TubeTalk: Your YouTube How-To Guide

5 YouTube monetization services you have NEVER heard of with Jim Louderback, VidCon GM

June 11, 2020 Liron Segev; Jim Louderback Season 3 Episode 216
TubeTalk: Your YouTube How-To Guide
5 YouTube monetization services you have NEVER heard of with Jim Louderback, VidCon GM
Chapters
TubeTalk: Your YouTube How-To Guide
5 YouTube monetization services you have NEVER heard of with Jim Louderback, VidCon GM
Jun 11, 2020 Season 3 Episode 216
Liron Segev; Jim Louderback

There is nothing I love more than attending YouTuber events around the world. This is not only a superb place to create network opportunities, but a space to learn from the best-of-the-best!

One event I always look forward to is VidCon, a global content creator event that really does expose how creators are able to grow their audiences and monetize their various platforms.

On this TubeTalk episode you will learn all about:


Check these out and make sure you pick the right service for you and your channel.

Check out more about VidCon at vidcon.com and hope to see you at the next event!

Show Notes Transcript

There is nothing I love more than attending YouTuber events around the world. This is not only a superb place to create network opportunities, but a space to learn from the best-of-the-best!

One event I always look forward to is VidCon, a global content creator event that really does expose how creators are able to grow their audiences and monetize their various platforms.

On this TubeTalk episode you will learn all about:


Check these out and make sure you pick the right service for you and your channel.

Check out more about VidCon at vidcon.com and hope to see you at the next event!

Liron Segev:

There is no better place to learn from the best of the best than attending a VidCon event. That is a content creator-focused event happening around the world, one of my favorite events that I always look forward to. So today on TubeTalk, we've got the GM of VidCon, Mr. Jim Louderback, who's going to share with us these amazing tips. Most of these services, I have never even heard of. This is going to be a great one. Let's do this.

Liron Segev:

And welcome to another episode of TubeTalk. My name is Liron Segev. I am a tech blogger, a YouTuber, and the Director of Customer Success here at vidIQ, where every day we help creators big and small level up their channels, get more subscribers, more views, in less time.

Liron Segev:

Jellysmack and Spotter might sound like pro wrestlers, and maybe they are, I don't know. But today on TubeTalk, we are talking with the one and only Jim Louderback, the GM of VidCon, which of course is the penultimate event for all YouTubers, and in fact, all content creators, that you absolutely need to be attending. So excited to have Jim. Jim, welcome to TubeTalk.

Jim Louderback:

Thank you very much. It's good to be here.

Liron Segev:

So Jim, you and I have met on several VidCons around the world now, it seems to be. For those people who don't know what a VidCon is, how would you best describe it?

Jim Louderback:

Yeah, around the world is good. I think last time I saw you, we were in London.

Liron Segev:

Right.

Jim Louderback:

Right before like the last week we could probably be anywhere before we all got shut down.

Liron Segev:

That's was crazy.

Jim Louderback:

So, VidCon is basically three events. It's a thing you go to. It's face-to-face. It's a summit, a festival, and a conference. And it's really a place where if you're a fan of online video creators, you go to meet them, to see them perform, to get selfies with them, to listen to them do Q&As, to meet other people who like creators just like you do. On the summit side, it's a B2B conference where all the people that are building these new businesses on the backs of this new community-led media stuff that we all love so much.

Jim Louderback:

Our industry track. That's where those folks come and learn and experience, and meet, and hang out, and go to workshops, and fireside chats. And then on the conference side, we have a creator track, which is where we actually go and educate creators and help them figure out how to do more: how to build their audience, how to collaborate with other people, how to figure out alternate monetization strategies, how to take what in many ways may have been a hobby into a job; or, if it's already a job, how to take it to the next level. So, all that in Anaheim, in London, in Abu Dhabi, and Mexico, and Singapore, and other places around the world, where we really go out and try and, overall, just push forward to help democratize the creative economy and really help connect and kind of promote this new community-led media thing that we're all a part of.

Liron Segev:

And you notice, he doesn't say only YouTubers because VidCon has evolved. It may have started to being a YouTuber-focused event, but it's now evolved to video content creation on many platforms. Is that correct?

Jim Louderback:

Yeah, absolutely. When we started 10, 11 years ago, it was all about YouTube, because YouTube was what was it was all about. But over the last, certainly four or five years, we broadened a lot as the number of platforms that you can use, and that you can build audiences, and build businesses, and build followings, and build fandom has expanded. So, I think it started with YouTube. We kind of eased into Vine. And then we started adding in Instagram, and Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snap. I'm sure there are many others out. Twitch.

