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How the internet helped me create a BJJ instructional

So my very first digital product was released by BJJ Fanatics recently. So I’m going to leave the link here.

So the team over at BJJFANATICS reached out to me to do a video with them. After winning the 2018 Abu Dhabi East Cost trials.

Since I live Sweden and BJJFANATICS is based out of the US. I knew that it would be a while before I would be filming. So I used this time to my advantage in helping me pick the topic that I wanted to cover.

The first thing I did was start researching topics.

Topics that I was confident in showing and then cross referencing them with the BJJFANATICS database.

This coupled with talking to their main team and some of my marketing friend helped me weed out more competitive topics.

Topics dealing with leg locks had already been done.

I remember that I really wanted to do a no gi passing video focusing on the knee cut pass, but then Gordon Ryan released a no gi passing dvd.

So I had to really change up my thought process.

What was a topic that didn’t get a lot of attention but would probably be applicable to the the largest audience?

If you guys follow me a lot. I post regularly to the social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit.

Most of the content that I make is geared toward basic techniques for a few key reasons.

1// There are more and more people starting Jiu Jitsu than at any other point in history. In large part thanks to the UFC and mma. This also is aided by the Joe Rogan podcast and Hollywood as a whole embracing Jiu Jitsu into its world. That means a whole lot of white belts. 

2// It’s hard to convey complex techniques in under 1 minute. Of course, some of the other social media platforms allow for more time. But even then, more complex topics and moves only cater to a very small minority of viewers. I teach almost daily and even then I have to constantly revisit basic techniques over and over with my own students. There’s no way that a person will get the moves I show just from watching a video once or twice. 

So I had to go back to the drawing board. Luckily, my friend that I mentioned earlier is a marketing wiz in addition to being an avid consumer of Jiu Jitsu content. So he sent this to me. Which I later forwarded to the crew at BJJFANATICS:

“I think more and more “gi only” guys are starting to get into no gi. However, there aren’t solid no gi 101 DVD’s that I know of.

I feel like every no gi DVD is either advanced leg locks or focused on one specific submission like anaconda / kimura / gullotine.

There’s a gap in the market for dudes who are into lapel guards / spider guard / collar sleeve, trying out no gi, and being completely lost because we don’t have our grips.

Which is interesting because you’re a spider guard / gi guy, yet have success at no gi with a different game.”

Reading this definitely helped me to decided to focus on no gi basics.

But I still needed to narrow down my topic some more. Since the basics could be anything.

That’s when I decided to go and see what Reddit r/bjj had to say.

If your not familiar with Reddit bjj. It’s probably one of the largest Jiu Jitsu online communities.

All those funny memes and viral videos tend to get posted there before any where else.

That’s why it’s such a great resource. Once you get the hang of it.

And they gave me some great advice.

Guard retention was something that I had been working on since I moved to Sweden. To teach along side Jon Thomas. So I was super confident in this lane.

That just left testing the topic.

My biggest way of testing the topic was just two fold.

The easiest way for me to test the subject matter was by teaching it in my classes. 

This is one super benefit of being an instructor. Since the class format and instruction can be very similar to variables in an experiment. Meaning that I could change around the class as much as I wanted to get more experience working on my subject matter.

The only downside was that the students guards got a lot better. Making it even harder to attempt to pass lol.

So for guard retention. I would have the students focus on the very basics.

I would have them perform techniques like shrimping, arm framing drills along side introducing common guard retention situations.

Then I would observe my class and watch to see what were some of the sticking points giving the students issues.

For instance the forward shrimp was a big sticking point. I had to keep going over the forward shrimp since a lot of my students were not familiar with it.

So I would used this process over and over again to refine my knowledge of the topic of guard retention. Along with a lot of positional sparring too.

And then I would use the sticking point to create videos on my no gi guard retention and see how it performed.

Performance metrics included the number of likes, shares, upvotes, comments and views that the video would get.

The forward shrimp being a great example of this development.

So I would teach the move. The students would have trouble with a particular sticking point. Then that sticking point would get filmed later on. Sometimes directly after the class had ended.

Of course, there are a ton of variables out there to account for such as: title, thumbnail, posting time. That can all affect how well a video does.

But to keep it simple. I would post the main video to YouTube/Vimeo.

While making smaller clips from the same video and turn those in to clips for Instagram and Facebook.

This was a super simple way to market test whether or not there was any interest in what I was showing.

If a certain topic just didn’t perform well. That just meant that there wasn’t enough interest in it.

Which can definitely kill a product launch.

There were many times when I thought a video would resonate well with my audience only for it to flounder.

And other times when I didn’t want to film but did so any way and those videos would take off.

Instead of just showing my favorite techniques. My goal was to merge my knowledge with what people really wanted to see and learn.

And eventually put out a great product.

So if you guys would like to check out my new release. Please click the link below.

If you have any feedback. Good or bad please send it my way so I can use it to make my next product release even better.

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