Every second that goes by, 50 hours of video is uploaded onto YouTube. The vast majority of these videos will be watched by less than 100 people. Many of these are small YouTubers who upload consistently, but never get any significant viewership. A small number of these people upload daily. Among the daily uploaders, only a small portion consistently get more than 10,000 views. One of the most successful vloggers, Casey Neistat, gets more than 2 million views on his daily uploads. What separates him with other vloggers who upload daily? Is it the quality of his editing? Is it his expensive cameras? Is it his positivity? Is it his young daughter? There are some rules that all successful YouTubers follow. Their videos are less than 20 minutes. They are edited well. They are uploading on a consistent basis. Yet some people follow all the “rules” their channels are stuck. Are the most successful YouTubers just lucky? Is it luck? Creating a brand is the most important element to a great YouTube channel. The most important element of a brand are the artifacts. When Casey Neistat uploads his videos each day, there are things we expect from him:
  • A beautiful timelapse to start
  • An enthusiastic host
  • Showing off new technology such as electric skateboards
  • Many cool cameras
  • An organized studio
  • A cute baby
  • Original music
  • Funny New York City scenes
  • Conflict and a problem (eg. he’s late for work)
  • A sense of spontaneity
  • A feeling of exploration and rebellion
  • Meeting new people
  • Doing fun or new stuff
  • Casey’s opinions
What separates Casey Neistat from most other YouTubers is the consistency of which he includes all these artifacts. So to start getting a following, you have to start uncovering what your artifacts are. What do your viewers come to your channel to watch? Our brains are designed to hold simple ideas. We form associations between ideas. What is your channel associated with? I call this your niche. Try to make your niche as detailed, specific and exact as you can. To become a big deal, you have to be a big deal to a small number of people. When they test TV shows before they air on TV to see if they have a chance at being successful, they don’t look at the average rating of the audience. If a show titled “Balloons” had an average audience rating of eight, it still might not pass the test. Another show titled “Streamers” might have an average rating of seven, but it might be chosen over “Balloons”. When producers choose TV shows, they look at the number of people who rate a show a ten. It doesn’t matter if ninety percent absolutely hate your show. You need to find that small but extremely loyal viewership. You need to put out your opinions, and offend some people. Your niche is not about who you are trying to cater to. It’s about how you can eliminate audiences. It’s about how well you can piss a certain group of people off. It’s about cutting people off purposely, and consciously deciding that you don’t want a certain group of people watching your channel. In order for you to grow your channel, you have to decide who you are willing to sacrifice. The bigger this group of people is, the higher your chance of success.