Ryan Trahan is Breaking All the Rules on YouTube & Still Crushing It!

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Carla Marshall
July 15, 2022
Ryan Trahan is Breaking All the Rules on YouTube

In case you missed it, YouTube creator Ryan Trahan just finished daily vlogging his way across America with just a penny. He started in Los Angeles, and through a combination of trades and ingenious money-making methods, he could afford accommodation, food, and transportation to help him cover thousands of miles across America to deliver a penny to MrBeast $1.4M to Feeding America.

We think there are some things every YouTuber can learn from Trahan, so let’s kick off with:

Ryan Trahan’s Game Plan for YouTube Success

We know a lot of YouTube advice that’s hard to apply to a  channel. We always get comments like, “How does this work for a gaming channel” or “How does this work if my channel is about my life as a professional cuddler”? Here’s some advice around Trahan’s success that you can replicate on your channel.

Lesson 1: Think INSIDE the Box

Here’s the thing. Most of us can’t be like MrBeast with millions of dollars to spend on a video or even be like Ryan Trahan and travel across the united states for a month. Most of us have families, school, jobs, and other responsibilities.

That’s because, like Ryan Trahan and his penny, we all have our own Creative Constraints. Every creator faces circumstances that limit what you can do with your content that forces you to find creative workarounds. These may include:

  • Lack of budget
  • Limited resources
  • Nowhere to film
  • Lack of time or energy

These may be creative constraints, but how can you use them to your advantage instead of letting them limit you?

BenOfTheWeek made a MrBeast style video on a budget.

Colin and Samir started their show in a car because it was the only quiet place they could record.

Milad Mirg turned his job at Subway into viral content that he filmed on his iPhone and edited when customers weren’t around.

MKBHD started with his laptop’s webcam.

Limitations are just an opportunity for us to get creative, and if we can find a way to work within our constraints, we can make content that is just as good as anyone else’s.

Awesome videos can be made on any budget, on any camera, and with any editing software, in any city, with any personality, and around any topic.

Ryan Trahan’s channel first took off years ago when he was a college student, and he turned a penny into a thousand dollars. That video changed everything for him and paved the way for the challenge he just finished. When you get creative despite your constraints, you too can do anything.

Lesson 2: You Don’t Need to Be Perfect

We know that many of you hate filming yourself in public. We asked you on Twitter, and over 80% of you said you feel awkward when filming out and about. We see creators who are confident on camera and make it look easy. They film themselves in public without a care in the world. So why can’t we be like that?

The truth is, you don’t have to.

We can normalize the fact that all YouTubers aren’t social butterflies. You can be awkward. You can be shy. You can be uncomfortable. You don’t need to be the best filmmaker or have any other skill mastered to make good content. It’s okay.

In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s authentic. It’s real. And people will connect with you because of it.

Ryan’s editing isn’t over the top. His style is very approachable. He doesn’t hide his anxiety or edit out awkward moments. He embraces it. And it’s a big part of his brand. We think that makes him relatable and likable. 

A lot of creators see themselves in him. They root for him, and when he succeeds, they feel like they’ve succeeded too.

Many people stall with creating because they don’t feel like they have a good enough personality. They think they need to be outgoing, extroverted, funny, and have the most exciting life. But that’s not true.

You just need to be yourself. Tell good stories, speak from the heart, and be authentic. You don’t have to put on a persona or act like someone you’re not. Be yourself, and people will connect with you. You are good enough.

Watch our exclusive video for more information:

Lesson 3: Empower your Audience

The mighty Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

As creators, we think your goal should be to make your audience feel something positive.

When you empower your viewers, make them laugh, think, or just make their day a little brighter, you go from being just another creator to being a friend. You stop being content they brainlessly consume before moving on to the next thing. You become someone they remember or are inspired by long after they’ve finished or forgotten about your video.

Whether we watch Ryan travel across America or spend hours in a sensory deprivation tank, he makes us feel like trying new things, living life to the fullest, or going on an adventure of our own.

It’s a skill to make people feel emotionally connected to or changed by your content and one of the most valuable things a creator can have. It’s why, as viewers, we keep returning to specific creators because they improve our lives.

Any creator can do this. It just requires you to take a step back and think about how you want your audience to feel after watching your videos.

  • What kind of emotions do you want to create?
  • What kind of impact do you want to make?
  • How will your viewers be different after watching your videos?

We watch Colin and Samir because they show us how successful creators think, so we become better creators ourselves. We watch Yes Theory go on crazy adventures because it makes us want to overcome our fears and take our own risks.

You don’t have to have as many views or subscribers as Ryan Trahan to make your channel successful on YouTube. You don’t even have to follow all the rules. If you can be authentic and offer content that rings a bell with your target audience, you’ll be a step closer to the creator you want to be.

Carla Marshall Author

Carla Marshall

Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 11+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO