All musicians have YouTube channels but few grasped the concept of using YouTube as a fan builder tool. And yet, statistics by different companies show that people discover new music on YouTube primarily, and only after they’ve decided they like the new artist or not, do they head to the likes of Spotify, social media profiles, and other streaming services to consume the rest of the catalog. This directly informs you that your YouTube Channel is much more monumental to your career as an indie act than anyone publicly assumes. So we’re about to help you out and show you how to optimize your YouTube Channel in 10 steps to get the most out of it and to increase exponentially the chances of converting first-time listeners into long-time fans. Have fun and put in the work!
10. Put Your Best Foot Forward In The Channel Art.
Just like in real life when you judge, whether you like to admit it or not, a new person you come in contact with based on their smell, clothes, hair, shoes, fingernails, body language, YOU get judged as a potential channel to subscribe to or skip when someone clicks to see who you are. Treat your channel cover as a business card and as one of the top vital factors in high retention rates. Your profile photo should make sense along with the banner image merged with your brand mission and the value you bring to the music market. If you’re not aware of how colors work for you as a musician, read this article that will explain in great detail with concrete examples the strong associations you can create between who you are and what you look like.
9. Tell Your Life Story In Concise Terms In The About Section.
Concise doesn’t mean two sentences. It means squeezing out the absolute most relevant, entertaining, and strategic information about yourself to present to potential fans on your YouTube Channel. We highly advise you to hire a professional writer who’s also a branding strategist otherwise a classical writer risks telling a sob story instead of a market-appealing biography. Your biography as an indie musician is one of the building pillars of your career whether you’ll get signed in the future or not.
8. Add An Active E-mail To The Channel In That Same About Section.
While our editor doesn’t have a biography in the description of her own music channel, she did get the e-mail part correctly. Having your e-mail posted twice in the For Business Inquiries tab AND the Description tab makes it impossible for whoever is trying to contact you to miss out on your e-mail. So many uber-talented artists either don’t put in any e-mail at all, or they only leave it in the Business tab. The issue with the Business tab is that often YouTube requires a Captcha code to be introduced for anyone to pick up on your e-mail address and sometimes those codes malfunction so even if it is a real person trying to get your contact e-mail, they are stopped in their tracks by the YouTube system. Your job as an indie artist is to make sure you are easy to contact.
7. Create Playlists As If You Would Categorize Your Website Content.
Rod Wave organized his entire channel into concise, beautifully, and intelligently laid out playlists carrying the names of his albums. As an indie musician, you can also arrange your videos into the TYPE of content they are. So you may not have a whole 4 albums out like Rod Wave but you might have videos that could nicely be divided into Covers, Original Songs, Behind The Scenes, Jam Sessions, and others. Going by this rule, you will render the entire experience of your first-time visitors into a much easier comprehension and digesting process of your music and visuals. Help your future fans understand faster who you are and what you do by creating these smart playlists.
6. Display Your Highest Converting Video On The Home Page.
Although Jennifer Lopez has plenty of music videos and lyric visuals, she picked the performance from iHeart Radio Music Awards as it immediately demonstrates her star quality and it forms a relationship of trust with the visitors. When you witness a musician live performing, you don’t question their singing abilities or their personality. Live shows portray the core of a musician without much embellishment whereas a music video is thought out and planned much in advance so in normal conditions, fans start following you for your songs and music videos but only truly become hardcore supporters once they see you in a live show. Not to mention how many apparently highly skilled performers impress the world with their studio albums and edited videos but completely flop and underperform in person.
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If you’re on Spotify, help us out by streaming the playlist below. Yes, your time and attention are just as valuable as a monetary donation and we both know you didn’t pay for this article.