Starting A YouTube Channel. 5 lessons to know.
1.) Forget the gear
Gear doesn’t matter. If you don’t have the right camera or lighting it’s the least of your worries and a lame excuse. If you want to make a video — just make the video. After your third upload, you’ll realize it’s not the equipment it’s the content. I promise a viewer will accept low production value if what they’re watching carries other value. Whether it’s humor, heartfelt, educational or other.
Think: if the content is reasonable, the quality doesn’t have to be.
2.) Content, Content, Content
Have something to say when you make a video. If you have a great camera but bad content, you have a bad video. The content doesn’t need to be a philosophical treatise, but try to offer an insight, a new perspective, or something funny or cool.
Most people’s lives, just on their own, are boring to watch and hear about. (Sorry.)
Arguably personality is even more important than content. If viewers are like new dating partners— content is the immediate attraction but personality is what keeps them coming back. Big YouTube vloggers are popular because we all care about him or her as a person. Once we feel a connection with a someone, then we start watching them religiously.
However in order for us to feel that connection, we had to like their content first.
Tl;dr Create cool videos first, then maybe make a daily vlog. Don’t start with a vlog.
Don’t worry about the lighting. Focus on filming during the day and editing at night. Natural sunlight is your best friend. (Why do you think so many YouTubers move to Los Angeles? The coast doesn’t have better soft boxes, it has consistent sun.)
Softboxes and lighting rigs are overated if it’s just you and your camera. You care about how you look, the viewer cares about what you say. Plus most Vlogs involve shooting in a variety of places over the day and do you remember being all that bothered by the different lighting? Probably not.
5.) Subscribers aren’t that important (at least early on)
You’ll see a lot channels with several thousand subscribers but whose videos have 12 views. Successful YouTube channels have videos that are actually watched by people. Using the Twitter tactic of subscribing to thousands of channels hoping in turn they’ll subscribe back doesn’t work. Correlation does not equal causation. Your conversion from subscribers to views will be atrocious. If you’re not planning to watch the five hundred video channels you subscribed to, why will they watch yours?
(Did you really think you were the only one with that strategy…)
Early on, focus your energy on (1) content and (2) a personality that can become your brand. This is where you’ll draw initial viewers. Once you’ve built a small, consistent view count, with a library of videos you’ve manufactured in regular intervals — switch to marketing mode. Remember there’s no point in asking people to subscribe to your one video YouTube Channel.
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