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Tips To Start A Youtube Channel

Updated: May 9

Before we get into it, download my free YouTube checklist here.


Now…if you’re considering starting your very first YouTube channel, you may have some hesitations and doubts about starting a channel.


“How do I start a youtube channel successfully?”

“What if I don’t have a fancy camera?”

“How do I stand out?”

“What if people don’t like me?”

“How will I connect with my audience?”


It’s easy to see by the plethora of channels out there that it’s easy to start one…but it can be really difficult to have a successful channel.


I put together some tips to start a youtube channel and get off on the right foot.




Tip #1: Define Success

Successful baking YouTuber draws heart with flour

What is a successful YouTube channel? How do you become successful on Youtube?


Success is subjective so you need to define what “success” means to you.


One person’s success may be your nightmare.


Some people start channels to be famous, others do it to find connection, others want to make a difference, some want to entertain, some want to be the best at something, some want to make some side money, and others want to make a full-time career out of it.


"...define what “success” means to you.

Take a moment to think about what a successful YouTube channel looks like for you and write it down. This will give you some metrics to track and goals to work on.




Tip #2: Choose A Niche

Dietitian food photographer videographer and YouTuber takes photo of mushrooms

Choosing a niche for your YouTube channel is important because you want to be clear to your audience from the moment they visit your channel, what sort of content they can expect from you.


As you begin to brainstorm, think about what you might want to build your channel around, start by asking yourself these questions:


What topics am I passionate about?

Where is there a need not being filled and how will I fill that gap?

How can I stand out from existing channels?

Who do I want to help or speak to?


When choosing a niche, I think about two main components:

1 - Who am I talking to? (e.g. Who is my target audience?)

2 - What type of videos does my audience want to watch?


Do you already know who your target audience is? Regardless of whether you do or don't take some time to write out a target audience profile. Reference it when you sit down to plan out your video content so they are at the front of your mind.


It's important to know who you're talking to so your messaging and communication is consistent.


Regarding types of video content to create, think about what will connect well with your target audience AND what do you feel excited to make?


Educational?

Relaxed?

Funny?

Dramatic?

Instructional?

Conversational?

A mix of a few?


"...what do you feel excited to make?"


Not sure? That's where the next part comes in...





Tip #3: Research Your Audience

Student watching educational nutrition YouTube channel and taking notes

This kind of goes without saying, but just for the sake of covering it - it’s important to do some research up front before you dive right into making content. No one likes wasting time on a fruitless endeavor!


What value will you offer your audience with your content?

Entertainment?

Education?

Inspiration?

Something else?


"...gather some data on what works and what doesn't."

Here are a couple places to start your research:


Ask your audience

If you already have access to some people in your target audience/niche, ask them what they’d like to see.


Research whats already been created

Spend some time on Youtube browsing other channels in your niche. Watch their videos and see what they cover and (more importantly) what they don’t cover. Browse their comment section and see what questions their audience is asking.


Keyword research - answer specific questions in your videos

Using a keyword research tool like Keysearch or TubeBuddy, find out what is being searched for and where you have an opportunity to answer a question AND land yourself on the first page of Google.



It's probably going to take some time to figure out what your audience wants to see from you, but doing some research up front can help get the ball rolling and gather some data on what works and what doesn't.





Tip #4: Find Your Filming Style

Registered Dietitian and daughter bake together on their YouTube channel

As you brainstorm and start to form a picture in your mind of who you’re talking to, think about what style and format of videos they’d be likely to click on.


Don't forget to consider what style of videos you want to make and have the means to create.


This may take some time to figure out, but start somewhere. As you learn what works and what doesn't you will evolve as you go.


Start with what you’re able to do and is realistic for you…drone footage and cinematography might not be a good beginner filming style. Maybe start with something simpler like top-down recipe videos with just your hands, or talking directly to camera.


"...you will evolve as you go."

Click on each of these video styles below to see an example:




Tip #5: Acquire Equipment Over Time

Dietitian and yoga instructor filming a YouTube video on living room floor

My biggest piece of advice here is start with what you have and grow over time.


You don’t need to have everything to just get started. Waiting until you have everything can be a very effective procrastination tool.


"Start with what you have and grow over time."

I film everything I create on my phone. I’ve added nicer mics over time to improve the audio, but I acquire what I can as I’m able and I recommend doing the same.


Viewers are more forgiving than you might think about the quality of your footage if your content is engaging and valuable to them.


Here are a few pieces of equipment to consider for your videos, but not all are needed, especially if you're just getting started:


Computer

Camera (can be a smart phone to start!)

Editing software

External HD

Tripod

Microphone

Mic Stand

Audio Interface

Soft boxes or light panels

Ring light

Boom light

Backdrop




Tip #6: Setup Your YouTube Channel and Resist Procrastination

Registered Dietitian on computer setting up their YouTube channel

Now that you know:

  • Who your audience is...

  • What content they want to see from you...

  • What content you can and want to create...

  • And you gathered your equipment together...

It’s time to actually setup your channel.

  1. Sign up for a google/YouTube account

  2. Pick a channel name

  3. Create and upload a banner image

  4. Upload a profile photo

  5. Add a description to your about tab

  6. Add links to your about tab

  7. Create and upload a channel trailer if you'd like

  8. Make a thumbnail template


I suggest using Canva (affiliate link) for your banner and thumbnails so you can create a cohesive brand and channel-look.


Check out other channels and note styles you like. It's also a good idea to consider how you can make your thumbnails stand out amongst channels in your niche.


Don't get hung up fussing over all the minor details. You can always change and update things later.


"Don't get hung up fussing over all the minor details."



Tip #7: Just Get Started!

Dietitian vlogger sitting down to film a talking head video for YouTube

The last tip is simply get started. As I said, it may take some time to figure out what works, but always circle back to these few things:


What is success to you?

Who is your audience?

What value do you offer?

What are you excited to create?

What is working?

What isn't working?


If you’re still worried about being valuable or connecting with your audience, you can always go back to brainstorming and researching.


See what’s out there, ask your audience what they want to see, look back at videos you’ve created that have done well and make more of that type of content.


I hope these tips help you as you start your YouTube channel. Let me know which of these tips was most helpful below - I’d love to know! For more inspo check out this post for 10 creative video ideas for Dietitians.


Good luck!



Resources

Don’t forget to grab your free copy of my YouTube Channel checklist here.


Ready to start making videos, but need a little guidance with the steps? Grab your free copy of my Video Creator Workbook here.


A book I suggest reading is called The Dip by Seth Godin. I found it helpful staying motivated to push forward and keep going with business ventures that I know are worth my time. It also helped me find comfort in the idea of quitting when quitting would be more effective than pushing through or settling for mediocrity. It's a super short read so it’ll be easy to check off your book list! ;)



Need help learning how to edit?

Check out the Video Editing Accelerator online course. This course consists of 3 main projects created in 3 different editing software programs.


Students start out with simple, free software, iMovie, then step up their skills with more advanced software and editing techniques with Final Cut Pro.


Then learn video editing in Canva as well as stretching your video content into more content for social media.


Check out the full curriculum and enroll in the video editing course here.


Plus students get access to a private community for on-going support and to get their questions answered.



 

About the Author


Sara Kerr, RDN, LD

Sara is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, artist, writer, and video editor. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutrition from Oregon State University. In 2021 she founded The Kerrminator LLC, which specializes in creative services for Dietitians including video editing, graphic design, and content creation.



 

Are you interested in starting a side hustle and want to learn more about the potential of video for your business?

You should check out my ebook, Embracing Video to Communicate Nutrition. It offers guidance for exploring your options and steps to get the ball rolling on your new venture.



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