YouTube is the #1 most effective platform to grow your brand authority, gain brand recognition and enjoy long-term profitability because YouTube is more like Netflix than a social media site and your customers can binge-watch your content for hours instead of just liking and leaving.
But how in the world do you start a YouTube channel for your business?
The points below will start you on a path to not only launch your YouTube channel but give you a sense of the growth strategy moving forward.
Step 1: Competitive Research
You need to know what’s already working on YouTube in your industry, who are the leaders, and what content you can add to the conversation.
If you are an industry leader, this should be easy. Some research is just spying on your competition and knowing your buyer. The research consists of learning the following:
- Who is your audience on YouTube?
- What other channels does your audience watch?
- What are their top videos?
- What do their thumbnails look like?
- Who else can you emulate or get inspiration from?
- What catches your attention on their channels?
So before you start a YouTube channel, you should spend at least 2 hours understanding your competition as it exists on YouTube.
Step 2: Content Themes
Only the best parts of your business should be on YouTube.
Imagine for a moment that your YouTube channel is a channel on TV. It is not just a single show, but a collection of shows with the same overarching theme. For example, HGTV is popular for people who love anything to do with home design, decorating, and remodeling. Some shows on HGTV take broken down, rotten homes and make them into mansions, while others only take on a portion of a home for renovation.
So when you start a YouTube channel, you need to pick the theme as it relates to your business and how you can capture that essence into a variety of shows just like TV channels do.
Step 3: Binge-worthy Content
A key to starting a successful YouTube channel is about making the videos worth watching. You want your audience to get addicted to your channel and binge watch your content. This means putting together videos like How-Tos and Live Shows.
Look at Doctor Mike, for example. His episodes are binge-worthy due to his approach. He has videos that grab your attention like “A Day in the Life” or reaction type videos. These videos grab you hook, line and sinker.
Step 4: Programming Strategy
There are 4 core disciplines of YouTube and the first is your Programming Strategy: What videos are you going to make when you start a YouTube channel?
Take a look at the image below:
To get started, try to “Brain Dump” all your video topic ideas from your brain and get them onto paper. Next, frame these ideas into 3-4 shows. When you get stuck on ideas, try these options out:
- 5 Ws: Who, What, Where, Why, When.
- Most Common Sales Objections
- Use the “Great” Video Template
- FAQ’s and SAQ’s (Should-Ask-Questions)
In The Video Marketing School, members get a full training on the Programming Discipline and how to create content that will actually generate pre-qualified viewers and convert them into customers. If you’d like support in developing your YouTube content- Join The Video Marketing School Here.
Step 5: Editing Your Video
Perhaps the most challenging part of YouTube is editing and when you start a YouTube channel you should decide if you’re going to edit the videos yourself or if you’re going to outsource the video editing to someone else.
Even if you don’t have experience editing – it’s not hard. That said, it is time consuming. It may take up to one hour to edit a 7-minute video if you use our process. You can also outsource your editing if you have the budget to to do. Here are two options for editing that will accomplish the job no matter which direction is best for you:
- Get Camstasia – This is an all-in-one video editing software that works on Mac and PC. Camtasia also includes a screen recording option, text features, a variety of special effects, and a video camera feature so you can record your video using Camtasia too!
- Video Husky – is an outsource editing company based in the Philippines. I use them for ALL my video editing and they are so affordable, I also use them for client work as well. They have 3 plans for every budget and this video explains how to hire someone effectively.
Step 6: Branding Elements
Branding your channel is important for recognition and also credibility. Therefore you cannot skip things like a channel banner, thumbnail templates and other branding elements that your audience will recognize as distinctly “you.”
One of the major problems that Business Owners and Entrepreneurs face when you start a YouTube channel is using stock graphics and other free drop-ins and overlays that scream “CHEAP” and remind your audience that you’re using the same free stuff as everyone else. As a business owner, your brand needs to be represented in your videos.
We recommend using video branding elements in all of your videos. With Video Branding Elements, your logo and brand colors are transformed into drop-ins and overlays that YOU OWN and no one else can use. You get 6 custom-made drag and drop elements that will match your channel banner and your thumbnail templates.
Step 7: Start Filming Videos
With the first 6 steps out of the way, you’re now ready to start filming videos. While most business creators start filming first, you’ve taken your time to get to this point so that you don’t waste your effort.
NOTE: If all you can afford is a smartphone, that’s fine! Mobile device camera’s are better today than ever before so don’t let that stop you. Simply grab a tripod and a mobile phone dock and you’ll be ready to film.
If you’ve got a budget to get better gear – then do it! By investing towards your equipment you’ll get the best quality videos which will help you to stand out. For businesses, I always recommend that you turn your work desk into a “Video Creation Station” so that you’re always in a position to shoot video. Here’s the short list of gear you need:
For a complete list of the gear we recommend, you can download our Video Gear Guide for free and pick what’s best for you.
