If you’re launching your freelance YouTube channel manager career, first off: Congratulations! That’s a big, exciting move.
I’ve been working as a professional YouTube channel manager since 2012, and I’ve been doing my own thing as a freelancer and the owner of Channel Fuel, a YouTube management agency, for nearly three years now.
It’s been a fun ride, but I’ll tell you: Becoming a freelance channel manager requires some tact.One of the most important things you’ll want to do up front is to determine what YouTube services you want to offer your clients. This will help you figure out how to best serve your clients and maximize your earnings.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
- Check out Episode 13 to help on How To Find A YouTube Manager Job
- Take a look at the Agency set up by Tom Martin
- Look at how to conduct a YouTube Channel Audit
- Start monetising with Content ID by using Superbam
The YouTube easter egg from the start of today's episode is this little gem.
The Pro Channel Manager Academy is our incredible community full of incredible video courses and some of YouTube greatest minds to help you grow the YouTube channels you are working on.
A HUMUNGOUS thank you to our incredible sponsor and my favourite YouTube tool vidIQ. I use it on every single video I upload and has helped me generate BILLIONS of YouTube views. Get a free trial of one of their incredible paid plans by clicking here.
What To Consider When Crafting Your YouTube Services Menu
There’s a lot at play when you’re figuring out what YouTube services you want to offer clients. You’ll want to create a menu of sorts — a list of services your clients can pick and choose from.
However, it’s important you don’t just slap anything and everything on this menu. Be strategic. A few things you’ll want to think about include:
- Your clients’ needs: You never want to sell a client a service they don’t need. As a rule of thumb, don’t prioritize your short-term profit over the long-term value for your client. If a client is happy with your services and finds value in them, they’ll stick around, and that’s important.
- The skills and experiences you bring to the table: You don’t want to sell services just ‘cause. I personally focus on offering services that play to my team’s strongest talents. For instance, you won’t see me offering design services or video editing. Sure, we could, but I focus on offering services where I know we’re market leaders.
- How much time you have available: Now, this seems straightforward, but it’s important to keep in mind. When launching your freelance business, you’ll want to say “yes” to everything, but it’s important you don’t overbook yourself. Providing quality services is key in securing long-term clients.
With the above tips in mind, take a look at these services you could offer your clients as a freelance channel manager.
9 YouTube Services You Could Offer Clients
1) A YouTube Channel Audit
A YouTube channel audit is the first service I offer my clients.
Why? It’s always an essential step in onboarding a new client anyway, and it’s one of the most impactful ways you can help a client determine what services they’ll get the most value from.
By doing a channel audit, you’re helping yourself help your client.
You can offer a channel audit in various formats. I’ve professionally audited YouTube channels for the last five years and created a 75-Point Checklist to score four different categories: branding, channel set-up, content and SEO. This is definitely a more in-depth approach.
I suggest taking whatever route you feel more comfortable with. For example, I’ve seen people offer to hop on Zoom calls and talk through an audit live as well.
2) Keyword Research
This isn’t a service everyone can offer. YouTube keyword research — finding out what people are searching for related to your channel/niche — is really quite difficult.
Even on my small team, I’m the only one who can do keyword research projects, so if you don’t have the know-how that’s OK. Continue on to No. 3 on this list, or check out my keyword research fundamentals masterclass over in the Pro Channel Manager Community library.
If you can do keyword research, jackpot!
It typically takes me about two days to thoroughly do a full keyword research package for a client. (I use vidIQ for this.) After doing all my research, I create a playbook for my client.
Then, depending on what services they’ve opted into, I’ll implement this keyword strategy going forward, or I will hand this information over so the client can use the strategy on their own.
Pro channel manager pro tip: Doing keyword research is also going to generate a ton of content ideas. Clients always love this, because they can begin creating videos more strategically versus sticking a finger up in the air and saying, “Oh, I shall make a video on this random topic today!”
3) Ongoing Channel Management
This is the most obvious service you can provide as a freelance YouTube channel manager, and it’ll likely become your bread and butter. And it’s great, because you can set up a retainer payment system where you earn a fixed monthly payment from your clients.
