Without a doubt, having a YouTube channel is a real business. Moreover, every business should have a business plan, right?
Knowing how to write a business plan for a YouTube channel is important.
You can do it as a project or even just a simple draft. But should have a clear vision of what you want your channel to look like at the end. This is the only way to avoid getting lost in the process.
Once you have your plan, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and how you can improve along the way.
One of the main reasons why many people fail at turning their YouTube channel into a profitable business is that they don’t know where to start or how to act later.
As a result, you need to know what you’re going to do before you do it. That’s why we’ve created this guide.
Table of Contents
- What Every YouTube and Vlogging Business Plan Must Have
- 1) Create a Strong Vision for Your Channel
- 2) Define Your Target Audience
- 3) Connection with Your Audience
- 4) What Products or Services are you Going to Promote?
- 5) Video Capture Hardware
- 6) Hiring a YouTube Creative Content Team and Your Budget
- 7) Find Locations
- 8) Look for Creative Ways to Find New Content Ideas
- 9) Stick to a Recording Schedule
- 10) Promotion Plan
- 11) Design Effective Thumbnails
- 12) Your Audience is a Digital Asset. Keep Them!
- 13) Product Development and Marketing
- 14) Scale, Expand, or Step Back
What Every YouTube and Vlogging Business Plan Must Have
1) Create a Strong Vision for Your Channel
First of all, you need to have a clear vision of your channel.
In other words, it needs to be something that’s achievable in the short term but also something that will make you stand out from the crowd.
To demonstrate this, here is a list of questions you should ask yourself:
- What will my channel be?
- How will I get people to watch my videos?
- What will my channel look like?
- How much time will I spend on this channel?
- How much money will I pay?
- Who will I connect with?
- Why should people subscribe to my channel?
Naturally, if you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be more motivated to keep going. The best way to come up with a strong why is to figure out what you really want.
For example: “I want to help people by making videos on how to solve their problems.” “I want to connect with other people and share my life story.” “I want to make an impact in the world by changing lives for the better.”
Write down your why in one sentence or paragraph. Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want your channel to be.
2) Define Your Target Audience
Once you have a clear vision of what your channel will be, you can start thinking about who you want to reach.
You need to know who your audience is, where they are, and what they like. If you don’t know who your target audience is, you might end up creating a channel that no one wants to watch.
If you don’t know where they are, it’s very likely that you won’t be able to get them to watch your videos.
Obviously, you need to do some research before you start creating videos. However, if you know your audience and where they are, you can use that information to create videos that will resonate with them.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to define your audience:
- What kind of people will my videos appeal to?
- Who will my videos benefit from?
- What do my viewers want?
- How will I get people to watch my videos?
- Where will my viewers be?
- How much time will they spend watching my videos?
- How much money will they spend?
- Why should people subscribe to my channel?
- What will people say about my channel?
3) Connection with Your Audience
You need to find a way how you are going to connect with your audience. The key is to create the right kind of content for your audience.
Your videos have to be entertaining, but you also need to make sure that they provide value. This means you need to understand your audience and create videos that they will actually want to watch.
But how do you know what kind of content they want?
You can start by using analytics tools to find out what kind of videos are performing well and what kind of content your audience likes.
- For Generation Z, you’ll want to make sure the content they share is funny.
- For Millenials, you’ll want to find content that’s relevant to their interests.
- For Baby Boomers, online tutorials are a great option. Baby boomers are interested in learning new skills, whether it’s learning how to make new recipes or how to master new apps. They’re also looking for content that gives them the latest health news.
4) What Products or Services are you Going to Promote?
Like any business, you need to have a plan for how you are going to monetize your channel – sooner or later.
Basically, you don’t need to focus on specific products or services but if you know your targeted audience and channel niche you could do quick research on your potential partners who could agree to work with you.
Here’s the deal:
Most products and services that are promoted on YouTube are e-books, apps, coaching programs, and online courses.
Once you know what products you’re going to promote, you can create videos that will resonate with them.
With that being said, you should also make sure that your videos are relevant to your products and services. That way, you’ll get more people to watch your videos and you’ll have a better chance of converting them into customers.
Aside from selling your own products and offering your services, there are other ways of monetizing your channel, namely:
- Affiliate marketing – promote and sell products/digital products and earn a commission. Affiliate marketing typically involves the sale of other people’s products or services. These products or services have an affiliate program that pays affiliates a commission if they bring traffic to the advertiser’s website and if the traffic converts into a sale.
