By Ivan Meakins with Gabriel Jarrosson
An unlikely road to success
Gabriel Jarrosson’s road to success is not what you might expect from a 107 times angel investor with 15 exits: a lot of his business he built through creating videos on YouTube.
Gabriel has always been passionate about entrepreneurship, but he wasn’t always investing millions of dollars into Y-Combinator startups – one of the best incubators in the world.
10 years ago, Gabriel could only afford to offer a couple of thousand dollars in investment, which unsurprisingly was turned down by a lot of companies.
So Gabriel had an idea.
His problem was that he didn’t have enough money to invest in the companies he wanted. His solution was to find people that did.
Late to the party
In 2017, when watching a webinar, Gabriel discovered how: YouTube.
2017 was relatively late to jump on the YouTube bandwagon, but at this point the platform had graduated from videos of cats playing the piano to a growing library of serious and informative content.
Gabriel: “I went to a webinar from a YouTube guy and he said ‘it’s 2017, you’re very late to the party, but you can still make it big on YouTube. YouTube is a very good platform to attract people. This is what you have to do: you have to publish one video per day for one year.’”
So Gabriel did exactly that.
But he took it one step further: he did it every day for two years.
The power of content creation
Gabriel: “I had been struggling for months to find investors to come along with me on the journey. This was the solution: YouTube was going to allow me to be in front of people, allow me to tell my story and my message, and to find people who want to invest with me.”
This was genius on several levels. It built Gabriel’s personal brand, putting him directly in front of an audience who could get to know him and his investment thesis. It also solved his own problem: finding people to invest with.
But, he could never have predicted just how much it would lift off and where it would take him.
Gabriel: “I had no idea if it would work – I was just trying something, as any entrepreneur would do. It turns out it worked really, really well. Today I have the biggest French YouTube channel on start-up investing, and it brought me to hundreds and hundreds of investors who want to invest with me. From that YouTube channel, from all the people it brought me in contact with, we’ve invested $33 million.”
So, what’s the secret to his success?
Let’s find out.
How to create amazing content that sticks
Creating impactful content that stays with an audience and inspires them into action requires quality, persistence and dedication. Whilst you don’t have to be uploading every single day for two years, there are some key tips we can take from Gabriel’s success.
1. Pick your platform
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google. What makes it so impactful is that it allows long-form content, in much the same way as podcasts, blogs, or books.
This allows your audience an insight into your voice, your expertise and your personality. It allows them to understand how you think and who you are.
Gabriel: “People see you, they hear you talk, they hear you articulate ideas for a long time. They really understand how you think, they really understand your investment thesis. If it’s just an Instagram picture, it doesn’t go as deep.”
2. Numbers are not an indication of quality
Gabriel’s YouTube channel has racked up an impressive 40,000 subscribers. That’s enough to fill a stadium.
However, as he acknowledges himself, within the YouTube world this number is relatively small. Many YouTubers now boast millions of subscribers for doing little more than streaming video games or playing pranks on people. The number of people subscribed is not an indication of quality – or even the amount of people you’re reaching.
There is always going to be someone with more followers than you. More likes, more subscribers and more engagement. We humans have a natural tendency to compare ourselves to others, but doing so will not boost those numbers.
Gabriel: “Only compare yourself with who you were yesterday, don’t compare yourself with others. Every day the subscriber count increases, so every day I’m reaching more people. It doesn’t matter if it’s 40,000 and other people have millions.”
3. Don’t be afraid to focus on a niche
Most of Gabriel’s content on his successful French YouTube channel is, unsurprisingly, in French. I was intrigued as to whether this meant he was drastically reducing his pool of possibility: what if investors from America or the UK were off put by being unable to speak the language? What’s the market for French investors investing in US silicon valley startups?
And Gabriel agrees, saying that the syndicates of investors he builds through his YouTube channel are mostly, whilst not all from France, French-speaking, not English-speaking.
But, despite the fact that this may sound like it cuts out whole countries of people he could benefit from working with, this approach has actually allowed Gabriel to position himself as a leader in his niche. He is the bridge between French investors and Silicon Valley startups, connecting these two worlds together in a way that hadn’t been done before.
4. Recycle your content
Whilst Gabriel’s loyalties will always lie with long form content, with the rise ofTikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube shorts, he is dipping his toe into short form content – and recommends we do the same.
Gabriel: “You can recycle your content in a lot of ways. I also take my videos and extract the sound and make a podcast out of it. I take my videos and write them up into a script or a blog post.”
This is an economical way of leveraging your content, especially for startups and entrepreneurs who don’t have access to huge amounts of resources. Creating a core piece of content and then splitting the message up to be repurposed in a variety of different formats across different platforms allows you to cover all your bases with minimal hard work.
5. Deliver your message with confidence
If you’re creating content because you truly love content creation, that’s great. But, I’d hazard a guess that most entrepreneurs see content creation as a means to an end. And that’s fine – it can be.
Your goal through content creation is likely one of the following:
- Attract more ideal clients
- Build up your business profile
- Establish yourself as a leader in your industry
One of the biggest things that can stand in the way is a sheer lack of confidence. Most entrepreneurs aren’t content creation experts. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start – the problem is when our audience starts to pick up on these feelings. Our message can come across as diluted, weak or confused.
Gabriel: “I think the best advice I would give is to document your journey. You’re not an expert – that’s fine. People want to connect to humans.”
Gabriel emphasises the importance of being authentic: don’t pretend to be an expert when you’re not! Your audience will enjoy seeing the behind-the-scenes, coming along for the journey as your expertise grows. Being honest, eager to learn and constantly striving for improvement is a lot more attractive than pretending to be perfect straight away.
Gabriel: “This is what I did as well. The level that I had in startup investing when I started my YouTube channel in 2017 is nothing compared to now. The community ask you questions, you create better content to answer the questions, you’re doing research at the same time – and you become better.”
6. Don’t give up
Gabriel: “The first 90 days, I posted 90 videos. Can you imagine the energy that took? It was horrendous! After 90 days I had 44 subscribers. I had less subscribers than videos. It felt horrible. I wanted to quit, it was so tough.”
But, Gabriel remembered the webinar way back in 2017 that had kick started his journey. He remembered being told to create every day for a year – and to not even look at the results during that time.
And now, after proving his willpower and determination to keep going even when the gratification was hard to come by, Gabriel can pass this message on to others.
Gabriel: “I tell them: focus on the process, not on the results.”
And thank God he did, because after one year Gabriel had amassed 1,000 subscribers and was attracting investors into his syndicate. The content that he created in those first testing 90 days is still working for him today, attracting more investors and compounding his success.
If you enjoyed this blog or listened to the Climb podcast and wanted some advice on how to create regular thought leadership content for your business, get in touch with Write Business Results today.