] I think people forget that there is, you know, somebody put a lot of effort typically into a video, put a lot of work into it, whether or not you think they did as good a job as you could do, or whether it was the best video it could have been. You know, they, they put a lot of work into that and they are ultimately a person with their own life and family and worries, and everything behind it as well. And it's easy to, yeah. Yeah. Just think, would you say that to somebody, would you go up to them and say it to their face?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:23:54] I know, I actually often retort that; 'if you met me in the street, would you say that to me', and obviously they wouldn't, but the other interesting thing, actually, when you were saying about being professional, because you're part of Bennetts et cetera, that's another good bit of advice I think just for YouTubers starting out because YouTube is very hot, they have a set of policies and so on. So things like, when I, again, decided that I was going to try and make it go, this, I made a sort of policy decision to myself that I wasn't going to swear on, on YouTube, of course, in the real world. I do swear. But if you, if you end up doing a lot of that on YouTube, no.1 you could get banned, but also you can't, you know, you'll be demonetized, so there's a downside.
So again, start as you mean to go on. So even though I'm, I think part of the appeal of my channel is that I am a sort of an amateur and it's, and it's amateurish in many ways. I do try and be a bit professional about the way I go about doing it. So, you know, watching your language, not, not having to go against other YouTubers as much as I'd like to or anything else like that.
So, yeah, I think you need to be, you need to be professional about it, regardless of whether you actually work for an organization.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:24:50] Whose videos do you particularly admire on YouTube then? I'll ask this to both of you. It doesn't have to be motorcycling, but one motorcycling example would be good. And one generic that you can either you sort of inspired by, or you think I like that style, or you just enjoy watching.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:25:05] So there's a couple there's, there's one for production value and one for just, just good content. So just to demonstrate what I mean by both. So the production value one is a motorcycling one, it's a guy called Jamie. He runs a channel called Motogeo, I don't know if you've seen that. Excellent. Yeah. Yeah. You probably know him personally, do you?
Yeah. I mean, it comes across as a lovely guy, funny dodgy Northern accent, but you can't have that. but he, he, he lives now in LA, so it's a different slant on biking, even though he's a Brit. And he puts a lot of, a lot of effort clearly into producing his videos in that he produces one maybe a week, maybe one every couple of weeks but they're always amazing to look at, the visuals are great. So, so that's one from production value. And also is it, I know I've subscribed to him for years. He's a, he's a great fellow all round, it seems on it. And then in terms of content, it's not a motorcycling one, but it's one that lept to mind when you said it, it's a Harry's Garage.
Do you know Harry Metcalf? He used to run Evo magazine. So it's predominantly a car channel. But he does, he's a biker as well. He does have a big collection of motorcycles and he's, I just enjoy him because again, he is very, he doesn't put lots of effort into production value. It's all done, I think his wife probably videos a lot of it.
But it's not fancy editing and lots of edited, quick cuts and music and all that sort of thing. He's just got a real passion about the cars he's talking about and that comes across in the videos. And so, and so that's why I really like that. And that's reflected in, in his sort of subscriber numbers as well.
So yeah, for me, Two. I mean, there are loads of examples, but two off the top of my head Harry's Garage and Moto Geo, if you haven't watched those, go check them out. Yeah.
John Milbank: [00:26:33] Good. for me, motorcycling; it's one actually they're not doing anymore, but it's so I called American motorcycle mag; Zack Courts and...
Good. Yeah. Zack Courts and...? Oh, help us out
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:26:46] The other fella. Yeah, I can't remember. They went to some pay-per-view channel, didn't
John Milbank: [00:26:50] they?
So good. I really loved their videos and they did some great ones of groms.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:26:54] Yeah, on the Groms
John Milbank: [00:26:55] I ended up buying a Grom. For the ones that frustrate me in motorcycling, well actually accross YouTube really, the ones that frustrate me are where there... I go to a lot of photography YouTube channels and there's still a lot of really good stuff. Really good tips and stuff and, and gear reviews, but you start to realise slowly as you end up using some of the kit that they're using, sometimes you start thinking this is more product placement than a proper review. And I like super anal about product reviews because that's what I did at Ride for years. That's what I do now is about being completely honest with something and people weren't believing, he was like, this is really good. Yeah. You've been paid. No, because we're lucky that we're established enough and been in the industry long enough that if we review something to say this isn't very good. We're not worried about whether we're going to get something else to review or anything like that.
