[00:00:00] Sushee: And mostly what's very important for me is I tell the viewer, click the link in the description if you want more information. And so, believe it or not, a lot of people click on those links.
[00:00:21] Akta: Sushi has built an automated YouTube business. In today's episode of Creators and Air Sushi shares how she was able to build a YouTube business without showing her face and make it automated by hiring.
[00:00:34] Sushee: I started my career as a consultant in on, in, in banking. So I was working at two Bs in Zurich, but I was tired of that corporate life and I couldn't see myself really getting any higher.
[00:00:48] Sushee: So I was getting depressed and I was watching online videos of um, Digital nomads and that type of life really intrigued me. I've also read, of course, the four hour work week, and that was my Bible. I, I decided that this is the life that I want, and so I actually sold my house, quit my job, and moved to Thailand because I wanted to see who wear those , whoevers actually those digital nomad.
[00:01:15] Sushee: So. I moved to Thailand and made a lot of connections with people here making money online, and I decided to actually invest in the YouTube channel because I've always loved videos and YouTube, so I went on to. Website called Empire Flippers where they have listings. So it's a marketplace and they have listings of all type of, of online businesses that you can buy.
[00:01:42] Sushee: And I saw that they had a YouTube channel for sale, and I was like, eh, I love videos. I think this is the. Type of things that I will enjoy doing. And so I bought a YouTube channel from that, from Empire Flippers. And it was of course very scary because that was my first adventure, right? My first entrepreneur entrepreneurial adventure.
[00:02:02] Sushee: But everything went pretty well. I mean, of course I had some highs and lows, but at the end I managed to make it work. That's what I've been doing. .
[00:02:12] Akta: That's amazing. And what is that process like of taking over someone's existing channel? Like what were the things that you had to consider to make sure that was actually a good
[00:02:21] Sushee: investment?
[00:02:22] Sushee: Yes. Okay. So first that YouTube channel, of course, if you hear someone buying a YouTube channel, most of the people will think of personality channels. Like no way you can buy a channel where you have a big personality who's doing the videos like of logo. You cannot really buy those type of channels and just put your face instead of Mr.
[00:02:43] Sushee: Beast, for instance. It's not possible . So what it is, is the type of channel that I bought is a channel. What we. , uh, YouTube faceless channel. So, uh, those are the channels where you hear a voiceover and you see images, but there's no personality. You don't see like a one hero shot of someone speaking. So those type of channels are easier to buy because nobody, like all the viewers, they won't know that the channel change ownership because they will still see those same type of images, for instance.
[00:03:15] Sushee: So like, to give you an idea, we can talk about like meditation channel. Or it's just music. You hear like nice music on the, in the background and you have like a still image that is a channel that you can buy and you just reproduce the same type of video. So putting meditation, music with a nice background.
[00:03:35] Sushee: Another type would be a news channel. where you see, for instance, people talking about the World Cup, right? You only see shots of the players and you just make a commentary of whatever's happening on the screen. So you don't need to have a person on screen, right? You only do voiceovers. So that's the type of channel that I bought, but the type, the channel that I bought was doing.
[00:03:58] Sushee: I mean, I won't, I cannot reveal the channel name, but it's the type of channel that promotes products. For instance, if you're looking for a Christmas tree mm-hmm. , you will go online mostly maybe on YouTube and type best Christmas tree to buy on Amazon. And one of my video might come up, right? Or another, those type of channel you will see like, here are the, uh, here are the best Christmas tree for Christmas 2020.
[00:04:26] Sushee: And on that channel you will see, um, actually manufacturer's videos showing you their product. And so what we do is just, we put the manufacturer's video, so the promotional videos that the manufacturer did for their product, and we just put one manufacturer, then we put the other one, then the other one, then the other one.
[00:04:47] Sushee: And on top of that, I have someone who write a. and just talk about those products. So they're giving you the tell fine. This, uh, Christmas tree is great because the leaves don't fall, or it's small enough to go into a studio. So this is the type of voiceover that I have. So this is the channel that I bought was doing that.
[00:05:06] Sushee: So it was easy for me to take over and, um, and to take over and make it grow. Mm-hmm. . So the channel, when I, I bought it, maybe 16,000 subscribers, and as of today, we have 122,000 subscribers. So it took me. Three years, uh, it's been now three years that I've bought this, this channel, and I have more than 10 x extra profits.
