055: How to Grow Your Business & Influence Through YouTube & Online Video (w/ Sean Cannell)
Sean Cannell is a best-selling author, YouTuber, and lifestyle entrepreneur who has built a 6-figure online business. He operates through Think Media TV and Video Influencers with YouTube channels that have more than 16 million views and numerous high quality video that help people become more influential on the YouTube platform and with online video. He is passionate about helping influencers get noticed and get results with social media and online video.
Through Video Influencers (www.videoinfluencers.net), Sean offers educational resources to help brands build their influence, grow their income, and increase their impact with online video.
Sean started in video in 2003 while volunteering in church under the youth ministry. He got a Canon HB30 video camera from the youth pastor and started making video advertisements. That’s how he slowly learnt how to be on camera, do production, edit videos, manage people, etc. That was before YouTube was even launched.
The first YouTube channel he worked on was his church’s YouTube channel back in 2007. He eventually started Clear Vision Media through which he helped small businesses in the North Seattle area with their marketing videos, and also helped YouTubers, authors, and other experts build their personal brands using online videos.
In 2010, he started his personal YouTube channel and began by doing affiliate marketing until 2015 when he went all in. He considers himself a lifestyle entrepreneur and online marketer who works in the e-learning space helping people learn online video from the equipment and tech side as well from the strategy and what works best on the platform side through digital products and free training content. Sean and his team are based out of Las Vegas and now works in that business full-time.
Tip: When you want to start doing online video, just start because you learn by doing.
Period in full-time business
In 2015, Sean worked full-time in client work while working part-time on his online business. By January 2016 he had gone full-time into his online business generating revenues from his YouTube channels and other revenue streams linked to his channels.
In October 2015, he lost all of the 3 clients he had and after consulting his mentor he saw it as a sign from God to go into his own business full-time. The whole experience taught him the power of focus because when he concentrated solely on his online business, it grew exponentially.
Tip: If there is a business that you want to go into, take the leap and with great focus, it will succeed and grow.
Core income streams
Until October 2015, Sean was doing YouTube videos and affiliate marketing. He was making money from YouTube ads on his videos and also did a lot of affiliate marketing. A few months after starting, he found that he was making $500 a month from the videos and their associated affiliate marketing which taught him the power of creating strategic videos that meet what people look for.
When he decided to go full-time, he relied solely on affiliate marketing through the Amazon Associates Program. By January 2016, he had 20,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel and that month he had made $5,000. Later, other revenue streams like YouTube ads started growing. He now makes 6-figures from Amazon affiliate marketing alone. His channels also generate revenue from 25 other different affiliate programs. His biggest source of income is digital products then affiliate marketing followed by YouTube ads.
How to start a YouTube channel business
Sean says today is a very good time to start a YouTube channel because there is massive opportunity for one to build influence online
Tip: One just needs to look into different products and determine whether there is a large enough market for each. If a product is viable then one can develop YouTube videos related to questions people ask about that product
How to choose a platform when starting out
Tip 1: Start by experimenting on different platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc. in order to get the hands on experience that will enable you to identify which platform works best for you.
Tip 2: Use the platform you like consuming the most because it’s probably the one you know best, for example if you love podcasts then it’s the most suitable are for you to go into
Tip 3: Know which modalities you are most effective at communicating in. They include audio, video or writing (text).
Getting the first clients
When he was doing client work, Sean acquired clients by slowly building business relationships with people through networking events. He got his first clients while still in beta stage and used different video testimonials to attract more clients. He also got credibility from his first client and built his clientele gradually from there.
How to start from $0 to $1,000 on the YouTube platform alone
Tip 1: One can start a YouTube channel and depend on YouTube ads related to their content. This generates $2 per every 1,000 views so to get $1,000, one needs to generate 500,000 views.That may be an uphill task but can succeed depending on the content one is providing and its value to viewers, for example, entertainment based videos are more effective with this kind of revenue source.
Tip 2: One can start a YouTube channel with affiliate marketing as the core revenue stream. This is the best way to get started but depends on what your niche is.
One example is Heather Torres who works with Sean in Las Vegas. She learnt how to start a YouTube channel from Sean and decided to start one. Being a home school mom, she used her channel to share tips on different home schooling aspects to help home school moms. Her channel now has 5,000+ subscribers and growing. She generates income from both YouTube ads and affiliate marketing but also has brand deals where she works with companies/brands to promote their products in exchange for free products, marketing fees and affiliate marketing commissions.
Heather built her brand deals income by approaching the curriculum company that she bought her home schooling curriculum from and pitched to them the idea of promoting their curriculum through her videos. She ended up getting a deal with them where she gets the curriculum for free for her own personal home schooling, the company pays her $4,000 and she gets 10% of every curriculum sale made through her channel.
Another example is Justin Khoe who has a faith-based YouTube channel called That Christian Vlogger. He started that program from 0 and built it to up to 30,000+ subscribers. He went full-time into it, didn’t concentrate much on affiliate marketing, but does fairly well on YouTube ads. He creates different merchandise for his fans but his biggest source of income is crowd funding through his patreon.com platform through which up to 60 people now fully support him financially on a monthly basis so he can focus on producing videos that will be useful and valuable to his existing and potential viewers.
Building an email database
Sean says it’s critical to build an email database/email list in the YouTube video/social media business.
Tip 1: Building an email list is important because the platforms you use may seize to exist at any one time therefore depending solely on them is very detrimental. Whatever happens on the platforms you use, you will always have your email list to rely on
Tip 2: Build an email list because whenever you want to launch a new product or just tell people what you are doing next, it’s much easier to do so. Without an email list you will always have to start from scratch.
Sean says the best way to build an email list on YouTube is to make a video, add value to it with niche content and then send an invitation to subscribers to join the email list. Sean sends a weekly newsletter to his subscribers to keep them informed and generate consistent traffic.
Free training program
Sean’s free training program is about 45 minutes long and breaks down 5 of his best strategies for growing ones audience and income on YouTube. It’s a crash course that helps people determine what works on YouTube and how to generate income on there. He also shares how he was able to grow fast on YouTube.
Promotional code for business generals podcast listeners
Sean’s signature program is called Video Ranking Academy and it is a one-day training program on how to rank videos at the top of YouTube search results. It also teaches people how to make videos that get views and grow one’s influence enough to monetize it.
The promo code for business generals podcast viewers to get 25% off of the Video Ranking Academy program is BGP25. That is an exclusive offer for the viewers to learn how to start their own YouTube channels.
Tool and Resources
Think Media – YouTube channel that teaches people how to build their influence with online video.
Video Influencers – YouTube channel that shares tips from different video influencers to teach and inspire aspiring video entrepreneurs.
Best way to connect:
@seancannell – Sean’s Twitter Handle
Think Media – Sean’s YouTube Channel