How I grew my YouTube channel to 2.7 million views without cat videos

Back in January 2013, I had a blog on all things French. I gave language lessons and talked about culture, wine, and cheese. I had fun doing it. But my traffic wasn’t impressive and I only made $8,500 through the language trainings I offered.

One day, just for fun, I decided to make a video out of one of my blog posts with my phone. It was one of those things that I didn’t put much thought into. But looking back, it changed the entire trajectory of my business.

I discovered that video was something that I really enjoyed (my audience did, too). As a result, I kept making them. And in under 3 years, my YouTube channel has hit 2.7 million views.

2.7 million views and counting.

However, I didn’t just make cat videos and hope that they went viral. I strategically created my videos to bring people to my site and then get them to sign up for my email list.

This took my business from a hobby to a serious venture. In 2015, I made $169,397 thanks to my growing audience. And I’m confident that I can reach $500,000 soon.

It took me 9 months of trial and error to go from my first video to when I started seeing some traction.

Today, I want to share the lessons I’ve learned so that you don’t have to waste a moment uploading videos that won’t add to your bottom line.

Lesson 1: People don’t care about what you look like

Yes, there are creeps who look for videos for eye candy to ogle over. But a lot of people are also searching for videos to solve their burning problems. If you can deliver, anything you might be self-conscious about doesn’t matter.

I cringe looking back at my old videos. I can point out a laundry list of things I “didn’t do right.”

Don’t worry about making fancy videos when you’re starting out.

But guess what? Nobody cared.

The important thing was this: I proved myself as an expert in my field and built trust with people. This brought new readers to my email list, and they eventually became paying customers.

Getting started wasn’t complicated.

After I discovered video was something I enjoyed, I announced that I would start publishing them every Tuesday.

I picked 4 popular topics I thought would get traffic: French wine, foie gras, Bonjour (simple greetings), and common mistakes foreigners make when speaking French.

Then I started shooting videos on my phone. While they weren’t pretty, they still got as many as 400 views on the days they were published.

Look, you guys have it easy today. The camera on your phone is way better than anything I had to work with back in 2013. So don’t let anything hold you back from starting today.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Draft 20 ideas for possible episodes. What are popular topics in your industry? Don’t waste energy thinking about how you’ll pull it off. You’re brainstorming for now.
  2. Pick the easiest ideas to film. Ones that don’t require props or special backgrounds, and that are easy to explain.
  3. Draft a simple outline:

The outline should fit on a single page. You want it by your side as a reminder — not something to read off.

Then record the episode on your phone or webcam. Once you’re finished, you can upload it to your YouTube channel and embed the video on your blog.

Congratulations! You’re on the road to stardom!

Lesson 2: Don’t be afraid to get risqué

Once I started putting out videos every Tuesday, people got used to it. Things became too predictable and the novelty wore off.

Which is why it’s important to mix up your content every now and then. As soon as I felt that enthusiasm was starting to wane among my current subscribers, I thought of video topics to get them engaged again. I didn’t want to resort to clickbait and cat videos.

So I did a French lesson around expressions that can have double meaning. Of course, many of them were sexual:

Come on! We’re all adults here.

More than 172,000 people watched that video and it got 300+ comments.

I also covered topics that most traditional language courses won’t touch, but are necessary for getting around and living in France.

A useful video for my ladies out there!

Now instead of my subscribers thinking, “Every Tuesday I get a French lesson from Géraldine,” they thought, “What will she think of next?!?!”

I wanted to create a fun environment where people can learn French. And that’s exactly what not being afraid to get risqué did.

You can do the same thing to keep amazing your audience. What topics are controversial in your industry? Is there anything that everyone believes to be true, but they’re afraid to say?

By creating videos around these topics, you will build a lot of credibility with people. You’re not just a blogger writing behind a keyboard. You’re showing your face and saying this stuff on camera in front of everyone. That takes guts, and people will admire that.

But it’s not about trying to be over the top all the time. That can get old and make it seem like you’re trying to get attention.

You can mix fun and festivities into your episodes, too. For example, around the holidays I always do a French Christmas video.

When I think about it, most of my content falls into 5 content categories:

Content Category


Stories and curiosities

The Eiffel Tower, French pastries

Addressing pain points

5 mistakes foreigners make speaking French, how to make an emergency phone call

Time of year or occasion

Christmas in France

Technical content

French grammar


Comme une Française turns 3 years old

You can use the same categories for your business. Say you’re a music teacher. You can give lessons on festive songs around the holidays. Then, in another video, you can address a pain point by talking about what to do if you’re on stage and your instrument goes haywire all of a sudden. You can also mix in technical videos every now and then.

This is the type of content strategy that will make you stand out in the sea of sameness. Plus, it’s impossible to run out of ideas this way.

Lesson 3: How to make money off of YouTube

YouTube gives you the option of “enabling your channel for monetization.” What that means is that your videos will display ads, and if people click them, you get a few cents. To make this into a viable business, you need a massive amount of viewers. My 2.7 million views wouldn’t be anywhere near enough.

Which is why I don’t recommend this. Instead, I make money by getting people to sign up for my email list, where I can offer them my paid training programs. Anyone who signs up is highly qualified and likely to buy what I’m offering. It’s a major reason I’ve been able to get 965 paying clients.

Here’s how to drive traffic to sign up for your email list.

First, have a call to action at the end of your video that takes people by the hand, shows them how to sign up, and what they’ll receive.

I didn’t do this when I started out, but I always include it now. This step helped grow my email list from under 1,000 to 26,817 subscribers.

Next, I use the text description to get people to visit my site. I simply list where they can find the full video on my site, plus other episodes:

And I only engage with people who comment on my site:

It’s a soft bribe. Anyone who wants their questions about French language answered has to click through.

Once they see how helpful I am, they’re more likely to join my email list. It’s another way of building trust with strangers.

Here’s how you can turn viewers into loyal subscribers:

  • Create a stock call to action video (30 seconds long), that you can splice onto any video you record. It should tell people to go to your site and sign up for your email list. Explain exactly what they’re getting. Can you solve a problem for them? Are you sharing secrets? The more specific you can be, the better.
  • Make sure all your episodes have text descriptions that link back to your site. Make it clear that you’re happy to answer any questions, but only on your site.

Video content can grow your business

It’s amazing to think that my first video I created on my phone led to a business that has reached 2.7 million people around the world. Especially since I’m in a niche market.

This just proves that the internet changes the game for business owners. No longer do you have to be invited on a TV show to get exposure. You can build your own media empire with nothing more than your laptop.

The best part is the impact I’ve made. People have used my content to ace interviews:

French teachers even use my videos in their classrooms:

(Translation: I’m a French teacher in high school in the US (in a small city in Wisconsin). I show your videos in my class and there’s always something I learn with my students. I’m so thankful, Géraldine!)

I’m curious. Have you thought about using video for your online business? What’s your main obstacle holding you back?

Let me know in the comments and I can share my experiences!

There Are 216 Comments

Join The Conversation

I haven’t used video yet for 3 reasons that you completely debunked in your article: looks, tools, and space. Let me elaborate.

I have tons of video ideas to give my audience from beginner yoga (asana) sequences to guided meditations to breathing exercises. All of these videos would help them fully understand how a yoga practice gets them to drop the stress of raising humans.

My looks: As a yogi teaching yoga in the western world, I have struggled to post video because I’m not a slender ballerina yogi. I’m a mom that’s still recovering from having a kid with a poochy belly and bigger hips and thighs. You reminded me that they don’t really care what you look like. I question if that’s true in this arena, but I’ve been doing field research that tells me my market doesn’t care.

My tools: My plan for now is to use my phone to record. So I purchased a cheap tripod with a remote to start recording on Amazon. The tool that’s holding me back is finding a mic that will capture crisp audio while I perform various exercises. I think it should be wireless and have a good clip. I would also prefer it to be under $100 since I haven’t monetized my business yet. Any advice? Is the phone audio good enough for now?

My space: We just moved and there are still boxes and random furniture in my new studio space. I want the walls painted to help with lighting as well as visual interest. You completely busted the fact that I need to do that right now. They don’t care! Just record.

Thank you for this post! It came at the perfect time in my business development. Please let me know what your thoughts are on the mic.

Hi Amanda,

Great to read that! I look forward to watching your first video.

Looks: I think people who are really into your field (yoga or any other), are not looking for 18 year-olds teaching them or you trying to look like one. Offer great lessons and your audience will learn from it. Look your best, always focus on improving but don’t make it the barrier for not starting. Also, we like people who are not perfect as it shows us that we can do it too. :)

Tools: try! :) Record a 20 second test. Maybe your phone will be enough (also, many editing software offer sound cleaning options). I know Tim Ferriss’s microphone is under $100:

Space: Try recording a video before you get the walls painted to run some tests. No need to wait! Also, maybe you could record outside or with another wall behind you. (or at a friend’s place!)

