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Only a few short years ago YouTube was the new kid on the block but today it is undoubtedly the top video sharing platform on the net. There’s a dizzying array of videos covering every imaginable topic, and some you couldn’t imagine; and so should photographers be starting their own YouTube channels and can they really stand out to build large audiences on the site?
YouTube Growth is Outstripping that of the Traditional Blog Platforms.
There are many advantages to setting up your own video presence on YouTube, one of which is the fact that YouTube is growing much faster than blog sites are these days. This is partly because blog sites already have large loyal audiences that were reaching a natural saturation point in their meteoric growth but it also reflects the changing ways in which people are engaging online.
As a photographer you need an audience to sell your work, market your services or reach out to new potential clients. YouTube is one of the most powerful tools on the internet and if you can leverage its immense reach you can rapidly grow your online business and brand awareness.
How To Stand Out In Amongst the Noise on YouTube.
YouTube has highly developed algorithms, much like the search engines do, which means that provided you tag your videos in an effective and appropriate way your audience will actually find you!
YouTube’s algorithms also pay close attention to the audience’s engagement with your videos by measuring likes, subscription rates and the number of comments to determine whether or not they should show more of your work to these people.
This means that if you provide high quality content that engages viewers your channel can grow from a few hundred views per video to tens of thousands within a few short months!
The evergreen nature of YouTube videos, meaning that they are available for viewers long after you created them, means that your work continues to rack up views as long as your channel is up on the site. This is another major advantage over other social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook where posts tend to have a much more time-limited impact on audiences.
The Pros and Cons of A Setting Up A YouTube Channel As A Photographer.
You might have been thinking about whether or not to start a YouTube channel and although there are many reasons why it might be the right thing for you to do to take your photography profile to the next level there are several major pros and cons that are worth considering before you get started.
You might have to overcome a sense of fear or anxiety at the thought of starting a YouTube channel and really putting yourself out in the public eye; but understanding some of the pros, and just as importantly the cons, in advance will help you decide whether it’s the right next step for you.
11 Pros of Setting Up A YouTube Channel as a Photographer.
- Firstly, setting up a YouTube channel is completely free and apart from the time you’ll need to put into making the videos there are no other start up costs. This is great considering the potential reach and benefits that you can get from running a successful YouTube channel.
- Huge numbers of people are using YouTube which means that there is definitely an audience for your content, even if it’s pretty niche! With over 2 billion logged in users on YouTube each month you can be sure that whatever genre you are working in you can connect and build relationships with people who have a pre-existing interest in your type of work.
- Due to the ways that the YouTube algorithms work you can attract new viewers to your photography who may not have known before that they have an interest in your genre and would therefore never have found it using the traditional search engines. YouTube’s algorithm shows videos to users that are related, even if only slightly, to their usual viewing habits. This means that it’s important that you write good tags for your videos to extend your reach to its maximum.
- You can use your YouTube videos to draw new traffic to your website or portfolio. Attracting viewers to your YouTube channel allows you to direct some of that audience to your other online work by attaching links to the video. If you are selling services, photo prints or other products you can significantly increase your website’s traffic and therefore your revenues by creating a successful YouTube channel.
- YouTube is a fun and creative outlet for photographers to experiment with new techniques in a unique environment where you’ll get tons of feedback and meet other like minded creators.
- Once you’ve made a YouTube video you can also use it elsewhere online. You can post it on social media to advertise your website, or YouTube channel, while building up your profile and fans. Another great way to use your YouTube videos is to embed them on your website, either as part of blog posts or as stand alone features on your site. This is not only an effective strategy to market your work and improve your site’s visitor experiences but it’s also easy to do. To share a video, or embed it elsewhere, YouTube provides a link underneath the video which you simply copy and paste.
- Creating a YouTube presence will build up a strong connection with your audience as they get to know you and the work you do. When people watch your videos they will develop a sense of loyalty to you and will follow your work elsewhere online and even in the real world.
- YouTube is a great way to share your skills, passion and experience in photography. If you are a photographer and would like to do some tuition then YouTube is a great platform to work with, plus it’s free! You can embed your tuition videos elsewhere, on your website for example, and ask for donations to fund your time and work.
- As a photographer you can create slide show videos of your photos to showcase your work and attract new interest from the huge YouTube audiences. One of the advantages of the video format is that you can speak about your work as it is displayed on video which will help your audience to get to know you. Speaking over the photos in a slide show can express far more in a short period of time than a written caption on your portfolio page or website.
- Because of the way human psychology works people are more likely to remember your work if you present it in a video format! This means that you will be able to retain more of the audience on YouTube than by using other methods such as social media. This is partly because of the engaging nature of video content but it is also because our brains’ generally find information presented in a video easier to recall than the written word alone.
- As a photographer you can generate a new source of regular income by signing up for the YouTube advertising program. You can also sell affiliate products on your YouTube channel, both of which can be a useful side income stream to fall back on when you’re going through a rough patch in your photography business.
3 Cons of Setting Up A YouTube Channel as a Photographer.
- Trolls and rude comments can really get you down! One of the worst things about putting yourself out there on YouTube, or any other platform for that matter, is the negative and often unfair comments that you will get. This is an unfortunate aspect of YouTube and although the comments can be quite hurtful you’ll need to have a pretty thick skin to work on the platform. It is worth remembering though that the comments are not personal and that it’s usually just trolls looking for a reaction. Obviously, you’ll also receive positive criticism while working on YouTube and you should try to embrace this and take advice where it seems right to do so. However, in most cases, the comments you will receive will be thankful, appreciative of the hard work you have done and full of kind words; so it really balances out to be a positive experience!
- As your channel begins to grow you might find that your success begins to impinge on your personal privacy! People will start to recognize you in the streets and although for some people this might be a great thing others may find it a bit more challenging. It’s not only being recognized in the streets though that you need to consider, which realistically speaking will be a fairly rare occurrence in your early days on the platform, but you still will have to put yourself out there on the net and you will need to live some of your life in a public way. There may be days when you don’t feel like getting in front of the camera but since uploading regular content is important to build your channel you’ll have to overcome those feelings.
- Creating YouTube videos and a successful channel is hard work and will take up quite a lot of your time. Not only do you have to come up with ideas, write up your scripts, record and then edit the videos but you’ll need to be constantly researching to stay ahead of the curve. Of course you can outsource some of the process but at the end of the day the buck will have to stop with you! Naturally, the rewards of running a great channel will make all the hard work feel more than worth it but it is something to consider before you start out.
YouTube is An Incredible Resource for Photographers – Increase Your Reach and Boost Your Online Profile.
The potential return on creating a YouTube channel cannot be ignored and is worth all the hard work, time, heart ache and energy that you’ll need to put into it. Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll only ever get out what you put in, so don’t underestimate the commitment it will take to make YouTube work for you.
However, with the incredible cross platform pollination, marketing opportunities and the huge audiences that are always looking for great new content; you can massively increase your reach and put your work in front of millions of new viewers with a good YouTube channel.
Have you thought of creating a YouTube Channel?
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