Building a business with your YouTube educational brand
Once your educational channel is going strong, consider experimenting with collaborations, open source content, and revenue options to help you expand your audience and build a business around your channel.
Collaborate to reach new audiences
Collaborations can be a fun way to share your expertise with a new audience and may increase your chances of getting discovered by audiences with similar interests.
- Try collaborating with YouTube creators in a different genre. This can make your content more diverse and open it up to a new audience. Think music, gaming, comedy, food, etc.
- Collaborate with non-edu creators! Help guide other YouTube creators in developing their own instructional and educational content by being a collaborator on their channel.
- Bring experts on your channel. This can add discoverability, exposure, and credibility to your videos. Invite leading experts in a field you’re interested in to take part in an interview, a challenge, or a discussion.
See it in action
Mixing education with comedyAsapSCIENCE collaborated with Superwoman to introduce their channel to a new audience—in this case, young women.
Bringing an expert on your channelTom of ‘Science With Tom’ began making science music videos while working at Stanford and then went on start a ‘Next Generation Science Series’ inspired channel, where he brings in experts regularly.
Collaboration with educators in your fieldAdam Bradshaw, who has an English teaching channel targeted to Thai learners, collaborated with Thai tech creator Jitsupa Chin to introduce his channel to new interested audiences.
Open source your content
Allowing others to reuse your content is one way to help strengthen the educational ecosystem and share your valuable point of view with learners around the world. While YouTube videos are designed to be shared, there are other steps you can take to support distribution of your educational material:
- Try creating curriculum maps for your content. This can guide educators, trainers, and students in understanding how your content fits into their learning needs.
- Provide resources. Lesson customization options, tips and tricks, data tools, and interactive elements may help others use your content and bring added value to the classroom.
- Consider partnering with schools, institutions, and organizations. Align with your target audience to better cater to their curriculum and seamlessly integrate your lessons into the classroom or program.
See it in action
Shareable resources for teachersTed-Ed has created a platform where educators can use any YouTube or TED video to create a lesson, ask questions, and share with students and other educators. You can click to it from the video description: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/should-we-eat-bugs-emma-bryce
Explore monetization options
There are multiple options to explore if you’re interested in earning revenue from your YouTube channel.
- You can run ads on your channel by applying to join the YouTube Partner Program (as long as it is available in your country). After you hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 month period, your activity will be reviewed against YouTube’s policies. If everything looks good, you’ll be able to join the YouTube Partner Program and can begin serving ads on your content. For more details, check out our lesson.
- SuperChat is an option (in some countries) you can turn on when live streaming that allows viewers in the chat feed to pay a small fee to send you comments that stand out amongst the rest in color and size. Learning-based channels tend to have a fanbase of loyal viewers so it can be an effective way to leverage your community.
- Brand collaborations are another option to consider. More and more brands are looking for opportunities to partner with YouTube creators. Brand collaborations can live on your channel or the brand’s channel, and can be used to wow new audiences through a special video or provide useful information that is also relevant to the brand.
Beyond YouTube, think creatively about how to monetize the educational experience you provide.
- Try building out premium offerings in your area of expertise that leverage the brand you're already known for. For example, some educators and trainers have found success with speaking engagements, creating daily or weekly curriculum plans, live monitoring, live consultations and chats, offering a certification, or giving private lessons. Can you work with an institution to develop a course path or certification for them? Whatever avenue you choose, paid offerings are a great way for you to leverage your presence on YouTube and open up new viewership and revenue streams. If you’ve decided to create a paid offering, consider promoting this to your audience on YouTube to garner support.
- Crowdfunding is another avenue some educators use for sustaining their channel. It works best when you have a dedicated audience who are willing to contribute to your channel. There are two main types of crowdfunding—recurring (where contributors pay a certain amount on a time-based interval) and project-based (where contributors donate to a certain project). Many top education creators use recurring crowdfunding through Patreon, for example, to ask their community to contribute, and this allows them to keep creating great content.
- Selling merchandise is another option that educational, enrichment, and training channels have dabbled in for an added revenue stream. Kurzgesagt, for example, sell merchandise on Don't Forget To Be Awesome.
See it in action
Try out new technologies
New technologies, like virtual reality and 360-degree video, not only have great application in education but also can make your content more shareable and discoverable through search and suggested. Try experimenting with these technologies to make videos viewers can explore.
See it in action