YouTube & Calculus: A Video Marketing Love Story (Plus Tips for Bootstrappers!)

Five years ago I graduated from Notre Dame and started my first “real” job. About four years ago, it was clear to me that the corporate world was not everything I’d dreamed it would be. I simply was not cut out for cubicle life. I think most people last longer before reaching my same level of quiet desperation; I guess I just got lucky.

All I could think about was quitting and traveling around the world, but I didn’t know how to do that and pay my student loans at the same time, so I did a YouTube search for “make money doing what you love.” It became obvious to me that I had to start an online business. After all, how else was I going to get away with working from anywhere in the world?

A Graphical Representation of Passion, Love and Time

I started a couple websites that turned into nothing before I figured out what I really wanted to do. It seems crazy to most people, but calculus video tutorials were the right product for me because I love helping people get better at calculus. And I used to tutor other students back in college as a side gig. So I started

I didn’t really know what I was doing at first. I managed to put up a website and make a YouTube channel. I was filming my videos with an old pocket camera, setting it on the coffee table in my living room and pointing it roughly at myself and my whiteboard. And I just kept filming and filming and filming, every spare minute I got on nights and weekends. I knew I wanted to help people, and I didn’t know how to build a business, so I just kept filming.

Since then, it’s been sheer determination that’s kept me going and a long series of wrong turns that have landed me in the place I’m at today, which is a pretty great place to be. To date, people have watched millions of minutes of my videos, and the growing success of my business has allowed me to move down to part-time work. By next year, I plan to leave my day job and focus full-time on integralCALC … and travel.

Since I started off as a bootstrapper myself, I learned a lot about video marketing from trial and error. Today, I’m going to share my lessons of video marketing, community, and tips on how to make great videos for marketing when you don’t have a giant budget.

Video Marketing Lessons Learned

Video Matters

Written content may still have an edge when it comes to search engine algorithms, but video content can’t be beat when it comes to building community and social networks. Invariably, short videos posted to my Facebook or Twitter page get more likes and retweets than text posts.

Quality Matters

I’ll watch almost any video if it’s very well done. Yet despite the fact that it’s easier and more affordable than ever to create high-quality video content, most people don’t invest time into that extra layer of polish. In today’s online marketplace, you can still find a competitive edge by investing in video and audio quality, even if your competitors currently have you beat in viewers, subscribers, or anything else.

Consistency Matters

People check your site when they’re expecting to hear from you. If they don’t know when you’ll publish, they don’t know when to visit you, so they just won’t. Communicating your publishing schedule and sticking to it makes it easy for your followers to follow you. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Make sure that you also prompt your users to sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your channel, or connect with you on social networks. Give them plenty of opportunities to do so on your website or on the end screen of your videos.

Viewers Matter

Every time I’ve asked my followers for feedback on something I’ve done or input on something I’m going to do, I’m always surprised by their eagerness to share their ideas and opinions. And I often find that they disagree with the direction I’m heading. Don’t abandon your purpose for the sake of pleasing your audience, but be willing to give a little. Use your audience as a course correction tool to make sure you’re giving them what they want. If you’re curious about what they’ll think or what they’ll like, just ask; they’re happy to enlighten you.

Process Matters

I used to film my videos with a regular camera, then transfer the file to my computer, edit, export, and upload. Switching to screencasting means I save myself the file transfer and the import into the editing software. Cutting out little steps like this can save you a ton of time, especially if you’re a frequent publisher. Look at every step in your process and decide whether it’s absolutely essential to meeting your primary objectives or whether it can be eliminated.

Here’s a still shot of one of my oldest videos compared to one of my newest so you can see how it’s evolved over the years:

integralCALC Before and After Video Still Shot

5 Video Marketing Must-Haves

  1. You. Know yourself, and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Write blog posts if you like writing; film videos if you like being in front of the camera. Your audience can sense immediately when you’re uncomfortable, and they don’t want to see you that way!
  2. But not too much you. My YouTube analytics consistently show me that people are more likely to click play on a shorter video, and more likely to stick with the video if the end is in sight. For example, if I publish a six-minute video, people will stop watching at the four-minute mark, but they’ll stay to the end of a five-minute video. Always be as concise as possible. Your viewers appreciate it.
  3. Great audio. I mentioned earlier that quality matters. For a long time, I invested in quality video, while ignoring quality audio, but I know now that ignoring audio quality is a huge mistake. I’m much more likely to watch something with so-so video quality and great audio, than I am to watch something with great video and awful audio. I use a Yeti microphone by Blue, because it’s a good mix of quality and affordability.
  4. Accountability. I’m not the best at keeping myself accountable. I’m passionate about what I do and I have a sense of purpose and determination, but sometimes it’s still hard to stay focused and put in the time. Make sure you have something or someone who keeps you accountable. This is one of the most important must-haves in my opinion, because a great idea or a great product doesn’t matter if you don’t keep going and execute. If you’re self-motivated, then set goals and timelines and stick to them. If not, involve someone you can trust to help keep you on track. Or, you can always use an option like Google Chrome’s StayFocused to deter procrastination.
  5. Knowledge. Don’t spend so much time learning that you neglect real progress in your business. Instead, set aside a predefined amount of time daily or weekly to stay up-to-date. “That was soooo last year” is now “That was soooo three months ago,” so it’s important to make sure you’re taking advantage of the latest and greatest, when it offers significant benefit to your business.

