Growing a YouTube channel and your online business means building a team and outsourcing to grow
Building a team
around your online business, whether it be a YouTube channel or otherwise, is
one of the most difficult decisions you’ll face. Most of us start off as
one-person working on a hobby project with no idea how a business in run.
turning your YouTube channel into a scalable business is something completely
foreign and maybe a little scary. It requires time, money and leads to more
uncertainty than most of us want with our growing monthly income.
If you do want to reach your channel’s potential though, there will come a time you need to start outsourcing the work. I haven’t talked to a single creator with more than 100,000 subscribers that hasn’t outsourced or developed a team around some aspect of the business.
It took me a long time to not only get comfortable with outsourcing tasks for my YouTube business but just getting organized enough that I could manage a team. Once I did though, channel growth exploded and I had more time to devote to making videos.
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YouTube Tasks that can be Outsourced
before we talk about which tasks can be outsourced. I’m using ‘outsourced’ and
‘team’ almost interchangeably here. The word ‘team’ implies someone that’s a
regular member and maybe has more buy-in than a freelancer to whom you
outsource work occasionally.
I think of it as a progression though. You might start by outsourcing a task to a few freelancers before deciding to work with just one regularly. Over time, that person will become a trusted member of a more cohesive team even if you never see them in-person.
Outsourcing videos doesn’t have to mean you give up control of your YouTube channel either. You can outsource one task or many and you’ll always have control over what is finally published.
Editing is usually one of the first tasks YouTube creators decide to outsource. Editing videos can be tedious and involves skills a creator hasn’t developed. It’s also one of those tasks that can be handled without a full command of the English language, making it easily outsourced to lower-cost regions of freelancers.
When you’re looking for video editors, make sure you ask for video references to see examples of their work. Scripting out your videos will make it easier because you can add production notes for where you want graphics and other assets to be placed. Some editors will send you the finished copy to review and some can even upload a video to YouTube for you.
Some tips to outsourcing video editing
- Find some examples of editing and graphics you want used to be able to show editors what you’re thinking
- Make detailed notes within your script including exactly how long you want graphics to stay on screen and any other elements and pass this on to your editor
- Be open to different ways of editing and suggestions – let the professional do their job
Thumbnails are another task creators choose to outsource as their channel grows. Best practices says to keep your thumbnails consistent with structure and branding so it’s relatively easy to reproduce images for new videos. Some freelancers will still require you to provide images and text copy for each thumbnail but the rest of the outsourcing process is straight-forward.
Tips to Outsourcing Your Thumbnails
- Find some examples of thumbnails, yours or other channels’, that you’d like to use and see if the freelancer can recreate them in a test
- Be ready to provide text ideas and suggestions for each thumbnail…or pay much more for full-service
- Ask for two or three thumbnails for each video and test them out with friends on Facebook before publishing
Promoting Your YouTube Channel through social media, ads and collabs with other creators is a big step to outsource. It can also be one of the more expensive roles to hire but also worth it if you find someone with skills across social media and outreach.
promotion for your YouTube channel can actually be three different roles;
social media, ads and collabs. They’re all related so I’ve included them within
an overall promotion role but you might start trying to find three separate
freelancers specializing in their specific role.
Media Strategy means not only sharing your videos across your social accounts
but engaging in groups to promote the channel as well.
includes building a measurable ad campaign for different platforms from YouTube
to Google and social platforms. This doesn’t mean you throw money at ads
because you feel obligated to have an ad strategy but comes only after
carefully considering the costs and return.
Collabs are a great way to reach other audiences on the platform but can be
difficult to set up. Finding someone with experience connecting people is worth
Here is where laying out responsibilities and trusting in the hiring process will be critical. We’ll talk about this more in the next section but we’re not talking about a quick or technical task like involved in thumbnail creation or editing. Promotion is a creative task and more than one way to do it. Even if you don’t immediately agree with the strategy used by your new freelancer, give them time to grow into the role.
Tips on Outsourcing YouTube Video Promotion
- You’ll still need to share your videos with your personal friends and family to get the best reach
- Consider testing a few freelancers out in smaller campaigns before hiring anyone for a longer-term contract
Comment moderation is another task easily outsourced
though most channels use a process to answer different levels of comments.
Typically an assistant will answer the easiest and most basic comments, those
simply thanking you for your channel. The assistant will also delete spam
comments and then mark remaining ones for the creator to answer.
