Sell Yourself To Me
As Robert Kyncl, the VP and Global Head of Content for Google/YouTube said, “Audience development is equally as important as great content. By creating fantastic content and spending zero time on audience development, you are certain that you will not succeed on YouTube.”
Networking is one of the most important activities a NewTuber can engage in. It is the most reliable way for you to gain new and reliable viewers, improve the quality of your videos, and gain new opportunities for growth.
“But M, networking is hard and I don't understand it.”
Networking can seem difficult, but in reality you've already started. You're here reading this tutorial, or on the subreddit, on the Discord, or otherwise engaging with the community, and that is networking!
The next step is to engage with audiences in new places:
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- According to Jeremy Waite, the Head of Social Strategy at Adobe, when planning a successful social campaign you should be adhering to the 90:10 Model; that is, 90 percent of your time should be spent engaging with your audience while 10 percent should be devoted to creating the actual content.
- This means starting a conversation with the people who are following you, not asking them to watch your video. If you just post “Hey, here's my video,” every other day, you're going to isolate what little attention a social media user has in the first place. Remember, these are people. If you go on Twitter and see a post that says “Check out this video” do you click it? How about on Facebook? How about tumbler, instagram, or snapchat?
- Instead, engage your users naturally without any intention to market to them. Strike up a conversation, and spend a few seconds interacting with them as people. This will give you a much better return on your investment.
- Blogging is the written version of the video you made.
- While you're limited on words and time in videos, and cannot digress easily, in the written word you can expound upon your thoughts more easily and with greater detail in a medium wherein the audience actually appreciates it. It is not only acceptable, but encouraged, to give insider behind-the-scenes information on your thinking, inspirations, and future plans.
- This builds a loyal and demanding fan-base who interacts and evangelizes on your behalf. You aren't going to increase your base viewership this way, but you will increase your viewer engagement.
- Forums like reddit do not like you. Forums like yttalk, Tom's Hardware, or somethingawful do not like you. You are spamming up their precious community with unsolicited and unappreciated hyperlinks to videos they do not want to watch.
- Instead, build your reputation as a knowledgeable and well respected individual in the community, and they will seek out your videos. They will tell their friends about your videos and post your videos on reddit, somethingawful, and more.
- My audience is not your audience. Your audience is not my audience. Why not share those audiences so they can like us both?
- Spend some time doing what you do already—making videos—with another creator. That creator's audience is now going to see your content, and if they like you they might want to watch more of you. You've also built good will with a creator that may be larger or more successful than you are, even if they aren't currently.
- This isn't as difficult as you might think. For gamers, it's literally “Do you want to play a game?” For vloggers, it's “Do you want to talk about X?” Do you cook? Maybe you get someone else's recipe and 're-imagine' it. Do you make music? Do a digital remix, or a a jam session across Skype. Do you travel? Meet up with other local travelers and collaborate on a shared video.
- If you live within a few hours of a major city, find any conventions that are occurring in that city. If they are even tangentially similar to your content, visit them. Meet with others, make a video about your visit, collect lots of business cards! And when I say collect cards, I don't mean print 500 cards and hand them out. Very literally, accept other people's cards. I have been to dozens of conventions, and I know when I get home I have three or four stacks of business cards several inches high. Unless I have a specific contact I'm looking for, those cards will probably end up in the trash.
- Instead, collect cards from people you want to contact—don't hand them your card. Then, when you go home you can send them and email with an introduction that is personalized. “Hey M, it was really great seeing you at EmCon, thanks for the great advice. I'd love to be able to talk to you about how to...”
There is no better way to network than to simply approach another person you want to work with. Do you want to make a video with TotalBiscuit? Send him an email and ask to collaborate. The worst he can say is nothing, followed by “No, thanks.” But you might just get a Yes.
- There are two types of MCN (Multi-Channel Network), Managed and Affiliated. The big YouTubers who get lots of assistance? Those are Managed MCNs, where those YouTubers typically reside in the same building as the MCN staff. They receive one-on-one personalized attention to ensure their sponsorships, advertising, and brand are always at the forefront of the rest of the world's mind. They will network for you!
- The other type of MCN is called an 'Affiliated' MCN. This is the type of MCN you are typically in contact with. An affiliated MCN will offer you a dashboard. This Dashboard will take the information from your analytics page and show it to you on a different page. The will offer you apps that are replications of goo.gl, are actually just videos repeating common basic information, or will track your SEO (which you can do yourself for minimal effort). Affiliated MCNs will often also offer you 5-10% discounts on other purchases, like TubeBuddy. They might offer you a chance to get a sponsorship in a replication of FameBit. Many of the benefits of a MCN can be replicated through tools like ICX (Free).
These are not all the ways you can Network, but these will start you on the right path, and with a little effort you will grow exponentially every month! Good luck!