I have an idea and I’d love to support a fellow entrepreneur (or entrepreneurs!) to get this business off the ground.
I’m busy with my current business (InboxDone) and a SAAS side hustle (Candid). I love these projects and they are just about all I can handle, but I can advise and support the right person or people with this new idea.
As an entrepreneur I see problems (opportunities) everywhere, and sometimes I come across something that seems so obvious to me that I can’t ignore it.
This is what happened to me the other night…
I was looking for a YouTube thumbnail designer for a video my editor had just finished (to be released soon!). I invested more time and money (for editing) into this video because it’s the start of focusing on quality video content for my channel.
As top YouTubers know so well, great thumbnail images are critical for getting clicks to your videos, which along with engaging content, are the two main keys to success with YouTube.
I don’t have a thumbnail designer, and while I have the design and copywriting skill to make okay thumbnails using image editing tools, I’m far from an expert. This is definitely something I should delegate to specialists.
So, I went looking in the usual places to see what freelancers are offering. From Fiverr, to Upwork, to Contra and all the other outsourcing sites, there are plenty of thumbnail designers to choose from.
Prices range for $5 to $45 for designs that look terrible to pretty good.
One problem is many of these designs are templates that start to look very similar. Also most designers aren’t copywriters, so you can’t expect good headlines in your thumbnails — you need to give them the words.
What I want is a place to get 2-3 thumbnail designs done for my video, by an agency or freelancer who really specializes in YouTube thumbnail optimization.
I have no doubt that top YouTubers already have this person on their team.
Someone whose job it is to keep up with what thumbnail designs are performing for current top YouTubers, to split test designs to improve performance, who are good copywriters, know how to choose the best face shots, backgrounds, colors, fonts, and merge all these elements into an effective thumbnail.
Maybe this agency exists and I haven’t found it yet? If so, please share the link, I’d love to try them!
So, the idea for a business is this…
A YouTube thumbnail agency that offers the following:
- Specializes in YouTube thumbnails — that’s it!
- Top design talent
- Top copywriting talent
- Ongoing research of top YouTube channels to see what thumbnail designs are performing best
- Stay on top of trends in thumbnail design
- Follows up with clients to find out which thumbnails performed better
- Can leverage the insight they get from creating thumbnails for so many clients to get a broad sample of what works across multiple industries/video types
- Maybe even apply some kind of AI to help with the data analysis and research, given the sheer scope of content on YouTube
The offer is simple, a flat fee for producing 2-3 thumbnails for your YouTube video (2-3 for split testing different copy/layouts). Perhaps a subscription plan for those who need regular thumbnails each month.
The price for this service will be higher than typical. This is a premium productized service.
I’m thinking test a one time $99 fee per video as a starting point, then experimenting with price rises over time – perhaps even as high as $250-$500 per video might fly because it’s worth it if your thumbnails can help a video get an extra hundred thousand views (and if they are already spending thousands on editing and production, $250 on thumbnails is nothing!).
The subscription could start at $299/m for 4 videos worth of thumbnails. I could see this price going into the thousands per month if they produce several videos per month and want lots of thumbnails.
How To Test This Idea
Having started two services agencies before, one exited and another looking to exit soon, I feel confident in how to get this business up and running.
The key is to start by gathering a few key team members/contractors (in this case the designer and if necessary, a copywriter), and then doing some test jobs to build up experience, learn what clients want and get case studies.
Once the team is in place, you have case studies and your point of differentiation is clear, word of mouth should kick in.
Or not, of course. Maybe it won’t work, but I know how to test the idea without spending too much upfront, that is for sure!
I don’t want to dilute my current focus by starting this project, but I could certainly guide the right founders in how to execute. I’d be happy to be an advisor or minority co-founder.
If this appeals and you think you are good fit, get in touch and let me know why you think you’re the right person to go after this idea.
Anyone is welcome to go after this idea without me. I’d use a research-backed, testing focused, best-in-class thumbnail design agency right now, if you know of one?