For example, when the “Sh*t so and so never says” meme hit the Internet, I knew I could use it as a way to connect with my audience, so I jumped on the trend right away. I produced the “Sh*t Calculus Students Never Say” video below in less than a week from discovering the meme.

More than anything, I want new entrepreneurs to know that success depends solely on your level of determination. I was unprepared to start a business. I am often intimidated by the amount of opportunity in front of me, and by the amount of work required to take advantage of it. Many times, I’ve thought that I would never get this far. Now I know that all I have to do is keep going, and no matter how many wrong turns I make, it only gets better from here.

You can check out and subscribe to integralCALC videos on YouTube and on To stay up-to-date on Krista and integralCALC, check out integralCALC on Facebook and on Twitter @integralCALC.

Learn how to maximize your video marketing with SEO tools. We’ll help

FAQ: How can I effectively use video marketing to boost engagement and grow my online presence?

Video marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for boosting engagement and expanding your online presence. Video content is captivating and versatile – an essential element in a winning digital strategy. In this guide, we’ll cover the complexities of video marketing as well as some tips to maximize its use for maximum impact.

  1. Know Your Audience

The foundation of any successful video marketing campaign lies in understanding your target audience. Create buyer personas to gain insights into your audience’s preferences, needs, and pain points. Tailoring your videos to address these aspects will significantly enhance engagement.

  1. Quality Over Quantity

Don’t fall into the trap of churning out videos without considering their quality. High-quality content not only reflects positively on your brand but also keeps viewers engaged. Invest in good equipment, lighting, and sound, and ensure your videos are well-edited.

  1. Storytelling Matters

People resonate with stories. Craft a compelling narrative for your videos that conveys your brand’s message effectively. Weave a story that connects with your audience on an emotional level, leaving a lasting impression.

  1. Optimize for SEO

Don’t neglect the SEO aspect of video marketing. Use relevant keywords in video titles, descriptions, and tags to improve discoverability on platforms like YouTube. A well-optimized video can significantly boost organic reach.

  1. Call to Action (CTA)

Every video should have a clear CTA. Whether subscribing to your channel, visiting your website, or sharing the video, guide your viewers on the action you want them to take.

  1. Consistency is Key

Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. Consistency builds trust and encourages viewers to return for more.

  1. Leverage Social Media

Promote your videos across various social media platforms by using teasers and previews to increase interest and drive traffic to them.

  1. Engage with Your Audience

Respond to comments and engage with your viewers. Building a community around your videos fosters loyalty and boosts your online presence.

  1. Analytics and Feedback

Use video analytics to monitor the performance of your videos. Pay attention to metrics like watch time, click-through rates, and audience retention. Adjust your strategy based on the insights gained.

  1. Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborating with influencers in your niche can expose your videos to a wider audience. Influencers bring credibility and authenticity to your content.

A Step-by-Step Process to Successful Video Marketing

In a concise whitepaper format, here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively use video marketing for boosting engagement and growing your online presence:

  1. Define Your Audience. Begin by identifying and understanding who makes up your target audience.
  2. Develop High-Quality Content: Make sure that your videos feature top-of-the-line audio, lighting, and equipment for maximum impact.
  3. Craft an Engaging Narrative: If you want your stories to connect emotionally with their listeners, write stories that connect emotionally with people.
  4. Optimize for SEO: Use relevant keywords to improve discoverability.
  5. Implement Clear CTAs: Include a strong call to action in every video.
  6. Maintain Consistency: Stick to a regular posting schedule to build trust and loyalty.
  7. Leverage Social Media: Promote your videos across various platforms.
  8. Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments and build a community.
  9. Analyze and Adapt: Use analytics to monitor video performance and make necessary adjustments.
  10. Working With Influencers – Work together with influencers to broaden your reach.

Video marketing can transform your online presence when executed properly. By following these strategies and tips, video can engage audiences while building brands across the digital landscape. Video is more than a medium; it provides the chance to tell an engaging story that speaks directly to its viewers.

This article was updated on November 15, 2023.

Krista King is a travel enthusiast, a lover of math, and the creator of, a free resource for calculus students. Connect with Krista on Google+ .

See Krista's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (2)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent Digital Marketing Optimization posts is better than the last!
Bruce Clay on January 22, 2024
How To Optimize Content for Facebook and Instagram
Bruce Clay on December 14, 2023
SEO vs. PPC: How To Choose
Bruce Clay on October 16, 2023
7 Proven Strategies To Increase Website Traffic for Your Business

2 Replies to “YouTube & Calculus: A Video Marketing Love Story (Plus Tips for Bootstrappers!)”

As far as I know, the channel owner decides whether to show ads before his videos. But I agree with you about permission marketing, and people really need to think about what they’re trying to accomplish when they publish a video. Either way, all the more reason to make sure you have quality content that’s worth waiting through an ad, if you’re going to show one! :)

So coincidentally that I am going to blog about Youtube video marketing. But, my topic is different from yours. Youtube now places video advertisements before we can watch the videos. For me, it is totally against what Seth Godin says “permission marketing”. Youtube does interruption marketing.

That’s why I agree with you, quality content is very important. It is about our audience, but not about us when we do video marketing.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Serving North America based in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Bruce Clay, Inc. | PO Box 1338 | Moorpark CA, 93020
Voice: 1-805-517-1900 | Toll Free: 1-866-517-1900 | Fax: 1-805-517-1919