Letters from Phil: When is the right time to start something new?

I am constantly finding parallels between running a business and building a YouTube channel. In this post, I want to talk about something that I faced which is similar to what many YouTubers face - when is the right time, if ever, to start something completely new? 

TubeBuddy has been very successful and I love working on it. But as an entrepreneur, I'm always thinking of new products or solutions and have the urge to dive into each new, brilliant idea of the week. I hear a similar sentiment from many YouTubers who want to start a new YouTube channel. 

Personally, I've learned to ignore that urge over the years because I know it's going to take a toll on our main product. Putting time into something new means less time put into TubeBuddy, which I don't take lightly. But sometimes a new idea, project or channel actually does make sense. Two years ago, one of those new, brilliant ideas was born and we’ve been working on this idea on the side ever since. I’m excited to announce that it’s finally ready to see the light of day. 

This new product gives YouTubers an automated "Channel Review" and can now be found at https://www.ChannelReviews.com. More on that in a later post :)

So, why was this the right time and the right product to put our efforts into? 

  1. There is an overlapping customer base. Many (but not all) TubeBuddy users will find a lot of value in Channel Reviews. Cross promotion will be easy and make sense. 
  2. There will be an overlap in code. A good chunk of programming code required for the new product can be “borrowed” from TubeBuddy.
  3. TubeBuddy is at a point where we have a solid team in place and my time isn’t as critical for the day to day tasks. 
  4. A new product gives our company a new revenue stream. 
  5. It has been 5 years since I’ve created something new and was able to apply the lessons I have learned from building TubeBuddy. 

How does that translate to a creator wanting to start a new channel on YouTube? 

  1. Make sure there is at least some overlap in audience. Use your existing, established channel to drive viewers over to your new channel to give it a nice boost from the get-go.
  2. At this point, you have a huge library of content, b-roll, etc. Try and use some of it on your new channel, so you’re saving time and getting things done quicker. 
  3. Your main channel should be established and at a point where it can (almost) run itself. Either you have help or you’re able to queue up a ton of future content so that putting your time into something new won’t hurt it.
  4. If the new channel isn’t a passion project, have a end-goal for monetization in mind whether that be sponsorships, memberships, ad revenue, merch or a mix of all 4. 
  5. Use what you’ve learned over the years on your new channel. If you’re a TubeBuddy user, you’re already half-way there. Try to replicate what worked on your main channel into your new channel. 

For reference, Roberto Blake, who I’m pretty sure can check all 5 of those boxes, just started a new channel “Roberto Blake - Creative Thoughts” 

Even with all of the advantages you’ll have when starting a new channel, the likelihood of creating two successful channels is much, much lower than one successful channel. Same goes for business/products (unless you’re Elon Musk). Don’t be afraid to give it a shot but also make sure it’s the right time and the right channel before you do. And if you see your main channel suffering or don’t feel like you can maintain what it takes to run two, ditch it and stick to what matters most - your main channel. 

Happy Creating,

Phil Starkovich
TubeBuddy CEO