Episode #302: What I’ve Learned From Starting a YouTube Channel
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 302 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about what I’ve learned since starting my YouTube channel. On to the episode.
Hello, welcome to Episode 302. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in today, which is all about what I’ve learned so far with launching a YouTube channel. Which is The House of Sugar Creek, so if you haven’t seen it, pop over to YouTube, search The House of Sugar Creek. I will also link it in the show notes so you can get there quickly. And I would love it if you would subscribe. That is the name of the game with YouTube. Likes, subscribe, and comments.
And before I dive in to this week’s episode, I want to remind you that the doors to the Inner Circle membership are reopening on April 1. If you want to be in the know and be one of the first to know when the doors are open on April 1. Get yourself on the waitlist. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle. There is going to be one membership level moving forward. $27 a month. It gives you access to everything. Gives you access to my template library, my resource library, monthly live Q&As, the monthly book club, my weekly office hours through my Voxer channel. It gives you access to everything, so if you want to be in the Inner Circle and learn from me, and learn from your fellow unconventional business unicorns, you need to get yourself on that waitlist. The doors will open April 1st through April 15th, and then will not reopen until August 1. So you definitely don’t want to miss out on this next round.
Alright, so let’s talk about YouTube and my foray into YouTube. And again, I’m three videos in, so that’s three weeks of content. And I launched the first Friday in March, which was March the fifth. I launched The House of Sugar Creek, which is my YouTube channel that basically gives you a behind the scenes look at everything that I’m involved in, and everything that we do on the daily, which is a lot of – a lot of things. So it’s my event design and styling business. It’s my rental business. It’s my warehouse. It’s my – it’s just everything. It’s everything. It’s crazy, it’s everything. And I get asked all the time, I don’t know how you do it and so I’m giving you a peek behind the curtain as to what it’s like to be me. So that is The House of Sugar Creek.
So let’s talk about what I’ve learned since starting my YouTube channel. So I’m going to give you six things that I’ve learned. And then I’m also going to share them in a – flip my notes over here – I’m going to share kind of what it it takes to get started in just a brief overview. So let’s dive in first to the six things that I’ve learned since starting my YouTube channel on March the fifth 2021. Again, I’m three episodes in. And I would love it if you would pop over and subscribe to see that behind-the-scenes peek behind the curtain.
Number one, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time, and you have to be dedicated. That was kind of three in one, but it is the most important aspect of YouTube, which is much like this podcast. It wasn’t something I was like, Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize I absolutely knew that it was going to be a lot of work a lot of time and a lot of dedication, just like this podcast, which is why in all reality, it took me so long to press play, and get the first episode launched and to come up with a launch date. That’s why it took so long. Like if we pull back all the layers and take away the fear of what it’s like to be in front of the camera. And we get down to the nitty gritty and look at why it took me so long to launch this channel. I because I started talking about it last year, I thought I was gonna launch it last fall. And it’s because of the work and the time and dedication that is needed to be consistent, and to produce a really great channel. And you guys I’m still learning. So this is still very much a work in progress. And it’s going to take me some time to get my groove. If you go back and listen to episode one through 10 or maybe episode one through 100 of this podcast, you are going to hear the evolution of this podcast. Much like you’re going to watch the evolution as I move forward from episode to episode of my YouTube Channel.
That’s number one. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time. It’s a lot of dedication. And kind of like, what does that actually mean? Because that’s, that’s really easy to say, easy to say, hard to understand. What does it actually mean, though, you when it comes to podcasting, and when it comes to YouTubing, you need to, you need to have ideas you need for YouTube, you need to know, kind of an idea of the production side to the story that you’re going to be producing. There’s filming involved, like you have to actively know you’re going to be filming one girl that I follow. And then I’ve learned a ton from hat tip to my friend Kelly, who was the person that recommended me to follow this girl, Cathrin Manning, I have learned so much from her. And I’m going to tell you to go if you’re interested in YouTube, this is the girl that I’m following. And it’s C-A-T-H-R-I-N Manning. Now I watch a lot of other YouTubers that are teaching YouTube, but I have learned the most from Cathrin. And hands down I’ve learned the most from her. So back to it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time, it’s a lot of dedication, you’ve got the ideas that you got to be like on board with, you need to brainstorm what is it that you’re going to be filming from week to week? The production of it? Like there’s a lot that goes into the production of it, the filming, what days are you going to be filming, are you going to be filming every single day and then compiling it all together? Then there’s the editing portion. And then there’s the marketing portion, and then the schedule that you’re going to create. That’s why it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time, and you got to be dedicated, plus you got to be consistent. So that’s all a lot.
