If you watched the start of this year’s I’m a Celebrity get Me Out of Here you may have seen the contestants get the Dingo Dollar question wrong regarding the percentage of young people who want to be YouTube stars and vloggers. It wasn’t 65% but a staggering 75%. Tens of thousands of children, teenagers and young adults have the desire to make this a reality, but not many have the knowhow.
Whilst working at Champions (UK) plc, I’ve managed to grow my successful Ancient Architects YouTube channel with 174,000 subscribers and 14 million views in just 14 months and it continues to grow day-by-day. I’m not a professional videographer, far from it, but I have worked in marketing and social media for more than 10 years.
So, here are my top five tips on how to start a YouTube channel. They worked for me and I’m sure they could work for you too!
1. Be Original
The reason why so many people stop pursuing the dream of becoming a YouTuber is because they can’t grow their channel – they can’t attract subscribers or get the desired views quick enough and so many people simply give up and move onto something else. The main reason for this ‘failure’ is because many are trying to emulate a famous influencer, copy a style and replicate the content so what they quickly become is a bad replica.
What’s been done well on YouTube has already been done. Learn from it but understand that there is nothing to gain from copying an influencer because you will always be second best. You are the only one who can be you and that is what differentiates you from everybody else. Be yourself, be creative, practice, play and try new things in ways that have never been done before. Be daring and above all else, be original.
2. Create Your Brand
Credibility is everything in the world of YouTube and spending time developing your own brand is very important. Even if you’re a complete novice and nervous about publishing your very first video, you should at least give the impression that you are serious about your new venture.
Think of a catchy, memorable channel name, unless of course you decide to use your own name. Your channel should have an eye-catching logo or professional photograph of yourself. Create contemporary banner artwork and fill out your channel description in full so that it describes your content to new prospective subscribers. If you know a graphic designer and copywriter, don’t be afraid to ask for their help and only launch your channel when you are happy with it because the look and style of the channel is essentially your shop window.
3. Grow Your Social Networks
Even if you are happy with your content and are believe you have a professional looking YouTube channel, it doesn’t mean that you will automatically get views. Just uploading videos and waiting for people to find you means it will probably take you more than a year to reach 1,000 subscribers unless you get lucky with a viral video of course.
If you want to grow your channel, you need to be active on social media. Set up associated accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, named and branded the same. Market your videos and your channel, ask people to subscribe, post additional content, text updates, pictures and so on to add more value to the brand you are establishing. As you grow a following on other channels, this will encourage growth on YouTube as well.
4. Content, Content, Content!
The more content you have on your channel, the greater chance you have of being discovered, but don’t compromise quality for quantity. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google and therefore content makes you discoverable. Think about the title, description and tags of each video – the words you use need to accurately describe your video and will help users navigate to your channel.
Try to publish content regularly – at least once a week – and make sure you do this consistently. Create a rhythm that your subscribers can get used to. Always try and plan for the times when it will be difficult to post. If you regularly post weekly but have a 2-week holiday coming up, you need to ensure videos are still released on time; your subscribers will expect it. Plan your content and try to work 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule.
5. Reach Out
We’ve all seen YouTubers shout out those that are up-and-coming so don’t be afraid to reach out, but prove you are worthwhile of their time – show people you mean business. Once your channel is branded to your liking, your content is how you want it and you’re into the rhythm of posting, then reach out to influential people who have an audience you want to tap into. You’ll be surprised how many people will help you, you just need to ask!
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