But my other favourite channel is definitely Donut Media. I just love donuts stuff. They do a bit of bike stuff, the cars just awesome. I, you know, I dream of being as good as that, but they put a hell of a lot of work into that stuff. It's a big team now.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:27:59] I'll have to check that out. I actually, another one that just came to mind as you were talking there, that I should have mentioned as well, cause I'm sure you've watched him is Ryan at Fortnine. Again, he, this is based on a business. I think Fortnine is a Canadian, like kit distributor or something, but yeah, but he, I mean, he puts him in and there's a couple of other guys I think that worked with at least one other. They put amazing effort again to the videos. The production values are amazing. But the other thing I like about them is they always look at subjects that from a different sort of angle that anyone else has done. So they only post relatively infrequently now, but that's because they put a lot of effort in, the visual is great, but also the comedy that he's got a good comic angle on it.
And one of the regrets that I have about my channel is I actually quite like having a laugh and, that never comes across in my videos. Cause they always a bit sort of, stayed or whatever. So I'm not... people say you're not yourself, but I mean, obviously it's me or my videos, but I'm not the me that you'd meet if you went down the pub. So I kind of, I would like to get a bit more of that into my videos, but again, it's a fine line isn't it? Between crossing that border of professionalism. But Ryan at Fortnine seems to get that just right, I think. What about you Luke, what do you like to watch?
Luke Brackenbury: [00:29:03] Oh, not DanTDM.
John Milbank: [00:29:06] Is that all you get to see on your YouTube?
Luke Brackenbury: [00:29:08] That guys voice just cuts through me. I actually took the kids to see him live and he's great and entertaining and they'd love it. But from a motorcycle point of view, I like, I like 44 Teeth. Probably it's the humour that's more fitting for me, but you know, it's, you know, you can't help but smile and enjoy and, and, and follow that and the adventures.
I know the guys, but I'd watch it if I, I didn't, And I've...
John Milbank: [00:29:35] I've been around Al Fagan and just been crying, laughing at him.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:29:39] And Donut Media, you put me on to onto them before John, I've really sort of gone down the line of their videos and it's, it's really slick the way they put those together.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:29:48] Yeah. I've heard of those before. I'm definitely going to have to look those up.
John Milbank: [00:29:51] Even my wife started watching it the other day. I was like 'watch this video about this car' and she got well into it, James Pumphrey. Yeah, he's really good.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:29:58] Yeah. We talked, we talked about the reasons for going to start your own videos, but we've brushed upon equipment a bit, but if we talk about bike reviews, and what to go out and do that.
So that's probably, you know, a lot of people watching this, well, they've got a bike, they probably got a smartphone. So how should they set about making their first one? What should be the kind of way to go? Because motorcycling, we love them is they're so excitable, but putting that across on video so it's coherent and kind of has, a kind of story to it, it kind of makes sense. Although my question hasn't made sense, you know, what are your top tips to kind of do that? I mean, I put this into perspective. I went to a KTM press launch in February and I've done lots of press launches and I've done lots of pieces to camera, but that was the first time I'd, I'd gone out for a very long time and talked on camera whilst riding. I had to think about the shots, do some social media, where to put the cameras. And you're constantly here, there, everywhere. Like you said, John, you can be quite stressful and flustered, but if you've got the time to take out a bike for the day, what would be your approach to do that and to try and come back with a video to make at the end of that?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:31:09] Well for me, I think it's, and again, this is just ho I do it so I can't speak for anyone else, but, I think keeping it simple is quite quite important. So, like you say, you can make it very complicated. And if you want to go down the route of having really high production values, multi cameras, et cetera, et cetera, that makes everything more measurably, more complicated and more stressful.
And you could be more worried about whether your various cameras are running and stuff rather than what you're talking about. So, so for me, I think my sort of advice would be try and keep it simple if you're going to go down that sort of bike review route. So personally I only use a helmet mounted camera. Sometimes I have a forward facing one as well if I'm feeling like I want to do double the amount of editing. They definitely come out as better videos that way, but to start with, I would just try and keep it simple and, and I guess the other thing is if you can come at it with an angle that, and I don't do this, this is just what I think would be good. An angle, that's not just a straightforward bike review because at the end of the day, bike reviews are what get you big, big viewing numbers on if I just wanted to get big viewers on my channel. And luckily for me, I'm kind of past that stage now, I just focused on doing things that I'm interested in myself.
