The Profitable Musician | Tobias Rauscher | International Fanbase


YouTube is one of the best online platforms to build an international fanbase. Unlike Facebook or TikTok, this website is less about churning endless content and more about creating a long-term growth machine – even with a handful of materials. Exploring the best strategies to grow your YouTube following with Bree Noble is Tobias Rauscher, founder of FanbasePRO. Together, they discuss how to ramp up your watch time when starting your channel, the best content repurposing techniques, and the value of bringing viewers to your email list. Tobias also explains why understanding your target audience is the most important factor in bringing your YouTube channel to the worldwide stage.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


How To Build An International Fanbase On YouTube With Tobias Rauscher

I am excited to have with me, Tobias Rauscher. I always love to start with your background. How did you get involved in music? How long have you been in music? How did you start on YouTube? That’s going to be a big conversation we have. I know that’s why you got your start online. I know that’s a big thing to unpack, but I love to know people’s stories so I’m looking forward to it.

I started playing the guitar when I was fourteen. I was totally into rock Lincoln Park and all that era then we started our first band. We were pretty good. Our vocals weren’t tricky, but it was a lot of fun. At some point, it got more serious. We pitched to labels and all that stuff. We made all the mistakes like many independent musicians do all the time. We do everything wrong. We invested over $10,000 in our first debut album. We spent one year in the studio and not releasing anything. It was always like, “Keep it secret,” then there was this big launch and nobody cared. We sold a couple of albums and it was like, “That’s it?” Everyone was disappointed.

At some point, I was like, “We split.” It was a game over, unfortunately. I started working in the music industry at Warner Music Germany to learn how the music industry works. This is where I learned that you have to have a strategic approach, framework and all that stuff. At that time, I focused more and more on percussive fingerstyle. I can’t sing so I can smack my guitar, do tapping and all that stuff. With that knowledge, I try to focus on my music again now like a solo instrumental artist. That worked once I focused on proper music marketing.

I focused on YouTube strategies as well. I got a lot of success with over 50 million views by now. This opened up a completely different world. All of a sudden, people from different countries approach you to play gigs, booking you and all that stuff. This was in a nutshell how it all started with my career as a musician. I played shows in China, Taiwan and the US as well. It was a crazy ride at some point. I started to help artists. In the beginning, friends of mine approached me like, “Do you have some tips on how to get my music out there and how to market myself?” I focused on mentoring artists. Until I founded Famous Pro where we help artists as well. This is in a nutshell, the entire journey.

I think that’s how a lot of us get started. That’s certainly how I got started in doing my own freelance stuff and then people seeing me and saying, “How are you doing that?” That kind of thing, then you start helping artists, which is great because then you’ve got that background. It’s not like you just came up with some formula that you didn’t apply and you’re trying to help people when you don’t have the experience. That is perfect. I’m curious along the way, were you doing other jobs? Were you doing music full-time or did you have part-time gigs, you were moonlighting or whatever while you were working on your music?

In the beginning, it was school and studying pretty much. I was a part-time musician then in Warner Music, I was full-time and I had some jobs besides before that like some working the airport in Germany and stuff like that. It was always mainly focusing on music, having some psychics, then working full time then I was like, “Let’s try it one more time with my music,” then I went all in on that more or less.

It’s good to hear that because the artists sometimes feel like, “I’m not legit unless I’m doing this full-time.” Everybody that’s eventually become full-time has had those periods where it’s like, “I’m doing this. I’m working at the airport,” then you go, “Maybe the answer to my life is a full-time job.” You do that and you go, “No, I’m not fulfilling my passion for music.” I want to encourage everyone that’s reading. You have to figure it out. It’s not a straight path. There are going to be ups and downs. You may have a period of time when you decide to go to a full-time job to save a bunch of money so then you can go into music more full-time.

Even with a full-time job, you still have the entire evening to focus on your music. It’s your choice. Watching TV or focusing on a music career?” If you spend two hours each and every day, that’s still plenty of time. That adds up even if you have a full-time job. It’s still manageable and it’s always a thing of your priorities. What do you do in your free time? Focus on your music.

If you spend just two hours each day building your online audience, that adds up even if you do it alongside a full-time job. Share on X

Building A YouTube Presence

Podcast is a great way to keep yourself in the loop of what’s going on in the industry and you can listen to them if you’re commuting to work and stuff like that. That’s why I think those are great. Let’s jump into YouTube because what I love about what you do is that you focus specifically on musicians. There have been a lot of YouTubers out there who are helping us understand the algorithm, know how to title and all that stuff.

