YouTube offers content creators a way of cross-utilizing mediums to enhance and bridge engagement beyond a book. Authors wanting more presence should leverage this platform to reach a larger audience and potentially earn more revenue. I hear calls for help all the time from bloggers, eBook writers, and even published authors that are trying to get their content out to readers. Today, we are a more fractured society in how we promote and consume everything from an article in the dentist waiting room or the late night YouTube binge on Chromecast.
Content creators are rarely able to switch into promotion or sales when all they know is building engaging content. This is the whole reason marketing companies exist, but the power of the internet has given so many the ability to learn how, and for some, prosper. As an author, you have tremendous power with your brand and if you are a self-publishing author you have even more freedom. YouTube can easily take what you have built and mold it into a sales funnel without striking any deals with a marketing company.
You might think this is a difficult proposition because you write and that’s it. The first steps into building video content and the audience is a camera. You can do everything from a webcam like Blab uses (another serious platform as well), to a GoPro as long as it captures video and hopefully audio. There are endless search results on building your video solution. Once you sort all of the equipment fundamentals out, it’s time for actual production and potentially outsourcing.
Authors can, and do find success by using YouTube. I want to share a few ways on how to do so.
- Create a YouTube channel and brand it with the same look as other platforms you have pages on so it looks professional.
- Decide what to share that relates to your stories. Some authors do Q & A’s, give behind the scenes info, or discuss whatever topics that may interest your readers.
- Fan interaction is great and you could do a Google Hangout, or maybe a weekly video on something you think fans might want to know about. Plan these out ahead of time.
- Build consistent content that is well edited. You can either learn how to edit, don’t edit, or outsource the editing to a freelancer. Editing is the most difficult part, but is the most important as well.
- Use YouTube to bring your brand together with the creator of the content your fans enjoy. A quick search brings up results of authors that are already using YouTube to reach fans.
- Be unique and engage in the comments with people who are interested.
Don’t just cast YouTube to the side because it’s difficult to use. It’s the world’s #2 search engine and your brand will expand by stepping into a new platform. Take the challenge in building video and bridging the conversation with the audience on YouTube.
While I didn’t focus on these areas, it’s important to consider podcasting and blogging as areas to push into if you have the time or desire to do so. Video is not the only path to fans, but it is the most intimate. Let’s transition from using YouTube to combining it with fan-funding. I think these two go very well together and it provides more opportunity.
Patreon for Authors
Crowd-funding is relatively new, but it’s probably one of the hardest things to build into if you have limited time or content to offer. If you can leverage YouTube and build an audience in video and books Patreon is a must for many. It’s a platform that you build a page that introduces who you are and what you do. You ask your fans to support your work by monthly contributions. In return for the support, you offer them special rewards. The concept of Patreon is simple, so I want to leave you with ideas for rewards, and this list is nowhere close to being exhaustive.
- A private video on YouTube where you discuss behind the scenes info.
- Merchandise like t-shirts or coffee mugs.
- A signed copy of your book or a future book.
- 1-on-1 Skype calls with a fan.
- Add a fan to your next book as a character.
These five basic things to choose from, and can be unbelievable when it comes to fans wanting special rewards. This is a platform that creators have had massive amounts of success with and it can work for you as well as a side offering in between hidden retreats into a log cabin on the side of a mountain while you pen your next work. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas to chew on as you look for new ways to build your base.
I’m Adam Mulholland and I’m a blend of designer, marketer, blogger, and more. My goals are to help others with getting their message out into the wild. I am also a 20-yr veteran of the U.S. Air Force which allowed me to travel the world and learn cultures. I discuss content marketing, design, all the while building online communities, and establishing my new company, Adding Social, LLC. Visit Adam Mulholland.com to read new ideas to expand your reach and deepen connections you already have.