It’s a long, slow, time-consuming climb to success with online video. Those popular channels you follow have been around for a long time. The newest are still a year old or more. They’ve likely gained more subscribers in the last six months than they did in the first eighteen. And for each and every one of them, from the person with six million subscribers to the person with five thousand, it all started with 0 views, 0 likes, 0 subscribers.
The first year or so is rough. You’re struggling to get people to find you, let alone follow you. You’re doing everything people say to, but the results aren’t coming as fast as you’d dreamed. Your attempt at a viral video fell flat. How do you keep going?
You need three things. Not physical things. Not three pieces of gear, three pieces of equipment, three subscriptions to the right people, three of the right apps. You need three things:
Passion, persistence and patience, in equal measure.
Any video marketing campaign predicated on the thinking of “Someone told me I should, so I guess I’ll do it” is doomed to fail. The results do not come quickly enough to motivate someone who isn’t that interested to start with. Your first few months will need to be powered almost entirely by your own sincere enthusiasm; basically, making videos itself needs to be rewarding to you personally. It has to be something you enjoy doing.
If you genuinely have no interest in making videos at all, you need to find someone who does that can help you. Or give up on your dreams of a successful online video campaign.
It’s a rough call, but one you have to make.
Creating and sticking to a consistent schedule is of utmost importance in generating a community around your channel. Reliable and consistent updates are what encourages people to become subscribers and keep up to date with what you’re doing. It makes it easier for those undecided about following to come back and see what’s been going on, knowing it’ll be at the same time.
Persistence is also necessary during those first few months where the results and growth are slow and you’re feeling like giving up. Update your style or your delivery if you need to, adapt and change as much as you have to, but always push on. It also increases the chances that one of your videos will be seen by people who feel it’s worth sharing; one video can often be the snowball that builds momentum into an avalanche.
Giving up, however, is the surest way of never achieving anything.
You have to know from the outset that this is going to take time. If you start out expecting to see huge view counts and results within hours of uploading your first video, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. If you’re expecting thousands of followers by the end of the first week, you’re going to get a crushing dose of reality very, very quickly.
This is a long game. A slow game. If you start today, you need to set your expectations and goals for a year from now. It’s entirely possible to reach great results faster, but 12 months is realistic. In that time you can establish your schedule. You can upload dozens of videos. You can acquire a great deal of data through YouTube analytics that you can use to revise and refine your videos by looking at what’s working and what isn’t. This in turn helps you make better videos, attract more people, and grow towards your goals.
If you don’t have any passion for video, you’ll burn out before you can gain traction. If you aren’t persistent, you won’t attract repeat viewers. And if you aren’t patient, you’ll crush yourself with unrealistic expectations. With these qualities, though, you’ll make it through the long hard climb to the top and see tangible results in the long run. Hang in there; it’s worth it.