I’ve taken YouTube courses, but I have not seen many YouTube courses that are specifically for musicians. I do think YouTube is different for musicians because your content is different. It’s not all how-to content that we all know does well on YouTube. First of all, what stuck for you that helped you get those millions of views on YouTube when you first started as a musician?

The first thing that I understood quickly was that YouTube works differently compared to all other social media networks because like on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, you’re always forced to constantly create noise, “Post every day. No, five times per day. Post every minute.” Many musicians are overwhelmed. It’s like, “What should I create? I have my 5 or 12 songs and/or 2 music videos.” You cannot produce content all the time. YouTube works with artists in a different way. They are partnerships. They’re like, “You’ve got a great music video.” Let’s split the revenue and we promote it for you. We show it to new people who’ve never heard of you.

While we are talking right now, people are still watching, for example, my videos that are many years ago, and this is the power of YouTube. The stuff I uploaded many years ago on Instagram or Facebook is gone. This is powerful because YouTube helps you to introduce your music to new fans who are highly likely to watch your music because they suggest your video to billions of people around the world. This is where I was like, “This is a real powerhouse, especially when it comes to musicians who find out about new musicians on YouTube and all that stuff.” This is an underrated tool because most people want to hop on the latest trends on TikTok or whatever but it’s like, “YouTube is a long-term growth machine. It’s powerful, but focus on it and definitely don’t neglect it.”

This was when I saw my first success over there and noticed the power of YouTube recommending an autopilot even. I uploaded probably between 3 to 5 videos per year and I still got over 50 million views sometimes 10,000 to 20,000 people watch my videos each and every day. Sometimes I don’t upload for half a year or longer. This is the insane power and why we musicians should leverage this. I got invited to play in China and all that because of my performance and my presence on YouTube. YouTube is a powerhouse and I cannot stress that enough.

Music Discovery On YouTube

Let’s talk about music discovery on YouTube because for me, I don’t go seeking out music on YouTube. That’s me. Maybe it’s my generation. I go on Spotify. Spotify is recommending stuff to me. I do discover new musicians there I’m assuming the algorithm is similar. Is there a huge group of people that are out there wanting to find new musicians through music videos?

The beautiful thing is that people don’t go there actively, but it happens by accident because they’re on YouTube. The funny thing is YouTube is 80% male domain for whatever reason. I don’t know why. For example, my audience is predominantly male because it’s pretty technical. I don’t sing, maybe because of the guitars, I don’t know, but it’s a fact I found out. If you use YouTube, the algorithm is intelligent and smart. The algorithm knows who you are. What are your preferences? What are you interested in? I always measure the watch time. If I watch a Metallica concert for over half an hour, YouTube directly knows, “That’s a lot of watch time for Metallica. Let’s show him Iron Maiden & Pantera.”

I totally go down this route into that. YouTube actively promotes stuff. Even if I’m watching two completely different videos, all of a sudden, those bands pop up. For example, when I listened to music a month ago, it’s still like trying to give me the optimal mix of content. One benefit I forgot is that you have channel clusters. Each country and region has its own channel cluster. For example, I found a powerful strategy, by the way, is I contacted some people in Thailand, or first I found out, about the strategy because people ripped my video uploaded on a tight channel, for example, and it got six million views in a couple of months.

I was like, “What is going on there?” In the beginning, I was like, “Take it down,” then I was like, “All the comments were Thai, and the title of the video was in Thai as well. It’s saying something like Guitar God.” I would never call myself that, but I was like, “Huh.” It’s like a nice pre-framing in Thai. I got popular in Thailand because I would’ve never seen it because everything is in Thai, the description and comments. It’s your own channel cluster. You can tap into these markets, then I started to actively ask people to upload my video, for example, in Thailand, and you have the same Germany, Brazil and every country.

This is powerful because I have a strategy going global to tap into these emerging markets because they share around 3 to 5 times more than the Western countries. They spend more time online and mobile. It’s much easier to get gigs and become even more famous over there, then you get a lot of social proof, a lot of views, likes, and then you can promote it in your own countries and it blows up. There are many strategies that you can tap into.

That is pretty interesting. Are you giving them permission to take your video?

