How a Small Channel Became a Big Business on YouTube

Ever thought about how a tiny YouTube channel can blow up into a full-blown business?

Read time: 3 minutes

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Here is your weekly dose of The Creator Stream, a list of what I’m enjoying and working on in the Creator Economy. Please feel free to forward this along to fellow creators.

🛠️ Client Project I’m Working on

Ever thought about how a tiny YouTube channel can blow up into a full-blown business? Well, about a year ago, Charlie, grappling with uncertainty about her channel's direction, reached out to me. At that time, I had just embarked on my journey as a YouTube consultant and was offering 60-minute calls to whoever wanted to speak with me.

Charle had a small channel only bringing in 10 views per video, her content centered around her life with a disability – the daily struggles, coping mechanisms, and valuable advice for others.

As we delved into her channel's potential, I helped her refine her channel’s focus on the few videos that seemed to have more traction than the others and the transformation from that has been incredible.

Months later, Charlie booked another call and told me some exciting news, after our initial consultation, it sparked a significant pivot in her content strategy where she shifted her focus to assisting disabled individuals in the UK with navigating the maze of getting financial support from the government.

This change resonated so deeply with her target audience, that her channel, which once struggled to break 20 views, now began to see hundreds of views, then thousands, then tens of thousands, and now hundreds of thousands of views!

In the last 48 hours, her analytics looked like this which she couldn’t believe was possible just a few short months ago:

One of the beliefs I have about YouTube is that you don’t need millions of views or subscribers to make a living and it was clear that whilst Charlie was starting to bring in the views and help people, there was a lot that could be done to offer more support.

I mentioned to her on our second call that she should start to think about offering consulting calls and a ‘Done-For-You’ service where she helps people to fill out these long and complicated forms which so many people, unfortunately, don’t have the time, energy or technical know-how to complete.

Off Charlie went and put in the work, ticking every item on her to-do list that I gave her and she booked another call with me earlier this week where she shared some exciting news.

She’s had to turn off her paid consulting calls because she has such a huge demand that she’s booked until next month! She’s also had to slow down the DFY service because it was taking up so many hours and has now started to bring in a part-time team member so she can focus on growing this business.

On the call, I gave her some words of advice as to what I would do if I were in her shoes:

  1. I would re-open the consulting calls availability but only let people book from February, giving her time to get through this current backlog. Right now, if anyone wants to book a call, they can’t as Charlie’s turned this feature off which is a big mistake as the YouTube channel is taking off and bringing so many potential customers to her website that we don’t want to miss out on.

    The crazy thing about this is that she didn’t even advertise the consulting calls, the link was right at the bottom of the description but because of how valuable the videos were, people found it and reached out!

  2. I would re-open the consulting calls at a higher rate; she started off charging a low rate because she wasn’t sure how many people would be interested, but now we know the demand is huge and she needs to limit this as she’s currently working 15 hour days to deal with the demand. I suggested moving her pricing to £150 an hour and see if that becomes more manageable, if the demand is still so high it may be worth moving it higher.

  3. I suggested that she add a newsletter link to her descriptions and pinned comments so that she can start capturing and owning the viewers that are currently flooding her channel. This will also play a big part in my next point to her:

  4. Start to think about launching group coaching calls where you have a Q&A session and can help people en masse, it will allow you to help more people at a lower, more accessible rate and mean you only spend an hour or two per week as opposed to 10+ 1-to-1 calls.

  5. This is all with the long-term plan of creating a free or paid course that teaches people how to do this without Charlie needing to fill out every form herself; the email list she builds will be a fantastic tool for getting that announcement out there once ready.

  6. She could even start up a very small agency of her own that helps people fill out these forms by just bringing on another person or two part-time which she can train them up with her course and then offer a more robust DFY service that isn’t just relying upon her.

She’s bringing on people to help her as she’s now able to make money and make this a full-time business and I honestly believe she could easily make this a £5-10k a month business.

Seeing transformations in YouTube channels and people like this is why I love what I do, I genuinely believe you don’t need 1,000,000 subscribers to make a living or even a strong side income to your main job.

Since starting my consulting journey a year and a half ago, this is one of the proudest moments I’ve had, as the progress Charlie has made helping others with her YouTube channel and starting to make a real business for herself is just fantastic and I hope to do this often with other creators.

I’ve started to think about how I could help creators grow their YouTube channel but also monetize it with a minimal viable landing page, 7-day email automation lead magnet, and digital product just like what I helped Charlie with.

I’m in the early stages of planning out what this will look like, if you’d be interested in hearing more about this as I start to flesh it out, please vote on the poll below.

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If you’re lacking some guidance on YouTube, you may want to do what Charlie did and hop on a call with me to see how I can help. I’m currently offering free 15-minute calls here.

My Favourite Things This Week

📕 Podcast I’m Listening To…

How Thomas Frank Accidentally Started a $100k/Month Side Hustle: Two people I've followed for years in the productivity space are Thomas Frank and Ali Abdaal. Thomas was invaluable during my university days for his insights into time management and learning and got me into self-development.

Ali was instrumental when I sought productivity in my day job, I loved his content so much that I eventually joined his team, working as his YouTube Producer for a year before venturing into my own YouTube consultancy business.

This 20-minute casual chat on Ali’s second channel was fascinating to listen to as they delved into why Thomas Frank left his "productive" YouTube channel with 2.9M subscribers to start a new one focused solely on Notion. This new channel quickly garnered 200k subscribers and now generates over $100k a month!

If you're considering starting a YouTube channel or an online business, this relaxed conversation is a great listen when doing some chores.

🎥 Tweet Thread I’m Reading

How To Build an Internet Business: As highlighted in previous newsletters, I believe communities will play a significant role in the creator economy. Recently, we've observed a trend of more creators migrating to Skool.com to establish their communities.

Alex Hormozi has recently invested in the platform, demonstrating his commitment to its growth, and has launched The Skool Games, a challenge that helps you set up and monetize your own community.

Greg Isenberg, an expert in community building, shared some intriguing predictions in a tweet thread I wanted to share. He believes that communities will form just one component of a broader ecosystem that people will buy into. He predicts that memberships will gain prominence, offering perks like access to exclusive communities, paid newsletters, discounts and deals, real-life events, software, and digital assets (such as templates and resources).

Over the next year, it’ll be interesting to see how these communities start to adapt and include more bells and whistles to tempt people into their paid community once the competition heats up.

🎙️ Podcast I Released

How to Monetise your Newsletter with 1,000 Subscribers: George recently earned an amazing $6,000 in only three days by pre-launching his YouTube scriptwriting course… with only 900 subscribers on his newsletter!

In this episode, we break down George's strategy, how he started writing a course, and his advice on monetizing your audience as a creator.

Thanks for reading, if you want to reach out to me, just send a tweet to @WhiffenYT.

Jamie

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