[00:05:30] Sushee: So it's doing very, very well. Yeah. An
[00:05:33] Akta: how are you monetizing them? Because I imagine that differs for faceless channel to a personality channel. Like what are the differences when it comes to monetizing?
[00:05:43] Sushee: Yes. There's not that many differences, right? Because, um, so we do have accent art. Accent is actually.
[00:05:50] Sushee: Maybe 45% of the revenue from the channel comes from absence. So it's a huge part. And then we have 50% coming from affiliate. Uh, so like for instance, Amazon Associates, because what I do in those videos is I promote products and mostly what's very important for me is I tell the viewer, , click the link in the description if you want more information.
[00:06:15] Sushee: Mm-hmm. . And when they click on the link and they buy the product on Amazon or Walmart, I will get the commiss. . And so, believe it or not, a lot of people click on those links. It's insane. So I, I didn't know that people were actually clicking on those links. And now every time I hear a YouTuber saying like, yes, I have a link in the description below, I know what it's talking about, because people do click on those links.
[00:06:41] Sushee: Right. So it's that.
[00:06:43] Akta: So , and are there some specific niches that lend itself very well to that kind of business model?
[00:06:51] Sushee: Yeah. , I would say it's possible to do it on, on almost every. . Um, but to make the most of it, you have to try to get accents and sponsorship and affiliate links. So if you do a type of channel where you are promoting products or that allows you to promote a lot of products, you'll be able to get accents.
[00:07:16] Sushee: So that's when people view your video and YouTube pays you, uh, like a thousand views and they give you like some type of rate and on to double up. , if you are actually in your video asking people to click on the links in the description, then you get another extra revenue, right? Yeah. So that can be all type of niches.
[00:07:37] Sushee: I would say. For instance, um, the gardening niche, right? You can promote so many tools and lawn lawnmower and leaf blower, all type of things. And this is great because the products are also. . So 5% of 1000 is better than 5% of $10. Right. So I would try to promote expensive product. Not too expensive, but it's better, right?
[00:08:03] Sushee: Yeah. To get a, you know, a big, big slice of the revenue. . But you can do that. Uh, yes, you can do that for very, I mean, like almost every niche, like whatever niche you talk, you have to think about what product can I promote for that niche. So, but we have to think, I wouldn't think of niche. I would think of community mostly.
[00:08:24] Sushee: Like I would go for the survival, um, the purpose, or I will go for the newly, I would go for. . See? So then you get the community or the golfers and then you think about what products can I sell to that community? Mm-hmm. , you're more, it's better than focus. Yes. Right? Don't go like product niche. You have to go community niche.
[00:08:48] Sushee: Then you can see what they need for the lifestyle. Right. The student. And think about what they need.
00:08:55 How to decide a niche
[00:08:55] Akta: And when you are a personal brand or a personal channel, you, you think about your own interest and that's what you put out there. But if you are doing this as more of a business, should your niche or your your audience be aligned with, you know, what you already can talk about?
[00:09:10] Akta: Or is it more so making a strategic decision about what would make most revenue, like how does somebody decide their niche or their audience in this kind of channel?
[00:09:21] Sushee: Well, you have to think, I think of it as a business. So this is my cash flow cash cow machine, right? So I'm getting money from this. I'm not passionate about it, right?
[00:09:32] Sushee: The niche doesn't have to be your passion, right? I'm just looking for lucrative. So a niche that I know I will be able to promote a lot of products. . Right. So that's mostly what I'm looking at. I'm not looking at a niche that I like, or business that I like. I'm looking at opportunities and I go for that opportunity.
[00:09:51] Sushee: Mm-hmm. , of course, what makes it possible is because I've built a team. , right? So I am not in the business anymore, right? Otherwise, it will get very tiring working on script, working on video editing, uploading to YouTube. There's so many clicks you have to do on YouTube, right? You go from the thumbnails, then the hashtags and the tags and the, and the title, and then you have to put the hand screen and then the, the cards.
[00:10:17] Sushee: It's so many things to do, but I have a full team that are doing everyth. So for me, that business is working on its own now, so there's no way I can get tired of it. Right. The only communication I have with my team is when someone is sick or if I have an idea for a video. But although otherwise there's nothing, I just pay the salary at the end of the month and we have a weekly meeting, you know?
