Lights, Camera, Action: Everything You Need to Start a YouTube Channel and Grow as a Thought Leader

Category: video marketing

July 21, 2022 | 0 COMMENTS

Youtube has more than 2 billion daily users across the globe — that’s a massive potential audience for your business and content. Even if your business could only capture a small percentage of that number, you could expand your reach and increase your impact significantly.

So, within that 2 billion user group, you may be asking if anyone in that group is in your target audience.

The answer is yes, which is why creating a Youtube channel should be one of your top business and content initiatives.

In reality, when done right, a Youtube channel can be a great space to influence a new set of eyes and grow your audience. So now you’re likely asking yourself the question, what do I need to start a youtube channel?

Great question. If you want to put out quality content from your very first video, the first step to take is to build the right setup.

From your concept to your equipment, we’ll guide you through the process of starting a youtube channel so you can get the camera rolling quickly.

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What Do I Need to Start a Youtube Channel?

When creating a new channel, there are a few steps you need to take to prepare. First, you’ll need a name and an overarching concept for the channel. Then, you’ll need to find the right audio and visual equipment.

A Name and Concept

The name of your Youtube channel should be consistent with the name of your business or brand. If you are the face of your business, that might simply be your name.

If you have the opportunity to make your Youtube name the same as your name on other social media accounts, do that. This will make your channel easier to find for your current audience and limit any potential confusion.

Next, you need a concept. Why do you want to create your own Youtube channel? What type of content will you share and when? How will this content help you reach your goals as a thought leader and business owner?

Give these questions some thought before starting a youtube channel. When you know the answers to the questions, you’ll find it much easier to brainstorm Youtube content down the line.

why start a youtube channel

Video Equipment

The key to having a successful youtube channel that attracts viewers and drives sales is quality content. In order to create high-quality Youtube videos, you’ll need some equipment.

High-tech equipment, such as cameras, lighting setups, microphones, and editing software can become expensive quickly. So, decide how much you are willing to invest from the get-go and what you’ll know how to use effectively.

The best video equipment won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it.

Then, look for the equipment you need on secondhand sites or ask around to see if you can rent or borrow it from a friend.

Prioritizing video quality from the start is important as it can help you earn subscribers early on and establish a good reputation. However, you don’t need to break the bank to do so.

You can find a tripod for your iPhone and a quality microphone inexpensively on Amazon, and you can film in locations and at times when the natural lighting is ideal.

That said, now is a great time to find a space and time that you can dedicate to creating video content for your new channel. Test the lighting, location, sound, and picture to ensure your Youtube videos will turn out when you’re ready to record.

Starting a Youtube Channel 101

Once you’ve established what your Youtube channel will be called, what it will be about, and how you will record your videos consistently, it’s time to make things official.

Set Up Youtube Account

Let’s get your new Youtube channel up and running! Setting up a Youtube account is simple if you already have a Google account. Simply sign into Youtube with your Google email (the one connected to your business).

Then click on your profile and hit “Create Channel.”

Continue to set up your Youtube account by filling in all the necessary details, including the name you decided on, the about section, and a link back to your website.

You can also customize the branding and layout of your channel. Here, make sure you select a banner image, profile picture, and watermark that are consistent with your brand.

That’s it! Your youtube channel is now live and you’re one step closer to making a name for yourself on Youtube.

Get To Know Your Target Audience

Now, it’s time to get down to business. The key to success on any social media platform is to know who you are speaking to — this is your target audience.

What types of video content do they enjoy?

What other Youtube channels are they watching?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create Youtube videos that resonate with them. This will help you drive views and engagement, and build influence.

Look to the Pros

It’s ok to not know what you’re doing when you first start a youtube channel. The good news is there are many successful YouTubers who have gone before you that you can look to.

Become a student of these accounts. Watch what they do and say to capture their audience’s attention and keep it.

Use these pros to inspire ideas for your own channel and motivate you to create incredible content.

Youtube is also flush with how-to videos that can help you learn the ropes of your new camera or show you how to edit and upload videos. If you have a question, there’s a good chance someone has answered it.

Type it into the Youtube search bar and start learning. Soon, you’ll be the one people are watching.

Plan Your Content

Before you begin filming all your new ideas, take the time to sit down and plan out your content.

Decide what type of video you want to create, how you want it to look, and when you plan to film, edit, and publish the content.

If you have a dozen video ideas, organize them with a content calendar. Using a content calendar will also help you publish new videos on a consistent schedule and plan around major events and holidays.

Following a content calendar will also allow you to plan your content well enough ahead of time so that you’re not running out of time before you need to put a new video out.

Then, once your content is planned, it’s time to start making videos.

As you kick off your content creation process, just remember to be patient with yourself.

You probably won’t film the perfect video on your first take (or many takes). Practice makes progress, and don’t forget that you can take the best clips from each cut and string them together in post-production if that’s a style of video that makes sense for you to use.

