More Secrets for YouTube Channel Success
In this article on building a successful YouTube channel, I'm going to talk about three very different channels from the types I've talked about in the past. This time we'll look at a young man that has branded himself as the 'Fish Whisperer'; we'll also explore how a woman targeted a very niche audience that she sang performed for, generating terrific success; and last, we'll look at a couple that not only has a channel for their traditional Christian music, but another channel that gives fans a look into their everyday life and journey.
One of the channels covered has a modest number of followers, yet the owner has managed to leverage her fan base into a multi-million dollar group of businesses. The other two channels, at least in my research of them, haven't revealed any numbers in regard to the revenue they have generated.
A major thing to keep in mind with successful YouTube channels is this: the most successful go beyond the one obvious source of revenue coming from ads, and offer a variety of products or services to meet the wants and needs of their fan base.
An important thing to consider when you work on building up a fan base is, once people start following you and find the content you offer relevant and compelling to them, they not only are willing to part with their money on core products or services you provide, but many will want a piece of almost everything you offer them.
It should be understood that you have to think through carefully who your core fan base is and what they want. You just don't start throwing products or services at them; you must be very selective and do it in small steps. People understand you need to make a living, but they don't want to be objects of an endless number of marketing campaigns; most don't want a lot of friction via marketing and ad interruptions that interfere with the viewing and listening experience.
This is easy to do, and we'll look at how to do that in the article.
With that in mind, we'll get into the nuts and bolts of what these three very successful video content creators do, and how they maintain and grow their fan base.
The Fish Whisperer
In my viewing experience, 'The Fish Whisperer' is one of the more unique channels I've watched, and even if you aren't particularly interested in the subject matter, you owe it to yourself to at least take a look at a couple of the videos. It may surprise you how delightful it is to watch him interact with a variety of fish, turtles and fowl. His channel is by far the largest in regard to subscribers of the three channels included in the article, with 1.2 million as I write.
He always relates to the fish and turtles as his pets, and the reason why is many of the videos include, at least in part, footage of him feeding them a wide variety of food.
Interestingly, as far as considering them pets, there is truth in his assertion, because having fed them for a significant period of time by hand and other means, they are comfortable with coming to the area he feeds them in, and at times, taking the food right from his hand; the turtles do the same.
Another thing he does that draws you into the narrative is he almost always has names for the fish and turtles that have identifiable characteristics. Probably my favorite is Odie the catfish. Odie will come right up to the place 'The Fish Whisperer' feeds him and allow himself to be petted.
One of the more unique things he did was to attach a GoPro onto the back of one of his favorite turtles while filming what was going on under water around the turtle.
What keeps the videos from becoming monotonous are the variety of ways he feeds the fish and turtles. For the turtles, he will try hot dogs, popsicles, salads, carrots, watermelon, and of course a variety of small fish to whet their appetites.
Concerning the popsicles, he used pond water while adding things like shad, strawberries, blueberries; blending them together and feeding them.
Some of the other things in the video series are casting out a throw net to catch different types of minnows to feed the fish and turtles, as well as occasional traps to catch craw fish to plant in the ponds.
He made two new ponds, with one primarily for bass, and the other for his 'pet' alligator gar, which grow to a very large size.
Finally, he will put some of his videos in slow motion when he feeds the giant bass in the pond, which will jump up and take a shad or minnow right out of his hand. He also shows them jumping up in the pond to grab shad presented to them in other ways.
There are also times he uses a drone to give viewers an aerial view of the ponds and activities. When ducks show up he has food ready to feed them too.
As you can see, this is an interesting YouTube channel. It engages people by not only taking them on the journey of 'The Fish Whisperer,' but does it in a way that makes fish and turtles seem like traditional pets like a dog or cat.
Similar to the Meerkat Manor, some of the fish and turtles are named, so they seem like part of the family. I remember when someone I know watched Meerkat Manor all the time, and when one of them died, he went into a form of mourning for him.
