If you’re not one of YouTube’s ONE BILLION active users a month and are yet familiar, YouTube is a video hosting and sharing website that allows any registered video creator to publish a video channel to which they can upload, view and share videos. Creators work to build YouTube channel subscribers, who are essentially fans. Registered users can watch, like and comment on these videos as well as subscribe to content creators’ channels. Unregistered user can only view videos on YouTube.
60 hours of video are uploaded every minute means that one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second.
It was established back in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees but was bought by Google in November 2006 and has been a Google subsidiary since then. Its headquarters is in San Bruno, California.
According to YouTube, a YouTuber who choose to monetize their channels via YouTube’s advertising platform, Adsense, will average between $0.75 to $3.00 per one thousand views. Of course, there are many other ways to make money through YouTube, too, but subscribers are the most valuable type of user to a content creator.
What is a YouTube Subscriber?
Subscribers on YouTube are the users who have subscribed to a certain channel which uploads videos regularly. By virtue of this subscription the subscribers can stay updated with the latest videos of the channels they are subscribed to. Whenever a new video is uploaded by a channel, its subscribers are notified via YouTube and email. Subscribers can then watch, share and comment on the videos in order to stay in touch with the channel owner as well as other subscribers.
build YouTube channel subscribers
Nearly 1 in 3 people on the Internet visit YouTube at least once a month. Building a strong subscriber base is very necessary to create an active online community in order to make money with YouTube. Without subscribers a channel has no value.
One of the biggest questions all YouTubers have at the beginning of their careers is how to grow and get more subscribers. It can be very tough when you first start off as you need to get people to pay attention to you, and the process is pretty slow as your subscribers usually grow gradually.
However, consistent growth is what most YouTube channels should aim for, and that is what we’ll be mostly talking about in this post.
Are you a new YouTuber? Have you recently created a new YouTube channel and are now wondering how to get subscribers? As you tour through YouTube and take a look at other channels, it seems that other YouTubers are getting more and more subscribers very quickly.
Whenever I am talking to new and aspiring YouTubers who are in the process of creating their channels and have reached out to me for help, the question I am asked most often is, “How do I get my first 100 subscribers?” and it is not an easy question to answer briefly. The answer is a multiple part question that involves a discussion about
- consistently creating content on a regular schedule,
- optimizing the video for search engine rankings,
- marketing and self promotion, and
- connecting with the audience is some meaningful way.
Before we jump into talking about each of those four topics, I think it’s critical that we first talk about the connection between subscribers and the video content they want to watch as well as some other terrible marketing and self promotion practices.
Channel and Video Content Relevance
YouTube subscribers are always one click away from switching to another channel hence a lot of care has to be taken regarding the content of the video you’re uploading. If you want to build YouTube channel subscribers then you have to first take the time to define your channel! What are your videos about??? Before uploading any video make sure that the video contains meaningful content that fits within the scope of the theme of your channel and relevant to your desired subscriber.
You do have an idea about who your target audience is, don’t you?
- Is your ideal channel subscriber male or female or both?
- What is their approximate age group?
- Where are they from and what language do they speak?
- Most importantly, what are they interested in or looking for: humor, video games, product reviews, instructional videos, music, inspiration, etc.?
Relevance means everything to your channel’s targeted audience as they, being your subscribers, start expecting great content you. Always keep an eye on the feedback of your subscribers regarding their likes and dislikes then keep this in mind while planning, producing and uploading your videos. Content should be engaging and entertaining and should never bore your subscribers.
This can only be achieved by listening to your subscribers and giving them what they want.
In addition to offering relevant content, always add meaningful and **accurate** titles and descriptions when you upload your videos to YouTube. In the description section, you should focus on the starting lines by giving a good detail of what the video is about and what the viewer is about to see in the video. Never make a description difficult to read and make sure you keep it simple and clear. Not only is this crucial to optimizing your video for search on YouTube and Google, you avoid the risk of viewers down-voting your videos because they felt like they got the ol’ “bait and switch.”
