Expand your reach with YouTube videos
Doing video as a musician is a great way to show your creative side with the world. Especially in an age where video content is all around us.
And, now that we can shoot video from the small computers in our pockets, there is basically no excuse to not make a video.
The top platform now for sharing video is by far YouTube. It is a great platform with many features you can make use of for free! Well, most of them.
You can dive really deep into all the options you have on YouTube as a musician, but in this blog post, I will stick with the basics.
So here are 11 tips for musicians to start on YouTube.
1. Create a YouTube content plan
By mapping out a plan, you can keep yourself motivated along the way. Also, it makes it easier to check periodically if you are doing great. Check your numbers, engagement and sales. If you set your ultimate goal, like getting people to sign up for your concerts or selling more albums, it will make the content creation process a lot easier. It will be your main motivation throughout the whole process!
2. Choose your best video style
Vlogging style, how-tos, gear reviews, your own music videos and more. A good way to find your best style is by simply trying it out first!
Record yourself singing or playing, and watch it back to see how you like it.
Is the lighting good? Audio? See what you can improve or want to improve.
One thing that you do not have to focus on is the best and newest gear. There are so many gear choices you can make, there is basically no excuse to create low-quality video right now. Even your phone is capable of recording HD video, so why not use that.
If you want to improve on things, improve your recording location, lighting, add sound panels or simple rugs on the floor to improve the sound for free!
There are many tips to find online, where people create lighting and recording gear for next to nothing.
Good quality video is fairly easy to achieve with free tools.
3. Post your first video!
Really, just do it. Put one of your videos on YouTube and see how it feels to do so. Share it with friends and family and get your first feedback to learn from.
The more people see it, the more likely you will get valuable feedback that will help you improve your overall quality and content.
At first, this could be a difficult step to talk, as this might be your first exposure video. Not everyone is aware of the possibilities of YouTube and what it takes to make a video, so prepare for a variety of reactions. Don’t let them discourage you, though.
Also, try to ignore the nice friend and family comments like your face looks funny on video. Thanks, grandma, but that is not the point of my video.
Those comments, however, will show you what people will notice in a video. So if everyone comments on your ugly sweater, it is up to you if you want to wear it in the next video or not.
4. Try to create a consistent upload schedule
If possible, upload on a regular schedule. Once you know how long it takes for you to make a video and upload it, see if you can find a good average that you could handle. Once a week is great, but twice a month or maybe even once a month could work too. The more consistent you can be, the better, as people know what they can expect on certain days.
You can compare this with your favorite show on TV. You know when it airs, and you prepare yourself when it will be on.
The same applies to YouTube. Once people find out on what day you upload your videos, you increase your chances of getting more views on your videos.
Don’t make it too difficult for yourself, though. Just find what works best for you. Quality content is more important than regular content.
5. Make silly videos
Ok, maybe a weird tip, but hear me out.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You are free to upload them or not, but uploading videos that have mistakes in them can create a great baseline for you to check once in a while.
Imagine seeing yourself after a couple of months or years and see how you have grown. Or maybe you find you did not change at all, and it is time to grow!
If you are unsure if you want to delete them, just put them on unlisted. Remove them from any playlist and you’re good to go. That way they are always accessible for you, but not visible to the world.
Also, with intentionally silly videos, you could generate some extra viewings by attracting an audience that likes your humor. Don’t underestimate the power of humor online. There are many musicians that use humor to attract fans, so why not try if it works for you?
6. Find your “inspiration” channels.
By watching how other people make videos, it can be a great help to determine which route you want to go.
Whether with types of content, effects they use, and branding, to the length of videos, posting schedules and places they share. Everything can be a great help to your journey on YouTube, solidify your own path and improve quality along the way.
Extra Tip, watch channels outside the music niche!
Sometimes you will find great editing tricks or content ideas on other video topics on YouTube. Or, you can find some vlogging styles that you could try to mimic on your channel.
Vlogging (making daily videos about general daily stuff) is a great way to get more views on your channels.
Doing some behind the scenes and live recordings and walking people to your recording process can really open up you as an artist.
7. Stay within reach of your own creativity
On your quest to similar channels or inspirational channels, you are likely to stumble upon very professional channels with super high-quality videos. Don’t get discouraged by those at all. Just when you find that awesome guitar that plays ten times better, see it as a motivation to work towards.
Keep in mind that all channels had to start at the bottom. Maybe some of them had the opportunity to gain more attraction on a trending video or a great viral share they had a while back.
A fun thing to do, is to go to a large music channel, visit the video section and sort by date. That way, you might find the first video they have ever uploaded.
Check out the quality of that one, and see how far they have come!
Find your own way of creating similar content. Just mimic certain parts, but don’t copy. You are you and that needs to shine. Don’t try to be anyone else. It will make a great difference along the way if you stay true to yourself.
8. Do YouTube video research
To find great topics for your videos. You can find them in the YouTube search bar or on Google.
You could even find some ideas on other social channels. What are people talking about or what are questions that people ask the most that revolve around a topic that you can answer?
A big obstacle that you can run into and which can really limit your channel growth is only talking about what you want to talk about. Even though the channel is basically about you, it is not FOR you. So, the more content you create that is made for someone, the higher the chance of people interacting with your content. Don’t limit yourself by only sharing what you think works. You can find what people are looking for on YouTube and tap into that. Also, you can see what’s trending and see if you can create a personal spin on that subject.
Don’t be tempted to hop on every trend, but only choose the ones that you connect with and think your audience might like. Choosing trends just for the sake of it might scare people away, so stick with the main content that you have chosen in your initial goal and you’ll be fine.
Now that I re-read that, it might sound confusing. So, in short, create content that you like to create, and match it with content that people want to watch by doing research 🙂
9. Stay on topic
Although you can try out what works best for you when you are starting out on YouTube, it is key to stay on topic as much as possible.
If you find the best balance between what works for you and what your audience likes best, stick with that. By keeping consistent content on your channel, your audience knows what they can expect every time you upload a video.
10. Optimize for YouTube search
In the same line as finding good topics, you can optimize your titles and descriptions for search in the same fashion as SEO for websites does.
Tip, even your audio works for SEO, so the first words you utter need to be on-topic of your video’s topic
SEO basically works in combination with what people are looking for online. That is why good titles and descriptions are key here. People are more likely to search “ How to play hello by Adele”, than “Yeah! New guitar! Watch me play some riffs!”
This tip works best in combination with all the other tips. Only focussing on search results might break your creativity a bit, so only use it if you want to check any relevance of a video topic.
11. Stay positive!
It is easy to lose track, especially with that many videos uploaded every minute on YouTube. There are many people with roughly the same ideas as you and with different results every time.
Also, numbers can be a deceiving thing on YouTube. How many subs, views and comments like you get are important, yes, but not the initial goal? If your goal is to sell more albums, then keep an eye out on these numbers.
If you want to get more brand awareness, then check out how many people comment on your videos.
There you have it. 11 tips to start a YouTube channel as a musician. The biggest step in all of this is to start, so , no more excuses, start now! Grab your camera, record a video that you want to create and upload it to YouTube.
And, keep creating awesome music and share it with the world.
Maurice from Music-Mindset.com