Scripting and other parts of your YouTube content generation are usually the last to be outsourced. This is the value you bring to the table and it’s usually quite expensive to find similar skills that can script videos in your natural voice.
Still, there are parts of your content that can be outsourced or at least can be worked on within the team. Assistants can help with idea generation, doing research on popular keywords on other channels and then researching ideas to be included in the video. Your entire team can all contribute ideas and direction for content strategy. You can pass the drafted script on to your members of the team for review and input on ways to engage and interest viewers.
Be prepared to pay for quality scripts and video content. This is where your biggest value is added, from your own personal experience, so you’re basically asking someone to recreate your value proposition here. It’s why scripting and outsourcing YouTube video content is usually one of the last roles to be outsourced.
How to Work with a Team on YouTube
thing to know what you want to outsource, it’s something entirely different to
be able to find people and work with a team effectively.
you that putting an effective team together will be a frustrating and long-term
project. You’ll have to put up with people that don’t perform and will have to
rehire when valued members leave.
part of running a business.
Put in the
effort to be a manager rather than just a one-person operation and you will
grow your business. Know that every other manager and business owner goes
through the same frustrations. Your will be rewarded with higher income and a
business that can function without you at the wheel 24/7.
about setting up and managing your team next but understand there is another
route you can take to this.
The alternative is hiring a business manager to handle everything you don’t want to do. This is, of course, the more expensive option but can also free up your time to create content and do what you do best. You’ll need someone that understands your business and is a good manager as well. You’ll still need to be patient, letting them grow into the role and understand exactly what you want, but it’s easier than managing the entire team yourself.
go with a business manager or not, the first step in working with a team is to
set responsibilities, a process and goals for each role you want to fill.
out exactly everything the person will do, assuming they come to the role with
no prior knowledge. One great idea I’ve used is to create a video tutorial for
different tasks will help you understand the responsibilities you want the role
to bear and lay out goals for the hire to achieve.
course, you and the hire want to evolve in the role over time. The best team
member will be one that does their job and creates other tasks within the role
that will drive growth.
of the role needs to be as detailed as possible before you begin looking for
someone. It’s going to make it crystal clear what you expect and what the
freelancer needs to do.
Finding and selecting the right people is the easy…er, the hard part. There are innumerable freelancer sites, some specific to a task while others are broader. I use Upwork but have also found people on Fiverr, Freelancer.com and through connections.
other job requests similar to yours so you have an idea of how much to offer
on all the special skill sets you want including English proficiency
your job description as much as possible and use any filters to prohibit people
from applying if they do not meet requirements. Require some type of cover
letter, their answer will help show you whether they actually read the
description or are just replying with a template answer. Also require at least
three references and contacts to prior work similar to your job.
that for every 30 applicants to a job, you might only get a few worth
interviewing and then maybe only one actually qualified for the job. Whatever
you do, do not skip over parts in the hiring process. Time spent interviewing
people and checking references is well spent compared to hiring the wrong
person and then having to repeat the entire process in a month.
A Process for Outsourcing YouTube Videos and Tasks
I’ve found that works well is to narrow your list of potential hires to a few
well-qualified people, then have them all test on a small project. You’ll still
have to pay for them to perform the project but it will give you a better idea
of how well they actually fit the role under a real assignment.
important decision you’ll need to make, at least starting out, will be the
level of experience you want new hires to possess. You can hire someone able to
do the job perfectly from day one but will generally have to pay more. You can
hire someone with less developed skills but will spend more time training them
for the role.
difficult part of the entire team-building process is after you hire someone
for a role. Now comes the stage of training and development, a stage that will
probably take at least three months.
where your new hire will need to work hard to learn the role but you’ll also be
tasked with being patient as they grow into it. Even someone with years of
experience cannot be expected to know exactly how you want things done from day
Even more difficult will be accepting that your way may not be the best way. Keep an open mind to your new hire’s ideas and be ready to accept change if it could help grow the business. It can be difficult to let go and let someone else take responsibility but this kind of proactive employee is the best kind to find.
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You don’t wake up one day and think to yourself, “I need a team for my YouTube channel.” It’s a slow realization that your time is better spent doing some tasks and not others. You’ll start off by outsourcing one or two roles. Learn from the experience, being a better manager and slowly growing your team. One day you might wake up and think to yourself, “I really have a great team for my YouTube channel.”