HOW TO GAIN YOUR FIRST 100 YOUTUBE SUBSCRIBERS.
Hi my people, so this is the first post of this category. In this category, I will be offering you some techie advice and also some social media tips. In one year of taking steps to finally build an online presence, i have a combined followership/subscribers of a little over 10,000 across 3 social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. I have a Twitter page also but it is not one of my top 3 social media sites. We will talk about that in another post. The majority of the figure I stated, has been acquired in a year or less in my blogging journey.
In the realm of building a social media presence for blogging , I am an amateur because i just started building a presence that goes beyond just socializing. I am in the process of building my social media to a point where different people can experience my content in several ways, both visual and here on the blog.
FIND ME ON THE INTERNETS!
Take the following advice as beginner/amateur advice. If you are not well-versed in any site at all, subscribe to my newsletter. I will send out occasional special tips as we go on in this series.
Gaining a followership or avid fan base on any social media platform is DIGITAL REAL ESTATE. You can monetize it, promote your work(whatever it is) and possibly build a brand.
Creating video on YouTube is a whole other realm and ball game. Gone are the days I used to enjoy watching people rant and rave about a product or movie over their webcams and poorly lit room. Shower curtains and pillows were right in the view finder.
Now, it is lights, camera, action ! And monetization, backgrounds, studios, editing, DSLRs, copyright, subtitles and other blah blah blah terms amateurs have no idea about. About 3000 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube per hour. EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY. So no matter how good your video is, it is literally a drop in the ocean. How do you claim a bit of space on the big network for yourself and/or business? It is a lot of work but it is very possible and probably life changing.
So why YouTube?
In today's world, content has evolved and so should you. People engage a lot better with visual content than any other form of content. Viral videos make the news now and are viewed by millions of people in a few minutes. Research has shown that television ads still reign king in the world of marketing. Since we are just starting out and do not have thousands of dollars to blow on promotion, let's talk about how to get your content on YouTube and gain your first 100 fans.
STEP 1: Decide on what you want to vlog (video blogging) about and identify niche audience.
Example: My first blog was about strictly social issues. How do I translate that into video content?
First off, I narrowed my content to a niche audience. I wrote primarily about African social issues so my audience would be Africans in the diaspora, people of African descent and on the continent.
What are the interests of this niche audience?
Identifying the interests of your audience will help you make a wider variety of video content. That way, I am not talking about social issues all the time but I am also incorporating African literature, recipes, culture talks and personal experiences. People may be drawn to your channel for different reasons. Give them something to watch.
STEP 2: WHAT ARE YOU FILMING WITH?
At this point, you should have set up your YouTube account. Preferably, set up a Gmail account (this will help you when it comes to monetization) and use that as log in details. Choose a username that is easily recognizable. I would say choose two names. My favorite YouTube channel is SHAMELESS MAYA. It is such an intriguing name and yes, the content matches the name. You don't have to use your real name but depending on your content, you may have to (for branding purposes). I use part of my real name and part pseudonym, NANA ASHANTI. Now, what you are filming with is so critical to your success on YouTube. We live in a time of HD, high definition visuals. If you want your channel to be seen AND heard, you will have to take your video quality seriously. You maybe a pro who already has the right equipment and knows what to do with it (skip this step Spielberg) or you could be like me who went out an purchased a digital camera when I had no idea what ISO was (and had to take a photography class to figure out what the hell this little machine was) or you can use what you already have-YOUR SMARTPHONE or TABLET!
You already have all the equipment you need. Yes, getting a digital camera (preferably Canon T3i or T5i) is a great asset BUT they do cost a pretty penny and despite all the great potential revenue your content can generate, as a beginner do not go in debt just yet. If you can easily afford a digital camera then by all means, TREAT YO SELF (and call me, you rich person!). Buy a small tripod suitable for smartphones or tablets (BestBuy and Amazon has good/affordable ones) to reduce the shake whiles filming and keep the video steady. Also for editing, YouTube now provides a free video editor with royalty-free music for use(Can be found when you click Creator Studio, then Create to access editor). It is pretty good for your first few videos till you decide to invest in an editing software (Or download iMovie for iPhones/iPads/Mac and Windows Movie Maker for Android/Windows. These are free).
NOW YOU ARE ALMOST READY TO GO LIVE!
STEP 3: FILM YOUR FIRST INTRODUCTORY/TRAILER VIDEO
There are a lot of things you have done to finally get here so why not put it all to a test! Film your first video and yes, IT WILL BE CRAPPY (if you a newbie) when you look back one day. A year later, I wonder why I did not at least powder my face before filming my first video. But this is a good time to introduce yourself and your channel. Watch a few first videos (enter "my first YouTube video" in search bar) and go for it. When you are done editing, use the YouTube upload feature to share your first video (can be found at top right side of your channel) and enter the title. Your best bet is to use a title like "My first YouTube video, Meet (your name); An Introduction, Welcome to my channel( to be used as trailer) or whatever simple title that makes it obvious that, you are a rookie. Don't worry. Your video will be viewed. Why? Because you will share it when you are done! Email it to friends, share on social media and use tags (we will talk about this very important feature in another post). And bam, your first subscribers! Always remind people to subscribe to your channel in your videos.
STEP 4 : BE CONSISTENT AND PUNCTUAL.
Your favorite TV drama is on at 10pm, Thursday EST. You know it and wait on it. So imagine heating your dinner at 9:53pm and setting up in front of your TV by 9:57pm, ready and waiting. Now it's 10pm and it's reruns of Friends? What happened? No new episode today! You will be livid but since you already prepped, you move on to something else. Next week, you check back and it is still reruns of Fresh Prince. No new episode. Yet the network did not put out any announcement. At this point, you mourn what was and watch something more exciting and you get engrossed in it. A month later, you just scroll by and here it is, the series that you wanted to watch initially. By now, you have a love relationship with another channel so it doesn't really interest you that the villain died. You have moved on.
That is what happens to inconsistent Youtubers. You lose your audience and their interest. Subscriber numbers go down and views trail. In the beginning of starting YouTube, you have to upload at least twice a week. You have to make your presence known. That is how your audience starts building. Then in a few months, make a schedule and stick to it. On my YouTube channel, it shows in my banner that I upload once a week, Saturdays 10am EST. I have been inconsistent since I passed the 1 year mark so I am the best person to tell you that, inconsistency will kill your viewership.
Check out these channels to help you understand YouTube better: Video Creators, Derrell Eves and YouTube Help.
Hope you enjoy these tips and apply them. I wish you much luck your YouTube journey. Leave all your questions and comments below.