[00:10:41] Sushee: So.
[00:10:42] Akta: So how big is your team and how did you build it up? Was it gradual or did you bring everyone. , uh, the same time, like how did it work?
[00:10:51] Sushee: Yeah. At first, of course, like when it was my first business, so I bought the channel. The guy was making the video on its own, right? So, but he was only publishing maybe one or two video a week.
[00:11:03] Sushee: And I, the, I did the first three videos by myself and I could see, so I could understand what was required. And then I started to hire people when I saw. The money was coming and that I had enough to hire someone. So the first person that I hired was the video editor, and after that I hired, I was still. I was actually, what I did is I also hired some writers, but very, very cheap writers.
[00:11:31] Sushee: So the quality was very bad from the script . And I had to spend days, uh, not days, but hours on every script, try to correct with Grammarly. Oh my gosh. And that was taking so much time, but I didn't want to spend too much money. Right. I was like, well, that's my new job. So I had to do it on my. But it was very, very tiring.
[00:11:53] Sushee: And when I felt more confident with the revenue, I decided to get better writers and also to hire a proof reader. So his name is Joe and he lives in London. So English is his first language. So, , his role is to actually review every single script that the writers have been providing to us. So now the, all the scripts are very high quality because they're all, they've all, they are proofread by Joe, all of them.
[00:12:25] Sushee: It takes time, right, to build the team. Then we, I also had them to hire a voiceover. because I wanted an American accent. And as you can hear, I'm from France, , . So I wanted a really like, you know, all American voice. So to build trust with the, the viewers, right? So, and um, yeah, so I would say the people that cost me the most are.
[00:12:50] Sushee: Joe, because he's from England, um, because he's English native, and also Chad, who's my, uh, voiceover mm-hmm. , because those two, I really needed people who, who are English native mm-hmm. . So their, their job are very, very, you know, high quality. The rest of the team are coming from the Philippines, India, Ghana, and some from Thailand.
[00:13:15] Sushee: I'm located in Thailand in Chiang. . Wow.
[00:13:18] Akta: So, and how did you find these people to outsource too, and how did you make that decision whether you were gonna hire them as freelancers or actually employ them?
[00:13:29] Sushee: Yeah, so I would say that my past experience already, I was a project manager for many, many years. I'm a certified, uh, professional, um, project manager, so I'm PMP certified.
[00:13:43] Sushee: And so everything that has to do with processes, systems, managing your team, this is, that has been my experience for my whole life. So that was easy for me to set up processes, systems in the business. So we use notion. , uh, to, um, we use Notion to do all the project management of the whole, the videos that we are creating and we also communicate on Slack.
[00:14:07] Sushee: So those are the main tools that we use as, as a team to hire the team. I went onto several websites. At first, I went onto fiber, uh, work, and then I found a website called Online Job pH. and that website was really great for me, uh, because we could hire people full-time. Um, they don't really have the experience, but I was ready to train them, so that's why I'm able to pay, you know, four to $500 a month.
[00:14:38] Sushee: for a full-time person, which is insane, I would say for when you look at the salary that we had before.
[00:14:45] Akta: And how did you actually decide on things like salaries, how much you were going to pay everyone, and whether your business was ready for that.
[00:14:55] Sushee: Yeah. Um, so I look at how I, first of all, , I ask people around.
[00:15:02] Sushee: So when I bought this YouTube channel, I actually contacted a lot of similar YouTube channels. Oh, right, right. So I was not afraid. So I actually contacted my competitors and I'm like, Hey, I, I'm just running this, um, this YouTube channel and you have a similar one. I want to know, do you have a. Team or are you doing it on your own?
[00:15:22] Sushee: So I was asking them questions. Only one person replied to me and the other one they never replied. Mm-hmm. . But that was great. So the guy told me, yes, we are a team. We have like, you know, five people and we hire this, we hire that. And I was like, ah, okay. So I got some insight from them. Mm-hmm. . and I tried to do the same thing, so I went on to, for the salary, I could see like just doing research online.
