Is Your YouTube Channel on Track to Become a Business? Here are 5 Positive Signs

If growing a YouTube channel feels hard, turning one into a business must seem impossible. Still, you may be further ahead than you think.


What’s your ultimate YouTube wish for 2022? For the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, we have a pretty good hunch.

In the New Year, you want to... 

  • Grow your channel
  • Make more money
  • Eventually go full-time and start a business

Did we guess correctly?

Read More: Want to Make YouTube Your Full-Time Job? Master These 5 Skills

In this episode of TubeTalk, we interview a tech creator who reached that milestone: Jacklyn Dallas of NothingButTech (NBT). In seven years of filming, her channel has amassed 166,000 subscribers. That’s an important figure to note because most people think you need a million to be successful.

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Of course, Jacklyn reveals the truth about starting a YouTube business: Creators need a mix of problem solving, community building, and innovative thinking – not just subscribers.

1. You Solve Problems for Other People

Your channel can become so much more than an entertainment hub. While no viewer thinks, I only want to see educational videos, most people appreciate anything that helps them succeed in life. Take a look at the last 10 videos on your channel. Do they solve a concrete problem millions of people share? That’s the first sign your YouTube channel can support a larger business.

Man filming product review

Jacklyn started a tech channel because she was already solving tech problems. She had an audience of one at the time: her grandmother. But after Jacklyn recorded several videos to help her out – tutorials on resetting an email password or downloading an ebook – she knew she had something special.

“I would just send a 30-second video, and she found that really helpful,” Jacklyn says. “And I kind of thought, ‘I like explaining tech stuff. I may as well post it on YouTube.’”

Now that Jacklyn is a full-time YouTuber, one thing is clear: Coming up with solutions is the crux of any successful business, online or not.

2. You’re Making Enough Money to Justify the Effort

Starting any business (and growing it) depends on your ability to make money. YouTube is no different, and you need a justifiable income to manage a channel full-time. Otherwise, you could run out of money and end up quitting before you’ve started.

Read More: 7 Lucrative Ways to Make Money Beyond YouTube

Are you ready for that challenge? If you have multiple streams of income that cover your lifestyle, we’d say you are.

3. You’re Willing to Invest Heavily in Your YouTube Channel

Most creators invest in their channels by making one-off purchases. They’ll buy a camera for YouTube or an external microphone to get crisp audio. But chances are, you’re past that stage if you’re thinking of starting a business. You exit the “basic upgrade” phase and enter the “long-term investment” phase.

More importantly, you’re willing to invest 90% of YouTube revenue back into the channel rather than spend it. That’s what a thriving startup would do. In fact, that’s what Uber did for years to an extent.

“I don’t think people think of it as a company…. When you see insane numbers like, MrBeast makes 'X' amount, it’s like, no," Jacklyn says. Jimmy doesn’t make 'X' amount, the overall structure makes that amount, and then that goes to salaries and videos and things like that.”

Jacklyn follows this principle, too. She didn’t take a salary for years so she could invest in things like:

  • A fast computer for video editing
  • A camera that meets the quality standards for a tech channel
  • Office space for video production
  • A team of editors

4. You Push the Boundaries of What’s Possible on YouTube

We mentioned the power of income diversification above. Well, this tip goes hand-in-hand with that philosophy. Sometimes it’s not enough to collect money from different sources and call it a day. The best businesses are innovative and take calculated risks. Look at Jeff Bezos, Amazon, and the race to space that spawned Blue Origin. Think of Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and its mission to design and launch rockets into space.

Some might argue we have bigger problems to solve here on Earth, but innovation clearly drives wealth.

Embrace the same mindset when growing your channel. You don’t have to follow the monetization template YouTube created. Do something bold.

Read More: 6 Signs It's Time to Make YouTube Your Full-Time Job

Jacklyn took this to heart when she partnered with Dive Tap, a company that creates info-sharing cards that activate when you tap them against a phone. It allows people to share contacts, files, links, and more.

Jacklyn pitched the idea of an NBT x Dive Tap collab, which included:

  • Custom card designs her audience would resonate with
  • The ability to add files to the cards
  • A way to switch out the links on every card
“I want to always be pushing the boundaries a little bit,” Jacklyn says. “No tech creator had launched a tech product yet. I was like, ‘This is the perfect opportunity. Why not make it? Why not try to do this?’”

5. You’ve Built a YouTube Community That Trusts You

Having a strong YouTube community means your channel is on track to become a business. To be clear, this isn’t about how many subscribers you’ve gained. It's not even about the followers you’ve amassed on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Discord. This is about connection and engagement.

We’ve seen creators under 100,000 subscribers, such as social media expert Desiree Martinez, launch full-time businesses on YouTube. While they don’t have the largest audience, they do have engaged followers who support them monetarily.

Turning your channel into a business is no joke, so if you’re ready to earn more, give YouTube brand deals a shot. Here are 10 pitching secrets to help you land one.