Entrepreneurs of Color on YouTube: How They Market Their Businesses & Monetize Videos

Welcome to Breaking the Blueprint — a blog series that dives into the unique business challenges and opportunities of underrepresented business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn how they’ve grown or scaled their businesses, explored entrepreneurial ventures within their companies, or created side hustles, and how their stories can inspire and inform your own success.

Publishing an ad or working with influencers isn't the only option to get your business in front of an audience on YouTube. And with 41% of YouTube users being ethnically diverse, this multicultural demographic is eager to watch and support brands and entrepreneurs who they feel represent their culture and life experiences.

Small business owners are starting channels to share videos that connect deeper with their customers, introduce themselves to new consumers, and even earn some passive income. When Azia Anderson, the founder of prty grl beauty, started sharing videos about her Black-owned business, she saw it as a way to educate other aspiring business owners in addition to marketing her brand. “I just felt like everyone could win,” said Anderson.

In this post, we'll share examples of YouTube videos by entrepreneurs of color who double as video creators and how to become eligible for monetization through the YouTube Partner Program.

Table of Contents

  • The Opportunity on YouTube for Entrepreneurs of Color
  • YouTube Video Ideas for Entrepreneurs of Color
  • How to Join the YouTube Partner Program
  • 7 Ways Entrepreneurs of Color Can Earn Money Through YouTube Monetization

The Opportunity on YouTube for Entrepreneurs of Color

Thanks to YouTube, over 70% of viewers are more aware of new brands, and it's one of the most lucrative social platforms for people to publish content. The YouTube Partner Program now offers several opportunities for channels to monetize their videos.

As channels grow and become eligible for the program, YouTube grants access to new revenue streams. Various metrics impact how much YouTube pays, but on average, YouTubers can earn between $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views.

Tammy Dinh, a clay artist with a shop named Uncomfy Co. and 60,000 YouTube subscribers, shared that since August of 2022, she has earned between $700-$1,000 in AdSense each month and $8,000 in shop sales. With around 20,000 subscribers, Anderson told us she makes $2,000-$3,000 in AdSense per quarter.

Anderson, a mother of two, had an overwhelming interest in how she runs her business and feels she can connect with people on YouTube by showing how much love goes into her company's products. “It really just feels like a long Facetime call with a friend rather than a sale or an ad,” said Anderson. “Whenever I post tutorials, my sales skyrocket.”

Consumers crave transparency, and entrepreneurs that give viewers more visibility of what happens behind the scenes establish a new layer of trust and loyalty between their brands and clientele.

YouTube Video Ideas for Entrepreneurs of Color

The data shows that YouTube has over 2 billion users and is the world‘s second-largest search engine—after its parent company Google. That’s a lot of curious eyeballs ready to be introduced to you and your business. Optimizing your channel with an SEO strategy will help grow your audience and improve your ranking on both YouTube and Google's search engine results pages.

This strategy starts with conceptualizing educational, entertaining, and relevant videos. Here are a few examples to kick off your next brainstorming session.

1. Studio and Day in the Life Vlogs

Bring your audience into the inner workings of your business. Whether you're a solopreneur or have a team, you can casually share your day-to-day planning, operations, and team personalities.

Lauren Strybos, a Chinese-Jamaican ceramicist in Canada, welcomes subscribers to her From Tree to Sea studio, showing her pottery process, collection planning, product photoshoots, and life updates.

2. Tutorials

How-to videos might initially feel like giving away your business secrets, but it‘s also a strategic format. Tutorials can help clients and customers understand how much time, effort, and expenses go into managing a business or producing a product. These videos help justify a person’s investment in your service or goods and increase respect for your craft.

Anderson‘s how-tos for making the best-selling prty grl beauty products are her most popular. Even though she’s teaching people how to make their body butter and sugar scrubs, she said most people still visit her site to purchase a product they watched her make.

3. Packing Videos

Bring customers down the assembly line by documenting how orders are packed and mailed. This type of video fills the time gap between when they click purchase and receive the package at their door.

Natasha Elle, an illustrator and SAD SHRIMPS shop owner based in Singapore uses her channel to promote her Patreon and show her and her assistant organizing, packing, and mailing hundreds of orders.

The XXL Scrunchie & Co team shares relaxing ASMR-style videos of them packing orders from their 4,000 sq. ft. warehouse, where you can listen to the peeling of shipping labels and the crinkle of envelopes.

4. Launch Updates & Product Features

Announce product and service launches or restocks by showing what will soon be available, styling tips, or an informative deep dive, such as launch inspiration, pricing, materials, ingredients, shipping, and more. It's also an opportunity to host a giveaway to boost engagement and excitement.

Tina Nguyen, the founder of XXL Scrunchie & Co, films try-on hauls to generate hype for new products and help customers make purchase decisions.

5. Office and Warehouse Tours

Give viewers a tour of your office or warehouse to show where you’re building and managing your company. If you're moving into a new space, take your audience on the journey with you through a moving vlog and the interior design phase.

Angela Jasmina used to run her million-dollar business out of her home and now films most of her embroidery and sublimation videos from her team’s 9,000 sq. ft. warehouse.

6. Q&A Business Chats

Engaging with subscribers in the comment section is essential to further connect with them and answer questions. Q&A videos on different topics are another compelling way to answer frequently asked questions, build trust, and establish oneself as an expert.

Dinh records the occasional sit-down Q&A video to answer audience questions and be vulnerable about her experience as a self-employed clay artist.

How to Join the YouTube Partner Program

In addition to marketing your business with your channel, there is an opportunity for extra earnings. Upload consistency and providing value are vital to growing a channel and becoming eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. With the introduction of YouTube Shorts, there are now two options for eligibility.

  1. 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months (Shorts views don't count towards this watch hours threshold)
  2. 1,000 subscribers and 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days

There are a few additional requirements to join the program, including:

Again, consistency here is important because you risk YouTube turning off monetization if you don't upload content for six or more months.

7 Ways Entrepreneurs of Color Can Earn Money Through YouTube Monetization

Once you’re a part of the YouTube Partner Program, you can choose which monetization features fit your channel well.

  • Watch Page Ads: Earn revenue from ads that play before, during, after, and around your long-form and live-streaming videos.
  • Shorts Feed Ads: As of February 1, 2023, you can earn a revenue share from ads viewed between videos in the Shorts feed.
  • Channel Memberships: Offer members-only perks, such as badges, emojis, exclusive videos, and more, for loyal viewers who join your channel for a monthly fee.
  • Shopping: Feature shoppable product links in or below videos and live streams by connecting your store to YouTube.
  • Super Chat & Super Stickers: For fans who want to show extra support during live streams and premieres, viewers can buy Super Chats to highlight their message or Super Stickers to get a digital or animated image that pops up in the live chat feed.
  • Super Thanks: Viewers can buy a one-time animation and post a colorful and customizable comment in a video's comment section. This function will also be available for YouTube Shorts in 2023.
  • YouTube Premium: When a viewer is a YouTube Premium subscriber and they watch your videos, you will earn a part of the YouTube Premium fee.

Over to You

There is no better time than now to start a channel on YouTube and promote your growing business. With the camera quality of today‘s cell phones, fancy equipment is optional to document your journey as an entrepreneur. Anderson wishes she had started posting videos sooner, and her advice is to start regardless of what editing program, camera, or audience you have. "Even if you’re only getting a few views, you never know who is watching," said Anderson.

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