"I don’t know where I’d be without YouTube.” Those were the words of Cody Simpson when we spoke to him recently. “I’ve always wanted to be something extraordinary and to be able to travel and inspire people and do something great with my life. I didn’t know exactly what that was,” says Cody. “I thought it was swimming. I was training all the time and finding some pretty rad success in that, then my whole life took a sharp turn and now it’s all music.” That sharp turn was a result of Cody posting his music videos online, blasting him into the fame stratosphere. “I don’t know how I would’ve gotten my music outside of Australia without YouTube.”
According to YouTube’s Shane Treeves, Australian videos are proving popular internationally. “For every view in Australia there are nine views overseas,” he says. Here we take a closer look at how you can become a YouTube star like Cody. We even have Jordan Jansen on board to share some of his notes, too!
Let’s start from the very beginning…
- Create a channel: “A channel is basically a place where you can house all your videos on YouTube,” says Shane. “Make sure you choose a channel name that’s easy to remember and will give people a feel for what your channel is about. For example, ‘Cooking With Jess On Wednesdays.’
- Upload a video: “A lot of people use their iPhone cameras or their webcams. There are some pretty fantastic video logs [vlogs],” says Shane. “Then there are others who take it a little more seriously and might decide to use a professional camera and editing techniques.”
- Share, share, share: Shane recommends creating a short link to your video. “If you go to a YouTube video and click on ‘share’, then there is a little arrow that will have a short link. It’s a nice way to share things without taking up a lot of space on social media,” says Shane.
From Hobby To Full-time
From here, it’s all about building views and subscribers. And no matter who you are, it IS possible. “Anyone can be a YouTube star,” says Shane. “We’ve seen some people come through who’ve just skyrocketed and doubled their subscribers in a few months.” Shane says building subscribers is the sure-fire way to success. But how? “It’s really good to include a course of action at the end of your videos that will motivate people to subscribe to your video,” says Shane. It’s subscribers who automatically get a notification when you post something new and they will share your videos.
With over two million views, YouTube star Damielou, 20, gives us her tips on gaining more subscribers:
- “Post consistently. Forming a schedule is great because people know you are going to post on that day. For example, I have ‘Music Mondays’ and ‘Funny Fridays’.”
- “Talk to your audience. People have taken the time out of their day to watch one of your videos and they want to interact with you, so it’s important you try and connect with them.”
- “Make sure the audience always has a chance to see what other videos your channel offers. For example, at the end of your videos, say something like, ‘Hey! Check out my other videos!’ This is known as an annotation.”
- “Share your video on Facebook and Twitter.”
- “My music videos are always well received because people are searching the new hit songs on the charts. For example, when everyone was searching Justin Timberlake’sTunnel Vision, I posted a cover on it. Make it relevant to what people are talking about.”
- “Don’t get in arguments with those commenting on your video.”
- “Don’t try to be something you’re not.”
Check out Damielou’s videos at here.
The Formula to Remember:
Something creative and unique + Something people want to share and show their friends + Something that is memorable = Viral Video
Shane says you can make money when ads are serving in your video. “This means every time someone watches your video, you can choose to turn on the ads and make money from their presence on your video,” says Shane. Known as The YouTube Partner Program, you can request to join and when you start to get some views, you can start to make some money. Find out more here:youtube.com/yt/partners/
How Jordan Jansen did it…
With over 37 million views on YouTube and nearly 700,000 Twitter followers, Jordan Jansen has just landed himself a record deal. And it all started with YouTube. He tells us how…
“I was about six years old when my grandmother, who lived in New Zealand, asked to hear me sing. We started making videos and posting them on YouTube sending Nanna the links. We didn’t realise the public could see these as well. People started commenting and sending requests. YouTube was just gaining momentum -- Justin Bieber wasn’t even on there when I started!
I started to get more and more hits and life started changing a bit. At lunchtime at school, I’d have someone come up to me and ask me if I could sing for them. There would always be a huge circle around me and the teachers would think there was a fight going on and try and press through until they just saw this kid singing.
When I posted a cover ofHallelujahthat was the big bang moment. It sits at over 4 million views today. I usually tweet my fans and ask them what song they want me to do next. I then go to my vocal lesson and work with my coach, go home and learn the guitar, and then set up a little video camera on a tripod, sit in front of it and sing. I like it to be a bit raw, so it’s really personal and it’s like I’m in the viewer’s room performing to them.
A good way to get more views and subscribers is to comment on other people’s videos and support them in the hope they’ll support you back. Say something like, ‘I loved your cover, check out mine and tell me what you think’. Use all your social media platforms and always put annotations on your videos telling people to subscribe.
When Sony Music got in touch with my management, I was so excited. They flew me to Sydney to meet with them. I signed a record deal with them. Now, I really want to move to America and go on tour and be able to meet and perform for all my fans!”