A New Chapter at 40's: How Starting YouTube Changed My Life

Karin Carr

March 12, 2024

A New Chapter at 40's: How Starting YouTube Changed My Life

There is only one way that you can truly fail on starting YouTube platform, where most people don't ever get more than 1,000 subscribers. 

Only 3% of YouTubers have more than 10,000 subscribers. The sad reality is that most will fail. But YouTube not only changed my business, it also completely changed my life. And it can happen for you too. 

But the question is, do you have what it takes to make it on YouTube?

I created a schedule back in 2016 when I had restarted my business for the third time in yet another new city. My calendar then was almost empty. I didn't have a YouTube channel at that time, so I was blogging, cold-calling strangers, running a lot of expensive ads. And today, my calendar is fully booked every day.  I've been on YouTube now for 6 years. 

I have an information channel and I use YouTube as a business building device. I create content that make people aware of my programs and services, and I drive traffic to my website where they can find out more about me. 

I don't have an entertainment channel. I don't do crazy stunts. I don't bury myself alive for 24 hours, or make the best freaking glitter bombs on the planet. My content doesn't go viral, and it doesn't have to because YouTube can be the best source of new leads for you – ever!

But there are a few secrets to making YouTube work for you as a business growth strategy. 

When I started using this strategy, I went from having no business and no clients to making six figures in my first 12 months. We had amazing growth for the next couple of years, but then in 2021, I hit the goal that everyone seems to want. Now let's going be crazy about a billion! Well, not quite, but I did break a million in annual revenue. This was so far beyond anything I had ever expected. 

I remember back in corporate America days when I was making 60,000 a  year. And I was thrilled! I felt like I was killing it! A million in annual revenue just made my head explode. And the funny thing is I never planned to be an entrepreneur.

I went to college to be an opera singer. I had no business training, no MBA, no degree that would actually help me in the world of business. So how did I do it? Let's just say that after making a million mistakes and failing over and over and over again, I discovered a couple of key things that made all of the difference - and the one thing that will absolutely guarantee your failure if you do this. 

So before I tell you how I did it all, I just want to tell you that YouTube is the number one platform that I use to drive traffic to my business, created a seven figure annual business with YouTube as my primary marketing strategy. 

I'm here to tell you that it 100% works. And if I can do it, you can do it. 

I am one of those people who dive into the deep end and then figure out how to swim later. I don't get ready to get ready to get ready. I don't analyze everything for months before I ever take action. I take action right away, and it rarely works. As in, it's not immediately successful. 

But I knew that YouTube was essentially being used as a search engine and I knew that if people could find my videos, it would be a great way to advertise my business for free. But I knew nothing about lighting or cameras or audio - truly the only thing that I had working in my favor was that I had a lot of experience being on stage. So I wasn't afraid to be in front of the camera and I just decided how hard can it be? Turns out, pretty hard! Let's just say that my first videos will not be winning any Oscars anytime soon. 

But it was a start. With each video, I felt a little more comfortable. My editing got better my camera work was more interesting I got better at telling a good story and taking the viewer on a journey with me. I tried lots of things that were total flops. Vlogging absolutely did not work for me. It requires so much planning to do a vlog because you're planning multiple camera angles in different locations, in different time frames, and it requires way more planning than I am willing to give this channel, because I did not want YouTube to become a second full-time job. This was my method of advertising. I'm not a full-time content creator, so I was determined to make this work mostly because I'm really stubborn, but also because I couldn't think of anything that would possibly work better.

My first many, many, many videos did not do well. They got no views whatsoever. And there were so many times that I wanted to quit. It's really tough to stay motivated when you're just not seeing any results at all. But I kept at it because I couldn't think of a better way to get my name in front of more clients that wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg. 

And then I had one video that started to take off. When I first published it, it did nothing for months and then all of a sudden it got picked up by the algorithm and it started getting shown to more and more people. This was a pivotal moment for me, because rather than just celebrate that I finally had a video that was doing really well, I made a follow-up video. 

What was the next logical video for someone to want to watch after they watch this one? What was the next step that they would need to take so that they would continue going forward and that they would binge watch my content? Well that second video started performing so much sooner and it was quickly outperforming the first video, so when this happens to you, and it will, double down on the content that is working for your channel and make more like that.

Next, really take the time to review your analytics. 

If you introduce yourself and you ask people to subscribe in the first 30 seconds of your video, you are quickly going to discover whether or not that it's working to help you or to hurt you. There's this awesome graph below every single video and it shows you your audience retention. You do not want to see the hockey stick of death. When your audience abandons the video right after they clicked to watch it, this will kill your video's performance. You need to review your audience retention graphs to find out if you are saying things that are driving people away, and see the things that they love and they rewatch it multiple times.

Reviewing your analytics is key. After I figured out these two things, my channel started to pick up and gather more momentum. I was getting more subscribers but mostly I was getting more clients. The people that watched my channel felt like they knew me. They hopefully liked me. They trusted me. They were more likely to reach out and ask to hire me, and become my client all because of free YouTube videos.

In another video, I also tell about all of the mistakes that I've made and things that I wish I had known back then that would have made this growth process so much faster. 

When you create a YouTube channel that starts bringing you lots of views,  you start making money from the AdSense Revenue, but you also start attracting paying clients to your local business, to your coaching business, your online course. You start driving traffic to your offers for free with no ad spent and it is a warm audience, which means they convert at a better rate. 

If you run an ad you can expect 1 to 3% conversion rate, but with a warm audience, your conversion rate skyrockets. So I'm spending no money to put my videos in front of more people; more people who will eventually take me up on my offers. When my business started making that kind of money, it changed everything. It changed where we lived. It changed the kinds of things that we spent our money on. We went on more vacations. We went to Hawaii on vacation. And we flew first class for the first time ever as an entire family. My husband and I went to Italy for 2 weeks for our 20-year wedding anniversary, and it was absolutely the trip of a lifetime. We have been able to do things that we never would have been in a position to be able to do before simply because of the money. I was able to hire a staff. I have a team now so I'm not doing everything myself. I can decide what needs to be done. Delegate the tasks. Other people help me do it. So it's not me doing everything myself, and as a result, I'm making more money than I ever did before but I'm also working fewer hours.

I've been invited to speak at conferences. I wrote a book. I wrote a follow-up book. I even had someone from the Discovery Channel reach out to me and ask me to audition for a show they were doing. I've been quoted in Time Magazine. I've been quoted in tons of different publications, and every time one of these people reaches out to me when I ask how did you find me, they all say, YouTube.

So if you make it to 1,000 subscribers, you are doing so much better than the vast majority of people on YouTube. But this one thing will absolutely guarantee your failure - and that is if you just stop. If you give up before you start to see the results, if you stop uploading because you're frustrated that your channel is growing so slowly, all I can tell you is keep going. It only takes one video to change everything for you.

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