- Sponsor videos – A sponsor is someone who pays you for showing/ mentioning their brand/product in your videos. If you get paid to promote a brand, it’s called influencer marketing. If you’re not familiar with sponsorships, they are a great way to make money on YouTube. The best part is that you don’t even have to be a very popular YouTuber to be able to get paid to mention a product. The easiest way to get started with sponsorships is to create a free account on YouTube. After you do this, you can start creating a list of brands you want to work with and start making requests.
- Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding is similar to a traditional fundraising campaign in that it involves people pooling their resources in order to make a bigger impact on a particular project. There are a lot of different types of crowdfunding platforms that you can use, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, GoFundMe or even Patreon – which is super popular nowadays. Each platform offers different ways to promote your campaign and get funding. But the bottom line is that crowdfunding is a great way to get a project off the ground and is usually less expensive than traditional fundraising.
- YouTube Ad Revenue – Advertisers pay for advertising based on the number of views a video receives. If your video has more views than others, you can expect to make more money from the same ad budget. However, there are other factors that affect how much you make from your ad campaigns, including the quality of your content and whether or not it’s suitable for the target audience.
5) Video Capture Hardware
Needless to say that you don’t need a big budget to get started uploading videos on YouTube. You could easily start creating vlogs with a smartphone.
It is impressive to see how much impact a simple smartphone can make on the internet.
You could record amazing vlogs that thousands of people will watch with your smartphone.
But, there is a catch:
There is a difference between devices that you are filming your videos blogs. It correlates with the number of views you get from a video uploaded with a smartphone and a video uploaded with a high-quality camera.
So, if you are thinking of uploading a video, it is best to use the best equipment you can afford that will allow you to make the best possible video, which will result in more views. In other words, it should be like an investment for you.
Formerly, video production was very expensive and only professionals could afford it. However, these days, video production tools and services are cheaper than ever before. So, if you have the budget for it, you can have professional vlogging equipment that will help you grow your channel.
High-Quality Video Means Increased Engagement
The most important elements of a good video are the video itself, the message it conveys, and the quality of the video. A video with a good message and high quality can attract a lot of views and comments. The more likes and comments your video gets, the more people will be interested in watching your videos and subscribing to your channel. This is a compelling way to grow your YouTube channel.
6) Hiring a YouTube Creative Content Team and Your Budget
Obviously, you should think and plan investments in your YouTube channel team in the future.
The key is to find people that can help you with your vision and that you can trust.
As your channel grows, you will find that you’ll need to add more people to your team.
Once your channel starts expanding, it is normal that you will start struggling with some tasks.
Here are some positions that you could think of hiring.
- Project manager – A project manager will be in charge of everything related to your YouTube channel. They will be in charge of managing the people on your team, scheduling their work, and keeping them on track. Your project manager will take care of the day-to-day management of your channel and ensure that everything runs smoothly. They will also be in charge of all the tasks that come up along the way. Surprisingly, the best person to choose as your project manager is someone that has already been in your shoes. They know how it feels to manage a YouTube channel. If you have a lot of experience managing other channels, you will know how much work it is and how much time it takes to keep things running. You can also ask your previous managers or your clients if they can recommend someone.
- Scriptwriter – You might not think that your content is very creative. But what if you could make it even more creative by writing the script? A good scriptwriter will be able to add some spice to your content and make it stand out from the rest. You can look for a scriptwriter on Fiverr.com or Upwork.com.
- Editor – If you want to make your videos more professional, you should consider getting an editor to do the job for you. An editor will help you keep your content on track and make sure that everything runs smoothly.
- Producer – Producing your videos is one of the most important jobs in your channel. It will help you get your message across and give your content a professional look. You can hire a producer from freelance platforms as well.
- Cameraperson – It depends on your videos. If you are filming yourself then you could do it on yourself, but if you are doing multiple scenes and different types of videos, usually it is better to have at least 1-2 persons behind the cameras. The first person will be responsible for shooting the action, while the second one will be in charge of taking care of the technical side of things.
- Marketing team – You should be careful when hiring someone to work on your marketing team. You don’t want to end up with a freelancer that is not trustworthy. Instead, you should consider hiring a marketing team that has experience in your industry. They can help you with everything from social media to email marketing and everything in between.