I still do the odd, bike review, but, if you just want to get big numbers, go and do loads of bike reviews of the latest and greatest bikes, you'll get lots of watching them because of course, YouTube is a search engine and people will search out, you know, KTM Super Duke bike review, and bingo up will come a YouTube, will come a YouTube video. So that's the way to get your numbers up but if you can find a way of doing it that's not just the sort of thing I do - riding along telling people what it feels like, and then doing a walk around and talking through the spec because that's been done to death.
Now, the reason why I do that is because that's how I started out doing them years ago and there weren't that many people doing it at the time. So that's kind of how mine have turned out and people sort of expect from me, but I sort of liked to do something a bit different. And again, if you could bring humour into it or another angle somehow, then I think you'd be onto a winner, but because it's a now relatively crowded space it's that much harder to find a niche for you, for you to your sort of light to shine amongst everyone else, isn't it? So don't know what you think about that?
John Milbank: [00:33:08] Yeah, no, absolutely. I'd say definitely if you're starting out... when I started at Mortons, I thought, 'Oh, I've started recording stuff while I'm riding,' and that's a good few years ago, probably six years ago. I thought I'll have the camera on and record it while I'm on the launch and it was just too much to think about, so I think you do need to get into that mindset of being able to do the talking while you're doing it. Don't pile everything on yourself all in one go because what's most important is that you ride safely. But yeah, getting that different angle to it, I guess. And also like reviewing bike kit is easier in a way. I want to be super, I don't think anybody should go away from anything thinking, okay, what about this? I need to look this up somewhere else. And I also always treat every view as if I'm recommending it to my best and most skint mate.
But with kit, it's a lot easier to say whether it works or not, whether it's waterproof, whether it beyond protection, if you crash so if you were to crash in this stuff...
Luke Brackenbury: [00:34:02] ...but bikes are so subjective, aren't they? Yeah. Bikes are so subjective, aren't they?
John Milbank: [00:34:07] Yeah. And I can, honestly, I I've enjoyed every bike I've ever ridden except one...
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:34:12] Do tell!
John Milbank: [00:34:14] Nah, I'm going to keep that one for now!
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:34:16] Fancy saying that
Luke Brackenbury: [00:34:21] These two have got Royal Enfields in the garage...
John Milbank: [00:34:23] No, it wasn't that, no, I love that. It's yeah, it's hard to get across that a bike can be good. So I think it's always think about who the typical audience is likely to be for a bike.
So I often test bikes that I wouldn't necessarily buy. I remember doing a test once and somebody say, yeah, but would you buy it? If i said "No", they'd be like "it's rubbish then, you're lying". If I, if I had to buy every bike that I said was really good, I couldn't, you know, I've, I've got three bikes and I, I haven't got the money or the space for anymore.
But you, you have to detach yourself from thinking if I was in that position, would I want to buy this? And then in that respect, then you can be reviewing something like Tracer 900 and say, look the engine's great. You know, it's got this great character for some summarising now, whether the brakes work, stuff like that.
But it's also thinking about the things that somebody by that might want to know, would they be likely to be carrying luggage and a pillion and in that case, people want to know what's the load capacity like, and that's where the Tracer can fall down because it's a homoligated for quite a low load capacity.
So that gets my geekiness out.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:35:19] That's the difference between you and me, John, you see you're a professional and you think these things through properly that's exactly what people want to see. I'm just thinking if you fall off and you record that, or if you can find a nicer bird on the street and take a picture of her backside for the thumbnail, then you're onto a winner.
John Milbank: [00:35:33] Yeah, that's true! Yeah. And actually the G 310 GS actually crashed I the G 310 GS - we went on the launch of that, it was a very, very unusual one in that BMW said, we'll give you another space to take a videographer out. So we're like, yeah, cool! So we took the videographer out and I remember we were shooting it backwards and forwards on this gravelly bit.
I'm rubbish off-road and I started getting the back out, and I'm like 'Rich, Rich, come over here and film this, I'm getting the back out. And then I crashed it, nothing bad. Bashed my knee, but that was it. And the bike was fairly undamaged, but there was loads of comments going, 'Oh, convenient you crashed in front of the videographer'. It was real, but also gives you the opportunity to say 'crash'.
It's like you said, people are looking for reviews of things and hopefully people are looking for lots of opinions. So, I guess the main thing is to make sure people know who you are and what you enjoy. So I'll try and put into context you know, I, these are the things I like to buy, I love my ZX6, and S1000XR, I'd say whether I think something is good and then whether I buy it based on what I like, I think that's the main thing really; be yourself but also make sure people know who you are. Not 'do you know who I am', but you know, know what, what your likes and dislikes are.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:36:40] Yeah. And there's another angle. I mean, like you said, a lot of this is subjective, so it's only your opinion. A lot of it, you know, I'll often focus about how a bike makes you feel.
