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Create a YouTube Channel with Kevin Appleby

This podcast is about setting up a YouTube channel. Kevin Appleby has recently set one up and is going to tell us what this experience has been, why he is doing it, what the purpose is and what his hopes for it are.

21st Century Business Accountant, You Tube, The Next 100 Days Podcast

21st century business accountant

Kevin’s YouTube channel targets accountants (hence the name!). More specifically, it aims at the sort of accountant that works inside a company and advises the business team running the organisation.

The content is very much based on what Kevin teaches as part of his course called 21st Century Finance Business Partner. Now, you may be wondering why there is such an emphasis on the 21st century. We’ve been in the 21st century for 19 years now! But, with the 21st century has come a lot of change. When Kevin first started his career, he did virtually nothing using a computer. As time went on, Excel and other software became his friend.

However, we’re in a time that is so much in the finance world that it’s becoming automated. This impacts the accountant because the routine work has well and truly disappeared through computer efficiency.


Be vital rather than functional

Daniel Priestly talks about being vital rather than functional his book, Key Person of Influence (click the picture for a link). Essentially, the functional will disappear, will be automated, will be replaced by IA, for example. The vital remains.

For these accountants then, it doesn’t seem so sunny-side up! However, Kevin thinks it is. The first episode on his YouTube channel talks about being VITAL.

V – Vision strategy. This is all about the accountant being involved in the strategy of his business.

– Insight around the financial numbers (product profitability, customer profitability, and activity-based costing).

– Team. Do you understand what the rest of your business team needs of you? What insight are they needing from you as the accountant?

– Agility in change. An accountant’s role is to be right in the middle of business change. Change is about doing some things and stopping others; about culture and attitude so, within the numbers, there’s actually a lot to learn about people.

– Learning. There’s always something new to learn.

In fact, the first six videos are dedicated to what it means to be VITAL.

How did the YouTube Channel come about?


With a YouTube channel, Kevin realised a series of material can be built across time, much like our podcast, The Next 100 Days. However, unlike a podcast, he decided that people’s attention to a video isn’t that great. 30 minutes of 40 minutes would be too long. It would be a quick dip into the classroom, 5 to 10 minutes being just right.

Short and Sweet…

In effect, Kevin replaced a webinar strategy with a YouTube strategy, through which clients can be driven toward ‘tasters’. That way, if watchers liked the idea of the YouTube videos, then they would know a place to go to get a more detailed course.

YouTube as Strategy


  1. You want to attract regular watchers so that they subscribe to your channel. Then they get notifications every time a new video comes out. Much like our podcast, the aim is to get out content once a week.
  2. Refer to the channel in marketing posts for courses. As Kevin sets up a new course, you can use YouTube channels to give a taster of what you are up to as the manager of the course.
  3. Blog post. Each video about VITAL will be embedded in Kevin’s blog post.

Producing content

When you look at it, the strategies used to optimise YouTube channels actually come within the scope of content strategies. Recently, we had Mark Taylor on the show, discussing how Google focusses on content.

Think of the type of things that are on people’s minds. You need to start thinking what are the questions your target audience are thinking – about business, about the environment they are in. Effectively, you need to write to that.

Within Kevin’s market, accountants are likely to find him because his YouTube channel and blog seeks to answer all those questions. The fear is that, if being vital is not on someone’s conscience, then the numbers of people turning up are going to be less. So, ask the questions, “who is your avatar?” and “what are their real problems?” This is really important.


What is an accountant’s real problem?

Kevin identifies two:

  • I’m sitting in the back office, everyone tells me that accountants have a limited future. How do I make sure I don’t have a limited future in the world of artificial intelligence?
  • How do I get out of this routine and become Finance Director? How do I progress?

Behind VITAL, there is the answer to these two questions.To be vital is to be switched on and committed, in a world where commitment is never stable – people are merely functional.


Dealing with the two questions above must be dealt with in a way that reflects what business accountant are thinking. An awful lot of accountants are being dragged into new technology – the new accounting software, for example. This isn’t a new problem. With Kevin’s YouTube channel, he is trying to enter into these issues and give insight.

Setting up a YouTube channel: Kevin’s observations

He thought it was going to be easy. Don’t be fooled! The first video was ten minutes long. Perfect – it should be quick and easy to edit and make ready to put on the channel. After all, editing and typing up The Next 100 Days Podcast doesn’t take too long and that’s the best part of an hour’s recording! However, his little video took the best part of a day to complete.

  • Develop confidence to speak to yourself. As soon as you’re sitting with no audience, it becomes very difficult.
  • What do you want to put on the screen? With a podcast, it is just audio but video needs a visual. With a YouTube channel, watchers want to be entertained (even if they’re also being educated). Further questions have to be asked: Do I use the powerpoint slides? Do I use the handwritten whiteboard visuals? Do I use pictures?

Good enough, is good enough

It is very easy to be over critical of your YouTube videos. But Dan Kennedy says “good enough is good enough.” Each video will build confidence and refine skills so that your videos will develop in the direction you want.

21st century business accountant: extra thoughts

Kevin emphasises the power of activity analysis. What do people spend their time doing? This drives so much cost in the business.

Another thing to consider is Daniel Burstein’s post, How to Write an Effective YouTube Description: 7 Steps. He was a guest on The Next 100 Days Podcast – have a listen.

As with any good content, think of your audience. They must be at the forefront of all you’re thinking. Kevin’s audience is particularly interesting because it isn’t duplicated anywhere else. He has found a gap and is filling it with his insight and expertise.

The other tips from Daniel Burstein’s article can be found here.

YouTube ranking is done from your YouTube Channel video description. What you put in there is pretty vital for being found – add a couple of paragraphs and tags. Also, it perpetuates itself a little bit – the more you pick up views and gain shares, the higher you rank. So, do your keyword research and think about SEO. This is how you are going to be found.

The next 100 days podcast is sponsored by Linked Professionally and is brought to you by Kevin Appleby and Graham Arrowsmith