Publish Your First Video

Finally! After filming and editing your first video, it’s time to share it with the world (no pressure)!

When you’re ready to upload videos, simply go to your Youtube channel and hit the big blue button that says “upload video.”

You can’t have a successful youtube channel if you don’t take this step, so don’t overthink it.

Title your video, choose your thumbnail, add a description, and hit publish.

It can be as simple as that, but let’s back up a second.

The title, description, and thumbnail of your Youtube video matter. They determine how and if your content will surface when people search and whether or not people will click on it.

Make sure the title and description include keywords people might search for when they go to Youtube. And make sure your thumbnail features an image that entices people to click on it.

Then, you can hit publish.

How To Have a Successful Youtube Channel

Now that you know how to set up your Youtube channel, plan your video content, and publish a new video, you’re off to a strong start.

But in order to have a successful Youtube channel, there’s a little more work involved.

Prioritize Quality

As we said at the beginning, high-quality content will help you attain new subscribers and keep viewers coming back.

Instead of trying to put out a dozen new videos right away, prioritize creating quality videos consistently.

If that means you’re only putting out a Youtube video once a month at the start, that’s ok!

Be Consistent

Consistency is at the core of every great product. If you visited a restaurant where the food and service were inconsistent, you’d probably stop going back.

The same is true with Youtube. When you continually put out quality content that speaks to your audience and is consistent with your brand, you will get the right viewers and get them coming back.

How do you do this? Be consistent in the type of content you share, how you produce it, and how you edit it.

It’s also important to publish your videos to your Youtube channel on a consistent basis.

This can help create hype around when you publish, which can help your content perform better.

Optimize Your Content

Just as you would optimize a blog post for SEO, you should optimize a Youtube video for SEO. Whether people search on Google or Youtube, you want your relevant video content to pop up as they do.

Follow these 5 tips to optimize your Youtube videos so they reach more people. This includes using the right keywords and tags, and even selecting the right length.

how to optimize content

Utilize Other Social Platforms

Youtube likely isn’t your first social platform. Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram for your business, use your other accounts to promote your Youtube channel.

Doing so can help you connect to your current audience in a new way and grow your channel. Plus, it can help boost views when you publish a new video.

Engage Your Audience

As with all social media platforms, the goal of Youtube is to engage with your audience.

Engagement can feed into your larger goals, i.e., driving sales to your online course or showcasing how your product works.

For instance, you can ask viewers to sign up for your course at the link below for more or ask questions about the product at hand.

Engagement isn’t just a way to connect with your audience, though. It’s also a way to boost your content in the eyes of Youtube.

The more thumbs up or comments your video gets, the more Youtube perceives it as good content and will suggest it to others.

If you learned from the pros in one of the earlier steps, you’ll have seen how they do this. They might ask their followers to “hit subscribe,” “watch this video next,” or “leave a comment below.”

You can also leave a comment on your own video and pin it to the top to encourage engagement.

These are just a few ways to engage your audience on Youtube — don’t be afraid to be creative with how you interact with them and try what makes sense for your brand.

Experiment with Youtube Ads

Once you are putting out quality content consistently, it might be time to run Youtube ads. A Youtube pre-roll ad is a great ad type to experiment with.

This ad will play before another video that your target viewer has chosen to watch.

To learn how to make pre-roll ads convert, read this.

Whether they’re on Youtube, Google, or Instagram, ads can be intimidating. But if you approach them as an experiment and run them with a small budget at first, you can learn a lot.

When you test multiple ads, analyze the results, and discover what works, you can consistently implement Youtube ads that have a high ROI.

Analyze and Repeat

In order to know if your Youtube strategy is working, you need to analyze the results.

Is your channel growing? What videos are getting the most views? What tactics are driving engagement? Are people arriving at your website via your Youtube channel?

These are all important questions to ask and metrics to measure.

If you’re not seeing the results you want, you may need to return to the “optimize your content” portion of this lesson.

One tool we love to help optimize Youtube videos is TubeBuddy.

Try it out, following these tips closely, to learn how to further optimize your videos.

If you are seeing results, that’s great! Whatever is working well, keep doing that. Remember, creating videos that are consistent and high-quality and posting them on your Youtube channel regularly is key.

Apply to the Youtube Partner Program

Once you’ve built your business Youtube channel and grown your audience, you can apply to the Youtube Partner Program (YPP). Becoming a Youtube partner provides additional ways to monetize your Youtube channel.

If you wanted to start a youtube channel to earn additional revenue, this is one of the best ways to do so.

Youtube partner status will also provide you with one-on-one support when you need it, which can be helpful when you hit roadblocks or have questions as you expand your reach.

If you’re just starting out, you don’t need to worry about this just yet, but having a plan for how you’ll use a Youtube channel to grow your thought leadership content in your field will help set you up for success.

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