Here is an important article I wrote about search engine optimization for video. Come back to it when you’re done with this post.
Spamming and Low Quality Subscribers
Let’s also talk a bit about what you should refrain from doing in order to build YouTube channel subscribers. The first method involves going to popular channels and leaving comments under their videos with a link to your own channel asking people to subscribe. This is ineffectual because
a) it is not scalable to a large degree and
b) the subscribers you get are normally duped into liking the channel and so they are highly likely to unsubscribe.
This will result in a low retention rate as the channel is built on a foundation of lies and spamming, and that is definitely not a good way to start.
Another strategy to stay away from is giveaways. A lot of channels start off by giving out expensive gifts and investing a lot of money in order to get followers, but again, this is temporary as they are only there for the stuff, not for you. You get very few views and also low audience retention, so it is not a good idea to base your channel on this sort of tactic.
Definitely stay away from spamming and using bots, this can very easily get you banned from YouTube.
How to Get Your First 100 YouTube Subscribers
So what is the secret to getting your first 100 subscribers? It might sound like a difficult thing to do, but in reality, it simply takes a little time and a lot of dedication. If you are low on subscribers numbers and want to boost your channel subscribers on YouTube, check out this quick video and then keep reading.
Below are a few tips that will help you get your first 100 YouTube subscribers:
1. Offer a Large Amount of Content on a Consistent Schedule
First of all, content is the most important thing you can have to ensure the success of your channel. Without a large volume of content, you cannot hope to build one hundred subscribers to your YouTube channel, much less thousands. There is no way you can even hope to get many subscribers by uploading only one or two videos on to YouTube. There is entirely too much competition. You need to focus on uploading content regularly, a minimum of one video per day in the initial phase of channel growth before even thinking of shifting your focus to building your subscriber numbers. This is the only way you will be able to begin attracting people’s attention to your YouTube channel, keeping them there and converting them into subscribers.
No one will subscribe to a channel that doesn’t have content.
To effectively build YouTube channel subscribers I recommend uploading a new video at least once a week after your first dozen or two videos have already been uploaded to your channel.
Of the many popular YouTubers I have worked with, many said that the most important thing regarding predictable subscriber growth is to upload videos at regular intervals and on specific days. While uploading your content regularly is a key consideration to build YouTube channel subscribers, it is not enough. You have to make your audience to expect your content. Think about your monthly magazine subscriptions. You actually expect your magazine to arrive at your house around the same time every month and you look forward to it arriving. Maybe your favorite television show airs every Wednesday night and you plan your schedule around being home that night to see it. It’s the exact same thing with your YouTube channel. Condition your channel subscribers to crave your content and look forward to the day when you upload your next video.
Whatever day of the week you decide is best – own THAT day. Be consistent and do not stray from your regular schedule. YouTube is a community where content creators are competing every second of the day to build YouTube channel subscribers and gain video views; a single break is often enough to fall behind.
2. Creating Shareable Content
Your videos should contain something that makes people want to share them with your friends, family and social followers. This can be anything different, unique, out-of-the-box-crazy, raw and emotional, or some completely groundbreaking information that people just have to share. It can be a unique opinion, a different way of presenting the news, a new idea or information that is not available anywhere else – anything that makes you and your videos memorable. The goal is to develop an audience with a really strong emotional connection to you and your content and then giving them the sense that by sharing your videos they are helping others, whether that be you or others.
If hundreds of people shared your videos on a regular basis, do you think it would take long to build YouTube channel subscribers that way?
The other key to creating shareable content is to ensure that your videos look good. They don’t have to look slick and professional but they have to be watchable. Here are some tips I wrote about how to make amatuer videos look professional:
And don’t forget about the sound! Audio is probably more important to the watchability of your videos than the image quality is.
3. Going Viral
One viral video, a video watched and shared hundreds of thousands, or millions, of times, will build YouTube channel subscribers astronomically over night.
