5 Tips for Starting a YouTube Channel

YouTube has played a huge role in my career as a member of our family band, Gardiner Sisters. When we started posting videos nearly ten years ago, we never dreamed that YouTube would go on to become the incredible platform it is now for so many independent artists and creators.

Have you started your own YouTube channel yet? I just recently started mine, which you can subscribe to HERE.

Here are five ways you can effectively utilize YouTube to share your music:

1. Focus on your content. If you have amazing content that you’re proud of, I believe the right people will see it and will want to share it. So what are you really good at? Producing studio quality recordings on your laptop? Singing acoustic covers live? Filming and editing amazing music videos? Play to your strengths and give it your best shot! Let your light and gifts shine. Good, positive content makes the world a better place, and good music is easy for others to share.

2. Decide on your frequency. I used to get so stoked when a new Even Steven’s episode was going to be on Disney Channel as a kid. Nowadays, audiences anticipate new content on YouTube in the same way! The times that we experience the most steady growth on our YouTube channels are when we’re posting regularly. There was a point when we were posting twice a week- music videos on Monday, and bloopers or crazy random videos on our second channel on Friday. You’ll probably have to experiment and see how posting on certain days and times impacts your views or subscribers. But regardless, I’d suggest picking one day a week, or every other week, and establishing a schedule your subscribers will look forward to following.

3. Keep it real. YouTube has become a hub for all kinds of entertainment, and some creators use dishonest tactics just to get people to click on their videos. There’s something to be said about those creators with integrity who don’t constantly alter themselves just to fit in with what’s currently trending. When you are real, genuine and honest, people can feel it, even through a screen. They’ll be drawn to whatever you create simply because of who you are and the presence you bring. Being true to yourself and keeping it real might just be the thing that helps you and your music stand out.

4. Have Patience. I’ve worked with and known many creators and musicians who can be summed up in one word: desperate. They will literally do anything and become whoever they need to be to get attention, subscribers, and followers. I believe that lasting, long term success comes from slow and steady growth over a long period of time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a “viral” video in the first six months of starting your channel. Be grateful for every single new person you’re not related to who discovers you and subscribes to your channel. How cool is that?! And honestly, numbers don’t hold as much weight or matter when you’re enjoying every step of the process as you create meaningful content. The real fulfillment comes in the creation of your music, not necessarily in the sharing of it.

5. Don’t Compare. I worked with someone who religiously compared their YouTube numbers to everyone around them and saw how it sucked all the fun out of creating videos. I’ll admit, when we first started posting, I used to compare our views and subscribers to those of our peers and would feel bummed out when someone else’s cover of the same song would perform better than ours, especially if ours had released first. What I’ve realized is that so much around how well your content performs online is out of your control. It is completely within your control, though, to stay focused on doing your best work and adding value to the world instead of feeling inadequate by comparing your worst to someone else’s best. There is room for all of us in the online space! You have something unique to offer, and you’ll attract your own audience of awesome people on your own.