Whether you’re just starting to get an audience on YouTube or have an established channel, one of the questions creators ask us all the time is how do you monetize your audience and influence beyond adsense? And how do you do that without feeling sleazy. Well we’re going to dig into all of that today.
Can I make an income with a small audience?
Sometimes we feel that YouTube is a sea of people and we are just shouting out to them, hoping that someone makes a transaction. But, it doesn’t have to be like that. Success on YouTube is all about getting in front of the right people – not the most people.
Adsense is not the Answer
I know a guy who is part of our audience and he told me that he has about 3k subs and is making over $2 million a year. – This is not from adsense but his own product, commissions, etc. Now, I’m not saying this is normal, but it is possible!
When I launched this channel, I knew that it needed to be business minded. I wrote my first “ebook,” which over time has turned into our foundational course, 30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel. When I had 3k subs, I was making about $10k a month. My first thought was, “Woah, I should have quit my real job a long time ago!” But honestly, it felt like a win-win-win. The customer I was serving was winning because they felt like they were reaching their goals. Their audience was winning because they were getting access to the services and products that the creator provided. And it was a win for our family because we were making money which allowed this to be sustainable and help more people who could help more people.
Compared to adsense, I was hardly making a thing. At that time, I was getting $2.50 per 1,000 views. But, I also had a $200 product. So, I would make videos to build trust and credibility and when I pitched my ebook I would convert 1%. I would get 10 sales per 1,000 views, so I would get $2k/1000 views on YouTube. Compare that to the $2.50 per 1k views I was getting with adsense! Having separate products will allow you to make WAY more and be in better control of your business model as well.
Three Bucket Strategy
To maximize your effect, you NEED to be using the three bucket strategy .
- Discoverable Content- Brings in your lead magnets
- Community Content- Helps to grow the know, like, and trust factor
- Sales Content – Pitches products
Your sales videos can’t look like a commercial. You still want it to look a little like a discoverable video in that you are solving a problem that they viewer has. It has to provide high value. To do this properly, you need to bring up the problem, make them feel that you understand their problem, and then show how your product is the solution to what they feel.
The pitch does not have to be in the last 20 seconds of your video. But, you do need to know what is the right point in the video, because you are taking them off the platform. It can be a link in the end screen, but you can also just tell them where to go and they can look it themselves. Do know that these videos probably won’t get the same amount of views as your discoverable videos. – And that’s ok. That’s not the point of them. Here’s a good example of how I did this way back in the day with a common YouTube practice:
If you’re trying to figure out what your funnel is and how to use YouTube as your “top of funnel,” first know that it really depends on your target audience. If you are going after experienced lawyers it’s going to look different than if you’re target audience is 16 year olds who just want to be entertained. But this is what we do as educators.
YouTube → Lead Magnet.
The lead magnet is some sort of free resource/training that you give away in exchange for an email address. Once you have that email address, you start sending emails that blow them away by being extremely helpful. Then, in email 4 or 5 you start introducing the problem, but don’t ask for anything yet. Just say that you understand the problem and show empathy. You might share your story about when you felt that way. Then by 5 or 6, you can pitch the solution to that problem, which is your product.
→ Under $199 product
This leads to your entry level product that blows their mind on how valuable this is, but is priced under $200.
→ Recurring revenue product
This is a lower cost subscription that people can get monthly value from. Having this is very important. Without having some sort of reoccurring revenue, you must constantly be finding new customers to stay afloat.
→ High ticket product ~$2,000 or so.
A book to help with this is $100M Offers: How to Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No . (Which is currently $0.99 on Kindle.) This book has been amazingly helpful in regards to how to make offers in a way that makes it seem like a no-brainer, no matter the cost. I highly recommend it.
How to Do This Without Feeling Sleazy
The key is to always focus on serving and giving. Your goal is to help people with their problems. You are simply offering them the solution. The money is not the goal, but tickets of appreciation for the value you are offering.
With a ministry background, I started out with the mentality that you have to give everything away for free. But I realized pretty fast that if you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business.
I also learned that the more I charged people, the more serious they got. When I donated my time, they just half listened to see if I had any good ideas, but when I charged them for a consultation, they came with a pad and a pen, eager to learn and in turn, they got much better results … and told all their friends.
How do you balance what to give away for free and what to sell?
Give all your best info away for free. You’re not selling info. You’re selling a process that gets results. We give away ALL the info on how to build a channel on our YouTube Channel . It’s all there, in thousands of videos. But if you want a step-by-step process of how to apply all the info to your particular channel, then that’s what you pay for.
YouTube is gradually rolling out two new features . The first is pinch-to-zoom. If you are in landscape mode, you can now actually pinch the video to see specific moments in greater detail.
The second is precise seeking. It’s been difficult to seek forward and back with detail in the scrubber, but when this rolls you will be able to swipe and see frame by frame in the progress bar. It will display like a filmstrip of thumbnails below the progress bar to allow users to find a specific part of the video.