If you’re ready to get started on the internet’s biggest video platform — I’d definitely recommend it. YouTube is not just the place for fun cat videos and Jimmy Kimmel clips (though I do love me some Jimmy Kimmel). I’ve been on YouTube for two years, and it has totally transformed my business.
When I first committed to starting a YouTube channel, I had no idea where to begin. (And was also super awkward. let’s not forget that part.) I don’t want uncertainty to hold you back, so in this post, I’ll show you the steps to take so you can successfully get started and grow your business on YouTube.
And spoiler alert: it doesn’t take nearly as much time, effort, or money as you might think!
Step 1: Start simple with equipment.
You don’t have to get super fancy when you first start making video content – your smartphone already comes with the perfect camera you need to get started.
In fact, I used an iPhone to record my own first YouTube videos. (It was super ghetto. I had a selfie-stick holding my camera, and it was somehow rigged to my full-sized tripod.)
If you are wanting to record with a camera instead of your phone, these are a few of my recommendations (with aff. links):
And although most of my first videos are embarrassingly awkward and not necessarily the highest quality in terms of production, I’ve still gotten clients from them — because people connect with the content.
Here’s proof that you should start with what you have — instead of obsessing about having the right camera or killer confidence:
I’m not sure how, but I actually booked a client who found me through that video. Hopefully now you understand that equipment you use or how confident you are on camera doesn’t matter quite as much as most people think. What DOES matter is:
- connecting with your audience
- delivering exceptional content
More on these “most important” elements later, right now simply focus on just a couple tips to ensure the overall quality of your video is YouTube-ready:
- Make sure your videos are well-lit. You can either invest in a light, or just film by a window to use natural light.
- This LimoStudio lighting kit is only $30! (aff. link)
- Use a microphone for better audio quality. Go for a mic that plugs right into your smartphone – so simple!
Lighting and audio quality are important regardless of what equipment you use to record. Follow the two cost effective tips above and even your first videos on YouTube will look pro.
Step 2: Map out video content, and start creating.
Before you jump right into recording, take some time to brainstorm content. We want to stay on-topic and on-brand, so if you are a fitness coach, no need to talk about your pets, your vacations, your latest trip to Hobby Lobby, etc. Start the planning process with the tips below to decide the best way to organize and deliver what you want to say in your video:
- Create content that speaks directly to your audience. Even if you already have a good idea of what you want to cover in your videos, it’s always smart to survey your audience so you can uncover what it is they want to hear from you.
- Select the right type of video to deliver the information.“How-to” videos are a great option when you’re just starting out on YouTube. They tend to be the most discoverable since people are searching for them. You can also film quick tips, tricks or whatever is right for your audience.
Here are some pointers for mapping out your content:
- Avoid writing a script, instead make a bulleted list. This will help you avoid (1) sounding like a robot and (2) having to memorize everything you want to say.
- Stick to topics you’re passionate about. It’s hard to create content about stuff you aren’t super confident talking about. Stick to your realm of expertise so you can hit it out of the park.
- Record in sections. First, record your intro. Then, take a quick pause to get composed before moving on. This also makes it easy to edit because you just have to get rid of the dead air (i.e. pauses) during the editing process.
Here is a tutorial on one of my favorite CHEAP video editing platforms:
Step 3: Record consistently.
If you’re serious about seeing results from your efforts on YouTube, you’ll want to come up with a plan to stay organized and consistent. Schedule the following on your calendar: (1) the days you’ll record/edit content and (2) the days/times you’ll upload videos.
I personally record and edit on different days, but whether or not you want to make it all happen in one day is up to you. The most important thing is making sure the days/times you’re uploading your videos to YouTube stays consistent. Over time, your audience will start to expect it and they’ll look forward your videos on a regular basis.
People love subscribing to channels that put out content like clockwork. Determine how often, and on what day, you’ll upload new videos. Then, be sure to let your followers on other social media platforms know whenever you upload a new video to YouTube so your subscribers will continue to grow.
Getting started on YouTube really is as simple as hitting record and staying consistent!