Why YouTube is your friend. Despite being told otherwise.
For many people across the globe at the moment, in Lock Down and not being able to go out, we are all being told that one key thing, which is to stay at home, stay safe, to distance ourselves socially and to isolate ourselves. However though despite that a lot of people in self isolation have been told that it….
Quite possibly is not the right time to start a YouTube Channel…. Right?
The answer to that is actually wrong. Why though is it wrong? You see especially for the creative industries, and independents who already have a business…. Now really is the chance to truly advertise.
YouTube is perhaps one of the biggest and strangest mediums and a tool that can be used for marketing. It is a platform that is viewed by millions if not billions and if you ignore the “rick rolling” that YouTube was marginally famed for (amongst other things, such as the change of algorithms) YouTube today remains quite possibly one of the most organic ways in which to grow a business.
For many people, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has been somewhat of an uneasy time, which is rightfully understandable, but should you give up? The short answer is no. The long answer is that you should probably adapt, or at least learn to adapt your business.
The shaping and adaptation of a business can be as small as simply launching a new product, in line with a new trend. Such as if a certain colour, is in trend, then you design and launch a product that matches that certain colour.
However it can also be daunting to adapt a business. Boom!! A Pandemic occurs, and immediately you are looking at the way you will survive these strange times.
Perhaps now it is the time to make the move to one of the worlds biggest marketing platforms.
I mentioned on Thescillyindependent, that a community of people, artists and producers of food and drink, have set up a cooperative website. The Isles Of Scilly, are known for being an incredibly popular tourist destination, and with some forward thinking and very rapid planning, the community came up with a novel way, of coming up with a survival method.
Their motto is simple, clear and effective.
“If you can’t come to Scilly, let a piece of Scilly come to you”
Simple, clean and straight to the point. For a group of islands that reliant on the tourism trade, to have this cut off overnight and without drastic action, would have meant that for this talented group of artists and artisan producers, business would have been incredibly different.
The website that they created provides a simplistic and clean cut shop window, with information about each artist, and theislandmakers website, provides and online shop, for people to purchase that little reminder or something special from the islands. This again goes to show, how it is possible to adapt.
However for many others, who might not be part of such a close knit community, another way to gain business, is via YouTube, a lot of photographers are using and have been using the platform, for a long, long time.
Yet for many, YouTube is seeming like it is a viable choice and route to go down.
Why you should embrace YouTube?
A free marketing platform, you can be the tutor and influence or help others, a community.
That is what YouTube is, a wider community. If you are a small independent designer, creator, poet, writer even. A photographer, Now is the best time to start a YouTube channel. Now yes YouTube have within the past few weeks made some changes to the infamous algorithm, by showing a lot more in the way of medical and science videos, that are related in some way to the COVID-19 pandemic. I can fully understand YouTube in why they have done this. For existing users on the platform this could be a worry, as if your channel has been monetised for quite a while, you might find earnings dipping down, especially if you have had a number of videos that have done rather well. Then again I do think that some people using the YouTube platform, really should just give up trying to be funny, in order to earn millions through click bait, which incidentally is who some of the platforms biggest earners are, mere producers of click bait.
However though, if you have a passion for music, play in a band or as a solo artist, now could be the time to entertain a wider global audience. Educate listeners of your music by doing concerts, virtual ones, live stream a music session. Perhaps if you play the guitar, then teach people the details of basic chords or more in depth chords, the same could apply for any other instruments, teach others how to become the next major guitarist or musical sensation.
If for example, you are a photographer, wedding photographer, product photographer, landscape photographer, again use this time to educate a wider audience, now is the best time to become a tutor and offer, perhaps at now, what might seem like free lessons to a wider audience group. Social distancing is hard as is social isolation, and this is what many photographers really do not like, empty calendars, cancelled photo shoots and even planned trips into the countryside and outdoors for landscape photography.
Now it is your time to educate people, you might not have any subscribers, but just think that anytime someone types into YouTube “Lightroom Tutorial” what shows up, but videos relating to that particular category. If for example someone clicks on a video by Thomas Heaton, giving a tutorial on Lightroom, the chances are, that your video, depending on the YouTube algorithm could be displayed alongside his video. Your content though has got to be interesting, make it interesting and do not make it short, make it fifteen minutes long, a sweet spot, give an in depth way of how you carry out editing in Lightroom. Make it stand out, and give it something unique, that other content creators might not have thought to do.
YouTube works organically, remember that; thus do your research beforehand. I can not emphasise on just how important that is. Either way, you will find that if your content is interesting, then you will find, perhaps slowly and surely that traffic will be rolling in.
I can not stress either how important it is to look at statistics, these statistics are vital, YouTube is owned by Google, and the google marketing platform, happens to be semi adapted to be used with YouTube. If for example you are not getting enough views, predict what trends there are on YouTube at the moment. Also use the words Lock down, Self Isolation, COVID-19 as key words. It sounds wrong, but is it? No not exactly, people in self isolation are wanting good content.
Another tip, which steps slightly away from YouTube, is if you are a photographer, maybe now it might be time to produce photo books of old photographs from your Lightroom collection, or even start producing online courses, focusing on camera basics to the more in depth and technical skills needed. Even as the skies are much clear, teach others how to shoot the stars.
The same methodology can also be applied to artists, painters, graphic designers even now is the time to adapt and harness what you are doing, online tutorials, art and design tutorials and possibly even product reviews. You have software that is specifically meant for graphic design, download OBS and record a tutorial series giving basics on that software. Other artists, makers, creatives, perhaps live stream on YouTube, your behind the scenes, make it interesting.
Apparel might be something else that you can do, again promote it through YouTube.
Allowing you to earn:
You see the amazing thing with YouTube, is that it will allow you, to make money. Something that is quite important, and yes this might or might not take that much time to do, the YouTube algorithm was changed, which means now to get Monetization you have to meet certain criteria, these criteria are the following
You must have 1,000 Subscribers.
Have at least 4,000 times of watch times over the past 12 months (However, this could have been changed due to COVID-19).
And your channel must adhere to the YouTube partner program policies.
The other thing, is start a blog, a blog can be a fantastic way to earn a bit more money, again WordPress and Blogger, both offer Monetization methods, meaning that you can earn money through advert revenue. Something that as of now I would urge anyone to consider doing. If you have a website of any kind, get it monetised, adverts or an advert will show up and yes people will click on them, allowing you to earn money.
Use the google analytics platform, to work out key trends, and the YouTube analytics platform to work out key trends, this way you will be able to model your channel, blog, website and use it to implement trends that will allow you to earn some much needed money. Think of it as earning while you sleep, it is passive income, something that you will be thankful for in the long run.
Times are a changing, and of course no body knows what will happen, that really does go without saying. However, for anyone in the creative industries, perhaps now really is the time to be adapting, changing and predicting for both the short term and long term future? For people during these times will be wanting to learn, keep an active mental state, and be entertained. Already we are seeing is that for every COVID-19 video at the moment, other videos porting more positive content is now being included within related video sections.
Going forward as well, this could be an excellent way, in order to make extra money and to change the way you are marketing your business, getting your brand and ideas, works out there to a general and much wider audience.
So, in these times, it is best to adapt…. But it is also something that in more positive times you can still keep doing, which will earn you an extra bit of money regardless of. A real must is working with what you have, in times when you can not do what you would be normally doing. For adapting and using YouTube and other Blogging platforms, including Medium, could be the way forward.