A secret to YouTube success with this type of content is to provide names for some of the fish, turtles, birds and animals, and at times, ask the viewers to give a name to some of them to give them a deeper connection to the show; your family will become their family, resulting in a strong emotional connection to your channel.
Below are a couple of interesting videos from 'The Fish Whisperer.'
Monster Bass Jump for Shad!
I Strapped a GoPro on Tank the Turtle!
Leah: Celtic Metal
The next YouTube star is known as 'Leah,' an independent musician that build her fan base from zero, leveraging it into several businesses generating millions of dollars. What's incredible about it is, she does this from a relatively small YouTube subscriber base of just under 54,000.
As for her channel itself, she said she has built a private record company around it, which generates "multiple six-figures" income from "selling music & merchandise directly to fans."
The key to her success she says is first, choosing the niche she wanted to work in, and from there, digging deep into the desires and needs of her fan base, finding out what it was about celtic metal that was compelling to them. After that she recorded music or showed content of travels associated with Celtic places that were attractive and interesting to her fans. Many of her products are also designed with her customers in mind, as it relates to everything Celtic and Celtic metal.
Leah McHenry is a mother of five who homeschools them, and also a libertarian and Christian. Her goal was to build a business or businesses that would accommodate the lifestyle of her and her family.
In the world we now live in, finding alternative sources of income is going to be one of the more important ways a person can protect themselves, make decisions based upon their beliefs and provide a living that offers them the option of doing what they want when they want. That of course includes the caveat that one must still serve customers in order to maintain that lifestyle.
Sources of income directly related to her YouTube channel include selling music and products with a Celtic theme, and at times raising capital via fundraising.
As mentioned earlier, the reason for her success in her chosen genre has been to research everything celtic metal and the people that love it, and build her content and products around that.
Building a fan base opens up doors to other opportunities
If you want to find out straight from Leah how she build her YouTube channel, go to this podcast interview she had with Tom Woods; she does a deep dive how she grew it to the success she now enjoys.
As successful as her channel has been in attracting her core fan base and generating a nice income from it, it's only a small part of her financial success. She was able to leverage her base into other businesses that generate a lot more revenue than her channel does.
Her largest one is where she mentors other people on how to build a successful business as well. When you have the trust of your customers, it's not that difficult to draw them into other products or services that you develop or make, and offer to them.
How does one know what they want? First, the key is to know what they desire in relationship to your specific niche more than they do. Second, since there is a relationship that has already been built, all you have to do is ask them. You'd be surprised at how many will give quality feedback that can help you develop products and services they desire.
Here's one of the biggest business secrets there is to know: an entrepreneur will make more money from teaching what they know and helping others achieve success, than they will from the original business they built. This is why, if you've done any research at all, the big money is in a variety of courses developed to help people in the various stages of business growth and how to deal with them.
This of course doesn't mean everyone needs to do this, but in the case of Leah and many others, leveraging a small YouTube subscriber base is doable when you learn how to leverage your core customer into multiple income streams.
When they're passionate about what you do and trust is built, as long as you don't take advantage of that trust and relationship by marketing too much, or offering many unrelated products or services, you can expand how you serve them beyond the content that brought you originally together.
Leah has built several businesses worth multi-millions by doing just that. So don't be overly concerned about how many subscribers you have. You can do a lot with a little when you develop content a specific niche is eager for.
Finally, I don't want to suggest that YouTube is the only place Leah has a presence, as she does on other social platforms as well, but she sticks to her knitting no matter where she is, and her fan base from YouTube, and other platforms, follow her.
If you want to read an excellent article Leah wrote about how she manages her busy life and time, go take a look here.
SKYRIM THEME SONG: The Dragonborn Comes - by LEAH
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Veni Veni Emmanuel)
'Sounds Like Reign' and 'Tiny Notes from Home'
The last of the three highly successful YouTube channels includes two channels from the same couple. One is their traditional Christian music channel called 'Sounds Like Reign,' and the second is 'Tiny Notes from Home,' which focuses on the daily projects and life of the couple and their family. As I'm writing, 'Sounds Like Reign' has 390,000 subscribers, and 'Tiny Notes from Home' has 154,000 subscribers. They generate revenue by selling albums, homemade products Patreon, Amazon, donations and video ads.