Jim Louderback:

I could keep going, but all those different platforms, we try to explore how to create content, build audiences, and build businesses on them because you can't just, as you well know, you can't just do the same thing on Instagram that you do on YouTube.

Liron Segev:

Or on TikTok, or any of those.

Jim Louderback:

Or Pinterest or, you know, whatever.

Liron Segev:

You're talking monetization. And let's dive into that a little bit because at the end of the day, whilst we may all have started whatever platform we happen to be on as a hobby at a certain point, you realize, "Man, I've got expenses. I've got to buy gear. I want to travel to events. I've got to just invest in myself, and that stuff costs money." Now, a lot of people think of monetization purely as ad revenue. I mean, recently I spoke to Marlene McCowan. She's got an amazing bird channel, and she was telling us about Patreon, and subscription boxes, and merchandise was alternative sources of revenue. Have you got any tips for us when it comes to building our business of building our brands? Should we be looking at stuff beyond just YouTube ad revenue or other platforms' ad revenues?

Jim Louderback:

Yeah. I'll take it at a high level, and then I'll talk about some of the individuals. I think if you're a creator and you're starting to receive ad revenue, and you're starting to build a business out of it, you need to rethink your entire self. That sounds so deep. What I really mean is you need to go beyond just being like, "I'm a YouTube creator. I'm just going to make videos and post it." You have to think of yourself, really, as a direct to consumer brand. You are just like Allbirds, or Lisa, or Warby Parker, or Dollar Shave Club. That's what you're building. You need to think of yourself as this brand that's going direct to an audience. And then think about how do I leverage that audience to drive the most amount of value for them first, but then value to yourself second. And there are a number of ways to do that.

Jim Louderback:

You can do that by going after your biggest fans on something like Patreon, where you sign your biggest fans up to be patrons and give you a certain amount of money every week, or every month. You can try and expand your audience on new platforms. You can monetize your back catalog in ways that you might not have thought about. So, there's a bunch of different things out there that you can do. None of them are going to be right for everyone, but all of them are things that you should be looking into and thinking, "Wow, I could do this," because if you're not, you might be leaving money on the table. The other reason why you want to do this, it's about diversification of revenue streams. Because if you're just living off the YouTube AdSense nipple, when that gets yanked away from you, you're going to go hungry. And we all know it's likely, at some point, it might get yanked away from you.

Liron Segev:

Completely. And we don't control that. We, at the end of the day, we still building our costs on somebody else's island. It's their rules, and they could choose to enforce whatever rules they need to that's best for them. If all your eggs are in the one basket, well, when the world changes like the situation we happen to be in right now, you're at the mercy of somebody else if you've only doing one stream of revenue. So, I love the fact that you've touched on that. I really wanted to shout amen as you were saying that you're a business, you're a brand, you have an audience. This is something that I encourage people to think of all the time, as opposed to, "Hey, I'm a YouTuber. Hey, I'm a content creator." That's what you do, but that's not who you are, essentially. Once you both think of it as a business, well, everything starts to change. A business has expenses, but the business needs the revenue stream to keep it afloat. And now you're starting to think the correct way.

Jim Louderback:

The other thing you need to do is remember that YouTube is a business, too. They're not in business to make you money. They're not in business to make you happy. They're in business to increase shareholder value for Google. Now, when your interests align, that's awesome. But they're not always going to align and YouTube will do what's right for YouTube in the end.

Liron Segev:

We're going along for the ride, essentially.

Jim Louderback:

Yeah, exactly.

Liron Segev:

So, let's talk about some of those business opportunities beyond just the Google ads, YouTube ads, TikTok ads, any of the ad platforms.

Jim Louderback:

Well, yeah. And, again, I think that something to think about whenever you go on those platforms, and you made this point and you're absolutely correct, it's: you're at the mercy of them. It's their platform and the users that you have, the subscribers, the followers, the fans, you don't own them. You don't control them. They're not yours. So, one of the first things you need to think about doing is how do I get a deeper, direct connection with my audience? Because once you have a direct connection with your fans, it's easier to leverage them. So, there are a number of ways to do that. Patreon, of course, is one of them.

Jim Louderback:

But what you might want to consider, also, is how do you create a private community to bring your fans in? And another area to do that is on Discord. And if you're not familiar with Discord, you should go and log in, create a server and think about, and you can do this with Patreon, as well, whereas you start to identify your biggest fans, starting to drive them to your private community, so that you can do things with them, which might involve making money, but might involve just getting more deeply connected with them, and building an area where you can kick the trolls out and they never come back. So, I think that's kind of one, but if you want, we can talk about some specific... I have some other things, as well.

