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  • Writer's pictureBryan Jun

guide to starting a Youtube Channel

Ever since I started posting regularly on Youtube in January of 2020, I've had many people around me saying that they'll start one too or asking me advice on how to "go viral." Not surprisingly many of these individuals were rather mocking in their tone when my first video came out, but as a professional hypocrite, I have forgiven their transgressions! Petty jokes aside, I will note that I've not had a single person around me who's declared that they'll start their own channel or asked me advice on starting actually start - as I have repeatedly mentioned on my blog and channel, much to life is about starting.

Before I began uploading, I had a fair number of people tell me I should do Youtube, largely because of my extroverted personality. I think people tend to confused being extroverted with having a "Youtube personality" - my assumption is that most famous or viral Youtubers are actually introverted and those with a lot of alone time. It takes a lot to speak into a camera as if you're talking to someone else and know yourself so much to the point you're willing to dedicate an entire medium talking about yourself. As I became more and more provoked by the idea that I should start a channel (and trying to battle the stress that came from investment banking at the time and literally "channeling" the stress through some creative outlet), I decided to be a good analyst and conduct some market research. As I ventured into the influencer sphere, my plan was very simple and split into three phases - talk about something people care about, use that topic to get people to care about you, and finally they will care about whatever you talk about. I recognized that the investment banking video world was rather limited at the time and the only people at the "forefront" were boring dudes in suits that looked like your typical finance bros. Not that I don't have a similar image, but I thought it would be far more relatable if I put on a hoodie instead of a suit, talked without a script, and "exposed" the not so prestigious nature of what we do and made the role accessible to the masses. In reflection, I do somewhat regret giving off too much of a casual image as when human beings are told something is attainable and they aren't able to get there, they start blaming themselves. Life is a lot easier when there's something to blame other than yourself (which is why I take the difficult route of being a conservative!)

I'd say my first piece of go-to advice for aspiring Youtubers (I cringe as I type this because I don't consider myself a Youtuber or influencer, however as mentioned in my first blog post I do have an urge to become famous - more on this at a later post) is that no one cares about you. We all live in a me-centered universe, where we think everyone inherently cares about us. This is because we care about us and that's the only perspective we have full time access to. The reality is, no one does, and while some may care about you time to time, they don't care nearly as much as you than they do about themselves. Therefore, you need to create content that fuels their interests - and the more you can fuel more people's' self interest, the more "viral" you can become. And for 99% of the world, who aren't overly attractive or talented or both (through which you fuel others' weird need to look for aspiration while feeling bad about themselves), you need to feed some niche that doesn't already have a feeder. This means it's probably difficult to do cool trick shots, play Minecraft, eat a lot of food or reveal your baby's gender, simply because there's so many people doing so who all have digital real estate far beyond what your late entrance can afford. And to get straight to the point, many if not all these people are probably better looking than you to start, which is automatic brownie points in the Youtube sphere. TLDR - figure out something only you can do that people would need, not something you want to do that you think people will care about because you care about it and you think you're special.

Aside from starting (which is the hardest part for most people), consistency is top of my list. You're curating a community and communities expect regular correspondence. Regardless of time constraints (you definitely have an hour or two to spare each week) or "lack of good ideas," I'd prioritize an upload schedule and adhering to one as soon as you start. People like legitimacy and it's established (at least early on) more through the volume of your content than its quality. It's a lot like how you'd rather want to be at a night club packed with a bunch of rather mediocre people rather than wait around alone hoping for a 10 to show up 3 hours into the night. Just make sure the content itself is consistent and you don't go off in a million different directions from the start. Youtube rewards you for hitting a niche and the audience doesn't want you to see your daily life, Mukbang and a Python guide from the same channel within three weeks (unless you're famous to begin with or a very attractive girl - even then the algorithm may not like you if you stray away from your niche).

I thought this would be more of a straightforward guide but it became somewhat of a reflection of what I've learned in my past year and a half from making videos. I think all the cynical stuff aside, it's probably been the most rewarding hobby (and maybe the only) I've ever had and I plan on doing it until I die or my future wife tells me to stop embarrassing the kids. It's always weird to think that 17,000 people online somewhat care about what I think 10 minutes every Saturday (obviously an exaggeration but I needed this dramatic point for the conclusion) when most of the people I know in person are too busy to shoot me a text! Thanks Google.

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