Building a YouTube presence has many benefits. Creating video content is one of the best ways to build an authentic relationship with your followers.
If your goal is to grow your personal brand on YouTube, this article will show you how.
But how do you get started?
This guide will walk you through the entire 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.”
A few people have had huge success by vlogging or making lifestyle videos of their daily adventures. But the reality is that this approach will almost always lead to failure. 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 is easier to put together a cohesive message and a content 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 this, you will create your tribe. You will find your audience and you will 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 follow him?
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.
Your niche could be anything. What are you passionate about? You can 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 will build with your audience.
If you seriously want to build a personal brand on YouTube, you first need to develop your niche.
Step 2 – Research and Find Your 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 is optimizing videos for keywords, especially if you already have a list of keywords that you are trying to rank for.
This is a three-step process.
Do Your Research
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, I recommend watching the ahrefs video below.
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 the video. Instead, YouTube uses metadata (and other rankings factors) to decide which videos belong at the top of the search results.
Think of your metadata as consisting of 4 parts.
- The title
- The first 100 words of your description
- The rest of your description
Be sure to add the keywords in the title.
Also, be sure to 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 these 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 keyword 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.
Make Quality Content that Drives Engagement
The next step to optimizing your YouTube channel for keywords 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 a newsletter, you could embed your videos into blog posts or you could 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 are 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 hardly pays any money to its content creators. To realistically 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 are speaking to a niche audience, that means you can create a product or a service created specifically for that audience and you can sell to them 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 went after specific keywords around social media.
This one video got almost 75,000 views.
With this video, I was able to land 5 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 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 in 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 having your YouTube channel try to monetize itself with ad revenue.
I definitely advocate you grow your personal brand on YouTube. In fact, I am recommitting myself to start creating 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 now.
A year ago, you will wish you started today.