Liron Segev:

Before we move off the Discord... I love the Discord idea, because what a lot of people struggle with is content, right? What's working and what isn't working. Well, how about asking your customer, which is essentially your fan, which is essentially your subscriber? If you have a Discord server, you can easily pop in there and say, "Hey, what do you want to see next? What do you think of this? What do you think of that?" And guess what? If they're part of your journey, they're going to watch, they're going to share, especially if you shut them out in the video.

Liron Segev:

So, I love the point that you're making about having, going from an anonymous number to a person, because that's when stuff becomes real. So, building a mailing list is something I've spoken about many times. Have an email address. Have a way to communicate. But then, using Jim's idea of expanding it to a Discord. And the word "server" sounds like high-tech, but all it means it's a website. You log in, you say new, and you're off to the races. Love that point.

Jim Louderback:

It's so easy. And you can do things like schedule things just for your subscribers on your Discord server. And now the Discord allows for video up to, I don't know, 50 or a hundred, or maybe even 200 at a time, you can do small group chats. You can do the sorts of things that will bind people more closely to you, because as you said, I mean, I was just thinking about money, but you make amazing points as well, which is this is your focus group of your biggest fans. And they will tell you what they like and what they don't like, and they'll help you make better content, and probably inspire you to do things you wouldn't even have thought of.

Liron Segev:

Love it. Teamwork. That's what we're doing here, people, we're doing teamwork.

Jim Louderback:

[inaudible 00:11:37].

Liron Segev:

You know, with your global experience and seeing creators from around the world, and speaking to people around the world, anything else we should be looking at taking it to another level? I've grown my subscription. I'm a little bit bigger. Maybe I haven't just started out. I've got some following. What else can I do?

Jim Louderback:

Well, there are a couple of things that are interesting that have really just started happening. So, Alibaba, for example, is a great shopping destination in China that's been spreading itself around the world. One of the things that they did in China is they went out to creators in China, brought them in, and started pairing them up with a bunch of different products that they were offering ,and really drove this great partnership between creators and products that they were selling. So, the point was just create a great value for creators. And they're starting to do this around the world now. I think I saw yesterday, they want to hire or bring on or connect with a hundred-thousand creators over the next year or two to try and do the same thing there.

Jim Louderback:

So, the idea that you can partner with a company like Alibaba or others... Like, for example, there's a company called Heartbeat that is a startup, but it's also working really closely with products, and specifically now TikTok. They have the ability to actually do branded content on TikTok, where they'll bring the brands in, they'll connect with you, they'll broker the deal and through your affiliation with Heartbeat, I think this is probably what Alibaba is doing, too, you'll be able to endorse the things you like, talk about the things you like, bring them into your content, and then make money on it. So, that's one which can feel a little bit like you're shilling yourself out; but, in the end, if you're upfront with your audience and not trying to pull the wool over their eyes, and you're clear, it's like, "Hey, I got to make a living and these guys are helping me do it." That's something that is really interesting.

Liron Segev:

I just want to just touch on that before we move on, because the whole authenticity part really comes into play here. Look, your community understands that in order to get content, it's got to be viable for you to do that. If you're not getting paid by some way or fashion, well, the content's going to stop, but you've got to be authentic. You got to say, "Hey, this video is sponsored by..." There's also FTC guidelines, and your own country's guidelines that you've got to abide by, but as long as it's you, and being honest and upfront with the audience, that is not a problem. You are not "selling out." People really need to stop thinking of it that way. It's wise to monetize on something that you love doing. What's the problem? So, authenticity is absolutely key, and being transparent is absolutely key. Okay. I interrupted you. Moving on.

Jim Louderback:

No, no, but I'm now going to comment on your comment, because I think you're absolutely right. The other thing to think about is making sure that whatever you're bringing into your community, and think of it like opening the door and letting a friend into your birthday party. You want to make sure that friend is somebody that's going to get along with everybody else. I mean, you don't want to have a birthday party and then it's a serial killer in the door. The same thing goes with the brands that you may want to invite into your community. Make sure that they're actually makes sense for you and your community.

Jim Louderback:

And this works both ways. Let's say you've got a community around vegan food and, I don't know, some steak vendor wants to come in. Omaha Steaks wants to sponsor. Clearly that's not going to work. So, don't take Omaha Steaks' money, and then be in and be like, "Hey, you vegan people. The best steak in the world," because you know that's not going to work. That's a really bad example, but you know what I mean.

Liron Segev:

It's extreme-

Jim Louderback:

Make sure that there's alignment between you and the brand.

