The most successful YouTube channels have a small team behind them. Here’s how I grew my team and principles for building your own team that surrounds your channel, helps you reach your goals, communicate well with your audience, and serve people well. Right now I have a business advisor, business manager, video editor and graphic designer, accountants, Facebook community manager, and a Spanish translator working regularly on my team, and I’ll be expanding it as the needs grow.
The fastest growing and most successful YouTube channels are no longer one-man shows. They have a support team around them, and today I want to introduce you to some of the team here at Video Creators that makes this possible, and share with you how I found them, how I hire them, and some of the thought processes that might be helpful for you as you look to expand your own YouTube team.
Hank Green has a really good article posted last year about how YouTube is really hard to do on your own any more. In fact, it’s probably impossible. He gives many examples and a little insight behind the scenes of how some very popular famous YouTubers actually have a small team behind them that is making their channel successful and growing into what it is today.
He summarized it by saying this, “Find people who share your stupid-level excitement. Because, look, maybe you can do it by yourself still, but it’s far more than twice as easy to do it with help. We’ve entered the era of small teams.”
I’ll put a link to his full article in the description below this video if you want to go check it out. But personally, I have definitely found that Hank’s advice is spot on, totally true.
And I know a lot of you guys are like, “Tim this channel isn’t even supporting me yet. How can I afford to pay to bring on other people onto my team?” And I get that.
Start thinking of ways to help earn a decent income off of your audience, even with a relatively small subscriber base. And we will be talking a lot more about that subject coming up here in the next few months.
But let me give you an example of this channel right here at Video Creators. I started it almost exactly three years ago now. And at that time, I had zero views and zero subscribers. And here we are about three years later and it’s generating enough income to support me and my family and a small staff of other people.
When you’re just getting started on your YouTube channel, you are a one-man show until you start generating the income that will enable you to hire people. And for me, on this channel, it took about a year and a half to get to that point. And the only reason I was able to do that is because I thought about my channel from the very beginning as a business, not as like, hey, I want to become popular and not as like, hey, I just want a lot of subscribers and views.
I needed a process in the very beginning that enabled me to monetize those views outside of AdSense knowing that AdSense was going to pay me relatively little compared to some of the other revenue streams I could create for the channel.
One of the first people I partnered with was a lady named Kim, who is a branding and business development expert. And she came to me saying, Tim, I need some help with my YouTube channel. And I said hey, I need help with the business side of Video Creators.
And so we worked out an agreement, a bargain, where every week we met on Skype and one week I would help her with her YouTube channel and then the next week we would meet and she would help me with the business side of Video Creators. And we just alternated back and forth like that.
It was really good because I didn’t have the money to pay someone for business coaching or business consultation, and so it worked out well for that. And we actually still do that to this day, here, two years later, except for now, instead of meeting every week, we just meet every other week.
1. Get Creative in Finding Ways to Partner with Other People.
And so for you guys who, like me, couldn’t afford to bring someone onto my team at that point, maybe have some other ways that you can bargain to give value in exchange for other value that’s maybe not monetary but your exchanging time or resources or connections or whatever the case may be. Get creative and find other ways to partner with people and bring them onto your team in other ways if you can’t pay them.
2. Find People that can Help You to Focus on Your Strengths.
The next people I brought onto my team were people that I did pay, and these are my accountants, Mid Atlantic CPAs, go check them out. They have been awesome and they do work with a few other YouTubers, so I’m not being sponsored by them or anything, but I’ve been using them for about a year and a half now and they have been incredible. And one of the reasons why I went to an accountant next, is because I was starting to earn some income and for me, like, I’m just like the create type of guy that just wants to make good content that helps people and thinking about Excel and numbers and all the like flow of money and taxes and everything it’ just draining to me, emotionally draining. And so I just really wanted that off of my shoulders and onto someone else so I could be free to do the creative side of what I’m good at and what I’m passionate about here.
