Author Topic: The power of marketing  (Read 659 times)


  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
The power of marketing
« on: 03 February, 2021, 09:13:24 pm »
My dear wife has spent quite a bit of lockdown pursuing her hobbies - which, hopefully, many of us have been able to do. This has involved watching quite a lot of Youtube videos about various craft types. One of her favourites is a woman named Kate Jackson. Kate lives in Northumberland and makes some really quite cozy videos about quilt-making, other crafts, taking her goose for a swim, generally about the quiet rural life of a lady of a certain age, who nearly always seems to have a cat in the video somewhere. All very nice - a bit twee, but great comfort-watching.

Kate has a Patreon channel with a number of levels at which to sign up and Jan was thinking about signing up, so she asked me what I thought. I've signed up to a couple of Patreon channels and I find them quite informative so I had no objection at all.

Then we started to look at Kate's channels a little more closely and we noticed that she was VAT registered. Very few people want to register for VAT - it's one of the penalties of running a company that gets a bit big. There are usually only two reasons in my experience (and I used to work for HMCE, COBOL programming for the VAT computer system) for registering for VAT: if a lot of your trade means that you can claim the VAT back from your suppliers, or if your turnover exceeds £85000, and that's when you have to. Having noticed that Kate Jackson was VAT registered, we then had a look at some of her other statistics: 35k Youtube followers!

Don't get me wrong: I've nothing whatever against this sort of success. It seems to me that Kate Jackson spreads quite a bit of comfort and joy amongst her followers and I'm all for that sort of thing. But I suggested to Jan that perhaps her money might be better spent giving to charity.
Bach without a doubt.


  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The power of marketing
« Reply #1 on: 04 February, 2021, 12:07:12 am »
There are other reasons for registering for VAT. You start a business, but expect it to reach the threshold. You start a bus8ness and have few customers but they are big companies. A VAT registration carries a certain gravitas.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.


  • rothair gasta
Re: The power of marketing
« Reply #2 on: 04 February, 2021, 02:22:11 am »
VAT is added on by Patreon, whether or not the individual is registered. It is an EU requirement, for anyone selling 'digital services'.
Plus there are fees charged by Patreon, maybe about 10% or so.

35K subscribers on Youtube is not that huge, doesn't mean they are making much money from it.
Interesting video here from Peter Millard, about how much he is making from Youtube. His channel is a similar sort of size.

The power of marketing
« Reply #3 on: 04 February, 2021, 06:02:13 am »
The whole EU digital services thing was botched when it first came in. It was designed to stop the likes of Netflix positioning themselves in Luxembourg but unfortunately they put no minimum threshold originally. Someone I know had a modest business selling knitting patterns which they emailed out. With the digital services legislation they had the choice of registering for vat or printing and posting the  patterns instead. They work in a supermarket now.

Re: The power of marketing
« Reply #4 on: 04 February, 2021, 09:12:41 am »
But I suggested to Jan that perhaps her money might be better spent giving to charity.
Do you apply this criteria to all your spending?  That's pretty wonderful if you do, otherwise it makes no sense to do so for this one.  I clicked the link, it's obviously a business and makes no attempt to disguise that, did Jan or you think otherwise? Youtube is entertainment, decide if you want to pay for it based on how well you're entertained, rather than how well it's doing, just like you would for any other service. Then decide your charity giving on whatever criteria you choose, unless spending a couple of quid a month on entertainment means not being able to support a charity don't mix them up.


  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: The power of marketing
« Reply #5 on: 04 February, 2021, 09:55:33 am »
I'm a bit boggled by modern life, where you enjoy someone else's efforts and then think of an excuse why you shouldn't be rewarding them for it.

Maybe this is the future of employee performance review. Well, Bob, fantastic year last year, but you already have a nice car, the kids have left home, so how about we don't pay you till June.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020 (postponed due to COVID)

Re: The power of marketing
« Reply #6 on: 04 February, 2021, 12:51:45 pm »
35K subscribers really isn't many.

One of my stepsons had an instagram channel for his cats. Over 150k followers.

The only way they made money was by selling rights to the photographs of the cats (calendars that sort of thing). It was a lot of work keeping enough high-quality images and vids uploaded, so they've ceased promoting it.
<i>Marmite slave</i>


  • Timelord
Re: The power of marketing
« Reply #7 on: 04 February, 2021, 12:53:58 pm »
Should also note that YouTube is a really unreliable way to make money.  You're always a tweak of the algorithm away from losing all those views and subscriptions, and there are harsh penalties for not providing content in a timely manner.

Youtube successes with quality content are mostly happy accidents, rather than shrewd businesses.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...