Here’s how ongoing channel management typically works: A client will provide you their videos, and you will upload them and optimize the titles, tags, descriptions and thumbnails.
Depending on the client and how much onboarding you’ve done, this can be very complicated or super simple. Like I said, an audit and keyword research will make your life a whole lot easier.
4) Retrospective Optimization
To be honest, retrospective optimization is never something I offer to a client upfront, but it is something I’ll recommend to certain channels as an upsell.
Retrospective optimization is going into the backend of a YouTube channel and cleaning up the titles, tags, descriptions and thumbnails on existing videos. This will help you grow the channel moving forward.
Let’s say you’ve worked with a client, and you’ve published 50 optimized videos, if there are 500 old videos that haven’t yet been optimized, this could hurt you and counteract the great work you are doing on the new videos.
If you’ve already done an audit, great! Then you’ll know exactly what needs to be done in your retrospective optimization.
5) Ongoing Consultation and Strategic Advice
When someone hires a channel manager, they may assume they’re just hiring someone to work in the background — to do the mechanical work of uploading videos; adding titles, descriptions and tags; and scheduling it to go live.
However, they may also benefit from ongoing consultation and strategic advice. Even if they make beautiful videos, they may not understand what makes a strong YouTube video. Does it have a call-to-action? Are the videos too long? Too short?
I always build this in as a “bonus” into my ongoing channel management services. I find a lot of clients appreciate the expert advice (because more often than not, they don’t know much about YouTube).
I’ll often throw in a monthly analytics report, so they can see key metrics, including views, audience retention, revenue, and what videos did well and didn’t do so well.
6) Content ID Management
If a potential client is reaching out to you about content ID services, chances are, they already have a CMS and someone who’s working in-house on content ID operations. That’s great, and they’re all set for you to swoop in and start monetizing their user-generated content.
However, there are some smaller companies that have been on YouTube for years that have access to Content ID — they just may not know how to utilize it. That’s where you can take the reins and flex your expertise.
If you’re able to start monetizing this user-generated content, I suggest setting up a payment model that allows you to collect a percentage of the revenue. This is a great, fairly passive way to boost your freelance earnings each month.
Of course, working with Content ID is a specialized skill, so if you’re not familiar with it already, you won’t be able to learn this on the fly, but if you are, let folks know it’s something you can offer!
7) Thumbnail Creation
I would consider thumbnail creation a secondary service. It’s something you can either cross-sell or upsell to clients who are seeking channel management because they probably know a lot less than you about how to create a great thumbnail.
At my agency, I don’t offer this on the menu of services upfront. Like I said, I focus on offering services in which we’re considered world class — so channel management and strategy, not Photoshop or design. However, I will offer to work with a designer on a client’s behalf to create thumbnails.
Full warning: This can get messy. Contracting your work out forces you to rely on someone else, so you’re on their timeline. Plus, you have to be strategic about the pricing, because you want to make a profit in the long run.
8) Video Editing
From my experience, a lot of folks who are seeking channel management services aren’t skilled in video editing. Many times, they’ve already handed that task over to a freelancer or someone on their team to handle.
If you are skilled in these areas, it’s something you can offer. You’d basically become a full-stack agency. All your client would do is send you the video files, and then it’s your job to deliver a finished video that’s fully optimized and published with a thumbnail.
Clients tend to like this because it takes a whole lot of heavy lifting out of the equation for them.
9) Further Video Distribution
If you’re already helping your client publish videos on YouTube, why not offer to help distribute them to other platforms, too? Think about finding distribution deals with platforms like Zumo, Kidoodle or Roku.
You can also look into lining them up with aggregators and licensing companies like Boclips or VideoElephant to distribute their assets. Consider negotiating a revenue split on these platforms.
Of course, like the other items on this list, you can’t just learn how to do this overnight. It takes some expertise, but if you're able to offer it, your clients might be really into it — and it’s a great way to potentially scale your freelance income.
See the Work in Action — And Become Part of the Community
If you want to learn more about becoming a freelance channel manager, take a look at the agency I’ve set up, Channel Fuel. There, you’ll find what services I offer my clients and how I advertise them.
You can also join the Pro Channel Manager Community, where you’ll meet a ton of other freelancers and can tap into their expert advice!