Starting a YouTube channel can be intimidating for a lot of entrepreneurs or business owners, but it can be an invaluable tool for building and expanding your audience. Videos can help you show off your expertise and your personality, which helps to build trust between you and potential clients/customers. If you’ve been wondering about starting a YouTube channel, keep reading for five tips that will help you start strong.
1. Get content ideas from your target audience.
The first thing to do is be clear on who your YouTube audience is, and then make sure you’re speaking to them in your videos. Next, think about the types of content that would be most relevant to the folks you want to watch your videos, subscribe to your channel, and ultimately purchase your products or services. What kinds of questions do they have? What problems do they need solutions for? What are their specific interests within your field? Knowing what your audience is interested in and concerned about will give you an excellent range of video ideas for your YouTube channel.
To learn more about the topics that your audience is interested in, try using a site like Google Trends or Answer the Public. Sites like these offer insight into what kind of information your target audience is searching for online, and you can provide related content on your YouTube channel. Another idea is to use social media to interact with your target audience. For example, join relevant Facebook groups, follow key Instagram hashtags, etc., and you’ll learn about the needs and interests of your potential viewers.
2. Post consistently.
Decide on how often you’re going to post videos to your YouTube channel, and stick to it. Pick a schedule that you can realistically commit to, considering all of the other business and life responsibilities you have to manage. Remember that it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver than to start out posting daily or weekly, realize you bit off more than you can chew, and fall off. You need to be consistent from day 1 when you’re just starting, and your channel is still super new, your views are low, your subscriber count is even lower, no one comments, and you wonder if there’s even a point. The growth may be gradual, but you have to commit to being consistent throughout the process. If you need a little extra motivational boost, listen to the advice comedian KevOnStage gives for starting a podcast (keep that same energy for your YouTube channel!).
3. Create content in batches.
Dedicate time each week to create, edit, and schedule your YouTube videos. Setting aside time in your schedule will help make sure you have the content you need to post consistently (see tip 2). Let’s say you decide that your content creation day will be Fridays. If your goal is to post YouTube videos once a week, aim to record at least 2-3 videos every Friday. Life happens, and there will be times when you can’t record content as planned. Creating your videos in batches means that even in those instances, you’ll have a library of content to pull from and schedule so that your audience is seeing your videos consistently.
It can also be helpful to create a spreadsheet to keep track of your video topics, notes on where you are in the process (i.e., recorded, edited, or scheduled), dates the videos are scheduled to post, and any other information that you want to have at a glance.
4. Prioritize content quality over aesthetics.
Basically, JUST DO IT. Done is better than perfect, and the quality of the information in your videos matters far more than perfect lighting or an Insta-worthy backdrop. If you’re talking about the kinds of things that your target audience wants to hear, and if you’re showing them something they want to see, they will watch your videos and come back for more. That’s not to say that aesthetics don’t matter – they do, but they’re not your priority. Don’t get so caught up in trying to “look” like a perfect YouTuber (whatever that means) that you delay posting your content and starting the process of building up your channel.
5. Engage with your viewers.
When viewers talk to you, talk back! Engage with viewers in the comments. Respond to their questions, ask your own, and/or thank them for watching and commenting. You should also engage with your audience in the videos themselves through a call to action. It can range from asking them to “like” the video and subscribe to your channel to asking them to comment on something specific or share the video with a friend, family member, or colleague. In addition, you can invite them to check out a related blog post or a relevant channel, or to sign up for your newsletter or a course, etc.
To recap, if you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel, go ahead and start thinking about and writing down those content ideas. Check out what your audience is interested in, ask about, and add those ideas to your content list. Decide on a posting schedule that’s realistic for you, and set aside time weekly to create your videos in batches. Prioritize quality over looks, and be sure to engage with your viewers as much as possible. You got this!
If you have an active YouTube channel, share some of your tips in the comments below. If you’re still thinking about starting, comment with what reservations or questions you still have.
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