Let me know when you post your first video. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Keep up the good work!


Hi Geraldine

I bought one of your courses last year and feel it is one of the best investments I ever made. Your approach and teaching style have proved more useful to me than any of the other language courses available on the market.

I wish you much success for the future!

Mark Bramhall

I’ve been watching Comme une Française for only a little over a year. The video looks so polished: nice set, nicely dressed, good use of video angle, etc. So, I am surprised that you started with such humble beginnings. But, not surprised at your success. Comme une Française projects enthusiasm and energy that one does not find elsewhere. Keep it up!

Scott Perkins

I watch Geraldine’s videos every Tuesday. From this, I eventually purchased one of her video courses on the French language. In high school, all I learned was “Les Duponts arrivent dans une heure.” When I eventually made it to France, it became readily apparent that nobody cares when the Duponts are arriving. To survive in France and be able to speak modern day French, I turned to Geraldine. Her topics are relevant and engaging. It can be so easy to put off doing the work to learn another language, but Geraldine’s video’s keep me on track to increase my French language skills.

Merci pour toutes les vidéos Géraldine. Je les utilise souvent pour mes élèves. C’était d’ailleurs une de mes élèves qui a trouvé Comme une française pour moi !!

I have never bothered following anything on You Tube (a generational thing) until I found Comme une Française. For me it was the length of the videos that had me hooked. Not only is Geraldine someone who clearly knows her subject matter and is an excellent communicator, but I could actually fit in watching the videos in my busy day! Bite-size really works when it comes to people being able to find time to engage with your content. We all live life at 100 mph nowadays, so however good your idea is, if your content is too long and you try to cram too much in then you’re going to lose potential customers.

Geraldine’s approach has been perfect. She even got me to sign up to her emails and sign up to a course, and I’m the marketing world’s most awful target, so if it works on me it will probably work on anyone!!! And the personal contact and engagement with her customer base is utterly amazing – to keep such a personal and professional approach with all of her followers is outstanding.

Wishing you continued success Geraldine. Good luck to anyone who follows Geraldine’s advice – I’d say it’s pretty darned good!!

Thanks Steph. Honored to have conquered your heart of “marketing world’s most awful target”. :)
I’m glad you managed to fit these weekly videos in your busy schedule.

Richard Weatherhead

Not bad for an engineer from Leeds !
Keep up the good work, Geraldine as you are an inspiration not only to us ex- pats who want to learn this beautiful language but also to those who are interested in starting their own business. Bon courage !

Hi Geraldine – thank you for this awesome article and outlining the exact steps to grow a YT channel! It’s tremendously helpful and I’m really excited to start implementing the steps.

My two biggest take aways?

1. Drive questions to your site – brilliant! I love the idea of owning the Q&A instead of it being on YT.
2. Create a few versions of your CTAs that you can easily splice into each vid – so simple!


I have a channel already with almost 1 million views (woot!) but it took me 6+ years to get there. I’ll be totally honest, I’ve not put as much energy into my channel as I should, and I know there is so much more potential.

My biggest challenge has been consistency. I’ll get excited to add content and create new vids for a few weeks, but then fall off the wagon.

My question for you is 2 fold:

1. How did you keep up the momentum / discipline to add new vids every Tues?
2. Did you announce this to your audience publicly? I watched one of your vids but only heard you mention “every Tues” once towards the very end. I am curious if (and how) your audience knows to expect a new vid each Tues.

Thank you again for this great write up and super actionable tips!


I can tell you from experience that people wait for Géraldine’s videos on Tuesdays! I teach French on Skype, and I have a student from Florida who takes lessons with me on Tuesdays. He once told me that Tuesdays are his favorite days because he has a French lesson with me, and Géraldine’s video comes out on Tuesday! That’s what it’s all about :-)

Hey Heidi,

Glad you liked it and hope it helps.

Hi Geraldine – thank you for this awesome article and outlining the exact steps to grow a YT channel! It’s tremendously helpful and I’m really excited to start implementing the steps.

My two biggest take aways?

1. Drive questions to your site – brilliant! I love the idea of owning the Q&A instead of it being on YT.
2. Create a few versions of your CTAs that you can easily splice into each vid – so simple!


I have a channel already with almost 1 million views (woot!) but it took me 6+ years to get there. I’ll be totally honest, I’ve not put as much energy into my channel as I should, and I know there is so much more potential.

My biggest challenge has been consistency. I’ll get excited to add content and create new vids for a few weeks, but then fall off the wagon.

My question for you is 2 fold:

1. How did you keep up the momentum / discipline to add new vids every Tues?

We film episodes in batches of 6. Writing, filming and editing are long and difficult so it’s better to make it all at once. Also, it leaves room for planning the unexpected and fitting everybody’s schedule.

2. Did you announce this to your audience publicly? I watched one of your vids but only heard you mention “every Tues” once towards the very end. I am curious if (and how) your audience knows to expect a new vid each Tues.

Yes, they do expect a video each Tuesday morning. :)

Christina Rising

Congratulations Geraldine on your achievement! Your videos are a bright spot in my day. My French is still in its infancy but because of your lessons, I hear more words each time I visit France.
Continued success to you. Merci beaucoup

Eileen Schleifer

I’ve been watching Comme Une Francaise for over a year and have enrolled in Geraldine’s online class. She not only covers topics in an interesting manner, she will answer any questions you have related to the lesson. In addition to this there is excellent technical help if you need assistance. After I first enrolled I received a personal telephone call from her assistant, welcoming me to the program and giving me instructions about how to contact them if I ever had any questions. I feel totally supported. Geraldine’s personality and sense of humor also add a great deal to her videos. For videos presented in her class, she has hired excellent actors. The videos and acting make it fun to watch and learn. I’m waiting to see one of these actors appear in a French film! I also love the fact that I have unlimited access to all the videos so I can go back and review any time I want/need to. She has covered it all! Great work, Gerldine!

You have encouraged me to be more than a “survival French” tourist and engage with the French locals. Your advice on French culture helped me overcome the fear of being “corrected” or ignored. Your topics are real life examples of everyday life in France as I have experienced and I look forward to another trip to France next May. Thanks for your positive attitude and fun videos.

Your videos make me feel as if I am taking a little holiday in France. I love the intimacy and friendliness you project as well as your choice of subjects. Please don’t get too “professional”… I enjoy the feeling that you are having as much fun as your viewers. It is that natural energy and enthusiasm that makes your videos really special.

Bonjour Carol,

Thanks! No worries, I won’t get too professional. :)
It will always be me, making silly faces and saying “honest” and “jewelry” incorrectly.

You’re advice is so inspiring- thank you Geraldine!!
I love your idea of brainstorming topics on potential videos in advance so that you might have material for a few weeks and could produce them all at once. Your clips have a charming simplicity and are so effective and to-the-point!
And you’re right: I may have gotten used to your weekly emails with a new topic, but since its either a really useful subject or a cheeky one- I cannot resist and just have to watch it!
Well done and all the best for your future!!

Thanks Alex! Indeed, brainstorming ideas in advance, helps to release good videos. :)
It’s a piece of advice I give to anyone wishing to start their own channel.

Hi Géraldine,

Great writeup. The lessons learned surely will be valuable to others. In your case, I’d like to point out the importance of successfully defining a product that meets customer needs.

Having French language skills is very nice to have in my business. I discovered that the French I took in school, years ago, does not match the language that people use in day to day conversations. I needed to learn real spoken French, not text book French.

Your weekly videos and paid courses offer the spoken/conversational French training that I needed. Your content reflects this; it is as if you are talking directly to me.

So, to your credit, a key part of your achieving successful growth came by meeting a market need and delighting your customers! You found a sweet-spot in the market.


Hi Jkozik,

Thanks for your kind words. :)

I’m currently working on new courses for 2017, hope you joined me on these too!
Glad to have you in my school.

Trudy Brunot

Bonjour, Geraldine!
Comme une Française has helped me acquire everyday vocabulary that, because I am no longer in a classroom and onky get to France once a year, I sorely lacked. It also is a great way to review what I already know…I majored in French and am fairly fluent. I love the video presentations…you include humor with encouragement. I have recommended Comme une Francaise to friends. Wish there was an equivalent for Spanish.

Congrats on this opportunity. I also too a class with Ramit. He’s great.

I look forward to every new episode from Comme Une Française! Géraldine is so charming and wornderful to watch. She gives current and relevant tips to learners. Géraldine also has always responded to all my personal comments and questions. You have to know how important you make me feel when you do so. I love looking through your old clips to share with my students regularly… it means so much more to them to hear it from an authentic source rather than me regurgitating the facts. And her personality is adorable! I love this woman and her business! Bonne chance et merci pour continuer!

I’ve always appreciated the Tuesday video but I had no idea how well you’ve grown your business. That’s a great achievement in a crowded market place.

