As I’m sure you all know, the current talk of the new media world is frustrated YouTube partners losing subscribers and viewers getting unsubscribed from their favorite channels.The fact that the community made enough of an impact to force YouTube to post a response to the allegations shows the power of a collective voice. But in reality, we all have to remember that YouTube is a running business that needs to satisfy advertisers who cut the checks. But I digress, we can complain all we want about how YouTube is so “corporate” now or how it doesn’t favor independent artists anymore. In reality it’s ultimately YouTube’s decision to decided whether they want to take their users advice to improve, or keep doing what they’re doing. My point is, I believe that YouTube partners need to relieve their dependency on YouTube and focus on the big picture: Building yourself as an artist. So without further adieu, here are my 5 personal tips to #SaveYourself if we can’t #SaveYouTube.
1. Stop Depending On YouTube
Yes, I understand many of you make a living off YouTube. Some of you are so comfortable with receiving checks every month for your videos that this expectation is second nature. Stop falling into that trap! While YouTube is a huge monster with tons of funding, you can’t depend that it will be there for you forever. Because of that, you need to make sure you have other ways to maintain your following. This leads to my next tip.
2. Build a Social Media Following Aside From YouTube
One major thing that YouTube partners have stressed about is with the layout and algorithm changes, their views have dropped dramatically. Simply put, you can’t depend on YouTube to help drive views to your videos anymore. For example, the music page of that was once a place to see the next possible big musician on YouTube has now been replaced by top 40 music videos. Because of that, you’re going to need to learn how to drive your own views. With that being said, I want to heavily stress that you all take priority in building your social media followings. Make sure you find ways to drive your YouTube viewers to your Facebook and Twitter. I’ve seen partners with over 1 million subscribers, but only 50,000 likes on their fan page so I know there are people out there not doing this. Having other places to reach your audience will give you more outlets to promote your content. (Bonus: Check out this great infographic on 7 ways to grow your social media fan base).
3. Build A Solid Email List
I don’t care what you’ve heard. Email marketing is NOT dead. How do I know? Regardless of how often you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you always at least check your email once or twice a day. Have an email submission box on your webpage and offer an incentive (ex. free exclusive content) for them to sign up. Having a good email list is super valuable because tweets and status updates release in an up-to-the-minute feed, which doesn’t guarantee that all your followers/fans will see your posts. Email marketing insures that every single blast you send reaches their mailboxes, which gives you a higher click-through-rate to your target video.
4. Join a Network And/Or Studio
I am not going to speak on this because I think my writer Matthew Manarino explains the benefits best in his latest article whether YouTube Creators should stay independent or sign to a studio. Read that man’s stuff, it will change your life.
5. Let Your Fans Work For You
Yes, your fans can support you by subscribing to you and buying your stuff. But I think the greatest power of having a fan base is training them to help you get new fans. Pay extra attention when you go on Twitter and try to pinpoint which specific fans seem to be the most engaging around your content. If you see a particular fan constantly sharing and RTing your stuff on a daily basis, give them a personal shout out or better yet, offer them free stuff. Incentivising these loyal fans will make them feel recognized and encourage them to consistently share your brand everywhere they go. Doing this will also encourage other people to do the same because they can see that you care.