First, we started writing something in the video, like a watermark so they know my channel and website. I asked them to mention my name there and link to my video in the description. Nowadays with content ID, you can monetize it you get a chunk of the money as well. It’s a powerful, promotional tool on YouTube that pretty much not a lot of people are using.

As long as they put your content ID in there, you’re still going to get the monetization from that.

I can monetize these videos as well.

Ramping Up Your Watch Time

My question is about your own channel as far as getting over that hump of the watch time. I have never been able to monetize. I don’t focus on YouTube. I’m not upset about it, but I’ve never been able to monetize because I can’t get past the number of watch hours that you need per year. How do you ramp that up from the beginning?

In the beginning, it’s difficult because you don’t have the data. The algorithms analyze, for example, how much watch time you have and engagement because this is the only way YouTube’s algorithm can measure how good your music is. It’s based on data. If you don’t have data, it cannot be measured and it cannot be recommended because only if YouTube says the KPIs or the Key Performance Indicators, like watch time, your interaction and audience retention is good, only then YouTube starts to recommend your video to other people on autopilot.

The Profitable Musician | Tobias Rauscher | International Fanbase

International Fanbase: If you don’t have data, YouTube cannot measure and recommend your videos. The only way to build audience interaction and retention is by jump-starting your views.


You need to say that. In the beginning, it’s important to jumpstart your views and there are different strategies for that.  On the one hand, you could use paid advertising. Back then what I did was I covered, for example, some smaller artists that I could connect to directly and made a cover video, for example, their song and then sent it to them and then usually asked them to share it or something, and then they send me traffic that way.

It’s advertising. It’s like some growth strategies. For example, working with aggregation sites, sometimes you can buy for $50 bucks, for example, that they promote your new music video link. You need to get a spike in traffic. Maybe if you have your own channels and you should have, of course, for example, then make a video launch. Prepare three days at least before. Make some bus and then send all the people to your YouTube channel.

It also helps if you go live, for example, then you need a lot of views. It doesn’t mean 10,000. It can be a couple of hundred views, but you need this data for the algorithm to start learning, picking it up then you have the chance to get recommended. Your content needs to be good and optimized, talking about tagging and title strategy and all that stuff. There are some nitty gritty things that you can do. In the beginning, I usually recommend getting some push to get going like a little jumpstart. That helps instead of posting content if you have zero subscribers.

Advertising Strategies

You got to get that launch push for anything that we launch like a release or anything. What about advertising? Are you talking about YouTube advertising, like native advertising within YouTube, or do you use Facebook and Instagram to send people there?

We tried Facebook and Instagram as well. There are ways to do it. If you embed the video on a landing page, for example, or your own website, let’s say. Facebook and Instagram or Meta are competitors to Google and YouTube. Sometimes if you post a YouTube video on Facebook right away, it doesn’t get any interaction. It’s crazy. I would either embed it usually or send people, then when it comes to ads, that would be Google Ads and YouTube Ads.

You can advertise on other people’s channels that have similar music.

That’s a great thing. You can select, for example, “My music is similar to Tommy Emmanuel, Jon Gomm or Annie McKay John Gom or Al McKay. I can put my video as an ad in front of their best-performing video.” This is powerful. If you are similar to Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift, you can select her or his best tunes videos and play your music in front of it. People who watch this are highly likely to visualize your music. Sometimes they don’t even know that it’s an ad and they’re like, “What’s that?” They save you, follow you and all that stuff. There are different ways. YouTube is a good tool for that.

Content Creation Tips

As far as content for musicians on YouTube, we talked about music videos. Is there another type of content that you suggest that musicians mix in there into their channel?

Ideally, you have a well-prepared content marketing strategy. It consists of our own tunes, but it can be also like teasers or snippets, like my favorite solo section or whatever. Think creatively about how you can repurpose content. What I notice is that the video performs well or goes viral when it goes viral a second time as well. For example, I rerecorded a song called it Memory Version Two.  I upload it again in a different setting and once again, millions of views or still away. I can rerecord it and it works again like crazy. This is your music, stuff, but it always depends on your audience. This is why it’s important to do some audience research.

Don’t just think about, “What do I want to publish?” It’s about, “Who is my audience and what does my audience like?” For example, I noticed early on that a lot of my audience of fans are guitarists themselves. I started publishing, for example, guitar tutorials where I show how to play like this Thinga style and stuff that works well if you include viral elements to it. Let’s first start with emotional content. If you, let’s say you’re a singer-songwriter, go somewhere in a park, like in Berlin or in New York or whatsoever or in a subway and busk around. People will come around you. You can have a camera guy filming their faces because it’s all about emotions. All of a sudden, it’s the same song but in a different setting.

