You've been there... You spent hours filming and editing a video. You made the script, the topic is awesome and you're positive that this is gonna be the one that takes your channel to the next level.
You hit confidently hit publish.
24 hours go by and you come check out the results.
Maybe your close friends watch it and give a thumbs up or two, but besides that, you feel like you're speaking into a void.
Even worse, sometime later you go back and watch the video yourself.
You see it and think, "this doesn't look at all like I wanted it to...why do other channels make it seem so easy?"
The answer is that YouTube is hard. I've broken down success into three parts.
- Ability to be interesting and find the right topics consistently. You need to be creative AND analytical. You have to understand what people want to see and then find creative ways to get them to watch. This comes perfectly naturally to no one. Some people just figure it out sooner than others.
- The ability to film and edit the video so viewers actually want to stay and get value or entertainment. You can outsource this, but let's face it, if you're channel isn't making any money yet, you probably aren't going to do that unless your channel is for an already established company or brand.
- The patience to stick through the nauseatingly slow early grown stages. People who do well on YouTube almost always have to start slow. Growth seems to happen in big random bursts. The real kicker is that you don't just succeed by uploading a ton of videos, you succeed by uploading a ton of videos AND learning as you go. Improving the content, the topics and learning what your subscribers want. This takes time and a lot of blind faith.
Although YouTube will always take a ton of time and effort, today I want to share a process that can make it a bit easier from a creation standpoint.
The concept is simple: Emulate what your favorite YouTubers are doing.
I hate to say it, but originality isn't at all what we'd like to think it is. To make your channel look the way you want it to, you need to find examples of what you want and sprinkle them throughout.
The more examples you find, the more original you'll become.
Now, it's time to harvest those things you want to emulate.
Emulation isn't unique, but this process is.
I can't take credit for this. I actually paid $2,000 for a course called "JumpCut Academy" and they taught me this. Also, I've used the method with copywriting and longhand duplication to improve my skills (stolen from Ryan Levesque).
Step #1 Watch the videos you love and document them frame by frame.
No detail is too small. Notice things like...
- Lower 3rds
- Audio effects
- Background music
- Calls to action
- Camera angles
Step #2 Try to recreate them shot by shot with your own content.
This works for a number of reasons.
First, it's hard to really put your finger on why some videos are appealing and others aren't. Doing this process dramatically increases your mindfulness of what is really going on.
Second, trying to recreate the shots will help you learn the things that matter when it comes to editing with whatever software you choose to use.
There are an endless number of possible features and functions inside even the most basic video editing software. Doing this process will help you learn the ones that you'll actually be using.
I do recommend that you take the free training programs that come with any good software (this is the one that came with Screenflow for example) but this will get you the 80/20 of what you need to know.
You're totally welcome to just go at this alone with a piece of paper and pen, BUT I did put together something that can make the process easier on you.
Completing the process in the worksheet will also make it easier for you to higher an editor when you're ready. You'll be able to show them exactly what you're looking for and it can help you get better work faster and at better total prices. You'll spend less on redos and you can hire someone who is good with following instructions vs. someone who charges premium rates because of their creativity.
Here are a few tools that will make the process easier.
Thumbnail Downloader - Extract The Thumbnail From Any Video.
Rev - Upload videos and get full text transcriptions of them. If you really wanna break down the scripts people are using (it is a big part of their success after all). It does cost about $1.25 per minute of transcriptions.
Snagit - What I use for screenshots and annotations. A basic screenshot will suffice but this is nice if you want to go further.
Download YouTube Videos - If you want to go offline or upload the videos to