3 Things You Need to Know If You're Starting a YouTube Channel

Arthur Kam
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Starting a YouTube channel can be a worthwhile and profitable endeavor for your business. With 2 billion active users, YouTube is ranked second behind Facebook as the most popular social network. 90% of viewers report that they discover new products and brands through YouTube. But not every YouTube channel gets traction and pays off. So how do you ensure that your efforts are rewarded?

The first thing to understand is that a new channel will not get many views in the beginning, and you have to be okay with that. You must be patient when starting a YouTube channel.

It's sort of like high school graduates with no work experience, getting their first job. They need to prove themselves. When they demonstrate consistency in their work, their workplace starts rewarding them with more responsibilities and higher compensation.

Similarly, YouTube rewards consistency and quality. You will be ranked low in their search results and not have much visibility at the start, this is true. But as you consistently produce videos and engage viewers, you will be rewarded with higher visibility and increasing viewership.

Everyone starts at the bottom when they're starting a YouTube channel.

You need to accept that fact and understand that starting a YouTube channel is a long-term commitment. But once established, it is a vehicle that can take you to your business goals and beyond. Your videos will live on YouTube forever, be available for future viewers, and your results will continue to compound over the years.

And video content is getting even more popular. Now, almost 3 out of 4 people would choose to learn about products and services through video than text formats.

Jon Mowat of Hurricane Media says, "Video is the most effective way for brands to elicit behavior change in consumers and reach their goals, so it's no surprise that it's a big priority for marketers in 2020."

So don't be discouraged or embarrassed if it feels like no one is watching, and you're not yet getting the results you want. You may be starting at the bottom, but there's nowhere to go but up.

Today I want to share 3 things you need to know if you're starting a YouTube channel. These tips will set you up for success in the long run.

1. Starting a YouTube Channel Requires a Destination

With starting a YouTube channel, it's easy to get caught up with wanting more views and more subscribers. It's similar to taking a road trip. If you don't know where you're headed, it doesn't matter how fast you're going. 

You must pinpoint your specific goals for your new YouTube channel.

You could argue that someone could derive joy from merely driving fast, but that's like saying you love getting views and subscribers just for the sake of it. Views and subscribers alone are useless and don't help your business goals unless you plan for it.

So, first of all, think of your destination:

  • What do you want to do with your videos? 

  • Do you want them to solidify your reputation as a thought leader in your industry?

  • Are you looking to be omnipresent online so people can find you everywhere?

Those are great starting-point questions. But the single most crucial question is: How will YouTube help support your business revenue goals? It's likely your business already has existing marketing channels, so how does YouTube fit into your marketing mix?

Once you know what your specific goals are for your YouTube channel and what your destination looks like, then you can better plan the journey getting there.

2. Problem Solve for Your Customers

The second thing to consider when starting a YouTube channel is to know your ideal customer and what problem you will help them solve. Most businesses that have an existing product or service that solves a specific problem should have a general idea of who their ideal customer is. But often, companies don't go far enough to understand the customer on a deep level thoroughly.

To get to that deep level, here are some questions you can ask yourself about your ideal customers:

  • What are some problems they're facing that keep them up at night?

  • What are some questions they're always asking and seeking answers?

  • What are some hurdles that are in the way of getting what they want?

  • What are some goals that they're working towards?

When you have knowledge of your customer on a deep level, you can then plan out your YouTube channel. It will provide the framework on how to create the content for your ideal customers. 

You can give them the solutions and answers. 

You can help them remove hurdles and reach their goals.

After you have a list of these topics, it's time to come up with an overarching theme. The best way to think about this is to ask yourself this question: "what is a need that many people have, that my YouTube channel can help them solve?"

For your YouTube channel to be sustainable, it must be a topic that you can speak about on an ongoing basis. It must be a specific topic catered for your audience, and not so broad that it attempts to help everyone. And it's even better if it's a topic where people are already looking for solutions.

Now let's tie it all together and get you closer towards your business goals of generating revenue.

3. Should You, or Shouldn't You, Sell?

I know it sounds contradictory, but you should and shouldn't sell in every video you produce.

What do I mean?

You do need to offer your products and services so you can serve your customers. Your business goals eventually lead to generating revenue. But imagine someone starting a YouTube channel, and all they did was sell you their products and services on every video. Would you keep watching? Probably not, no one likes always to be pitched.

There was a study by Chen Lou, Quan Xie, Yang Feng, Wonkyung Kim entitled, "Does Non-hard-sell Content Really Work? Leveraging the Value of Branded Content Marketing in Brand Building". They found that non-hard-sell content does lead to increased purchase intentions from consumers, proving that you don't need always to pitch your products and services.

With that said, however, you should still sell in every video. You simply shouldn't always be selling your products and services. 

Instead, sell them your ideas. Sell a story to inspire people or shift their beliefs. Sell a lifestyle or a better way to do something. Sell them knowledge that they will find interesting or useful.

The key is balance.

For example, you can pitch your products or services every few videos. But ensure that you're delivering immense value and information on the videos in between. You can mention your products or services in passing by writing it into your script but don't hard-sell it on every video.

By giving your viewers useful information and the opportunity to do business when they're ready, you can serve your customers at the highest level and meet your revenue targets.


Starting a YouTube channel is a long-term commitment but a worthwhile endeavor. It has the potential to bring you new customers for years to come with every single video you create. The top 3 things to know when it comes to starting a YouTube channel are:

  1. Know your business goals for your YouTube channel and how it fits into your marketing mix

  2. Know your ideal customer and how your channel will help them solve their problems. This will help you determine the content on your channel.

  3. Selling in every video you create. Sell your products and service. Also sell ideas in the form of content that is educational, inspirational, entertaining, and informative.

Do you want expert help with starting and growing a YouTube channel? Contact us today to find out how our experienced copywriters can help you strategize, write video scripts, and more.

Arthur Kam

Arthur Kam is a revenue-generating marketer and direct-response copywriter. He's a former engineer, who bootstrapped and exited two eCommerce brands that each made multiple 7-figures in sales. Nowadays, when he's not focused on helping clients scale their companies through copy, marketing, and funnels, he loves to travel and experience the world with his wife and business partner, Dr. Grace Lee.

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