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The road to starting a Youtube channel

the road to success - starting a Youtube Channel Gregg Clunis

My name is Gregg Clunis, I’m an Entrepreneur, Content Creator, and aspiring YouTuber. On my Youtube channel, I create videos with the sole purpose of making the viewer smile

This is my story….my road to success.

Background on me. Why do I want to start and grow a Youtube channel? 

I’m an Entrepreneur and Content Creator.

Since 2009 I’ve tried and failed with numerous projects, startups, and small businesses.

Over that time I’ve built a base of skills like marketing, community building, sales, business development, and of course media production.

Over the last 8 years I’ve also discovered a few things about myself:

  • I’m great on camera
  • I’m comfortable sharing my voice with the world
  • I’m pretty good at creating content
  • I enjoy making people smile

These qualities are the main reasons that I can see a future for myself as a YouTuber and content creator.

What’s more is that through my many failures I’ve developed certain skillsets that can be leveraged in the process of building an audience and earning an income.

This takes the goal of becoming a YouTuber from something that is based entirely on luck to something that can be somewhat engineered.

Why my Youtube channel will be a unique video experience.

As I stated in the previous section, I believe that I have some of the essential qualities to be a YouTuber and content creator.

Beyond that, I recently attended a conference in NYC. At the conference the CEO and founder of BuzzFeed gave the keynote and he completely changed my perspective of the role that content plays in our society.

I emerged from this event with an understanding that digital content is meant to act as a virtual “common ground” between groups of people.

In other words, the point of content is to create and deepen relationships between people.

This new perspective gave me a framework on which to gauge the success of my podcast, Tiny Leaps, Big Changes.

Greg Clunnis - starting a Youtube Channel podcast

I used to believe that my podcast had been successful based on it’s quality. The truth is that, while that no doubt played a role, the growth of the show was based on it’s underlying philosophy.

All big changes come from the tiny leaps we take everyday.

This philosophy served as a cultural “common ground” for everyone who was exposed to it. People shared it because it reinforced their beliefs around life. Before I knew it, a community was formed around the idea, all because it resonated with a broad enough group of people.

Armed with this “philosophy first” approach to crafting content I’d now like to deploy it on YouTube with the philosophy that “everyone needs to take a break and smile now and again”.

I believe that if you can create content that helps people to smile, those people will share it with the people they care about.

It’s a simple theory, but this challenge gives me an ideal environment to test it.

Finally, on a more personal level, the engagement and community building capabilities of YouTube are ideal for creating leverage and enabling some of my more long term goals such as writing a book, building a speaking career, and launching a startup.

What I’m Building

As you probably know, YouTube is one of the best opportunities for community and audience building available on the web.

Over the last two years I’ve had a lot of success in the world of podcasting. I’ve built an audience and community that resonates with my message.

But audio and podcasting has it’s limitations.

For this reason I am choosing to branch out and start the process of building an audience using YouTube as a platform.

Currently my YouTube channel is disappointing. The channel design is poor, the content is sparse, and the audience engagement is lackluster.

Gregg Clunis - starting a Youtube Channel collage

Over the next two months I intend to change all of this.

My two month goal with my self-improvement Youtube channel.

  1. Develop a YouTube content strategy
  2. Create and maintain a consistent publishing schedule
  3. Publish 10-20 new pieces of content
  4. Increase current subscriber base from 100 to 5,000

The most important part of this process is simply finding the time and energy each day that is required to become a good YouTuber. In other words, I need to be all in.

My Strategy

The strategy here is going to be very straightforward. I like to keep things simple and repeatable.

  • Create “Smile-Worthy” Content
  • Promote that Content
  • Strategic Outreach
  • Strategic Collaboration
  • Cross-Promotion
  • Leveraging Existing Contacts

Create “Smile-Worthy” Content

As I said previously, I believe that if a piece of content can make somebody smile, that content will be shared.

This theory is based on the fact that we humans like to share our feelings. Whether it be of a cat video or an awe-inspiring feat, we share videos and content not because of the content itself but because of the feeling we associate with that piece of content.

