According to recent research, 73% of US adults use YouTube. So, if your content is on the platform, it has the potential to reach huge numbers of people. For businesses, in particular, YouTube is becoming more and more of a must-have rather than a nice-to-have.
But it’s not suitable for every type of organization or video. There may be no reason to upload your internal training videos to YouTube, for example. However, that doesn’t mean that the video-hosting giant isn’t useful to you.
YouTube creators know what makes a good video. While you may not be creating videos for the same reasons, many principles that successful YouTubers use can be applied to your videos too.
In this episode of The Visual Lounge, Matt Pierce shares the best tips and advice from some of the most successful YouTube creators, including Sean Cannell, Nick Nimmin, Amy Landino, Tim Schmoyer, Owen Hemsath, and Andrew Kan.
No matter what video skill you’re developing, there are some great lessons to be learned from these seasoned video experts. Whether that’s getting more comfortable on camera, streamlining your video creation process, or hoping to improve your training/customer education/instructional design videos.
You can watch the video on this topic at the top of this post, to listen to the podcast episode, hit play below, or read on for more…
Lesson 1: Your video doesn’t have to be perfect
One of the first and biggest roadblocks many video creators encounter is the fear of perfection. Your idea of a good video might be a big-budget TV show or movie. But this can create expectations that are hard to meet.
The reality is that most video creators aren’t professional videographers with a huge budget or expert equipment. Instead, many shift their mindset, so it’s not focused on creating the “perfect” video and use the tools they have access to, like their smartphones, to achieve their video goals.
Sean Cannell, YouTuber and business coach, encourages creators to “punch perfectionism in the face” so that they can move past this obstacle. His key piece of advice is to stop letting perfection stop you because your skills improve when you fully embrace creating.
Learning how to create great video is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. The more you dive into it and experiment, the better your skills will be. So put perfection aside and prioritize creating.
Lesson 2: Develop a streamlined video creation process
Creating video can be time-consuming and expensive. It’s easy to get caught up making one video as perfect as possible, when you could have created two or three valuable videos in the same timeframe.
It’s all about finding the balance between creating a useful video for your audience and using your time effectively. Nick Nimmin, YouTube Certified Creator, says not to fall into this trap of over-doing that one video.
You can avoid this by creating a video checklist or asking yourself a series of questions. For example, is the key information getting across? Is this video going to help my audience? Are the audio and video clear and understandable? Then consider if there’s any part of the video creation process you can skip or change to make it faster.
This usually means being more cutthroat at the editing stage, and doesn’t mean bypassing the planning, scripting, or storyboarding stage – these are often vital to creating better videos in less time.
Lesson 3: Consistently deliver your videos
Getting your videos out there is arguably the most important part of being a video creator. Any content creator will tell you that consistently delivering content to your audience when they need it is key to success.
But consistency is hard. That’s why Amy Landino, cofounder of Aftermarq and host of AmyTV, advises really focusing on developing an efficient video creation process and overcoming the fear of perfection to help you find that consistency.
Amy makes the point that getting stuck in the video creation process doesn’t help anyone. If you’re in a situation where your audience is waiting on your content, they’ll likely prefer your video to be good enough and on time, rather than perfectly polished.
A perfect video that takes weeks to create may not be any more useful than a good-enough video (or series of videos!) that you can deliver much more promptly and reliably to your audience.
Lesson 4: Know your audiences’ expectations
You make videos for your audience, so always keep them in mind. They may have certain expectations for your video – for example, they might need you to teach them something specific. But they might not expect or need your video to be Hollywood-quality.
Consider where you’re spending your time and if it’s creating value for your audience or not. Tim Schmoyer, Video Strategist and Founder of VideoCreators.com, believes that most audiences are looking for more genuine video content, so it’s key to pay attention to your audience’s responses.
Tim dived deep into why videos that show your authentic personality resonate so well with audiences in his visit to The Visual Lounge. Check out that episode here: Why You Need to Humanize Your Videos with Tim Schmoyer.
Tim makes the point that talking to your audience is one of the best ways to find out what they really want from you. But the other thing you can try is experimenting. Nick Nimmin advocates trying out different things to work out what people do and don’t want to see from you.
This idea of deeply understanding your audience is part of an overall lesson that all the YouTube creators advocate for…
Lesson 5: Understand who your audience is
Everyone’s videos are different and so are their audiences. There’s no silver bullet for discovering what will work for your audience, but once you know, you’ll be well on your way to creating the best possible videos for them.
Amy Landino’s strategy is to target her videos towards one type of person and keep them in mind while she’s creating her videos. This persona helps direct her video creation from start to finish.
If you’re creating internal videos for a big organization, for example, you may want to use several personas and think about how your videos will help each one. Perhaps you need to create different videos for each persona.
As a video creator, you may get stuck in your own headspace. But it’s important to keep the viewers at the forefront of your video creation. After all, what else is the video for?
Lesson 6: Overcome anxiety by talking directly to your viewers
Owen Hemsath (aka Owen Video), YouTube Marketing Consultant, reveals another compelling reason why understanding your audience is key – it can help you on camera.
The idea of being on camera is enough to put many people off creating video entirely, but Owen suggests that by thinking about the audiences’ needs, you’ll worry less about your performance and more about helping others.
Overcoming this fear of being on camera is something that all YouTube creators have experience with, and each offered their own pieces of advice. Tim Schmoyer’s top tip to help ease you into being more comfortable on camera is to use this sneaky camera trick…
For those who need help stepping into their on-screen personality, Sean Cannell encourages you to lean into the bold parts of your personality…
And finally, Andrew Kan, Director of Video Production for TubeBuddy, puts it all into perspective with his approach to getting in front of your friend (not foe) camera…
Hopefully, the wise words from these YouTube creators have given you some great ideas. Start putting them into practice today to level up your videos!
To hear more from all of the YouTube creators featured in this post, head over to the TechSmith Academy. You can watch all of their interviews with TechSmith for free or check out the other video courses and resources available.