- Product development team – You might not know it, but your channel doesn’t have to be just about videos. In fact, your channel can include other types of content, such as articles or even a blog. The key is to create content that is valuable for your audience. You should hire a product development team if you want to add more content to your channel. They will help you develop new products that you can sell to your audience.
7) Find Locations
You may want to invest in a studio, but that depends on the type of niche you choose. The cost of a studio varies depending on the size and design of your space. But it’s always worth investing in one.
Once you have your studio set up, you’ll want to start recording. You can either do that yourself or hire a video editor to do it for you.
It’s always a good idea to have someone else watch your videos, especially when they’re first being created. They’ll be able to spot any mistakes you might make.
It’s better to hire someone to help you with the setup, so you can focus on your business plan. Again, you need to have a good idea of what you want to do and where you want to be filmed.
Here’s the deal:
One of the most important vlogging rules – you should also make sure that you have permission to film in those places. If you don’t have permission, you could get in trouble. And you might not be able to use the footage at all.
- Do you want to shoot in the office? Or outdoors?
- Do you want to use a set or not?
- Is it private property?
- Will you have access to the area?
- How much time is needed to film?
If you can’t answer all these questions, you’ll need to rethink your plan. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time and money only to find out that you can’t shoot there.
Obviously, you must know the weather condition of the location you’re going to film your video. For example, if you want to shoot in the middle of winter, you need to know what temperatures you’ll encounter. You should also know how you can protect your equipment from extreme conditions.
Moreover, you should think about every aspect of your channel before filming. You should also check the laws of your country and state regarding filming. This will ensure that you’re protected legally and you’ll be able to use all the footage you shot.
Think about the following:
- How much time is needed to shoot your video?
- Are you going to use a set?
- Where are you going to film?
- What is the weather condition going to be like?
- What is the temperature?
- Is it public or private property?
- Will you have access to the area?
- Are there any restrictions on filming?
- How will you transport equipment and your crew?
8) Look for Creative Ways to Find New Content Ideas
You sure are going to run out of vlogging ideas soon, so make sure you have a system in place to ensure you have fresh and original ideas on a consistent basis.
You have to innovate to keep your audience’s attention.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to come up with a new idea every week. If you don’t come up with new ideas, you’ll soon start to notice your subscriber count dwindling.
So, what should you do?
The quickest way to get fresh ideas is by following what’s trending on the Internet (you could use Google Trends for help). But the problem with that is that you’re only getting ideas from what’s already popular. And that’s just not going to help you grow your channel and become a successful YouTuber.
Here are some proven techniques to come up with new ideas:
- Create a list of the top 10 videos your competitors are creating. Then ask yourself: What would make mine better? Ask your customers what they want. Start a list of all the things you know about your audience. You can use this list to get inspiration for future content. The more you do this, the more ideas you’ll have.
- Do an analysis of your competitors’ channels. You can get their channel analytics from the YouTube Analytics tool. Look at how other channels are using similar content to yours. You can also look at how they’re making money off of it. Use your social media accounts to find out what people are saying about your brand. This is a great way to find out what they like and what they don’t like about your business.
- Get feedback from others about what you’re doing well and where you need improvement. By seeing what kind of comments you’re getting on your YouTube and social media accounts, you will find out if you’re doing something right or wrong.
- Create a list of all the things that are important to your audience. You can do this by asking them or by using tools like Google Analytics. This will help you create your video content strategy and your overall business plan.
9) Stick to a Recording Schedule
This may cause you to lose focus and motivation, you’ll end up with videos that don’t really add value to your channel.
Instead, try to spread out your content creation over the course of the week so you don’t have to decide on what to create next.
In contrast, if you try to record more than 2-3 videos in one day, you become too tired that it affects the quality of the editing, that is, if you don’t have anyone who will do it for you. You’ll also be less likely to share those videos with your audience, which means they won’t see any value in watching your videos. This will lead to a lack of subscribers, which will ultimately be bad for your channel.
Accordingly, it’s important to keep your channel content fresh.
So, how do you know if you’re doing too much? There are a few ways you can find out.
First, you can use the YouTube analytics dashboard to figure out how many views and subscribers your videos are getting. If you’re not getting enough views or subscribers, it’s time to slow down and take a step back. You should also consider how long it takes you to create a video. If you’re spending too much time creating content, then you might want to reconsider your strategy.
