YouTube: 5 Videos Every Artist Should Have

YouTubeMost artists attack their social media the same way: get on Facebook, start a Twitter feed, open a YouTube channel, etc. Unfortunately, many of these artists stop there. Creating these pages is only the beginning. A Facebook profile (or, preferably, a Fan Page) or a Twitter account is not going to magically bring people out to your shows or to your website to purchase music. If a page isn’t updated regularly with interesting content, fans will lose interest; with access to an unprecedented amount of music, fans have the luxury of being fickle with whom they support.

“A picture is worth 1,000 words.” If that is the case, then a video is priceless. That being said, YouTube is free and easy to use, leaving artists with no excuse for failing to update fans regularly via video posts. Think of your YouTube channel as your own reality show that you control. Keep it interesting with these 5 different types of footage to ensure fans subscribe for future viewing:

Live Show
Fans will be more likely to come check out your live shows if they get a taste of what they can expect. Keep these tips in mind when filming:
• Make sure you have a person dedicated to getting a clear shot
• Shoot when there is a decent size audience (25+ people)
• Decide on what song to capture ahead of time
• If your show consists of dancing or lots of movement, try mapping out at what points in the song the camera should focus on you, and at what points it is better to scan the audience
• Use a good camera; try to stay away from camera phones unless yours has exceptionally good focus
• Keep a steady hand or use a tripod; shaky or unbalanced footage is a turnoff

Music Video
Every artist should aim to put out at least 1 music video per album, preferably of the lead single (or most catchy single). No one says it has to cost millions, or even thousands. Think outside the box and plan it out. The most popular videos on YouTube aren’t always of the highest film quality, but of the highest creativity. You can find tips for planning out a great video on a budget here.

Personal Diary
It’s not always about the music. Many fans support an artist because they relate to them on a deeper level. Allowing fans to get to know you outside of your music is a great way to connect with them beyond the stage. If you are not comfortable opening up on camera, try staying behind the camera and narrate something interesting you come across during your day, or interview other people you think your fans might enjoy checking out. With so much reality TV out there, fans expect a certain level of transparency with their entertainment.

Behind the Scenes
Speaking of transparency, an easy way to connect with fans is to take them on your journey with you. Everyone has at one time or another secretly wished he/she could be a rock star. Show your fans what’s involved in your day-to-day process by filming pieces from the recording studio, sound check, or on set of your music video or photo shoot. What may seem mundane to you will seem like a nice escape from another’s reality.

Haven’t gotten that call from Rolling Stone yet? Who cares! Your YouTube, your rules. Make your own press. If magazines and blogs haven’t knocked down your door to review your work, have a friend interview you and post it on your channel. Come up with a few key questions (How did you get started? What is the meaning behind your album title? What’s your favorite song to perform live?) and practice giving succinct, interesting answers. When you’ve nailed down what you liked, post it up! You may even want to break up the interview into sections (1-2 questions per clip).

And there ya go!

Play around with these different types of footage to get yourself started. Make sure your channel has all the proper information in the profile section, and all other social media sites are listed for easy access. You also want to label and caption each video for fans to identify and share. Happy filming!