Norman Willcox

I suppose I am one of your failures ; despite having watched and enjoyed many of your videos, I have not signed up for a course. My French is only a bit improved from schoolboy level so I could have benefitted. Our house is a bit isolated so there are no French neighbours to talk to. Despite having lived in France for 20 years we have only a couple of French acquaintances ; they have no English so conversations are difficult especially with strong southern accents. I found the videos charming ; they don’t feel like lessons but they do work like lessons. So much has been useful and different from what one gets in a formal course. (I did go to lessons with a French woman for a couple of years.) I was surprised to get a reply from you to a jokey comment about facile d’ouverture I made way back – I wonder if you can still respond to comments now that your email list is so big ? (Or is there now a team?)
Your post is an eye-opener for me ; it shows just how to start a successful Internet business. Well done  in your business and in your post here !
I have wondered whether your presentation might be improved if the camera could be placed a little further away – wide angle is a little less flattering.

Bonjour Norman,

It’s ok, no worries. Maybe once you have more interactions with French people, you’ll be more inclined to improve your French. :)

I think what you have accomplished is amazing. I really admire your business sense and creativity with your videos. (I am taking your course now) I was wondering though, what type of camera did you start with? How has filming your videos changed as the website grows, in terms of camera, shooting the film? Did you have to hire employees to help with this? Anyway, congradulations on this!!

Bonjour Hero,

Great questions.

We started with a phone.
Now, we use another super simple camera. I get help from a friend + we now have an editor.

I have certainly benefited from watching the weekly videos — now I can pretend I’m French because I don’t like to be hugged either.

This post is amazing — it almost makes me believe I could do it myself.

However, I still have doubts because my expertise is with horse training. The field is crowded with people with the money to do totally professional production. Not to mention, how do I get the horses onscreen as examples of what I’m talking about. I have hours of video but a lot of work ahead if I want to use any of it.

Now, after reading of Geraldine’s experience and the advice she has offered that came out of that, I may be able to rethink my presentation ideas. Come up with a way to share what I know without a horse to illustrate it.

Félicitations, Géraldine

Jennifer Schilke

Thank you for such a wonderful article! I am fascinated to learn the complete background of Comme Une Francaise – there was so much that I did not realize even though I have been a long-time subscriber and course member. I am sure your advice will be invaluable to others out there who want to use Youtube in the same way! Comme Une Francaise videos and the fantastic courses that one can purchase offer real-world french language and culture insights that I have not been able to find anywhere else! They have changed the way that I interact with french-speaking people and increased my confidence 1000%!

I started watching Comme une Française in april 2016 when i deciced to have a holiday in Paris, and needed to get more information about the city. The videos appeled to my taste because they were nicely made and the audio was quite good.
I usually use just my laptop and it is very important, that i can hear properly whats been said.
From watching the videos i had an idea of beginning a french language course but didn’t find a good one so i downloaded couple of apps from iTunes and began my studying there.
I also put my name and email to subscribe to Comme une française site.
I thought it was really nice when i recieved emails from Géraldine asking me to attend the courses with her and other students.
At this moment i did not attend but the next one i will. I wish you all the best and we will be seeing in next french course for sure. From the experimce i’ve had from Géraldine has been a great one.

Hi Jani,

Great! Hope you had a lovely time in Paris.
There are good apps out there. Many people recommend DuoLingo and Babbel. I also like Earworm very very much.

Michael DiNovi

I discovered Geraldine’s channel prior to a trip to France a few years ago. I had taken French in high school 40+ years ago and work in Geneva every year or so for two weeks. Each video is entertaining in itself, so the advancement of my skills is almost an afterthought. Very effective style and great substance. As she mentions in the article, her direct interaction with subscribers and commenters gives we students access that is special and consequently more likely to buy her fee services and recommend the channel to others. Merci beaucoup a toi, Geraldine.

Daniel de kay

Thanks for this tutorial in business. You are a natural and I expect to see you doing a TED talk one of these days. Though I’m not interested in a video business myself (I’m semi-retired) I totally enjoyed your explanation of how you have grown your business thus far.
What I’ve most enjoyed about your videos is that it’s like having a friend come for a visit. I look forward to your weekly visits. Whatever “we” talk about is fun. It’s the personal nature of the video presentation that makes it so enjoyable.
So, thanks for doing what you do and I wish you all the best!

Geraldine’s French episodes are so useful. They teach you useful French phrases and give insights as to how and what to expect when engaging conversations in daily life. Her sessions are fun loving and engaging. All the best Geraldine!

Fabulous, Géraldine! I truly admire your industriousness and organised yet creative way to run your website and business. You transmit a sense of joie de vivre in what you do, while being very professional and committed; that’s what I probably like best of all the many things I like in Comme une Francaise. Like many others have commented, it was a surprise to read about your humble beginnings. That shouldn’t be a surprise really, as great many successful and even global businesses do have humble beginnings – but it still is every time! I guess it’s a miracle of seeing what can become out of the scratch of scratch. You asked what there is in Comme une Francaise that one can’t find elsewhere. I would say that’s – you! To put that in a language of business, what I mean is that business ideas and concepts can be copied, but one thing that never can be copied is one’s unique input. People can copy, and some can even make a “better” product, but then it’s down to the viewers’ liking and other factors that determine their loyalty to diverse offerings on the market. And that’s way it pays off to be the best YOU. You do a very good job in creating a feeling of personal connection with… what? 2,7 million followers. Great job! I didn’t expect you would for example answer comments so quickly – you must be a busy girl and all!

Good luck for the future! C’est un plaisir d’apprendre francais avec toi!

I was happy to share a bit of the “story” for once, Minna. Glad you liked it.
Thanks for the kind words. We reached 2.7 million views, not followers. :) Fingers crossed we get there one day!

I love listening to Geraldine’s French episodes. They are very engaging and fun to listen to. Most of all they are very interesting as she inspires us with useful phrases and information on engaging in conversations in the French way of life.
I wish her ‘All the Very Best’!


The first video of Comme une Française I came across (thanks to the Times post in FB) was about St. Valentine’s Day in France. I was amazed with bright colours and warming air of it. What I liked most about this post is advice how to get started with video business. However, it was a great surprise to learn that people don’t really care of how speaker is dressed. Our proverb says that you are met with clothes, you are seen off with your knowledge and I haven’t had a chance to make sure otherwise yet :) And videos that had to do with sexual topic were the magnet that pulled in crowds of subscribers – that is quite obvious, anyway I didn’t expect that. I do appreciate Géraldine’s content and always look forward to the next episode to understand French mentality, reality, culture and to be overwhelmed with Géraldine’s charms,positive energy and professionalism! Merci pour avoir partager avec nous ton experience et très bon chance!!!

Merci Véronique.

Now, I’m careful with how I dress, I agree.
But what I’m trying to say to beginners is “don’t wait until you’re perfect to start” as :
you’ll never be perfect and today is better than tomorrow.

About the “Sexual” content: me neither! The success of so many videos comes as a surprise. The “coffee” episode was a HUGE success that I didn’t expect either. :)

Thanks for your kind words.

That was a fascinating post Geraldine, Je l’ai trouvé vraiment intéressante. Merci pour tout votre travaille.

I just love watching your videos, the subject matter is so useful, they are practical and funny, you have a very good video presence.

I like the little opening and closing music. I’ve watched only a few of your videos but can hear the twangy tune in my head right now. :)

Hi Geraldine – I guess I’ve been using your stuff for a couple of years now, and I did subscribe to a course that I don’t have the self discipline to work through, although I do use it for reference. Your weekly emails are a call to action and I’ve picked up so much from you that my neighbours rattle on to me and I can get into conversations that now last an hour and more (helped with an apero or two). I never thought I’d do it but I do thanks to you Geraldine

Bravo Geraldine! I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. I love your spin on learning language French. I feel less afraid of speaking French and have learned small cultural tidbits that could take the edge off of actually speaking French when I visit France next year. Your kitschy background sets and lovely personality are a joy to listen and watch every week. Best to you always. Kisses!


Darla Yancho

I’ve been watching your videos and following your lessons, Geraldine, for a few years now. The thing I like most is the familiarity you evoke (I feel like I know you!) and the easy access to the French language. I enjoyed reading this today to see how you got started and have grown. I am in the online training business myself as an instructional designer and business owner of technical bespoked learning content. Your use of video is excellent to be sure, very personal, practical, bite size for language learning. I’m back in France for Christmas this year…will review your videos on Noel and the holiday!! Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look, and I am inspired again by you, Geraldine!! BR- Darla Yancho.

Bonjour Darla,

Glad to read from you, a fellow online trainer. :)

You’ll have a lovely time in Paris for Christmas. We’re already planning the Christmas videos as it’s a very important time of the year!


