How To Start a YouTube Channel: What I Learned at YouTube Space London
A couple of weeks ago I spent the day at the YouTube Space London hosted by the lovely folks at BritMums (yes, I know… imposter alert).
It was a great day with lots of actionable tips to take away about how to start a YouTube channel. Plus, I got to catch up and hang with some lovely blogger buddies.
In the spirit of sharing, and I know some of you have toyed with the idea of starting your own YouTube channel, here are some of the best tips I learned on the day about how to start a YouTube channel.
How To Start a YouTube Channel – 12 Top Tips!
1. Conversation is key
YouTube is an opportunity to connect so use it to create deep, meaningful conversations that are inviting and welcoming to others.
2. Find Your Comfort Zone
When filming it’s worth noting where and how you feel most comfortable. With video all of you is on display and your audience will easily pick up an awkwardness or discomfort.
Choose a location in your home where you feel most comfortable to film. Or perhaps you feel most comfortable out and about? Or you might even feel most comfortable behind the camera and on voiceover? Find what works best for you personally.
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
Off the cuff filming might sound the most appealing but can often lead to batteries dying, the wrong kind of light, distorted audio, scenes missed out or a key point totally forgotten about.
It is ideal to plan ahead for your channel and content. Make sure all equipment is charged and in working order the day before. Do all your research and take notes before filming. Consider working in batches, so film a batch of content, then edit at a later date.
4. Don’t Overplan
Likewise, be sure to allow room for a natural and authentic experience. Perhaps create a bullet point list instead of a script. And allow yourself to go of piste sometimes, it can often lead to the most exciting content.
5. Find Your Niche
As with almost every training day in the digital/content-sphere, having a niche is recommended.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific vertical such as beauty, travel or gaming. Your niche could be what makes you different.
i.e. What sets you apart from everyone else? What do you want to be known as? Your niche could be tone -it could be that you’re funny? Or perhaps you create beautiful imagery? Or you love being super-helpful?
6. Smart Technique
To do well on YouTube you need to think about the technical side of things. Of course, this means doing the best you can with editing and using it to help the pace of the video and tell the story.
Thumbnails need to be impactful to illustrate the content of the video. It’s ideal to use informative titles and descriptions to help with the SEO side of the video, and it’s useful to remember that YouTube is one giant search engine! Use relevant keywords.
Likewise, it’s also worth having a cross-promotion routine to share your YouTube with other audiences you have on different social networks.
7. Be Realistic
What can you realistically commit to in terms of output? What is sustainable for you? The key to YouTube success is consistency so you need to be realistic and decide on a schedule for your content that you can keep up with.
When thinking about how to start a YouTube channel, this framework is a useful way to organise and plan your content.
Hero content is the big events/content moments that drive new audiences to your channel.
Hub content is the regular content or formats that keep your viewers returning for more.
Help content is the shorter ‘useful’ videos that people are likely to be searching for.
9. Be Experimental
Try new things to see what works for you and your audience. This could be in terms of YouTube tools such as mobile live streaming and poll cards.
Or it could be different formats such as challenges (Vlogmas or Vlog Every Day in May), tags (such as the British tag), trends or themes.
10. Diversify Income Streams
Of course, content comes first but if you want to make some money from YouTube try to think of a few different income streams.
The most obvious income is advertising, you can enable ads on your channel.
Also worth considering merchandise, crowdfunding and branded content.
Drink some coffee, do some star jumps, knock back a whiskey … whatever it is that gives you some extra pep. You need to ramp up the energy for your YouTube videos. Watch successful YouTubers and you will see that they film with oodles of energy.
Everything on film is amplified so if you’re not in the mood or feeling quiet it will be obvious to an audience and less engaging.
Keep up the energy.
12. Just do it
It’s so easy to get bogged down with advice, ideas, should’s and shouldn’t’s but the most important piece of advice is to just get on with it and hit record.
Start filming, experimenting and figuring it out as you go along.
I’m planning on having a rejig, refresh and new approach to my YouTube channel in the New Year… so do subscribe if you fancy seeing what I get up to.