Over the last few years, YouTube has changed the game for countless aspiring musicians, bloggers, entrepreneurs, actors, comedians and more. Providing a platform for advertising your products or skills for millions of people all around the world to view creates a powerful tool for young dreamers trying to get their names out there.
Although it started mostly with musicians, including Justin Bieber, it has since become popular for entrepreneurs just starting out- and many of them have found great success thanks to this social network. Ordinary people start by simply posting videos online of themselves doing what they love to do, such as Jenna Marbles, who now has over 13 million subscribers doing comedic skits and humorous rants.
Thanks to YouTube, thousands of young people have gotten attention they never would have been able to get before. For three entrepreneurs in particular, YouTube has completely transformed their lives in a way they never thought possible.
The first, Rob Chapman, transformed his life from a struggling musician to a UK rock star through his YouTube channel. His channel has 198,000 subscribers and is growing at a rate of 10,000 a month and his videos receive millions of views. In addition to his online success, the once unheard of musician sings and plays his guitar for packed venues, endorses products, and owns his own guitar company. Often when enough YouTube success has been achieved, it is not longer just about the attention. Chapman says if he wanted to he could live off of what he earns from his YouTube career. When speaking about his success, Chapman says he considers himself just “a dude who plays guitar in his flat” and had no idea that it could be like this, but couldn’t be happier. On advice for aspiring YouTube stars he says the title, description, and tags are extremely important in getting people to notice you.
The second, Leonardo Pereznieto, was also a struggling artists before creating his YouTube channel. In 2009 the full time artist was struggling to make ends meet. Despite receiving international awards and showing his work throughout Europe and the United States, times were tough for the 45 year old artist. So he created a YouTube channel in hopes of getting more views of his artwork. He found this method to be relatively unsuccessful so then Pereznieto decided to record himself demonstrating how to properly sketchy and see if that generated any responses- and it did. He then began giving art lessons via YouTube and the views were piling up. By 2013, his YouTube channel, called Fine Art-Tips, was enough to live off of. Now with 763,000 subscribers and 2 million monthly visits, Pereznieto lead a life free from financial worries, thanks to ad revenue.
Betty Givan began her YouTube career with the mission of keeping traditional southern cooking alive. In January 2009 she created a channel, called Betty’s Kitchen, featuring recipe demonstrations and even trips to local grocery stores. Since then her videos have generated over 36 million views and more than 110,000 channel subscribers! Her online popularity even allowed her to create two mobile apps and publish two successful cookbooks. Givan said when she first started making the videos she did not think of it as a business endeavor, but rather a fun way to share her family recipes and keep her mother’s cooking alive. She says social media is the smartest way to grow viewers and it is always important to be consistent when trying to develop a following.