Being a YouTuber looks like a sweet deal looking from the outside in.
It has garnered a reputation for being the place that anyone can sign-up and become famous on. It seems to be as easy as doing what you love and putting a camera in front of it, and there is definitely a point to made there, but there is definitely more to it than that.
As a Youtuber, you are trying to be an entire film crew plus a marketing executive, all for freelance. Depending on how you run your channel that can include the make-up, costumes, set, direction, filming, audio, props, and so much more. So, it’s best to have a plan going in, so that you know what you are in for.
For all these tips, though, the rule is that one size does not fit all. There are creators big and small that put a lot, or no work into various aspects of their production. It all depends on a lot of variables. Read our guide to know what you want to do with your YouTube channel and get it off the ground.
What you want to centre your YouTube channel around will determine the rest of the decisions you make here.
The most basic channel genre is vlogging. Simply carrying a camera around wherever you go and allow the situation or your personality to add the colour to the footage. It will mean being a big of an acrobat with a GoPro and a lot of planning to keep doing something engaging every time you want to post, but it is simpler than most. In that same vein is family vlogging, where your kids are the personality, and you are the educational voice of wisdom.
It makes sense to start a gaming channel, if you are already gaming. Simply turn on a high-quality webcam and that’s it right? Aside from all the bells and whistles of any other YouTube channel, yes, but because of this it is one of the most oversaturated genres of YouTube.
Mukkbang will mean you will have to spend any moment not filming working off the calories you ate, commentary can get you a lot of engagement, not all of it good, analysis means you can get whatever you need to off of your chest but means you will have no content if you don’t feel passionately about something. There are pros and cons to all genres of YouTube, so think carefully about what you are capable of before you land on one.
Also, there is no harm in either combining genres, or making your own. It will be the best way for you to stand out if you can say you are different from the vast sea of YouTube content already out there. But make sure it is something you are passionate about or it will be too hard to do.
Once you’ve got your genre, think about what you can put into it. There are levels to content quality that come with their own set of pros and cons. Making everything look like the latest blockbuster with the most expensive camera you could possibly find and everything you learned about filming in your Skillshare class could attract brands to advertise with you, and can appeal to some audience members, but the homegrown look is what YouTube was founded on. Creators like Boxxy and LonelyGirl15 were simply talking to their webcam, and that gave an authenticity to their content that cinema simply can’t replicate.
Both are equally valid approaches, but one will drain your bank account and your energy, while the other will attract audience members with genuine feelings.
Either way, it’s likely you will need to learn even some basic editing skills. Everyone has their process, but if you’re someone who has the camera rolling while you are thinking of your next thought, you will need to cut that down.
Again, there are levels to this. There are big creators like Peter Monn, who do no editing whatsoever, and big creators like Casey Neistat that are known for their editing skills.
Setapp can be an invaluable asset to have when it comes to editing. They have an app for every little digital problem that needs a solution, including cleaning your computer to make it run faster, scanning your Wi-Fi network for dead zones to strengthen it, and file converters, which you will need for editing when that soundbite you’re thinking of comes from an old movie. Visit setapp.com for over 220 Mac apps alone for all your online needs.
This is where the “influence” aspect of being an influencer comes in. People may roll their eyes that term, but it’s an important aspect of the job. It is basically a synonym for marketing executive, but you’re only marketing yourself and your brand.
And it does need done. No YouTuber got their channel by taking the attitude of “build it and they will come”. There is more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. They will not come if they see can’t see you in the forest of content.
Lucky for you, in the digital age it is easier, cheaper and more effective to market online, but it also takes a little know how. Since YouTube’s payment system is still infuriating creators, they have had to find other ways of making money, including promoting other businesses with affiliate deals and selling merchandise.
Research digital marketing before going in. Take a class or read a few guides to understand the ins and outs of an affiliate deal, what SEO is, the purpose of keyword research and other digital marketing methods that will help you get your name out there.
But remember that the name of the game is engagement. Online marketing differs from traditional media marketing in this one aspect. Make sure to engage with your audience, take their suggestions on board, ask for suggestions to make them feel involved and foster that relationship that only a YouTuber and their audience can create.
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