Thursday, July 7, 2022
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How To Run A Successful DIY Business – Whitney Hansen


If you’re like the majority (including myself), you most likely took on a new DIY project during the lockdown. And if you didn’t have a clue where to start, you most likely went on YouTube to figure it out, right? Perhaps you happened to stumble onto Brent Gentling’s DIY channel, BYOT.

Brent Gentling is the YouTube creator of BYOT (Bring Your Own Tools). He received his degree in construction management and worked in various roles in the construction industry. Brent started his YouTube journey in March of 2016 with the mission to help others build and create by teaching in a fun and educational way. He averages about a million views per month and has about 190,000 subscribers.

In today’s episode, I had the opportunity to interview Brent and learn more about his journey and what it takes to succeed in the DIY business.

Brent’s Intro – How’d BYOT Come To Life?

Brent has a love for building. He found this out at a very young age; He enjoyed playing with legos as a kid, and once reaching college age, he decided to pursue his degree in construction management. Soon after graduating, Brent bought his first house in 2010, and it needed a lot of work. He had to remodel EVERYTHING. It is where he discovered YouTube could be very useful and informational.

Years later, he could not find any information on growing grass, which inspired him to create a channel. He made a video on how to grow grass, and it got the ball rolling.  

Brent quit his job in October 2019. At that point, he started creating content full-time. He would find construction work and record content.

Brent feels like his passion for building is what differentiates him from other creators. He does a voice-over to make sure to go over all the details.

How Did COVID Affect Your Channel?

He averaged about 250,000 views per month before COVID, and once COVID hit, it skyrocketed to over a million views a month.

At the beginning of 2021, he decided only to take on projects that he could use for content creation. About half of his content creations are based on construction projects he’s taken on, and the other half are projects his friends and family need.

He prioritizes projects for content creation due to the interest of people.

Ex) He searched on Google how popular the keywords were “How to build a shed.” He noticed that it was one of the top things people were searching for, so it determined he would create a “build a shed” video rather than a video about remodeling a bathroom.

How Do You Manage Both a Business of Online Marketing and Construction Projects?

I’m never fearful of taking on a project. Maybe about 50% of my videos are projects I decided to take on that were completely new. I like to learn something new and don’t fear the unknown. It’s all about mindset.

Brent Gentling

Even if some projects are new to him, he makes sure things are built properly.

Tip: Make sure they’re into code

–When interpreting codes, look if the project needs a permit. How tall can you build something without a permit? (Every state is different, so you can call the Building Department or whoever is handling the codes in the state)

Tips for the Content Creation Process

  • Find an idea that you want to proceed with that is popular with the audience
  • Make sure to post new content every week rather than monthly

Reason Behind Creating Multiple Videos Rather Than One Long Video Completing a Project

He chooses to separate videos into different categories.

Ex) Building a Shed: Video 1 – Framing, Video 2 – Water Proofing, Video 3 – The Exterior of the Shed

It’s pleasing to the viewer because they’re bite-sized, and it’s also easier for him as the content creator to produce content weekly.

What to Hire Out and What to DIY

A professional should do electrical wiring and large-scale plumbing because the consequences of poorly performed jobs are catastrophic.

When it comes to DIY’ing, painting is something that anybody can take on.Before taking on a project, ask yourself:

  • What is your time worth?
  • What benefit are you adding to your house?

TikTok vs YouTube: Brent’s Findings

Through his experience, he learned that they’re both stand-alone businesses. He hasn’t found that his TikTok videos brought significant traffic to his YouTube channel. Still, it is an excellent place to create content for an audience that only wants to watch short videos rather than longer videos. He also has utilized both platforms together to sponsors.

How Do You Make Money On YouTube

  • You need to have about 1,000 subscribers and 10,000 watch hours to get paid by Google (Google owns YouTube). It works like this: Companies pay for the ads placed within the YouTube videos, and the longer people watch the video, the more they are exposed to the products or services advertised. Content creators receive a small percentage back, called a CPM (a dollar value per thousand views). The dollar value ranges drastically depending on the kind of content. Brent’s value is $7-$9.
  • It’s better to have multiple incomes. Brent earns income in about 15 different ways. One way is including amazon links. He’ll link tools on Amazon and if people purchase, he’ll receive payment. Initially, he reached out to different businesses/brands wanting to work with them, but now that he’s bigger, businesses reach out to him. Sometimes companies give free products, and others pay.

Must-Have Tools

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver (Phillips and Flat)
  • Invest in a good quality:
    • Tape measure
    • 2 ft level
    • Drill (Milwaukee, Makita, or Dewalt)

What’s Next for BOYT

I have a five-year plan to be on HGTV. I plan to continue producing content online weekly, but I foresee more significant projects, like building a house and showing the whole process eventually.

Brent Gentling

If you would like to listen to this podcast episode, click below.

In Conclusion

To run a successful DIY business, there are many things to consider. One must think about all the time, effort, and amount of detailed work that needs to be put in to run a successful DIY channel online. Brent Gentling, the YouTube creator of BYOT, shared his story and what he’s found in the content creator world. It’s essential to do your research and create content according to what people want to see. Looking up popular Google searches is a good start. He also recommends posting content every single week. It’s a good idea to use more than one channel to reach a broader audience. Use TikTok to reach audiences who prefer shorter videos and YouTube for viewers who don’t mind watching longer and more detailed videos. If you want to monetize on YouTube, concentrate on the following: reaching at least a thousand subscribers, getting at least 10,000 watch hours, reaching out to brands who you want to work with, and also looking into multiple different ways of income, like including links to various products so people can purchase products with your link. Lastly, always be ready to learn more in this ever-changing market.

Feel free to email me with any feedback or any comments about this episode – until next time!

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