Vlogging is all about your brand. You need people to recognize you on other socials as well as YouTube and post your videos out from them. Branding yourself carefully at the beginning is a great way to set yourself up for success. Here are five free branding tools that every YouTube vlogger should know.
LogoCreator is a free logo maker that is full of hundreds of templates that you can use and alter to suit your needs. You can convert your logo into a variety of formats for free download and use it in any way you like.
Why Use It?
When you brand your vlog with a logo, you show your fans who you are and the style of your brand personality. Give people something to easily recognize when they watch your vlogs. This way, when they see another pop up on YouTube or your logo head a photo you post for content on Instagram, they will know that it is you. This is how you develop a brand following for your business.
Canva is an online design tool that allows vloggers to use customizable templated videos to create content for their socials and vlogs. They offer hundreds of templates for free and you can alter them to suit your brand.
Why Use it?
Using a video template can be a great way to ensure your vlog looks professional every time. You can use it to put across your branding in your video, which makes your business easier for consumers to follow and associate with.
Biteable offers a vast array of customizable videos. Much like Canva, but with more features. Biteable is a dedicated video site, offering free video templates as long as you have their watermark on the vlog. If you want to lose their logo and add your own, price plans start at just under £14 per month.
Why Use it?
If you want to set up a vlog but don’t have the technical or creative know-how to create videos yet, then a template can help get you started. Once you are a master vlogger, you might want to move to a different tool, but for the beginner, Biteable has almost no competition.
Open Broadcaster, or OBS is a great piece of software for the more experienced vlogger. It is a free open-source piece of software that is designed for video streaming and recording. Many people use it to stream themselves playing games or vlog about certain topics. It is sponsored by Twitch, Facebook and YouTube so you can rely on it to be updated fairly often. You can add graphics and overlays to your OBS to sync it with your brand.
Why Use It?
OBS offers an enormous amount of guidance with how to use their software. They have a downloadable quick start guide, a more detailed OBS Studio overview and a Discord community forum. All of this assistance means that vloggers can feel supported and get the help they need when creating their videos.
Shotcut is an open-source video editor that can be used cross platforms. It offers an incredibly detailed repertoire of features. Shotcut offers wide-angle support, device transfer options and a sleek, intuitive interface. They offer an astounding amount of video and audio options that can help you brand your vlog. They also have an option to add a watermark which can be great for branding if you use your logo.
Why Use it?
Shotcut has all of its previous versions available for download and a detailed site map available with FAQs, contact options and an active forum. It is a great bit of kit if you are looking do get in deep with vlogging.
When vlogging it is important to brand your videos to create a direct link between your socials, emails, website and videos. Your brand is also the first point of contact for most of your audience so branding your vlogs is a sure-fire way to get viewers acknowledging you brand and building a relationship via association.
71% of my traffic on my YouTube channel is from search that I won because I used TubeBuddy and VidIQ to optimize my titles, descriptions and tags.
 Promote yourself
If you’ve got a number of videos, the ideal action is for your watchers to watch all of the content.
Make sure you reference your older videos in new ones, leave links in the description and then if your watchers are interested its easy for them to find your older link and click through
 Share across platforms
Most social media platforms have a native video uploader, upload a snippet of your video with links to the full Youtube video.
This way wherever your audience are they have a very clear direction of how to access your Youtube videos.
It may be that they don’t usually use Youtube to find content but if it lands on their facebook feed they’re more likely to click through – clicking through from external websites shows Youtube that your content is valuable and is more likely to increase your ranking
If you need help with sharing your videos and building your brand – check out my resources page, packed with great tools I use personally to help grow my brand and get noticed on YouTube.
 Subscribe Buttons
You can subscribe to Youtube videos by clicking in the description, but a lot of viewers won’t read the description or even click through to subscribe.
You need to make it abundantly clear WHY they should subscribe to your channel and make sure you add a nice big subscribe button within your video.
If you’re going to spend the time to create a professional looking thumbnail, start with the proper sizing and dimensions.
Per YouTube’s guidelines, your thumbnail image should be 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. An aspect ratio of 16:9 is ideal as it’s used most often in YouTube players and previews.
Be honest & accurate in your thumbnails
If you click bait users to viewing your videos by misleading them with thumbnails and headlines, this will hurt your brand and reputation.
Not only that, but YouTube will stop showing your videos in search results if your bounce rates are too high.
The thumbnail is meant to give context, so providing an image that does not depict what is in the video will harm you rather than benefit you. Find the most important point or part of your video and create your thumbnail around that.
 A complete profile
Many people skip straight to creating content but don’t skip out on your profile it’s a really important aspect to making sure your viewers return.
