Entrepreneurs of Color on YouTube: How to Market Your Business & Monetize Videos

As an entrepreneur of color, you have a powerful story to tell and valuable expertise to share – and YouTube is the perfect platform to do it. With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube offers massive opportunities to build your brand, reach new customers, and grow your business.

But the benefits go beyond just marketing. YouTube also offers multiple ways to monetize your videos and create additional revenue streams. From ad revenue to channel memberships to product sales, there are many paths to making money on YouTube as a creator and entrepreneur.

In this guide, we‘ll dive into the key strategies and tactics that entrepreneurs of color are using to succeed on YouTube. Whether you‘re just getting started or looking to level up, read on to learn how you can harness the power of video to take your business to new heights.

The Opportunity for Entrepreneurs of Color on YouTube

Let‘s start with some eye-opening data on why YouTube is such a game-changer for entrepreneurs of color:

  • Over 45% of YouTube‘s U.S. users are people of color, making it one of the most diverse social media platforms. (Pew Research)
  • Black, Hispanic and Asian consumers are more likely than White consumers to use YouTube for discovering and researching products. (Google)
  • 60% of minority-owned small businesses say social media is crucial to their growth and success. (Score)

In other words, YouTube‘s audience is not only huge but also remarkably diverse and engaged. This means that no matter what your niche or target market is, there are likely people on YouTube who are hungry for content that represents and speaks to them.

For entrepreneurs of color who have historically been underrepresented and marginalized in traditional media and advertising, this presents a huge opportunity to control your own narrative, build authentic connections with your community, and reach new heights of visibility and influence.

"YouTube has completely changed the game for entrepreneurs of color like myself," says Brittany Noble, the founder of a natural haircare brand. "I no longer have to rely on gatekeepers to get my products in front of my target audience. I can create my own content, on my own terms, and build a loyal customer base that reflects my identity and values."

How Entrepreneurs of Color are Marketing on YouTube

So what does it actually look like to use YouTube to market your business as an entrepreneur of color? Let‘s break down some of the most effective strategies and formats.

Behind-the-Scenes Content

One of the most powerful types of videos you can create as a business owner is a behind-the-scenes look at your brand and process. This could include:

  • A tour of your workspace or studio
  • An inside look at how your products are made
  • A day-in-the-life vlog following your entrepreneurial journey
  • Interviews with your team members or collaborators

This type of content is great for building trust and personal connection with your audience. By pulling back the curtain and showing the real people and work that go into your business, you humanize your brand and give viewers a reason to root for your success.

For example, Byron Breeze, the founder of a bespoke menswear company, regularly takes his viewers into his design studio and shares his creative process, from sketching to final fittings.

"I want my customers to feel like they‘re part of the journey with me, not just passive consumers," he says. "By sharing the behind-the-scenes of my business, I‘m inviting them into my world and hopefully inspiring them to pursue their own passions as well."

Educational Content

Another highly effective video format for entrepreneurs is educational content that teaches viewers something valuable related to your industry or niche. This could be:

  • How-to tutorials on using your products or related skills
  • Explainer videos breaking down complex topics in your field
  • Thought leadership presentations sharing your unique insights and experience
  • Q&A videos answering common questions from your audience

The key is to focus on providing genuine value and establishing your expertise, rather than just making a hard sell. By educating and empowering your viewers, you position yourself as a trusted resource and authority in your space.

Joanne Lee, a financial coach for women of color, uses her YouTube channel to share tips and strategies for budgeting, saving, investing and more. Her videos break down intimidating money topics in a relatable, accessible way, building her credibility and attracting clients to her coaching services.

"My goal is to demystify personal finance and give women of color the tools and confidence to take control of their money," Lee says. "YouTube allows me to reach a wider audience and make a positive impact on their lives, while also growing my business."

Customer Stories & Testimonials

Featuring your happy customers and their success stories is a powerful way to build social proof and showcase the impact of your products or services. Customer stories can take many forms on YouTube, such as:

  • Case study interviews with clients sharing their experience and results
  • Testimonial videos of customers raving about your brand
  • "Unboxing" or review videos of customers using your products
  • User-generated content from customers sharing their own stories and creativity

This type of content not only highlights the value of your offerings but also celebrates and centers the diverse voices and experiences of your clientele.