Growing your online following starts by knowing your audience. Do your research about them to determine the right content to publish. Share on X

All of a sudden, people stop and they look, and then include something like this. This is always what’s good or if you do something unexpected. One artist, a bucket drummer or something, and he has paint buckets. He’s a drummer and he is on the street, and it is crazy. It sounds great, but a few buckets. He plays and he totally rocks it and then all the people are standing there filming and that’s emotional. That’s like cool. It’s never seen. Think about how can you incorporate, for example, when I play the guitar, I could use this glass and play slight guitar. That’s like, “Now you use it.” Do something that’s not normal, something that’s interesting or maybe mix something, playing all tunes in a metal or jazz version, or maybe the verse is metal and the chorus is jazz.

That is interesting and catchy. Think about content that entices people to watch it and what always works. This is good when you are starting out covering stuff. Ed Sheeran released his new tune of a music video, and then everyone is searching for that. You want to pick it up. You want to serve this wave. Same title, same keywords, like rum whatever the new song is, put the keywords in the description, use it as as text. Use the same text, for example, Ed Sheeran uses and all that stuff. There are some hacks that you can use.

You are likely to get clicks from people who are actively searching to watch his music video in that case. The twist is if you don’t cover it, but make it your own. For example, Ed Sheeran’s version, or I love heavy music as well. There are some heavy acts out there then you have some acoustic covers with female vocals. Beautiful. You hear a heavy song, but all of a sudden, a completely different vibe. This is stuff that works so well on YouTube. Don’t be afraid to venture out and find interesting content that ideally is interesting for your audience. There are a lot of more tutorials and, Q&As, behind-the-scenes or when you go on tour, for example. You can do tour insider behind-the-scenes section.

YouTube Shorts

Inside the green room or whatever. I love that. What do you think about shorts? Do you utilize shorts in your strategy?

Shorts are powerful. We are working with some artists. For example, we worked with [00:20:43], great band, check them out. It’s like an electronic trio, but they, for example, include a vacuum cleaner. Is it a vacuum cleaner or something like that? I don’t know. In their music, it’s amazing. They are making amazing music and their shorts are killing it. They boosted their entire channel. Shorts are a powerhouse because YouTube is paying extra attention. It’s easy to create shorts. They don’t need to be perfect. They don’t need to be polished. Record like a 32nd video and do a couple of tries, use a good hook, use something catchy then it’s like TikTok pretty much. Everyone is trying to know copy to copy TikTok, like Instagram is doing it, YouTube in a way as well, has short-form content published on TikTok, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts. It’s a good strategy.

The Profitable Musician | Tobias Rauscher | International Fanbase

International Fanbase: YouTube Shorts don’t need to be perfect or well-polished. Just record a 30-second video of something catchy that will hook your audience.


Fanbase Building

I was going to ask you about that. If you’ve got those, you make them for shorts already, you can easily post them on those other channels. What are the goals of those other channels? Do you say, “YouTube is my main thing and the goals of those other channels are to send people to YouTube,” or are you building a fan base on each of those separately?

First of all, you don’t need to be on all channels. That’s like what a lot of artists think, but you don’t have to. Usually, find one channel that works well for you, for example, and double down. Become good at this one channel. I say always, the goal is to get the people in your own system because you need to own your fan base, get them on your email list and get them on your messenger list. This is where the money is made. If you look at the retention, the reach, for example, on Facebook or Instagram, it’s always declining. It’s like inflation on steroids, it’s going down. It’s crazy. When I had like 5,000 followers on Facebook and my posts were getting over 1,000 view likes and all that stuff, then I approached 70,000 or 80,000 and all of a sudden like a couple of hundred.

I was like, “What’s going on?” Facebook was always asking you to boost, “Give us money to reach.” I was like, “That’s weird. I tried to get all my people on my Facebook channel and now you are denying me access and asking me to pay for them because Facebook owns my fans.” Always get the people in your own system. This is the most important thing. Built your email list, then when you launch something, you can send all your people from your email list as well to your YouTube launch product launch or whatever you have over there. You can send them to different platforms to send them to Instagram and TikTok but have it channeled that works for you then double down.

