5 Lessons from Growing 50K Subscribers on YouTube in 2 Years…
Most of you reading this have probably never heard of me, and that is totally fine. In fact it probably will make this even more interesting.
Back in July of 2013 I decided to start taking YouTube seriously as a creator. Not to become famous, not even really to make money, but because I wanted to put something USEFUL out there.
Share the Things You Love Most.
Since then I’ve produced over 500 videos on YouTube covering a range of topics, and since January of 2015 I’ve been releasing daily video content or averaging 30–40 videos per month…
Most people find this to be, well insane… which is probably true… but I found a rhythm that works for me and it doesn’t require me to spend 8 hours a day focused on YouTube.
I still run a full time design business and travel for up to a week just about each month on business or pleasure.
When you do the things you love and are passionate about, it is easier to do them frequently. I found that I love talking to people about a few different topics and the things I do each day, like Design, Photography, Video, Marketing, Technology Branding and of course YouTube.
I worked those all into my content strategy.
Something I’m very passionate about is creativity, design and artwork, and I wanted to put out an easy to follow set of tutorials for new people just getting started.
This is one of the first tutorials I ever did on Photoshop.
It still is one of my most popular videos today and is still getting views each month. The quality of my videos has increased considerably and so has my ability to simply complicated software or subjects.
Be Mindful of Your Intentions
I think part of the reason I became successful as a YouTube is that I had no intention of becoming a successful YouTuber…. I didn’t even intend for people watching my videos on Design or Photoshop to hire me for work… which happens more often than people realize.
My intention was pretty simple… I wanted to make it easier on people like myself to get started. I hate the “dog eat dog” mentality, and I have over aggressive negative mantras when it comes to competing, especially when it comes to creativity.
Those feelings, and that philosophy kept finding its way into my content and the way I was communicating. It became my “voice” and “message”.
In this video I talk about “Why I make YouTube videos”.
Who you really are will eventually shine through the more you talk or interact with people. So you need to be very self aware. If you’re only out for yourself or want to be famous or make money, people will see through it very quickly. It’s why I respect Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank despite not agreeing with him on everything he does or says, he’s upfront about exactly who he is and what he is out to achieve.
Patience, Process and Practice.
Most people quit something if they don’t see immediate results or gratification. It’s important to have patience but also have realistic goals and set yourself up for easy wins to be consistent.
A little known statistic is that over 60% of YouTube videos NEVER get more than 500 views…
I constantly see messages or tweets from people who are upset or depressed that they only got 100–200 views on a video when they only have about 20–50 subscribers.
Most people who are discouraged by this are comparing themselves to their favorite YouTubers who have a 100K or 1 Million subscribers and are getting a ton of views. Most of those YouTubers depending on when they started used to get less than 1,000 views on their early videos, sometimes for the first few years they were posting…
A Message to Young (and New) YouTube Creators.
In other words, most people quit within their first year without ever finding their voice, building a community, learning how to get good at communicating or producing and editing their videos.
There is a process that has to be respected to doing anything worthwhile. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But if you give up before that, you’ll just believe and accept that it was impossible or that you weren’t good enough. Practice makes perfect. It’s not just something people say… it’s true… after 500 videos I can tell you the gap between my first 100 and whatever comes out today will be HUGE.
Consistency, Creativity and Context
Each of these three things is underestimated by far too many people.
Being consistent matters, and most of all it matters to you. You ultimately become your habits. If you have a habit of consistently producing quality work, you won’t accept less and you will always keep trying to do it better, faster and smarter.
Getting out a large volume of quality content across multiple platforms was something I worked at being consistent at. I started with Weekly content, then multiple days a week, then daily content.
Now it is a habit, not a challenge Creativity is important, but not overthinking it is too. Being unique is simpler than you think and mostly it comes down to being yourself.
Too many people worry about “Well a million people are already doing that? So why should I bother, or how do I stand out?”
If we apply that logic to everything, then stop dating, stop looking for a job, never do anything… because guess what? It’s already been done.
When you stop worrying about it and think “how can I make this enjoyable, or fun, or simple or a great overall experience”, you’ll find that is what makes it you and unique.
Context is the big take away here. I wanted my videos to help people who are trying to “Create Something Awesome”. If you want to make things, or do things creatively, you’re probably going to be interested in some of my content.
I’m not an entertainer, but I am a fun loving and nerdy guy, and after enough videos that started coming out more as I got comfortable in front of the camera. People liked that, and the fact I’m approachable and they can relate to me on a personal level. They also understand that the advice and tutorials I give are part of a process that allowed me to achieve the results that they see from me on a regular basis. This is what makes me unique/creative.
So again… Consistency, Creativity and Context.
Just Be Human
Whether it is individual creators or companies the biggest mistake I see people make on YouTube or any other platform is that they forget to be human beings.
They are worried about search engines and robots, and conversation rates, views, subscribers, likes and shares instead of focusing on what really matters…. People.
Despite the time that I could be spending doing a lot of different things that would have infinitely more upside for me, I try to respond to every single comment.
Don’t believe me? Go check my videos for yourself…
Most people with over 5,000 subscribers don’t do this, and I don’t blame them. It’s a lot of work and its often unappreciated.
So why do it?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and just be real.
As hokey as it sounds, I’m very grateful for anyone I’ve ever reached out to for taking the time to respond back to me. It feels really good to be acknowledge and for someone to decide “you are worth it”.
Giving that feeling to as many other people as possible, knowing what it means is very gratifying. So on a selfish level, honestly it makes me feel like a good person to do that for people.
Being human and being yourself is the best way to develop your personal brand. It means it won’t be a chore or job, and it will be something you’re more than happy and willing to live with.
It also makes producing content, doing live streaming and speaking appearances easier, because you don’t have to think about it, instead you can just breath… something too many people forget to do.
At the end of the day, I think that so far the last 2 years have been about me sharing my journey, the things I love and becoming more of who I really am by connecting with as many people as possible and finding out what we share…
I would encourage you to do like-wise and to remember…
CREATE SOMETHING AWESOME TODAY