If a silly cat video allows us to smile, we’ll share that smile with the people we care most about in an effort to brighten their day.

With that said, I want to make it clear. There is no formula for creating viral content.

This framework is simply a way of crafting content that has the potential to be shared.

So of course, this leads to an important question. What is it that causes people to smile?

Well again, I don’t think we can find a step by step answer to this, but if we look at the types of content that tend to do well in the general public it does give us some clues.

I’ve compiled this list of clues and will be using it throughout my content creation process.

Promote That Content

As you likely know, content means nothing if no one sees it.

Your video could have all the potential in the world, but zero views means no actual shares can take place.

Thankfully I’m coming into this with a small but existing audience and a decent sized friends list. This means that every video I create will have it’s chance to be seen.

Additionally, as a part of this challenge I’ll be putting together a clear promotional plan for each video. Think of it as a checklist that allows me to make sure the video is seen by the right people and is given the optimal chance to grow organically.

Strategic Outreach

There is not a single “success story” in the world of content creation that did it alone. Even today the YouTube legends still spend a significant amount of their time building their network.

Growing your network of other creators is the single best thing you can do to grow our audience. This is because of how important the quality of your content is in your ultimate success.

Connecting with other creators, specifically other YouTubers, will give me the chance to shortcut the learning curve by learning from their experiences and getting their feedback.

Additionally, building relationships with people who are in a position to share your content with their audiences obviously has incredible long term benefits.

Strategic Collaboration

I’ll repeat this, there hasn’t been a single person who has achieved any level of success as a personality or content creator that has done it alone.

Collaboration, especially on YouTube, is a must.

Throughout this process I’ll be actively reaching out and setting up collaborations with other creators in order to benefit us both.

Cross-Promotion

If there is one thing I have going for me it’s that I have an existing audience in the form of my podcast and Facebook group. As I switch my focus to growing my YouTube audience I will be looking for opportunities to leverage these existing audiences as the initial spark.

I will be using these groups as my initial feedback loop, I’ll be creating content on both platforms that serve to enhance the experience of the other platform, and of course I’ll be reaching out to individuals in these audiences in order to help grow the initial subscriber base.

My Two Month Goal

My goal over the next two months are as follows:

  1. Develop a YouTube content strategy
  2. Create and maintain a consistent publishing schedule
  3. Publish 10-20 new pieces of content
  4. Increase current subscriber base from 100 to 5,000

The first three of these are fairly easy. Success in them are a result of making the effort to be successful more than anything else. The fourth goal is a bit more complicated.

To be honest with you I’m not very confident that I’ll be able to do it. Not because of a lack of drive or hustle or any of those things, but because success on this goal requires time.

The main metric that drives subscriber growth is consistently creating content that matters to them. Many new consumers find a channel and will only subscribe after the third or fourth video that they watch.

Due to this, time becomes a limitation in achieving this particular goal. My fear is that two months may simply not be enough time to build up enough content in order to achieve what would represent a 500% increase in my subscriber base.

In addition to that, being a good YouTuber takes time. Plain and simple, creating good content requires feedback loops and experience. Two months may not be enough time to accomplish these two requirements.

With that said though, I certainly intend to operate as though this goal IS possible. Why? Because it’s the best way to set the groundwork for massive growth in the future.

So here’s what’s next.

Shoot first, adjust later.

I need to create content and then figure out the rest once I’ve started. Once I’ve released a video and started the feedback loop process I will spend some time developing my calendar, production schedule, and systems in order to maintain that momentum.

In the next post I will dive into those systems as well as try to analyze the success or failure of my strategy up till then.

UPDATE: Woo! I have my first video under this new project done and published. I have to admit I was a bit nervous to put it out there, it’s very different than what I’ve done so far. Give it a watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJIFUc4FEDo

Written by Gregg Clunis

Gregg Clunis is an artist, writer, podcaster, and entrepreneur. He talks about personal development and geeks out about science. He is the host @ Tiny Leaps, Big Changes and a Youtuber.

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