It’s a new age of small business, and the ways in which entrepreneurs approach it are changing right along with it. You may think, if you’re a traditional thinker, that something like a YouTube channel is a ridiculous platform on which to build a business model, but as YouTubers would say, you’re just a hater.
And they would be right.
Can it be a Real Business?
Here’s the thing: It is absolutely a viable platform for business, and those who are reigning in the cash cow currently provided by YouTube are throwing money in the bank with nearly zero overhead cost.
The only reason that anyone can make any money through the platform is because the masses haven’t quite come around yet, to the idea that the money is there for the taking. It’s true that YouTube doesn’t monetize videos as heavily as they did in the recent past (for reasons they haven’t disclosed), but if you can pull enough subscribers to your channel, you can still earn a good amount of cash.
And that is the hitch… How do you get people to watch what you’re putting out?
The Problem of Subscribers and Views
You can find far better sources for sound advice on how to do this—probably from YouTube. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as it were, but here’s a general idea of how you can get some eyes on your work.
Find a niche.
Like any business, you need a differentiator or a target market that remains basically untapped. This is increasingly difficult because everyone and their mother, brother, son, niece, and nephew are trying to do this exact thing right now. It is extremely competitive.
Pour yourself into social media.
Are you a person who isn’t really psyched about getting on the whole social media bandwagon? Too damn bad. There is virtually no effective way to promote your YouTube channel without linking everything you put out to social media outlets and regularly, daily engaging with your audience there.
Don’t be boring.
When you’re making videos for public viewing, there is just no substitute for entertainment. No matter what type of content you’re creating, even if it’s instructional, historical, etc., no one will keep watching if it isn’t interesting.
Not to Be Confused with Other Business Models
Make no mistake; this is a creative field, and if you don’t feel very strong creatively, then you should definitely hire a partner or a team who has the talent for it. Think of it as you would with any other area of your business; you hire somebody else when you don’t know what you’re doing.
YouTube is the New Television
Most of us pretty much already realize that YouTube, Netflix, and other corporations are about to completely dominate visual entertainment media, but when YouTube goes fully mainstream, the challenge to break into the industry will be equal to the challenge faced by any company trying to get into television broadcasting in the last few decades.
If you design your YouTube presence carefully and create truly valuable content, then you can basically get your foot in the door of the new media industry before it’s fully realized.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.