We started our Youtube Channel in 2009, 10 Years ago.
ProductionCrate’s subscriber count is just around 68,000 today. In the last 365 days we have grown by 44,369 subscribers, about 65% of our entire subscriber count. That’s about 9 years of little to no growth, and then an awesome turn of events.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know we are not a massive channel. We’re not quite at the 100,000 Subscribers mark, or anywhere close to the Gold Play Button’s 1 Million. But we are growing, and most of that growth has happened really fast. I’ve received a few requests asking ‘How do I grow my Youtube Channel?‘ and ‘How do I get More Youtube Subscribers?’ so I figured this was a good time to share what we have learned so far. Keep in mind, this is what worked for us, it won’t necessarily work for all creators!
Format is key. Trust the format.
This is my holy mantra. The words that bring me back anytime my brain goes off on a tangent or if I’m not sure of my next step. You need to develop a format for your channel, show, series, whatever. There is a very direct, very clear connection between our formatted series and our Youtube channel’s growth.
Some of you are familiar with the Saturday Morning Tutorials, a weekly tutorial series we have developed. The first episode went live Jun 8, 2018. Right about the time our subscriber count turned for the better. It was different from other tutorials we have made in one big way, it has a tight format.
By format, I mean a system of steps, rules, branding and consistency that keeps the entire series cohesive. We start each episode off with our title animation and the exact same Voice Over, then jump right into the narrative sketch. After is the Channel’s title animation and then we jump into the tutorial. The series always has the same two hosts, which allows for some ad-lib banter. It has an ongoing story with recurring characters, which connects episodes. We try to shoot with a regular schedule, shooting two sketches in a day and releasing them over the next two weeks, on the same day of each week, and the same time. The system allows us to create faster content but also helps us stay true to the overall concept of the series. If you want to learn more, check out this Making Of video.
In with the Good, Out with the Bad.
We didn’t start the series with an extremely tight format. Things evolve naturally, if something worked, we stuck with it. If it didn’t, it was scrapped and we tried something new. Don’t stick with something if it isn’t working, try a new angle or concept. Saturday Morning Tutorials didn’t start with a title animation or a conscious choice to maintain character arc, those are just things that seemed to work well, and so we made sure to maintain consistency with them in each episode. Things got progressively better and tighter, and our audience continued to grow. Now we are trying to apply this success to new series, like VFXperiments and Davesplanations, both shows with an active format but still loose enough that we can adapt them as they develop.
Play to your strengths.
Don’t try to mimic another channel’s personality. Adrian and I work together every day, we have developed our own banter and that translates well for the tutorials. Our rhythm works because it is us, if we were trying to mimic Bob Ross we would fail horribly.
You’ll never find success if you’re making content you don’t care about. Follow your interests, passions or curiosity. If you’re bored making your videos, anyone who watches them will be bored too. It will be nearly impossible to maintain consistency and you’ll dread having to edit each one. Don’t do it.
Your audio needs work. You can get better lighting. Your edit can be tighter, or maybe you can let that shot sit for longer. Your workflow is slow or maybe you’re using outdated techniques. Your work will never be perfect. Don’t get cemented in your ways. Keep learning, stay up to date on your equipment, and keep trying new things. If there is one glaring, obvious annoyance you feel about your work then change it. It is too easy to be complacent, you need to be active to grow.
Don’t Burn Out.
Some of our episodes are awesome. We went above and beyond, polishing every cut and fine tuning every scene. Other episodes are just so-so. The latter usually happens when we’re reaching a burn out point. Too much work, not enough passion. If your heart isn’t in it, it’s going to show. For us, we took some time off. We tried new shows, wrote new characters, and found the passion again. It won’t last forever, but that’s okay. We’d prefer to take a moment to fall in love with the work again instead of forcing ourselves to hate it.
Do you have any tips and tricks you use? Or any questions you would like to ask? Disagree with everything I have said or found a bit of value? Let me know if the comments below!