Building a YouTube presence has many benefits. Creating video content is one of the best ways to build authentic relationships with your followers.
If your goal is to grow your personal brand on YouTube, but you don’t know how to get started, keep reading.
This guide will walk you through a four-step process.
Step #1: Pick your niche
One of the biggest mistakes people make is approaching YouTube with the idea of “wanting to be a YouTuber.”
Some people have had huge success by vlogging or making lifestyle videos of their daily adventures. But this approach will almost always lead to failure, because when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up speaking to no one.
Instead, find the people you want to serve, and create content directly for them.
When you know who you’re speaking to, it’s easier to put together a cohesive message and content marketing strategy.
You don’t need to make videos for everyone. You need to make videos for the people you want to help.
When you do that, you’ll create your tribe. You’ll find your audience and develop a loyal following who respects your expertise in a particular subject matter.
For instance, when I was younger, I used to buy, trade, and sell Magic: The Gathering cards. I got really into it. Years later, I still keep up with the market. It’s a fun hobby.
When I want to catch up on the latest news on Magic: The Gathering cards, I follow Rudy from Alpha Investments. He makes the best videos about the current trade value and investment opportunities for Magic Cards, comic books, and other collectibles.
If Rudy decided to make a YouTube channel about his day-to-day life, do you think I would watch?
No. I follow Rudy because he makes great videos about Magic cards.
Rudy found a subject matter that he was passionate about and has built an enormous YouTube following around his personal brand.
What are your passions? You could create a YouTube channel about:
- Books and novels
- Art and sculpture
- Business and marketing
- Addiction recovery
The more specific you get, the more loyalty you’ll build with your audience.
If you’re serious about building a personal brand on YouTube, you first need to hone your niche.
Step #2: Select the best keywords
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, right behind Google.
Most video traffic comes from search. People use YouTube to solve problems and find answers to questions they have.
There is so much opportunity to optimize videos for keywords, especially if your personal brand already aims to rank for a list of keywords.
You can follow this three-step process.
1. Research effectively
Finding keywords for YouTube is just like finding keywords for Google. However, the software available isn’t quite as robust as web optimization software.
One of my favorite YouTube keyword tools is keywordtool.io. You can find search traffic volume for certain keywords and also find recommendations for what people are looking for when they search on YouTube.
For a more in-depth lesson on YouTube keyword research, check out the ahrefs video below.
2. Optimize your metadata
Metadata is the “chunks of content” that YouTube indexes to figure out what your YouTube video is about.
YouTube doesn’t know what you’re talking about in a video. Instead, it uses metadata (and other ranking-factors) to decide which videos belong at the top of search results.
Think of your metadata as consisting of four parts:
- The title
- The first 100 words of your description
- The rest of your description
Be sure to add your keywords in the title.
Also, put a keyword in the first 100 words of your description and include a call to action. YouTube only displays the first 100 words in the description preview, so it’s important to make those 100 words count.
In the rest of the description, I recommend inserting your video transcript since it’s full of keywords.
Lastly, be sure to include specific and long-tail keywords when you tag the video.
Pro tip: Don’t tag your video with unrelated keywords. If YouTube catches you trying to “trick” them, they might ban your YouTube account.
3. Drive engagement with quality content
The next step to optimizing your YouTube channel for keywords is to create engaging, excellent video content.
The most relevant factor in YouTube’s algorithm is engagement.
YouTube wants to rank the most helpful videos. It makes perfect sense that YouTube will assume videos with the most watch time, likes, comments, and engagement are the videos that are most helpful to the people watching them.
The point is that high-quality video content is a must. You won’t be able to game the system by creating poor-quality videos with well-optimized metadata. YouTube knows if your content is valuable or not, so don’t skip out on the process.
To grow your personal brand on YouTube, be sure to follow those optimization strategies.
Step #3: Promote your YouTube channel
Many YouTubers think that creating video content is enough.
If you want to build your personal brand on YouTube, you need to do more than simply create content.
You also need to promote your content.
How do you go about doing this? There are many ways.
Sharing your videos on social media is an obvious answer. Personally, I would recommend sharing the YouTube link on social media as opposed to uploading the video directly to other social media platforms.
For me, a YouTube following is much more valuable than a Facebook or Twitter following, so I always funnel the traffic back to YouTube.
In addition, you should think about cross-promoting all of your content. If you have a blog or newsletter, you could embed your videos into blog posts or even share your videos directly through email.
Finally, don’t be afraid to advertise your YouTube channel. Your personal brand is an investment in yourself. The money you spend now could result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in the future.
If you’re smart and methodical, you can create a huge return on your investment by growing your YouTube channel with advertising.
Step #4: Monetize your YouTube channel
Listen up! This part is very important.
Remember in Step #1, when we talked about choosing a niche and focusing on your tribe? This is the step where that decision really pays off.
The worst way to monetize a YouTube channel is through selling ads. YouTube doesn’t typically pay substantial money to its content creators. To make a living with ad revenue, you need to be constantly creating content and driving hundreds of thousands of views.
It’s not realistic.
But, if you’re speaking to a niche audience, you can create a product or service specifically for that audience to sell through your YouTube channel.
This is how you make real money.
For instance, years ago when my marketing agency did social media marketing, I made a handful of videos that targeted specific keywords around social media.
The video below got almost 75,000 views.
With this video, I was able to land five new clients that resulted in more than $40,000 a month in revenue and $10,000 a month in profit.
Do you know how much money I would have made off of that video if I were selling ad space?
Probably 20 bucks.
If you want to grow your personal brand on YouTube, you need to be smart about it. What’s the point of having a huge following if you aren’t able to get a reward out of it?
When you define your audience, you can also define a product or service to sell through your videos.
With this methodology, you can grow a business by using YouTube as a media outlet that promotes your products or services. This is much more effective than trying to monetize your YouTube channel with ad revenue.
YouTube is worth the investment
So, it’s time to grow your personal brand on YouTube. In fact, I’m recommitting to create more video content as well.
A YouTube following has so many benefits. You can use it to grow a business, you can leverage your knowledge to build a speaking career, or you could even get paid to promote other products on your channel.
Either way, you should start making the investment.
A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.