Hello! My name is Olivia Mitchell and I’m a country/pop singer-songwriter from North Carolina. As an independent artist in the midst of this new technological era of music, I’ve resorted to promoting my songs via numerous online social networking sites. Though Facebook and Twitter have definitely helped me solidify my fan base, YouTube is where it all started.
YouTube is the site where I have attracted the majority of my fans, and YouTube is the site where I will continue to do so. I’ve been a steady “YouTuber” for about three years now and have garnered over 26,000 subscribers along the way without any source of outside promotion or help. So, I thought I would share some tips with you, in case you ever decide to start your own channel:
- Use your actual name as your username! (Ex. If your name is Sam Smith, choose the username “SamSmith” if it is available. If that name is taken, choose “SamSmithMusic.” Making your YouTube username your actual name makes your channel easier to find than a channel with the username of “Swifty4everXO12” or something else long and hard to remember.
- Pay attention to filming details and quality. If at all possible, film your videos with an HD camera in a well-lit room! Also, be sure that both you and the room you’re filming in look presentable when filming! (The nicer the video looks, the longer you will hold the viewer’s attention.)
- FREE downloads. Post free MP3 downloads of all your videos in the video description. Sendspace is a good site to use for this.
- Post a mix of cover songs and original songs. Though you are trying to promote your own music, the chance of people randomly stumbling upon an original song they’ve never heard before is rare. To draw people into your channel, you have to post videos with tags people will be searching for (“Eminem Cover – Love The Way You Lie,” “Me Singing Baby by Justin Bieber,” etc.) Once someone searches for Eminem or Justin Bieber and watches your cover video, they will click on your channel and listen to an original song if they like your voice/style.
- It is crucial to add at least one linked annotation to every video you post. I usually put one in the top corner of my videos for about 15 seconds that says “Click to subscribe!” or something like that. This way, the little pop-up box will give the viewer a quick reminder and easy way to subscribe to your channel. Another good way to use annotations is on cover songs; about a third to midway through the cover, put an annotation saying “Click here to check out my new original song” and the link the annotation to your newest original song video. This way, you can use covers/popular tags to lure in viewers, and the annotations will then lead them to your own original music.
- Post on a consistent basis. If you post a new video every Tuesday, your followers will develop a routine of checking your channel that day; they will know when they can expect a new video. Posting on a consistent regular basis makes it easier for fans to keep up with your newest material.
- Send messages to other YouTubers! Tell them what you like about their channel, and at the end of the message, request that they check out yours. By developing relationships with YouTubers with large fan bases, these popular YouTube personalities may eventually put you in their box, or the list of suggested channels on their own channel. Though most of the time, people with lots of views and fans will not respond, it doesn’t hurt to send your stuff to as many people as you can.
- Collaboration is key. If you have the means, get together with other YouTubers and film duets. By collaborating with other YouTube singers and posting the duets, you “trade fans,” or expose your voice/music to each other’s subscriber base.
- Post your videos as video responses to other videos with a lot of views. This way, when people finish watching that much-viewed video, they can scroll down, see your video response, and click on it.
- Always give the details to connect your sites. In the description box of all your videos, as well as in your channel description, post links to your other websites (Facebook fan page, Twitter, domain, etc.).
Check out Olivia’s most recent YouTube release