So, we highly recommend setting the estimated number of videos per week in your YouTube business plan.
10) Promotion Plan
Undeniably, YouTube is the best place to produce video content. As you create your YouTube channel business plan, consider all the ways you can connect with your audience and get them to engage with you.
There are three main ways to do this:
- Interactive – through questions, polls and comments;
- Social – through sharing and liking your videos;
- Promotional – through paid advertising.
With interactive, social and paid advertising, you can target your audience on their level of engagement. For example, if you’re looking for a way to increase your reach, you’d want to focus on people who are most likely to engage with your content.
You don’t need to go searching for people outside of YouTube to find your target audience. Most of your views will be from users who are already on YouTube.
However, to get those views and to build your audience, you’ll have to do SEO – which is where you’ll find what you need to attract customers from inside YouTube.
What is YouTube SEO?
SEO is the process of making sure that when someone searches for a specific topic, they find your channel among the results. To do that, you’ll need to create a strong description and title that covers all the keywords in the description. It’s not just about posting a catchy title and description. You need to make sure that those two elements are optimized for YouTube and other search engines.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, work by using complex algorithms and artificial intelligence to provide the most relevant results in a fraction of a second. YouTube works similarly, but with videos instead of pages.
You need to learn how to use SEO to get videos recommended by YouTube to other viewers, and to make sure that the viewers see your videos. Here’s is a great article on how you could do a perfect YouTube SEO.
11) Design Effective Thumbnails
You must find or do it by yourself an effective, clickbait YouTube thumbnail to attract more views.
Always keep in mind the psychology of human beings when designing thumbnails.
Make sure that you design them in such a way that they make people want to click on them. The first impression is the last impression. So, always keep in mind that people are going to see your thumbnail before they see your video. When they do so, they’re going to judge it by its appearance.
If it doesn’t grab their attention, they’re going to leave your channel immediately. So, make sure that your thumbnails are unique and attractive. They should be eye-catching and compelling.
So before you create any YouTube video, make sure that you already know what will design your YouTube video thumbnail.
12) Your Audience is a Digital Asset. Keep Them!
Keep in mind that you don’t own your subscribers on YouTube. That’s why your biggest concern has to be how to keep them watching your videos day by day.
So how do you keep your YouTube subscribers?
First things first:
We won’t say anything new to you, but your priority task is to motivate them to subscribe to your channel and click on that ring bell.
So, you have to prepare a plan on how you are going to achieve that.
We have one great strategy that works:
In the first 30 seconds, you have to say that “this video is sponsored by…you – viewers, so please click subscribe for more videos”, or you should convince your viewers that it will be very supportive for your channel.
So instead of launching useless ads, do it at least two times per video and you should see how the number of subscribers will increase.
13) Product Development and Marketing
Product development can be quite challenging, especially if you have never sold anything before.
It’s essential to create attractive products for your audience and test different pricing models until you find a balance between price and demand. Then develop it and start creating your new product funnel.
So it doesn’t matter whether you will build and sell your own product or do affiliate marketing – you need a plan for that.
You need to understand the benefits of your potential customer and why they would want to purchase from you.
Here are some things to think about:
- Which demographics are you going after?
- What are your competition’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Who is your ideal client?
14) Scale, Expand, or Step Back
Having a YouTube channel or making vlogs is a business.
As a business owner, it’s important to do the same thing that you did when you first started your business. You need to continually improve the quality of your video first and get a decent number of subscribers too. By improving your YouTube channel, you could integrate some products to earn money.
Once you start earning money from YouTube videos, it could be a snowball effect.
At the same time, you must track your budget and see how it goes. Sometimes it is recommended to step back, stop creating videos, re-think your plan and implement actions. That’s why this part is needed.
Here’s the deal:
This article is more for those who view YouTube as a business niche. If you are not interested in making money in the near future and are creating video blogs for yourself, you should not take some steps.
Anyway, we hope these tips on how to write a business plan for YouTube will help you get started with building a successful channel. It might take a while before you become profitable, but I’m sure you’ll eventually get there.
You can use all of these tips and techniques as long as you have a passion for what you do and are willing to learn how to create a profitable YouTube campaign.
In the end, it all comes down to having the right mindset. If you’re going to do something, you’ve got to enjoy it, and you need to love what you’re doing. After all, your audience wants to see your passion for your work. They want to see your energy and enthusiasm.