YouTube changed my life, as a 36-year-old nobody.
Who’s going through a mid-life crisis & feeling lost about what the future of jobs & AI may hold.
Hey everybody, welcome to my channel, if you’re new here, I’m Helmi.
My 1st channel has less than 8,000 subscribers and my 2nd new channel only has 180 subscribers.
Even with those small subscriber counts, I’ll be sharing 5 ways YouTube has changed my life & how it can change yours too.
So let’s start with how I got into YouTube in the first place:
How I Got Started with YouTube
I uploaded my 1st YouTube video 3 years ago on my first YouTube channel about personal finance.
It was a topic I liked talking about and today, it only amassed 7,890 subscribers.
In hindsight, I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t even know my niche, I was creating random videos on topics I liked & blindly following random growth advice from YouTube gurus.
I started YouTube with the same mindset as most people.
I felt like life has a greater purpose than the traditional 9-5 life, commuting in rush hour traffic, asking permission to go on holidays & retiring.
My first introduction to digital media was when I had to write SEO articles to attract travelers to book my Airbnb in Kuala Lumpur.
It worked for a while, but as competition grew, I had to think of a way to stay ahead of the curve.
The trend in 2019 was that many of the US-based SEO bloggers started to expand into YouTube to get more search traffic.
Plus, I was heavily inspired by personal brands like Vanessa Lau, Sunny Lennarduzi, Ali Abdaal, Matt D’Avella, and Roberto Blake to name a few.
Most have humble beginnings who blew up on YouTube and coincidentally changed their lives.
They’re making way more money than anyone can dream of, they’re rubbing shoulders with people of influence, they can sell anything to their audience, and guaranteed to make lots of money.
Come on, you telling me you don’t want a slice of that YouTube pie?
But behind the success of your favorite creators, even the ones that seem to blow up overnight, there’s a lot of blood, sweat & tears they had to go through to get to where they are today.
Everyone has their story & today, I’ll be sharing how YouTube changed my life, even with a small following of less than 8000 subscribers & how it can change yours too.
1: YouTube Helped Me Easily Change Careers
The 1st way YouTube changed my life is it helped me change my careers.
I started my career as an Oil & Gas engineer in Singapore. But I got laid off during the 2014 oil crisis & had to return home to Kuala Lumpur.
To help pay my mortgage, I rented my apartments on Airbnb.
The business was OK but eventually shut down during the 2020 pandemic.
During the lockdown, I was desperate to find ways to make money & pay my monthly bills.
I applied for many random jobs and many weren’t hiring at the time. Because all businesses were struggling.
I eventually got a job at a tech company as a Content Lead, managing all their online content.
The hiring manager liked my profile because I had experience running an SEO blog & a YouTube channel.
So that was the first time having a YouTube channel helped me get a job in a new career path & saving my ass, financially.
After 1 year at that tech company, an HR person found me on LinkedIn & we started talking about a Head of Content Marketing position at their media company.
I sent her a case study about how I grow subscribers online that contains a YouTube video breakdown of exactly how I did it.
They liked it, passed the interview & signed up for the position.
That was the 2nd time YouTube helped me get a job.
Here’s the cool thing: During the first week on the job, I had to meet with two other top-level execs in the company to discuss the company’s content strategy.
As soon as I arrived at the meeting room & sat down, one of the guys said:
“Helmi, I’ve seen your blog & YouTube channel. You obviously know what you’re doing, I don’t have to cover the basics with you, so let’s start with the strategy moving forward”
I was like damn… My YouTube channel presold me & my abilities to other people.
And because it’s video, they get to gauge my vibe & ascend their trust in me faster than just reading text.
So when I entered the meeting room, everyone knew who I was & what I was capable of delivering.
I don’t have to prove myself.
Not going to lie, it felt amazing.
You can look at YouTube as your digital real estate, your online CV of your capabilities.
So it’s important to be conscious of what you post online.
Only post things that will show your competence, like case studies & how-to videos.
So if you’re selling a service, watch this video to learn the EXACT content strategy to attract your target audience.
2: Learn to Make Content People Actually Want
Growing a YouTube channel is the hardest among all social media platforms.
It’s literally like running a TV show. You have to learn so many things:
- Video idea research
- Speak confidently on camera
- Video production
- Video editing
- Thumbnail graphic design
- Headline copywriting
In the traditional TV industry, there are dedicated teams for each category.
It’s just crazy how as a YouTuber, you’re doing all of that alone, and oftentimes most of you still have a full-time job + a family to take care of.
The YouTubers that made it, seemed to have cracked the ‘art of YouTube’.
For you to understand YouTube, let’s start with the 3 ways you can get traffic to your videos:
- Browse (home page)
- Suggested (sidebar on someone else’s video)
- Search (from the search box)
Since I started my YouTube journey as an SEO blogger, naturally, I created videos that target mostly search traffic (how to do something kinda video).
And sure enough, that’s exactly what I got.
The majority of my traffic was from search.
Now Helmi, is that a bad thing? Because search traffic means pretty consistent traffic.
Which is true.
However, I noticed one issue if most of your audience came from search traffic.
From my experience, the search traffic audience is not loyal.
They just want the solution in my video but are not interested in me, my channel, or my services.
Channels with predominantly search traffic will have a lot of total views, but a small subscriber count (you can think of subscribers as fans).
For the past 3 years being on YouTube, I noticed that the channels that ‘blew up’ had most of their traffic from browse (the home page).