For example, Nikki Porcher, the founder of a online marketplace for Black-owned businesses, frequently features seller stories and customer testimonials on her YouTube channel. By amplifying these real voices and faces, she demonstrates the tangible impact of supporting Black entrepreneurship.

"It‘s one thing for me to talk about the importance of buying Black, but it‘s so much more powerful to hear directly from the people whose lives and livelihoods are being uplifted by this movement," Porcher says. "Their stories are the heart and soul of my business."

Monetizing Your YouTube Channel as an Entrepreneur of Color

In addition to marketing your business, YouTube also offers significant opportunities to generate additional revenue through its Partner Program. Here are the key ways you can monetize your videos:

Ad Revenue

Once you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, you can start earning money from ads served on your videos. YouTube pays 55% of the revenue to creators, based on factors like ad views and engagement.

Channel Memberships

You can offer channel memberships that give paying subscribers access to exclusive perks like custom emojis, badges, and bonus content. Pricing starts at $4.99/month, and you receive 70% of the total revenue.

Super Chat & Super Stickers

During live streams, viewers can pay to pin their comments or send animated stickers, giving them more visibility and recognition. You receive a portion of these payments, which can add up for popular streamers.

Merchandise Shelf

Eligible channels can enable a merchandise shelf to sell products like t-shirts, hats, and more directly below their videos. You can link to your own store or use YouTube‘s merchandise partners.

So how much can you realistically earn? According to data from Influencer Marketing Hub, the average YouTube channel can expect to earn around $18 per 1,000 ad views, which translates to $3 – $5 per 1,000 video views when you factor in the YouTube Partner Program revenue share.

Of course, many successful entrepreneurs are earning much more than this – some even making millions per year from their YouTube presence. The key is to focus on creating high-quality, engaging content, optimizing for monetization, and consistently growing your audience and watch time.

For example, Shanna Lannae, a beauty influencer known for her creative makeup tutorials, earns over $10,000 per month from her YouTube channel. She combines ad revenue, channel memberships, brand sponsorships, and product sales to build a thriving business centered around her video content.

"YouTube has completely transformed my life and career," Lannae says. "It‘s given me a platform to share my artistry, connect with a global community, and build a successful business doing what I love. I‘m grateful for the opportunities it provides, especially for creators of color like myself."

Getting Started and Growing Your YouTube Presence

If you‘re convinced of the power of YouTube for entrepreneurs of color, you might be wondering how to get started and stand out on the platform. Here are some tips:

  1. Develop a clear niche and brand voice that reflects your unique identity, values and expertise. Don‘t be afraid to lean into what makes you different.

  2. Invest in quality video production, including good lighting, sound, and editing. This will help you create a more professional and engaging viewing experience.

  3. Optimize your video titles, descriptions, and tags for search by including relevant keywords and phrases. This will help your content get discovered by your target audience.

  4. Promote your videos across your other marketing channels, such as your website, email list, and social media profiles, to drive views and subscriptions.

  5. Engage with your viewers by responding to comments, hosting Q&As, and creating interactive content like polls and live streams. Building a community is key to long-term success.

  6. Collaborate with other creators and entrepreneurs in your niche to cross-promote your content and tap into new audiences. Look for opportunities to add value to others.

  7. Utilize YouTube‘s analytics and insights to track your performance, identify areas for improvement, and double down on what‘s working. Continuously aim to level up your content and strategies.

Above all, remember that success on YouTube takes time, patience, and consistent effort. Don‘t get discouraged if you don‘t see immediate results – keep putting in the work and staying true to your mission and message.

"The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, but it‘s especially challenging for those of us from underrepresented communities," says Noble. "But that‘s what makes platforms like YouTube so powerful. They give us the opportunity to take control of our own narratives, build our own tables, and create the change we want to see in the world. So keep showing up, keep creating, and keep believing in yourself and your vision."

Conclusion

YouTube offers a game-changing opportunity for entrepreneurs of color to market their businesses, monetize their content, and build their brands on their own terms. By creating authentic, valuable video content, optimizing for discovery and engagement, and taking advantage of YouTube‘s various monetization features, you can tap into a vast and diverse audience and achieve entrepreneurial success.

But perhaps more importantly, you can use your platform to amplify your voice, share your story, and inspire others in your community to pursue their own dreams. As an entrepreneur of color on YouTube, you have the power to shape culture, shift narratives, and create positive impact far beyond your bottom line.

So grab your camera, hit record, and start showing the world what you‘re made of. Your audience is waiting.