Steve wilkison

Géraldine, you’re videos are wonderful. I find them a big help supplementing my French lessons. Keep up the good work!

Hi Geraldine!

I’m so excited to see that you are a Ramit student! I am on his Zero to Launch course, (and i’ve been following you for a year or so) because I want to make an online language hacking and learning English website. I am very overwhelmed at the moment by what i need to do to move forward. I also find editing my videos the most difficult task, it takes a long time to edit just a 2 minutes video. At the moment I feel like realistically i can only create 1 video a month which i feel is not enough to engage people. What is your advice to help with that?



Hi Rebecca,

Yay! You are a ZTL student too! That’s awesome.

At the beginning, I used Camtasia, which a software to make tutorial videos. I still use it for quick edits as it’s simple and good enough for me.
Also, at the beginning, don’t aim at too complicated editing. If it’s a 1 minute video, you might be able to film it in 1 shot and just cut the beginning and end, and you’re good to go!

1 video per month, if you can stick to it is a good start! Let me know how this goes. :)
I want to hear from you.

Thanks, Geraldine, for sharing your online business acumen with us. You are very generous with your ideas and personal interactions, and have created a loyal audience. I really appreciate that, in you videos, you repeat slowly and clearly what you have just said at regular speed. Best wishes for continued success!

Bonjour Geraldine,
Congratulations on a well deserved success. I think the everyday spoken language approach has elevated the videos to a level above most other language courses. Dealing with sensitive subjects that others choose to avoid has also proved to be useful. I wish you continued success.

I’ve been watching and enjoying your videos for over a year now. My French is improving and I’ve gone back to your old videos recently. Congrats Geraldine and best wishes for a continued success.

I am one of the many French teachers who routinely relies on Geraldine’s channel for excellent explanations of French culture and language, on a level that my beginning language students can understand. My husband is looking to start a blog/YouTube channel about being an XL outdoorsman, and I am so excited to pass this post on to him. Even though his site will have nothing to do with French, the advice given here will certainly be helpful to him! Congratulations on your well-earned success, and merci beaucoup, Géraldine!!

FRances maguire

That’s impressive Geraldine and thank you for sharing your strategy and methods. I always enjoy your videos because they are concise, well presented and always useful, thank you.

I love how I can always find something to improve my knowledge of French or find a new explanation of something I had already learned, that I could share with my French students.

And this is precisely why you are such a success Géraldine ! Your infectious enthusiasm, wanting to tell us, your friends, of your achievement. Well done, you truly deserve it. Thanks for all your tips but, above all, thanks for being a friend !

Well, this is so good to know. Geraldine Lepére deserves so much ! Mademoiselle Lepére, elle a changé ma vie complétement !
When you find a site like…Comme une Francaise, you realize that life is beautiful and that somebody can really teach you a complete culture throughout passion. Incredible passion that can be felt from day one.
First of all , the skills to do it. Then, the ways. The looks. The extreme passion to go all the day and make your day, every single time.
My heart pumping and my gaps in the language, fulfilled. My entire will for the very next video, for the very next time, for the very next time to listen to Geraldine. I could not wait !
In the meantime, I was watching the re-runs and enjoying them all, again and again.
When there is a professional in front of you…then…you can tell !
When there is someone who masters English and French with so deepness, you drool with awe ! All these French Language videos were absolutely jaw-dropping and one stayed put.
So many things to thank Geraldine Lepére !!
We are talking about an icon here. This is no improvisation. This is a lot of hard work behind the set.
I am so proud of her as a very young techer who is making a mark in the world of languages.
She is someone to follow. As a student or as a human being.
She might not even know it but for millions of people, she will always be the one to trust. The one to submit to. The one to listen to.
So young, so wise, so humble ! This is the way I would describe Geraldine.
She has given up many other activities for following her passion and I hope she hits the sky.
We all need her, for as long as this goes on. We need Geraldine Lepére. We need to learn from her.
We are so happy she is there. Nobody is like her. Where else could we get what she teaches ? All those details and the perception of life in France ? Nowhere else !
Maintenant, je parle Francais. Je me considére le débutant qui n´est plus un débutant !!
I learned so much in so little time ! I enjoyed her so much in so little time.
I adore all she does and she has been improving since I first saw her and her team working on trying hard to please an audience.
This audience will always be thankful with her !
Now, I am concentrating on learning and teaching languages forever because of her !
Geraldine Lepére ! I want to thank you in the name of millions of students…as a teacher and as the most sincere and true person I know.
Please, keep on going !
There are always many things to learn….from someone like you.
What could we do as students of French without you ? I do not even want to think about it.
All my deepest feelings go to you and your working team !
Keep on doing the best job ever !
One day, I hope to have the immense pleasure to get to know you in person and…I would be so glad to shake hands with you…in as many languages as possible !
The world of languages needs Geraldine Lepére and all she has to give to all of us as students.
Muchas gracias por estar ahí Geraldine ! On va continuer avec la prochaine lecon toujours !
Danke sehr ! Obrigado !
You start student,
George Modilevsky. Mexico City, Mexico.

Jennifer Santiago

I teach French to beginners in a middle school in upstate NY. Geraldine’s videos are a great cultural resource for me and my students. The kids especially love hearing about food and holidays. Being a non-native speaker, the videos are a go-to for lots of cultural information. I have been on Geraldine’s mailing list for a while now to catch the new videos and I’m planning on taking one of her courses soon to brush up on my higher level French. Who better to take a class from?!

Géraldine, thank you so much for this post. I’m working tutorials for music production, and you made the process so simple and scalable. I appreciate you sharing your strategies and tactics.

Hi Géraldine, Let me first start by saying how very proud I am of you for all of the effort you’ve put into your original idea that has now blossomed into something so beautiful. You and I have communicated via email and Skype a few times, and I’m so honored that you included me as a “French Grammar Expert” in one of your courses. I’ve been watching what you do very closely these last few years, and you’re certainly one to watch! A little over 3 years ago I moved from the US to France with my family, but prior to that I was a French teacher in St. Louis, Missouri. I also put up my first YouTube video in January of 2013. Though you and I don’t exactly have the same sort of content (I’m all about French grammar and teaching it in English so that people can understand) , I definitely feel that we are on the same wavelength. You are a real inspiration to me, and you’re going to love this next part as much as I do…. Only yesterday I was looking around on Google to find out any information about how you’ve had so much success! Today I received your email and was THE HAPPIEST PERSON to read everything you wrote about in this post. The information you gave has been (and still is, because I keep reading it over and over again) so very informative. Though you and I don’t do the same thing exactly, I am so very inspired by the work you do. It really does have a big impact on what I now know I can do with my channel and website. I look forward to hopefully meeting with you in person someday. Until then I will continue to share your website and channel with my online students. xxx

Thanks for the kind words, Jennifer!

Glad to inspire and help other language teachers out there. It’s already a very resourceful and dynamic community.

What will you implement in your videos, after reading this post?

Keep up the good work, Jennifer. I have no doubt our paths will cross one day. :)

I am not surprised at your success, your videos are fun and informative and I so enjoy them.
Good Luck !

Great to hear how you have built Comme une Francaise Geraldine! After clicking the link for a 5 minute French Lesson in an ex-pat magazine, (something I don’t normally do) I was hooked! I watched all the other lessons on offer and subscribed without hesitation. You have such an easy engaging way of delivery, and the episodes are pitched perfectly for me. You have given me so much more confidence to try and stretch my French conversation.
Congratulations on your success! Look forward comme d’habitude chaque Mardi! xx

Geraldine’s courses are the best language tools i’ve seen. I’m referring to the dialogues with actors. These are authentic and very useful and if you get the “subtle French for fitting in course, the content is MASSIVE!. With the help of the transcription pdfs, you can nail down parts of the language that would otherwise remain a mystery. She deserves every success. I wish I could afford all three courses, however the pricing policy is a bit restrictive. Sadly, you’re not exactly rewarded for your loyalty, and so the price of the courses multiplies exponentially. I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position to get my third one. But the quality of the product is second to none. If you know how to use the courses properly, the level of your French will shoot up. I wish I’d had her courses years ago.

Lance Cowled

When I first found Comme une Française it was purely by accident and I blush to admit that I didn’t even realize what the name meant! But just because it’s aimed at women doesn’t mean that men won’t find it interesting. I did, and still do. The episodes have always been entertaining and I don’t think I will ever forget the the marmot who wrapped the chocolate. “Et la marmotte”… I used to sit and listen with a notebook, writing out the French dialogue and trying to nut out the grammar.

Congratulations, Geraldine. I was surprised that even 2.7 million viewers would not make ‘monentization’ worthwhile and I enjoyed the simple explanation of how your episodes are made. And I was totally amazed that you started just using a phone! Your episodes look very professional these days. Very best of good fortune with GrowthLab!

