Nobody really understood the immense SEO and branding power YouTube would one day have when cofounder Jawed Karim uploaded “Me at the zoo” back in April 2005:
Such an innocent video. Who would have known the millions this video sharing site would quickly start to generate. And the consequent celebrities who would soon make their mark in the entertainment industry – without going to film or journalism school and afterward, fighting to claw their way into mainstream media.
Such an incredible platform…
Here’s 10 Steps all Business Vloggers Need to Take to get into the Video Social-sphere
1. Choose your niche
Pretty easy really. Talk about what you know or decide on something you want to learn and take the viewer on a journey with you. Share experiences like travel, or bring them into your workshop while you fix your car or something. Give sales tips or networking advice for entrepreneurs – etc. Pick something you can get jazzed up about or you’ll never see it through.
2. Create YouTube account and username
This is as easy as setting up a gmail account – easier even. If you have gmail already, you have a YouTube account. If you have a business established, the smart move is to make your username the same as your business or brand’s name. Look for a domain name that matches too, for blogging or product selling purposes, to keep your brand consistent and easily recognized to your viewers.
3. Do consistent uploads
Set yourself a do-able filming schedule and stick to it like your brand depends on it, because it does! It’s possible to get a little lazy later on, but now you want to have as much content popping up as you can. Until you gain a substantial follower-base and get thousands of views – well – you won’t get many views or slots in people’s “Recommended Videos” when they sign into their account, or when they enter search terms that relate to what you offer. This goes double if you’re in a competitive space like news, motivation, fashion, cooking or beauty care. Upload at least 5 mins of video daily if you can.
4. Quality matters
I don’t care what anyone says: 1080p or it didn’t happen! Minimum of 10MP and 30 fps. Same for audio. There’s just no excuse for using your crappy 480p cam with scratchy audio. I won’t watch your stuff and neither will anyone else with any standards. Maybe if you’re Tony Robbins or Gary Vee people will watch you, but otherwise your competition is likely using the best of the best, which is actually quite affordable (~ $200 – $500) and you need to be too. Lighting is important too, and you’ll have to learn as you go in order to get it right – please don’t be one of those types who points their cam straight at the sun while filming!
5. Microphone or no?
If you’re going to do a podcast-type video where you share your thoughts in a studio-type setting and/or interview other people, it’s often recommended that you get a quality external mic. Obviously you can’t haul it around with you if you’re doing active videos where you’re moving around a lot, and most modern action cameras like the GoPro have pretty wicked built-in mics anyway. Make a couple of videos and then ask people what they think about the audio quality, then decide on an external if your built-in isn’t doing the trick.
6. Add music to your videos
Music makes everything you’re saying and doing on film more epic and memorable for the viewer. The big hurdle here is to find good, royalty-free stuff that won’t get your audio disabled when YT’s compliance staff gets a complaint from the copyright holder. Sites like BenSound let you download and use their music in your videos for free, if you’re willing to give an attribution. Alternatively, you can buy individual licenses for tracks you want to use or purchase a yearly membership where you get access to as much music as you can use.
7. Learn how to edit – take your time!
Practice makes perfect and it’s far less difficult than it was a few years back. Editing software has come along way up in quality and down in price. Many allow you to use a free version and upgrade when you want more complex tools like transition editing and more seemless external audio integration.
8. Create good titles and thumbnails
Good titles are a must, and so are quality thumbnails. Some people choose one over the other to make their viewing decisions, others a combination of the two. Make the titles relate to the video content, otherwise you’ll get fewer views and shares. Nobody really knows what Google deems as a view, but chances are good that a person who clicks on a video, then immediately closes it due to it not being what they expected don’t count. Thumbnails should also relate to the video and can be a freeze-frame from the vid itself or a juicy, high-res image that you just know will catch people’s attention.
9. Promote your channel and new videos
This process will be tougher than filming and editing at first. You have to gain a social following, find out where people who might be interested in your content like to hang out – online and off, hit up bloggers that also work in your space and befriend them… and on and on. There are tons of outlets you can use to promote your vids – too many to list. Don’t count on too many organic views until you’ve built a reputation and following, that’s a pipe-dream.
Comment on other vlogs and visit blogs in and around your niche and leave comments there too (don’t forget to set up a Gravatar with links to your vlog and blog on the main page). If people like what you have to say, they’ll for sure start to visit your channel to get to know you better.
Just Do It!
If you’re interested in becoming a vlogger, stop sweating the details and just start filming! If you have any information or entertainment value worth offering, chances are someone out there is offering the same thing on their channel and building a following while you sit on your hands contemplating.
YouTube fame (and fortune) is a rat race and you need to get in the game – like yesterday!