Step 8: Your Video Set
The room that you film in and the furniture, wall hangings, windows, and everything else in view is your “set.” As a business professional, your set needs to reflect your credibility and authority without distracting the viewer with messy papers, loud equipment, or other chaos.
For many business creators this can be a problem of space, time, or noise but it’s easily solvable. With a simple backdrop you can transform any workspace or wall into a high impact video set that will engage your viewers. You can get a 3D set, a brick wall, a wood background.
There are so many options and we’ve included some links below and a full video explaining more:
Step 9: Schedule Your Video Time
Perhaps the most crucial component to consider when you start a YouTube channel is scheduling time to get it done. Once your channel is up and running, you will need to dedicate 2-4 hours a week to keep it going.
Let’s say Wednesday at 9am is the best time for you on a weekly basis to dedicate to YouTube. We suggest that you schedule 2 hours in your schedule RIGHT NOW as a recurring weekly event.
Once scheduled, divide that time as such:
1st Wednesday of month – write/sketch out 4 videos
2nd Wednesday of month – record the videos and edit them
3rd Wednesday of month – make the video thumbnails & upload
4th Wednesday of month – Publish one video, schedule the rest
Step 10: Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is also called SEO. This is the process of using the write words and phrases in your video titles to ensure that the most people possible will find your video.
You do not need to overthink this step, but put in some good time for strategy. The titles of your videos are extremely important and how you word them can make or break your ability to get found. Some pointers include:
- Get the best SEO tool in the industry called TubeBuddy.
- Find a top performing keyword in your industry
- Make 5 videos with that keyword in the topic
- Spy on the competition and see how they structure titles.
- Join the Video Marketing School to get our full course on how to use Tubebuddy and SEO effectively.
Step 11: Make G.R.E.A.T. Videos
Business video creators often struggle with what to say in your videos and when to say it. We recommend following a proven format that you can use in every video so you don’t have to memorize a script or write copious notes or worse.
I do not suggest “winging it” because you have the gift of gab. Videos that are improv’d perform the worst.
With a proven formula, you’ll automatically get higher view counts, more subscribers, better engagement and longer watch times. You should implement this IMMEDIATELY when you start a YouTube channel. We teach our members a process called the GREAT Video Formula. You can download the Great Video Format Template to ensure your writing skills are up to par. Lastly, you can sign up for our very next workshop for a little more hands on approach.
Step 12: Use an RoS for Video Podcasts & Live Streaming
If you plan to do a video podcast, a live stream, or a longer format video than the GREAT video formula may not be enough to fill up 30-60 minutes. That’s when you might need something stronger like an RoS (Run of Show).
The RoS will give you a professional flow to your long-form videos while cutting out all the errors, the Ums, and the dead air. Every professional news organization, talk show, podcast, and live stream use an RoS. With an RoS, you can read off a teleprompter or “burst.”, whichever suits you best, but the RoS will make all the difference. Of course, we have a template for that too!
Step 13: Repurpose Your Videos
Repurposing is the art of re-making your your video to be appropriate on other platforms and should not be confused with “sharing” your YouTube video on other platforms.
While Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin will not be as effective as YouTube for a primary platform, you still have audience there to engage. Repurposing your videos through Facebook Live stream, Facebook Video, Stories, Fleets, Tweets, IGTV and Reels requires just a little skill.
You can also use Restream.io to simulcast your YouTube Live stream onto Facebook, into Facebook Groups, or onto Twitch, Twitter, and more – all at the same time! We recommend you do not do all of your content live, however one live show a week or even bimonthly is sufficient. The rest of your YouTube channel should be pre-recorded. This is because watch time on longer live shows will hurt your channel and the algorithm won’t work to your advantage.
Here’s an example of a Repurposing workflow:
Step 15: YouTube Thumbnails
Every view on YouTube starts as a Thumbnail that was clicked. While other platforms “autoplay” videos as soon as they hit your newsfeed, YouTube is unique in that every video is represented first as a thumbnail.
A Thumbnail is that little picture that comes up as a snapshot of your video. These pictures are not at random. In fact, there is a whole strategy that goes behind picking the picture, choosing the words and placing everything together. A better thumbnail means that more people will click and more clicks means more views which lead to longer watch times.
Angelica Ventrice is a YouTube Intensive Member and her thumbnails look incredibly good and really work!
Liked editing, thumbnails might be a DIY task or you might outsource it. We also offer Thumbnail Workshops at The Video Marketing School because the devil is in the details. The workshop is designed to get through the nitty gritty of thumbnail strategy and design. You can learn more about our workshops here.
