Imagine building a business that exceeds your wildest dreams--a business in which you get to do what you love and get paid for it. The idea that finally makes you a millionaire, successful beyond your greatest hopes.
Now imagine that you're nine years old.
Meet EvanTubeHD, an enterprising young man with more than a million subscribers and a billion views on his YouTube channel. All of that activity is earning young Evan over $1.3 million dollars in revenue a year.
Did I mention he's only 9?!
Just what does this second-grader do to garner so much attention and money? How is it even possible?
It's not as outrageous as you might imagine. It all started when Evan began reviewing his favorite video games and toys on video--with the help of his dad Jared, of course, who was tasked with recording him. They experimented with special effects before sharing the finalized videos on YouTube.
Evan's mom and sister sometimes make a cameo and occasionally, Evan reviews a local children's attraction. In 2011, Evan and Jared began making Angry Birds stop-motion clay videos, which they posted on YouTube to share with friends.
"We were making about one video per month, for fun, when we started," says Jared. "It was interesting to see just who was interested and who was tuning in to our channel." It was when their original clay model video hit one million views that they really started to grasp just how popular they were becoming.
Evan received more and more requests to talk about toys. "And the rest is YouTube history," jokes Jared, also known as DaddyTube (Evan's mom is known as MommyTube).
Although Evan's business was built organically, the advertising inventory had become so big that DaddyTube and MommyTube needed help. They turned to Maker Studios, an advertising network and production company that specializes in YouTube talent, where a dedicated sales team sells ads and negotiates deals with brands and businesses.
And what are DaddyTube and MommyTube doing with Evan's ad revenue?
The proceeds go directly into savings and investment accounts for the kids.
Evan and his team recently added two new channels: EvanTubeRaw, featuring behind-the-scenes content and a family vlog, and EvanTubeGaming, which focuses solely on father-son videogame commentary and gameplay.
Evan's success story is an inspiration, but it goes to show the extent to which technology has torn down barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. Like 12-year old Moziah Bridges (of Mo's Bows fame), and Ryan Kelly (a Shark Tank kidpreneur), and others before him, this young man will enter high school already a business aficionado.
Here are a few YouTube business tips you can put to work for you, based on Evan's entrepreneurial success:
Persistence is key.
Channel results can vary widely. Keep creating content and be persistent. If you put out quality content, an audience will follow.
Connect with your Audience.
Perhaps the most important piece of the recipe is attracting repeat viewers. Understand what need you're serving for them; this is what brings them back for more. In Evan's case, he's adorable and likeable, but also makes recommendations that answer a need for kids and their parents.
Anyone can make a video encapsulating their hobbies or passions, but what will keep viewers watching? What will prompt them to share it with their friends, family and co-workers? Evan provides a valuable service by potentially saving people money, allowing them to "test-drive" games and toys through him before they buy.
Stand Out. Be Unique.
Offer something unique--you absolutely have to if you want to stand out in the sea of content on YouTube. Maybe it's based on a skill you have, like Evan's stop-motion clay figurine videos. It could just as easily be your personality, or a contrary stance on an issue. Anything that sets you apart can help you rise above the noise.