“Viral video” sounds similar to creating shareable content but it really isn’t. It’s been proven time and again that it is almost impossible to “make a video go viral”. Quite frankly, most of it has to do with timing and luck. There are literally hundreds of thousands of jaw-dropping videos on the Internet waiting to go viral that will never see the light of day simply because they will go undiscovered or the right person, at the right time didn’t share it with the right audience.
But luck favors the prepared!
By creating shareable video content, you can begin to focus on the data generated by the results of each new upload. If you put enough time and effort into tracking your traffic, social shares and audience engagement eventually you will be able to make some predictions. You will know what types of video content are most likely to interest your channel subscribers and a larger “lookalike audience” in general. Analyze enough data and patterns and you will be able to build YouTube channel subscribers almost effortlessly because you will know how to perfectly tailor your video content to your audience.
Knowing the difference between what is and is not shareable is absolutely a crucial part of preparing for viral success, but it is not enough. You’ll need something completely crazy, hilarious, embarrassing, bold, risky or emotional. Viral videos grab the attention of the audience, makes them laugh until their ribs hurt, cry their hearts out, blows their mind and changes their lives. Making videos like this is a big swing and a (probable) miss; it will either work well or not at all – so you have to do a lot of experimentation and gambling. Most importantly, you have to make videos – many of them.
My best tip is to always have a camera with you and be ready to catch lightning in a bottle.
4. Create a Solid YouTube Brand
Branding is super-critical when discussing how to build YouTube channel subscribers. The biggest names on YouTube work hard to build a consistent image in order to remain recognizable. The fact that general shapes and colors can bring forth a mental link to an exact business or person is a tremendous and sometimes scary thing. Consistent and careful branding leaves your audience with a vivid and memorable experience with you and your channel. Harnessing brand power is the name of the game. For MOST YouTubers their personal brand is most important!
Most first impressions are made solely based on the general outward structure and appearance, or branding, a YouTube channel presents. A new visitor to your YouTube channel will make snap judgements about what you stand for, what you do and whether your video content is compatible with their interests and values. Countless questions and decisions come down to judgements and realizations that aren’t even conveyed through words. It’s difficult to build YouTube channel subscribers when you are not making a good (and memorable) first impression, so take your time and get it right.
When it comes to new YouTube channels, I find that focus on the power of branding is grossly overlooked.
Making use of your brand to stand out from the crowd is more important than ever. 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute means that one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second. With the ever growing number of YouTube channels and videos appearing daily, sensory overload is a very real challenge that must be met head on if you are going to build YouTube channel subscribers. Creating a memorable link back to you and your channel, using specific colors, shapes, style and logos, in the minds of your audience will most certainly help build momentum and sustainable subscriber growth.
It can be argued that without consistent branding, people may not be interested enough to tune into your channel regularly, much less subscribe. Do not rely on a blank background image or YouTube’s default graphics and logo set; these are not interesting images nor are they memorable. Be sure to create clean and exciting artwork for your channel’s image. If you want to build YouTube channel subscribers, you must consider your channel’s image first.
5. Set Your YouTube Channel to YouTube Browse Mode
Since we’re on the topic of your channel’s image, did you know that can customize the layout of your channel so that viewers see what you want them to when they get to your page? There are two layout styles, “Feed Mode” and “Browse Mode”, you can set for the homepage of your YouTube channel.
In the default feed mode, channel visitors will see an activity feed much like you might see on Facebook or Twitter. This means that viewers and subscribers will see the videos you’ve liked, the videos you’ve uploaded, the channels you’ve subscribed to, the comments you’ve left under other videos, etc. in a straightforward chronological series of events. The feed layout is definitely not the preferred way to present your channel if you are trying to build YouTube channel subscribers. It creates confusion and is not the best way to present your videos.
In the “Browse Mode” channel visitors are only shown the videos that you have uploaded to YouTube. This layout allows you to set a featured video from your channel as well as set a video that is only shown to people that have not yet subscribed to your YouTube channel. You can organize your videos into playlists with unique titles and much more. By using YouTube’s Browse Mode layout, your channel will look more interesting and professional. An engaged audience is likely to build YouTube channel subscribers much, much faster!