Step 16: Video Branding Elements
Video Branding Elements (VBE’s) are those overlays and digital graphics that give your video a branded, professional look. Many business creators buy graphic overlays from 3rd party sites or use template graphics from iMovie (for example). This is a mistake and makes your videos look just like your competitors.
We recommend that you invest in your own Video Branding Elements made with your company logo and brand colors so that every video you make sends a message of credibility and authority to your viewers.
We offer a custom made VBE package that is extremely affordable. In just 2-3 days you can have your own set of VBE’s for your videos including:
- Animated logo intro
- Animate Lower Thirds
- Animated Transition
- Full Screen Graphic
- Half Screen Graphic
- End Screen
Step 17: Optimize & Publish
Now that your video is complete it’s time to upload the video to YouTube and optimize it for discoverability (Step 3 of the 4 YouTube disciplines). Once done, you’ll be ready to publish.
There are two factors in optimization. The first are your meta data and that refers to your title, description, and tags. For best results there is no better tool than Tubebuddy for finding the right keywords, phrases, and supporting tags.
The next part of optimization help to achieve that “binge-watching” effect where your viewers watch multiple videos in a row. This is very valuable on YouTube and these factors are your icard and end screens. These features allow you to link your video to other videos (and websites) but this should be handled with care. Your channel will not grow if you do this too much or do it improperly. Your viewers want to see who you are before being pitched so be sure to nurture your viewers and warm them up with your personality and knowledge of your industry through multiple videos before you ask them to visit your website.
Similarly, you don’t want to link out to another video before your viewers have watched more than 70% of your current video. Otherwise, you’re hurting your own watchtime.
Want an even better approach? Join The Video Marketing School and get access to The Video Sales Machine course to learn how to lead them to their offers and nurture them to sales using video marketing.
Step 18: Get More Video Views!
Once your video is published the fun begins! Now you get to watch your views and you can take active steps to increase your views and trigger the YouTube algorithm to share your video with more people.
This is Step 3 of the 4 YouTube Disciplines: Promotion.
Many business creators expect YouTube videos to just “go viral” but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. You have to promote your video and let people know that you’re active on YouTube. When you invite people to watch your videos then YouTube can match their profiles with other YouTube users and cause your video to get more views.
Download the free YouTube studio app and track your views over the first week of your upload. Look at the graphic below and how promoting your video can help it to climb the charts.
Step 19: Measure Your Progress
The last of the 4 Disciplines of YouTube is Progress. This is where you measure your analytics and make adjustments to future videos to reflect what you’ve learned.
YouTube provides a ton of analytics to help you measure the results of your videos and these numbers are all extremely important. That said, some numbers are more important than others at certain times in your growth and trying to measure everything at once can be ineffective.
The most important analytics to check are:
Watchtime – this is the average amount of time that viewers are watching your videos. It’s expressed in a whole number such as 3:51. In other words, viewers are watching for an average of 3 minutes and 51 seconds.
Average View Duration – similar to above but expresses as a percentage of your total video. If your video is 5 minutes long and your watchtime is 2:30 then your AVD is 50%.
Total Views: this is total number of views that are 30 seconds or more. This number is relative to time. While your video will always show you total views, your analytics will show you your views relative to how long the video has been published (2 hours, 13 hours, 4 days… for example).
Impressions – this is the total number of screens that your video thumbnail has been seen on. So if you make a video and I see the thumbnail on my laptop, I see it again on my mobile, and then I see it again on my Mac, that’s 3 total impressions.
Click Through Rate – this is the percentage of people who clicked on your video thumbnail relative to your total impressions. So using the example above, if your video appeared on my screens 3 times and I clicked on it once, your CTR is 30%.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Now that you know the 19 steps to starting a YouTube channel in 2020, it’s time to take action by starting at step 1 and moving all the way through the list. This might seem overwhelming at first but if you follow our program then you can accomplish this in only 2 hours per week.
Here are two training programs that will help you fast-track your results and stay accountable to your goals so you don’t drop the ball:
For DIY’ers : Join The Video Marketing School and access our training program with 100+ hours of YouTube training that you can access on your own time. Plus, you’ll get access to our Members Only Facebook Group and a monthly call with Owen Video on the first Thursday of every month to ask questions, get channel reviews, and get expert eyes on your videos.
For Industry Leaders – If you’re a leading voice in your field, you have at least one employee, maybe you have a podcast, you speak at events, then you’ll want to join our most elite program: The YouTube Authority Intensive. This 12-week program is designed to help leaders like you with Done-WITH-You and Done-FOR-You training that includes templates, graphics & video branding elements, weekly accountability calls, 24/7 text access to Owen Video, your team can join (up to 2 people), and weekly training calls.