YouTube Growth Strategy in 2023

This creator was behind Ali Abdaal & Gordon Ramsay

“If you can get someone's attention and give them a reason strong enough to click through thumbnail text or using someone's name, brand, or a great title — all of these things can intrigue a viewer and get views your videos deserve.” — Jamie Whiffen

Running a YouTube channel is no joke. Even more so if you're an independent creator! ✨

From understanding the importance of on-platform SEO and thumbnails to creating content, YouTubers deserve a pat on their back. If you've been meaning to take your YouTube creation journey to the next level, we've got something for you in this newsletter. 👇

We caught up with Jamie Whiffen — a YouTube consultant building Thumbnail Vault and producing content for YouTube channels like MTV, Ali Abdaal, and Gordon Ramsay. 🔥

In today's newsletter, our conversation with Jamie, include:

  • Trend jacking

  • What makes a great thumbnail?

  • Growing & monetizing on YouTube

  • Basics to get started with YouTube

Who’s Jamie Whiffen?

Now, let’s dive right into the conversation. 👇

Thousand Faces Club: What's the first thing you notice when you click on a YouTube channel?

Jamie: The first thing that hits me is the video packaging — the ideas, titles, and thumbnails. I look at what the channel is about, the target audience, the value they provide to the viewers, and how effectively they do that. My analytical brain takes over, and I try to decipher how successful the channel is and understand its potential.

Thousand Faces Club: What can a YouTuber do to make an effective and click-worthy combo of title and thumbnail?

Jamie: The best way to make your video click-worthy is to plan the title and thumbnail before shooting the video. Most YouTubers shoot the video first and then create a title and thumbnail. In such cases, you're left with an awesome video and don't know how to package it.

Thousand Faces Club: That's great advice! Jamie, we face this quite often, and so do other YouTubers. When you put more effort into something, it doesn't work. And when you don't, it works. Why does taking a backseat works on YouTube? Are we taking our ideas too seriously?

Jamie: That's an interesting question. I've been on YouTube since 2007 — ever since I was 12. The platform has changed a lot in these 10-15 years, and if you think about it, the biggest YouTuber (till 2009) had about a million subscribers, but now many YouTubers have a million subscribers. With the creator economy booming, people see this as a viable career path and treat it differently. So there is the pressure to create great content, make money out of it because they have employees, pay their salaries or become a full-time influencer. This goes beyond YouTube!

Thousand Faces Club: Should creators indulge in trend jacking?

Jamie: When you're a beginner or starting your creation journey, you should indulge in some trend jacking. You can use the names of popular creators or brands, because people are already interested in them. So it makes them click on your video, whether it's on their homepage or during their search journey. I think it's a great video, but there should be a reason for a popular creator or brand to be on your thumbnail or video.

Check out a piece from Jamie’s newsletter Creator Stream. 👇

Thousand Faces Club: How can creators find their voice or initial hurdles of content creation?

Jamie: Many fail to find their voice because they emulate other creators and don't diverge from it. It's okay initially because your favorite YouTuber can teach you some skills, but beyond that, you need to find your voice or path. That's the only way you can grow or build an audience. If you garner trust and build a community out of your audience, your content can make money.

Watch our entire conversation with Jamie. 👇

So, that was our conversation with Jamie Whiffen. We hope you learned a thing or two about YouTube.

If you want us to bring any specific guest for our YouTube or newsletter interviews, drop their names in the comments below. 👇

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I’ll be back with another story next Tuesday. 👋

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