YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. It was almost 15 years ago! For years it had the aura of being a platform for cat and dog videos. Those videos are still out there, but the landscape has changed. Take a look at the first uploaded video made by one of the YouTube founders.
Do you know the name of the second-largest search engine in the world? It's YouTube. If people want to cook, they search for a video on YouTube. Likewise, they browse the videos to learn something new, to be entertained, or to get the latest world news. This platform disrupted the way how people used to spend their time. Also, the famous TV anchors are not the only ones who matter. It's ordinary people like you and me!
Even if you don't dream of being a famous YouTuber, keep reading. If somebody asked me if I wanted to be a YouTuber five years ago, I would laugh him out. Well, things change. I believe there's a ton of things you can get from being on the platform. You'll get better at social skills, you'll be more confident, you'll get better at time management, and maybe, just maybe, you'll find out that producing video content is your passion.
I put together a list of eleven reasons why to become a YouTuber.
Reason #1: YouTube is the new LinkedIn
Yes, I exaggerated this a bit. LinkedIn is and will be a place to go for business people. However, YouTube complements it very well. You may be very skilled in your field, and yet you can lose a life-changing business opportunity to someone who is out there, sharing his thoughts and opinions in short videos.
Videos naturally grab peoples' attention. As they scroll through the feed on LinkedIn or Twitter, suddenly your video pops up. Your chances that they'll hit the Play button are much higher than reading a text. Also, videos keep viewers engaged because they can connect with you on a more personal level. In your videos, you also share your emotions through your gestures, facial expressions, and your voice, which will point out your thoughts even more. It's also more likely that viewers will share your videos with their friends.
For example, here's a video of a lawyer providing his expertise for a popular subject — a great ad for his business.
If you decide to build a personal brand and share thoughts on various topics of your interest or you'll be focused just on subjects around your field, you'll still be in advantage to people who don't have a video presence. Eventually, LinkedIn acknowledged the importance of videos and launched LinkedIn Video in 2017.
Having a YouTube channel is becoming more and more common each day. In three to five years, having a video presence will be the norm. If you put quality content out there, people will notice you. It's simple as that! Read here to learn more about why video is better than text.
Reason #2: You'll build your online presence
Just recently, I bought a book focused on building a personal brand on LinkedIn. The author had one intriguing thought, which I think is appropriate also in the context of YouTube.
If you ignore your personal brand, it will be shaped entirely by others. Your personal brand is already out there, but is it firmly in your control? — Sandra Long
Your online presence is part of your brand. Whatever others write and say about you is out there. Take your online personality firmly into your hands and shape the way others see you. You should try to present yourself online the most authentic way so that if people see you in person, they won't be surprised how different you are.
Authenticity is key.
If you pretend to be someone else or will recommend products that are worthless just because someone paid you to do it, your reputation will suffer. You have only one chance to build your trust. Try not to waste it!
Reason #3: You'll get better at social networks and marketing
Learn by doing! Producing and publishing a video is not enough. You'll need to promote it on social networks. Otherwise, nobody will see it. If you practice long enough, you'll become an expert.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. — Isaac Newton
I'm sure there are countless workshops where you can learn about social network and marketing skills. However, they're not cheap, and the instructors won't explain the topics into depth, because there's not enough time. What you can do is to apply the information from the workshops, books, and various online courses into practice and see how it works in real life, on yourself. Over time you'll become an expert in the subject, and you can even teach others and make a living out of it.
Check out the Video Ranking Academy by Sean Cannell. A YouTuber, who became a marketing and social media expert and who built a living on it. He also wrote a book called YouTube Secrets. I read it, and it provides valuable insight into the topic.
Reason #4: You'll vastly expand your professional network
If you put content out there, you'll attract people, and over time, you'll get hundreds, maybe thousands of followers. If you want to leverage them and expand your professional network, you should define your core audience. Who are the people you want to attract and potentially collaborate with? For example, my primary focus is entrepreneurs and software engineers, who are fond of open-source technologies and who see the future in decentralized Internet services.
To attract your core audience, imagine a guy who represents the group. In my case, it's a software developer who wants to build his venture on open technologies. What content would such a guy like? If you know the answer, start producing the content, and people will come. Respond to their comments, engage with them, and build a community. Letting the community know about your LinkedIn profile is easy then.
Who knows, maybe one day you'll want to launch a new product, and you'll be searching for co-founders. There may already be somebody in your network who will be a good fit. Even if not, your followers can help spread the word. Also, if you have loyal followers, they can be your customers too. The more people know you, the better.
Reason #5: You'll get better at self-presentation
The ability to share your thoughts is crucial. Often your information is misinterpreted by others. You need to put out information in a concise manner, which is easy-to-understand for others. During my two years in our local public-speaking club, I often found out that the crowd didn't fully comprehend what I had in my mind.