When you launch a product through YouTube, be sure to bring people from your email list to your channel. Share on X

Email List Monetization

Get them on your own email list. You have to own your fans. Who knows if they’re going to take down any of those platforms, even YouTube? We need to make sure that we know how to contact them and we have that platform in our own possession. What are the best ways that you’ve found to get people off of YouTube and the other channels and onto your email list?

What I did to get the people, for example, off YouTube is that in pretty much every description, I basically offered something for free like a free master class back then, a free tutorial or free tabs because my audience wanted to learn how to play my songs. I offer them free tabs, for example, You can make these notations and info postings, however, you call it, inside the video. For example, a little call to action pops up like, “I want to get my guitar book for free,” then you can click on it and get people off YouTube or you include a direct call to action, for example, inside the video at the end you’re like,  thank you so much for watching my video. If you want to get my whatever, click on the link below this video and then I’m going to send it to you.”

Use call to action in your videos, your video description, community tab or shorts. This is how you can get people off of YouTube. Always keep in mind, that’s always like the tricky thing. No social media platform likes it when you get people off the platform because ideally, they should keep on watching videos and collecting watch time, but that’s always literally a trade-off. I recommend doing it and trying of course to get people down there because when you monetize, real monetization happens on your email list, usually by ads and email list. you need to get people on your email list. It’s important.

Once people are on your email list, what are the monetization strategies that you recommend for artists?

First of all, why you should get emails, why you get people into your own system is to build a deeper relationship. To turn a listener into a super fan, someone who creates a bond. You can send them, for example, personal stuff from you. Tell some stories where you messed up with the world collapsing, on whatever interesting stories you have that can be personal like in a real relationship. We need to build this relationship, send some valuable emails give them some cool stuff that they’re looking forward to emails. I usually recommend including some LTO or Low Ticket Offer like a free plus shipping offer. Something like this where you’re like, “I had this with my own guitar book.”

You’re like, “Do you want to get my guitar book? Just cover the shipping,” then you can offer them something as an upsell, like an auto bomb, “If you want to get backstage access to all the lessons in the book, I’ll walk you through it for $29.” You can add it. You turned a listener into a buyer. If it’s just $7, $9 or $10, that’s a world. That’s important to turn a listener into a buyer then there are many strategies depending on your audience. This is what I see many artists do wrongly again. They think about what they want to sell instead of what their audience wants.

It can be something different. You don’t always have to sell shirts or caps in something like this. Maybe you are gothic a artist on a metal band. You notice, “My audience loves candles.” Maybe sell candles to them with your logo or some your own collection. Always think creatively of, “Who is my audience and what does my audience like? Do they have problems? Do they have desires? It can be custom songs. It can be a week-long retreat or a guitar boot camp in Italy or whatever.” Always think about, “What kind of value can I provide?” It’s about like having a good launch panel, a good product launch strategy to get people in your world then there’s like, “You have a fan membership site for $9 or $10 per month where you take your fans backstage with you.”

They get VIP tickets. You have a live stream during rehearsals, you send them unpublished songs or they can decide on song names whatsoever. Be creative, but always think about, “Who is my fan avatar? Who’s my ideal super fan and what do they want to have?” This is how monetization works. Ideally, you combine that with paid advertising because of course if you have people on your email list, they’re much more worth than a follow on YouTube, Instagram or whatever, then we can use lookalike audiences and tell Facebook and Instagram, “These are people who even bought from me. They love my music.” Go and get more of these people.

The algorithm gets better and better and keeps sending you people who love your music and not only love music, but then who also buy from you and all that stuff. The typical online marketing strategies to grow your fan base. The great thing is when you spend money on ads, even if it’s for a product, you grow your fan base on the site. It’s always the benefit we have. That’s in a nutshell on how I would recommend doing it.

Selling Digital Items

A lot of singer-songwriters get stuck in their head or even bands because they don’t have a guitar book, tutorials or things like that that they can sell that aren’t physical products. They think, “All I can sell is merch.” I talk about custom songs. That’s one thing they can sell, but I think they get stuck in like, “What can I sell that has value but doesn’t cost me any money because it’s like my time or my expertise?” Do you have anything that you’ve seen that works that’s not necessarily around teaching?