[00:15:48] Sushee: I could see what was the monthly salary for people. And because the videos that we are doing are very, very, They don't require color grading. They don't require high after effects, you know, nothing like this. So I'm able to pay $10 a video, $15 a video, which is, you know, it's a great price for me. . Yeah, that sounds amazing.
[00:16:12] Sushee: Exactly. But you have to know at that price, the communication. So the guy that I hired is from India and is English. He's very, very poor , right? So, That's what, but I don't require him to know English. But yeah, it takes a little bit of time and I'm able to pay, not, I'm able to pay maybe below market rate or like $400 for full-time person.
[00:16:38] Sushee: It's because I train them, right? So when they leave my team, they live with. Tons of new skills that they're able to to use, right? So then didn't know nothing about YouTube or like writing a script, but I have templates for them. So I teach them so many skills that I know that for a fact that they're able to work for any other YouTubers or any online industry.
[00:17:02] Sushee: And there will be great, uh, assets. And that's also the reason why I have, for instance, four writers. , but the, the pool of writers is always turning. Mm-hmm. and that's great also for my business. Right. I don't want to, I'm always like, yes, if you want some scripts, let me know and I send you some scripts to, to do for me.
[00:17:24] Sushee: Um, so the writers, I would say they're contractors. and like the people that I really have, like, uh, in my team are the video editor, uh, Joe, the proof, uh, the proofreader that he's managing all the writers and the voiceover and so, and two people who are doing the post-production. So what I mean by post-production is validating the video, uploading the video to.
[00:17:51] Sushee: Doing all the seo. So search engine optimization on YouTube, uh, clicking everywhere, monetization, uh, hashtags, everything that takes time. And also to schedule the video for, um, for publishing. So I have two people who do that for me.
[00:18:11] Akta: So you're managing a lot of people all in different time zones. What does that workflow across the team.
[00:18:18] Akta: Look
[00:18:18] Sushee: like. Yeah. Okay. Because I implemented the system. Mm-hmm. , uh, everybody can go onto Notion and see the task that they have to do. Mm-hmm. and I did, I, the way I implemented it is in a way that there's nothing is urgent and everybody can work at their own time. . So it's a full pipeline of videos. Like we have, for instance, right now I think we have, uh, maybe 21 scripts that are in writing.
[00:18:47] Sushee: Wow. Uh, we have 11 that, uh, Joe needs to proofread. We have like 17 scripts that are waiting for the voice of, uh, to record. We have over 15, uh, videos that are waiting to be edit. And so everybody comes and they, they see on the pipeline what they have to do. Right? So, wow. It, it never stopped. It never stops.
[00:19:13] Sushee: So, and I have also one guy who's doing the research, he's, um, when I said to him, for instance, oh, we need to create a video on Christmas tree. All I say really is Christmas tree, and then he knows exactly what to do. So he will have to look at what are the best Christmas tree, and he will do the research and then select, you know, the three best or five or seven best.
[00:19:36] Sushee: He will rank them. so that now we have, here's the, we want to do a video on Christmas tree, and here are the products that we want to mention in the script. When this is done, that goes to the writer. So the writer knows which product he needs to write about, right? So, so it's all, it's all very nicely done like that.
[00:19:58] Sushee: So there's always work, everybody comes and there's always like five or. Scripts to write a video to record voiceover, how to edit. So it's working nicely like this really, really nicely . I love that.
[00:20:14] Akta: It's like a engine. I, I'm actually so curious. I wanna be part of this team just so I can see what this all looks like.
[00:20:20] Akta: Um, so are you still coming up with the ideas then for the videos?
[00:20:24] Sushee: Yes and no. Actually, I'm sorry. I want to say like what I mentioned to you is what I call the content conveyor belt. Right? The ccb. So that's what it is. It's a conveyor belt of ideas, scripts, voiceover and all that goes into, so it goes into the conveyor belt and the conveyor belt never stopped.
[00:20:44] Sushee: Right? It's always, always videos getting published. We publish one to three videos a day, right? Wow. One several channel.
[00:20:52] Akta: So yes, that's better than the hamster wheel that I am on and many other pages are on . I love that. So you were saying that you still come up with some of the ideas though, or do you also have the team contributing as well?