Practice makes perfect
As a content creator, you'll learn to share your thoughts in an engaging and informative way. You'll get better at it each time you put new content out there. Ultimately, you learn to be a public speaker. At your home, at your pace.
Speaking in front of a live audience has its quirks, but if you're confident in front of the camera, your learning curve will be much easier. Even if you don't have experience with a live crowd, your presentation will be more confident.
Reason #6: You'll learn the techniques of video editing
People love stories. It's in our DNA. Today you don't need expensive equipment to share a story that resonates. The video supports your storytelling and can take your video to a whole new emotional level.
Learning to edit your videos takes a lot of time. Again, you'll get better with each video you put out there. Video editing skills are perfect to have in your resume in the 21st century.
Reason #7: You'll get better at scheduling and planning
To success on YouTube, you need to put out content regularly. Once per week, twice a week, once per month. It doesn't matter. However, adding content at a steady pace stimulates your growth, and putting out videos on a regular schedule requires planning.
Even if you have to go on a vacation, your weekly video still needs to be published. You'll get better at planning. Firstly, you'll shoot one video at a time. Later, you'll probably have scripts for several videos, and you'll make all videos in one day, just to edit them in upcoming days.
Efficiency, that's what you'll learn — an easily transferable skill.
Reason #8: You'll learn to be persistent
Building a YouTube channel or any online presence takes time, much time. As YouTubers say, YouTube is a marathon. You should prepare for years of struggle. If your goal is clear, you'll succeed. Step by step.
Just today, I watched the movie Founder about Ray Kroc, who built McDonald's. He wasn't smartest guy out there, but he was persistent, and ultimately he succeeded.
This story reminds me of how close entrepreneurs and YouTubers are. In reality, all YouTubers are entrepreneurs, and we should learn from them.
YouTubers often have no venture capital when they start; they build their channel slowly. One day, if they were persistent enough, they'll look back and see their significant accomplishments. I wish I could say the same when looking back at my life.
Reason #9: You'll diversify your income to multiple streams
Earning money should not be your primary motivation to start with YouTube. Your motivation has to be strong enough to go through years of struggle. Having said that, if you're a content creator who has a large following, you have a chance to earn money from multiple revenue streams. Affiliate marketing, running Ads, launching your product, attracting people to your existing business, sponsorships. Possibilities are endless, and it's up to you how many income streams you can create.
Reason #10: You'll learn to be an entrepreneur in the cheapest way possible
Building a YouTube channel is very similar to building a startup. Risks of failure are very high. However, there's one noticeable difference. The initial costs of becoming a YouTuber are meager. You just need a camera (your smartphone will do it), and you can start. You can buy the rest as you earn money over time.
If you'd build a startup, your costs are magnitudes higher, even if you make it in an economical way. I know of no better way to learn entrepreneurial skills. Go ahead and do it!
What's great about being a content creator is that you can start building your content while you're still employed. If your YouTube business grows, you can pursue it full time or not. It's up to you. However, you'll be in an upright position. You'll have power to change your career and pursue your dream job.
Reason #11: Digital content creation market is still rapidly growing
If you don't have a YouTube channel, you didn't miss the train. The number of YouTubers grows each year, so does the count of viewers. Future looks bright.
When you are good at content creation, you can put out digital courses to teach the skills and earn money on it. I strongly believe in the power of e-Learning, and I'd like to be part of it in upcoming years. E-learning will be a vast opportunity for you; knowing to produce videos will become essential.
In 2018, the global Digital Content market size was $12 billion, and it is expected to reach $34 billion by the end of 2025 — marketwatch.com
Bonus: One reason not to be a YouTuber
You have probably already guessed it. It's the lack of time. Prepare yourself for countless hours of work on your side business, while also working on your day job. If you commit the time, I'm sure you'll reap the benefits until the rest of your live.
This journey has given me a lot and I'm sure it can give you a lot too!
Don't be afraid to seek help
The folks at Veed.io gave me a link to their post regarding ideas for YouTube videos. I think it's a very useful resource. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, this can really help. You can read their post here. Another great resource is this article from Porch. The authors detail how to master this daunting task and build a successful YouTube channel.
Oh, and finally, there's our Ravenville. We can help you with everything that's ahead of you. We've been through it all before. We'll record and process your podcast, create your catchy jingle, teach you how to write engagingly so you don't bore people, and teach you how to perform on camera. Just get in touch with us!
Oh, and as a final note, even if you don't dare to do a video, try blogging instead. You can leverage the Ghost platform, which is where this website runs. We'll be happy to help you with that too.
I wish you every success.