If you are an artist in this day and age you’re likely to have gone to YouTube for some inspiration. Perhaps you have some favorite YouTube artists you are a fan of and follow.
Maybe you even harbor dreams of starting your own channel too. I’m here to tell you to do it!
I just got mine started recently myself. Just this past week in fact. April 27th, 2020 to be precise.
So please take any of my advice with a HUGE grain of salt as I’m only just getting started.
This page is more meant to document the start of my journey and what I’m learning so far. What my thinking process is towards my current approach and some of the challenges I’m currently facing.
There is this great page here by the awesome YouTuber Stan Prokopenko that has some excellent advice.
If you don’t know who he is he is the creator of Proko.com and the Draftsmen Podcast.
There are a number of things he recommends that I’m not doing yet but are part of my growth plan over the next few weeks.
Find A Way To Get Started
This is always the hardest part of any endeavor I have ever pursued. In order to get better, you must get started!
I personally was being hesitant about how I looked, what I sounded like, how to batch produce content properly, whether or not my lighting or backdrop was good, is my format reproducible on a regular basis, on and on and on…
I started producing my first video probably last month. I wanted to create a video for my “How To Paint A Galaxy Page” which currently is my highest viewed page.
I took a bunch of footage and then got over judgmental on the audio, on the video, on my awkwardness, and never was able to get it launched last month.
Now, one of the things I would recommend to start with just to get the ball rolling is to simply do some time lapse footage of you working on your painting. The key thing to remember here is this is just where you start.
I think it is perfectly fine if this is all you do for your first upload. The point is it’s something simple to get the camera rolling.
I actually started by posting small time lapse clips to Instagram and Twitter.
Then with each clip I would try to step it up a notch. I would learn to add a title sequence. Then add some background music.
Next figure out transitions and then how to make great thumbnails. It is all a process to break down into tiny bite-size chunks.
Until eventually, I could put a few of them together to make this first video you see here!
It is absolutely terrible I know! My export settings were off. My camera settings were wrong.
It’s just awful.
I did break the inertia though! That is what matters most!
You have to just dive in and get started any way you can! Just take one small step with each video you do.
This is what really helped me to get the ball rolling and not wait around all year like I did last year on this website. That was a mistake I don’t care to repeat again.
The longer you wait to get started the longer it will be before you achieve success.
Getting The Process Down
The goal at the outset should be to aim to provide helpful content in some sort of repeatable format. Something that you can produce and post on a regular schedule.
Hopefully, something that you can eventually batch produce multiple videos at once.
I’m attempting to get to this outcome by building it up one small step at a time.
How can you batch produce content when you don’t have a format or a formula to follow? How can you batch produce if you don’t know how to shoot video to make the editing process easier? Or if you don’t know how to edit?
If you try to dive in and take on too much all at once you will feel overwhelmed and end up getting nowhere. This is what happened to me at first.
I just have to keep following the previously described process of building things up one element at a time. We must take it one small step at a time until we have a format and the skills necessary for a full episode of something.
Now that I got things going I’m thinking I’m going to start aiming for a Monday morning launch time every week.
Consistency is key and something nearly everyone recommends.
The next thing I need to do, which is one of Stan Prokopenko’s 10 tips, is to start showing my face and refining my on camera hosting skills.
This is what I hope to work on this week for next weeks release. As awkward as it’s going to be I must work through it to get to where I want to be.
I don’t know about you but I get bored of and frustrated by videos that say they are tutorials for painting but all they are is a video of someone painting. Explaining nothing.
This works out for me because it gives me the opportunity to study their work and explain what I’m able to deduce from them in my own videos.
Research Search Queries and Keywords
When it comes to researching search queries there are a variety of methods and ways to approach this.
First you have to figure out what it is that you really want to talk about.
Then you need to ask yourself, if I was someone looking for information on this how would I search for it?
Start entering in search terms into YouTube and look at the popup suggestions. Take note of what pops up.
Then actually run the search and see what it gives you in the results. What are the quality of those videos?
What is the information being provided? How engaging is the video?
Is there an awesome title and thumbnail? How many views does it have? When was it published?
There is a lot of data you can mine this way to gain insights into potential titles you might want to use and search queries you may want to target.
I use a keyword tool called Keywords Everywhere that you can install in your web browser. This tool generates a number for each search you make that gives you an “estimate” of the total monthly searches for that phrase.
I put the estimate in quotes as you have to take this number with a very big grain of salt.
That said, it is meant to indicate the demand for a particular search phrase.
In the picture above it says the search volume for “beginner acrylic painting” is 1,280 searches a month.
You can then compare that demand with the quality of results to identify potential topics to cover that may be undeserved.
Since I’m only 3 videos in I don’t quite have a good handle yet on what phrases to target that I can win for yet. It’s really a matter of trial and error until you start to notice patterns between the data generated in your research and the results you are getting.
This is another thing you need to examine and work on improving every video.
How people discover our videos is going to be a big part of how we grow our channel.
Developing A Show and Doing Collaborations
The next thing I need to start working on, in a few more weeks once I get my production habits and routine down, is to work on finding other YouTubers to collaborate with.
I have a few in mind but I need to keep an eye out for newer YouTubers that aren’t too much further ahead of me. Ones that I may be able to approach for a collaboration.
In this way, we can help share each other’s audiences. I really don’t even have any subscribers yet so I need to get some before I can consider this route.
It will be easier to convince someone to collaborate once you at least have some subscribers and show a track record of releases.
This is where developing a show comes in handy. Having a value proposition. It’s about having something that hooks people and brings them back for more.
Create something funny or interesting in some way. Deliver value.
These are my most pressing challenges to be tackled next for myself at this time.
Once we start getting regular views and steady subscribers then we can have a little bit of something to offer someone else in a collaboration.