To get more browse traffic, you want to create videos that resonate with a majority of people and are motivational, inspirational & spark curiosity.
These are really good examples of videos that fit this criteria & are shown in my homepage:
So forget about search traffic & don’t educate your audience too much.
Ask yourself, what will spark curiosity in your target audience?
This skill is what I picked up from doing YouTube can be applied everywhere. Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, email copywriting & persuading people in general.
3: Learned The Real Way to Make Money Online
I have an insider scoop for you:
Most Creators/YouTubers are broke.
Let me tell you why.
Because most don’t have a high-ticket offer to sell (merch, ad revenue & affiliate sales don’t count).
Their main monetization plan is to get as many views as possible & cash in on ad revenue.
As an entrepreneur, there should be red flags flapping in your face as this is NOT a sustainable business model.
What you should do instead is to pick a proven high-ticket service or product to sell (your offer), then use YouTube & social content to drive traffic to your offer.
This should be the AHA moment for some of you.
I’ve consulted multiple new entrepreneurs in the early stages of their journey, and most of them are stuck at step 1:
Picking a high-ticket service to sell. It’s really hard to pick one thing.
One moment some gurus say to start an SMMA, another says to start dropshipping, and some say to start Amazon FBA, Etsy store.
It’s seriously overwhelming & most people will keep jumping on new trendy things until they burn out & quit.
Does this sound familiar?
So let me tell you a quick story on how I arrived at my high-ticket offer, which is to sell a done-for-you YouTube funnel service.
4: Figured Out My High-Ticket Offer
Let’s backtrack a little bit.
The first high-ticket service I sold was a web design.
A few of my followers on X DM-ed me to ask who designed my website. I said it was me.
They liked it so much that they ended up paying me to design & build their company website.
It was quite fulfilling, but I couldn’t see myself doing this in the long run because there’s too much competition & generally, business owners look at websites as nothing more than a ‘pretty brochure.’
So it’s hard for me to get client results like “Our business makes an extra $5000 a month from the website that Helmi built for us.”
These types of case studies are what I want because they will get more new clients interested in my services.
So I was back to square one. I needed to figure out another high-ticket service that was in demand and the results could easily be quantifiable with money.
I searched high & low for an answer.
Through my YouTube searches, I discovered a digital marketing consultant named Rich + Niche.
I loved how real his YouTube videos are.
After binging his videos one after another, I liked him enough to buy his digital marketing online course.
In the following weeks in the Discord group, I helped answer questions from other people in the group, and each time I did that, I earned some coins for contributing to the community.
With enough coins, I get to redeem them for a 20 min 1:1 consultation with Rich himself.
On the call, I spilled out everything. He literally was like my life therapist. Poor guy.
Anyway, he said something that was an AHA moment. He said:
“Helmi, it seemed like what got you to where you are in life is YouTube.”
A lightbulb lit in my head.
So I knew my high-ticket offer had something to do with YouTube, but still couldn’t iron out what exactly.
OK, so I need a mentor to help me figure this out.
I had a few coaches in mind, but I resonated the most with this dude from Ireland I found on X because:
- I followed his journey even before he got famous on X
- He teaches people how to freelance
- He was a former engineer (so was I)
- I like his overall vibe
I paid the guy & once in the onboarding session, he analyzed my situation, experience, and skills and proposed 2 high-ticket offers for me to sell:
- Sell landing pages
- Sell YouTube Funnels
Two people saying the same thing about YouTube to me, I picked YouTube so I can help other business owners build a YouTube sales funnel.
That was my journey to figuring out what my niche and offer is.
I know for some of you this is extremely hard to do. This story should give you some inspiration on how to find yours.
5: Humble to Learn from Younger People
As mentioned, I’m 36. At this age, In a traditional company, I’m supposed to be the head of the department or something.
But when it comes to new technology like YouTube, there are no people older than me who know more about YouTube than me.
So when you want to find mentorship from people who have achieved YouTube success, most of them are from young people. Like, really young. Sometimes in their teens.
I’ll give you an example.
The guy that I pay to give feedback on my thumbnails is moneymaxxing, a kid in his teens from Canada.
Another kid is n8wealth from the US. I joined one of his webinars teaching about how to become a YouTuber.
In one of the slides, he talked about freelancing your services to other YouTubers & how to accept payment online.
Naturally, he said he used Wise. “But, there’s a problem, you need to be at least 18 to register an account.”
Being 36, I’m like, well, of course, why would that be a problem?
He continued: “So in my case, I had to use my dad’s Wise account to receive payment from my clients.”
Then I was like: Wait a minute, this kid is not even fuckin 18???
This puts into perspective that new technology is dominated by the younger generation.
Are you willing to learn and get mentorship from someone way younger than you?
I know some traditional-minded corporate folks will not take any kid seriously.
So YouTube has opened up my mind to learn & get mentorship from anyone who has achieved the thing that I want to achieve. Regardless of their age.
So what did you get from all of this?
To me, it proved that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t started a YouTube channel.
Even if your channel hasn’t ‘blown up’ like mine, there’s no such thing as failing.
Look at all the skills, connections & opportunities I picked up along the way.
You don’t need to have a million subscribers. Because most of these people are broke!
With the right strategy, you can make really good money with only a couple of thousands subscribers.
Start your YouTube channel today. I guarantee your life will be better after 1 year of doing YouTube consistently, even if your channel doesn’t blow up.
Trust me. Start your YouTube channel now.
To help you get started, watch this playlist of how to launch your YouTube channel here.