So YouTube shouldn’t be like, “Oh, I’m going to start a YouTube channel.” No, YouTube needs to be like, I got to have a plan before I start a YouTube channel like, seriously, but it’s much like this podcast, this podcast, I have to know what I’m going to talk about before I ever get behind the microphone, I need to do my research. If it requires me to do some research, I need to sit down and have time to record it. And then I need to send it to my editor Zack who is amazing and I will keep shouting his praises because he’s been with me for 302 episodes. You can find him on Instagram, @thepodcastman. Then Zack sends it back to me once it edited and I need to actually create the show notes for it through my WordPress website. And once I do that, then I send it over for transcription, I have somebody that helps me with transcription. And then it comes back and then it’s published and then the websites published. But I got to get it all into Lipson, which is where my audio is hosted. And then I got to pull those files over to the show notes. And then it’s done. And that’s a lot for one episode. So just like this podcast, YouTube, there’s a lot that goes into it, there’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of time, you’ve got to be dedicated. And I’m going to sneak in my tip before I actually get to it. But it’s not something that’s going to grow overnight, you’re not going to be a YouTube sensation overnight. That’s actually my tip number four. And I’ll get back to that in a moment. But you’re not. It’s not the end. That’s just how this all works.
Okay, number two equipment. So depending on the type of YouTube channel that you’re going to be producing, will depend on the equipment that you might need. In all reality, you can just start with your smartphone, and editing software. So I’m on a Mac, so I’m using iMovie. I know there’s other paid editing tools out there that you can pay to use. I’m not there yet, so I’m using the stuff that’s already on my computer. And initially I did I started with my iPhone, and my iMovie and my husband because he has a YouTube channel. And because my dad purchased a camera specifically for my husband to use for YouTube. We also have that and we have a GoPro, which we’re also looking at adding more GoPros to our collection, because he’s about to do some more adventuring, that’s going to require more GoPros and so we’re looking at adding more GoPros to our collection. So I have my iPhone. I’ve done recording through a camcorder that my dad got from my husband’s YouTube. And those are the things that we’re actively using. Now I just invested thanks to my mother in law and Christmases. She He got me a lot of Amazon gift cards. And so I was able to invest in a Canon m 50. It will be here tomorrow, which I’m really excited about, I already have a Rode mic that will attach into it, because that is what I’ve noticed with my iPhone, depending on how I am shooting. So if I am not in selfie mode, and I’m using the back three lenses, actually, I think when you video, you maybe are only using one lens, but I’m using the backside of my iPhone. And the sound is not great because I don’t have a microphone attached to me, which is attached to the phone. And I don’t like that. So I’m I’m really excited about using the new camera that’s coming in. The Canon m 50. But all that to say, you can just start with your smartphone and get going. But I do want you to be mindful of the type of content that you’re going to be producing on whether or not you might need to invest in some other things. But you can start with what you have, and make it work. And then as you grow, invest into other things, unless you’re just ready to invest right out of the gate. But again, it’s going to go back to this is a lot of work. This is a lot of time you got to be dedicated, you have to be consistent, it’s gonna be a while before you make money if your goal is to make money with YouTube. So equipment is important. And it’s part of it, I also use Canva to make my graphics that are going into my YouTube channel and also my husband’s YouTube channel. So at this moment, I’m editing for both of us. I’m marketing for me, I’m not necessarily marketing for him, but I am doing a lot of the other things for his channel. So it’s I’m basically working two YouTube channels.
Okay, number three, and I keep talking about this, but it’s consistency. That is non-negotiable. With a podcast, with YouTube, even with blogging, consistency – you’ve got to have it and it’s got to be a non-negotiable for you. Once you start, you can’t stop unless life intervenes. And, and I say that, especially when you’re starting a brand-new thing, you’ve got to be consistent. You’ve got to train the people that are going to be your followers, your watchers, your subscribers, that you are producing content, weekly, monthly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, whatever it is that you decide your schedule is going to be, you have to stay consistent with it so that they know when to expect new things. With the podcast, I’m a weekly show, I’ve been a weekly show for 302 episodes. I know people that do series, or seasonal shows where maybe they are releasing 10 episodes kind of like Netflix, where they release 10 episodes and then they are, quote unquote quiet for a while until it’s time to release the next set of 10. You get to decide you get to decide how your content is published or released. But you’ve got to be consistent with whatever it is that you choose to do. If you change too much, you will lose people because they won’t know when to expect your content to come out. So this is so incredibly important. You have to be consistent, it needs to be a non-negotiable for you.
