Laurie was close to giving up hope.
She had been working on her YouTube channel, The Icing Artist, for years.
And the results were…well, heartbreaking. In the first two years running the channel, she only made about $5,000 per year.
But it wasn’t for a lack of hard work or dedication.
Laurie had always been passionate about baking. She couldn’t afford to go to school for it, so she taught herself. She read every book and video she could get her hands on, and with A LOT of practice, she became The Icing Artist.
Now she creates content to show the world that everyone can create amazing cakes with only a few tools and no training.
At the time, Laurie was working full-time at a bakery for minimum wage, using all of her free time on nights and weekends to work on her YouTube channel.
“My huge drive for working as hard as I did for as long as I did was I really didn’t want to work for somebody else.”
Not willing to give up, Laurie chose to give her YouTube channel one last push.
…And that’s when she enrolled in Viral Academy. Since then everything has changed:
- 11 months after joining Viral Academy, Laurie gained 202,000 subscribers, and she kept growing on that trajectory. The Icing Artist now has over 1.3 million YouTube subscribers.
- Laurie grew The Icing Artist Facebook page from 30,000 likes to 321,000 in just 6 months (the page now has over 464,000 likes).
- After only bringing in $5,000 a year from her channel, The Icing Artist now generates $10,000 to $40,000 in revenue per month, allowing Laurie and her fiance to quit their jobs and work on The Icing Artist full-time.
How’d she do it?
By following the step-by-step system in Viral Academy…
“Where There Is No Clear Path, Create One”
When Laurie started The Icing Artist, she didn’t have any experience creating content. Her job before the bakery was at a furniture refinishing shop, which is where she met her fiance.
“We had no idea what were were doing when started. We had no editing program. I had no computer, actually. We had no background in anything and I had just started in cake decorating, so I actually didn’t know much about how to decorate a cake. I was learning along the way, and I think you can see that in the history of the videos.”
In Laurie’s early videos, she operated the camera herself with cake and icing all over her hands. She was literally starting from scratch.
“If we could go back to the beginning we would definitely take a month or so to do some hard research to have a much better idea how to create good content.”
The first few years were a constant battle for views and subscribers.
Nothing seemed to work.
It was 6 months before she saw a decent amount of people subscribing to her channel. After a year Laurie had 8,000 subscribers.
About 18 months after she started her YouTube channel, Laurie and her fiance went on vacation for two weeks.
When they came back, Laurie found her channel had completely stalled.
She hit a plateau that would last another year.
After two and a half years, she was tired of working 70-80 hour weeks, splitting time at the bakery and working on her channel.
She was passing up opportunities with friends and missing family dinners…for what?
“We were in a sinking sand trap that we couldn’t climb ourselves out of.”
Laure felt rejected. And she was close to throwing in the towel.
But Laurie and her fiance decided she had worked too hard for too long. They were going to give it one last shot.
That’s when they decided to join Viral Academy…
“Looking back now I think the lack of professionalism on everything contributed to the channel’s slow growth.”
Laurie’s approach to creating content for The Icing Artist completely changed.
Soon she was changing how she created thumbnails and titles for her videos, focusing on grabbing her audience’s attention among the sea of videos on YouTube.
“It doesn’t matter if you have the best content in the world. If someone doesn’t like the way your title sounds or the way your thumbnail looks no one is going to watch it.”
Most importantly, she transformed how she created her content. Instead of making content just to make content, she started focusing on eliciting an emotional response from her audience with every video.
“We wanted people to feel at home, like they could really connect with us and that they were feeling inspired. Like they could do something themselves, but they’re still having a fun time.”
Take a look this video Laurie recently made and you’ll see what she means. It went viral and already has over half a million views.
Right off the bat, Laurie created a sense of suspense by framing her video as a challenge. Could she pull it off?
Even more, she was able to capitalize on all the excitement and attention Justice League fans were feeling in anticipation of the movie release.
But the best thing Laurie does in this video is make the process of creating this cake look fun, so it never seems like actual work. She makes self-deprecating jokes and lets the audience in on her thought process as she’s putting together each part of the cake.