Anything digital is the best you can sell because when I was shipping out my guitar book, it’s work, then it didn’t arrive. You send it to Taiwan and then it doesn’t arrive or it gets sent back. It’s crazy. It’s a completely different eCommerce business then. I always recommend if you have something, it’s like a membership where you have something digital. They buy access and get something digital from you, like early access or it can be backstage passes. I know a band from the US that sell, for example, high-ticket items. It’s the tour experience for $8,000. They sell it to 10 people and they go with them on tour for 1 or 2 weeks.

They go for dinner with them and go backstage with them. They experience the entire tour. They pay $8,000 and they make $80,000 before playing a single note. This is something crazy. Wedding gigs, booking gigs featuring that you play the guitar on someone else’s record or that you sing production. Once again, it’s about your audience. This is why I always think it’s like, “Don’t think necessarily about what you want to sell or can’t sell. First, get to know your audience, survey them, hop on a phone or a Zoom call with them and learn what they want.”

The Profitable Musician | Tobias Rauscher | International Fanbase

International Fanbase: Before pushing through a product launch, survey your audience first to learn what they really want.


We have one client who is good. He’s a university professor. He does a lot with words, but not a typical rep. It’s like spoken word and smart stuff. It’s poetry pretty much. His audience is in this more spiritual realm. For example, he helps them with breath work, meditation and all that stuff. He ventures in it because you notice, “All my fans in this market as well.” It’s about finding things that they want from you. It doesn’t always have to be in music. This is what I always think and has still the biggest potential you do something like this. It all starts with your audience finding out who they are.

Membership Platform

You had some great ideas in there. I hope people might want to read those again because some of those were golden. What do you like for a membership platform? Do you recommend Patreon or trying to build your own?

Nowadays, it’s become extremely easy to set up your own platform. There are many ways lead to Rome. There are many stuff out there. It depends on how tech-savvy you are. I’m a big WordPress fan because it’s pretty much super low-cost. It’s super powerful. You could do anything with that. I’m a big fan of Thrive Themes. They have a membership area, costs everything you need for that. I know some people use ClickFunnels or Kajabi, but these are more pricey. I mean you pay at least $100 per month for school, but if you don’t know anything about WordPress or something like this, this might be easier, but it might be costly in the long term. Patreon is a good way to start. It’s easy to use. You can create an account start selling. Once you reach a certain threshold, I usually recommend setting up your own page or y system again. I like WordPress.

I’ve seen people use Mighty Networks. There’s a lot of different opportunities. Some people do a Facebook group and then they charge people for entry on PayPal. You can go super easy, simple, and cobbling things together in the beginning until you get like exactly a threshold of people. I like that.

To start and test the market, that’s what I always say as well. Don’t spend one year developing something crazy. Launch it to see if nobody cares about it like we did with our first problem pretty much this. The biggest mistake a lot of startup owners do  is they build something, have developers work for it for one year, get venture funding and then they launch it and they notice, “There’s a product market fit.” The platform is perfect, designed well and everything works, but nobody wants to use it. The same with that test, If people want to buy something from you, do weekly live calls via Zoom, for example, a Facebook group, then you say, “It works. I got my first 10 or 20 customers,” then you go from there.

There’s no reason to put all that money upfront. Don’t all of us have one of those stories of investing, keeping it secret and all that stuff? We launch it. That’s why it’s important to have the pre-launch, even like bringing people along like, “I’m creating this thing.” Getting people excited about it.

Otherwise, it can hurt. You put much so work in it to make everything perfect. Sometimes it’s our fear of the launch. We procrastinate and it’s like, “It’s not perfect yet. Not yet,” then it gets worse and worse once you launch, because then you are going to be disappointed. Start early, sharing it, get people, and then usually you will have even more success with it.

Always do a pre-launch for your products. Otherwise, your efforts in making everything perfect might all go to waste. Share on X

Titles And Thumbnails

We can use tinkering as a reason not to launch, “No, I need to fix this. I need to fix that because it’s scary.” You put yourself out there and, “What if nobody buys?” I always say, “You’re the only one that knows if nobody buys. It’s not like there’s a letter on your chest that like has a big X on it because nobody knows except you.” It’s not fun, but if you get used to that feeling, then you can test things and not be scared. We’ve covered a lot. Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you think people need to know, especially about YouTube and how musicians can use that to build their fan base?