The principle here for you guys is to bring people onto your team that can give you the freedom you need to really be creative and to focus on what you do best.
3. Delegate Tasks – Focus on Generating Income.
My next hire didn’t come until the beginning of 2015 and that was a big jump for me because I hired a video editor. And my thinking behind this was like, OK, I spend a lot of time editing three videos every week for this channel. What if I freed up all the time I put into editing and invested that into creating products or into landing more sponsors or invested that into doing more consultations and things like that.
Could I, with this time that was freed up, generate more income than what I’m paying this person? And if the answer is yes, then I would do that all day long. So I took a risk and I set aside three months of pay for this video editor, and I explained this as we were going on. They were totally on board with this.
So we did it for three months, and actually what happened was that in the first week or two, I ended up generating about three times more than what I was paying the editor for the full three months. So at that point, I knew this was a no-brainer.
4. Identify Opportunities for Growing Your Channel.
And the principle for you guys is if there’s something repetitive that you’re doing over and over and over again and you can put a system and a process to it, and that you can then use to train someone else to do that work. and you also have another plan of how you’re going to use the time at that point to not only make enough money to pay the editor, or whoever you hire, but also to generate additional revenue– if you can figure that out, then do that and that is a really good way to grow your channel and the money that it creates.
Today my editor’s name is Julia and she does an awesome job. She even has a PhD In digital design. Who even knew that that was a thing? And you can thank here in the comments below this video for making this video look so awesome for you guys.
The next person I hired was admin because going back to my other principle, hire people to do things that you’re not good at and don’t have the capacity to learn if you’re really good at something else. And that’s what I want to do. I just want to focus on what I’m really good at.
So administrative stuff is not something I like, enjoy. It drains me, it stresses me out, and I’m not very good at it. And so today, that role has grown to everything from like helping me manage my email to doing customer support for those of you guys who buy my courses and ebooks and stuff. If you book a consultation with me, my admin books that, manages my schedule, sets up appointments for me, as well as helping with captioning and subtitling and managing content here on this channel and on my website, and updating that and lots of different things.
And today my admin’s name is Catherine. She just graduated with her MBA and she is doing awesome. And so if you want to comment below and say hi to her, she will read all of your comments, as well.
There’s two other people who work regularly on this team and one of them is a guy named Matt. And he helps manage the community over on our Facebook page at facebook.com/videocreators. He is generating graphics for you guys. He is always, like, strategizing different ways of how we can serve you better over on the Facebook side. And so if you’re not already a part of that Video Creators community, definitely go check out facebook.com/videocreators, give a like, and you’ll interact with both me and Matt over there.
And then the second person who works regularly on this team is a girl named Valeria. And I give her different videos to translate into Spanish. With all the Spanish translation that she’s doing on this channel for the titles, the descriptions, the captions, and all that, We’re trying to grow this channel to reach that audience more.
And then I’ll probably end up here, in the next few days or weeks or so, hire someone who can reach the India crowd because that is the largest and fastest growing language other than English and Spanish here on this channel.
The principle here for you guys is to look at the opportunities where your channel is growing the most and then hire people to help capitalize on those opportunities.
I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments below. What questions do you have about building a team, and what questions might you have for some of these individuals that are here on my team? I would love to hopefully, bring them onto the channel and let them answer some of the questions for you.
In future videos I’ll talk more about the process to go through and how to find people for your team, how to hire them, how to bring them on board, as well as how to communicate well with them and how to work on projects together and manage your team and all that.
And, of course, how to earn enough money from your channel so that you can hire people to join you in growing your channel and your audience in the first place. So all that and more is coming up in future weeks here.
So subscribe if this is your first time here. I would love to have you join this awesome community here at Video Creators, where every week we just talk about how to grow your YouTube channel, how to build your audience, and today, the team behind it, so that your channel can become sustainable to support you and your family in the goals that you have for your YouTube effort.