You can also see Laurie is relatable, funny, and makes you feel like you can make THIS cake, even if you have never baked before.
On YouTube, no matter WHAT your content is about—there HAS to be another layer of entertainment on top of giving your audience information. We call this the Infotainment Strategy, and it’s just one of the viral content strategies we teach in Viral Academy.
After months of implementing insights like this, the lessons in Viral Academy finally “clicked.”
And The Icing Artist took off.
But it wasn’t just her YouTube channel.
Using a Viral Academy bonus module on growth hacking Facebook, Laurie grew The Icing Artist Facebook page likes from 30,000 to 321,000 in 6 months.
Instead of looking at her Facebook page as another way to get more YouTube views, Laurie began to see it as another separate audience she could grow, along with YouTube.
And by using our strategy for sharing Facebook content, Laurie was able to get her videos on 4 of the top 5 lifestyle Facebook pages in the world.
“As soon as one big page picks it up everyone else follows with the exact same video.”
So many creators treat different platforms as if they’re the same thing, but Laurie learned how to take advantage of the unique differences between Facebook and YouTube to explode the growth of her Facebook page.
“I Don’t Think There Are Words To Describe How Happy I Am That I don’t Have A Boss”
After three years of painstaking work on The Icing Artist, Laurie finally broke through:
“We joined Viral Academy getting 3,000 to 6,000 views and now we’re getting anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 views on average…Not to mention all the ones that have gotten over 1 million views in the last month.”
Not only that, in the 11 months after joining Viral Academy, Laurie gained 202,000 YouTube subscribers. The Icing Artist now has over 1.3 million subscribers!
Here are just a few amazing viral videos that have led to The Icing Artist’s channel growth:
- Laurie created a LEGO Batman cake that got 279,000 views and was featured in ELLE magazine.
- 6 months before that, Laurie put together a compilation of 10 princess dress cakes she made from scratch. This compilation is now the most popular video on The Icing Artist with over 43 million views.
- Speaking of compilations, The Icing Artist has over 25 cake compilation videos that have over 1 million views.
Laurie was also able to use our lessons on YouTube brand deals to negotiate a 4x increase over the original offer in her first deal.
Most importantly, she now works from home along with her fiance, who also quit his job to work full time on The Icing Artist. After years of plugging away in obscurity, earning only $5,000 a year, Laurie and her fiance now earn between $10,000 and $40,000 a month!
But success was always about more than money for Laurie:
“I can wake up when I want. I can take vacations when I want. I can do what I want. But more than that, I can create what I want.”
Even though Laurie now has the freedom to live her dream lifestyle, she isn’t slacking off—she’s hoping to create a cookbook for her adoring fans.
When I asked Laurie what made Viral Academy unique, here’s what she said:
“There so much free info on the internet, which is great, but [Viral Academy] was a lot more than that.”
Viral Academy is more than just a step-by-step system. It’s also a community of supportive creators.
It was gratifying for Laurie and her fiance to give back to Viral Academy after all of their success:
“I look at other people who are having the problems we have had a thousand times. So to able to go and help somebody through something that they’ve had a hard time with also feels good. Because you’re helping someone overcome some of the struggles that you struggled so hard with.”
When you join Viral Academy, you’re never on your own island. There’s a supportive community of creators that will hold you accountable and support you along the way.
So if you’re with Laurie and don’t want to work for “the man,” take the first step in creating the freedom to live your dream lifestyle.
Join our FREE YouTube Influencer video crash course, which will teach you how to find your YouTube channel idea, even if you’re a total newb.
You’ll also learn how to know which content ideas are winners, and which ones are losers, with the Remix Strategy. We’ll also introduce you to a “blueprint” for success on YouTube, including the truth about how we make our millions online.
Imagine shrinking your YouTube learning curve from years to mere months…that’s exactly what our crash course is designed to do.
You’ll get over an hour of our best-kept secrets for building your own audience of raving fans, all in HD video. We’ve even included material from our premium course, Viral Academy, which helped Laurie transform the Icing Artist into a thriving lifestyle business that has over 1.3 million YouTube subscribers.
What are you waiting for?
Sign up now to learn everything we know about building an audience on YouTube and making a living following your passion.