5 mistakes beatmakers must avoid to GROW on YouTube
My fellow Beatmakers! If you are trying to grow an online audience for your music via YouTube, this one’s for you…
Let’s start with a quote.
“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Samuel Levenson
Today I am exposing my biggest YouTube mistakes - mistakes that have cost me dearly.
If you’re willing to learn from them, you will shave years off of your own YouTube hustle.
Side-note: if you’re simply looking to make YouTube videos without trying to build and audience, you may enjoy applying this article to making YouTube videos instead.
For those of us left, let’s go!
MISTAKE #1: Staring a YouTube channel just because…
It’s tempting to follow the masses and assume that because someone was successful on YouTube, you need to go that route too. But the truth is that a winning formula for one musician is not necessarily the same winning formula for you.
Personally, I don’t even remember why I started a YouTube channel. I think I just wanted one.
That’s not a solid reason to start.
YouTube will take hours of your time. Whether you love video making or not, at some stage it’s really going to piss you off. Glitches, crashes, never-ending edits are just some of the things that you will encounter along the line.
If you don’t have a strong reason for being on YouTube in the first place, it’s going to be hard to stay in the game.
Since growing an audience for your music is a long-term game, you need to be in it for the long haul. The best way to do that is to have a strong reason for making videos. That way, no matter what happens, your reasons for making videos will outweigh your desire to become complacent.
MISTAKE #2: Making music content that is for ‘everybody’…
Whether you are doing music tutorials, music playlists or performing your own beats, you have to know specifically who your content is for.
One huge benefit to making content for a specific group of people is that it’s much easier for the YouTube algorithm to figure out who your content is for.
When YouTube is pushing your content to the right people for you, you’re all set to live long and prosper…
If I look at my YouTube history, one of my biggest mistakes was that I didn’t know who I was trying to reach.
Initially I was sharing personal growth content but then I pivoted into making ableton tutorials. Then, after I grew an audience for ableton tutorials, I wanted to do personal growth content again! But my audience was subscribed for ableton content and so I kept making them more tutorials……deep down though I wanted to share insights into the creative process.
I wanted to provide tools that will not just help the art, but the artist too.
There are many other reasons why choosing your target audience before you start making content is a golden strategy. So please, please, please - if you can figure this out before you start, it will shave off YEARS of growth time.
If you're after other good questions to ask that will catalyze your self-promotion efforts, this post will help you too.
MISTAKE #3 Making content to (try to) be popular…
I’m going to be blunt. This is not going to work.
The thing about growing an audience online is that it’s not about how good you look. It’s about how much you are helping others.
The only way to become popular (in a positive way) is to genuinely help people with your content.
If you know who your content is for, there’s a good chance you already know what they need. Give them that!If you do, they will gladly come back for more.
And that, my dear friend, is how to build a loyal audience.
MISTAKE #4 Turning YouTube into a ‘productive hobby’...
Being primarily a musician and not a filmmaker, I spend a freakish amount of time editing videos. Although I’d rather be editing beats, editing videos is simply part of my current role as a content creator.
The problem is that I sometimes get massively distracted by editing YouTube videos. It’s like my dangerously seductive ‘productive hobby’.
With ‘productive hobbies’ you feel like you’re getting lots done, but you’re not actually doing the work you should be doing.
It’s like when you need to clean your studio but then you get a huge wave of inspiration… you simply HAVE to sample the vacuum cleaner instead of use it. You’ll use the samples in your next beat. You’re still being productive…
YouTube is like that, but magnified. If you’re not careful you may end up using it as a crutch to avoid whatever work you might actually have to do…
MISTAKE #5 Unwilling to accept that looks matter…
First impressions matter. Sometimes your first impression will be the only impression you get to make. So put the effort in to getting people to click on your thumbnail the first time they see it!
A bad video thumbnail is like showing up to the dream job you’ve prepared for your whole life, but smelling like a fish.
Do you know what’s going to happen?
People are not going to want to get near you, and you won’t be able to show them how perfect you are for the job.
The same is true for your content. You could have the solution to world peace, but if it’s badly packaged, it might be completely overlooked.
It’s sad that the world works like this. That’s why I avoided accepting this simple fact for many years. But appearances matter, and they matter a lot. The sooner you accept this and use it to your advantage the better.
Why? Because if you’re creating content for a solid reason (#1) that is helping people you care about (#2 + #3) you’ve got to package it like the beautiful gift it is.
If you do, people will be excited to open it, and the world will truly be a better place. *Aww*.
BONUS MISTAKE: Being greedy…
My favorite part of YouTube is the community. If you feel that way too, then why not show it by showering the community with love?
Be nice to other beat makers and don’t be afraid to promote other people’s work without expecting anything in return.
The more I’ve encouraged and highlighted other people, the stronger my relationships with them have become.
You can choose to think you’re in competition with everyone. But I find life much more enjoyable by viewing it as a place where we can all learn and grow together.
Remember that every comment, like, and listen to your song is from a real human being who took the time to take an action and connect to you. Value them, value their time and value their attention with the content you make.
I made a whole video on YouTube that covers even more lessons about starting your own channel.
Watch it here.
As with all things on lil beat shop, I’m going to encourage you to have FUN with it.
Keep nurturing that creative energy and sense of play in your work and it’s all going to pay off in a big way!!
Lil miss beats
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