Start a YouTube Channel: 0 to 11,000 subscribers in 9 months

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Starting a YouTube channel is an exciting venture, but in a saturated space, it can be challenging to stand out. I want to share a conversation I had with Laura, a Thriving Creators Society member who grew her YouTube channel from 0 to 11,000 in the last 9 months. Her experience provides valuable lessons for aspiring YouTube creators and online business owners looking to make their mark in a competitive niche.

Watch the Video: Start a YouTube Channel: 0 to 11,000 subscribers in 9 months

Finding Success in a Saturated Niche

Laura: “My YouTube channel is LymanJoy. A little over 8 months ago, I started my channel. I’m a cash stuffing, savings challenge, debt payoff, wealth building channel. My goal is to help others find freedom in their financial journey by either building their wealth or getting out of debt so they can build their wealth. I think that I was a member of Thriving Creators Society for about a month or two. I was at around 200 or 300 subscribers. It was really low. I actually found one of your videos about binge-worthy videos or the spider web effect. And then I watched the video where you taught people how to look at their analytics and how to be found, and that really was the key. Once I added that method in there, that’s when my first video, I would say, popped off.”

Meredith: “There are already a lot of channels in your niche. A lot of financial freedom, get out of debt, budgeting, cash envelope system. That’s a very prevalent topic on YouTube. So when you started your channel, what were you thinking? What made you think, ‘Oh, I could I could definitely grow my YouTube channel with this topic?'”

Laura: “I wasn’t even thinking about growing. The only thing I was thinking about is getting to 1,000 subscribers, but I had no idea what YouTube was or how to grow it. I did start with a different course that I had purchased about how to set up a YouTube channel, but it didn’t really help me. It wasn’t until that sparked in my mind watching your courses and videos that I realized this can be a big thing. If I was able to create a community that actually wanted to come back and watch me, I could do something. I hadn’t actually even considered that was a possibility for me. It was more about sharing my journey like people do on Facebook or with your friends or your family. It wasn’t something that I really was doing solely to grow.”

Meredith: “It almost sounds like you didn’t let the fact that other channels existed in the niche scare you away?”

Laura: “Totally. My personality is once I realized there were other channels that were far outperforming me, instead of them intimidating me or making me feel like I’m not as good, I just see them as if they’re my teachers. I’m going to absorb every single thing I can from them.”

Related: How to Choose a Niche for YouTube and your Blog

Time Management for Busy Creators

Meredith: “Yes. I love that mentality. So many people look at it as, well, that’s already been done, and that person is talking about it. And they see that as a roadblock instead of evidence that this is something people are watching on YouTube. It’s not a reason not to do it. It’s a reason to do it. When you decided to invest a little more energy into growing your channel, how much more time did you have to spend in applying the growth strategies and methods like that?”

Laura: “So with my Friday/Saturday videos, I try to keep them super organic so there’s almost no editing or prep needed. So that makes it really easy because I don’t have to do anything except for using my Friday/Saturday videos for storytelling. I’m doing that to gain a community so they’ll get to know me. But I do have to be very strategic with my Monday/Tuesday videos. So these are teaching videos, and I do have to apply and script all those. I wasn’t doing Monday/Tuesday videos when I first started, so I would say my time doubled that I’m putting in. But I also work full time and have 6 kids. So I do what I can do when I can do it. So I would say I wouldn’t spend more than an hour or 2 scripting and planning it out, and then it is what it is.”

Balancing Unscripted and Scripted Content

Meredith: “So you have these Friday/Saturday cash stuffing videos that you said you do almost no editing on? You just set up your camera and hit record. You do your thing, and then you just send it off to YouTube?”

Laura: “I might cut out the the pauses when you’re starting it up. But I leave in my mistakes because people that are doing cash stuffing and savings challenges or really anything in life, the mistakes happen. What do you do when you make the mistake? What do you do when the camera doesn’t work, or when your craft thing falls apart? So I think that’s when people resonate with me because they’re like, ‘Oh, I mean, she’s doing it. She made a mistake.’ And they’ll comment too. I love when people say, ‘Hey, you miscalculated something.’ I can see other people in my niche get really offended. I’m like, ‘Absolutely. I totally did. Thanks for watching that closely that you noticed.'”

Meredith: “You have these videos that you’re barely editing. You’re doing a little bit of storytelling, you mentioned. I want to talk about that a little bit. But then you have your other video that you publish every week that’s more scripted because it’s more of a how-to type of video?”

