Look, we all know how tough juggling all your responsibilities can be. There’s coaching calls, marketing, admin, sales, invoicing – and then also trying to live your best life too. It’s a LOT.

So if we told you that you absolutely 10000% need to be on YouTube for your business, as well as podcasting, Instagram, Facebook, blogging for SEO and all that other stuff you do to stay visible – well we wouldn’t be surprised to find a you-shaped hole in the wall as you run away as fast as physically possible…

Thankfully, that’s not what we’re here to tell you. Nope, all we’re here to do is to give you the low-down on whether YouTube or a podcast might be the best option for you. We’re giving you all the juicy stats, all the facts, all the pros, all the cons – so that you can make your mind up yourself.

We’ll give you one hint about our opinion though: why not both?! Why not podcasting AND YouTube?! Keep reading and we’ll get to the nitty gritty, don’t you worry!

YouTube for coaches

Look, we’re not going to start with a long and boring explanation of what YouTube is – because we ALL know exactly what it is. YouTube is the second most visited website on the whole of the internet, only beaten to the top spot by its parent, Google – so if you’ve never visited YouTube, you’re in a teeny tiny minority and you’re missing out on a whole world of dog videos and #GRWMs and all-out gaming nerdiness.

But specifically for online business owners and coaches, is YouTube worth the time and effort? Can it translate into $$$ in your business? Can it bring you hot AF leads and help you become the best in the biz?

It sure can. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. There are plenty of people out there whose only source of income is YouTube – and their earnings aren’t small, either! PewDiePie, who currently ranks fourth in the most-subscribed to channels on YouTube, is estimated to make an average of $20,000 PER VIDEO and a huge $3 million annually.

YouTube is big business! But is it worth it for coaches? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having a YouTube channel as an online coach.

The benefits of YouTubing for online coaches

The point of doing any marketing activity at all in your business is to get more eyes on your work – and, more importantly, more interest in what you’re selling.

So how does YouTube help you to reach more interested people?

YouTube already has a massive engaged audience

Every single month, 1.7 billion individual people visit YouTube – and between them they visit the platform 14.3 billion times. Can you even comprehend those numbers?! That is a HUGE audience – and even bigger than Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users.

Not only that, but people who visit YouTube don’t just tend to scroll for a second and get distracted by something else (which we see happening all the time on Instagram!). Nope, YouTube visitors spend an average of 19 minutes per day on the platform. Whether that’s watching one longer-form video or a few short funny animal clips, it doesn’t really matter – the point is that people are there to watch stuff, not just for a moment of escapism.

In fact, if we look deeper into the relationship between YouTube and Instagram, we can see YouTube coming out as a clear winner in terms of engaged audiences. Every month, users spend an average of 23.7 hours watching YouTube videos – versus only 11.2 hours on Instagram. (Although in the interests of transparency, our Instagram screen time is waaaay higher than that!)

We could throw impressive stats at you all day long, but the point is: YouTube is a huge platform with huge potential. People are there, people want to watch stuff, and why shouldn’t it be your stuff they’re watching?!

YouTube is fairly easy to monetize

No shade on podcasting (obviously), but monetizing content on YouTube is lightyears ahead than podcasting. And that’s not surprising, given that YouTube has existed for way longer than podcasting. Don’t get us wrong, podcasting tech is catching up, FAST – but at the moment, YouTube wins the race.

Once you’ve got 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months, you can join YouTube’s Partner Programme. It’s a fairly easy application process and once you’re approved your channel is eligible to make money from ads shown before and during your video content – without any extra effort from you.

YouTube’s Partner Programme obviously isn’t the only way to make money from your video content, but it does make it easier to start earning passive income from your channel much more easily than through your podcast.

YouTube helps your organic search visibility

If you’re in business for the long haul, your website and its SEO value has almost certainly been a priority for your marketing – because we know how powerful Google can be to drive traffic, sales and leads into your business.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, is taken into account when Google decides ranking positions. That means that if your YouTube channel is popular and your audience is engaged, not only will you be getting traffic to your website from link clicks in your descriptions, but Google will also take into account your YouTube success when ranking you against competitors.

If you’re able to smash your YouTube channel, you’ll start ranking higher than competitors – without having to add more SEO work onto your plate!

