YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google with 1.9 billion+ users. 37% of all mobile traffic belongs to YouTube. More than 70% of what people watch on YouTube is determined by its recommendation algorithm.
An artist should benefit from this ever-growing in-demand platform, not just to reach more people, but YouTube has an amazing monetization policy, creating a source of income for artists. Yes, the monetization comes with certain terms and conditions; but we'll discuss that later. First, let's see how to start an YouTube Channel as an artist.
STEP 1 - Identifying your Niche
Yes, you might be someone who works in charcoal and acrylics both, but don't start sharing everything on YouTube at the same time. It confuses the algorithm and you end up getting less visibility. Explore a little, and understand which medium are you most comfortable working on. Do you like landscapes or portraits ? Do you like to teach step-by-step or just share a time-lapse of your artwork with few tips ? Do you want to vlog and share parts from your everyday life too or just want to restrict it to art ?
Answer these three questions -
Do I want to make videos for beginners or for intermediate artists ?
Which medium, style and techniques do I want to share ?
Who would be able to afford the material and invest time in what I teach ?
SELECTING THE CHANNEL NAME
This is one of the most important steps, as it becomes your online identity permanently. Also, having niche-related keywords in Channel Name boosts the algorithm.
For example, if you want to start a channel for beginner-friendly sketching videos; then a name like - "Rad Sketches" or "Sketch with Rad" helps you get higher ranking on recommended videos.
A few tips to select name -
Keep is same across all your social media handles.
The name should suggest what your channel is about.
Don't keep it too long or too short.
It should be easy to pronounce and remember.
It should match with the kind of vibe/aesthetics your channel has.
PLANNING THE CONTENT CALENDAR
Before you get down to shooting videos, plan the content and the script. This step helps you to be consistent and complete work before deadlines without having to stress.
List down the topics you want to create videos on.
Re-order them according to preference.
Identify any important days/events/occasions that will be coming in next 3 months.
Schedule a video to be uploaded for this special events a week or two before it.
Select the days and frequency when you can post.
Match each day with a topic from the list you've already made.
Extra Tip - Weekends (Fri-Sun) and Wednesday have maximum traffic on YouTube. Also, uploading a video between 8 am to 11 am or 5 pm to 7 pm will give you higher chances of views.
CHOOSE A TONE AND VIBE FOR YOUR CHANNEL
A lot of beginner artists and YouTubers skip this step and that delays them from creating a personal brand. Just like any other brand has it's own colour palette and fonts and theme design. If you are looking to create a personal brand on YouTube, you need to decide a tone - recorded audio or music. If music, instrumental or lyrical ? If audio - sarcastic, funny, child-friendly, etc. If you want to add text or subtitles - what will be the font size, font type and font colour ? Are you going to show your face or only the artwork ? What are the possible backgrounds/backdrops around you where you can shoot ? What kind of clothes are you going to wear - formal or casual ? Contrast the backdrop with the colours of your clothes.
Also figure out your USP - Unique Selling Proposition i.e what sets you apart from the other creators in your niche ? What additional knowledge can you share ? Do you have a skill that can leverage you from others ?
Also, decide your Logo/Profile Picture, the placement of your texts, social media icons, etc.
This is not going to happen in a day or week, you'll need to do a strong research - watch numerous YouTube videos in your niche before you get started. Make notes about what you like and what you don't about each. This is a little tricky part, so ask your friends and family for help - they can be the best critics when asked.
CHOICE OF EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE
Do you have a smartphone or a DSLR ? Are you using a home-made tripod (read - jugaad) or are you ready to invest in one ? What kind of micro-phone do you have ? What are the lights you can use while shooting ? A basic Tripod, Microphone and Ring Light can be bought at INR 2000/- from Amazon.
Will you be editing on mobile or laptop ? Which software are you comfortable with ? Do you need to purchase the Premium or is it a Free Software ? Answer these questions. If you haven't yet, this would require research and some experimentation as to what suits you.
THE INTRODUCTION VIDEO
Most YouTube channels have an intro video from 10 sec to 1 minute that tells what the Channel is about. This one can be either animated or have you talk about yourself. Don't give out everything at the start itself, you'll loose the interest of your audience. AVOID THE LINE - Like, Share and Subscribe to my Channel as your second or third line. This can be told halfway or towards the end.
Ensure your introduction is quirky and gives the viewer an idea about you. This point is a make or break it - based on this, the audience will decide to subscribe to your channel or not. Simply asking them to subscribe won't help. Share a fun Fact or an Extra Tip or a Bonus. Be as creative as you can.
SCRIPT IT OUT
Write down the main points you want to cover. If you are not a very good speaker, write down the sub-points too. See, what part are you repeating. Don't repeat the exact words, but repeat the concept with a different example or explain in a different way. Read it out loud. Mark the points where you can take a pause. Practice Voice Modulation if required. If you cannot shoot in one-go, break it into parts. Study the length of the complete script. Edit if required.
Practise as many times as required, before you start shooting.
SHOOT THE VIDEO
Take care of all the points that we discussed above. Colour of clothes, lights, equipment, vibe, script and then get set go. Turn on your camera, wear a smile, be confident you've practised enough and give it a go. If not satisfied, go for a re-shoot.
If the above steps are done, this won't take much time.
EDITING THE VIDEO
Open your software and upload your raw file. Add audio/music as necessary. Add text wherever required. Place your social media icons and watermarks as you have decided. Synchronize the audio and video. Play it a couple of times until you feel satisfied. Save it. Make sure you have a good storage device or buy an harddisk if required.
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CREATING THE THUMBNAIL
This is the cover of your video. Your audience will see this image and the title to decide whether to click open your video or not. Don't crowd it with your own name and social media links, instead focus on the topic and an eye-grabbing image to go with it. It could be a part of your artwork or you holding your artwork or your tools. Be creative, but keep it simple to catch attention.
UPLOADING THE VIDEO
Add the video and thumbnail, you'll have to select a title too. Keep this simple and in co-ordination with your niche. Don't use much of technical jargon. It shouldn't be too short or too long. It should have long-tail keywords. After this add meta-tags, these are just like hashtags we use of Instagram, the only difference is your viewer won't be able to see what tags you've added. Only the algorithm sees it and pushes the videos when similar searches are made.
Add a description, this can have the list of materials you've used, a brief of the technique or any links you've mentioned. You can also schedule it and post according to the time you want. Understand that it may take a few hours to upload the video if your file size is large.
SHARE ON OTHER PLATFORMS
Now that you've uploaded it and it is public, time to share it with friends and family. Broadcast it on Whatsapp or share on Instagram Story. A trick is to create excitement before you upload by asking questions or sharing tips about the same before the upload is made.
Yes, you are done with your first video. But there is a long way to go. Start with your next videos and yes don't forget to celebrate - firsts are always special.
If you still have any questions unanswered, or need help with something more specific, you can book an Individual Art Consultancy Session with us ! Contact us now !
Wishing you a 'creative escape' ahead!