So I recently wrote the new Triumph Rocket 3 really makes you feel cool as hell, doesn't it, riding that bike. And that's a big thing. And for me, part big part of biking is how it makes you feel so, yeah. So there's that. And then the other thing is, they are, there is I'm sure we had this discussion once before, there's not, there's no such thing as a bad bike on the market really anymore? I mean, I'm sure if you look hard, you can find it. But the sorts of bikes that we tend to ride are all are all good. It just depends on you say what the mission is that you're, that you've got in mind.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:37:12] Yeah. It's yeah, it's a leisure industry we're in; motorcycling. We all ride and we ride different things, you know, we don't all go after the same you know, partner. So there's so much variety and there aren't many bad bikes at all now. It just depends on what you want to use them for. So we're most of the time we don't need bikes, do we?
There's, there's something, we just want them, so we want to be positive about them and we all want to talk about them. We want to get that point across, but yeah, I guess it's, subjectiveness is you're always going to get opinions. You know, you go on Facebook and put something about how the government's handling the situation we're in now and you'll, and you'll get a load of things.
And it's the same, putting an opinion about a bike on YouTube. I mean, John, the comments you get on, on the product tests against bike reviews, are they fairly different?
John Milbank: [00:38:02] Don't tend to get as many. Well, yeah, the one that really stuck with me actually was when I cut up an Arai, an old Arai and a Box.
It was an old Arai I'd used for years, way past its sell-by-date. I'm lucky that I test a hell of a lot of kit, but I cut them up with an angle grinder, and the amount of comments that are still coming through about how dangerous I used the angle grinder. I use an angle grinder a lot for testing chains, I test chain and locks and yeah, it was a bit cack-handed the way I was doing it, but nobody seems to complain about all the fabricators that don't work gloves.
The reason I didn't wear gloves. Is the, I only have thick gloves, and the only gloves that would be good against 1.2 mil cutting disc would be really thick and using a small angle grinder, it's just going to get wrapped up in it. So I didn't use gloves it would've gone through anyway. What I wish I had done was use the respirator because yeah, that was stupid, it filled the garage...
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:38:48] ...he's letting it get to him, those comments are gettin...
John Milbank: [00:38:51] ...that's my problem. That's my, I start ranting but no we don't tend to get as many comments about kit, but also we don't get as many comments at all. it's it's more emotive about bikes, and more of the videos we're doing about bikes, when we do the written stuff, it's more questions, really people asking you to do, do you think, what do you think of this product or something like that? Yeah, we always try and help, we will always respond to stuff. I think keep responding to things yet. You know, 'this is why didn't use gloves'. And in the end you get tired of that you know, I can't keep saying the same thing.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:39:25] I ended up doing that pin comment thing.
Have you kept. Yeah. Yeah. That's quite good. I mean, I made a video recently. I can't remember what it was about, but I made some errors in it or it didn't cover something. Oh no, that's it. I was talking, it was a topical one. It was talking about how to store your bike if you can't ride it cause you know, I'm not riding my bike to the moment.
And I've covered the sorts of things that I thought of, but I hadn't, I didn't do as much research as I could have done it. I missed a couple of key things, which would kind of obvious, but my goodness, me about a thousand people said at the same time, then at the end, I just pin the comments and said 'I know I missed the following' and wrote them down.
And luckily it's sort of quelled those comments, but...
John Milbank: [00:39:57] That is a frustration for YouTube, I think because you can no longer put graphics on after the video has been up because you used to be able to put something on going 'I know I've got this wrong, this and that'. That's what stresses me out about videos, because you know that you're gonna miss something and that's why much for writing things, you'll be more considered and you can, you can get it all in there.
But I think as well, from our point of view on our YouTube channel, we're doing a different kind of thing, but also we're seen as still being kind of slightly faces were seen as being, a business doing stuff. And that one thing I noticed was when you did your first reviews using ACF 50 and you couldn't get the compressor to work.
And I remember not being frustrated at you, but being frustrated and thinking if we'd done that we would get so slated, but you everybody's going, 'Hey, nice one TMF. Why don't you try doing this?' Yeah. I think there's a difference in what people expect from different channels.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:40:47] Yeah. Isn't that interesting.
