One of the most powerful things you can do as a photographer is to build a large and loyal following. That’s one reason so many photographers are almost obsessively trying to get more ‘likers’ on Facebook, and with good reason…
The problem is that building a following can be tricky and take a long time. So it’s easy to get frustrated and give up.
Follow along for the next few minutes, and I’ll show you how to build a strong following on YouTube, that aren’t just numbers on a social scoreboard, but actually turn into more clients and profits…
Getting a large YouTube fan base following you and your work is a smart strategic move for a few reasons
- It instantly turns you into ‘the expert’
- Builds social proof – meaning that if someone sees a lot of people listen to you, then they’re likely to listen as well
- Gives you a platform to provide valuable advice, as well as announce offers
- Creates faster and stronger relationships thanks to the video format, almost like you’re speaking to the viewer face-to-face
- Builds much more trust than other platforms allow
Here’s What To Do…
The direction your YouTube channel takes is totally up to you. It’s obviously dependant on the type of photography you specialise in, and I can almost guarantee that it’ll change over time…
Here’s a few ideas:
- A montage of your photos playing to music
- Posing tips for subjects (brides, families etc)
- Photography tips for those looking to get into photography
#1 – Post At Regular Intervals
It’s important to give your subscribers a time to ‘check-in’ to see your new videos, even when you’re just getting started and don’t have any yet.
Set a day, and at the end of each video let the viewer know when new videos will be posted, like “I post a new video every Thursday afternoon”…
This gives them something regular to look forward to – kind of like watching their favourite TV show.
Secondly, it gives them a good reason to sign up – Nobody wants to subscribe to a YouTube channel that only posts a new video once a year… what would be the point?
Knowing that you’ll be posting a new video each week encourages them to click the ‘subscribe’ button because YouTube sends them an email reminder when your videos go live.
You can post more than once per week, but at least make sure you’re doing one per week on a scheduled day.
#2 – Don’t Get Too OCD With Quality – Make It Personal
Your videos don’t need to look like big budget productions, and they shouldn’t!
As long as you’ve got:
- proper lighting (naturally lit rooms are great)
- a good camera (most of the newer DSLR’s have movie mode which works well – I’ve got a Canon 700D that works great)
- quality audio recording device (I use a Blue Snowball, but there are lavalier mic’s that can plug straight into the camera)
Then you’re all set!
It doesn’t have to be perfectly scripted either. Just take a few notes and then be yourself. Act natural and you can even leave in a few tongue slips if you want.
Edit out big mistakes later in iMovie, Sony Vegas, or your favourite video editing software.
You’re not aiming for perfection… you’re aiming for personal. Make the viewer feel like you’re talking directly to them!
#3 – Provide Value To Viewers And Don’t Try To Sell
Don’t mention your latest package deal during in every video you post – people will unsubscribe because they’re not on YouTube to be sold to. They want to learn, and be entertained.
Give away your best tips and ideas and tell personal stories. You’ll build a following much faster.
TITLES: Come up with a create title for each video because this is what will bring in more viewers than anything… A title like “Photography Tips” is going to get lost in a sea of similar videos, but one like “Making Colors ‘POP’ – A Cheat Sheet For Photographers” will stand out and fare much better.
You can put a link to your website, or your email address in the description area of any videos that directly relate to your business, but it’s best keep information about your photography business on your ‘About Me’ page of your YouTube account.
#4 – Ask Them To ‘Like’ and ‘Subscribe’
If you’ve spent much time on YouTube, you’ll know that the channels with the most subscribers and views always ask you to like and subscribe at the end of each video.
A little bonus tip is – “Give them a reason to do what you’re asking”, even if it seems totally unrelated or trivial…
Something like “I’d really appreciate if you could like this video, and subscribe to my channel because it really helps the channel grow”…
Having that added “Because it really helps the channel grow” section will increase the responsiveness, even though it seems like people would just say “who cares?” – This has actually been tested in studies – here’s an article on LifeHacker that explains the study
Don’t Let ‘Getting Started’ Stop You
Getting your YouTube channel running might seem hard at first, but after the first 3 or 4 videos you’ll get much more confident on camera, your shooting and editing time will go down, and you’ll start to get more subscribers which will boost your motivation to post more!
Write down a plan for your own channel and set a goal to get started this month. It’s one of those things that you’ll set up now and it’ll benefit you and your business for years to come, even if you stop making videos!
Have you used YouTube before? Will you use in the future? Leave your comments below and let me know!