Follow my guide of tips and dos + don’ts to help you along your way.
Before you push record on your camera, make sure you have all your supplies within reach. Viewers tune out when they have to watch dead air.
2. Look good.
You are representing your business and making an impression (often a first time impression) to potential customers. Take the time to look good. If you think of it as a first date, you will dress to impress.
3. Be clean.
In addition to looking good, your work surface should also look good. Clean away any clutter, shine up your utensils and wipe down your work surface. Ask yourself if you would be turned off as a viewer. If the answer is yes, keep cleaning.
4. Entertainment or education?
Is the goal of your channel purely to entertain your viewers? Or is geared towards instructional videos? If it is to entertain, be entertaining. Show off your personality or use your acting skills. If it is for educational purposes, cut out any chit chat and daily life event commentary.
5. Quality video.
Watching a poorly lit, poorly focused, hard to hear and super long video is so frustrating. I honestly just avoid them (as do the greater percentage of viewers). Make your time on screen count not avoided.
6. Be consistent.
If you plan to create video content regularly, be consistent with your theme. For example, all of my Soaping101 videos are shot from the same angle, are similar in length and are based on the same subject matter, soap. My viewers (and there are quite a lot of them) have come to recognize Soaping101’s YouTube channel by its uniformity. Just a few seconds into watching each video and you know that it is Soaping101. Find your style and stick with it.
7. Negativity is a no-no.
Don’t give in to negativity- whether spoken by you in a video or left as a comment. The age of online communication has created a pool of individuals that sit behind their screens and spout negativity. Don’t be one of them. You are representing your business, your livelihood and getting a bad reputation is not part of your business strategy. Also keep in mind that not all comments made regarding your videos are meant to be personal attacks. Take the time to read each and find a way to learn from the comment. Are the viewers asking you to turn up the volume? Then do it. Are the viewers offering advice on your persona? Listen and make a change. Give the viewers what they want (within reason) or you will have no viewers at all.
8. Be accurate.
Never wing-it with a recipe on screen. Be sure to offer accurate measurements because faulty recipes may cause injury to someone that tries to replicate it. All of Soaping101 videos are pre-planned in advance. The recipe is tested and the technique is tried prior to filming. If it did not work for me, it may not work for you and I don’t have enough liability insurance to gamble with. So the video will never be posted.
9. Be prepared to defend yourself.
Do you know what you are talking about? Viewers will assume that you do if you post a video and many will have questions. You must have the authority and knowledge to explain your methodology. If you do not know, you will be thought of as inept and viewers will tune out.
10. Be law abiding.
Know the rules and regulations for the country/state you live in. Be wary of creating content that is known to be illegal in your area. Many products may be permissible for personal use but not for resale. Sure you can create a video about it but be sure to let your viewers know that is indeed for your personal use.
11. Don’t give away all your secrets.
Part of being an entrepreneur is the ability to hold your cards close to your chest. You absolutely do not need to give up your prize recipe but you can offer a close alternative for your viewers. What would be the point of me (as a viewer) watching a 15 minute video on how to make bath bombs only to find out that I have no recipe to try it out myself? Offer your viewers something to keep them interested in and coming back for more.
12. You don’t have to post all the videos you make.
As I said before, if my test does not produce a quality product, I will not make a video about it. And the same goes for poorly filmed videos. Or videos that are missing key parts (oops, I forgot to turn on my camera during that part). Be professional and only post the videos that are worth watching.
13. Be original!
Make your mark on YouTube. Find your niche and your voice instead of mimicking someone else’s. Everyone is different and your channel should be as unique as you.