Having millions of followers seems to be a worthwhile goal, especially if you specialize enough to be considered an “influencer” in your market. But what are the secrets to that kind of success on YouTube specifically?
John Legend’s popular tune says something like “love all your curves and your edges, all your perfect imperfections.” There’s a lesson for aspiring and growing YouTube stars. No one is perfect, and often the things people will love most about you are the quirks, the inconsistencies, and the little ways you mess up. Just make sure you do it in a way that is consistent with who you are. In other words, be real and be you.
For those who become influencers for brands, be careful about how much you allow brands to determine your choices. Representing them doesn’t mean drowning in their products or not telling the truth when it needs to be told. Be you and let the followers develop trust in that, long before you start telling them about a product you love.
Keeping the Trust
Leading right into this next point. Brands are picky about who they want to represent them and be influencers for their products, it’s not just about the number of followers but about the relationships that are built between the influencer and fans. As a YouTube star, you want to be even more picky than the brands are about who you represent. If a product is something you would use or love without being paid a cent, then jump on that one. If it’s something that you don’t particularly care one way or the other about, it might be best to pass, no matter what deal they offer. Better to stay true to yourself and your peeps than to take home a big paycheck that will quickly disappear along with the followers.
Like anything that turns into a big success, there’s a lot of work involved in becoming a social media star. There will be starts and stops, errors, apologies, working and reworking ideas until you hit on a magic formula that works for you. And then more work happens as you tweak that formula to the max.
But know that as soon as you have it perfected, you’ll need to start on a new set of ideas and formulas. Nothing ever stays the same, especially not a magic formula.