[00:21:06] Sushee: It depends on which channel. Um, I have one channel where Joe loves and he, he has all the ideas, so I, I don't need to contribute. He has the ideas and he send it to the writers right away. And some of them, they know exactly the type of videos that we need to do. So, but I still, this is really like where.
[00:21:28] Sushee: where I will still work on it. I will tell them the type of videos because I have a, I know the seasons more than them. I would say. So like for instance in our last meeting I told them that we need to create videos for January. And I said, do you know what we need in January? January? People are making new re.
[00:21:48] Sushee: So everybody's buying gym equipment. So right now we need to create videos on treadmill, on elliptical, on yoga. Mat . I love that. We have, yeah. So that's, that's how it is. We have, I know the seasons, I know what we want, what we need to, to produce, but they also contribute of course.
[00:22:09] Akta: So that's how you are kind of attracting your audience.
[00:22:12] Akta: Then you, you are following trends and relying more on search then is. .
[00:22:18] Sushee: Exactly. Actually, when the channel started, we were relying on, on search a lot. So it was important for us to have the right keywords and everything on the, in the title search was the biggest algorithm that was bringing us the fuse.
[00:22:34] Sushee: Mm-hmm. . But now for the past 12 months, I can see that now my videos are getting, uh, a lot of recommend are getting recommended and also on the. So I was very happy to notice that change. So seems like YouTube started to really push my videos, so That's great. That's great. So it's not only search
[00:22:57] Akta: now. And do you have any advice for optimizing for search on YouTube?
[00:23:02] Sushee: Yeah, I would say yes, there's a difference. I would say, for instance, if um, you are doing for search, there's worlds, depends what you get to do. But for us, we are promoting product. So you want to have the world best. Because what it is, is that we, we want people at the end of the funnel of the purchasing funnel.
[00:23:26] Sushee: So right at, at first, it starts with awareness and then people start to want to make a decision, and then there's the action, right? So awareness, for instance, let's say we are talking about. Mm. Yeah. And someone is looking, he realize that, um, when you have flat feet, you can wear those type of shoes, but he didn't know.
[00:23:51] Sushee: So that's a video, but that video, you won't be able to promote product. He just learned about that he had a flat feet issue. Mm. And then you have another video that. Uh, flat. Um, you, you need to wear shoes when you have, this is the type of shoes that you need to wear when you have flat feet. Okay? Right? So it's still getting some information, but then Wendy has all that information.
[00:24:16] Sushee: Then the next question that is asked will be, okay, what are the best shoes for flat feet? And that's where you want to be because you know that at that stage he's ready to buy. . Yeah. Right. So that's why on our video, I don't want to just educate. Right. I ju I want them, I want to catch them just before they go onto Amazon or they go, I just, I insert, sorry, I insert myself right before the purchase.
[00:24:46] Sushee: So it's like the best. Microphone, the best camera, the best, uh, you know, the top five best. This is the type of video that you know. That person will click the link in the description because he is ready to buy. You just need a little push, like someone to tell him which one is the best. Yeah. , right. So that's also what is going to type in the search box, right?
[00:25:13] Sushee: Is going to type what are the best, uh, air fryer of 2022. And that's, that's the title.
[00:25:21] Akta: That makes a lot of sense. So you're doing this across all of your channels then. And were all of these channels, channels that you acquired or were there any that you grew from scratch?
[00:25:31] Sushee: I built one from scratch. And I acquired two channels in different niche
[00:25:36] Akta: as well.
[00:25:37] Akta: Was that a lot harder than to monetize and grow as a faces channel?
[00:25:42] Sushee: They're all faceless, right? And they have different growth. So the one that I created is because I, I've also created an online course where I show. the whole process of how I manage and grow those faceless channel. And I wanted to show to my students that, yes, I bought my first YouTube channel, but I want to show you that you can.
[00:26:04] Sushee: I can also create one and have the same type of success. So I created one like a year and a half a year ago, and the channel is currently making $800 a. So that's really good. It's pretty good, like after a year, and what's great with YouTube or anything that any type of business is the compounding effect, right?
[00:26:26] Sushee: Yeah. So right now it looks, of course it started with 5 cents, $5, $10. Now it's 800, and I don't know when, but at one point it's those numbers are going to double every single. , right? So it might go from 1630, 200 6400. That might happen next year or in five month. We'll see that we can predict.
