How to Leverage YouTube as a Freelancer
When compared to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, YouTube may not get the same amount of love for marketing. But as videos continue to become more and more popular, YouTube is becoming a viable marketing option for business owners, entrepreneurs, and even freelancers.
Why YouTube Rocks
Before we get too far, let’s take a brief look at some stats that prove how powerful of an assist YouTube can be.
- YouTube has over a billion users – which is approximately one-third of all people on the Internet – who generate billions of views.
- YouTube, and also YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
- YouTube, according to The Next Web, has the lowest average bounce rate (43.19 percent), highest pages per visit (2.99), and longest visit duration (227.82 seconds).
For marketing purposes, YouTube has proven itself to one of the best platforms to engage and educate your audience – no matter which device they’re using. If you haven’t gotten on board yet, it’s time to start leveraging YouTube for your freelancing services.
Now let’s go into how you can make the most out of YouTube.
Setting Up Your Profile
Go onto the main page of your YouTube and head over to “My Channel.” It’s here where you’ll describe your channel so that you can introduce yourself to prospective clients. This should be a brief description that includes your name, business, what you do, and the type of videos that you’re going to share.
Most importantly, you want to use keywords that describe your field of expertise. If you’re a graphic designer, than you’ll want to use relevant keywords in your description like ‘web design’ or something more niche related like ‘logo design.’.
After you’ve set up your description, you’ll also want to:
- Add links to your website and other social media accounts.
- Include artwork that is unique and relevant to your brand, such as a logo or colors.
- Be active by posting videos and discussing them with viewers.
- If you don’t publish videos daily, you can still post status updates.
- Create an introduction video that states your name, what services you provide, some interesting facts about yourself, and a call-to-action like a subscribe button for a newsletter.
Video is a great way to demonstrate your expertise, think of instructional videos from cooks, make-up artists, or home repair specialists. They’re extremely popular on YouTube and could also be used by freelancers. For example, if you’re a designer you could show off of your talents by recording tips and tricks on how you come up with a design. But, that can sometimes be a challenge for freelancers like writers. In that case, you could create a video that explains your writing process, intake process, or before and after videos with a client. You could even simply film your online portfolio or demo reel that showcases examples of your work and add music to it.
When considering what type of video you want to create, you may want to think about the niche that your audience is interested in or videos that highlight your personality. The idea is that you should be an unique as possible. Kyle Roberts, for example, is a director known for stop motion. He started filming stop motion videos as a way to share school projects, but he quickly realized that there was a market for stop-motion and became a stop-motion extraordinaire.
Promoting Your Videos
Sometimes videos go viral on their own because they’re so off-the-wall. But in most cases you’re probably going to have to promote them yourself to gain some traction. You can do this by sharing the videos on your other social media networks or embedding them in your email signature and blog posts. You also want to share them with influential thought leaders in your industry and engage viewers by responding to them in the comments.
And, don’t forget that the idea behind your YouTube is to drive conversations. Make sure that you convert viewers by having a strong call-to-action which include links to your services page in the description. If you have the funds, you can also pay for ads on YouTube through cost-per-view bidding.
Finally, if you want your audience to easily find your videos, you’ll need:
- Optimize the title of your video. You only have 50 characters to grab the attention of a viewer.
- Use repetitive and relevant keywords when describing and tagging all of your videos.
- Add playlists so that you can increase your chances of appearing in multiple search results.
- Keep you videos short. The most popular length is around 2 minutes.
Final Words of Advice
YouTube is an excellent platform to build your brand as a freelancer and attract. That’s why it’s important that you share your expertise in a creative way. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and experiment with various types of videos and keywords until you find the right recipe for your success.
And, if you’re still stuck, don’t hesitate to partake in YouTube’s Creator Academy.