A great music channel can only start with great music. That, and your willingness to sacrifice non-trivial hours to make videos are the most important prerequisites for making it on YouTube. Then comes promotion.
As we speak, YouTube remains the world’s biggest on-demand streaming platform for music. So every musician should consider making a channel to either get discovered or to cross-promote their music on different platforms.
Things to Know When You’re Just Starting
Know Your Artistry
Knowing what you stand for as an artist (i.e. your brand) and learning about your target audience can set you up for success. The images or videos you decide to produce will need to represent your music accurately and entice your audience. Your YouTube channel should help bring forward the full range of your music artistry.
Know Your Content
Let’s assume you want to post covers as well as original music on your channel. Covers will help you get discovered in searches, and if people like you, they will most likely listen to your originals.
Group your content in different playlists: you may have videos where you talk about your equipment and separate playlists for your live performances and recorded tracks.
Creating a trailer for your channel is a great way to explain what you do and prompt viewers to hit the subscribe button. Your trailer is likely the first thing someone will notice on your page, so use it to summarize the most important elements of your channel.
Know Your Videos
To decide what gear you need, you first need to know the type of videos you will be shooting.
If you plan to shoot at your home studio or take your followers with you to gigs with a vlog, consider buying a good camera with a mic input instead of relying on your phone. Investing in good lighting will also make your videos look professional every time. You can find out more about framing and setting up your camera for the best results from our vlog. Also, look at similar channels and find out more about their setup in their video descriptions.
Original artist videos require a different approach than your weekly videos. Due to resource limitations, many artists that are just starting, prefer to produce DIY videos for their music; here you can team up with a small production team if you know people who’ve done this before.
You can still get away with not shooting anything if you consider art tracks; this is where YouTube displays an image as a track plays. You can add your EP cover or other cover art to your demo releases. If you prefer something in between, consider making a lyric video.
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After filming, you will need to use a video editor to edit your videos and add your audio track; audio should first be recorded and edited separately in your DAW.
Some video editors are so intuitive, you can learn to use them in just a few hours. Movavi Video Editor Plus is an easy-to-use, powerful video editor. You can start simple or use all features to step up your productions anytime; like we did when creating a multi-screen cover video.
Get YouTube Help
Go to YouTube Creator Academy via your Google account. There you will find excellent mini-courses on starting a music channel.
Set up Your Account
Once your content is in place, begin setting up your account for your first post. Your channel name should be clear; better stick to your artist name or band’s name.
Upload your banner art and a channel icon, and complete the ‘About’ section. Adding information here, as well as links to your website or social media, means your fans can find you anywhere.
Make sure your uploads have accurate descriptions and your title resembles people’s searches. Add relevant tags to further describe what your video is about.
Keep The Momentum
Try to plan and schedule your content in advance. Consistency will keep your fans engaged and your fan base growing. It’s best to post a video each week; you can also ask your fans what they want to see next if at some point you run out of ideas.
Things You Learn As You Go
Promoting Your Channel
Promoting your channel will increase your following. Assuming your channel is optimized for searches you will need an action plan. You can start by looking up other channels that feature similar music. Aim to partner with them so you can feature on their playlists.
You can also promote your channel using social media by posting your videos on your Facebook artist page. There’s no direct way to share a YouTube video on Instagram, but you can create Instagram story clips, fan polls, or other content to engage your audience and take them to your channel.
Another way to get noticed is by reaching out to music blogs with a press release if you break out with original music.
Use the Community Section
By using this section you can ensure your fans know ahead of time the content you are planning to release or any upcoming events; they will have no excuse to miss them!
Respond to Comments
Music is connection. Building a relationship with your fans will keep you inspired to create new music. By interacting with them, you get to know more about who resonates with your music (and learn to ignore the haters).
Your Fans Are a Community
Keep growing your community of fans with regular content. Let them know about future gigs, and arrange giveaways of your sound packs, signed record, or merchandise.
Arrange fan meetups as your channel grows, and try your best respond to comments; either directly or by scheduling Q&As.
Use YouTube Analytics
Looking at views and likes for clues about your audience is barely scratching the surface. Instead, you can gather useful insights by using YouTube analytics. You can spot trends like which types of videos have longer viewing times or find out where your fans are based. This can help you shape your content better.
See Yourself in the Future
Consider creating an official YouTube channel if you meet the requirements.
After building a following you may decide to go ahead with your first serious release. As an independent artist consider registering with an online distributor like CD Baby or Tunecore. They will put your songs on streaming platforms and ensure YouTube monetization.
Be Your Own Label
Starting out on YouTube and promoting your music online is no walk in the park, and it’s often something artists feel uneasy about. To get noticed by any label, license your music, or get a record deal, you need to start building your audience yourself. If you are patient enough, you may be surprised to see your fan base explode.