With over two billion users, YouTube is the most popular platform in the world. In fact, there are one billion hours of YouTube videos watched daily worldwide.
A YouTube channel is the perfect vehicle for sharing your message with the world. Maybe you’ve tinkered with the idea of creating videos or have a channel already but haven’t gained traction. What can you do to share your message with a broader audience?
Talaat McNeely from His and Her Money recently sat down with Andy to talk about how he and his wife, Tai, grew their YouTube channel to 100,000 subscribers. He shares how they got started, lessons they’ve learned along the way, and what you can do right now to grow your YouTube channel.
How They Got Their Start
Talaat and Tai McNeely launched His and Her Money in 2013, but their story started a few years before. Tai and her twin sister had a blog and YouTube channel already, dedicated to the world of couponing.
With growing families and less time for their demanding business schedule, they decided to step back.
After a few years, Talaat had a nagging feeling that he and Tai should be working on something together. He didn’t know what that meant or what it would look like.
A date night turned into a brainstorming session on what they liked to do. They realized it was helping people with their finances. Over the years, they had learned how to pay off debt and manage their finances better. People noticed and used to ask them financial questions all the time.
At the time, the personal finance community wasn’t as widespread as it is today. They knew there was a place for a couple to talk about finances together.
The name “His and Her Money” came during the ride home from dinner that night. They were both throwing out ideas, but once Tai said the name, they knew it was the one. Tai quickly checked online and found out that the domain was still available. They bought it before they got home.
The Decision to Start a YouTube Channel
They quickly realized that people were falling more in love with video content over reading long blog posts. It was a “no brainer” to pair a YouTube Channel with a blog to reach both audiences.
With a camera from the previous venture and Windows Media Maker, they started creating video content. Talaat says he didn’t know much but knew enough to get started.
Related Post: The YouTuber’s Guide to FinCon
Gaining traction with His and Her Money
Things moved along slowly, at first, for Talaat and Tai. Eventually, after a mindset change, they started to see significant growth.
Talaat says the change happened when they started treating His and Her Money like a business, instead of a side project. They invested in a course that helped them develop a business mindset. From that point, they realized:
- You only get from your business what you put into it
- You need to develop a business mindset before you develop a business strategy
They’ve come a long way from the first website design and videos, but Talaat says that was their best effort at that moment. He says you should give your best effort and gradually try to improve. That’s one of the keys to their success.
The Importance of Consistency
One glance at their YouTube channel, and you can see they’ve created hundreds of videos since the start. The process looks a little different than when they first started. The goal now is to maximize every piece of content possible.
They do this by taking their podcast episodes and repurposing them into other content, like YouTube videos, social media posts, and even quotes.
According to Talaat, instead of doing a whole bunch of different things, they try to get the most out of each thing they do.
That doesn’t mean that repurposing content makes the process easier. He says it’s still a lot of work. While they do outsource some tasks, a lot of the work still falls on their shoulders.
Talaat says consistency is why they’ve gained so many YouTube subscribers. They were consistent when they first started and haven’t stopped.
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The Kind of Content That Delivers
According to Talaat, the bread and butter of YouTube content are videos that:
- Teach something
- Share your opinion on something
- Review something
- Show your life
He says adding these videos to your channel is how you build a following. That’s how people get to know you and feel like they are part of your tribe.
With over 400 videos and podcast episodes, it might seem they’ve covered every topic, but she says they never run out of ideas. The key for him and Tai is keeping their eyes open. What are people complaining about on social media? What themes keep coming up in your everyday life? Video topics come from everywhere.
Keeping track of ideas is important too. Talaat uses the Notes app on his phone to capture ideas when they pop up.
Monetizing your YouTube Channel
As they’ve grown their following, Talaat and Tai have found ways to add YouTube income. They monetize their channel and website through:
- Adsense from YouTube ads
- Brand Sponsorships
- Sponsored blog posts and videos
- Sponsored content packages
There are also intangible ways to set yourself up for future paydays, according to Talaat. He says that all of their show appearances and speaking engagements started with producers and event coordinators first following their YouTube channel.
Growth Hacks for New YouTubers
Growing an audience takes time, but Talaat says one thing that new YouTubers can do to speed up the process: Use your network. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Jump on your friends’ podcasts: When they ask you how people can find you, specifically mention your YouTube channel.
- Invite friends on your show: Use people in your network to speak on topics that are in your wheelhouse.
- Collaborate: Create online challenges with like-minded YouTubers
Another tip from Talaat is to hit up your email list each time you release a new video.
How to Get YouTube Subscribers to Come Back
Talaat says that the current YouTube algorithm made it tougher to get people coming back to see new videos. It’s not enough to tell people to subscribe. Now, they also need to click the little bell, so they receive notifications.
Talaat and Tai make it a point to harp on this early and often in their video content. They do this verbally throughout their videos, as well as using pop-ups. Talaat suggests not waiting until the end of the video to mention it because most people don’t make it to the end.
You can also turn people into regular followers through the use of a couple of simple tactics.
- Reply to every comment
- Incorporate lead magnets (bonus: this also gets them on your mailing list)
People will remember you if you’ve added value to their life in some way. That’s how you get more YouTube subscribers.
Creating a Workable Schedule for YouTube
Depending on your situation, Talaat suggests that people try to do everything. He says their research shows that their website, podcast, and YouTube Channel all have different audiences, with little crossover despite all their cross-promotion.
Of course, doing everything means you need to plan proactively. Talaat stresses the importance of being proactive versus living in reactive mode. He says to block out time on your schedule for each task,
Doing everything often leads to getting burned out. It’s a grind, according to Talaat, especially during the building stage. His key to combating burnout is to remember why you are doing it.
It’s important to always remember your “why”, whether you are making YouTube income or not. Self-care is just as important. Building a business is a lot of sacrifices, but you need to take care of yourself too.
When to Pivot and When to Double Down
There will be times when you’ll need to evaluate what you are doing. Talaat says to create content you are passionate about. This isn’t about your audience — this is all about you. For your sake, not your audience, you need to pivot to something you love.
Early on in the His and Her Money story, Tai was making videos on her legendary grocery hauls and kids’ room makeover. She came to a point where she didn’t want to do this anymore, so she stopped. They even went as far as to remove the videos from their channel despite their popularity. They didn’t want to be associated with that type of content anymore.
Talaat and Tai talk about topics they enjoy, instead of always letting the audience dictate everything. He says it’s one thing to do keyword research to find popular topics for your audience, but if you’re tired of talking about something, you need to move on.
Your audience might be tired of it too. Just as you’ve grown and want to move on, viewers might be ready to join you on that journey. He says not to be afraid to grow and expand your content over time.
At the end of the day, they aren’t coming for your brand. They are coming for you and your opinion on topics. As long as you are authentic and sharing what you’re passionate about, you’re doing good.
If you don’t love it, then you’re wasting your life and time. If you’re already doing what you love – double down. It allows you to be yourself and attract your “true tribe.”
Do you create YouTube videos? What strategies have you used to successfully grow your YouTube Channel?
Please let us know in the comments below.
Special thanks to our fellow FinConners who left voicemails on improving their YouTube game:
- Jen Smith – Modern Frugality (and YouTube Channel)
- Jacob Wade – iHeartBudgets (and YouTube Channel)
- Wendy Mays – House of FI (and YouTube Channel)
- Martin Dasko – Studenomics (and YouTube Channel)