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You Betcha's Myles Montplaisir speaks to area entrepreneurs at 1 Million Cups

"Our mission was to create an entertainment channel for the internet that celebrated being from the Midwest," Montplaisir told attendees. "I think the Midwest is cool, so why can’t we celebrate that and put that into videos and post about it on the internet?"

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The You Betcha crew is Ryan Sheely (left), Myles Montplaisir, Laken Samis and Jake Zell. They are seen on Friday, July 31, at their warehouse in Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
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FARGO — Myles Montplaisir, the Fargo native behind the popular internet media company You Betcha , addressed a group of local entrepreneurs and business leaders at 1 Million Cups Wednesday morning, Sept. 9.

Montplaisir spoke on the origins of You Betcha, a multimedia channel which boasts over 630 million views on its Facebook page alone, while also offering insight into the company's business model and advice for prospective online producers.

"Our mission was to create an entertainment channel for the internet that celebrated being from the Midwest," Montplaisir told attendees. "I think the Midwest is cool, so why can’t we celebrate that and put that into videos and post about it on the internet?"

After You Betcha released its first million-view video, a side-by-side comparison of New Glarus Brewing Company's Spotted Cow and Busch Light , Montplaisir said he realized he needed to maintain momentum if he wanted to build the channel into a business.

"It's awesome to get your first video to hit," Montplaisir said. "Then you’re sitting there thinking, 'Well, if this is going to be an actual business, I need to do that again. I don’t even know how I did it the first time,'"

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Merchandise serves as a key source of revenue for You Betcha, Montplaisir explained. By the end of quarter three, You Betcha will have sold $1 million in merchandise, he said, which includes offerings such as apparel, stickers and even You Betcha-branded cornhole bags .

"It's not just about getting video views and getting people talking, it's building a brand along with it," Montplaisir explained. "You can go so much deeper with a little bit of a smaller audience than having such a broad section and having no brand at all."

In addition to merchandise, You Betcha brings in revenue via Facebook, YouTube or Instagram advertisements. The company also hired an agent to seek out sponsorship opportunities. Montplaisir said that You Betcha's Facebook following is its largest, followed by TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

You Betcha has its sights on creating offshoot channels from its central page, a move which Montplaisir said would help build the brand beyond himself. "If I die tomorrow, You Betcha doesn't really exist as a company, which isn't great," he said.

While You Betcha often references Busch Light, the company doesn't have a formal partnership with Anheuser-Busch, rather a "handshake" agreement, which Montplaisir said he prefers, though he indicated a formal pact could happen eventually.

The lack of a formal agreement gives You Betcha more freedom to speak in their own words. "The death of an internet page is when someone else is telling you what to say," Montplaisir said.

Montplaisir advised prospective online content producers to put "zero judgement" on their own content until posting it, rather allow viewers to indicate whether or not they like it.

"You have to remember that right away you have zero followers, so it doesn’t really matter what kind of content you put out," he said. "Just try a bunch of different stuff, throw a bunch of different darts at the dartboard. By doing that, you'll get something close to the bullseye."

Related Topics: SMALL BUSINESSFARGO
Thomas Evanella is a reporter for The Forum. He's worked for The Forum for over two years, primarily reporting on business news. Reach him at tevanella@forumcomm.com or by calling 701-353-8363. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella.
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