Merci Lance,
“Comme une Française” was a name chosen yeeeears ago and indeed, I didn’t expect so many men to be interested as well… I thought it will help only expat women in France.

Now, clever men like you see that it’s just a name and that they are welcome with open arms.

Earning money on YouTube is a challenge and I’d rather offer my weekly lessons for free rather than gain cents and impose an ad to my audience. :)

Preeti sagar

Very informative post, thank you. Your videos are concise, organized and insightful, and you’re very pleasant. I’ve considered signing up for one of your courses, but I’m unsure as to which one. Will likely do that that once I stop taking classes at a local Alliance Francaise. Good luck with your future endeavors!

Just like your videos, this article is all about being practical, and that fits perfectly with my style and – I suspect, that of many people nowadays. What I love most is that you tackle topics impossible to find in textbooks!

Chère Geraldine,
Vous avez une passion sincère pour tout ce que vous faites. Votre lumière brille et sera toujours attirer tout le monde.
Merci mille fois,
PS, J’ai été un grand plaisir de vous rencontrer à New York à Le Pain Quotidien.

Brenda musumeci

Your Comme une Française lessons are really refreshing Géraldine because of the down-to-earth content and also your enthusiasm. Well done on growing your business in such a simple but innovative manner.

Petros eshetu

Bonjour Geraldine. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story and congratulation on all your success. I never thought of using Youtube as a way to have people sign-up to my email list.I guess i always thought i sound boring on video and that i would need camera equipment set for quality video to upload.Using phone camera is doable. After reading your article I’m definitely much more open to the idea of using as additional platform to direct people to my email subscriber list.BTW I’m also from small town in Wisconsin, coincidentally has a french name ‘Eau Claire”. Wish you all the best of luck!

Hi Petros,

Great! Yes please, make your first video! If you have passion for your subject, you can’t sound boring.
Prepare in front of a mirror to gain confidence!
Lots of people train in front of their dog/cat. :)

Géraldine, Vos vidéos sont toujours intéressants, et très pratiques pour apprendre les secrets de la vie quotidienne en France. Merci pour tous que vous avez partagé avec nous! Je vous souhaite encore plus de succès!

I’ve been following Comme Une Française since the beginning, and every transformation seemed like a natural progression that improved upon a product that was great from the start. I loved reading about how it all happened behind the scenes; even though Comme Une Française is clearly a professional brand with a marketing strategy, the focus is always on the content, so I liked learning about the business side in this article. I had no idea that the early videos were shot with your phone, Géraldine!

I found out about Comme Une Française from a former student, and I don’t know any other resource that covers the same range of topics in such an engaging way. I lived in France for four years and was already fluent in French when I started watching the videos, but I always learn something new, particularly as the content has gone from everyday life/conversation topics to expressions and cultural themes. (I’m specifically talking about the weekly videos; I know from sample lessons that the courses go deep into the nuances of everyday spoken French.)

For example, it’s not obvious to foreigners that you can’t say “bonjour” to the same person twice in one day, but it’s so obvious to French people that it’s rare for anyone to explain it to us. I wonder how long it would have taken me to figure that out without Géraldine! And the video on keyboard shortcuts for accents (à, é, î, ç, etc.) was a lifesaver for me, since I type in French on my American keyboard all the time.

Merci Géraldine, et félicitations pour tout ce que tu as réalisé avec Comme Une Française !

Bonjour Catherinerose,

Yes, “Don’t say bonjour twice” is so important and no one ever says it to the students!
I’m sure you saw it once you found out but didn’t notice before. :)

Accents are tricky indeed. Especially when you don’t have a French keyboard. Good for us, now, on smartphones, accents are way more easy to find.

Very interesting article ~ I did not know you started with videos from your iphone! How clever and encouraging~love it and your lessons!

Hi Geraldine, what a wonderful case of loads of hard work and much enthusiasm paying off.
Your site has been a great platform for teaching, learning and sharing a little piece of life ( much laughter a few tears and everything in between) with someone we dont really know but begin to almost feel that we do. If you know what I mean.
I think this mixture of clever marketing and a little humanity is very compelling and brings us back time after time.
As I almost know you (lol) this allows me to say that I am very proud of you and your success.
Well Done!!
Merci beaucoup. Kevin.

Hi Geraldine, thank you for an epic post that cuts out perceived obstacles like a razor sharp knife! My biggest takeaway was splicing an opt-in post roll. I had never thought of that and really wondered what opt in rate people can expect to see from videos if description field and pop ups are all they are using. Especially since these are the parts I ignore when watching videos.

To answer your question one obstacle in my mind to using videos is the sense that without adequate promotion my youtube videos won’t get traffic. Do you do something to get more views or are you simply relying on youtube search capabilities for getting you the right audience you need?

Thanks in advance for your answer!

Hi Sana,

I’d recommend you use YouTube as platform to host the videos you’ll present your to mailing list, first.

Growing an email list must always be your first goal.

Then, others will find your channel.

I don’t (yet) promote my channel in itself. My goal is always email subscribers as I share my favorite content by email. So I use the YouTube platform and embed the videos on my site where I make blog posts.

Patricia ternes

First of all, congratulations on your recognition for success. I’m not surprised, as you are brilliant and warm and happy in your lessons.
French was my minor in college in Illinois, although it was years before I got to use it by actually going to France. College was 45 years ago, and the trips to France were brief and infrequent, so I really didn’t use my learning and forgot so much vocabulary and grammar that my French “skills” were nearly gone. In the spring of 2015, I found a group of students, my age, who meet every Tuesday night with a professor and practice French. At that class, I learned of Comme Une Francaise and started watching. Now, the first few minutes of our Tuesday evening are spent discussing your morning sessions. Such fun getting back into a language I had in my youth wanted so much to master. It’s never too late. Thank you for your enthusiasm and creativity.

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Comme Une Francaise, but I’m so glad I did!
My mother is from France but, unfortunately, I didn’t learn to speak French until I was in high school. Quel dommage!
All three of my daughters studied French in high school and one went on to major in French and spent a semester in Paris.
I would like to study French again but at this point in my life, I don’t have the time.
Enter Comme Une Francaise!
Every week I can learn a little something about the French language and French culture.
I enjoy discussing different episodes with my mother and daughters.
Thank you for bringing me a little bit of France every week!

Congratulations Géraldine.
. Your weekly videos were a great introduction and I am thankful that they led me to the courses. They are a perfect blend of tuition and entertainment and even though I feel a little guilty about not putting enough effort into them, I am now inspired to work harder. It is wonderful to have them on hand now that I have more time. I can offer no suggestions – just keep doing your thing and being you.

Jeanne Vickery

Brava!!! Congratulations on your immensely deserved recognition for your internationally renowned web site, Comme Une Française, your You Tube segments and all your courses that you have offered to your loyal followers! ( I am on my second!) I love that you shared your most interesting back story to your online presence and work – and I so appreciate your generous approach, offering guidance and assistance always.

Back in the day, You Tube was not my online go to place for much of anything, but I am so glad I discovered you there as well. Your online presence gave Tuesdays quite a bit of panache! The music accompanying your segments is so inviting, happy and energetic, much like yourself. I love your stylish, iconic logo, and the backdrop to your conversations just reaches out and makes us feel welcome to your party!

Your enthusiasm and passion for your work, your teaching, is like a warm, linguistic embrace that encourages us to go out and learn more. Your courses, too, are so well constructed. The actors are so likable and authentic and the situations are immensely relatable, no matter what your age or where you are from.

Thank you again. Geraldine, for all the intelligence and creativity you have poured into your endeavors, and for being so supportive and respectful towards all of us who have learned so much over the years!

Bonjour Jeanne,

So glad to have you in my school, twice!

We indeed try to make learning as fun and lively and easy as possible. :)
Happy it works.

Also, thanks for mentioning the actors, they’re so important to the courses! Saw a couple on Friday and we’re hoping to work together very soon.

Hi Geraldine, That was really interesting and informative. I am really proud to be one of your students and enjoy your company in my home each week. Merci beaucoup. Margaret

I like your videos because you are natural and sincere. You always have a big smile which makes your presentations even more enjoyable.
Congratulations on your success!

Geraldine presents her information in an integrated and interesting manner. Her videos are a great way to learn the more informal aspects of French such as colloquial expressions. I have suggested to a number of people that they log on to her videos and join the email list.
Vous est un véritable trésor, Géraldine.

Salut Geraldine,

Congratulations on your achievement! Reading the back story of how Comme Une Francaise came to life is just WOW. You’ve really come a long way and you deserve this recognition.

I started learning French about two years ago but went off track a few months later. Recently, I decided to refresh my skills but was clueless where to begin. I tried studying from different websites but the lessons were too lenghty and textbook-y to me. I needed materials that I can actually use in daily situations. I started looking for lessons on YouTube. There were a few interesting channels that I started to follow but what really got me was Comme Une Francaise. I love how you drive straight to the point of each topic and still present them in a fun and interesting way. I’ve seen some videos where people just droned on and on just for the intro, which lasted around three minutes (I skip those type of videos altogether).