Okay, number four, as I’ve already mentioned previously, YouTube is not something that will grow overnight, just like podcasting. The way these things are parallel to each other was was an is a reason why it took me so long to launch a YouTube channel. Just like podcasting. YouTube is not something that’s going to grow overnight. Just because you create it doesn’t mean they will come watch it. Like that’s just how this works. It is not something that will grow over overnight, and you need to reevaluate your expectation, if that’s what you’re expecting. It won’t grow overnight. You have to be dedicated. I’ve been watching Cathrin’s videos for several months at this point. And she’s at least three years in if not getting close to four years in, and it took her up to about year three, to gain traction and to start growing at a monumental rate. When I first started watching her she was at 300,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel. She’s at 350. I just checked it today. So within a few months, she’s gained 50,000 new subscribers. You don’t see that kind of traction for years. So I want you to reevaluate your expectation. It’s the same thing with podcasting your podcast just because As you put it out there doesn’t mean it’s just going to grow like, you have to, you have to just decide this is a work a work in progress. This is a marathon and not a sprint. And you just have to stay consistent. If this is something that you want to be known for, just keep putting in the work. That’s how it works.
All right, number five. So, analytics is really key. Keyword research is really key, even with YouTube. However, my channel isn’t about teaching something like this podcast. And even with this podcast, I don’t do a whole lot of keyword research because it’s not that important to me. Like, it probably should be, but I you guys, I’m almost six years into this and it is something that I really enjoy doing, but there’s other things that are making me money and my focus stays kind of there. If you expect to become rich from a podcast or expect to become rich from a YouTube channel, again, reevaluate your expectations. Analytics is important if you plan on teaching through your channel, or demonstrating through your channel How To Videos type of content. However, with vlogging, and it being a peek into my daily life, the keyword research is a little bit more challenging, because I’m not necessarily trying to become the number one thing for whatever happens in my actual week. So my last episode on the channel was me showing you my very first published editorial on Green Wedding Shoes, which happened to be back in 2018. And so my goal with that was to show you the end result. But to show you why I created a specific piece of that specific backdrop that’s in my collection, why I created it, and how it plugged in to that editorial. And so I wasn’t teaching you how to build the backdrop because I frankly don’t want somebody to duplicate the backdrop. But I’m showing you why I built that piece and what I was inspired by. And then I showed you the end result, which was videography of that actual editorial, which happened to be a surprise valve renewal. So there was a real component to it. And the fact that it was published on green wedding shoes, which was my all time like I want to be published with green wedding shoes. And there’s really nothing for me to rank for in that episode. However, if I was teaching you how to build a backdrop, then I might be doing some keyword research specifically on building a wedding backdrop. And so my analytics and my keyword research are going to be a lot different, because it’s a vlog, and not something where I’m showing you how to do things or demonstrating how to do things in my channel. So I do want you to know that keyword research and analytics is important to YouTube. But if you’re doing a day in the life or a week in the life type of channel, which is what vlogging actually is, then it’s just going to be a bit more challenging because you’re not necessarily trying to rank for something specific, you’re just vlogging versus if you were teaching how to grow a YouTube channel, then you would want to try and rank for those types of keywords, and really watch your analytics and, and fine tune your ideas moving forward based on analytics and your keyword research. So there is a big distinguishment. But because my channel is more of a vlog, I’m not quite certain how I’m going to use analytics just yet. But I do want to point out that it’s important for you to not let your analytics knock you down, just like blogging, just like podcasting, YouTube’s the same. If you stare at your analytics daily or even weekly, it’s probably going to be a Debbie Downer for you. And you just need to stay away from that. If you decide to build a YouTube channel, it’s going to take time, it’s going to take effort, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and don’t beat yourself up by staring at your analytics every day or every week.
Alright, number six final tip before I talk about starting a YouTube and what you need to get started and what you need to do to get started. Create videos that have purpose and are meaningful and that show off what it is that you want to show off, whether that’s you or a brand or whatever it might be. YouTube is about storytelling, even through tutorials, there has to be a purpose and it has to be meaningful. Which goes back to number one, that you need to have your ideas, you need to understand the production of the story, you need to know when – what your filming schedule is going to be, you need to know what the editing side is going to look like, you need to know how you’re going to market it. And you need to know what your upload schedule is going to be. YouTube is about creating videos that have purpose, and that are meaningful. If you’re not checking those two boxes, there’s really no point in starting. And again, that is like this podcast. There’s a lot of parallels with starting a YouTube channel, just like there are to starting a podcast.
Okay, so let’s actually dive into what you need to start or what you need to do to start a YouTube channel, you need a Gmail account, either an existing one that you already have, or a new one, if you’re creating a new brand, I ended up creating a new one specifically for The House of Sugar Creek, because it was going to be a brand-new brand.
Number two, you need to upload a profile photo and create channel art.
Number three, you need to fill out your about section.
Number four, you need to add a subscribe watermark that’s going to show up in the lower right-hand corner. And all of this is within the Creator Studio of YouTube by the way.
Number five, you need to verify your account so that you can enable additional features like enroll stuff, and I believe they call them YouTube cards.
Number six, figure out your upload schedule.
