YouTube for business: learn from experts

An event series in partnership with The Purposeful Project

Earlier this year, we partnered with The Purposeful Project to create a series of live events to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses through social media. This guest blog post by The Purposeful Project includes the speakers’ main takeaways and the webinar recording of the fourth episode of our series.

YouTube for business: learn from experts

YouTube is king when it comes to video content, but it’s not only useful for watching, sharing videos and connecting with other YouTubers. You can actually make money off of the platform with your business! So what are you waiting for?

In this webinar, 3 YouTube experts talk about how to:

​📹 Create a YouTube strategy 

📹 Master YouTube thumbnail

📹 Find your niche

📹 Generate content ideas for your channel 

Our first guest Curtis Tilbury will tell us all about:

🤳 His personal journey

🤳 Funnelling engagement

🤳 A guide to YouTube Shorts

Within two years of making a channel with his father, Mark Tilbury, Curtis Tilbury had created an online community of 1.1 million subscribers and 7 million followers on TikTok.

He says that at the start he had fun with his personal channel and was enjoying learning about what mistakes to avoid along the way, but ultimately he ended up travelling the world with Red Bull and got to work with a lot of creative freedom.

When lockdown hit, instead of letting the measurements restrict his work, Curtis began working with clients within a production company. He started to create viral content by simply rethinking his strategy to fit in with the restrictions in place at the time.

Here are Curtis Tilbury’s top tips for making money on YouTube:

Make your content relevant to a wider audience

Curtis says that first, you must identify how your business is interesting to everyone. How can you make your content online more relevant to a wider audience? 

Making your content niche is one of the most powerful things, but making your content valuable and relevant for everyone will bring massive success.

Curtis explains this with a simple yet effective example. When people go to a restaurant, they sit down and you give them a napkin. The first time you give them a red napkin, the next time they come you give them a blue napkin, next a green one, a yellow one and so forth. The customer still gets the same product each time – a napkin, but the colour changes. 

Find ways to capture your audience with ultimately the same overall niche topic but in different formats or subsections so you can pull in a wider audience pool. 

Value first, numbers second

Most people make the mistake of committing to a ‘hard sell’ too soon. Don’t start with getting people to join a course or buy a product,  give value to them first.

In order to build loyalty, you have to give rather than take at the start and build relationships first.

Funnel your growth

Where are your subscribers and views coming from? Whether you have niche viral content on TikTok or are killing the Instagram reels, make sure it all links back to your channel. 

Having quality content across all of your platforms means that you can reach a wider audience with a higher chance that they will head to your YouTube channel. Having a strong community elsewhere, generally means that if you have loyalty there, it can be converted and funnelled to a different channel such as YouTube via a strong CTA.

Think about your channels

Curtis says that he actually has separate channels for his main videos and his YouTube shorts so that subscribers always get to watch consistent content every week. 

He points out that most of his subscribers sign up to watch his longer videos that cover the same topic and probably aren’t interested in the shorter videos. He still uploads one specific Short per week that directly relates to the channel to make sure this extra content will still engage his audience.

Think about what your subscribers are signing up for and whether you are giving them educational, entertaining videos that they want to watch. Are you producing videos that they signed up for?

Our next speaker is Jatin Naran

Jatin started YouTube 8 years ago when he was 14 years old to have some fun online making videos but he soon took a break. When the pandemic hit, Jatin took the chance and turned the camera back on.

He will break down:

🤳 What your thumbnail should include

🤳 Understanding engagement

🤳 How to make money 

Design an engaging thumbnail

Thumbnails might seem the least of your worries when you have a whole video to produce, but actually, it’s your thumbnail and title that draws people in! Jatin says that most people forget that people who watch your videos are most likely to be viewing it on their phone so you must keep this in mind when designing your thumbnail. Here are his top tips on creating a successful thumbnail:

  1. Make sure the thumbnail image is large so when seen on a phone, your expression is clear. 
  2. Make your text commanding for a more engaging title. For example instead of ‘How to make money, use ‘Do this to make money” – it will attract more attention.
  3. If you are stuck, get inspiration from other thumbnails out there and put your own twist to it. 

Your thumbnail and title combined are the magic formula that will get you that click, so take some time to think about the appearance and language you use.

Measure your success

When you are looking to make money on YouTube, you must be on top of where your engagement is so you can work out where your channel strengths are, or where you need to tweak your strategy to get more people viewing your content.

Use resources such as VidIQ to see where subscribers are coming from and what their watch time is. But don’t just look at this data, act on it!

Ads vs Affiliate links

Making money takes time and actually costs money. Thinking about the time and money that goes into 1 video, of course, you’re going to want to get monetised as soon as possible to earn what you have already put in. However, it takes 1,000 subscribers and  4,000 watch hours until you can monetise your videos.

An approach that works well is to use affiliate programs before ads become available. The programmes will get you a commission if your link is clicked or used. It gives you a chance to work with brands that relate to your channel and could lead to a big partnership in the future if it goes well.

Jatin says that people underestimate how much you can earn from affiliate links and would definitely recommend it.

Our final speaker is Afzal Hussein.

Afzal was working for an investment bank but saw the struggle of young people trying to break in. Having a working-class background, Afzal wanted to give career advice to those looking to take the same steps as him and give them some insider knowledge on how to do it. 

He will explain:

🤳 How to leverage followers

🤳 The importance of consistency

🤳 How to generate ideas

Crossing over channels

Afzal actually started posting career advice on Linkedin and gathered thousands of followers which he used as leverage to move his community to YouTube where he now has 115K subscribers.

But how did he get there? As well as using his LinkedIn community, he says that he used his unfair advantage. He said that being unconventional and showing the inside scoop of investment banking with a working-class background bought him interest and with consistency, he started to grow even more online.

Think about what people expect, look at the content you’re actually uploading and then look at your analytics to measure what people are actually engaging with most. This will give you an idea of what you are doing right and where you can improve.

Creating ideas

Sometimes ideas come to you naturally when you are brainstorming, but others may pop in your head when you’re in the shower! If you have a creative block, Afzal suggests using  the website:

If you type in your niche or topic, this website will show you what people are searching for in relation to that topic, giving you hundreds of ideas that you can put your own twist on.

Another way of getting inspired with new ideas is to look at other channels in your niche, they might have some concepts that you can elevate.


In the YouTube world, if you want to partner up with fellow YouTubers, it’s important to collaborate with the right people so it’s mutually beneficial. 

Be sure that the person you are partnering with is in it for the right reasons, not just for exposure. 

Whilst exposure is good for short-term views, this doesn’t give as much value to your audience as if you partnered with someone who is in a similar niche or gives a different perspective that will actually help your viewers.

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Here are our key takeaways from the webinar:

📹 Bring value first

📹 Create a Shorts channel

📹 Remember people are on their phones so design thumbnails accordingly

📹 Get inspired by others in your niche

📹 Look into affiliate income

📹 Leveraging other social media platforms like TikTok and Linkedin

📹 Use resources that can help you

📹 Answer the questions people are asking 

You can play the video below if you want to watch the whole session!

Top tip: If you’ve taken inspiration about how social media can help you to promote your business or venture, then check out the Tide Small Business Tips Blog which contains extra articles on subjects such as how to engage your target audience on Twitter and useful hints for using Instagram.

The Purposeful Project

The Purposeful Project

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