And that's to my advantage because I, I've never claimed to be an expert at anything. Again, this is one of our policy decisions that come across as like, you know what you're doing, whether you do or not, because that's gonna, that's going to keep though, come and sting you. So yeah, and actually those videos that where things go wrong, they tend to be the ones that get the big views, don't they? And again, a bit like you, I had a comment once on a, I can't, I can't exactly remember which one it was, but where somebody thought I'd faked it, I've done it deliberately just to get views, which I've never, ever done anything like that had one or two fortuitous things happen. We did this, we did that bike v. plane video, I don't know if you watched that one where we raced some bikes against light airplane and the, the plane would have won, there's no doubt about it but unfortunately I had an issue with the airplane and I had to get it fixed before we could take off. So, you know, and that wasn't fixed, but it made for a much better video. It would be really boring. Otherwise we'd just been there having pints by the time they got to the park.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:41:37] I was thinking about, about your, your flying side. If you had the voice of a commercial airline pilot, your videos would have never taken off.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:41:44] It's funny. And I like the use of 'taken off' there. I, it's funny I had a number of people ask me if I was a commercial pilot before I even revealed that I was a pilot. So isn't that weird?
Luke Brackenbury: [00:41:56] Oh, I thought you were a local radio DJ.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:42:00] Well, that's, that's my, that's what I wanted it to be believe it or not. I used to, well, I worked for the BBC for a short period of time. That's where I thought...
Luke Brackenbury: [00:42:06] Look at the microphone. I mean, it's a little slick set up that is!
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:42:10] I'll tell you what, when I'm putting on live streams, doing things like live streams, which just blow my mind that I could just be sat here in my study in Buckinghamshire and I can broadcast at a moment's notice just by pressing one button that is tantalisingly close to me, and I can broadcast to the world and you get a thousand people watching at the same time, and then more afterwards. It just blows my mind that you can do that, the technology that's available to us now to do this, I mean, that's, we talked about the way that things have changed over time, but just the technology that is available to us now is amazing, isn't it? And, I still I'm amazed that a telephone work. So the fact that we can do all this, it's just incredible, isn't it?
John Milbank: [00:42:45] We try to explain this to our daughter that about what lock down would be like if we didn't have Netflix, Amazon Prime, the ability still to order things and, everything that we can still do. Yeah, we're pretty lucky really?
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:42:59] Oh gosh.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:43:01] Well I think, that's a good point to wrap up the video, we've been chatting long enough. I wonder what the sort of, comments we're going to get on this then. We'll probably, we'll probably encourage some more, hateful, negative comments.
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:43:14] Probably disable the comments from the start.
Luke Brackenbury: [00:43:18] But you know, thanks for, thanks for your time, Andy and John on that, I think, you know, people can get hopefully get some hints and tips on that.
You know, we're at the moment we're locked in, but maybe there's a chance for people to try making their own videos, which is why on Bennetts Rewards we've created a guide on how to make one with just your smartphone and that. Look forward to seeing what video's going to be putting out in the next coming weeks, Andy, you say you worked quite far ahead with, with your...
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:43:45] Yeah, it's lucky. Luckily I, one of the things I do do is plan ahead what I'm going to do. I have a little schedule it runs out to believe it or not. I know what videos are making it up until about next January or I did. It's been rescheduled slightly now but generally speaking, I have about two months worth in the can before they go up with some interjected, some topical ones that go in before then. So I'm quite lucky. I've got a lot of stuff in the can that I can still keep putting out, even though we're in lockdown. And then I get a, then they get criticised for riding the bike and it looks very busy where you live, but that's because they were recorded back in January, but...
Luke Brackenbury: [00:44:13] and you've got a full head of hair!
The Missenden Flyer (TMF): [00:44:15] Yeah, exactly. Well, I wish I wish, but it's been great joining you so thank you for inviting me along, I'm happy to do it anytime and I can chat for hours on this stuff.
John Milbank: [00:44:23] Andy, good to talk to you again
Luke Brackenbury: [00:44:26] Really appreciate you not wearing Lycra or wearing clothes as well, Andy, after your (Steady!) trying to attract a new audience with some of those photos.
So once again, I want to say thanks to our sponsor for this episode: Spada. So head to spadaclothing.co.uk, to look at that. So, always happy to see the comments, you've got on the video, mainly positive ones and what we should do more of, or less of.
And thanks again to John and Andy. So until next time, stay home, stay safe and be nice to your neighbours.