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How To Use YouTube Channel Memberships To Monetize Your Audience

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How To Use YouTube Channel Memberships To Monetize Your Audience

If you’re interested in setting up YouTube Channel Memberships to monetize your audience, always stop and ask yourself, “What is the value I’m adding?” After all, your members are paying for exclusive perks and content. Keep reading for a breakdown of several successful YouTuber case studies.

If you want to grow a successful creator business, diversifying your income is critical. Setting up multiple income streams, like ad revenue, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and exclusive memberships, are all ways to create several income streams to grow your business’ income and protect yourself if one stream was to drop off. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to monetize your audience through YouTube channel memberships and the interesting approaches some YouTube creators take to make their memberships unique. 

Unique Perks Ideas 

YouTube Channel Memberships offer many exclusive perks, including: 

  • Custom emojis
  • Badges
  • Members-only community posts
  • Members-only live streams
  • Members-only live chat
  • Access to exclusive content

However, these perks are just the beginning of what YouTubers can offer. Many successful YouTubers with thriving memberships are expanding on these perks with unique features that make their membership stand out. 

Here are some of the most exciting perks we found broken down across several niches:

Gaming

In addition to perks like members-only content and emojis, gaming YouTubers are expanding into more creative ways to build connections with their audience. 

For example, gaming creator Prince Ohakam offers his channel members the exclusive opportunity to play live video games with him. This allows his die-hard fans to connect with him in new ways and experience what it would be like to chill with him in real life. 

Another unique perk within the gaming community is accepting game friend requests to channel members at a specific tier. Members-only discord channels are another great way to connect with your audience and create a smaller, exclusive channel for them to meet other fans and interact with you. 

Fashion, Beauty, & Lifestyle

During my research, I came across multiple successful fashion, beauty, and lifestyle YouTube creators offering specialized perks specific to their niche for channel memberships. 

In addition to the typical membership perks offered, many offered some variation of the following perks: 

  • Personalized advice on your wardrobe, body type, best makeup colors, etc.
  • Exclusive downloadable content, such as a short e-book or guide to understanding your face shape, best colors, etc. 
  • Exclusive private live streams
  • Q&As answered in regular videos (members-only questions featured or prioritized)
  • Private Facebook group for members to discuss what they’re learning or working towards

Education

Education channels have plenty of options for creating exciting membership perks. Here are some interesting ideas: 

  • Educational course access
  • Cliff notes
  • Audiobooks
  • Digital workshops
  • Exclusive downloadable files (think checklists, printables, guides, e-books, etc.) 
  • An exclusive look behind the scenes (i.e., a creator sharing their filming set-up)
  • Extended cuts of your videos
  • E-mail course access
  • Promo codes or discounts off your merch or courses
  • Masterclass
  • Mind maps
  • Planners to achieve goals relevant to your niche (i.e., a meal planner for a nutrition channel or a social media content planner for an entrepreneurship channel)

Pricing tips

For North America, YouTube creators can set their channel memberships between $0.99 to $499.99 per month, giving creators a lot of control over what they charge. Remember, YouTube will take a 30% cut of your earnings, so factor this in when considering how much you’d like to make. 

Many of the most successful YouTube Channel Memberships feature tiers at the lower end of this range to make their memberships more accessible to their average viewer. 

The sweet spot for YouTubers is around three tiers to manage, although some YouTubers have as many as five or six tiers at a time. 

Staggering your prices with a low-cost entry-level tier and then a jump to a considerably higher price point is popular among many creators. For example, many YouTubers price their first tier at only $1.99 or $2.99 per month, then jump up to $5.99 to $7.99 for their second tier, and so forth. 

Successful Case Study: Rachana Ranade

YouTube Membership Video

According to YouTube, Chartered Accountant and YouTuber Rachana Ranade earned over $100,000 from Channel memberships in 2020 alone, making it her largest income stream directly from YouTube. 

So, what is Rachana offering with her memberships?

She is currently offering three tiers: Student ($1.99/month), Investor ($6.99/month), and Pro Investor ($7.99/month). 

Students receive loyalty badges, custom emojis, access to four monthly exclusive community posts, voting rights, and members-only live chats. 

Investors can access everything Students receive and a 5% exclusive discount on her courses. 

Pro Investors receive all the perks from the previous two tiers, “Stock of the Month” analysis and Shout-outs in videos. 

Rachana has a thriving membership setup. She offers three tiers at varying price points so that it’s more accessible to her audience. The exclusive discount offer for her higher tiers is another excellent way to boost her course sales and build another income stream. 

Successful Case Study: Anna Yakienko 

Anna Video

Since enabling YouTube channel memberships, Anna has doubled her YouTube earnings, which were likely substantial already as she currently has over 330,000 subscribers. 

Her tier system is more extensive than most, with five options ranging from $2.99 per month to $24.99 per month for her VIP STYLE AY tier.

Some of her most unique membership offerings include discounts on merch, tailored fashion advice for members, and exclusive live streams. 

As a fashion consultant, Anna has the expertise to make this tailored fashion advice for her members a highly desirable perk. 

YouTube Channel Memberships vs. Patreon

Like YouTube Channel Memberships, Patreon allows creators to build memberships, provide exclusive access to their work, and deepen connections with their audience. However, there are a few key differences between the two services. 

Patreon takes a much smaller cut of your profits. YouTube takes 30%, but Patreon takes anywhere from 5% to 12%, depending on the membership tier and features you want to access. 

How To Use YouTube Channel Memberships To Monetize Your Audience

Source: Patreon

Both platforms have features like exclusive video content, live streams, and special offers. 

However, Patreon is more versatile because the platform acts as a central hub for multiple social media channels, such as your YouTube channel, Instagram, and TikTok. The YouTube membership program is tied down to YouTube, so you can’t monetize other social media audiences as easily. 

One of YouTube’s pluses is that it’s directly on the social media platform. Patreon is off-platform, so you have to redirect your viewers to subscribe on Patreon rather than them clicking the “Join” button on your YouTube pages. 

Another benefit of opting for YouTube memberships is you can manage everything from one dashboard and account. However, this also puts you at risk of losing multiple income streams if your YouTube channel is suspended or taken down. Having a Patreon allows you to diversify your income between numerous platforms. 

Wrap Up

YouTube Channel Memberships are a lucrative way for creators to monetize their audience and provide them with even more value and connection. 

Value-driven perks, like personalized fashion advice, access to educational courses, or the ability to chat directly with a favorite creator, are a surefire way to create a more stable income from content creation. 

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Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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