I also commend your enthusiasm and creativity for your craft. You’re right when you said that people don’t care what you look like (I mean, it’s a bonus that the teacher actually looks like a celebrity 😉 ). Personally, the most important things to me are the content, delivery, and length of video. It must be the right combination so that people will stick around until the last second of the clip, which I think you have been able to master.

Of course, you have to take risks to keep your audience interested. I like how you cover topics that are taboos or things that are not really discussed in a classroom setting or how not to sound like you’ve just memorized a conversation from a textbook (because nobody uses some of them in real life) or things that are practical and nice to know.

I went on a vacation in Paris a couple of weeks ago and was able to apply what I learned from the courses I took from you. I had a fun little chitchat with the fruit vendor so she gave me a few more grams of currant for free. I talked to one of the staff at the Opera during my visit and he was amused I know phrases that locals use so he gave me a backstage tour during his break (they were preparing for shows for the following week). I was asked for directions at the Metro. Luckily, I was familiar with the stop he wanted to go (I felt like a local at that time LOL).

So, you see, I am proud to be one of the 965 “paying clients” or should we say “students” (LOL). I’m currently in two of the three courses offered in your website and although I’m not done with them yet, I can’t wait for the third one to open so I can join that as well. I’m learning so much and I’m glad I made the decision to purchase the courses.

A completely satisfied customer here. :-)

Bonjour Kristie,

Your comment just put a big smile on my face.

Glad you had so many conversations in Paris! That’s THE sign that shows how much your French improved! Your confidence grew and your French is good enough to follow-up.

Yes, I agree, I say “Students” in real life. :) But here, on a business angle, “Clients” was more appropriate.

Have a great day,


I was hooked by CuneF from my first viewing of the greetings video. It covered everyday, relevant material – formal greetings through to cool and hip, not just one or two schoolbook phrases. And the section in a later episode on how to sound like you are following a conversation when you haven’t a clue was magic. It teaches but also entertains. Also Géraldine is open to suggestions for topics and responds to questions.

Bravo, Geraldine. You deserve the success you have achieved and you’ll continue to go frim strength to strength with this excellent business model.

Melanie Nutbeam

Congratulations, Geraldine, on your success! I’m reviving my rusty French, using a number of different learning sources and find your approach the warmest, most refreshing and most encouraging. It’s fun and informative to watch your videos. Your tips on ensuring French speakers persevere with me when I’m trying to keep the conversation going in French were very helpful during my recent climbing and hiking trip in and around Chamonix. I’ll look forward to watching more videos and to being part of your business success story (will look into signing up with you for paid classes a little later). As a businesswoman I also enjoyed hearing how you’ve developed your business. Bravo!

Hi Geraldine, I was interested to see how your Comme une Francaise has grown so well and to compliment you on the content. Both your videos and your postings have just the right touch for those of us who are still stuck in the Dark Ages of School French. Your videos are informative, punchy, witty and so practical on how to get by in French, not only verbally but socially too…being saved from making social gaffs in a different culture is so, so important. It was very interesting to read of your business strategy and how you have approached your market. From the simplest and most practical of ideas you have really seen a dramatic rise in your “fan base”. Great work (am off to catch up with my course now” . You surely “roule ma poule!”

Nancy raymond

I have followed Geraldine for several years. She builds loyalty by offering highly useful content, in the manner of a friend, and then inviting us to learn further without pushing her language courses on us. Then her actual courses build loyalty further with an abundance of useful ideas and examples. She makes the whole process of learning French a pleasure.

EMILIE faure-delforge

I am a Frech teacher too and I also watch your videos with my students. I like the high quality of the content : informative and relevant as well as refreshing and punchy :-) I believe that we all need to have fun to learn and … remember what we have learned !
Thank you some much for sharing now your experience, it’s so precious to learn more about how it all started. There are few people in the world sharing as much as you do. You are a great example that in life you receive when you give. Encore bravo et longue vie à Comme une Française !

Salut Géraldine,

Excellent post on the business side of your channel; thank you for the explanation. Nice to see that a logical engineering approach has been so successful 🙂
I will echo something another commentor wrote and that is that the length of your videos is great. They are long enough to be meaty but short enough that I have time to watch them. The first thing I do when someone sends me a video is to look at its length and I delete many, regardless of the topic, if they are too long.

Bisous, Keith

You are truly phenomenal Geraldine: energy, commitment, authenticity, sweet allure, daring……..but I do have concerns that the growth of your enterprise may outstrip even your astonishing capacity for work at this level, and lead to your burning-out. You write often of your thudding heart and dry mouth, you are running on adrenaline. Challenge is great and you have thrived on it, but do take care. You have sometimes shared your “little heart” with us in personal exchanges, and we care for you, Geraldine, although you live mainly in our fond imagination.

Like all others who have commented here, I thank you profoundly, and I wish you continued success, but only as much as you can genuinely enjoy. Even success exacts its dues, and on its own terms.

Affectionately yours, Pete

Brava, Geraldine,
You’ve worked hard to produce an excellent product and deserve all the kudos and success that generates. I wish your talent and energy would rub off on me to grow our product.

By the way, Geraldine,
what I like best about your postings is that your short videos are chock-a-block full of valuable information without a lot of superfluous chatter.
You get to the point toot sweet. Your organization is non pareille.

Hello Geraldine,

I think your video’s are very uniquely creative. They offer the learner many useful real life scenarios which are interesting, and easy to keep engaged in. It’s relaxed and easyier to grasp language concepts and retain then. You are a great teacher and developer of your craft…keep up the great work you do.

Hila :)

My high school French students request your videos and I gladly oblige. Often if there is a grammatical point or cultural topic I’m trying to introduce, Comme Une Française is very reliable as a resource.
Ironically (for this post, about YouTube) what brought your site to my attention to begin with was a shared image on Facebook–the one where you illustrated the hilarious/awful mistakes people make in speaking French. Something like that. Anyway, that was several years ago and I have been a loyal and appreciative fan ever since.

Thanks Susannah,

I’m curious: how do you use the videos in your class? I’d love to hear about that.

Also, as you mention it below, yes, it’s a pleasure to invite guests as they have to much to bring to us all, plus it shows students that there are many other great resources out there.

p.s. I also have enjoyed your intermittent guest speakers/bloggers/YouTubers and I think that’s both a generous and smart move on your part!

Geraldine, beaucoup de félicitations pour votre succès. Vous êtes ‘comme une étoile brillante’!

Bonjour Géraldine,

Twenty years ago I had the fantastic opportunity to live in France for 6 months, but I didn’t know French and had no money to go to classes, so I taught myself. While I got myself to an intermediate level, there are still many gaps in the language and a lot of French idioms, expressions, and cultural things that I haven’t learned. When I watch your videos it fills in many of those gaps for me. I think “Wow! I’ve been going to France for 20 years and didn’t know that!” Thank you for all you do and making French not so intimidating!

Hi Geraldine
I really enjoy your videos and it’s amazing how you found/created/cultivated a niche market that looks forward to your weekly offerings. Let me know how to enroll in a class!

It’s definitely the personal touch that makes the difference – the feeling that this s a very ‘real’ person that we’re engaging with. A perfect combination of the natural and professional.
And btw when I was at school, the Duponts seemed to spend a lot of time waiting at bus stops and losing their gloves :)

Congratulations Geraldine! I look forward to your videos every week as they have certainly helped me while living in France. I came to France with a textbook knowledge of French that at times can seem too formal in everyday dialogue. Now I am more confident every time I go out!

Kirsten Monteil

My spoken French is pretty good, I studied formally (for only 1 year), 6 years before I met my French husband 13 years ago. We live in L.A. but I’ve always listened intently when he speaks French with friends and family. Now I’m able to join in the conversation. We visit France about every year and spend a few weeks each time. We will be moving there in a few years so I’m doing all the ‘research’ I can. I know there’s so much more to learn, French is such a multi-layered language full of ‘l’argot’, and idioms, and then there’s that thing that they turn around, (I forgot what it’s called), like ‘ouf’ for ‘fou’. I watch YT on topics of culture, language, and anything else that seems relevant. I just love your videos! I have never seen anyone who is so riveting/funny/endearing as you are. Also, your subjects are interesting and relevant, as was mentioned by the lady who said she had an interview and the interviewer thought she had lived in France! We’re leaving for our annual trip soon (mostly near Montélimar), and can’t wait to put what I’ve learned into practice! Keep up the good work. By the way, I have thought about doing a vlog, but I’m a little camera shy. I have a little more courage after reading your article, and have bookmarked it so I can refer to it later. Thank you for all you do 😀

Bonjour Geraldine.
This excellent post on how to attract Youtube viewers and grow an online business shows so clearly the steps you took, on purpose and by chance, that led to your well-deserved success. I’ve been a subscriber for years and have completed the Subtle French course as well. (I particularly benefitted there from the taped segments I could watch that featured French-speaking actors playing out the text that you provided and explained. Priceless!)
I enjoyed reading here what you did to draw me in as a customer. I see now how you did everything right to make it easy to join up and connect, but I STAY interested and loyal to Comme Une Francaise for more reasons. The quality of your instruction, your creativity in finding hidden pockets of language hurdles that we students struggle with to become more fluent, and your friendly personality are what keep me engaged.
Congratulations and wishes for more growth and success to you.