The problems with YouTube for coaches…

As with everything, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to utilising YouTube as an online coach. YouTube is a biiiig undertaking, so in the interests of fairness, this is the part of the blog where we rip YouTube to shreds and give you an idea of the realities behind those shiny, hugely-successful YouTube stars…

YouTube content needs to be polished and professional

We’ve talked before about the importance of your podcast audio being clean and polished and enjoyable to listen to – but when it comes to YouTube, the pressure is ramped up to another level.

Not only do you need to have pretty damn good audio, you need to match that audio with pretty damn good visuals too. That means engaging sets, good quality filming equipment, lighting, makeup, styling – AND actually planning, filming and editing episodes too.

It’s a lot. The barrier to entry for getting started on YouTube is much higher than for a podcast. We’ve talked before about the technology you need to start your podcast – but if you’re adding visuals into the mix too, you do need to think carefully about where you spend your money.

Sure, you could start out filming on your iPhone, just like you can with podcasting. But people will be able to tell far more easily on YouTube than they can on a podcast episode – so if you’re going to commit to YouTube, remember the starting expenses will be higher!

Watching YouTube videos takes commitment

Look, we all want those super-engaged listeners/viewers who sit down and solely focus on US for the entire duration of an episode – but that’s not always the reality.

With podcasting, people can listen to and learn from you whilst doing other things. People listen to podcasts in the gym, at work, on their commutes, trekking up the side of a mountain – you name it, people have podcasted whilst doing it.

But YouTube is a different beast. YouTube requires you to engage TWO of your audience’s senses: sight and hearing. Which means YouTube episodes can’t be watched as easily (or at all) whilst driving, in the gym, or trekking up a mountain.

Less than 1% of YouTube’s active users pay for Premium, which allows videos to play in the background while you use your device for other things – so for the vast majority of the platform’s users, your video needs to grab their entire attention if you want them to watch to the end.

YouTube is a social media beast – and it needs regular feeding

Just like Instagam, Facebook, Twitter and the other social media Gods, YouTube demands certain things from you in exchange for success. YouTube’s algorithm isn’t always quite as fickle as Instagram’s, but it still wants to be regularly fed, regularly interacted with and regularly taken care of in order for your content to be shown to new audiences.

Especially in the early days of your channel when you have few subscribers, feeding the algorithm is important – so that you can reach new audiences and start building your community. If releasing videos on YouTube is going to add too much pressure to your already-over-stretched to-do list, then bear this in mind!

So, is podcasting better for coaches than YouTube?

YouTube sounds pretty great, right? But it also has its downsides. So where does podcasting fit into that mix? Does it conquer YouTube’s downsides and come out as the clear winner? Or does it have its own unique set of challenges too?

Unsurprisingly, it’s the latter.

Podcasting does fare better than YouTube in some of the areas we mentioned above – but it also comes with its own cons too.

Podcasting is better than YouTube because…

Let’s take a look at the three potential problems we uncovered about YouTube for coaches and see how podcasting fares as an alternative, shall we?

#1: YouTube needs to be polished and professional and be backed up by good tech

Podcasting doesn’t need to be quite so polished and professional and backed up by good tech. We’ve gone into a lot of detail about how to launch your own podcast before, but the long and short of it is that you can get started with podcasting with as little as $100-200 investment – and even with a low investment, your podcast can be high quality. With YouTube, the additional expenses of camera equipment, lighting, video editing, etc. can add up pretty quickly – so if initial upfront cost is a consideration for you, then podcasting might be the clear winner on this front.

#2: Your YouTube audience needs to be fully engaged

As we mentioned, sitting down to watch a YouTube video is a commitment. It’s you committing 10+ minutes of your time to watch and listen to a video, without being able to multitask to any huge extent (besides social scrolling, obviously). If your audience is ‘busy’ people, like mums or business owners or top-level executives, it’s a tough ask to get them to watch your channel regularly. 

A podcast, though, is far easier to consume, which means it’s much better suited to those people who are out-and-about all the time or trying to fit everything into a single day (like most of us are!). True, you don’t quite have the same measure of how engaged your listeners are (because downloads don’t really equate to actual engaged listeners) as you do with YouTube analytics, but you’re giving your audience the opportunity to consume your content in a more flexible way that suits their lives.