Liron Segev:

Because at the end of the day, it's what Jim said earlier, it's your community. And that's who you prioritize as serving, is your community. What else have we got going as far as the platform?

Jim Louderback:

Couple other interesting things out there for making money. There's this company, spotter.la, that... If you're an established YouTube creator and you've got a big back catalog of stuff that generates a certain amount of views every month and generates a certain amount of AdSense every month, it just sits there and you get checks for it. That's cool. You've got that annuity coming in, but what they're working on is a way to say, "Hey, you know those 50 videos that drive that much revenue? I've actually figured out over the next two or three years, they're going to deliver a hundred-thousand dollars worth of revenue. We're going to come and actually give you a check for a hundred-thousand dollars today." And what you do is you sign the monetization of those videos over to them for a couple of years.

Jim Louderback:

What it does is it doesn't really give you any more money than you would have earned over the next three years, but let's say you want to do something special now. You want to start something new, or you want to be able to have enough working capital so that you can launch a couple of new things, or maybe even buy a new car. It's a really interesting way to go out and take the... And they take all the risk, because if it turns out that you get demonetized, it's on them. Don't go demonetizing yourself, obviously. It's a little bit weird because you think, "Wait, I'm giving these videos up to somebody else?" You're really just giving up that future revenue stream. They're paying you today for the prediction that they have of what your future revenue stream will be.

Liron Segev:

Wow. That is... Okay. That I have not heard of. See, this is the advantage of having Jim on the show here, because it's always mind blowing. And every time we chat, it's just another avenue to go down and that [inaudible 00:17:11] a super weird model. Okay. Spotter.la. That sounds-

Jim Louderback:

There's another one that I can't tell you about, because we're coming out about 10 days before they launch, but because you're thinking about yourself as a business, and because you're thinking about yourself as doing things that businesses do, one of the things businesses do is if you have a lot of receivables, let's say you you put yourself out there and you do services, and then you give people 30 days or 60 days to pay you. Well, let me tell you when I was a consultant, and I will not name the company that I was consulting for, but they claim to pay within 30 days, but what they really was pay in 90 days. So, it's like, I've already given you a month of my time, but I'm not going to get paid for three months?

Jim Louderback:

Some people end up with big receivables out there at big companies, and they'll do a loan based on their receivables. They'll do receivable financing, where someone will come in and say, "Hey, look, I know you're going to get a hundred-thousand dollars in three months, but I know also know you need money now, so why don't you assign $50,000 of that to me, and I'll give you a loan for $50,000, and then when those receivables come in, you'll pay me that back, plus percentage of venture. Which happens all the time in business. There's a company that's going to, I think, work on doing that for your AdSense and YouTube revenue. You may not want to do it. And it may sound like why would I do that now when I'm going to get the money in a month, but you might need that money now. So, keep your eyes open for that.

Liron Segev:

[crosstalk 00:18:44] that remember what Jim said at the beginning, as well, that not all things are going to work for all people. So, whatever you do, don't go and sign up for all these services tomorrow morning and say, "Oh, but Jim said, it's going to make me lots of money." Nope. Eyes wide open. What works for you might not work for somebody else.

Jim Louderback:

Well, and both of those that I just mentioned in the end, it's likely that if you just let them go, that you would make more money, but money has a time value.

Liron Segev:

Exactly.

Jim Louderback:

And so, you have to look at the time value of money, and a hundred dollars today is worth more than a hundred dollars in three years. So, there are a couple of others that I think are interesting, and they'll work with you to take the videos that you've already created and then package them up for other places. So, for example, Jellysmack is building an interesting business with creators that make sense. Where they're going in and actually working with you to re-edit your videos for Facebook. So, you're doing great stuff on YouTube, but we all know platform intentionality, you can't just stick your YouTube videos on Facebook and expect it to work.

Jim Louderback:

The user behavior is different on Facebook. What people look for is different on Facebook, but it doesn't mean that what you do couldn't work on Facebook, but do you really want to go re-edit everything and learn about how that works? Go down that road? Well, Jellysmack is betting that no. That, for many creators, they can take your stuff, they can reformat it for Facebook, and they can make money and you can make money, too. That's a fascinating one.

Jim Louderback:

There's a similar company that is called Playworks, that is doing the same thing by turning your videos into a Roku channel. And they're really good at doing that, putting it on a Roku, driving people to come to that channel on Roku. And they'll share that revenue with you, as well. So again, if you have a back catalog and these companies think it makes sense, they will work with you and invest in re-editing, redoing whatever with your content, putting it on these platforms, and then giving you that ability to make money on it, where you wouldn't have before.