There are many things, but I think we covered a lot of the important fundamentals. One thing that’s underrated or not focused on is the click clickthrough rate, the importance of the clickthrough rate. You always have to think that you are competing with all the other videos around you. If you go to YouTube right now, you probably see 10 or 20 videos, which one do you click on and why? Why did you click on that one? This video won the click and you want to be that video. your thumbnail and your title are extremely important. If you don’t get these two things right, it’s like it hinders your success. For example, one good book, I can highly recommend, when I started venturing into entrepreneurship, the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.

The Profitable Musician | Tobias Rauscher | International Fanbase

International Fanbase: Your YouTube thumbnails and titles are extremely important. If you don’t get these two things right, it hinders your success.


The stuff in the book is good. It’s a great book, but it’s not that revolutionary. The title is why everyone wanted to read it. You have to sell your content by having a good title and a good hook. This is the same principle. You need to trigger curiosity and win the click to show people your content. For example, a huge YouTuber like Mr. Beast. They spent $10,000 to test a thumbnail and create a thumbnail. They do split testing. That’s what we recommend. At least create 3 to 4 thumbnails and run a for $10. An advertising campaign on Facebook do a split test and check the con the clickthrough rate. For example, one has maybe 1%. The other one has 5%. The other one has 4%. You are already paid. I take the one with an objective, data, not about which thumbnail you like the most.

It’s about, “Which thumbnail has the highest click-through rate conversion?” Never use the thumbnails that are shown based on your video about a custom thumbnail. If you don’t do this, you’re missing out on close-ups work. Use some curiosity because curiosity is what draws people in. It’s like, “What is that? I need to know what that.” They click on it because then they cannot do anything because they’re curious and then they need to resolve it and click on it. Sometimes it’s a blurry line between clickbait stuff, but it still works. Try to do it in an ethical way. Have a nice, catchy title if possible. We usually use our artist’s name and then the title but still focus on the thumbnail heavily. This is important. This will help you to get more and more views and suggestions. It’s something small, but it’s still huge. It’s important to spend some time on your thumbnails.

I love that. It’s like emails. The whole point of your subject line is to get them to open it. It has to have to do with what you’re talking about. It can’t be something that has nothing to do with your email and the same thing with your thumbnail. It’s got to have something to do with it, but it’s got to pique your curiosity.

You have to cut through the noise.

It’s got to be exactly the thing that they’ve been looking at, they put in the search bar and they wanted this thing and it says exactly what they typed in that search bar. They’re like, “This is for me.”

It’s crucial. Use this Facebook hack. Split test them. It can be done for $5 or $10, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Closing Words

Especially because when you put that video out, it’s important to get as many views on the front end. You start churning that algorithm from the very minute that you put the video out, and that’s going to give you a lot better algorithmic push on YouTube. The thumbnail is going to make a big difference on that. That’s a great tip. I love it. It’s been great to talk to you and get all these strategies around YouTube because that is not my specialty.

I post on YouTube because I know it’s important. I know that people are there, but it is not where I have focused my time. Bringing someone on here who knows the ins and outs and has had success on YouTube is great. Thank you for helping our audience with all of that information. How can people connect with you outside of this show on where your website, your YouTube channel and your social media?

Follow me on Instagram. It’s @Tobias.Rauscher. If you look for Tobias Rauscher on YouTube, you will find me there or check out That’s where we help artists and mentor artists if you’re interested. That’s where you can find me. I have a website for the guitarists among you. That’s for my music ego music thing. Check it out over there.

Thank you so much. This has been great. I appreciate you sharing all of your expertise and experience.

Thank you so much for having me.


Important Links


About Tobias Rauscher

The Profitable Musician | Tobias Rauscher | International FanbaseTobias Rauscher is a solo acoustic guitarist, music marketing specialist, and founder of FanbasePRO. He worked in the music industry and then focused on promoting his own music. He successfully made a full-time living as an independent musician, receiving endorsements from some of the industry’s biggest brands and traveling the world to perform shows. Now, he has made it his mission to teach his music marketing and monetization strategies and guide fellow independent musicians.


These are NOT the obvious, industry-backed income streams like streaming royalties, album sales, publishing royalties, and concert ticket sales. These are out-of-the-box solutions that will transform a Starving Artist into a Confident Creator who has ENDLESS possibilities from monetizing their music.

"Since day 1 of my foray into writing music and music production, five years ago, I stumbled upon your site and it has been the biggest influence. Every time I feel I can't keep trying, I get another email from you and I remember why I wanted to share my musical thoughts in the first place. Thank you for the motivation to NOT sell my equipment."