I included Brackin and Lindsay Kirkland's YouTube channels, especially the music channel, in order to offer completely different contrast in music style from Leah's style.
Interestingly, both home school their children and desire to generate revenue to allow them to live the life they have chosen to. In light of the various restrictions on liberty and movement associated with COVID-19, many people are searching for ways to make a living while mitigating risk associated with the virus, and to work around the mandates being forced upon them. YouTube content offers a way to do that, as all these content creators show.
Similar to Leah, the Kirklands understand their own strengths and weaknesses, along with the type of music they feel comfortable with offering to their core fan base; their niche is primarily traditional Christian music.
The major point I want to make here is that it doesn't have to be music offered on a YouTube channel in order to be successful, as the 'Fish Whisperer' and others have shown. Rather, it's offering content that appeals to a specific type of person, which over time, will build up a successful YouTube channel and fan base, which can be leveraged in a variety of ways to generate significant revenue by providing the type of content your customers want.
Once the Kirklands were successful with their music channel, they created the 'Tiny Notes from Home' channel to provide a deeper look into their everyday life for those that wanted more of them. This is a reference to what I mentioned earlier, in that once your big fans like what you provide for them, they want a piece of everything you offer. While the family vlog doesn't have the number of subscribers 'Sounds of Reign' does, it shows that approximately a third of them wanted a deeper dive into their lives and content.
Once humorous aside here is that Lindsay is about 5'5" tall, while Brackin is 6'4" tall, The reason you can't tell it in the videos is he stoops down when they're standing side-by-side together so there aren't problems filming because of their height disparity.
Another very interesting thing that makes their music channel compelling, is they offer the music in different settings; sometimes they're in a studio, other times in the outdoors, other other times singing in their home. My favorite though is when they're in a silo singing. Yes, you heard that right; they literally have what they call 'Silo Sessions,' where they produce a different sound even though they may use the same recording equipment.
Also to provide variety, they occasionally invite guests to perform with them.
Last, another enjoyable part of their music is when they include their boys in the singing sessions. They do quite well, and at times they don't edit the boys if they deviate from the script.
As for their 'Tiny Notes from Home' channel, they provide content not only of their daily and seasonal projects, but also include insights into their faith and why they live as they do. What's nice about that is it's very low key and enjoyable to listen to, as it's presented primarily in an organic way that isn't pushy; it's simply part of who they are and it's offered in that way.
I'm not saying it isn't scripted in some way, only that they do very well in their presentation, to the point it doesn't appear that way.
The bottom line here is that they know their audience, and they very much appreciate how the family vlog complements their music channel.
Some of the songs they sing include: Sweet Hour of Prayer; Holy Holy Holy; I'd Rather Have Jesus; Nearer My God To Thee; Instruments of Your Peace; Worthy Is The Lamb; Jesus, Only Jesus; among many others.
Below are examples from their music channel and family vlog.
Everything About to Change
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
As mentioned several times in this video, the secret to the success of these content producers is knowing what they're good at and is of interest to them, providing content that attracts like minded people, and then not deviating from the interests of the fan base that they built.
From there they can leverage that into other revenue streams that are within the parameters of the interests of the viewers. Once content creators attract an audience that likes what they offer, they can develop a variety of products and services that aren't always directly related to the original niche, but many people want.
Teaching people how to build their own businesses is one way to do that, as Leah is doing. Designing products that are of interest to fans that correlates with the way they live is another, such as soaps Lindsay makes to sell to viewers.
Again, the key is to know your audience and do a deep dive into their wants and needs, providing content and products and services associated with their wants and needs. That can be leveraged a long way toward a significant income that allows for most people to live the life they want.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.