I was introduced to your YouTube videos about 2 years ago and I find them very
informative. I enjoy your approach and certainly congratulate you on where you are today. You deserve it for you have helped so many people and that is obvious from the comments you receive below your videos.. I like the diversity of your
Tuesday blogs and always look forward to listening to them.

Pamela Cook Dreyer

I’ve been watching Comme Une Française for several months now. My husband is French and has been pleased with what has been revealed in the videos. He found the Dating interview quite interesting. It has been decades since he lived in France and wondered if the dating scene had changed since he left France. To his delight he was glad to see that it had not changed must at all. I’m finding the videos a wonderful supplement to help me learn French culture and all the exceptions of the French language.

We plan to look carefully at the info in this blog post to grow our business online. I’m so grateful that you are making a success of your business and are willing to share how you did it to help others.

Congrats on making it on GrowthLab. I heard about this company on Bloomberg West years ago. Great job!

I’m not sure when we will get to France again to visit my in-laws but if possible I would love to meet you. I’m sure we would enjoy it !

Bravo Geraldine! I love your videos and they almost always bring me something new about the French language and culture. This is a great article that has some directly applicable ideas for my own business. Merci!

Je suis toujours heureux de rencontrer tes vidéos chaque mardi. J’adore l’humeur et les sujets qui sont souvent décalé ou même un peu risqué… Et j’ai decouvert le rap français grace à tes coups de coeur !

J’attends avec impatience les videos chaque semaine. Merci. Et je suis tres heureuse pour toi d’avoir si grand succés avec YouTube et ta présentation aux Etats-Unis. Bravo.

Hello Geraldine, My colleagues have suggested I am the Australian Geraldine. That is like calling David Goliath. And I have accepted the compliment avec une tête enflëe.
I made these videos firstly for me as I couldn’t find anything similar on youtube. Now I would like to monetise them???????????

Hi Debra,

That’s great. :)

Focus on your audience first. How can you give them value they’d be ready to pay for? This is the first question to ask if you want to start a business. Much easier to start there than with video monetization.

Let me know how it goes.

Paul Fullwood

Salut Geraldine! I first discovered your blogs after a write-up in Bien-Dire, back in 2013 or 2014. Despite the “speaking like a french woman” tag your videos were an instant hit with me as you tackled topics that address the stuff you never learn from a text book or a classroom. The REAL street stuff that enables one to comfortably communicate in French. It doesn’t matter if I miss an episode or 10, because your content is always unique, punchy and meaningful. Merci mille fois for helping me to open my eyes, ears and MOUTH to French.

Bonjour Geraldine,

I love your videos because they are both informative and fun. You cover subjects that many traditional methods of learning do not cover.

I’ve been a subscriber to Géraldine’s videos for a couple years. I love them. They are impactful, properly lengthed (not a word but you know what I mean), and she’s fun. I’m also one of her paying customers. Oh, yeah, check this, she sent me a Christmas card – old school. J’adore.


Jim Monaghan

Geraldine has a fantastic web delivering French class. She makes learning French fun. She, also, offers many insights to French society and how it works, the informal rules. Each transmission is like a breath of fresh air. I have learned a lot from her.

Thank you Geraldine – what an inspirational article! I really enjoy your videos, and although I was once a fluent French speaker, I haven’t really used my French for several years. I am shortly to spend 6 months in France (and hopefully, will make a permanent move there, despite the ridiculous and infuriating decision to leave the EU!). Your videos are helping me to regain my confidence, and I might even be able to develop some online English lessons when I move to France, thanks to your excellent advice. My congratulations and admiration!

Jean-Jacques Pirson

Dear Geraldine,
Just want to expres my appreciation for your site and lessons. I now speak your beautiful language a bit less “comme une vache espanol”

deirdre boylan

Congratulations Geraldine on your good result. I have been most impressed and helped with your weekly videos. I find it very useful to be able to return to the previous lessons which helps me to refresh my memory. Thank you

This really is a business model that we can all learn from. I’ve found it fascinating
to read Géraldine’s description of her uncomplicated beginnings in a subject dear
to her heart, and of how she has learned as she has gone along and developed her
ideas in a way that touches everyone else’s hearts. Enthusiasm is always the word
that comes to mind when I think of Géraldine’s weekly posts on Comme une
Française. Her Tuesday lessons are a ray of sunshine each week. They make it
all the more enjoyable to learn and to improve one’s French via her brilliant
mix of French life and culture subjects along with clear and oh so helpful
explanations of aspects of French grammar. On a besoin …

On a personal note, I have dabbled in and out of French language for quite
a lot of years and had probably gone a bit flat on the subject for quite some
time ! Géraldine’s sheer exuberance alone has re-connected me with
la belle langue française, and how lucky for me; her tips, descriptions and
grammatical guidance brings everything back to life again.

And then there are her courses. She has mentioned these in her portrayal of
what she does, but I must mention them too. They are superb. For anyone
who really wishes to move their French right into the territory of day to day
spoken French these are truly brilliant. Géraldine has put together a small team
of professional actors who create for us a whole range and variety of social,
business and life situations which are presented in French exactly as it is spoken
in the France of today. They come with full written texts on the site, and once
you’re signed in you have access for life. This means you can go at your own pace and step up your level of learning as you need to; the choice is yours. Tuning our ears into the pace and rhythm of a different language to our own takes time and practice. Géraldine’s courses are perfect for getting us there; I can’t recommend them highly enough. Here is a young lady who offers a first class product and
service; she deserves every success for her outstanding creation.

Bonjour Géraldine
I first came across your weekly videos when the subject matter tended to be aimed more at women, but the presentation was so appealing that I bookmarked you as a regular resource to help me improve my French. At first I wasn’t too sure if your approach of explaining French expressions and culture in English was what I wanted, as I was trying to listen to as much spoken French as I could, but I quickly realised that your explanations added so much more to my understanding than would have been possible with a ‘French only’ approach. In addition to watching your weekly videos I have subscribed to two of your courses, which have been very helpful in bridging the gap between conventional language courses and the language that you actually encounter when in France. I’ve still a long way to go but you are certainly helping me get there. Thank you and good luck for the future.

Rowena Braunstein

Thank you for sharing very good advice on how creative people can create a business with little funding. You videos are always fun and educational.

Jonathan priest

I have always been a big fan and even though my French is pretty good I never fail to learn something interesting from Comme une Francaise, whether it’s the quirks of language or culture. It seemed a bit odd at first that the service was aimed at women, but men seem equally welcome and there’s no point changing the name at this stage. It’s interesting to learn how the business developed and that there was no business model as such, it just grew organically. It would be difficult model to copy in any event as the main ingredient is Geraldine’s sunny personality which always brightens up your day. What is evident is the enormous amount of consistent hard work that goes into the service, there is never a lull, the quality is always high and the content always original and entertaining. I wish Comme un Francaise every success for the future.

Hera Kashmir a

Geraldine, oui, incroyable vous avec YouTube, et aussie, comment on gagne de success, sure Le web. Merveiille! et Merci mille food!

As a francophile who loves – and learns a lot from – Comme une Francaise, I was fascinated by this peek behind the scenes. I really like the format and length of the videos: they are to the point, address topics that are practical and topical (and not included in most language-learning books), and always presented in a fun and lively way. I would have been so happy to have a ‘personal guide’ like you, Geraldine, to answer the questions I always had to figure out by myself when I lived in France many years ago – in many cases, this is the first time I have had them answered! Merci mille fois for all you do!

Coucou Géraldine! I have been enjoying your Tuesday lesson for at least 6 months. I also purchased one of your courses. All of your content is excellent. The Tuesday videos are entertaining as well as educational. The formal course videos of conversations are really extraordinary. They are realistic to actual conversations one would have in France, at a brisk pace, utilizing courant vocabulary and slang. I am so very impressed with your product and look forward to using it to reinforce my French language skills. Merci Géraldine!

Congrats on your success, you took a great idea and you built it out and made it work. It takes hard work and determination to carry on even when things don’t seem to be working how you want them. Your courses are fab and your lessons are real fun – love sharing them with my friends!