Maintain a consistency across your other social media channels / website and most importantly have very visible contact details.
If your channel is going well then companies may want to contact you for sponsorship deals, your watchers may want to send you an email
Why have Multiple Social Media Accounts?
Having a social media presence is key things for companies in this day and age.
Especially with the different types of social media accounts out. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. is key to get the word out about your company, brand, youtube channel or blog to your chosen target audience.
Social media has been a growing trend for businesses over the last few years, and for good reason. Before you begin dabbling with multiple social media sites, a strategy needs to be put in place that includes:
Consistency: Instead of posting when you have time, post something at the same times every day so your audience knows when to expect it.
Engagement: Interact with your audience through social media, whether it’s by answering questions they post or by asking questions yourself.
Images: Don’t just post links and text. People love pictures and infographics. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Businesses that have used infographics have grown in traffic 12% more than those that don’t.
This will increase your reach to people without accessibility issues too, so many people watch videos with their phones on mute you’d be amazed how many are skipped over if they don’t have subtitles it’s a really untapped market you need to address.
Why Accessibility Matters
It’s time to set a universal standard for accessibility. How many people have visited your channel and left without complaining because of its inaccessibility?
Invest in video captions to reach that sizeable audience. Captions are essential to ensuring that your videos are accessible to the wider public.
The Impact of Captions on Your YouTube Channel
How do the statistics of videos with captions compare to video content without subtitles?
When it comes to watch time, subtitled videos increase view time by more than 12% and are watched an average 91% to completion. In comparison, videos without subtitles are only watched 66% to completion. When subtitles are included, 80% more people watch videos to completion.
 High Quality Content
Let’s be fair, you can create rich SEO descriptions, fill out all your profile, have active subscribe buttons etc. etc. but if your content is weak then people won’t return, they probably won’t even watch the entirety of your current video.
Just like any other form of blogging / vlogging or social media content will always be king. Make sure the videos you are creating are what your ideal audience would be looking for, that the video ultimately answers a problem, that you’re clear and engaging and most importantly that you are yourself.
Anyone can create a factual video what makes your videos unique is you. So inject some personality and let your viewers really get to know the person behind the camera
Hopefully if your videos are doing well you will start getting comments on your videos – answer them! Respond to your fans and engage with your community.
These are your viewers and subscribers, by making them know you ‘see’ them they’re more likely to return to your new content. Plus engage enough and you will get ideas for new Youtube videos, questions they need answering – its basically free market research very specifically from your audience.
So there you have it, 10 ways you can improve your current Youtube promotion with just a few simple changes.
Working for free. Should I work for free? Should you work for free?
Working for free can be a great way to build up a brand and your personal reputation within your niche. As you work for free you would build up contentions, reviews, a ever increasing portfolio, and most importantly, improving your skills from all the practice as you do so. Working for free might not earn you money in the short term but can be a very valuable investment in your long term future earning power.
It’s become a meme over the years, if you were creative, you’ve seen it. In fact, you’ve probably been approached, and people are like…
“Hi, can you do this, this and this for me?
Great. Sure. Here’s a quote.
“Oh, I wasn’t expected to pay you. I thought you could use the exposure, you know, get out there.”
And people are thinking, yeah, there’s exposure where you promote me and exposure where I die, a cold, lonely hungry death in the middle of a field because your exposure, can’t pay my rent. Your exposure, can’t pay my bills. Your exposure is me dying of exposure. I get that. I do. I do. That’s why you need to be sensible about this. Right?
I couldn’t do the whole free thing to start with either. And it’s become much more of a thing now that I can because I have a steady income.
Make Working For Free Your Side Hustle
Now, working for free can initially be your side hustle. I’m not saying that it has to cost you thousands of pounds to do a project that you hand away for nothing and you have no control over. I mean that you can build upon your future by adding value, leading with value first. Your side hustle has the potential to be the base for your future business success.
When I first started doing YouTube consultancing, I set up a profile on a few freelance websites like PeoplePerHour, on Fiverr. Yes, that does technically mean that I got paid for it, but it was pittance, deliberately pittance because I wanted to attract people to me. So I could pull a few strings and build a few Lego bricks on top of my board. They are good marketplaces that can offer you a chance to practice your skills or build a portfolio. So that aside, on the PeoplePerHour website, or Fiverr for example, I sell really, really cheap logos or really, really cheap Web designs, or really, really cheap channel reviews or video optimizations for say three, four or five dollars.
