It is the beginning of the year, obviously, which means we all have some big goals set for ourselves and our businesses, and some of those things might be trying or starting new things at some point. One of the big trends for the last few years has been for business owners to start getting into video, or working on YouTube growth. Now, while you’re listening to today’s episode, go ahead, take a screenshot of your phone and upload it to your Instagram stories and tag me @jesscreatives so I can see who all is listening.
Now there are a few ways to get started with video. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, even Instagram Stories are technically videos, or YouTube, and YouTube is what we’re going to be talking about today. Although putting out more video content can be really beneficial for your business, I know it can be daunting in the beginning. I was so nervous when I first started. I don’t like speaking in front of people, not even a group of eight people, so I’ve been there where you are, thinking you have to be perfect on video, thinking video will be too hard, scared of mean people leaving comments, hating how you look on video, but you have to push past that. You cannot let fear drive you or, rather, keep you from moving your business forward.
If you’re ready to start YouTube, let’s talk about how to avoid the three biggest mistakes when starting a YouTube channel – the three biggest things that I see frustrating people or keeping people from having a thriving YouTube channel.
First, a lot of people start YouTube and then after seven or eight videos, they’re like, “Wait, why am I not seeing any ROI? Why am I not getting any sales or subscribers?” This is something I dive really deep into inside my Content to Clients Program, and it’s currently closed for enrollments, but it will be opening again in the spring, so if you want more specific hands-on help, I’ll put a link in the show notes.
This problem first starts with topics. Are you providing value to your audience? Are you solving a problem? Video helps you build the know, like, and trust factor so incredibly fast, but to get those sales you need to be helping those potential clients. The first time I got a client from a YouTube video was about three months after I started, so that’s about 12 or 15 videos at that point. It was a one-minute video, I think. I was super awkward. There was no special lighting. I was on an iPhone, I mean yada, yada, yada. It was super basic, basically. I shared it with a potential client I was talking with, and she hired me and booked my largest package. Just a one-minute video, and I know for a fact that it was the one-minute video that sealed the deal because she mentioned it in the post project questionnaire when I asked, “Why did you specifically choose me instead of any other designer?” and she said, “Because I saw you on video.”
The other big problem keeping you from YouTube growth from video is not having a call to action within the video. It doesn’t have to be a call to action like, “Hire me now.” It could be like, “Hey, today’s workout is a 30-minute, at-home routine, but if you’re ready to have more customized workouts, check out the link in the description.”
The second big struggle people have with YouTube growth is that they’ll be doing videos for a few months and then they’re like, “No one is engaging with my videos. I don’t get shares or likes. No one even comments.”
It can be frustrating when you don’t have any engagement on your videos. I get it. I totally understand. I’ve been there. I went a really long time with very low engagement. The thing is, is that you have to keep going. Think about how many Instagram posts or YouTube videos or Facebook posts you scroll past every single day and you don’t comment or like. It’s probably hundreds or maybe even thousands, right? It doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy those posts or get something out of them.
Don’t quit video or really anything, for that matter, just because you don’t see a ton of engagement right away. YouTube growth takes time, but there are two things you can do to try and increase that video engagement. First, like we talked about earlier, you need to have a call to action. You don’t want to have 10 different calls to action in one video. That would just be overwhelming, but you can ask for people to comment below.
For example, I did a video recently about Instagram apps to use, and after mentioning one app, I said, “Hey, this is an app that probably has a higher learning curve, so if you want a full tutorial on it, let me know.” And guess what? I got comments from people wanting a tutorial. They literally said that in their comment. Don’t just say, “Hey, if you enjoyed this video, let me know in the comments.” That’s a really bland call to action. No one’s going to comment and be like, “I really enjoyed this video.” Ask a specific question.
Second, a lot of people have this subconscious fear of being the first one to comment. If there are no comments already, they don’t want to be the first one. If there are a couple of comments, it’s easier for them to kind of blend in in the comments. The key here is to start the dialogue. You always be the first comment on your video. Now some people are kind of weirded out by doing that, but it’s not like you’re going to comment and say, “Oh, my gosh, what a great video.” You’re not going to compliment yourself. You start the dialogue by asking a question. On my Instagram video that I just mentioned earlier, my question was, “What is your favorite Instagram Story app?”
Lastly, the biggest struggle people have with YouTube growth is not getting more subscribers.
There are pros and cons to subscribers and focusing on subscribers. Obviously, you have more clout when you have more subscribers. People just kind of think people are more reputable or more amazing when you have 30,000 subscribers versus 300 or 30. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us really want to grow our following on one platform or another, but the data shows that a lot of YouTube views come from non-subscribers. What we should concentrate on for YouTube growth is converting viewers to email subscribers or clients, not so much as to whether or not they are actually just YouTube subscribers.
I’m going to sound like a broken record again, but this comes down to calls to action in your video, and I also know that I’ve mentioned not to have too many calls to action, so you might be like, “Make up your mind. What am I supposed to say?” What I usually do is ask them to subscribe towards the end of the video. Ask a question sometimes in the middle, but usually at the end, and let the content sell itself or sell me. I’m not having a call to action to hire me or go buy something. It’s honestly not even that often that I actually pitch services or digital products in a video anyway.
The other thing you need to think about with getting more subscribers is give people a reason to come back. Give them a reason to want to watch every video. This happens when you provide value, when you’re interesting to watch on camera, or when you tell really good stories in your content. It doesn’t mean you have to literally tell a story like, “The other day I was going to do this,” and you have a 10-minute story in the middle of your video. Tell stories, little snippets of stories that are quick and easy to digest.
You can easily give them a reason to come back by theming your content so it links together. At the end of your video, you can say, “Hey, next week I’ll be back with part two,” or, “I’ll show you how to do the next step next week.” But now you are ready to jump into YouTube. Like I mentioned earlier, if you’re interested in more hands-on help, I’ll put a link to that Content to Clients Program.