agency, and they coordinate ads from companies
like Home Depot to play before or during your
video. This was all totally new to me, and we had no
idea what to do or how to handle it,” Wagner said.
But then came the demand to release more content, faster than either Wright or Wagner was comfortable with. They both agreed that their emphasis
going forward, no matter what hits they might take
financially, was making quality videos, both in terms
of content and production value.
“This agency told us that we needed more
videos, shorter videos. There were all of these
stipulations. For Jim or anyone in that generation,
it’s about showing a good project and doing
something educational, and those things take time.
If we were to attempt to do two videos per week, for
example, well, that’s a lot harder than people think,”
“We’ve taken a huge hit [financially]. We are gen-
erating a quarter of the revenue that we should, but
we’ve decided to put quality in front of quantity.”
While that philosophy might go against the
norm, it has helped “Jimbo’s Garage” expand to
more than 33,000 subscribers.
KEEPING IT REAL
The engaging guy in front of the camera is also the
same guy who makes it a point to respond to every
viewer question. He’s the same guy who meticulously tracks views and subscribers on loose-leaf
paper because, deep down, he doesn’t really trust
internet-based tracking methods. He’s the same guy
who will help anyone and build anything.
It’s that realness that Wagner believes has
allowed Wright to resonate with viewers and gain
“He’s got this great quality of being able to talk
and be genuine. The other part on You Tube is you
have to be relevant and have something the others
don’t. So I’ve always tried to keep the edge on quality, as good as it can be. It was never about being
better than anyone else’s [video], it’s just about how
good can we make this? How interesting is it going
to be?” Wagner explained.
“People say they appreciate I am real and make
mistakes and admit to them. Nothing’s perfect.”
Standing in front of the camera and talking about
a project is still hard, even when he’s the only guy in
“It can take four or five takes. It’s an amazing
amount of pressure when you set up a camera and
have to know exactly what you’re going to say be-
fore you say it,” Wright said. “I wish I could be more
natural. The video we just did, I must have done five
takes on the simple outro. Thirty seconds long, and
it took five or six times to say a few words.”
One of the most important factors that determine
success for a You Tube channel is sustainability. For-
tunately, Wright’s job as a contractor means there’s
never a shortage of topics to cover.
“He always has stuff coming in. This channel is so
organic in what happens and he never has to invent
reasons to make a video. His ideas come from actual
applications. If he’s doing a video about welding a
column, it’s because that column is going into some-
one’s home,” Wagner said.
Not every video is technical. Some give view-
ers a glimpse into Jim Wright, the dad—a role that
outweighs that of star of “Jimbo’s Garage.”
When Wagner was preparing to propose to
Wright’s daughter, he asked Wright to craft a
heart-shaped wooden box to hold the ring, which
eventually became a video. There is also a video
dedicated to the proposal itself.
A few years and almost 200 videos later, Wright
and “Jimbo’s Garage” is at a place he never knew
imaginable, with no sign of slowing down.
But in the end, he just wants to spend time in
his garage building things for people, and creating
content that helps others do the same.
“I like making videos. It’s fun and challenging. I
like making something and then making it for the
world. There are people all over the world, in every
country, that I get comments from. Other parts of
the world do things different, and it’s interesting to
see their feedback. As long as I can keep putting
out good content, I’m happy.”
Editor Amanda Carlson can be reached at
Almost 200 videos and 30,000-plus subscribers later, Wright is no different
off camera than he is on. He is naturally charismatic, genuine, friendly,
and relatable. His passion for building and helping others do the same is
a recipe for You Tube sustainability. More important, it’s helped him build
something he’s proud of.