7 Important Lessons Internet Entrepreneurs Need To Learn From The YouTube Crisis

The recent threat made by major advertisers to boycott youtube because of their disapproval of videos displaying their ads has resulted in loss of income for many youtubers. This fiasco which has sparked philosophical and political debates, has displaced major channels and even caused some to shut down.  This difficult issue has valuable lessons for entrepreneurs.

1 Diversify Your Income

It is best to diversify online income because if  revenue comes from only one stream dehydration results if it dries up.  From the looks of things many youtubers have been left thirsty. In addition to ads other sources of income include:

Merchandise: (T- shirts with your logo or slogans, mugs, hats, posters).

Corporate sponsorship:  Just be sure that the corporation does not conflict with the core values of what you or your brand represents or  you’ll have major problems later on. The worst that can happen? Your core audience will leave and label you as a corporate sellout.

Exclusivity: Create exclusive content like books and videos for sale.

People who had a subscriber/merchandise based model were not hit as hard by the crisis.

2 Build An Offline Network

Don’t invest all your money in an online venture.  You can’t build a real foundation on the ever changing internet landscape. This can only be done offline. Work on creating a network of friends and a stable source of income in real life. If you meet people online with whom you wish to network get to know them better through video talk and then arrange to meet them in real life. Much of what you see online is just for show, merely an illusion of friendship, support, wealth and success.

3 Do It For The Love

Persons who are on youtube just to make money can now be clearly identified as against those who make youtube videos because they like doing so.  Those creators who incur expense making very professional videos deserve remuneration for their content. However there is a difference between doing something you love with the desire to make money from it and doing something only to make money. The reality is that youtubers cannot force viewers to donate.

4 Haters Are Always Watching

In the past few months many videos have been celebrating the dilemma facing popular youtubers.  It is therefore important to focus on a strategy that ensures success, while ignoring  detractors. A good strategy evolves with the changing times.

5 Don’t Be Fooled By Large Numbers

Mobilize your audience to support a cause or purchase a product or service. If you are unable to engage then they are not really your supporters.  People may have large numbers of online followers but are unable to harness their   support. Aim for an audience that resonates with your message and forget about large numbers. It is better to have 3,000 people and 2,300 of them buy your product or support your cause than to have 30k and only have 50 support you. Don’t keep changing your message to please your audience. Stick to your core values and attract people that respect you and share your ideas. Don’t chase numbers.

6 People Have Their Own Lives

Entrepreneurs must realize that people have their own lives so don’t expect them to be always sympathetic to your cause. They have families and responsibilities in the real world. To them you might just be 30 minutes of entertainment and although they might not want to see you go most of them aren’t going to pay to make you stay. So issuing threats to get  donations is futile and might only make people angry.

7 Save And Invest

It is hoped that youtubers who a have now lost income had the discipline and foresight to save and invest their earnings for times like these. If you are fortunate enough to be making good money online or offline save and invest some of it.

Going Forward

Do not let the praises people shower you with online get to your head. Do not let the fact that you have a large following or millions of views get to your head. Life goes on after a viral video. If you lack substance you can’t maintain anything in the long run. The same people that are cheering for you today can turn on you tomorrow and the same people that idolize you today can forget you tomorrow. Going forward let us learn from this event and create something tangible for ourselves; let us train and develop valuable skills that can serve us throughout life.

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