With over a billion users, it’s pretty safe to say that YouTube is an indisputable video giant. It’s the second largest search platform in the world, and YouTube users consume an average of 3.25 billion hours of video every month. That’s a lot of video.
The big question is this: why aren’t you on it? According to a survey by InfusionSoft, only 22.9% of small business owners use YouTube regularly. This is a missed opportunity and a phenomenal chance for savvy entrepreneurs to tap in to the platform’s huge audience.
Before we jump in and show you how to set up a YouTube channel, we’d like to address the elephant in the room.
I get you. There are so many great social media platforms out there already. Everywhere you look there are articles telling you to get on this channel or that channel. Why should you prioritize YouTube?
Even if we ignore Cisco’s prediction that by 2021 video will account for 82% of online traffic, YouTube has a lot to recommend it. When you log in to Facebook or Instagram, you don’t have a purpose in mind. You’re there to scroll through the feed and see if anything grabs your attention.
When you go to YouTube, you’re there for a reason. You’re searching for something and ready to click on the video that gives you the best answer. This makes it much easier for content creators to break through the noise with YouTube optimized content.
A lot of entrepreneurs have used the power of YouTube to build up their channels, develop a following, raise awareness about their brand and create communities.
Speaker, author and vlogger Amy Schmittauer used YouTube to build an audience, create brand awareness, establish expertise and leverage it all into a fantastic career.
Entrepreneur Charlie Houpert, creator of Charisma on Command, used YouTube to grow an audience and build trust by creating free, engaging content and drive traffic to his key product - Charisma University.
These two creators started small and built up channels and careers based on the quality of their content.
That’s the real key to YouTube success. Successful YouTubers build communities and then sell quality products their community wants. They don’t put all their eggs in the ad or affiliate baskets. If the recent YouTube ad controversy should teach us anything it’s that trusting your brand’s survival on a single strategy is just bad business.
Smart entrepreneurs use YouTube to get their content in front of people. Over time they nurture and build these relationships and begin creating products. As an entrepreneur, you too can use YouTube to build your community, find customers, get brand recognition, establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and make money.
Where do you start? The first step is to build your channel.
To sign in to YouTube, you need a Google account. If you use Gmail or any of Google’s other services, just use your email to sign in.
Next comes the fun part. It’s time to put your marketing hat on and do some branding!
Use a picture of your face, a picture of your brand logo or an image that’s easily associated with your brand.
Food reviewer Daym from Daym Drops’ picture is on brand, instantly recognizable and has buckets of personality. Pick something that gets to the heart of what your brand is about.
Your channel art should reflect your brand. Think of it as yet another way to set the scene and set up the viewer’s expectations.
Sunny’s cover does this really well. She uses it to establish credibility by leveraging social proof from brands like Forbes and Entrepreneur while telling subscribers when they can expect new videos.
This is a valuable piece of 2560×1440 pixel real estate! Use it to highlight your value proposition and set yourself apart from the others.
It’s time to bring your writing skills out to play. Tell your readers what they can expect from your channel. What problems are you solving? How is watching your videos going to help them? Be clear and concrete.
How do some people and businesses build amazing channels that get thousands of views, likes, and shares, while others get left behind? Is it just the luck of the draw?
As a small business run by a bunch of ambitious entrepreneurs, we firmly believe in making your own luck. The problem is that for luck to happen, you need to put in lots of behind the scenes work.
If you scroll through successful YouTube channels, you’ll find they have a few things in common. They post on a regular basis, have clear calls to action in every video and actively engage with viewers. They all do it in their own unique way.
The key to a successful YouTube channel is to see the platform for what it is. YouTube should never be a standalone venture — it should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. Create your channel with a specific goal in mind and then keep working on that goal, improving with every video you make.
The creators we mentioned earlier all started out from zero. Their early videos got very little traction. But, by showing up consistently and making each video better than the last, they used YouTube to build profitable businesses and make money online. If they can do it, so can you.