Liron Segev:

I've already done the work. I've shot my videos. I've edited them. I've uploaded them to YouTube. I have got the longevity of YouTube ad revenue coming in. Or what if I can do more with the exact same content I've already spent time... If I can actually repurpose it, and here's the best part, and I don't have to do the work. Well-

Jim Louderback:

Exactly.

Liron Segev:

These are super. I'm literally making notes. And by the way, all these links will be in the show notes, so in case you missed anything, don't worry. Listen till the end and come back and click later. Don't do what I'm doing is clicking now.

Jim Louderback:

Actually, I just have a little tip for your listeners, as well, based on what those guys are... You got to do the work for this one yourself until somebody comes up with a service to do it. But if you're on TikTok and you have a YouTube channel as well, just like we saw with Vine where people would make Vine compilations and put them on a YouTube. It's happening with TikTok now. And people are getting amazing views on YouTube for TikTok compilations, and make sure you put in the headline or in the deck, "TikTok compilation" or something like that.

Liron Segev:

Right.

Jim Louderback:

Because, as it turns out, a lot of kids, their parents won't let them go on TikTok, but they let them go on YouTube. And they just search for TikTok compilations.

Liron Segev:

Boom. There we go.

Jim Louderback:

Yeah. You know what? Kids are smarter than your parents and they're going to get around whatever you try to let them do. If you go to YouTube right now, which I will do, I will click around, and you type in like, "TikTok compilation," just there's some huge compilations out there. People might be ripping off your stuff already, so you might as well rip yourself off. Yeah, look: "Funny TikTok compilation that literally broke my phone". "Wifi Plug" put it up there, and it has 800,000 views after three weeks.

Liron Segev:

Okay. Talked about ad revenue, we talked about Discord and really knowing your community, building your mailing list, and then kind of exploring other opportunities on these various platforms that you've mentioned. Is there a certain point where it kind of starts to make sense to get an agent, or get a talent manager, or to sign up with an agency that maybe they could help you do even better?

Jim Louderback:

Yeah, definitely, and there are a number of them out there that will help manage your business for you on the manager side. And they'll come to you, because they're always looking for people that are good and out there, but there are some out there that are relatively unscrupulous, as well, so do your research.

Liron Segev:

Yes.

Jim Louderback:

Find other people who use them that you trust. The really interesting ones that are doing things that are really helping to push your business forward and think entrepreneurially, try and find those folks and folks who really care about you and will partner and move that forward, because those are really the folks that you want to work with.

Liron Segev:

Good tip of doing lots and lots and lots of research on that.

Jim Louderback:

Yeah, exactly. I was impressed by looking at One Day Entertainment and what they're doing. They're working with a bunch of different folks, but they really believe that creators should be treated like startups, which ties back to what we talked in the beginning.

Liron Segev:

Yes.

Jim Louderback:

You've got to think about yourself as a startup, as a direct to consumer brand, and you want to find somebody that feels the same way. And so, I think that's a really interesting model that they're doing. They work with like the Yes Theory guys and a bunch of other people. And even before that, that's where some of those micro-influencer agencies like a Heartbeat and others, are interesting, as well, because that's kind of the beginning step on working to get some of that going without actually having your own.

Liron Segev:

Okay, so it's almost like a progression. So, you started with AdSense. That's great. You've maybe explored your community. Now you're exploring these platforms like good old [inaudible 00:24:27] and all of those. And then, as you're starting to get a little bit of brands, you're starting to understand more of the business side, maybe you then step it up a notch, because now you're getting bigger. You're getting bigger brand deals, and now you start looking for those other opportunities that are available out there.

Jim Louderback:

Yep, exactly.

Liron Segev:

Love every single thing of this. Jim, always a fan and a pleasure hanging out with you. 

us.

Jim Louderback:

No problem. And thank you guys, and I love vidIQ. You guys are awesome. I use it. I tell everyone else to use it. So, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably are already a subscriber, but I'll just say: if you're not subscribing, what's wrong with you?

Liron Segev:

You heard it from the man himself. Listen to what he says and download this thing. Absolutely. Thank you, guys. And listen, for the rest of you still hanging out with us, please make sure you share this episode with at least one other creator who's perhaps struggling, perhaps kind of lost a bit of focus, or is only thinking about monetization in a certain way, needs that bit of inspiration, wants to check out all these other various platforms that Jim has mentioned, please share this episode with them. Hit that subscribe button in your favorite podcast application. And, guys, thank you for hanging out, and I'll see you on the next episode of TubeTalk. Jim, thank you one more time.

Liron Segev:

Oh, thank you so much. Glad to be here. Can't wait to come back.

Liron Segev:

Absolutely.