So inspiring ! Thank you so much, Géraldine, for this great post ! (I admit it : I always tell my Americain friends who want to improve their French that they MUST watch your videos !)
I tried myself to implement videos on my blog. The two main problems are the regularity and the topics. It is hard to record a video not just “because it’s Tuesday” but also because there is a real need from your target. But I keep on working on that ! This article gave me lots of ideas. Thanks again !
I also think that one part of your success is that you show yourself just as you are and this part of authenticity resonate with the people you reach.
Longue vie à “Comme une française” ! 😉

Hi Catherine,

Try to think about the content in advance and film your videos in advance, it should help.

Also, maybe another day is best for your audience: ask them! :)

Hi Geraldine,
Congratulations on your great success. Your videos are always so very relevant and interesting to watch.
Your enthusiasm and fun approach to learning French is very inspiring and a totally novel way to how I have learnt French in the past, which has been in extremely boring classroom situations.
Your videos and courses are a perfect way to immerse myself in the French language. Gifts sent in the mail such as your cards and book ‘Le Petit Prince’ was a wonderful surprise, which makes me feel that you are genuinely interested in my progress.
I look forward to improving my French through you in 2017 and beyond.
Many thanks Geraldine,
Warm regards,

Bonjour Geraldine–Merci beaucoup de les lecons. Elles sont tres interessantes, et aussi tres amusantes.


James Brennan

Geraldine your energy is amazing and together with Johan I have learnt so much more that I would ever find in a formal course. Merci beaucoup. Jim.
PS ( I can’t type accents in this comment box)

Tommy linsley

After 20+ years, I decided to start studying French again. Finding “Comme Une Francaise” has helped tremendously by introducing me to how French people actually speak. Thanks Geraldine. Traditional French courses rarely teach relevant, colloquial words and phrases. Interestingly, other French-related Youtube channels suggest learning from Comme Une Francaise. (I used to worry because “Comme Une Francaise” means “Like A French-woman”, but it’s safe to say that men and/or women both can learn a lot from Geraldine.

Thank you Geraldine for this wonderful article. One of your students, my friend, shared your post with me. I am an Animal Intuitive building my business and have recently thought about starting a YouTube channel. The biggest thing holding me back was I wasn’t sure I have the right tools. My webcam isn’t great and I was worried about where I would do it, and how I would look. Thanks for letting me know it doesn’t really matter. The second thig was thinking I don’t have enough content, but simply sitting here and brainstorming a few ideas after you made that suggestion, I realized I have a lot to say. The videos don’t need to be hour long shows in which I entertain; it’s simply me sharing who I am, why I am an expert, and what I can teach. Thank you, I will certainly be referring back to this article.

Hello Anne,

Great to read this.
If you have $100, you can buy a very decent camera on Amazon, in case you want to avoid using your existing one.

When will you post your first video?

Thank you for sharing this info. I have a lot of students that have been asking me for exercises/grammar/vocabulary since I teach Spanish online (one-on-one). But that means I have to spend all the time in front of the computer. I love it but it is tiring.

I have no idea how to record a video, but I will give it a try after reading this. I have bought a domain but I don’t have a website yet and after a year in ZTL I think it is time to do something. So maybe tomorrow I will find the courage to record some minutes and see what happens.

Congratulations on your success! :)) Adriana Irace

Bonjour Adriana,

Video makes total sense for teaching a language.
You can start with a screen recording software like Camtasia or Screenflow if you don’t want to show you face (you can use it with/without your webcam).
It works too!
Your students will love it.

I found your chanel and site, some times ago and with this information here, your dedication to reach out to the world to learn French is just fabulous and I understand it’s a lot of work behind the scenes.
Love your videos and congratulations for your success on www.


Soy de Colombia, y escuchar a Géraldine me ha ayudado mucho a acercarme a la realidad del idioma, me gusta mucho los temas de que trata, son siempre útiles :) Merci beaucoup Géraldine.

You rock Geraldine!

Thank you for the “visual call to action” tip – I would not have thought of it without your article. French Today has had a YouTube channel for a while, but it was not until your article that I realise I really had to make a priority of developing this media.

You really inspired me and with your insightful tips, I was able to find an angle of my own: I use the video game “The Sims” to teach French.

You even inspired my daughter – 11 years old French English bilingual Leyla – she did a couple of videos to learn French using the video game Minecraft.

Doing videos is a lot of work – but it’s fun too. A new media, a new adventure. We just went over 700 subscribers today – hopefully it will grow steadily from now on :-)

I’d love your feedback on a couple of points:

– any recommendation on the use of playlists? So many different ways one could sort: by author, by subject (vocabulary ≠ grammar ≠ stories)…

– what about keywords: how many keywords / key phrases do you use? Do you repeat the word French or just the keyword – i.e. french, language, grammar, vocabulary – or french language, french grammar, french vocabulary?

– regularity: in your opinion, how important is regularity of posting? Is it better to launch everything you have at once so it ranks on Google etc… or should you prioritise regular posting?

BTW, I’ve recommended “Comme une Française” on French Today’s YouTube channel. It’s only fair!

Talk soon,


Hello Camille,

Oh I’m SO glad to hear from you. :)

– Playlists: I don’t use them properly myself but I’d say, use it to segment your content depending on what our students want to learn. Right as you mention: vocabulary ≠ grammar ≠ stories

– Keywords: I don’t know anything about them.

– Regularity: this is KEY. I release 1 episode each Tuesday and the audience is expecting their episode. Many watch it while having breakfast on Tuesday morning with their spouse. This is so cute. Again, I don’t see it as a way to rank on Google, only to make my students happy.

We HAVE to do things together!

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There’s definately a great deal to learn about this subject.

I really like all of the points you have made.

Hey Geraldine, I really liked this post! I’m in a similar position, being that I also am in a language learning niche.

Ideas about content posting: do you do any keyword postings about the specific ways to teach things in French? I ask because I’m still pretty unfamiliar with how YT search works.

Bonjour Ryan,

No I don’t. I’d recommend you to check on Google Adwords but to mainly focus on your audience’s pain points rather than SEO.

Thanks for the response :) yes, that is something I am beginning to implement on my site now. All of the old SEO techniques are really inneffective, which is why I’m glad I found growth lab. Currently saving up to get access to ZTL as we speak!

Good work, I love your content! Keep it up :)

Thanks for this post Geraldine! The biggest reason I don’t do videos often is that I’m not a natural speaker. I can’t think on my feet, have the conversational tone (not monotone), or look into the camera without being nervous. That’s why video is just an experimental medium, and why I stick to writing. I’d appreciate any thoughts on my weaknesses, Geraldine :)

Nice post, and helpful. Didn’t like the phrase “Yes, there are creeps who look for videos for eye candy to ogle over.” We are superficial…get over it!

Great post and love that you shared so many details of your journey!

You talk about how you create videos, direct the traffic from those videos to your site and try to entice them to buy a program or course from your site….

How do you decide what to make free videos on versus what to include in your paid programs/courses etc?

Hello Laury,

If you’re an expert in your field, the number of topics you can talk about has no limits, so don’t restrain yourself on free content.
In my paid content, I offer another teaching format to my students, less “fun” more “work” based. :) We go deeper on the kind of topics seen on YouTube.
Don’t be afraid of “oversharing”. If you’re really good at your craft, you’ll never ever run out of ideas.

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Thank you so much for your sharing of your experience. That is very helpful.
I’m having the idea of teaching Cantonese (my mother tongue language).
When you first starting out,
1/where did you find your potential clients?
2/how did you promote your channel/website? did you use paid advertising?
3/Ramit said we should not serve everyone, should target very specific clients. But I think, for teaching a new language we should target everyone, no? I mean, we won’t target only businessmen, for example. What is your opinion on this?
Thank you so much in advance for your insight.
merci :-)

Bonjour Cora,

Great questions

1/where did you find your potential clients?

I live in a city with LOTS of foreigners so I asked them first about my idea. They promoted my content to their circles of friends so my first client lived in my city (didn’t know her). Then others shared it. It was mostly word of mouth. And still is.
But this is a slooooow process so there are good ways to accelerate that,

2/how did you promote your channel/website? did you use paid advertising?

Word of mouth. Also, because my content is solid, many teachers used it in class.

3/Ramit said we should not serve everyone, should target very specific clients.

I targeted expat women at the beginning who I thought was my main target. It’s not.
But it helps to find fishing holes rather than waste your energy around.
Also, there are lots of ways to narrow down your market: will you teach in Cantonese or in English? What will you teach? How? What topics will you cover?

This can’t target all the people in the world who want to learn Cantonese. :)

Yes!!! This is amazing. It’s so nice to see the concepts of blogging being applied outside of just the written word. I started doing the same thing with podcasts and now mini videos. My audience seems to love them much more than blog posts. And I love being able to express and connect this way a little more.

Something else to note is that from your audio or video content you can repurpose blog posts if it’s appropriate.

Great work and amazing post!!

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