6. Reach Out to the People You Already Know
That’s right! Start the ball rolling to build YouTube channel subscribers by reaching out to the people that you already know first. Once you establish your YouTube channel, the only way anyone will know about it is if you actually talk about it. So, shout it out! Tell your friends, family and coworkers about your new YouTube channel. Ask them to subscribe to your channel and leave comments on your videos! Ask them to tell their friends and share your videos to their social networks. This will help to gradually grow your channel subscribers. When other people see that you have a growing YouTube channel, they will want to subscribe as well. Heck, if you have 100 friends and they all subscribe to your YouTube channel, then you’ve already hit your first milestone of 100 subscribers! Congratulations – now go get 1,000 subscribers.
7. Putting Social and Networking into Social Networking
Another very successful method of growth mentioned by the YouTubers I’ve talked and worked with is good ol’ fashioned networking. Finding like-minded people, getting in touch with them and making videos together to help each other grow. Harnessing each other’s current subscribers and social network numbers in a joint venture or project is VERY powerful mojo!
While a lot of aspiring YouTubers know about this method, most of them don’t really know how to go about it, are antisocial or are too shy to reach out to make the number of introductions necessary to make this strategy work. Additionally, this process always involves a certain amount of rejection and that can frustrate users as well.
The challenge of using this method to build YouTube channel subscribers is not starting with unrealistic expectations. Go into this knowing that the reality is you will have to
- do a lot of cold-calling,
- sending friendly tweets,
- consistently retweeting influencers,
- genuinely commenting on Facebook or blog posts and
- sending personally crafted emails
before someone might get back with you. Engage, support and communicate with your potential partners wherever they are online – be social through social networking. Not everyone will want to network with you and not everyone is compatible with your channel; to find the perfect content partner, you will have to play a numbers game and research then reach out to a lot of YouTubers. Conveying a clear sense of reciprocation and the ability to bring a tremendous amount of value to the relationship is key if you’re going to make it work.
8. Include Your Call to Action
I’ve always said that the MOST IMPORTANT rule of marketing is to include a call to action (CTA). This is when you TELL your viewer what he or she should be doing right now or as soon as the video is over. The CTA should be clear, concise with explicit direction. As my wife likes to say, “Pretend I’m a monkey and tell me exactly what needs to be done.”
If your focus is to build YouTube channel subscribers then you need to include a call to action at the end of every video.
It should go something like this,
“If you liked this video and want to see more, then subscribe to my channel right now by clicking on the red button that says ‘subscribe’ right below this video. While you’re at it, will you please give it a ‘thumbs up’, tell me what you liked in the comments below and share it with your friends who might like it to? Again, subscribe, thumbs up, comment and share and I’ll promise to keep making videos just for you. That’s it for now, I’ll see you next Wednesday when I post my next video. Bye!”
In this call to action you’ve given very explicit direction, summarized the desired action again and created anticipation for your next video as well.
To Sum Up
Consistently creating relevant, shareable content, networking on a daily basis and optimizing your videos for search engines, is the minimum amount of effort needed to build YouTube channel subscribers and will probably be enough to get you to your goal of 100 followers – if you want to set the bar that low. The most successful YouTubers don’t stop there; they make it their business to promote and market their channel and build their personal brands at the same time.
You can do the same.
Stay away from spamming, meaningless giveaways and pandering to low quality followers and, soon, you too will have a loyal fan base of followers that love you for being you and your content.
Having a YouTube channel is a lot of fun! Unfortunately, it can also be frustrating in the early days and months while you’re figuring out how to build YouTube channel subscribers. By following the tips above and putting in the work I’ve outlined you can get your first 100 YouTube subscribers and then watch your channel grow, grow, grow if you don’t give up!
Best of luck and don’t be afraid to be in touch if you need some advice!
Do you have a tip or strategy you’ve used to build YouTube channel subscribers successfully? I want to hear your ideas and comments. Tell me about it them in the comments below!
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