[00:26:52] Akta: No, I think that's great.
[00:26:52] Akta: I think it's great that you've made it feel more accessible then as well to creators who maybe can't afford to buy a channel. So I'm glad that you've said that. I think that's gonna be reassuring for people who want to go down this route. Um, I'm gonna end with a quick buy around, so I'm gonna ask you five questions and just answer the top thing that comes to mind.
[00:27:11] Akta: Okay. So what's your favorite thing about being a creator?
[00:27:15] Sushee: Location. Independent. That's love. That's really what I love. Yeah.
[00:27:20] Akta: And every time I'm on the call to you, you've got a different backdrop, but it always makes me wanna be where you are. , , um, what's something that gives you a lot of
[00:27:27] Sushee: inspiration watching YouTube?
[00:27:30] Sushee: Really, like I'm, I'm a fan of YouTube. I watch so many videos, , and I get my inspiration from YouTube, so, yeah. Yeah.
[00:27:39] Akta: I love YouTube too. Um, what's your favorite tour?
[00:27:43] Sushee: I would say Ocean .
[00:27:46] Akta: Yeah, don't worry. A lot of people say notion as well. .
[00:27:48] Sushee: Oh, . I want it to be original, but I mean, yeah, I'm in not a lot, so it's helping a lot.
[00:27:55] Sushee: Yeah.
[00:27:55] Akta: I feel like it's hard to be original. We all use such similar tools. , what's something that helps your work life
[00:28:01] Sushee: balance? I just, actually, I just hired a pt, so a personal trainer. Oh, amazing. Work on my work life balance. And that's great because, um, yeah, I'm, I'm watching my sleep now. I stay in bed a lot longer.
[00:28:17] Sushee: I always sleep like six hours a night and I try to get to eight hours. It's not easy for me, but, uh, that's important for like work-life balance. Now that my business are working pretty okay, I'm really focusing on my health now. So try to eat better, have a personal trainer. So I think that's my work-life balance.
[00:28:39] Akta: Good. I'm glad to hear it. And what's one piece of advice that you give to other
[00:28:43] Sushee: creators? I would say follow your guts because your friends will never give you good advice. And really that's what I learned. Like when I was trying to buy a YouTube channel, I was showing it to my friends and family, like, what do you think of this business?
[00:29:00] Sushee: What do you think of that business? And they were all like, man, I don't know. Of course they don't want to take the responsibility to have, you know, to throw you. So it's hard. You will never get a hell yeah from them. They don't want to be responsible. And when I realized that, I'm like, ah, okay, I have to make the decision because I was also like kind of like delegating the risk to them.
[00:29:23] Sushee: Like I was like, what do you think? And like I wanted them to tell me yes, so then I can do it. And, but that's not their job, right? Mm-hmm. , you have to take the risk. So when I realized that I actually, I was a lot more bold in my. Like I was like, I think it's good. Nobody else is going to give me that advice anyway.
[00:29:43] Sushee: So you have to trust your gut. That's what biggest advice I can say. I think that
[00:29:49] Akta: is such good advice, and it's something that I had to realize as well when I was leaving dentistry. Everyone was like, oh, maybe you shouldn't do that. And I had to follow my gut as well, and I think I, that is just such great.
[00:30:01] Akta: Perfect advisor and the call one. Thank you so much. Sushi. This was an amazing call. Thank you. You really opened, opened my eyes to faceless channels and I think this will really inspire all YouTubers or all creators to really think about the business aspect and getting off the hamster wheel and creating their own conveyor belt.
[00:30:17] Akta: So thank you so
[00:30:18] Sushee: much. Well thank you Ata. You're doing a great job at Passion Fruit and I love your podcast. I've been watching the podcast and it's just insane. So, oh, thank you so much. You so much. Keep on doing it. It's really.
[00:30:31] Akta: Whether you want to build a faceless channel or not, I think there's a lot that we can take away from sushi.
[00:30:36] Akta: I think it's really impressive that she was able to build a team and make YouTube more automated. If you want to learn more from sushi, check out YouTube Business Builder Academy, and if you want to do sponsorships without the hassle, then check out Passion Fruit. We handle sponsorships, bookings, collaborations, and payments all in one place.
[00:30:58] Akta: I'll see you in the next one.