Laura: “Yeah. So they’re always going to be things like, ‘How to Cash Stuff’ or like the ones I’m doing now, ‘How to Set Up Your Sinking Funds for the Next Year.’ And so I think that’s also really drawing my traffic. So I’m drawing my traffic in by those SEO how-to’s or what to avoid. That one did pretty good too, and ‘How to Get Out of Debt Quickly.’ The combination is really working. My regulars that are coming back, I can tell there a couple of them who are subscribing and talking to me on Monday, Tuesday, and then I see them on Friday, Saturday coming back and commenting. And that’s what I love to see because that’s what I want to be. That’s what I really want to generate, is that community of coming back and hooking them in.”

Discovering the Power of Storytelling

Meredith: “Yes. I love that. Wow. I don’t know about you, but I’m really fascinated with channels where you can create videos and there isn’t a lot of editing needed. And one thing that I have been learning, studying, practicing in my videos is storytelling. Can you talk a little bit about how you use storytelling and how storytelling is working well for you?”

Laura: “So, I don’t script my Friday/Saturday videos. I also think that we are uniquely ourselves, and there is a population. There’s a 1,000,000,000 people in the world. There has to be our people out there. So me sharing who I am through storytelling helps us find our people. Because it’s going to draw people that are like me. And if they’re not, then they’re going to move on.

So, before I do it, I do think a little bit before I begin about what happened this week. What are some good, funny, crazy events that occurred that could apply, and then I just go with it. And it’s not pre-scripted, so it comes off authentic. I’ve tried scripting a few, and sometimes it just comes off really scripted instead of storytelling.. So I now just avoid doing that, and I usually have a few stories going on in my brain. And as I’m going, if something pops up, I’d talk about it. And it’s interesting doing that because then people who love dogs want to comment. People who love the outdoors, they’re going to make a comment. Somebody who loves kids, they’re going to say something about it. I feel like it draws them into my life.”

Balancing Effort and Authenticity

Meredith: “I’m always fascinated by channels where you’re doing something like cash stuffing, which is an activity that you would be doing whether you were recording or not. So it’s kind of like crafting or scrapbooking, which I think makes it so easy and almost kind of a no-brainer. Just set your camera up and hit record. There is no scripting, no editing needed. Because this is what you’re going to be doing anyway. You have these unscripted, mostly unedited videos, and then you have these how-to videos that are more scripted. Those are edited?”

Laura: “Yeah, my how-to’s are edited. They’re not scripted word-for-word. They’re more like, if I’m teaching with my hands, they’re bold pointed. I just need to follow the bullet point. I’ve only done about two talking head videos, and I’m trying to get better at that because I do want people to see my face to connect with me that way. I only did two takes of each one, and it is what it is. It’s not going to be perfect. If I could sit there and do it 10 times and try to make it perfect, then I feel like it’s not even authentic. It’s not even me. And I’d rather not.”

Building a Community Through Authenticity

Meredith: “If someone is watching this, and they think, ‘I want my channel to blow up like Laura’s did from 0 to almost 11,000 in 9 months. What would Laura do?’ What would you tell them to do right now if they’re starting from 0?”

Laura: “I think it’s important to have your niche figured out. Your “why” is just as powerful because it’s going to be the fuel behind your niche. Why are you doing it? If your “why” isn’t strong and calculated, then I feel like you’re going to get distracted or things are going to get in front of you making videos. The second thing is to look at everybody in your niche as teachers, not competitors, and learn everything from some people that are doing better than you. Even the 1,000,000 subscriber people, there are still people doing better than them.

And doing something like the Thriving Creators Society where you can bounce ideas off of others, can help make you successful. I can learn everything I want, but sometimes you still get stuck and need that encouragement, or to brainstorm with people. I think the unique thing about Thriving Creators Society is that it’s large enough that it has all the pieces you need in it, but small enough to have authentic relationships that can really help sharpen you in whatever your niche is.”

Related: Do this after Every Upload to Grow Your Business with YouTube


I am so grateful for Laura for coming onto my channel to talk with me about her experience this year in growing her channel and sharing all of these little bits of wisdom that she has picked up along the way. It has been so inspiring. I want to let you know that this whole conversation is going inside Thriving Creators Society for my members there. If you want to check Thriving Creators Society out for yourself, visit the link here. So you can come in and check it out for yourself and see what she’s talking about. Plus, you can hang out with me. We do meet-ups a couple of times a month plus other little challenges here and there. And be sure to watch my video on how to become binge-worthy on YouTube, to help grow your audience and your channel.