Turn Your YouTube Channel into a Full-time Business

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How are the top video content creators making a killing on YouTube? The answers might surprise you. Devin Graham (aka DevinSupertramp) is one of the top video creators working today. With more than 2 million subscribers and 30+ million views per month, Devin is known for his high-energy action videos that take activities almost everyone can relate to the extreme.

Whether it's a giant Slip’N Slide off a 50-foot cliff spilling into the glassy waters of Lake Powell or extreme tricycle drifting down grassy knolls in New Zealand, Devin's seemingly home-grown content has a wow factor rivaled by almost no one except possibly the big budget boys at team Red Bull. Graham isn't a marketer, he's a film school drop-out, but one who certainly understands his audience. It's no coincidence his videos are set to original music that have a positive vibe and leave viewers feeling pumped and awesome.

Graham has collaborated with the likes of Ford, Mountain Dew and Ubisoft producing mind-blowing web shorts that live on his channel and deliver millions of views. Naturally, brands are interested in connecting with Devin’s massive YouTube community. They fund his videos in exchange for exposure and access and give Graham creative license to make content that is authentic and resonates with his audience. It's a win-win. A conservative estimate based the Supertramp YouTube channel monthly views would net Graham about $250,000 per year on Ad Sense revenue alone. 

So how can you gain an audience through YouTube and turn your channel into a full-time business?  Here are the top three things Devin recommends.

1. Be consistent. To build an audience, you need to provide content that readers can expect at predictable intervals. Devin began by creating one video every other week. He found this strategy led to steady growth for his channel and not just videos that worked as “one-hit-wonders.” When he created videos every six months he got little or zero traction.

2. Sell High-Resolution Video Content as Stock Footage.  Graham tags new footage as 4k and 6k resolution. On the surface, this can seem like a waste of time and resources since YouTube waters down all high-res video footage for faster play-back. But then Graham shared that TV stations, broadcasters and brands, both domestic and international, buy his video content to use as stock footage. It represents about 40-50 percent of his revenue – a number I estimate in the millions of dollars. Smart.

3. Brand Integration. In my humble opinion, brand integration is one of the most untapped opportunities for both content creators and brands today. Graham's channel is huge, but you don't necessarily need to work with the biggest and best these days to accomplish your brand initiatives. Niche channels that are narrow but deep with engaged communities that take action can also be effective and enthusiastic. In the end, it's a symbiotic relationship between brand, content creator and audience. When executed properly, the potential for upside for everyone involved is limitless.

Watch the full episode here and you'll learn a lot more from Devin Supertramp as we go Behind the Brand.

Related: Chef Jamie Oliver on Getting the Magic Right

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