It's hard to believe that only ten years ago Youtube didn't exist, even then it wasn’t an instant smash hit. What eventually made Youtube explode was lo-fi viral content (think cat videos) and young amateur video bloggers outputting interesting niche content.
Since then Youtube has grown (with a little help from Google) to be the dominant player in video sharing market. Because of it’s extreme popularity, us freelancers have a new — and free — way of promoting our talents.
I’m 21 years old Solo user, a Freelance Logo Designer and bonafide Youtuber. Now is an ideal time to start a freelance business. More and more, companies are outsourcing to freelancers rather than studios. It's a great time for cheap publicity. If you don't have massive overheads, marketing your brand and your work can be relatively cost free. You just need to have the dedication and the time to make Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram work for you.
Youtube has played such a huge part in promoting my business, so here are five Youtube tips that will boost your freelance career:
Make Consistently Good Content
Over saturation is one of the downsides to Youtube. There are so many zany animal clips and low-quality videos, it's easy to assume that your videos won’t be found. I can tell you that this isn't true at all.
The secret behind Youtube is making consistently good content. If can provide quality relevant content (almost) every time, providing great value for your viewers; you’re onto a winner.
I often see small businesses or individuals trying to 'make it' on Youtube by publishing content with little or no value. Having a low-quality output means viewers will be less likely to recommend your videos or return to your channel.
At first, it doesn’t matter too much about lighting or camera equipment. We all have mobile phones that can record in HD, which is a great starting point. As you grow, you can then upgrade your equipment, adding professional lighting or investing in slicker camera kit. At first, I'd suggest sticking to what you already have.
The most successful Youtube channels have very regular uploads. They add a new video weekly or sometimes even daily. This isn’t necessarily because they already have a decent subscriber base; it’s because they understand the importance of regularly uploading to their channel. This works for two reasons:
Captivating Your Audience
When you regularly upload to Youtube, it's more likely statistically that viewers will click the subscribe button. They have more than likely already watched a few videos on your channel, and will probably expect some new content the next time they return.
The Youtube Algorithm
When you upload to Youtube regularly the 'Youtube Algorithm' will start to notice you. We can make the most of this, a bit like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for your website. Have you ever noticed that the most popular channels on Youtube are always in your 'recommended' side bar? The algorithm has included them because of their regular content and view counts.
Plan From The End
When someone waffles and doesn’t get to the point - they're most likely not going to hold a viewers attention or finish what they’re saying very well.
I sometimes speak publicly, and when I do, I always plan what I say ahead of time with bullet points. Sometimes when I’m planning, I can fall into the trap of waffling and wander away from the main subject. When this happens on Youtube, it can mean the difference between someone subscribing or leaving your channel and never coming back. You want to remain on the ball, keep things tight and most of all keep the viewer engaged.
The best way of staying on target is by planning from the end of the video. For example, I'll start my planning with the objective of the video and the “Call To Action”. Thinking to myself: ‘What do I want the response to this video to be?’
So I start from the end and work backwards until I’m comfortable enough to plan what I’m going to say without going off on a tangent. You’ll find that this helps you stay focused on the key points of your video.
Link It Back To You
Most videos on my channel are design related, whether it’s an Illustrator tutorial or a video blog about my design processes. It's how my channel started and one of its core features.
Youtube is a great place for creatives to show off their work and gain publicity. This sounds obvious, but when creating a video; it’s so important to make sure it somehow links back to your business. Whether it's advertising your website or product at the end or sparking curiosity through smart content.
Something else that helps link the video to your business and adds a personal touch; is showing your face and presenting your own videos. Viewers searching for content will relate to your face much more than a screenshot of you running through a Photoshop tutorial. Don’t hide away; get out of your comfort zone and say hello to your future subscribers.
Putting a face to the name will help you build a rapport with your audience; building a relationship online. An effective online personality can help you connect with other video bloggers, who may help you promote your product or service. Aim to build genuine, lasting relationships that work both ways.
Just Do It!
Are you making a New Years Resolution again this year? Looking back, did you follow through with last years? The answer is, probably not. It's the same with promoting your business, work catches up with you and soaks up all of your time
With a little bit of that time, marketing yourself on Youtube is a huge opportunity. I hope this post encourages you to make the leap and record a video. Just take the bull by the horns and upload! Make Youtube part of your routine marketing, you'll be surprised what effects it can have. Just do it!
This blog post is brought to you by the creators of Solo; your freelance wingman. If you'd like to contribute to the blog, contact us on hello[at]wearethrive.com.