Through this past month, I have interviewed and interacted with many different social media users and You Tubers via twitter and through their channels. Although there have been many theories about how exactly people start profitable, famous channels, I thought that I would dissect this process from my own findings and observations of this phenomenon.
1) Have an idea for your channel.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Before an individual can join You Tube, they usually have a pre-conceived notion for why exactly they are starting a channel. For Beauty Gurus, this usually stems from a lack of self-confidence. Ingrid Nilsen (or missglamorazzi) stated, that she was quite a shy person, who was not even particularly interested in beauty related issues, but decided to start making videos, as a sort of 'creative outlet' for her own insecurities. Because of this, many of the Beauty Gurus, of whom I have interviewed, have started channels, in order to replicate this same type of success. Or, for other gurus, like Chrisselle lim, Michelle Phan, or Lisa Eldridge, these users continue to use their You Tube platforms, as a supplement to their original jobs, as stylists, make up artists, or heads of their own companies. However, as many v-loggers and gurus point out, the 'path way' to attain a successful following and channel is inconsistent. According to a recent study done by Greg Jarboe, it is important to create an outline of your general idea before creating a channel. Thus, you will always maintain the same intentions and 'authentic voice' before you continue to make more videos
2) Create your channel
Again, self explanatory. You Tube’s easy social media lay out makes it easy for anyone in the world with Internet to connect and communicate with each other via their web page. With its partnership with Google, You Tubers are able to add another platform to their social identity (Google Chrome), which enables them to connect with other users and potential subscribers.
Twitter: the majority of You Tube/ bloggers use this platform, in order to find users with common interests. When the v-logger gains more success, they will move on to other sites. You Tube users expose a lot of new mediums to their audiences through their own discovery and utilizations of these social ‘apps.' Influential You Tube v-logger, Tyler Oakley uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, in order to advertise and communicate with different fans. The monopolization of all technology platforms is a key component to the growth and success of a You Tube user.
This falls under the category of ‘advertising.’ You Tubers create ‘tags’ or ‘collaborations’ between other You Tube users, in order to connect and advertise their channels with their other audience bases (Greg Jarboe: "Myth #2: You can only be successful on your own").For example, the beauty guru, DaniAustin2, had only 2 subscribers when she started out. However, as her brother, another You Tube user, already had an established following, she was able to gain notoriety through his channel. This tactic can be recognized, as a general PR/marketing technique. However, it is a common tool used by most You Tubers, as well as ‘beauty gurus.’
5) Maintaining Audience Members
Continual maintenance of a user's channel is imperative, in order for You Tubers to retain their following, as well as gain more subscribers- give-aways, contests (etc). The You Tube community treats their channel like a business. They must constantly be thinking of new ideas, that will progress their ‘social media standing.' They must think about ways to reinvent themselves, as well as their videos. Thus, they must maintain the same, distinct ‘authentic voice,’ which attracted their audiences to their original channels.
What is the future for the You Tube user/ ‘guru.’ When the v-logger has already established their online platform and social identity, what should their next move be? How do they proceed with their current, substantial following? Most ‘gurus’ tend to reach out to other companies, in forms of sponsorship deals and ‘hosting jobs:' (i.e. Michelle Phan). This is the point where their ‘hobby’ becomes a ‘career.’ Thus, this transition may be tricky. For most ‘gurus,’ they transition their ‘beauty channels’ into ‘lifestyle brands.’ The use of daily v-logging gains exposure, as well as dissuades their ‘common’ image of a ‘beauty girl.’ By exposing other hobbies and personal facts about themselves, the You Tuber user appears as a ‘real person,’ rather than a ‘publicity machine’ for various companies and advertising campaigns. As Ingrid Nilsen cites, "I would just want something out there in the world, that is sustainable beyond my You Tube channel."