What to Expect When You Start YouTube

I have recently started my YouTube channel, and realised that hitting a recording button is just one small step in a whole sequence of events.

I would like to share 6 big tips I have been relying on since I started my YouTube channel. I hope you find some or all of them useful as well.

By the way, if you prefer to watch a video instead, please scroll down to find one.

1. Know your why

Firstly, I decided to start with my why. I clarified to myself why I was starting a YouTube channel. I am so sure that this is the first question everyone needs to ask themselves. And, going further, to get to the root cause by asking yourself why at least 3 or even 5 times. It is important to truly understand that this initiative comes from within, rather than from the outside. I made a vision board with my whys and I remind myself of that as often as I need, because when we get a bit discouraged, or have a bad day, or receive a dislike, or are just tired, the first reaction is to just stop doing it. And when things get back to normal, it becomes easier to keep going, but between those high moments, the big WHY is what builds the bridge
2. Prepare for the long run

I had to line up my expectations. I already had two other YouTube channels where I made two mistakes:
  • First of all I was expecting views and traction on my channel straight away but, actually, the scary part of publishing the first video is followed by… silence. No one knows about the channel. I think even YouTube is surprised, so it takes time to start getting views. And this is something I had to get comfortable with.
  • Another of my channels was very specific (focusing on electronics) and I liked creating videos in the moment, but then I realized there was really so little room to alter topics, and I couldn’t see myself creating videos on that topic for a long time - like a year to three years. So really I uploaded just 5 videos, I think, and then I stopped.

Ask yourself questions:
  • Can I commit to the long run even if my channel is not growing very fast and why would I do it?
  • Can I see myself working with this topic for the long run, let’s say 2-3 years from now? Good if yes. If no, can you change the topic of your channel easily?

By the way, are you thinking of starting your channel or have you already started it? Let me know in the comments below.

3. Create systems

This is very important and I am just starting to approach my YouTube channel in a systematic way. I quickly realised that it is really exhausting to create a video, click publish and start stressing out about what to create next and finding the time to do it. This is especially important when you have a busy schedule even without YouTube, and even more important when your schedule is unpredictable. I realized I had to create a system, which works somehow around my other commitments and won’t suffer too much when I don't do something.

So first of all, I created a space, where I just put all my thoughts about what I wanted to do with my channel. I have them as a separate page in Notion, so that when an idea comes to me, I don’t have to think about where to put it, but I just note it before it goes away. And writing down ideas for videos is crucial, because you can always come back and find ideas in your list. I also try to create a template or checklist for whatever I do more than one time. For example I have a template for my script, I have a checklist of the steps to follow to publish a video and so on.
I created a notion board which outlines all the videos I plan to work on, am working on now and so on. This is not only for me, but also for my team members. There is so much happening in life, that I might forget things, so I need a place where I can come and have a quick reminder of where I am.

4. Enjoy the process

I think one of the most important things is to find joy in the process. I notice that when I am not enjoying the process itself, it is very hard to get motivated, to get going, and it’s very easy to procrastinate. I agree that with some things the result is really important. However, here, the journey is more important than the result you set for yourself. It would be too difficult to give your full energy and creativity and time if you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Even if it's not everything I am enjoying, I still prefer to focus on the aspects I love.

5. I accepted that I need support

Here I have two things in mind - first of all - it's all about having a team member to help me with my channel.
I 100 percent believe that first of all you should try to do everything yourself, and I did it as well, of course. It is satisfying to master all the aspects of being a video creator. But as soon as I found what I like doing and what I don’t enjoy, I decided to focus more on what I like, because of course I would like to enjoy the process. And for different people, it could be different things - everyone is unique. I personally love everything to do with video set up, composing the picture in the frame and editing videos. In fact, I do it not only for my channel, but for some of my fellow YouTubers who don’t enjoy editing that much. However, for me it is hard to do all the publishing aspects, so I paired up with someone who specializes in that area, and this is how I have some spare time.
And a second thing is to get support from those people who are close to you, and this has been crucial for me. Even 10 extra minutes can make a big difference. For example, my husband often puts our daughter to sleep in the evenings and this is about 20-30 extra minutes I can work on my projects.
You can also get support which is indirectly related to YouTube. For example, ordering your groceries to be delivered. This is how you won’t need to think about it and plan into your day… which may be quite busy.

6. Prepare to fail

I think that every YouTuber at some point faces a situation when they put a lot of effort in to record or edit a video and then realize that the sound wasn’t on, or the record button wasn’t on and they just talked to no one. And I definitely thought that wouldn’t be my case, but guess what? It happened to me as well… multiple times already. I had time when my camera turned off and I didn’t realize it, and also when I accidentally deleted an almost completely edited video which needed just a handful of final touches. Oh, I can't explain how useless I felt in those situations, and how discouraging it was. Be prepared for those situations to happen and just exhale and be ready to start all over again. Maybe even not the same day - see how you feel.
For now, wish you all the luck in starting a channel.