#3: YouTube’s algorithm needs regular feeding

Look, we’re not saying that your podcast can be completely unplanned and ad hoc and you can release episodes willy nilly. BUT YouTube is a social media platform in a lot of respects, which means that there are certain boxes you need to tick. The algorithm isn’t as fussy as Instagram’s, but it’s definitely more fussy than podcasting. If you’re unsure if you’ve got the time to commit to a rigid, immoveable schedule of filming, editing, releasing for YouTube, podcasting might feel a bit more manageable. Particularly if you’re able to outsource editing or plan seasons of podcast content, podcasting can be easier to fit into your business life – without antagonising the algorithm demons!

But podcasting isn’t perfect either…

In the interests of balance, we have to admit that podcasting has its downfalls too. As much as we will always love podcasting and will always shout about the power of podcasting for coaches, there are some issues that should be considered if you’re deciding between YouTube and podcasting.

First up, there’s the effectiveness issue. Yes, podcasting is effective. We’re not saying for a moment that it isn’t, but what we are begrudgingly admitting is that it can be more difficult to measure and track a podcast episode’s effectiveness versus a YouTube video’s effectiveness. 

The analytics to measure podcast effectiveness aren’t as extensive as those that YouTube gives you – and it’s more difficult to track which parts of an episode are most engaging, which downloads actually convert into website traffic or leads or sales, etc etc. Obviously there are things you can do to aid in tracking a podcast’s effectiveness, like using tracking URLs in show notes, etc – but straight out-of-the-box analytics are easier to procure and use for YouTube videos than podcast episodes.

And another area that podcasting might be pipped to the post by YouTube in is its wider effectiveness on your search presence. As we mentioned, Google takes into account YouTube popularity and engagement when ranking your business website in search results – but the connection between ranking and podcasting is more distant. Yes, podcasting is great for building brand awareness and you can use CTAs within episodes to drive traffic to your website or your social media accounts, both of which are also taken into account by Google – but the number of downloads you achieve is not directly linked to your search ranking.

Again, you can (and should!) write blog posts based on each of your podcast episodes and those blog posts will help your organic search rankings, but the actual episode itself isn’t giving you any extra SEO juiciness – unlike a YouTube video.

So, if podcasting and YouTube both have their power – why not do both?!

Ah yes: the sitting-on-the-fence conclusion we’ve all been waiting for.

But hear us out: there are pros and cons of YouTube for coaches and there are pros and cons of podcasting for coaches. Both have their strengths and both have their weaknesses.

No matter which way you look at it, it’s difficult to outright say “YOUTUBE IS BETTER THAN PODCASTING” or “PODCASTING IS BETTER THAN YOUTUBE” (no matter how much we want to yell that) – so how about using both as tools for your business?

Think about it for a moment: if you’re already sitting down to record a podcast episode every week, how much of a difference would adding a video camera into the mix make to the time it takes you?

Obviously, the costs of setup, styling, filming etc. can’t be ignored – but if you’re able to cover those costs, then turning on a video camera just before you start your podcast recording isn’t too much extra work. And finding a video editor to make basic edits to your recording is also not too challenging either.

By releasing an episode as a podcast and as a YouTube video, you’re:

  • giving your audience more choice about how to consume your content
  • giving yourself more content to repurpose for social media platforms
  • harnessing the huge power of YouTube AND the community building of podcasting
  • able to gather data from your YouTube analytics that can inform your podcast strategy, and vice versa
  • killing two birds with one stone!

And who wouldn’t want all of that?!

If you’re just starting out with podcasting and still getting into the swing of things when it comes to planning, prepping, recording, editing and releasing, it’s definitely okay to NOT introduce YouTube into the mix right away. But if you’re in a nice organised routine with your podcast and you’ve got the funds to invest in a video camera and a video editor, why the heck not?!
You don’t have to do either or both or one or the other. It’s entirely up to you. But what we hope we’ve done here is to give you alllll the facts on both sides of the argument, so that you can make an informed, educated decision about what’s best for you.

Podcast vs YouTube: which one’s best for coaches?

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Podcast vs YouTube: which one’s best for coaches?