The money is negligible. But, what it does do, is it gives me a chance to build up 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 examples of me doing the thing that I want to get paid for, to do. If it’s on PeoplePerHour as well then it’s an hour’s worth of work, two hours worth of work depending on how much you’re willing to sacrifice in your time. But let’s say you do 20 logo designs at a $1 each, that’s 20 bucks, that’s not really much for you. It’s a cup of coffee, or that’s your electricity to cover that laptop that made those on, but you now have 20 designs that you can put in your portfolio, 20 designs that you can then show to a new client that is willing to pay you two 300 pounds for a logo and you’ve got 20 examples of stuff that you’ve done in the past.
Yes, it does mean that you sacrifice a bit of your time. Yes, that does mean that you couldn’t have charged 200 pounds for 20 of them each and made four grand. But if people don’t know you, the grand value price of one sale when they don’t want to buy from you is zero, zip, zilch nothing, nada. I would much rather have 20 sales, 20 logo designs at 20 bucks at one buck each, because then I’ve got those examples that I can then go and hunt the next big fish that’s willing to pay maybe a little bit more, 20 bucks each 50 bucks each 100 bucks each.
Working For Free is Improving Your Skills
Now, this is one of the things that that doesn’t dawn on people. I’ve been on YouTube for about eight, nine years. I’ve been creating these videos on this channel for about three. That means somewhere out there, there’s thousands of videos that I’ve edited, or I’ve been in, or I’ve uploaded, I’ve downloaded, I’ve deleted and that means that I can do this, I can communicate with a camera, I’ve improved my skill, I’ve improved my lighting, I’ve improved my ability to talk to you, to edit. Improving my skill, improving my speed, improving my skill set that I can sell to somebody else.
Improving my expertise that I can pitch to somebody else. Hi Mr. logo man. Yes, here’s 20 examples from point number one and I can do it much better than I used to because logo number 20 is better than logo number one because I learned how to do graphic and vector work a little bit better. And instead of it taking me four to five hours to render that wonderful piece of artwork, I can do it in half hour to an hour, and I can start tweaking and I can make it bigger.
Skill, improvement, more money.
You’re investing in yourself by doing free stuff – Building your reputation.
You’ve sold 20 logos to 20 people or 20 teddy bears, or 20 stockings or 20 handmade cards, it doesn’t matter what it is, you’ve sold 20 things to 20 people that can leave you 20 reviews. Those 20 reviews, you can then put on mailing list. Those 20 reviews you can put on your website. There’s 20 reviews, or people that hopefully you can refer to. Those are 20 advocates that know who you are and what you can do, that will refer hopefully another friend next time they need a logo, a teddy bear, a T shirt, a sock design, whatever you’re doing.
That reputations stacks on top of the skill that you’ve learned and the portfolio that you’ve gained. All of which has helped me in the past, hook that bigger fish. That’s got my foot in that door. Though I’ve got a couple of people that have come from these platforms, they are constant retainers, they are clients that I consult with. They are people that I directly work with, and they wouldn’t have found me if they hadn’t have used the freelance site to buy something small from me, for me to over deliver value, for them to trust me with my portfolio, the reputation, the reviews, and loving my work for me to then upsell.
I didn’t advertise for these people. I didn’t put ads on Facebook, I didn’t go out there on Google ads and hook people in. I’ve not pulled them in with some kind of skeezy sleazy kind of sales click funnel. I offered them value at a fair price and created quality, for them. And I’ve got my foot in the door, in which I can start talking to, and then I upsell, and I upsell and I upsell which then, supports the ability for me to give cheap, entries at the other end of that one dollar logo, those five dollar logos, those mini cheap reviews.
Leverage your new skill base, the things that you have learnt, your reputation, your portfolio, that foot in the door, you’re not actually doing it for free anymore.
Yes, initially, you do have to do the legwork, build the foundation and build upwards. And all it takes is for you to slowly stack over time. You put in some hard work.
And yes, let’s say you you have some really bad luck, and you sell 400 of these logos at one dollar each. You now have a huge portfolio, you’ve now had a skill based on these things. It may look like you are working for free, but you’re actually investing in yourself. And sometimes someone will help subsidize that by upgrading or by selling or buying or promoting you. And I did a lot of this at the start of my consulting career. I worked my ass off for 12 months, giving away freebies, or very cheap reviews and very cheap this and very cheap that. Why? Because it built those connections.
I’ve got 400, 500 videos on my youtube channel. They’re exactly that. I worked for free. Don’t get it twisted, yeah. YouTube can pay me a little bit of money in advertising but trust me it is pittance compared to what you can make by building that reputation. Building a back catalog. Making those links, putting your foot in the door and building a business from the ground up. All by just initially working for free. It’s one of the very important steps that you have to deal with when building a business and this nine of them here which I’m sure you know.
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