Number seven, figure out what gear you’re going to be using. Again, start with what you have unless you’re ready to just invest. But if you’re going to invest in camera equipment, you need to be in this for the long haul.
Number eight, figure out what style of channel you will have? Are you going to vlog? Or are you not going to vlog vlogging is more diary. Like it’s more behind the scenes content. It’s bringing people into your life, whereas tutorials and demonstrations is more front facing camera work so that you’re always in front of the camera instead of behind the camera.
Number nine, what are you going to YouTube about? What type of channel will you have? What are you going to teach? What are you going to share? What are your What are you going to do? Is it going to be about travel? Is it going to be about food? Is it going to be a vlog which is your daily life or your weekly life? Are you going to teach how to do YouTube? Are you going to teach how to be a podcaster? Are you going to teach crafts, whatever it might be, is it going to be a book YouTube channel? Figure that out.
Number ten, creating your production filming script to do and what I mean by that is when and before you start filming, you need to give yourself an outline so that you don’t forget what you plan to include in that week’s film – or that week’s episode, or that day’s episode, whatever it might be. You need to create that script or that to do it’s basically an outline so that you know what your main focus is going to be and then you can plan out how you plan on making that interesting. With vlogging. That is actually a lot of multiple scenes. That’s a mixture of in front of the camera behind the camera, different camera angles. You don’t just talk about what it is you plan on doing. You actually show it. B-roll shots are your best friend. And when I initially started thinking about B-roll shots, I was thinking about bloopers. Bloopers are B-roll shots, but B-roll is basically showing the story. While you might be talking over the filming, but your face is not in front of the camera. That’s B-roll.
Number 11, what’s boring to you is interesting to someone else. YouTube and getting in front of the camera or even being behind the camera is just – it’s not normal. It’s awkward. And you’re going to have to get over that awkwardness because and what you might think, oh my life is boring. I don’t know what I might YouTube about. And again, this goes back to the type of channel you plan on producing. But what is boring to you is most likely not boring to other people. And that was something that hung me up for a while is I know I’m interesting. I know my husband and I’s life is endless. Seen, we don’t have kids, we have multiple businesses, we very rarely stop. We’re constantly going. And what I think is boring is probably not actually boring. Because over and over and over, I get, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you do all the things that you do, we just do. And so this, The House of Sugar Creek is a look at all of that. So what’s boring to you is interesting to someone else.
Number 12. Look at your camera when you’re recording. Don’t look at the screen. If you’re using your smartphone, make sure you’re staring at the tiny, tiny camera hole and not the actual screen. And it if you invest in an actual vlogging camera or a camera, a video camera, it’s easier because your lens is so much bigger, you know what – where you need to stare, you know where you need to talk to. With your smartphone, it’s really, really challenging, because you can’t really see that lens. You just know it’s there, that little pinprick. You got to keep your eyes there and not on your screen. It’s okay if you’re wanting to check your scene, but don’t talk to yourself, talk to the lens.
And number 13. mix up your point of view, slash your perspective. No matter the type of channel that you’re creating. Keep it interesting, that is what separates YouTubers from people that grow and people that don’t it creating stories, and keeping things interesting and changing up your camera angles. Because it really is all about perspective. If your channel is where you are in front of the camera all the time, switch your camera angles, make it interesting for people, if you’re going to vlog, show different camera angles. That’s how you keep people hooked and attached because you’re constantly making your video interesting. There’s no boring parts. That’s important.
Okay, so I know I’m only three episodes into my own YouTube channel, but I have learned a lot just from Cathrin Manning, like I said, and I’m continuing to learn but I thought that I would pop into the podcast – it’s not popping in, I actually sat down with notes – but I thought it was going to be really great to sit down and talk about what I’ve experienced so far with my YouTube channel. So I am 38 subscribers in right now as of the recording of this episode, and I have three videos. And I’m just excited that 38 people find me worthy to subscribe to my channel. And anybody that hasn’t subscribed, I would love for you to subscribe. I put out a new YouTube episode every Friday at noon Central. And I’m just excited for the journey. I am in this for the long haul. I do have some really fun goals that I’ve attached to this journey and I will be sharing them in the future.
And I will continue to come back on the show – probably at the three-month mark and six-month mark. I just want to be able to document what I’m learning as I’m going and if I try out a new strategy or if I change something up, I want to be able to come on the podcast and talk about it. Because that’s the whole purpose of this podcast is me learning and growing and teaching how to create a business that you love. And I’m unconventional. I know most of you are unconventional. I don’t like to be the square peg in the square hole. I’m a square peg in a round hole and I kind of like to do things my own way with a lot of intention. That’s important. And a lot of purpose. That’s also important. So I’m just excited and I’m excited that you’re here and a part of Boss Girl Creative. That means a lot to me. And until next week, I hope you have a great rest of your week.