Your expertise and interests are key.
You can set yourself up for success right away quite easily. Are you an expert in your field? Create tutorials talking about key topics. Do you perform a service? Demonstrate your abilities on video. Arts, crafts, fitness and technology are areas that lend themselves visually to YouTube, but anyone can get in on the action. Don’t overlook interests you’ve never considered a source of revenue, such as fishing, botany or playing video games. But remember …
Consider your audience carefully. This is the single greatest factor in determining your earning potential. A channel about fidget spinners would be hot right now, but your target audience would be young children with no disposable income.
Compare this to the YouTube channel The Big Jackpot, which draws an audience that’s 78 percent male, with 73 percent between the ages of 25-54. That’s a valuable demographic to casinos, who skew female and older, as do competing slot channels.
So this channel can potentially deliver clientele casinos want to build, while other channels cannot. Ask: to whom does your content speak? To whom is that audience valuable?
Content is king.
To succeed on YouTube, you must produce quality content, and a lot of it. You may choose to go live twice a week, but also re-edit the footage to produce highlight reels each day. Be sure your subscribers get constant notifications featuring new and repackaged content. The rumors about millennials having short attention spans are true! You must consistently provide your viewers with a reason to check in.
You can film your videos to post later on, when you have time, but your channel won’t blow up until you start going live. Ask any successful marketer, or simply look around online, and you will see that people who go live, invariably have a bigger following that people who don’t. But the good news for you is that anyone with a message and a personality can retain an audience, so you can get a piece of the action too!
Establish your brand.
I’d love to say you will have it all figured out when you post your first video, but you won’t. You are going to refine your brand over time. At the same time though, you need to have an edge; something different from what your competitors are doing, even if it is in a similar niche.
Your edge doesn’t have to cost money; it just has to be different. Create names and phrases associated with your channel. There is only one you in the entire universe, so take a moment and discover what makes you YOU, and capitalize on it.
What sets you apart? Find a way to “do you.”
Leverage other social media platforms.
You need to be active on most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. If you have a website, you need to regularly update it and send out newsletters. Sound like work?
It is, but you need to be where people are, and people gravitate toward different platforms for various reasons. Also, to retain your audience’s fickle attention, you have to make them feel a part of something greater than themselves. In other words …
Engage, engage, engage.
Engagement is internet speak for cultivating an active rather than passive audience — one that comments, contributes, participates and likes and shares your videos.
Respond to your messages. Promote new features, live events and guest appearances. Contests are a great way to build engagement. Many channels rig their contests to get more likes and shares; but sometimes this happens on its own.
Give random stuff away, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either…just something your audience will like.
Here’s another tip that doesn’t cost anything.
Listen to your viewers.
Give your viewers many ways to contact you. That can include live chat during streams, YouTube comments, a forum, website, etc. Read every single message.
If your fans suggest something, like the topic for your next video, for example, listen to them and do it. You will have a much more loyal following for it.
Develop a thick skin.
You’re not going to please everyone, so don’t even try. It’s your channel, your business, your brand, so you have to make the final decisions. There are lots of haters out there!
The moment anyone goes down a hateful road, delete their comments and perhaps block them altogether. (YouTube provides you with these super powers — another benefit of the platform.) You want interaction, but take preemptive measures by blocking words that are inherently discriminatory or have no place in your online community.
No, you don’t need a technical background.
You don’t have to have a degree of any kind or consider yourself technically gifted. I learned social media the way your children or grandchildren do; by digging into it, hands on, and learning by trial and error. If I can do it, so can you.
Yes, you can make real money on YouTube.
This is the part you’re interested in, right? For some of you, YouTube isn’t your primary driver. Perhaps you’re a consultant using your channel to increase visibility and sell services. My channel exists for its own sake, however; I’m not selling anything. So how do I make money?
Sponsorships are a source of revenue that’s frequently overlooked. Startup products aiming to be the next Red Bull or Fireball often have sizeable marketing budgets.
Once you’ve established a strong subscriber base, your opinion can shape others. Endorse products you believe in and be open to co-branding opportunities that make sense based on your YouTube statistics. This platform offers great analytics.
One of your goals should be to book appearances at venues related to your niche
Which brings me to my final tip: