While many YouTubers are happy to make videos on things like how much they earn (because it is almost guaranteed to be a highly viewed video) there is much about the life of your average YouTuber that remains off-camera.
Not necessarily because there is some desire to keep it secret, but because it’s not all that interesting and people rarely think to ask.
“Do YouTubers have managers” is one of these unglamorous questions that you don’t see often answered, but it can be useful information for aspiring YouTubers who are looking to map out their road to success on the platform – Most small YouTubers under 100K subscribers do not have managers. When starting YouTubers try to manage all of the day to day tasks themselves. However, as a channel grows to around 100K subscribers is might be wise to seek additional help with organization and marketing decisions.
In this post we’re going to look at the different types of “manager” that this question could refer to (yes, there are a few) as well as what type of YouTuber might need them, and whether this might apply to you.
Let’s dig in.
What is a Manager?
There are a few different roles that the title “manager” could refer to in this context, and understanding what they are will go a long way to helping you understand if you need one.
In this section we’re going to give each type of manager a different label to distinguish them, but in reality they would probably all just be referred to as a “manager”.
In a more traditional television setting, this role would likely be referred to as a “Show Runner”.
A manager in this context would be responsible for taking care of the logistics of making YouTube channel content. For example, if the boys over at How Ridiculous want to drop a sail boat from the top of a tower onto an industrial-strength trampoline, someone needs to make those arrangements.
It can also cover things like handling travel arrangements if the channel is going abroad, or securing guests for the show.
This type of manager is typically only necessary for larger channels with more extravagant content.
This type of manager is actually often referred to as a “money manager”, largely because it is a pretty self-explanatory name.
Money managers exist in all walks of life, not just YouTube, and are responsible for managing their clients money. This can cover a lot of things from, from advising their clients on whether a particular purchase or investment is a good idea, to actively investing their client’s money for them.
Obviously, for a channel that has a few thousand subscribers and makes less than a hundred dollars a month, a money manager is wholly unnecessary.
For larger channels that are making lots of money, however, and especially when that money comes from several different sources, a money manager can be an invaluable way of freeing up time and giving you peace of mind that your money is being taken care of.
Content Network Managers
For YouTubers that become part of a larger content network, they may have a manager responsible for taking care of them within the network.
The manager would be responsible for advising them, making sure they don’t break any of the content network’s rules, and generally acting as a point of contact between the YouTuber and their network. Obviously, this type of manager only applies to YouTubers who are part of a content network.
When people think about the idea of a YouTube manager, this is usually the type manager they are thinking of.
A general manager (not like in a business sense) takes care of a range of things, some of which may include things we have mentioned above.
They will often be responsible for handling enquiries, such as bookings and collaboration suggestions. They will probably also be handling a good deal of the more administrative tasks involved in running a YouTube channel, such as updating websites, handling descriptions, and some of the more in-depth promotion.
In this regard, most YouTubers act as their own manager, but many of the more successful YouTubers generally reach a point where they find outsourcing some of the less creative aspects of their job can free up a lot of time, which one of the most constraining parts of being a YouTuber.
This tends to be the first step towards deciding that getting a manager would be a good call.
Talent managers are a bit “odd man out” in this context, as they are not really related to YouTube specifically.
Talent managers will often have several people and acts on their books, and concern themselves with looking after their clients best interests, ensuring they get good deals and only take on work that is good for them.
Talent managers (or agents) are usually more found with YouTubers who have a marketable skill outside of YouTube, such as being a musician, comedian, or actor.
We saved the best for last. Business managers are by far the most important of the manager types we have listed. You can think of a business manager as similar to a money manager, but the scope of their work is much broader.
If your YouTube venture begins to grow beyond the confines of yourself and your home studio, you should definitely consider getting a business manager. There comes a point in many successful YouTube channel’s life where, no matter how much it still feels like a cool creative project, it is technically a business. It is technically a business from the moment it makes its first dollar, but it is unavoidably a business when it is making thousands.
There are a lot of things to wrap your mind around when running a business, and the consequences for failing to fill out certain forms or apply for certain licenses can be quite strict. For someone starting a business, you would expect them to know everything they need to know, but for a YouTuber who just wants to make content, it is reasonable to expect that they would not know everything they need to know to run a business.
Business managers will look after the business side of a channel, leaving the YouTuber to concentrate on what they do best; making content.
Do I Need a Manager?
Much of the decision as to whether you need a manager (or any help, for that matter) will come down to your ultimate goals for the channel.
If you are looking to grow to be a large operation, perhaps extending into a brand beyond your channel, and you can comfortably afford to hire a manager, then you could probably justify it.
If, however, you have no intention of making your channel more than just you and a camera, it would be very difficult to justify a bringing a manager onboard, even if you can afford to.
YouTube Partner Managers
Currently, YouTube has a program in place called YouTube Partner Managers, and is an initiative by YouTube Creators to help YouTubers get the most from their channel.
The program involves one to one tuition, personalised plans for your channel, and invitations to workshops and other exclusive events.
Unfortunately, it is only open to channels that meet certain criteria, and it is invitation only.
Can I Do It All Myself?
In theory, there is nothing stopping you from taking care of everything yourself. There are no laws that say you have to hire a money manager once you start making a certain amount of money. There are also no laws that say you have to partner with a business manager before turning your channel into a business.
Like many things in life, however, the question is less about whether you can and more about whether you should.
The different types of manager we have mentioned above cover a very broad selection of skills and expertise. To effectively do the job that they can do, you would need to learn these skills and gain that expertise; something that is very time-consuming.
The smaller your channel, the less you need to know and the less work would be involved, but if you have ambitions of growing into a YouTube behemoth, you will probably need to consider hiring a manager at some point, if only to save your own sanity. After all, there are only so many hours in the day!
Of all the types of manager we have mentioned, only the money, business, and network managers are particularly common in the world of YouTube, and the rest sometimes go under different labels (talent agent, for example).
The first two of these—money and business—are especially important for YouTubers that need them because the consequences of getting that side of things wrong can be severe. If you manage your money poorly you can end up broke, or worse; in debt. If you don’t handle the business side of things well, you can get hit with fines, even sued.
This is especially true if you begin hiring people, who will have many rights as an employee that you must respect as their boss.
Of course, if you stick to just making videos from your home studio by yourself and declare all the money you make, you’ll be fine. Not every YouTuber dreams of being a content network.